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

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March. Those with an obelisk (t)
affixed, IS, brought their wives
with them. Three, Samuel Ful-
ler, Richard Warren, and Francis
Cook, left their wives for the pre-
sent either in Holland or England.
Some left behind them part, and
others all their children, who after-
wards came over. John Hovvland
was of Carver's family, George
Soule of Edward Winslow's, and
Dotey and Leister of Hopkins's
family. Martin, Warren, Hopkins,
Billington, Dotey, Leister, and pro-
bably some others, joined them in
England. John Allerton and Eng-
lish were seamen. The list includes
the child that was born at sea, and
the servant who died; the latter
ought not to have been counted.
The number //fu/o- at the signing of
the compact was therefore only 100.
" So there were just 101, (no, 100,)

who sailed from Plymouth in Eng-
land, and just as many arrived in
Cape Cod harbour. And this is
the solitary number, who, for an
undefiled conscience and the love
of pure Christianity, first left their
native and pleasant land, and en-
countered all the toils and hazards
of the tumultuous ocean, in search
of some uncultivated region in
North Virginia, where they might
quietly enjoy their religious liber-
ties and transmit them to posteri-
ty." Prince, p. 173.

" These were the founders of the
Colony of New Plymouth. The
settlement of this colony occasioned
the settlement of Massachusetts
Bay, which was the source of all
the other colonies of New Eng-
and. Virginia was in a dying
state, and seemed to revive and
flourish from the example of New
England. I am not preserving
from oblivion the names of heroes
whose chief merit is the overthrow
of cities, provinces, and empires, but
the names of the founders of a
flourishing" town and colony, if not
of the whole Brilirsh empire in
America." Hutchinson, ii. 462.

The same day "they choose Mr.



They found it to be a small neck of land : ^ on this chap.


side where we lay, is the bay,^ and the further side ~^ - ^
the sea ; ^ the ground or earth sand hills, much like 1620.

. ^ Nov.

the downs'* in Holland, but much better ; the crust of ii.
the earth, a spit's depth,' excellent black earth ; all

John Carver, a pious and well ap-
proved gentleman, their governor
for the first year." Bradford, in
Prince, p. 162.

' The men appear to have been
landed on Long Point, which tra-
dition says has been diminished in
its lenjith, breadth, and height. F.

* By the bay is intended the har-
bour. See p. 120. Plymouth har-
bour is aflerwards called a bay;
and the same name is given to the
harbour of Cummaquid, or Barn-
stable. F.

^ That is, Barnstable bay. F.

* Gosnold, on landing at Cape
Cod, in 1602, found " the sand by
the shore somewhat deep." Smith,
too, calls it "a headland of high
hills of sand." The downs, or
dunes, along the coast of Holland,
are formed by the wind blowing
up the sands of the sea-shore. To
check the dispersion of the sand,
the dunes are sowed regularly every
year with a species of reed grass
[arundo arenaria.) In a short time
the roots spread and combine so as
to hold the sand fast together. Lin-
naeus, in his journey to the islands
of Oeland and Gothland, in the
Baltic, pointed out to the natives
the advantage of planting the sea-
reed grass to arrest the sand and
form soil on the shores, to which it
is extremely well adapted by the
length of its roots. A similar
practice has within a few years
been adopted at Cape Cod, under
the direction and at the expense of
the general government. Large
tracts of white sand at Province-
tewn have been planted with the
beach grass (psamm^^ arenaria.)
The grass, during 'he spring and
summer, grows aKout two feet and

a half. If surrounded by naked
beach, the storms of autumn and
winter heap up the sand on all
sides, and cause it to rise nearly to
the top of the plant. In the ensu-
ing spring the grass sprouts anew ;
is again covered with sand in the
winter; and thus a hill or ridge
continues to ascend as long as there
is a sufficient base to support it, or
till the surrounding sand, being
also covered with beach grass, will
no longer yield to the force of the
wind. See Purchas, iv. 1648 ;
Mass. Hist. Coll. xxvi. 119, viii.
110; Bigelow's Plants of Boston
and its Vicinity, p. 40; Pulleney's
General View of the Writings of
Linnaeus, p. 35.

^ The depth of a spade. F. "A
spade's depth thrown out in dig-
ging is still called a spit." Rich-
ardson's Diet. art. Spade.

Some persons may smile at read-
ing of " a spade's depth of excellent
black earth" at the extremity of
Cape Cod. And yet, even now,
after the woods are cut down, and
free scope is given to the winds lo
scatter the sands over the vegetable
mould of centuries, there is, at
High Head, in Truro, Avithin four
miles of Long Point, where the
Mayflower was anchored, an " ex-
cellent black earth " more than a
foot in depth, which for years,
without manure, has produced 50
to 60 bushels of corn to the acre.
It is based on an old Indian clam-
bed, in which I observed the shells
of the oyster, the scallop, the
quahaug, the sea clam, and the
common clam. This rich soil is
on the property of James Small,
whose hospitable dwelling is near
the Highland Light.




CHAP, wooded ^ with oaks, pines, sassafras, juniper, birch,
^^-^-^ hollj, vines, some ash, wahiut;^ the wood for the most
1^2 0. pgi't open and without underwood,^ fit either to go or
ride in. At night our people returned, but found not
anj person, nor hal)itation ; and laded their boat with
juniper,^ which smelled very sweet and strong, and of
which we burnt the most part of the time we lay

' See note^ on page 118.

* There are three kinds of oak
on the Cipe, the red oak, {quercus
ruhra,) the hi ick oak, {quercus finc-
loria,) and the white oak, {quercus
alba.) The frames of the oldest
buildings there are made of white
oak, which is one of the most du-
rable kinds of timber. The pine
is the pitch pine, {■pinus rigida);
the birch is the white birch, (/>e/(//a
pnpulrfoUa) ; the holly is the Amer-
ican holly, an evergreen, {ilex opa-
ca) ; the ash is the white ash,
{fra.riiius Americana,) and the wal-
nut is the while walnut, {juglans

^ " The salvages are accustomed
to set fire to the country in all
places where they come, and to
burn it twice a year, viz. at the
spring, and the fall of the leaf.
The reason that moves them to do
so is because it would otherwise be
so overgrown with underweeds,
that it would be all a coppice wood,
and the people would not be able
in any wise to pass through the
country out of a beaten path. This
custom of firing the country is the
means lo make it passable, and by
that means the trees grow here and
there, as in our pirks, and makes
the country very iieautiful and com-
modious." Morion's New English
Canaan, ch. 18. (printed in 1632.
Morton was here in 1622 and 1625.)
" Wiiereas 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 In-
dians to burn the woods in No-
vember, when the grass is wither-
ed, and leaves dried, it consumes
all the underwood and rubbish,
which otherwise would overgrow
the country, making it impassable,
and spoil their much atTected hunt-
ing. So that by this means, in
these places where the Indians in-
habit, there is scarce a bush or
bramble, or any cumbersome un-
derwood to be seen in the more
champaisn ground." Wood's New
England's Prospect, ch. 5. (Wood
was here in 163,3.) The woods in
some parts of Wellfleet and East-
ham are now entirely free from
underwood, as in the time of the

4 The juniper was no doubt the
red cedar, or savin, {junipenis Vir-
giniana,) an evergreen which is still
common on the Cape. It resembles
very much the juniprrus sabina or
common savin of Europe, which
bears the junijier berries. The
taste of the leaves in the two spe-
cies is nearly the same. The wood
of the red cedar is odorous, and the
leaves, when bruised, emit a resi-
nous, aromatic odor. It burns
freely on account of its resinous
qualities. Morton says, " Of cedar
there is abundance ; and this wood
was such as Solomon used for the
buildin!! of that glorious temple of
Hierusalem. This wood cuts red."


Monday,^ the 13th of November, we unshipped our chap.
shallop, and drew her on land, to mend and repair her, -— ^
having been forced to cut her down in bestowing her 16 20.

. ^ Nov.

betwixt the decks, and she was much opened with the 13.
people's lying in her ; which kept us long there, for it
was sixteen or seventeen days before the carpenter had
finished her. Our people went on shore to refresh
themselves, and our women to wash, as they had great
need. But whilst we lay thus still, hoping our shallop
would be ready in five or six days, at the furthest,
(but our carpenter made slow work of it, so that) some
of our people, impatient of delay, desired for our better
furtherance to travel by land into the country, (which
was not without appearance of danger, not having the
shallop with them, nor means to carry provision but on
their backs,) to see whether it might be fit for us to seat
in or no ; and the rather, because, as we sailed into
the harbour, there seemed to be a river ^ opening itself
into the main land. The willingness of the persons
was liked, but the thing itself, in regard to the danger,
was rather permitted than approved ; and so with cau-
tions, directions, and instructions, sixteen men were
set out, with every man his musket,^ sword, and cors-
let, under the conduct of Captain Miles Standish ; *

See Michaux's Sylva Americana, Nov. 16, and from their "lighting

iii. 221, and Bigelow's Medical all their matches," Nov. 30. Even

Botany, iii. 49. as late as 16S7 matcli-locks were

' It would seem that the day be- used instead of flint-locks in the

fore, being Sunday, they remained regiments of the Duke of Bruns-

quietly on board. wick. See Beckmann's History of

* Pamet river. Winslow spells Inventions, iii. 440.
it Paomet, and Capt. Smith Paw- '' Miles Standish appears now

met. It is pronounced as if spelt in these chronicles for the first

Barmit. time, as the military leader of the

' Their guns were matchlocks, Pilgrims. His name has not been

as appears from their "having five mentioned in Gov. Bradford's His-

or six inches of match burning," tory. He took no part in the ne-




. unto whom was adjoined, for counsel and advice,
William Bradford,' Stephen Hopkins,^ and Edward

gotiations with the Virginia Com-
pany or with the merchant adven-
turers. He was not one of Robin-
son's church before it left England ;
but serving in the Low Countries,
in the forces sent over by Queen
Elizabeth to aid the Dutch against
the Spaniards, he fell in, as Wins-
low did, with Robinson and his
congregation, liked them and their
principles, and though not a mem-
ber of their church, either volunta-
rily, or at their request, embarked
with them for America. Morton,
p. 262, says that he was *' a gentle-
man, born in Lancashire, and was
heir apparent unto a great estate of
lands and livings, surreptitiously
detained from him, his great grand-
father being a second or younger
brother from ihe house of Stand-
ish." This is not improbable. There
are at this time in England two
ancient families of the name, one
of Standish Hall, and the other of
Duxbury Park, both in Lancashire,
who trace their descent from a
common ancestor, Ralph de Stand-
ish, living in 122L There seems
always to have been a military spi-
rit in the family. Froissart, relat-
ing in his Chronicles the memora-
ble meeting between Richard IL
and Wat Tyler, says that after the
rebel was struck from his horse
by William Walworth, "then a
squyer of the kynges alyted, called
John Standysshe, and he drewe out
his sworde, and put into Wat
Tyler's belye, and so he dyed."
For this act Standish was knight-
ed. In 1415, another Sir John
Standish fought at the battle of
Agincourt. From his giving the
name of Duxbury to the town where
he settled, near Plymouth, and call-
ing his eldest son Alexander, (a
common name in the Standish
family,) I have no doubt that
Miles was a scion from this an-
cient and warlike stuck, which he

did not dishonor. Whilst writing
this note, 1 observe in the journals
of the day, the death (Dec. 7, 1840,
at Cadiz,) of " Frank Hall Stand-
ish, Esq. of Duxbury Hall, Lancas-
hire." — The Plymouth soldier was
a man of small stature, but of such
an active and daring spirit that he
spread terror through all the Indian
tribes from Massachusetts Bay to
Martha's Vineyard, and from Cape
Cod harbour to Narraganset. In
the autumn of 1625 he went to
England, as an agent of the colony,
and returned in the spring of 1626.
In 1630 he removed to Duxbury,
which was undoubtedly so called
after the family seat of his ances-
tors. He had six children, and four
sons, Alexander, Miles, Josiah, and
Charles, survived him, whose nu-
merous descendants are to be found
in several towns in Plymouth coun-
ty, in Connecticut, and in the State
ofNevvYork. He lived and died at
the foot of Captain's Hill, in Dux-
bury, so called after him, a monu-
mental landmark that will hand
his name down to the latest times.
He was an assistant in 1633, and
was repeatedly reelected to this
olfice. He died in 1656, but his
age is unknown. Smith, in his
Hist, of N. Jersey, p. 18, commits
a singular error in saying that
" about the year 1620 the Plymouth
Company sent a fresh recruit from
England under the command of
Capt. Standish." See Belknap
Am. Biog. ii. 310 ; Mass. Hist.
Coll.xviii. 121,xx.58 — 61; Hutch-
inson's Mass. ii. 461; Mitchell's
Hist, of Bridgewater, p. 307;
Burke's Hist, of the Commoners
of Great Britain, ii. 64, and iv. 642.

' Winslow not being one of the
party, I consider Bradford the sole
author of this part of the Journal.

^ Stephen Hopkins, whose name
stands the 14th in order among the
signers of the Compact, with the



Wednesday, the 15tli of November, they were set chap


ashore ; ^ and v.'hen they had ordered themselves in
the order of a single file, and marched about the space 16 20.
of a mile by the sea, they espied five or six people, 15.
with a dog, coming towards them, who were savages ;
who, when they saw them, ran into the wood, and
whistled the dog after them, &c. First they supposed
them to be Master Jones, the master, and some of his
men, for they were ashore and knew of their coming ;
but after they knew them to be Indians, they marched
after them into the woods, lest other of the Indians
should lie in ambush. But when the Indians saw our
men following them, they ran away with might and
main ; and our men turned out of the wood after them,
for it was the way they intended to go, but they could
not come near them. They followed them that night
about ten miles ^ by the trace of their footings, and

honorable prefix of Mr., seems to
have been a person of some consid-
eration amon§ the Pilgrims. From
the same list it appears that he
brought two servants or laborers
with him, Dotey and Leister. It
has already been mentioned, p. 100,
that he had a son born on the voy-
age, named Oceanus. His wife's
name was Elizabeth, and his three
other children were Giles, Caleb,
and Deborah. We are told further
on in this Journal, under Dec. 6,
that he joined the emigrants in Eng-
land, not having been one of Robin-
son's congregation at Leyden. He
went on two at least of the three
excursions from Cape Cod harbour,
and on the present occasion in the
capacity of a counsellor. He was
generally deputed to accompany
Standish, and from this it may be
inferred that be was somewhat of a
military man, at least more so than
the others ; or it may be, his cool-
ness was deemed important to tem-

per the ardor of the captain. Thus
he was adjoined to Standish Feb.
17, 1621, to meet the two Indians
who showed themselves on Wat-
son's hill; and March 16, Samoset
was lodged for safe keeping at his
house. He was also Winslow's
companion on his visit to Massas-
soit at Polcanoket in July. He was
an assistant to the governor of Ply-
mouth from 1633 to 1636, and seems
to have been much employed in
public affairs. Nothing more is
known about him, except that he
was alive in 1643. See Mass.
Hist. Coll. xiii. 184.

' The men were probably set
ashore at Stevens's Point, at the
head or western extremity of the

^ After keeping along the shore
for a mile, they turned in to the
left after the Indians, and probably
pursued them circuitously among
the hills back of the village. As
they were travelling on foot ia


CHAP, saw how they had come the same way they went, and

IX. . " . .

— ^— at a turning perceived how they ran up a hill,' to see

1620. whether they followed them. At length night came

upon them, and they were constrained to take up their

lodging.^ So they set forth three sentinels ; and the

rest, some kindled a fire, and others fetched wood, and

there held our^ rendezvous that nio;ht.

No^- In the morning;, so soon as we could see the trace,

16. ^' . .'

we proceeded on our journey, and had the track until

we had compassed the head of a long creek ; ^ and
there they took into another wood, and we after them,
supposing to find some of their dwellings. But we
marched through boughs and bushes, and under hills
and valleys,^ which tore our very armor 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; for we brought neither
beer nor water with us, and our victuals was only
biscuit and Holland cheese, and a little bottle of aqua-
vitae, so as we were sore athirst. About ten o'clock

the sands, the distance is probably Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. 198; viii.

overrated. 111.

' Perhaps Snow's hill ; or, it may ^ The writer of course was one

be, Mt. Gilboa or Mt. Ararat. of the parly — undoubtedly Brad-

* Probably near Stout's Creek, ford,

opposite Beach Point. Stout's '' East Harbour Creek, a distance

creek is a small branch of East of about three miles and a half. F.

Harbour creek. Many years ago The entrance into East Harbour is

there was a body of salt inarsh on at the extremity of Beach Point,

it, and it then deserved the name It is very shoal, both at its entrance

of a creek. But the marsh was and within it, having only one to

long since destroyed ; and the creek three feet at ordinary low water,

scarcely exists, appearing only like No other use is made of it as a

a small depression in the sand, and harbour than to moor or lay up the

being entirely dry at half tide. sn)all craft belonging to this place,

One of the life-boats provided by in the winter season, to protect

the Humane Society of Massachu- them from the ice. See Major

setts, at the expense of the State, is Graham's Report, p. 13.

stationed on the outer shore of the * Excepting the trees and bushes,

Cape, opposite Stout's creek. Gra- which have disappeared, ihis is aa

ham puts the creek down on his exact description of that part of

chart, but omits the name. See Truro, called East Harbour. F.



we came into a deep valley/ full of brush, wood-gaile,- chap.

and long grass, through which we found little paths or — -^

tracks: and there we saw a deer, and found springs 1^20.

^ ^ Nov.
of fresh water,^ of which we were heartily glad, and 16.

sat us down and drunk our first New England water,

with as much delight as ever we drunk drink in all

our lives.*

When we had refreshed ourselves, we directed our

course full south,^ that we might come to the shore,

which within a short while after we did, and there

' In this valley is the small vil-
lage of East harbour. It is going
to decay, and probably will not
long exist. F- — There are now four
or five houses remaining. An old
gentleman, resident in the valley,
told me on the spot in Aug. 1840,
that he recollected when there were
seventeen houses there.

" The wood-gaile was probahly
what is called the sweet gale, or
Dutch myrtle, {myrica gale.) See
Bigelow's Plants of Boston and its
vicinity, p. 393, (3d ed.)

^ In the midst of the valley
above mentioned is a swamp called
Dyer's swamp. Around it was for-
merly a number of springs of fresh
water ; and a few still remain,
though probably before another cen-
tury is closed, they will be choked
with sand, as many of them already
have been. F. — There is now in
the valley a hollow overgrown with
bushes ; but in Aug. 1840, 1 could
find no springs round it, and the
oldest inhabitant recollected none.

* The water and air of New
England have always been justly
famous. Brereton, Avho accom-
panied Gosnold in 1602, speaks of
the "many springs of excellent
sweet water" which he found on
the Elizabeth islands. Capt. John
Smith, in his Description of New
England says, " the waters are
most pure, proceeding from the
entrails of rocky mountains." Hig-
ginson, in his New England's


Plantation, remarks that " the
country is full of dainty springs,"
and that " a sup of New England's
air is better than a whole draught
of Old England's ale." Morton,
in his New English Canaan, ch. 8,
says " and for the water, therein it
excelleth Canaan by much ; for the
land is so apt for fountains, a man
cannot dig amiss. Therefore if the
Abrahams and Lots of our times
come thither, there needs be no con-
tention for wells. In the delicacy
of waters, and the conveniency of
them, Canaan came not near this
country." Wood, in his New Eng-
land's Prospect, ch. 5, says " the
country is as well watered as any
land under the sun ; every family
or every two families having a
spring of sweet water betwixt
them. It is thought there can be
no better water in the world. These
springs be not only within land, but
likewise bordering on the sea-coast,
so that sometimes the tides overflow
some of them." It is well known
that the first settlement of Boston
was determined by its abundance
of " sweet and pleasant springs."
See Mass. Hist. Coll. xxvi. 120,
i. 120, 121, xii. 88, xx. 173, 175;
Snow's History of Boston, p. 31. —
The water of Truro is still excel-
lent, whilst that of Provincetown
is poor.

^ The course from Dyer's swamp
to the Pond is south. F.



CHAP, made a fire, that they in the ship might see where we

— v^ were, as we had direction ; and so marched on towards

1620. this supposed river. And as we went in another val-

16. ley, we found a fine clear pond of fresh water, being

about a musket shot broad, and twice as long.^ There

grew also many small vines, and fowl and deer^ haunted

there. There grew much sassafras.^ From thence

we went on, and found much plain ground,^ about fifty

acres, fit for the plough, and some signs where the

■ Pond village, which was for-
merly the principal village in Truro,
but of late years exceeded by Pamet,
takes its name from this pond. It
is situated about a mile south of the
village of East harbour. The high
and steep banks on the bay are here
intersected by a valley which runs
directly from the shore, and soon
divides itself into two branches.
In this valley the houses stand, and
are defended from the winds, whilst
the entrance of it affords a conve-
nient landing place. The pond
begins near the western shore, and
extends east. About a mile east of
it, on the Clay Pounds, stands the
Highland or Cape Cod light-house.
The pond is not now more than
half-a-musket shot broad, though it
is quite as long as it is here repre-
sented, lu Aug. 1840, I found the
upper or eastern part of it over-
grown with flags and bushes. It
was no doubt formerly much larger,
and has been gradually filling up.
Many of our swamps were origi-
nally ponds of water.

^ Deer were seen near this pond
by persons living at the beginning
of the present century. F.

^ This is the third time the sas-
safras has been mentioned. On the
first discovery of America, great
medicinal virtues were ascribed to
the bark and roots of this tree, and

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