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

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in the mouth with protestation.

2. Ambition in their governors and commanders,
seeking only to make themselves great, and slaves of all
that are under them, to maintain a transitory base honor
in themselves, which God oft punisheth with contempt.

3. The carelessness of those that send over supplies
of men unto them, not caring how they be qualified ;
so that ofttimes they are rather the image of men en-
dued with bestial, yea, diabolical affections, than the
image of God, endued with reason, understanding, and
holiness. I praise God 1 speak not these things expe-
rimentally, by way of complaint of our own condition,
but having great cause on the contrary part to be thank-
ful to God for his mercies towards us ; but rather, if
there be any too desirous of gain, to entreat them to
moderate their affections, and consider that no man ex-
pecteth fruit before the tree be grown ; advising all men,
that as they tender their own welfare, so to make choice
of such to manage and govern their affairs, as are
approved not to be seekers of themselves, but the com-
mon good of all for whom they are employed ; and
beseeching such as have the care of transporting men
for the supply and furnishing of plantations, to be truly
careful in sending such as may further and not hinder
so good an action. There is no godly, honest man but
will be helpful in his kind, and adorn his profession
with an upright life and conversation ; which doctrine
of manners ^ ought first to be preached by giving good

' This sentiment shows how little ticisra, which has often been alleged
obnoxious the first settlers of New against them by persons alike igno-
England were to the charge of fana- rant of their spirit and their history.




example to the poor savage heathens amongst whom
they live. On the contrary part, what great offence
hath been given by many profane men, who being but
seeming Christians, have made Christ and Christianity
stink in the nostrils of the poor infidels, and so laid a
stumbling-block before them. But woe be to them by
whom such offences come.

These things I offer to your Christian considerations^
beseeching you to make a good construction of my
simple meaning, and take in good part this ensuing
Relation, dedicating myself and it evermore unto your
service ; beseeching God to crown our Christian and
faithful endeavours with his blessings temporal and

Yours in this service,

Ever to be commanded,

E. W.^

* Edward Winslow was, ac-
cording to Hutchinson, " of a very-
reputable family and of a very ac-
tive genius" — "a gentleman of
the best family of any of the Ply-
mouth planters, his father, Edward
Winslow, Esq., being a person of
some figure at Droitwich, in Wor-
cestershire," a town seven miles
from Worcester, celebrated for its
salt springs. Edward was the
eldest of eight children, and was
born at Droitwich Oct. 19, 1595, as
appears from the following extract
from the records of St. Peter's
church in that place : " 1595, Oct.
20, baptized Edward, son of Ed-
ward Winslow, born the previous
Friday," which was the 19th. His
mother's name was Magdalen ; her
surname is unknown ; she was
married Nov. 3, 1594. He was
not one of the original band of Pil-
grims who escaped to Holland in
1608, but being on his travels, fell
in with them at Leyden, in 1617,

as we learn from his Brief Narra-
tive, where he speaks of " living
three years under Mr. Robinson's
ministry before we began the work
of plantation in New England."
His name stands the third among
the signers of the Compact on board
the Mayflower ; and his family
consisted at that time of his wife,
Elizabeth, George Soule, and two
others, perhaps his children, Ed-
ward and John, who died young.
As has already been seen, and will
hereafter appear, he was one of the
most energetic and trusted men in
the Colonv- He went to England
in 1623, 1624, 1635 and 1646, as
agent of the Plymouth or Massa-
chusetts colonies; and in 1633 he
was chosen governor, to which
office he was reelected in 1636 and
1644. He did not return to New
England after 1646. In 1655 he
was sent by Cromwell as one of
three commissioners to superintend
the expedition against the Spanish



possessions in the West Indies, and
died at sea near Hispaniola, on the
8th of May of that year, in his 60th
year. An interesting letter, writ-
ten by him at Barbadoes, March
16, and addressed to Secretary
Thurlow, is preserved in Thurlow's
State Papers, iii. 250. Three letters
of his to Gov. Winthrop, one to the
Commissioners of the United Colo-
nies, and another to Thurlow from
Barbadoes, March 30, are contained
in Hutchinson's Collection of Pa-
pers, pp. 60, 110, 153, 228, 26S.

In 1637 he obtained a grant of a
valuable tract of land at Green's
harbour, now Marshfield, to which
he gave the name of Caresrull.
This estate continued in the family
till a few years since, when it came
into possession of Daniel Webster,
the present Secretary of Sta^e.

Edward Winslow's son, Josiah,
born at Plymouth in 1628, was
governor of the Colony from 1673
to his death in 1680. His last sur-
viving male descendant is Mr.
Isaac Winslow, of Boston, who
possesses original portraits of these
his illustrious ancestors.

Edward Winslow had four bro-
thers, all of whom came over to
New England. Their names were
John, born in April, 1597 ; Kenelm,
born April 29, 1599 ; Gilbert, born
in Oct. 1600 ; and Josiah, born in
Feb. 1605. John came in the
Fortune in 1621, married Mary
Chilton, who came in the May-
flower, and removed to Boston,
in 1655, where he died in 1674,
aged 77. He left a numerous pos-
terity, one of whom is Isaac Wins-

low, Esq., of Roxbury, formerly a
merchant in Boston. — Gilbert came
in the Mayflower, and soon left the
Colony, and it is thought went to
Portsmouth, N. H. and died before
1660. — Kenelm and Josiah arrived
at Plymouth before 1632, and both
settled at Marshfield. The former
died whilst on a visit at Salem in
1672, aged 73, and the latter in
1674, aged 69. — Edward Wins-
low's sisters were Eleanor, born in
April, 1598, Elizabeth, born in
March, IGOl, and Magdalen, born
Dec. 26, 1604. Elizabeth died in
Jan. 1604, and neither of the other
two ever came to New England.

For the copy of the record of St.
Peter's Church, Droitwich, contain-
ing the births and baptisms of Ed-
ward Winslow and his sisters and
brothers, excepting Josiah, I am
indebted to Isaac Winslow, Esq., of
Pioxbury, whose son, Isaac, of New
York, visited that place for this
purpose in Aug. 1839. I am also
indebted to Mr. Isaac Winslow, of
Boston, for the loan of the family
bible of the Winslows, containing
on one of its covers an ancient re-
gister, corresponding nearly with
the Droitwich records, with the
addition of the birth and baptism of
Josiah, the youngest child. See
Hutchinson's Mass. i. 187, ii. 457—
460; Belknap's Am. Biog. ii. 281
— 309; Mitchell's Bridgewater, p.
387—390; Deane's Scituate, p.
388—390 ; Thacher's Plymouth, p.
90—103, 139—144; Morton's Me-
morial, pp. 178, 235, 259—261, 382,
415; Hazard's Hist. Coll. i. 326.


Good Reader,

When I first penned this Discourse, I intended it
chiefly for the satisfaction of my private friends ; but
since that time have been persuaded to publish the
same. And the rather, because of a disorderly colony^
that are dispersed, and most of them returned, to the
great prejudice and damage of him ^ that set them
forth ; who, as they were a stain to Old England that
bred them, in respect of their lives and manners amongst
the Indians, so, it is to be feared, will be no less to New
England, in their vile and clamorous reports, because
she would not foster them in their desired idle courses.
I would not be understood to think there were no well
deserving persons amongst them ; for of mine know-
ledge it was a grief to some that they were so yoked ;
whose deserts, as they were then suitable to their hon-
est protestations, so I desire still may be in respect of
their just and true Relations.

Peradventure thou wilt rather marvel that 1 deal so

' At Wessagusset, or Weymouth, ^ Thomas Weston. See note
ef wliich an ample account will be on page 78.
found in the ensuing Narrative.



plainly, than any way doubt of the truth of this my
Relation ; yea, it may be, tax me therewith, as seem-
ing rather to discourage men than any way to further
so noble an action. If any honest mind be discour-
aged, I am sorry. Sure I am I have given no just
cause ; and am so far from being discouraged myself,
as I purpose to return forthwith.' And for other light
and vain persons, if they stumble hereat, I have my
desire, accounting it better for them and us that they
keep where they are, as being unfit and unable to per-
form so great a task.

Some faults have escaped because I could not attend
on the press,^ which 1 pray thee correct, as thou find-
est, and I shall account it as a favor unto me.


E. W.

' Winslow returned ia the ship ^ This serves to confirm the

Charity, in March, 1624. He had statement of numerous typographi-

been absent six months, having cal errors in the previous Narrative,

sailed from Plymouth in the Ann, See note on page 113, and note ^ on

on the 10th of Sept. previous. See page 174.
Bradford, in Prince, p. 221, 225.


At the earnest entreaty of some of my much re-
spected friends, I have added to the former Discourse a
Relation of such things as were credibly reported at
Plymouth, in New England, in September last past,
concerning the present estate of Virginia. And because
men may doubt how we should have intelligence of
their affairs, being we are so far distant, 1 will there-
fore satisfy the doubtful therein. Captain Francis
West ^ being in New England about the latter end of
May past, sailed from thence to Virginia, and returned
in August. In September the same ship and company
being discharged by him at Damarin's Cove,^ came to
New Plymouth, where, upon our earnest inquiry after
the state of Virginia since that bloody slaughter com-
mitted by the Indians upon our friends and country-
men,'' the whole ship's company agreed in this, viz.

' West had a commission as ad- in Prince, p. 218, and in Morton,

miral of New England, to restrain p. 97.

such ships as came to fish and trade ^ The Damariscove islands, five
without license from the New or six in number, lying west by
England Council ; but finding the north from Monhegan, were early-
fishermen stubborn fellows, and too resorted to and occupied as fishing-
strong for him, he sails for Virginia; stages. See Williamson's Maine,
and their owners complaining to i. 56.

Parliament, procured an order that ' On the 22d of March, 1622, at

fishing should be free. Bradford, mid-day, the Indians, by a precon-


that upon all occasions tlioy chased the Indians to and
fro, insomuch as they sued daily unto the English for
peace, who for the present would not admit of any ;
that Sir George Early, ^ &c. was at that present em-
ployed upon service against them ; that amongst many
others, Opachancano,^ the chief emperor, was supposed
to be slain ; his son also was killed at the same time.
And though, by reason of these fore-named broils in
the fore part of the year, the English had undergone
great want of food, yet, through God's mercy, there
never was more show of plenty, having as much and
as good corn on the ground as ever they had. Neither
was the hopes of their tobacco crop inferior to that of
their corn ; so that the planters were never more full
of encouragement ; which I pray God long to continue,
and so to direct both them and us, as his glory may be
the principal aim and end of all our actions, and that
for his mercy's sake. Amen.

certod plan, fell upon the English and Bancroft's United States, i.

settlements in Virginia, and mas- 181 — 185.

sacred 347 persons. A war of ex- ' Ycardley. Sec note ' on p. 70.

termination immediately ensued. ^ Opechancanough, as the name

See Stith's Virginia, p. 208—213, is commonly spelt.



CHAP. The p-ood ship called the Fortune, which, in the

month of November, 1621, (blessed be God,) brought

1622. yg ^ j^g^y supply of thirty-five persons, was not long
departed our coast, ere the great people of Nanohig-
ganset,' which are reported to be many thousands
strong, began to breathe forth many threats against
us, notwithstanding their desired and obtained peace
with us in the foregoing summer ; insomuch as the
common talk of our neighbour Indians on all sides was
of the preparation they made to come against us. In
reason a man w^ould think they should have now more
cause to fear us than before our supply came. But

^ The Narragansetts were a nu- traveller would meet with a dozen

merous and powerful tribe that oc- Indian towns in twenty miles,

cupied nearly the whole of the They were a martial and formida-

present territory of the State of ble race, and were frequently at

Rhode Island, including the islands war with the Pokanokets on the

in Narragansett Bay. They had east, the Pequots on the west, and

escaped the pestilence which had the Massachusetts on the north,

depopulated other parts of New See Gookin in Mass. Hist. Coll. i.

England, and their population at 147; Callender in R, I. Hist. Coll.

this time was estimated at thirty iv. 123; Potter's Early History of

thousand, of whom five thousand Narragansett, ibid. iii. 1, and

were warriors. Roger Williams Hutchinson's Mass. i. 457.
says they were so populous that a


though none of them were present, yet understanding chap.
by others that they neither brought arms, nor other '^-—
provisions with them, but wholly relied on us, it occa- 162 2.
sioned them to slight and brave us with so many threats
as they did.^ At length came one of them to us, who
was sent by Conanacus,^ their chief sachim or king,
accompanied with one Tokamahamon, a friendly In-
dian.^ This messenger inquired for Tisquantum, our
interpreter, who not being at home, seemed rather to
be glad than sorry, and leaving for him a bundle of
new arrows, lapped in a rattlesnake's skin, desired to
depart with all expedition. But our governors not
knowing what to make of this strange carriage, and
comparing it with that we had formerly heard, com-
mitted him to the custody of Captain Standish, hoping
now to know some certainty of that we so often heard,
either by his own relation to us, or to Tisquantum, at

^ " Since the death of so many or obtained ; for I never gat any

Indians, they thought to lord it thing of Connonicus but by gift."

over the rest, conceive we are a In 1636 the Massachusetts Colony

bar in their way, and see Massa- sent to him "a solemn embas-

soit already take shelter under our sage," who " observed in the sa-

wings." Bradford's Hist, quoted chem much state, great command

by Prince, p. 200. See pages 217 over his men, and marvellous wis-

and 219, previous. dom in his answers." Edward

^ Canonicus, the great sachem Johnson, who probably accompa-
of the Narragansetts, though hos- nied the ambassadors, has given in
tile to the Plymouth colonists, his "Wonderworking Providence,"
probably on account of their league b. ii. ch. vi. a very minute account of
with his enemy, Massasoit, show- their reception and entertainment.
ed himself friendly to the first set- He says that " Canonicus was very
tiers of Rhode Island, who planted discreet in his answers." He died
themselves within his territory. June 4th, 1647, according to Win-
Roger Williams says that " when throp, " a very old man." See his
the hearts of my countrymen and Life in Thatcher's Indian Biogra-
friends failed me, the Most High phy, i. 177—209, and in Drake's
stirred up the barbarous heart of Book of the Indians, b. ii. 54—57.
Connonicus to love me as his son See also Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. 215.
to the last gasp. Were it not for 229, xiv. 42— 44, xvii. 75, 76; Sav-
the favor that God gave me with age's Winthrop, i. 192, ii. 308.
'him, none of these parts, no, not ^ See pages 211, 214, 219.
Rhode Island had been purchased



CHAP, his return, desiring myself, having special familiarity

i^^ with the other forenamed Indian, to see if I could

16 22. learn any thing from him; whose answer was spar-

^^' ingly to this effect, that he could not certainly tell us,

but thought they were enemies to us.

That night Captain Standish gave me and another^
charcre of him, and gave us order to use him kindly,
and that he should not want any thing he desired, and
to take all occasions to talk and inquire of the reasons
of those reports we heard, and withal to signify
that upon his true relation he should be sure of his
own freedom. At first fear so possessed him that he
could scarce say any thing ; but in the end became
more familiar, and told us that the messenger which
his master sent in summer to treat of peace, at his
return persuaded him rather to war ; and to the end
he might provoke him thereunto, (as appeared to him
by our reports,) detained many of the things [which]
were sent him by our Governor, scorning the meanness
of them both in respect of what himself had formerly
sent, and also of the greatness of his own person ; so
that he much blamed the former messenger, saying, that
upon the knowledge of this his false carriage, it would
cost him his life, but assured us that upon his relation
of our speech then with him to his master, he would
be friends with us. Of this we informed the Governor
and his Assistant^ and Captain Standish, who, after
consultation, considered him howsoever but in the state
of a messenger ; and it being as well against the law
of arms amongst them as us in Europe to lay violent

' Probably Stephen Hopkins. * j^^^^ Allerton. See note on
See note ^ on page 126, and pages page 195, and page 201.
181, 1S5, and 202. ' ^ "


hands on any such, set him at liberty ; the Governor chap.
giving him order to certify his master that he had — v^
heard of his large and many threatenings, at which he 162 2.
was much offended ; daring him in those respects to
the utmost, if he would not be reconciled to live peace-
ably, as other his neighbours ; manifesting withal (as
ever) his desire of peace, but his fearless resolution, if
he could not so live amongst them. After which he
caused meat to be offered him ; but he refused to eat,
making all speed to return, and giving many thanks
for his liberty, but requesting the other Indian again to
return. The weather being violent, he used many
words to persuade him to stay longer, but could not.
Whereupon he left him, and said he was with his
friends, and would not take a journey in such ex-

After this, when Tisquantum returned, and the ar-
rows were delivered, and the manner of the messen-
ger's carriage related, he signified to the Governor that
to send the rattlesnake's skin in that manner imported
enmity, and that it was no better than a challenge.^
Hereupon, after some deliberation, the Governor stuffed
the skin with powder and shot, and sent it back, re-
turning no less defiance to Conanacus, assuring him if
he had shipping now present, thereby to send his men
to Nanohigganset, (the place of his abode,) they should
not need to come so far by land to us ; yet withal
showing that they should never come unwelcome or

* " There is a remarkable coin- of declaring war by the Aracaunian

cidence in the form of this chal- Indians of South America, was by

lenge with that of the challenge sending from town to town an ar-

given by the Scythian prince to row clenched in a dead man's

Darius. Five arrows made a part hand." Holmes, Annals, i. 177.

of fhe present sent by his herald See Rollin, Anc. Hist. b. vi. s. 4;

to the Persian king. The manner and Mass. Hist. Coll. xv. 69.


CHAP, unlocked for. This message was sent by an Indian,
^^^-^ and delivered in such sort, as it was no small terror to
1^22. this savage king; insomuch as he would not once
touch the powder and shot, or suffer it to stay in his
house or country. Whereupon the messenger refusing
it, another took it up ; and having been posted from
place to place a long time, at length came whole back
Feb. In the mean time, knowing our own weakness, not-
withstanding our high words and lofty looks towards
them, and still lying open to all casualty, having as
yet (under God) no other defence than our arms, we
thought it most needful to impale our town ; which with
all expedition we accomplished in the month of Februa-
ry, and some few days, taking in the top of the hill under
which our town is seated ; making four bulwarks or
jetties without the ordinary circuit of the pale, from
whence we could defend the whole town ; in three
whereof are gates, ^ and the fourth in time to be. This
being done. Captain Standish divided our strength into
four squadrons or companies, appointing whom he
thought most fit to have command of each ; and, at a
general muster or training,^ appointed each his place,
gave each his company, giving them charge, upon
every alarm, to resort to their leaders to their appoint-
ed place, and, in his absence, to be commanded and
directed by them. That done according to his order,
each drew his company to his appointed place for de-
fence, and there together discharged their muskets.
After which they brought their new commanders to

' Bradford adds, "Which are ^ This was the first general

locked every night ; a watch and muster in New England, and the

ward kept in the day." Prince, embryo of our present militia sys-

p. 200. tem.


their houses, where again thej graced them with their chap.
shot, and so departed. ^^^-^

Fearing, also, lest the enemy at anytime should ^ 6 22.
take any advantage by firing our houses, Captain
Standish appointed a certain company, that whenso-
ever they saw or heard fire to be cried in the town,
should only betake themselves to their arms, and should
enclose the house or place so endangered, and stand
aloof on their guard, with their backs towards the fire,
to prevent treachery, if any were in that kind intend-
ed. If the fire were in any of the houses of this guard,
they were then freed from it ; but not otherwise, with-
out special command.

Long before this time we promised the people of Mar.
Massachusets, in the beginning of March to come
unto them, and trade for their furs ; which being then
come, we began to make preparation for that voyage.
In the mean time, an Indian, called Hobbamock, who
still lived in the town, told us that he feared the
Massachusets or Massachuseucks (for so they called
the people of that place,) were joined in confederacy
with the Nanohigganeucks, or people of Nanohig-
ganset, and that they therefore would take this oppor-
tunity to cut off Captain Standish and his company
abroad ; but, howsoever, in the mean time, it was to
be feared that the Nanohigganeucks would assault the
town at home ; giving many reasons for his jealousy,
as also that Tisquantum was in the confederacy, who,
we should find, would use many persuasions to draw
us from our shallops to the Indians' houses, for their
, better advantage. To confirm this his jealousy, he
told us of many secret passages that passed between
him and others, having their meetings ordinarily abroad,


CHAP, in the woods ; but if at home, howsoever, he was ex-

^- — ^ eluded from their secrecy ; saying it was the manner

162 2. of the Indians, when they meant plainly, to deal open-

ly ; but in this his practice there was no show of


Hereupon the Governor, together with his Assistant
and Captain Standish, called together such as by them
were thought most meet for advice in so weighty a
business ; who, after consideration hereof, came to this
resolution ; that as hitherto, upon all occasions be-
tween them and us, we had ever manifested undaunt-
ed courage and resolution, so it would not now stand
with our safety to mew up ourselves in our new-en-
closed town ; partly because our store was almost
empty, and therefore must seek out for our daily food,
without which we could not long subsist ; but espe-

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 25 of 44)