Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Letter written by the Rev. Richard Hyde describing the battle of Uncas and Miatonomah

Sir: Please to Except of the Following to be Communicated with what you have already Rec'd by the Hand of Revered Mr. Lord Relative to the Tribe of the Mohegen Indians If you think the same maybe worth Notice : the following Facts being Communicated to me from some of the antient Fathers of this Town who were Contempory with Uncas the grand Sagamore or Sachem of sd Tribe, (viz) that Before the Settlement of sd Norwich the sachem of ye Narragansit Tribe Had a Personel Quarrel with Uncass and Proclamed warr with the Mohegs: and Marched with an army of Nine Hundred Fighting Men equipt with Bows and arrows and hatchetts: Uncas he Informed by Spies of their March towards his Seat: Uncas Called his Warriors together about Six Hundred Stout hardy Men Light of foot and Skill  In the use of ye Bow and upon a Conference Uncas Told his Men that it woud Not Do to Lett y° Narrigansitts Come to their Town but they must go and meet them : accordingly they marched & about three Miles on a Large Plain the armys Meet & both Halted within Bow Shot: a Parly was Sounded & Uncas Proposed a Conference with the Narrigansitt
Sachem who agree? & being Meet Uncas Saith to his enemy Words to this Effect, you have Got a Number of Brave men with you & So have I: and it a Pitty that Such Brave men Shod be Killd for a Quaril Between you and I only Come Like a Man as you Portend to be and we will fight it out If you Kill me my men Shall be yours but if I Kill you your men Shall be mine : upon which ye Narrigansit Sachem Replyd my men Came to fight & they shall fight (when having before told his Men: that if: his Enemy Shod Refuse to fight him he woud Fall Down: and then they ware to Discharde their artillry on Them & Forse Right on them as Fast as they could, and: uncas falling Down as he Proposed his men Sent a large Shower of arrows at them & fell Right on Like Lyons and Put ye Narrigansetts to flight The Mohegs Killing a Number on the Spot: and Pursued the rest Driving Some Down Ledges of Rocks those of uncas' men most forward Passing by the Narrigansitt Sachem Twight him back to give uncas opportunity to take him himself and in the Pursuit at a Place Now Calld Sachems Plain uncas took him by the Shoulder he then Sett Down (Noing Uncas) uncas then Gave a hoop & his men Return* to him and in a Councel then Held twas Concluded by them that Uncas with a Gard Shod Carry sd Sachem to Hartford to the Governor and Magistrats (it being before ye Charter) & advise what they Shod Do with him: and being Carrid to Hartford and Presented to ye Governor &c : he ye sd uncas was told by them yt as there was No war with ye English and Narrigansits it was not Proper for them to Intermedle in the afiair and advised him to take his own way accordingly they Brote Sd Narrigansitt Sachem Back to the Same Spot of Ground where he was took : where UncasKilld him and Cut out a Large Piece of his Shoulder Rosted & Eat it; & sd uncas Said it was the Sweetest meat he Ever Eat: it made him have Strong Heart then they Bury him and made a Pillar which I have Seen but a few years Since : and Such Regard hath ye English had for sd Uncas & Tribe who ware always fast Friend: that when sd Uncas & Tribe ware attacked by a Potent Enemy & Blockd up in their fort on a hill by the Side the great River and almost Starved to Death: Lieu'. Thol Leffingwell Capt Benj Brewster of sd Norwich and others Secretly Carred them Provision in the Night Seasons, upon which the Enimy Raised the Seige: upon which sd Uncas Gave Sundrie Donations of Land &: Continued to be a fast Friend to yeEnglish to the time of his Death & Some years afterward & Before ye Narrigansitt warr in ye year 1675: Uncas being then chief the Narrigansitt Sachem Sent an Imbasador with a Large Present of Wampam to Ingage Uncas and his Tribe to Joyn with him to Distroy ye English Egle Eyed uncas having Reed: the Message & Presents: Returnd for answer Go to your Master & Tell him: that I will go to Norwich & advise with Major John Mason and Mr Fitch If they advise me to Joyn your Master I will and In the war that hapned Soon after Sd Tribe assisted ye English against them till they ware Subdued.

Norwich October 9th, 1769
Richard Hide.