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of Massachusetts, the risk was thought too great, and it was concluded not to send him. Five years after, in 1640, this troublesome business was brought to a final and amicable conclusion.
One of the greatest stains upon the early colonists of New England is the murder of Miantenomoh, successor to Canonicus, as chief sachem of the Narragansetts, perpetrated in 1644 by the worthless Uncas of Mohigan; acting, however, by the advice, and, indeed, at the instigation, of the commissioners for the United Colonies of New England, to whom the intelligence and enterprise of Miantenomoh and his friendship for Roger Williams and the enthusiast Gorton made him an object of dread. Pessicus, brother and successor of Miantenomoh, was very urgent with the colonists for leave, which he solicited by repeated presents, to make war on Uncas, whom he accused of having killed Miantenomoh, notwithstanding the acceptance of a ransom for him. This complaint was specially investigated by the commissioners for the United Colonies and pronounced unfounded; for, of course, they would not fail to uphold their ally Uncas in an act done at their suggestion and for their special benefit. They arranged a temporary truce, which having expired in 1645, the Narragansetts sent out warparties against Uncas. On news of this outbreak, a special meeting was forthwith called of the commissioners of the United Colonies, and prompt measures were taken for the support of their convenient ally. In the curious manifesto issued by the commissioners on this occasion, they acknowledge that "their lord and master," being king of peace and righteousness, required them "to hold forth an example, not only to Europe, but to the barbarous tribes of the wilderness." They profess "an awful respect for divine rules, and an endeavor to walk uprightly and inoffensively, and, in the midst of many injuries and insults, to exercise much patience and long-suffering. But they argue, that, under existing circumstances, " God calls the colonists to war," and they ordered accordingly an immediate levy of three hundred men. This force was to be commanded by Gibbons, sergeant major of the Boston regiment, who, however, was to be guided in his action by a council of war, composed of Standish of Plymouth,
Mason of Connecticut, Seely of New Haven, and Leverett and Atherton of Massachusetts-all of them able officers, highly distinguished in the military annals of New England. This time, however, there was no actual fighting. Alarmed at the preparations against him, Pessicus took the advice of Williams, and hastened to Boston to solicit a peace, which he obtained only on very hard terms.
In 1647, as the colony of Plymouth now included several towns, Standish was appointed to command and instruct all the companies as sergeant major, and, as the record informs us, "he condescended thereto." New difficulties with the Narragansetts arose in 1653, with which was combined the prospect of a war with New Netherland, Cromwell having the year before declared war against the Dutch. Uncas, the Mohigan sachem, always ready for mischief, had spread a report, that Ninegret, sachem of the Niantics, a branch of the Narragansetts inhabiting the main-land opposite Block Island, had visited New Amsterdam during the winter, and had arranged with the Dutch governor a grand plot, in which it was pretended that even the converted Indians of Massachusetts were engaged, for a general Indian insurrection and the massacre of all the New England colonists.
In consequence of this report, the commissioners for the United Colonies assembled in special session at Boston, and sent messengers and interrogatories to Ninegret and Pessicus, both of whom totally denied any implication in or knowledge of the alleged plot.
Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor, sent also an indignant denial, expressing his desire that, if the New England commissioners had any doubts, an investigation might be made at New Amsterdam. Three envoys were accordingly sent to the Dutch capital, and, to be ready in case "God called the colonies to war," five hundred men were ordered to be raised. The New England envoys, not able to agree with the Dutch governor as to the manner in which the investigation should be conducted, crossed to Long Island, where they took the ex parte affidavits of several persons, English and Indians, going to establish the reality of the alleged plot. It would seem that the only foundation for the report of this
pretended Dutch and Indian conspiracy was, that Stuyvesant had given out, that, in case he was attacked by the New Englanders-with whom, in addition to the pending war between the mother countries, the Dutch of New Netherland had a long-standing quarrel of their own-he should endeavor to strengthen himself with the Indians. The affidavits thus taken having been laid before the commissioners assembled at Boston, it was voted that they furnished sufficient ground for war. But, fortunately, the general court of Massachusetts happened to be in session at the same time, and as the Massachusetts commissioners did not concur in the opinion of the majority, the members from that colony desired that the commissioners would take the opinion and advice of "the elders"-that is, of the ministers, whom, in those early days of New England, it was the custom to consult on all questions of importance, especially those involving, as most important questions do, any matters of duty or conscience. A joint committee of the court and the commissioners was appointed to prepare, from the documents, a statement of facts, on which the opinion of the elders might be asked; but, as this committee would not agree, two statements were drawn up.
The elders saw, in the facts laid before them, plain evidence of an "execrable plot, tending to the destruction of many dear saints of God;" but they did not find the proofs of it so " fully conclusive as to close up present proceedings to war." There were those, however, who thought the proofs quite conclusive. 66 Many pensive hearts at Salem," as they described themselves in a memorial to the commissioners, of which the first signer was the Salem minister, urged the justice and necessity of hostilities. Six out of the eight commissioners-the constitutional majority-were sufficiently inclined to this step; but they found an unexpected and insuperable obstacle in a distinction taken by the general court of Massachusetts between offensive and defensive wars-the same distinction, by the way, which was acted upon by Washington, a hundred and forty years after, in his interpretation of the French treaty. Upon the strength of this distinction, the Massachusetts court denied any authority in the commissioners to declare an "offensive" war, except by unani
mous consent. Nothing, therefore, could be done; and the extra session of the commissioners broke up, leaving the majority of that body in high dis gust. At the regular session, in the following autumn, the controversy was renewed, Massachusetts having found another occasion for applying her newly discovered distinction.
On the east end of Long Island were some tribes of Indians, who had acknowledged the sovereignty of the New England union. These tributary Indians complained of hostilities commenced against them by the Niantics. Ninegret, the Niantic sachem, being sent for by the commissioners, returned a "proud, presumptuous and offensive answer." The commissioners thereupon conceived themselves "called by God to make a present war against Ninegret," and they ordered two hundred and fifty men to be raised for that purpose. But Bradstreet, one of the Massachusetts commissioners · afterwards the last governor under the first Massachusetts charter-dissented from this vote. In his opinion, the United Colonies were under no obligation to protect the Long Island Indians, or to engage in Indian quarrels, "the grounds whereof they cannot well understand." The general court of Massachusetts sustained this sensible objection. Seeing no sufficient reason for war, they "dared not," so they said, "exercise authority to levy men."
Thus, a second time, by the opposition of Massachusetts, were the warlike intentions of the commissioners defeated, and a war prevented between New England and New Netherland, much to the disgust of the people of Plymouth colony, who were inspired with great zeal for both the proposed wars-that against the Dutch, and that against the Niantics-and to be in readiness for which they had established council of war, with Standish at its head.
Despairing of the concurrence of Massachusetts in the war against New Netherland, the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven united in a solicitation to the Lord General Cromwell and the English Council of State to take that matter in hand. Nor were these solicitations without success. Robert Sedgwick and John Leverett, the former lately chosen major general of Massachusetts, the latter one of the late envoys to New Amsterdam, and recently
a captain in the parliamentary army, were authorized to undertake an expedition against New Netherland, towards which Cromwell, who had become, in the mean time, Lord Protector, furnished four armed ships with a small body of troops, authority being given to the commissioners to raise more in New England. To give his advice and aid to Leverett as to this levy and expedition, the aged Standish proceeded to Boston; but, by the time the New England contingents were ready, news arrived that Cromwell had made peace with the Dutch, who thus escaped the grasp of the New Englanders for ten years longer. The final triumph over the Dutchmen, in the transformation of New Netherland and New Amsterdam into New York, Standish did not live to see, though, doubtless, in spite of his former connection with Holland, it would have rejoiced his stout New England heart.
It was in other than warlike services that the close of his life was employed. The Massachusetts Bay had been for some time complaining against Plymouth colony "as wanting to themselves in a due acknowledgement and encouragement to ministers of the gospel." Nor were these complaints without effect. In 1665, Standish, with another person, was appointed to go to Marshfield and signify to the people "the court's desire, that they should take notice of their duty and contribute according to their ability, freely to the support of the ministry." He was also sent to Rehoboth in the course of the same year, on a similar mission. Two years after, upon further urging from Massachusetts, a law was passed by the Plymouth court, requiring the towns to levy taxes for the support of ministers and grammar schools.
Standish was treasurer of the colony for several years, and held that office till 1656, when he died full of years and honors. When rechosen treasurer at the election previous to his death, it appeared, on the settlement of his accounts for the two preceding years, that he had in his hands a balance of public money to the amount of £15; but this was granted him by way of compensation-he having received no salary. He had also, at the same time,
a grant of 300 acres of land near Satuckett point, in Bridgewater.
In spite of Hubbard's fling at his religious character, we have the authority of Secretary Morton for saying that "he fell asleep in the Lord."
Captain Standish left three sonsMyles, Alexander, and Josiah. His "dear daughter" Rosa, near whom he requested in his will to be buried, died before her father. No stone marks his grave, though he is supposed to have been buried on his farm or in the old burying-ground at Hardin Hill, near
Standish left, for the time and place, a handsome property, valued at £358 7s. Some of the most considerable items of the inventory, such as show the condition of well-to-do persons in those times, as regarded their household establishments, were as follows: Two mares, two colts, one young horse, with equipments, two saddles, one pillion, and one bridle. Four oxen, six cows, three heifers, one calf, eight sheep, two rams, one wether, and fourteen swine. Three muskets, two carbines, three small guns, one fowling-piece, a sword, a cutlass, and three belts. Five bedsteads, one settle-bed, four feather beds, three bolsters, three pillows, two blankets, one coverlet, four pair of sheets, one pair of fine sheets, and four napkins. Two tables and table-cloths, one arm chair, one common chair, and four rugs. Four iron pots, three brass kettles, a fryingpan, a skillet, a kneading-trough, two pails, two trays, one dozen trenchers or wooden plates, one bowl and a churn. Four spinning wheels, one pair of steel-yards, a warming pan, three beer casks and a malt-mill, and personal apparel of the value of £10."
His house and farm were valued at £140. That property descended to his eldest son, Alexander. This ancient homestead, at Duxbury, remained in the family for four generations; but, at present, there are no persons of the name in that town. The house, built by Standish, to which the son made additions, was finally burnt down, it is supposed, in 1665. An exploration of the ruins by the Rev. Mr. Kent, about thirty years ago, led to some interesting discoveries. The foundation stones were nearly in their original positions. The cement employed was evidently
* Windsor's History of Duxbury, p. 55.
made from clam shells, and the roof had been thatched. "The first substance discovered was, a quantity of barley, perfectly charred, and apparently wrapped in a blanket. This was found in the east corner of the site, which was thought to be a small cellar. At the chimney, in the new part, were found the ashes as perfectly fresh as though the fire had just been extinguished, and here also was found a portion of an andiron, an iron pot, and other articles. In other places, were discovered a buccaneer gun-lock, a sickle, a hammer, a whetstone, a large hinge, a scythe-wedge, portions of stone jugs, and other pieces of earthen wares, large quantities of glass and some beads; some of which show the action of great heat; several buckles, and among others, a sword buckle; a brass kettle, a pair of scissors, a small glass phial, chisels and files, parts of pipes, and other articles of household use. There were also found a deer's horn, and a tomahawk of fine workmanship." * Standish's second son, Myles, moved to Boston. His third son, Josiah, was frequently a representative of Duxbury in the general court, and during the great conflict with Philip, son of Massasoit, was one of the Plymouth council of war. He inherited the land in Bridgewater, and one of his children settled on it.
Some of his descendants are now living in the county of Plymouth, and a number of them elsewhere. Wheelock, the founder of Dartmouth college, and Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the six nations, whose son, John Thornton Kirkland, was president of Harvard college, were descended from Standish, in the female line. One of Standish's great grandsons is said, by Belknap, to have had in his possession the suit of armor which his valiant ancestor was accustomed to wear; but, even in Belknap's time, this valuable relic was no longer to be found. Winslow states, in his History of Duxbury, that Captain Myles Standish of Boston, still or lately living, had seen this suit of armor at the house of Captain John Standish of Plymton, then fast going to decay from exposure, though but a few years previous it had been in a perfect state. It was a cloth garment, very thickly interwoven with a metallic wire, so as to render it
extremely durable, and scarcely pene trable. The suit was complete, includ ing a helmet and breast-plate.
The Historical Society of Massachusetts and the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth both claim to have his sword. In this case, however, there does not arise the same difficulty as where several churches claim to possess the skull of the same individual saint. No man -not even a saint, unless, indeed, by a miracle-can be supposed to have had more than one skull; but, is it not quite rational to suppose that so redoubtable a soldier as Standish may have had two swords? Indeed, the inventory of his estate, though it makes no mention of any coat of mail, would serve to bear out this supposition.
The following clause in the will of Standish, in relation to his English possession or claims, has been already referred to at the commencement of this article :—" I give unto my sou and heirapparent, Alexander Standish, all my lands, as heir-apparent, by lawful descent, in Ormistick, Bousconge, Wrightington, Maudsley, Newburrow, Cranston, and in the Isle of Man, and given to me as right heir in lawful descent, but surreptitiously detained from me-my great grandfather being a second or younger brother from the house of Standish of Standish."
Everybody knows the numerous projects recently in vogue among us, for recovering great estates in England. Among the rest, the descendants of Myles Standish formed, in 1846, an association and raised $3,000-which they might better have spent in erecting a monument to their valiant ancestor-and sent an agent to England to attempt the recovery of these estates. The property was found to comprise large tracts of rich farming lands, including several valuable coal mines, producing a yearly income of £100,000, or more. A commission was discovered, appointing Myles Standish to a commission in Queen Elizabeth's forces on the continent, from which, and other circumstances, the year 1584 was determined as that of his birth. The family seats are situated near the village of Chorley, in Lancashire, and the records of this parish were thoroughly investigated, from the year 1549 to 1652. They were all readily deciphered, with the exception
*Windsor's History of Duxbury, p. 55.
of the years 1584 and 1585, the very years in one of which Myles Standish was probably born. The parchment leaves, which contained the registry of the births of those years, were wholly illegible, and their appearance such as to lead to the conclusion, that pumice-stone, or something of the sort, had been purposely employed to disfigure and destroy the record which they contained, namely, the legal evidence of the parentage of Standish, and his consequent title to the estates. This mutilation, it was supposed, had been accomplished some twenty years before. in consequence of some inquiry then set on foot by the American Standishes. The rector of the parish, when afterwards requested by the investigator to certify that the papers were illegible, at
once suspected his design of investigating the title to the Standish estates, and taking advantage of the rigor of the law (as he had presented himself merely in the character of an antiquarian), compelled him to pay a fee of about £15, or suffer imprisonment.
"Thus," says Windsor, from whom we borrow this account, "it will be seen that, from the destruction of all legal proof, the property must forever reinain hopelessly irrecoverable."
The crest of the Standishes, as given by some authorities, might seem to allude to the surreptitious title by which the family at present hold their estates- An owl argent, beaked and legged or, standing on a rat sable."
Here follows Miles Standish's auto
"To take it rightly it, is no more than a medley of impertinent conceits, where two lovers do most silly things, and the buffooneries of a merry-andrew."-ST. EVREMOND (1684). "The Italian theatre was the original and model of all European drama, the culture of Troy having found in Rome, etc., etc. The Venetian actors played extempore. *** Their lazzis was fair to see. Practice in throwing off the mask made them able to play the sublime sentiment, at the same time of pleasingly imitating the most ridiculous whims of mankind. They had no booth for themselves, but played (comedies) in private houses."-RICCO BONI.
WHAT a luscious slice of melon-it shadow, and see what an effect Zamis so juicy that it is positively betto and the sun get up together? I dripping itself away; how nicely those lift my arm, presto! there it goes-its slippery, black seeds contrast with the shadow-right on that melon. I move firm red pulp! It is somewhat of a pity my head-if it hasn't gone straight into that it is raw; decidedly I should have the baker's window! By the way, that preferred it cooked, say fried in oil, it crumb looks white and soft, as does is a deal wholesomer that way; on an the crust brown and crisp. I wonder empty stomach that slice of melon there if those loaves are up to weight? I say would have disagreed with my delicate it with regret, they do not look so. health;" and saying this the philosopher Now, had I money in my pocket, and Zambetto, who had supped the night be- was to buy a loaf there, I should be fore on a handful of olives, and was now cheated, and you know, a fool and his in search of a breakfast, passed on with money are soon parted;' so, at this presa smile. "What a glorious thing this ent moment, hungry as I am, I may sunshine is to a hungry fellow!" cried consider myself the luckiest of dogs the enthusiastic Zambetto, as he basked." Just then, Zambetto's ears, which in the full Venetian glare. "At this present moment it is worth more to me than meat and drink-there is absolutely substance in it. Will any candid observer be kind enough to look at my
were considerably sharper than a fox's, heard a low "hist." He turned quickly round. "Hist!" cried a voice, again. It was a remarkably quiet sidewalk (Venice has hardly a street); with the