JOHN WINTHROP'S JOURNAL
Bagnall & Peverly Murders
1630-1649 by John Winthrop, James Kendall Hosmer
Massachusetts - 1908
For 350 years Governor John Winthrop's journal has been recognized as the central source for the history of Massachusetts in the 1630s and 1640s. Winthrop reported events--especially religious and political events--more fully and more candidly than any other contemporary observer. ....
Winthrop built lasting significance into the seemingly small-scale actions of a few thousand colonists in early New England, which is why his journal will remain an important historical source.
"631, October 22. The governor [Winthrop himself] received a letter from Capt Wiggin of Pascataquack [today’s Portsmouth NH], informing him of a murder committed the third of this month at Richman’s Isle [today’s Richmond Island, off Cape Elizabeth ME], by an Indian sagamore, called Squidrayset, and his company, upon one Walter Bagnall, called Great Watt, and one John P---, who kept with him. They, having killed them, burnt the house over them, and carried away their guns and what else they liked.... This Bagnall ... was a wicked fellow, and had much wronged the Indians [by dishonest dealings in fur-trading]." SOURCE: John Winthrop’s Journal (1908 edition, Volume 1: page 69).
"1633. About the beginning of this month of January the pinnaces [sailing vessels; sent out from Pascataquack], which went after the pirates [renegade Englishmen; totally unrelated to the Indian-Bagnall murders], returned, the cold being so great as they could not pursue them [the pirates]; but, in their return, they hanged up [lynched] at Richman’s Isle an Indian, one Black Will, one of those who had there murdered Walter Bagnall." ---
SOURCE: John Winthrop’s Journal (1908 edition, Volume 1: page 98).