D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) online

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wanting on our parts (the same God assisting us) to return all
answerable fruit and respect unto the labor of your lovo be-
stowed upon us.

" We have with the best speed and consideration withal that
we cuuld set duwn our requests in writiug subscribed as you
willed with the hands of the greatest part of our congregation,
and have sent the same unto the Council by our agent, a deacon
of our Church, John Carver, unto whom we have also requested
a gentleman of our company to adjoin himself, to the care and
discretion of which two we do refor tho prosecuting of the busi-
ness. Now we persuade ourselves, right worshipful, that we
need nut to provoke your godly and loving mind to any further
or more tender care of us, since you have pleased so far to in-
terest us in yourself that under God, above all persons and
things in the world, we rely upon you, expecting the care of
your love, the counsel of your wisdom, and the help and coun-
tenance of your authority.

" Notwithstanding, for your eneouragement in tho work so
far as probabilities may lead, we will not forbear to mention
these instances of inducement:

" 1st. We verily bcliove and trust the Lord is with us unto
whom and whoso service we have given ourselves in many
trials, and that he will graciously prosper our endeavors ac-
cording to the simplicity of our hearts therein.

" 2d. We aro well weaned from the delicate milk of our
mother country, and inured to the difficulties of a strange and
hard land, which yet in great part we have by putience over-

"3d. The people are, for the body of them, industrious and
frugal ; we think we may safely say as any company uf people
in the world.

" 4th. We are knit together as a body in a more strict and
sacred bond and covenant of the Lord, of tho violation where-
of we make great conscience, and by virtue whereof we do hold
ourselves strictly tied to all care of each other's good, and of
the whole by every one, and so mutually.

" oth and lastly. It is not with us as with other men, whom
small things can discourage or small discontentments cause to
wish themselves at home again. AVe know our entertainment
in England and Holland.

" We shall much prejudice both our arts and means by re-
moval. If we should be driven to return, we should not hope
to recover our present helps and comforts, neither, indeed, look
even to attain the like in any other place during our lives,
which are now drawing towards their periods.

" Theso motives we have been bold to tender unto you, which
you in your wisdom may also impart to any other our worship-
ful friends of the Council with you, of all whose Godly dispo-
sition and loving towards our despised persons we are most
glad, and shall not fail by all good means to continue and in-
crease the same.

" We shall not be further troublesome, but do with the re-
newed remembrance of our humblo duties to your worship (so
far as in modesty we may be bold), to any other of our well-
willers of tho Council with you we take our leaves, committing
your persons and counsels to the guidance and protection of the

"Your much bounden in all duty,

" John Robinson,
"William Brewster."

This letter was undoubtedly carried to England by
John Carver, who thus embarked on a second mission
the month after his return, and it is probable that
Cushman was again his companion. It was reported
by them that certain members of the Council desired
further explanations, and on the 27th of the follow-
ing January, Robinson and Brewster addrc.-sed a
letter to Sir John Wolstenholme, a member of the
Virginia Company, containing the two following
statements :

" 1st. Touching the ecclesiastical ministry — namely, of pas-
tors for teaching, elders for ruling, and deacons for distributing
the church's contribution, and the Lord's Supper, we do wholly
aud in all points agree with the French Reformed Churches,
according to their publie confession uf faith.

" The oath of supremacy we shall willingly take if it be re-
quired of us, and that convenient satisfaction be not given by
our taking the oath of allegiance.

"2d. Touching the ecclesiastical ministry as above, wo agree
with the French Reformed Churches according to their public
confession of Faith, though somo small differences be to bo found
in our practices not at all in the substance of the things, but
only in some accidental circumstances.

" As, first, their ministers do pray with their heads covered,
ours uncovered.

" We choose none for governing elders but such as arc able to
teach, which ability they do not require.

" Their elders and deacons are annual, or at most for two or
three years, ours are perpetual.

" Our elders do administer their office in admonitions, and
excommunications for public seanduls publicly and before the



congregation ; thuira more privately, and in their consis-

" We do administer bnptUui only to auch infants as whereof
the one parent at the lean is of soure church which some of
their churches do not observe, though in it our practice accords
with their public confession and the judgment of the most
learned amongst them. Other differences worthy mentioning
we know none in these points.

'• Thcu ahout the oath as in the former.

" Jons Robinson,

" William Buewsteu."

After the receipt of this letter iu England, Carver
and Cushman found the chief obstacle in the way of
their negotiations to lie in the disturbed state of the
affairs of the Virginia Cotupauy. Cushman, who
was sent to England a third time with Brewster,
wrote on the Sth of May, 1619, "that the main
hindrance in our Virginia business is the dissensions
and factions, as they term it, amongst the counsel
and company of Virginia, which are such as that ever
since we came up no business could by them be dis-

On the last embassy, Cushman and Brewster were
commissioned, iu the language of Bradford, " to end
with the Virginia Compauy as well as they could,
and to procure a patent with as good and ample con-
ditions as they might by any good means obtain, as
also to treat and conclude with such merchants and
other friends as had manifested their forwardness to
provoke to and adventure in this voyage. For which
end they had instructions given them upon what con-
ditions they should proceed with them, or else to con-
clude nothing without further advice." The affairs
of the Virginia Compauy appear to have been soon
settled, and on the 9th of June, 1G19, a patent was
issued. Bradford says, " By the advice of friends
this patent was not taken iu the name of any of their
own, but in the name of John Wincob (a religious
gentleman then belonging to the countess of Lincoln)
who intended to go with them. But God so disposed
as he never went, nor they ever made use of this
patent which had cost them so much labor and charge
as by the sequel will appear. The patent being sent
over for them to view and consider, as also the pas-
sages about the propositions between them and such
merchants and friends as should either go on adven-
ture with them, and especially with those on whom
they did chiefly depend for shipping and means,
whose proffers had been large, they were requested
to fit and prepare themselves with all speed. A right
emblem it may be of the uncertain things of this
world ; then when men have toiled themselves for
them they vanish into smoke." As this patent was
never used, it is probable that it was returned to the
Virginia Company. Its terms and conditions and

the extent of its grauts are unknown. Ou its accept-
ance by the Pilgrims at Leydeu immediate further
steps were taken towards their departure. The ques-
tion was taken who should go and who should re-
main. The minor part only offered to go, and they
desired Brewster, their ruling elder, " to go with them
officially and act as their spiritual guide, he having
himself resolved with them to enter upon the great
work." It was agreed that the '• minor part should
be an absolute church as well as the part which re-
mained, and that if any of those remaining should
come to them, or if any of themselves should return,
they should still be reputed as members still with

On the 2d of February, 1G19, another patent was
issued by the Virginia Company iu the name of John
Pierce and his associates, which probably included a
grant of lands in the neighborhood of New Jersey.
The terms and conditions of this patent are also un-
known, but as the Pilgrims finally settled outside of
its limits and within the jurisdiction of the Northern
Virginia Company, it was probably surrendered. The
records of the Southern Virginia Company state,
under date of July 16, 1621, that : ' it was moved,
seeing that Mr. John Pierce had taken a patent of
Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and therefore seated his com-
pany within the limits of the northern plantations as
by some was supposed, whereby he seemed to relin-
quish the benefit of the patent he took of this com-
pauy, that therefore the said patent might be called
in unless it might appear he would plant within the
limits of the Southern colony." About the time of
the issue of this patent negotiations were pending
between Amsterdam merchants and Robinson, with a
view to the removal of the Pilgrims to New Amster-
dam, now New York. This fact is important as tend-
ing to disprove the charge that the captain of the
" Mayflower" was bribed by the Dutch to keep his
ship and its company away from their projected set-
tlement. While, however, these negotiations were
pending, Bradford says that " a.s Thomas Weston, a
merchant of London, came to Leyden, having much
conference with Mr. Robinson and others of the chief
of them, and persuaded them to go ou and not to
meddle with the Dutch or too much depeud on the
Virginia Company; for if that failed, if they came to
resolution, he and such merchants as were his friends
would set them forth ; and they should make ready,
and neither fear want of shipping uor money ; for
what they wanted should be provided, and not so
much for himself as for the satisfying of such friends
as he should procure to adveuture iu this business,
they were to draw such articles of agreement and



make such propositions as might the butter induce his
friends to veature." Robinson says, iu a letter to
Carver, dated the 10th of June following, "You
know right well we depended on Mr. Weston alone,
and upon such means as he would procure for this
common business; and when we had in hand another
course with the Dutchmen, broke it off at his motion,
and upon the conditions by him shortly after pro-
pounded." These extracts are important as showing
that the negotiations with the Amsterdam merchants
were terminated by the Pilgrims and not by the

In accordance with the proposition of Mr. Weston,
articles of agreement were drawn up and approved
by him and the Pilgrims. Carver and Cushman were
at once sent again to England to complete the arrange-
ments for the voyage, being charged " not to exceed
their commission, and to proceed according to their
former articles." The articles finally concluded with
the adventurers were as follows :

" 1. The adventurers and planters do agree that every person
that gocth, being aged sixteen years and upward, bo rated at
ten pounds, and ten pounds to be accounted a single share.

"2. That be tliat goeth in person, and furnisbeth himself out
with ten pounds either in money or other provisions, be ac-
counted as having twenty pounds in stock, and in the division
shall receive a double share.

" 3. The persons transported and the adventurers shall con-
tinue their joint-stock and partnership together the space of
seven years (except soino unexpected impediments do cause the
whole company to agree otherwise), during which time all prof-
its and benefits that are got by trade, trathc, tracking, working,
fishing, or any other means, of any other person or persons,
shall remain still in the common stock until the division.

"4. That at their coining there they choose out such a num-
ber of lit persons as may furnish them ships and boats for fishing
upon the sea ; employing tho rest in their several faculties upon
the land, as building houses, tilling and planting the ground,
and making such commodities as shall bo must useful for the

" 6. That at the end of the seven years the capital and profits,
viz., the houses, lands, goods, aud chattels, be equally divided
among tho adventurers and planters; which done, every man
shall bo free from either of them of auy debt or detriment con-
cerning the adventure.

" 0. Whosoever eometb to the colony hereafter, or putteth any
into the stock, shall at the end of the seven years be allowed
proportionally to the time of his so doing.

44 7. lie that shall carry his wife and children, or servants,
shall he allowed for every person now aged sixteen year? and up-
ward, a si ogle share in the division ; or, if be provide these neces-
saries, a double sharo; or, if they be between ten years old and
sixteen, then two of them to be reckoned for a person both in
transportation and division.

''S. That such children as now go and are under the age of
ten years, bavo no other 3hare in the division, but fifty acres of
unmanured land.

"9. That such persons as die before the seven years be expired,
their executors to have their part or share at tho division pro-
portionally to the time of their life in the colony.

" 10. That all such persons as are of this colony are to have

their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisious, out of the common
stock and goods of the said colony."

The original articles drawn up in Leyden and there
approved, provided " that the houses and lands im-
proved, especially gardens and home-plots, should
remain undivided wholly to the planters at the seven
years' end, and that they should have had two days in
a week for their own private employment for the more
comfort of themselves and their families."

The changes in the articles were agreed to by
Cushman iu England to meet the demand of the
merchants, and though extremely distasteful to the
Pilgrims at Leyden, came to their knowledge too late
to be rejected, or to cause any change iu their plans.
It is evident from the correspondence between them
and Cushman which ensued, that some irritation of
feeling was excited by his action, and it is not un-
likely that the disagreement between them was the
cause of his determination at the last moment, after
the disaster which happened to the " Speedwell," to
abandon the voyage. By the 1st of June, 1U20,
everything was in readiness for the final departure.
Those who had determined on the voyage had sold
their estates, putting their mouey into the common
stock, and on the 21st of July they " left the goodly
and pleasant city which had been their restiug-place
near twelve years ; but they knew they were pilgrims,
aud looked not much on those things, but lift up their
eyes to the heaveus, their dearest country, aud quieted
their spirits." On or about the 22d of July they set
sail from Delfthaveu iu the " Speedwell," of sixty
tons, which their agents had sent over from England
to convey them to Southampton, there to meet her
consort, the " Mayflower." On the 5th of August
both the " Mayflower" aud the " Speedwell," with one
hundred and twenty passengers, some of whom were
for the first time joining the company, sailed from
Southampton. On the 13th they put into Dart-
mouth, with the " Speedwell" leaking ; on the 21st,
after necessary repairs, sailed again. The " Speed-
well" being still found unseaworthy, both ships came
to an anchor at Plymouth, where she was abandoned,
and eighteen passengers, including Robert Cushmau,
gave up the voyage. On the 6th of September the
"Mayflower" took her final departure from Plymouth,
with one hundred and two passengers. Of the inci-
dents of the voyage little is known. So many pas-
sengers crowded in a vessel of one huudred and eighty
tons of course suffered serious discomfort, but only a
single death, that of William Button, occurred during
the passage. It is recorded that one of the beams
became sprung, which was restored to its place by an
iron screw brought by one of the passengers from


Holland ; that duriug a severe storm John Howlaud
was washed from the deck, and by seizing the topsail
halliards was rescued from drowning; aud that a son
of Stephen Hopkins was born, called Oceanus, because
born at sea. Ou the 11th of November, after a pas-
sage of sixty-six days, the " Mayflower" dropped an-
chor in what is now Provincetown harbor. On the
9th the land of Cape Cod had been sighted, and, as
Bradford says, " after some deliberation had amongst
themselves and with the master of the ship, they
tacked about, and resolved to stand for the southward,
the wind and weather being fair, to find some place
about Hudson's River for their habitation. But after
they had sailed the course about half the day they fell
amuugst dangerous shoals and roaring breakers, and
they were so far entangled therewith as they conceived
themselves in great danger ; and the wind shrinking
upon them withal, they resolved to bear up again for
the Cape, and thought themselves happy to get out of
the dangers before night overtook them, as by God's
providence they did."

The above statement made by Bradford in his his-
tory renders it extremely doubtful whether it had
been the clear determination of the Pilgrims to seek
and settle on the lands, the patent for which, derived
from the Southern Virginia Company, they had
brought with them. The accepted theory of histori-
ans has been that they had no other plan in their
minds, and that they were only prevented from car-
rying it out by adverse winds and the dangerous
navigation of what is now called Vineyard Souud.
But the careful reader will discover several weak
points in this theory. It is well known that in 1619,
Thomas Dermer, sent out by Sir Ferdinando Gorges,
visited Plymouth, which had already been visited by
John Smith in 1614, and received its name through
him, from Prince Charles, and in a letter to his
patron dated June 30, 1620, he said, in speaking of
that place, " I would that the first plantation might
here be seated if there come to the number of fifty
persons or upwards." It is probable that this letter
reached Plymouth, in England, where Gorges was
stationed as Governor of the castle, before the final
departure of the " Mayflower" from that port on the
6th of September, and may have had some influence
in determining the place of settlement. Gorges was
a prominent member of the Northern Virginia Com-
pauy, directly interested in the settlement of its ter-
ritory, of which Plymouth, in New England, was a
part, and would be very likely to have urged the
Pilgrims to abandon the patent in their possession,
with the promise of the issue of another from his own
company. This suggestion is reinforced by the vote

of the Southern Virginia Company, already referred
to, calling on John Pierce, in whose name their pat-
ent had been issued, to surrender it, because he had
" received another from Gorges, as by many was sup-
posed he would." Besides the language of Bradford,
already quoted, the language of the compact signed in
Cape Cod harbor, " We, whose names are ntiderwritteu
having undertaken for the glory of God and advance-
ment of the Christian faith, and the honor of our
king and country a voyage to plant the first colony in
the Northern parts of Virginia," still further supports
the probability that after all there was no positive de-
viation from their plan, and that a settlement in New
England was among the possible results of their en-

The theory that the captain of the " Mayflower"
was bribed by the Dutch to keep the " Mayflower"
away from their settlement was first suggested by
Nathaniel Morton iu the " New England's Memorial,"
published in 1669, in which he says, " Of the plot
between the Dutch and Capt. Jones I have had late and
certain intelligence." This theory has never been
accepted by historians, though often repeated, and
mainly ou the ground that it seemed impossible that
Morton, forty-nine years after the event, could have
received reliable information. It is due, however, to
Morton, to state that the appointment of Thomas
Willet, a Plymouth man, as mayor of New York,
after its capture from the Dutch by the United Col-
onies in 1664, may have furnished an opportunity
for discovering in the archives of that city some evi-
dence which could easily have come to the cars of
Morton while his book was in preparation. This cir-
cumstance is to be considered, together with all the
facts in the case, in deciding whether the Pilgrims
really deviated, for any cause, from the intended
voyage, or whether their destination, when they finally
left England, was not left iu doubt, to be deter-
mined by circumstances as they might afterwards

While the company were at Southampton two let-
ters were received from Robinson full of tender advice
and counsel, iu one of which he said, " Whereas you
are become a body politic, usiug among yourselves
civil government, and are not furnished with any per-
sons of special eminence above the rest, to be chosen
by you into office of government, let your wisdom
and godliness appear not only in choosing such per-
sons as do entirely love and will promote the common
good, but also in yielding unto them all due honor
and obedience in their lawful administrations ; not
beholding iu them the ordinariness of their persous,
but God's ordiuance for your good, not being like the








foolish multitude who more honor the gay coat than
either the virtuous mind of the man or glorious ordi-
nance of the Lord." The letters were addressed to
Carver as one apparently in authority ; and as Brad-
ford states that " a Governor and two or three assist-
ants for each ship were chosen to order the people
by the way, and see to the disposing of their posses-
sions," it is probable that Carver was chosen Governor
of the party on board the " Mayflower," and that
after the detachment of the " Speedwell" he was rec-
ognized as the Governor of the whole company.

With one hundred and two passengers, then, the
" Mayflower" arrived in Cape Cod harbor, and the
following is a list of the company, exclusive' of those
attached to the vessel as officers and seamen :

I John Carver. Died in April, 1621.
K.ith.irinu Carver, his wife. Died the first summer.
Desire Minter. Returned to England.
1 John Howland. Diod in Plymouth, 1C73.
I Roger Wilder. Diod the first winter.
William Latham. Died in the Bahama Islands.
Maid servant. Diod in a yoar or two.
Jasper More. Died in December, 1620.
William Brewster. Died in Plymouth, 1644.
Mary Brewster, his wife. Died in Plymouth before 1627.
Love Brewster. Died in Duxbury, 1650.
Wrestling Brewster. Died a young man.
I Richard More. Called Mann, died in Scituato, 1656.
I Ilia brother. Died the first winter.
I Edward Winslow. Died at sea, 1654.
[ Elizabeth Winslow, bis wife. Died in March, 1620/1.
George Soule. Died in Duxbury, 1680.
Elias Story. Died the first winter.
I Ellen More. Died the first winter.
1 William Bradford. Died in Plymouth, 1057.
2 j Dorothy Bradford, his wife. Drowned in Cape Cod bar-
<■ bor, Dec. 7, 1620.

' Isaac Allerton. Died in New Ifaven, 1659.
Mary Allerton, his wife. Died in February, 1620/1.
Bartholomew Allerton. Returned to England.
Remember Allerton. Married Moses Maverick, and died

in Salem after 1652.
Mary Allerton. Married Thomas Cushman, and died in

Plymouth, 1699.
John Hooke. Died the first winter.
Samuel Fuller. Died in Plymouth, 1633.
John Crackston. Died the first winter.
1 John Crackston, Jr. Diod in Plymouth, 1628.
r Miles Standish. Died in Duxbury, 1656.
*< Rose Standish, bis wife. Diod in Plymouth, January,
I 1620/1.
Christopher Martin. Died in Plymouth, January,

Ilia wife. Died the first winter.

Solomon Power. Died in Plymouth, December, 1620.
[ John Langemoro. Died the first winter.
William Mullins. Died in Plymouth, 1620/1.
Ilia wife. Diod the first winter,
j Joseph Mullins. Died the first winter.

Priscilla Mullins. Married John Alden, and died in
Duxbury after 1050.
I Robert Carter. Died the first winter.



William White. Died in Plymouth, February, 1620/1.
Susanna White, his wife. Married Edward Wiuslow, and

died in Marshfield, 1680.

Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 17 of 118)