his master :
That, for our parts, it never entered into our hearts
to take such a course with them, till their own treachery
enforced us thereunto; and therefore [they] might thai^
themselves for their own overthrow. Tet, since he had
begun ; if again, by any [of] the like courses, he did
provoke him, his country should not hold him : for he
would never suffer him, or his, to rest in peace, till he
had utterly consumed them; and therefore [that he]
should take this as a warning. Further, that he should
send to Patuxet, the three Englishmen he had ; and not
kill them. Also, that he should not spoil [destroy] the pale
[paliaade] and houses at Wichaguscusset [Wesaagueset].
574 Good News from New England, ctor e.
And that this messenger should either bring the ETigTiah^
or an answer ; or both : [the Gbvemor] promising his
safe return [to him].
This message was delivered; and the party would
have returned with answer: but was at first dissuaded ;
whom, afterwards, they would, but could not, persuade
to come to us. At length, though long [after], a woman
came and told us, That Obtariest was sorry that the
English were killed before he heard from the Qovemor :
otherwise he would have sent them. Also she said, He
would fain make his peace again with us ; but none of
his men diurst come to treat about it: [he] having
forsaken his dwelling, and daily removed from place
to place; expecting when we would take further
vengeance on him.
Concerning those other people that intended to join
with the Massachuseucks against us, though we never
went against any of them; yet this sudden and
unexpected execution, together with the just judgement
of GOD upon their guilty consciences, hath so terrified
and amazed them as, in like manner, they forsook their
houses, running to and fro like men distracted, living
in swamps and other desert places: and so brought
manifold diseases amongst themselves, whereof very
many are dead ; as Cakacum the Sachem of Manomet
[/Sam^iyicA], Aspinet the Sachem of Nauset [J^oatAam],
Itanouqh, Sachem of Mattachiest [AimÂ«toWÂ«]. This
[last] Sachem, in his life, in the midst of these distractions,
said. The Qod of the English was offended with them ;
and would destroy them in his anger. And certainly
it is strange to hear how many of late have [died], and
still daily die amongst them. Neither is there any
likelihood it will easily cease : because, through fear,
ooT. B. wiMiow. Good News from New England. 575
they set little or no com, which is the staff of life ;
and vdthout which, they cannot long preserve health
and strength. From one of these places, a boat was
sent with presents to the Governor, hoping thereby
to work their peace ; but the boat was cast away, and
three of the persons drowned, not far from oar
Plantation: only one escaped; who durst not come
to us, but returned. So as none of them dare [to]
come amongst ua
I fear I have been too tedious, both in this and
other things: yet when I considered how necessary a
thing it is that the truth and grounds of this action
especially, should be made known; and [also] the
several dispositions of that dissolved Colony \QJt
TTtfssogritase^], whose reports undoubtedly will be as
various: I could not but enlarge myself, where I
thought to be most brief ; neither durst I be too brief,
lest I should eclipse and rob QOD of that honour,
glory, and praise which belongeth to him for preserving
us from falling, when we were at the pit's brim;
and yet feared [not], nor knew not that we were in
This month of April  being now come, on all
hands, we began to prepare for com. And
because there was no com left before this ""â€¢ * â€¢
time, save that [which] was preserved for seed ; being
also hopeless of relief by Supply \TeinfoTCâ‚¬rmjefn,i\\ we
thought [it] best to leave off all other works, and
prosecute that, as most necessary.
And because there was so small hope of doing good
in that common [geTieral] course, of labour that formerly
we were in ; for that the Oovemors that followed men
to their labours, had nothing to give men for their
576 Good News from New England.
Got. S. Wiaalofv.
neoessities; and therefore eonld not so well exercise
that command over them therein, as formerly tiiey had
done. Especially considering that self-love [sdf-irUerest];
wherewith every man, in a measure more or less, loveth
and pref erreth his own good before his neighbours' : and
also the base disposition of some drones that, as at
other times so now especially, would be most burdenous
to the rest. It was therefore thought best, That every
man should use the best diligence he could, for his own
preservation, botii in respect of the time present, and to
prepare his own com for the year following : and [to]
bring in a competent portion for the maintenance of
Public Officers, Fishermen, Ac. ; which could not be
freed from their Calling, without greater inconveniences.
This course was to continue till harvest: and then
the Qovemors to gather in the appointed portion, for
the maintenance of themselves and such others as
necessity constrained to exempt from this condition.
Only, if occasion served, upon any special service, they
might employ such as they thought most fit to execute
the same, during this appointed time: and at the end
thereof, all men to be employed by them, in such
service as they thought most necessary for the general
good. And because there is great difference in the
ground, that therefore ^ set quantity [viz. one dcre, see
pp. 383-385] should be set down for a person : and each
man to have his fall by lot ; as being most just and
equal, and against which no man could except
At a General Meeting of the Company [? in March
1623], many courses were propotmded : but this approved
and followed, as being the most likely for the present
and future good of the Company ; and therefore before
this month [of April], [we] began to prepare our ground
against seed time.
Got. 1. WIMI0W. Good Ncws from New England, 577
In the midst of April, we began to set, the weather
being then seasonable: which much incouraged us,
giving us good hopes of after plenty. The setting
season is good till the latter end of May.
But it pleased QOD, for our further chastisement,
to send a great drought; insomuch as in six weeks
after the latter setting [? \si Jumeâ€”i 15th Jvly 1623]
there scarce fell any rain: so that the stalk of that
[which] was first set, began to send forth the ear
before it came to half growth ; and that which was
later [set], not like[ly] to yield us any [com] at all,
both blade and stalk hfiuiging the head and changing
the colour in such a manner as we judged it utterly
dead. Our beans also ran not up, according to their
wonted manner; but stood at a stay: many being
parched away, as though they hâ‚¬kd been scorched before
the fire. Now were our hopes overthrown; and we
discouraged : our joy being turned into mourning.
To add also to this sorrowful estate in which we
were ; we heard of a Supply [reinfoTcemenl'l that was
sent unto us many months since: which [ship, the
Pourag(m\ having two repulses before, was a third time
in company of another ship, three hundred leagues at
sea [i.e. 900 TwUea from, England] ; and now, in three
months' time, heard no further of her. Only the signs
of a wreck were seen on the coast ; which could not be
judged to be any other than the same.
So that, at once, GOD seemed to deprive us of
all future hopes. The most courageous were now
discouraged; because GOD, which hitherto had been
our only Shield and Supporter, now seemed, in his
anger, to arm himself against us: and who can
withstand the fierceness of his wrath?
These, and the like considerations moved not only
The Pilgrim Fathers. 2 o
578 Good News from New England, oor. Â«. vnnoaw,
every good man privately to enter into examination
with his own estate [condition] between GOD and his
ccmscienoe ; and so to humiliation before him : bat also
more solemnly to humble ourselves together before the
Lord by fasting and prayer.
To that end^ a Day was appointed by public
authority, and set apart from all other employm^its:
hoping that the same OOD which had stirred us up
hereunto, would be moved hereby in mercy to look down
upon us, and grant the request of our dejected souls ; if
our continuance there, might any way stand witti his
glory and our good.
But, O the mercy of our QOD ! who was as ready to
hear as we to ask. For though in the morning, when
we assembled together, the heavens were as dear, and
the drought as like[ly] to continue, as ever it was : yet,
our Elxercise \Pvhlic Worship] continuing some eight or
nine hours, before our departure, the weather was
overcast, [and] the clouds gathered together on all sidea
And, on the next morning, [they] distilled such soft,
sweety and moderate showers of rain, continuing some
fourteen days [? l%th â€” 31Â«^ JuLy\ and mixed witii sudi
seasonable weather ; as it was hard to say. Whether our
withered com, or [our] drooping affections, were most
quickened or revived. Such was the bounty and
goodness of our GOD.
Of this, the Indians, by means of Hobbamock, took
notice. Who being then in the town [of Plymouth^
and this Elxercise [occurring] in the midst of the week,
said. It was but three days since Sunday [therefore the
Fast was on a Wednesday], And [he] therefore demanded
of a boy, What was the reason thereof ? Which when he
knew, and saw what effects followed thereupon ; he and
all of them [the Indians] admired [wondered ai] the
GÂ«T. B. wiMiow. Good News from New England. 579
goodness of our GOD towards us, that wrought so great
a change in so short a time. Shewing the difference
between their conjuration, and our invocation on the
name of GOD, for rain. Theirs being mixed with such
storms and tempests as sometimes, instead of doing them
good, it layeth the com flat on the ground, to their
prejudice: but ours, in so gentle and seasonable a
manner, as they never observed the like.
At the same time. Captain Standish, being formerly
employed by the Governor to buy provisions for
the refreshing of the Colony, returned with the
same ; accompanied with one Master David Tomson, a
Scotchman: who also, that Spring [of 1623], began a
Plantation twenty-five leagues north-east from us, near
Smith's Isles [now called the Ides of Shoals], at a place
called Pascatoquack [or rather. Little Harbov/r, on
the Piscaiaqua river ; the present Portsmouth, in New
Hampshire] ; which he liketh welL
Now also heard we of the third repulse of our Supply
[reinforcem^ent], of their safe though dangerous return
[in the Pa/ragon] into England ; and of their preparation
to come to us [in the Anne].
So that, having these many signs of GOD's favour
and acceptation, we thought it would be great ingratitude,
if secretly we should smoother up the same ; or content
ourselves with private thanksgiving for that which by
private prayer could not be obtained. And therefore
another Solemn Day was set apart and appointed for
that end : wherein we returned glory honour and praise,
with all thankfulness to our good GOD, which d^t so
graciously with us ; whose name (for these, and all other
his mercies towards his Church and chosen ones), by
them, be blessed and praised, now and evermore. Amen.
580 Good News from New England, got. e. wimiow.
In the latter end of July, and the beginning of
Aagost , came two ships with Supply
\reinfoTcerpMfnis\ unto us ; who brought all their
passengers in health, except one who recovered in
[a] short time : who also, notwithstanding all our
wants and hardships, blessed be GOD ! , found not
any one sick person amongst us, at the Plantation.
The bigger ship, called the Awm^ was hired; and
there [at Plymouth] again [was] freighted back : from
whence we* set sail, the 10th of September .
The lesser, called the LiWjt Jaraea, was built for
the Company; at their charge. She was now also
fitted for trade and discovery to the southward of
Cape Cod ; and almost ready to set sail : whom, I pray
GOD to bless, in her good and lawful proceedinga
Thus have I made a true and full Narration of the
state of our Plantation ; and such things as were most
remarkable therein since December 1621. If I have
omitted anything ; it is either through weakness of
memory, or because I judged it [to be] not material
I confess my style [to be] rude ; and [my] unskilfulness
in the task I undertook : being urged thereunto by
opportunity [Iiaving had the chance of obtaining
knowledge on the spot by actual experience], which I
knew to be wanting in others; and but for which, I
would not have undertaken the same. Yet, as it is rude ;
so it is plain, and therefore the easier to be understood.
Wherein others may see that, which we are bound
to acknowledge, viz.. That if ever any people, in these
later Ages, were upheld, by the Providence of GOD,
after a more special manner than others; then we
* Edward Wimslow, the Writer of this Oood News dx., therefore oame
to EngUnd in the Anne : and the utmost period of this narrative is thOTefore
from the 13th December 1621 to the 10th September 1623.â€” E. A.
Got. e. winriow. Good Ncws froTK Ncw England. 581
[were] : and therefore are the more bound to celebrate the
memory of his goodness, with everlasting thankfulness.
For, in these forenamed straits, such was our state,
as, in the morning, we had often our food to seek for
the day ; and yet performed the duties of our Callinga
I mean the other daily labours, to provide for after tima
And though, at some times, in some seasons, at noon,
I have seen men stagger, by reason of faintness for
want of food: yet, ere night, by the good Providence
and blessing of GOD, we have enjoyed such plenty, as
though the windows of heaven had been opened unto us.
How few, weak, and raw [ineocperienced] were we at
our first beginning, and there settling ; and in the midst of
barbarous enemies ! Yet GOD wrought our peace for us.
How often have we been at the pit's brim, and
in danger to be swallowed up : yea not knowing, till
afterward, that we were in peril ? And yet GOD
preserved us. Yea, and from how many [perils] that we
yet know not of ; he, that knoweth all things, can best tell
So that, when I seriously consider of things, I
cannot but think that GOD hath a purpose to give
that land, as an inheritance, to our nation. And great
pity it were, that it should long lie in so desolate a state ;
considering it agreeth so well with the constitution of
our bodies : [it] being both fertile ; and so temperate,
for heat and cold, as, in that respect, one can 8carce[ly]
distinguish New England from Old [England].
[the religion and customs of the INDIANS
NEAR NEW PLYMOUTH.]
A few things I [have] thought meet to add hereunto,
which I have observed amongst the Indians : both
touching their religion, and sundry other customs
582 Good News from New England.
QOT. E. WiaBknr.
And first, whereas myself and others* (in former
Letters, which came to the press \in London] against
my will and knowledge [Winslow being then at New
PlymaiUh]) wrote [see pp. 407-494, 507], That the
Indians aboat us, are a people without any religion,
or knowledge of any God : therein I erred, though we
could then gather no better.
For as they conceive of many Divine Powers : so of
Tb6 maaiitiiff One, whom they call Kiehtan, to be the
jKflU^i th^ principal and maker of all the rest ; and
hftth referenoe to be made by uouc. "He," say they,
Sk^*to"'2i*!Jd "created the heavens, earth, sea, and all
mu; iKtfteto^ creatures contained therein." Also that he
oeedeth in age. made ouc man and one woman ; of whom
IB. w.] they, and we, and all mankind came : but
how they became so far dispersed, that know they not.
At first, they say, there was no Sachem or King but
Kiehtan ; who d welleth above in the heavens : whither all
good men go when they die, to see their friends, and have
their fill of all things. This his habitation lieth far
westward in the heavens, they say.
Thither the bad men go also, and knock at his door :
but he bids them, Qwitcliet, that is to say, "Walk
abroad !, for there is no place for such." So that they
wander in restless want and penury.
Never man saw this Kiehtan. Only old men tell them
of him : and bid them tell their children ; yea, to charge
them, to teach their posterities the same, and lay the
like charge on them. This Power they acknowledge to
be good ; and when they would obtain any great matter,
[they] meet together, and cry unto him : and so likewise.
* WiNBLOW was therefore the principal Writer of what we have here
printed at pp. 407-494.â€” Â£. A.
Got. e. wiBsiow. Good Ncws from New England. 583
for plenty, victory, &(*â€¢, [they] sing, dance, feast, give
thaiJsis; and hang up garlands and other things, in
memory of the same. .
Another Power they worship, whom they call
Hobbamock ; and to the northward of us, HobbamoquL
This, as far as we can conceive, is the Devil. Him, they
call upon, to cure their wounds and diseases. When they
are curable : he persuades them, he sends the same for
some conceived anger against them ; but upon their
calling on him, [he] can and doth help them. But when
they are mortal, and not curable in nature: then he
persuades them, Kiehtan is angry, and sends them, which
none can cure. Insomuch as, in that respect only, they
somewhat doubt whether he be simply .good : and
therefore, in sickness, never call upon him.
This Hobbamock appears in sundry forms unto them :
as in the shape of a man, a deer, a fawn, an eagle, &c. ;
but, most ordinarily, [in that of] a snake. He appears
not to all; but [to] the chiefest and most judicious
amongst them: though all of them strive to attain to
that hellish height of honour.
He appeareth most ordinary \prdvMJ/}nly to], and is
most conversant with, three sorts of people. One, I
confess, I neither know by name, or Office, directly. Of
these they have few ; but esteem highly of them : and
think that no weapon can kill them. Another, they call
by the name of Fowah ; and the third, Pinese.
The Office and duty of the Powah [=Powvx>w=
Medicme Mem] is to be exercised principally in calling
upon the Devil; and curing diseases of the sick or
wounded. The common people join with him in the
Elxercise of Invocation: but do but only assent, or as
we term it, say "Amen", to what he saith; yet s(nnetime[s]
584 Good News from New England.
0Â«T. X. WiDilow.
[they] break out into a short musical note with him. He
Powah is eager, and free in speech ; fierce in countenance ;
and joineth many antic [grotesque] and laborious gestures
with the same, over the party diseased.
If the T^ajcij be wounded, he will also seem to suck
the wound: but if they be curable, as they say, he
toucheth it not; but a Skooke, that is the snake, or
Wobsacuck, that is the eagle, sitteth on his shoulder, and
licks the same. This none sees but the Powah; who
tells them, he doth it himself.
If the psurty be otherwise diseased ; it is accounted
sufficient if, in any shape, he but come into the house :
[they] taking it for an undoubted sign of recovery.
And, as in former Ages, Apollo had his temple at
Delphos ; and Diana [,hers] at Epheeus : so have I
heard them call upon some ; as if they had their residence
in some certain places, or because they appeared in tiioee
forms, in the same.
In the Powah's speech, he promiseth to sacrifiee
many skins of beasts, kettles, hatchets, beads, knives,
and other the best things they have, to the Fiend ; if he
will come to help the party diseased : but whether they
perform it, I know not The other practices I have seen ;
being necessarily called, at some times, to be with their
sick : and have used the best arguments I could make
them understand, against the same.
They have told me, I should see the Devil, at those
times, come to the party; but I assured myself and
them, of the contrary: which so proved. Yea,
themselves have confessed, They never saw him when
any of us were present.
In desperate and extraordinary travail in childbirth ;
when the party cannot be delivered by the ordinary
means : they send for this Powah. Though, ordinarily,
ooY. E. winaiow. Good Ncws from New England. 585
their travail is not so extreme as in our parts of the
world : they being of a more hiardy nature. For, on the
third day after childbirth, I have seen the mother with
the infant, upon a small occasion, in cold weather, in a
boat upon the sea.
Many sacrifices the Indians use ; and, in some cases,
kiU children. It seemeth, they are various in their
religious worship, in a little distance ; and grow more
and more cold in their worship to Kiehtan ; saying, in
[within'] their memory, he was much more called upon.
The Nanohiggansets [Narra^amaetts] exceed in their
blind devotion; and have a great spacious House
wherein only some few (that are, as we may term them.
Priests) come. Thither, at certain known times, resort
all their people; and offer almost all the riches they
have to their gods, as â€¢ kettles, skins, hatchets, beads,
knives, &c.: all which are cast by the Priests into a
great fire that they make in the midst of the house,
and there consumed to ashes. To this offering, every
man bringeth freely: and the more he is known to
bring, hath the better esteem of all men. This, the
other Indians about us, approve of as good ; and wish
their Sachems would appoint the like : and because the
plague hath not reigned in Nanohigganset [JVarragratw^f,
now called Rhode Island] as at other places about them,
they attribute to this custom there used.
The Pineaea are men of great courage and wisdom.
And to these also the Devil appeareth more familiarly
than to others: and, as we conceive, maketh covenant
with them, to preserve them from death by woimds
with arrows, knives, hatchets, &c; or, at least, both
themselves, and especially the people, think themselves
to be freed from the same. And although against their
battles, all of them by painting, disfigure themselves ;
586 Good News from New England, got. e. wnniov.
yet are they known by their coarage and boldness : by
reason whereof, one of them will chase almost a hundred
men, for they account it death for whomsoever [shiUl]
stand in their way.
These are highly esteemed of all sorts of people ; and
are of the Sachem's Council : without whom, they will
not war or undertake any weighty thing. In war, their
Sachems, for their more safety, go in the midst of them.
They are commonly men of greatest stature and
strength ; and such as will endure most hardness : and
yet are more discreet, courteous, and humane in their
carriages [beh^iviour] than any amongst them ; scorning
theft, lying, and the like base dealings; and stand as
much upon their reputation as any menÂ«
And to the end they may have stories of these
[Pineses], they train up the most forward and likeliest
boys, from their childhood, in great hardness ; and make
them abstain from dainty meat : observing divers orders
prescribed, to the end, when they are of age, the Devil
may to appear them. Causing to drink the juice of sentry
[centav/ry] and other bitter herbs, till they cast [vomU];
which they must disgorge into the platter, and drink
again, and again, till, at length, through extraordinary
oppressing of nature, it will seem to be all blood
And this, the boys will do with eagerness, at the first;
and so continue till, by reason of &intnes8, they can
scarcely] stand on their legs : and then must go forth
into Uie cold. Also they beat their shins with sticks;
and cause them to run through bushes, stumps, and
brambles: to make them hardy and acceptable to tiie
Devil, that, in time, he may appear unto them.
Their Sachems cannot be all called Kings; but
only some few of them : to whom the rest resort for
ooT. B. wiMiow. Good News from New England. 587
protecti(Â»i, and pay homage unto them. Neither may
they war without their knowledge and approbation: yet
to be commanded by the greater [ones], as occasion
serveth. Of this [greater] sort, is Massassowat, our
friend; and Conanacus \GANomGV^y of Nanohiggenset