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“ [79] the lands granted in our patent, we pray you endeavor to purchase their title, that we may avoid the least scruple of intrusion.”

Although our Medford ancestors took every precaution to conciliate their copper-colored neighbors, and although hostilities did not commence between the settlers and the natives till Philip's War, nevertheless the chiefs felt jealous of the whites. Of this there is as little doubt as there is that they sometimes had reason for it. The erection of forts in this plantation, and the placing of palisades about their houses, testify to the apprehensions of our fathers. Is it not natural to suppose that between the red men and the whites there might be suspicion? The Indians led lives of hunting and war, and they saw the white men banded together for trade and self-defence. What so common in a savage breast as suspicion? The English appeared to the Indians to be dangerous intruders; and every new act was misconstrued into a premeditated encroachment. Philip's War (1675), as it brought the great question of supremacy to its crisis, gave form to the feelings of both parties, and settled the terms of future companionship. Six hundred whites were slain, which was one man in every eleven; six hundred buildings were burned, and twelve towns utterly destroyed. The Indians believed that they were called to fight for their wives and children, their homes and hunting-grounds. They felt themselves to be great, as they knew themselves to be brave. They held themselves to be chieftains of the rivers and the waterfalls, lords of the mountain-pass and the mountain-peak, owners of the illimitable forests, and conquerors of the panther and the bear; and they felt that all was held by a title-deed, which ran back farther than human dates and parchment registers. For such men, with such a faith, to succumb to foreign intruders they felt to be worse than death.

Philip's army numbered three thousand five hundred; and our town furnished its quota of men and money to oppose it. Not a soldier nor a penny was furnished by the mother country to protect or aid the whites in that eventful struggle.

To the honor of the first settlers of Medford be it said, that they followed the advice of Mr. Cradock; and no instance of injustice or oppression towards the Indians can be traced in our history. The town often passed laws touching those who dwelt among them; but those laws were executed with kindness. There were some here as slaves; for

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Mathew Cradock (1)
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1675 AD (1)
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