Pequot massacre: Blood and Soil

I think this will be my last blog-a-book quote from Ben Kiernan's Blood and Soil. This massacre, the Pequot, happened not 10 miles from my home. The first person accounts below are so graphic, that even most of the Indians who allied with the English couldn't stomach their brutality and abandoned the English. The English reach for support from Joshua's bloody wars in the Old Testament, forgetting that they are not part of that covenant with God, nor in the "promised land."
The Pequots, Mason wrote, were “utterly Destroyed, to the Number of six of seven Hundred” in just one hour. “There were only seven taken captive, and about seven escaped.” Mason was triumphant: “Thus was God seen in the Mount,...burning them up in the fire of his Wrath, and dunging the Ground with their Flesh:It was the Lord's Doings, and it is marvelous in our Eyes.” God had “laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to scorn, making them as a fiery Oven...filling the Place with dead Bodies!” Underhill wrote: “It is reported by themselves [the Indians], that there were about four hundred souls in this fort, and not above five of them escaped out of our hands.” Plymouth governor William Bradford, who did not participate in the assault, gave a similar estimate of “about 400 killed.” Historian Alfred Cave considers Mason's figure of 600-700 dead “probably more accurate.” Underhill published a drawing of the fort under assault, showing 98 lodges... Some were large; an average wigwam may have sheltered six or seven people. English losses were “two Slain outright, and about twenty Wounded” and 20 allied Indians wounded.
All the Indian allies deserted except Uncas. They said the English fighting method “is too furious, and slays too many men.” Underhill, too, wrestled with the inplications of the massacre: “It may be demanded, Why should you be so furious? (as some have said). Should not Christians have more mercy and compassion?” He answered by appealing to ancient biblical precedent. “I would refer you to David's war...Sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents...We had sufficient light from the Word of God for our proceedings.” Bradford added: “It was a fearful fight to see them frying in the fire, with streams of blood quenching it: the smell was horrible, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice.” (231)

If you can stomach it, I have many more posts on genocide, human rights, native Americans, history, church, and book reports.


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