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Chronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 online

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responds exactly to the num- Samuel Fuller, being the only pas-
ber that arrived at Cape Cod, ac- senger who dies on the voyage."
cording to Gov. Bradford's list, pre- Bradford, in Prince, p. 161. One
served by Prince, p. 172. — Neal, child was born, and called Oceanus,
Hist. N.E. i. 87, Douglass, i. 370, the son of Stephen Hopkins, Brad-
Robertson, History of America, book ford, in Prince, p. 172.




could bear no sail, but were forced to lie at hull many chap.


days together/ after long beating at sea, they fell in — v-^-
with the land called Cape Cod;* the which being 1 6 20.
made, and certainly known to be it, they were not a 9.
little joyful.

' On Nov. 3, about a week before
their arrival at Cape Cod, King
James had signed the patent for
the incorporation of the adventu-
rers to the Northern Colony of
Virginia, or New England. The
Pilgrims, however, did not hear of
this till the arrival of the next ship,
the Fortune, in Nov. 1621. See
Note on page 80, and Prince, p.

* Cape Cod, the most remarka-
ble feature in the configuration of
the New England coast, and the
first spot in it ever pressed by the
footsteps of Englishmen, was dis-
covered May 15, 1602, by Bartholo-
mew Gosnold, who gave it the
name on account of the abundance
of cod which he caught in its neigh-
bourhood. John Brereton, who was
one of the companions of Gosnold,
and wrote a Journal of the voyage,
says, they first made land May 14,
in lat. 43°, and " about three of the
clock the same day in the after-
noon we weighed, and standing
southerly off into the sea the rest
of that day and the night following,
with a fresh gale of wind, in the
morning we found ourselves em-
bayed with a mighty headland. —
At length we perceived this head-
land to be parcel of the main. —
In five or six hours we pestered
our ship so with codfish, that we
threw numbers of them overboard
again. — We sailed round about
this headland almost all the points
of the compass, the shore very bold,
the land somewhat low, full of
goodly woods, but in some places
plain." Henry Hudson, Aus:. 3,
J609, saw land in 41° 43', and^sail-
ing north, anchored at the north
end of this headland. Five of his
men went on shore and " found

goodly grapes and rose trees, and
brought them aboard with them."
Supposing it to be an island, and
that he was its first discoverer, he
called it New Holland. In a Dutch
map, printed at Amsterdam in
1659, by Nicholas John Vischer,
the whole Cape is called Nieuw
Hollant, and the northern extremi-
ty is called Staaten Hoeck, State
Point, or Witte Hoeck, White
Point, probably from the white
sand hills. The French called it,
for the same reason. Cap Blanc.
Capt. John Smith, who surveyed
the coast in 1614, says, "Cape
Cod is a headland of high hills of
sand, overgrown with shrubby
pines, hurts, and such trash, but an
excellent harbour for all weathers.
This Cape is made by the main sea,
on the one side, and a great bay on
the other, in form of a sickle. On it
doth inhabit the people of Pawmet."
Charles, Prince of Wales, altered
its name to Cape James, in honor
of his father. But the original
name could not be so easily sup-
planted; "a name," says Cotton
Mather, "which I suppose it will
never lose till shoals of codfish be
seen swimming on its highest
hills." See Purchas's Pilgrims, iv.
1647; iii. 587; De Laet, Indise
Occidentalis Descriptio, p. 70;
Moulton's N. Y. p. 206; N. Y.
Hist. Coll. i. 121 ; Mass. Hist. Coll.
xxvi. 119; Mather's Magnalia, i.
43. For the use of Brereton's
Journal I am indebted to the kind-
ness of Mr. Aspinwall, U. S. Con-
sul at London, who, at my request,
sent over a copy of this very rare
work to the Mass. Hist. Society.
It will appear in the next volume
of their Collections.



CHAP. After some little deliberation had amongst them-

VIII. . . ^

^-— selves with the master of the ship, they tacked about
162 0. to stand to the southward to find some place about

Nov. . . . .

9. Hudson's river (according to their first intentions) for
their habitations.^ But they had not sailed that course
above half a day, before they fell amongst perilous

' There can be no doubt that the
Pilgrims intended to settle in the
neighbourhood of Hudson's river.
This is evident from the early nar-
ratives written by Bradford and
Winslow. As their patent from
the Virginia Company did not au-
thorize them to plant themselves
north of the 40th degree, they
probably designed to settle south of
the Hudson, somewhere in New
Jersey. But head winds, the shoals
and breakers of Cape Cod, and the
lateness of the season, conspired to
prevent their original purpose. As
Belknap says, ii. 188, " having been
so long at sea, the sight of any land
was welcome to women and chil-
dren ; the new danger was formi-
dable ; and the eagerness of the
passengers to be set on shore was

Morton, in his Memorial, gives
another account of the matter. He
says, p. 34, " Their putting into
this place, (Cape Cod harbour,) was
partly by reason of a storm, by
which they were forced in, but
more especially by the fraudulency
and contrivance of Mr. Jones, the
master of the ship; for their inten-
tion, as is before noted, and his
engagement, was to Hudson's river.
But some of the Dutch havingnotice
of their intentions, and having
thoughts about the same time of
erecting a plantation there likewise,
they fraudulently hired the said
Jones, by delays while they were in
England, and now under pretence of
the danger of the shoals, &:c. to dis-
appoint them in their going thither."
He adds, in a note, " Of this plot
betwixt the Dutch and Mr. Jones I
have had late and certain intelli-
gence." But the contemporary

narratives, written by Bradford and
Winslow, say not a word about this
treachery of the captain ; nor does
Bradford's History, as quoted by
Prince, p. 162, who is therefore
obliged to derive this statement
from Morton. Morton is the first
to mention it, and he does it in a
book printed in 1669, half a century
after the event is said to have oc-
curred. He says, it is true, that he
"had late and certain intelligence
of this plot." If it had been early
intelligence, it would have been
more certain. But Morton was
only eleven years old when he
came over with his father to Ply-
mouth in 1623 ; and in 1669, when
he published his book, all the first
comers were dead, who could have
furnished credible information on
this point. They had died, and
"given no sign" — not even lisped
a syllable of complaint against the
master of the Mayflower. It was
too late then to get certain intelli-
gence of a fact that had slumbered
for fifty years, and which, if well
founded, would from the first land-
ing have been notorious, and had a
place in every account that was
written of the Colony. The silence
of Bradford and Winslow seems
conclusive on the point. — Yet this
story has been repeated from Morton
in an endless series by Hubbard,
Mather, Prince, Neal, Hutchinson,
Belknap, Holmes, Baylies, and
Grahame, down to the present
time. Moulton, in his unfinished
but valuable History of New York,
p. 355, was the first to question it.
Bancroft, i. 309, relieves the captain
from the charge of " treachery," but
subjects him to another charge
of " ignorance and self-will," for



shoals and breakers,^ and they were so far entangled
therewith as they conceived themselves in great dan-
ger ; and the wind shrinking upon them withal, they
resolved to bear up again for the Cape aforesaid. The
next day, by God's providence, they got into the Cape
harbour.] ^

Being now passed the vast ocean and a sea of trou-
bles, before their preparation unto further proceedings,
as to seek out a place for habitation, &c. they fell down
upon their knees and blessed the Lord, the God of



162 0.


which there seems as little ground
as for the other. — I know not why
Oldmixon, i. 29, and Grahame, i.
190, call Jones a Dutchman.

' The Mayflower probably made
the Cape towards its northern ex-
tremity. The perilous shoals and
breakers, among which she became
entangled after sailing above half a
day south, (or south-south-west, as
the contemporary account states, in
Bradford's Journal,) were undoubt-
edly those which lie off the south-
eastern extremity of the Cape, near
Monamoy Point. The Pollock Rip,
the most considerable of these,
corresponds to the " roaring "
shoals mentioned by Bradford, in
Prince, p. 162. She may also have
encountered the Great and Little
Round Shoals. It is not likely that
she sailed far enough south to fall
in with the Bass Rip or the Great
Rip. Before she could reach these,
the current and the flood tide pro-
bably drove her in between Mona-
moy Point and Nantucket. Had
the wind permitted her to pursue a
southern course, she might, in a few
hours, have found an opening, and
passed safely to the westward.

Gabriel Archer, in his Relation
of Gosnold's voyage, in Purchas,
iv. 164S, says, "We trended the
coast southerly; twelve leagues
from Cape Cod (Provincetown) we
descried a point, with some breach
(breaker) a good distance off, and

keeping our luff to double it, we
came on the sudden into shoal
water ; yet well quitted ourselves
thereof. This breach we called
Tucker's Terror, upon his express-
ed fear. The point we named
Point Care." Tucker's Terror is
no doubt the Pollock Rip, and
Point Care is Monamoy Point.
Robert Juet, Hudson's mate, in his
account of their voyage, after
stating that they first made the
land at the south-eastern point of
the Cape, says, " We found a flood
come from the south-east, and an
ebb from the north-west, with a
very strong stream, and a great
hurling and noises." This too was
the Pollock Rip. Smith says,
"Towards the south and south-
west of this Cape is found a long
and dangerous shoal of sands and
rocks ; but so far as I encircled it,
I found thirty fathom water aboard
the shore, which makes me think
there is a channel about this shoal."
This also must have been the Pol-
lock Rip. See Purchas, iii. 587;
N. Y. Hist. Coll. i. 121; Mass.
Hist. Coll. xxvi. 119.

^ "Let us go up in imagination
to yonder hill, and look out upon
the November scene. That single
dark speck, just discernible through
the perspective glass, on the waste
of waters, is the fated vessel. The
storm moans through her tattered
canvass, as she creeps, almost sink-



CHAP, heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furi-

VIII. . '^ -

-^v-^ ous ocean, and delivered them from all perils and mis-
1620. eries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and

Nov. ' ^^

Stable earth, their proper element. And no marvel if
they were thus Joyful, seeing wise Seneca was so af-
fected with sailing a few miles on the coast of his own
Italy, as he affirms he had rather remain twenty years
in his way by land, than pass by sea to any place in a
short time ; so tedious and dreadful was the same to

But here I cannot but stay and make a pause, and
stand half amazed at these poor people's condition ;
and so I think will the reader too, when he well con-
siders the same. For having passed through many

ing, to her anchorage in Province-
town harbour ; and there she lies
with all her treasures, not of silver
and gold, (for of these she has
none,) but of courage, of patience,
of zeal, of high spiritual daring.
So often as I dwell in imagination
on this scene ; when I consider the
condition of the Mayflower, utterly
incapable as she was of living
through another gale ; when I sur-
vey the terrible front presented by
our coast to the navigator, who,
unacquainted with its channels and
roadsteads, should approach it in
the stormy season, I dare not call
it a mere piece of good fortune,
that the general north and south
wall of the shore of New England
•should he broken by this extraordi-
nary projection of the Cape, run-
ning out into the ocean a hundred
miles, as if on purpose to receive
and encircle the precious vessel.
As I now see her, freighted with
the destinies of a continent, barely
escaped from the perils of the deep,
approaching the shore precisely
where the broad sweep of this most
remarkable headland presents al-
most the only point at which for
hundreds of miles she could with

any ease have made a harbour, and
this perhaps the very best on the
seaboard, I feel ray spirit raised
above the sphere of mere natural
agencies. I see the mountains of
New England rising from their
rocky thrones. They rush forward
into the ocean, settling down as
they advance ; and there they range
themselves a mighty bulwark
around the heaven directed vessel.
Yes, the everlasting God himself
stretches out the arm of his mercy
and his power in substantial mani-
festation, and gathers the meek
company of his worshippers as in
the hollow of his hand." Edward
Everett's Address at the Cape Cod
Centennial Celebration at Barnsta-
ble, Sept. 3, 1S39, p. 45.

' Seneca says, in his 53d Epistle,
that he set out to sail only from
Parthenope (Naples) to Puteoli,
(Pozzuoli,) and to get thither the
sooner, launched out into the deep
in a direct course to Nesis, (Nisida,)
without coasting along the shore.
This beautiful letter, which is well
worth reading, may be found in
Thomas Morrell's translation of the
Epistles, i. 184, (London, 1786, 2
vols. 4to.)


troubles, both before and upon the voyage, as aforesaid, chap.
they had now no friends to welcome them, nor inns to — v—
entertain and refresh them, no houses, much less towns, i 6 20.
to repair unto to seek for succour.^ It is recorded in
Scripture as a mercy to the Apostle and his shipwrecked
company, that " the barbarians showed them no small xxvulo
kindness" in refreshing them. But these salvage bar-
barians, 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 that country, know
them to be sharp and violent, and subject to violent
storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much
more to search out unknown coasts. Besides, what
could they see but a hideous 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

* " The nearest plantation to their houses and provide for the

them is a French one at Port Royal, winter. But being obliged to put

who have another at Canada ; and back twice, and then meeting with

the only English ones are at Vir- head winds, and having a boisterous

ginia, Bermudas, and Newfound- passage of sixty-four days, they

land; the nearest of these about lost two months, and arrived just

five hundred miles off, and every as the winter set in. The winter

one incapable of helping them." was more severe than they had been

Prince, p. 180. accustomed to, but it was unusually

^ Grahame says, i. 191, that " the mild for this country and climate,
intense severity of their first winter Dudley says, in his Letter to the
in America painfully convinced the Countess of Lincoln, written in
settlers that a more unfavorable 1631, that the Plymouth colonists
season of the year could not have "were favored with a calm winter,
been selected for the plantation of such as was never seen here since."
their colony." But it was not the See Mass. Hist. Coll. viii. 37.
season which they selected. They Wood, too, who was here in 163.3,
sailed from England at a very and published his New England's
proper and favorable time, in the Prospect in 1639, says, p. 5, (ed.
beginning of August, and might 1764,) that " the year of New Ply-
reasonably expect to arrive on the mouth men's arrival was no winter
American coast by the middle of in comparison."
September, in ample season to build



CHAP, from this wilderness a more goodly country ^ to feed


— their hopes. For which way soever they turned their
162 0. eves (save upward to the heavens) they could have

Nov. i."^ . c

little solace or content in respect of any outward
objects. For summer being done, all things stand for
them to look upon with a weather-beaten face ; and
the whole country being full of woods and thickets,
represented a wild and salvage hue. If they looked
behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they
had passed, and 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 succour 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 as he would
not stir from thence until a safe harbour was discovered
by them, where they would be and he might go without
danger ; and that victuals consumed apace, but he must
and would keep sufficient for himself and comjDany for
their return. Yea, it was muttered by some, that if
they got not a place in time, they would turn them
and their goods on shore, and leave them. Let it be
also considered what weak hopes of supply and succour
they left behind them, that might bear up their minds
in this sad condition and trials they were under, and
they could not but be very small. It is true, indeed,
the affections and love of their brethren at Leyden
were cordial and entire ; but they had little power to
help them, or themselves ; and how the case stood

' In the MS. the word is com- passage into his Memorial, p. 35,
fany^ manifestly an error of the reads it country, as in the text,
pen. Morton, copying the same


between them and the merchants at their comino; chap.

away, hath aheady been declared. What cotdd now -^— -

sustain them but the spirit of God and his p;race ?^ ^^^^^•

^ . ° Nov.

May not and ought not the children of these fathers
rightly say, " Our fathers were Englishmen, which
came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish
in this wilderness. But they cried unto the Lord, and ^^f.-
he heard their voice, and looked on their adversity." ^' ''
And let them therefore praise the Lord because he is c^f'i%
good, and his mercies endure forever. Yea, let them '""'
which have been thus redeemed of the Lord show
how he hath delivered them from the hand of the
oppressor. When they wandered in the desert wilder-
ness, out of the way, and found no city to dwell in,
both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed
in them. Let them confess before the Lord his loving
kindness and his wonderful works before the children
of men.^

' " Divers attempts had been from the discovery of the northern

made to settle this rough and north- continent by the Cabots, without

em country ; first by the French, any successful attempt. After re-

who would fain account it a part of peated attempts had failed, it seems

Canada ; and then by the English ; less probable that any should under-

and both from mere secular views, take in such an affair, than it would

But such a train of crosses accom- have been if no attempt had been

panied the designs of both these made." Hutchinson's Mass. i. 3.
nations, that they seem to give it - Milton, in his treatise on Refor-

over as not worth the planting: mation in England, written in 1641,

till a pious people of England, not thus alludes to the persecution and

allowed to worship their Maker exile of our New England fathers,

according to his institutions only, " What numbers of faithful and

withoutthemixtureof human cere- freeborn Englishmen and good

monies, are spirited to attempt the Christians, have been constrained

settlement, that they might enjoy to forsake their dearest home, their

a worship purely scriptural, and friends and kindred, whom nothing

leave the same to their posterity." hut the wide ocean, and the savage

Prince, p. 98. deserts of America, could hide and

"Whether Britain would have shelter from the fury of the bishops.

bad any colonies in America, if O if we could but see the shape of

religion had not been the grand in- our dear mother England, as poets

ducement, is doubtful. One hun- are wont to give a personal form to

dred and twenty years had passed, what they please, how would she





Of the troubles that befell them after their arrival,
with sundry other particulars concerning their transact-
1620. ings with the merchant adventurers, and many other
passages not so pertinent to this present discourse, I
shall refer the reader to New EnglmuVs Memorial^
and unto Mr. Bradford's book, where they are at large
penned to his plentiful satisfaction.^

appear, think ye, but in a mourning
weed, with ashes upon her head,
and tears abundantly flowing from
her eyes, to behold so many of her
children exposed at once, and thrust
from things of dearest necessity,
because their conscience could not
assent to things which the bishops
thought indifferent ? Let the astrol-
oger be dismayed at the portentous
blaze of comets, and impressions
in the air, as foretelling troubles
and changes to states ; t shall be-
lieve there cannot be a more ill-
boding sign to a nation, (God turn
the omen from us !) than when the
inhabitants, to avoid insufferable

grievances at home, are enforced
by heaps to forsake their native
country." Works, i. 37, (Sym-
mons's ed.)

' Here we take leave of Morton's
copy of Gov. Bradford's History.
As the rest of it is lost, except the
few scattered passages preserved
by Prince and Hutchinson, and as
we have a Journal of " the troubles
that befell them after their arrival,"
written at the time, and chiefly, as
I conceive, by Gov. Bradford, and
much more copious and minute
than the account in Morton's Me-
morial, the narrative will proceed
in the words of that Journal.



" Relation or lournall of the beginning and proceedings of the
English Plantation settled at Plimoth in New-Exgland, by
certaine English Adventurers both Merchants and others.

With their difficult passage, their safe arrivall, their ioyfuU building
of, and comfortable planting themselves in the now well defended
Towne of New Plimoth.

As also a Relation of Foure severall discoveries since made by
some of the same English Planters there resident.

I. In a iourney to Packcmokick, the habitation of the Indians greatest
King Massasoyt ; as also their message, the answer and enter-
tainment they had of him.

II. In a voyage made by ten of them to the Kingdome of Nawset,
to seeke a boy that had lost himselfe in the woods : with such
accidents as befell them in that voyage.

III. In their iourney to the Kingdome of Namascliet, in defence of
their greatest King Massasoyt, against the NarroMggansets, and
to revenge the supposed death of their Interpreter Tisquaittum.

IIII. Their voyage to the Massachusetts, and their entertainment

With an answer to all such objections as are any way made against

the lawfulnesse of English plantations in those parts.
London. Printed for lohn Bellamie, and are to be sold at his shop

at the two Greyhounds in Cornhill neere the Roy all Exchange.



Courteous Reader,

Be entreated to make a favorable construction of my
forwardness in publishino; these ensuing discourses.
The desire oT carrying the Gospel of Christ into those
foreign parts, amongst those people that as yet have
had no knowledge nor taste of God, as also to procure
unto themselves and others a quiet and comfortable
habitation, were, amongst other things, the induce-
ments unto these undertakers of the then hopeful, and
now experimentally known good enterprise for planta-
tion in New England, to set afoot and prosecute the
same. And though it fared with them, as it is common
to the most actions of this nature, that the first attempts
prove difficult, as the sequel more at large expresseth,
yet it hath pleased God, even beyond our expectation
in so short a time, to give hope of letting some of them
see (though some he hath taken out of this vale of
tears) ^ some grounds of hope of the accomplishment
of both those ends by them at first propounded.

' The writer studiously suppres- thiin half of the first Colonists had

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 10 of 44)