Plain Dealing or news from New England Thomas Lechford of Clements Inne Created for the Northeastern University course Literature and Digital Diversity Spring, 2021 Plain Dealing or newes from New England W. E.and I. G. Bull neere S. Austins gate 1642 Transcribed from a facsimile in Early English Books Online Plain dealing or newes from New-England A Short view of New-Englands prersent Government, both Ecclesiasticall and Civil, compared with the anciently-received and estalished Government of England, in some material points; fit for the gravest consideration in these times. By Thomas Lechford of Clemments Inne, in the County in Middlesex, Gent. Printed for W. E. and I. G.1642 at the signer of the pyde Bull neere S. Austins gate. Concerning the Indians, or Natives They are of body tall, proper, and straight; they goe naked, saving about their middle, somewhat to cover shame. Seldome they are abroad in extremity of Winter, but keep in their wigwamstill necessity drives them forth; and then they wrap themselves in skins, or some of our English coorse cloth: and for the Winter they have boots , or a kind of laced tawed-leather stockins. They are naturally proud, and idle , given much to singing, dancing, and playes; they are governed by Sachems, Kings; and Saggamore, petie Lords; by an absolute tyrannie. Their women are of comely feature, industrious, and doe most of the labour in planting, carrying of burdens; their husbands hold them in great slavery, yet never knowing other, it is the lesse grievous to them. They say, Englishman much foole, for spoiling goodworking creatures, meaning women; And when they see any of our English women sewing with their needles, or working coifes, or such things, they will cry out, Lazie Squaes! but they are much the kinder to their wives, by the example of the English. Their children, they will not part with, upon any terms, to be taught. They are of complexion swarthy and tawny; their children are borne white, but they bedawbe them with oyle, and colours, presently. They have all black haire, that I saw. In times of mourning, they paint their faces with black lead, black, all about the eye-brows, and part of their cheeks . In time of rejoycing, they paint red, with a kind of vermilion. They cut their hair of divers formes, according to their Nation or people, so that you may know a people by their cut; and ever they have a long lock on one side of their heads, and weare feathers of Peacocks, and such like, and red cloath, or ribbands at their locks; beads of wampompeag about their necks, and a girdle of the same, wrought with blew and white wampom, after the manner of chequer work, two fingers broad, about their loynes: Some of their chiefe men goe so, and pendants of wampom, and such toyes in their ears. And their women, some of wampom. Men and women, of them, come confidently among the English. Since the Pequid war, they are kept in very good subjection, and held to strict points of Justice, so that the English may travail safely among them. But the French in the East, and the Dutch in the South, sell them guns, powder and shot. They have Powahes, or Priests, which are Witches, and a kind of Chirurgions, but some of them, notwithstanding, are faine to be behodling to the English Chirurgions. They will have their times of powaheing, which they will, of late, have called Prayers, according to the English word. The Powahe labours himselfe in his incantations, to extreame sweating and wearinesse, even to extasie. The Powahes cannot work their witchcrafts, if any of the English be by; neither can any of their incantations lay hold on, or doe any harme to the English, as I have been credibly informed.The Powahe is next the King, or Sahcem, and commonly when he dies, the Powahe marries the Squa Sachem, that is, the queene. They have marriages among them; they have many wives; they say, they commit much filthinesse among themselves. But for every marrriage, the Saggamore hath a fadome of wampom, which is about seven or eight shillings value. Some of them will diligently attend to any thing they can understand by any of our Religion, and are very willing to teach their language to any English. The live much the better, and peacebly, for the English; and themselves know it, or at least their Sachems, and Saggamoes know so much, for before they do nothing but spoile and destroy one another. They live in Wigwams, or houses made of mats like little hutts, the fire in the midst of the house. They cut downe a tree with axes and hatchets, bought of the English, Dutch, or French, & bring in the butt-end into the wigwam, upon the hearth, and so burne it by degrees. They live upon parched corne, (of late, they grinde at our English mill.) Venison, Bevers, Otters, Oysters, Clammes, Lobsters, and other fish, Groundnuts, Akornes, they boyle all together in a kettle. Their riches are their wampom, bolles, trayes, kettles, and spoones, bever, furres, and canoos. He is a Sachem, whose wife hath her cleane spoons in a chest , for some chief English men, when they come on guest wife to the wigwam. They lye upon a mat, with a stone, or a piece of wood under their heads; they will give the best entertainment they can make to any English comming amongst them. They will not taste sweet things, nor alter their habit willingly; only they are taken with tobacco, wine, and strong waters; and I have seen some of them in English, or French cloathes. Their ordinary weapons are bowes and arrowes, and long staves, or halfe pykes, with pieces of swords, daggers, or knives in the ends of them: They have Captaines, and are very good at a short mark, and nimble of foot to run away. Their manner of fighting is, most commonly, all in one fyle. They are many in number, and worship Kitan, their good god, or Hobbamocco, their evill god; but more feare Hobbamocco, because he doth them most harme. Some of their Kings names are Canonicus, Meantimiomy, Owshamequin, Cushamequin, Webbacowitts, and Squa Sachem his wife: She is the Queen, and he is Powahe, and King, in right of his wife. Among some of these Nations, their policie is to have two Kings at a time; but I thinke, of one family, the one aged for counsell, the other younger for action. Their Kings succeed by inherritance. Master Henry Dunster, Schoolmaster of Cambridge, deserves commendations above many; he hath the plat-forme and way of conversion of the Natives, indifferent right, and much studies the fame, wherein yet he wants no opposition, as some other also have met with: He will without doubt prove an instrument of much good in the Countrey, being a good Scholar, and having skill in the Tongues , He will make it good, that the way to instruct the Indians, must be in their owne language, not English; and that their language may be perfected References to Native words or terminology Neutral descriptive words used for Native Americans Positive descriptive words used for Native Americans. Negative descriptive words used for Native Americans. References to the Native religion. References to colonial religion Gendered language or references to gender. References to colonists/English ideas. Reference to nature.