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[318] wherever the envoys went, and they witnessed the ex-
Chap. VIII.} 1621.
treme poverty and feebleness of the natives.

The influence of the English over the aborigines was rapidly extended. A sachem, who menaced their safety, was himself compelled to sue for mercy; and nine chieftains subscribed an instrument of submission

Sept. 18.
to King James. The Bay of Massachusetts and harbor of Boston were fearlessly explored. Canonicus, the wavering sachem of the Narragansetts, whose territory had escaped the ravages of the pestilence, had at first desired to treat of peace. A bundle of arrows.
wrapped in the skin of a rattlesnake, was now the token of his hostility. But when Bradford stuffed the skin with powder and shot, and returned it, his courage quailed, and he desired to be in amity with a race of men whose weapons of war were so terrible. The hostile expedition which caused the first Indian blood to be shed, grew out of a quarrel, in which the inhabitants of Plymouth were involved by another colony.

For who will define the limits to the graspings of

1623. Mar.
avarice? The opportunity of gain by the fur-trade had been envied the planters of New Plymouth; and Weston, who had been active among the London adventurers in establishing the Plymouth colony, now desired to engross the profits which he already deemed secure. A patent for land near Weymouth, the first plantation in Boston harbor, was easily obtained;
and a company of sixty men were sent over. Helpless at their arrival, they intruded themselves for most of the summer, upon the unrequited hospitality of the people of Plymouth. In their plantation, they were soon reduced to necessity by their want of thrift, their injustice towards the Indians provoked hostility;

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