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[208] on one more attempt at a general massacre
Chap. VI.} 1644.
believing that, by midnight incursions, the destruction of the cattle and the fields of corn, they might succeed in famishing the remnant of the colonists whom they should not be able to murder by surprise. On the eighteenth day of April,1 the time appointed for the carnage, the unexpected onset was begun upon the frontier settlements. But hardly had the Indians steeped their hands in blood, before they were dismayed by the recollection of their own comparative weakness; and, trembling for the consequences of their treachery, they feared to continue their design, and fled to a distance from the colony. The number of victims had been three hundred. Measures were promptly taken by the English for protection and defence; and a war was vigorously conducted. The aged Opechancanough was taken, yet not till 1646; and the venerated monarch of the sons of the forest, so long the undisputed lord of almost boundless hunting grounds, died in miserable captivity of wounds inflicted by a brutal soldier. In his last moments, he chiefly regretted his exposure to the contemptuous gaze of his enemies.2

So little was apprehended, when the English were once on their guard, that, two months after the massacre, Berkeley embarked for England, leaving Richard Kemp as his successor.3 A border warfare continued; marches up and down the Indian country were ordered; yet so weak were the natives, that though the

1 The reader is cautioned against the inaccuracies of Beverley, Oldmixon, and, on this subject, of Burk. See Winthrop's Journal, II. 165. Compare the note of Savage, whose sagacious conjecture is confirmed in Hening, i. 290, Act 4, session of February, 1645.

2 On the massacre, there are three contemporary guides: the statutes of the time, in Hening, i.; The Perfect Description of Virginia, in II. Mass. Hist. Coll. IX. 115—117; and the Reports of the exiled Puritans, in Winthrop, II. 165.

3 Hening, i. 4. 282, and 286.

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