King Philip - John S. C. Abbott

Commencement of the Reign of King Philip

With peace came abundant prosperity. Emigrants flocked over to the New World. In ten years after the Pequot war the colonists had settled fifty towns and villages, had reared forty churches, several forts and prisons, and the Massachusetts colony, decidedly pre-eminent, had established Harvard College. The wilderness indeed began to blossom, and gardens, orchards, rich pastures, fields of grain, and verdant meadows cheered the eye and filled the dwellings with abundance.

There were now four English colonies, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven. There were also the germs of two more, one at Providence and the other on Rhode Island. The Indians, with the exception of illustrious individuals, were a vagabond set of perfidious and ferocious savages. They were incessantly fighting with each other, and it required all the efforts of the English to keep them under any degree of restraint. The utter extirpation of the Pequots so appalled them, that for forty years no tribe ventured to wage war against the English. Yet during this time individual Indians committed many enormous outrages of robbery and murder, for which the sachems of the tribes were not responsible. The Mohegans, under Uncas, had become very powerful. They had a fierce fight with the Narragansets. Miantunnomah was taken captive. Uncas put him to death upon Norwich plain by splitting his head open with a hatchet. The Mohegan sachem tore a large piece of flesh from the shoulder of his victim, and ate it greedily, exclaiming, "It is the sweetest meal I ever tasted; it makes my heart strong."

Marauding bands of Indians often committed murders. The efforts of the English to punish the culprits would exasperate others, and provoke new violence. Indications of combinations among the savages were frequently developed, and the colonists were often thrown into a general state of alarm, in anticipation of the horrors of another Indian war.

In the year 1644, a Massachusetts colonist visiting Connecticut was murdered on the way by an Indian. The English demanded the murderer. The Indians, under various subterfuges, refused to give him up. The English, in retaliation, seized upon eight or ten Indians, and threw them into prison. This so exasperated the savages that they raised the war-whoop, grasped their arms, and threatened dire revenge. By boldness and moderation the English accomplished their ends, and the murderer was surrendered to justice. A few weeks after this an Indian entered a house in Stamford. He found a woman there alone with her infant child. With three blows of the tomahawk he cut her down, and, plundering the house, left her, as he supposed, dead. She, however, so far recovered as to describe the Indian and his dress. With great difficulty, the English succeeded in obtaining the murderer. The savages threw every possible impediment in the way of justice, and assumed such a threatening attitude as to put the colonists to great trouble and expense in preparing for war.

In view of such perils, in the year 1645, the colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut; and New Haven formed a confederacy, under the name of the United Colonies of New England. They thus entered into an alliance offensive and defensive. Each colony retained, in its domestic concerns, its own government and jurisdiction. Two commissioners from each colony formed a board for managing the common affairs of the Confederacy. This was the germ of the present Congress of the United States.

In the year 1646 a large number of Indians formed a conspiracy to set fire to Hartford and murder the inhabitants. An Indian who was engaged to assassinate the governor, terrified, as he remembered that every one who had thus far murdered an Englishman had been arrested and executed, revealed the plot. The Indians generally, at this time, manifested a very hostile spirit, and many outrages were perpetrated. The English did not deem it prudent to pursue and punish the conspirators, but overlooked the offense.

In the wars which the savages waged with each other, the hostile parties would pursue their victims even into the houses of the English, and cut them down before the eyes of the horror-stricken women and children. In a very dry time the Indians set fire to the woods all around the town of Milford, hoping thus to set fire to the town. With the greatest difficulty the inhabitants rescued their dwellings from the flames.

In the year 1648, marauding bands of the Narragansets committed intolerable outrages against the people of Rhode Island, killing their cattle, robbing their houses, and insulting and even beating the inmates. The colonists were exceedingly perplexed to know what to do in these emergencies. The whole wilderness of North America was filled with savages. If they commenced a general war, it was impossible to predict how far its ravages might extend. The colonists were eminently men of peace. They wished to build houses, and cultivate fields, and surround their homes with the comforts and the opulence of a high civilization. They had bought their lands of the Indians fairly, and had paid for them all that the lands then were worth.

Massasoit died about the year 1661. He remained firm in his fidelity to the English until his death, though very hostile to the conversion of the Indians to Christianity. At one time, when treating for the sale of some of his lands in Swanzey, he insisted very pertinaciously upon the condition that the English should never attempt to draw off any of his people from their religion to Christianity. He would not recede from this condition until he found that the treaty must be broken off unless he yielded.

As the English found many of the Indian names hard to remember and to pronounce, they were fond of giving English names to those with whom they had frequent intercourse. The Indians in general were quite proud of receiving these names. Massasoit, with that innate dignity which pertained to his imperial state, disdained to receive any other name but the one which he proudly bore as his ancestral legacy. A few years before his death, however, he brought his two sons, Wamsutta and Pometacom, to Plymouth, and requested the governor, in token of friendship, to give them English names. They were very bright, attractive young men, of the finest physical development. The governor related to Massasoit the history of the renowned kings of Macedon, Philip and Alexander, and gave to Wamsutta, the oldest, the name of Alexander, the great warrior of Asia, and to Pometacom, the younger, the less renowned name of Philip. These two young men had married sisters, the daughters of the sachem of Pocasset. The name of the wife of Alexander was Wetamoo, an unfortunate princess who became quite illustrious in subsequent scenes. The wife of Philip had the euphonious name of Wootonekanuske.

Upon the death of Massasoit, his eldest son Alexander was invested with the chieftainship. The lands of the Indians were now very rapidly passing away from the native proprietors to the new-comers, and English settlements were everywhere springing up in the wilderness. The Indian power was evidently declining, while that of the white man was on the increase. With prosperity came avarice. Unprincipled men flocked to the colonies; the Indians were despised, and often harshly treated; and the forbearance which marked the early intercourse of the Pilgrims with the natives was forgotten. The colonists had generally become exasperated with the outrages of lawless vagabond savages, whom the sachems could not restrain, and who ranged the country, shooting their cattle, pillaging their houses, and often committing murder. A hungry savage was as ready to shoot a heifer in the pasture as a deer in the forest, if he could do so and escape detection. There thus very naturally grew up, upon both aides, a spirit of alienation and suspicion.

Alexander kept aloof from the English, and was cold and reserved whenever he met them. Rumors began to float through the air that the Wampanoags were meditating hostilities. Some of the colonists, who had been called by business to Narraganset, wrote to Governor Prince, at Plymouth, that Alexander was making preparations for war, and that he was endeavoring to persuade the Narragansets to unite with him in a general assault upon the English settlements. Governor Prince immediately sent a messenger to Alexander, at Mount Hope, informing him of these reports of his hostile intentions which were in circulation, and requesting him to attend the next court in Plymouth to vindicate himself from these charges.

Alexander apparently received this message in a very friendly spirit. He assured Captain Willet, the messenger, that the accusation was a gross slander; that the Narragansets were his unrelenting foes; and that they had fabricated the story that they might alienate from him his good friends the English. He promised that he would attend the next meeting of the court at Plymouth, and prove the truth of these declarations.

Notwithstanding this ostensible sincerity and friendliness, various circumstances concurred to increase suspicion. When the court assembled, Alexander, instead of making his appearance according to his agreement, was found to be on a visit to the sachem of the Narragansets, his pretended enemies. Upon this, Governor Prince assembled his counselors, and, after deliberation, ordered Major Winslow, afterward governor of the colony, to take an armed band, go to Mount Hope, seize Alexander by surprise before he should have time to rally his warriors around him, and take him by force to Plymouth. Major Winslow immediately set out, with ten men, from Marshfield, intending to increase his force from the towns nearer to Mount Hope. When about half way between Plymouth and Bridgewater, they came to a large pond, probably Moonponsett Pond, in the present town of Halifax. Upon the margin of this sheet of water they saw an Indian hunting lodge, and soon ascertained that it was one of the several transient residences of Alexander, and that he wa4 then there, with a large party of his warriors, on a hunting and fishing excursion.

The colonists cautiously approached, and saw that the guns of the Indians were all stacked outside of the lodge, at some distance, and that the whole party were in the house engaged in a banquet. As the Wampanoags were then, and had been for forty years, at peace with the English, and as they were not at war with any other people, and were in the very heart of their own territories, no precautions whatever were adopted against surprise.

Major Winslow dispatched a portion of his force to seize the guns of the Indians, and with the rest entered the hut. The savages, eighty in number, manifested neither surprise nor alarm in seeing the English, and were apparently quite unsuspicious of danger. Major Winslow requested Alexander to walk out with him for a few moments, and then, through an interpreter, informed the proud Indian chieftain that he was to be taken under arrest to Plymouth, there to answer to the charge of plotting against the English. The haughty savage, as soon as he fully comprehended the statement, was in a towering rage. He returned to his companions, and declared that he would not submit to such an indignity. He felt as the President of the United States would feel in being arrested by a sheriff sent from the Governor of Canada, commanding him to submit to be taken to Quebec to answer there to charges to be brought against him. The demand was of a nature to preclude the exercise of courtesy. As there were some indications of resistance, the stern major presented a pistol to the breast of the Indian chieftain, and said,

"I am ordered to take you to Plymouth. God willing, I shall do it, at whatever hazard. If you submit peacefully, you shall receive respectful usage. If you resist, you shall die upon the spot."

The Indians were disarmed. They could do nothing. Alexander was almost insane with vexation and rage in finding himself thus insulted, and yet incapable of making any resistance. His followers, conscious of the utter helplessness of their state, entreated him not to resort to violence, which would only result in his death. They urged him to yield to necessity, assuring him that they would accompany him as his retinue, that he might appear in Plymouth with the dignity befitting his rank.

The colonists immediately commenced their return to Plymouth with their illustrious captive. There was a large party of Indian warriors in the train, with Wetamoo, the wife of Alexander, and several other Indian women. The day was intensely hot, and a horse was offered to the chieftain that he might ride. He declined the offer, preferring to walk with his friends. When they arrived at Duxbury, as they were not willing to thrust Alexander into a prison, Major Winslow received him into his own house, where he guarded him with vigilance, yet treated him courteously, until orders could be received from Governor Prince, who resided on the Cape at Eastham. At Duxbury, Alexander and his train were entertained for several days with the most scrupulous hospitality. But the imperial spirit of the Wampanoag chieftain was so tortured by the humiliation to which he was exposed that he was thrown into a burning fever. The best medical attendance was furnished, and he was nursed with the utmost care, but he grew daily worse, and soon serious fears were entertained that he would die.

The Indian warriors, greatly alarmed for their beloved chieftain, entreated that they might be permitted to take Alexander home, promising that they would return with him as soon as he had recovered, and that, in the mean time, the son of Alexander should be sent to the English as a hostage. The court assented to this arrangement. The Indians took their unhappy king, dying of a crushed spirit, upon a litter on their shoulders, and entered the trails of the forest. Slowly they traveled with their burden until they arrived at Tethquet, now Taunton River. There they took canoes. They had not, however, paddled far down the stream before it became evident that their monarch was dying. They placed him upon a grassy mound beneath a majestic tree, and in silence the stoical warriors gathered around to witness the departure of his spirit to the realms of the Red Man's immortality.

Death of King Philip's Brother


What a scene for the painter! The sublimity of the forest, the glassy stream, meandering beneath the overshadowing trees, the bark canoes of the natives moored to the shore, the dying chieftain, with his warriors assembled in stem sadness around him, and the beautiful and heroic Wetamoo, holding in her lap the head of her dying lord as she wiped his clammy brow, nursing those emotions of revenge which finally desolated the three colonies with flame, blood, and woe.

The tragic death of Alexander introduced to the throne his brother Pometacom, whom the English named King Philip.

Much has been written respecting the Indian's disregard for woman. The history of Wetamoo proves that these views have been very greatly exaggerated, or that they admit of very marked exceptions. Wetamoo immediately became the unrelenting foe of the English. With all the fervor of her fresh nature, she studied to avenge her husband's death. This one idea became the controlling principle of her future life. That Wamsutta's death was caused by the anguish of a wounded spirit no colonist doubted; but Wetamoo believed, and most of the Indians believed, that poison had been administered to the captive monarch, and that he thus perished the victim of foul murder. Wetamoo was an energetic, and, for a savage, a noble woman. All the energies of her soul were aroused to avenge her husband's death. She was by birth the princess of another tribe, and it appears that she had power, woman though she was, to lead three hundred warriors into the field.

Philip was a man of superior endowments. He clearly understood the power of the English, and the peril to be encountered in waging war against them. And yet he as distinctly saw that, unless the encroachments of the English could be arrested, his own race was doomed to destruction. At one time he was quite interested in the Christian religion; but apparently foreseeing that, with the introduction of Christianity, all the peculiarities of manners and customs in Indian life must pass away, he adopted the views of his father, Massasoit, and became bitterly opposed to any change of religion among his people. Mr. Gookin, speaking of the Warnpanoags, says:

"There are some that have hopes of their greatest and chiefest sachem, named Philip. Some of his chief men, as I hear, stand well-inclined to bear the Gospel, and himself is a person of good understanding and knowledge in the best things. I have heard him speak very good words, arguing that his conscience is convicted. But yet, though his will is bound to embrace Jesus Christ, his sensual and carnal lusts are strong bands to hold him fast under Satan's dominion."

Some time after this, Rev. Mr. Elliot records that, in conversation with King Philip upon the subject of religion, the Wampanoag chieftain took hold of a button upon Mr. Elliot's coat, and said, very deliberately,

"Mr. Elliot, I care no more for the Gospel of Jesus Christ than I do for that button."

For nine years Philip was probably brooding over the subject of the encroachments of the English, and the waning power of the Indians. This was the inevitable result of the idle, vagabond life of the Indians, and of the industry and energy of the colonists. The Indians had not thus far been defrauded. Mr. Josiah Winslow, governor of Plymouth Colony, writes, in a letter dated May 1, 1676:

"I think I can truly say that, before these present troubles broke out, the English did not possess one foot of land in this colony but what was fairly obtained by honest purchase of the Indian proprietors."

The discontent of Philip did not, however, escape the notice of the English, and for a long time they saw increasing indications that a storm was gathering. The wary monarch, with continued protestations of friendship, was evidently accumulating resources, strengthening alliances, and distributing more extensively among the Indians guns and other weapons of Indian warfare. His warriors soon rivaled the white men in skill as sharpshooters, and became very adroit in the use of their weapons. They were carefully laying up stores of powder and bullets, and Philip could not conceal the interest with which he endeavored to learn how to manufacture gunpowder.

Under this state of affairs, it is easy to perceive that mutual suspicions and recriminations must have rapidly ensued. The Indians and the colonists, year after year, became more exasperated against each other. The dangers of collision were constantly growing more imminent. Many deeds of violence and aggression were perpetrated by individuals upon each side. Still, candor compels us to admit, as we carefully read the record of those days, that the English were very far from being patterns of meekness and long-suffering. Haughtiness and intolerance when in power has marked the career of our venerated, yet far from faultless ancestors in every quarter of the globe.

The Narraganset tribe had now lost its pre-eminence. Canonicus had long since died, at the age of eighty years. Miantunnomah had been taken prisoner by the Mohegans, and had been executed upon the plain of Norwich. Ninigret, who was now sovereign chief of the Narragansets, was old, infirm, and imbecile. His character illustrates the saying of Napoleon, that "better is it to have an army of deer led by a lion, than an army of lions led by a deer."

Philip, by his commanding genius and daring spirit, had now obtained a great ascendency over all the New England tribes excepting the Mohegans. They, under Uncas, were strongly attached to the English, to whom they were indebted for their very existence. The character of Philip is illustrated by the following incident. In 1665, he heard that an Indian had spoken disrespectfully of his father, Massasoit. To avenge the insult, he pursued the offender from place to place, until, at last, he tracked him to the island of Nantucket. Taking a canoe, Philip proceeded to the island. Assasamooyh, who, by speaking ill of the dead, had, according to Indian law, forfeited his life, was a Christian Indian. He was sitting at the table of one of the colonists, when a messenger rushed in breathlessly, and informed him that the dreaded avenger was near the door. Assasamooyh had but just time to rush from the house when Philip was upon him. The Indian fled like a frighted deer, pursued by the vengeful chieftain. From house to house the pursued and his pursuer rushed, while the English looked with amazement at this exhibition of the energy of Indian law. According to their code, whoever spoke ill of the dead was to forfeit life at the hand of the nearest relative. Thus Philip, with his brandished tomahawk, considered himself but the honored executor of justice. Aasasamooyh, however, at length leaped a bank, and, plunging into the forest, eluded his foe. The English then succeeded, by a very heavy ransom, in purchasing his life, and Philip returned to Mount Hope, feeling that his father's memory had been suitably avenged.

In the year 1671, the English, alarmed by the threatening aspect of affairs, and seeing increasing indications that Philip was preparing for hostilities, sent an imperious command to him to come to Taunton and explain his conduct. For some time Philip made sundry rather weak excuses for not complying with this demand, at the same time reiterating assurances of his friendly feelings. He was, as yet, quite unprepared for war, and was very reluctant to precipitate hostilities, which he had sufficient sagacity to foresee would involve him in ruin, unless he could first form such a coalition of the Indian tribes as would enable him to attack all the English settlements at one and the same time. At length, however, he found that he could no longer refuse to give some explanation of the measures he was adopting without giving fatal strength to the suspicions against him.

Accordingly, on the 10th of April of this year, he took with him a band of warriors, armed to the teeth, and painted and decorated with the most brilliant trappings of barbarian splendor, and approached within four miles of Taunton. Here the proud monarch of the Wanipanoags established his encampment, and, with native-taught punctiliousness, sent a message to the English governor, informing him of his arrival at that spot, and requiring him to come and treat with him there. The governor, either afraid to meet these warriors in their own encampment, or deeming it beneath his dignity to attend the summons of an Indian chieftain, sent Roger Williams, with several other messengers, to assure Philip of his friendly feelings, and to entreat him to continue his journey to Taunton, as a more convenient place for their conference. Philips with caution which subsequent events proved to have been well timed, detained these messengers as hostages for his safe return; and then, with an imposing retinue of his painted braves, proudly strode forward toward the town of Taunton.

When he arrived at a hill upon the outskirts of the village, he again halted, and warily established sentinels around his encampment. The governor and magistrates of Massachusetts, apprehensive that the Plymouth people might get embroiled in a war with the Indians, and anxious, if possible, to avert so terrible a calamity, had dispatched three commissioners to Taunton to endeavor to promote reconciliation, between the Plymouth colony and Philip. These commissioners were now in conference with the Plymouth court. When Philip appeared upon the hill, the Plymouth magistrates, exasperated by many outrages, were quite eager to march and attack him, and take his whole party prisoners, and hold them as hostages for the good behavior of the Indians. With no little difficulty the Massachusetts commissioners over-ruled this rash design, and consented to go out themselves and persuade Philip to come in and confer in a friendly manner upon the adjustment of their affairs.

Philip received the Massachusetts men with reserve, but with much courtesy. At first he refused to advance any farther, but declared that those who wished to confer with him must come where he was. At length, however, he consented to refer the difficulties which existed between him and the Plymouth colony to the Massachusetts commissioners, and to hold the conference in the Taunton meeting-house. But, that he might meet his accusers upon the basis of perfect equality, he demanded that one half of the meeting-house should be appropriated sacredly to himself and his followers, while the Plymouth people, his accusers, should occupy the other half. The Massachusetts commissioners, three gentlemen, were to sit alone as umpires. We cannot but admire the character developed by Philip in these arrangements.

Philip managed his cause, which was manifestly a bad one, with great adroitness. Talleyrand and Metternich would have given him a high position among European diplomatists. He could not deny that he was making great military preparations, but he declared that this was only in anticipation of an attack from the Narraganset Indians. But it was proved that at that moment he was on terms of more intimate friendship with the Narragansets than ever before. He also brought charge for charge against the English; and it cannot be doubted that he and his people had suffered much from the arrogance of individuals of the domineering race. Philip has had no one to tell his story, and we have received the narrative only from the pens of his foes. They tell us that he was at length confounded, and made full confession of his hostile designs, and expressed regret for them.

As a result of the conference, all past grievances were to be buried in oblivion, and a treaty was entered into in which mutual friendship was pledged, and in which Philip consented to the extraordinary measure of disarming his people, and of surrendering their guns to the governor of Plymouth, to be retained by him so long as he should distrust the sincerity of their friendship. Philip and his warriors immediately gave up their guns, seventy in number, and promised to send in the rest within a given time. It is difficult to conceive how the Indians could have understandingly, and in good faith, have made such a treaty. The English had now been fifty years in the country. The Indians had become familiar with the use of guns. Bows and arrows had long since been laid aside. As game was with them an important element of food, the loss of their guns was apparently a very serious calamity. It is not improbable that the English magistrates humanely hoped, by taking away the guns of the Indiana, to lead them from the precarious and vagabond life of hunters to the more refining influences of agriculture. But it is very certain that the Indians cherished no such views. It was also agreed in the council that, in case of future troubles, both parties should submit their complaints to the arbitration of Massachusetts.

This settlement, apparently so important, amounted to nothing. The Indians were ever ready, it is said, to sign any agreement whatever which would extricate them from a momentary difficulty; but such promises were broken as promptly as they were made. Philip, having returned to Mount Hope, sent in no more guns, but was busy as ever gaining resources for war, and entering into alliances with other tribes. Philip denied this, but the people of Plymouth thought that they had ample evidence that such was the case.

The summer thus passed away, while the aspect of affairs was daily growing more threatening. As Philip did not send in his guns according to agreement, and as there was evidence, apparently conclusive, of his hostile intentions, the Plymouth government, late in August, sent another summons, ordering the Wampanoag sovereign to appear before them on the 13th of September, and threatening, in case he did not comply with this summons, to send out a force to reduce him to subjection. At the same time, they sent communications to the colonies of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, stating their complaints against Philip, and soliciting their aid in the war which they thought evidently approaching.

In this movement Philip gained a manifest advantage over the Plymouth colonists. It will be remembered that, according to the terms of the treaty, all future difficulties were to be referred to the arbitration of Massachusetts as an impartial umpire. But Plymouth had now, in violation of these terms, imperiously summoned the Indian chieftain, as if he were their subject, to appear before their courts. Philip, instead of paying any regard to this arrogant order, immediately repaired to Boston with his councilors, and thus manifestly placed himself in the position of the 0 law and order" party. It so happened that he arrived in Boston on the very day in which the Governor of Massachusetts received the letter from the Plymouth colony. The representations which Philip made seemed to carry conviction to the impartial umpires of Massachusetts that he was not severely to be censured. They accordingly wrote a letter to Plymouth, assuming that there was perhaps equal blame on both sides, and declaring that there did not appear to be sufficient cause for the Plymouth people to commence hostilities. In their letter they write:

"We do not understand how Philip hath subjected himself to you. But the treatment you have given him, and your proceedings toward him, do not render him such a subject as that, if there be not a present answering to summons, there should presently be a proceeding to hostilities. The sword once drawn and dipped in blood, may make him as independent upon you as you are upon him."

Arrangements were now made for a general council from the united colonies to assemble at Plymouth on the 24th of September. King Philip agreed to meet this council in a new attempt to adjust all their difficulties. At the appointed time the assembly was convened. King Philip was present, with a retinue of warriors, all decorated in the highest style of barbaric splendor. Bitter complaints were entered upon both sides, and neither party were disposed to draw any very marked line of distinction between individual acts of outrage and the measures for which the two governments were responsible. Another treaty was, however, made, similar to the Taunton treaty, and the two parties again separated with protestations of friendship, but quite hostile as ever at heart. The colonists were, however, all anxious to avoid a war, as they had every thing to lose by it and nothing to gain. Philip, on the contrary, deemed the salvation of the Indians was depending upon the extermination of the colonists. He was well aware that he was quite unprepared for immediate hostilities, and that he had much to do in the way of preparation before he could hope successfully to encounter foes so formidable as the English had now become.

Three years now passed away of reserved intercourse and suspicious peace. The colonists were continually hearing rumors from distant tribes of Philip's endeavors, and generally successful endeavors, to draw them into a coalition. The conspiracy, so far as it could be ascertained, included nearly all the tribes of New England, and extended into the interior of New York, and along the coast to Virginia. The Narragansets agreed to furnish four thousand warriors. Other tribes, according to their power, were to furnish their hundreds or their thousands. Hostilities were to be commenced in the spring of 1676 by a simultaneous assault upon all the settlements, so that none of the English could go from one portion of the country to aid another.

The English, month after month, saw this cloud of terror increasing in blackness; yet measures were so adroitly adopted by King Philip that, while the air was filled with rumors, it was difficult to obtain any positive proof, and still more difficult to decide what course to pursue to avert the calamity. As these deep-laid plans of the shrewd Wampanoag chieftain were approaching maturity, Philip became more independent and bold in his demeanor. Lid** Massachusetts colonists now began to feel that the danger was indeed imminent, and that their Plymouth brethren had more cause for complaint than they had supposed. The evidence became so convincing that this dreadful conspiracy was in progress, that the Governor of Massachusetts sent an ambassador to Philip, demanding an explanation of these threatening appearances, and soliciting another treaty of peace and friendship. The proud sachem haughtily replied to the ambassador,

"Your governor is but a subject of King Charles of England. I shall not treat with a subject. I shall only treat with the king, my brother. When he comes, I am ready."

Such was the alarming aspect of affairs at the close of the year 1674.