Letter of George Denison Regarding Pequot Country

Worshipful and much Honored,                       

After I received your, by the first opportunity I addressed myself unto the work according unto your order, and declared with as much clearness unto Uncas as I could your worship’s minds, and required the delivery of the prisoners forthwith.  His answer unto the whole letter I have sent down here enclosed which was the full of his answer, with many flouts and fears, especially against the Praying Indians, and of Josias as that he had made him a great sachem, and that they which were escaped from him might now pray and he should not further trouble them with such like things in a slighting way, both of the Indians and English, which were too tedious for your worship’s ears and my pen.  But the truth is, he is extremely high and his carriages are answerable, and I fear will so continue (unto the drawing of some sad inconveniences upon the English) unless some course be taken with him, and with some English which I fear are his abettors and I fear (I will not say I know) have been the original cause of all their troubles, especially one who liveth so very near him, whose living comes in by these silver shrines, I mean their unknown tread, which they [ blot ] cannot endure any should pry into and thereof are continually plotting and contriving mischief against such as they deem any way careful to find out their mystery of inequity, of what I have tasted, or should have done if they could or durst to have proceeded, of which I shall fully inform your worships when I shall have a convenient opportunity, only this in general our neighbors at least some of them of New London, as they call it, have carried very unworthily unto some of us hear, and unto the government unto whom we do belong, by animating of troublesome persons, and laboring to draw off our inhabitants from subjecting unto the Bay Government, or the authority set up by them amongst ourselves, which hath not been without effect amongst us (we being somewhat divided before) there we have grounds not only to fear this thing, but the effects do two mani[ illegible ]prove the same, we being threatened if we come to New London to be attacked, and myself being attacked, being there upon my lawful occasions, and kept there several days unto the obstructing not only of my own but the town occasions, upon what pretense you may gather by the sequel, for not withstanding I was attacked without bail or manpris when I came unto Hartford there was not any that durst appear to accuse me of anything, much less of such things as should require such restraint, which only belongs to traitors or murderers, we cannot attribute it unto anything but only that they might weaken our hand in our work, and for the animation of troublesome persons, as also to free some of themselves from the danger of the law, which they feared we or some of us might be instrumental in because they knowing that we have the knowledge of some of their byways but however it be it is very uncomfortable, to be as the borders of England and Scotland, therefore I thought meet to give only some general hints and have it to your wisdoms.  One thing more, concerning ourselves, wherein I would crave your counsel, it pleased the Honored Court to appoint three men to deal in small causes amongst ourselves to wit, Goodman Chesebrough, myself and Thomas Minor, who now if it please you, when I came up and acquainted the people that Thomas Minor was appointed one of the three, it was unto the generality very troublesome, and some discontented very much, but I labored to quiet them for the present, but before I had an opportunity to give him his oath (he being then sick) I heard several of his carriages which together with some expressions had such effect  in our town (as was confessed at a public meeting) as was tending unto much division if not mutiny, so that I durst not in conscience give him his oath, so that we two, Goodman Chesebrough and myself, have been forced to carry on the work without him, and through the blessing of God, with good success so that with your favorable countenance in a just way we doubt not but we shall procure our peace, only it is by one or two troublesome persons among us, questioned whether we two have power to do anything without the third, and therefore do give threatenings that we shall be called to an account for so acting, we account it too much that all matters should be obstructed for the defect of one.  We would desire to know your worship’s pleasure herein, that so our hands may not be weakenedby each unworthy person. 

As for more public matters, being lately a Connecticut, lately I understand that they do intend to have a review of the cause for the Pequot Country, the next sitting of the commissioners, for they in general say that the Bay did not anything therein, the contentious speeches concerning the Bay have been no small trouble unto me and my troubles have not been a few which have accrued thereby, but how sure it be though we are little worth, and may therefore be slighted by your worships and the colony, yet I could earnestly desire that you would not be worded out not only of us but of that whole country which hath cost the Bay so much money and some blood, if the words of those who say you did nothing in that service may prevail, it will be too much dishonor  [ blot ]be unto such as were employed in that service.

Excuse, I beseech you, my boldness and my too much tediousness.  Impute it unto my affections and bear with my weakness which shall further oblige him who already is and still shall be your worship’s loyal subject.

George Denison

Southertowne1 March 15,1658/59

Notation:         Captain Denison’s letter to the Governor / May 1658/59

            Cataloguing:  75-76

  • 1. Southertown was another name for Stonington, Connecticut.
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