Digital History
Conflict and Accomodation in the Northeast: Destruction of the Pequots
Digital History ID 652

Author:   William Bradford

Annotation: In this extract, William Bradford, a leader in the founding of Plymouth and the colony's longtime governor, describes the destruction by fire of the Pequots' major village, in which at least 400 Indians were burned to death. In his epic novel Moby-Dick, Herman Melville called his doomed whaling ship The Pequod, which was sacrificed by its captain, Ahab, out of greed and pride--a clear reference to earlier events in New England.

Document: Those that scaped the fire were slaine with the sword; some hewed to peeces, other rune throw with their repaiers, so as they were quickly dispatched, and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400, at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fyer, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stinck and sente there of; but the victory seemed a sweete sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to inclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy.

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