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Narraganset Indians,

An Algonquian family of the New England Indians which occupied the territory now comprised in the State of Rhode Island. Industrious and hardy, they were numerous, and had twelve towns within a distance of 20 miles. Their chief, Canonicus, sent a bundle of arrows tied with a snake-skin to Governor Bradford, of Plymouth, indicating his hostility. Bradford returned the skin filled with gunpowder. Canonicus was alarmed, and remained peaceable, especially after banished Roger Williams won their good — will by his kindness. They accompanied Massachusetts troops against the Pequods in 1637, and in 1644 ceded their lands to the British King. The Narragansets having violated the terms of a treaty made in 1644, the New England Congress, under the provisions of the union or confederation, sent messengers to the offending Indians requiring their appearance at Boston. At first they treated the messengers kindly, but finally declared that they would not have peace until they received the head of Uncas. Roger Williams warned the congress that the Narragansets would suddenly break out against the English, whereupon that body drew up a declaration justifying them in making war on the recusant Indians. They determined to raise 300 men at once. The news of this preparation alarmed the Indians, and they sued for peace. They were required to pay in instalments 2,000 fathoms of wampum; to

Attack on the Narraganset Indians at South Kingston.

[322] restore to Uncas all the captives and canoes they had taken from him; to submit all matters of controversy between Uncas and them to the congress; keep perpetual peace with the English; and give hostages for the performance of the treaty. This compact was signed Aug. 30, 1645.

The Narragansets engaged in King Philip's War, and had a strong fort in a swamp in South Kingston, R. I. Against this fort marched about 1,000 New-Englanders in the middle of December, 1675. With these troops were about 150 Mohegan Indians, and Governor Winslow, of Plymouth, was the commander-in-chief. They marched through deep snow, and at 4 P. M. on Dec. 16 they attacked the fort. There was but one entrance, which had to be reached in the face of a fire from a blockhouse. The Massachusetts men, who first attacked, were repulsed, and several of the captains were killed. There was a desperate hand-to-hand fight, and the Indians were finally driven out into the open country. The 600 wigwams were set on fire, and the winter store of corn was destroyed. About 700 of the Indians were killed, including several chiefs, and of a large number wounded about 300 died. Many old men, women, and children perished, some of them in the flames. In this encounter Connecticut alone lost eighty men. Captains Johnson, Davenport, and Gardiner, of Massachusetts, and Gallop, Seely, and Marshall, of Connecticut, were slain. The Narragansets were almost exterminated in that war. The remnant settled at Charlestown, R. I., and were prosperous for a while, but the tribe is now extinct. See King Philip's War.

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