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A sketch of the life & character of John Fenwick (Volume 2) online

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and were the only people within the territory who
recognized his authority. The Dutch and Swedes
were annoyed by the English being settled so near,
and a military force was sent from New Amsterdam
(New York) to drive them away. Their houses were
burnt, their cattle and goods confiscated and them-
selves made prisoners. They were, however, permitted
to return to the j)lace again, build themselves other
houses, and some continued there until tlic arrival of
John Eenwick and his company.

It Avas concluded by the new comers to fix uj)on
the same site and call it "New Salem," these few
dwellings sujiplying a necessity wdiich the lateness of
the season would prevent being done by themselves.
This done the business of unloadino- their worldlv
effects from the ship followed at once, and these
people found themselves domiciled in a new home,
surrounded by a strange and savage peoi)l(', with
a great ocean separating them from former friends.
The reality of their situation was before them, and be
it for weal or woe, their steps coidd not be let raced.



46

An abiding faith in tlie justice of their purpose, in
the Hberality of their political })rinciples and the
enlarged philanthropy laid down in their method.s of
government, strengthened and encouraged them.
They made haste to acknowledge their deliverance
from the many perils passed through, and recognized
in that deliverance an overruling Providence that
had guided them thus far and would not suffer their
enterprise to fail if their trust remained as it had
been in the past. A long dreary winter was before
them, with a degree of cold seldom known in
England, and to which they were unaccustomed.
The heavy drifting snows prevented any extended
examination of their new country, and the ice in the
streams destroyed for the time their only means of
travel. The peoj^le wdio had preceded them, and
upon whose hospitality they now depended, were
fishermen, or as frequently called "whalemen," and
were there to secure the "oyl and bone" so plentiful
in the bay and ocean, and a source of profitable
traffic with the European nations.

Gabriel Thomas, the first historian of West New
Jersey, in his quaint style thus speaks on this subject.
"The commodities of Cape May County are oyl and
whalebone, of which they make prodigious quantities
every year, having mightily advanced that great
fishery, taking great numbers of whales yearly."
The pursuit and killing of this great fish, regardless
of time, induced by the love of gain, has driven it
from these waters and almost to extermination.
Little could be done through the winter, except to
look after their individual comfort and guard against
the severity of the season. The accommodations, like
those on the ship, were limited, but in regard to



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cleanliness, the females havini;- control, a better con-
dition of things existed. Nothino- however was
allowed to interfere with the re


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Online LibraryJohn ClementA sketch of the life & character of John Fenwick (Volume 2) → online text (page 4 of 7)