Letter from Wait Winthrop to John Winthrop, Jr

Honored Sir,

I gave you the best account I could in my last from Norwich of all matters which were then stirring in these parts, and I have little that is new to add.  What there is I shall let you understand on the Sabbath.  After the last meeting, I went to New London to see my brother and to speak with the officers there.  On Monday afternoon I came to Mr. Richardson’s with those of the troopers that were with me; where I met with Mr. Stanton, Mr. Minor, and others of Stonington, who advised by all means that I should speedily call those in commission together to advise what was best to be done, for they said now was the time (as they understood by discourse with some Indians) to prevent the Narragansetts from joining with Philip.  And accordingly most of the officers and commissioners came to Mr. Richardson’s, where after consultation it was concluded that we should take what force could conveniently be spared with some of the Mohegans and Pequots which seem ready to attend us, and go to Narragansett to speak with Ninigret and the other Narragansett sachems.  Therefore we are ordering our matters to march toward Mr. Smith’s tomorrow morning as early as we can, and intend to visit Pettaquamscut in our way.  Ninigret speaks very fair and has sent us word by Mr. Saunders, (who we desired to send him word that we would speak with him as we passed along) that he will meet us about his old fort, but says he would not advise us to carry any of Uncas’ men with us, for reasons which he will tell us when we speak with him but says we shall have forty of his men if we please.   This morning came a post from Saybrook, from Mr. Chapman, who informs us of sixty three men, sent by Mr. Leete which I could wish had been a day’s journey forwarder that we might have had their company with us.  However by advice here I have sent for them to follow till they hear further order.  Only twelve of them are ordered to Norwich; they being desirous that such a number might be with them to help secure them.  We considered that the charge would be as little or rather less for them to march then to lie still at Saybrook and the appearance of a considerable force might strike the greater awe and put a sudden issue to any thoughts of joining against the English and be a means to prevent future charge.   For if we lie still here this half year till we have eaten out the people we shall at length leave them in no greater security then when we came to them, for ought I know unless we can engage the Narragansetts either by receiving of hostages if we can get them, or otherwise.  We have intelligence that thirty or forty of Philip’s men are come for relief to one of the Narragansett sachems who has sent to Ninigret for advise whether he shall bind and deliver them to the English or let them go.  They say that some of the looser sort of the remote Narragansetts have committed some insolences t[ torn  ] and there are several houses which were deserted that are robbed.  On Monday last afternoon I wrote to Mr. Williams at Providence and Robin dispatched it away the next morning early by a Narragansett Indian who married a Pequot squaw and his wife and children live with them.  He intended to be here again in two days but is not come yet.  He may be here in the morning; if he comes we shall have the certainty of the news there.  I am apt to think that our Indians would bring in Philip if we had order to send them out beyond Narragansett especially if he be come on this side Seekonk River as the report is.  They will think much to go so far and come back again without doing anything.  But I have not further to trouble you with, desiring your prayers to God that he would direct and go along with us.  So I remain,

Your obedient son,                                           

Wait Winthrop

July 8, 1675

Post script:         Written the last night but dated this morning July 8th, 1675,  we being just on our march to Ninigret / My brother is much better than he was as I hear and has missed his fit I think this three or four days.  He was walking about the chamber before I left him.

Address:              To the Honorable John Winthrop, Esq., Governor of the Colony of Connecticut in

                                Hartford these

Notation:            [ illegible ] W Winthrop’s le[ tter ] / July 8, 1675             

Cataloguing:     1-43