Sunday, February 14, 2016

Letter from Roger Williams to Roger Carr

Sr . My humble, & hearty respects presented with humble, & hearty desires of your present, & eternall felicitie: Haveing heard of a late confederacy amongst great numbers of those Barbarians to assist Pumham &c. I thought it my duty to wait upon your Honor : with these humble salutacons, & apprecacons of the safety of your person, not to be easily hazarded amongst such a Barbarous scum, & offscouring of mankinde. Besides, Sr . this is an old ulcerous busines, wherein I have been many yeares ingaged, & have (in the behalf of my loveing friends of Warwicke) pleaded & this cause, with the whole Generall Court of the Massachusets Magistrates, & Deputies; and prevailed with them to yeild, that if I, & Pumham could agree, they would ratifie our agreement: But Pumham would not part with that Neck, on any termes. I crave leave to add (for the excuse of this boldness) that the Natives in this Bay doe (by my promise to them, at my first breaking of the ice amongst them) expect my endeavors of preserving the publike peace, which it hath pleased God, mercifully to help me to doe many times (with my great hazard, & charge) when all the Colonies & the Massachusets, in especiall, have meditated, prepared, & been (some times many hundreds) upon the march for warr against the Natives in this Colony: Of this my promise, & duty, & constant practise, mine owne heart, & conscience before God; as also some Natives put me in mind at present. 1. first then (although I know an other claime laid to this land, Yet) Pumham being the ancient possessor of this Lordship, I humbly querie, whether it be just to dispossess him (not only without consent, which feare may extort, but without some satisfying consideration.) I had a Commission from my friends of Warwicke to promise a good round value, and I know some of them have desired the Natives I though it cost them some hundreds of Pounds. 2. Your Honor will never effect by force a safe, & lasting conclusion, untill you first have reduced the Massachusets to the obedience of his Matie and then these appendants (towed at their stern) will easily (and not before) wind about also. 3.The business as circumstantiated will not be effected without bloudshed: barbarians are Barbarians. There be old grudges betwixt our country men of Warwick, and& them. They are a Melancholy people, & judge themselves, (By the former Sachim & these English) oppressed, & wronged: you may knock out their braines, & yet not make them peaceably to surrender; even as some oxen will die before they will rise; yet with patience, & gentle meanes will rise, & draw, & doe good service. 4. These Barbarians know that it is but one partie in Warwick, which claim this Neck, The greatest part of the Towne cry out against the other, to my knowledg & the Natives also. 
5. The Natives know that this party in Warwick are not only destitute of help, from their owne Townesmen, but of the other townes of this Colony also. 6. They know it would please the Massachusets, & most of the other Colonies, that Mr . Gorton, & his friends had been long ere this destroyed. 7. They know that Ninicroft, & Pessicus are Barbarians, & if it come to blows, and that at the first, the worst be to the English (in my appearance) they will joyne to further the prey: However if King Phillip keepe his promise, they will be too great a party against those two Sachims. 8. Lastly Sir, We prosess Christianity, which commends a litle with Peace: a dinner of green herbes with quietness: and if it be possible, commandes peace with all men. I therefore humbly offer, if it be not adviseable (in this juncture of time) to lay all the blame on me, & on my intercession, & mediation, for a litle further breathing to the Barbarians until Harvest, in which tence a peaceable & loveing agreement may be wrought, to mutuall content, & satisfaction. 
Sr . I humbly crave your Honors. gracious pardon to this great boldne┼┐s of Your most humble, & bounden Servant Roger Williams. Providence 1. March 1665.

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