A True Declaration of the Carriage of the Indians about the Vessel Lost, Etc.

A True Declaration of the Carriage of the Indians about the Vessel Lost, Etc.                                                                  

One Monday night the 18th of November about two or three o’clock in the morning, by reason of the violence of the wind, my anchors remaining home, my vessel drove ashore in the harbor at the west end of that island next to Quick’s Hole, myself and company then went to warm ourselves at an Indian house, the Indians said the vessel and the goods were theirs. We answered no, they had no right to it.  They sent to the sachem and to the other Indians who all came together, and while they were consulting about the vessel and goods, they bid us to go to the other house.  We answered no, they need not turn us out of the house.  We did not hinder them, then the Indians went out of the house to the next house, and we went aboard and about an hour and half after, we being returned to the house, the Indians came thither also, and told us they had determined altogether we should neither have our vessel or goods.  They would take them.

I desired my chest of them.  Some of them answered no, there was such cloth in it, and they would have it.  I desired my wearing clothes, which they granted and some provisions to eat while we were there, which they granted.  They took away a suit of clothes from me, two pair of shoes, all my tools.  The sachem had my saw in his hand, which I would have had, but he would not give it me nor my axe. They took away a new hat and a new pair of shoes from my son.

The particulars lost are, my vessel of fifteen tons with all due furniture belonging to it, and a foresail to spare, my cables and anchors I desired of them, but they would not give them unto me.  My vessel was not seen to be staved when we viewed her at low water, only the back of her rudder broken off.  My freight aboard was forty-eight bushels Indian corn, four barrels of pork, four hides, one firkin of butter, one small cask of suet about four or one barrel of tobacco, about thirty-four or thirty-five pounds cotton wool, twenty-six bushels meal, eight bushels of it wheat meal, the rest rye and Indian meal, one bushel wheat, one bushel of rye, two bushels turnips, one bushel of onions, red cloth six yards, three or four yards penistone,[1] my lead and line, with diverse other things out of my chest and vessel; shoes, one pair women’s shoes, two iron pots, three pair children’s shoes, two pair new russet shoes, forty pounds tallow, two guns, a green blanket and a woman’s cloak from Goody Doggett.[2]  This is the truth of the case at the present to our best remembrance.

This declaration above written was attested upon oath by William Weeks, the master of said vessel, and by his son William and by Thomas, the Indian, who was seaman in the vessel. Goody Doggett testifies that the Indians did take away and withhold the vessel and goods from the master and she did entreat them to let him have his vessel again, but they would not, but they also divided the meal and meat and fetched it away.  All these were taken upon [3] oath November 22, 1667 upon the Vineyard.
A declaration of the carriage of the Indians about a vessel taken by them.  November 22, 1667. /  A declaration about a vessel of William Weeks taken by Indians at one of the Elizabeth Isles, November 1667 / 22 November 1677
This is the copy of what is under oath, Thomas Mayhew[4]
B. A. P. 32., CO 1/21. No. 148, 148 (23) 292, 293, 294



[1] Penistone is a kind of coarse woolen fabric made in Yorkshire and used for garments and linings .  By 1690, it was one of the several types of "Negro cloth" sent to Caribbean plantations.  OED.  Chris Evans, "Telling the Story of Negro Cloth and Welsh Plains," From Sheep to Sugar: Welsh Wool and Slavery, http://www.welshplains.cymru/index.asp?pageid=695827

[2] Goody Daggett may have been Hannah Mayhew Daggett (1635-1723), the daughter of Thomas Mayhew, the author of this document, and the wife of Thomas Daggett of Edgartown, Massachusetts.  Thomas Doggett, Find A Grave.

[3] Deleted text: my