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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.










The adventures of our Pilgrim Fathers must ever
be a theme of absorbing interest to all their descend-
ants. Their persecutions in England, their flight to
Holland, their passage across the stormy ocean, this
new world, as they found it, swept by the storms of
approaching winter, their struggles with the hard-
ships of the wilderness, and conflicts with the fero-
cious savage, all combine in forming a narrative
replete with the elements of entertainment and in-

Fortunately, there can be no doubt in reference
to the essential facts. All these events have oc-
curred within the last three hundred years, a period
fully covered by authentic historical documents. In
giving occasional extracts from these documents, I
have deemed it expedient to modernize the spelling,
and occasionally to exchange an unintelligible, obso-
lete word for one now In use.

For a period of about forty years, Captain Miles
Standish was intimately associated with the Pilgrims.


His memory is inseparably connected with theirs.
It has been a constant pleasure to the author to
endeavor to rear a worthy tribute to the heroic
captain and the noble man, who was one of the
most illustrious of those who laid the foundations
of this great Republic.





Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity. Oppressive Enactments. King
James and his Measures. Persecution of the Non-Con-
formists. Plans for Emigration. The Unavailing Attempt.
The Disaster near Hull. Cruel Treatment of the Cap-
tives. The Exiles at Amsterdam. Removal to Leyden.
Decision to Emigrate to America. The reasons. Elder
Brewster Selected as Pastor. The Departure from Leyden.
Scene at Delft Haven. The Embarkation 9


The Departure from Southampton. Hindrances. Delay at Dart-
mouth and Plymouth. Abandonment of the Speedwell.
Sketch of Miles Standish. Death at Sea. Perils and Threat-
ened Mutiny. Narrow Escape of John Howland. Arrival
at Cape Cod. Testimony of Governor Bradford. The Civil
Contract. John Carver Chosen Governor. The First Ex-
ploring Tour. The Sabbath 30


Repairing the Shallop. The Second Exploring Tour. Interest-
ing Discoveries. Return to the Ship. A Week of Labor.
The Third Exploring Tour. More Corn Found. Perplex-
ity of the Pilgrims. The Fourth Expedition. The First
Encounter. Heroism of the Pilgrims. Night of Tempest
and Peril. A Lee Shore Found. Sabbath on the Island, . . 44




The Voyage Resumed. Enter an Unknown Harbor. Aspect of
the Land. Choose it for their Settlement. The Mayflower
Enters the Harbor. Sabbath on Shipboard. Exploring the
Region. The Storm and Exposure. The Landing. View
from the Hill. Arduous Labors. The Alarm. Arrange-
ment of the Village. The Evident Hostility of the Indians.
Gloomy Prospects. Expedition of Captain Standish.
Billington Sea. Lost in the Woods. Adventures of the
Lost men. The Alarm of .Fire 71


Days of Sunshine and Storm. Ravages of Pestilence. A Rag-
ing Storm. New Alarm of Fire. Twelve Indians Seen.
Two Indians Appear on the Hill. Great Alarm in the Set-
tlement. Measures of Defense. More Sunny Days. Hu-
manity and Self-Denial of Miles Standish and Others.
Conduct of the Ship's Crew. Excursion to Billington Sea.
The Visit of Samoset. Treachery of Captain Hunt. The
Shipwrecked Frenchmen. The Plague. The Wampano-
ags. More Indian Visitors. Bad Conduct of the Billing-
tons .' 92


Two Savages on the Hill. The Return of Samoset with Squan-
turn. The Story of Squantum. The Visit of Massasoit and
His Warriors. Etiquette of the Barbarian and Pilgrim
Courts. The Treaty. Return of the Mayflower to Eng-
land. A View of Plymouth. Brighter Days. Visit of
Messrs. Winslow and Hopkins to the Seat of Massasoit.
Incidents of the Journey 117


The Lost Boy. The Expedition to Nauset Interesting Adven-
tures. The Mother of the Kidnapped Indians. Tyanough.



Payment for the Corn. Aspinet, the Chief. The Boy Recov-
ered. Alarming Intelligence. Hostility of Corbitant. The
Friendship of Hobbomak. Heroic Achievement of Miles
Standish. The Midnight Attack. Picturesque Spectacle.
Results of the Adventure. Visit to Massachusetts. The
Squaw Sachem. An Indian Fort. Charming Country.
Glowing Reports 145


Arrival of the Fortune. Object of the Pilgrims in their Emigra-
tion. Character of the New-Comers. Mr. Winslow's Letter.
The First Thanksgiving. Advice to Emigrants. Christ-
mas Anecdote. Alarming Rumor. The Narragansets.
Curious Declaration of War. The Defiance. Fortifying the
Village. The Meeting in Council and the Result. The
Alarm. The Shallop Recalled 164


The Double-Dealing of Squantum. False Alarm. Voyage to
Massachusetts. Massasoit Demands Squantum. The Arri-
val of the Boat. The Virginia Massacre. Preparations for
Defense. Arrival of the Charity and the Swan. Vile Char-
acter of the Weymouth Colonists. Arrival of the Discovery.
Starvation at Weymouth. Danger of the Plymouth Col-
ony. Expeditions for Food. Death of Squantum. Voyage
to Massachusetts and the Cape 187


Search for Corn. Trip to Buzzard's Bay. Interesting Incident.
Energy and Sagacity of Captain Standish. Hostile In-
dications. Insolence of Witeewamat. The Plot Defeated.
Sickness of Massasoit. The Visit. Gratitude of the
Chief. Visit to Corbitant. Condition of the Weymouth
Colony. The Widespread Coalition. Military Expedition
of Captain Standish. His Heroic Adventures. End of the
Weymouth Colony 209




Letter from Rev. Mr. Robinson. Defense of Captain Stand-
ish. New Policy Introduced. Great Destitution. Day of
Fasting and Prayer. ^Answer to Prayer. The First Thanks-
giving. The Colony at Weymouth. Worthless Character
of the Colonists. Neat Cattle from England. Captain
Standish Sent to England. Captain Wollaston and His
Colony. Heroism of Captain Standish. Morton Van-
quished. Difficulty at Cape Ann. Increasing Emigration.
The Division of Property 232


The Virginia Emigrants. Humanity and Enterprise of the Gov-
ernor. Envoy Sent to England. Trading-Posts on the
Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers. Capture by the French.
The Massachusetts Colony. Its Numbers and Distin-
guished Characters. Trade with the Indians. Wampum
the New Currency. Trading-Post at Sandwich. Sir Chris-
topher Gardener. Captain Standish Moves to Duxbury.
Lament of Governor Bradford 257


Removal to Duxbury. Intercourse with the Dutch. Trading-
Posts on the Connecticut. Legend of the Courtship of
Miles Standish. Personal Appearance of the Captain.
Proposition to John Alden. His Anguish and Fidelity.
Interview with Priscilla. The Indian Alarm. Departure of
Captain Standish. Report of his Death. The Wedding.. . . 281


Menace of the Narragansets. Roger Williams. Difficulty on
the Kennebec. Bradford's Narrative. Captain Standish as
Mediator. The French on the Penobscot. Endeavors to
Regain the Lost Port. Settlements on the Connecticut



River. Mortality Among the Indians. Hostility of the
Pequots. Efforts to Avert War. The Pequot Forts.
Death of Elder Brewster. His Character 301


Friendship Between Captain Standish and Mr. Brewster. Char-
acter of Mr. Brewster. His Death and Burial. Mode of
Worship. Captain's Hill. Difficulty with the Narragansets.
Firmness and Conciliation. Terms of Peace. Plans for
Removal from Plymouth. Captain Standish's Home in Dux-
bury. Present Aspect of the Region 332


The Will of Captain Standish. His Second Wife. Captain's
Hill. The Monument. Letters from President Grant and
General Hooker. Oration by General Horace Binney Sar-
gent. Sketch of his Life. Other Speakers. Laying the
Corner Stone. Description of the Shaft 358

The Pilgrims in Holland.

Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity. Oppressive Enactments. King
James and his Measures. Persecution of the Non-Conform-
ists. Plans for Emigration. The Unavailing Attempt. The
Disaster near Hull. Cruel Treatment of the Captives. The
Exiles at Amsterdam. Removal to Leyden. Decision to Emi-
grate to America. The reasons. Elder Brewster Selected as
Pastor. The Departure from Leyden. Scene at Delft Haven.
The Embarkation.

Elizabeth, the maiden queen of England, com-
menced her long and eventful reign by issuing in
May, 1659 a law concerning religion entitled the
" Act of Uniformity." By this law all ministers were
prohibited from conducting public worship otherwise
than in accordance with minute directions for the
Church of England, issued by Parliament. Any one
who should violate this law was exposed to severe
penalties, and upon a third offence to imprisonment
for life.

England, having broken from the Church of
Rome, and having established the Church of Eng-
land, of which the queen was the head, Elizabeth and
her counsellors were determined, at whatever cost, to


enforce entire uniformity of doctrines and of modes
of worship. In their new organization they retained
many of the ceremonies and much of the imposing
display of the Papal Church. There were very many
of the clergy and of the laity who, displeased with
the pageantry of the Roman Catholic Church, with
its gilded robes and showy ceremonial, were resolved
to cherish a more simple and pure worship. They
earnestly appealed for the abolition of this oppressive
act. Their petition was refused by a majority of but
one in a vote of one hundred and seventeen in the
House of Commons.

The queen was unrelenting, and demanded uni-
formity in the most peremptory terms. Thirty-seven
out of the ninety-eight ministers of London were ar-
rested for violating this law. They were all sus-
pended from their ministerial functions, and fourteen
of them were sent to jail.

There were now three ecclesiastical parties in Eng-
land the Papal or Roman Catholic, the Episcopal,
or Church of England, and the Presbyterian or Pu-
ritan party. The sympathies of the queen and of her
courtiers .was much more with the Papists than with
the Presbyterians, and it was greatly feared that they
would go over to their side. The queen grew daily
more and more determined to enforce the discipline
of the English Church. The order was issued that


all preachers should be silenced who had not been
ordained by Episcopal hands, or who refused to read
the whole service as contained in the Prayer book, or
who neglected to wear the prescribed clerical robes.
Under this law two hundred and thirty-three minis-
ters, in six counties, were speedily deposed. A Court
of High Commission was appointed invested with ex-
traordinary powers to arrest and punish all delin-

Any private person who should absent himself
from the Episcopal Church for a month, or who should
dissuade others from attending that form of worship,
or from receiving the communion from an Episcopal
clergyman, or who should be present at any " conventi-
cle or meeting under color or pretence of any exercise
of religion," should be punished with imprisonment
and should be held there until he signed the " Declar-
ation o Conformity." Or in default of such declara-
tion he was to be sent to perpetual exile under penal-
ty of death if he were ever again found within the
British realms.

Notwithstanding that many were banished, and
some died in prison and several were hanged, the
cause of dissent secretly gained ground. As they
were deliberating in the House of Commons upon a
more rigid law to compel all to adopt the same creed
and the same modes of Worship, Sir Walter Raleigh


said that he thought that there were then nearly
twenty thousand dissenters in England. Many driven
from their homes by this violent persecution emi-
grated to Holland where, under Protestant rule there
was freedom of religious worship.

Upon the accession of James the Sixth of Scot-
land to the throne of England, eight hundred clergy-
men petitioned for redress. Among other things they
prayed for the disuse of the cap and surplice in the
pulpit, for an abridgement of the Liturgy, for the bet-
ter observance of the Lord's day, and for a dispensa-
tion of the observance of other holy days ; that none
but pious men should be admitted to the ministry, and
that ministers should reside in their parishes and
preach on the Lord's day. To this appeal the king
turned a deaf ear. In a conference which was held
upon the subject, in Hampton court, the petitioners
were received with contumely and insult. The king
refused to pay any respect to private consciences, say-
ing, " I will have one doctrine, one discipline, one re-
ligion. And I will make you conform or I will harry
you out of this land or else worse."

A book of Common Prayer was published as "the
only public form established in this realm," and all
were required to conform to its ritual and discipline
as the king's resolutions were unchangeable. Ten
of the petitioners for a redress of grievances were


sent to jail. The king himself, a conceited pedant,
drew up a Book of Canons consisting of one hundred
and forty-one articles, expressed in the most arrogant
style of pretensions to infallibility. The clergy and
the laity were alike commanded to submit to them
under penalty of excommunication, imprisonment and
outlawry. The importation of all religious books
from the Continent was prohibited. No religious
book could be published in England unless approved
by a court of Bishops. It is estimated that, at that
time there were fifteen hundred Non-Conformist cler-
gymen in England. Bishop Coverdale, with many
others of the most prominent ecclesiastics of the
Episcopal church, publicly announced their refusal to
subscribe to the Liturgy or to adopt the ceremonies
it enjoined. In their protest they declared that since
" they could not have the Word freely preached, and
the sacraments administered without idolatrous gear,
they concluded to break off from the public churches
and separate in private houses."

The persecution of the Non-Conformists was con-
tinued with so much vigor, that the friends of religious
reform became hopeless. Some sought refuge in con-
cealment, while many fled from their country to Hol-
land where, the principles of Protestantism prevail-
ing, there was freedom of worship. In the county of
Nottinghamshire, England, there was a small village


called Scrooby, where there was a congregation of
Non-Conformists, meeting secretly from house to
house. This was about the year 1606. A recent
traveller gives the following interesting description of
the present appearance of the little hamlet, which
more than two and a half centuries ago was rendered
memorable by the sufferings of the Puritans :

" The nearest way from Austerfield to Scrooby is
by a path through the fields. Unnoticed in our his-
tory as these places have been till within a few years,
it is likely that when, towards sunset on the i$th of
September 1856", I walked along that path, I was the
first person, related to the American Plymouth, who
had done so since Bradford trod it last before his
exile. I slept in a farm-house at Scrooby and recon-
noitered that village the next morning. Its old church
fs a beautiful structure. At the distance from it of a
quarter of a mile the dyke, round the vanished manor
house, may still be traced ; and a farmer's house is
believed to be part of the ancient stables or dog ken-
nels. In what was the garden is a mulberry tree so
old that generations, before Brewster, may have re-
galed themselves with its fruit. The local tradition
declares it to have been planted by Cardinal Wolsey,
during his sojourn at the manor for some weeks after
his fall from power."

The little church of Non-Conformists at Scrooby


had Richard Clifton for pastor and John Robinson for
teacher. William Brewster, who subsequently at-
tained to much distinction as pastor of the Puritan
church in Plymouth, New England, was then a private
member of the church. This little band of Christians
decided to emigrate in a body to Holland that they
might there worship God in freedom.

It was a great trial to these Christians to break
away from their country, their homes, and their em-
ployments, to seek exile in a land of strangers. To
add to their embarrassments cruel laws were passed
forbidding the emigration of any of the Non-Con-
formists or Puritans as they began to be called.
Bands of armed men vigilantly guarded all the sea-
ports. Governor Bradford, who shared conspicuously
in these sufferings, wrote :

"They could not long continue in any peaceable
condition, but were hunted and persecuted on every
side. Some were taken and clapped up in prison.
Others had their houses beset and watched night and
day, and hardly escaped capture. The most were
fain to fly and leave their houses and habitations and
the means of their livelihood. Yet seeing themselves
thus molested, by a joint consent they resolved to go
into the Low Countries where they heard was freedom
of religion for all men ; as also that sundry persons
from London, and other parts of the land, had been


exiled and persecuted for the same cause, and were
gone thither, and lived at Amsterdam and other
places of the land.

" Being thus constrained to leave their native soil
and country, their lands and living, and all their
friends and familiar acquaintance, it was much, and
thought marvellous by many. But to go into a coun-
try they knew not except by hearsay, where they must
learn a new language, and get their livings they knew
not how, it being an expensive place and subject to
the miseries of war, it was by many thought an ad-
venture almost desperate, a case intolerable, and a
misery worse than death. Especially seeing they
were not acquainted with trades or traffic, by which
the country doth subsist, but had been only used to
a plain country life and the innocent trade of hus-

"But these things did not dismay them, though
they did at times trouble them, for their desires were
set on the ways of God and to enjoy his ordinances.
But they rested on His providence and knew whom
they had believed. Yet this was not all ; for though
they could not stay, yet were they not suffered to go ;
but the ports and havens were shut against them ; so
as they were fain to seek secret means of conveyance,
and to bribe and fee the mariners, and give extraor-
dinary rates for their passages. And yet they were


often betrayed, many of them, and both they and their
goods intercepted and surprised, and thereby put to
great trouble."

The company at Scrooby however secretly char-
tered a vessel, at Boston, in Lincolnshire, about fifty
miles south-east from Scrooby, the nearest port for
their purpose. The peril of the enterprise was so
great that they had to practise the utmost caution
and to pay exorbitant passage money. They trav-
elled by land to the appointed rendezvous, where to
their bitter disappointment, they found neither cap-
tain nor vessel. After a long delay and heavy ex-
penses, for which they were quite unprepared, the
vessel made its appearance and, in the night, all were
received on board. Then this infamous captain, hav-
ing previously agreed to do so for his "thirty pieces
of silver," betrayed them, and delivered them all up
to the search officers.

Rudely they were seized, their trunks broken
open, their clothing confiscated, and even the persons
of their women searched with cruel indelicacy. Thus
plundered and outraged they were placed in open
boats and taken to the shore, where they were ex-
hibited to the derisive gaze and the jeers of an igno-
rant and a brutal populace. A despatch was imme-
diately sent to the Lords of the Council in London,
and they were all committed to prison. After gloomy


incarceration for a month, Mr. Brewster and six others
of the most prominent men were bound over for trial,
and the rest were released, woe-stricken, sick and
impoverished, to find their way back, as best they
could, to the Scrooby which they had left, and where
they no longer had any homes. Oh man! what a
fiend hast thou been in the treatment of thy brother
man !

The next Spring a portion of these resolute men
and women made another attempt to escape to Hol-
land. They did not venture again to trust one of
their own countrymen, but made a contract with a
a Dutch shipmaster, from Zealand. He agreed to
have his vessel, at an appointed day, in a retired spot
upon the river Humber, not far from the seaport of
Hull. Arrangements were made for the women and
children, with their few goods, to be floated down the
Humber in a barque, while the men made the journey
by land. This was all done under the protection of

The Humber here swells into a bay, a long and
wide arm of the sea. The wind was high, and the
little barque, plunging over the waves, made the
women and children deadly sea sick. Having ar-
rived near their point of destination, before the dawn
of the morning and the vessel not yet having arrived,
the boatmen put into a little creek to find still water.


Here the receding tide left them aground. In the
morning came the ship. The captain, seeing the
barque containing the women and children aground,
and the men, who had come by land walking near by
upon the shore, sent his boat to bring the men on
board, that they might be already there when the re-
turning tide should float the barque. One crowded
boat load had reached the ship when a body of armed
men, horse and foot, was seen rapidly approaching.
The captain was terrified. Fine, imprisonment, and
perhaps a worse fate awaited him. Uttering an oath,
he weighed anchor, spread his sails, and a fresh
breeze soon carried him out to sea.

Dreadful indeed was the condition of those thus
abandoned to the insults and outrages of a brutal
soldiery. Husbands and wives, parents and children
were separated. The anguish of those, thus torn from
their families, on board the ship, was no less than the
distress of the mothers and daughters left upon the


A storm soon rose a terrific storm. For seven
days and nights the ship was at the mercy of the
gale, without sight of sun or moon or stars. The
ship was driven near to the coast of Norway ; and
more than once the mariners thought the ship sink-
ing past all recovery. At length the gale abated and,
fourteen days after they had weighed anchor, the


vessel reached Amsterdam, where from the long
voyage and the fury of the tempest, their friends had
almost despaired of ever again seeing them.

But let us return to those who were left upon the
banks of the Humber. They were all captured.
Deplorable was the condition of these unhappy victims
of religious intolerance, women and children weeping
bitterly in their despair. Some of the men, who
knew that the rigors of the law would fall upon them
with the greatest severity, escaped. But most of
those who had been left behind by the ship allowed
themselves to be taken to share the fate of the desti-
tute and helpless women and children, that they might
if possible, assist them. The troops were very cruel
in the treatment of their prisoners. They were
roughly seized and hurried from one justice to
another, the officers being much embarrassed to
know what to do with them.

Governor Bradford, who witnessed these scenes,
writes : " Pitiful it was to see the heavy care of
these poor women in this distress ; what weeping and
crying on every side ; some for their husbands that
were carried away in the ship ; others not knowing

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Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottMiles Standish, the Puritan captain .. → online text (page 1 of 21)