Referring to the purchase of Manhattan for a lot of fishhooks and trinkets valued at $24, the chief's countenance indicated that it was the best kind of argument to prove how the white men cheated the innocent red folks on every occasion. The Indians had befriended the helpless adventurers when they came among them, and for their kindness the settlers attacked them one night and killed more than a hundred and twenty men, women and children while they were asleep in their wigwams. This was about the first massacre. But it was a white man massacre of Indians. They ran their bayonets through the stomachs of little babies and flung them out into the river. They cut off the hands of the men and cut open the women with their swords. They went among them with a torch of fire and burned their homes until no Indians were left; and these all were friendly Indians who sold the white people their island for needles, awls and fish-hooks, and brought the furs to them. (This was in 1642 under Kieft's regime.) The white man's account of this affair tells us that on February 25th at midnight Kieft sent Sergeant Rodolf with a party of soldiers to Pavonia and another party under Adriensen to Corlear's Hook where they rushed in upon the sleeping families and killed them all in the most hideous butchery that can be found in American annals. An eye witness records it in these words: "I remained at the Director's (Kieft) and 'took a seat in the Kitchen near the fire. At midnight I heard loud shrieks and went out on the parapet of the fort to look—at the flash of guns. I heard no more of the cries of the Indians; they were butchered in their sleep. Sucklings were torn from their mother's breasts, butchered before their mother's eyes and their mangled limbs thrown quivering into the river or the flames. Babes were hacked to pieces while fastened to little boards; others were thrown alive into the river, and when the parents rushed in to save them the soldiers prevented them from landing." DeVries said of it: "some came running to us from the country, having their hands cut off; some lost both arms and legs; some were supporting their entrails with their hands, and mangled in other horrid ways, too horrible to be conceived." The white man's own history refers to this massacre in the following language: "This crime has hardly a parallel in the annals of savage atrocities, directed as it was, upon a friendly village of harmless, unsuspecting Indians." But this was merely the beginning of a series of white-man massacres that continued for nearly three centuries.


Sitting Bull

From rare old plate found in Captain Clark's House, Valentine, Nebraska

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