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

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After he had eaten and drunk himself, and given the
rest to his company, he looked upon our messenger's
sword and armor, which he had on, with intimation of
his desire to buy it ; but, on the other side, our mes-
senger showed his unwillingness to part with it. In
the end, he left him in the custody of Quadequina, his
brother, and came over the brook, and some twenty
men following him, leaving all their bows and arrows
behind them. We kept six or seven as hostages for
our messenger. Captain Standish and Master Wil-
liamson ^ met the king at the brook, with half a dozen
musketeers. They saluted him, and he them ; so one

* There was a Thomas Wil- likely that any one of the ship's

Hams, but no person of the name of company would be associated with

Williamson, among the signers of Standish in this duty. Perhaps it

the Compact. It is probably an should read Master Allerton.
error of the press. It is very un-


going over, the one on the one side, and the other on chap.
the other, conducted him to a house then in buikling, — v-^
where we placed a green rug and three or four cush- ^^^^•
ions. Then instantly came our governor, with drum 22.
and trumpet after him, and some few musketeers.
After salutations, our governor kissing his hand, the
king kissed him ; and so they sat down. The governor
called for some strong water, and drunk to him ; and
he drunk a great draught, that made him sweat all the
while after. He called for a little fresh meat, which
the king did eat willingly, and did give his followers.
Then they treated of peace, which was :

1. That neither he nor any of his should injure or
do hurt to any of our people.

2. And if any of his did hurt to any of ours, he should
send the offender, that we might punish him.

3. That if any of our tools were taken away, when
our people were at work, he should cause them to be
restored ; and if ours did any harm to any of his, we
would do the like to them.

4. If any did unjustly war against him, we would
aid him ; if any did war against us, he should aid us.

5. He should send to his neighbour confederates to
certify them of this, that they might not wrong us, but
might be likewise comprised in the conditions of peace.

6. That when their men came to us, they should
leave their bows and arrows behind them, as we should
do our pieces when we came to them.

Lastly, that doing thus, King James would esteem
of him as his friend and ally.'

' " This treaty," says Belknap, estly intended on both sides, was
*' the work of one day, being hon- kept with fidelity as long as Mas-



CHAP. All which the kins seemed to like well, and it was

X. .

applauded of his followers. All the while he sat by

1621. the governor, he trembled for fear. In his person he
22. is a very lusty man, in his best years, an able body,
grave of countenance, and spare of speech ; in his attire
little or nothing differing from the rest of his followers,
only in a great chain of white bone beads about his
neck ; and at it, behind his neck, hangs a little bag of
tobacco, which he drank, ^ and gave us to drink. His
face was painted with a sad red, like murrey, and oiled
both head and face, that he looked greasily. All his
followers likewise were in their faces, in part or in
whole, painted, some black, some red, some yellow,
and some white, some with crosses, and other antic
works ; ^ some had skins on them, and some naked ; all
strong, tall men in appearance.

So after all was done, the governor conducted him
to the brook, and there they embraced each other, and
he departed ; we diligently keeping our hostages. We
expected our messenger's coming ; but anon w^ord was
brought us that Quadcquina was coming, and our mes-
senger was stayed till his return ; who presently came,
and a troop with him. So likewise we entertained
him, and conveyed him to the place prepared. He
was very fearful of our pieces, and made signs of dis-
like, that they should be carried away ; w hereupon

sasoit lived, but was afterwards, in It was accordingly ratified and con-

1675, broken by Philip, his succes- firmed by the government. See

sor." Ara. Biog. ii. 214. In Sept. Morton's Memorial, p. 210.

1639, Massasoit and his eldest son, ' See note ' on page 188.

Mooanam, afterwards called Warn- * This description corresponds to

suita, and in 1662 by the English the appearance of Black Hawk and

named Alexander, came into the Keokuck, and the braves of the

Court at Plymouth and desired that Sacs and Foxes, on their visit to

this ancient league and confederacy Boston in 1837.
Plight stand and remain inviolable.


commandment was given they should be laid away. chap.
He was a very proper, tall young man, of a very — — -
modest and seemly countenance, and he did kindly 1621.
like of our entertainment. So we conveyed him like-
wise, as we did the king ; but divers of their people
stayed still. When he was returned, then they dis-
missed our messenger. Two of his people would have
stayed all night ; but we would not suffer it. One
thing I forgot ; the king had in his bosom, hanging in
a string, a great long knife. He marvelled much at our
trumpet, and some of his men would sound it as well as
they could. Samoset and Squanto, they stayed all night
with us ; and the king and all his men lay all night
in the woods, not above half an English mile from us,
and all their wives and women with them. They said
that within eight or nine days they would come and
set corn on the other side of the brook, and dwell there
all summer ; which is hard by us. That night we kept
good watch ; but there was no appearance of danger.

The next morning, divers of their people came over Mar.
to us, hoping to get some victuals, as we imagined. ^^'
Some of them told us the king would have some of us
come see him. Captain Standish and Isaac Alderton ^

' Generally spelt Allerton. He New England's Memorial, p. 394,
was the fifth signer of the Compact " Like the promontory of Palinurus,
on board the Mayflower. Hutch- it is respectfully regarded as the
inson, in his History of Massachu- memorial of an ancient worthy,
setts, ii. 461, says, " Isaac Allerton and the appellation, perpetuating
or Alderton, the first assistant, was the memory of a man of the great-
employed several times to negoti- est commercial enterprise in those
ate matters in England relative to early times, is most fitly applied. /
their trade, and at length left them ' Gaudet cognomine terra.' " — The
and settled there. His male pos- accurate Hutchinson is for once in
terity settled in Maryland. If they an error. Allerton removed to
be extinct. Point Alderton, at the New Haven in Connecticut, pre-
^trance of Boston harbour, which vious to the last of March, 1647, and
took his name, will probably pre- died there in 1659. We are in-
serve it many ages." Judge Davis debted to the Rev. Leonard Bacon,
adds, in his edition of Morton's of New Haven, for the discovery of


CHAP, went venturously, who were welcomed of him after

-i^ their manner. He gave them three or four ground-nuts

16 21. and some tobacco. We cannot yet conceive but that

2^ 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, whenas they offered them no

harm, as they might easily have done ; and especially

because he hath a potent adversary, the Narowhigan-

sets, that are at war with him, against whom he thinks

we may be some strength to him ; for our pieces are

terrible unto them. This morning they stayed till ten

or eleven of the clock ; and our governor bid them send

the king's kettle, and filled it full of pease, which

pleased them well ; and so they went their way.

Friday was a very fair day. Samoset and Squanto
still remained with us. Squanto went at noon to fish
for eels. At night he came home with as many as he
could well lift in one hand ; which our people were
glad of; they were fat and sweet. He trod them out^
with his feet, and so caught them with his hands,
without any other instrument.

This day we proceeded on with our common busi-
ness, from which we had been so often hindered by
the salvages' coming ; and concluded both of military
orders and of some laws ^ and orders as we thought

this fiict. His conjecture, however, ' Of the mud; probably at Eel

is unfounded that AUerton left no river, so called from the abundance

daughter. It appears from Hutch- of eels which are taken there,

inson, ii. 456, compared with Mor- About 150 barrels are annually

ton's Memorial, p. TiSl, that his caught. See Thacher's Plymouth,

daughter Mary, who married Tho- p. .32i!.

mas Cushman, son of Robert, was ^ In 1636 a code of laws was
alive in 1698, the last survivor of made, with a preamble containing
the passengers in the Mayflower, an account of the settlement of the
See Mass. Hist. Coll. xxvii. 243 Colony. This code was revised in
and 301, and Professor Kingsley's 165S, and again in 1671, and print-
Historical Discourse, p. 92. ed with this title, " The Book of



behooveful for our present estate and condition ; and chap.
did likewise choose ^ our governor for this year, which — -v-^
was Master John Carver, a man well approved 162 1.
amongst us.^

[March 24. Dies Elizabeth, the wife of Mr. Ed- Mar.


ward Winslow. N. B. This month thirteen of our
number die. And in three months past, dies half our
company ; the greatest part in the depth of winter.

the General Laws of the Inhabit-
ants of the Jurisdiction of New
Plymouth." In 16S5, a new digest
of them was published. In 1836
these several codes were collected
and digested into one volume by
William Brigham, Esq. Counsellor
at Law, agreeably to a Resolve of
the Legislature of Massachusetts.
It serves to illustrate the condition
of the Colony at different periods,
the manners, wants, and senti-
ments of our forefathers, the diffi-
culties with which they struggled,
and the remedies provided for their
relief. See Mass. Hist. Coll. xxii.
265, 270.

Gov. Hutchinson, with unac-
countable carelessness, has assert-
ed, ii. 463, that " they never estab-
lished any distinct code or body of
laws ; " grounding his assertion on
a passage in Hubbard's Hist, of N.
England, which implies no such
thing. The quotation, imperfectly
given by Hutchinson, is correctly
as follows : " The laws they in-
tended to be governed by were the
laws of England, the which they
were willing to be subject unto,
though in a foreign land ; and have
since that time continued in that
mind for the general, adding only
some particular municipal laws of
their own, suitable to their consti-
tution, in such cases where the
common laws and statutes of Eng-
land could not well reach, or afford
them help in emergent difficulties
of the place ; possibly on the same

ground that Pacuvius sometimes
advised his neighbours of Capua
not to cashier their old magistrates
till they could agree upon better to
place in their room. So did these
choose to abide by the laws of Eng-
land, till they could be provided of
better." Belknap's Am. Biog. ii.
242; Mass. Hist. Coll. xv. 62.

' "Or rather confirm." Bradford
in Prince, p. 1S8. It will be recol-
lected that Carver had been chosen
governor on the 1 1th of November,
the same day on which the Com-
pact was signed. It was now the
23d of March, and the new year
beginning on the 25th, according
to^the calendar then in use. Carver
was reelected for the ensuing year.
The question has sometimes been
asked, Why was not Brewster cho-
sen ? The answer is given by
Hutchinson, ii. 460. " He was
their ruling elder, which seems to
have been the bar to his being their
governor, civil and ecclesiastical
office in the same person being
then deemed incompatible."

^ Here the daily journal breaks
off, and an interval of three months
occurs before the account of the
expedition to Pokanoket, during
which nothing is recorded. To fill
up this chasm in some measure, I
insert the following particulars,
which Prince extracts from Gov.
Bradford's History, and from his
Reirister, in which he records some
of the first deaths, marriages, and
punishments at Plymouth.



16 2L

CHAP, wanting houses and other comforts, being infected
— v^ with the scurvy and other diseases, which their long
voyage and unaccommodate condition brought upon
them ; so as there die sometimes two or three a day.
Of a hundred persons scarce fifty remain ; the living
scarce able to bury the dead ; the well not sufficient to
tend the sick, there being, in their time of greatest dis-
tress, but six or seven, who spare no pains to help them.
Two of the seven were Mr. Brewster, their reverend
elder, and Mr. Standish, their captain. The like dis-
ease fell also among the sailors, so as almost half
their company also die before they sail.^ But the

' The exact bill of mortality, as
collected by Prince, is as follows.

In December


In January
In February
In March


Total 44

Of these were subscribers to
the Compact,

The wives of Bradford, Stand-
ish, AUerton, and Winslow,

Also, Edward Thomson, a ser-
vant of Mr. White, Jasper
Carver, a son of the go-
vernor, and Solomon Mar-
tin, son of Christopher,

Other women, children and
servants, whose names are
not known,




Before the arrival of the Fortune
in Nov. six more died, including
Carver and his wife, making the
whole number of deaths 50, and
leaving the total number of the sur-
vivors 50. Of those not named
among the survivors, being young
men, women, children, and ser-
vants, there were 31 ; amongst
whom, as appears from the list of

names in the division of the lands
in 1623, were Joseph Rogers, pro-
bably a son of Thomas, Mary Chil-
ton, probably a daughter of James,
Henry Sainson, and Humility
Cooper. See Baylies' Plymouth, i.
70; Belknap's Am. Biog. ii. 207;
Morton's Memorial, p. 375.

Wood, in his New England's
Prospect, ch. 2, says, " whereas
many died at the beginning of the
plantations, it was not because the
country was unhealihful, but be-
cause their bodies were corrupted
with sea-diet, which was naught,
the beef and pork being tainted,
their butter and cheese corrupted,
their fish rotten, and the voyage
long by reason of cross winds, so
that winter approaching before they
could get w^arm houses, and the
searching sharpness of that purer
climate creeping in at the crannies
of their crazed bodies, caused death
and sickness." Dudley, too, in his
letter to the Countess of Lincoln,
in Mass. Hist. Coll. viii. 43, re-
marks, " touching the sickness and
mortality which every first year
hath seized upon us and those of
Plymouth, (of which mortality it
may be said of us almost as of the
Egyptians, that there is not a house
where there is not one dead, and in
some houses many,) the natural



spring advancing, it pleases God the mortality begins chap.
to cease, and the sick and lame recover ; which puts -^v^^
new life into the people, though they had borne their 1621.
sad affliction with as much patience as any could do.

The first offence since our arrival is of John Billlng-
ton, who came on board at London, and is this month
convented before the whole company for his contempt
of the Captain's lawful command with opprobrious
speeches, for which he is adjudged to have his neck
and heels tied together ; but upon humbling himself
and craving pardon, and it being the first offence, he
is forgiven.^

April 5. We despatch the ship with Captain Jones, April
who this day sails from New Plymouth, and May 6
arrives in England.^

While we are busy about our seed, our governor,
Mr. Carver, comes out of the field very sick, complains

causes seem to be, the want of
warm lodging and good diet, to
which Englishmen are habituated
at home. Those of Plymouth,
who landed in Avinter, died of scur-
vy, as did our poorer sort, whose
housing and bedding kept them not
sufficiently warm."

Holmes, in his Annals, i. 168,
says, "tradition gives an affecting
picture of the infant colony during
this critical and distressing period.
The dead were buried on the bank,
at a little distance from the rock
where the fathers landed; and, lest
the Indians should take advantage
of the weak and wretched state of
the English, the graves were lev-
elled, and sown for the purpose of
concealment. This information I
received at Plymouth from the late
Ephraim Spooner, a respectable
inhabitant of that town, and dea-
con of the church, who accompa-
nied me to the spot where those
first interments were made. Hu-

man bones have been washed out
of the bank, within the memory of
the present generation. Deacon
Spooner, then upwards of 70 years
of age, had his information from
Mr. Thomas Faunce, who was a
ruling elder in the first church ia
Plymouth, and was well acquainted
with several of the first settlers.
Elder Faunce knew the rock on
which they first landed ; and hear-
ing that it was covered in the erec-
tion of a wharf, was so afiiected,
that he wept. His tears perhaps
saved it from oblivion. He died
Feb.27, 1746, aged 99." See note'
on page 161.

* See note ' on page 149.

^ It is a circumstance worthy of
notice, that notwithstanding the
hardships, privations, and mortality
among the Pilgrims, not one of
them was induced to abandon the
enterprise and return home in the



CHAP, greatly of his head. Within a few hours his senses
— ^- fail, so as he speaks no more, and in a few days after
^.^2.}- dies, to our great lamentation and heaviness. His

April. ' . *=

care and pains were so great for the common good, as
therewith, it is thought, he oppressed himself and short-
ened his days ; of whose loss we cannot sufficiently
complain ; and his wife deceases about five or six
weeks after.^

' " Before I pass on, I may not
omit to take notice of the sad loss
the church and this infant common-
wealth sustained by the death of Mr.
John Carver, who was one of the
deacons of the church in Leyden,
but now had been and was their
first governor. This worthy gen-
tleman was one of singular piety,
and rare for humility, which ap-
peared, as otherwise, so by his
great condescendency, whenas this
miserable people were in great
sickness. He shunned not to do
very mean services for them, yea,
the meanest of them. He bare a
share likewise of their labor in his
own person, according as their great
necessity required. Who being one
also of a considerable estate, spent
the main part of it in this enter-
prise, and from first to last ap-
proved himself not only as their
agent in the first transacting of
things, but also all along to the pe-
riod of his life, to be a pious, faith-
ful, and very beneficial instrument.
He deceased in the month of April
in the year 1621, and is now reap-
ing the fruit of his labor with the
Lord." MS. Records of Plym. Ch.
vol. i. p. 27. See also Morton's
Memorial, p. 68.

It is supposed that Carver's death
was occasioned by a stroke of the
sun ; and yet, as Baylies observes,
" it is not a little remarkable that
such an effect should have been
produced in this climate in the
month of April." Morton says,
" he was buried in the best man-

ner they could, with as much so-
lemnity as they were in a capacity
to perform, with the discharge of
some volleys of shot of all that bare

Nothing is known of Carver pre-
vious to his appointment in 1617
as one of the agents of the Church
at Leyden. Nor is any thing
known of his immediate descend-
ants. It will be seen by the Com-
pact, p. 121, that there were 8 per-
sons in his family. He lost a son
Dec. 6, and his daughter Elizabeth
married John Howland. See note '^
on page 149. The name of Car-
ver does not appear in the assign-
ment of the lands in 1623, nor in
the division of the cattle in 1627;
nor does it appear at any subse-
quent time in ibe annals of the Col-
ony. "Hischildren attained no civil
honors ; they rose to no distinction ;
but less fortunate than the children
of the other governors, they re-
mained in obscurity, and were un-
noticed by the people." William,
the grandson (or nephew) of the
governor died at Marshfield, Oct.
2, 1760, at the age of 102. Not
long before his death, this grand-
son, with his son, his grandson,
and great grandson, were all at
work together without doors, and
the great great grandson was in the
house at the same time. Many of
the name are still living in various
parts of the Old Colony. The
town of Carver in Plymouth Coun-
ty will help to perpetuate it. Com-
pare Hutchinson's Mass. ii. 456,


Soon after we choose Mr. William Bradford our chap.
governor and Mr. Isaac Allerton his assistant, who are -^ - -^
by renewed elections continued together sundry years, j^^

May 12. The first marriage in this place is of Mr. 12.
Edward VVinslow to Mrs. Susanna White, widow of
Mr. William White.^

June 18. The second offence is the first duel foue;ht June


in New England, upon a challenge at single combat
with sword and dagger, between Edward Doty and
Edward Leister, servants of Mr. Hopkins. Both being
wounded, the one in the hand, the other in the thigh,
they are adjudged by the whole company to have their
head and feet tied together, and so to lie for twenty-
four hours, without meat or drink ; which is begun to
be inflicted, but within an hour, because of their great
pains, at their own and their master's humble request,
uj)on promise of better carriage, they are released by
the governor.]

■with Mitchell's Hist, of Bridge- ' Wm. White died Feb. 21, and

water, pp. 129 and 362 ; and see Edward Winslow's first wife,

Baylies' Plymouth, i. 71, and Bel- March 24.
knap's Am. Biog. ii. 179 — 216.




CHAP. It seemed good to the company, for many consider-
-^v-^ ations, to send some amongst them to Massasoyt, the
1621. greatest commander amongst the savages bordering
upon us ; partly to know where to find them, if occasion
served, as also to see their strength, discover the coun-
try, prevent abuses in their disorderly coming unto us,
make satisfaction for some conceived injuries to be done
on our parts, and to continue the league of peace and
friendship between them and us. For these and the
like ends, it pleased the governor to make choice of
Steven Hopkins and Edward Winsloe to go unto him ;
and having a fit opportunity, by reason of a savage
called Tisquantum, that could speak English, coming

' There can hardly be a doubt The peculiar mode in which cer-

that the narrative of this expedition tain words are spelt corresponds

was written by Winslow. He and with the manner in which they are

Hopkins were the only persons en- spelt in Winslow's Good News

gaged in it, and of course one of from New England. Thus the

them must have written it. That name of their Indian interpreter is

the author was Winslow, and not in both papers invariably called

Hopkins, is rendered highly proba- Tisquantum, whilst Bradford writes

ble by the circumstance that Hop- it Squanto. In both narratives too

kins's name is mentioned first, we read Paomet instead of Pamet.



unto US, with all expedition provided a horseman's chap.
coat of red cotton, and laced witli a slight lace, for a -^v-^
present, that both they and their message might be the I62i,
more acceptable amongst them.

The message was as follows : That forasmuch as
his subjects came often and without fear upon all occa-
sions amongst us, so we were now come unto him ; and
in witness of the love and good-will the English bear
unto him, the governor hath sent him a coat, desiring
that the peace and amity that was between them and
us might be continued ; not that we feared them, but
because we intended not to injure any, desiring to live
peaceably, and as with all men, so especially with
them, our nearest neighbours. But whereas his people
came very often, and very many together unto us,
bringing for the most part their wives and children
with them, they were welcome ; yet we being but
strangers as yet at Patuxet, alias New Plymouth,^ and
not knowing how our corn might prosper, we could no

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 19 of 44)