« 上一頁繼續 »
CHAP. their good will; although their condition had been
improved by some of the arts of civilized life. The 1622. degree of their advancement may be judged by the
intelligence of their chieftain. A house having been built for Opechancanough after the English fashion, he took such delight in the lock and key, that he would lock and unlock the door a hundred times a day, and thought the device incomparable. When Wyatt arrived, the natives expressed a fear, lest his intentions should be hostile; he assured them of his wish to preserve inviolable peace; and the emigrants had no use for fire-arms except against a deer or a fowl. Confidence so far increased, that the old law, which made death the penalty for teaching the Indians to use a musket, was forgotten; and they were now employed as fowlers and huntsmen. The plantations of the English were widely extended in unsuspecting confidence, along the James river and towards the Potomac, wherever rich grounds invited to the culture of tobacco ;; nor were solitary places, remote from neighbors, avoided ; since there would there be less competition for the ownership of the soil.
Powhatan, the father of Pocahontas, remained, after the marriage of his daughter, the firm friend of the English. He died in 1618; and his younger brother was now the heir to his influence. Should the native occupants of the soil consent to be driven from their ancient patrimony? Should their feebleness submit patiently to contempt, injury and the loss of their lands? The desire of self-preservation,
1 Smith, v. ii. p. 68; Stith, p. 211. 3 Beverley, p. 38; Burk, v. i. p. 2 Ib. v. ii. p. 103; Beverley, p. 38. 231, 232.
the necessity of self-defence, seemed to demand an CHAP. active resistance; to preserve their dwelling-places, the English must be exterminated; in open battle 1622. the Indians would be powerless; conscious of their weakness, they could not hope to accomplish their end except by a preconcerted surprise. The crime was one of savage ferocity ; but it was suggested by their situation. They were timorous and quick of apprehension, and consequently treacherous; for treachery and falsehood are the vices of cowardice. The attack was prepared with impenetrable secrecy. To the very last hour the Indians preserved the language of friendship; they borrowed the boats of the English to attend their own assemblies; on the very morning of the massacre, they were in the houses and at the tables of those, whose death they were plotting. At length, on the twenty-second of March, Mar. at mid-day, at one and the same instant of time, the Indians fell upon an unsuspecting population, which was scattered through distant villages, extending one hundred and forty miles, on both sides of the river. The onset was so sudden, that the blow was not discerned till it fell. None were spared; children and women, as well as men, the missionary, who had cherished the natives with untiring gentleness, the liberal benefactors, from whom they had received daily benefits, all were murdered with indiscriminate barbarity and every aggravation of cruelty. The savages fell upon the dead bodies, as if it had been possible to commit on them a fresh murder.?
1 State of Virginia, 1622, p. 19.
2 Smith, v. ii. p. 67.
In one hour three hundred and forty-seven persons
were cut off. Yet the carnage was not universal ; 1622. and Virginia was saved from so disastrous a grave.
The night before the execution of the conspiracy, it
1 On the massacre ; A Declara- one thousand eight hundred surtion of the State of Virginia, with vived; probably inexact. Coma relation of the barbarous massa- pare Holmes, v. i. p. 178, note. cre, &c. &c. 1622. This is the 3 Stith’s History of Virginia, p. groundwork of the narrative in 281. Smith, v. ii. p. 65–76, and of 4 Ibid, p. 219. Purchas, v. iv. p. 1788--1791. 5 Ibid, p. 218. Compare Stith, p. 208–213; Burk, 6 Purchas, v. iv. p. 1792; Virv. i. p. 232–244.
ginia's Verger, in Purchas, v. iv. 2 State of Virginia, in 1622, p. p. 1816; Stith, p. 235; Burk, v. i. 18. Purchas, v. iv. p. 1792, says p. 244.
them to strong feelings of compassionate interest ; CHAP. the purchase of Virginia was endeared by the sacrifice of so much life; and the blood of the victims 1622. became the seed of the plantation. New supplies and assistance were promptly despatched; even King James, for a moment, affected a sentiment of generosity, and, like the churl, gave from the tower of London presents of arms, which had been thrown by as good for nothing in Europe. They might be useful, thought the monarch, against the Indians ! He also made good promises, which were never fulfilled. The city of London contributed to repair the losses of the Virginians; and many private persons displayed an honorable liberality. Smith volunteered his services to protect the planters, overawe the savages, and make discoveries; the
had no funds, and his proposition was never made a matter of public discussion or record; but some of the members, with ludicrous cupidity, proposed, he should have leave to go at his own expense, if he would grant the corporation one half of the pillage. * There were in the colony much loss and much sorrow; but never any serious apprehensions of discomfiture from the Indians. The midnight surprise, the ambuscade by day, might be feared; the Indians promptly fled on the least indications of watchfulness and resistance. There were not wanting men, who now advocated an entire subjection of those, whom leniency could not win; and the example of Spanish
1 Stith, p. 233.
4 Smith, v. ii. p.79—81; Stith, p. 234; Burk, v. i. p. 249, 250; Belknap's Am. Biog. v. i. p. 314, 315.
CHAP. cruelties was cited with applause. Besides, a natu
ral instinct had led the Indians to select for their 1622. villages the pleasantest places, along the purest
streams, and near the soil that was most easily cultivated. Their rights of property were no longer much respected; their open fields and villages were now appropriated by the colonists, who could plead the laws of war in defence of their covetousness. Treachery also was employed. The tangled woods, the fastnesses of nature, were the bulwarks to which the savages retreated. Pursuit would have been vain ; they could not be destroyed except as they
were lulled into security and induced to return to 1623. their old homes. In July of the following year, the
inhabitants of the several settlements, in parties, under commissioned officers, fell upon the adjoining savages ;4 and a law of the general assembly com
manded, that in July of 1624, the attack should be 1630. repeated. Six years later, the colonial statute book
proves that schemes of ruthless vengeance were still meditated; for it was sternly insisted, that no peace should be concluded with the Indians, a law, which
remained in force till a treaty in the administration 1632. of Harvey."
Meantime, a change was preparing in the relations of the colony with the parent state. A corporation, whether commercial or proprietary, is, perhaps, the worst of sovereigns. Gain is the object, which leads
1 Stith, p. 233, is unjust upon Smith, v. ii. p. 71, 72.
2 Smith, v. ij. p. 71, 72.
4 Burk, v. i. p. 275.