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of our historians relates an anecdote that strongly exemplifies their national character. When our fathers were in want of bread, soon after their arrival, one of these faithful people carried a bushel and a half of corn upon his back, the whole way from the south part of this County to Boston, for the relief of the inhabitants. We believe the records of civilized life will exhibit few such instances of persevering goodness. Many of this inoffensive people, owed fealty to Philip, and true to their allegiance, were drawn into the war, that laid waste his domains and exterminated his tribe.
This conflict, known by the name of King Philip's war, scattered desolation and death over all our interior settlements. The plantations of this County were entirely broken up. The houses were laid in ashes, and the whole region abandoned to savages and wild beasts. It was a contest of no ordinary character, not a history of seiges and battles, not a war merely against the physical force of our fathers, but against all they held dear on earth. It seemed to be a war of extermination waged against their race, and prosecuted with undistinguished rancor against hoary age and helpless infancy, and alike unsparing to the soldier in arms, and to his feebler and defenceless companion, by the domestic fire-side. It was war in its most terrific form. Burning and desolation were its mildest features. Ordinary death was insufficient to glot the vengeance of savage monsters. The unhappy sufferer was generally doomed to perish in tortures, and to hear his cries of agony reechoed by the triumphant shouts of his fiend-like conquerors. Even the dumb creation, the domestic animals, often fell a prey to the same malignant temper, that proved fatal to their owners.Horses, cattle, and sheep, were generally destroyed, and lest savage, malice should be incomplete, methods were generally contrived to prolong their sufferings. It was a combination of all the powerfal tribes to regain their lost dominions, and to rid the soil of its new possessors. The Savages were instigated to this deadly purpose by Philip, a master spirit, actuated by various motives, some of them base, but many of them honorable to him as a patriot and a soldier, and not dissimilar to those which in the annals of
war, have heretofore reflected no dishonor upon the characters of more civilized Princes.
REVOLUTIONARY RELIC. The following interesticg remain contains the history of the de
preciation of currency during the contest for Independence. It illustrates the exertions, the sufferings and the merits of the gallant Soldiers of the time. The document has been preserved among the papers of our late respected fellow citizen, Judge Benjamin Heywood, and we are indebted to the kindness of bis son and our friend, Dr. B. F. Heywood, for permission to present them to our readers. The Committee appointed by the Massachusetts line of the Army, to adjust and settle the accounts of the Officers and Soldiers, with regard to the depreciation of the currency, having attended that service, report,
That they proceeded to Boston as directed, where they arrived on the 20th November, and aster waiting some days, were joined by a Committee of Court, with instructions as follows, viz.
State of Massachusetts Bay, In House of Representatives, Nov. 24, 1779. Resolved --That the Committee who have been appointed to meet a Committee from the Army, to adjust and settle the accounts of the Officers and Soldiers, belonging to the Continental Army, from this State, be,and they are hereby directed to take into the accounts for said settlement, any advances made by Congress, to Officers and Soldiers, over and above their established pay and subsistence; also, all gratuities and advances, made by this State, either in money, clothing or stores; likewise, the supplies made for the Soldiers' families by the several Towns in this State, in obedience to the or. ders of the General Court; but no account is to be made of any bounties given to encourage the men to enter the service, either by the Continent, this State, or any Town or person therein; and the said Committee are further directed, to proceed in said business with all possible dispatch, and as soon as part thereof is completed they are to lodge in the Secretary's Office, a return of the ballances together with the persons' names, to whom they are due, and the Hon. Council are requested, (on proper application therefor,) to grant warrants on the Treasurer for the payment thereof, and the Treasurer aforesaid is hereby directed, to pay the balances of such as are engaged in the Service during the War, in Current Money, if the state of the Treasury will admit of it, otherwise in Government Securities on interest, payable the 1st day of Jan. uary, 1781, which securities shall be exchanged and Current Mon.
ey given therefør, by any of the Collectors or Constables in this State, allowing the principal and interest due at the time of such exchange, at which time the Interest on such Notes shall cease, and the Treasurer of this state is hereby directed, to receive such Notes in payment for any Taxes, allowing the Interest due thereon at the time they were exchanged by such Collector or Constable : And it is further
Resolved—That the Treasurer of this State be, and he is hereby directed, to pay all the balances due to those who have not engaged during the War, in his Notes on Interest payable, on the first day of June one Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty One.
Sent up for Concurrence.
JOHN HANCOCK, Speaker.
Read and Concurred,
JOHN Avery, D. Secretary. Consented to by the major part of the Council. True Copy Attest.
JOHN AVERY, D. Secretary.
The Committee from the line having Communicated their instructions, the Joint Committees then proceeded to consider of the most proper means to obtain a true state of the Currency, from January 1st, 1777, to January 1st, 1780, and after considering the matter in every point of view, and making the best enquiries the circumstances of affairs would admit, it was finally agreed, (though not without the assistance of an additional Committee of both Houses) to establish a monthly rate of depreciation, upon a mean rate of the current prices, throughout the State ; of Beef, Indian Corn, Sheep's Wool, and Sole Leather, calculated as follows, viz:
1,03 for 1 1,03 1,28 1,57 1,69 1,82 2,38 2,50 3,82 3,96 4,34 4,50
4,64 4,80 5,19 5,80 5,91 6,34 6,30 6,90 6,90 6,97 7,47 8,38
9,34 10,87 12,35 14,14 16,02 22,57 20,38 16,95 17,14 23,87 30,25 32,50
But previous to making out the above rate of depreciation, it was urged by the Committee from the line, that the Army had suffered a considerable loss on account of not receiving their Continental pay, at the close of each Month when it became due, which ought to be taken into consideration in the settlement; as this was a matter so very evident, and the propriety of valuing the Continental pay of the Army, by the rate of depreciation at the time when the general payments were made, being as was supposed, fully consented to on the part of the Court's Committee, and as the Committee from the line had every reason to suppose it would be carried into practice, without the least objection, they were therefore induced to consent to the above rate of depreciation. Though sensible at the same time, that if a perfect account of :he prices of the necessaries of life throughout the State could have been obtained from time to time, it would have produced a higher rate of depreciation ; yet taking the delay of payments into consideration, and as no Town Bounties or private bires, were to be charged upon the Soldiers, and finding upon this plan it would nearly answer the expectations of the Army, it was thought best by the Committee from the line, for the sake of accommodation to establish the above rate.
TO BE CONTINUED.
MASASSOIT. Masassoit, or Oosamequen,* was chief Sachem of a powerful tribe of Indians called Wampanoags. His territories were included for the most part within the jurisdiction of Plymouth Colony, and were bounded on the north by the Massachusetts,west by the Nipmuck and south west and south by the Narrhaganset tribes. The subordinate Chiefs inhabiting Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and the Elizabeth Islands owed him allegiance, and three thousand strong armed bow. men constituted the military strength of his wild domains.f Besides these, a small portion of the Nipmuck country, a name applied generally to all that territory lying between the eastern boundary of the County of Worcester and Connecticut river, and extending south near twenty miles into the State of Connecticut, looked to Masassoit as the lawful prince and sovereign. The Massachusetts
* It was a custom with the Indians to change their names-see Morton's New England's Memorial 149: This name is written differently, Osamekin, Savage's Winthrop, 139; Woosamequen, Morton, 148 ; Ousamequen, His. Col. Vol. 1, 276 ; Asuhinequin, Church, 79--34; Massassowat, Belkpap's Biog. Vol. 2-290. + Gookin in His. Col. Vol. 1. Trumbull, Vol. 1–43.
tribe, which acknowledged no supreme head, but divided into small cantons, and governed by petty Chiefs, was partly tributary* to the great Sachem of the Wompanogs.
Of his early life and the condition of his pation prior to the arrival of the l'ilgrims in 1620, but little is known. In 1616 or 177 a desolating epidemic broke out and depopulated almost the whole of his empire. In the language of a faithful annalist, so many thousands of them died that the living were unable to bury the dead, and that their bones were to be seen lying on the surface of the earth about the places of their habitations, many years afterwards.
Patukset, the place now called Plymouth, the landing of the first settlers in 1620, was within the territories of Masassoit. Fortune seemed to have prepared the country for the reception of the Pilgrims. The soil had been vacated by pestilence and disease, and a magnanimous prince permitted them a quiet and undisturbed possession. It was in the power of the natives at this time to have easily exterminated the infant colony. That advantage was not taken of its weak and unprotected condition, must partly be ascribed to the clemency and generosity of Masassoit.
The first interview between the subjects of Masassoit and the colonists, was on the 16th of March, a few months subsequent to their arrival at Plymouth. ~ An Indian, named Samoset, now came boldly among them with bow and arrow in his hands and addressed them in broken English. He had derived an imperfect knowledge of the language from having been connected with some fishermen at Moratiggon, an island near the mouth of Penobscot Bay. The colonists eager for an opportunity of forming an intimacy with the natives, received him with kindness and treated him with hospitality. He answered enquiries respecting the state of the country, the strength of the inhabitants and the awful calamities that had befallen them. Disease and a most exterminating war, he observed, had carried universal desolation before them : scarce one among twenty of his countrymen were spared ; and of those formerly inhabiting the adjacent parts, only one solitary individual was living.
To secure the friendship of Samoset, and open the way to a profitable understanding with his countrymen, he was loaded with presents and invited to return with some of his friends. He accordingly appeared again among them the next day with five com
* Hutchinson, Vol. 1-253. Neab. N. England, Vol. 1–103. Morton 30 -Prince's Annals, 46– Neal's N. England puts it in 1619, Vol.'1-87. & Belknap's Reg. Vol. 2–210.