George Dennison and Thomas Stanton's Letter on Indian Affairs

When we came to Uncas’ fort at Mohegan, with many fears and threats we were entertained, as after we were entered the fort and Uncas’ wigwam, one without called unto the men to why they have sat [ illegible ] for they should have work a now with these by and by [ illegible ] were sitting down and pausing (after their manner) a while I told Uncas that these Indians were messengers from the Governor and all the Magistrates of the Massachusetts, and that they had brought a letter unto me from them to be communicated unto him.  Then taking the letter out of my pocket, I first showed him the names of those who had signed it and then, by an interpreter, declared the letter unto him sentence by sentence, that he fully understood your worships mind therein, which when we had done, we demanded his answer, which was as followeth:  that the commissioner for Connecticut and New Haven did desire him that he should not make any war upon the Pequots, nor any of the Indians that were under the English; which (he saith) he was very glad of, and therefore desired that the Pequots might not come over Mohegan River to hunt, but keep their own bounds, as also that any other Indians that were under the English should keep at home and do him no wrong, which notwithstanding they have not attended but have made war upon him at Niantic and since at Mohegan, as the Indians of these several places: Wisawotuck, Acquebapauge, Takegamoack, Quaatise.  Wherefore, he wonders that Josias should now say these are his men, because that since he hath taken these prisoners he hath heard that Josias hath received a great basket of wampum to secure them from the Mohegans of whom they were afraid.  He saith he hath a good heart toward the commissioners still, notwithstanding all the Indians roundabout do bite him, so that he is almost mad to think that he must die alone and no others of his enemies.  He further saith that Mr. Eliot did write unto him about James, not to make war upon him because he was his man and did pray, when, notwithstanding, he hath been in arms against him formerly and six days since hath killed him one man. The commissioners are sorry and troubled for other Indians when they complain unto them. He would desire them to be sorry for the Mohegans also.  He saith he hath [ blot ] heard that the commissioners are like gods, he would have them show themselves so that the sky may be cleared, and then they shall conclude that they are so indeed.  As for himself he doth not say he is not afraid, for he is afraid, and he could pray the committee was to help him, but that they have cast him off for the crows and wolves to feed upon and that the commissioners are afraid of all other Indians and therefore let Uncas die alone.  For if the commissioners should forbid all the other Indians to war upon Uncas, then they are afraid that they should die themselves.  He wonders that the commissioners have such a quick eye upon him to observe him and not one other Indian.  As for the delivering of the prisoners, he with the rest did seem to scorn that such a thing should be desired and therefore said he would not deliver them, but would keep them until the commissioners have heard the cause.  Yet if the commissioners will send him the prisoners which the Pocumtucks have taken from him, then he will deliver these prisoners.  This I took in writing before his face, from the mouth of the interpreter, Thomas Stanton, Jr.

George Denison

Thomas Stanton

March 15, 1658/59   

            Witness:            Before these witnesses which went with me to that land as these / John GallupJohn Russell / Thomas Griffin, his mark

            Cataloguing:  77