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Miles Standish 

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Miles Standish, 





rc:y\ COPYRlGi iT \ 


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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 

MiDDLETON & Co., Pfess of Lange, Little & Hillman. 

Stereotypers, 108 Wooster St., N. Y. 

Bridgeport, Conn. 


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\r ' V V 


The adventures of our Pilgrim Fathers must ever 
be a theme of absorbing interest to all their descend- 
ants. Their persecutions in England, their flight to 
Holland, their passage across the stormy ocean, this 
new world, as they found it, swept by the storms of 
approaching winter, their struggles with the hard- 
ships of the wilderness, and conflicts with the fero- 
cious savage, — all combine in forming a narrative 
replete with the elements of entertainment and in- 

Fortunately, there can be no doubt in reference 
to the essential facts. All these events have oc- 
curred within the last three hundred years, a period 
fully covered by authentic historical documents. In 
giving occasional extracts from these documents, I 
have deemed it expedient to modernize the spelling, 
and occasionally to exchange an unintelligible, obso- 
lete word for one now in use. 

For a period of about forty years, Captain Miles 
Standish was intimately associated with the Pilgrims. 

V \ \ 


His memory is inseparably connected with theirs. 
It has been a constant pleasure to the author to 
endeavor to rear a worthy tribute to the heroic 
captain and the noble man, who was one of the 
most illustrious of those who laid the foundations 
of this great Republic. 


Fair Haven, Conn. 




Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity. — Oppressive Enactments. — King 
James and his Measures. — Persecution of the Non-Con- 
formists. — Plans for Emigration. — The Unavailing Attempt. 
— The Disaster near Hull. — Cruel Treatment of the Cap- 
tives. — The Exiles at Amsterdam. — Removal to Leyden. — 
Decision to Emigrate to America. — The reasons. — Elder 
Brewster Selected as Pastor. — The Departure from Leyden. 
— Scene at Delft Haven. — The Embarkation g 


The Departure from Southampton. — Hindrances. — Delay at Dart- 
mouth and Plymouth. — Abandonment of the Speedwell. — 
Sketch of Miles Standish. — Death at Sea.— Perils and Threat- 
ened Mutiny. — Narrow Escape of John Howland. — Arrival 
at Cape Cod. — Testimony of Governor Bradford. — The Civil 
Contract. — John Carver Chosen Governor. — The First Ex- 
ploring Tour. — The Sabbath 30 


Repairing the Shallop. — The Second Exploring Tour. — Interest- 
ing Discoveries. — Return to the Ship. — A Week of Labor. — 
The Third Exploring Tour. — More Corn Found. — Perplex- 
ity of the Pilgrims. — The Fourth Expedition. — The First 
Encounter. — Heroism of the Pilgrims. — Night of Tempest 
and Peril. — A Lee Shore Found. — Sabbath on the Island. . . 44 




The Voyage Resumed. — Enter an Unknown Harbor. — Aspect of 
the Land. — Choose it for their Settlement. — The Mayflower 
Enters the Harbor. — Sabbath on Shipboard. — Exploring the 
Region. — The Storm and Exposvne. — The Landing. — View 
from the Hill. — Arduous Labors. — The Alarm. — Arrange- 
ment of the Village. — The Evident Hostility of the Indians. 
— Gloomy Prospects. — Expedition of Captain Standish. — 
Billington Sea. — Lost in the Woods. — Adventures of the 
Lost men. — The Alarm of .Fire 71 


Days of Sunshine and Storm.— Ravages of Pestilence.— A Rag- 
ing Storm. — New Alarm of Fire. — Twelve Indians Seen. — 
Two Indians Appear on the Hill. — Great Alarm in the Set- 
tlement. — Measures of Defense. — More Sunny Days.— Hu- 
manity and Self-Denial of Miles Standish and Others.— 
Conduct of the Ship's Crew.— Excursion to Billington Sea. 

The Visit of Samoset.— Treachery of Captain Hunt.— The 

Shipwrecked Frenchmen.— The Plague.— The Wampano- 
ags. More Indian Visitors. — Bad Conduct of the Billing- 
tons 92 


Two Savages on the Hill.— The Return of Samoset with Squan- 
tum. — The Story of Squantum. — The Visit of Massasoit and 
His Warriors. — Etiquette of the Barbarian and Pilgrim 
Courts. — The Treaty. — Return of the Mayflower to Eng- 
land.— A View of Plymouth.— Brighter Days.— Visit of 
Messrs. Winslow and Hopkins to the Seat of Massasoit. — 
Incidents of the Journey 1^7 


The Lost Boy.— The Expedition to Nauset.— Interesting Adven- 
tures.— The Mother of the Kidnapped Indians.— Tyanough.— 



Payment for the Corn. — Aspinet, the Chief. — The Boy Recov- 
ered. — Alarming Intelligence. — Hostility of Corbitant. — The 
Friendship of Hobbomak. — Heroic Achievement of Miles 
Standish. — The Midnight Attack. — Picturesque Spectacle. — 
Results of the Adventure. — Visit to Massachusetts. — The 
Squaw Sachem. — An Indian Fort. — Charming Country. — 
Glowing Reports I45 


Arrival of the Fortune. — Object of the Pilgrims in their Emigra- 
tion. — Character of the New-Comers. — Mr. Winslow's Letter. 
— The First Thanksgiving. — Advice to Emigrants. — Christ- 
mas Anecdote. — Alarming Rumor. — The Narragansets. — 
Curious Declaration of War. — The Defiance. — Fortifying the 
Village. — The Meeting in Council and the Result. — The 
Alarm.— The Shallop Recalled 164 


The Double-Dealing of Squantum. — False Alarm. — Voyage to 
Massachusetts. — Massasoit Demands Squantum. — The Arri- 
val of the Boat. — The Virginia Massacre. — Preparations for 
Defense. — Arrival of the Charity and the Swan. — Vile Char- 
acter of the Weymouth Colonists. — Arrival of the Discovery. 
— Starvation at Weymouth. — Danger of the Plymouth Col- 
ony. — Expeditions for Food. — Death of Squantum. — Voyage 
to Massachusetts and the Cape 187 


Search for Corn. — Trip to Buzzard's Bay. — Interesting Incident. 
— Energy and Sagacity of Captain Standish. — Hostile In- 
dications. — Insolence of Witeevvamat. — The Plot Defeated. 
— Sickness of Massasoit.— The Visit. — Gratitude of the 
Chief. — Visit to Corbitant. — Condition of the Weymouth 
Colony. — The Widespread Coalition. — Military Expedition 
of Captain Standish. — His Heroic Adventures. — End of the 
Weymouth Colony 209 



Letter from Rev. Mr. Robinson. — Defense of Captain Stand- 
ish. — New Policy Introduced. — Great Destitution. — Day of 
P'asting and Prayer. — Answer to Prayer. — The First Tlianks- 
giving. — The Colony at Weymouth. — Worthless Character 
of the Colonists. — Neat Cattle from England. — Captain 
Standish Sent to England. — Captain Wollaston and His 
Colony. — Heroism of Captain Standish. — Morton Van- 
quished. — Difficulty at Cape Ann. — Increasing Emigration. 
— The Division of Property 232 


The Virginia Emigrants. — Humanity and Enterprise of the Gov- 
ernor. — Envoy Sent to England. — Trading-Posts on the 
Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers. — Capture by the French. 
— The Massachusetts Colony. — Its Numbers and Distin- 
guished Characters. — Trade with the Indians. — Wampum 
the New Currency. — Trading-Post at Sandwich. — Sir Chris- 
topher Gardener. — Captain Standish Moves to Duxbury. — 
Lament of Governor Bradford 257 


Removal to Duxbury. — Intercourse with the Dutch. — Trading- 
Posts on the Connecticut. — Legend of the Courtship of 
Miles Standish. — Personal Appearance of the Captain. — 
Proposition to John Alden. — His Anguish and Fidelity. — 
Interview with Priscilla. — The Indian Alarm. — Departure of 
Captain Standish.— Report of his Death. — The Wedding 281 


Menace of the Narragansets. — Roger Williams. — Difficulty on 
the Kennebec. — Bradford's Narrative. — Captain Standish as 
Mediator. — The French on the Penobscot. — Endeavors to 
Regain the Lost Port. — Settlements on the Connecticut 


River. — Mortality Among the Indians. — Hostility of the 
Pequots. — Efforts to Avert War. — The Pequot Forts. — 
Death of Elder Brewster. — His Character 301 


Friendship Between Captain Standish and Mr. Brewster. — Char- 
acter of Mr. Brewster. — His Death and Burial. — Mode of 
Worship. — Captain's Hill. — Difficulty with the Narragansets. 
— Firmness and Conciliation. — Terms of Peace. — Plans for 
Removal from Plymouth. — Captain Standish's Home in Dux- 
bury. — Present Aspect of the Region 332 


The Will of Captain Standish. — His Second Wife. — Captain's 
Hill. — The Monument. — Letters from President Grant and 
General Hooker. — Oration by General Horace Binney Sar- 
gent. — Sketch of his Life. — Other Speakers. — Laying the 
Corner Stone. — Description of the Shaft 358 

^ao ^ mi .•;> ), 

The Pilgrims in Holland. 

Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity. — Oppressive Enactments. — King 
James and his Measures. — Persecution of the Non-Conform- 
ists. — Plans for Emigration. — The Unavailing Attempt. — The 
Disaster near Hull. — Cruel Treatment of the Captives. — The 
Exiles at Amsterdam. — Removal to Leyden. — Decision to Emi- 
grate to America. — The reasons. — Elder Brewster Selected as 
Pastor. — The Departure from Leyden. — Scene at Delft Haven. — 
The Embarkation. ^ 

Elizabeth, the maiden queen of England, com- 
menced her long and eventful reign by issuing in 
May, 1659 a law concerning religion entitled the 
" Act of Uniformity." By this law all ministers were 
prohibited from conducting public worship otherwise 
than in accordance with minute directions for the 
Church of England, issued by Parliament. Any one 
who should violate this law was exposed to severe 
penalties, and upon a third offence to imprisonment 
for life. 

England, having broken from the Church of 
Rome, and having established the Church of Eng- 
land, of which the queen was the head, Elizabeth and 
her counsellors were determined, at whatever cost, to 


enforce entire uniformity of doctrines and of modes 
of worship. In their new organization they retained 
many of the ceremonies and much of the imposing 
display of the Papal Church. There were very many 
of the clergy and of the laity who, displeased with 
the pageantry of the Roman Catholic Church, with 
its gilded robes and showy ceremonial, were resolved 
to cherish a more simple and pure worship. They 
earnestly appealed for the abolition of this oppressive 
act. Their petition was refused by a majority of but 
one in a vote of one hundred and seventeen in the 
House of Commons. 

The queen was unrelenting, and demanded uni- 
formity in the most peremptory terms. Thirty-seven 
out of the ninety-eight ministers of London were ar- 
rested for violating this law. They were all sus- 
pended from their ministerial functions, and fourteen 
of them were sent to jail. 

There were now three ecclesiastical parties in Eng- 
land — the Papal or Roman Catholic, the Episcopal, 
or Church of England, and the Presbyterian or Pu- 
ritan party. The sympathies of the queen and of her 
courtiers was much more with the Papists than with 
the Presbyterians, and it was greatly feared that they 
would go over to their side. The queen grew daily 
more and more determined to enforce the discipline 
of the English Church. The order was issued that 


all preachers should be silenced who had not been 
ordained by Episcopal hands, or who refused to read 
the whole service as contained in the Prayer book, or 
who neglected to wear the prescribed clerical robes. 
Under this law two hundred and thirty-three minis- 
ters, in six counties, were speedily deposed. A Court 
of High Commission was appointed invested with ex- 
traordinary powers to arrest and punish all delin- 

Any private person who should absent himself 
from the Episcopal Church for a month, or who should 
dissuade others from attending that form of worship, 
or from receiving the communion fi'om an Episcopal 
clergyman, or who should be present at any " conventi- 
cle or meeting under color or pretence of any exercise 
of religion," should be punished with imprisonment 
and should be held there until he signed the " Declar- 
ation o Conformity." Or in default of such declara- 
tion he was to be sent to perpetual exile under penal- 
ty of death if he were ever again found within the 
British realms. 

Notwithstanding that many were banished, and 
some died in prison and several were hanged, the 
cause of dissent secretly gained ground. As they 
were deliberating in the House of Commons upon a 
more rigid law to compel all to adopt the same creed 
and the same modes of Worship, Sir Walter Raleigh 


said that he thought that there were then nearly 
twenty thousand dissenters in England. Many driven 
from their homes by this violent persecution emi- 
grated to Holland where, under Protestant rule there 
was freedom of religious worship. 

Upon the accession of James the Sixth of Scot- 
land to the throne of England, eight hundred clergy- 
men petitioned for redress. Among other things they 
prayed for the disuse of the cap and surplice in the 
pulpit, for an abridgement of the Liturgy, for the bet- 
ter observance of the Lord's day, and for a dispensa- 
tion of the observance of other holy days ; that none 
but pious men should be admitted to the ministry, and 
that ministers should reside in their parishes and 
preach on the Lord's day. To this appeal the king 
turned a deaf ear. In a conference which was held 
upon the subject, in Hampton court, the petitioners 
were received with contumely and insult. The king 
refused to pay any respect to private consciences, say- 
ing, " I v/ill have one doctrine, one discipline, one re- 
ligion. And I will make you conform or I will harry 
you out of this land or else worse." 

A book of Common Prayer was published as "the 
only public form established in this realm," and all 
were required to conform to its ritual and discipline 
as the king's resolutions were unchangeable. Ten 
of the petitioners for a redress of grievances were 


sent to jail. The king himself, a conceited pedant, 
drew up a Book of Canons consisting of one hundred 
and forty-one articles, expressed in the most arrogant 
style of pretensions to infallibility. The clergy and 
the laity were alike commanded to submit to them 
imder penalty of excommunication, imprisonment and 
outlawry. The importation of all religious books 
from the Continent was prohibited. No religious 
book could be published in England unless approved 
by a court of Bishops. It is estimated that, at that 
time there were fifteen hundred Non-Conformist cler- 
gymen in England. Bishop Coverdale, with many 
others of the most prominent ecclesiastics of the 
Episcopal church, publicly announced their refusal to 
subscribe to the Liturgy or to adopt the ceremonies 
it enjoined. In their protest they declared that since 
"they could not have the Word freely preached, and 
the sacraments administered without idolatrous gear, 
they concluded to break off from the public churches 
and separate in private houses." 

The persecution of the Non-Conformists was con- 
tinued with so much vigor, that the friends of religious 
reform became hopeless. Some sought refuge in con- 
cealment, while many fled from their country to Hol- 
land where, the principles of Protestantism prevail- 
ing, there was freedom of worship. In the county of 
Nottinghamshire, England, there was a small village 


called Scrooby, where there was a congregation of 
Non-Conformists, meeting secretly from house to 
house. This was about the year 1606. A recent 
traveller gives the following interesting description of 
the present appearance of the little hamlet, which 
more than two and a half centuries ago was rendered 
memorable by the sufferings of the Puritans : 

" The nearest way from Austerfield to Scrooby is 
by a path through the fields. Unnoticed in our his- 
tory as these places have been till within a few years, 
it is likely that when, towards sunset on the 15 th of 
September 1856, I walked along that path, I was the 
first person, related to the American Plymouth, who 
had done so since Bradford trod it last before his 
exile. I slept in a farm-house at Scrooby and recon- 
noitered that village the next morning. Its old church 
is a beautiful structure. At the distance from it of a 
quarter of a mile the dyke, round the vanished manor 
house, may still be traced; and a farmer's house is 
believed to be part of the ancient stables or dog ken- 
nels. In what was the garden is a mulberry tree so 
old that generations, before Brewster, may have re- 
galed themselves with its fruit. The local tradition 
declares it to have been planted by Cardinal Wolsey, 
during his soiourn at the manor for some weeks after 
his fall from power." 

The little church of Non-Conformists at Scrooby 


had Richard CHfton for pastor and John Robmson for 
teacher. William Brewster, who subsequently at- 
tained to much distinction as pastor of the Puritan 
church in Plymouth, New England, was then a private 
member of the church. This little band of christians 
decided to emigrate in a body to Holland that they 
might there worship God in freedom. 

It was a great trial to these christians to break 
away from their country, their homes, and their em- 
ployments, to seek exile in a land of strangers. To 
add to their embarrassments cruel laws were passed 
forbidding the emigration of any of the Non-Con- 
formists or Puritans as they began to be called. 
Bands of armed men vigilantly guarded all the sea- 
ports. Governor Bradford, who shared conspicuously 
in these sufferings, wrote : 

"They could not long continue in any peaceable 
condition, but were hunted and persecuted on every 
side. Some were taken and clapped up in prison. 
Others had their houses beset and watched night and 
day, and hardly escaped capture. The most were 
fain to fly and leave their houses and habitations and 
the means of their livelihood. Yet seeing themselves 
thus molested, by a joint consent they resolved to go 
into the Low Countries where they heard was freedom 
of religion for all men ; as also that sundry persons 
from London, and other parts of the land, had been 


exiled and persecuted for the same cause, and were 
gone thither, and Uved at Amsterdam and other 
places of the land. 

" Being thus constrained to leave their native soil 
and country, their lands and living, and all their 
friends and familiar acquaintance, it was much, and 
thought marvellous by many. But to go into a coun- 
try they knew not except by hearsay, where they must 
learn a new language, and get their livings they knew 
not how, it being an expensive place and subject to 
the miseries of war, it was by many thought an ad- 
venture almost desperate, a case intolerable, and a 
misery worse than death. Especially seeing they 
were not acquainted with trades or traffic, by which 
the country doth subsist, but had been only used to 
a plain country life and the innocent trade of hus- 

"But these things did not dismay them, though 
they did at times trouble them, for their desires were 
set on the ways of God and to enjoy his ordinances. 
But they rested on His providence and knew whom 
they had believed. Yet this was not all ; for though 
they could not stay, yet were they not suffered to go ; 
but the ports and havens were shut against them ; so 
as they were fain to seek secret means of conveyance, 
and to bribe and fee the mariners, and give extraor- 
dinary rates for their passages. And yet they were 


often betrayed, many of them, and both they and their 
goods intercepted and surprised, and thereby put to 
great trouble." 

The company at Scrooby however secretly char- 
tered a vessel, at Boston, in Lincolnshire, about fifty 
miles south-east from Scrooby, the nearest port for 
their purpose. The peril of the entei-prise was so 
great that they had to practise the utmost caution 
and to pay exorbitant passage money. They trav- 
elled by land to the appointed rendezvous, where to 
their bitter disappointment, they found neither cap- 
tain nor vessel. After a long delay and heavy ex- 
penses, for which they were quite vmprepared, the 
vessel made its appearance and, in the night, all were 
received on board. Then this infamovis captain, hav- 
ing previously agreed to do so for his " thirty pieces 
of silver," betrayed them, and delivered them all up 
to the search officers. 

Rudely they were seized, their trunks broken 
open, their clothing confiscated, and even the persons 
of their women searched with cruel indelicacy. Thus 
plundered and outraged they were placed in open 
boats and taken to the shore, where they were ex- 
hibited to the derisive gaze and the jeers of an igno- 
rant and a brutal populace. A despatch was imme- 
diately sent to the Lords of the Council in London, 
and they were all committed to prison. After gloomy 


incarceration for a month, Mr. Brewster and six others 
of the most prominent men were bound over for trial, 
and the rest were released, woe-stricken, sick and 
impoverished, to find their way back, as best they 
could, to the Scrooby which they had left, and where 
they no longer had any homes. Oh man! what a 
fiend hast thou been in the treatment of thy brother 
man ! 

The next Spring a portion of these resolute men 
and women made another attempt to escape to Hol- 
land. They did not venture again to trust one of 
their own countrymen, but made a contract with a 
a Dutch shipmaster, from Zealand. He agreed to 
have his vessel, at an appointed day, in a retired spot 
upon the river Humber, not far from the seaport of 
Hull. Arrangements were made for the women and 
children, with their few goods, to be floated down the 
Humber in a barque, while the men made the journey 
by land. This was all done under the protection of 

The Humber here swells into a bay, a long and 
wide arm of the sea. The wind was high, and the 
little barque, plunging over the waves, made the 
women and children deadly sea sick. Having ar- 
rived near their point of destination, before the dawn 
of the morning and the vessel not yet having arrived, 
the boatmen put into a little creek to find still water. 


Here the receding tide left them aground. In the 
morning came the ship. The captain, seeing the 
barque containing the women and children aground, 
and the men, who had come by land walking near by 
upon the shore, sent his boat to bring the men on 
board, that they might be already there when the re- 
turning tide should float the barque. One crowded 
boat load had reached the ship when a body of armed 
men, horse and foot, was seen rapidly approaching. 
The captain was terrified. Fine, imprisonment, and 
perhaps a worse fate awaited him. Uttering an oath, 
he weighed anchor, spread his sails, and a fresh 
breeze soon carried him out to sea. 

Dreadful indeed was the condition of those thus 
abandoned to the insults and outrages of a brutal 
soldiery. Husbands and wives, parents and children 
were separated. The anguish of those, thus torn from 
their families, on board the ship, was no less than the 
distress of the mothers and daughters left upon the 

A storm soon rose — a terrific storm. For seven 
days and nights the ship was at the mercy of the 
gale, without sight of sun or moon or stars. The 
ship was driven near to the coast of Norway ; and 
more than once the mariners thought the ship sink- 
ing past all recovery. At length the gale abated and, 
fourteen days after they had weighed anchor, the 


vessel reached Amsterdam, where from the long 
voyage and the fury of the tempest, their friends had 
almost despaired of ever again seeing them. 

But let us return to those who were left upon the 
banks of the Humber. They were all captured. 
Deplorable was the condition of these unhappy victims 
of religious intolerance, women and children weeping 
bitterly in their despair. Some of the men, who 
knew that the rigors of the law would fall upon them 
with the greatest severity, escaped. But most of 
those who had been left behind by the ship allowed 
themselves to be taken to share the fate of the desti- 
tute and helpless women and children, that they might 
if possible, assist them. The troops were very cruel 
in the treatment of their prisoners. They were 
roughly seized and hurried from one justice to 
another, the officers being much embarrassed to 
know what to do with them. 

Governor Bradford, who witnessed these scenes, 
writes : — " Pitiful it was to see the heavy care of 
these poor women in this distress ; what weeping and 
crying on every side ; some for their husbands that 
were carried away in the ship ; others not knowing 
what would become of them and their little ones ; 
others melted in tears seeing their little ones hanging 
about them, crying for fear and quaking with cold." 

In view of their sufferings general sympathy was 


excited in their behalf. It seemed inhuman to im- 
prison, in gloomy cells of stone and iron, women and 
innocent children, simply because they had intended 
to accompany their husbands and fathers to another 
land. It was of no use to fine them, for they had 
no means of paying a fine. Neither could they be 
sent to their former homes, for their houses and 
lands had already been sold, in preparation for their 

At last the poor creatures were turned adrift. No 
historic pen has recorded the details of their suffer- 
ings. Some undoubtedly perished of exposure. Some 
were kindly sheltered by the charitable, and some 
succeeded in various ways in crossing the sea to Am- 
sterdam. There were similar persecutions in other 
parts of England. Quite a large company of pilgrims 
from various sections of England had succeeded, some 
in one way and some in another, in effecting their 
escape to Holland. They had nearly all taken up 
their residence in Amsterdam. This flourishing city 
■/as so called because it had sprung up around a dam 
which had been thrown across the mouth of the Amstel 
river. It was even then renowned for its stately build- 
ings, its extended commerce and its opulence. Ships, 
from every clime, lined its wharfs; water craft of 
every variety and in almost countless numbers floated 
upon its canals, which took the place of streets. 


From many parts of Europe Protestants had fled to 
this city, bringing with them their arts, manufactures 
and skill in trade. The emigrants from Scrooby were 
nearly all farmers. They had no money to purchase 
lands, and they found it very difficult to obtain re- 
munerative employment in the crowded streets of the 
commercial city. Governor Bradford writes, of his 
companions in affliction: 

"They heard a strange and uncouth language and 
beheld the different manners and customs of the peo- 
ple with their strange fashions and attires ; all so 
diflerent from their plain country villages, wherein 
they were bred and had so long lived, as it seemed 
they were come into a new world. But these were 
not the things they much looked on, or which long 
took up their thoughts. For they had other work in 
hand and another kind of war to urge and maintain. 
For it was not long before they saw the grim and 
grisly face of poverty come on them, like an armed 
man, with whom they must buckle and encounter and 
from whom they could not fly." 

The new comers did not find perfect harmony of 
agreement with those who had preceded them. After 
a few months tarry at Amsterdam they retired in a 
body to Ley den, a beautiful city of seventy thousand 
inhabitants, about forty miles distant. In allusion to 
this movement Governor Bradford writes : 


" For these and some other reasons they removed 
to Leyden, a fair and beautiful city, and of a sweet 
situation ; but made more famous by the university, 
wherewith it is adorned, in which of late had been so 
many learned men. But wanting that traffic by sea 
which Amsterdam enjoys, it was not so beneficial for 
their outward means of living. But being now estab- 
lished here, they fell to such trades and employments 
as they best could ; valuing peace and their spiritual 
comfort above any other riches whatever. 

"Being thus settled, after many difficulties, they 
continued many years in a comfortable condition, en- 
joying much sweet and delightful society, and spiritual 
comfort together in the ways of God, under the able 
ministry of Mr. John Robinson and Mr. William 
Brewster, who was an assistant unto him, in the place 
of an Elder, unto which he was now called and chosen 
by the church. So they grew in knowledge and other 
gifts and graces of God, and lived together in peace 
and love and holiness; and many came unto them 
from diverse parts of England so as they grew a great 

" And if at any time any differences arose, or of- 
fenses broke out, as it cannot be but some time there 
will, even among the best of men, they were even so 
met with and nipped in the head betimes, or other- 
wise so well composed as still love, peace and com- 
munion were continued." 


The condition of the Pilgrims in Holland was a very 
hard one. They were foreigners ; they found the lan- 
guage difficult to acquire. They were generally poor, 
and notwithstanding their honesty and frugality, could 
obtain but a scanty support. Their sons were strongly 
tempted to enlist as soldiers, or to wander away as 
sailors. The future of their families seemed very 

" Lastly," writes Governor Bradford, " and which 
was not least, a great hope and inward zeal they had 
of laying some good foundation, or at least to make 
some way thereunto for propagating and advancing 
the kingdom of Christ, in those remote parts of the 
world, — yea, though they should be but the stepping 
stones unto others for the performing of so great a 

" Their numbers assembled at Leyden can only be 
conjectured. It may, when at the largest, have count- 
ed between two and three hundred persons. Rev. 
John Robinson was chosen their pastor, and William 
Brewster their assistant pastor." 

Thus gradually the Pilgrims came to the convic- 
tion that Holland was not a desirable place for their 
permanent home. Notwithstanding the oppression 
which they had endured from the British government, 
they were very unwilling to lose their native language 
or the name of Englishmen. They could not educate 


their children as they wished, and it was quite certain 
their descendants would become absorbed and lost in 
the Dutch nation. They therefore began to turn their 
thoughts to the New World, where every variety of 
clime invited them, and where boundless acres of the 
most fertile land, unoccupied, seemed to be waiting 
for the plough of the husbandman. " Hereby they 
thought they might more glorify God, do more good 
to their country, better provide for their posterity, and 
live to be more refreshed by their labors than ever 
they could do in Holland." * 

Unsuccessful attempts had already been made to 
establish colonies in Maine and Virginia. They had 
also received appalling reports of the ferocity of the 
savages. Deeply, solemnly, they pondered the all im- 
portant question with many fastings and prayers. 
Bradford writes that, 

" They considered that all great and honorable ac- 
tions were accompanied with great difficulties, and 
must be both enterprised and overcome with answer- 
able courages. The dangers were great, but not des- 
perate ; the difficulties were many, but not invincible. 
For, though there were many of them likely, yet they 
were not certain. It might be, sundry of the things 
feared might never befall ; others, by provident care 

* Winslow's Briefe Narrative, p. 31. 



and the use of good means, might, in a great meas- 
ure, be prevented. And all of them, through the help 
of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be 
borne or overcome. Their ends were good and hon- 
orable, and therefore they might expect the blessing 
of God in their proceeding." * 

The Dutch endeavored to induce them to join a 
feeble colony which they had established at the mouth 
of the Hudson river. Sir Walter Raleigh presented 
in glowing terms the claims of the valley of the Ori- 
noco, in South America, which river he had recently 
explored for the second time. 

"We passed," writes the enthusiastic traveller, 
" the most beautiful country that my eyes ever beheld. 
I never saw a more beautiful country or more lively 
prospects. There is no country which yieldeth more 
pleasure to its inhabitants. For health, good air, 
pleasure, riches, I am resolved that it cannot be equal- 
led by any region either in the east or west." f 

There was a small struggling English colony in 
Virginia which they were urged to join. But Brad- 
ford writes that they were afraid that they should be 
as much persecuted there for their religion as if they 
lived in England. After pondering for some time 
these questions and perplexities, they decided to es- 

* Bradford, 25, 26. f Works of Sir Walter Raleigh. 


tablish a distinct colony for themselves, obtaining their 
lands from the Virginia Company in England. A del- 
egation was sent to the king of England, soliciting 
from him a grant of freedom of worship. The Vir- 
ginia Company gladly lent its co-operation to the em- 
igrants. The king, however, was so unrelenting in 
his desire to promote religious uniformity throughout 
all his domains, that though the Secretary of State, 
and others high in authority, urged him to liberality, 
he could only be persuaded to give his reluctant assent 
to the assurance " that his majesty would connive at 
them, and not molest them, provided they carried 
themselves peaceably." 

The very important question now arose. Who 
should go. Manifestly all could not be in a condition 
to cross a wide and stormy sea, for a new world, never 
to return. As only a minority of the whole number 
could leave, it was decided that their pastor, Mr. Rob- 
inson, should remain with those left behind, while El- 
der Brewster should accompany the emigrants as their 
spiritual guide. For nearly twelve years they had re- 
sided in Leyden. The hour of their departure was a 
sad one for all. Many very grievous embarrassments 
were encountered, which we have not space here to 

A small vessel of but sixty tons burden, called the 
Speedwell, was purchased, and was in the harbor at 


Delft Haven, twelve miles from Leyden, awaiting the 
arrival of the pilgrims. Their friends, who remained, 
gave them a parting feast. It was truly a religious 

" The feast," writes Winslow, " was at the pastor's 
house, which was large. Earnest were the prayers 
for each other, and mutual the pledges. With hymns 
prayers, and the interchange of words of love and 
cheer, a few hours were passed." The pilgrims, then, 
about one hundred and twenty in number, accompa- 
nied by many of their Leyden friends, repaired on 
board canal boats, and were speedily conveyed to Delft 
Haven. Here another parting scene took place. The 
description of it, as given by Bradford, in his " Brief 
Narration," is worthy of record : 

" The night before the embarkation was spent with 
little sleep by the most ; but with friendly entertain- 
ment and Christian discourse, and other real expres- 
sions of true Christian love. The next day, the wind 
being fair, they went on board, and their friends with 
them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad 
and mournful parting. To see what sighs and sobs 
did sound among them ; what tears did gush from 
every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each heart ; that 
sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the quay 
as spectators, could not refrain from tears. Yet com- 
fortable and sweet it was to see such lively and true 

.\^ r\^'' /\; c^ 

) ^ ' ^ 


expressions of dear and unfeigned love. But the tide, 
which stays for no man, calHng them away that were 
thus loath to part, their reverend pastor falling down 
upon his knees, and they all, with him, with watery 
cheeks, commended them, with most fervent prayers 
to the Lord and His blessing. And then, with mutual 
embraces and many tears, they took their leaves one 
of another." 


The Voyage. 

The Departure from Southampton. — Hindrances. — Delay at Dartmouth 
and Plymouth. — Abandonment of the Speedwell. — Sketch of Miles 
Standish.— Death at Sea.— Perils and Threatened Mutiny.— Nar- 
row Escape of John Rowland. — Arrival at Cape Cod. — Testi- 
mony of Governor Bradford. — The Civil Contract. — John Carver 
Chosen Governor. — The First Exploring Tour. — The Sabbath. 

On the 22d of July, 1620, the Speedwell, with its 
little band of Christian heroe.s, left the haven of Delft 
for England. 

Rev. Mr. Robinson and his friends returned sadly 
to Leyden. A prosperous wind rapidly bore the vessel 
across the channel to the British coast, and they en- 
tered the port of Southampton. Here they found a 
party of English emigrants who had chartered a ves- 
sel, the Mayflower, of one hundred and twenty tons. 
They were awaiting the arrival of the Speedwell, in- 
tending to unite with the Leyden band and sail in its 
company for the organization of a Christian colony in 
the New World. 

Here, disappointed in some of their financial plans, 
it was found that they needed four hundred dollars to 
pay up sundry bills, before they could sail. To raise 


this money they were compelled to sell some of their 
provisions, including many firkins of butter, which lux- 
ury they thought they could best spare. 

At length, all things being ready, both vessels 
weighed anchor and put to sea, from Southampton, on 
the 5th of August. In the two vessels there were 
about one hundred and twenty passengers. They had 
gone but about one hundred miles when Captain Rey- 
nolds, of the Speedwell, announced that his ship had 
sprung aleak, and that he did not dare to continue the 
voyage without having her examined and repaired. 
Both vessels, therefore, put into Dartmouth, losing a 
fair wind, and time which, with the rapidly passing 
summer weather, was invaluable to them. They were 
detained for more than a week, searching out the leaks 
and mending them. One of their number, Mr. Cush- 
man, wrote from Dartmouth a doleful letter, full of an- 
ticipations of evil. 

"We put in here," he wrote, "to trim our vessel; 
and I think, as do others, also, that if we had stayed 
at sea for three or four hours more she would have 
sunk right down. And, though she was twice trim- 
med at Southampton, yet now she is open and leaky 
as a sieve. We lay at Southampton seven days in fair 
weather waiting for her ; and now we lie here in as fair 
a wind as can blow, and so have done these four days, 
and are like to do four days more ; and by that time 


the wind will probably turn, as it did at Southampton. 
Our victuals will be half eaten up, I think, before we 
go from the coast of England. And if our voyage last 
long we shall not have a month's victuals when we 
come into the country. 

"If I should write to you all things which promis- 
cuously forebode our ruin, I should overcharge my 
weak head and grieve your tender heart. Only this I 
pray you, prepare for evil tidings of us every day. I 
see not in reason how we shall escape even the gasp- 
ings of hunger-starved persons. But God can do 
much, and His will be done." 

Again the two vessels set sail, probably about the 
2 1st of August. 

They had been out but a day or two, having made 
about three hundred miles from Land's End, keeping 
close company, when the commander of the Speedwell 
hung out a signal of distress. Both vessels hove to 
and it appeared that the Speedwell had sprung a leak, 
of so serious a character that, though diligently ply- 
ing the pumps, they could scarcely keep her afloat. 

Nothing was to be done but to put back again to 
Plymouth, the nearest English port. Here the Speed- 
well was carefully examined, and pronounced to be, 
from general weakness, unseaworthy. The disappoint- 
ment was very great. The vessel was abandoned ; 
twenty passengers were left behind, who could not be 
received in the already crowded Mayflower. 


"It was resolved," writes Governor Bradford, "to 
dismiss the Speedwell and part of the company, and 
proceed with the other ship. The which, though it 
was grievous and caused great discouragement, was 
put in execution. So, after they had taken out such 
provisions as the other ship could well stow, and con- 
cluded what number and what persons to send back, 
they made another sad parting, the one ship going 
back to London, the other proceeding on her voyage. 
Those who went back were, for the most part, those 
who were willing so to do, either out of some discon- 
tent, or from fear they conceived of the ill success of 
the voyage, seeing so many crosses befal, and the time 
of the year so far spent. But others, in regard to 
their weakness and charge of many young children, 
were thought least useful, and most unfit to bear the 
brunt of this hard adventure; unto which work of 
God and judgment of their brethren they were con- 
tented to submit. And thus, like Gideon's army, this 
small number was divided, as if the Lord, by this work 
of His providence, thought these few too many for 
the great work He had to do. But here, by the way, 
let me show, how afterwards it was found that the leaki- 
ness of this ship was partly caused by being overmast- 
ed and too much pressed with sails ; for after she was 
sold and put into her old trim, she made many voyages 
and performed her service very sufficiently, to the great 


profit of her owners. But more especially by the cun- 
ning and deceit of the master and his company, who 
were hired to remain a whole year in America ; and 
now, fancying dislike, and fearing want of victuals, 
they plotted this stratagem to free themselves, as af- 
terwards was known, and by some of them confessed." 

Mr. Cushman, who wrote the doleful letter, was 
left behind at his own request. There was some ex- 
cuse for his evil forebodings, for he was in a wretched 
state of health. He had written, 

"Besides the imminent dangers of this voyage, 
which are no less than deadly, an infirmity of body 
hath seized me which will not, in all likelihood, leave 
me until death. What to call it I know not. But it 
is a bundle of lead, as it were, crushing my heart more 
and more these fourteen days ; and, though I do the 
actions of a living man, yet I am but as dead." 

The whole number of persons who took their de- 
parture from Dartmouth, in the one solitary vessel, 
the Mayflower, for the New World, amounted to one 
hundred and two. 

Among these passengers there was a marked man, 
to whom we have already alluded. Captain Miles 
Standish. He was a native of Lancashire, England, 
a gentleman born, and the legitimate heir to a large 
estate. He had been for some time an officer in one 
of the British regiments, which had garrisoned a town 


in the Netherlands. He was not a church member, 
and we know not what induced him to unite with the 
pilgrims in their perilous enterprise. Probably love 
of adventure, sympathy with them in their cruel per- 
secution, and attachment to some of the emigrants, 
were the motives which influenced him. It is certain 
that he was very highly esteemed, and very cordially 
welcomed by the pilgrims. His military skill might 
prove of great value to the infant colony. 

It is but little that we know of the early life of this 
remarkable man. He was born about the year 1584, 
and was, consequently, at this time, about thirty-six 
years of age. The family could boast of a long and 
illustrious line of ancestors. In the great controversy 
between the Catholics and the Protestants there was 
a division in the family, part adhering to the ancient 
faith, and part accepting the Protestant religion. 
Thus there arose, as it were, two families ; the Cath- 
olics, who were of " Standish Hall," and the Protest- 
ants, who were of " Duxbury Hall." Both of these 
family seats are situated near the village of Chorley, 
in the county of Lancashire. The income of the 
whole property was large, being estimated at about 
five hundred thousand dollars a year. 

It is probable that Miles Standish was the legal 
heir to all this property, and that, by gross injustice, 
he was defrauded of it. A few years ago the heirs of 


Miles Standish, in this country, sent out an agent, Mr. 
Bromley, to examine into the title. He thoroughly 
searched the records of the parish for more than a 
hundred years, embracing the period between 1549 
and 1652. The result of this investigation was fully 
convincing, to the mind of Mr. Bromley, that Miles 
Standish was the rightful heir to the property, but that 
the legal evidence had been fraudulently destroyed. 
In reference to this investigation, Mr. Justin Winsor, 
in his History of Duxbury, writes : 

" The records were all readily deciphered, with the 
exception of the years 1584 and 1585 ; the very dates 
about which time Standish is supposed to have been 
born. The parchment leaf, which contained the regis- 
ters of the births of these years was wholly illegible ; 
and their appearance was such that the conclusion was 
at once established that it had been purposely done 
with pumice stone, or otherwise, to destroy the legal 
evidence of the parentage of Standish, and his conse- 
quent title to the estates thereabout. The mutilation 
of these pages is supposed to have been accomplished 
when, about twenty years before, similar enquiries 
were made by the family in America." 

Young Miles was educated to the military profes- 
sion. England was then in alliance with the Dutch, 
in one of those wars with which the continent of Eu- 
rope has ever been desolated. Miles was sent to the 


Netherlands, commissioned as a lieutenant in Queen 
Elizabeth's forces. After peace was declared he re- 
mained in the country and attached himself to the 
English exiles, who, in Leyden, had found refuge from 
ecclesiastical oppression. He joined the first com- 
pany of Pilgrims for America, and by his bravery and 
sagacity, contributed greatly to the success of their he- 
roic enterprise. 

Nothing of special moment occurred during the 
voyage, which was tedious, occupying sixty-four days. 
One event is recorded by Bradford as a special provi- 
dence. One of the seamen, a young man of vigorous 
health and lusty frame, was a very vile fellow. As he 
went swaggering about the decks he lost no opportu- 
nity to insult the Pilgrims, ever treating their religious 
faith with contempt. When he saw any suffering from 
the awful depression of sea sickness, he would openly 
curse them, and express the wish that he might have 
the pleasure of throwing their bodies overboard, be- 
fore they should reach the end of the voyage. The 
slightest reproof would only cause him to curse and 
swear more bitterly. Why the captain of the May- 
flower allowed this conduct, we are not informed. But 
there are other indications that he was not very cor- 
dially in sympathy with his persecuted, comparatively 
friendless, but illustrious passengers. When about 
half way across the Atlantic, the dissolute young man 


was seized with sudden and painful sickness. Several 
days of severe suffering passed, as his ribald songs 
and oaths were hushed in the languor of approaching 
death. He died miserably, and his body, wrapped in 
a tarred sheet, was cast into the sea. " Thus," writes 
Bradford, " did his curses light upon his own head. 
And it was an astonishment to all his fellows, for they 
noted it to be the just hand of God upon him." 

Very rough storms were encountered, often with 
head winds, and the frail Mayflower was sorely strained 
and wrenched by gale and surge. The shrouds were 
broken, the sails were rent, and seams were opened, 
through the oaken ribs, which threatened the engulf- 
ing of the ship in the yawning waves. Almost a mu- 
tiny was excited, as some, deeming the shattered bark 
incapable of performing the voyage, urged the aban- 
donment of the expedition, and a return. After a 
careful examination, by the captain and the officers, of 
the injury the vessel had received, it was decided that 
the hull of the ship, under water, was still strong ; 
that, to tighten the seam opened by the main beam, 
they had on board an immense iron screw, which the 
passengers had brought from Holland, which would 
raise the beam to its place ; and that, by carefully 
calking the decks and upper works, and by the cau- 
tious avoidance of spreading too much sail, they might 
still, in safety, brave the perils of a stormy sea. 


But we are told that many gales arose so fierce, 
and the sea ran so high, that for days together they 
could not spread an inch of canvass, but, in nautical 
phrase, were compelled to scud under bare poles. In 
one of these terrific storms a young man, John How- 
land, who ventured upon deck, was, by the sudden 
lurching of the vessel and the breaking of a wave, 
swept into the sea. He seemed to have been carried 
down fathoms deep under the raging billows. But, 
providentially, he caught hold of the topsail halyards, 
-which happened to hang overboard. Though they ran 
out to full length, still, with a death gripe, he kept his 
hold until he was drawn up to the surface of the water, 
when, with boat hooks and other means, he was res- 

The first land they made was Cape Cod. But it 
had been thei'" intention to seek a settlement some- 
where near the mouth of Hudson river. They there- 
fore tacked about and stood for the southward. But 
after sailing with a fair wind for half a day, they found 
themselves becalmed in the midst of dangerous shoals 
and wild breakers. Alarmed by the perils which sur- 
rounded them in such unknown seas, they resolved to 
make their way back and seek the protection of the 
cape. A gentle breeze rose in their favor, and swept 
them away from the shoals before night came on. 
The next morning they anchored their storm-shat- 


tered vessel in a safe harbor at the extremity of Cape 

Governor Bradford writes feelingly : " Being thus 
arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, 
they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of 
Heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furi- 
ous ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and 
miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and 
stable earth, their proper element." 

He continues in language which we slightly mod- 
ernize : " But here I cannot but stay and make a pause, 
and stand half amazed at this poor people's present 
condition. And so I think will the reader too, when 
he well considers the same. Being thus past the vast 
ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their prepara- 
tion, they had now no friends to welcome them, nor 
inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bod- 
ies, — no houses, or much less, towns to repair to, to 
seek for succor. 

" It is recorded in Scripture, as a mercy to the 
apostle and his shipwrecked company, that the barba- 
rians showed them no small kindness in refreshing 
them ; but these savage barbarians, when they met 
with them, as after will appear, were readier to fill 
their sides full of arrows than otherwise. And for the 
season, it was winter ; and they that know the winters 
of this country, know them to be sharp and violent, 


and subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to 
travel to known places, much more to search an un- 
known coast. Besides, what could they see but a hid- 
eous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and 
wild men .-* And what multitudes there might be 
of them they knew not. Neither could they, as 
it were, go up to the top of Pisgah to view, from 
this wilderness, a more goodly country to feed their 

" For, which way soever they turned their eyes, 
save upward to the heavens, they could have little sol- 
ace or content in respect of any outward objects. 
For, summer being done, all things stand upon them 
with a weather-beaten face, and the whole country, 
full of woods and thickets, presented a wild and sav- 
age view. If they looked behind them there was the 
mighty ocean, which they had passed, and which was 
now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from all 
the civil parts of the world. If it be said they had a 
ship to succor them, it is true ; but what heard they 
daily from the master and company, but that with 
speed they should look out a place with their shallop, 
where they would be at some near distance ; for the 
season was such that he would not stir from thence 
till a safe harbor was discovered by them, where they 
would be left, and where he might go without danger ; 
and that victuals consumed apace, but that he must 


and he would keep sufficient for the crew and their 
return. Yea, it was muttered by some, that if the 
Pilgrims got not a place soon, they would turn them 
and their goods ashore and leave them." 

It was in the morning of Saturday, November 
nth, that the Mayflower, rounding the white sand 
cliffs of what is now Provincetown, on the extremity 
of Cape Cod, entered the bay on the western side of 
the Cape, where they cast anchor. Just before enter- 
ing this harbor the Pilgrims had drawn up a brief 
constitution of civil government, upon the basis of re- 
publicanism, by which they mutually bound them- 
selves to be governed. This was the germ of the 
American Constitution. John Carver they had unan- 
imously chosen as their Governor for one year. 

That afternoon a party of sixteen men, well armed, 
under Captain Miles Standish, was sent on shore to 
explore the country in their immediate vicinity. They 
returned in the early evening with rather a discourag- 
ing report. The land was sandy and poor, but cov- 
ered with quite a dense forest of evergreens, dwarf 
oaks and other deciduous trees. They could find no 
fresh water, and met with no signs of inhabitants. 
The peninsula there seemed to be a mere sand bank, 
a tongue of barren land, about a mile in breadth. 
The water in the bay, however, abounded with fish 
and sea fowl. They brought on board much-needed 


fuel of the red cedar, which emitted, in burning, a 
grateful fragrance. 

The next day was Sunday. These devout men, 
who had left their native land to encounter all the 
hardships and perils of the wilderness, that they might 
worship God freely, according to their own sense of 
duty, kept the day holy to the Lord. They had brought 
with them, as their pastor, as we have mentioned, the 
Rev. William Brewster. He was a gentleman by 
birth and in all bis habits ; a man of fervent piety and 
of highly cultivated mind, having graduated at Cam- 
bridge University, and having already filled several 
responsible stations in church and state. Mr. Brew- 
ster preached fiom the deck of the Mayflower. In 
their temple, whose majestic dome was the overarch- 
ing skies, their hymns blended with the moan of the 
wintry wind, and the dash of the surge on the rock- 
bound shore. 

" Amidst the storm they sang, 

And the stars heard, and the sea, 
And the sounding aisles of tlie dim woods rang, 
To the anthems of the free." 


Exploring the Coast. 

Repairing the Shallop. — The Second Exploring Tour. — Interesting 
Discoveries. — Return to the Ship. — A Week of Labor. — The 
Third Exploring Tour. — More Corn Found. — Perplexity of the 
Pilgrims. — The Fourth Expedition. — The First Encounter. — He- 
roism of the Pilgrims. — Night of Tempest and Peril. — A Lee 
Shore Found. — Sabbath on the Island. 

The next morning, refreshed by the repose of the 
Sabbath, the Pilgrims rose early to enter upon the ar- 
duous duties before them. The prospect of gloomy 
forests, barren sands and wild ocean, was any thing 
but cheerful. No alluring spot of grove or meadow 
or rivulet invited them to land. Weary as they were 
of their small and crowded bark, it was still prefera- 
ble to any residence which the shore offered them. 
Still these heroic men indulged in no despondency. 
The martyr spirit of Elder Brewster animated his 
whole flock. Just before sailing for the New World, 
he had said to Sir Edward Sandys : 

" It is not with us as with other men, whom small 
things can discourage, or small discontents cause to 
wish themselves home again. We believe and trust 
that the Lord is with us, unto whom and whose ser- 


vice we have given ourselves, and that he will gra- 
ciously prosper our endeavors according to the sim- 
plicity of our hearts therein." 

The captain of the Mayflower was unwilling to 
leave the harbor at Cape Cod and peril his vessel by 
coasting about in those unknown seas in search for a 
suitable location for the colony. The Pilgrims had 
taken the precaution to bring with them a large shal- 
lop, whose framework, but partially put together, was 
stowed away in the hold of the vessel. They now got 
out these pieces, and their carpenter commenced 
vigorously the work of preparing the boat for service. 
It would require some days to put the shallop in or- 
der for a tour of exploration along the shore. There 
were twenty-eight females among the emigrants. 
Eighteen of these were married women, accompany- 
ing their husbands. These females, attended by a 
strong guard of armed men, were landed Monday 
morning to wash the soiled clothes which had accu- 
mulated through the long voyage. The weather was 
excessively cold, and the water so shoal that the boat 
could not come within several rods of the shore. The 
men were compelled to wade through the water, car- 
rying the women in their arms ; thus with many of 
them was laid the foundation of serious and fatal 

In the meantime, while these labors were being 


performed, Captain Miles Standish, on Wednesday 
morning, the 15th of November, set out with a party 
of fifteen men, well armed and provisioned, for a more 
extended tour of exploration. It was deemed rather 
a hazardous enterprise, as they knew not but that the 
woods were filled with savages, lying in ambush. 
The Mayflower was anchored, it is supposed, about a 
furlong from the end of what is now called Long 
Point, and at that place the men were probably set 
on shore. 

Mourt writes : " The willingness of the persons 
was liked, but the thing itself, in regard to the danger, 
was rather permitted than approved. And so, with 
cautious directions and instructions, sixteen men were 
set out, with every man his musket, sword and cors- 
let, under the conduct of Captain Miles Standish, 
unto whom was adjoined, for counsel and advice, Wil- 
liam Bradford, Stephen Hopkins and Edward Tilley." 

The exploring party followed along the coast for 
the distance of about a mile, when they saw six or seven 
Indians, with a dog, approaching them. As soon as 
the savages caught sight of the party of white men, 
they seemed to be much terrified, and fled precipi- 
tately into the woods. The Pilgrims hotly pursued, 
hoping to open with them amicable relations. The 
Indians, seeing themselves thus followed, turned 
again from the woods to the sea shore, where, upon 


the beach, their flight would be unobstructed by the 
bushes and branches, which impeded their flight in 
the forest. Their pursuers kept close after them, 
guided by the tracks of their feet in the sand. 

Night now came on. The Pilgrims constructed a 
rude camp, with protecting ramparts of logs, built a 
rousing camp fire, for the night was cold as well as 
dark, and having established faithful sentinels, slept 
quietly until morning. The place of the bivouac, they 
supposed to be about ten miles from the vessel. The 
next morning, Thursday, November i6th, at the ear- 
liest dawn, the Pilgrims resumed their tour. They 
followed the track of the Indians from the shore into 
the woods. " We marched through boughs and bushes 
and under hills and valleys, which tore our very ar- 
mor in pieces, and yet could meet with none of them, 
nor their houses, nor find any fresh water, which we 
greatly desired and stood in need of" 

About ten o'clock in the morning they entered a 
deep valley, where they perceived tracks of deer, and 
found, to their great joy, a spring, bubbling cool and 
fresh from its mossy bed. Having refreshed them- 
selves with a beverage which they pronounced to be 
superior to any wine or beer which they had ever 
drank, they pressed on their way, pushing directly 
south, and soon found themselves again upon the sea 
shore, where they built a large fire, that its smoke, 


ascending through the silent air, might inform those 
on board the ship of the point which they had 

Then, continuing their journey, they soon entered 
another valley, where they found a fine clear pond of 
fresh water. This was undoubtedly the little lake 
which now gives name to the Pond Village in Truro. 
As they journeyed on they came to a plain of cleared 
land, consisting of about fifty acres, where the plough 
could be driven almost without obstruction. There 
were many indications that this land had formerly 
been planted with corn. Turning again into the in- 
terior, they came to several singular looking mounds, 
covered with old mats. Digging into one of these, 
they found decaying bows and arrows, and other in- 
dications that they were Indian graves. Reverently 
they replaced the weapons and again covered up the 
grave, as they would not have the Indians think that 
they would violate their sepulchres. 

Further on they found an immense store of straw- 
berries, large and very delicious. This seems very 
remarkable at that season of the year. Roger Wil- 
liams writes : " This berry is the wonder of all fruits, 
growing naturally in those parts. In some places, 
where the natives have planted, I have many times 
seen as many as would fill a good ship within a few 
miles compass." They found, also, abundance of wal- 


nuts and grape vines, with some very good grapes. 
Coming upon a deserted dwelling, they found, to their 
astonishment, a large iron kettle, which must have 
been taken from some ship, wrecked upon the coast. 
Upon examining the remains of the hut more care- 
fully, they became satisfied that it must have been 
erected by some sailors from Europe, who probably 
had been cast away upon the coast. 

Here they came upon another mound, newly made, 
so different from the others that they were induced to 
examine it. " In it we found a little old basket, full 
of fair Indian corn, and digged further and found a 
fine, great new basket, full of very fair corn of this 
year, with some six and thirty goodly ears of corn, 
some yellow and some red, and others mixed with 
blue, which was a very goodly sight. The basket was 
round and narrow at the top. It held about three or 
four bushels, which was as much as two of us could 
lift from the ground, and was very handsomely and 
cunningly made." * 

The Pilgrims had never seen corn before. Though 
they knew from its appearance that it must constitute 
an important article of food, they could have had no 
conception of the infinite value those golden kernels 
would contribute to the millions of inhabitants des- 
tined to throng this broad continent. These holes in 

* Mourt's Narrative. 


the earth were the Indian barns. They were con- 
structed so as to hold about a hogshead each. The 
corn having been husked and thoroughly dried in the 
sun, was placed in baskets surrounded with mats, 
which were \/ . /en or braided with flags. As the pro- 
visions of the Pilgrims were nearly expended, from 
their unexpectedly long voyage, the sight of the golden 
ears of corn was more grateful to them than so many 
doubloons would have been. 

" We were in suspense," writes one of these ex- 
plorers, ',' what to do with it and the kettle. At 
length, after much consultation, we concluded to take 
the kettle and as much of the corn as we could carry 
away with us. And when our shallop came, if we 
could find any of the people, and come to parley with 
them, we would give them the kettle again, and satis- 
fy them for their corn." 

About eight months after this, as we shall have 
occasion hereafter to mention, they met the Indians 
and paid them to their " full content." The loose corn 
they put in the kettle, for two of the men to carry away 
on a staff They also filled their pockets with the 
corn. The remainder they carefully buried again, " for 
we were so laden with armor that we could carry no 
more." It is worthy of note that the Pilgrims were 
cased in armor. One of the grandsons of Miles 
Standish is said to have in his possession the coat of 


mail which his illustrious ancestor wore upon this oc- 
casion. The Pilgrim Society of Plymouth claims also 
to have the identical sword blade used by Miles Stan- 

Not far from this place they found the remains of 
an old fort, which had doubtless been built by the 
same persons who erected the hut and owned the ket- 
tle. This was near a spot which they at first sup- 
posed to be a river, but which proved to be an arm of 
the sea, and which was doubtless the entrance of 
what is now called Parmet River. They found here 
a high cliff of sand, since called Old Tom's Hill, after 
an Indian chief who had his wigwam upon its summit. 
They were, at this spot, about nine miles from Cape 
Cod harbor. Two birch bark canoes had been left 
here by the Indians, one on each bank of the creek. 
As the adventurers had received directions not to be 
absent more than two days, they had no time for ex- 
tensive explorations. Returning to the fresh water 
pond, they established their rendezvous for the night. 
Building an immense fire, with the barricade to the 
windward, and establishing three sentinels, each man 
to take his turn as it came, they sought such sleep as 
could be found in a drenching rain, for the night 
proved dark and stormy. 

In the morning they set out on their return home, 
and lost their way. As they wandered along they 


entered a well-trodden deer path in the entangled 
forest. Here they came upon a singular contrivance, 
apparently some sort of a trap, which they were care- 
fully examining, when Mr. Bradford, subsequently 
Governor, found himself suddenly caught by the leg 
and snapped up into the air. As he experienced no 
serious injury, the incident afforded only occasion for 
merriment. It was a deer trap, ingeniously construct- 
ed by bending a strong sapling to the earth, with a 
rope and noose concealed under leaves covered with 

" It was a very pretty device," writes Mourt, 
" made with a rope of their own making, having a 
noose as artificially made as any roper in England can 
make." These traps were so strong that a horse would 
be tossed up if he were caught in one of them. " An 
English mare," writes Wood, " having strayed from 
her owner, and grown wild by her long sojourning in 
the woods, ranging up and down with the wild crew, 
stumbled into one of these traps, which stopped her 
speed, hanging her, like Mahomet's coffin, betwixt 
earth and heaven." 

Toiling along through the wilderness, they saw 
three bucks and a flock of partridges, but could not 
get a shot at them. " As we came along by the creek 
we saw great flocks of wild geese and ducks, but they 
were very fearful of us, so we marched some while in 


the woods, some while on the sands, and other while 
in the water up to the knees, till at length we came 
near the ship, when we shot off our pieces, and the 
long boat came to fetch us." ■'•'" Those familiar with 
the locality can trace their route as they passed round 
the head of East Harbor Creek, and went down on 
the north side of it. They then waded through 
Stout's Creek, near Gull Hill, and passed on to the end 
of Long Point, near which the ship was anchored. 

It was Friday afternoon, November 17th, when 
the expedition returned, with rent clothes and blis- 
tered feet, and with a discouraging report ; for they 
had found no place suitable for the location of their 

Another Sunday came, and this little band of ex- 
iles was again assembled, on the deck of the May- 
flower, to attend to their accustomed worship. The 
whole of the ensuing week was employed in refitting 
the shallop, which required the labor of seventeen 
days, and in making preparation for another and more 
extensive tour along the coast. 

On Monday of the next week, the 27th of Novem- 
ber, twenty-four of the colonists and ten of the sea- 
men, in the shallop, all under command of Captain 
Jones, of the Mayflower, again set out in search of a 
spot where they might commence their lonely settle- 

* Mourt's Narrative. 


ment in the wilderness. It was a dreary winter's day, 
with clouds, a rough sea, freezing winds and flurries 
of rain and sleet. The sand hills, whitened with snow, 
swept by the wind and covered with a stunted growth 
of oaks and pines, presented nothing alluring to the 
eye. As the day wore away and the storm increased 
in violence, they ran in towards the shore for security. 
Here the shallop cast anchor, under the lee of the sand 
hills, in comparatively smooth water. The crew passed 
the night in the boat, which probably afforded shelter 
for a few persons. A party landed, and following 
along the beach about six miles, encamped, with a 
glowing fire at their feet. 

The next morning, the storm still continuing, the 
shallop reached them about eleven o'clock, and taking 
them on board, continued their voyage until tbey ar- 
rived at Pamet Creek, which the previous expedition 
had visited. Here they found a sheltered cove, which 
they called Cold Harbor. It afforded a safe refuge 
for boats, but was not a suitable harbor for ships, as 
it had a depth of but twelve feet of water at flood tide. 
The creek here separates into two streams, running 
back about three and a half miles into the country, 
and separated by the high cliff of which we have spo- 
ken, called Tom's Hill. 

A party landed at the foot of the cliff and marched 
into the interior, between the streams, four or five 


miles. The country was broken with steep hills and 
deep valleys, and there was six inches of snow upon 
the ground. As night darkened over them they en- 
tered a small grove of pine trees, where they bviilt 
their camp and kindled their fire, and established their 
sentinels for the night. They supped luxuriously 
upon three fat geese and six ducks, which they had 
shot by the way. 

It was their intention in the morning to follow up 
this creek to its head, supposing that they should 
there find emptying into it a river of fresh water. But 
in talking the matter over, it seemed to the majority 
that the region was very undesirable. It was rough, 
hilly, with poor soil, and a harbor fit only for boats. 
In the morning, consequently, the shallop returned to 
its anchorage at the mouth of the creek, while the 
party on land crossed over to the other stream to get 
the rest of the corn which they had left behind. 
Here they found one of the canoes, of which we have 
previously spoken, which was sufficiently capacious to 
carry seven or eight over at a time. Here they found 
several other depositories of corn, so that they ob- 
tained seven or eight bushels. 

" And sure it was God's good providence," writes 
Mourt, " that we found this corn, for e' e we know not 
how we should have done ; for we knew not how we 
should find or meet with any of the Indians, except it 


be to do us a mischief. Also we had never, in all 
likelihood, seen a grain of it if we had not made our 
first journey ; for the ground was now covered with 
snow, and so hard frozen that we were fain, with our 
cutlasses and short swords, to hew and carve the 
ground a foot deep, and then wrest it up with levers, 
for we had forgot to bring other tools." 

Captain Jones, satisfied that there was no place 
here for the location of the colony, was quite discour- 
aged and wished to return to the ship. Several oth- 
ers were quite sick from exposure and fatigue. They 
therefore returned to the shallop, while eighteen re- 
mained to continue their exploration until the next 
day, when the shallop was to come to take them. 
Several Indian trails were discovered, leading in va- 
rious directions into the woods. One of these they 
followed five or six miles without finding any signs of 
inhabitants. Returning by another route, they came 
to a plain which had been cultivated, where they 
found several Indian graves, and among them mani- 
festly the grave of a white man. In it they found fine 
yellow hair, some embalming powder, a knife, a pack- 
needle, and two or three iron instruments, bound up 
in a sailor's canvas coat. It was supposed that the 
Indians had thus buried the man to honor him. 

While thus ranging about, some of them came 
upon two deserted Indian huts. They were made 


round, like an arbor, of long saplings, each end being 
stuck into the ground.^ The door was about three 
feet high, protected by a mat. The chimney was a 
hole in the top. In the centre of them, one could 
easily stand upright. The fire was built in the centre, 
around which the inmates slept on mats. The sides 
and roof were warmly sheathed, as a protection from 
wind and rain, with thick mats. A few very mean 
articles of household furniture were found within, 
such as bowls, trays and earthen pots. There were 
also quite a variety of baskets, some of them quite 
curiously wrought. Some of these baskets were filled 
with parched acorns, which it subsequently appeared 
they often used instead of corn. 

During the day the shallop arrived. The latter 
part of the afternoon they hastened on board, with 
their treasures, and, it is supposed, reached the May- 
flower that evening. In Mourt's narrative it is re- 
corded : " We intended to have brought some beads 
and other things, to have left in the houses in sign of 
peace, and that we meant to truck with them. But 
it was not done, by means of our hasty coming away 
from Cape Cod." 

The question was then very earnestly and anx- 
iously discussed, whether they should decide upon 
Cold Harbor for their settlement, or send out another 
expedition on an exploring tour. Those who were in 


favor of Cold Harbor for their settlement, wished to 
locate their dwellings upon the bluff, at the entrance 
of Pamet River, now called Old Tom's Hill. The ar- 
guments they urged were, that there was there a con- 
venient harbor for boats ; convenient corn land ready- 
to their hands ; that Cape Cod would be a good place 
for fishing, as they daily saw great whales swimming 
about ; that the place was healthy and defensible, 
and most important of all, that the heart of winter 
had come, and that they could not embark on more 
exploring tours without danger of losing both boat 
and men. The question, however, was settled in the 
negative, in view of the shallowness of the harbor, 
the barrenness of the land, and the inadequate sup- 
ply of fresh water. 

But very little was then known of Massachusetts 
Bay. But the second mate of the ship, Robert Cop- 
pin, had been in that region before. He said that 
upon the other side of the Bay, at a distance of about 
twenty-five miles, in a direct line west from Cape Cod, 
was a large navigable river with a good harbor. It 
was decided immediately to fit out another expedition 
to explore the whole coast of Massachusetts Bay, as 
far as the mouth of that fabulous river, but not to go 
beyond that point. A party of ten picked men, 
among whom were Governor Carver and William 
Bradford, set out in the shallop in the afternoon of the 


6th of December, upon this all-important expedition, 
in which it seemed absokitely necessary that they 
should select some spot on which to establish their 
colony. They were well armed and provisioned, and 
it was certain that they would leave nothing untried 
which human energy could accomplish. It was a per- 
ilous enterprise in the dead of winter, in a compara- 
tively open boat upon a storm-swept sea. 

A cold wind ploughed the bay, raising such waves 
that many of the voyagers were deathly sick. It was 
late in the afternoon before they succeeded in clearing 
the harbor. The severity of the winter weather was 
such that the spray, dashing over them, was immedi- 
ately frozen, covering them with coats of ice. They 
ran down the coast in a southerly direction, about 
twenty miles, when, doubling a point of land, they 
entered a small shallow cove, where they discovered 
twelve Indians on the beach, cutting up a grampus. 
As they turned their bow towards the land the In- 
dians fled, and soon disappeared in the stunted growth 
behind the sand hills. The water in the little bay 
was so shallow that they found it difficult to approach 
the shore. At last they effected a landing about three 
miles from the point where they had seen the Indians, 
but even then they had to wade several yards through 
the water up to their knees. As the weather was in- 
tensely cold, this caused much suffering. 


It was quite dark before they reached the land. 
With considerable difficulty they constructed a barri- 
cade of logs, to shelter them from the wind, and also 
to protect them from the arrows of the natives, should 
they be attacked. Sentinels were stationed to keep 
a vigilant guard, a roaring fire was built, and our 
weary exiles, wrapped in their cloaks and with their 
feet to the fire, soon forgot, for a few hours, all their 
troubles in the oblivion of sleep. During the night 
the sentinels could see, at the distance of but a few 
miles, the gleam of the camp fire of the Indians. 

In the morning the company divided, a part to fol- 
low along the shore through the woods to see if they 
could find any suitable place for their settlement, 
while the rest sailed along slowly in the boat, noticing 
the depth of water and watching for harbors. Thus 
the day passed without any successful results. Those 
on the shore followed an Indian trail for some dis- 
tance into the woods. They came to a large burying 
place, surrounded with a palisade and quite thickly 
filled with graves. As the sun of the short winter's 
day was sinking, and the shades of another night were 
coming on, the boat put into a small creek, where its 
inmates were soon joined by the party Irom the 
woods. They met joyfully, for they had not seen one 
another since the morning, and some anxiety was felt 
for the safety of those upon the shore. 


Governor Bradford, who was of the party, says that 
they made a barricade, as they were accustomed to 
do every night, of logs, stakes and thick pine boughs, 
the height of a man, leaving it open to the leeward, 
partly to shelter it from the cold and winds, making 
their fire in the middle and lying round about it, and 
partly to defend them from any assaults of the sava- 
ges, if they should attack them. So, being very weary, 
they betook themselves to rest. 

" But about midnight they heard a hideous and 
great cry, and their sentinel called ' arm ! arm ! ' So 
they bestirred themselves and stood to their arms and 
shot off a couple of muskets, and then the noise 
ceased. They concluded that it was a company of 
wolves, or such like wild beasts ; for one of the seamen 
told them that he had often heard such a noise in New- 
foundland. So they rested till about five of the clock 
in the morning, for the tide and their purpose to go 
from thence made them bestirring betimes. 

" After prayer they prepared for breakfast, and it 
being day-dawning, it was thought best to be carrying 
things down to the boat. But some said that it was 
not best to carry the arms down ; others said they 
would be the readier, for they had wrapped them up 
in their coats, from the dew. But some three or four 
would not carry theirs until they went themselves ; 
yet, as it fell out, those who took their arms to the 


boat, the water not being high enough for the boat to 
come to the shore, they laid them down upon the bank 
and came back to breakfast. 

" But presently, all on the sudden, they heard a 
great and strange cry, which they knew to be the 
same voices which they heard in the night, though 
they varied their notes ; and one of their company 
being abroad, came running in and cried, ' Indians ! 
Indians ! ' Immediately a shower of arrows fell upon 
the encampment. Then men ran with all speed to 
recover their arms, as by the good providence of God 
t.hey succeeded in doing. 

" In the mean time, Captain Miles Standish, hav- 
ing a snaphance * ready, made a shot, and, after him, 
another. After they two had shot, other two were 
ready ; but Captain Standish wished us not to shoot 
till we could take aim, for he knew not what need we 
should have. Then there were four only of us which 
had their arms there ready, and stood before the open 
side of our barricade which was first assaulted. They 
thought it best to defend it lest the enemy should 
take it and our stuff, and so have the more vantage 
against us." 

From the hideous yells of the Indians it seemed 
as though the woods were full of them. There might 

* A musket with a flint lock. 


be ten or twenty Indians to one white man. It was 
greatly to be feared that tliey might, by a sudden rush, 
seize the shallop, and thus cut off all possibility of 
retreat. Captain Standish, therefore, immediately 
divided his little army of ten men, leaving five to de- 
fend the barricade and five to protect the boat. In 
the midst of the terrific turmoil and storm of Indian 
missiles, the two divisions, separated but by a dis- 
tance of a few yards, cheered each other by encour- 
aging words. Most of the guns were matchlocks. 
Those by the shallop called for a firebrand to light 
their matches. One seized from the fire a burning- 
log and carried it to them. The Indians seemed to 
understand the act, for they redoubled the fury of 
their yells. 

The thick winter garments of the Pilgrims and 
their coats of mail effectually protected a large portion 
of their bodies from the arrows of the natives. The 
arrows as, unlike bullets they could be seen in their 
flight, could also be dodged. There was one Indian, 
of gigantic stature, apparently more brave than the 
rest, who seemed to be the leader of the band. He 
was in advance of all the other Indians, and, standing 
behind a large tree, within half musket shot of the 
encampment, let fly his arrows with wonderful strength 
and accuracy of aim, while his voice, rising above the 
din of the conflict, animated them to courage and ex- 


ertion. Three arro-ws which he shot were avoided 
by stooping. Three musket shots, which were aimed 
at him, struck the tree, causing the bark and spUnters 
to fly about his ears, but he was unharmed. Captain 
Standish devoted his special attention to tliis chief. 
Watching his opportunity, when the arm of tlie sav- 
age was exposed, in the attempt to throw another 
shaft, he succeeded in striking it with a bullet. The 
shattered arm dropped helpless. ■-■'■ The savage gazed 
for a moment in apparent bewilderment and dismay, 
upon the mangled and bleeding limb, and then, as if 
conscious that he had fought his last battle, uttered a 
peculiar and distressing cry, which was probably the 
signal for retreat, and dodging from tree to tree, dis- 

His warriors followed his example, and were speed- 
ily lost in the solitude and silence of the forest. 
Their flight was so instantaneous into the glooms 
which surrounded them, that scarcely one moment 
elapsed ere not an Indian was to be seen, and the de- 
moniac clamor of war gave place to the sacred quie- 
tude of the untenanted wilderness. Captain Standish 
led his heroic little band, driving before them they 
knew not how many hundreds of Indians, nearly a 
quarter of a mile. Then they shot off two muskets 

* Johnson's Wonder Working Providence. 


and gave three loud cheers, " that they might see," 
Governor Bradford writes, " that we were not afraid 
of them, nor discouraged. Then the EngHsh, who 
more thirsted for their conversion than their destruc- 
tion, returned to their boat without receiving any 

The first act of these devout men, upon returning 
to their encampment, was to give thanks to God for 
their great deliverance. There was a sublimity in this 
Te Deicnt, from the lips of these exiles, as in the twi- 
light of the wintry morning, exposed to wind and rain, 
they bowed reverently around their camp fire, which 
never could have been surpassed by peals from choir 
and organ, resounding through the groined arches of 
the cathedrals of Saint Peter, Notre Dame or Saint 

The escape of the Pilgrims, unharmed, from this 
shower of missiles, was indeed wonderful. The arrows 
of the Indians were thrown with great force, and be- 
ing pointed with flint and bone, would, when hitting 
fairly, pierce the thickest clothing. Some of them 
were barbed with brass, probably obtained from some 
fisherman's vessel. When striking any unprotected 
portion of the body, they would inflict a very danger- 
ous and painful wound. But no one was hurt. Some 
overcoats which were hung up in the 'barricade were 
pierced through and through. Arrows were sticking 


in the logs, and many were found beneath the leaves. 
They collected quite a number of them, and sent 
them back to England as curiosities. 

It is supposed that the scene of this conflict, was 
at what is now called Great Meadow Creek, in East- 
ham, about a mile northeast from Rock Harbor. The 
Pilgrims named the place The First Encounter. 

It was indeed a gloomy morning of clouds and 
rain and chill wind which now opened before these 
stout-hearted wanderers. The surf dashed sullenly 
upon the shore. The gale, sweeping the ocean, and 
moaning through the sombre firs and pines, drove the 
sheeted mist, like spectral apparitions of ill omen, 
over the land and the sea. As the Pilgrims re-em- 
barked the rain changed to sleet. A day of suffer- 
ing and of great peril was manifestly before them. 
The gale rapidly increased in violence. The billows 
dashed so furiously upon the beach there was no pos- 
sibility of again landing unless they should find some 
sheltered cove. The waves frequently broke into the 
boat. Their garments were drenched, and clothing 
and ropes were soon coated with ice. Anxiously, 
hour after hour, as they were buffeted by the storm, 
they searched the dim shore hoping to find some bay 
or river in which they could take refuge. 

The short winter's day was soon drawing to a close. 
Night was at hand, — night long, dark and stormy, in 


an unknown sea. They were numbed and nearly- 
frozen with the cold. To many of them it seemed 
not improbable that before the morning they would 
all find a grave in the ocean. As twilight was dark- 
ening into night, a huge billow, chasing them with 
gigantic speed, broke into the boat, nearly filling it 
with water, at the same time unshipping and sweep- 
ing away their rudder. They immediately got out 
two oars, and with exceeding difficulty succeeded in 
steering their tempest-tossed bark. To add to their 
calamities, and apparently to take from them their 
last gleam of hope, just then a sudden flaw of wind 
snapped their mast into three pieces, dashing their 
sail into the foaming sea, and they were left at the 
mercy of the billows. 

Their pilot, who had been upon the coast before, 
and who had thus far cheered them with the as- 
surance that there was a harbor at hand, now lost all 
presence of mind, and throwing up his arms, ex- 
claimed, "The Lord have mercy upon us. I was 
never in this place before. All that we can do is to 
run the boat ashore through the breakers." It was 
insane counsel which, being followed, involved almost 
certain death. 

Some one of their number, was it their gallant 
leader Miles Standish, remonstrated, shouting out in 
the darkness, " If ye be men, seize your oars or we 


are all cast away." They did so, and, with lusty arms, 
on a flood tide, still guided their boat along the shore, 
which was dimly seen as the breakers dashed high 
over sand and rock. At last they discerned land di- 
rectly before them. Whether it were an island or a 
promontory they knew not. By great exertions they 
succeeded — though it was very dark and the rain fell 
in torrents — in gaining the lee of the land. Here 
they cast anchor in comparatively still water. But 
they were afraid to leave the boat. The experience 
of the past night had taught them that the woods 
might be full of savages. 

Their sufferings however from the cold, the wind 
and the rain, became unendurable. A few of their 
number, feeling that they should certainly perish in 
the open boat, ventured ashore, where after much 
difficulty they succeeded in building a fire. Though 
its blaze illumining the forest, might be a beacon to 
point them out to their savage foes, they piled vipon it 
branches and logs and, forgetting their danger, re- 
joiced in the cheerful flame and the warmth. Those 
in the boat could not long resist the aspect of com- 
fort which the fire presented. They soon also landed, 
and with their axes, speedily constructed a camp to 
shelter them from the rain, and a rampart of logs, be- 
hind which, with their guns, they could protect them- 
selves from a large number of natives armed only 
with bows and javelins. 


Thus ere long they found themselves in what 
might be deemed, under the circumstances, comfort- 
able quarters. During the night the clouds were dis- 
persed. The morning dawned, serene and bright, 
but cold. It was the morning of the Sabbath. And 
these remarkable men, notwithstanding the impor- 
tance of improving every moment of time, decided, 
apparently without hesitation or thought of doing 
otherwise, to remain quietly in their encampment in 
the religious observance of the Lord's day. Some 
may say that this was fanaticism ; that a more en- 
lightened judgment would have taught them that the 
Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sab- 
bath ; and that situated as they then were, it was a 
work of necessity and mercy to prosecute their tour 
without delay. 

But these men believed it to be their duty to 
sanctify the Sabbath by resting from all but necessary 
labor. Thus believing, their decision could not but 
be pleasing in the sight of God. Captain Miles 
Standish, as we have mentioned, was the leader of 
this expedition. The decision must have been con- 
sequently in accordance with his views. 

Governor Bradford, describing this painful and 
perilous adventure, writes : "And though it was very 
dark and rained sore, yet in the end they got under 
the lee of a small island and remained there all night 


in safety. But they knew not this to be an island till 
morning, but were divided in their minds. Some 
would keep the boat for fear they might be among 
the Indians. Others were so weak and cold, they 
could not endure, but got ashore and with much ado 
got a lire, all things being so wet, and the rest were 
glad to come to them ; for after midnight the wind 
shifted to the northwest and it froze hard. 

" But though this had been a day and night of much 
trouble and danger unto them, yet God gave them a 
morning of comfort and refreshing, as He usually 
does to His children ; for the next day was a fair, 
sunshining day, and they found themselves to be on 
an island, secure from the Indians, where they might 
dry their stuff, fix their pieces and rest themselves, 
and give God thanks for his mercies in their manifold 
deliverances. And this being the last day of the 
week they prepared to keep the Sabbath." 

In their frail camp they spent the sacred hours of 
the Lord's day, in thankgivings and supplications and 
in hymning the praises of God. They named this 
spot, where they had found brief refuge from the 
storm, Clark's Island, i^n honor of the captain of the 


TJie Landing. 

The Voyage Resumed. — Enter an Unknown Harbor. — Aspect of the 
Land. — Choose it for their Settlement. — The Mayflower Enters 
the Harbor. — Sabbath on Shipboard. — Exploring the Region. — 
The Storm and Exposme. — The Landing. — View from the Hill. — 
Arduous Labors. — The Alarm. — Arrangement of the Village. — 
The Evident Hostility of the Indians. — Gloomy Prospects. — Ex- 
pedition of Captain Standish. — Billington's Sea. — Lost in the 
Woods. — Adventures of the Lost Men. — The Alarm of Fire. 

The Pilgrims, having passed the Sabbath in rest 
and devotion upon the island, early the next morning 
repaired their shattered boat and spreading their sails 
again to the wintry winds continued their tour. Soon 
a large bay opened before them, partially protected 
by a long sand bar from the gales and the billows of 
the ocean. It was but a poor harbor at the best. 
The low and dreary sand bar broke the fury of the 
waves, but aftbrded no protection against the fierce 
gales which swept the seas. 

Cautiously our adventurers sailed around the point 
of sand, every few moments dropping the lead that 
they might find a channel of sufficient depth of water 
to allow their vessel to enter the bay. Having found 
this passage, they steered for the shore and landed. 


They found here one or two streams of pure water, 
several corn fields which had evidently, in former 
times been cultivated by the Indians, in their rude 
style of agriculture, but which, for some reason they 
had abandoned. Eagerly they looked for some nav- 
igable river, but could find none. The soil, though 
not so rich as they could wish, seemed promising. 
The landscape was pleasingly diversified with hills 
and valleys, while the forest, in its mysterious gloom, 
spread far away to unknown regions in the west. 

The location was by no means such as they had 
hoped to find. But it was far superior to any other 
which had as yet presented itself As winter was 
approaching and time pressed they decided to look 
no further. A party of them, well armed, marched 
along the shore for a distance of eight miles, in search 
of a suitable spot for their village. They selected a 
spot, but saw no natives, no wigwams, and no signs 
that the region had recently been inhabited. 

Having, in their own minds, settled the important 
question they spread their sails and, instead of return- 
ing by the long circuit of the shore, which they had 
traversed, pushed boldly across the bay, and in a few 
hours reached the ship with their report. Without 
loss of time the Mayflower weighed anchor on the 
15th of December, and crossing the bay anchored on 
the 1 6th in the shallow water of the harbor about a 


mile and a half from the shore. The next day was 
the Sabbath, Strong as was the temptation to land, 
they all remained on board the vessel, and their 
hymns of thankfulness blended with the moan ot the 
wintry gale as it swept through the icy shrouds. 

Early Monday morning Miles Standish set out 
with a small but well armed party to explore that part 
of the country which immediately surrounded the 
harbor, to decide upon the spot where they should 
rear their little village of log huts. They traversed 
the coast for a distance of several miles. Several 
brooks of crystal water were found, but to their dis- 
appointment no navigable river rolling down its flood 
from the unknown interior. They scarcely knew 
whether to be glad or sorry that they found no In- 
dians and no indications that the Indians then occu- 
pied the region. Several quite extended fields were 
found, where the heavily timbered forest had disap- 
peared and where it was evident that the Indians, in 
former years, had raised their harvests of corn. At 
night the party returned to the ship not having fixed 
upon any spot for their settlement. 

"The next day, the 19th, another exploring party 
set out moving in an opposite direction. They 
divided into two companies, one to sail along the 
coast in the shallop, hoping to find the mouth of some 
large river. The other party landed and marched 


along the shore, examining the lay of the land, the 
streams, the soil, and the timber of the forests. At 
night they returned to the ship, still somewhat unde- 
cided. They had however found one spot where 
there was a small stream of very clear, sweet water, 
which seemed to be well stocked with fish, and a high 
hill, a little back from the shore, which could be easily 
fortified, and which commanded a very extensive view 
of the surrounding country and the ocean. " It had 
clay, sand and shells," writes Bradford, "for bricks, 
mortar and pottery, and stone for wells and chimneys. 
The sea and beach promised abundance of fish and 
fowl, and four or five small running brooks brought a 
supply of very sweet, fresh water." 

The next morning, after earnest and united prayer 
for divine guidance, a still larger party of twenty was 
sent on shore, more carefully to examine the spot 
which had been suggested for their village. Though 
it was not all they could desire, it still presented 
many attractions. It was a cold December day. 
They climbed the hill, and gazed with pleasure upon 
a prospect which was sublime and beautiful even on 
that bleak and windy day, when the boughs of the 
trees were naked and when the withered leaves were 
borne like snow flakes on the wintry air. They tried 
to imagine its loveliness in the luxuriance and bloom 
of a June morning. 


While they stood upon the hill, the clouds, which 
all the morning had been darkening the sky, began to 
increase in density and gather in blackness. The 
wind rose to a gale, and the windows of heaven 
seemed to be opened, as the rain fell upon them in 
torrents. All unsheltered they found themselves ex- 
posed to the fury of a New England northeast storm. 
Huge billows from the ocean swept the poorly pro- 
tected harbor and broke in such surges upon the 
beach that it was impossible for them to return to the 
ship. They were totally unprepared for aft emer- 
gency so unexpected. Night came, a long, dark, 
cold, stormy night. They sought shelter in the for- 
est, constructed a rude camp which but poorly shel- 
tered them from wind and rain, and building a large 
fire, found such comfort as they could in the imper- 
fect warmth which it afforded. All the night of 
Wednesday and all day Thursday the northeast storm 
raged with fury unabated. Towards the evening of 
Thursday the 21st there was a lull in the tempest, so 
that the weary adventurers succeeded in working 
their way back to the ship. 

The next day was the ever-memorable Friday, 
December 22d. A wintry storm, with its angry bil- 
lows, still swept the bay. The day opened upon the Pil- 
grims cold, cloudy and dreary. The long and anx- 
iously looked for hour had now come, when the May- 


flower, the only material tie which bound them to the 
Old World, was to be abandoned, and these bold men 
were to be left three thousand miles from their native 
shores, to struggle with all the known and unknown 
perils and hardships of the wilderness. Familiar as 
are the graphic words of Mrs. Hemans, the first verse 
of her memorable hymn so truthfully describes the 
scene which that morning was presented to the Pil- 
grims, as to be worthy of transcript here : 

"The breaking waves dashed high 
On a stern and rock-bound coast, 
And the woods against a stormy sky, 
Their giant branches toss'd." 

At an early hour all the passengers of the May- 
flower were assembled upon the deck of their little 
ship, bowed down by emotions not easily described. 
Men, women and children, all were there, oppressed 
by thoughts too deep for utterance. Elder Brewster 
conducted their morning devotions as the wintry gale 
breathed forth its requiem through the icy shrouds. 
Sublime as was the hour, not one of those men of 
martyr spirit could have had any true conception of 
its grandeur. They could not have been conscious 
that then and there they were laying the foundations 
of one of the mightiest empires upon which the sun 
has ever shone. 

Their devotions being ended, boat load after boat 


load left the ship which, in consequence of the shallow- 
ness of the water, was anchored at the distance of a mile 
and a half from the shore. There was a large and jag- 
ged rock projecting into the sea, upon which a land- 
ing was with difficulty effected. Those who first were 
placed upon shore marked out a street from their point 
of landing directly westward to the hill, upon each 
side of which street their log huts were to be reared. 

One of the first things, however, to be done, was 
to erect a log store-house, about twenty feet square, 
where they could deposit their effects, which were im- 
mediately to be landed from the ship, and where the 
women and the children could find a temporary shel- 
ter from wind and rain. 

In the old style of computing time, the day of 
their landing was the nth of December. For many 
years the 22d day of September, new style, has been 
observed as " Forefather's Day." It is said, however, 
that December nth, O. S., corresponds with Decem- 
ber 2 1 St, N. S. But when the anniversary was insti- 
tuted at Plymouth, in 1769, eleven days were added for 
difference of style, instead of ten, the true difference. 

The common house, to which we have alluded, it 
is supposed was erected on the south side of what is 
now called Leyden street, near the declivity of the 
hill. All hands working energetically, this building 
was speedily put up, with a thatched roof. 


Though the situation for their colony was not every- 
thing they could desire, yet, as they prosecuted their 
labors, they became better and better satisfied with 
the choice which they had made. One of their num- 
ber wrote ; 

" There are here cleared lands, delicate springs, 
and a sweet brook running under the hill side, with 
fish in their season, where we may harbor our shallops 
and boats. On the further side is much corn ground. 
There is a high hill on which to plant our ordnance. 
Thence we may see into the bay, and far out at sea, 
and have a glimpse of the distant cape. Our great- 
est labor will be the bringing of wood. What people 
inhabit here we know not, as we have yet seen none." 

All the day of Saturday every able-bodied man 
of the Pilgrims was on the shore laboring with all 
possible diligence, felling trees, hewing them, and 
dragging them with their own hands to the building 
lots, for they had no horses or oxen. The women 
also were diligently at work cooking at camp fires and 
helping to stow away their goods as they were brought 
on shore. 

The whole company was divided into nineteen 
families, each family to build its own log hut. For 
protection against the Indians it was needful that 
these huts should be. clustered near together. The 
captain of the Mayflower brought all the energies of 


his crew into requisition in transporting the luggage 
to the shore, for his provisions were last disappearing, 
and he was exceedingly anxious to set out on his re- 
turn. The distance of the ship from the land caused 
much time to be lost in going and coming. For sev- 
eral days a portion of the Pilgrim band remained to 
lodge in the ship, while others were on the shore. 
The labors of all were rendered painful and much im- 
peded by cold and stormy weather. Often the bay, 
swept by the wintry gale, was so rough that no boat 
could leave the ship, and there could be no commu- 
nication between the two parties. 

Sunday was again with them all a day of rest and 
devotion, though they were divided, some being still 
on board the ship, while others were in their frail 
shelters on the land. Those on shore assembled, for 
their devotions, in their partially finished store-house. 
Their harps must have been hung upon the willows, 
and pensive must have been the strains which were 
breathed from their lips as they endeavored to sing 
the Lord's songs in a strange land. As with firm but 
saddened voices they sang, they were startled by the 
war-whoop of the Indians in the forest. They knew 
those fearful cries too well which many of them had 
heard at the First Encounter. 

Their efficient military commander, Miles Stand- 
ish, had everything arranged for such an emergency. 


Instantly every man seized his musket and was at his 
post. Behind their barricade of logs, they could, with 
their deadly fire arms, repel almost any number of 
savages approaching over the open fields with only 
bows and arrows. The Indians, who had been already 
taught to dread these weapons, after carefully recon- 
noitering the position of the Pilgrims, vented their 
rage in a few impotent yells, and, without any expo- 
sure of their persons to the bullet, retreated into the 

The next day was Christmas. With renewed dil- 
igence the Pilgrims plied their labors. " We went on 
shore," writes Mourt, " some to fell timber, some to 
saw, some to rive, and some to carry. So no man 
rested all that day." 

As we have mentioned, there were nineteen fam- 
ilies, but they differed considerably in size. The sin- 
gle men joined themselves to some of these families. 
The lots of land assigned to these families differed in 
size, according to the number of the household. To 
each individual person there was allotted about eight 
feet in breadth by fifty in length. This would make 
but about four hundred square feet for each one. 
Thus, a family of six persons would have a lot but 
forty-eight feet wide by fifty deep. This seems an 
incredibly small amount of land for each homestead, 
when the Pilgrims had the whole continent of North 


America before them. The explanation is probably 
to be found in the fact that it was necessary for them 
to place their houses as near together as possible ; 
that, with neither horses, oxen, or any other beasts of 
burden, it was but a small portion of land which any 
one man could cultivate ; and, again, if any one wished 
for more land, there were fields all around him, en- 
tirely free, and no one would dispute his title deed. 
The homestead lots were so arranged as to make the 
little cluster of huts a fortress, protected by their can- 
non, where their whole force could be instantly ral- 
lied for the public defense. Towards night of Christ- 
mas day, the yells of evidently unfriendly savages 
were heard in the depths of the forest. This caused 
every man to seize his musket and place himself in 
the attitvide of defense. The wary savages, however, 
while uttering these impotent menaces, still kept them- 
selves carefully concealed. 

Tuesday, the 26th of December, ushered in such 
a storm of rain that those on shore could do no work, 
and the gale so roughened the bay that those on board 
the ship could not venture an attempt to land. The 
next day the storm abated, and every available man 
was at work. As it seemed very evident that the 
savages were hostile, and it was apprehended that 
they might be gathering for a general assault, it was 
deemed necessary, notwithstanding the pressing need 


of dwellings, that all should go to work upon the 
hill, in the construction of a rude fort and platform 
for their ordnance. The vestiges of this fortification 
are still visible on the Burial Hill, where the guns 
could sweep with grape shot the approaches to their 
village. It was hoped that the thunders of these for- 
midable weapons of war, followed by the carnage they 
could inflict, should the savages approach in great 
numbers, would overwhelm them with terror. 

The weather, during the remainder of the week, 
continued very unfavorable, it being cold, wet and 
stormy. Still the works on the land slowly advanced. 
The savages, without showing themselves, continued 
to hover around, and the smokes of great fires were 
seen, apparently at the distance of about six or seven 
miles, indicating that the Indians, in large numbers, 
were gathering around them. 

The last day of the year 1620 came, sombre and 
sad. It was the Sabbath. Many were sick. All 
were dejected. Wintry dreariness frowned over earth 
and sea. Howling savages filled the forest. The 
provisions of the Pilgrims were very scanty. The 
Mayflower was soon to leave them, to contend, a fee- 
ble band, against apparently hostile elements, and 
against the far more formidable hostility of savage 
men. To meet these perils the Pilgrims could num- 
ber but forty-one men. Sickness had already com- 


menced its ravages, and of these men, within three 
months, twenty-one died. The chances that such a 
colony could long be preserved from extinction, must 
have seemed almost infinitely small. As usual, the 
Pilgrims rested from labor, and devoted the day, some 
on shore, some in the ship, to prayer and praise. On 
this day the Pilgrims solemnly named their little vil- 
lage Plymouth, in grateful remembrance of the kind- 
ness which they had received from the people of Ply- 
mouth, in England. 

Monday morning, the first day of the new year, 
dawned propitiously upon these bold-hearted exiles. 
A cloudless sky and genial atmosphere invited them 
to labor. It was still necessary to be ever prepared 
for an attack from their unseen foes. With no little 
solicitude, while urging forward their work, they 
watched the moving columns of smoke, which day by 
day rose from the distant wilderness, and the gleam 
of the fires, which by night illumined the horizon, in- 
dicating the movement and position of the Indians. 
During Tuesday and Wednesday these fires seemed 
to increase in numbers. They were thus led to infer 
that the savages were collecting in large numbers 
from distant parts, and were making careful prepara- 
tion for a general and simultaneous assault upon the 
feeble colony. 

On Thursday morning, the 4th of January, Cap- 


tain Miles Standish, who might be truly called the 
" bravest of the brave," took with him four men, well 
armed, and boldly plunged into the forest, intending 
to find the Indians at their rendezvous, and if possi- 
ble, to open friendly relations with them. Adopting 
every precaution to avoid falling into an ambuscade, 
he rapidly pushed forward several miles into the path- 
less wilderness, threading gloomy ravines, crossing 
rivulets, and traversing sublime forests. The wary 
Indians had undoubtedly their scouts stationed to give 
warning of any approach of the white men ; for Cap- 
tain Standish could not catch sight of a single one of 
the savages, though he found several of their deserted 
wigwams, and even the still glowing embers of their 
camp fires. The adventurers were also disappointed 
in finding that the woods sefemed destitute of game. 
Upon their return, at the close of the afternoon, they 
shot one solitary eagle, whose flesh the Pilgrims, in 
their half famished state, pronounced to be " excellent 
meat, hardly to be discerned from mutton." 

Friday and Saturday passed away without any 
event of importance occurring, while all hands were 
diligently at work. Another Sabbath of rest, the 7th 
of January, dawned upon these toil-worn men and 
women. The sun, of Monday, the 8th, rose in a 
cloudless sky. All bent themselves eagerly to work. 
By some unaccountable oversight no small fishhooks 


had been brought with them. Thus, though the har- 
bor and the brook apparently abounded with fishes, 
they could not be taken. The shallop, however, was 
sent out to explore the coast, ascertain where fishes 
could be found, and supplied with apparatus for 
taking seals, which were seen in large numbers. 
In the evening the boat returned, a gale having in 
the mean time arisen which greatly endangered its 
safety. The crew had taken three large seals, and 
in some way, perhaps by spearing, had got an excel- 
lent codfish. 

One of their number, Francis Billington, had, a 
few days before, climbed a tree upon the top of a hill, 
whence he saw, about two miles southwest from the 
town, a large body of water, which was either a lake 
or an arm of the sea, he could not tell which. He 
started to-day, with a companion, to visit it, and found 
two large lakes of crystal water, nearly connected 
together. One was about six miles in circuit, embel- 
lished with a small, luxuriantly wooded island. The 
other they estimated to be about three miles in cir- 
cumference. They both abounded with fish and water 
fowl, and apparently an unfailing stream of water, 
which is now called Town Brook, issued from one of 
the lakes and emptied into the harbor a little south 
of the rock upon which the Pilgrims landed. Several 
Indian houses, but all uninhabited, were found upon 


the margin of these sheets of water, which were es- 
sentially one lake. 

" This beautiful pond, so accurately described, 
bears the appropriate name of Billington Sea. In the 
first century it was called Fresh Lake. It is about 
•two miles southwest from the town, and in it are two 
small islands. It is now, as at first, embosomed in a 
wilderness of woods. The eagle still sails over it, 
and builds in the branches of the surrounding forest. 
Here the loon cries, and leaves her eggs on the shore 
of the smaller island. Here too, the beautiful wood- 
duck finds a sequestered retreat ; and the fallow deer, 
mindful of their ancient haunts, still resort to it to 
drink and to browse on its margin." * 

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all hands 
were busy in their out-door work. The store-house, 
or, as they called it, the Common House, was nearly 
finished and thatched. The cold, damp weather hin- 
dered them very much, so that they could seldom 
work more than half of the time. Friday morning 
dawned pleasantly, but about noon the clouds gath- 
ered, and the chill rain began to fall, and an increas- 
ing gale moaned through the tree tops. Four men 
had gone out into the woods in the morning to gather 
tall dry grass for thatching. In the afternoon two of 

* Note to Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims. 


them returned, and said that m some way they had 
lost sight of their companions. They had searched 
for them in vain ; and though they had hallooed and 
shouted as loud as they could, they could hear nothing 
from them. Intense solicitude was felt for them, and 
a party of four or five men were immediately dis- 
patched to search in the direction in which they were 
last seen. After an absence of a few hours they 
returned, at the close of the day, not having been able 
to discover any traces of the lost, though they found 
many indications that the Indians were lurking around. 
The long, stormy wintry night passed slowly away, 
and still there were no tidings of the wanderers. In 
the morning twelve men, well armed, probably under 
the leadership of Captain Miles Standish, set out for 
a more extended exploration. It was well known 
that Captain Standish would fail in nothing which 
mortal energy or courage could accomplish. The 
prayers of the sorrowing band accompanied them as 
they plunged into the forest. After a long and care- 
ful search, in which they could find no trace whatever 
of the lost men, they returned at night in deep dejec- 
tion to their companions. All the Pilgrims gathered 
around them, men, women and children, to hear the 
account of their unsuccessful search. 

While thus assembled they were startled by a shout 
in the distance, and looking up, to their inexpressible 


joy, saw the two men emerging from the forest. They 
ran to meet the wanderers, John Goodman and Peter 
Brown, whose apparition was as Ufe from the dead. 
Their tattered garments and emaciate cheeks testi- 
fied to the hardships which they had endured. The 
following was the account which they gave of their 
adventure : 

As they were gathering some long grass, for thatch- 
ing, about a mile from the village, probably on the 
banks of Town Brook, they saw a pond in the distance, 
perhaps Murdock's Pond, and repaired to it. Upon 
the margin of the pond they found a deer drinking. 
Two dogs they had with them sprang after the deer, 
and pursued it eagerly into the forest. The men fol- 
lowed, hoping that the dogs would seize the deer, and 
that thus they might be able to capture so rich a prize. 
As, led by the baying of the hounds, they followed 
the deer in its windings and turnings, they became 
bewildered and lost in the pathless wilds which they 
had penetrated. All the afternoon they wandered in 
vain seeking some clew to lead them back to their 

Night, dismal night, lowered over them with clouds, 
a rising gale, and snow mingled with rain. They had 
no axes with which to construct a shelter. They 
could find no cave or hollow tree in which to take 
refuge. Weary, foot-sore and starving, and with no 


weapon but a small sickle with which they had been 
cutting thatch, they heard the howling of wolves around 
them, and other strange cries from wild beasts, of 
they knew not what ferocity. Their only protection 
seemed to be to climb into a tree. They tried it. 
The keen wintry blast so pierced their thin clothing 
that they could not endure the cold. Death by freez- 
ing would be inevitable. 

The blackness of Egyptian darkness was now 
around them. They also heard a fearful roaring of 
wild beasts, which was rmdoubtedly the howling of 
wolves, but which they supposed to be the roar of 
lions. They stood at the root of the trees all the night 
long, exercising as they could to keep themselves 
warm, ever ready to spring into the branches should 
danger approach. They were compelled to hold one 
of their dogs by the neck, he was so eager to rush in 
pursuit of the beasts whose cries excited him. 

The long winter night at length gave way to the 
gloom of a stormy morning. Half frozen and starv- 
ing, and expecting to perish in the wilderness, these 
lost men resumed their search for home. They waded 
through swamps, forded streams, encountered ponds, 
struggled through thickets which tore clothing and 
skin. At last they came to a hill. Climbing one of 
the tallest trees, they saw the ocean in the distance, 
and, to their inexpressible joy, recognized the harbor 


of Plymouth, by two little islands which dotted its sur- 
face. The sight reanimated their drooping minds 
and bodies. All day long, in the extreme of exhaus- 
tion, they tottered on their way, until just before night- 
fall they reached their home. The feet of one of these 
men, John Goodman, were so swollen that they were 
compelled to cut off his shoes. 

The work of building had advanced slowly. The 
days were short, cold and stormy. Nearly all were 
enfeebled by toil and exposure, while some were se- 
riously sick. Both Governor Carver and Mr. Brad- 
ford, his successor in office, were prostrate with fevers. 
They were on beds in the Common House, where cots 
had been arranged on the floor for the sick, as near 
one to another as they could be placed. Though 
many of the Pilgrims were still in the Mayflower, the 
majority lodged on shore. 

The Common House was so far finished, nearly 
all of its roof being thatched, that it afforded protec- 
tion from the snow and rain, while its thick walls of 
logs shut off the piercing wind, and a cheerful fire 
blazed upon the stone hearth. 

On Sunday morning, January 14th, about six 
o'clock, the wind blowing almost a gale, they were 
appalled by the cry of " fire." The thatch of grass, 
dry as tinder, touched by a spark, was in a blaze. All 
the ammunition and most of the arms had been brought 


on shore and deposited in the store-house. Its loss 
would expose them, defenceless, to the tomahawk of 
the Indian. Nearly all of their scanty supply of food 
was there. Without it starvation was inevitable. The 
people in the ship saw the smoke and the flame, but 
the tide was out, and they could not reach the shore. 
Soon, however, the tide came in, the gale abated, and 
a boat load cautiously advanced to the land, where 
they had all proposed to pass the Sabbath together, 
the majority of the company being then on shore. 
Upon landing they were cheered with the tidings that 
the lost men were found, and that the fire, which had 
been extinguished, was accidental. 


Life On Shore. 

Days of Sunshine and Storm. — Ravages of Pestilence. — A Raging 
Storm. — New Alarm of Fire. — Twelve Indians Seen. — Two In- 
dians Appear on the Hill. — Great Alarm in the Settlement. — 
Measures of Defense. — More Sunny Days. — Humanity and Self- 
Denial of Miles Standish and Others. — Conduct of the Ship's 
Crew. — Excursion to Billington Sea. — The Visit of Samoset. — 
Treachery of Captain Hunt. — The Shipwrecked Frenchmen. — 
The Plague. — The Wampanoags. — More Indian Visitors. — Bad 
Conduct of the Billingtons. 

Monday, the 15 th of January, opened upon the 
way-worn exiles with another storm of wind and rain, 
so that those on shipboard could not leave the vessel, 
and those on shore could do no work. The next 
three days, however, were pleasant, each morning 
dawning upon them with rare loveliness. Their hearts 
were cheered, and they pressed forward in their la- 
bors with great vigor. The terrible fright which the 
fire caused taught them that they must place their 
store-house apart from the other buildings, and where 
there would be no exposure to conflagration. They, 
therefore, went immediately to work to put up a shed 
for this purpose, intending to reserve the building 
already erected as a common lodging house until the 
separate huts could be reared. 


Friday opened pleasantly ; but at noon it began 
to rain, which prevented any out-door work. Towards 
evening the storm abated, and John Goodman, whose 
feet had been sadly crippled by his exposure in the 
woods, hobbled out a little way from the village for 
exercise, accompanied by a small spaniel. Two half 
famished wolves came leaping from the forest in pur- 
suit of his dog. The terrified animal ran between 
his master's legs for protection. Mr. Goodman caught 
up a heavy stick, and for some time kept the ferocious 
beasts at bay. They kept at a little distance, just out 
of reach of his club, gnashing upon him with their 
sharp and glistening teeth in most dramatic style. But 
ere long the wolves, to Mr. Goodman's intense relief, 
turned away and rushed howling into the woods. 

The next day, Saturday the 20th of January, they 
completed their shed for a store-house, and nearly all 
of their company came to the land. On Sunday, 21st, 
there was a general assembling of the Pilgrims in the 
Common House, as their temple, where their revered 
and beloved pastor. Rev. Mr. Brewster, conducted di- 
vine worship. This was the first Sabbath on which 
the Pilgrims as a body had been able to meet together 
in their new home. 

Monday, 22d, was a fair day, and during the whole 
week the weather continued propitious. All were 
busy, bringing boat loads of freight from the ship, and 


packing away their provisions and other goods in the 
store-house. Two boats were employed in bringing 
the luggage on shore, but it was slow work, in conse- 
quence of the distant anchorage of the Mayflower. 
As they had neither ox, mule nor horse, all the arti- 
cles had to be carried by hand from the landing-place 
to their destination many rods distant from the shore. 

The next week was ushered in by a storm of 
piercing wind and sleet. To add to its gloom, on its 
first day, Rose, the young and beautiful wife of Cap- 
tain Standish, died. But care, sickness, death now 
came in such swift succession as to leave the survi- 
vors but little time to weep over the dead. The two 
succeeding days the weather was so inclement that 
no work could be done. Not very far from the ship's 
place of anchorage there was a small island. On 
Wednesday morning those on board the ship saw two 
savages walking upon the island. What they were 
doing no one could tell. They were seen but for a 
few moments, when they retired out of sight in the 

On Sunday morning, February 4th, a fearful gale 
swept the bay. It was the most severe storm the 
Pilgrims had yet encountered. For some time great 
apprehensions were felt lest the ship should be torn 
from her moorings and dashed upon the shore. The 
huts, which they were erecting for their dwellings, 


were of unhewn logs, the interstices being filled with 
clay. The wind and the rain washed out this clay, 
causing very serious damage. Much of the thatching 
also, as yet but insecurely fastened, was whirled into 
the air by the tempest, like autumn leaves. During 
the whole of the week the weather continued so cold 
and stormy that but little work could be done. 

In consequence of the increasing sickness, it had 
been found necessary to put up a small house for a 
hospital. On Friday, the 9th, the thatched roof of 
this building took fire from a spark. Fortunately the 
wet weather had so dampened the straw that the fire 
was extinguished without doing much damage. 
Where wood was the only fuel, ever throwing up a 
shower of sparks, a thatch of straw, often as dry as 
tinder, seemed to invite conflagration. Thus their 
little hamlet, of clustered log houses, was peculiarly 
exposed to the peril of fire. That afternoon five wild 
geese were shot, which afforded a very grateful repast 
to the sick people. A good fat deer was also found, 
which had just been killed by the Indians, and which, 
for some inexplicable reason they had left, having cut 
off its horns. It is possible that the wary savages, 
keeping a sharp look out, had seen some of the white 
men approaching, and had fled. A wolf had, how- 
ever, anticipated the Pilgrims, and was daintily feed- 
ing upon the tender venison. 


Another week came, with great discouragement 
of stormy weather, and with increasing sickness. 
The men worked to much disadvantage, everything 
having to be done with their own hands. The logs, 
generally about a foot in thickness and nearly twenty 
feet long, had often to be dragged from very incon- 
venient distances. This was labor which could not 
safely be performed with clothing drenched with rain 
and pierced with the wintry gale. Often whole days 
were lost in which no work could be done. 

Friday, February i6th, was a fair day. It was, 
however, very cold, and the ground was frozen hard. 
In the afternoon one of the company took his gun and 
went into the woods a fowling. He had gone about 
a mile and a half from the plantation, and had con- 
cealed himself in some reeds, which fringed a creek, 
watching for wild geese or ducks, when, to his aston- 
ishment, twelve Indians appeared, walking towards 
the plantation, in single file and in perfect silence. 
Almost breathless he crouched down beneath his cov- 
ert until they had disappeared, and then, with the 
utmost caution, hastened back to give the alarm. 

The Indians, it would seem, were out upon a re- 
connoitering tour. They were very careful not to 
show themselves at the settlement, though they came 
sufficiently near to take some tools which Captain 
Standish and Francis Cooke, who had been at work 


in the woods, had left behind them, with no apprehen- 
sion that there were any prowlers so near. The alarm 
caused the whole Pilgrim band immediately to rally 
under arms. There was, however, nothing more seen 
of the savages. But that night a large fire was dis- 
covered near the spot where the twelve Indians had 
made their appearance. 

It was now deemed important to have a more per- 
fect military organization, to meet the dangers impend- 
ing from the manifestly unfriendly spirit of the In- 
dians, The Pilgrims, in their weakened state, were 
but poorly prepared for any general assault. On Sat- 
urday morning, the 19th of February, they all assem- 
bled in council, and Captain Standish was invested 
with almost dictatorial powers as military commander. 
With characteristic sagacity and energy he undertook 
the responsible duties thus devolving upon him. 
While they were assembled in consultation, two In- 
dians appeared upon a small eminence, then called 
Strawberry Hill, on the other side of Town Brook, 
about a quarter of a mile southwest from the village, 
and made signs to the Pilgrims to come to them. 

It was not improbable that they were a decoy, and 
that hundreds of armed warriors were concealed in 
the forest behind, ready, at a concerted signal, to 
raise the terrible war-whoop and rush upon their vic- 
tims with javelin and tomahawk. There were not a 


score of Pilgrims able to bear arms. What could they 
do to repel such an onset. It was an awful hour, in 
view of the possibilities which were before them. The 
women and children huddled together in terror. It 
seemed probable to them that the Indians had long 
been gathering and making preparations for this as- 
sault, and that within an hour their husbands and 
fathers would be slain, and that they would be at the 
mercy of the savages. 

The perilous duty of advancing to meet the sav- 
ages, and of thus being perhaps the first to fall into 
the ambush, Captain Standish took upon himself. 
Selecting Mr. Stephen Hopkins, one of the most il- 
lustrious of the Pilgrims, and a man alike distin- 
guished for his prudence and his bravery, to accom- 
pany him, he advanced, entirely unarmed, in token of 
his friendly disposition, across the brook. Mr. Hop- 
kins carried his gun. When they reached the foot of 
the eminence the gun was laid upon the ground, as an 
additional sign of peace, and they both moved forward 
to meet the tufted warriors. The conduct of the sav- 
ages was often quite inexplicable. They were as ca- 
pricious as children. On this occasion, as Captain 
Standish and Mr. Hopkins slowly ascended the hill, 
the two Indians upon the summit suddenly turned 
and fled precipitately down the other side of the hill 
into the dense forest. 


It was a very bold act, it seems to us now a very 
imprudent one, for these Uvo unarmed men, still to 
advance to the summit of the hill, thus exposing them- 
selves to fall into an Indian ambush. They however 
cautiously moved on ; when they reached the top of the 
hill not an Indian was in sight, but they heard the noise 
of a great multitude retreating through the forest. 
They were of course greatly perplexed to judge what 
all this senseless conduct could mean. One thing, 
however, was certain ; the Indians were not disposed 
to establish friendly relations with the new comers. 

Captain Standish made immediate and vigorous 
preparation for a war of defense. It was very evident 
to him that, though they might be surrounded by 
cruel, treacherous and inveterate foes, they had but 
little to fear from the intelligence or military ability 
of their enemies. He had immediately brought on 
shore, and mounted on the platform, which he had ar- 
ranged for them on the hill, three guns. One was 
called a minion, with a bore three and a quarter inches 
in diameter. Another was a saker, about four inches 
in bore. The third, called a base, was but little larger 
than a musket, having a bore but one and a quarter 
inches in diameter. The heaviest gun weighed about 
a thousand pounds, and carried a ball about four 
pounds in weight. This important work was all ac- 
compUshed by Wednesday, February 21st. It ap- 


pears that the officers of the Mayflower assisted effi- 
ciently in the operation. The united company then 
dined luxuriously upon a very fat goose, a fat crane, 
a mallard, * and a dried neats tongue. And so we 
were kindly and friendly together, f 

Sunday, the 3d of March, came. It was a lovely 
day. The severity of winter had passed. A dread- 
ful winter to the Pilgrims, indeed it had been. Dur- 
ing the month of February seventeen of their number 
had died. Eight had died during the month of Janu- 
ary. In burying the dead it had been deemed neces- 
sary carefully to conceal their graves lest the Indians, 
in counting them, should ascertain how greatly they 
had been weakened. Governor Bradford, in record- 
ing these disastrous events, writes : 

" After they had provided a place for their goods, 
or common store, which were long in unlading for 
want of boats, foulness of winter weather and sickness 
of divers, and begun some small cottages for their 
habitation, they met, as time would admit, and con- 
sulted of laws and orders, both for their civil and 
military government, as the necessities of their occa- 
sion did require. 

" In these hard and difficult beginnings they found 
some discontents and murmurings arise among some, 

* A Duck. f Mourt's Relation. 


and mutinous speeches and carriage in otliers. But 
they were soon quelled and overcome by the wisdom, 
patience, and just and equal carriage of things, by the 
Governor and better part, which clave faithfully to- 
gether in the main. But that which was most sad 
and lamentable was that, in two or three months' time 
half of their company died ; especially in January and 
February, being the depth of winter, and wanting 
houses and other comforts ; being infected with scurvy 
and other diseases, which their long voyage and inac- 
commodate condition had brought upon them ; so as 
there died sometimes two or three of a day, that of 
one hundred and odd persons, scarce titty remamed.''-' 
"And of these, in the time of most distress, there 
were but six or seven sound person^ who, to their 
great commendation be it spoken, spared no pains, 
night nor day, but with abundance of toil and liazard 
of their own health, fetched them wood and made them 
fires, dressed their meat, made their beds, washed 
their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them ; 
in a word, did all the homely and necessary offices 
for them which dainty and quesie stomachs cannot 
endure to hear named ; and all this willingly and 
cheerfully, without any grudging in the least, shewing 

* The bill of mortalit}', according to Prince, which he copied from 
Bradford, was as follows : In December, six died ; in January, eight ; 
in February, seventeen ; iu March, thirteen ; total, forty-four. 


herein their true love unto their friends and brethren. 
A rare example, and worthy to be remembered. 

" Two of these seven were Mr. William Brewster, 
their reverend Elder, and Miles Standish, their Cap- 
tain and military commander, unto whom myself and 
many others were much beholden in our low and sick 

" And yet the Lord so upheld these persons as, 
in this general calamity, they were not at all infected 
with sickness or lameness. And what I have said of 
these I may say of many others who died in this gen- 
eral visitation, and others yet living, that whilst they 
had health, yea or any strength continuing, they were 
not wanting to any that had need of them. And I 
doubt not but that their recompense is with the 

" But I may not here pass by another remarkable 
passage, never to be forgotten. As this calamity fell 
among the passengers that were to be left here to 
plant, and were hasted ashore and made to drink 
water, that the seamen might have the more beer. 
And one (Mr. Bradford) in his sickness desiring but 
a small can of beer, it was answered that if he were 
their own father he should have none. The disease 
began to fall amongst them also, so as almost half of 
their company died before they went away, and many 
of their officers and lustiest men, as the boatswain, 


gunner, three quartermasters, the cook and others. 
At which the Master was somewhat strucken, and 
sent to the sick, on shore, and told the Governor he 
would send beer for them that had need of it, though 
he drank water, homeward bound. 

" But now amongst his company there was far 
another kind of carriage in this misery than among 
the passengers. For they that beforetime had been 
boon companions in drinking and jollity in the time 
of their health and welfare, began now to desert one 
another in this calamity, saying that they would not 
hazard their lives for them ; they should be infected 
by coming to them in their cabins. And so, after 
they came to die by it, would do little or nothing for 
them, but if they died, let them die. 

" But such of the passengers as were yet aboard 
shewed them what mercy they could, which made 
some of their hearts relent, as the boatswain, who 
was a proud young man, and would often curse and 
scoff at the passengers. But when he grew Aveak 
they had compassion on him and helped him. Then 
he confessed he did not deserve it at their hands ; he 
had abused them in word and deed. ' O,' saith he, 
'you, I now see, show your love, like Christians in- 
deed, one to another. But we let one another lie and 
die like dogs.' 

" Another lay cursing his wife, saying if it had not 


been for her he had never come this unlucky voyage, 
and anon cursing his fellows, saying he had done this 
and that for some of them ; he had spent so much 
and so much amongst them, and they were now 
weary of him, and did not help him having need. 
Another gave his companion all he had, if he died, to 
help him in his weakness. He went and got a little 
spice, and made him a mess of meat once or twice ; 
and because he died not as soon as he expected, he 
went among his fellows and swore the rogue would 
cozen him ; he would see him choked before he made 
him any more meat ; and yet the poor fellow died be- 
fore morning." 

As we have mentioned, the third of March dawn- 
ed beautifully, sunny and mild, upon the weary Pil- 
grims. The birds sang sweetly, and everything indi- 
cated the speedy return of the much-longed-for sum- 
mer weather. But towards noon the clouds gathered, 
the rain fell in torrents, and they were visited with 
one of the severest tempests, accompanied by the 
loudest thunder, any of them had ever witnessed. 

On Wednesday, the 7th of March, a company of 
five, all well armed, accompanied Governor Carver to 
the great lakes, to which they had given the name of 
Billington Sea. These waters abounded with fish, 
and it would seem that by this time they had devised 
some plan by which to take them. They found the 


woods through which they passed filled with well- 
beaten deer tracks, indicating the presence of large 
numbers of that species of game, though they did not 
chance to meet with any. Many water fowl were also 
disporting upon the placid waters of the lake, some 
of very beautiful plumage. The weather was so warm 
and the season so advanced that some garden seeds 
were sown on this day. 

Another week passed, during which their work 
proceeded very slowly in consequence of their enfee- 
bled numbers and the claims of the sick on the ser- 
vices of the few who were. well. Friday, the i6th, 
was a fair, warm day. Every one felt the situation 
of the colony to be perilous in the extreme. The 
sailors of the Mayflower were suffering alike with the 
Pilgrims on the land. There were but seven men 
who, in case of an attack, which was hourly antici- 
pated, could present any efficient resistance. The 
onset of a hundred armed warriors (and a thousand 
might come) would sweep away their little village like 
an Alpine avalanche. The responsibility for the pub- 
lic defense thus resting upon Captain Standish, was 
very weighty. Every individual had his post of duty 
assigned him, that there should be no confused or 
embarrassed action in the alarm. Captain Standish 
had this morning assembled all who were capable of 
bearing arms in the northern part of their little street, 


to complete their military preparations, when, to their 
surprise, they saw a solitary savage approaching from 
the south. 

Without the slightest indication of embarrass- 
ment or hesitation he strode along, entered the street, 
and advancing boldly to the rendezvous, saluted the 
Pilgrims with the words, " Welcome Englishmen." 
His only clothing consisted of a leather belt around 
his waist, to which was attached a fringe, about ten 
inches long. He had a bow and two arrows. He 
was a powerful man, tall and straight, with very black 
hair, long behind, but cut short over the forehead. In 
broken English he told them that his name was Samo- 
set, and that he came from the Island of Monhegan, 
between the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers, about 
twelve miles from the shore. 

This island had for many years been a favorite re- 
sort for the English fishermen. From them he had 
learned a little English, and knew the names of many 
of the captains who annually visited those waters. 
Seeing the Mayflower in the harbor, he supposed it 
to be a fishing vessel, and thus, without any fear, ap- 
proached the men. 

Samoset affected to be very free and unembar- 
rassed in his carriage. He declared himself to be 
one of the chiefs of the tribe, and assumed to be per- 
fectly informed respecting the whole adjacent coun- 


try, its tribes and their strength. He called for beer, 
and seemed disposed to make himself very much at 
home, entering the houses and spying out with 
an eagle eye all the works around him. Captain 
Standish was not disposed to have his weakness ex- 
posed to this perhaps wary and treacherous savage, 
who might have entered the village merely as a spy, 
in the interest of the Indian warriors who were lurk- 
ing in the woods around. To make him a little more 
presentable to the families, a large horseman's coat 
was placed upon him. Instead of being allowed to 
wander about at will, he was entrusted to the keep- 
ing of Mr. Hopkins, who took him to his hut and fed 
him with the utmost hospitality. 

From Samoset they learned three very important 
facts. The first was that the Indians, all along the 
coast, were greatly and justly exasperated against the 
white men, by the treachery of one Captain Hunt. 
This infamous man, while trading with the Indians, 
had inveigled twenty-seven men on board his ship, 
and then, closing the hatches upon them, had carried 
them off where most of them had never been heard 
of more. The wretch took these poor kidnapped In- 
dians to Spain, and sold them as slaves, for one hun- 
dred dollars each. The untutored savages who, be- 
fore this, were friendly, being thus robbed of their 
kindred, knew no better than to wreak their ven- 


geance upon any white man whom they might en- 

Not long after this a French ship was wrecked on 
Cape Cod. The savages, burning with a desire for 
vengeance, massacred all but three or four of the 
crew, whom they reserved as prisoners. Everything 
that had been saved from the wreck they divided 
among themselves. Hence, perhaps, the iron kettle 
which the Pilgrims had found in one of their explor- 
ing tours. The captives were sent from one tribe 
to another, into the interior, that there might be no 
possibility of a rescue. One of these captives, proba- 
bly a thoughtful, perhaps a religious man, learned 
their language, and told them that " God was angry 
with them, and in punishment would destroy them 
and give their country to another people." They re- 
plied that " they were so numerous that God would 
not be able to destroy them." 

But it so happened that ere long a terrible plague, 
resembling the yellow fever, broke out among the In- 
dians, sweeping them off by thousands. The whole 
country became nearly depopulated. In these disas- 
trous days the Indians remembered the words of the 
Frenchman, and began to fear that the white man's 
God was really taking vengeance upon them. When 
the Mayflower arrived they feared that another people 
had come to take possession of their lands. Hence 


the hostile attitude which had been assumed, and the 
attack at the First Encounter. Samoset seemed to 
know all about this attack, and said that it was made 
by a tribe on the Cape called Nausites. 

It appears that the plague, above referred to, 
swept the whole seaboard, from the mouth of the 
Penobscot River to Narraganset Bay. Some tribes 
became nearly extinct. The Massachusetts tribe was 
reduced, it is said, from thirty thousand to three hun- 
dred fighting men. Captain Dermer, who visited the 
coast a year before the landing of the Pilgrims, writes : 

" I passed along the coast where I found some 
ancient plantations, not long since populous, now 
utterly void. In other places a remnant remains, but 
not free of sickness. Their disease was the plague, 
for we might perceive the sores of some that had es- 
caped, who described the spots of such as usually 

Morton writes in his New English Canaan : " Some 
few years before the English came to inhabit in New 
Plymouth, the hand of God fell heavily upon the na- 
tives, with such a mortal stroke that they died on 
heaps. In a place where many inhabited there hath 
been but one left alive to tell what became of the rest. 
And the bones and skulls upon the several places of 
their habitations made such a spectacle, after my 
coming into these parts, that as I travelled in that 


forest, near the Massachusetts, it seemed to me a 
new-found Golgotha." 

In view of these facts it was stated, in the Great 
Patent of New England, granted by King James, on 
the 3d of November, 1820, "We have been further 
given certainly to know, that within these late years 
there hath, by God's visitation, reigned a wonderful 
plague amongst the savages there heretofore inhabit- 
ing, in a manner to the utter destruction, devastation 
and depopulation of that whole territory, so as there 
is not left, for many leagues together, in a manner, 
any that do claim or challenge any kind of interest 
therein. Whereby we, in our judgment, are persuad- 
ed and satisfied that the appointed time is come in 
which Almighty God, in his great goodness and 
bounty towards us and our people, hath thought fit 
and determined, that these large and goodly terri- 
tories, deserted as it were by their natural inhabitants, 
should be possessed and enjoyed by such of our sub- 
jects and people as shall, by his mercy and favor, and 
by his powerful arm, be directed and conducted 

All the afternoon was spent in earnest communi- 
cation with Samoset. He told them that the Nau- 
sites, by whom they had been attacked, numbered 
about one hundred souls. There was a powerful 
tribe, called the Wampanoags, upon the shores of 


what is now called Bristol Bay. Their chief, Massa- 
soit, was so powerful that he exercised a sort of su- 
premacy over many of the tribes in the vicinity. 
There was another numerous tribe, not far from the 
Wampanoags, called the Narragansets. Samoset 
does not seem to have known, or if so, was not v/illing 
to tell the number of Indians lurking in the woods 
around the Pilgrim settlement. The mystery of their 
conduct was, however, in some degree revealed, when 
the Pilgrims were informed that the Indians, with 
their priests, had met in a dark swamp, in a general 
pow-vvow, hoping by their curses and incantations to 
destroy the white men. 

On the whole, the information communicated by 
Samoset was encouraging. It led them to hope that 
their foes were not so numerous as they feared, that 
they regarded, with superstitious dread, the God of 
the white man, and that they were rather disposed to 
rely upon witchcraft and incantations, in their warfare 
upon the new-comers, than upon more material and 
dangerous weapons. Had the Indians known what 
ravages death was making in the huts of the Pilgrims, 
they would have felt assured that their magic arts 
were signally successful. 

As night approached. Captain Standish was quite 
anxious to get rid of his suspicious guest. But Sam- 
oset manifested no disposition to leave. He however 


consented to go on board the ship to pass the night. 
They went down to the shallop. But the wind was 
so high that it was not deemed prudent to encounter 
the high sea, and they returned to Mr. Stephen Hop- 
kins' house, where Samoset was lodged, and carefully 
though secretly watched. 

The next day, Saturday, the 17th, early in the 
morning, Samoset withdrew, to go, as he said, to visit 
the great sagamore, Massasoit. He received a pres- 
ent of a knife, a bracelet and a ring, promising to 
return in a few days, bringing with him some of Mas- 
sasoit's people, and some beaver skins to sell. 

Sunday, the i8th, was another mild and lovely 
day. As the colonists were assembling for the Sab- 
bath devotions, Samoset again made his appearance, 
with five tall Indians in his train. They were all 
dressed in deer skins, fitting closely to the body. 
The most of them had also a panther's skin, or some 
similar furs on his arm, for sale. As Captain Stand- 
ish did not deem it safe to allow any armed savages 
to enter the town, he made a previous arrangement 
with Samoset, that whoever of the Indians he might 
bring with him, should leave their bows and arrows a 
quarter of a mile distant from this village. This ar- 
rangement was faithfully observed. Samoset also 
brought back the tools, which, it will be remembered, 
had been carried away by the Indians. Mourt, in 


his Relation, describes, in the following language, the 
appearance of these strange visitors : 

" They had, most of them, long hosen (leggins) 
up to their groins, close made ; and above their groins 
to the waist, another leather. They were altogether 
like the Irish trousers. They are of complexion like 
our English gipseys ; no hair, or very little, on their 
faces ; on their heads, long hair to their shoulders, 
only cut before ; some trussed up before with a 
feather, broadwise like a fan ; another a fox tail hang- 
ing out. Some of them had their faces painted black, 
from the forehead to the chin, four or five fingers 
broad ; others after other fashions, as they liked." 

The Pilgrims, anxious to win the confidence and 
friendship of the natives, received these savages with 
the utmost kindness, and very hospitably entertained 
them. They seemed to relish very highly the food 
which was set before them, and manifested their sat- 
isfaction and friendship by singing hilariously, and 
performing the most grotesque antics in a dance. It 
was Sunday, and this was not pleasing to these devout 
exiles. They told Samoset that they could not enter 
into any traffic on that day ; but that if he and his 
companions would withdraw and return upon the mor- 
row, or any other day of the week, they would pur- 
chase, not only all the furs they had with them, but 
any others which they might bring. Each one was 


made happy with a present of some article which to 
him was of almost priceless value. They all retired 
except Samoset. He refused to go, asserting, and as 
the Pilgrims thought, feigning, that he was sick. He 
therefore remained until Wednesday, Each of these 
men carried his commissariat stores with him, con- 
sisting of a small bag of the meal of parched corn. 
Mr. Gookin, in an article in the Massachusetts Histor- 
ical Collection, writes : 

" The Indians make a certain sort of meal of 
parched maize, which they call nokake. It is so sweet, 
toothsome and hearty that an Indian will travel many 
days with no other food but this meal, which he eat- 
eth as he needs, and after it drinketh water. And 
for this end, when they travel a journey or go a hunt- 
ing, they carry this nokake in a basket or bag, for their 

Roger Williams says, " Nokake, or parched meal, 
is a ready, very wholesome food, which they eat with 
a little water, hot or cold. I have travelled with near 
two hundred of them at once, near a hundred miles 
through the woods, every man carrying a little basket 
of this at his back, and sometimes in a hollow leather 
girdle about his middle, sufficient for a man three or 
four days. With this ready provision and their bows 
and arrows, they are ready for war or travel at an 
hour's warning." 


The corn was usually parched in hot ashes, and 
then, after having the ashes carefully brushed off, was 
beat to powder. About a gill of this mixed with 
water, taken three times a day, gave them sufficient 
nourishment. With no other food than this, a man 
would often travel through the woods four or five days, 
carrying a very heavy burden upon his back. 

When the Mayflower was leaving England, a man 
by the name of John Billington, uninvited, with two 
ungovernable boys, joined the company. He proved 
to be a very uncongenial companion. Governor 
Bradford, writing of him, said : " This Billington was 
one of the profanest among us. He came from Lon- 
don, and I know not by what friends, was shuffled 
into our company." Again, Governor Bradford wrote 
to Mr. Cushman, in June, 1625, " Billington still rails 
against you, and threatens to arrest you, I know not 
wherefore. He is a knave, and so will live and die." 
In " Mourts' Narrative," under date of December 5th, 
he writes : 

" This day, through God's mercy, we escaped a 
great danger by the foolishness of a boy, one of Bil- 
lington's sons, who, in his father's absence, had got 
gunpowder, and had shot off a piece or two and made 
squibs ; and there being a fowling-piece charged in 
his father's cabin, shot her off in the cabin." There 
was half a keg of powder in the cabin, with many 


grains scattered over the floor ; also flints and pieces 
of iron strowed about. It was a very narrow escape 
from an explosion which might have blown the May- 
flower, with all its occupants, into the air. This John 
Billington, " a mischievous and troublesome fellow," 
was dissatisfied with the authority with which Captain 
Standish was invested. He endeavored to under- 
mine his influence by assailing him with insulting and 
opprobrious language. This was a very serious of- 
fense, since, in their pei:ilous position, it was a matter 
of infinite moment that the orders of their military 
commander should be implicitly obeyed. The whole 
company was convened to try the culprit and pass 
sentence upon him. " He was adjudged to have his 
neck and heels tied together. But upon humbling 
himself and craving pardon, and it being the first of- 
fense, he was forgiven." 


The hidiatis. 

Two Savages on the Hill. — The Return of Samoset with Squantum. — 
The Story of Squantum. — The Visit of Massasoit and His War- 
riors. — Etiquette of the Barbarian and Pilgrim Courts. — The 
Treaty. — Return of the Mayflower to England. — A View of Ply- 
mouth. — Brighter Days. — Visit of Messrs. Winslow and Hop- 
kins to the Seat of Massasoit. — Incidents of the Journey. 

Several days passed, and the Indians, who had 
retired into the forest, did not return. The cottages 
of the Pilgrims, each man building his own, had now 
become habitable, and Monday and Tuesday, the 
weather being fair, they were busy digging the ground 
and sowing their garden seeds. On Wednesday morn- 
ing, the 2 1 St of March, Samoset was sent into the 
woods to ascertain why the Indians did not come back 
according to their promise. He had but just disap- 
peared in the forest when two savages, in war cos- 
tume and thoroughly armed, appeared upon the hill, 
on the other side of Town Brook — the same eminence 
upon which the two Indians had appeared on the 17th 
of February — and brandishing their weapons, with 
every demonstration of hostility, seemed to bid the 


new-comers defiance. This was probably one of the 
acts in their drama of incantation. 

Captain Standish, wlio was ever prompt to assume 
any office of danger, took a companion with him and 
advanced to meet the challengers. They both took 
their muskets, but carefully avoided any attitude of 
menace. Two other Pilgrims followed, at a little dis- 
tance, also with their muskets, to render aid should 
there be any rush of the Indians from an ambush. 
But before Captain Standish had arrived within arrow- 
shot of the natives they both turned, as before, and 

In consequence of sickness and the imperfect ac- 
commodations on the shore, several of the Pilgrim 
company had thus far remained on board the May- 
flower. To-day, however, the shallop brought them 
all to the land, and their colonizing became complete. 
One-half of the crew of the ship had already died ; 
and so many of the remainder were enfeebled by sick- 
ness that Captain Jones did not deem it safe to un- 
dertake his return voyage in so crippled a condition. 
A month passed before the sick and his diminished 
crew were so far recovered as to allow him to venture 
to set sail. 

The. sun of Thursday morning, with healing in its 
beams, rose bright and warm over the busy little vil- 
lage of the exiles. The dreary winter had manifestly 


passed. The sick were generally recovering, and 
there was presented a very cheering scene of peace, 
industry and happiness. At noon all the men had 
met upon some public business, when, in the midst 
of their deliberations, they saw Samoset returning, ac- 
companied by three other Indians. The name of one 
was Squantum, and it was said that he was the only 
surviving member of the Patuxat tribe, who had for- 
merly occupied the territory upon which the Pilgrims 
had now settled. 

His story, undoubtedly truthful, was that he was 
one of the men whom Captain Hunt had so infamously 
kidnapped. He had been carried to Spain and sold 
there as a slave. A humane Englishman, whose name 
we love to perpetuate, Mr. John Slaney, chanced to 
meet the poor fugitive. He liberated him, took him 
to England, and treated him with that truly fraternal 
kindness which Christianity enjoins upon all men. 
At length he had an opportunity to send Squantum 
back to his native land. 

Good deeds and bad deeds ever bear their corre- 
sponding fruit. As the treachery of the miserable 
Hunt caused the hostility of the Indians, the massa- 
cre of the shipwrecked Frenchmen, and the attack at 
the First Encounter, so did the brotherly kindness of 
good John Slaney secure for the Pilgrims, in their 
hour of need, a permanent and influential friend. 


Squantum, forgetting the outrage of the knave who 
had kidnapped him, remembered only the kindness 
of his benefactor. His residence in England had 
rendered him quite familiar with the English language, 
and he became invaluable to the Pilgrims as an inter- 
preter. He attached himself cordially to them, and 
taught them many things of great value in their new 
life in the wilderness. And when, after many years, 
he died, the good old man was heard praying that 
God would take him to the heaven of the white men. 

Squantum had joined the powerful tribe of the 
Wampanoags, his own tribe having become extinct. 
These Indians brought with them a few skins to sell, 
and some dried red herrings ; and they also an- 
nounced the rather startling intelligence that their 
great Sagamore, or King Massasoit, accompanied by 
his brother Quadequina and a retinue of sixty war- 
riors, was near at hand to pay the Pilgrims a friendly 

After the lapse of an hour Massasoit appeared 
on the top of Watson's Hill with his plumed warriors. 
From that eminence, distant about a quarter of a 
mile, they had a perfect view of the little village, and 
were conspicuously exposed to the view of the Pil- 
grims. Under the circumstances, knowing not what 
might be the treachery of the Indians, Captain Stand- 
ish did not deem it safe to allow so powerful a band 


of armed savages to enter the village, or to allow any 
considerable band of his weak force to withdraw from 
behind the intrenchments which they had reared, and 
to go out to meet the royal retinue. Neither did 
Massasoit deem it prudent to place himself in the 
power of the white men, whom the treachery of Hunt 
had caused him to dread. 

After several messages had passed to and fro 
between the two parties, through Squantum, their in- 
terpreter, Massasoit, who, though unlettered, proved 
himself to be a man of much sagacity, proposed that 
the Pilgrims should send one of their men to his en- 
campment to communicate to him their designs in 
settling upon 'ands which had belonged to one of his 
vassal tribes. Mr. Edward Winslow consented to go 
upon this important and somewhat hazardous mis- 
sion. He took, as a present to the barbarian mon- 
arch, two skins and a copper necklace, with a jewel 
attached to it. He also took to Quadequina a knife, 
an ear-ring, consisting of a pendent jewel, some bis- 
cuit and butter, and, we are sorry to add, a jug of 
rum ; but those were the days of ignorance which 
God winked at. 

Mr. Winslow, accompanie 1 by Squantum, as his 
interpreter, crossed the brook, ascended Watson's 
Hill, and presented himself before the Indian chief. 
" Our messenger," writes Mourt, " made a speech 


unto him, that King James saluted him with words 
of love and peace, and did accept him as his friend 
and ally ; and that our Governor desired to see him, 
and to truck with him, and to confirm a peace with 
him, as his next neighbor." 

Massasoit listened attentively to the speech, as 
communicated to him by the interpreter, and seemed 
much pleased with it. In token of amity, they had a 
little feast together. Massasoit seemed much im- 
pressed with the long and glittering sword which 
hung by the side of Mr. Winslow, and expressed a 
strong desire to purchase it ; but Mr. Winslow could 
not consent to part with the weapon. 

After a pleasant and very friendly interview, Mas- 
sasoit, cautiously leaving Mr. Winslow as a hostage 
in the custody. of his brother Quadequina, came down 
to the brook with twenty men, as his retinue, all un- 
armed. Six of them were sent into the village, as 
hostages in exchange for Mr. Winslow. 

Then Captain Standish, with one companion, prob- 
ably Mr. Thomas Williams, and followed by half a 
dozen musketeers, advanced to the brook to meet the 
royal guest and to escort him, with all due honor, to 
the presence of their Governor. A salute of six mus- 
kets was fired, and the monarch with his Indian band 
was led to an unfinished house which had been has- 
tily decorated for their reception. It was deemed 


important to arrange something of an imposing pa- 
geant to impress the minds of their barbarian visitors. 
Two or three cushions were laid down, covered with 
a green carpet, as seats for the Indian chief and for 
the Governor in this important interview. As soon 
as Massasoit was seated the music of drums and of 
a trumpet was heard, and Governor Carver, with a 
suitable retinue, entered. Gracefully he took the 
hand of Massasoit and kissed it. In accordance 
with the mistaken views of hospitality in those days, 
ardent spirits were brought forward to regale the 
guests. This was probably the first time Massasoit 
had ever seen the accursed liquid, and he was entire- 
ly unacquainted with its fiery nature. The Indian 
chieftain, deeming it a part of politeness to partake 
generously of the entertainment provided for him, 
when the goblet was presented, " drunk a great draft 
which made him sweat all the while after." 

Massasoit was a remarkable man. He was of 
majestic stature, in the prime of life, of grave and 
stately demeanor, reserved in speech, and ever prov- 
ing faithful to all his obligations. He wore a chain 
of white bone beads about his neck, and a little bag 
of tobacco, from which he smoked himself and pre- 
sented to Governor Carver to smoke. His face was 
painted of a deep red color, and his hair and face so 
oiled as to present a very glossy appearance. His 


followers were also all painted, in various styles and 
of various colors. Some were partially clothed in 
skins, others were nearly naked. They were all tall, 
powerful men. After much friendly deliberation, the 
Governor and Massasoit entered into the following 
very simple, but comprehensive treaty of peace and 
alliance : 

1. The Sagamore pledged himself that none of his 
men should do any harm to the Pilgrims ; and that, if 
any harm were done, the offender should be sent to 
them that they might punish them. 

2. That, if any property belonging to the white 
men should be taken away, it should be restored, 
Governor Carver agreeing to the same in reference 
to his party. 

3. The Governor agreed that if any Indian tribe 
should wage an unjust war against Massasoit, he 
would help him ; Massasoit agreeing in the same way 
to aid the Pilgrims, should they be assailed. 

4. Massasoit pledged himself to send word to all 
his confederate tribes that he had entered into this 
alliance with the white men, and to enjoin its faithful 
observance upon them. 

5. Finally, it was agreed that whenever any of the 
Indians visited the settlement of the white men, they 
should leave their arms behind them. The Pilgrims 
were also bound always to go imarmed whenever they 
should visit the residence of the Indian chief. 


As evening approached, Massasoit and his follow- 
ers withdrew. The Governor accompanied him to 
the brook, where they embraced and separated. The 
six Indian hostages were retained until Mr. Winslow 
should be returned. But soon word was brought that 
Quadequina wished to make them a short visit. He 
soon appeared, with quite a troop around him. He 
was a young man, tall, modest and gentlemanly. He 
was also conducted, with music of drum and fife, to 
the Governor. He seemed very much afraid of the 
muskets ; and to calm his manifest fears they were 
laid aside. After a short interview he returned to 
the hill, and Mr. Winslow came back to the camp. 
The Indian hostages were also then released. The 
scenes of the day had inspiied them with so much 
confidence in the Pilgrims that two of them wished 
to remain all night. But • Captain Standish did not 
deem it prudent to grant their request. 

Samoset and Squantum remained with the Pil- 
grims. Massasoit withdrew his party from the hill, 
about half a mile south into the forest, and there they 
encamped for the night. Their wives and children 
were with them there. During the night both parties 
kept up a vigilant watch, for neither had, as yet, full 
confidence in the other. In the morning several of 
the Indians came into the settlement, according to 
their agreement, unarmed. They said that in a few 


days they should come to the other side of the brook 
and plant corn, and remain there with their families 
all summer. The king sent an invitation to have some 
of the Pilgrims visit him. 

" Captain Standish and Israel Alderton," writes 
Mourt, " went venturously, who were welcomed of 
him after their manner. He gave them three or four 
ground nuts and some tobacco. We cannot yet con- 
ceive but that he is willing to have peace with us ; 
for they have seen our people sometimes alone, two 
or three in the woods, at work and fowling, when 
they offered them no harm, as they might easily have 
done, and especially as he has a potent adversary in 
the Narragansets, that are at war with him, against 
whom he thinks we may be some strength to him, for 
our pieces are terrible unto them." 

The English visitors remained in the encampment 
of Massasoit until about eleven o'clock. Governor 
Carver sent by them to the chief a kettleful of peas, 
which the Indians seemed to regard as truly a prince- 
ly gift. The next day, Friday, it was again pleasant. 
Squantum, who with Samoset, still remained with the 
Pilgrims, went to a neighboring creek, since appro- 
priately called Eel River, and at night came home 
with as many eels as he could carry. " They were 
fat and sweet. He trod them out with his feet, and 
so caught them with his hands, without any other in- 


strument." In a comparatively recent history of Ply- 
mouth, it is stated that a hundred and fifty barrels of 
eels are annually taken from that creek. The Pil- 
grims on that day held a general meeting, to conclude 
some military arrangements, to enact certain needful 
laws, and to choose a Governor for the year. The 
choice fell, with apparently great unanimity, upon the 
then incumbent, Mr. John Carver. 

In Young's Chronicle of the Pilgrims we find a 
note containing the following statement : " It will be 
recollected that Carver had been chosen Governor on 
the nth of November, the same day on which the 
Compact was signed. It was now the 23d of March, 
and the new year commencing on the 25th, according 
to the calendar then in use. Carver was re-elected for 
the ensuing year." 

Pleasant summer days now came, and glided rap- 
idly away, with nothing occurring of essential import- 
ance. Friendly relations were established with the 
Indians, and the affairs of the colony seemed as pros- 
perous as, under the circumstances, could be expected. 
On the 5 th of April the Mayflower weighed anchor 
and set sail on her return voyage to PZngland. She 
had but one-half of the crew with which she had 
sailed from Old Plymouth. The rest had fallen vic- 
tims to the winter's sickness. It is remarkable that, 
notwithstanding the hardships to which the Pilgrims 


were exposed, not one was disposed to abandon the 
enterprise and return in the ship. When the May- 
flower left, there remained in the colony but fifty-five 
persons. Of these, nineteen only were men. The 
remaining thirty- six were women, children and ser- 

Scarcely had the ship disappeared over the distant 
horizon, ere Governor Carver, "oppressed by his great 
care and pains for the common good," on one hot 
April noon returned from the field, complaining of a 
severe pain in his head, probably caused by a sun- 
stroke. He soon became delirious, and, in a few days, 
died. It was a severe loss to the colony, and they 
mourned over him with great lamentation and heavi- 
ness. He was buried with all the imposing ceremonies 
of sorrow which the feeble colony could arrange. His 
wife, overwhelmed with grief in view of her terrible 
loss, in a few weeks followed her husband to the grave. 
Soon after, Mr. William Bradford, who was then in a 
state of great debility from his recent sickness, was 
chosen his successor. 

The settlers, having no animals to draw the plough, 
were laboriously opening the ground near their dwell- 
ings with the spade. Six acres they sowed with bar- 
ley and peas. Fortunately they had ten bushels of 
corn for seed. With this they planted twenty acres, 
Squantum showing them how to plant and hill it. 


Berries v/ere found in abundance in the woods, as the 
season advanced, and a very grateful supply of grapes. 

Mr. Palfrey, in his admirable History of New Eng- 
land, writes very pleasantly, " A visitor to Plymouth 
during this summer, as he landed, on the southern 
side of a high bluff, would have seen, standing between 
it and a rapid little stream, a rude house of logs, 
twenty feet square, containing the common property 
of the plantation. Proceeding up a gentle declivity, 
between two rows of log cabins, nineteen in number, 
some of them, perhaps, vacant since the death of 
their first tenants, he would have come to a hill sur- 
mounted with a platform for cannon. He might have 
counted twenty men at work with hoes, in the en- 
closures about the huts, or fishing in the shallow har- 
bor, or visiting the woods or beach for game ; while 
six or eight women were busy in household affairs, 
and some, twenty children, from infancy upwards, 
completed the domestic picture." 

All fears of famine seem now to have passed away. 
In addition to the stores which they brought with them 
they had an abundant supply of fish, wild fowls and 
native fruits. On the i8th of June two of the ser- 
vants of Mr. Hopkins undertook to fight a duel with 
sword and dagger. Both were wounded. The Pil- 
grims met in a body to adjudge the penalty for so se- 
rious an offense. They were sentenced to be tied 


together, by their head and feet, and thus to lie 
twenty-four hours, without meat or drink. The pun- 
ishment was begun to be inflicted, " But within an 
hour, because of their great pains, at their own and 
their master's humble request, upon promise of bet- 
ter carriage, they are released by the Governor." 

Early in July, Governor Bradford decided to send 
a deputation to visit Massasoit. There were several 
objects he wished to accomplish by this mission. 
First, it was desirable to ascertain where he lived and 
what his strength was. He also wished to honor Mas- 
sasoit by paying him a friendly visit. Another con- 
sideration of no little importance which influenced 
him was, that vagabond Indians were increasingly in 
the habit of coming with their wives and children, 
loitering about the village to the great annoyance of 
the settlers, and clamoring for food, which they de- 
voured with the voracity of famished wolves. 

Mr. Winslow and Mr. Hopkins, accompanied by 
Squantum as their interpreter, were appointed for this 
important mission. Mr. Winslow has transmitted to 
us a minute account of the interesting adventure. 
They left the village, probably on Tuesday morning, 
July 3d, bearing the following message to Massasoit, 
with the present of a brilliant horseman's coat, of red 
cotton, gaudily laced. 

" Inasmuch as your subjects come often and with- 


out fear, upon all occasions amongst us, so we are now 
come unto you. In witness of the love and good will 
the English bear you, our Governor has sent you a 
coat, desiring that the peace and amity between us 
may be continued ; not that we fear you, but because 
we intend not to injure any one, desiring to live peace- 
ably, as with all men, so especially with you our nearest 

" But whereas your people come very often, and 
very many together, unto us, bringing for the most 
part their wives and children with them, they are wel- 
come. Yet we being but strangers, as yet, at Patux- 
et, or New Plymouth, and not knowing how our corn 
may prosper, can no longer give them such entertain- 
ment as we have done, and as we desire still to do. 
Yet if you will be pleased to come yourself, or any 
special friend of yours desires to see us, coming from 
you, they shall be welcome. 

"And to the end that we may know them from 
others, our Governor has sent you a copper chain, 
desiring that if any messenger should come from you 
to us, we may know him by his bringing it with him, 
and may give credit to his message accordingly." 

They then added the following, which we record 
ivith pleasure, as showing the conscientiousness of 
ihese remarkable men : 

" At our first arrival at Paomet, called by us Cape 


Cod, we found there corn buried in the ground, and 
finding no inhabitants, but some graves of the dead 
newly buried, took the corn, resolving that if ever we 
could hear of any that had right thereunto, to make 
satisfaction to the full for it. Yet since we under- 
stand the owners thereof had fled, for fear of us, our 
desire is either to pay them with the like quantity of 
corn, or with English meal, or any other commodities 
we have, which they may desire. We request that 
some of your men may signify so much unto them, 
and we will content him for his pains. 

" Last of all, our Governor requested one favor of 
him, which was that he would exchange some of their 
corn for seed, with us, that we might make trial which 
was best agreed with the soil where we live." 

It was a warm and sunny day when the two Pil- 
grims, with their Indian guide, set out on their ad- 
venturous journey through the forest. The Indians, 
in their movements from place to place, however nu- 
merous the party, always went, with moccasined feet, in 
single file, one following after the other. The forests 
were threaded with many of these narrow paths, or 
trails, which had thus been trodden by them through 
countless generations. These paths were as well 
known by them, and almost as distinctly marked, as 
the paved roads of the Old World which had resound- 
ed with the tramp of the Roman legions. Indian in- 


stinct had, ages ago, selected these routes, often 
through glooms which no rays of the sun ever pene- 
trated, and again through scenes of marvellous pic- 
turesque beauty, beneath frowning mountains, along 
the margin of crystal lakes, and upon the banks of 
sparkling rivulets. 

Much to the annoyance of the two Pilgrims ap- 
pointed upon this mission a party of ten or twelve 
lazy Indians, men, women and children, uninvited, 
persistently tagged after them, often very vexatiously 
intrusive, and ever clamorous to share their food. 

The first day they travelled about fifteen miles, to 
an Indian village called Namasket. It was situated 
upon a branch of what is now called the Taunton 
River, within the limits of the present town of Mid- 

"Thither we came," writes Mr. Winslow, "about 
three o'clock after noon ; the inhabitants entertaining 
us with joy, in the best manner they could, giving us 
a kind of bread called by them maisittm, * and the 
spawn of shads, which they then got in abundance, 
insomuch that they gave us spoons to eat them. With 
these they boiled musty acorns ; but of the shads we 
ate heartily." 

These Indians had probably all heard of the won- 

* Made of maize or Indian com. 


derful power of the muskets of the white men, though, 
perhaps, none of them had ever seen the effects ac- 
complished by powder and ball. The crows troubled 
their corn fields, and it was almost impossible for the 
Indians to get near enough to these wary animals to 
hit them with the arrow. They begged their guests 
to show them the power of their guns by shooting 
some of these crows. There was one upon a tree at 
the distance of about two hundred and forty feet. 
With intense interest the Indians watched as they 
saw one of the Pilgrims take deliberate aim at the 
bird, and when they heard the report, and saw the 
bird fall dead, struck by an invisible shaft, their aston- 
ishment passed all bounds. Several crows were thus 
shot, exciting the admiration and awe of all the savage 

As Squantum told the Pilgrims that it was more 
than a day's journey from Namasket to Pokanoket, or 
Mount Hope, where Massasoit resided, and that 
there was a good place to pass the night about eight 
miles further on their way, they decided to resume 
their journey. About sunset they reached a small 
group of Indians at a place now called Titicut, on 
Taunton River, in the northwest part of Middle- 
borough, adjoining Bridge water. 

Here quite an attractive region presented itself to 
their eyes. The land on both sides of the river had 


long been cleared, being entirely free from trees or 
stumps, and had evidently waved u^ith cornfields. 
There were many indications that the place had for- 
merly been quite thickly inhabited. The plague, of 
which we have spoken, it is said, had swept every in- 
dividual into the grave. A few wandering outcast 
Indians had come to this depopulated region to take 
fish. By means of a wear in the river, which con- 
sisted of a sort of net or fence, constructed of 
branches of trees and twigs, they caught an abun- 
dance of bass. They had not erected any shelter for 
themselves, but were sleeping, like the cattle, in the 
open air. These wretched savages had no food but 
fish and roasted acorns. Very greedily they partook 
of the stores which the Pilgrims brought with them. 
Liberally they were fed, " we not doubting," writes 
Mr. Winslow, " but that we should have enough wher 
e'er we came." 

The Pilgrims lodged that night in the open fields. 
The next morning, at an early hour, after such frugal 
breakfast as the occasion could furnish, they set out 
again upon their journey. Six savages followed them. 
Having travelled about six miles, following down the 
banks of the river, they came to a shoal place, where 
the stream could be forded. This was undoubtedly 
at a spot now called Squabetty, three and a half miles 
from Taunton Green. 



" Here," writes Mr. Winslow, " let me not forget 
the valor and courage of some of the savages on the 
opposite side of the river ; for there were remaining 
alive only two men, both aged, especially the one be- 
ing about threescore. These two, espying a com- 
pany of men entering the river, ran very swiftly, and 
low in the grass, to meet us at the bank, where, with 
shrill voices and great courage, standing, they charged 
upon us with their bows, demanding who we were, 
supposing us to be enemies, and thinking to take ad- 
vantage of us in the water. But seeing we were 
friends, they welcomed us with such food as they had, 
and we bestowed a small bracelet of beads upon them." 

Here, after refreshing themselves, they continued 
their journey down the western banks of the river. 
It was a very sultry July day, but the country was 
beautiful, and abundantly watered with innumerable 
small streams, and cool, bubbling springs. The sav- 
ages would never drink of the flowing brooks, but 
only at the spring heads. Very pleasantly Mr. Wins- 
low writes in reference to the amiability and obliging 
disposition of these savages : 

" When we came to any brook where no bridge 
was, two of them desired to carry us through, of their 
own accord. Also, fearing that we were or would be 
weary, they offered to carry our pieces. If we would 
lay off any of our clothes, we should have them car- 


ried. And as the one of them had found more special 
kindness from one of the messengers, and the other 
savage from the other, so they showed their thankful- 
ness accordingly, in affording us all help and further- 
ance in the journey." 

It was very manifest to the travellers, as we have 
said, that they were passing through a country which 
once had been crowded with a population which but 
recently had been swept away. There were widely 
extended fields, which had formerly been planted with 
corn, where there was then to be seen but a rank 
growth of weeds, higher than a man's head. The re- 
gion was pleasantly diversified with hills and plains, 
often presenting extended forests of the most valuable 
timber. It was a very noticeable and beautiful feature 
in these forests, that they were entirely free of under- 
brush, presenting the aspect of the most carefully- 
trimmed English park. Mr. Wood, who visited this 
region in year 1633, writes : 

" Whereas it is generally conceived that the woods 
grow so thick that there is no more clear ground than 
is hewed out by labor of men, it is nothing so ; in many 
places divers acres being clear, so that one may ride 
a hunting in most places of the land. There is no 
underwood, saving in swamps and low grounds ; for, 
it being the custom of the Indians to burn the woods 
in November, when the grass is withered and leaves 


dried, consumes all the underwood and rubbish, which 
otherwise would overgrow the country, making it im- 
passable, and spoil their much-affected hunting. So 
that in these places there is scarce a bush or bramble 
or any cumbersome underwood to be seen in the 
more champaign ground." 

Hour after hour they journeyed on through these 
lonely fields, without meeting an individual. At 
length one solitary Indian was espied in the distance. 
The Indians, who accompanied the Pilgrims, seemed 
much alarmed, from fear that he might be one of the 
Narraganset tribe, with whom Massasoit was then at 
war, and that there might be more of the Narragan- 
sets near at hand. The Pilgrims, however, bade 
them not to fear, assuring them that, with their guns, 
they should not hesitate to meet twenty of the foe. 
The savage was hailed. He proved to be a friend, 
having two women with him. The two parties inter- 
changed courtesies, ate and drank together, and sep- 
arated, well pleased with each other. 

Soon after this they met another Indian, also ac- 
companied by two women. They had been at a ren- 
dezvous, by a salt water creek, and had some baskets 
full of roasted crabs and other small shell fish. They, 
also, in oriental fashion, ate and drank together, in 
token of friendship. The women were made very 
happy by a present each of a string of beads, as bril- 


liant in their eyes as the priceless jewels of the crown 
to any European queen. " There is but one step 
between the sublime and the ridiculous." The 
step is equally short between the court-dress of 
an European monarch and his jeweled queen, and 
that of the feathered Indian warrior and his beaded 

Continuing their journey, they soon reached one 
of the small towns of Massasoit. This was probably 
Mattapoiset, now known as Gardner's Neck, in Swan- 
sey. They were hospitably received here, and fed 
with oysters and other fish. 

The latter part of the afternoon they reached Po- 
kanoket, on the northern shore of Narraganset Bay. 
The capital of the Indian monarch, which they had 
thus entered, was about forty miles from Plymouth. 
The spot where the little cluster of wigwams stood, 
was probably Sowams, in the present town of Warren. 
We cannot better describe the interview which took 
place, than in the language of Mr. Winslow : 

" Massasoit was not at home. There we stayed, 
he being sent for. When news was brought of his 
coming, our guide, Squantum, requested that, at our 
meeting, we would discharge our pieces. But one of 
us going about to discharge his piece, the women and 
children, through fear to see him take up his piece, 
ran away, and could not be pacified till he laid it down 


again ; who afterwards were better informed by our 

" Massasoit being come, we discharged our pieces 
and saluted him ; who, after their manner, kindly 
welcomed us, and took us into his house and set us 
down by him ; where, having delivered our foresaid 
message and presents, and having put the coat on his 
back, and the chain about his neck, he was not a lit- 
tle proud to behold himself, as were his men also, to 
see their king so bravely attired. 

" In answer to our message, he told us we were 
welcome, and he would gladly continue that peace 
and friendship which was between him and us. As 
for his men, they should no longer pester us as they 
had done. He would also send us corn for seed, ac- 
cording to our request. 

" This being done, his men gathered near to him, 
to whom he turned himself and made a great speech ; 
they sometimes interposing, and, as it were, confirm- 
ing and applauding him in that he said." 

In this harangue the king enumerated thirty 
towns or villages over which his sovereignty was rec- 
ognized ; and enjoined it upon his people ever to live 
in peace with the white men, and to carry to them furs 
for sale. 

" This being ended he lighted tobacco for us, and 
fell to discoursing of England and of the King's Maj- 


esty, marvelling that he would live without a wife.''' 
Also he talked of the Frenchmen, bidding us not to 
suffer them to come to Narraganset, for it was King 
James's country, and he was King James's man. 
Late it grew, but victuals he offered us none ; for, in- 
deed, he had not any, he being so newly come home. 
So we desired to go to rest. He laid us on the bed 
with himself and his wife, they at the one end and 
we at the other, it being only planks laid a foot from 
the ground, and a thin mat upon them. Two more 
of his chief men, for want of room, pressed by and 
upon us, so that we were worse weary of our lodging 
than of our journey. 

"The next day being Thursday, many of their 
sachems, or petty governors, came to see us, and many 
of their men also. There they went to their manner 
of games for skins and knives. We challenged them 
to shoot with us for skins, but they durst not ; only 
they desired one of us to shoot at a mark, who, shoot- 
ing with hail-shot, they wondered to see the mark so 
full of holes. 

"About one o'clock Massasoit brought two fishes 
that he had shot. They were like bream, but three 
times as big, and better meat, f These, being boiled, 

* James I., then King of England, had been a widower for about a 

\ This was probably the fish called tataug. 


there were at least forty looked for share in them. 
The most ate of them. This meal only we had in 
two nights and a day. And had not one of us bought 
a partridge we had taken our journey fasting. 

" Very importunate he was to have us stay with 
him longer. But we desired to keep the Sabbath at 
home, and feared that we should either be light- 
headed for want of sleep, for what with bad lodging, 
the savage's barbarious singing, for they use to sing 
themselves asleep, lice and fleas within doors, and 
mosquitoes without, we could hardly sleep all of the 
time of our being there ; we much fearing that if we 
should stay any longer we should not be able to re- 
cover home for want of strength. So that on Friday 
morning, before sun-rising, we took our leave and de- 
parted, Massasoit being both grieved and ashamed 
that he could no better entertain us." 

Their journey home was a weary one. They com- 
menced it hungry, and without any supply of food for 
the way. Squantum and five other Indians accom- 
panied them, who were accustomed to the hardships 
of the wilderness, and knew how to obtain food if there 
were roots or berries, game or fish anywhere within 
reach. When they arrived at Mattapoiset, the friendly 
but half-starved Indians there refreshed them with a 
small fish, a handful of parched corn, and a few clams. 
The clams they gave to their six Indians, reserving 


for themselves only the little fish and the handful of 
meal, which by no means satiated their craving appe- 
tites. The Indians led them five miles out of their 
way, with the hope of obtaining food, but they found 
the place abandoned and no food there. 

Hungry and weary they toiled along, and that 
night reached the wear at Titicut, on Taunton River. 
Here again they found famine. But one of the hos- 
pitable savages, who had speared a shad, and shot a 
small squirrel, gave half to the nearly famished trav- 
ellers. In this starving condition they sent one of 
the Indians forward to Plymouth, imploring their 
brethren immediately to send an Indian runner to 
meet them at Namasket with food. Fortunately that 
evening a large number of fishes were caught in the 
wear, so that they feasted abundantly upon roasted 
fish, and their fatigue enabled them to sleep soundly 
in the open air. In the morning, after another ample 
breakfast of roasted fish, which their good appetites 
rendered palatable, they set out again upon their 

About two o'clock in the morning it had com- 
menced raining with great violence, accompanied with 
thunder and lightning. The fire which the Pilgrims 
had built to keep their feet warm was extinguished, 
and, drenched with the rain and shivering with cold, 
they must have suffered severely had not their great 


fatigue rendered them almost insensible to tne ex- 
posure. The storm of wind and rain raged unabated 
through the day. But they toiled on, wet and weary, 
until, a little after noon, they reached Namasket. 
Here they found the provisions which their compan- 
ions had sent them from Plymouth. Liberally they 
rewarded all who had shown them any kindness by 
the way. At night they reached home, wet, weary 
and footsore. They had been absent five days, leav- 
ing Plymouth Tuesday morning, and returning home 
Saturday evening, having spent Thursday with the 
renowned Indian monarch Massasoit. 


Exploring Tours. 

The Lost Boy. — The Expedition to Nauset. — Interesting Adventures. 
— The Mother of the Kidnapped Indians. — Tyanough. — Payment 
for the Corn. — Aspinet, the Chief. — The Boy Recovered. — Alarm- 
ing Intelligence. — Hostility of Corbitant. — The Friendship of 
Hobbomak. — Heroic Achievement of Miles Standish. — The Mid- 
night Attack. — Picturesque Spectacle. — Results of the Adventure. 
Visit to the Massachusetts. — The Squaw Sachem. — An Indian 
Fort. — Charming Country. — Glowing Reports. 

We have before spoken of the notorious John Bil- 
lington and his ungovernable family. His boy John, 
the same one who came so near causing the May- 
flower to be blown up with gunpowder, got lost in the 
woods. The search to find him was unavailing. At 
last news came that he had, after wandering five days 
in the woods, living upon berries, been picked up by 
the Nauset Indians, the same who had attacked the 
Pilgrims at the First Encounter. Following an In- 
dian trail he had reached a small Indian village, called 
Manomet, in the present town of Sandwich, about 
twenty miles south of Plymouth. The Indians treated 
him kindly, and took him with them still further down 
the Cape to Nauset, in the present town of Barn- 



Massasoit sent word to Governor Carver where he 
was, and an expedition of ten men was immediately 
fitted out, in the shallop, to bring him back. It was 
a beautiful day, the latter part of July, when the boat 
sailed from Plymouth harbor on this short trip. They 
had not, however, been many hours at sea ere a tem- 
pest arose with vivid lightning and heavy peals of 
thunder. They ran, for shelter, into a place called 
Cummaquit, which was doubtless Barnstable harbor. 
Squantum and another Indian, by the name of Toka- 
mahamon, accompanied them, as interpreters and 

It was night before they reached the harbor and 
cast anchor. The receding tide left them dry upon 
the flats. In the morning they saw several savages, 
on the shore, seeking for shell-fish. The two Indian 
interpreters were sent to communicate with them. 
They returned stating that the boy was well, but that 
he was several miles further down the Cape, at Nau- 
set. The Indians also invited the white men to come 
on shore and eat with them. As soon as the return- 
ing tide floated the boat they drew near to the shore, 
and, cautiously taking four unarmed Indians on board 
as hostages, six of the voyagers landed. Here they 
had a very pleasant interview with the sachem, or 
chief of the tribe, a young man, by the name of Tyan- 
ough, but twenty-six years of age. He was very hos- 


pitable, and seemed to have but little of the savage in 
his nature. They describe him as " very personable, 
gentle, courteous and fair conditioned." 

They met here with an aged Indian woman whom 
they judged to be not less than one hundred years 
old. She had never before seen a white man. As 
soon as she saw the English she burst into a convul- 
sive fit of weeping. It appeared that she had three 
sons who had been lured on board the ship of the in- 
famous Captain Hunt and kidnapped. They were 
carried off to Spain, and she had never heard any tid- 
ings from them. The Pilgrims spoke all the words 
of comfort to the poor bereaved mother which they 
could, assuring her that Captain Hunt was a very 
wicked man, whom God would punish ; that all the 
English condemned him for his crime, and that they 
would not be guilty of the like wickedness for all the 
skins the country could afford. They made her some 
presents which quite cheered her. 

After dinner they re-embarked, on such friendly 
terms with the natives that the chief and two of his 
men went on board with them to accompany them on 
the way. It was in the evening twilight when they 
reached Nauset, and the tide was out. The savages 
here seemed to be very numerous, and they crowded 
the shore. It is supposed that the point which they 
had reached here was in the present town of East- 


ham. The shallop touched the flats at quite a dis- 
tance from the land. Tyanough, the chief of the 
Cummaquit Indians, and his two men, waded over 
the wet and sandy flats to the beach. Squantum ac- 
companied them, to inform Aspinet, the chief of the 
Nauset Indians, of their object in coming. The sav- 
ages manifested great eagerness of cordiality, flocked 
out to the boat, and expressed more than willingness 
to drag it over the flats to the shore. But the Pil- 
grims would not allow this. They had not full con- 
fidence in their sincerity. This was the same tribe 
which had so fiercely assailed them in the First En- 

They, therefore, warned the Indians off, and with 
their weapons stood guard, allowing but two to enter 
the boat. One of these was from Manamoick, now 
Chatham, and was one of the owners of the corn which 
the Pilgrims had taken. The Pilgrims received him 
with great kindness, and assured him that if he would 
come to Plymouth they would repay him abundantly, 
either in corn or other articles ; or, if preferred, they 
would send the payment to the Indians. He prom- 
ised to come to Plymouth. 

Just after sunset Aspinet appeared upon the shore, 
leading the boy, and accompanied by a train of nearly 
one hundred men. Fifty of these, unarmed, came 
wading through the water to the side of the shallop. 


bringing the boy with them. The other fifty remained 
at a Httle distance, armed with bows and arrows, 
ready to meet any hostile demonstration. In token 
of peace, and of his desire to cherish friendly relations 
with the English, Aspinet had decorated the boy with 
Indian ornaments. The Pilgrims here received also 
the rather alarming intelligence that Massasoit had 
been defeated in a battle with the Narragansets. 
Seven men only had been left for the protection of 
the colony. It was feared that the hostile Narragan- 
sets might make an attack upon them. It therefore 
appears that as soon as the tide came in, that very 
night, they spread their sails for home. They made 
Aspinet the present of a knife, and also gave a knife 
to the Indian who first found the boy and protected 

The route which they had followed along the shore 
was so circuitous that they estimated that they had 
reached a point eighty miles from Plymouth. The 
wind was contrary and their progress was slow. When 
they reached Cummaquit they put in ashore for water. 
Here they found Tyanough, who, having returned by 
land, had reached the place before them. The oblig- 
ing chief took their water cask upon his own shoulders 
and led them a long distance through the dark to a 
spring of not very sweet water. The shallop was 
anchored near the shore. The Indian women, in 


manifestation of their good will, sang and danced upon 
the beach, clasping hands. 

Again they set sail, still encountering contrary 
winds, but at length they reached their home in safety. 
Soon after their return, they learned that the defeat 
of Massasoit was more disastrous than had at first 
been reported. It seems that a portion of the Indians 
were much opposed to any friendly relations with the 
white men, and wished for the extermination of the 
colony. An Indian by the name of Hobbomak, who 
was chief of one of the minor tribes, had now strongly 
allied himself to the English. Consequently he and 
Squantum were peculiarly obnoxious to those of the 
savages who remained unfriendly. 

One of Massasoit's petty chieftains, named Corbi- 
tant, led the hostile party. He was an audacious, in- 
solent fellow, residing in the present town of Middle- 
borough, at a point on the Namasket River just above 
the bridge, which passes from the Green to the Four 
Corners, on the Plymouth road. This man endeavored 
to excite a revolt against Massasoit, assailing the Pil- 
grims with the most opprobrious language, and storm- 
ing at the peace which had been made with them by 
Massasoit and the tribes on the Cape. It seemed 
also that he was entering into an alliance with the 
Narraganset Indians against Massasoit and the Pil- 


Hobbomak was a war captain among the Wam- 
panoags, and was greatly beloved by Massasoit. With 
Squantum he set out on a journey to visit Massasoit, 
with inquiries and words of cheer from the Pilgrims. 
They were intercepted on their way by Corbitant, 
and both captured. Hobbomak, being a very power- 
ful man, broke away and escaped. The next day, 
breathless and terrified, he reached Plymouth, report- 
ing what had happened. On their journey they had 
entered a wigwam at Namasket, when suddenly the 
hut was surrounded by a band of armed savages. 
Corbitant himself, brandishing a knife, approached 
Squantum to kill him, saying, "When Squantum is 
dead the English will have lost their tongue." Just 
then Hobbomak escaped, and, outrunning his pur- 
suers, reached Plymouth, not knowing the fate of his 

These were sad tidings, indicating that a very 
perilous storm was gathering. Governor Bradford 
immediately assembled all the men of the colony to 
decide what was to be done. After earnest prayer 
and deliberation, they were united in the opinion that, 
should they suffer their friends and allies to be thus 
assailed with impunity, none of the Indians, however 
kindly disposed, would dare to enter into friendly re- 
lations with them. They therefore resolved to send 
ten men, one-half of their whole number, under Cap- 


tain Standish, with Hobbomak as their guide, to seize 
Corbitant and avenge the ovitrage. Never did a 
heroic little band set out upon a more chivalric adven- 

The morning of the 14th of August was dark and 
stormy. Regardless of wind and rain Captain Stand- 
ish led his valiant companions in single file through 
the narrow and dripping paths of the forest. It was 
late in the afternoon when they reached a secluded 
spot within four miles of Namasket. Here they con- 
cealed themselves that they might suddenly fall upon 
their foe in the darkness of night. Cautiously Cap- 
tain Standish, who was alike prudent and intrepid, 
led his band. Every man received minute instruc- 
tions as to the part he was to perform. The night 
was so dark, with clouds and driving rain, that they 
could hardly see a hand's breadth before them. They 
lost their way, and after groping for some time in the 
tangled thickets, happily again found their trail. It 
was after midnight when, wet and weary, they arrived 
within sight of the glimmering fires of Namasket. 
After silently refreshing themselves from their knap- 
sacks they crept along to the large wigwam, where 
they supposed that Corbitant, surrounded by several 
of his warriors, was sleeping. The darkness of the 
night and the wailings of the storm caused even the 
wary Indians to be deaf to their approach. 


"At a signal, two muskets were fired to terrify 
the savages, and Captain Standish, with three or four 
men, rushed into the hut. The ground floor, dimly- 
lighted by some dying embers, was covered with 
sleeping Indians, men, women, and children. A 
scene of indescribable consternation and confusion 
ensued. Through Hobbomak, Captain Standish or- 
dered every Indian to remain in the wigwam, assuring 
them that he had come for Corbitant, the murderer 
of Squantum, and that, if he were not there, no one 
else should be injured. 

" But the savages, terrified by the midnight sur- 
prise, and by the report of the muskets, were bereft 
of reason. Many of them endeavored to escape, and 
were severely wounded by the Pilgrims in their at- 
tempts to stop them. The Indian boys, seeing that 
the Indian women were not molested, ran around, 
frantically exclaiming, ' I am a girl ! I am a girl ! ' 

" At last order was restored, and it was found that 
Corbitant was not there, but that he had gone off, 
with all his train, and that Squantum was not killed. 
A bright fire was now kindled, that the hut might be 
carefully searched. Its blaze illuminated one of the 
wildest of imaginable scenes. The wigwam, spacious 
and rudely constructed of boughs, mats and bark; 
the affrighted savages, men, women and children, in 
their picturesque dress and undress, a few with ghastly 


wounds, faint and bleeding ; the bold colonists, in 
their European dress and armor ; the fire blazing in 
the centre of the hut, all combined to present a scene 
such as few eyes have ever witnessed." * 

By this time all the inmates of the adjoining wig- 
wams were aroused. Hobbomak, in the darkness, 
climbed to the top of the wigwam and shouted aloud 
for Squantum. In his response to his well-known 
voice, Squantum soon appeared. Captain Standish 
deprived all the Indian warriors of their bows and ar- 
rows, and having established a watch, sought such 
repose as they could find until morning. 

Many of these Indians were friendly to the Eng- 
lish, and they, with the earliest light of the morning, 
gathered around Captain Standish. The hostile In- 
dians, who belonged to the faction of Corbitant, fled 
during the night. It seemed, however, that a major- 
ity were disposed to be friendly, for a large group 
gathered around Captain Standish, with pledges of 
their good will. He addressed them in words of con- 
ciliation, and yet of firmness, assuring them that, 
though Corbitant had for the present escaped, if he 
continued his hostility he could find no retreat from 
the avenging hand of the white man. He also assured 
them that if the Narragansets continued their as- 

* Abbott's Life of King Philip. 


saults upon Massasoit or upon any ot his subjects, 
the white men would punish them by the utter over- 
throw of their tribe. He expressed much regret that 
any of the Indians had been wounded, but told them 
that it was their own fault, as he had assured them 
that they should not be harmed if they would remain 
in the hut. He also offered to take home with him 
any who were wounded, that they might be carefully 
nursed. Two of the wounded availed themselves of 
this offer. The surgeon of the Pilgrim company, Mr. 
Samuel Fuller, tenderly cared for them. 

Captain Standish led his triumphant little band 
back, accompanied by Squantum, and many other 
friendly Indians. The heroic achievement taught the 
friendly Indians that they could rely upon the protec- 
tion of the white men, and was a loud warning to 
those who were disposed to be hostile. The enter- 
prise occupied but two days. As the result of this 
adventure, many Sachems sent in the expression of 
their desire to enter into a friendly alliance with the 
Pilgrims. Corbitant himself was frightened by such 
an exhibition of energy, and by his own narrow es- 
cape. He sought reconciliation through the interces- 
sion of Massasoit, and subsequently signed a treaty 
of submission and friendship. Even Canonicus, the 
hostile and warlike chief of the Narragansets, sent 
an embassy to Plymouth, not improbably as spies, but 


with the professed object of treating for peace. The 
friendship of Massasoit, and his influence over the 
chiefs of the smaller tribes, contributed much to this 
happy result. 

The Blue Hills of Milton were then called Mount 
Massachusetts. Many rumors had reached the colo- 
nists that the tribes residing in that vicinity, about 
forty miles north from Plymouth, were very unfriend- 
ly, had uttered many threats, and were preparing for 
hostile measures. The Pilgrims decided to send an 
expedition to that region, to establish, if possible, 
friendly relations with the natives, and they also 
wished to examine the country. 

Captain Miles Standish was, of course, the one to 
be entrusted with the command of the important en- 
terprise. He took a party in the shallop, of nine of 
the colonists, and three Indians, as interpreters, one 
of whom was Squantum. They set sail at midnight, 
in consequence of the favoring tide. It was Tuesday 
morning, the i8th of September, O. S. A gentle 
southerly breeze pressed their sails, and they glided 
over a smooth sea until they reached a point which 
they estimated to be about sixty miles from the port 
which they had left. As they had been informed that 
the tribes were numerous and warlike, as well as un- 
friendly, and it was a mild autumnal night. Captain 
Standish did not deem it prudent to land, but they all 
remained until morning in the boat. 


They had entered a bay, which was doubtless 
Boston harbor, and anchored but a short distance 
from a cHff, which some have supposed to have been 
Copp's Hill, at the north end of Boston. This cliff 
rose about fifty feet from the water, and presented a 
precipitous front on the seaward shore. 

The next morning they put in for the shore and 
landed. * Here they found quite a quantity of lob- 
sters which the savages had collected, but for some 
unknown reason had left. Captain Standish, with 
characteristic prudence, left three men to guard the 
shallop, and stationed two as sentinels, in a com- 
manding position on the shore, to give warning of any 
appearance of danger. Then, with characteristic en- 
terprise and courage, taking four men with him, and 
an Indian as guide and interpreter, he entered one of 
the well-trodden trails of the forest and pressed for- 
ward in search of the habitations of the Indians. It 
was a bold deed ; for, though they had guns, a hun- 
dred Indian warriors, shooting their barbed arrows 
from behind trees, would soon lay them all weltering 
in blood. 

They had not gone far before they met an Indian 
woman who, it seems, owned some of the lobsters, 

* Mr. Drake, in his History of Boston, supposes that the "cliff" 
alluded to must have been that pile of rocks now called " the chapel," 
in Quincy Bay. 


and was going to the shore to get them. But the 
colonists had feasted upon the savory food. They 
paid the woman, however, abundantly, to her entire 
satisfaction. She informed them that the small tribe 
to which she belonged, and whose chieftain's name 
was Obbatinewat, resided in a village a little farther 
along the coast. They therefore sent Squantum 
forward to the Indian village to inform Obbatinewat 
that the Pilgrims were coming to make him a friendly 
visit. Captain Standish returned to the shallop to 
continue their voyage to the settlement. 

It required but a short sail. The Indian chief 
and his people, being prepared for their coming, re- 
ceived them kindly. It is a remarkable fact that the 
chief of the Massachusett tribe, probably the most 
powerful tribe then in these borders, was a woman — 
a squaw. Upon the death of her husband, Nanepash- 
emet, she had been recognized as his successor. 
She was known as the Squaw Sachem, and was at 
war with Obbatinewat. Captain Standish offered his 
services to promote reconciliation. This was cer- 
tainly magnaminious, for according to the principles 
of selfish worldly policy, it would have seemed ex- 
pedient to keep the tribes warring against each other, 
thus to prevent their combining against the Pilgrims, 
and thus enabling the Pilgrims to retain what is called 
the balance of power. But Miles Standish, a straight- 


forward, honest man, scorned all such arts of expe- 

Obbatinewat resided near the bottom of the inner 
Massachusetts Bay. He was ever trembling in view 
of the incursions of a powerful tribe of Indians, who 
resided on the Kennebec, the Penobscot, and other 
rivers of Maine. They came in great numbers in time 
of harvest, robbing them of their corn and committing 
all manner of savage outrages. 

Very gladly Obbatinewat, who seems to have been 
an amiable, peace-loving man, availed himself of the 
friendly offer of Captain Standish, and, with some of 
his people, accompanied him in the shallop across the 
harbor, it is supposed from Quincy to what is now 
Charlestown, to visit the squaw sachem. Mr. Wins- 
low describes the visit in the following words : 

"Again we crossed the bay, which is very large, 
and hath at least fifty islands in it ; but the certain 
number is not known to the inhabitants. Night it 
was before we came to that side of the bay where this 
people were. On shore the savages went, but found 
nobody. That night also we rode at anchor aboard 
the shallop. 

" On the morrow we went ashore, all but two men, 
and marched, in arms, up in the country. Having 
gone three miles we came to a place where corn had 
been newly gathered, a house pulled down, and the 


peopiC gone. A mile from hence Nanepashemet, 
their king, in his Hfetime, had Hved. His house was 
not Hke others : but a scaffold was largely built with 
poles and planks, some six feet from the ground, and 
the house upon that, being situated on the top of a 

"Not far from here, in a bottom, we came to a 
fort, built by their deceased king ; the manner thus : 
There were poles, some thirty or forty feet long, stuck 
in the ground as thick as they could be set one by 
another. With these they enclosed a ring, some 
thirty or forty feet long. A trench, breast-high, was 
digged on each side. One way there was to go into 
it with a bridge. In the midst of this palisade stood 
the frame of a house, wherein, being dead, he lay 

About a mile from here we came to such another, 
but seated on the top of a hill. Here Nanepashemet 
was killed ; none dwelling in it since the time of his 
death. At this place we staid, and sent for two sav- 
ages to look for the inhabitants, and to inform them 
of our ends in coming, that they might not be fearful 
of us. Within a mile of this place they found the 
women of the place together, with their corn on heaps, 
whither we supposed them to have fled for fear of us ; 
and the more, because in divers places they had newly 
pulled down their houses, and for haste, in one place. 


had left some of their corn, covered with a mat, and 
nobody with it. 

" With much fear they entertained us, at first ; 
but seeing our gentle carriage towards them, they 
took heart, and entertained us in the best manner 
they could, boiling cod and such other things as they 
had for us. At length, with much sending for, came 
one of their men, shaking and trembling for fear. 
But when he saw we intended them no hurt, but came 
to truck, he promised us his skins also. Of him we 
inquired for their queen. It seemed that she was far 
from thence. At least we could not see her. 

♦* Here Squantum would have had us rifle the sav- 
age women, and take their skins and all such things 
as might be serviceable for us ; for, said he, they are 
a bad people, and have often threatened you. But 
our answer was, ' Were they never so bad, we would 
not wrong them, or give them any just occasion 
against us. For their words we little weighed them ; 
but if they once attempted any thing against us, then 
we would deal far worse than he desired." 

Having passed the day thus pleasantly, they re- 
turned to the shallop. Nearly all the women accom- 
panied them. The Indians had quite a quantity of 
beaver skins, from which very comfortable garments 
were made. The Pilgrims were eager to purchase 
these skins, and the Indian women were so eager to 


obtain, in exchange for them, such articles as the 
EngUsh had to dispose of, that we are told " they sold 
their coats from their backs, and tied boughs about 
them, but with great shamefacedness, for indeed 
they are more modest than some of our English 
women are." 

The savages reported that there were tAv^o rivers 
emptying into the bay, the Mystic and the Charles. 
The Pilgrims, however, saw but one, and they had not 
time to explore even that. They saw evidences that 
most of the islands in the harbor had been inhabited, 
having been cleared, and prepared for corn from end 
to end. But they were now desolate, the plague hav- 
ing swept the whole of their populations into the 
grave. The food of the exploring party becoming 
scarce, and there being a bright moon and a fair wind, 
they set sail in the evening, and by noon of the next 
day, Saturday, September 22d, they reached home, 
having been absent four days. Mr. Winslow was one 
of the party, and it is supposed that he wrote the ac- 
count from which we have quoted. 

The adventurers brought back so glowing a report 
of the harbor, with its beautiful and fertile islands, 
the rivers and the rich soil, that the colonists quite 
regretted that they had not found that spot for their 
settlement. " The country of the Massachusetts," 
said they, " is the paradise of all those parts, for here 


are many isles, all planted with corn, groves, mulber- 
ries and savage gardens. 

The summer had passed away with the Pilgrims 
very pleasantly and prosperously. Friendly relations 
had been established with the Indians, and a lucrative 
traffic opened in valuable furs. There had been no 
want of provisions. Fishing had been successful, 
furnishing them with an abundant supply of cod and 
bass. Water fowl, such as ducks and wild geese, 
abounded, and the forests were filled with deer and 
turkeys. In the autumn they gathered in a fine har- 
vest of corn, and though they had no mills to grind 
it, by hand-pounding they converted it into meal, with 
which they made very palatable cakes. Thus amply 
supplied with food, they made their houses more tight 
and comfortable, and gathered their fuel for the win- 
ter fires. They wrote home such glowing letters of 
their prosperity, that very many others were inspired 
with the desire to join them. One of these letters, 
written by Edward Winslow, will be given in the next 

Menaces of Famine and War. 

Arrival of the Fortune. — Object of the Pilgrims in their Emigration. — 
Character of the New-Comers. — Mr. Winslow's Letter. — The 
First Thanksgiving. — Advice to Emigrants. — Christmas Anec- 
dote. — Alarming Rumor. — The Narragansets. — Curious Declara- 
tion of War. — The Defiance. — Fortifying the Village. — The Meet- 
ing in Council and the Result. — The Alarm. — The Shallop Re- 

Early in July of this year, 1621, the Fortune, a 
small vessel of but fifty-five tons, which they called a 
ship, sailed from London for the colony. There were 
thirty-five passengers on board, many of whom appear 
to have been mere adventurers, emigrating to the 
New World through restlessness, curiosity, or love 
of gain. The men of this party outnumbered the de- 
vout Pilgrims who were still living at Plymouth. Thus 
an influence was introduced to the colony quite ad- 
verse to the religious element which had hitherto 
pervaded it. In Mr. Robert Cushman's "Relation of 
the Reasons for Emigrating from England to Amer- 
ica," he writes : 

" And first, seeing we daily pray for the conver- 
sion of the heathen, we must consider whether there 
be not some ordinary means and course for us to take 


to convert them ; or whether prayer for them be only 
referred to God's extraordinary work from Heaven. 
Now it seemeth unto me that we ought also to en- 
deavor and use the means to convert them. And the 
means cannot be used unless we go to them or they 
come to us. To us they cannot come. Our land is 
full. To them we may go. Their land is empty. 
This then is sufficient reason to prove our going 
thither to live, lawful." 

The reckless men on board the Fortune, suppos- 
ing that they should find an ample supply of every- 
thing in the New World, took with them scarcely 
provisions enough to last during the voyage. Con- 
trary winds so retarded their progress that they did 
not clear the English channel until the end of August. 
It was not until the 9th of November that, in almost 
a famishing condition, they cast anchor in the harbor 
at the extremity of Cape Cod. Mr. Cushman, who 
had been left behind by the abandonment of the 
Speedwell, was with this party. The Fortune en- 
tered Plymouth harbor on the 23d of November. The 
Pilgrims were, of course, very happy to welcome such 
a re-enforcement from home. They were not then 
aware of the uncongenial elements of which it was 
composed. Mr. Bradford, in his account of this event, 
writes : 

" Most of them were lusty young men, and many 


of them wild enough, who little considered whither or 
about what they went, till they came into the harbor 
at Cape Cod, and there saw nothing but a naked and 
barren place. 

" They then began to think what would become 
of them if the people here were dead, or cut off by 
the Indians. They then began to consult upon some 
speeches that some of the seamen had cast out, to 
take the sails from the yards lest the ship should get 
away and leave them there. But the master, hearing 
of it, gave them good words, and told them that if 
anything but well should have befallen the people 
here, he hoped he had victuals enough to carry them 
to Virginia ; and that while he had a bit they should 
have their parts ; which gave them good satisfaction." 

These men were landed at Plymouth in a state of 
great destitution. Of the thirty-five thus added to 
the colony twenty-seven were men. The remainder 
were women and children. Some of these men con- 
stituted a valuable addition to the colony ; but others 
of them were utterly worthless. They brought with 
them no food, no furniture, no domestic utensils, no 
extra clothing ; and, worst of all, no habits of industry 
or established principles of industry. 

The Fortune remained at Plymouth but about a 
fortnight, and on the 13th of December commenced 
her return voyage. She took back, as freight, various 


kinds of timber, sassafras, and beaver skins. The 
estimated value of her cargo was about two thousand 
five hundred dollars. We may mention, in passing, 
that England was then at war with France. The For- 
tune, when near the coast of England, was captured 
by a French cruiser, relieved of her cargo, and sent 

It will be remembered that there were but seven 
families composing the colony at the time of the arri- 
val of the Fortune. The Governor disposed of these 
destitute and half famished new-comers, in these fam- 
ilies, as best he could. The Pilgrims had, before this 
arrival, an ample supply of food for the winter. But 
upon this unexpected doubling of their number of 
hungry mouths, it was found, upon careful examina- 
tisn, that their food was quite inadequate to meet their 
wants until another harvest. The fishing season was 
over ; the summer game was gone ; the harvest was 
all gathered in. There could be no more addition to 
their supply of provisions for many months. There 
could be nothing obtained from the Indians. The 
thoughtless creatures would themselves be hungry 
before another summer should come. Under these 
circumstances the Pilgrims, quite to their dismay, 
found it necessary to put the colony upon half allow- 
ance of food. 

Before the arrival of the Fortune they were rejoic- 


ing in abundance. Now they found themselves upon 
the verge of famine. Mr. Edward Winslow wrote a 
letter to Mr. George Morton, probably the " G. Mourt," 
author of the celebrated " Relation." This letter was 
sent to England by the Fortune, on her retnrn voy- 
age, and was dated the 21st of December, 1621. It 
was consequently written just a year after the arrival 
of the Pilgrims. It gives a very glowing account of 
the prosperity of the colony, for it was written before 
the facts were ascertained consequent upon the irrup- 
tion of the destitute adventurers in the Fortune. Its 
statements can, of course, be relied upon, as coming 
from one of the most illustrious of the Pilgrims, and 
one who had taken a conspicuous part in the scenes 
which he describes. It was as follows : 

" Loving and Old Friend : 

" Although I received no letter from you by this 
ship, "••'•■ yet forasmuch as I know you expect the per- 
formance of my promise, which was to write you 
truthfully and faithfully of all things, I have therefore, 
at this time, sent unto you accordingly, referring you 
for further satisfaction, to our large " Relations." 

" You shall understand that, in the little time that 
a few of us have been here, we have built seven f 

* The Fortune. 

f It will be remembered that, as half of their number had died, 
seven houses accommodated the survivors. 


dwelling houses, and four for the use of the planta 
tion, and have made preparation for divers others. 
We set, the last spring, some twenty acres of Indian 
corn, and sowed some six acres of barley and pease. 
And, according to the manner of the Indians, we ma- 
nured our ground with herrings, or rather shads, 
which we have in great abundance, and take with 
with great ease at our doors. ■••' Our corn did prove 
well ; and, God be praised, we had a good increase 
of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good ; but 
our pease were not worth the gathering, for we feared 
they were too late sown. They came up very well and 
blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. 
" Our harvest being gotten in, our governor 
(Bradford) sent four men on fowling, that so we might, 
after a special manner, rejoice together after we had 
gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one 
day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, 
served the company almost a week. At which time, 

* Morton, in his New English Canaan, writes : " There is a fish, 
by some called shads, that at the spring of the year pass up the rivers 
to spawn in the ponds, and are taken in such multitudes in every river 
that hath a pond at the end, that the inhabitants dung their ground 
with them. You may see in one township a hundred acres together 
set with these fish, every acre taking a thousand of them. And an 
acre thus dressed will produce and yield so much corn as three acres 
without fish." 

It was the rule of the Indians to plant t' eir corn w' en the leaves 
of the white oak were as big as the ear of a mouse. They put two 
or three fishes in every comhill. 


among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many 
of the Indians coming amongst us, and, among the 
rest, their greatest king, Massasoit, with some ninety 
men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, 
and they went out and killed five deer, which they 
brought to the plantation, and bestowed on our Gov- 
ernor and the Captain, (Standish,) and others." 

In reference to this festival, we read, in the Life 
of Elder Brewster : " The provisions for the little 
colony being secured for the ensuing winter, their 
Governor set apart a day for public thanksgiving. 
Accordingly, with the fruits of their labors, the thank- 
ful feast was prepared, that all might, in a special 
manner, rejoice together, under a grateful sense of 
these tokens of divine mercy. It was their first 
thanksgiving or harvest festival in the New World. 
And we may well conjecture what were the feelings 
and what the theme of the Elder (Brewster), as, as- 
sembled in their Common House, he led the devo- 
tions of these worshippers, and spoke to them words 
befitting the occasion." 

"We have found the Indians," continues Mr. 
Winslow, "very faithful in their covenant of peace 
with us ; very loving and ready to pleasure us. We 
often go to them and they come to us. Some of us 
have been fifty miles by land in the country with 
them ; the occasions and Relations whereof you shall 


understand, by one general and more full declaration 
of such things as are worth the noting. Yea, it hath 
pleased God so to possess the Indians with a fear of 
us, and love unto us, that not only the greatest king 
among them, called Massasoit, but also all the princes 
and peoples round about us, have either made suit 
unto us, or been glad of any occasion to make peace 
with us ; so that seven of them, at once, have sent 
their messengers to us to that end. Yea, an isle, * 
at sea, which we never saw, hath also, together with 
the former, yielded willingly to be under the protec- 
tion, and subjects to our sovereign lord. King James ; 
so that there is now great peace among the Indians 
themselves, which was not formerly, neither would 
have been but for us. 

" We, for our parts, walk as peaceably and safely 
in the woods as in the highways of England. We 
entertain them familiarly in our houses, and they as 
friendly bestow their venison upon us. They are a 
people without any religion, or knowledge of any 
God,f yet very trusty, quick of apprehension, ripe 
witted, just. The men and women go naked, only a 

* Probably Martha's Vineyard, then called Capawock. 

t Subsequently Mr. Winslow wrote, correcting this statement : 
•' Whereas, myself and others, in former letters, wrote that the Indi- 
ans about us are a people without any religion or knowledge of any 
God, therein I erred, though we could then gather no better." — Wins- 
low's Good News. 


skin about their middles. For the temper of the air 
here, it agreeth well with that of England. And if 
there be any difference at all, this is somewhat hot- 
ter in summer. Some think it to be colder in winter ; 
but I cannot, out of experience, so say. The air is 
very clear and not foggy, as hath been reported. 

" I never in my life remember a more seasonable 
year than we have here enjoyed. And if we have 
once but kine horses and sheep, I make no question 
but men might live as contented here as in any part 
of the world. For fish and fowl we have great abun- 
dance. Fresh cod in summer is but coarse meat with 
us. Our bay is full of lobsters all the summer, and 
affordeth variety of other fish. In September we can 
take a hogshead of eels in a night, with small labor, 
and can dig them out of their beds all the winter. 
We have muscles and clams "-•'■ at our doors. Oysters 
we have none near ; but we can have them brought 
"by the Indians when we will. All the spring time the 
earth sendeth forth naturally very good salid herbs. 

Here are grapes, white and red, and very sweet 
and strong also; strawberries, gooseberries, rasp- 
berries, etc.; plums of three sorts, white, black and 
red, being almost as good as a damson ; abundance 
of roses, white, red and damask, single, but very 
sweet indeed. 

* There is some uncertainty about this word, but this is probably 
the true reading. 


" The country wanteth only industrious men to 
employ ; for it would grieve your hearts if, as I, you 
had seen so many miles together, by goodly rivers, 
uninhabited, and withall to consider those parts of the 
world wherein you live to be even greatly burdened 
with abundance of people. These things I thought 
good to let you understand, being the truth of things 
as near as I could experimentally take knowledge of, 
and that you might on our behalf give God thanks 
who hath dealt so favorably with us. 

"Our supply of men from you came the 9th of 
November, 1621, putting in at Cape Cod, some eight 
or ten leagues from us. The Indians, who dwell 
thereabout, were they who were owners of the corn 
which we found in caves, for which Ave have given 
them full content, and are in great league with them. 
They sent us word there was a ship near unto them, 
but thought it to be a Frenchman ; and, indeed, our- 
selves, we expected not a friend so soon. 

" But when we perceived she made for our bay, 
the Governor commanded a great piece to be shot off, 
to call home such as were abroad at work. Where- 
upon every man, yea boy, that could handle a gun 
was ready, with full resolution that, if she were an 
enemy, we would stand in our just defense, not fear- 
ing them. But God provided better for them than 
we had supposed. These came all in health, not any 


being sick by the way, otherwise than by sea sick- 
ness, and so continue, at this time, by the blessing of 

"When it pleaseth God we are settled and fitted 
for the fishing business and other trading, I doubt not 
but, by the blessing of God, the grain will give con- 
tent to all. In the mean time, that which we have 
gotten we send by this ship ; and though it be not 
much, yet it will witness for us that we have not been 
idle, considering the smallness of our number, all this 

" Now, because I expect your coming unto us,* 
with other of our friends, whose company we much 
desire, I thought good to advise you of a few things 
needful. Be careful to have a very good bread-room 
to put your biscuits in. Let your cask for beer and 
water be iron-bound, for the first tire, if not more. 
Let not your meat be dry salted ; none can better do 
it than the sailors. Let your meal be so hard trod in 
your cask that you shall need an adz or hatchet to 
work it out with. Trust not too much on us, for corn 
at this time, for by reason of this last company that 
came, depending wholly upon us, we shall have little 
enough till harvest. 

* Mr. George Morton, to whom this letter was addressed, came 
out in the next ship, the Ann, wliicli sailed from London about the 
last of April, 1622. 


" Be careful to come by some of your meal to 
spend by the way. It will much refresh you. Build 
your cabins as open as you can, and bring good store 
of clothes and bedding with you. Bring every man a 
musket or fowling-piece. Let your piece be long in 
the barrel, and fear not the weight of it, for most of 
our shooting is from stands. Bring juice of lemon, 
and take it fasting ; it is of good use. For hot waters, 
aniseed water is the best ; but use it sparingly. If 
you bring anything for comfort in the country, butter 
or sallet oil, or both, is very good. Our Indian corn, 
even the coarsest, maketh as pleasant meat as rice ; 
therefore spare that, unless to spend by the way. 
Bring paper and linseed oil for your windows, with 
cotton yarn for your lamps. Let your shot be most 
for big fowls, and bring store of powder and shot." 

The Pilgrims, it seems, had only oiled paper to 
keep out the storms of a New England winter. Eight 
years after this, the arts had made such progress that 
Mr. Higginson in the year 1629, in a letter addressed 
from Salem to his friends in England writes, " Be sure 
to furnish yourselves witli glass for windows." In- 
deed, glass windows were not introduced into England 
until the year 11 80. Then they were so costly that 
none but the most wealthy could have them. Even 
in the time of Henry VIII. they were considered a 
luxury which the common people could not think of 



One of the passengers in the Fortune, Mr. Wil- 
liam Hilton, in a letter addressed to his friends at 
home, immediately after his arrival, having written in 
glowing terms of the richness of the country and the 
prospects of the colony, adds : 

" We are all freeholders. The rent day doth not 
trouble us ; and all those good blessings we have of 
which and what we list in their seasons for taking. 
Our company are, for the most part, very religious, 
honest people. The word of God is sincerely taught 
to us every Sabbath ; so that I know not anything a 
contented mind can here want. I desire your friendly 
care to send my wife and children to me, where I wish 
were all the friends I have in England." 

Mr. Hilton's family came in the next ship. Not 
only had the Fortune brought no supply to the colo- 
nists, but they were compelled to take from their own 
rapidly diminishing stores to supply the ship's crew 
with provisions for her return voyage. Another win- 
ter came. In the absence of all domestic animals 
such as horses, mules, cows, oxen, sheep, there was 
but little of the usual winter work of farmers which 
remained for the Pilgrims to perform. Fishing, hunt- 
ing and the collection of fuel, which they drew with 
their own hands to their doors, occupied the most of 
their time. 

On Christmas day rather an amusing event occur- 


red, which has been recorded by Governor Bradford. 
In the papal church and with the common people in 
England, Christmas had become a day of revelry, ca- 
rousing and drunkenness. Ostensibly set apart as a 
religious festival, the depravity of man had so per- 
verted it that, of all the days in the year, Christmas 
was the one most utterly abandoned to wickedness. 
Under these circumstances the Puritans, perhaps un- 
wisely, deemed it expedient to abolish the observance 
of the day altogether. 

On the morning of Christmas day the Governor, 
as usual on other days, went out with the Pilgrims of 
the Mayflower to their usual occupation in the fields. 
But some of the new-comers, idle and frivolous, and 
accustomed to the Christmas games of England, ex- 
cused themselves from going into the field, saying 
that their consciences would not allow them to do any 
work on Christmas day. 

The Governor replied that if it were a matter of 
conscience they might certainly be excused, — that he 
did not wish that any persons in the colony should 
have violence done to their religious convictions. He 
therefore left these men at home, while he went, with 
the rest of the colonists, to their daily toil. But when 
they returned at noon, they found these scrupulous 
men, whose consciences would not allow them to per- 
form any useful labor on Christmas day, out in the 


Streets engaged in all manner of old country sports. 
They were pitching the bar, playing ball, and engaged 
in games of petty gambling. Governor Bradford 
went to them, and by virtue of his office, took away 
from them their implements of gaming, saying : 

" It is against my conscience that you should play 
while others work. If your religious convictions con- 
strain you to observe Christmas, you should keep the 
day religiously, at home or in the church. But there 
must be no gambling or revelry on that day." 

This settled the question, and there were no more 
demands for an idle or riotous Christmas. 

Soon after the departure of the Fortune, in the 
depth of winter, painful rumors came that the pow- 
erful Narragansets, under their redoubtable Chief, 
Canonicus, were assuming a threatening attitude. 
The English had now about fifty men capable of bear- 
ing arms, and not a large supply of ammunition. The 
Narragansets could bring against them five thousand 
warriors. They occupied the region extending from 
the western shores of Narraganset Bay to Pawcatuck 
River, and the tribe was estimated to number about 
thirty thousand. The Pilgrims, all counted, men, 
women and children, were less than one hundred in 
number. This was a fearful cloud of war with which 
they thus found themselves menaced. 

While such was the position of affairs, one day a 


strange Indian entered the settlement. It soon ap- 
peared that he was a Narraganset. He seemed not 
a httle embarrassed, and enquired for Squantum, the 
interpreter. It seemed some rehef to him to learn 
that he was absent. He then left for him a bundle of 
arrows, wrapped up in the skin of a rattlesnake, and 
was hastily departing, when Governor Bradford, wish- 
ing to know the significance of this strange conduct, 
ordered Captain Standish to detain him. He was ar- 
rested and entrusted to the safe keeping of Mr. Wins- 
low and Mr. Hopkins. Captain Standish gave orders 
that he should be treated with the utmost kindness, 
supplied with everything he needed, and while assured 
that he should not be harmed, Mr. Winslow and Mr. 
Hopkins should endeavor to obtain from him a full 
and minute account of the object of his strange mis- 

At first he was so terrified that he could scarcely 
speak a word. But gradually regaining composure, 
he stated that the messenger who had been sent to 
the Pilgrims in the sumrtier with terms of peace, had 
brought back such tidings of the weakness of the col- 
ony that Canonicus was encouraged to seek its de- 
struction ; that he was angry in consequence of the 
alliance of the colonists with his enemies, the Wam- 
panoags ; that he professed to despise the meanness 
of the presents sent to him by the Governor, and 


scorned to receive them ; and that the arrows and the 
rattlesnake skhi were to be understood as his decla- 
ration of war. 

It is worthy of notice that this savage chieftain 
should have had such a sense of honor as to send this 
warning to his foes, instead of treacherously falling 
upon them when unprepared. And it is also remark- 
able that this challenge should have been so similar 
to that which, in ancient days, the Scythian prince 
sent to Darius, which consisted of five arrows. 

When the Governor and Captain Standish were 
informed of the results of the interview, they justly 
regarded their captive as an innocent messenger, 
whom, in accordance with all the laws of war, they 
were to hold unharmed. They therefore, after offer- 
ing him food, which he refused to eat, set him at lib- 
erty, directing him to say to Canonicus, that while 
they wished to live at peace with all men, and while 
they had done him no harm, they were indignant in 
view of his threatenings, had no fear of his power, and 
bade him defiance. 

A violent storm was raging. But, notwithstand- 
ing the storm and the entreaties of the Pilgrims, that 
he would remain with them until it should abate, he 
refused to accept of their hospitality, and soon disap- 
peared, travelling with all speed through one of the 
trails of the drenched and surging forest. 


The Pilgrims held a council. It was deemed im- 
portant that no timidity whatever should be mani- 
fested, but that they should present a bold front to 
their foes. In the mean time Squantum had returned 
to aid them with his counsel. After some delibera- 
tion, they sent a friendly Indian, as a messenger, to 
Canonicus, returning to him his rattlesnake skin, filled 
with powder and bullets. This was a defiance which 
would be understood. The superstitious savage chief 
was quite alarmed by this response. Squantum, who 
appears to have been quite a meddling, unscrupulous 
man, had declared to the Indians that the English had 
a box in which they kept the plague, and that if the 
Indians offended them they would let the awful 
scourge loose. They still retained a very vivid recol- 
lection of the horrors of the pestilence which had 
swept over them. 

Canonicus feared that the snake-skin contained 
some secret and fatal charm for his destruction. He 
dared not touch it. He dared not attempt to destroy 
it. He dared not allow it to remain in his house or 
country. And thus it was conveyed from place to 
place until finally it was returned whole to the colony 
at Plymouth. 

Notwithstanding the brave attitude the colonists 
had assumed, they had great cause for uneasiness. 
They promptly decided that it was necessary to sur- 


round the whole of their Httle village with a palisade 
consisting of strong posts, ten or twelve feet high, 
planted in the ground in contact with each other. 
This palisade also included a portion of the top of the 
hill, where their ordnance was planted, and at the 
bottom of which their village was built. There were 
three gates of entrance, which were locked every 
night, and carefully guarded every day. Captain 
Standish divided his whole force into four companies 
of about twelve men each, and appointed a captain 
over each band. A general muster was appointed, 
which was the first general muster in New England. 
At this gathering, Captain Standish reviewed his 
troops and gave minute directions to each company 
where to assemble and what to do in case of alarm. 
The months of January and February were devoted 
incessantly to fortifying their little village, the work 
being completed early in March. 

Captain Standish, in his visit to the Massachusetts, 
had informed the natives that he would soon visit 
them again, to purchase such furs as they might have 
collected. It was deemed important now to fulfill 
this promise, one principal object being to impress 
the Indians with the conviction that the colonists had 
no fear of them. It was also rumored to them that 
the several tribes of Massachusetts Indians, and that 
even their friends the Wampanoags, under Massa- 


soit, were entering into the confederacy of the Narra- 
ganset's against the white men. The friendly Indian, 
Hobbomak, who resided with the Pilgrims at Ply- 
mouth, seemed deeply impressed with the conviction 
that the Massachusetts Indians were hostile, and as- 
sured Captain Standish that should he attempt a journey 
to Massachusetts, he would be surely cut off by the 
savages. He gave many plausible reasons in sup- 
port of the correctness of his views, and even declared 
that Squantum, in whom they reposed much confi- 
dence, was treacherously their foe, aiding the Indi- 
ans ; and that Squantum would endeavor to draw 
them as far as possible from their shallop, that the 
Indians might fall upon them and destroy them. He 
however did not believe that Massasoit meditated any 

The Governor, Captain Standish, and few others 
of the most judicious men held a council together, 
and came to the following conclusion, which I give 
in the words of Edward Winslow, who was one of the 
council : 

" That as hitherto, upon all occasions between the 
Indians and us, we had ever manifested undaunted 
love and resolution, so it would not now stand with 
our safety to mew ourselves up in our new-enclosed 
town ; partly because our store was almost empty, 
and therefore we must seek out our daily food, with- 


out which we could not long subsist ; but especially 
that thereby they would see us dismayed and be en- 
couraged to prosecute their malicious purposes with 
more eagerness than ever they had intended. 

"Whereas, on the contrary, by the blessing of 
God, our fearless carriage might be a means to dis- 
courage and to weaken their proceedings. And there- 
fore we thought best to proceed in our trading voyage, 
making this use of what we had heard, to go the bet- 
ter provided, and use the more carefulness both at 
home and abroad, leaving the event to the disposing 
of the Almighty ; whose providence, as it had hitherto 
been over us for good, so we had now no cause, save 
our sins, to despair of his mercy in our preservation 
and continuance, where we desired rather to be in- 
struments of good to the heathen about us, than to 
give them the least measure of just offense." 

In accordance with this resolve, early in April 
Captain Standish took ten men, with Squantum and 
Hobbomak as interpreters, and set out in the shallop 
for what is now Boston harbor. In Plymouth bay 
there is a remarkable promontory, connected with 
Marshfield by a beach, now called Salt-house beach, 
about six miles long. The extremity of this promon- 
tory was call Gurnet's Nose, from its resemblance to 
a similar point of land on the coast of England. The 
peninsula contains about twenty-seven acres of good 


land, and, upon its southern extremity, there have 
since been erected two Hght-houses. 

Just as the shallop was doubling Gurnet's Nose, 
an Indian, who was one of the family of Squantum, 
came rushing in apparent terror, his face covered 
with blood, to some of the Pilgrims at work in the 
woods, looking behind him as if pursued, and calling 
upon them to hasten with all possible speed within 
the protection of the palisades. Breathlessly he told 
them that at Namasket, now Middleborough, within 
fifteen miles of Plymouth, a war party of Narragansets 
and Wampanoags, united under Massasoit, the pro- 
fessed friend, but treacherous foe, of the colonists, was 
marching to attack them. He said that he had been 
attacked and wounded for speaking friendly words in 
behalf of the colonists, and that by breaking away he 
had narrowly escaped death. 

Upon receiving this startling intelligence, the Gov- 
ernor ordered the cannon upon the hill to be instantly 
discharged to recall the shallop. The day was calm, 
the boat had been retarded in its progress, and the 
report, booming over the still waters of the bay, reached 
the ears of the crew just as the shallop was disappear- 
ing around the point of Gurnet's Nose. Captain 
Standish immediately returned, the whole military 
force of the colony was at once called into requisition, 
and measures were adopted for a vigorous defense. 


Upon the return of the shallop, Hobbomak, who 
was with Captain Standish, declared, with great posi- 
tiveness, that the rumor was false. He said that he 
was sure that Massasoit would prove faithful to his 
pledges ; that it was impossible that he could under- 
take such an enterprise without communicating his 
intentions to his sub-chiefs, of whom Hobbomak him- 
self was one of the principal. This tended rather to 
increase the suspicions of the colonists that Squantum 
might be playing a double part. 

To ascertain the facts, the wife of Hobbomak, who 
seems to have been a very intelligent and reliable 
woman, was sent as a secret agent or spy to Pokano- 
ket, the seat of Massasoit, to inform herself respect- 
ing the true posture of affairs, and to bring back a re- 
port. Her difficult and important mission she per- 
formed very creditably. Finding there everything 
quiet, and no indication whatever of any hostile move- 
ment, she frankly informed Massasoit of the rumors 
which had reached the ears of the Pilgrims. He was 
very indignant in being thus traduced, threw much 
blame upon Squantum, and expressed his gratitude 
that the Governor had not distrusted him. He re- 
quested the squaw to assure the Governor that he 
would prove faithful to his treaty obligations, and that 
should he see any indications of hostility in any quar- 
ter he would immediately give the Governor warning. 


The WeymotUh Colonists. 

The Double-Dealing of Squantum. — False Alarm. — Voyage to Mas- 
sachusetts. — Massasoit Demands Squantum. — The Arrival of the 
boat. — The Virginia Massacre. — Preparations for Defense. — Ar- 
rival of the Charity and the Swan.— Vile Character of the Wey- 
mouth Colonists. — Arrival of the Discovery. — Starvation at Wey- 
mouth. — Danger of the Plymouth Colony. — Expeditions for Food. 
Death of Squantum. — Voyage to Massachusetts and the Cape. 

Speaking of the apprehended double-deahng of 
Squantum, Mr. Winslow writes : 

" Thus, by degrees, we began to discover Squan- 
tum, whose ends were only to make himself great in 
the eyes of his countrymen, by means of his nearness 
and favor with us, not caring who fell so he stood. In 
the general, his course was to persuade them he could 
lead us to peace or war at his pleasure, and would oft 
threaten the Indians, sending them word in a private 
manner that we were intending shortly to kill them, 
that thereby he might get gifts to himself to work 
their peace ; insomuch that they had him in greater 
esteem than many of their sachems. So that where- 
as divers were wont to rely on Massasoit for protec- 
tion, and resort to his abode, now they began to leave 
him and seek after Squantum. 


" Now, though he could not make good these, his 
large promises, especially because of the continued 
peace between Massasoit and us, he therefore raised 
this false alarm, hoping, while things were hot in the 
heat of blood, to provoke us to march into his coun- 
try against him ; whereby he hoped to kindle such a 
flame as would not easily be quenched ; and hoping 
if that block were once removed, there were no other 
between him and honor, which he loved as his life, and 
better than peace." 

The above is undoubtedly the true explanation of 
the strange conduct of Squantum. The Governor 
very severely reprimanded him for his trickery. Mas- 
sasoit was so indignant that he sent a messenger to 
Plymouth, entreating that Squantum might be put to 
death. The Governor admitted that he deserved 
death, but he could not possibly be spared. As he 
alone understood both languages, without him there 
could scarcely be any intercourse between the Pil- 
grims and the Indians. 

" It was, perhaps," writes Francis Baylies, " after 
all, but natural for Squantum, who does not appear to 
have possessed much influence with the natives, at 
the time of the arrival of the English, to endeavor to 
make the most of their iavor. His knowledge of the 
English language gave him a decided advantage over 
all others. His own small tribe had been extermina- 


ted by the plague. He was a solitary man, unaided 
by the influence or favor of kindred, and he only used 
the means which fortune had placed in his hands to 
acquire wealth, consideration and influence. Another 
of his devices, to magnify the power of the English, 
and consequently his own, was to persuade the na- 
tives that the English had buried the plague in their 
store-house, and that they could loose it at will, and 
ravage the whole country. The apprehension of this 
kept the Indians in great fear." * 

The alarm created by this false rumor having sub- 
sided, Captain Standish again set out with his party 
to visit Massachusetts. It is to be regretted that we 
have not a detailed account of the incidents which 
occurred upon this voyage. The only record we have 
is contained in the few following words, by Mr. Wins- 
low : 

"After this, we proceeded in our voyage to the 
Massachusetts, where we had good store of trade ; 
and, blessed by God, returned in safety, though driven 
from before our town in great danger and extremity 
of weather." f 

Upon their return in May, they found Massasoit 
still in a state of great excitement in reference to the 

* Memoir of the Colony of Plymouth, by Francis Baylies. Part 
the First, page 91. 

f Winslow in Young ; p. 290. 


conduct of Squantum. By the treaty, which the Eng- 
Ush had entered into with the Indian King, both par- 
ties were bound to surrender criminals. Squantum, 
as an adopted member of the Wampanoag tribe, was 
a subject of Massasoit. The Indian chief now sent 
an imposing delegation to Plymouth, formally demand- 
ing the surrender of Squantum, that, in accordance 
with Indian law, he might be put to death as a traitor. 
With the delegation, he sent executioners to cut off 
Squantum's head and hands, and to bring them to him. 
In token of his friendship for the English he sent to 
the Governor a rich present of beaver skins. 

Governor Bradford was much embarrassed. He 
sent for Squantum. The culprit, though fully aware 
of the object of the Indian envoys, and even that Mas- 
sasoit had sent his own knife, with which to cut off 
his head and hands, made no effort to escape. With 
true Indian stolidity he yielded himself to the Gover- 
nor to be delivered to death, or not, as he might think 

The terms of the treaty seemed clear. The Gov- 
ernor decided that he could not, without violating his 
solemn pledge, refuse to surrender Squantum to Mas- 
sasoit. He was just about to make this surrender, 
which would have resulted in the immediate death of 
the Indian, and which, of course, created the most in- 
tense excitement in the little colony, when all were 


Startled by the apparition of a shallop, under full sail, 
rounding Hither Monomet Point, which constituted 
the southern boundary of Plymouth Bay. A panic 
pervaded the colony. It was feared that it was a 
French boat, accompanying some French man-of-war, 
and that they were approaching in concert with the 
Indians for the destruction of the colony. Every man 
sprang to arms. Captain Standish mustered his whole 
force for defence. It might be that the hostile Indi- 
ans would rush upon them in an hour. There was 
no doubt that Squantum, with all his great imperfec- 
tions of character, was the friend of the English. His 
services as interpreter, under these circumstances, 
became more important than ever. Governor Brad- 
ford therefore informed the envoys that he could not 
deliver Squantum to their custody. This roused their 
indignation. " Being mad with rage," writes Mr. Wins- 
low, "and impatient at delay, they departed in great 

It was soon ascertained, greatly to the relief of 
the colonists, that the shallop belonged to an English 
fishing vessel, called the Sparrow. The ship had been 
fitted out by Mr. Thomas Weston, a London mer- 
chant, and brought seven passengers to be landed at 
Plymouth. The vessel, engaged in fishing, had cast 
anchor at a place called Damari's Cove, near Monhe- 
gan, upon the coast of Maine, about one hundred and 


twenty miles northeast from Plymouth. This was 
famous fishing ground, and there were, at that time, 
thirty-five vessels riding at anchor there. The Spar- 
row, while most of her crew were engaged in fishing, 
had sent her shallop to convey the seven passengers 
to Plymouth. 

The boat brought seven more mouths to be fed, 
and no provisions. It was the last of May, 1622. 
The colonial store of food was almost entirely con- 
sumed, and for a long time the colonists had been 
placed upon very short allowance. This boat brought 
a very friendly letter from the captain of the Swallow, 
John Huldston, communicating the startling intelli- 
gence that the Indians in Virginia had risen against 
L. the colony there on the 2 2d of March, and four hun- 
__^.^'^'^ dred of the Indians-had been massacred. There could 
be no doubt that this success of the Indians in Vir- 
ginia would be speedily communicated to all the 
tribes ; and that it would inspire the hostile Indians 
m New England with the desire to imitate their ex- 

The crew of the shallop had barely provision suf- 
ficient to serve them until their return to the ship. 
The destitution of food in the colony was so great 
that the colonists were threatened with absolute star- 
vation. The Governor therefore sent Mr. Wmslow 
in the shallop, with a small crew, to the fishing ves- 


sels, to obtain from them, if possible, some supplies. 
The boat from the Swallow led the way. The fisher- 
men were very generous. Though they had but a 
scant supply of provisions for themselves, yet, with an 
abundant store of fish on board, they were in no dan- 
ger of starving. They refused to take any pay for 
the contributions they furnished to meet the wants of 
the Pilgrims. Governor Bradford writes : 

" What was got, and this small boat brought, being 
divided among so many, came but to a little. Yet by 
God's blessing it upheld them till harvest. It arose to 
but a quarter of a pound of bread a day to each per- 
son. The Governor caused it to be daily given them ; 
otherwise, had it been in their own custody, they 
would have eaten it up and then starved. But thus, 
with what else they could get, they made pretty shift 
until corn was ripe." ••' 

The question naturally arises, How was it possible 
that the colonists should find themselves in a state of 
such utter destitution, in a country so overflowing 
with abundance as Mr. Winslow's letter has described, 
where the forests were filled with game and the waters 
with fish. We will allow Mr. Winslow himself to 
reply to this question. 

" I answer, everything must be expected in its pro- 
per season. No man, as one saith, will go into an orch- 

* History of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford, p. 127. 


ard in the winter to gather cherries. So he that looks 
for fowl there, in the summer, will be disappointed. 
The time they continue plenty with us is from the be- 
ginning of October to the end of March. But these 
extremities befell us in May and June. I confess that 
as the fowl decrease, so fish increase. And, indeed, 
their increasing abundance was a great cause of in- 
creasing our wants. For, though our bays and creeks 
were full of bass and other fish, yet, for want of fit 
and strong seines, and other netting, they for the most 
part broke through, and carried all away before them. 
And, though the sea were full of cod, yet we had 
neither tackling nor hawsers for our shallops. And, 
indeed, had we not been in a place where divers sorts 
of shell fish are. that may be taken with the hand, we 
must have perished, unless God had raised some un- 
known or extraordinary means for our preservation." * 

Mr. Winslovv, upon his return from the fishing 
fleet, found the colony in great weakness. The hos- 
tile Indians were not blind to this. The massacre in 
Virginia had roused their savage natures, and many 
insulting speeches, by them, were reported to the 
English. Even Massasoit was disposed to frown, be- 
ing sorely displeased at their refusal to surrender 
Squantum, according to the terms of the treaty. 

The menaces of war had become so serious that 

* Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims, p. 295. 


Captain Standish deemed it necessary immediately to 
increase and strengthen their fortifications. They at 
once set to work to build a strong fort upon Burial 
Hill, within the limits of their palisades. It consisted 
of a large, square building, with a strong flat roof, 
made of thick planks, supported by oaken beams. 
Upon this roof they placed their cannon, command- 
ing all the approaches. The large room below served 
them for a church. Their mode of assembling for 
public worship is described by Isaac de Rassieres, who 
visited Plymouth in 1627: 

" They assemble," he writes, " by beat of drum, 
each with his musket or firelock, in front of Captain 
Standish's door. They have their cloaks on, and 
place themselves in order, three abreast, and are led 
by a sergeant without beat of drum. Behind comes 
the Governor, in a long robe. Beside him, on the 
right hand, comes the preacher, with his cloak on ; 
and on the left hand the Captain, with his side arms 
and cloak on, and with a small cane in his hand. And 
so they march in good order, and each sets his arms 
down near him." 

Early in July two trading ships from London, the 
Charity and the Swan, entered Plymouth harbor. 
These ships brought fifty or sixty emigrants, who in- 
tended to settle in the country as the agents of a com- 
pany in England. It was their object to establish a 


colony to trade with the Indians. The expedition 
was fitted out by Mr. Thomas Weston, a wealthy 
merchant in London, and hence the new-comers were 
generally called Weston's men. Many of them were 
utterly devoid of principle, profane and profligate, 
Mr. Cushman wrote in reference to them : 

" They are no men for us, and I fear that they will 
hardly deal so well with the savages as they should. 
I pray you, therefore, to signify to Squantum that 
they are a distinct body from us, and we have nothing 
to do with them, nor must be blamed for their faults, 
much less can warrant their fidelity." 

Mr. John Pierce wrote respecting them : " As for 
Mr. Weston's company, they are so base in condition 
for the most part, as in all appearance not fit for an 
honest man's company. I wish they might prove 

At the time of the arrival of these rude and hun- 
gry adventurers, the Pilgrims had their gardens filled 
with growing vegetables, and they had sixty acres 
planted with corn, just then in the green ear. At 
that time, when boiled or roasted, it made very pal- 
ateable food. But it was wasteful to use it in that 
state unless there were great abundance. When ri- 
pened it contained much more nutriment, and would 
go much farther in feeding the hungry. But these 
wretched men, though received hospitably by the 


Pilgrims, and treated with the utmost kindness, re- 
quited them by robbing their gardens and their corn- 
field. Their little growing harvest was thus most 
cruelly wasted. Indeed these godless wretches 
seemed wantonly to destroy the growing crop. Hav- 
ing no religion of their own, and only a God to swear 
by, they insulted, with oaths and ribald jests, those 
devout men, who daily looked in prayer to God for 
guidance, and whose voices were often blended in 
Christian hymns. 

The Pilgrims seem to have been more grieved in 
view of the influence the conduct of these men would 
exert upon the savages, than by the outrages to which 
they themselves were exposed. Mr. Winslow wrote : 

" Nevertheless, for their master's sake, who for- 
merly had deserved well from us, "-•'-■ we continued to 
do them whatever good or furtherance we could, at- 
tributing these things to the want of confidence and 
discretion, expecting each day when God, in his prov- 
idence, would disburden us of them, sorrowing that 
their overseers were not of more ability and fitness 
for their places, and much fearing what would be the 
issue of such raw and unconscionable beginnings." "j" 

The Charity, which was the larger ship, having 
put these men ashore, continued her voyage to Vir- 

* Mr. Weston had formerly befriended the plantation at Plymouth. 
f Winslow in Young, p. 297. 


ginia. The rabble crew remained, an almost intoler- 
able burden upon the Pilgrims, during nearly all the 
summer. An expedition was fitted out to explore 
Massachusetts Bay, in search of a suitable location 
for Mr. Weston's colony. The expedition at length 
returned, recommending a place in Boston harbor, 
called by the Indians Wessagusset, but to which the 
name of Weymouth was subsequently given. 

Inexpressible was the satisfaction of the Pilgrims 
when they saw these miscreants take their departure. 
They however left behind them quite a number of 
sick persons, whom the Pilgrims nursed with true 
Christian benevolence, placing them under the care 
of their own skilful physician. Dr. Fuller, and, as 
they recovered, sending them, without any charge, to 
their own distant colony. 

But immediately after these men landed at Wey- 
mouth, complaints came to the ears of the Pilgrims 
of innumerable acts of violence and injustice which 
they were perpetrating. They stole the corn of the 
Indians, insulted their females in the grossest man- 
ner, and in all things seemed to regard the Indians as 
not entitled to any rights which white men were 
bound to respect. The Pilgrims were the more an- 
noyed by these atrocities, since the Indians, disposed 
to be friendly, had entreated Captain Standish to es- 
tablish a colony of white men in their country, who 


could teach them many arts, and to whom they could 
sell their corn and furs. Their outrages, reported 
from tribe to tribe, tended also to exasperate every- 
where the undiscriminating Indians against the Eng- 
lish. But the Pilgrims had no power to redress these 
abuses. They remonstrated earnestly ; but their re- 
monstrances were in vain. The outrages were con- 
tinued unabated. 

The Weston men had brought scarcely any sup- 
plies with them. Before a month had passed they 
were actually in a starving condition. They had no 
harvest to gather in ; winter was coming upon them, 
and death by famine stared them in the face. To add 
to their misery, anarchy reigned there, and the colony 
consisted of a rabble of profane, ungovernable men, 
in constant quarrels among themselves. These men 
had also so wasted and consumed the supplies upon 
which the industrious Pilgrims had been relying for 
the winter, that the Plymouth colony was also in great 
danger of perishing from want. 

When in this alarming condition, and when the 
minds of the Pilgrims were agitated with great anxiety 
in view of the future, two ships, at the end of August, 
came into Plymouth harbor. One of them, the Dis- 
covery, was commanded by Captain Jones, formerly 
of the Mayflower. The other was one of Mr. Weston's 
small fishing vessels, the Swan, which had returned 


from a fishing expedition, and was bound for Virginia. 
Providentially, Captain Jones had quite a large sup- 
ply of provisions. He had never been in cordial sym- 
pathy with the Pilgrims, and now he very ungen- 
erously took advantage of their great necessities. 
Though the Pilgrims were consequently compelled to 
pay an exorbitant price for everything they obtained 
of him, still they were enabled to purchase such sup- 
plies as would save them from actual starvation, Mr. 
Winslow writes : 

"And had not the Almighty, in His all-ordering 
providence, directed him to us, it would have gone 
worse with us than ever it had been, or after was. 
For as we had now but small store of corn for the 
year following, so, for want of supply, we were worn 
out of all manner of trucking stuff, not having any 
means to help us by trade. But, through God's good 
mercy towards us, he had wherewith, and did supply 
our wants, on that kind, competently." * 

In consequence of the destitution of Mr. Wes- 
ton's colony at Weymouth, the Swan was sent there, 
with a considerable supply of provisions, and with ar- 
ticles to trade with the Indians in exchange for corn. 
The Swan was also left with the colony, to be used 
for coasting purposes. But not a month had passed 
before these reckless spendthrifts had squandered all 

* Young's Chronicles ; p. 299. 


their provisions, and were again starving. And they 
were in such poor repute with the Indians that none 
dared venture into the colony with corn to sell, lest 
they should be robbed. 

A man by the name of John Sanders was the 
leading man, a sort of governor over the Weymouth 
colony. He wrote to Governor Bradford, wishing to 
unite with him in an excursion along the eastern and 
southern coast of Cape Cod, to purchase corn of the 
Indians. He would furnish the vessel for the voyage, 
the Swan, but the colony at Plymouth must furnish 
the men to trade with the Indians and the articles for 
traffic. The corn was to be equally divided between 
them. He promised to repay the Pilgrims for such 
trading commodities as they should contribute, when 
the next supplies came from Mr. Weston. 

The promises of such a man were of but little 
value. The Weymouth colony was already in a hope- 
lessly ruinous condition. But the Pilgrims were well 
aware that they were daily in danger of an irruption 
of the whole vagabond gang to eat out their sub- 
stance, and to fill their peaceful village with clamor 
and violence. They had far more to fear from these 
wretched colonists than from the savages. Policy 
therefore, as well as humanity, urged it upon them to 
do everything in their power to supply the wants of 
Weston's men, and thus keep them at a distance. 


Captain Standish, with a small crew, took com- 
mand of the Swan for this trading expedition along 
the outer coast of Cape Cod. Squantum accom- 
panied them as interpreter and pilot. They had 
succeeded in reconciling Massasoit to him. They set 
sail the latter part of September. But so violent a 
gale arose that they were compelled to put back, hav- 
ing suffered considerable harm. It took some time 
to repair damages, when again they weighed anchor. 
Squantum proved a very poor pilot. They were en- 
tangled among the shoals, and retarded by contrary 
winds ; and, to add to their calamities. Captain Stand- 
ish was seized with a violent fever. Thus they were 
compelled a second time to put back, not having ac- 
complished anything. 

These delays brought them to the month of No- 
vember. The captain continuing quite sick. Governor 
Bradford himself took command of the vessel. The 
Governor had but little confidence in Squantum's 
knowledge of the coast. Still he had to look to him 
alone, for no one else knew anything of the region. 
At last, much bewildered and in peril, they ran into 
an harbor with which Squantum was familiar, at a 
place called, by the Indians, Manamocki, now Chat- 

The Governor, accompanied by a small party, with 
Squantum for interpreter, went on shore that night. 


But no Englishmen had visited the region before, and 
the natives, terrified by the sight of the vessel, had 
fled. Through Squantum, the Governor gradually 
succeeded in making his friendly intentions known, 
and cautiously they gathered around him. They 
brought venison and corn in considerable abundance, 
and seemed very glad to exchange them for the val- 
uable articles which Governor Bradford offered in re- 
turn. Still they manifested much fear of their visit- 
ors, and were very unwilling to let them know where 
their dwellings were. And when they found that the 
Governor intended to remain on shore all night, they 
suddenly disappeared, running to their wigwams, and 
carrying all their valuables away with them. 

Again, through the intervention of Squantum, con- 
fidence was partially restored. The Governor was 
so successful in his trade that he purchased of them, 
though but a few and scattered people, eight hogs- 
heads of corn and beans. Such facts seemed to in- 
dicate that all of the Indians did not depend so much 
upon the chase for sustenance as has generally been 
supposed. While thus engaged Squantum was taken 
sick of a fever, and, after a few day's illness, died. He 
was heard to pray, and he asked Governor Bradford 
to pray that God would take him to the heaven of the 
Englishmen. All his valuables he bequeathed to his 
English friends, as remembrances of his love. His 


death was considered a great loss to the colony. 
Judge Davis, commenting upon it, writes : 

" Governor Bradford's pen was worthily employed 
in the tender notice of the death of this child of na- 
ture. With some aberrations his conduct was gener- 
ally irreproachable ; and his useful services to the in- 
fant settlement entitle him to grateful remembrance." 

The death of Squantum left the Governor with- 
out either pilot or interpreter. He did not venture, 
therefore, to go any further south, where he would 
encounte" 'nnumerable shoals, and where he would 
find himself among strange Indians. These consid- 
erations induced him to turn to the north. He was 
acquainted with the waters of Massachusetts Bay, 
and the Indians residing on those shores were in 
friendly relations with the Pilgrims. Indeed, they 
had been induced to plant more corn than usual, that 
they might have the means to purchase the valuable 
articles which the Pilgrims could offer them in ex- 

With a fair wind they soon entered Boston harbor. 
Here they found, to their grief, a fearful pestilence 
raging among the Indians, and many of them were 
dying. Bitter complaints were also brought to the 
Governor respecting the Weymouth colonists. The 
Massachusetts Indians were so exasperated by the 
infamous conduct of these men, that they were plot- 


ting for their utter extermination, many intending to 
follow up the massacre of the Weymouth colonists 
by the destruction of the Plymouth colony also. 
They were in no mood for peaceful traffic. 

The Governor, therefore, speedily weighed anchor 
and spread his sails for Nauset, on the inner shore 
of Cape Cod. It will be remembered that the Pil- 
grims had formerly found some corn stored there, 
which, in their great need they took, but for which 
they afterwards fully paid the Indians. Captain 
Standish had also visited the region in search of the 
lost boy. Aspinet, the chief of the tribe, residing 
there, was very friendly. They landed in a small bay, 
between Barnstable and Yarmouth harbors. They 
had hardly made their port when a terrible storm 
arose. The gale was so furious that, notwithstanding 
their shelter, they came very near shipwreck. The 
shallop, attached to the Swan, was torn from them 
and driven they knew not where. This was a great 
calamity. The shoal water rendered it necessary to 
cast anchor at some distance from the shore, accord- 
ing to their estimate nearly six miles, and they had 
now no means of bringing on board such provisions as 
they might purchase. They had indeed one small 
boat, but it was so small and leaky that they scarcely 
ventured to go ashore in it, even in the most pleasant 
weather, for wood and water. 


The Governor, however, opened a very successful 
trade with the Indians. He seems to have had much 
confidence in their honesty, for, having purchased a 
large quantity of corn, he stored it away, simply cov- 
ering it with mats, and hired a neighboring Indian to 
watch and protect it from vermin till he could return 
and fetch it. In the meantime Aspinet had sent his 
men to traverse the shore in search of the shallop, 
which the storm had wrenched from them. It was 
found at the distance of several miles, much broken, 
and half buried in the sand at high water mark. It 
was entirely unserviceable until it should be repaired 
by a ship carpenter, and there was no carpenter on 
board the Swan. 

The Governor, for some unexplained reason, de- 
cided to return to Plymouth by land, a distance of 
fifty miles. He took with him a single Indian guide, 
and traversing the wilderness on foot through the In- 
dian trails, reached Plymouth in safety, weary and 
footsore. The Indians on the way treated him with 
great respect and hospitality. Three days after his 
arrival the Swan entered the harbor, and the portion 
of corn she had brought, which, by the division, be- 
longed to the Weymouth colony, was immediately 
sent in the vessel to them. 

Captain Standish having now recovered his health, 
took another shallop and a ship carpenter, and sailed 


in the Swan, which came back to Plymouth from 
Weymouth, across the bay to Nauset, to fetch the 
corn which they had stored there, and to repair and 
bring home the wrecked shallop. He found all safe. 
While the carpenter was repairing the shallop, he was 
busy with the other boat, transporting the corn out 
to the vessel, which, as we have mentioned, it was 
necessary to anchor at quite a distance from the 

It was the month of January, cold and stormy. 
The exposure and the labor were painful, for often the 
sea was very rough. The coast of Eastham, off which 
the Swan lay, abounds with creeks. Into one of 
these the shallop ran to take in its load. While in 
the creek one day, an Indian stole some beads, scis- 
sors, and other trifles from the boat. Captain Stand- 
ish took one or two of his men with him, and going 
to the sachem, demanded the restitution of the arti- 
cles, or he should take the law into his own hands 
and obtain redress. With this menace he left the 
chief, refusing to receive any hospitality from him. 
It so happened that the thief was known, and the sa- 
chem could, without difficulty, restore the stolen arti- 
cles, were he disposed to do so. 

The next morning Aspinet came to Captain 
Standish with a very imposing retinue. Both he and 
his men saluted the Captain, in the style of Indian 


homage, kissing his hand, indeed Hcking it, and bow- 
ing the knee very humbly before him. He then de- 
Uvered up all the articles which had been taken, ex- 
pressed his deep regret at the occurrence, and assured 
Captain Standish that the thief had been severely 
beaten for his crime. In token of his regret and 
friendship, the Indian women were ordered to bring 
to the Captain quite a supply of freshly-baked corn 

The Swan returned to Plymouth with about twen- 
ty-eight hogsheads of corn and beans, which were 
equally divided between the two colonies, as before. 
In the two colonies there were now about one hun- 
dred and fifty hungry mouths to be fed. Of course 
such a supply would soon disappear. It became im- 
mediately necessary to fit out new expeditions in 
search of food. 


The Sickness of Massasoit and End of the Weymouth 

Search for Corn. — Trip to Buzzard's Bay. — Interesting Incident. — 
Energy and Sagacity of Captain Standish. — Hostile Indications. 
Insolence of Witeevvamat. — The Plot Defeated. — Sickness of 
Massasoit. — The Visit. — Gratitude of the Chief. — Visit to Corbi- 
tant. — Condition of the Weymouth Colony. — The Widespread 
Coalition. — Military Expedition of Captain Standish.— His Heroic 
Adventures. — End of the Weymouth Colony. 

The Governor soon took one or two men and went 
to Middleborough, the Namasket of the Indians, to 
purchase corn. It all had to be brought home in 
sacks upon the back. The Indian women aided in 
transporting it. The Pilgrims were astonished to see 
what burdens they would bear. " It is almost incred- 
ible," writes Roger Williams, " what burdens the poor 
women carry of corn, of fish, of beans, of mats, and a 
child besides." An Indian woman, of small stature, 
would take a hundred weight of corn upon her shoul- 
ders and trudge through the wilderness for miles 
without resting. But a small supply of corn could be 
obtained at Namasket. 

The Governor then took an inland trip of sixty 
miles to an Indian settlement called Manomet, at the 


head of Buzzard's Bay. The distance across the cape 
here to Massachusetts Bay is but six miles. They 
could, after that short land carriage, by an easy voy- 
age in the boats, transport their corn to Plymouth. 
Here the Governor purchased quite a supply, which 
he left in the custody of the sachem, Canacum, until 
the boats could be sent to fetch it. While here, an 
incident occurred which is worthy of record, as illus- 
trative of Indian customs : 

It was the month of February. The night was 
bitterly cold, a fierce storm raging. The Governor 
was in the snug wigwam of the sachem, sitting by the 
bright fire blazing in the centre of the hut. Two 
stranger Indians entered. Without speaking a word 
they laid aside their bows and arrows, sat down upon 
the mats by the fire, took out their pipes and began 
to smoke. Having finished their pipes, one of them 
made a short address of greeting to the chief, and 
presented him with a basket containing tobacco and 
some beads. The chief received the gift graciously. 
The Indian then, in quite a long speech, delivered his 
message, which was interpreted to the Governor by 
Hobboraak. It was as follows : 

Two Indians of the tribe to which the messengers 
belonged, while gambling, quarrelled, and one killed 
the other. The murderer was a man of special note, 
and one who could not be well spared. His chief 


was unwilling to order his execution. But the sachem 
of another powerful tribe had declared that unless he 
put the offender to death he would wage war against 
him with all his force. The chief therefore desired 
the advice of his powerful friend, Canacum, as to the 
course it was proper for him to pursue. 

There was then, for some time, silence. At length 
Canacum asked the opinion of all who were present. 
When Hobbomak was questioned, he said : " I am a 
stranger ; but it seems to me better that one should 
die than many, especially since that one deserves 
death, and the many are innocent." Canacum then 
directed the messengers to inform their sachem that 
in his opinion the murderer should be put to death. 

The Governor returned to Plymouth, intending to 
send Captain Standish in the shallop, to fetch the 
corn which he had purchased. Just after his arrival, 
a messenger came from John Sanders, in Weymouth, 
stating that the colonists there were actually in a 
starving condition ; that they could obtain no corn 
from the Indians, as the Indians would not lend- it to 
them, and that they had no means of buying. Under 
these circumstances he said that he should be under 
the necessity of taking it from them by force. Weak 
as the colonists were, by the aid of powder and bul- 
l(Jts, they could, without difficulty, rob the compara- 
tively defenceless Indians. The Governor remon- 


strated in the strongest terms against this plan of rob- 
bery. He assured Sanders that such an act would 
inevitably combine all the tribes in a coalition against 
both colonies, and might lead to the utter extirpation 
of the English from this continent. From his own 
scanty store of corn he sent to Weymouth a small 
supply, entreating them to make shift to live, as they 
did at Plymouth, upon ground-nuts, clams, and mus- 

In the mean time. Captain Standish took the shal- 
lop and sailed to Sandwich harbor, to get the corn 
which the Governor had purchased and ordered to be 
stored there. It was in the severest of winter weather. 
Icy gales swept the ocean, and dashed the surge upon 
the snow-drifted beach. They succeeded in entering 
the harbor, but the first night they were frozen up 
there. The outrageous conduct of the Weymouth 
colonists, and the threats which they had openly ut- 
tered of their intention to rob the Indians, had spread 
far and wide, producing great exasperation ; and the 
natives who were adverse to the colonists were taking 
advantage of it to form a general coalition against 

Captain Standish, upon landing, perceived at once 
that there was a change coming over the minds of 
the Indians. The friendliness they affected appeared 
to him constrained and insincere. He was frozen in, 


and large numbers of Indians began to gather around 
him, some manifestly unfriendly ; and there were not 
a few indications that a conspiracy was being formed 
for his destruction. The weather was so cold that 
the Pilgrims could not sleep in the shallop, but were 
constrained to accept the shelter and the fires found 
in the Indian wigwams. 

The captain was not a man to be taken by guile. 
Avoiding all display of his suspicions, he gave strict 
charge that a part of the company should always 
watch by night while the rest slept. Some of the 
Indians stole several articles from the boat. Captain 
Standish immediately marched his whole force of six 
men, and surrounded the wigwam of the sachem, 
where many of the most prominent of the Indians 
were assembled. He then sent in word to the sachem 
that as he would not allow himself, or any of his men, 
to be guilty of the slightest injustice towards the In- 
dians, neither would he submit to any injustice from 
them ; that he held the sachem responsible for the 
stolen goods, and that unless they were immediately 
restored he should obtain redress by force of arms. 

The crafty sachem sent agents who, without diffi- 
culty, obtained the goods and secretly conveyed them 
to the shallop. He then told Captain Standish that 
probably he had overlooked them, and he thought 
that if he shouM look more carefully he would find 


that they were all there. The captain, understanding 
this, sent to the shallop, and there the stolen goods 
were, lying openly upon the boat's cuddy. The sachem 
however was much alarmed by this decision and bold- 
ness manifested by the captain. In endeavors to win 
back his favor he brought to him quite an additional 
quantity of corn to sell. The captain loaded down 
his shallop with the treasure ; and, a southerly wind 
freeing the harbor of ice, he returned in safety to 

A portion of this supply was forwarded to Wey- 
mouth. It soon, however, was consumed, and, im- 
pelled by want, in March, Captain Standish again 
took the shallop and returned to Manomet, hoping to 
get an additional supply of food. He met with a 
chilling reception, and with increasing evidence that 
the Indians were plotting against the colonists. He 
soon found the explanation of this. Leaving three 
men in charge of the shallop, he took three with him, 
and went to the wigwam of Canacum, the sachem. 
While there, two Massachusett Indians came in. They 
were from the immediate vicinity of Weymouth, vio- 
lent and hostile men, and had come to Canucum to 
engage him and his warriors in a coalition against the 

" The chief of them," writes Mr. Winslow, " was 
called Wituwamat, a notable insulting villain, one who 


had formerly imbued his hands in the blood of Eng- 
lish and French, and had often boasted of his own 
valor, and derided their weakness, especially because, 
as he said, they died crying, making sour faces, more 
like children than men." 

This boastful fellow, in the presence of Captain 
Standish, presented Canacum with a dagger, which 
he had obtained from the Weymouth men. He then 
addressed him in a long speech, in a language which 
he knew that the Captain could not understand, but 
in a tone and with gestures which could not but be 
considered insulting. The purport of this address, 
as afterwards interpreted, was as follows : 

We have decided to exterminate the weak and 
starving colony at Weymouth. We are strong enough 
to do it any day. But we fear that the colony at 
Plymouth will avenge the death of their countrymen. 
It is therefore necessary to destroy both colonies. 
To do this we must unite our tribes against them. 
We now come to solicit your aid. The redoubtable 
Captain of the Plymouth colony is now with you, with 
six of his men. They can all easily be killed. This 
will make our work easy. '•'•■ 

Canacum was evidently impressed by this speech. 
He neglected Captain Standish, and treated his In- 
dian guest with marked distinction. A plot was 

* Young's Chronicles, p. 310. 


formed for the assassination of the whole boat's crew. 
The Indians stood in deadly fear of the muskets of 
the English, and did not dare approach the shallop 
with hostile intent. The Captain did not allow any 
armed men to draw near them. The Indians tried to 
lure them all on shore, saying that it was too cold for 
them to sleep in the shallop. They hoped to fall 
upon them, in sudden massacre, while asleep in the 
huts. With this purpose in their hearts they feigned 
great friendship, made presents to Captain Standish, 
and with alacrity aided in carrying corn to the shal- 
lop. The Captain evaded all their wiles, and a fair 
wind soon bore him back again to his friends. 

While he was absent, word came to Plymouth that 
Massasoit was very dangerously sick, and that his 
death was daily expected ; and also that a Dutch ship 
had been driven ashore almost opposite his dwelling. 
It was a custom with the Indians that when any chief 
was sick, all his friends should hasten to visit him. 
In observance of this custom, and also to obtain some 
intercourse with the Dutch, and hoping also to secure 
the friendship of the neighboring sachems, it was de- 
cided that Mr. Winslow and Mr. Hampden, with 
Hobbomak as a guide, should visit the dying chief at 
his home in Paomet. 

It was a perilous journey in the then unsettled 
state of affairs. It was not known who of the Indians 


were friendly, and who were hostile. The death of 
Massasoit might bring the hostile party into power, 
and then there would be hardly a possibility that the 
two envoys could escape with their lives. Hobbomak, 
who had embraced Christianity, and was apparently a 
consistent Christian, seemed to be deeply grieved in 
view of the death of his chief He said to Mr. Winslow, 

" I shall never see his like again. He was no 
liar ; he was not bloody and cruel, like other Indians. 
In anger and passion he was soon reclaimed. He 
was easy to be reconciled to those who had offended 
him. Ruled by reason, he scorned the advice of 
mean men, and governed his people better with few 
strokes than others did with many. When he is gone 
the English will not have a true and faithful friend 
left among the Indians." 

Massasoit had two sons, Wamsutta and Pometa- 
com. According to Indian usage, upon the death of 
the father, the eldest son inherited the chieftainship. 
But it was feared that Corbitant, who had already 
manifested hostility, and in whose assumed reconcili- 
ation but little reliance could be placed, would by 
violence grasp the power, and bring the whole weight 
of the tribe against the colonists. 

The deputation traveled the first day as far as the 

little Indian hamlet of Namasket, which, it will be 

remembered, occupied the present site of Middlebor- 


oiigh. They passed the night in the wigwam of an 
Indian. The next day they continued their journey 
to Mattapoisit, in the present town of Swanzey. Here 
Corbitant resided. The rumor had already reached 
them that Massasoit was dead. There were indica- 
tions that Corbitant had already taken steps as an 
usurper, and there were serious apprehensions that 
the two defenceless Englishmen would immediately 
fall victims to his hostile policy. 

The two envoys, however, to avoid all appearance 
of suspicion, went directly to Corbitant's house. The 
sachem was not at home, but his wife received them 
kindly. They sent forward an Indian runner to Pao- 
met, to bring them back tidings respecting the condi- 
tion of Massasoit. He returned with the tidings 
that the chief was still living when he left, but was 
expected every moment to die. They hurried on, and 
reached Paomet late at night. In the following terms 
Mr. Winslow describes his visit to the dying chief: 

" When we came thither we found the house so 
full of men as we could scarce get in, though they 
used their best diligence to make way for us. There 
were they in the midst of their charms for him, mak- 
ing such a hellish noise as it distempered us that were 
well, and therefore unlike to ease him that was sick. 
About him were six or eight women, who chafed his 
arms, legs and thighs, to keep heat in him. When 


they had made an end of their charming, one told 
him that his friends, the English, were come to see 
him. Having understanding left, but his sight being 
wholly gone, he asked who was come. They told him 
Witisnozv, for they cannot pronounce the letter /, but 
ordinarily it in the place thereof He desired to speak 
with me. When I came to him, and they told him of 
it, he put forth his hand to me, which I took. Then 
he said twice, though very inwardly. Keen Wijisjww, 
which is to say, Art thou Winslow "> I answered, 
Ak he, that is. Yes. Then he doubled these words, 
Malta neen wonckanet namen, Wi?isnow ! that is to 
say, O Winslow, I shall never see thee again." "-•'■ 

Mr. Winslow then informed the dying chief, 
through Habbomak, that the Governor was sorry to 
hear of his sickness, and would have visited him in 
person had not important business prevented ; that 
he had consequently sent Mr. Winslow and Mr. 
Hampden in his stead, with such medicines as the 
English used in case of sickness. Mr. Winslow ad- 
ministered these medicines, which proved so wonder- 
fully efficacious that soon his patient quite revived, 
his sight was restored, and he was able to take some 
refreshing broth. All the Indians were surprised 
and delighted by the change. Two Indians were 
sent to Plymouth for more medicine, and for two 

* Young's Chronicles, p. 318. 


chickens for broth. They were dispatched at two 
o'clock in the morning, bearing letters informing the 
Governor of the success of their mission. Mr. Wins- 
low gives the following account of his medical prac- 
tice on this important occasion : 

" He requested me that, the day following, I would 
take my piece and kill him some fowl, and make him 
some English pottage, such as he had eaten at Ply- 
mouth. After, his stomach coming, I must needs 
make him some without fowl, before I went abroad. 
This somewhat troubled me, being unacquainted and 
unaccustomed in such business, especially having 
nothing to make it comfortable, my consort being as 
ignorant as myself But being we must do somewhat, 
I caused a woman to bruise some corn and take the 
flour from it, and set over the broken corn in a pip- 
kin, for they have earthen pots of all sizes. 

" When the day broke we went out, it being now 
March, to seek herbs, but could not find any but 
strawberry leaves, of which I gathered a handful and 
put into the same. And because I had nothing to 
relish it, I went forth again and pulled up a sassafras 
root, and sliced a piece thereof and boiled it till it had 
a good relish, and then took it out again. The broth 
being boiled, I strained it through my handkerchief, 
and gave him at least a pint, which he liked very well. 
After this his sight mended more and more ; and he 


took some rest, insomuch that we with admiration 
blessed God for giving his blessing to such raw and 
ignorant means ; making no doubt of his recovery, 
himself and all of them acknowledging us the instru- 
ments of his preservation." * 

The grateful chief requested Mr. Winslow to visit 
all the sick in his village, and to administer to them 
the same remedies which had been so available in his 
case. With true Christian philanthropy Mr. Winslow 
undertook this task, finding it needful to perform 
many revolting offices, from which he did not shrink. 
With the utmost tenderness he watched the fluctua- 
tions of the disease of the king, and administered 
remedies apparently with much intuitive skill. Hav- 
ing succeeded in shooting a duck, just before the 
men returned with the pigeons, Massasoit decided to 
preserve them alive for breed. His recovery excited 
so much astonishment that many persons came a hun- 
dred miles to see him. Great efforts had been made 
by the hostile Indians to prejudice him against the 
English, and to induce him to join their coalition. 

" Now I see," he said, " that the English are my 
friends, and love me. And whilst I live I will never 
forget this kindness they have showed me. They 
have been more kind to me than any others have 

* Young's Chronicles, p 320. 


As Mr. Winslow was leaving, Massasoit called 
Hobbomak privately to him, one or two of his war- 
riors only being present, and informed him in full of 
the plot of the Massachusetts Indians to destroy the 
Weston colony, and then to attack that at Plymouth. 
He mentioned seven tribes who were united with 
them in the coalition, among others mentioning some 
who were making loud professions of friendship. He 
said that he had been earnestly solicited to join them, 
but that he would not do so, neither would he allow 
any of the tribes under his sway to make any hostile 

Massasoit advised the pilgrims, through Hobbo- 
mak, that if they would save the lives of their country- 
men, they should immediately put to death the lead- 
ing men of the Massachusetts tribes who were organ- 
izing this formidable conspiracy. " Say to them," 
said he, " that they often say that they will never 
strike the first blow. But if they wait until their 
countrymen at Weymouth are killed, who are entirely 
unable to defend themselves, it will then be too late 
for them to protect their own lives. I therefore ad- 
vise them, without any delay, to put the leaders of 
this plot to death. Communicate what I say to you 
to Mr. Winslow, on your way home, that he may re- 
late the same to Governor Bradford." 

Very affectionately the two parties took leave of 


each other. The envoys were disappointed in not 
meeting the Dutch ; but the day before their arrival, 
a high tide enabled them to move the ship from the 
shoals, upon which it had been stranded, and they 
had proceeded on their voyage. The Pilgrims called 
upon Corbitant on their return, and passed the night 
with him. He received them with great apparent 
cordiality. Mr. Winslow gives the following pleasing 
account of the visit. 

" I had much confidence with him ; he being a 
notable politician, yet full of merry jests and quibs, 
and never better pleased than when the like are re- 
turned upon him. Among other things he asked me, if 
in case he were thus dangerously sick, as Massasoit had 
been, and should send word thereof to Plymouth for 
medicine, whether the Governor would send it ; and 
if he would, whether I would come therewith to him. 
To both which I answered, yea ; whereat he gave me 
joyful thanks. 

" After that, he demanded further how we durst, 
being but two, come so far into the country. I 
answered, where was true love there was no fear ; 
and my heart was so upright towards them that, 
for my own part, I was fearless to come amongst 

" ' But,' said he, ' if your love be such, and it bring 
forth such fruits, how cometh it to pass that when 


we come to Plymouth, you stand upon your guard, 
with the mouths of your pieces presented towards 

" Whereupon I answered it was the most honora- 
ble and respective entertainment we could give them, 
it being an order amongst us so to receive our best 
respected friends. And as it was used on the land, 
so the ships also observed it at sea, which Hobbomak 
knew and had seen observed. But, shaking his head, 
he answered that he liked not such salutations." 

Noticing that Mr. Winslow asked a blessing upon 
his food, and returned thanks after partaking of it, he 
asked him the meaning of the custom. He listened 
very attentively to Mr. Winslow's account of the ten 
commandments and of the Christian religion, and ex- 
pressed his cordial approval of nearly all. The next 
day the Pilgrims continued their journey, and lodged 
that night at Middleborough. The next day, when 
they had reached about half way home, they met two 
Indians, who informed them that Captain Standish 
had that morning set sail for Massachusetts, but that 
contrary winds had driven him back. Upon their 
arrival, they found Captain Standish waiting for a fair 
wind to resume his voyage. 

It was the latter part of February.' The news 
from the Weston colony was continually becoming 
more disastrous. These wretched adventurers were 


sinking into degradation almost beneath that of the 
savages. John Sanders had taken the Swan, and, 
with a small crew, had sailed for the coast of Maine, 
hoping to obtain some food from the fishermen there. 
The religionless rabble, left behind, sold their clothes 
and bed coverings for food. They became servants 
to the insolent Indians, cutting wood and bringing 
water to them for a cup full of corn. They stole, 
night and day, from the Indians. Several died from 
cold and hunger. One man was digging clams. He 
got stuck in the mud, and was so weak that he could 
not extricate himself, and miserably perished. They 
scattered, wandering about in search of ground nuts 
and shell-fish, and became utterly despicable, even in 
the eyes of the savages. 

"They became contemned and scorned by the 
Indians," writes Governor Bradford, " and they began 
greatly to insult over them in the most insolent man- 
ner; insomuch, many times, as they lay thus scat- 
tered abroad, and had set on a pot with ground nuts 
or shell-fish, when it was ready, the Indians would 
come and eat it up. And when night came, whereas 
some of them had a sorry blanket or such like to lap 
themselves in, the Indians would take it, and let the 
others lie all night in the cold ; so as their condi- 
tion was very lamentable. Yea, in the end they 
were fain to hang one of their men, whom they 


could not reclaim from stealing, to give the Indians 
content." ■■■'•' 

A waggish report was circulated, with which Hudi- 
bras makes himself merry, that, the thief being a man 
of some importance, who could not well be spared, a 
poor decrepit old man, who was utterly unserviceable, 
was hung in his stead. There was no truth in this 
report. And it was still more atrocious, as a calumny, 
when attributed to the Pilgrims. It cannot be denied, 
however, that the deed would have been in character 
with the conduct of the Weymouth miscreants. They 
were not Puritans. There is no evidence that they 
had any church, any divine worship, or any religion. 

The state of the Weston colony caused much 
anxiety at Plymouth. The savages were learning to 
despise the English. It was necessary to take some 
very decisive action, and yet it was difficult to deter- 
mine what that action should be. Captain Stand- 
ish's voyage was delayed, to wait for further develop- 
ments, and many consultations were held. At length, 
on the 23d of March, the Governor assembled the 
whole company of the Pilgrims in general council, 
and, expressing the deepest regret that it seemed to 
be necessary to resort to warlike measure against 
those whose good only they sought to promote, pro- 
posed that Captain Standish should take so many 

* Bradford'^ Plymouth Plantation; p. 130. 


well-armed men as he judged to be necessary, and, 
assailing the Indians with the same weapons of guile 
which they were persistently using, should go to Mas- 
sachusetts as if for trade with the Indians. On the 
way he was to visit Weymouth and inform the people 
there of the plot which was formed against them, and 
of the object of his coming, and to invite them to em- 
bark on board the Swan, and come to Plymouth for 
protection. He was then to visit the Indians, care- 
fully scrutinize their conduct, and adopt such measures 
to thwart their plans and punish their ringleaders as 
in his judgment might seem expedient. He was par- 
ticularly requested to bring back with him, as a warn- 
ing to all the savages, the head of that bold and bloody 
villain Wituwamat, of whom we have before spoken, 
who was loud and boastful in his threats, and undis- 
guised in his measures to array all the Indians against 
the English. 

Captain Standish took eight men only, selecting 
those in whose courage and discretion he could repose 
perfect reliance. The day before he was to sail, a 
man by the name of Phineas Pratt came from Wey- 
mouth, through the woods, with his pack upon his 
back. He brought a deplorable report of the degra- 
dation and helplessness of the colonists. They were 
dispersed in three companies in search of food, and 
were almost destitute of powder and shot. He had 


fled from the impending ruin, and begged permission 
to remain at Plymouth. 

The next day the wind was fair, and Captain 
Standish set sail on his difficult and perilous expedi- 
tion. They entered the harbor at Weymouth, and 
proceeded first to the Swan, which was at anchor 
there, " but neither man, or so much as a dog there- 
in." The discharge of a musket attracted the atten- 
tion of the master of the vessel, who was on shore, 
with some of the colonists, searching for ground nuts. 
Upon Captain Standish reproaching them with their 
carelessness in leaving a vessel so important to their 
safety thus exposed, they replied, like men bereft of 
reason, that they had no fear of the Indians. The 
Captain gathered around him as many of the colo- 
nists as he could, and informed them of the plot already 
ripe for their massacre. He then gave them the in- 
vitation, on the part of the Governor and all the colo- 
nists, to repair to Plymouth, where they would share 
their scanty food with them until some better plan for 
their welfare could be devised. A more heroic act 
of hospitality than this the world has seldom wit- 
nessed. He also added that if there were any other 
plan which they preferred to adopt, he would do ev- 
erything in his power to aid them in it. 

These wretched men gladly accepted the generous 
offer which rescued them from the tomahawk of the 


savage, and decided at once to abandon the colony. 
Captain Standish then enjoined upon them the most 
entire secrecy in respect to their contemplated move- 
ment. The stragglers were all to be immediately 
called in, and ordered not to leave the town under 
penalty of death. A pint of corn was allotted to 
them each day, though this had to be taken from the 
store which the Pilgrims had reserved for planting. 

The weather was cold, wet and stormy, and thus 
Captain Standish was much delayed in his operations. 
The Indians, hearing of the arrival of the shallop 
from Plymouth, sent a spy to Weymouth, ostensibly ■ 
to sell some furs. Though the Captain treated him 
with the customary courtesy, the sagacious savage 
returned with the report that " he saw, by his eyes, 
that he was angry in his heart." But the Indians had 
become so emboldened that they hesitated not to use 
any language of insolence and menace. One of the 
vilest of them, a fellow of gigantic stature, by the 
name of Pecks uot, with Wituwamat and his brother, 
came swaggering into the little village. " Tell your 
Captain," said he, " that we know that he has come to 
kill us. But we do not fear him. Let him begin as 
soon as he dares. We are ready for him." 

These three men, with another Indian, followed 
by quite a mob of the savages, entered one of the 
houses, where Captain Standish was with four of the 


Pilgrims. The object, evidently, was to provoke a 
quarrel, and murder the Englishman. Captain Stand- 
ish was a slender man, of small stature. Pecksuot 
was almost a giant. The savage approached him, 
whetting his knife, and boasting of his power to lay 
the " little man " low. The other Indians were equally 
insulting and threatening, with both word and ges- 
ture. The Captain, perfectly preserving his calm- 
ness and self-possession, ordered the door to be shut 
and fastened, that no other Indians could come in. 
Then, giving the signal to the others of his men, he 
sprang, with the wonderful strength and agility for 
which he was celebrated, upon the burly savage, 
wrenched the knife, which was sharp as a needle at 
the point, from his hand, and after a desperate con- 
flict, in which he inflicted many wounds, succeeded in 
plunging it to the hilt in the bosom of his foe. In 
like manner Wituwamat and the other Indian, after 
the fiercest struggle, during which not a word was 
uttered, were killed. Wituwamat's brother, a boast- 
ful, blood-thirsty villain of eighteen, was taken and 
hanged, for conspiring for the massacre of the Eng- 

The Indians around the house, appalled by so un- 
expected an exhibition of courage and power, fled 
into the wilderness. Captain Standish marshalled his 
whole force to pursue. The Indians rallied in an ad- 


vantageous position, and made a brief stand. But, 
three of their number faUing before the bullets of the 
Englishmen, they again turned, and on swift foot dis- 

The Weymouth men, aware of their danger of 
suffering from hunger in Plymouth, decided to em- 
bark in the Swan for the fishing fleet on the coast, 
hoping there to obtain provisions to enable them to 
return to England. It was probably an acceptable 
decision to the Captain. Retaining simply corn 
enough for his homeward trip, he gave all the rest he 
had with him to them. A few decided to go to Ply- 
mouth, whom the Captain took with him. Hav- 
ing seen the Swan set sail, and fairly clear of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, the conquering hero spread his sail, 
and was soon greeted by his friends for his success 
in his chivalric adventure. Thus the godless colony 
at Weymouth came to an ignoble end. 


Domestic and Foreign Policy. 

Letter from Rev. Mr. Robinson. — Defense of Captain Standish. — 
New Policy Introduced. — Great Destitution. — Day of Fasting and 
Prayer. — Answer to Prayer.— Tiie First Thanksgiving. — The Col- 
ony at Weymouth. — Worthless Character of the Colonists. — 
Neat Cattle from England. — Captain Standish Sent to England. 
— Captain Wollaston and His Colony. — Heroism of Captain 
Standish. — Morton Vanquished. — Difficulty at Cape Ann. — In- 
creasing Emigration. — The Division of Property. 

When the Rev. Mr. Robinson, the Pilgrims' former 
pastor in Holland, heard of these sanguinary scenes, 
he was greatly afflicted. Captain Standish was not 
a church member, and Mr. Robinson feared that he 
had acted with the impetuosity of the soldier, and not 
with the forbearance of the Christian. He wrote to 
the Pilgrims : 

" It is necessary to bear in mind the disposition 
of your captain, whom I love, who is of a warm tem- 
per. I had hoped that the Lord had sent him among 
you for good, if you used him right. He is a man 
humble and meek among you, and towards all in or- 
dinary course. But I doubt whether there is not 
wanting that tenderness of the life of man, made after 
God's image, which is meet. O how happy a thing 


had it been that you had converted some before you 
had killed any." 

To this it was replied that two of the Indians, 
Squantum and Hobbomak, it was hoped, had already 
become Christians; that Captain Standish was the 
military commander of the colony, and in a sense re- 
sponsible for its safety ; that the m.easures he adopted 
were purely in self-defense, and that in no other way 
could he possibly have saved the colonies from mas- 
sacre. Captain Standish took back with him the head 
of VVituwamat, which was placed upon the fort as a 
warning to all hostile Indians. This measure has 
been severely censured. But it is replied that the 
savages, whose bloodthirsty desires were fully roused, 
could be influenced by deeds only, and not by words ; 
that no people should be blamed for not being in ad- 
vance of the age in which they lived, and that more 
than a century after this, in the year 1747, in refined 
and Christian England, the heads of the lords, who 
were implicated in the Scots rebellion, were exposed 
upon Temple Bar, the most frequented avenue between 
London and Westminster. Judge Davis, in his New 
England's Memorial, commenting upon Mr. Robin- 
son's letter, writes : 

" These sentiments are honorable to Mr. Robin- 
son. They indicate a generous philanthropy, which 
must always gain our affection, and should ever be 


cherished. Still the transactions, to which the stric- 
tures relate, are defensible. As to Standish, Belkna,p 
places his defense on the rules of duty imposed by his 
character as the military servant of the colony. The 
government, it is presumed, will be considered as act- 
ing under severe necessity, and will require no apology 
if the reality of the conspiracy be admitted, of which 
there can be but little doubt. It is certain that they 
were fully persuaded of its existence ; and with the 
terrible example of the Virginia massacre in fresh re- 
membrance, they had solemn duties to discharge. 
The existence of the whole settlement was at hazard." 
As we have mentioned, the unintelligent Indians 
often behaved like children. This energetic action 
seemed to overwhelm all those tribes with terror, who 
were contemplating a coalition with the Massachu- 
setts Indians against the English. They acted as if 
bereft of reason, forsaking their houses, fleeing to the 
swamps, and running to and fro in the most distracted 
manner. Many consequently perished of hunger, and 
of the diseases which exposure brought on. The 
planting season had just come. In their fright they 
neglected to plant; and thus, in the autumn, from 
want of their customary harvest of corn, many more 

Tyanough, who, the reader will recollect,was sachem 
of the tribe at Mattakiest, the country between Barn- 



stable and Yarmouth harbors, had been drawn into 
the conspiracy. He sent four men, in a boat, to the 
Governor, at Plymouth, with a present, hoping to ap- 
pease his anger. The boat was cast away. Three 
were drowned. The one survivor went back, not 
daring to show himself at Plymouth. The Indians 
regarded the disaster as evidence of the anger of the 
Englishman's God. 

The month of April 1623 had arrived. It was 
necessary immediately to prepare the ground for 
planting. The Pilgrims had but a scanty supply of 
corn reserved for seed. Scarcely a kernel could be 
spared for food. Until now necessity had compelled 
the Pilgrims to act in partnership, having a common 
store of corn to be equally distributed, the fields be- 
ing cultivated in common. It was now deemed best 
that each man should have his own lot, to possess 
whatever amount his industry might raise. As the 
wants of the Colony rendered it necessary that some 
should devote all their time to fishing, and there were 
certain other public employments which would en- 
gross the time of individuals, a small tax, in corn, was 
imposed, to defray these public expenses. 

About the middle of April they began to plant, 
the weather being very favorable. Each man took 
about an acre of land. Without ploughs, or the aid 
of cattle, this was all one man could cultivate. Im- 


mediately the advantages of individual property, in- 
stead of having a community of interest, was mani- 
fest. All the boys and youth were ranged under 
some family. This created a new scene of active in- 
dustry. Much more corn was planted, it is said, than 
would have been otherwise. Even the women went 
willingly into the field to aid in planting, taking their 
little ones with them. The situation of the colonists, 
at this time, seems to have been deplorable. Gov- 
ernor Bradford writes : 

" By the time our corn is planted our victuals are 
spent ; not knowing, at night, where to have a bit in 
the morning, and have neither bread nor corn for 
three or four months together, yet bear our wants 
with cheerfulness. Having but one boat left, we di- 
vide the men into several companies, six or seven in 
each, who take their turns to go out with a net and 
fish, and return not till they get some, though they be 
five or six days out, knowing there is nothing at home, 
and to return empty would be a great discourage- 
ment. When they stay long, or get but little, the 
rest go a digging shell fish. And thus we live in the 
summer, only sending one or two to range the woods 
for deer. They now and then get one, wliich we di- 
vide among the company. In the winter we are helped 
with fowl and ground nuts." * 

* Bradford in Prince, p. 216. 


The friends in England sent a supply ship, the 
Paragon, to the suffering colony. Three months 
passed, and no tidings were received of her. But 
fragments of wreck were picked up, which indicated 
her fate. It afterwards appeared that, having reached 
six hundred miles from land, she encountered a terri- 
ble gale, by which she was so much disabled as to 
be compelled to put back. Again she set sail, and 
again put back, with all her upper works carried 
by the board. A disastrous drouth, of six weeks 
continuance also ensued, which threatened the ut- 
ter destruction of their corn crop. Inevitable starva- 
tion seemed to stare them in the face. Mr. Winslow 
writes : 

" The most courageous were now discouraged, be- 
cause God, who had hitherto been our only shield 
and supporter, now seemed, in his anger, to arm him- 
self against us. And who can withstand the fierce- 
ness of his wrath ? " * 

In this extremity a day of fasting and prayer was 
appointed. It was the middle of July. The morn- 
ing was cloudless, without a sign of rain. The sky 
was as brass, scarce a green herb was to be seen, 
and the earth was as ashes. The exercises of devo- 
tion continued for eight hours. All felt alike that 
there was no help but in God. Elder Brewster, 
* Young's Chronicles, p. 349. 


an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile, 
preached. Mr. Winslow writes : 

" The exercises, on this special occasion, as of life 
and death, being continued eight hours or more, ere 
their close the clouds gathered, the heavens were 
overcast, and before the next morning passed, gentle 
showers were distilling upon the earth, and so it con- 
tinued some fourteen days, with seasonable weather 
intervening. It were hard to say whether our with- 
ered corn or drooping affections were most quickened 
and revived, such was the bounty and goodness of 
our God." 

Unexpectedly the withered corn thrust out green 
leaves and gave promise of a joyful harvest. Even the 
Indians were impressed with this evidence of divine 
interposition. Hobbomak said feelingly : 

" Now I see that the Englishman's God is a good 
God, for he hath heard you and sent you rain, and 
without storms, tempest or thunder beating down 
your corn. Surely your God is a good God." 

In the mean time, Captain Standish was sent out, 
with the shallop, and a few men, to explore the coast 
and purchase all the corn he could of the Indians. 
Valiant as he was in fight, he was, in ordinary life, a 
mild and gentle man, and eminently just in all his 
dealings. Much as the Indians dreaded his avenging 
arm, they seemed to be fully conscious that he would 


do them no wrong. Early in August he returned 
from this trading-voyage, with his shallop well loaded 
down with corn, which proved i^ivaluable to the Pil- 
grims until their own harvest should come in. 

He brought back with him Mr. David Thompson, 
a Scotchman, who, with a small party of emigrants, 
had commenced a plantation at the mouth of the Pis- 
cataqua, where Portsmouth now stands. For these 
many tokens of the divine goodness. Governor Brad- 
ford appointed another day of thanksgiving. It may 
be instructive here to insert Governor Bradford's tes- 
timony respecting the effect of a community of goods, 
which experiment was so fairly tried, and under such 
favorable circumstances, at Plymouth : 

" The experience which was had in this common 
course and condition," he writes, " tried sundry years, 
and that amongst godly and sober men, may well 
evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato and other 
ancients, and applauded by some of later times, — that 
the taking away of property, and bringing a com- 
munity into a commonwealth would make them happy 
and flourishing ; as if they were wiser than God. 
For this community, so far as it was such, was found 
to breed much confusion and discontent, and to re- 
tard much employment which would have been to 
their benefit and comfort. For the young men, who 
were the most able and fit for labor and service, did 


repine that they should spend their time and strength 
to work for other men's wives and children, without 
any recompense. 

" The strong, or man of parts, had no more in the 
division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak 
and not able to do a quarter the other could. This 
was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to 
be ranked and equalized in labors, victuals, clothes, 
etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it 
some indignity and disrespect unto them. As for 
men's wives to be commanded to do service for other 
men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, 
etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could 
many husbands well brook it. Let none object, this 
is men's corruption, and nothing against the course 
itself I answer, seeing all men have this corruption 
in them, God, in his wisdom, saw another course fitter 
for them." * 

Early in August two ships arrived, the Anne and 
the Little James. The latter was a small vessel of 
about forty-four tons, which was built for the company 
and was to remain at Plymouth. The two vessels 
brought sixty passengers. Some of them were very 
worthy people and constituted a valuable addition to 
the colony. Others were such sad miscreants that 
the Pilgrims instructed by the disasters which the 
* Bradford's Plymouth Plantation, p. 135. 


Weymouth colonists had caused, refused to receive 
them into their colony. The thriftless creatures, un- 
able to establish a settlement of their own, were com- 
pelled to return to England. 

The corn harvest was not yet ripe, and the new- 
comers were greatly surprised at the destitution in 
which they found the colonists. " The best dish," 
writes Bradford, " they could present them with, was 
a lobster or a piece of fish, without bread or anything 
else but a cup of fair spring water." The new-com- 
ers were afraid that the hungry colonists would eat 
up all the provisions they had brought with them. On 
the other hand the colonists were fearful that the new- 
comers would devour their harvest of corn, which 
was scarcely sufficient for so large an addition to their 
numbers. They therefore decided that each of the 
parties should rely upon its own resources. 

On the loth of September the Anne returned to 
England, laden with clapboards and furs. Mr. Wins- 
low also sailed in her, on business for the colony. 
The harvest was now in, and there was comparative 
plenty. Many had raised more corn than their own 
families would consume, and thus they had a supply 
to sell to others. About the middle of this month 
Captain Robert Georges arrived in Massachusetts 
Bay with a number of families, to commence a new 
plantation there. His grant of land was very indefi- 


nite. It embraced all the land lying on the northeast 
side of Massachusetts Bay, together with all the 
shores and coasts, for ten English miles, in a straight 
line towards the northeast, and thirty miles into the 
main land. He selected for his settlement, the spot 
at Weymouth which had been abandoned by the Wes- 
ton Colony, Governor Georges visited Governor 
Bradford, where he met with a very kind reception. 

Some of the seamen, carousing in one of the 
houses, built a great fire on a cold and windy night, 
which was communicated to the thatch, and four 
houses were burnt down. The storehouse was great- 
ly endangered. Its loss would have been irrepara- 
ble. The Little James went on a cruise to the coast 
of Maine, and there, in a violent storm, was wrecked. 
Mid-winter now frowned around the Pilgrims as they 
entered upon a new year, the year 1624. 

Mr. Winslow returned from England, bringing 
with him two heifers and a bull, an invaluable acqui- 
sition to the colonists, being the first cattle that were 
brought over. As they had no money, corn had be- 
come the circulating medium. With the opening 
spring all hands set to work to raise as much corn as 
possible. This led to a petition to the Governor to 
have a portion of land assigned, in perpetuity, to each 
individual. When assigned yearly, by lot, that field 
which one man, by skill and industry, had brought 


into a good state of cultivation, was often taken from 
him, and he received, perhaps, instead, a field ne- 
glected and overrun with weeds. The request was 
manifestly so reasonable, than one acre was given to 
every man, as near the village as might be, to be held 
seven years. It was deemed necessary, for safety 
against the Indians, to keep as close together as pos- 

With some internal disorders, the affairs of the 
colony went on prosperously during the year, nothing 
occurring to call the energies of Captain Standish 
into requisition. The colony numbered one hundred 
and eighty souls. They had some cattle and goats, 
quite a number of swine, and numerous poultry. 
Thirty-two dwelling houses were now occupied. The 
palisades which surrounded the village were half a 
mile in extent. A well-built fort stood upon Burial 

Mr. Winslow made a trading-voyage eastward one 
hundred and fifty miles, in an open boat, " up a river 
called the Kennebec." He brought home seven hun- 
dred pounds of beaver and other furs, having ex- 
changed corn for them. It was mid-winter, and they 
encountered much tempestuous weather. The boat 
was built by their ship carpenter, and had a small 
deck over her midships to keep the corn dry. But 
the men were exposed, unsheltered to winter on the 


coast of Maine. These furs were purchased of the 
natives, at a small price, and were sold in London at 
a great profit. 

( The Pilgrims wished to hire money with which to 
purchase in England the commodities which the In- 
dians greatly prized, and which they could exchange 
with them for furs. Captain Standish was sent to 
England to adjust certain difificulties which had arisen 
between the colonists and their partners in London, 
and also to hire money with which to purchase goods to. 
trade with the Indians. But the Captain arrived in Lon- 
don at a very unfortunate hour. The city was then des- 
olated by that awful plague which was sweeping thou- 
sands into the grave. It would also appear that the 
credit of the colony was far from good. With great dif- 
ficulty Captain Standish succeeded in raising seven 
hundred and fift}^ dollars, for which he paid the enor- 
mous interest of fifty per cent. The risk to the 
lender was indeed great. The only chance the col- 
onists had to pay the debt, was mainly in sending 
home furs. But the ships thus laden had to run the 
gauntlet of the hostile fleets of France and Tur- 
key, with both of which powers England was then 
at war. 

Captain Standish expended the small sum he had 
raised, in trading commodities. He also brought 
back the mournful intelligence of the death of the 


Reverend Mr. Robinson, who died at Lcydcn the ist 
of March, 1625. There were so many vessels sent 
from England to the coast of Maine, engaged in the 
fishing business, that the colonists, in consequence of 
the competition, relinquished the fisheries, and en- 
gaged in trading and planting, both of which had now 
become profitable. Immense numbers of fishes were, 
however, taken at their very door, which were used 
to enrich the fields. 

The rapid brook of fresh water, which ran at the 
south side of the town, took its rise in several lakes 
in the land above. Early in May vast shoals of her- 
ring darkened the waters as they ascended the brook 
from the sea to deposit their spawn in the lakes. 
The colonists constructed, at the mouth of this brook, 
a sort of net, made of planks and trellis work, so 
that at one tide they would often take twelve 
thousand fishes. Three or four were deposited in 
each hill of corn, which promoted a luxuriant growth. 
This corn was eagerly purchased by the Indians, they 
paying one pound of beaver skin for one bushel of 
corn. Fishing vessels occasionally called and pur- 
chased their corn at six shillings a bushel. Several 
other colonies were also established, which needed 
supplies. Thus days of prosperity dawned upon the 
colony, which had so long struggled with adversity. 
But little occurred during the year 1626 worthy of 


especial notice. The coasting-trade was becoming 
increasingly important. Governor Bradford writes : 

" Finding they ran a great hazard to go so long 
voyages in a small, open boat, especially in the winter 
season, they began to think how they might get a 
small pinnace. They had no ship carpenter among 
them, neither knew how to get one at present. But 
they having an ingenious man, who was a house car- 
penter, who had also wrought with the ship carpen- 
ter that was dead, when he built their boats, at their 
request, he put forth himself to make a trial that way, 
of his skill, and took one of the biggest of the shal- 
lops and sawed her in the middle, and so lengthened 
her some five or six feet, and strengthened her with 
timbers, and so built her up and laid a deck on her, 
and so made her a convenient and wholesome vessel, 
very fit and comfortable for their use, which did them 
service seven years. And thus passed the affairs of 
this year." * 

The prospects of the colony had so far brightened 
that Mr. Allerton, who had been sent to England 
this year, succeeded in raising one thousand dollars 
at thirty per cent interest. During the year 1625 
Captain Wollaston, with thirty emigrants, commenced 
a settlement at a place they named Mount Wollaston, 
in the northerly part of Braintree, now Quincy, in 

* Bradford's Plymouth Plantation, p. 2ii. 


Massachusetts. Most of these emigrants were men 
of low condition, the hired laborers of WoUaston. 
He soon became discontented, and took a large por- 
tion of his servants to Virginia, where he disposed of 
their labor as best he could. He left a man by the 
name of Fitcher to guide the labor of those who re- 
mained until his return. In the mean time one 
Thomas Morton, " a pettifogging attorney of Furni- 
val's Inn, a man of low habits," succeeded in persuad- 
ing those who were left to renounce the authority of 
Fitcher, and to live on terms of perfect equality and 
freedom, without any laws whatever. He arranged a 
great feast, and induced the men, in the frenzy of 
intoxication, to drive Fitcher from the settlement. 
They then entered upon an astonishing course of ri- 
oting and drunkenness. They prosecuted vigorously 
a trade with the natives, which was forbidden by royal 
charter, of muskets, powder and bullets. This trade 
was very profitable. The Indians, eager to obtain 
muskets, would pay almost any sum for them. Mor- 
ton taught them how to use the guns, and employed 
them to hunt, purchasing their furs. 

Thus they rioted in abundance, and disgraced 
themselves with the most shameless indulgence in 
profanity and profligacy. They erected a May-pole, 
and danced around it with the Indian women. In 
accordance with these scenes of revelry, they changed 


the name of the place to Merry Mount. Morton was 
an Atheist : teaching that this was the only life ; that 
there was no responsibility to God, and that it was 
the part of wisdom to indulge freely in all one's de- 

This state of things created great alarm, in all the 
various settlements, which had by this time been 
established. The Indians, if once supplied with 
European weapons of war, could easily, by combin- 
ing, destroy all the colonies. Governor Bradford 
complains very bitterly of the peril. The Indians had 
muskets in abundance ; they were taught how to re- 
pair their muskets when injured ; they were furnished 
with moulds for running bullets of various sizes. 

"Yea," writes Governor Bradford, "some have 
seen them have their screw-plates to make screw- 
pins themselves, when they want them, with sundry 
other implements, wherewith they are ordinarily bet- 
ter fitted and furnished than the English themselves. 
It is well known that they will have powder and shot 
when the English want it, and cannot get it ; and yet 
in a time of war or danger, as experience hath mani- 
fested, when lead hath been scarce, and men for their 
their own defense would gladly have given four pence 
a pound, which is dear enough, yet hath it been 
bought up and sent to other places, and sold to such 
as trade it with the Indians at twelve pence a pound. 


And it is likely the Indians give three or four shillings 
the pound, for they will have it at any rate. 

" And these things have been done in the same 
times when some of their neighbors and friends are 
daily killed by the Indians, or are in danger thereof, 
and live but at the Indians' mercy. Yea, some have 
told them how gunpowder is made, and all the mate- 
rials in it, and that they are to be had in their own 
land ; and I am confident that could they attain to 
make saltpetre they would teach them to make pow- 
der. Oh the horribleness of this villainy ! How many, 
both Dutch and English, have been lately slain by 
those Indians thus furnished ! And no remedy pro- 
vided, nay the evil more increased, and the blood of 
their brethren sold for gain ; and in what danger all 
these colonies are is too well known. 

" Oh ! that princes and parliaments would take 
some timely order to prevent this mischief and, at 
length to suppress it, by some exemplary punishment 
upon some of those gain-thirsty murderers, for they 
deserve no better title, before their colonies in these 
parts be overthrown by these barbarous savages, thus 
armed with their own weapons, by these evil instru- 
ments and traitors to their neighbors and country. 

" But I have forgotten myself, and have been too 
long in this digression ; but now to return. This 
Morton having thus taught them the use of muskets 


he sold them all he could spare ; and he and his con- 
sorts determined to send for many out of England, 
and had, by some of the ships, sent for above a score. 
The which being known, and his neighbors meeting 
the Indians in the woods, armed with guns in this 
sort, it was a terroi unto them who lived strugglingly 
and were of no strength in any place. And other 
places, though more remote, saw that this mischief 
would quickly spread over all if not prevented. Be- 
sides, they saw they should keep no servants, for Mor- 
ton would entertain any, how vile soever, and all the 
scum of the country, or any discontents would flock 
to him from all places, if this nest was not broken ; 
and they would stand in more fear of their lives and 
goods, in a short time, from this wicked and debauched 
crew, than from the savages themselves. 

The leading men of several settlements met to- 
gether to deliberate upon what measures to adopt in 
this emergence. The Plymouth colony was stronger 
than all the rest imited. 

The delegates came from Plymouth, from the 
trading-house at the Kennebec, from the small set- 
tlement at Salem, from Weymouth, and from several 
other places where infant settlements had been com- 
menced. They decided to write a joint and friendly 
letter to Morton, informing him of the danger to which 
he was exposing all the English, and entreating him. 


out of regard to the common safety, to change his 
course. A messenger was sent with this letter, and 
to bring back an answer. Morton rephed insultingly 
and defiantly, saying that they were meddling with 
that which they had no concern ; that he should con- 
tinue trade with the Indians just as he pleased, selling 
them muskets, powder and shot, without asking any 
one's advice. The answer throughout was couched 
in the most insulting terms. 

Again, with the most singular moderation, a mes- 
senger was sent to him with another friendly letter, 
saying that they were consulting, not for selfish inter- 
ests, but for the good of all alike ; that the lives of all 
were endangered, and that the King's proclamation 
had forbidden the sale of fire-arms to the savages. 
Another insolent answer was returned. He assured 
them that he cared neither for the King's proclama- 
tion nor for them ; and that if they thought they could 
coerce him, they might come on as soon as they 
pleased ; he was ready for them. 

It was now manifestly time to summon the ener- 
gies of Captain Standish to the rescue. He was ex- 
actly the man for the occasion. With a small body 
of armed men, eight in number, as valiant as himself, 
Captain Standish set out for Merry Mount. In some 
way, Morton had heard of his approach. With his 
desperate men he had barricaded himself in a strono; 


log house, with an ample supply of powder and balls. 
They well knew the reputation of the foe they were 
to encounter, and in order to stimulate their waning 
courage, had all become drunk. From their fortress, 
which they deemed impregnable, they shouted their 
scurrilous defiance to the Captain and his little band. 
There are men with whom apparently the most reck- 
less bravery is combined with prudence and sound 
judgment ; who seem to be endowed with a sort of 
instinct which teaches them when an act of seeming 
desperation may be demanded by wisdom. Captain 
Standish was such a man. 

He was making arrangements to carry the house, 
perhaps by approaching it from some unguarded 
point, and setting it on fire, when Morton, drunk as 
he was, saw his danger. Selecting a few of his men, 
he emerged from his fortress, with the intention of 
making a sudden and simultaneous rush upon Captain 
Standish, and shooting him. Morton himself was so 
intoxicated that, as afterwards found, his carbine was 
overloaded, being nearly half filled with powder and 

The captain, though of short stature, possessed 
dignity of character and authority of bearing which 
often overawed his foes. Without a moment's hesita- 
tion, he advanced with stately tread upon Morton, 
totally regardless of his weapon, seized him by the 


collar, wrenched the gun from his hands, and delivered 
him over to his men, a humiliated and helpless cap- 
tive. The rest of the drunken crew, deprived of their 
leader, were deemed powerless. The culprit was 
taken to Plymouth, and was sent to England by the 
first vessel that sailed, there to be tried for his crimes. 

The Pilgrims, at Plymouth, had for some time 
been in the habit of sending yearly to the fishing- 
grounds off Cape Ann for a supply of cod. They 
had erected quite a commodious stage upon the 
cape, where they dressed and dried their fish. Some 
London adventurers fitted out a fishing vessel for the 
cape, and arriving there before the Plymouth people, 
took possession of their stage, which they refused to 
surrender when the Pilgrims came and demanded 
their own. 

The code militaite was, at this time, the rule of 
life with Captain Standish. He would do no wrong ; 
and he would submit to no wrong. He was immedi- 
ately sent to Cape Ann to adjust the difficulty. There 
was no room for question about the right and wrong 
in the case. The new-comers had stolen the property 
of the Pilgrims. Captain Standish peremptorily de- 
manded its restoration. The thieves barricaded them- 
selves on the stage. Captain Standish prepared for 
battle, and would doubtless have recovered the stage 
by force. " But Mr. Conant," writes Baylies, " who dwelt 


there, and who was a man of a mild and conciHatory dis- 
position, and Captain Pierce, a fast friend of the Ply- 
m.outh people, also happening to be there with his 
ship, interposing their good offices, the dispute was 
compromised, the ship's crew having promised to 
build another stage." * 

Emigration to the New World was now rapidly 
increasing. Many new settlements sprang up and 
many worthless characters came over, lured by the 
love of adventure. Not a few of these came to the 
flourishing Plymouth colony. This led to a new or- 
ganization of the colony, the details of which it is not 
necessary to enter into here. The company in Lon- 
don, who had obtained the charter from the King and 
held the territory, sold out their whole property to the 
colonists, for nine thousand dollars, to be paid in nine 
annual instalments of one thousand dollars. The 
general features of this important change is thus given 
by Baylies. 

" Every head of a family, and every prudent young 
man who was of age, both of the first and later comers, 
were admitted into a general partnership; and all 
agreed that the trade should be managed as usual, 
devoting all its profits to the payment of the debt ; 
that every single freeman should have a single share, 
and that every father of a family should have leave 

* Baylies' Memoir of Plymouth Colony, p. 140. 


to purchase a share for himself, another for his wife, 
and one for each of his children who lived with him, 
and that every one should pay his share of the debts, 
according to his number of shares. One cow and 
two goats were divided by lot to every six shares, and 
the swine in proportion. And to every share, in addi- 
tion to the acre lots, which they already held, and the 
gardens and homestead of which they were possessed, 
twenty acres of tillage land was assigned by lot, 
which were to be five acres broad on the water and 
four acres deep." 

The meadow lands, for mowing, being quite small 
in extent, were held in common, mowing places 
being assigned, as the seasons came around, to all 
the families, according to their number of cattle. As 
the Pilgrims were living in constant apprehension of 
a combination of the Indians against them, it was 
deemed important that they should not be widely 
scattered in their fields of labor. A sudden attack 
might expose them to destruction, unless they could 
be speedily rallied. Twenty acres of land was much 
more than any one man could cultivate with the agri- 
cultural facilities then at their control. It was there- 
fore agreed, before any lots were cast, that those 
whose lots should fall next to the town, should take a 
neighbor or two, whom they best liked, to plant corn 
with them for four years. By that time it was sup- 


posed the colony would be out of danger from any 
hostile attack. This arrangement gave general sat- 
isfaction, and inspired the colonists with new en- 


Increase and Grozvth of the Settlements. 

The Virginia Emigrants. — Humanity and Enterprise of the Govern- 
or. — Envoy Sent to England. — Trading Posts on the Kennebec 
and Penobscot Rivers.— Capture by the French. — The Massa- 
chusetts Colony. — Its Numbers and Distinguished Characters. — 
Trade with the Indians. — Wampum the New Currency. — Trad- 
ing Post at Sandwich. — Sir Christopher Gardener. — Captain 
Standisli Moves to Duxbury. — Lament of Governor Bradford. 

An incident occurred at this time, quite interest- 
ing, as illustrative of the adventurous life upon which 
these men had entered, in the wilderness of this New 
World ; a life of excitement and heroic achieve- 
ments, with its full share of earthly joys as well as 

A ship, laden with passengers and goods, left 
England for Virginia. The captain was taken sick, 
so that he could not leave his cabin. The inefficient 
mate became bewildered. After six weeks at sea 
their provisions were exhausted. Starvation stared 
them in the face. Knowing not where they were, in 
the night, and in a gale of wind, they were almost 
miraculously swept over the shoals of Cape Cod, and 
striking a sand bar, were driven over it into a little 
bay, then called Manamoyake, now Chatham. The 


vessel leaking badly, with many of her planks sprung, 
was forced high upon the beach, so that, with the re- 
ceding tide, not only the crew safely landed, and the 
cargo, though much damaged with salt water, was 
taken on shore. 

The shipwrecked people, rejoicing to have escaped 
with their lives, reared their huts upon the shore, not 
knowing where they were or what would become of 
them. While in this state of suspense and sadness, 
they were alarmed one mornirxg in seeing several 
birch canoes coming around a headland filled with 
Indians. They seized their guns and stood upon de- 
fense. But the Indians paddled rapidly along as if 
apprehending no harm, and addressing them in Eng- 
lish, inquired if they were the Governor of Ply- 
mouth's people, or his friends. The Indians told 
them where they were, offered to conduct them to 
Plymouth, or to take letters for them. The English- 
men were greatly comforted by this intelligence. 
They gave the Indians several valuable presents from 
their shipwrecked stores, and despatched, under their 
guidance, two men, with a letter to Governor Brad- 
ford, entreating him to send a boat to them with 
spikes, oakum, pitch and sundry other materials, with 
which they hoped to repair their vessel, and again to 
get her afloat from her soft bed in the sand. 

The Governor immediately loaded a large boat 


with the needful articles, including a generous supply 
of corn, and taking also trading commodities with 
which to buy additional supplies of the Indians, went 
himself to the aid of his unfortunate countrymen. It 
was winter, when the chill sea was swept by angry 
storms. It was not safe, at that season, in the boat, 
to attempt to sail around the head of the cape, and to 
brave the storms of the Atlantic on the eastern shore. 
He therefore sailed across the bay in a southeasterly 
direction, and entering Barnstable Bay, ascended a 
little creek called Namskeket, which ran inland nearly 
a mile. From the head of this creek it was but two 
miles across the cape to Manamoyake Bay, where the 
vessel was stranded. 

The Indians, accustomed to portages, were read- 
ily hired to transport the articles across the land. 
The shoulders of the Indian women would bear very 
heavy burdens. The arrival of the Governor with 
the abundant supplies caused great rejoicing. He 
spent a few days with them, and then, returning. to 
his boat, sailed along the inner coast till he had pur- 
chased of the natives a full cargo of corn, with which 
he replenished the granaries at Plymouth. 

The stranded vessel was repaired and floated, 
when another fierce tempest arose, and she was 
driven, a hopeless wreck, upon the shore. The beach 
in Chatham, where she was stranded, is still called 


the " Old Ship." Remains of the wreck were visible 
within the present century. 

Some of these shipwrecked emigrants were men 
of wealth, bringing with them many servants to culti- 
vate large estates in Virginia. But the majority were 
men in the humble walks of life. Application was 
immediately made to Governor Bradford that they all 
might be permitted to repair to Plymouth, and to re- 
main there until they should have the means to con- 
vey themselves to Virginia. The humane Pilgrims, 
ever ready to do a kind deed, without hesitancy ac- 
ceded to their request. Boats were sent up the 
Namskeket Creek, and with great labor the ship- 
wrecked emigrants and their goods were transported 
to the Christian colony. 

" After they were hither come," writes the Gover- 
nor, " and something settled, the masters desired 
some ground to employ their servants upon, seeing it 
was like to be the latter end of the year before they 
could have passage for Virginia, and they had now 
the winter before them ; they might clear some ground 
and plant a crop, to help bear their charge, and keep 
their servants in employment. And if they had op- 
portunities to depart before the same was ripe, they 
would sell it on the ground. So they had ground 
appointed them in convenient places." 

Among these emigrants there were many irrelig- 


ious and disorderly men. Some were men of high 
character, who were highly appreciated by the Pil- 
grims. But there was general rejoicing in the little 
colony at the end of the summer, when two vessels 
arrived from England, and conveyed them to their 
original destination in Virginia. 

It was now decided to build a pinnace, on the 
southern coast of the Cape, so that they could easily 
run along the shore there, in both directions, engag- 
ing in trade with the Indians. About twenty miles 
south of Plymouth, upon the shore of Buzzard's Bay, 
in the present town of Sandwich, there was a small 
harbor called Manomet, which the Pilgrims had not 
unfrequently visited. Sailing down from Plymouth 
on the north side, they could approach this spot 
within about four or five miles. Thus all the furs and 
corn which they could purchase on the south and 
eastern shores of the cape, could be sent across this 
" carrying place," and thence could be conveyed to 
Plymouth, avoiding the dangerous navigation around 
the cape. A boat-house was built here, and also a 
dwelling-house, where a few agents were stationed, to 
navigate the boat and to engage in agriculture. The 
enterprise proved eminently successful. 

Again the company sent Mr. Allerton to England 
with a cargo of furs, to meet their engagements there, 
and to obtain authority to establish a trading-post on 


the Kennebec River. The Dutch were establishing 
trading-posts and agricultural colonies near the mouth 
of the Hudson, and many friendly messages and cour- 
teous acts were interchanged between these two 
parties. There were many English refugees in Ley- 
den who, upon the death of their pastor, Mr. Robin- 
son, were anxious to join their friends in America. 
They had expressed this desire very earnestly ; but 
they were poor. They were unable to provide them- 
selves with an outfit, or even to pay for their passage 
across the Atlantic. In order to aid these exiled and 
impoverished brethren, Governor Bradford, Captain 
Standish, and several others, formed a company and 
purchased of the Plymouth colony all their right to 
trade with the Indians for six years. For this they 
paid twelve thousand dollars. The main object of the 
purchasers seemed to be to raise money enough to 
bring over their friends from Holland, There were 
eight of the Pilgrim fathers united with four gentle- 
men in London who assumed these responsibilities. 
Very truly Mr. Baylies writes : 

" The generosity of the chiefs of the colony to 
their Leyden brethren is unparalleled. They almost 
deprived themselves of the common necessaries of life 
to get them over, and to support them until they were 
able to support themselves ; laboring at the same time 
under heavy debts, for which they paid exorbitant 


interest. But their necessities seemed only to stimu- 
late them to greater exertions." * 

This new company, having obtained a patent for 
a trading-post on the Kennebec River, erected a 
house in a place called Cushenoe, now the city of 
Augusta. Here they collected, for purposes of trade, 
a large supply of coats, shirts, rags, blankets, biscuit, 
pease, etc. In the month of August, 1629, thirty-five 
families arrived at Plymouth from Leyden. Nine 
months after, in May, 1630, another ship arrived, 
bringing several more families. The new company, 
of which the Governor and the captain were the prin- 
cipal men, paid all their expenses, though they 
amounted to two thousand seven hundred dollars. 
Houses were assigned to them ; grounds were pur- 
chased for them, and they were fed from the public 
stores for more than a year. When we remember 
that there was no blood relationship between these 
parties, no partnership, no bond of union excepting 
Christian charity ; that the benefactors were poor, 
struggling for their own support, and that many of 
those whom they were thus aiding they had never 
seen before, we must regard this act as one of ex- 
traordinary generosity. 

A trading-post had been established on the Pen- 
obscot River, at a point called Bagaduce, now Cas- 

* Blake's Plymouth Colony, p. 153. 


tine. Here a very lucrative trade was transacted 
with the Indians, mainly in furs. The French claimed 
this post as within their domain. A small French 
vessel entered the bay, and finding the post defence- 
less, rifled it of all its contents, and carried off three 
hundred pounds of beaver skins and other property 
to the value of over two thousand dollars. Governor 
Bradford, in his description of this annoying event, 
writes : 

" It was in this manner : The master of the house, 
and part of the company with him, were come with 
their vessel to the westward to fetch a supply of goods 
which was brought over for them. In the mean time 
comes a small French ship into the harbor ; and 
amongst the company was a false Scot. They pre- 
tended that they were newly come from the sea, and 
knew not where they were, and that their vessel was 
very leaky, and desired that they might haul her 
ashore and stop her leaks. And many French com- 
pliments they used and conges they made. And in 
the end, seeing but three or four simple men, that 
were servants, and by this Scotchman understanding 
that the master and the rest of the company were 
gone from home, they fell of commending their guns 
and muskets that lay upon racks by the wall-side. 
They took them down to look on them, asking if they 
were charged. And when they were possessed of 


them, one presents a piece, ready charged, against 
the servants, and another a pistol, and bid them not 
stir, but quietly deliver up their goods. They carried 
some of the men aboard, and made the others help 
to carry away the goods. And when they had taken 
what they pleased, they set them at liberty and went 
their way with this mockery, bidding them tell their 
master when he came, that some of the Isle of Rye 
gentlemen had been there." 

The emigration from England rapidly increased 
and, ere long, the colony numbered fifteen hundred 
souls. In the year 1628, John Endicot, with a party 
of emigrants, established rather a feeble settlement 
at Salem, then called Naumkeag, On the 30th of 
May, 1630, another party commenced a colony at Dor- 
chester, then called Mattapan. In the months of 
June and July of the same year, a fleet of eleven ves- 
sels arrived from England, bringing over a large num- 
ber of passengers, and, after some deliberation, they 
selected what is now Charlestown for their principal 
settlement. A part of the company went to Water- 
town. About fifteen hundred came over during the 

The Puritans in England were now gaining the 
ascendency. Men of influence and rank were join- 
ing them. They were not at all disposed to bow the 

knee to those who had heretofore been their persecu- 


tors. The eminent John Winthrop came as Governor 
of the powerful Massachusetts colony, which colony- 
was stronger in numbers, and far stronger in wealth 
and influence, when it first landed, than was the Ply- 
mouth Colony after long years of struggle with the 
hardships of the wilderness. Governor Winthrop 
was a gentleman of culture, position and wealth. 
Two of the emigrants, Humphry and Johnson, had 
married sisters of the Earl of Lincoln. Sir Richard 
Saltonstall, who was one of their number, was son 
of the Lord Mayor of London. There were many 
others, men of family and fortune, who, having lived 
in the enjoyments of large estates, were accustomed 
to all the refinements of polished society. Others, 
such as Hampden, Cromwell and Pym, who subse- 
quently became conspicuous in the overthrow of the 
tyrannic throne of Charles I, wished to join them, 
but were prevented by a royal edict. 

As early as 1623 there were as many as fifty ves- 
sels engaged in fishing on the New England coast. 
Several of these were owned by parties in Dorches- 
ter, England. They sent a party of fourteen persons 
to a spot near Cape Ann, where Gloucester now 
stands, to commence a small settlement. It was their 
main object to provide a home upon the land, to which 
the sailors might resort for refreshment and rest, and 
where they might be brought under religious influ- 


ences. The site was purchased of the Plymouth 
colony. They carried out live stock, and erected a 
house, with a stage to dry fish, and with vats for the 
manufacture of salt. The experiment proved an utter 
failure, from the incompetence of the colonists. 

The New World, as affording facilities for promis- 
ing homes, was attracting ever increasing attention. 
This led to the organization of a powerful company, 
who obtained a grant of lands extending from the 
Atlantic to the Western Ocean, and in width, run- 
ning from three miles north of the Merrimac river to 
a line three miles south of the Charles. The com- 
pany invested with this immense territory consisted 
of a number of private individuals, who, by their 
charter, became invested with almost imperial pow- 
ers. The Plymouth colonists recognized the supe- 
rior numbers, opulence and rank of their Massachu- 
setts brethren, and were ever ready to render to them 
the precedence. And though the Massachusetts 
colonists were occasionally somewhat arrogant, as if 
fully conscious of their superiority, they were gener- 
ally just, and at times even generous, to those breth- 
ren who were in entire accord with them in religious 
faith, and whose virtues they could not but revere. 

The advent of these colonists was a great blessing 
to the Indians. The men of Plymouth and of Mas- 
sachusetts, alike recognizing that universal brother- 


hood which Christianity so prominently enforces, were 
disposed to treat the Indians with the utmost kind- 
ness, and to do everything in their power to elevate 
and bless them. They purchased their lands, their 
corn and their furs, and paid fair prices for them, thus 
introducing into their wigwams comforts of which they 
previously had no conception. The Indians were 
thus stimulated to industry, and these friendly rela- 
tions would have continued, to the inestimable benefit 
of both parties, but for the outrages inflicted upon the 
savages by such godless wretches as the infamous 
Captain Hunt, the low and thieving gang of Wey- 
mouth adventurers, and drunken sailors and reckless 
vagabonds, who, fleeing from crimes in their own 
country, gave loose to unrestrained passions in this 
New World. 

The Pilgrims had no power to prevent these atro- 
cities. The poor savages, ignorant and degraded, 
knew not how to discriminate. If drunken white 
men, vagabond sailors from some English vessel, pil- 
fered their wigwams, insulting their wives and daugh- 
ters, there was no law to which they could appeal, 
and, in their benighted state, the only redress before 
them was to violate, with still more terrible atrocities, 
with torture and flame and blood, the inmates of some 
white man's log house, the home, perhaps, of piety 
and prayer, where the Indian, if hungry, would be 


fed, if sick, would be nursed with true brotherly and 
sisterly tenderness. Thus, in God's mysterious gov- 
ernment of this world, the consequences of the crimes 
of the vilest men fell with awful desolation upon the 
heads of the best of men. 

The Indians had no circulating medium. Indeed 
they had no trade among themselves. In illustration 
of the benefits which the coming of the Pilgrim 
Fathers conferred upon them, let us again refer to the 
trading-post established, about twenty miles south 
from Plymouth, at Manomet, now Sandwich. Here, 
upon a small but navigable stream, a dwelling and 
storehouses were erected, where canoes and coasting 
vessels from all along the shore, as far as New Am- 
sterdam, at the mouth of the Hudson, could meet 
in the exchange of their articles of value. A land 
carriage of but about six miles, over the neck of the 
Cape, the Suez of America, as it was then called, 
brought them to the waters of Massachusetts Bay, 
and to intercourse with all the settlements and Indian 
villages scattered along its shores. Indian runners 
could easily transport the light articles of traffic, and 
thus the dangerous passage around the vast peninsula 
of Cape Cod was avoided. Some circulating medium 
seemed essential in the trade thus commenced and 
rapidly extending. 

The Narragansets and Pequots, residing upon 


Narraganset and Buzzard's Bays, made, from the small 
shells of a species of clam, a very beautiful ornamen- 
tal belt, called wampum. The shells, graceful in 
form, beautifully colored and highly polished, were 
strung like beads, by a hole drilled through the cen- 
tre, or were woven into rich embroidery. Three 
purple shells or six white ones were considered equiv- 
alent to an English penny. A string, two yards in 
length, was valued at five shillings. The Dutch, 
from New Amsterdam, sent cargoes to this trading- 
post. Thus sugar, cloths of various texture, cutlery 
and garden tools were obtained by the Indians. 
Friendly relations existed, and the happiness thus 
fostered might have continued uninterrupted but for 
the wickedness of men who were strangers to the 
principles which animated the Pilgrims. 

A powerful Indian chief had his seat upon an ad- 
joining hill, at the foot of which a busy Indian village 
was nestled. When the Dutch, at the mouth of the 
Hudson, first heard of this post, they sent a small 
trading-vessel to it, with very friendly letters to Gov- 
ernor Bradford. They landed and marched up to the 
trading-house, accompanied by a band of music. The 
trumpet notes, reverberating through those wilds, 
must have emptied the Indian village to gaze upon 
the unwonted scene. The Dutch commander sent 
an Indian runner to Governor Bradford, requesting 


him to send a boat for him to the other side of the 
bay, as he could not travel so far on foot through the 
Indian trails. A boat was at once despatched to 
what is now called Scussett, and the chief men of the 
Dutch party were conveyed to Plymouth, where they 
were received with the highest honors. They re- 
mained several days with the Pilgrims, enjoying their 
profuse hospitality, and were then sent back in the 
boat. The friendly intercourse thus commenced, was 
continued for several years uninterrupted. Governor 
Bradford, speaking of the trade thus introduced, and 
of its great advantage to the Indians, writes : 

" But that which turned most to their profit, in 
time, was an entrance into the trade of wampum. 
Strange it was to see the great alteration it made in 
a few years among the Indians themselves. For all 
the Indians of these parts and the Massachusetts had 
none or very little of it, excepting the chief and some 
special persons, who wore a little of it for ornament. 
It being only made and kept by the Pequots and Nar- 
ragansets, who grew rich and potent by it ; whereas, 
the rest, who use it not, are poor and beggarly. 

" Neither did the English of this plantation, or 
any other in the land, till now, that they had knowl- 
edge of it from the Dutch, so much as know what it 
was, much less that it was a commodity of that worth 
and value. But after it grew thus to be a commodity 


in these parts, these Indians fell into it also, and to 
learn how to make it. It hath now continued a cur- 
rent commodity about this twenty years, and it may 
prove a drug in time. In the mean time it makes the 
Indians of these parts rich and powerful." 

Such were the humble beginnings of the com- 
merce of New England. The very spot upon which 
this trading-house stood can now be pointed out, 
" On it may the traveller pause and reflect how things 
then were ! how they now are ! Now, on what sea, 
to what coast of the habitable globe have not their 
descendants carried the products of their soil and in- 
dustry, outstripping all other nations, with only Eng- 
land as a rival." ■■'' 

In the year 1630 the first public execution took 
place. It will be remembered that one John Billing- 
ton, a man of worthless character, had, in some way, 
smuggled himself into the company of the Pilgrims. 
He had two boys, who seem to have been as worth- 
less as he himself Governor Bradford had written 
of him, " He is a knave, and so will live and die." 
He had already, in 162 1, for vile abase of Captain 
Standish, been condemned to have his neck and heels 
tied together. For some alleged injury or insult, he 
waylaid and shot a young man by the name of John 
Newcomen. The murderer had adopted the opinion 

* Life of Elder William Brewster, p. 335. 


that the colonists had no power granted them to inflict 
capital punishment. He had a fair trial before a jury 
of twelve men. There was no doubt whatever re- 
specting his guilt. The court had some doubt as to 
its authority to inflict the penalty of death, since the 
Council, from whom its authority was derived, had 
no such power. The advice of Governor Winthrop 
was sought, and that of the ablest men of the Massa- 
chusetts colony. They advised, with perfect unanim- 
ity, " that the murderer ought to die, and the land be 
purged from blood." He was accordingly executed 
in October, 1630. 

In the year 163 1, a singular event occurred. A 
very eccentric man, calling himself Sir Christopher 
Gardner, visited Massachusetts. He was descended, 
it is said, from the illustrious house of the Bishop of 
Winchester, and in his extended travels had visited 
nearly all quarters of the globe. At Jerusalem, he 
had been made knight of the Holy Sepulchre. Weary, 
as he said, of the world, and desiring to do penance, 
by bodily mortification, for his sins, he came to the 
Pilgrims, offering to perform the most menial services 
for his living. Still he brought over with him two 
servants, and a very fine-looking woman whom he 
called his cousin. He endeavored to join the church, 
but they would not receive him. Being guilty of con- 
duct for which he was about to be arrested and brought 


to trial, he fled into the wilderness, and took refuge 
with the » Indians. The Massachusetts authorities 
offered a reward for his capture and return to them. 

Some of the Namasket Indians came to Governor 
Bradford, from the vicinity of Middleborough, and 
told him where Sir Christopher was, and that they 
could easily kill him, but could not easily take him 
alive ; that he was a desperate man, and had a gun 
and sword, and that he would certainly kill some of 
them should they attempt to take him. The Gover- 
nor told them by no means to kill him, but to watch 
their opportunity and to capture him. They did so, 
and catching him one day by the side of a river, en- 
deavored to surround him. In his attempts to escape, 
by getting into a canoe to cross the stream, as he 
presented his musket to his pursuers, to keep them 
off the frail structure of bark, swept by the current 
against a rock, turned under him, and he was thrown, 
with his musket, into the water. Dripping, he reached 
the shore, his musket no longer of any use, and his 
only resource the rapier. He brandished that so 
fiercely that the Indians did not dare close in upon 
him. They, however, got some long poles, and with 
blows such as savages would be likely to strike, beat 
the sword out of his hands, fearfully bruising and 
mangling them. 

He being thus disarmed and rendered helpless, 


they seized him and conveyed him to Governor Brad- 
ford. As the Governor looked upon the poor man, 
with his arms and hands terribly inflamed and swollen, 
the Indians said : " We did not hurt him ; we only 
whipped him a little with our sticks." The Governor 
censured the Indians for beating him so cruelly, and 
had his wounds tenderly nursed. Some papers upon 
his person showed that he was a concealed papist, 
and one who had enjoyed the highest advantages of 
university education. Governor Winthrop, being in- 
formed of his apprehension, caused him to be brought 
to Massachusetts, and then sent him immediately to 

This man sent in a petition, which two others 
signed, to the British Government, condemning se- 
verely both the colonies of Plymouth and Massachu- 
setts, stating that they intended rebellion ; "that they 
meant to be wholly separate from the church and 
laws of England, and that their ministers and people 
did continually rail against the state, the church and 
the bishops." 

Sir Richard Saltonstall, and two other prominent 
members of the Massachusetts colony, were then in 
England. They were called before the Council to 
answer the accusation. They did it in writing, and 
so satisfactorily, as to draw from the Council a vote of 
approbation instead of condemnation. They were 


also informed that, as freedom of religious worship was 
one of the principal reasons of emigration to New 
England, and that, as it was important to the govern- 
ment to strengthen New England, it was not the in- 
tention of his Majesty to impose the ceremonies of 
the Church of England upon the colonists. 

The first party of colonists for Massachusetts 
embarked in six vessels. It consisted of three hun- 
dred men, eighty women, married and single, and 
twenty-six children, with an abundant outfit of food, 
clothing, tools, and military weapons, and " a plentiful 
provision of godly ministers." Mr. Francis Higgin- 
son, one of the most prominent of these emigrants, 
soon after his arrival wrote home saying : 

" When we first came to Naumkeag, we found 
about half a score of houses, and a fair house newly 
built for the Governor. We found also abundance of 
corn planted by them, very good and well liking. 
And we brought with us about two hundred passen- 
gers and planters more, which, by common consent 
of the old planters, were all combined together in one 
body politic, under the same Governor. There are 
in all of us, both old and new planters, about three 
hundred, whereof two hundred of them are settled at 
Naumkeag, now called Salem, and the rest have 
planted themselves at Massachusetts Bay, beginning 
to build a town there which we do call Charlestown. 


" But that which is our greatest comfort and 
means of defense above all others is, that we have 
here the true religion and holy ordinances of Al- 
mighty God taught among us. Thanks be to God 
we have here plenty of preaching and catechizing, 
with strict and careful exercise and good and com- 
mendable orders to bring our people into a christian 
conversation, with whom we have to do withal. And 
thus we doubt not that God will be with us ; and if 
God be with us, who can be against us .-' " * 

About that time an Episcopal clergyman, by the 
name of William Blackstone, was the sole occupant 
and proprietorof the peninsula of Boston, then called 
Shawmut. The water at Charlestown was not good. 
But there was a very fine supply of crystal water 
gushing abundantly from a spring in Shawmut. Rev. 
Mr. Blackstone, had left England because " he dis- 
liked the power of the Lords-Bishops." By his in- 
vitation many were led to transfer their habitations 
across the water, to the forest-covered peninsula, 
and thus were laid the foundations of the renowned 
capital of New England. 

In the year 1632 Plymouth colony was in a state 
of greater prosperity than ever before. Increasing 
troubles in England and encouraging reports from 
America gave new impetus to the spirit of emigra- 

* Higginson's New England Plantation, p. 123. 


tion. The products of agriculture were in greater 
demand. Cattle of all kinds had much increased, 
and brought high prices. More land was required 
for cultivation. All the land in Plymouth was occu- 
pied, and still new settlers were coming. Fears of 
any attack on the part of the Indians had greatly 
subsided. Enterprising men began to push into the 
surrounding region, seeking choice localities and 
larger farms. 

Just across the bay of Plymouth, on the north, 
there was a reach of land commanding a fine view 
of the little settlement at Plymouth and of the 
adjacent waters. Captain Standish selected for him- 
self a very attractive location there, including what is 
still called " Captain's Hill." Here the descendants 
of an ancestor so illustrious are now rearing a monu- 
ment to his memory. 

The town was named Duxbury, in honor of the 
captain, as that was the name of the seat which his 
family occupied in England. Elder Brewster took a 
farm by his side. Here both of these distinguished 
men, warm friends, could often be seen in their soli- 
tary fields, clearing away the forests, where no 
sound of the axe had ever before been heard since 
the creation of the world. These lands were deemed 
among the best in the colony. Governor Bradford 


seems to have deplored the gradual dispersion of the 
colonists. He wrote in terms of lamentation : 

" Now as their stocks increased and their increase 
was vendible, there was no longer holding them to- 
gether. They could not otherwise keep their cattle ; 
and having oxen grown they must have land for 
ploughing and tillage. And no man now thought 
he could live, except he had cattle and a great deal 
of ground to keep them ; all striving to increase their 
stocks. By which means they were scattered all over 
the bay, and the town, in which they lived compactly 
till now, was left very thin, and, in a short time, 
almost desolate. And if this had been all, it had 
been less, though too much ; but the church must 
also be divided. 

" Those that lived on their lots, on the other side 
of the bay, called Duxbury, could not long bring their 
wives and children to public worship and church 
meetings here ; but they sued to be dismissed and to 
become a body of themselves. So they were dis- 
missed, though very unwillingly. To prevent any 
further scattering from this place, it was thought best 
to give out some good farms to special persons who 
would promise to live at Plymouth, and who would be 
likely to be helpful to the church or commonwealth, 
and so to tie the lands to Plymouth as farms for the 
same. There they might keep their cattle, and till 


the land by some servants, and retain their dwellings 

" And so some special lands were granted at a 
place general, called Green's Harbor, (Marshfield) 
where no allotments had been in the former division ; 
a place very well meadowed and fit to keep and rear 
cattle, in good store. But alas ! this remedy proved 
worse than the disease. For within a few years those 
that had thus got footing tore themselves away, partly 
by force, and partly by wearing out the rest with im- 
portunity and pleas of necessity, so that they must 
either suffer them to go, or live in continual opposition 
and contention. This I fear will be the ruin of New 
England, at least of the churches of God there." * 

* Bradford's Plymouth Plantation. 


The Courtship of Miles Standish. 

Removal to Duxbury. — Intercourse with the Dutch. — Trading Posts 
on the Connecticut. — Legend of the courtship of Miles Standish. 
— Personal Appearance of the Captain. — Proposition to John 
Alden. — His Anguish and Fidelity. — Interview with Priscilla. — 
The Indian Alarm. — Departure of Captain Standish. — Report of 
his Death. — The Wedding. 

Notwithstanding the removal of Captain Standish 
across the bay, to his beautiful and fertile farm there, 
he still took a very lively interest in everything re- 
lating to the welfare of the colony, and of the little 
village which he had been so instrumental in found- 
ing. Mr. Bradford had for twelve successive years 
been chosen Governor. He was anxious to be re- 
leased from the cares of office. In the annual election 
of 1633, he importuned for release so earnestly that 
the people yielded to his request, and chose Edward 
Winslow as his successor. At the same time seven 
assistants were chosen, of whom Captain Miles Stand- 
ish was the first. 

The Dutch, from the mouth of the Hudson, had 
explored the Connecticut river. The natives were 
anxious to have a trading post established on that 


beautiful stream, which was Hned with Indian tribes. 
They sent a delegation to Plymouth with this request. 
The Pilgrims were not prepared to commence a set- 
tlement there, but they sent a small vessel up the 
river, and had great success in their traffic. The In- 
dians then applied to the Governor of the Massachu- 
setts colony. But he was not inclined to embark in 
an enterprise so difficult, where the post could only be 
reached by a long and perilous voyage around Cape 
Cod, or by a journey of many days through a path- 
less forest. 

Some however of the private members of both 
of these colonies foreseeing the danger that the Dutch 
might anticipate them there, held a conference at 
Boston with some of the prominent men of Plymouth, 
and tried to form a partnership to engage in the un- 
dertaking. They were however discouraged by the 
representations which were made to them. It was 
urged that the Indians were very numerous, that they 
could bring many thousand warriors into the field, 
that many of them were hostile, that the river was 
difficult of access in consequence of a bar, and that 
during seven months in the year it was closed by ice. 
Thus influenced, they abandoned the enterprise. 

In the mean time, the Earl of Warwick had ob- 
tained a patent of all the land, extending west, one 
hundred and twenty miles from Narraganset Bay, to 


the Dutch settlements at the mouth of the Hudson. 
This included the whole of the present State of Con- 
necticut. The Dutch heard of this, and prepared to 
anticipate the English, by making an immediate set- 
tlement on the Connecticut River. This roused Gov- 
ernor Winslow and ex-Governor Bradford, and they 
determined immediately to commence a settlement in 
that region. At the same time, they sent a courteous 
message to Governor Winthrop, expressing the hope 
that their brethren of Massachusetts would not be 
displeased with their adventure, since the Massachu- 
setts colony had declined embarking in the enter- 

In the mean time, the Dutch had dispatched an 
expedition, accompanied by quite an armed force, 
which ascended the river and, disembarking where 
Hartford now stands, erected a fort and commenced 
a settlement. Two pieces of ordnance were placed 
in position to sweep the river ; and they loudly pro- 
claimed that they should not allow any of the English 
to pass by. 

The Plymouth colonists took a small vessel, which 
could easily cross the bar at the mouth of the river, 
and placed on board of it the frame of a house, with 
all the materials for putting it together. The expe- 
dition was commanded by Lieutenant Holmes. When 
they arrived opposite Hartford, the Dutch, standing 


by their guns with lighted matches, ordered them to 
stop, threatening to shoot if they did not immediately 
comply with the demand. But Holmes pushed boldly 
by, and the Dutch commander did not venture to pro- 
ceed to those measures of violence, which would 
surely have brought down upon the Dutch colonies 
the vengeance of the British navy. 

Lieutenant Holmes proceeded a short distance 
farther up the river, to a place called Nattawanute, 
now Windsor, where, near the mouth of a little stream, 
he put up his house, which was both fort and dwell- 
ing, surrounded it with palisades, and, unfurling the 
British flag, was ready to bid defiance to all foes, 
whether Dutch or Indians. 

The Dutch commander at Hartford sent word to 
the authorities at the mouth of the Hudson of what 
had been done. Governor Van Tvviller dispatched 
an armed band of seventy men, with orders to tear 
down the house at Windsor and drive away the occu- 
pants. He supposed that this could easily be done 
without any bloodshed, and thus without necessarily 
introducing war. But the intrepid Holmes was ready 
for battle against any odds. The leader of the Dutch 
party saw that a fierce conflict must take place, and 
one uncertain in its results. He therefore came to a 
parley and finally retired. An immense quantity of 
furs, beaver and otter skins, was this year sent to 


England, which enabled the company to meet all its 

It would be hardly warrantable, in a Life of Cap- 
tain Miles Standish, to omit reference to a remarkable 
legend with which his name has ever been associated, 
though some have expressed the opinion that it was 
not very clearly verified by authentic documents. A 
literary gentleman who has investigated the subject 
more thoroughly probably than any other person, 
writes in reference to these doubts : "The anecdote is 
in all the histories. Why should it not be true .-' I 
am inclined to think it is ; and am willing to back it 
against most historic facts that are two hundred years 
old." The story, as it has drifted down to our times, 
is in brief as follows. We give it as presented by 
Mr. Longfellow, in his exquisite poem entitled " The 
Courtship of Miles Standish." It is very evident that 
Mr. Longfellow had minutely studied our early colo- 
nial history, as the reader will perceive that he is very 
accurate in his historical allusions. The poem opens 
with a description of Captain Standish, in his lonely 
and humble log hut. His beautiful wife. Rose, was 
one of the first who had died, and the place of her 
burial, like that of others, was carefully concealed, 
that the Indians might not perceive how the colony 
had become weakened : 


" In the old colonial days, in Plymouth, the land of the Pilgrims, 
To and fro in a room of his simple and primitive dwelling, 
Clad in doublet and hose and boots of Cordovan leather, 
Strode with a martial air Miles Standish, the Puritan Captain. 
Buried in thought he seemed, with his hands behind him, and pausing 
Ever and anon to behold his glittering weapons of warfare, 
Cutlass and corslet of steel, and his trusty sword of Damascus, 
Curved at the point and inscribed with its mystical Arabic sentence, 
While underneath in a corner were fowling piece, musket and match- 
Short of stature he was, but strongly built and athletic, 
Broad in the shoulders, deep chested, with muscles and sinews of iron, 
Brown as a nut was his face, but his russet beard was already 
Flaked with patches of snow, as hedges sometimes in November." 

A very handsome young man, by the name of 
John Alden, shared with Captain Standish the com- 
forts and discomforts of the widower's home. He had 
fair hair, azure eyes and a Saxon complexion, and was 
sufficiently unlike the Captain for them to be very 
warm friends. There could be no rivalry between 
the gentle young man of books and romance, and the 
stern veteran of facts and the sword. John Alden 
was deeply in love with Priscilla, the most beautiful 
maiden in Plymouth. Death had robbed her of both 
father and mother, and she was equally in love with 
John. But the bashful student had not yet summoned 
courage to declare his love. But it so happened that 
Captain Standish, without any knowledge of his 
friend's state of mind, had also turned his eyes to 
Priscilla, as the successor of Rose. Conscious of his 
own imperfections as a lady's man, and fearful that he 


could not woo the beautiful maiden in fitting phrase, 
he applied to his scholarly friend to speak in his be- 
half. In the following melodious strains the poet 
gives utterance to the Captain's speech : 

" 'Tis not good for man to be alone, say the scriptures, 

This I have said before, and again and again I repeat it, 

Every hour in the day I think it, and feel it, and say it. 

Since Rose Standish died, my life has been weary and dreary, 

Sick at heart have I been, beyond the healing of friendship. 

Oft, in my lonely hours, have I thought of the maiden Priscilla; 

She is alone in the world ; her father and mother and brother 

Died in the winter together. I saw her going and coming, 

Now to the grave of the dead, now to the bed of the dying, 

Patient, courageous and strong, and said to myself, that if ever 

There were angels on earth, as there are angels in heaven, 

Two have I seen and known ; and the angel, whose name is Priscilla, 

Holds in my desolate life the place which the other abandoned. 

Long have I cherished the thought, but never have dared to reveal it, 

Being a coward in this, but valiant enough for the most part. 

Go to the damsel Priscilla, the loveliest maiden of Plymouth, 

Say that a blunt old captain, a man not of words but of actions. 

Offers his hand and his heart, the hand and heart of a soldier ; 

Not in these words, you know, but this in short is my meaning. 

I am a maker of war, and not a maker of phrases ; 

You, who are bred as a scholar, can say it in elegant language, 

Such as you read in your books of the pleadings and wooings of lovers, 

Such as you think best adapted to win the heart of a maiden. 

Poor John Alden, the fair-haired, timid youth, was 
aghast, overwhelmed with anguish. He tried to 
smile, but the nerves of his face twitched with pain- 
ful convulsions. He endeavored to excuse himself, 
but his impetuous friend, whose commanding mind 
overawed him, would listen to no excuse. To all 
John's remonstrances he replied : 


" I was never a maker of phrases. 
I can march up to a fortress, and summon the place to surrender ; 
But march up to a woman, with such a proposal, I dare not. 
I am not afraid of bullets, nor shot from the mouth of a cannon, 
But of a thundering 'no ! ' point blank from the mouth of a woman, 
That I confess Fm afraid of, nor am I ashamed to confess it." 

John Alden, anguish-stricken as he was, could not 
refuse. The strong mind dominated over the weaker 
one. Agitated, almost convulsed with contending 
emotions, he entered the paths of the forest, crossed 
the brook which ran south of the village, and gathering 
a handful of wild flowers, almost in delirium, ap- 
proached the lonely dwelling of Priscilla. As he 
drew near, he heard her sweet voice singing a hymn 
as she walked to and fro beside the spinning-wheel. 
Priscilla met him on the threshold, with a cordial 
greeting, hoping that he had come to declare his love. 
He was greatly embarrassed, and after a long parley, 
very awkwardly blurted out the words, that he had 
come with an offer of marriage from Captain Miles 
Standish. Priscilla was amazed, grieved, wounded. 
With eyes dilated with sadness and wonder, she 
looked into John's face and said, after a few moments 
of ominous silence : 

" If the great Captain of Plymouth is so eager to wed me. 
Why does he not come himself and take the trouble to woo me ? 
If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not worth the winning." 

John, exceedingly embarrassed, said, in unfortu- 


tunate phrase, that the captain was very busy, and 
had no time for such things. The offended maiden 
replied : 

" Has he no time for such things, as you call it, before he is married ; 
Would he be likely to find it, or make it, after the wedding ? " 

Quite forgetting himself, John launched forth elo- 
quently in the praise of his military friend, 

" Spoke of his courage and skill, and all his battles in Flanders, 
How with the people of God he had chosen to suffer affliction, 
How, in return for his zeal, they had made him Captain of Ply- 
He was a gentleman born, conld trace his pedigree plainly 
Back to Hugh Standish, of Duxbury Hall, in Lancashire, England, 
Who was the son of Ralph, and the grandson of Thurston de Stand- 
ish ; 
Heir unto vast estates, of which he was basely defrauded. 
Still bore the family arms, and had for his crest a cock argent 
Combed and wattled gules, and all the rest of the blazon. 
He was a man of honor, of noble and generous nature ; 
Though he was rough, he was kindly; she knew how, during the 

He had attended the sick, with a hand as gentle as woman's. 
Somewhat hasty and hot, he could not deny it, and headstrong. 
Stern as a soldier might be, but hearty and placable always ; 
Not to be laughed at and scorned, because he was little of stature. 
For he was great of heart, magnanimous, courtly, courageous ; 
Any woman in Plymouth, nay, any woman in England, 
Might be happy and proud to be called the wife of Miles Standish." 

As Priscilla listened to this glowing and eloquent 

eulogy, it only increased her admiration for the young 

and beautiful John Alden. She had long loved him. 

Maidenly instinct taught her that she also was beloved 



by him. Though this love had never been communi- 
cated to her in words, it had again and again been 
expressed in loud-speaking glances of the eye and in 
actions. With tremulous voice she ventured to reply, 
" Why don't you speak for yourself, John .'* " 

The tone, the look which accompanied the words, 
revealed at once, to the bashful youth, the love of 
Priscilla. A tempest of conflicting emotions rushed 
into his soul. How could the magnanimous youth 
plead his own cause, and thus apparently betray his 
friend. Perplexed, bewildered, he burst from the 
house, like an insane man ; hurried to the sea shore, 
wandered along the sands, where the surf was break- 
ing with loud roar ; bared his head to the ocean 
breeze, and endeavored in vain to cool the fever, which 
seemed to burn in both body and soul. His tender 
conscience condemned him as being unfaithful to his 

He could not, without a sense of guilt, suppplant 
his friend ; and he could not live in Plymouth and 
refuse the hand of Priscilla, so delicately and yet so 
decidedly proffered. Heroically he resolved to re- 
turn to England. 

There was a vessel in the harbor which was to 
sail on the morrow. The poet speaks of it as the re- 
turning Mayflower. Chronology will hardly permit us 
to accept that representation. Rose Standish died 


on the 8th of February, N. S. The Mayflower sailed, 
on her return voyage, the 5th of April, but two 
months after the death of the wife Captain Standish 
so tenderly loved. As the frenzied youth gazed upon 
the vessel riding at anchor, and rising and falling upon 
the ocean swell, he exclaimed : 

" Back will I go o'er the ocean, this dreary land will abandon, 
Her whom I may not love, and him whom my heart has offended. 
Better to be in my grave, in the green old churchyard in England, 
Close by my mother's side, and among the dust of my kindred ; 
Better be dead and forgotten, than living in shame and dishonor 
Sacred and safe and unseen, in the dark of the narrow chamber 
With me my secret shall lie, like a buried jewel that glimmers 
Bright on the hand that is dust, in the chambers of silence and dark- 
Yes, as the marriage ring of the great espousal hereafter. 

Thus resolving he hurried, in the gathering twi- 
light, through the glooms of the forest to the " seven 
houses " of Plymouth. He entered the door of his 
home and found the Captain anxiously awaiting his 
return. He had been gone long and was rather se- 
verely reproached for his tardiness. He then gave a 
minute account of the interview. But when he came 
to her declaration, " Why don't you speak for yourself, 
John ? " the Captain rose from his seat in a towering 
passion. As he was vehemently uttering his reproach- 
es a messenger came, with the information that hos- 
tile Indians were approaching. Instantly the bold 
warrior forgot Priscilla, and all his displeasure at John 


Alden, in contemplation of his immense responsibili- 
ties as military protector of the colony. Hastily he 
girded on his armor and left the house. He found 
the leading men already assembled in the council 
room. Upon the table lay the skin of the rattlesnake, 
to which we have before alluded, filled with arrows, 
with the Indian who brought it, by its side. Captain 
Standish at once understood the significance of the 
mysterious gift. He said, 

" ' Leave this matter to me, for to me by right it pertaineth. 
War is a terrible trade ; but in the cause that is righteous 
Sweet is the smell of powder ; and thus I answer the challenge.' 
Then, from the rattlesnake's skin, with a sudden contemptuous gesture, 
Jerking the Indian arrows, he filled it with powder and bullets, 
Full to the very jaws and handed it back to the savage. 
Saying in thundering tones, ' Here, take it ! this is your answer.' 
Silently out of the room then glided the glistening savage. 
Bearing the serpent's skin, and seeming himself like a serpent, 
Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of the forest." 

Early the next morning Captain Standish took 
eight men, well armed, and marched, under the guid- 
ance of Hobomak, to the point where he supposed 
the hostile Indians were gathering. The vessel was 
about to sail. The signal gun was fired. All the in- 
habitants of the little village flocked to the beach. 
The ship's boat was at Plymouth rock, waiting to con- 
vey the captain of the vessel, who was on shore, to 
the ship. He was bidding his friends adieu and cram- 
ming the capacious pockets of his storm coat with let- 


ters and packages. John Alden, with others, was 
seen hurrying down to the sea shore. The captain 
stood with one foot on the rock and the other on the 
gunwale of the boat, speaking his last words and just 
ready to push off. Alden, in his despair, was about 
to enter the boat, without any words of adieu to his 
friends, thinking in absence and distance to find re- 
lief to his tortured feelings, when he saw Priscilla 
looking sadly upon him. 

" But as he gazed on the crowd, he beheld the form of Priscilla 
Standing dejected among them, unconscious of all that passing. 
Fixed were her eyes upon his, as if she divined his intention, 
Fixed with a look so sad, so reproachful, imploring and patient, 
That, with a suden revulsion, his heart recoiled from its purpose 
As from the verge of a crag, where one step more is destruction." 

Thus influenced, he abandoned his intention of 
returning to England more suddenly than he had 
formed it. As he stepped back he said, with a true 
lover's fervor, 

*' There is no land so sacred, no air so pure and so wholesome 
As is the air she breathes, and the soil that is pressed by her foot- 
Here for her sake will I stay, and like an invisible presence 
Hover around her forever, protecting, supporting her weakness. 
Yes ! as my foot was the first that stepped on this rock at the landing. 
So, with the blessing of God, shall it be the last at the leaving." 

The captain of the ship sprang into the boat, 
waved an adieu to the lonely band of exiles, number- 
ing but about fifty men, women and children, who 
were gathered upon the shore, and the boat, driven 


by the sturdy arms of the rowers, soon reached the 
ship. The anchor was raised, the sails unfurled, and 
the only link which seemed to connect them with the 
home of their fathers was sundered. Long the sad- 
dened Pilgrims stood gazing upon the vessel as it re- 
ceded from their view, and then returned to their 
lowly cabins, their homely fare, and to the toils and 
perils of their life of exile. 

" So they returned to their homes ; but Alden lingered a little, 
Musing alone on the shore and watching the wash of the billows." 

As he thus stood, lost in painful thought and al- 
most distracted by the perplexities in which he found 
himself involved, he perceived Priscilla standing be- 
side him. They had a long conversation together, 
which the poet manages with admirable skill. The 
artless, frank, affectionate Priscilla was unwittingly 
every moment exciting deeper emotions of tenderness 
and admiration in the heart of her lover. And yet, 
in the most painful embarrassment from respect to 
his friend Miles Standish, he refrained from offering 
her, as he longed to do, his hand and heart. 

In the mean time Captain Standish, at the head 
of his brave little band, was tramping through the 
trails of the forest, through thickets and morasses, 
over hills and across streamlets, 

" All day long, with hardly a halt, the fire of his anger, 

Burning and crackling within, and the sulphurous odor of powder, 


Seeming mort.- sweet to his nostrils than all the scents of the forest. 
Silent and moody he went, and much he revolved his discomfort." 

After a march of three days, he is represented as 
coming to an Indian encampment. The Httle ckister 
of huts was upon a meadow, with the gloomy forest 
on one side, and the ocean surf breaking upon the 
other. A few women were scattered around among 
the wigwams. A formidable band of warriors, evi- 
dently on the war path, plumed and painted, and thor- 
oughly armed, were gathered around their council 
fires. As soon as they saw the bright armor of the 
Pilgrims, as the brave little band emerged from the 
forest, two of the chiefs, men of gigantic stature, 
came forward to meet them. With much historic ac- 
curacy of detail the poet describes the scene which 
ensued — a scene which has been presented to the 
reader in the preceding narrative. 

One of these was Pecksuot, the other Wattawamat. 
These burly savages, huge as Goliath of Gath, met 
Captain Standish, at first with deceitful words, hoping 
to disarm his suspicions. Through Hobbomak, the 
interpreter, who had accompanied the Captain, they 
proposed to barter their furs for blankets and mus- 
kets. But they soon saw, in the flashing eyes of 
Captain Standish, that he was not to be thus be- 
guiled. The poet, giving utterance to authentic 
history in glowing verse, and making use of al- 


most the very expressions uttered by the savages, 
writes : 

" Suddenly changing their tone, they began to boast and to bluster. 
Then Wattawamat advanced with a stride in front of the other, 
And with a lofty demeanor, thus vauntingly spake to the Captain : 
' Now Wattawamat can see, by the fiery eyes of the Captain, 
Angry is he in his heart ; but the heart of the brave Wattawamat 
Is not afraid at the sight. He was not born of a woman, 
But on the mountain, at night, from an oak tree riven by lightning.' 
Forth he sprang at a bound, with all his weapons about him. 
Shouting, ' Who is there here to fight with the brave Wattawamat ?' 
Then he unsheathed his knife, and, whetting the blade on his left hand, 
Held it aloft and displayed a woman's face on the handle. 
Saying, with bitter expression and look of sinister meaning, 
' I have another at home, with the face of a man on the handle; 
By and by they shall marry ; and there will be plenty of children.' " 

Pecksuot also indulged in similar language and 
gesture of insult and menace, brandishing his gleam- 
ing knife, boasting that it could eat, though it could 
not speak, and telling the Captain that he was so 
small in stature that he ought to go and live with the 
women. Meanwhile many Indians were seen stealth- 
ily creeping around, from bush to bush in the forest, 
with the evident design of making a simultaneous at- 
tack upon the little band of white men. Some of 
these Indians were armed with muskets, others with 
arrows set on their bow strings. Nearer and nearer 
they were approaching, to enclose him in the net of 
an ambush from which there could be no escape. 
As Captain Standish watched with his eagle eye these 
proofs of treachery, and listened to the insults and 


threats of the herculean chiefs, who, he knew, were 
only waiting for the fit moment to leap upon him, 

" All the hot blood of his race, of Sir Hugh and of Thurston de 

Boiled and beat in his heart, and swelled in the veins of his temples. 
Headlong he leaped on the boaster, and snatching his knife from its 

Plunged it into his heart ; and, reeling backward, the savage 
Fell with his face to the sky, and a fiend-like fierceness upon it. 
Straight there arose from the forest the awful sound of the war-whoop, 
And, like a flurry of snow, on the whistling wind of December, 
Swift and sudden and keen came a flight of feathery arrows." 

This was followed by a discharge of musketry from 
the Pilgrims. A bullet pierced the brain of Peck- 
suot, and he fell dead. The savages, having lost both 
of their chiefs, tied like deer. As the head of Wat- 
tawamat, the gory trophy of war, was sent to Ply- 
mouth, and was exposed on the roof of the fort, Pris- 
cilla averted her face with terror and, shuddering, 
thanked God she had not married such a man of war 
as Captain Standish. 

Month after month passed away, while the captain 
is represented as scouring the land with his forces, 
watching the movements of the hostile Indians, and 
thwarting their intrigues. Though Priscilla had re- 
fused his hand, the bashful John Alden did not feel 
that he could, in honor, take advantage of the absence 
of his friend, the Captain, and seek her for his bride. 
So assuming simply the attitude of friendship, the two 


lovers lived, with some degree of tranquility and in 
constant intimacy, side by side. 

" Meanwhile, Alden at home had built him a new habitation, 
Solid, substantial, of timber, rough-hewn from the firs of the forest. 
Wooden-barred was the door, and the roof was covered with rushes, 
Latticed the windows were, and the window-panes were of paper, 
Oiled to admit the light, while wind and rain were excluded." 

The description which the poet gives of the inter- 
course between these simple children of the wilder- 
ness, whose hearts glowed with purity and love, is 
beautiful in its pastoral simplicity. At length the 
tidings, very appalling to the Pilgrims, reached the 
little settlement, that their redoubtable Captain had 
been slain in a battle with the Indians — shot down by 
a poisoned arrow. It was said that he had been led 
into an ambush, and, with his whole band, had per- 
ished. John and Priscilla were together when an In- 
dian brought this intelligence to Plymouth. Both joy 
and grief flashed through the soul of John Alden. 
His friend was dead. The bonds which had held 
John captive were forever sundered. Scarcely know- 
ing what he did, he threw his arms around Priscilla, 
pressed her to his bosom, and devoutly exclaimed, 
" Those whom the Lord hath united, let no man put 
them asunder." 

The wedding day soon came. The simple cere- 
mony was performed by Elder Brewster. All the Pil- 
grims were present. 


Lo ! when the service was ended, a form appeared on the threshold, 
Clad in armor of steel, a sombre and sorrowful figure. 
Why does the bridegroom start and stare at the strange apparition ? 
Why does the bride turn pale and hide her face on his shoulder ? 
Is it a phantom of air, — a bodiless, spectral illusion ? " 

It was Captain Miles. The report of his death 
was unfounded. He had arrived unexpectedly in the 
village (for there were no mails in those days), just 
in time to be present at the close of the wedding. 
With characteristic magnanimity he advanced to the 
bridegroom, cordially shook his hand and wished him 

" ' Forgive me,' he said, 
' I have been angry and hurt — too long have I cherished the feeling ; 
I have been cruel and hard, but now, thank God, it is ended. 
Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the veins of Hugh Stand- 

Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning for error . 
Never so much as now was Miles Standish the friend of John Alden.' " 

In a similar strain he addressed the bride. The 
Pilgrims were amazed and overjoyed to see their 
heroic Captain returned to them. Tumultuously they 
gathered around him. Bride and bridegroom were 
forgotten in the greeting which was extended to the 

Some cattle had, by this time, been brought to 
the colony, and a snow-white bull had fallen to the lot 
of John Alden. The animal was covered with a crim- 
son cloth upon which was bound a cushion. Priscilla 
mounted this strange palfrey, which her husband led 


by a cord tied to an iron ring in its nostrils. Her 
friends followed, and thus she was led to her home. 

" Onward the bridal procession now moved to their new habitation, 
Happy husband and wife and friends conversing together. 
Pleasantly murmured the brook, as they crossed the ford in the forest, 
Pleased with the image, that passed like a dream of love through its 

Tremulous, floating in air, o'er the depth of the azure abysses ; 
Down through the golden leaves the sun was pouring his splendors, 
Gleaming on purple grapes that, from branches above them sus- 
Mingled their odorous breath with the balm of the pine and the fir- 
Wild and sweet as the clusters that grew in the valley of Eschol ; 
Like a picture it seemed of the primitive pastoral ages. 
Fresh with the youth of the world, and recalling Rebecca and Isaac, 
Old, and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful always. 
Love immortal and young in the endless succession of lovers, 
So, through the Plymouth woods, passed onward the bridal proces- 

Such is the poetic version of the legend of the 
Courtship of Miles Standish. Nearly every event 
which the poet has woven into his harmonious lines, 
is accurate even in its most minute details. We have 
given but a meagre view of the beauties of this Idyl, 
and commend the same, in full, to the perusal of the 

The Tradifig-Posts Menaced. 

Menace of the Narragansets. — Roger Williams. — Difficulty on the 
Kennebec. — Bradford's Narrative. — Captain Standish as Media- 
tor. — The French on the Penobscot. — Endeavors to Regain the 
Lost Port. — Settlements on the Connecticut River. — Mortality 
among the Indians. — Hostility of the Pequots. — Efforts to Avert 
War. — The Pequot Forts. — Death of Elder Brewster. — His 

In the spring of the year 1632 an Indian runner 
came, in breathless haste, into the village of Ply- 
mouth, with the intelligence that the Narragansets, 
under Canonicus, were marching against Mount Hope, 
and that Massassoit implored the aid of the Pilgrims. 
The chief of the Wampanoags had fled, with a party 
of his warriors, to Sowams, in the present town of 
Warren, R. I., where the Pilgrims had a trading-post. 
It used to be said, in the French army, during the 
wars of Napoleon I., that the presence of the Em- 
peror, on the field of an approaching battle, was 
equivalent to a re-enforcement of one hundred thou- 
sand men. It seems to have been the impression, 
with both colonists and Indians, that Captain Standish, 
in himself alone, was a resistless force. He was im- 
mediately despatched to Sowams, with three men, to 


repel an army of nobody knew how many hundreds of 
savage warriors. 

Upon his arrival at So warns, the captain soon 
learned that the Wampanoags were indeed in serious 
peril. The Narragansets were advancing in much 
strength. Captain Standish sent promptly a messen- 
ger to Plymouth to forward a re-enforcement to him 
immediately, with powder and muskets. As there 
was but little ammunition at that time in Plymouth, 
application was made to Governor Winthrop, of Mas- 
sachusetts, for a supply. There were but few horses 
then in either of the colonies, and the messenger 
returned on foot through the woods with twenty-seven 
pounds of powder upon his back, which Governor 
Winthrop had contributed from his own stores. For- 
tunately the Pequots, taking advantage of the absence 
of the Narraganset warriors, made an inroad upon 
their territory, which caused Canonicus to abandon 
his march upon Sowams and to make a precipitate 
retreat to defend his own realms. 

Mr. Roger Williams, whose name is one of the most 
illustrious in the early annals of New England, had a 
little before this time come over to Massachusetts. 
Being displeased with some things there, he left 
that colony and came to Plymouth. 

" Here," writes Governor Bradford, " he was 
friendly entertained, according to their poor ability, 


and exercised his gifts among them, and after some 
time was admitted a member of the church. And 
his teaching was well approved, for the benefit where- 
of I still bless God, and am thankful to him, even for 
his sharpest admonitions and reproofs. He this year 
began to fall into some strange opinions, and from 
opinion to practice ; which caused some controversy 
between the church and him, and, in the end, some 
discontent on his part, by occasion whereof he left 
them somewhat abruptly." 

In the year 1634 a serious difficulty occurred upon 
the Kennebec River. The Plymouth colony claimed 
this river, and fifteen miles on each side of it, by 
special patent. They thus were enabled to monopo- 
lize the very important trade with the Indians. A 
man by the name of Hocking, from the settlement at 
Piscataqua, with a boat load of goods, entered the 
river, and ascending above the trading coast of the 
Plymouth colony, commenced purchasing furs of the 
Indians. Mr. John Howland was in command of the 
post at that time. He forbade the trade ; but Hock- 
ing, with insulting language, bade him defiance. 
Howland took a boat and some armed men, and 
ascended the river to the spot where the heavily laden 
boat of Hocking was riding at anchor, and earnestly 
expostulated with him against his illegal procediiigs. 


The result we will give in the words of Governor 
Bradford : 

" But all in vain. He could get nothing of him 
but ill words. So he considered that now was the 
season for trade to come down, and that if he should 
suffer him to take it from them, all their former 
charge would be lost, and they had better throw all 
up. So consulting with his men, who were willing 
thereto, he resolved to put him from his anchors, and 
let him drift down the river with the stream ; but 
commanded the men that none should shoot a shot 
upon any occasion, except he commanded them. 

" He spoke to him again, but all in vain. Then 
he sent a couple in a canoe to cut his cable, the which 
one of them performs. But Hocking takes up a piece, 
which he had laid ready, and, as the bark sheared 
by the canoe, he shot him, close under her side, in the 
head, so that he fell down dead instantly. ■••'•■ One of 
his fellows, who loved him well, could not hold, but 
with a musket shot Hocking, who fell down dead, and 
never spake word. This was the truth of the thing." 

Mr. John Alden, probably the husband of Priscilla, 
was one of the men in the bark with the Pilgrims. 
They returned to the trading post, much afflicted 
by the untoward adventure. Not long after this Mr. 
Alden, visiting Boston, was arrested for the deed, 

* The name of the man thus shot was John Talbot. 


upon the complaint of a kinsman of Hocking, and 
held to bail. The Massachusetts government had no 
right of jurisdiction in the affair. But Governor 
Winthrop was quite embarrassed to know what was 
best to be done in a case thus far without any prece- 
dent. He wrote very courteously to Governor Wins- 
low, then Chief Magistrate of Plymouth, informing 
him of what had been done, and enquiring if the Ply- 
mouth people would take action in a case which 
seemed rather to belong to their jurisdiction. 

" This we did, writes Governor Winthrop, •* that 
notice might be taken that we did disavow the said 
action, which was much condemned of all men, and 
which, it was feared, would give occasion to the king 
to send a general governor over. And besides, it had 
brought us all, and the gospel, under a common re- 
proach, of cutting one another's throats for beaver." 

Governor Bradford was also greatly troubled, be- 
ing apprehensive respecting the influence it might 
exert upon the home government. He speaks of the 
occurrence as " one of the saddest things that befel 
them since they came." There was embarrassment 
all around. It was hardly consistent with the dignity 
of Plymouth to surrender the case to the Massachu- 
setts court. Mr. Alden, who had been arrested, was 
no actor in the business. He simply happened to be 


in the boat, having gone to the Kennebec with sup- 

Under these difficult circumstances Captain Stan- 
dish was sent to Massachusetts to consult with the 
authorities there upon the best course to be pursued ; 
to make explanations, and to endeavor to obtain the 
release of John Alden. Great wisdom was requisite 
in discharging the duties of this mission, combining 
conciliation with firmness. The Captain was equal to 
the occasion. He represented that the Plymouth 
people exceedingly regretted what had happened, but 
they felt that they were not the aggressors, but had 
acted in self defense. It was admitted that one of 
their servants had shot Hocking, but that he had first 
shot Talbot, and would have killed others had he not 
himself been killed. It was urged that the Massa- 
chusetts colony had no jurisdiction in the case, and 
that it had done unjustly in imprisoning, and arraign- 
ing before its court, one of the Plymouth men. The 
spirit of conciliation manifested by both parties was 
admirable, as is manifest in the following admission 
made to the Massachusetts court, as recorded by 
Governor Bradford : 

" But yet, being assured of their Christian love, 
and persuaded that what was done was out of godly 
zeal, that religion might not suffer, or sin be in any 
way covered, especially the guilt of blood, of which all 


should be very conscientious, they did endeavor to 
appease and satisfy them the best they could ; first 
by informing them of the truth in all circumstances 
about the matter ; and secondly, in being willing to re- 
fer the case to any indifferent and equal hearing and 
judgment of the thing here, and to answer it else- 
where when they should be duly called thereto. And 
further, they craved Mr. Winthrop's, and others of 
the revered magistrates there, their advice and direc- 
tion therein. This did mollify their minds, and bring 
things to a good and comfortable issue in the end." * 

In accordance with Governor Winthrop's advice, 
a general conference of prominent men, both minis- 
ters and laymen, was held in Boston. After seeking 
divine guidance in prayer, the matter was very thor- 
oughly discussed. Then the opinion of each one was 
taken, both magistrates and ministers. With entire 
unanimity they came to the conclusion that, " Though 
they all could have wished that these things had 
never been, yet they could not but lay the blame and 
guilt on Hocking's own head. And thus," writes 
Governor Bradford, " was this matter ended, and love 
and concord renewed." 

In the struggle between the Dutch and the Eng- 
lish, for the possession of the Connecticut River and 
its lucrative trade, a party of Dutch ascended the 
* Bradford's Plymouth Plantation, p. 321. 


river far above their trading house, at the present site 
of Hartford. Here there was a powerful tribe of In- 
dians. Being, as usual with the Indians, at war with 
their neighbors, about one thousand of them had built 
a fort, which they had strongly palisadoed. Some 
Dutch traders went up to pass the winter with them, 
and to purchase their furs. A terrible plague came 
upon the Indians, and nine hundred and fifty died in 
the course of a few weeks. The living could not 
bury the dead. Their bodies were left to decay in 
the open air. The Dutch, with difficulty, amidst the 
snows of winter, made their escape from this horrible 
pestilence, and succeeded, when almost dead with 
hunger and cold, in reaching their friends in Hartford. 

The account of the ravages of the small pox among 
the Indians, around the English settlements, is too 
revolting to be transferred to these pages. The suf- 
fering was awful. Though the English ministered to 
them with the greatest humanity, yet not one of them 
was attacked by the disease. The judgment of God 
seemed to have fallen upon the Indians, and they 
were everywhere perishing. 

The Plymouth colony had a very flourishing trad- 
ing-house on the Penobscot River. In the year 1635, 
a French frigate appeared in the harbor, and took 
possession of the post, in the name of the king of 
France. The captain, Monsieur d' Aulney, made an 


inventory of their goods, took a bill of sale at his own 
price, promised to pay when convenient, put the men 
on board their shallop, supplied them amply with pro- 
visions, and, with many bows and compliments, sent 
them home to Plymouth. Once before this post had 
been thus captured. The Plymouth people were 
greatly disturbed by the loss. The French com- 
mander threatened to come again the next year, with 
eight ships, and to seize all the plantations in that 
section of the country which was claimed by the 
king of France. 

Plymouth applied to Massachusetts to co-operate 
in the endeavor to recapture the post, and to drive 
out the P'rench. The Governor of Plymouth and 
Captain Standish were sent to meet the Massachu- 
setts commissioners. They urged that both colonies 
were equally interested in the dislodgement of the 
French, and that the expense should be equally borne. 
But the Massachusetts commissioners insisted that 
as the post belonged to Plymouth alone, that colony 
ought to defray all the expenses of the expedition. 
Thus the negotiation terminated. 

Plymouth, thus left to its own resources, hired a 
vessel, the Great Hope, of about three hundred tons, 
well fitted with ordnance. It was agreed with its 
commander that he should recapture the post, and 
surrender it, with all the trading commodities which 


were there, to the agents, who were to accompany 
him from Plymouth. As his recompense, he was to 
receive seven hundred pounds of beaver skins, to be 
dehvered as soon as he should have accomplished his 
task. If he failed, he was to receive nothing. 

Thomas Prince was then Governor of Plymouth. 
He sent Captain Miles Standish, in their own bark, 
with about twenty men, to aid, should it be needful, 
in the recovery of the post, and to take the command 
there, should the post be regained. Captain Stan- 
dish's bark led the way, and piloted the Great Hope 
into the harbor, on the Penobscot. He had in his 
vessel the seven hundred pounds of beaver, with 
which to pay for the expedition. But Golding proved 
a totally incompetent man, displaying folly almost 
amounting to insanity. He would take no advice 
from Captain Standish. He would not even allow 
Captain Standish to summon the post to surrender. 
Had this been done, tne French would at once have 
yielded, for they were entirely unprepared to resist 
the force sent against them. Neither would he bring 
his ship near enough to the post to do any execution, 
as without any summons and at a great distance, he 
opened a random and harmless fire. 

Captain Standish earnestly remonstrated, assuring 
Golding that he could lay his ship within pistol shot 
of the house. As the stupid creature burned his 


powder and threw away his shot, the French, behind 
an earth- work out of all harm's reach, made themselves 
merry over the futile bombardment. At length Gold- 
ing became convinced of his folly, and placed his vessel 
upon the spot which Captain Standish had pointed 
out. Then he ascertained, to the excessive chagrin 
of Captain Standish and his party, that he had 
expended all his ammunition. The wretch then de- 
signed to seize upon the bark and the beaver skins. 
But Captain Standish, learning of this, spread his 
sails and returned in safety to Plymouth. 

The Governor and his assistants in Massachu- 
setts Bay, hearing of this utter failure of the expedi- 
tion, became alarmed in reference to their own safety. 
They wrote very earnestly to Plymouth, saying : 

" We desire that you would, with all convenient 
speed, send some man of trust, furnished with in- 
structions from yourselves, to make such agreement 
with us about this business, as may be useful for you 
and equal for us." 

Captain Standish, with Mr. Prince, was immedi- 
ately sent to Massachusetts with full powers to act in 
accordance with instructions given them. The ne- 
gotiations, however, failed ; as the Massachusetts 
colonists were still not prepared to pay their share of 
the expense. The French remained undisturbed on 
the Penobscot. They carried on a vigorous trade 


with the Indians, supplying them abundantly with 
muskets and ammunition. 

The terrible mortality, which had swept away so 
many thousand Indians from the Connecticut, turned 
the attention of the Massachusetts colonists agam to 
that beautiful and fertile region. The Dutch claimed 
the country. The Plymouth colony claimed it. And 
now the Massachusetts colonists were putting in their 
claim. Jonathan Brewster, the oldest son of Elder 
Brewster, was at the head of the little Plymouth 
settlement at Windsor. The following extracts from 
one of his letters addressed to the authorities at 
Plymouth, give a very clear idea of the state of the 
question at that time. The letter is dated Matianuck 
(Windsor), July 6, 1835. 

" The Massachusetts men are coming almost 
daily, some by water and some by land, who are not 
yet determined where to settle, though some have a 
great mind to the place we are upon, and which was 
last bought. Many of them look for that which this 
river will not afford, except it be at this place, to be a 
great town and have commodious dwellings for many 
together. I shall do what I can to withstand them. 
I hope that they will hear reason ; as that we were 
here first, and entered with much difficulty and dan- 
ger, both in regard of the Dutch and Indians, and 
bought the land and have since held here a chargea- 


ble possession, and kept the Dutch from further 
encroaching, who would else, long ere this, have 
possessed all, and kept out all others. 

" It was your will that we should use their persons 
and messengers kindly ; and so we have done, and 
do daily to your great charge. For the first company 
had well nigh starved had it not been for this house ; 
I being forced to supply twelve men for nine days 
together. And those who came last I helped the 
best we could, helping them both with canoes and 
guides. They got me to go with them to the Dutch, 
to see if I could procure some of them to have 
quiet settling near them ; but they did peremptorily 
withstand them. Also I gave their goods house- 
room, according to their earnest request. What 
trouble and charge I shall be further at I know not ; 
for they are coming daily, and I expect those back 
again from below, whither they are gone to view the 
country. All which trouble and charge we undergo 
for their occasion, may give us just cause, in the 
judgment of all wise and understanding men, to hold 
and keep that we are settled upon." * 

The question was finally settled by treaty, and the 
Massachusetts colonists soon planted settlements at 
Wethersfield, Hartford, and some other places on the 
river. There were three dominant nations, if we may 

* Bradford's Plymouth Plantation, p. 339. 


SO call them, at this time, in southern New England. 
The chiefs of these nations exercised a sort of feudal 
domination over many petty tribes. The Wampa- 
noags, under Massasoit, held the present region of 
Massachusetts generally. The Narragansets, under 
Canonicus, occupied Rhode Island. The Pequots, 
under Sassacus, extended their dominion over nearly 
the whole of Connecticut. These tribes, powerful 
and jealous, were almost invariably engaged in hostil- 
ities. Roger Williams estimated the number of 
Pequots at thirty thousand souls. They could bring 
four thousand warriors into the field. The seat of 
their chief was at Groton, near New London. Twenty- 
six smaller tribes were held in subjection by him. 
The Pequots were deemed the most fierce and cruel 
race of all the tribes who dwelt in New England. 

The Narragansets were a nobler race of men. 
They somewhat surpassed the Pequots in numbers, 
and manifested traits of character far more generous 
and magnanimous. They could bring five thousand 
warriors into the field. The seat of Canonicus, their 
chief, was not far from the present town of Newport. 

The Wampanoags had suffered terribly from the 
pestilence which ravaged New England just before 
the arrival of the Pilgrims. The number of their 
warriors had been reduced from over three thousand 
to about five hundred. Early in the year 1637 the 


Pequots began to manifest decided hostility against 
the English. There was a small settlement at Say- 
brook, near the mouth of the Connecticut river. As 
the colonists were at work in the fields, unsuspicious 
of danger, a band of Indians fell upon them and killed 
several men and women. The Indians retired with 
loud boastings and threats. Soon after they came in 
larger numbers and attacked a fort. Though they 
were repelled, their attack was so bold and spirited as 
to astonish the English and cause them great alarm. 

The Peqots endeavored to make peace with the 
Narragansets, that they might enter into an alliance 
with them against the EngHsh. Not a little ability 
was displayed in the plan of operations which they 
suggested. " We have no occasion to fear," they said, 
" the strength of the English. We need not come to 
open battle with them. We can set fire to their 
houses, shoot their cattle, lie in ambush for them 
whenever they go abroad. Thus we can utterly de- 
stroy them without any danger to ourselves. The 
English will be either starved to death, or will be 
compelled to leave the country." 

For a time the Narragansets listened to these re- 
presentations, being quite inclined to accept them. 
The anxiety of the English was very great. They 
desired only peace, with the prosperity it would bring. 
War and its ruin they greatly deplored. 


The Pilgrims did everything which could be done 
to avoid the Pequot war ; but it was forced upon 
them. Sassacus was a very shrewd man, and laid 
very broad plans for his military operations. He could 
summon thousands of warriors who would fall furi- 
ously upon all the scattered settlements, lay them in 
ashes, and massacre the inhabitants. 

In the year 1634, just after a very flourishing trad- 
ing post had been established on the Connecticut 
river at Windsor, two English traders, Captains Nor- 
ton and Stone, ascended the river in a boat, laden 
with valuables for the Indian trade, which they in- 
tended to exchange for furs. These traders had eight 
white boatmen in their employ. The Indians were 
peaceful, and they had no apprehensions of danger. 
One night, as the boat was moored by the side of the 
stream, a band of Indians, with hideous yells, rushed 
from an ambush upon them, put every man to death 
and, having plundered the boat of all its contents, 
sunk it in the stream. 

These traders were from Massachusetts. This 
powerful colony demanded of Sassacus that the mur- 
derers should be surrendered to them, and that pay- 
ment should be made for the plundered goods. The 
bloody deed had been performed at midnight in the 
glooms of the forest. There was no survivor to tell 
the story. Sassacus fabricated one, very ingeniously, 


to palm off upon the English. No one could deny 
the villany of Captain Hunt, who, some years before, 
had kidnapped several Indians and sold them into 
slavery. Sassacus declared that Captains Norton and 
Stone, without any provocation, had seized two Indi- 
ans, bound them hand and foot in their boat, and were 
about to carry them off, no one knew where. 

The friends of these captives crept cautiously 
along the shore watching for an opportunity to rescue 
them. The white men were all thoroughly armed 
with swords and muskets, rendering any attempt to 
rescue the captives extremely perilous. The right 
of self-defense rendered it necessary, in the conflict 
which would ensue, to kill. In the darkness of the 
night they rushed upon the boat which was drawn up 
to the shore, killed the white men and released the 
captives. He also stated that all the Indians engaged 
in the affray, excepting two, had since died of the 

This plausible story could not be disproved. The 
magistrates of Massachusetts, high-minded and hon- 
orable men, wished to treat the Indians not merely 
with justice, but with humanity. It could not be 
denied that, admitting the facts to be as stated by 
Sassacus, the Indians had performed a heroic act — 
one for which they deserved praise rather than cen- 
sure. The Governor of Massachusetts therefore ac- 


cepted this explanation, and resumed his friendly alli- 
ance with the treacherous Pequots. 

Roger Williams, who had taken up his residence 
in Rhode Island, had secured the confidence of the 
Indians to a wonderful degree. He exposed himself, 
apparently, to the greatest perils, without any sense 
of danger. He had acquired wonderful facility in 
speaking the language of the Narragansets, in the 
midst of whom he dwelt. There were still so many 
indications that the Pequots were plotting hostilities, 
that the Governor and Council of Massachusetts wrote 
to Mr. Williams, urging him to go to the seat of Can- 
onicus, and dissuade him from entering into any coali- 
tion with the Pequots, should such be in process of 
formation. This truly good man immediately left his 
home and embarked alone, in a canoe, to skirt the 
coast of Narraganset Bay, upon his errand of mercy. 
It is probable that he made this journey in a birch 
canoe, paddling his way over the smooth waters of the 
sheltered bays. He encountered many hardships, 
and many great perils, as occasional storms arose, 
dashing the surf upon the shore. After several days 
of such lonely voyaging, he reached the royal res- 
idence of Canonicus. The barbarian chieftain was 
at home, and it so happened that when Mr, Wil- 
liams arrived at his wigwam, he found several Pe- 
quot warriors there, who had come on an embas- 


sage from Sassacus to engage the Narragansets in 
the war. 

For three days this bold man remained alone 
among these savages, endeavoring, in every way, to 
thwart the endeavors of the Pequot warriors. These 
agents of Sassacus were enraged at Mr. Williams' in- 
fluence in circumventing their plans. They plotted 
his massacre, and every night Mr. Williams had occa- 
sion to fear that he would not behold the light of 
another morning. But Canonicus, unlettered savage 
as he was, had sufficient intelligence to appreciate 
the fearlessness and true grandeur of character of Mr, 
Williams. He dismissed the discomfited Pequots, 
refusing to enter into any alliance with them. He 
renewed his treaty of friendship with the English, and 
engaged to send a large party of his warriors to co- 
operate with them in repelling the threatened assault 
of the Pequots. 

The benefits thus conferred upon the English by 
the efforts of Mr. Roger Williams were incalculable. 
Many distant tribes, who were on the eve of joining 
Sassacus, alarmed by the defection of the Narragan- 
sets, also withdrew ; and thus the Pequots were com- 
pelled to enter upon the war with forces considerably 
weaker than they had originally intended. Still they 
were foes greatly to be dreaded. The English settle- 
ments were now widely scattered, and each was in 


itself feeble. The Pequots could marshal four thou- 
sand of as fierce warriors as earth has ever seen. 
A small bag of pounded corn would furnish each war- 
rior with food for many days. They could traverse 
the forest trails with almost the velocity of the wind. 
Rushing upon some unprotected hamlet ai midnight, 
with torch and tomahawk, they could, in one awful 
hour, leave behind them but smouldering ashes and 
gory corpses. Disappearing, like wolves, in the im- 
penetrable forest, they could again rush upon any 
lonely farm-house, leagues away, and thus, with but 
little danger to themselves, spread ruin far and wide. 
No man in the scattered settlements could fall asleep 
at night without the fear that the hideous war-whoop 
of the Indian would rouse him and his family to a 
cruel death before morning. 

The Pequots were continually perpetrating new 
acts of violence, while the English, with great for- 
bearance, were doing everything in their power to 
avert the open breaking out of hostilities. To add to 
the embarrassment of the English they received con- 
clusive evidence that Captains Norton and Stone, 
with their boats' crew, were wantonly murdered by 
the Indians, and that the statement of extenuating 
circumstances, made by Sassacus, was an entire fab- 
rication. The forbearance of the English only stimu- 
lated the insolence of the Pequots. 


In July 1635, John Oldham ventured on a trading 
expedition to the Pequot country. He went as an 
agent of the Massachusetts colony, one object being 
to ascertain the disposition of the savages. The In- 
dians captured his boat, killed Captain Oldham, hor- 
ribly mutilating his body, and the rest of the crew, two 
or three in number, were carried ofif as captives. The 
time for attempts at conciliation was at an end. It 
was resolved to prosecute the war with all vigor, and 
so to punish the Pequots as to give them a new idea 
of the power of the English, and to present a warning 
to all the other savages against the repetition of such 

Plymouth colony furnished fifty soldiers, com- 
manded by Captain Miles Standish. Massachusetts 
raised two hundred men. The settlements on the 
Connecticut furnished ninety men. The Mohegans 
and Narragansets sent to the English camp of ren- 
dezvous about two hundred warriors, promising many 
more. It was decided to strike the Pequots a sudden 
and heavy blow. We cannot here enter into the de- 
tails of the fierce and decisive war which ensued. 

These military bands rendezvoused on the shores 
of Narraganset bay, and commenced a rapid march 
through the forest. The Narragansets were exceed- 
ingly jubilant in the prospect of inflicting vengeance 

upon a foe who had often compelled them to bite the 


dust. As they hurried along through the narrow trails 
towards the Pequot territory, volunteer Narragansets 
joined them until five hundred feathered warriors 
were in their train. 

The Indian guides led them to a strong fort, on 
the banks of the river Mystic. A large number of 
Pequot warriors were assembled here, quite unappre- 
hensive of the attack which was about to fall terribly 
upon them. Silently, in the night, the English and 
the Indians surrounded them, that there might be no 

" And so," writes Governor Bradford, " assaulted 
them with great courage, shooting amongst them, and 
entering the fort with all speed. Those that first 
entered found sharp resistance from the enemy, who 
both shot at and grappled with them. Others ran 
into their houses, and brought out fire and set them 
on fire, which soon took in their mats, and, standing 
close together, with the wind, all was quickly in a 
flame. Thereby more were burned to death than 
were otherwise slain. It burned their bow-strings, 
and rendered them unserviceable. Those that es- 
caped the fire were slain with the sword. Some were 
hewed to pieces, others were run through with their 
rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched, and 
very few escaped. It was conceived that they thus 
destroyed about four hundred at this time. 


" It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in 
the fire, the streams of blood quenching the same, 
and horrible was the scent thereof But the victory 
seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the praise 
thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for 
them, thus to give them so speedy a victory over so 
proud and insulting an enemy." "••' 

" The Narraganset Indians all this while stood round 
about, but aloof from all danger, and left the whole 
execution to the English, except it were the stopping 
of any that broke away ; insulting over their enemies 
in this their ruin and misery, when they were writhing 
in the flames. After this service was thus happily ac- 
complished, they marched to the water side, where 
they met with some of their vessels, by which they 
had refreshing with victuals and other necessaries." 

The war was continued with vigor, and the Pequot 
warriors became nearly exterminated. Sassacus fled 
to the Mohawks, in New York. They cut off his 
head. Thus the war ended. The Pequots were no 
longer to be feared. Driven from their homes, they 
took refuge, in their dispersion, in different tribes, 
and this formidable barbaric nation became extinct. 

War is always demoralizing. Many, rioting in its 
scenes of carnage and of crime, lose all sense of hu- 
manity, and become desperadoes. After the close of 
* Bradford's Plymouth Plantation, p. 363. 


the Pequot war, a young fellow, lusty and desperate, 
by the name of Arthur Peach, who had done valiant 
service in cutting down the Indians, felt a strong dis- 
inclination to return to the monotony of peaceful life. 
He became thoroughly dissolute, a wild adventurer, 
ripe for any crime. To escape the consequences of 
some of his misdeeds, he undertook, with three boon 
companions, as bad as himself, to escape to the Dutch 
colony at the mouth of the Hudson. As they were 
travelling through the woods they stopped to rest, 
and, kindling a fire, sat down to smoke their pipes. 
An Indian came along, who had a quantity of wam- 
pum, which had become valuable as currency, recog- 
nized by all the tribes. They invited him to sit down 
and smoke with them. As they were thus smoking to- 
gether, Peach said to his companions that he meant 
to kill the Indian, "for the rascal," said he, "has un- 
doubtedly killed many white men." The Indian, who 
did not understand English, was unsuspicious of dan- 
ger. Peach, watching his opportunity, thrust his 
sword through his body once or twice, and taking 
from him his wampum and some other valuables, he 
and his companions hurried on their way, leaving him 
as they supposed, dead. 

Though mortally wounded, the Indian so far re- 
vived as to reach some of his friends, when, having 
communicated to them the facts of the murder, he 


died. The men were all arrested. The proof was so 
positive that they made no denial of their guilt. They 
were all condemned, and three were executed, one 
having made his escape. Francis Baylies, comment- 
ing upon this occurrence, writes : 

"This execution is an undeniable proof of that 
stern sense of duty which was cherished by the Pil- 
grims. To put three Englishmen to death for the 
murder of one Indian, without compulsion, or with- 
out any apprehension of consequences, for it does not 
appear that any application was made on the part of 
the Indians, for the punishment of the murderers, 
and they might have been pacified by the death of 
one, and probably even without that, denotes a de- 
gree of moral culture unknown in new settlements. 
It stands in our annals without a parallel instance. 
The truth of the fact is avouched by all our early his- 
torians, and it stands an eternal and imperishable 
monument of stern, unsparing, inflexible justice. 
And, in all probability it was not without its earthly 
reward, for the Indians, convinced of the justice of 
the English, abstained from all attempts to avenge 
their wrongs, by their own acts, for many years." "■•' 

The Plymouth colonists were still much embar- 
rassed in consequence of their relations with their 
partners in PIngland, to whom they were still consid- 

* Memoir of Plymouth Colony, by Francis Baylies, p. 249. 


erably indebted. The agent of the company there 
wrote that he could not make up his accounts, unless 
some one from the colony should come over to Eng- 
land to aid him ; and he urged that Mr. Winslow 
should be sent. But Mr. Winslow was afraid to go. 
Neither was he willing that any of his partners should 
go. The angry tone of letters from England led him 
to apprehend serious danger. " For he was per- 
suaded," writes Governor Bradford, " that if any of 
them went they would be arrested, and an action of 
such a sum laid upon them as they should not procure 
bail, but must lie in prison ; and then they would 
bring them to what they list." 

Still it was very important that some one should 
go. Captain Standish was applied to. He seems to 
have had as little fear of an English prison as of the 
tomahawks and arrows of the Indians. Without any 
hesitancy he was ready to embark in the perilous en- 
terprise. But upon mature deliberation his more 
cautious friends decided it not to be prudent to ex- 
pose him to such peril. But the spirit of justice, 
which inspired them in all their transactions, is again 
conspicuous. They offered to submit the matter to 
any gentlemen and merchants of the Massachusetts 
colony, whom the company in England themselves 
might choose. Before these commissioners both sides 
should have a hearing. " We will be bound," they 


added, " to stand by their decision, and make good 
their award, though it should cost us all we have in 
the world." 

The company in England declined this magnani- 
mous offer. In the year 1645 Elder Brewster died, at 
the advanced age of eighty-four years. He was in 
Duxbury the next neighbor and the ever warm friend 
of Miles Standish. Among the remarkable men who 
composed the Plymouth colony, he was one of the 
most remarkable. By birth, education and wealth he 
occupied a high position in English society. In his 
earlier days he was the companion of ministers of 
state. He was familiar with the magnificence of 
courts, having represented his sovereign in foreign 
embassage. His ample fortune had accustomed him 
to the refinements and elegances of life. He might 
doubtless have spent his days in ease, honor and opu- 
lence. But, true to his religious convictions, all these 
he cast aside to share the lot of the humble and per- 
secuted Puritans. He deemed conformity to the mode 
of worship adopted by the Parliament as sinful. And 
" he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people 
of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a sea- 
son." In the records of the first church in Plymouth 
we find a very noble tribute to his memory, probably 
written by Secretary Morton. Speaking of his em- 


bassage, in his early manhood, to the Low Countries, 
with Mr. Davison, Mr. Morton writes, 

" He received possession of the cautionary towns; 
and, in token thereof, the keys of Flushing being de- 
livered to him in her majesty's name, he kept them 
for some time, and committed them to his servant, 
who kept them under his pillow on which he slept, 
the first night, and, on his return the States honored 
him with a gold chain, which his master committed to 
him, and commanded him to wear it when they ar- 
rived in England, as they rode through the country 
until they came to the court. 

" Afterwards he went and lived in the country, in 
good esteem among his friends and the good gen- 
tlemen of those parts, especially the godly and re- 
ligious. He did much good in the country where he 
lived, in promoting and furthering religion, not only 
by his practice and example, and encouraging others, 
but by procuring good preachers for the places there- 
abouts, and drawing on others to assist and help for- 
ward in such a work, he himself commonly deepest in 
the charge and often above his abilities. In this state 
ho continued many years, doing the best good he 
could, and walking according to the light he saw, un- 
til the Lord revealed further unto him. 

" And, in the end, by the tyranny of the bishops 
against godly preachers a )d people, in silencing the 


one, and persecuting the other, he, with many more 
of those times, began to look further into particulars, 
and to see into the unlawfulness of their callings, and 
the burden of many anti-Christian corruptions, which 
both he and they endeavored to cast off, as they also 

" After they were joined into communion he was 
a special stay and help to them. They ordinarily met 
at his house on the Lord's day, which was within the 
manor of a bishop. With great love he entertained 
them when they came, making provision for them to 
his great charge, and continued so to do while they 
should remain in England. And when they were to 
remove out of the country, he was the first in all ad- 
ventures. He was the chief of those who were taken 
at Boston, in Lincolnshire, and suffered the greatest 
loss, and one of the seven that were kept longest in 
prison, and after bound over to the assizes. 

" After he came to Holland he suffered much 
hardship, after he had spent the most of his means, 
having a great charge and many children. And in 
regard to his former breeding and course, not so fit 
for many employments as others were, especially such 
as were toilsome and laborious. Yea, he ever bore 
his condition with much cheerfulness and content. 
Towards the latter part of those twelve years, spent 
in Holland, his outward condition was mended, and he 


lived well and plentiful ; for he fell into a way, by 
reason he had the Latin tongue, to teach many stu- 
dents, who had a desire to learn the English tongue. 
By his method they quickly attained it, with great 
facility, for he drew rules to learn it by after the Latin 
manner. And many gentlemen, both Danes and 
Germans, resorted to him, as they had time, from 
their other studies, some of them being great men's 

" But now, removing into this country, all these_ 
things were laid aside again, and a new course of 
living must be framed unto ; in which he was in no 
way unwilling to take his part, and to bear his bur- 
den with the rest, living many times without bread or 
corn, many months together ; having many times 
nothing but fish, and often wanting that also ; and 
drunk nothing but water for many years together, 
until five or six years of his death. And yet he lived, 
by the blessing of God, in health until very old age." 

Elder Brewster was an accomplished gentleman, 
a genial friend, an eloquent preacher, and a fervent 
Christian. History has transmitted to us the record 
of but few characters so well balanced in all energetic, 
harmonious, and lovely traits. He died as he had 
lived, tranquilly, peacefully, in the enjoyment of all 
his faculties. His sickness was short, confining him 
to his bed but one day. He could converse with his 


friends until within a few hours of his last breath. 
About ten o'clock in the evening of April i8th, 1644, 
he fell asleep. 

" Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep ! 
From which none ever wake to weep." 


Removal to Duxhiry. 

Friendship Between Captain Standish and Mr. Brewster. — Character 
of Mr. Brewster. — His Death and Burial. — Mode of Worship. — 
Captain's Hill. — Difficulty with the Narragansets. — Firmness and 
Conciliation. — Terms of Peace. — Plans for Removal from Ply- 
mouth. — Captain Standish's Home in Duxbury. — Present Aspect 
of the Region. 

It is greatly to the credit of Captain Miles Stand- 
ish, the puritan soldier, that his life -long friend was 
William Brewster, the puritan divine. Their farms 
in Duxbury were side by side. The scene upon which 
this noble Christian man looked, in the evening of his 
eventful lifC; must have been one full of peaceful 
beauty, as he stood, staff in hand, upon the threshold of 
his lowly, yet comfortable cottage. His peaceful home 
was situated about three miles across the bay from the 
village of Plymouth. By land it was a roundabout 
route of nearly eight miles. His farm was on a pic- 
turesque peninsula shooting out southerly into the 
placid waters of Plymouth Bay. In his life of four- 
score years and four, he had witnessed the long reigns 
of three of the most remarkable of the English sove- 

The days of his early manhood were passed through 


scenes of persecution and suffering, whose vicissitudes 
were painful and agitating in the extreme. His men- 
tal energies had been strengthened by the discipHne 
of adversity and severe afflictions. As an exile, he 
had encountered poverty and had been exposed to 
the most severe deprivations and toils. He had 
landed, with a feeble band, in this New World when 
it was but a howling wilderness, and where the ut- 
most courage and prudence were requisite, to save 
the little colony from utter extinction by a savage 

He had lived to see the colony securely estab- 
lished, to see the Indians to a very great degree con- 
ciliated, and not a few of them brought under the in- 
fluence of Christian example and instruction. From 
one little settlement, of seven log huts, he had seen 
others springing up all around, till eight flourishing 
towns were established, with eight churches, under 
eight pastors. He had seen the colony reduced to 
but fifty souls, men, women and children. And, ere 
he died, the census reported a population of eight 
thousand, with a well-defined government, a free con- 
stitution and established laws. Infant colonies were 
rising in various points to a vigorous manhood, and 
were uniting in a confederacy, already sufficiently 
powerful to repel all native foes, and which gave 
promise of being able, ere long, to maintain inde- 


pendence against the machinations of all foreign ene- 

A system of common schools was established, 
which even then was the glory of New England. 
Harvard University, modelled after the renowned uni- 
versity of Cambridge in England, was already begin- 
ning to train young men for the highest offices in the 
church and the state. Thus freedom, education and 
religion were walking hand in hand. In the retro- 
spect of his path through life, this thoughtful, devout 
and hopeful man could contemplate the stern con- 
flicts, the cruel errors, and the heroic deeds of one of 
the most important eras in the world's history. Though 
he had sown in tears, he could hopefully look forward 
to the time when his children, and his children's 
children should reap in joy. In speaking of the death 
of this eminent man, Governor Bradford writes, under 
date of the year 1643 : ••'■■ 

" I am to begin this year with that which was a 
matter of great sadness and mourning unto them all. 
About the i8th of April died their reverend elder, 
and my dear and loving friend, Mr. William Brew- 
ster, a man who had done and suffered much for the 
Lord Jesus and the gospel's sake, and had borne his 
part in weal and woe with this poor persecuted church 

* There is a little uncertainty whether Elder Brewster died in the 
year 1640 or 1644. 


above thirty-six years in England, Holland, and in 
this wilderness, and done the Lord and them faith- 
ful service in his place and calling. And notwith- 
standing the many troubles and sorrows he passed 
through, the Lord upheld him to a great age. He 
was near fourscore years of age, if not all out, when 
he died."-'-' He had this blessing added by the 
Lord to all the rest, to die in his bed, in peace 
among the midst of his friends, who mourned and 
wept over him, and ministered what help and comfort 
they could unto him, and he again recomforted them 
while he could. 

" His sickness was not long, and till the last day 
thereof, he did not wholly keep his bed. His speech 
continued till somewhat more than half a day, and 
then failed him. About nine or ten o'clock that even- 
ing he died, without any pangs at all. A few hours 
before his death he drew his breath short, and some 
few minutes before his last he drew his breath long, 
as a man falling into a sound sleep, without any pangs 
or gaspings, and so sweetly departed this life unto a 
better. I would now demand of any, what was he the 
worse for any former sufferings } What do I say — 
worse ? Nay, sure he was the better, and they now 
added to his honor. 'It is a manifest token,' saith 
the apostle, 'of the righteous judgment of God, that 

* Morton says, " He was fourscore and four years of age." 


ye may be accounted worthy of the kingdom of God, 
for which ye also suffer ; seeing it is a righteous thing 
with God to recompense tribulation to them that 
trouble you ; and to you who are troubled, rest with 
us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven 
with his mighty angels.' What though he wanted the 
riches and pleasures of the world in this life, and 
pompous monuments at his funeral, yet the just shall 
be blessed, when the name of the wicked shall rot, 
with their marble monuments." 

A very pleasing account is given by Prince, of the 
mode in which public worship was conducted by these 
Christians, who were anxious in all things to be con- 
formed to the habits of the disciples in apostolic days. 
The customs they observed have been transmitted to 
the present times in our meetings for conference and 
prayer. On Thursday, the 25th of October, 1632, 
Governor Winthrop, with Mr. Wilson, who was pas- 
tor of the church in Boston, with several other Chris- 
tian friends, made a visit to Plymouth. They were 
received with great hospitality. Governor Bradford, 
Rev. Mr. Brewster, the ruling elder, and several oth- 
ers of the prominent men of Plymouth, came some 
distance out from the village to meet their friends, 
who probably travelled on foot. They were conducted 
to the house of Governor Bradford, where most of 
them were entertained during their stay. They were, 


however, every day invited to dinner parties at the 
houses of the more opulent of the villagers. 

On Sunday the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
was administered, in the morning. The service oc- 
cupied the whole time. In the afternoon devotions, 
the service was opened by Mr. Roger Williams, who 
propounded a question of theology, or of conscience, 
upon which he made sundry remarks. Rev. Mr. 
Smith, pastor of the Boston church, then spoke briefly 
upon the subject. Mr. Williams again spoke, quot- 
ing freely from the Bible in explanation of the ques- 
tion which he had proposed. Then Governor Brad- 
ford, who had studied Hebrew, and was familiar with 
all scriptural antiquities, expressed his views upon 
the subject. He was followed by Elder Brewster. 
His reputation, as a man of profound learning, caused 
all to listen attentively when he spake. Then, by 
special invitation from the Elder, Governor Winthrop 
spoke upon the question, followed by Mr. Wilson, 
pastor of the church in Boston. Deacon Fuller, who 
was also the physician of the colony at Plymouth, 
then called for the contribution for the support of 
public worship and of the poor. The Governor, and 
all the rest of the congregation rose from their seats 
and went to the deacon's seat to deposit their gifts. 
The exercises were closed with the benediction. 

This peculiarity of having various members of the 


church speak in public worship, one after another, 
they brought with them from Holland, such having 
been the practice adopted by Rev. Mr. Robinson, 
founded on the primitive practice of the church at 
Corinth, as recorded by St. Paul, in chapter xiii. 
of the Acts, 14th and 15th verses. But, as the com- 
munity advanced in intelligence, it was found that 
study was essential to the teacher who. Sabbath after 
Sabbath, would interest a congregation. It was also 
remembered that such a practice was peculiarly 
adapted to the age of inspiration which had passed 
away. Thus the practice was gradually laid aside 
for the mode of worship now adopted by all the 
churches descended from the Puritans. The highly 
educated preacher, in the stated services of the sanc- 
tuary, brings from his treasury things new and old for 
the benefit of the church and congregation. But in 
frequent meetings for. conference and prayer, all the 
brethren of the church have an opportunity of ex- 
pressing their views upon all questions of faith and 

There was probably no more sincere mourner, at 
the grave of Elder Brewster, than his life-long com- 
panion and friend. Captain Miles Standish. As we 
have mentioned, their farms in Duxbury were side by 
side. They had gathered around them several men of 
congenial spirit, among whom we find the name of 


John Alden. From whatever direction one approach- 
es the homes of these illustrious men, he sees looming 
up before him the remarkable eminence known as 
" Captain's Hill." It is an oval-shaped mound, rising 
to the height of about one hundred and eighty feet. 
This hill was on the farm of Captain Standish. From 
its summit, scenery of landscape and water was pre- 
sented, in a calm summer's day, such as can scarcely 
be surpassed in beauty in any country. 

In a clear atmosphere one can discern, in the far 
distance of the eastern horizon, over the bay, the out- 
line of the sand-hills of Cape Cod, with its sickle bend 
forming in the extreme north the harbor where the 
Mayflower first cast anchor ; and where for five 
long weeks their shattered bark rested while the 
Pilgrims were in vain seeking for a home. Almost at 
one's feet is to be seen the whole expanse of Ply- 
mouth Bay, with the entrance through which their 
storm-shattered shallop passed through the foaming 
breakers on either side. There was then no light- 
house on Gurnet's Point to guide their endangered 
keel. Just before you is Clark's Isle, under whose 
lee, in the midnight tempest, the Pilgrims found 
shelter, when every moment in danger of being sub- 
merged by the waves ; and where they passed the 
ever-memorable Sabbath. 

From the summit of the hill, all the land to the 


south belonged to Captain Standish. On the east, 
spreading out to the water's edge, including what is 
called the Nook, were the acres allotted to Elder 
Brewster. Near the site of the humble house which 
he reared and occupied, are still to be seen the 
gray and decaying remains of a farm-house, and its 
outbuildings, erected by some one of his immediate 
successors. It was from this spot that the remains 
of the Elder were conveyed, in long procession wind- 
ing around the western shore of the bay, to their 
final resting-place on Burial Hill. 

It was in the midst of these peaceful scenes that 
Captain Miles Standish passed the evening of his 
days, mainly engaged in agricultural pursuits. But 
whenever serious trouble came, his energies were 
immediately called into requisition. 

When the English commenced their settlements 
on Connecticut River, Uncas, sachem of the Mohegan 
Indians, acknowledged a sort of feudal submission to 
Sassacus, the powerful chief of the Pequot tribe. 
This chieftain had, as we have mentioned, twenty-six 
minor sachems, who paid him feudal homage. Uncas 
was a very ambitious, energetic man, and he was 
gradually bringing minor tribes under his sway. His 
territory was situated east of the Connecticut River 
and north of New London, Stonington and Norwich. 
Uncas, though a friend of the white men, was bitterly 


hostile to the introduction of Christianity among the 
Indians. Some occasion of war arose between the 
Narragansets and the Mohegans, and a very large 
force of the former fell upon Uncas, and slew a large 
number of his men, while they wounded more. This 
was in the year 1645, two years after the death of 
Elder Brewster. Many of the Narragansets had 
obtained muskets. Being superior in numbers to the 
Mohegans, and more powerfully armed, they gained 
an easy victory. 

The English were not willing to see their friend 
and ally thus destroyed. They were bound by treaty 
to defend him, and sent to the Narragansets a remon- 
strance. The Narragansets, having engaged the co- 
operation of the Mohawks, and flushed with victory, 
returned an insulting and defiant answer. The Con- 
necticut colonists immediately despatched forty well- 
armed men, for the protection of their ally, while 
commissioners from the several English colonies met, 
at Boston, to decide upon what further measures to 
adopt. Three messengers were sent to the Narragan- 
sets and to the Mohegans, calling upon both par- 
ties to appoint commissioners to confer with the 
English upon the points in dispute, and thus to 
settle the question by diplomacy and not by butch- 
ery. If the Narragansets refused to accede this 
proposal, which they were bound, by previous treaty, 


to respect, they were to be informed that the Eng- 
lish had already sent forty armed men to Uncas, 
and a definite answer was demanded to the question 
whether they intended to abide by the treaty of peace, 
into which they had entered with the English, or 
whether they intended to make war upon them also. 

To this perfectly just and friendly message, the 
Narragansets returned again a contemptuous and 
threatening reply. At the same time Roger Williams, 
who dwelt in the near vicinity, almost in the midst of 
the Narragansets, and who was familiar with all their 
operations, wrote to the Governors of Plymouth and 
of Massachusetts, stating that the war would soon 
break out far and wide, with great violence, and the 
whole country would be in flames. This was alarm- 
ing tidings to the English. By the arts of peace alone 
could they be enriched, and for peace and friendship 
their hearts yearned. 

The Narragansets were not far from Plymouth. 
The fiend-like warfare of the savages, with their hid- 
eous yells, tomahawks and firebrands, would first fall 
upon the scattered farm-houses of that colony. An 
immediate convention was called of the magistrates, 
elders and chief military commanders of the Massa- 
chusetts and Plymouth colonies. They came unani- 
mously to the following decisions. That they were 
bound, by treaty, to aid and defend Uncas ; that this 


aid was not intended merely to defend him in his fort, 
or when attacked in his dweUing, but also to enable 
him to preserve his liberty and his estates ; that this 
aid must be immediately furnished or Uncas would 
be overwhelmed and ruined by his enemies ; that the 
war against the Narragansets being so manifestly just, 
the reasons for it ought to be proclaimed to the world ; 
that a day of humiliation and prayer should be ap- 
pointed to implore the Divine guidance and blessing ; 
that three hundred men should be immediately sent 
to the aid of Uncas, of which Massachusetts should 
furnish one hundred and ninety, Plymouth forty, 
Connecticut forty, and New Haven thirty ; that, con- 
sidering the immediate danger of Uncas, forty men 
should be instantly sent to his succor from Massachu- 

In accordance with the promptness which has ever 
characterized the Massachusetts colony, scarcely an 
hour elapsed, after the tidings reached Boston, ere the 
men were on the march. Governor Bradford, speaking 
of the insolent tone adopted by the Narragansets.writes, 

" They received the English commissioners with 
scorn and contempt, and told them that they would 
have no peace with Uncas without his head. They 
also gave them this further answer, — that it mattered 
not who began the war, they were resolved to follow 
it up, and that the English should withdraw their gar- 


rison from Uncas, or they would bring down the Mo- 
hawks upon them. And withal they gave them this 
threatening answer, that they would lay the English 
cattle on heaps as high as their houses, and that no 
Englishman should step out of his door but that he 
should be shot." 

The English commissioners needed guides to lead 
them through the wilderness of the Narraganset 
country, to communicate the reply of the Narragan- 
set chiefs to Uncas. They refused to furnish them 
with any guide. At last, in scorn they brought for- 
ward a poor, old, decrepit Pequot woman saying, with 
derisive laughter, that they might take her if they 
pleased. In addition to all these indignities the com- 
missioners were seriously menaced with personal vio- 
lence. As their interpreter was communicating his 
message to the sachems, three burly savages came 
and stood behind him, brandishing their tomahawks 
in the most insulting and threatening manner. The 
friendly Indians, who had accompanied the English, 
were so alarmed by this conduct of the Narragansets 
that they fled in the utmost haste, leaving the com- 
missioners to go home alone. 

" Thus," writes Governor Bradford, " while the 
commissioners in care of the public peace sought 
to quench the fire kindled among the Indians, these 
children of strife breathe out threatenings, provoca- 


tion and war against the English themselves. So 
that unless they should dishonor and provoke God by 
violating a just engagement, and expose the colonies 
to contempt and danger from the barbarians, they can- 
not but exercise force, when no other means will pre- 
vail to reduce the Narragansets and their confede- 
rates to a more just and sober temper." 

The Plymouth colonists were as prompt in action 
as those of Massachusetts. Captain Miles Standish 
was of course placed at the head of the command. 
With rapid steps his little army of forty men traversed 
the forest to the appointed rendezvous at Seekonk, 
now Rehoboth. Having a much shorter journey to 
take, he was encamped upon the spot before the Mas- 
sachusetts men reached it. The Connecticut and 
New Haven forces also soon arrived. Quite a large 
number of friendly Indian warriors also joined them. 
They were armed with muskets, and placed under 
the command of Captain Standish. 

All these measures were adopted with the great- 
est energy and promptness. The sachem of the Nar- 
ragansets had, a short time before, sent a present to 
the Governor of Massachusetts. It was intended 
either to blind him as to their hostile designs, or to 
bribe him not to interpose in behalf of the Mohegans. 
But the Governor was not thus to be duped. He 
frankly informed the messenger that he was not fully 


satisfied respecting the friendly intentions of the sa- 
chem of the Narragansets, — that he could not, there- 
fore, immediately accept the present. He would not 
however refuse it, but would lay it aside to wait the 
developments of the future. 

The military bands being now all assembled at 
Rehoboth and ready to march into the territory of the 
Narragansets, the Governor of Massachusetts, before 
commencing hostilities, sent two commissioners, with 
an interpreter, to return the present to the Narragan- 
set sachem, and to inform him that he had already 
sent forty men for the protection of Uncas, and that 
another armed force was on the march to defend him. 
They were also directed to inform the Narraganset 
sachem that the English troops had express orders to 
stand only upon his and their own defence ; that they 
should make no attempt to invade the Narraganset 
country ; and that if the sachem would make repara- 
tion for the wrongs which he had already inflicted 
upon the Mohegans, and would give security for his 
peaceful conduct in future, he would find that the 
English were as desirous of peace, and as reluctant 
to shed Narraganset blood, as they ever had been. In 
conclusion, this messenger, seeking only peace, said : 

" If, therefore, Pessecus and Innemo, with the 
other sachems, will, without further delay, come to 
Boston, they shall have free liberty to come and re- 


turn without molestation, or any just grievance from 
the EngUsh. But deputies will not now serve ; nor 
may the preparations in hand be now stayed, or the 
directions given recalled, till the forementioned saga- 
mores come, and some further order be taken. But 
if the Narragansets will have nothing but war, the 
English are providing for it, and will proceed accord- 

These wise measures accomplished the desired 
results. The Narraganset sachems had sufficient in- 
telligence to perceive that they were arraying against 
themselves forces which they were but poorly able to 
withstand. Three of their most prominent chiefs, 
with a large array of warriors, after a few days visited 
Boston, and entered into a treaty of peace. 

The Indians agreed to pay to Massachusetts two 
thousand fathoms of good white wampum, in payments 
extending through two years ; to restore to Uncas all 
the captives, men, women and children they had 
taken, and all the canoes, and to pay in full for the 
corn they had destroyed or carried away. They also 
agreed to meet the commissioners from the several 
colonies at New Haven, and submit to their arbitra- 
tion those grievances which would otherwise result in 
war. There were one or two other articles in the 
treaty of a similar nature. Four children of the sa- 
chems were, within fourteen days, to be surrendered 


as hostages to the Enghsh, to be tenderly cared for 
by them, until the terms of the treaty should be ful- 
filled. Thus happily this menace of war was dispelled. 

A little while before the events which we have 
above recorded, a serious design was entertained of 
abandoning the location at Plymouth and removing to 
some place where they would find richer soil. Not 
only was the soil at Plymouth so barren that it would 
scarcely repay cultivation, but the harbor was incom- 
modious and shallow. Several general meetings 
were held, and the subject was very thoroughly dis- 
cussed. Many had already moved to other loca- 
tions, and the church had thus become seriously 

" Some," writes Governor Bradford, "were still for 
staying together in this place, alleging that men and 
women might here live, if they would be content with 
their condition. And it was not for want of necessi- 
ties so much they removed, as for the enriching of 
themselves. Others were resolute upon removal, and 
so signified that here they would not stay ; that if the 
church did not remove, they must; insomuch that 
many were swayed, rather than that there should be 
a dissolution of the church, to condescend to a re- 
moval, if a fit place could be found, that might more 
conveniently and comfortably receive the whole, with 
such accession of others as might come to them, for 


their better strength and subsistence, and some such 
like cautions and limitations." 

A committee of the church was chosen, by advice 
of Governor Bradford, to select a place to move to. 
They repaired to Nauset, on Cape Cod, where is now 
the town of Eastham. The report they brought back 
was so much in favor of the place that the large ma- 
jority of the church consented to remove there. But 
it was soon found that they had by no means im- 
proved their condition by the removal. The result is 
graphically described by Governor Bradford : 

" Now they began to see their error, that they had 
given away already the best and most commodious 
places to others, and now wanted them themselves. 
For this place was about fifty miles from here, and at 
an outside of the country, remote from all society. 
Also it would prove so strait as it would not be com- 
petent to receive the whole body, much less be capa- 
ble of any addition or increase. Thus, in a short time, 
they would be worse there than they are now here. 
The which, with sundry other like considerations and 
inconveniences, made them change their resolutions. 
But such as were before resolved upon removal took 
advantage of this agreement, and went on, notwith- 
standing ; neither could the rest hinder them, they 
having made some beginning. Thus was this poor 
church left, like an ancient mother, grown old and 


forsaken of her children, though not in their affec- 
tions, yet in regard to their bodily presence and per- 
sonal helpfulness. Her ancient members being most 
of them worn away by death ; and these of later times 
being like children translated into other families, and 
she, like a widow, left only to trust in God. Thus 
she that had made many rich became herself poor." 
It required sleepless vigilance and the wisest 
measures to keep peace with the Indians. There 
were now, in the several colonies, many individual 
white men who were totally unprincipled. No power 
of law could restrain them from insulting and abusing 
the Indians. The ignorant savages had very inade- 
quate conceptions of justice, and avenged themselves 
upon any white men who fell into their hands. One 
of these miscreant vvhite men, who was running away 
from Massachusetts, was killed by an Indian, in the 
woods between Fairfield and Stamford. No one 
knows whether the Indian had any provocation to 
commit the deed. The murderer was demanded by 
the Massachusetts authorities. The sachem of the 
tribe promised to deliver him to the English, bound. 
Ten Englishmen were sent to receive the prisoner. 
The Indians, who were in charge of the captive, as 
soon as they came in sight of the English party, cut 
his bands and he fled like a deer into the woods. 
Upon this the English seized eight of the Indians, in- 


eluding two sachems, and held them in close cap- 
tivity for two days, vmtil they received, from the 
chiefs, satisfactory promises that the murderer should 
be delivered to them. 

About a week after this, a wandering Indian came 
to a lonely hut in Stamford, and finding a woman 
alone, killed her, as he supposed, and robbed the 
house. All the Indians in that region seemed angry, 
sullen, and often insulting. It was not deemed safe 
for the English to travel, unless well armed and in 
some strength. A vigilant watch had to be kept 
night and day. This was a very uncomfortable state 
of things, but no remedy could be devised for it. So 
many had mov'ed from Plymouth that the little village 
was quite in a state of decay. Duxbury, where Miles 
Standish had taken his farm, was, as we have men- 
tioned, at a distance of eight miles from Plymouth. 
F'rancis Baylies, alluding to the place in the year 
1830, writes: 

" The extensive pine forest, the certain evidence 
of sandy and barren soil, which even now almost 
skirts the ancient town of Plymouth on the south and 
the west, prevented any extension of population in 
that direction, and on the east the ocean was its 
boundary. So unconquerable is the barrenness of 
this region, that even now the wild deer makes his 
lair in the same place where deer were hunted by our 


forefathers two centuries ago, and a few wretched 
Indians inhabit the primeval woods in which their 
ancestors disdained to dwell." * 

Fear of the Indians, with whom hostilities were 
liable at any time to break out, prevented the colonists 
from selecting farms far inland. The strong settle- 
ments on Massachusetts Bay induced the Plymouth 
people to extend their settlements along the ocean 
shore in that direction. The second church of the 
Plymouth colony was established at Duxbury. 

The house which Captain Standish occupied here 
during the long evening of his eventful life, was situ- 
ated on the southeastern part of the peninsula, where 
the remains of the cellar, which he probably dug, are 
still to be seen. The house in Duxbury, now called 
the Standish House, was built by his son, Alexander, 
partly it is supposed from timbers taken from the old 
house. This fact seems to be substantiated from the 
appearance of the beams, which bear the traces of a 
peculiar saw, which was used before the introduction 
of saw-mills. The hearthstone also, as well as the 
doors and latchings, were doubtless used in the pater- 
nal home. It was by the side of that fireplace that 
the heroic captain sat and mused, while the storms of 
a New England winter shook his dwelling. The tim- 
bers are of oak, and very sound and strong. 

* Memoir of New Plymouth, by Francis Baylies, part i, p. 277. 


Upon the south side of Captain's Hill there is a 
large rock, called the Captain's Chair. Near this spot 
the original barn was erected. The farm comprised 
about one hundred and fifty acres, and contained 
some of the most fertile land to be found in the 
county of Plymouth. Other parts of the town are 
sandy and unproductive. Clark's Island, where the 
explorers of Plymouth Bay passed their first Sabbath, 
is said to possess, in some parts, a rich soil, which can 
scarcely be surpassed in any country. " While the 
northern and western sides offer the most desirable 
qualities for pasturage and grain, its southern and 
eastern declivities present a perfect garden, abound- 
ing with trees, through whose foliage, even during 
the summer's hottest months, stir the breezes from 
the sea." 

The historian of Duxbury describes the scene 
now witnessed from the summit of Captain's Hill, 
and endeavors to give expression to the emotions 
which the view must awaken in every reflective mind. 
He writes : 

" Select, should you visit it, the closing hours of a 
summer's day, when the burning heat of the declining 
sun is dispelled by the cooler shades of approaching 
evening, and ascend to its height. Now as the retir- 
ing rays of day form on the heavens above a gorgeous 
canopy of variegated hues, so on nature's face below 


all brightens into richness, and the verdure of her 
covering softens into mildness ; the shining villages 
around, and the village spires towering against a 
background of unfading green, add gladness to the 
scene. The glassy surface of the bay within, with its 
gentle ripplings on the shore beneath, the music of 
the dashing waves on the beach without, give quiet 
to the mind and peace within. 

" Before you, in the distance at the east, appear 
the white sand-hills of Cape Cod, shining beyond 
the blue expanse, and seeming to encircle by its pro- 
tecting barrier a spot dear to the heart of every de- 
scendant of that Pilgrim band. Still nearer, at your 
feet and before you, are the pleasant bays of Ply- 
mouth, Kingston, and Uuxbury, enlivened by passing 
boats, and sheltered by the beach from a raging 
ocean, crowned at its southern extremity by a light- 
house, and with the extending arm of Saquish enclos- 
ing the Island of the Pilgrims ; turning your eyes to 
the south, they fall in succession on the promontory 
of Manomet ; on the ancient town of Plymouth, rising 
beneath, and — as if under the protection of the mound 
beyond, the resting-place of the Pilgrim's dead — on 
the villages of Rocky Nook and of Kingston. 

" Extending your eye over the extent of forest to 
the northwest, you see the Blue Hills of Milton, as- 
cending far above the surrounding country; while 


nearer, at the north, are the villages of Duxbury and 
Marshfield, scattered over the fields, whose white cot- 
tages, shining in the sun, offer a pleasing contrast to 
the scene. Below you and around you once arose the 
humble abode of the Pilgrims. Who can gaze upon 
the spot which marks the site of the dwelling of 
Standish, without feelings of emotion ? who can but 
give thanks that that spirit — 

' A spirit fit to start into an empire 
And look the world to law ' — 

had been sent amongst them, to be their counsel in 
peace and their protection in danger } Who can but 
admire its ready adaptation to a sphere of action so 
totally different from the school of his youth .-' Here 
also arose the dwellings of Brewster, who having fol- 
lowed in his youth the retinue of kings and princes, 
preferred a solitary retreat in the western wilds, and 
there to worship his God in peace. Here, too, was 
the abode of Collier, who, under every circumstance 
of danger, strove with unceasing toil in the discharge 
of every duty necessary to the welfare and prosperity 
of the colony. Here, too, can be seen the spot 
whereon the habitation of Alden was, whose prudent 
counsels and whose rigid justice attained for him a 
rank in the estimation of the colony, alike an honor to 
himself, and a subject of pride to his descendants. 


Turn your vision as you may, and you will feel that 
you are gazing on a scene of more than ordinary in- 
terest, full of the most grateful recollections, and of 
a nature the most agreeable and pleasing. 

" ' Scenes must be beautiful, which daily viewed 
Please daily, and whose novelty survives 
Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years, — 
Praise justly due to those that I describe.' 

" Rose, the first wife of Myles Standish, died at 
Plymouth, January 29, 1621, about a month after the 
landing. She was among the first to succumb to the 
privations of that terrible first winter. He married 
a second wife (Barbara), who survived him. 

" To his house on Captain's Hill, Standish re- 
moved after his second marriage, and here he drew 
around him a devoted class of friends, among whom 
were the elder Brewster, George Partridge, John Al- 
den, Mr. Howland, Francis Eaton, Peter Brown, 
George Soule, Nicholas Byrom, Moses Simmons, and 
other settlers of Duxbury. 

" The Indians also loved as well as feared him, 
and the faithful Hobbomak ever kept near to minister 
to his wants, and was the faithful guide in his travels. 
This devoted Indian died in 1642, having faithfully 
served his master twenty years, and is supposed to 
have been buried on the south side of Captain's Hill, 
near the great rock called ' The Captain's chair.* 


Tradition fixes his wigwam between two shell mounds 
on the shore near the Standish place, till taken home 
to the house of Standish, where he became an inmate 
till his death." 

The Standish Monutnent. 

The Will of Captain Standish. — His Second Wife — Captain's Hill. — 
The Monument. — Letters from President Grant and General 
Hooker. — Oration by General Horace Binney Sargent. — Sketch 
of his Life. — Other Speakers. — Laying the Corner Stone. — De- 
scription of the Shaft, 

None of the particulars of the last hours of Cap- 
tain Standish have been transmitted to our day. So 
far as is known he enjoyed good health until his last 
sickness. His will was dated March ist, 1655. In 
it he expressed the wish that, should he die at Dux- 
bury, his body should be buried by the side of his two 
dear daughters, Lora Standish, and Mary Standish, 
his daughter-in law. One-third part of his estate he 
bequeathed to his dear and loving wife, Barbara Stan- 
dish. The following extract from his will indicates 
the devout character of the man : 

" I do, by this my will, make and appoint my lov- 
ing friends, Mr. Timothy Hatherly and Captain James 
Cudworth, supervisors of this my last will ; and that 
they will be pleased to do the office of Christian love, 
to be helpful to my poor wife and children, by their 
Christian counsel and advice ; and if any difference 
should arise, which I hope will not, my will is that 



my said supervisors shall determine the same, and 
that they see that my poor wife shall have as comfort- 
able maintainance as my poor state will bear, the 
whole time of her life, which if you my loving friends 
please to do, though neither they nor I shall be able 
to recompense, I do not doubt that the Lord will." 

There is a tradition that Captain Standish's second 
wife, Barbara, was a sister of his first wife, Rose. 
When the Mayflower sailed, she was left an orphan 
in England. She afterwards reached the colony a 
full grown woman, and became the wife of the Captain. 

Captain Standish died the 3d of October, 1656. 
But his character and achievements were such that 
for two hundred years since his death, his name has 
been one of the most prominent in our retrospects of 
the Pilgrim days. His descendants are very numer- 
ous. For some time it has been, by these his de- 
scendants, in contemplation to rear a monument to 
his memory. On the 17th of August, 1871, there 
was a very large gathering of these descendants at 
Duxbury, to consecrate the spot on Captain's Hill, 
where the monument was to be reared. Many others, 
of the most distinguished men of our land, were also 
present, who wished to unite in this tribute to the 
memory of one of the most illustrious names in Amer- 
ican annals. President U. S. Grant wrote, regretting 
his inability to be present : 


" I am heartily with your association in sympathy, 
with any movement to honor one who was as promi- 
nent in the early history of our country as Miles Stan- 
dish ; but my engagements are such that I regret I 
am unable to promise to be present in August." 

In the reply from General Hooker to an invitation 
to attend the celebration, he writes : 

" I regret to state that my engagements for the 
month of August are such as to render it impossible 
for me to join you on that memorable occasion. It is 
unnecessary for me to say that I deeply sympathize 
with the object of your meeting. I have been an ad- 
mirer of the character of Myles Standish from my 
boyhood up, and would like to be identified with any 
body of gentlemen engaged in commemorating his 
great virtues. To me, his civil and military character 
towers far above his contemporaries, and they, if I 
mistake not (when history shall be truthfully written), 
will be made to appear to be the most remarkable 
body of men that ever lived. Viewed from our pres- 
ent standpoint, in my opinion, they are now entitled 
to that judgment. It will be a graceful act on the 
part of our friends, to erect a monument to his mem- 
ory ; but it must not be expected to add to his fame 
or immortality. Industry, valor, and integrity were 
regarded as the cardinal virtues of our forefathers, 
and I hope they will never be held in less estimation 


by their descendants. One of our gifted poets iias 
happily named ' Plymouth Rock ' as the corner-stone 
of the nation. The superstructure promises to be 
worthy of the^fpundation. With great respect, I have 
the honor to be your friend and servant, 

" J. Hooker, Major-Ge}ierair 

Replies of a similar character were returned by 
Generals Sherman, Sheridan and Burnside, and by 
W. C. Bryant. General Horace Binney Sargent de- 
livered the oration on this occasion. It was very elo- 
quent in its truthful delineation of the character and 
career of the illustrious Puritan Captain. Every 
reader will peruse with interest the following grapic 
sketch from its pages : 

"About the time that all Christendom was in 
mourning for the murdered Prince of Orange, and de- 
ploring in his death the overthrow of the bulwark of 
the Protestant faith, a little fair-haired child was play- 
ing among the hedge-rows of England, who was des- 
tined to learn the art of war in the armies of that 
king's more warlike son. Prince Maurice, then a boy 
of seventeen, and to be a tower of defence to the un- 
soldierly Pilgrim colony of Protestant America. 

" That child — whose bones, after nearly fourscore 

years of toil and war, were laid somewhere on this 

hill-side, perhaps under our unconscious feet — was 

Myles Standish, the great Puritan Captain ! He was 



born about the year 1580, of English ancestry, dating 
back to rank and opulence as far as the thirteenth 
century. Of his childhood, little is known. To de- 
feat the title of his line to lands in England, the rent- 
roll of which is half a million per annum, the hand 
of fraud is supposed to have defaced the page that 
contained the parish record of his birth. 

" Unjustly deprived of these vast estates, as he 
avers in his will, in which he bequeaths his title to his 
eldest son, it seems probable that he went to Holland 
near the time of his majority. Queen Elizabeth 
signed his commission as lieutenant in the English 
forces, serving in the Netherlands against the cruel 
armies of the Inquisition. As she died in 1603, 
about two years after his majority, it is not improba- 
ble that we are indebted to that first disappointment, 
which may have driven him, in his early manhood and 
some despair, into the army. 

" From 1600 to 1609, the year of the great truce 
between Prince Maurice and the King of Spain, the 
contest was peculiarly obstinate and bloody. In this 
fierce school the Puritan captain learned the temper 
and art of war. 

" From 1609 to 1620, a period of truce but not of 
civil tranquility, the Low Countries were inflamed 
by those theological disputes of the Calvinists and 
Arminians which brought the excellent Barneveldt 


to the scaffold, and drove the great Grotius — a fugi- 
tive from prison — into exile. In this school, perhaps, 
Myles Standish learned some uncompromising relig- 
ious opinions, which brought him into strange sym- 
pathy and connection with the Pilgrim church in Ley- 
den. Both periods seemed to leave their impress on 
his character. The inventory, recorded with his will, 
mentions the Commentaries of Caesar, Bariffe's Artil- 
lery, three old Bibles, and three muskets, with the 
harness of the time, complete. His Bibles were old. 
A well-worn Bible for every musket ; and, thank God, 
a musket, not an old one, to defend each Bible ! 

" The schedule of his books, some forty in number, 
records nearly twenty which are devotional or reli- 
gious. With the memory of one act of singularly 
resolute daring, when, in obedience to the colonial 
orders to crush a great Indian conspiracy, he took a 
squad of eight picked men into the forests, and 
deemed it prudent to kill the most turbulent warrior 
with his own hands, we may imagine how the Pilgrim 
soldier, friend and associate of Brewster, disciple of 
the saintly Robinson, rose from the perusal of one 
of the old Bibles, or of " Ball on Faith," " Spasles 
against Heresie," or " Dodd on the Lord's Supper," 
to stab Pecksuot to the heart with his own knife ; a 
giant who had taunted him with his small stature, in 
almost the very words of Goliah in his insulting 


sneer at David, long before ; and to cut off the head 
of Watavvamat, which bloody trophy the elders had 
ordered him to bring home with him. We can im- 
agine him on the evening of that cheaply victorious 
day, taking more than usual pleasure in the exultant 
psalms of the warrior David, and in a chapter of Bur- 
rough's " Christian Contentement " and " Gospell Con- 
versation," especially as he had his three muskets 
with bandoleers, and Bariffe's Artillery, close at his 
hand. One can feel the unction with which the val- 
orous Pilgrim would religiously fulfil the colonial 
order to smite the heathen hip and thigh, and hew 
Agag in pieces before the Lord. 

" Not originally, and perhaps never, a member of 
the Pilgrim church, and possessing many traits which 
might have belonged to the fierce trooper, in an army 
whose cavalry was the legitimate descendant of 
Caesar's most formidable enemies, — the Batavi, cele- 
brated for cavalry qualities, and long the body-guard 
of the Roman emperors, — the appearance of the 
somewhat violent soldier, in the saintly company of 
Parson Robinson's church, is an anomaly. 

*' It has been proven many a time, from the days of 
Bannockburn, when the Scottish host sank on its 
knees to receive the benediction of the Black Abbot 
of Inchaffray, even to our own late day, when many 
of the best fighting regiments were blessed with the 


most earnest chaplains, that men never tender their 
lives more gallantly to God and mother-land than 
when they are fervently preached to and prayed for. 

" Yet the all-daring contempt for peril, the rough- 
ness of temper, the masterly economy with which 
Standish saved human life by consumate indifference 
to personal homicide upon prudent occasion, his pow- 
er of breathing his own fiery heart into a handful of 
followers, till he made them an army able to withstand 
a host in the narrow gates of death, would lead us to 
expect such a colleague for the saintly Brewster as 
little as we should expect to see Sheridan — 

" ' Cavalry Sheridan, 
Him of the horses and sabres we sing ' — 

prominent among the Methodists. 

" In truth, with the poem of our sweetest and most 
cultured bard in our minds, and with the memory of 
those fierce monosyllables with which our great cav- 
alry leader rolled back defeat upon the jubilant rebel 
host, and rescued victory at Winchester, fancy can 
depict the foaming black horse pressed into the rush 
of the shell-shattered guidons by the iron gripe of 
knees booted in " Cordovan leather," and imagine that 
little Myles Standish rode that day in the saddle of 
little Phil. Sheridan. 

" To the genealogist, who believes that names rep- 


resent qualities and things, it is not vmpleasing to find 
in the family record of Standish and Duxbury Hall, 
in the parish church of Chorley, Old England, the 
name Milo Standanaught. To stand at nothing, in 
the way of a duty commanded by the civil authority, 
seemed the essence of character in Myles Standish ; 
and thoroughness stamps the reputation of the name 
and blood to-day. 

" The materials for personal biography are scanty. 
His wife. Rose Standish, — an English rose, — whose 
very name augurs unfitness for a New England win- 
ter on an unsettled cape, died within a month of the 
landing. A light tradition exists that his second wife, 
Barbara, was her sister, whom he left an orphan child 
in England, and sent for. She arrived a woman 
grown, and the valorous captain added another illus- 
tration to the poet's story, that Venus and the forger 
of thunderbolts were married. 

" From the first anchorage. Captain Standish, as 
the soldier of the company, was charged with all deeds 
of adventure. At first, certain grave elders were 
sent with him for counsel. But ultimately his repute 
in affairs, both civil and military, was such that he was 
for many years the treasurer of the colony, and, dur- 
ing a period of difficulty, their agent in England. As 
a soldier, he was evidently the Von Moltke of the 
Pilgrims. They invested him with the general com- 


mand. Even in extreme old age — the very year that 
he died " very auncient and full of dolorous paines " — 
he received his last and fullest commission against 
new enemies, his old friends, the Dutch. 

" It is singular that among the primitive people, 
who must often in the later Indian wars have missed 
his counsel and conduct, as the poet describing 
Venice, sighs, — 

" ' Oh ! for one hour of blind old Dandole.' 

no clear tradition has descended of the place where 
the war-worn bones of the soldier-pilgrim lie. Sent, 
like Moses, to guide and guard a feeble people to a 
promised land of power that he might never see, no 
man knoweth his burial-place until this day. 

" More than one hundred years ago, the following 
paragraph appeared in the Boston " News-Letter," 
dated Boston, January 22, 1770: "We hear from 
Plymouth that the 22d day of December last was there 
observed by a number of gentlemen, by the name of 
the Old Colony Club, in commemoration of the land- 
ing of their ancestors in that place." 

" The fourth toast on that occasion, a hundred and 
one years ago, was, " To the memory of that brave 
man and good officer, Capt. Miles Standish." 

" Over the graves of the guests at that dinner, — 

" ' For fifty years the grasses have been growing.' 


But the principle of public fidelity shares the immor- 
tality of God and Truth. Reverence for it never dies 
till the decay of nations. And to-day we come to- 
gether, the dwellers in the city and the dwellers on 
the shore, men of every age and all professions, to 
dedicate one spot of this parental soil for an enduring 
monument to the same Myles Standish of the same 
unfaded record. The sunlight of near three hundred 
years, that has shone fatal on many a reputation since 
his baby eyes first saw the light of England, has only 
brought out the lasting colors of his fame. 

" Believing, as I firmly do, that he was a useful, a 
necessary citizen, because he was ' that brave man 
and good officer ' at a time when soldierly qualities 
were essential to the very life of the infant colony, it 
seems to me providential for the colonists that one of 
their number was, by temper and training, unable to 
sympathize with that soft tenderness for human life 
which is wont to characterize saintly-minded men, 
like the Rev. Mr. Robinson, who, when he heard of 
the marvelous conflict where Standish, with three or 
four others, in a locked room, killed the same number 
of hostile chiefs that were gathering their tribes to 
exterminate the English, uttered these sorrowful 
words : ' Oh ! that you had converted some before 
you had killed any ! ' 

" The soldier practised that terrible piece of econ- 


omy which no sahit of the company would have 
dreamed of doing with his own hand. To borrow the 
diction of the time, the gauntlet of the man of wrath 
was the fold of the lambs of God. It was fortu- 
nate for us who believe in Plymouth Rock, that one 
trained soldier, who had faced war conducted by the 
Duke of Alva, came out in the Mayflower. 

" Myles Standish represented the true idea of 
public service, vigorous fidelity, and trained fitness 
for his place. In his single heroic person he pre- 
sented the true idea of the army, — skilled military 
force in loyal subordination to the civil authority. 
The confidence that the colony reposed in him to exe- 
cute their most difficult commands as a soldier, seems 
to prove that he revered, in the words of Mr. Robin- 
son's farewell sermon, ' the image of the Lord's power 
and authority which the magistrate beareth.' 

"To be the founders of states is the first of glo- 
ries, according to Lord Bacon. The career of our 
Pilgrim hero is a beautiful illustration of an education 
fitted to the great mission for which he seemed pecul- 
iarly, strangely ordained. 

" In grateful memory we consecrate this spot of 
earth to a monument of the great Puritan Captain. 
May its shadow fall upon his grave ! For two cen- 
turies the stars have looked upon it. At what mo- 
ment of the night the circling moon may point it out 


with shadowy finger, no mortal knows. No mortal 
ear can hear the secret whispered to the night, ' Be- 
neath this spot hes all of a hero that could die.' " 

Several other eloquent addresses were made upon 
the occasion by General B. F. Butler, Dr. Lorino- 
and other gentlemen of the highest social standing. 
The community is deeply indebted to Stephen M. 
Allen, Esq., one of the prominent citizens of Dux- 
bury, for the time and money he has devoted to 
furtherance of this good enterprise. As Correspond- 
ing Secretary of the Standish Memorial Association, 
he has been one of the most efficient agents in push- 
ing forward the truly patriotic undertaking. 

On Monday, the 7th of October, 1872, the corner 
stone of the Standish monument was laid. It was in- 
deed a gala day in the ancient town of Duxbury. It 
is estimated that ten thousand people were present. 
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, of 
Boston, acted as escort to the procession. Several 
Masonic Lodges, with their glittering paraphernalia 
took part in the imposing ceremonies. As the long 
procession wound up the slope of Captain's Hill, 
thousands of spectators lined their path on either side. 
A memorial box was deposited under the corner-stone 
with a metallic plate which bore the following in- 
scription ; 





— OF — 




Laid on the summit of Captain's Hill, in Duxbury, under 

the Superintendence of 



In presence of 







Being the Two Hundred and Fifty-second Year since 

the First Settlement of New England 






17, 1S72. 


This fine shaft rises one hundred and ten feet from 
its base, and is surmounted by a bronze statue of the 



Captain, in full uniform, twelve feet in height, and is 
said to be a truthful likeness. The diameter of the 
shaft, at its base, is twenty-eight feet. The structure 
is of the finest quality of Ouincy granite. I will close 
this brief narrative with the eloquent words of Gen, 
Horace Binney Sargent : 

" High as the shaft may tower over headland and 
bay ; deep as its foundation-stones may rest ; brightly 
as it may gleam in the rising or setting sun upon the 
mariner returning in the very furrow that the keel of 
the Mayflower made, the principles of common-sense, 
a citizen soldier's education for a citizen soldier's work, 
the principles of moral truth, manly honesty, prudent 
energy, fidelity incorruptible, courage undauntable, 
all the qualities of manhood that compel unflinching 
execution of the states' behest, — are firmer and high- 
er and brighter still. And to crown them all is rev- 
erence to the Supreme Executive of Earth and 
Heaven, who knows no feebleness of heart or hand, 
and whose great purpose moved the war-worn Pil- 
grim's feet to seek his home upon this rock-bound 
continent, where the unceasing waves of two unfet- 
tered oceans roar the choral hymn of Freedom."