Formal Submission of Massachusetts Indian Nations to Massachusetts Bay Colony on March 7, 1644.
On March 7, 1644, Nashowanon [Nipmuc leader at Washekim or Sterling], Cutshamekin, Masconnamet, Wossamegon [Massasoit], & Squaw Sachem [Nipmuc leader residing near Mount Wachuset], are examined by the English and “submit” to the authority of the Massachusetts Bay government:
Wossamegon, Nashowanon, Cutshamache, Mascanoment, & Squa Sachim did volentarily submit themselves to us, as appeareth by their convenant subscribed with their own hands, hear following, & other articles to which they consented.
Wee have & by these presents do voluntarily, & without any constraint or pswasion, but of our owne free motion, put ourselves, our subjects, lands & estates under the government & iurisdiction of the Massachusets, to bee governed & protected by them, according to their iust lawes & orders, so farr as wee shall bee made capable of understanding them; & wee do promise for ourselves & all our subiects & all our posterity, to be true & faithful to the said government, & ayding to the maintenance thereof, to our best ability, & from time to to time to give speedy notice of any conspiracy, attempt, or evill intension of any which wee shall know or heareof against the same & wee do promise to bee willing from time to time to bee instructed in the knowledg & worship of God….
Certeine Questions propounded to the Indians, and Answears
- To worship ye onely true God, which made heaven & earth & not to blaspheme him.
An: We do desire to reverence ye God of ye English, & to speake well of him, because, wee see hee doth better to ye English than other gods do to others
- Not to swear falcely.
An: They say they know not what swering is among them.
- Not to do unnecessary worke on ye Saboth day, especially within ye gates of Christian towns.
An: It is easy to them; they have not much to do on any day, & they can well take their ease on this day.
- To honor their parents & all their superiors.
An: It is their custome to do so, for the inferiors to honor their superiors.
- To kill no man without iust cause & iust authority.
An: It is good, & they desire to do so.
- To commit no unclean lust, as fornication, adultery, incest, rape,sodomy, buggery, or bestiality.
An: Though sometime some of them do it, yet they count that naught, & do not alow it.
- Not to steale.
An: They say to them this as to the 6th quare.
- To suffer their children to learn to reade Gods word, that they may learn to know God aright & worship him in his owne way.
An: They say, as oportunity will serve, & English live among them, they desire so to do.
- That they should not bee idle.
An: To these they consented, acknowledging them to bee good.
Being received by us, they presented 26 fathome of wampam, & the Court directed the Treasurer to give them five coats, two yards in a coate, of red cloth, & a pot full of wine.
It is ordered, that it shall bee lawfull for one smith of Boston to be appointed by the magistrates to amend the guns of those sachims which have submitted themselves to our government, & that hee set a marke upon such peeces
Source: Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed., RECORDS OF THE GOVERNOR AND COMPANY OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY OF NEW ENGLAND, 6 volumes in 5 vols., (Boston: William White, Printer to the Commonwealth, 1854) Vol. 2:55-56; ibid., Vol. 2: 57