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States in its purity and truth,” the rights of Texas will be secure in the present Union, so long as that Constitution is preserved and controls the administration of the Government; and although the “ administration of the Government by a sectional hostile majority” will be distasteful to the feelings of Texas, if she can, by fair and constitutional means, induce that majority to yield obedience to the Constitution and administer the Government in accordance with it, the triumph will be hers and we will escape the miseries of civil war; and secure to us and to our posterity all the blessings of Liberty which by the power of Union made us the greatest nation on earth.
Recognizing as I do, the fact that the sectional tendencies of the Black Republican party call for determined constitutional resistance at the hands of the United South, I also feel that the million and a half of noble-hearted conservative men, who have stood by the South, even to this hour deserve some sympathy and support. Although we have lost the day, we have to recollect that our conservative Northern friends cast over a quarter of a million more votes against the Black Republicans than we of the entire South. I cannot declare myself ready to desert them, as well as our Southern brethren of the border (and such I believe will be the sentiment of Texas), until at least one firm attempt has been made to preserve our constitutional rights within the Union.
In conclusion, allow me to say that, whatever may be the future of the people of Alabama, my hopes and ardent prayers for prosperity will attend them. When I remember their progress and the evidences they have had of the blessings of free government, I join you in the belief that they “will not act with rashness, or thoughtlessness, but with mature and deliberate consideration.” Forty-seven years ago, to prevent the massacre of her citizens, it was upon her soil that I gave the first proofs of my manhood in devotion to the Union. The flag that I followed then was the same Stars and Stripes which the sons of Alabama have aided to plant on many a victorious field. Since then Alabama has risen from an almost wilderness region, under the fostering care of the Federal Government and the power embraced in Union, to a great, wealthy and prosperous people, and obtained a position which without Union with the other States she could not have achieved for ages, if ever.
Receive for yourself and the people of Alabama, whose accredited Commissioner you are, the assurances of my esteem and consideration.
I have the honor to be
The Pilgrims landed from the Mayflower on Plymouth rock, Dec. 21 (Dec. 11 9. s.), 1620. They numbered about one hundred persons, nearly one half being women and children. It was a terrible winter-the cold severe, snow deep, and they were surrounded by bloodthirsty savages. Their dwellings were rudely constructed cabins, but poor protection from the cold and storms; their food was scanty and their prospects cheerless and discouraging. Disease, caused principally by exposure and want of suitable food, made great havoc with life. Within three months after their arrival, about one half of their number had passed to the spirit land. Of those that survived, many were sick, others feeble, and but few were able to labor, or bear arms in case of an attack from the savages.
One hundred and one days passed and a new and strange scene opened to their view. The morning was clear and beautiful. The Pilgrims were preparing for their morning meal and for the duties of the day, not dreaming that any great surprise awaited them, when suddenly they saw on the rising grounds before their rude dwellings, a most imposing company of Indian warriors. These consisted of Massasoit, the “Great Chief," Quadequina, his brother, and sixty of his best men, armed with bows and arrows, their faces painted, “Some black, some red, some yellow, some white, some with crosses and other antie works; some had skins on them and some were nearly naked ; all strong, tall men.”
The sight of the savages thus arrayed was startling to the few feeble, sick and worn-out people, and they became greatly alarmed. They knew that should the savages attack them in their weak condition, they could offer no successful resistance, and their entire extermination must be the result. Yet they resolved to do their best, in appearance at least, and make as much show of military parade as possible. Capt. Standish, who was ready for any emergency, rallied his men, but alas! six only could be found able to take the musket, and this was really the military strength of the new settlement. Orders, deep toned and earnest were given. They faced, wheeled, marched and handled their guns (matchlocks) with wonderful ease and dexterity. Such a military display was doubtless new to the natives, something they had never seen before, and must have struck them with profound admiration. But they may have come to the conclusion that if that was all the military force of the settlement, they would not find it difficult to take it, were they so disposed.
After this military display, Edward Winslow ventured to approach the strangers, taking with him several presents, such as “a pair of knives, a chain, and a jewel for Massasoit, and a knife and a jewel for his brother; also a pot of strong water, with some biscuit and butter for a treat, which were readily and thankfully accepted. Winslow remaining as a hostage, Massasoit with twenty armed men, descended the hill, where he was met by Capt. Standish, who gave him a military salute, which was readily and politely responded to, and then conducted the distinguished visitor to an unfinished building, prepared with "a green rug and four cushions.” Gov. Carver now appears for the first time on the scene, followed by a band, consisting of a drum and trumpet, and the military company. The salutations over, consisting of kissing of hands, etc., the governor took a seat and called for “strong water" and "fresh meat," of which they all partook freely. How “strong” the water was they drank is unknown, but it doubtless had sufficient strength to make them all feel comfortable. Never did a company of strangers experience warmer and more fraternal greetings.
The object of the visit of these strangers was then made known. They had come for no hostile purpose of destroying the infant settlement, which they easily could have done without divine interposition--they had come for peace, just what the few, defenseless pilgrims most earnestly desired. Massasoit had heard that a company of the English had landed at Plymouth, and he at once resolved to form a treaty of peace and mutual protection with them, if possible, and was now here to consummate the much-desired object. The treaty of peace was written, carefully considered and signed to their mutual satisfaction. How important and sublime the transaction--worthy the heads and hearts of the most distinguished statesmen and heroes whose noble deeds have been so greatly honored in the records of nations ! When the strangers retired, the Pilgrims felt that even savages could be inspired with noblest sentiments for the government of man, and that they had true friends among the natives of the New World. The treaty of peace was strictly and sacredly observed for about forty years, and how much we are indebted to it as a nation for our success and prosperity, it is impossible at present to understand.
Massasoit was chief of the Wampanoogs, a tribe whose dominion extended over nearly all the Southern part of Massachusetts, from Cape Cod to Narragansett Bay. This tribe had been quite numerous, but at the time of the landing of the Pilgrims, was greatly reduced in numbers. Disease had swept off thousands of them. It is supposed that, from thirty thousand, the tribe was reduced to about three hundred. Morton, in his “New England Memorial," speaks of this great mortality : “The Lord was disposed," he says, "much to waste them by a great mortality, together with which were their own civil dissensions and bloody wars, so as the twentieth person was scarcely left alive when the Pilgrims arrived, there remaining sad spectacles of that mortality by many bones and skulls of the dead lying above ground, whereby it appeared that the living among them were not able to bury their dead." They had been exceedingly warlike, “even like lions," and are said to have been most “cruel and treacherous.” The severe affliction through which they had passed, together with the peaceable disposition of their king, had wrought in them a great change—they had become more pacific and quiet in spirit.
The residence of this distinguished Indian chief was within the limits of what is now the beautiful village of Warren, Rhode Island. Philip, his second son, resided for a time at Mount Hope, but this was not the place of the family residence. At the western part of the village, near the margin of Warren river, may be seen the “spring,” from which he received his water, and which still bears his name. His dwelling was located within a few rods of the spring, in which he often entertained distinguished guests. His manner of receiving and entertaining them is worthy of note.
A short time after Massasoit's visit to Plymouth, the governor sent Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins—the former was subsequently governor of Plymouth colony-to visit the "great Sachem” with a present, to ascertain the number and strength of the tribe, and to view the country. On their arrivai, having made their way for forty miles through the wilderness, they found the king absent, but he soon returned, and after the usual ceremony of firing salutes, he received them into his house. They delivered their message and presents, and “having put the coat on his back and the chain about his neck, he was a little proud to behold himself, and his men also, to see their king so richly attired. He assured them that the peace and friendship between them should continue, and that his men should give them no trouble. He made a speech to them thus : ‘Was not he the commander of the country about them? Was not such a place his and the people in it? And should they not bring their skins to the English ?' After this manner, he named at least thirty places, and they applauded him. He lighted tobacco and discoursed about England and the king's majesty. He offered them no food, for he had none. Time came for rest. He laid them on the bed with himself and wife.” Says Mr. Winslow, “They laid at one end of the bed, and we at the other, it being only planks laid a foot from the ground and a thin mat upon them. Two of his chief men, for want of room, pressed by and upon us, so that we were more weary of our lodging than of our journey! But they greatly enjoyed their visit, and having most satisfactorily accomplished their object, they returned safely to their home in Plymouth, greatly delighted with what they had seen and heard.
News having reached Plymouth that Massasoit was sick, nigh into death, another deputation was sent to him consisting of Edward Winslow, John Hamden and an Indian named Hobbamock for a guide. The interesting incidents of the expedition are given by Mr. Winslow in his journal. On the second day of their journey they were informed that the king was dead, and Hobbamock became greatly excited, and gave loud expression to his grief: "My loving Sachem, my loving Sachem! Many have I known, but never any like thee! While I live, I shall never see his like among the Indians; he was no liar, he was not bloody and cruel like other Indians ; in anger and passion he was soon reclaimed, easy to be reconciled toward such as had offended him ; he had governed his men better with few strokes than others did with many ; truly loving where he loved. I fear the English have not a faithful friend left among the Indians."
But to their surprise, on reaching Massasoit's residence, they found him alive. Says Mr. Winslow : “When we came thither, we found the house so full of men that we could scarcely get in, though they tried to make way for us. They were and gave
charming, making a most bellish noise, greatly disturbing us and the sick. They told him the English had come to see him. I took him by the hand. He said, 'Art thou Winslow?' Being quite blind, he said, 'O Winslow, I shall never see thee again !' I desired to see his mouth, which was exceeding furred, and his tongue swelled so that he could scarcely eat. I washed his mouth and scraped his tongue, and gave him some confection which he swallowed. Soon he grew better and his sight returned.”
The improvement of the king under the treatment of his English visitors was surprising. Mr. Winslow continues : “ He desired me to kill him some fowl, and make him some pottage, such as he had eaten at Plymouth. I first made him some broth without fowl, using the flour from bruised corn. I put in strawberry leaves and sassafras root, and when boiled, I strained it through my handkerchief,
him a pint which he drank, and liked it well. I made a shot at a couple of ducks and killed one. I dressed it and made more broth therewith, which he much desired. Never did I see a man so low, recover in that measure in so short a time. Many came not less than a hundred miles to see him. He would say, Now I see that the English are my friends and love me ; and whilst I live, I will never forget this kindness they have shown me.'” Surely, such a man as Edward Winslow deserved the gubernatorial chair of Plymouth Colony !
But this visit to the sick king revealed a matter of great importance to the English. Says Mr. Winslow : "On leaving, Massasoit called Hobbamock to him and revealed a plot against Master Weston's colony, and so against us, saying that he had been solicited to join it, but would not, nor permit any of his men to do so. He desired that the governor should be informed of it. So we departed." This friendly intercourse was continued between the Pilgrims and Massasoit while the latter lived.
The king entertained another distinguished guest at his humble dwelling which must have been a scene of no ordinary interest. Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts Bay for his liberal principles, or, for “soul liberty,” as he calls it. He left at midwinter, and “steered his course " for the shores of the Narragansett. His journey must have been a severe one. He says: “I was sorely tossed for fourteen weeks, not knowing what bread or bed did mean,"
At length he reached the hospitable dwelling of Massasoit, and here he found a true friend, and such comfort as his means afforded. Roger says : “When I came, I was welcome to Ousamequin," (Massasoit). The gratification of such a welcome after being “ tossed” for “fourteen weeks," as he was, must be experienced to be fully appreciated.
The family of Massasoit consisted of his wife, two brothers, three sons, two son's wives, and a grandson. His two oldest sons were named Mooanum and Pometacom. Soon after the death of their father, they went to Plymouth, and "professing great respect,” requested that English names might be given them. The court named them Alexander and Philip. The former became chief sachem