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condescended, and prepared himself against the time.
And when the time came, the Lord did so help him to
defend the truth and foil his adversary, as he put
him to an apparent nonplus in this great and public
audience. And the like he did two or three times
upon such like occasions ; the which, as it caused
many to praise God that the truth had so famous a '^
victory, so it procured him much honor and respect
from those learned men and others which loved the
truth.^



' Simon Episcopius (Bisschop) live, says, "our pastor, Mr. Robin-

and Joha Polyander were chosen son, in the time when Arminianistn

professors of divinity in the univer- prevailed so much, at the request of

sity at Leyden in 1612. See Brandt, the most orthodox divines, as Poly-

ii. HI ; Limborch's Historia Vitae ander, Festus Hommius, &c. dis-

Simonis Episcopii, p. 41; Calder's puted daily against Episcopius (in

Memoirs of Episcopius, p. 128, and the Academy at Leyden) and oihers,

Bayle, Diet. Hist, et Crit. the grand champions of that error,

^ Winslow, in his Brief Narra- and had as good respect amongst



42



THE DUTCH ESTEEM THE PILGRIMS.



CHAP.
III.



Yea, so far were they from being weary of him and
his people, or desiring their absence, as that it was said
1608 by some, of no mean note, that were it not for giving

to

1620. offence to the State of England,^ they would have
preferred him otherwise, if he would, and allowed
them some public favor. Yea, when there was
speech of their removal into these parts, sundry of
note and eminency of that nation would have had
them come under them ; and for that end made them
large offers.^ •

Now although I might allege many particulars and
examples of the like kind to show the untruth and
unlikelihood of this slander, yet these shall suffice,



them as any of their own divines."
I find, however, no account of this
disputation in Brandt or in any of
the biographers of Episcopius. Yet
John Hoornbeek, a professor at
Leyden, says in his Sumtna Contro-
versiarum Religionis, p. 741, (pub-
lished in 1658,) " Vir ille (Johannes
Robinsonus) gratus nostris, dum
vixit, fuit, et theologis Leidensibus
famiiiaris ac honoratus. Scripsit
prjEterea varia contra Arminianos :
frequens quippe et acer erat Epis-
copii in Academia adversarius et
opponens." Belknap judiciously
remarks concerning this disputa-
tion, " It is usual, on such occa-
sions, for the partisans on both
sides to claim the victory for their
respective champions. AVhether it
were so at this time cannot be de-
termined, as we have no account
of the controversy from the Ar-
minian party." Amer. Biog. ii.
160.

* King James at this time exer-
cised an unwarrantable influence in
the Low Countries, both in civil
and ecclesiastical affairs. He drove
Vorstius from his professorship at



Leyden for his heresies, and labored
to procure his banishment ; and pre-
vented Ames from being elected to
the same office. He seems to have
kept an ambassador at the Hague
chiefly to inform him of the pro-
gress of the theological disputes in
that country. See Winwood's Me-
morials, iii. 293-6, 304, 310, 357.
Sir Dudley Carleton's Letters, pp.
352, 373, 388, 435 ; Brandt, ii. 85,
97.

* Henry Hudson, in the employ-
ment of the Dutch East India Com-
pany, discovered the river called by
his name, in 1609. On this ground
the Dutch claimed the adjoining
territory ; a few huts were erected
at New York and Albany in 1613
and 1615 ; but no colony was settled
in the New Netherlands till 1623.
The Dutch West India Company
was incorporated in 1621 for this
object ; but individuals had for
some years before been meditating
colonization on the Hudson ; and
the offers to the Pilgrims probably
came from them. See Bancroft's
United States, ii. 265, 272, 273,
275, 277.



THE PILGRIMS IN HOLLAND.



43



seeing it was believed of few, being only raised by the
malice of some who labored their disgrace.^



' The English separatists in Hol-
land attracted the notice of Cardinal
Bentivoglio, who was the papal
nuncio in that country from 1607 to
1616, though he misunderstood the
cause of their leaving England,
supposing it to be commerce, and
not religion. He says, " I Puritani
ancora vi son tolerati, che sono i
piu puri e piu rigidi Calvinisti, i
quali non vogliono riconoscere au-
torita alcuna ne' magistrati politici
sopra il governo de' loro ministri
heretici ; e sono quasi tutti de'
Puritani d' Inghilterra, che per
occasion di commercio frequentan



I'Ollanda, e le altre Provincie Unite.
— I Puritani Inglesi sono in Am-
sterdam quasi tutti per I'istesso
rispetto ; e se ne trattengono alcuni
medesimamente per occasione di
mercantia nellacittadi Midelburgo
in Zelanda. Per ogni parte dunque,
e da tutti gli angoli, si puo dire,
delle Provincie Unite, s'odono i
latrati, e gli urlidi tanti infetti loro
seltarii." Relazione di Fiandra,
parte ii. cap. ii. This hardly affords
ground for Bancroft's statement,
that " Robinson's congregation in-
spired the nuncio of Rome with
respect." See his History, i. 302.




1608

to
1620.



CHAPTER IV.

SHOWING THE REASONS AND CAUSES OF THEIR REMOVAL.

^^^P- After they had lived in this city about eleven or
— twelve years, (which is the more observable, being the
^^to^ whole time of that famous truce between that State
162 0. and the Spaniards,)^ and sundry of them were taken
away by death, and many others began to be well
stricken in years, the grave mistress experience having
taught them many things, these prudent governors,
with sundry of the sagest members, began both deeply
1617. to apprehend their present dangers and wisely to fore-
see the future, and think of timely remedy. In the
agitation of their thoughts and much discourse of par-
ticulars hereabout, they began to incline to this conclu-
sion of removal to some other place ; not out of any
newfangledness, or other such like giddy humor, by
which men are many times transported, to their great
hurt and danger, but for sundry weighty and solid



' After the war had been raging Fiandra, parte iii. lib. viii., Opere
for more than thirty years between Storiche, iv. 564 ; Grotius, p. 542,
Spain and the United Provinces, 569 ; Brandt, ii. 54 ; Watson's
by the mediation of Henry IV. of Philip III. p. 275 ; Grattan's Nether-
France and James I. of England, lands, p. 226. This work of Benti-
a truce of twelve years was con- voglio should have been mentioned
eluded on the 9th of April, 1609. in the note on page 25.
See Bentivoglio, Delia Guerra di



THE PILGRIMS PROPOSE TO LEAVE HOLLAND. 45

reasons, the chief of which I will here recite and chap.
briefly touch. v^-v-^

1 . And first, they found and saw by experience the 1617.
hardness of the place and country to be such, as few
in comparison would come to them, and fewer that
would bide it out and continue with them. For many
that came to them, and many more that desired to be
with them, could not endure the great labor and hard
fare, with other inconveniences, which they underwent
and were contented with. But though they loved
their persons, and approved their cause, and honored
their sufferings, yet they left them as it were weeping,
as Orpah did her mother-in-law Naomi, or as those ?"/]'
Romans did Cato in Utica, who desired to be excused
and borne with though they could not all be Catos.^
For many, though they desired to enjoy the ordinances
of God in their purity, and the liberty of the Gospel
with them, yet, alas, they admitted of bondage, with
danger of conscience, rather than to endure these hard-
ships ; yea, some preferred and chose prisons in Eng-
land rather than this liberty in Holland, with these
afflictions. But it was thought that if a better and
easier place of living could be had, it would draw
many and take away these discouragements ; yea,
their pastor would often say that many of those that
both writ and preached how against them, if they
were in a place where they might have liberty, and
live comfortably, they would then practise as they
did.

^ Plutarch says, in his Life of him to trust them and make use of

Cato the Younger, that the three their services ; but as they were no

/hundred Roman citizens who were Catos, and had not Cato's dignity

with him in Utica, intending to of mind, they hoped he would pity

send messengers to Ceesar to inter- their weakness."
cede in their behalf, " implored



46 THE REASONS FOR REMOVAL.

CHAP. 2. They saw that although the people generally

— v-L bore all their difficulties very cheerfully and with a

1617. resolute courage, being in the best of their strength,

yet old age began to come on some of them ; ' and

v'' their great and continual labors, with other crosses and

sorrows, hastened it before the time ; so as it was not

only probably thought, but apparently seen, that within

a few years more they were in danger to scatter by

necessity pressing them, or sink under their burdens,

or both ; and therefore, according to the divine pro-

/r?^- verb, that " a wise man seeth the plague when it

cometh, and hideth himself," so they, like skilful and

beaten soldiers, were fearful either to be entrapped or

surrounded by their enemies, so as they should neither

be able to fight nor fly ; and therefore thought it better

to dislodge betimes to some place of better advantage

and less danger, if any could be found.

3. As necessity was a taskmaster over them, so they
were forced to be such not only to their servants, but
in a sort to their dearest children ; the which, as it did
a little wound the tender hearts of many a loving father
and mother, so it produced also many sad and sorrow-
ful effects. For many of their children, that were of
best dispositions and gracious inclinations, having
learned to bear the yoke in their youth, and willing to
bear part of their parents' burden, were oftentimes
so oppressed with their heavy labors, that although
their minds were free and willing, yet their bodies
bowed under the weight of the same, and became
decrepit in their early youth ; the vigor of nature being



' We know the age of but few Elder Brewster was 56 years old,
of the Pilgrims. Carver was pro- Robinson 45, Bradford 32, and Ed-
bably one of the oldest. In 1620, ward Winslow 26.



THE REASONS FOR REMOVAL. 47

consumed in the very bud, as it were. But that chap.
which was more lamentable, and of all sorrows most .^v-^
heavy to be borne, was that many of their children, by 1 6 1 7.
these occasions, and the great licentiousness of youth
in the country, and the manifold temptations of the
place, were drawn away by evil examples unto extra-
vagant and dangerous courses, getting the reins on
their necks, and departing from their parents. Some
became soldiers, others took them upon far voyages
by sea, and other some worse courses tending to disso-
luteness and the danger of their souls, to the great
grief of their parents and dishonor of God ; so that they
saw their posterity would be in danger to degenerate
and be corrupted.

4. Lastly, (and which was not the least,) a great
hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good
foundation, or at least to make some way thereunto,
for the propagating and advancing the Gospel of the
kingdom of Christ in these remote parts of the world ;
yea, though they should be but as stepping-stones
unto others for performing of so great a work.

These, and some other like reasons,^ moved them to



' Edward Winslow, in his Brief days from their sports or their or-
Narrative, mentions three other dinary work; and the English di-
reasons; first, their desire to live vines took notice of the great scan-
under the protection of England dal which the neglect of the Lord's
and to retain the language and the Day at Dort gave them, exhorting
name of Englishmen ; second, the Synod to interfere with the
their inability to give their child- magistrates for preventing the
ren such an education as they had opening of shops and the exercise
themselves received ; and third, of trade on Sundays. Sir Dudley
their grief at the profanation of Carleton, too, writing from the
the sabbath in Holland. This vi- Hague July 22, 1619, says, " It
elation of the sabbath attracted the falls out in these towns of Holland,
attention of the Synod of Dort, that Sunday, which is elsewhere
^which assembled in 1618. The the day of rest, proves the day of
Dutch ministers acknowledged the labor, for they never knew yet how
great difficulty they met with in to observe the sabbath." See
withdrawing the people on Sun- Brandt, iii. 28, 290 ; Hales's Letters



48



THEY TURN THEIR EYES TO AMERICA.



CHAP, undertake this resolution of their removal, the which

IV.

-^-^ they afterward prosecuted with so great difficulties ;

1617. as by the sequel will appear.

The place they had thoughts on were some of those
unpeopled countries of America, which are fruitful and
fit for habitation, being devoid of all civil inhabitants,
where there are only salvage and brutish people, which
range up and down little otherwise than the wild
beasts. This proposition being made public, and com-
ing to the scanning of all, it raised many variable
opinions amongst men, and caused many fears and
doubts amongst themselves. Some, from their reasons
and hopes conceived, labored to stir up and encourage
the rest to undertake and prosecute the same ; others,
again, out of their fears, objected against it, and



from the Synod of Dort, p. 8,
(Glasgow, 1765) ; Carleton's Let-
ters, p. 380.

These reasons for their removal,
as stated by Bradford and Wins-
low, are sufficient, and are to be
received as the true and sole rea-
sons. Yet Douglass, in his Sum-
mary, i. 369, says, " Being of un-
steady temper, they resolved to re-
move to some remote country in
some wilderness, — as recluses."
Chalmers, in his Political Annals,
p. 85, says, " After twelve years'
unmolested residence they became
unhappy in their situation, because
they foresaw the destruction of
their society in the toleration they
enjoyed ; and determined to seek
new adventures in America. — Con-
tinuing unhappy in a country where
they were obscure and unpersecut-
ed," Sec. Robertson, in his History
of America, book x. says, "They re-
sided at Leyden for several years un-
molested and obscure. But as their
church received no increase, either
by recruits from England or by
proselytes gained in the country,
ihey began to be afraid that all



their high attainments in spiritual
knowledge would be lost, if they
remained longer in a strange land."
And Burke, in his account of the
European Settlements in America,
says that " though in a country of
the greatest religious freedom in
the world, they did not find them-
selves better satisfied than they
had been in England. They were
tolerated indeed, but watched ;
their zeal began to have dangerous
languors for want of opposition ;
and being without power or conse-
quence, they grew tired of the in-
dolent security of their sanctuary."
These sneers are as contemptible
as they are unjust. It is to be re-
gretted that any respectable writer
in this country should have incau-
tiously given currency to such mis-
representations. Chief Justice
Marshall perceived and corrected
the error into which he had been
led by following such unworthy
authorities. Compare his Life of
Washington, i. 90, (first ed.) with
his History of the American Colo-
nies, p. 78.



REASONS AGAINST REMOVAL. 49

sought to divert from it, alleging many things, and chap.
those neither unreasonable nor improbable ; as that it ~^v-w
was a great design, and subject to many inconceivable 1617.
perils and dangers ; as, besides the casualties of the
seas, (which none can be freed from,) the length of the
voyage was such as the weak bodies of men and wo-
men and such other persons, worn out with age and
travail, (as many of them were,) could never be able
to endure ; and yet if they should, the miseries of the
land which they should be exposed unto would be too
hard to be borne, and likely, some or all of them, to
consume and utterly to ruinate them.^ For there they
should be liable to famine, and nakedness, and the
want, in a manner, of all things. The changing of
the air, diet, and drinking of water would infect their
bodies with sore sicknesses ; and all those which
should escape or overcome these difficulties should yet
be in continual danger of the salvage people, who are
cruel, barbarous, and treacherous, being most furious
in their rage and merciless where they overcome, not
being content only to kill and take away life, but de-
light to torment men in most bloody manner that may
be, flaying men alive with the shells of fishes, cutting
off the joints and members of others by piecemeals,
and broiling them on the coals, and causing men to
eat the collops of their flesh in their sight whilst they
live ; with other cruelties horrible to be related. And
surely it could -not be thought but the hearing of these
things could not but move the bowels of men to grate

' "Iramensus ultra, utque sic Italia relicta, Gerraaniam peteret,

/dixerim, adversus oceanus raris ab informem terris, asperam coelo, tris-

orbe nostro navibus aditur ? Quis tern cultu aspectuque, nisi si patria

porro, prfeter periculum horridi et sit?" Tacitus, Germania, ii.
ignoti maris, Asia, aut Africa, aut



50 THE OBJECTIONS ANSWERED.

CHAP, within them, and make the weak to quake and trem-

IV.

— '^- ble. It was further objected, that it would require
1 6 1 7. greater sums of money to furnish such a voyage and
to fit them with necessaries, than their estates would
amount to. And yet they must all as well look to be
seconded with supplies, as presently to be transported.
Also, the like precedents of ill success and lamentable
miseries befallen others in the like designs,^ were easy
to be found and not forgotten to be alleged ; besides
their own experience in their former troubles and hard-
ships in their removal into Holland, and how hard a
thing it was for them to live in that strange place,
although it was a neighbour country, and a civil and
rich commonwealth.

It was answered, that all great and honorable ac-
tions were accompanied with great difficulties, and
must be both enterprised and overcome with answera-
J ble courages. It was granted the dangers w^ere great,
J but not desperate, and the difficulties were many,
\ but not invincible ; for although there were many of
them likely, yet they were not certain. It might be
that some of the things feared might never befall them ;
others, by providence, care, and the use of good means,
might in a great measure be prevented ; and all of
them, through the help of God, by fortitude and pa-
tience, might either be borne or overcome. True it
was that such attempts were not to be made and
undertaken but upon good ground and reason, not
rashly or lightly, as many have done for curiosity or

' The entire failure of the plan- serve to discourage them from emi-

tation at Sagadahoc, near the grating to America. See Gorges's

mouth of the Kennebec, in 1607, Brief Narrative, in Mass. Hist,

which was abandoned in less than Coll. xxvi. 54 — 56; Williamson's

a year, and the slow progress of the Maine, i. 197 — 203; Bancroft, i.

Virginia settlements, might well 124 — 152.



■y



THE PILGRIMS RESOLVE TO EMIGRATE. 51

hope of gain, &c. But their condition was not ordi- chap.
nary. Their ends were good and honorable, their — -^'
calling lawful and urgent, and therefore they might i 6 1 7.
expect a blessing of God in their proceeding ; yea,
although they should lose their lives in this action, yet
they might have comfort in the same ; and their en-
deavours would be honorable. They lived here but as
men in exile and in a poor condition ; and as great
miseries might possibly befall them in this place ; for
the twelve years of truce were now out,^ and there
was nothing but beating of drums and preparing for
war, the events whereof are always uncertain. The
Spaniard might prove as cruel as the salvages of
America, and the famine and pestilence as sore here
as there, and hberty less to look out for remedy.

After many other particular things answered and
alleged on both sides, it was fully concluded by the
major part to put this design in execution, and to pro-
secute it by the best means they could.



* The twelve years' iruce, con- 1621, when the war was renewed,
eluded April 9, 1609, expired in See Note on page 44,



CHAPTER V.

SHOWING WHAT MEANS THEY USED FOR PREPARATION
TO THIS WEIGHTY VOYAGE.




And first, after their humble prayers unto God for
his direction and assistance, and a general conference
16 17. held thereabouts, they consulted what particular place
to pitch upon and prepare for. Some, and none of
the meanest, had thoughts and were earnest for Guia-
na,' or some of those fertile places in those hot cli-



' Sir Walter Raleigh published
in 1596 his " Discovery of Guiana,"
Avhich he calls a mighty, rich and
beautiful empire, directly east from
Peru, towards the sea, lying under
the equinoctial line. Its capital
was " that great and golden city,
which the Spaniards call El Dora-
do, and the natives Manoa, and for
greatness, riches, and excellent seat
it far exceedeth any of the world."
Having, in 1595, sailed up the Orin-
oco 400 miles in quest of it, he says,
" On both sides of this river we
passed the most beautiful country
that ever mine eyes beheld ; plains
of twenty miles in length, the grass
short and green, and in divers parts
groves of trees by themselves, as
if they had been by all the art and
labor of the world so made of pur-
pose; and still as we rowed, the
deer came down feeding by the



water's side, as if they had been
used to a keeper's call. — I never
saw a more beautiful country, nor
more lively prospects, hills so rais-
ed here and there over the valleys,
the river winding into divers
branches, the plains adjoining
without bush or stubble, all fair
green grass, the deer crossing in
every path, the birds towards the
evening singing on every tree with
a thousand several tunes, the air
fresh, with a gentle easterly wind;
and every stone that we stopped to
take up promised either gold or
silver by his complexion. — For
health, good air, pleasure, and
riches, I am resolved it cannot be
equalled by any region either in the
east or west." See Raleigh's
Works, viii. 381, 398, 427, 442,
462. (Oxford ed.)

Chapinan, too, the translator of



THEY TURN THEIR THOUGHTS TO GUIANA. 53

mates. Others were for some parts of Virginia,^ where chap.
the English had aheady made entrance and beginning. -^^^^

Those for Guiana alleged that the country was rich, 1617.
fruitful, and blessed with a perpetual spring and a
flourishing greenness ; where vigorous nature brought
forth all things in abundance and plenty, without any
great labor or art of man ; so as it must needs make the
inhabitants rich, seeing less provision of clothing and
other things would secure them than in more colder and
less fruitful countries must be had. As also that the
Spaniards, having much more than they could possess,
had not yet planted there, nor any where very near the
same.^

But to this it was answered, that out of question
the country was both fruitful and pleasant, and might
yield riches and maintenance to the possessors more
easily than to others ; yet, other things considered, it
would not be so fit. And first, that such hot countries
are subject to grievous diseases, and many noisome
impediments, which other more temperate places are
free from, and would not so well agree with our Eng-

Horaer, in a poem on Guiana, Grahanie's History of the United
written in 1595, thus celebrates States, i. 39.

the country : '^ Although England and Spain

were now at peace, and had been

" Guiana, wliose rich feet are mines of !;old, ^'"^e 1604, and SO continued till
Whose forehead luiocks against the roof of the rupture in 1624, yet the Pll-

„. ^^'"■^' , f • E. , J , , ■ grims, from their long residence in

tetanus on her tiptoe at fair Lnslaiid lookins, tt ii i i. j • i_ -l j i • i

Kissing her hand, i,owii.g her mighty breasi, Holland, had mibibed the national

And every sign of all suhinissioii malting, repugnance of the Dutch tO their

o." oC/'l^rsS'mald'!"'"'''" '"^" Spanish oppressors, a feeling which

was long retained. In a letter

' written by the Plymouth colonists

See Tytler's Life of Raleigh, p. to the Dutch on Hudson's river in

164 ; and Oldys's Life in Raleigh's 1627, they speak of resisting " the



Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 5 of 44)