Printable Version

Conflict and Accomodation in the Northeast: A Naragansett Plea for Unity
Digital History ID 656

Author:   Miantonomo
Date:

Annotation: A Narragansett Chief calls on other Indian tribes to join him in repulsing the English colonists. Note his observations about the ways that the English had transformed the natural environment.


Document: Brothers, we must be as one as the English are, or we shall all be destroyed. You know our fathers had plenty of deer and skins and our plains were full of game and turkeys, and our coves and rivers were full of fish.

But, brothers, since these Englishmen have seized our country, they have cut down the grass with scythes, and the trees with axes. Their cows and horses eat up the grass, and their hogs spoil our bed of clams; and finally we shall all starve to death; therefore, stand not in your own light, I ask you, but resolve to act like men. All the sachems both to the east and the west have joined with us, and we are resolved to fall upon them at a day appointed, and therefore I come secretly to you, cause you can persuade your Indians to do what you will.

Source: Herbert Milton Sylvester, Indian Wars of New England (Cleveland, 1910), I, 386.

Copyright 2016 Digital History