The maffacre vpon the two and twentieth of March.
The Prologue to this Tragedy, is supposed was occasioned by Nemattanow, otherwise called Jack of the Feather, because hee commonly was most strangely adorned with them; and for his courage and policy, was accounted amongst the Saluages their chiefe Captaine, and immortall from any hurt could bee done with him by the English. This Captaine comming to one Morgan house, knowing he had many commodities that hee desired, perswaded Morgan to goe with him to Pamauke [chief towne of the Pamunkey Indians] to trucke, but the Saluage murdered him by the way; and after two or three daies returned againe to Morgans house, where he found two youths his Seruants, who asked for their Master: Jack replied directly he was dead, the Boyes suspecting as it was, by seeing him weare his Cap, would haue had him to Master [George] Thorp: But Jack so moued their patience, they shot him, so he fell to the ground, put him in a Boat to haue him before the Gouernor, then seuen or eight miles from them. But by the way Jack finding the pangs of death vpon him, desired of the Boyes two things; the one was, that they would not make it knowne hee was slaine with a bullet; the other, to bury him amongst the English. At the losse of this Saluage Opechankanough much grieued and repined, with great threats of reuenge; but the English returned him such terrible answers, that he cunningly dissembled his intent, with the greatest signes he could of loue and peace, yet within foureteene daies after he acted what followeth.
Sir Francis Wyat at his arriuall was aduertised, he found the Countrey setled in such a firme peace, as most men there thought sure and vnuioable, not onely in regard of their promises, but of a necessitie. The poore weake Saluages being euery way bettered by vs, and safely sheltred and defended, whereby wee might freely follow our businesse: and such was the conceit of this conceited peace, as that there was seldome or neuer a sword, and seldomer a peece, except for a Deere or Fowle, by which assurances the most plantations were placed straglingly and scatteringly, as a choice veine of rich ground inuired them, and further from neighbours the better. Their houses generally open to the Saluages, who were alwaies friendly fed at their tables, and lodged in their bed-chambers, which made the way plaine to effect their intents, and the conuersion of the Saluages as they supposed.
Hauing occasion to send to Opechankanough about the middle of March, hee vsed the Messenger well, and told him he held the peace so firme, the sky should fall or he dissolued it; yet such was the treachery of those people, when they had contriued our destruction, euen but two daies before the massacre, they guided our men with much kindnesse thorow the woods, and one Browne that liued among them to learne the language, they sent home to his Master; yea, they borrowed our Boats to transport themselues ouer the Riuer, to consult on the deuillish murder that insued, and of the vtter extirpation, which God of his mercy (by the meanes of one of themselues conuerted to Christianitie) preuented, and as well on the Friday morning that fatall day, being the two and twentieth of March, as also in the euening before, as at other times they came vnarmed into our houses, with Deere, Turkies, Fish, Fruits, and other prouisions to sell vs, yea in some places sat downe at breakfast with our people, whom immediatly with their owne tooles they flew most barbarously, not sparing either age or sex, man woman or childe, so sudden in their execution, that few or none discerned the weapon or blow that brought them to destruction: In which manner also they slew many of our people at seuerall works in the fields, well knowing in what places and quarters each of our men were, in regard of their familiaritie with vs for the effecting that great master-peece of worke their conuersion; and by this meanes fell that fatall morning vnder the bloudy and barbarous hands of that per-
fidious and inhumane people, three hundred forty seuen men, women and children, most by their owne weapons, and not being content with their liues, they fell againe vpon the dead bodies, making as well as they could a fresh murder, defacing, dragging, and mangling their dead carkases into many peeces, and carrying some parts away in derision, with base and brutish triumph.
Neither yet did these beasts spare those amongst the rest well knowne vnto them, from whom they had daily receiued many benefits, but spightfully also massacred them without any remorse or pitie; being in this more fell than Lions and Dragons, as Histories record, which haue preserued their Benefactors; such is the force of good deeds, though done to cruell beasts, to take humanitie vpon them, but these miscreants put on a more vnnaturall bruitishnesse than beasts, as by those instances may appear.
That worthy religious Gentleman M. George Thorp, Deputie to the College lands, sometimes one of his Maiesties Pensioners, & in command one of the principall in Virginia; did so truly affect their conuersion, that whosoeuer vnder him did them the least displeasure, were punished seuerely. He thought nothing too deare for them, he neuer denied them anything, in so much that when they complained that our Mastiues [Mastiffs; large dogs] did feare them, he to content them in all things, caused some of them to be killed in their presence, to the great displeasure of the owners, and would haue had all the rest guelt to make them the milder, might he haue had his will. The King dwelling but in a Cottage, he built him a faire house after the English fashion, in which he tooke such pleasure, especially in the locke and key, which he so admired, as locking and vnlocking his doore a hundred times a day, he thought no deuice in the world comparable to it.
Thus insinuating himselfe into this Kings fauour for his religious purpose, he conferred oft with him about Religion, as many other in this former Discourse had done, and this Pagan confessed to him as he did to them, our God was better than theirs, and seemed to be much pleased with that Discourse, and of his company, and to require all those courtesies; yet this viperous brood did, as the sequell shewed, not onely murder him, but with such spight and scorne abused his dead corps as is vnfitting to be heard with ciuill eares. One thing I cannot omit, that when this good Gentleman vpon his fatall houre, was warned by his man, who perceiuing some treachery intended by those hell-hounds, to looke to himselfe, and withall ran away for feare he should be apprehended, and so saued his owne life; yet his Master out of his good meaning was so void of suspition and full of confidence, they had slaine him, or he could or would beleeue they would hurt him. Captaine Nathaniel Powell one of the first Planters, a valiant Souldier, and not any in the Countrey better knowne amongst them; yet such was the error of an ouer-conceited power and prosperitie, and their simplicities, they not onely slew him and his family, but butcher-like hagled their bodies, and cut off his head, to express their vttermost height of cruelty. Another of the old company of Captaine Smith, called Nathaniel Causie, being cruelly wounded, and the Saluages about him, with an axe did cleaue one of their heads, whereby the rest fled and he escaped: for they hurt not any that did either fight or stand vpon their guard. In one place where there was but two men that had warning of it, they defended the house against 60 or more that assaulted it. M Baldwin at Warraskoyak, his wife being so wounded, she lay for dead, yet by his oft discharging of his peece, saued her, his house, himselfe, & diuers others. At the same time they came to one Master Harisons House, neere halfe a mile from Baldwines, where was Master Thomas Hamer with six men, and eighteene or nineteene women and children. Here the Saluages with many presents and faire perswasions, fained they came for Capt. Ralfe Hamer to go to their King, then hunting in the woods, presently they sent to him, but he not coming as they expected, set fire of a Tobacco-house, and then came to tell them in the dwelling house of it to quench it; all the men ran towards it, but Master Hamer not suspecting any thing, whom
the Saluages pursued, shot them full of arrows, then beat out their brains. Hamer, hauing finished a letter hee was a writing, followed after to see what was the matter, but quickly they shot an arrow in his back, which caused him to returne and barricade vp the doores, whereupon the Saluages set fire on the house. Harisons Boy finding his Masters peece loaded, discharged it at randome, at which bare report the Saluages all fled, Baldwin still discharging his peece, and Mr Hamer with two and twentie persons thereby got to his house, leauing their owne burning. In like manner, they had fired Lieutenant Basse his house, with all the rest there about, slaine the people, and so left that Plantation.
Captaine Hamer all this while not knowing any thing, comming to his Brother that had sent for him to go hunt with the King, meeting the Saluages chasing some, yet escaped, retired to his new house then a building, from whence he came; there onely with spades, axes, and brickbats, he defended himselfe and his Company till the Saluages departed. Not long after, the Master from the ship had sent six Musketiers, with which he recouered their Merchants store-house, where he armed ten more, and so with thirtie more vnarmed workmen, found his Brother and the rest at Baldwin: Now seeing all they had was burnt and consumed, they repaired to Iames Towne with their best expedition; yet not far from Martins hundred, where seuenty three were slaine, was a little house and a small family, that heard not of any of this till two daies after.
All those, and many others whom they haue as maliciously murdered, sought the good of those poore brutes, that thus despising Gods mercies, must needs now as miscreants be corrected by Iustice: to which leauing them, I will knit together the thred of this discourse. At the time of the massacre, there were three or foure ships in Iames Riuer, and one in the next, and daily more to come in, as there did within foureteene daies after, one of which they indeuoured to haue surprised: yet were the hearts of the English euer stupid, and auerted from beleeuing any thing might weaken their hopes, to win them by kinde vsage to Christianitie. But diuers write from thence, that Almighty God hath his great worke in this Tragedy, and will thereout draw honour and glory to his name, and a more flourishing estate and safetie to themselues, and with more speed to conuert the Saluage children to himselfe, since he so miraculously hath preserued the English; there being yet, God be praised, eleuen parts of twelue remaining, whose carelesse neglect of their own safeties, seemes to haue beene the greatest cause of their destruction; yet you see, God by a conuerted Saluage that disclosed the plot, saued the rest, and the Pinnance then in Pamaunks Riuer, whereof (say they) though our sinnes make vs vnworthy of so glorious a conuersion, yet his meanes as we thinke most vnlikely: for in the deliuery of them that suruiue, no mans particular carefulnesse saued one person, but the meere goodnesse of God himselfe, freely and miraculously preseruing whom he pleased.
The Letters of Master George Sands, a worthy Gentleman, and many others besides them returned, brought vs this vnwelcome newes, that hath beene heard at large in publike Court, that the Indians and they liued as one Nation, yet by a generall combination in one day plotted to subuert the whole Colony, and at one instant, though our seuerall Plantations were one hundred and fortie miles vp on Riuer on both sides.
But for the better vnderstanding of all things, you must remember these wilde naked natiues liue not in great numbers together, but dispersed, commonly in thirtie, fortie, fiftie, or sixtie in a company. Some places haue two hundred, few places more, but many lesse; yet they had all warning giuen them one from another in all their habitations, though farre asunder, to meet at the day and houre appointed for our destruction at al our seueral Plantations; some directed to one place, some to another, all to be done at the time appointed, which they did accordingly: Some entring their houses vnder colour of trading, so tooke their
aduantage; others drawing vs abroad vnder faire pretences, and the rest suddenly falling vpon those that were at their labours.
Six of the counsell suffered vnder this treason, and the slaughter had beene vniuersall, if God had not put it into the heart of an Indian, who lying in the house of one [Richard] Pace, was vrged by another Indian his Brother, that lay with him the night before to kill Pace, as he should doe Perry [possibly William Perry] which was his friend, being so commanded from their King; telling him also how the next day the execution should be finished; Perrys Indian presently arose and reueales it to Pace, that vsed him as his sonne; and thus them that escaped was saued by this one conuerted Infidell. And though three hundred fortie seuen were slaine, yet thousands of ours were by the meanes of this alone preserued, for which Gods name be praised for euer and euer.
Pace vpon this, securing his house, before day rowed to Iames Towne, and told the Gouernor of it, whereby they were preuented, and at such other Plantations as possibly intelligence could be giuen: and where they saw vs vpon our guard, at the sight of a peece they ranne away; but the rest were most slaine, their houses burnt, such Armes and Munition as they found they tooke away, and some cattell also they destroied. Since wee finde Opechankanough the last yeare had practised with a King on the Easterne shore [Esmy Shichans, of the Accomac Indians], to furnish him with a kind of poison, which onely growes in his Country to poison vs. But of this bloudy acte neuer griefe and shame possessed any people, who dare not stand the presenting of a staffe in manner of a peece, nor an vnchanged peece in the hands of a woman. (But I must tell those Authors, though some might be thus cowardly, there were many of them had better spirits.)
Thus haue you heard the particulars of this massacre, which in those respects some say will be good for the Plantation, because now we haue iust cause to destroy them by all meanes possible: but I thinke it had beene much better it had neuer happened, for they haue giuen vs an hundred times as iust occasions long agoe to subiect them, (and I wonder I can heare of none but Master Stockam and Master Whitaker of my opinion.) Moreouer; where before we were troubled in cleering the ground of great Timber, which was to them of small vse; now we may take their owne plaine fields and Habitations, which are the pleasantest places in the Countrey. Besides, the Deere, Turkies, and other Beasts and Fowles will exceedingly increase if we beat the Saluages out of the Countrey, for at all times of the yeare they neuer spare Male nor Female, old nor young, egges nor birds, far nor leane, in season or out of season with them, all is one. The like they did in our Swine and Goats, for they haue vsed to kill eight in tenne more than we, or else the wood would most plentifully abound with victual; besides it is more easie to ciuilize them by conquest then faire meanes; for the one may be made at once, but their ciuilizing will require a long time and much industry. The manner how to suppress them is so often related and approued, I omit it here: And you haue twenty examples of the Spaniards how they got the West Indies, and forced the treacherous and rebellious Infidels to doe all manner of drudgery worke and slauery for them, themselues liuing like Souldiers vpon the fruits of their labours. This will make vs more circumspect, and be an example to posteritie: (But I say, this might as well haue been put in practice sixteene yeares agoe as now.)
Thus vpon this Anuill shall wee now beat our selues an Armour of proofe hereafter to defend vs against such incursions, and euer hereafter make vs more circumspect; but to helpe to repaire this losse, besides his Maiesties bounty in Armes, he gaue the Company out of the Tower, and diuers other Honorable persons haue renewed their aduentures, we must not omit the Honorable Citie of London, to whose endlesse praise wee may speake it, are now setting forward one hundred persons, and diuers others at their owne costs are a repairing, and all
good men doe think neuer the worse of the businesse for all these disasters.
What growing state was there euer in the world which had not the like? Rome grew by oppression, and rose vpon the backe of her enemies: and the Spaniards haue had many of those counterbusses, more than we. Columbus, vpon his returne from the West- Indies into Spaine, hauing left his people with the Indies, in peace and promise of good vsage amongst them, at his returne backe found not one of them liuing, but all treacherously slaine by the Saluages. After this againe, when the Spanish Colonies were increased to great numbers, the Indians from whom the Spaniards for trucking stuffe vsed to haue all their corne, generally conspired together to plant no more at all, intending thereby to famish them; themselues liuing in the meane time vpon Cassaua, a root to make bread, onely then knowne to themselues. This plot of theirs by the Spaniards ouersight, that foolishly depended vpon strangers for their bread, tooke such effect, and brought them to such misery by the rage of famine, that they spared no vnclean nor loathsome beast, no nor the poisonous and hideous Serpents, but eat them vp also, deuouring one death to saue them from another; and by this meanes their whole Colony well-neere surfered, sickned and died miserably, and when they had againe recouered this losse, by their incontinency an infinite number of them died on the Indian disease, we call the French Pox, which at first being a strange and an vnknowne malady, was deadly vpon whomsoeuer it lighted: then they had a little flea called Nigua, which got betweene the skinne and the flesh before they were aware, and there bred and multiplied, making swellings and putrifactions, to the decay and losse of many of their bodily members.
Againe, diuers times they were neere vndone by their ambition, faction, and malice of the Commanders. Columbus, to whom they were also much beholden, was sent with his Brother in chaines into Spaine; and some other great Commanders killed and murdered one another. Pizzaro was killed by Almagres sonne, and him Vasco beheaded, while Vasco was taken by Blasco, and Blasco was likewise taken by Pizzaros Brother: And thus by their couetous and spightfull quarrels, they were euer shaking the maine pillars of their Common-weale. These and many more mischiefes and calamities hapned them, more than euer did to vs, and at one time being euen at the last gaspe, had two ships not arriued with supplies as they did, they were so disheartned, they were a leauing the Countrey; yet wee see for all those miseries they haue attained to their ends at last, as is manifest to all the world, both with honour, power, and wealth: and whereas before few could be hired to goe to inhabit there, now with great sute they must obtaine it; but where there was no honesty, nor equity, nor sanctitie, nor veritie, nor pietie, nor good ciuilitie in such a Countrey, certainly there can bee no stabilitie.
Therefore let vs not be discouraged, but rather animated by those conclusions, seeing wee are so well assured of the goodnesse and commodities may bee had in Virginia, nor is it to be much doubted there is any want of Mines of most sorts, no not of the richest, as is well knowne to some yet liuing that can make it manifest when time shall serue: and yet to thinke that gold and siluer Mines are in a country otherwise most rich and fruitfull, or the greatest wealth in a Plantation, is but a popular error, as is that opinion likewise, that the gold and siluer is now the greatest wealth of the West Indies at this present. True it is indeed, that in the first conquest the Spaniards got great and mighty store of treasure from the Natiues, which they in long space had heaped together, and in those times the Indians shewed them entire and rich Mines, which now by the relations of them that haue beene there, are exceedingly wasted, so that now the charge of getting those Metals is growne excessiue, besides the consuming the liues of many by their pestilent smoke and vapours in digging and refining them, so that all things considered, the cleere gaines of those metals, the Kings part defraied, to the Aduenturers is but small, and nothing neere so much as vulgarly is imagined; and were it not
for other rich Commodities there that inrich them, those of the Contraction house were neuer able to subsist by the Mines onely; for the greatest part of their Commodities are partly naturall, and partly transported from other parts of the world, and planted in the West-Indies, as in their mighty wealth of Sugarcanes, being first transported from the Canaries; and in Ginger and other things brought out of the East-Indies, in their Cochanele, Indicos, Cotton, and their infinite store of Hides, Quick-siluer, Allum, Woad, Brasill woods, Dies, Paintes, Tobacco, Gums, Balmes, Oiles, Medicinals and Perfumes, Sassaparilla, and many other physicall drugs: These are the meanes whereby they raise that mighty charge of drawing out their gold and siluer to the great & cleare reuenue of their King. Now seeing the most of those commodities, or as vsefull, may be had in Virginia by the same meanes, as I haue formerly said; let vs with all speed take the priority of time, where also may be had the priority of place, in chusing the best seats of the Country, which now by vanquishing the saluages, is like to offer a more faire and ample choice of fruitfull habitations, then hitherto our gentlenesse and faire comportments could attaine vnto.
The whole number 347.
Men in this taking bettered with affliction,
Better attend, and mind, and marke Religion,
For them true voyces issue from their hearts,
Then speaks they what they thinks in inmost parts,
The truth remains, they cast off fained Arts.
This lamentable and so vnexpected a disaster caused them all beleeue the opinion of Master Stockam, and draue them all to their wits end: it was twenty or thirty daies ere they could resolue what to doe, but at last it was concluded, all the petty Plantations should be abandoned, and drawne onely to make good fiue or six places, where all their labours now for the most part must redound to the Lords of those Lands whereby they were resident. Now for want of Boats, it was impossible vpon such a sudden to bring also their cattle, and many other things, which with much time, charge and labour they had then in possession with them; all which for the most part at their departure was burnt, ruined, and destroyed by the Saluages. Only Master [Daniel] Gookins at Nuports-newes would not obey the Commanders command in that, though hee had scarce fiue and thirty of all sorts with him, yet he thought himselfe sufficient against what could happen, and so did to his great credit and the content of his Aduenturers. Master Samuel Iorden gathered together but a few of the straglers about him at Beggars-bush, where he fortified and liued in despight of the enemy. Nay, Mistresse [Alice] Proctor, a proper, ciuill, modest Gentlewoman did the like, till perforce the English Officers forced her and all them with her to goe with them, or they would fire her house themselues, as the Saluages did when they were gone, in whose despight they had kept it, and what they had a moneth or three weekes after the Massacre; which was to their hearts a griefe beyond comparison, to lose all they had in that manner, onely to secure others pleasures. Now here in England it was thought, all those remainders might presently haue beene reduced into fifties or hundreds in most places conuenient with what they had, hauing such strong houses as they reported they had, which with small labour might haue beene made inuincible Castles against all the Saluages in the Land, and then presently raised a company, as a running Armie to torment the Barbarous and secure the rest, and so haue had all that Country betwixt the Riuers of Powhatan and Pamavnke to range and sustaine them; especially all the territories of Kecoughtan, Chiskact, and Passpahege, from Ozemies to that branch of Pamavnke, comming from Youghtanund, which strait of land is not past 4. or 5. miles, to haue made a peninsula much bigger than the Summer Iles, inuironed with the broadest parts of those two maine Riuers, which for plenty of such things as Virginia affords it not to be exceeded, and were it well manured, more than sufficient for ten thousand men. This, were it well vnderstood, cannot but be thought better then to bring fiue or six hundred to lodge and liue on that, which before would not well receiue and maintaine a hundred, planting little or nothing, but spend that they haue vpon hopes out of England, one euill begetting another, till the disease is past cure: Therefore it is impossible but such courses must produce most fearefull miseries and extreme extremities; if it proue otherwise, I should be exceeding glad. I confesse I am somewhat too bold to censure other mens actions being not present, but they haue done as much of me; yea many here in England that were neuer there, & also many there that knowes little more then their Plantations, but as they are informed and this doth touch the glory of God, the honour of my Country, and the publike good so much, for which there hath beene so many faire pretences, that I hope none will be angry for speaking my opinion, seeing the old Proverb doth allow losers leaue to speake; and Du Bartas saith,
Euen as the wind the angry Ocean mones,
Wave hunteth Wave, and Billow Billow Stones,
So doe all Nations iustell [jostle] each the other,
And so one people doe pursue another,
And scarce a second hath the first vnhoused,
Before a third him thence againe bane roused.
Amongst the multitude of these seuerall Relations, it appears Captaine [William] Nuse seeing many of the difficulties to ensue, caused as much Corne to be planted as he could at Elizabeths city, & though some destroyed that they had set, fearing it would serue the Saluages for Ambuscadoes, trusting to releefe by trade, or from England, which hath euer beene one cause of our miseries, for from England wee haue not had much, and for trading, euery one hath not Ships, Shalops, Interpreters, men and prouisions to performe it, and those that haue, vse them onely for their owne priuate gaine, not the publike good, so that our beginning this yeere doth cause many to distrust the euent of the next. Here wee will leaue Captaine Nuse for a while, lamenting the death of Captaine [William] Norton, a valiant industrious Gentleman, adorned with many good qualities, besides Physicke and Chiurgery, which for the publike good he freely imparted to all gratis, but most bountifully to the poore; and let vs speake a little of Captaine Croshaw amongst the midst of those broiles in the Riuer of Patawomeke.
Being in a small Barke called the Elizabeth, vnder the command of Captaine Spilman [Henry Spelman], at Cekacawone, a Saluage stole aboard them, and told them of the Massacre, and that Opechancanough had plotted with his King and Country to betray them also, which they refused, but them of Wighcocomoco at the mouth of the riuer had vndertaken it; vpon this Spilman went thither, but the Saluages seeing his men so valiant and well armed, they suspected themselues discouered, and to colour their guilt, the better to delude him, so contented his desire in trade, his Pinnance was neere fraught; but seeing no more to be had, Croshaw went to Patawomeck [chief town of the Patawomeck Indians], where he intended to stay and trade for himselfe, by reason of the long acquaintance he had with this King that so earnestly entreated him now to be his friend, his countenancer, his Captaine and director against the Pazaticans, the Nacotchtanks, and Moyaons his mortall enemies. Of this opportunity Croshaw was glad, as well to satisfie his owne desire in some other purpose he had, as to keepe the King as an opposite to Opechancanough, and adhere him vnto vs, or at least make him an instrument against our enemies; so onely Elis Hill stayed with him, and the Pinnance returned to Elizabeths City; here shall they rest also a little, till we see how this newes was entertained in England.
It was no small griefe to the Councell and Company, to vnderstand of such a supposed impossible losse, as that so many should fall by the hands of men so contemptible; and yet hauing such warnings, especially by the death of Nemattanow, whom the Saluages did thinke was shot-free, as he had perswaded them, hauing so long escaped so many dangers without any hurt. But now to leape out of this labyrinth of melancholy, all this did not so discourage the noble aduenturers, nor diuers others still to vndertake new seuerall Plantations, but that diuers ships were dispatched away, for their supplies and assistance thought sufficient. Yet Captaine Smith did intreat and moue them to put in practice his old offer, feeling now it was time to vse both it and him, how slenderly heretofore both had beene regarded, and because it is not impertinent to the business, it is not much amisse to remember what it was.