Letter of John Mason to Richard Bellingham and the Massachusetts Council of War

Right Worshipful,

I have not as yet been forward in speaking or acting about state affairs’, but now constrained, I am credibly informed that the Narragansetts are gone six days since in a hostile way against Martin’s Vineyard1 and resolves at their return again to assault Long Island and after Mohegan, etc.  Doubtless their pride and insolency is grown very high and so is our forbearance if this outrage do not stir English spirits I shall then fear that we have not lost the hearts of men but almost of Christians but I hope better things.  I am also informed that the Quinebaug Indians who are under your protection have lately plundered a town belonging to Uncas and almost if not altogether killed one man.  The matter is doubtless true.  Uncas hath much ado to keep his men from revenge and therefore desired me to signify so much unto you that if he may have due satisfaction he shall be content otherwise he must be enforced to right himself.  You shall do well as I conceive speedily to send and examine the business.  It is a matter of moment as the state of affairs are if I mistake not.  I desire peace if on good terms, whatever the world may think the truth is, we are very low in the esteem and that justly both of Dutch and Indians, those that are the cause, had need to think of it.

But I shall not say much.  I hope a short time will produce effect otherwise I could be silent.  I professed to all my backwardness to act against the Dutch until we had long managed against them and found them palpably guilty  Their carriage is continually such that it will prove intolerable but I want that and return if you shall think meet to send to enquire about the difference betwixt Uncas and Hyams and if you shall please let me hear of it.  I should also attend to further and promote a union betwixt them what in me lies.  However, I beseech you; let me understand the result of your thoughts per this bearer.  You know Indians cannot brook delays.  With due respects and my humble service presented, I rest.

Your worship’s to command,

John Mason

Saybrook, April 8, 1654  


To the Right Worshipful Richard Bellingham, Esq., with the rest of the Right Worshipful Council of War of the Massachusetts, Present at Boston


Captain Mason’s letter to the Governor, read in General Court May 5, 1654


30, 31


  • 1. This was an alternate name for Martha's Vineyard, used up until the 18th century.