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A Brief History of King Philip's War
Page 5
by Bodge, George M.


and the principal actor, Tobias and his accomplice, Mattashunannamoo were executed as murderers, June 8, 1675; while Tobias's son, who was present but took no part in the crime, was reprieved for one month and then shot. After the execution of the two in June, Philip threw off all disguise as to his plan, and pushed his preparations as diligently as possible. The plan had been to complete preparations and include all the tribes in New England, so that a simultaneous assault could be made upon all the settlements at once. This plan was spoiled, and probably the settlements saved from destruction, by the impatience of the leader's vengeance. While Philip's preparations went forward, the authorities thought best not to make any immediate military demonstration further than the placing of a guard by the various settlements to prevent a surprise. They thought Philip would soon tire of holding his men in arms and training, so that they could get him in their power. But his company increased and the younger warriors began to demand some open act of hostility. At last they began not only to insult the English settlers in the nearest settlements, by their words of insolence and threats, but to shoot their cattle and plunder their houses. The Indians increased greatly in numbers from the neighboring tribes, many "strange Indians" appearing among them, and most of their women and children being sent away to the Narraganset country. At Swansy they appeared in considerable numbers and used all their ways of provocation to induce some act of resistance from the settlers; and at last, upon June 24th one man was so enraged at the shooting of his cattle and the attempt to rifle his house that he shot at an Indian, wounding him. Upon this the Indians began open and indiscriminate hostility and on that day eight or nine of the English at Swansy were killed and others wounded. Two men were sent for a surgeon, but were waylaid and slain, and their bodies left upon the road. Messengers sent from the English authorities to treat with Philip and prevent an outbreak came upon the bodies of the men slain in the highway and speedily turned back. The colonies awoke to the fact that an Indian war was upon them, but supposed that a few companies sent down to Swansy would at least overawe the savages and reduce them to submission. A speedy muster was made both at Plymouth and Boston and on the afternoon of June 26th five companies were mustering or on the march from the two colonies. The details of the account of the war will be found in the body of the preceding chapters. Here only a brief outline of the current events can be given. The first company of infantry from Boston was made up from the regular military companies of the town. A company of cavalry, or "troopers" was gathered from the regular organizations in three counties. A third company of "volunteers" was raised about the town and vicinity, from all sorts of adventurers, seafaring men and strangers, with a number of prisoners who had been convicted of piracy and condemned to death, but were now released to engage

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