John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott.

Miles Standish, the Puritan captain online

. (page 1 of 20)
Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottMiles Standish, the Puritan captain → online text (page 1 of 20)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


MILES STANDISH ***




Produced by Richard Hulse, Charlie Howard, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net









[Illustration: _BURIAL HILL, PLYMOUTH._]




MILES STANDISH
THE
PURITAN CAPTAIN.


[Illustration]


BY
JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.


NEW YORK:
DODD & MEAD, No. 762 BROADWAY.
1872.




_AMERICAN PIONEERS AND PATRIOTS._


MILES STANDISH,
THE
PURITAN CAPTAIN.


BY JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.


ILLUSTRATED.


NEW YORK:
DODD & MEAD, No. 762 BROADWAY.
1872.




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
DODD & MEAD,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


MIDDLETON & CO.,
Stereotypers,
Bridgeport, Conn.

Press of LANGE, LITTLE & HILLMAN.
108 Wooster St., N. Y.




TO THE DESCENDANTS OF

CAPTAIN MILES STANDISH,

NOW NUMBERING THOUSANDS,
THIS VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED;
WITH THE HOPE THAT NO ONE OF THEM MAY EVER DIM
THE LUSTRE OF THAT NAME,
TO WHICH THE VIRTUES OF THEIR DISTINGUISHED ANCESTOR
HAVE ATTACHED IMPERISHABLE RENOWN.

JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.




PREFACE.


The adventures of our Pilgrim Fathers must ever be a theme of absorbing
interest to all their descendants. 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 hardships of the wilderness, and conflicts
with the ferocious savage, - all combine in forming a narrative replete
with the elements of entertainment and instruction.

Fortunately, there can be no doubt in reference to the essential facts.
All these events have occurred 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a period fully covered by authentic historical documents.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,
obsolete 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.

JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

FAIR HAVEN, CONN.




CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.

PAGE
Elizabeth’s Act of Uniformity. - Oppressive Enactments. -
King James and his Measures. - Persecution of the
Non-Conformists. - Plans for Emigration. - The Unavailing
Attempt. - The Disaster near Hull. - Cruel Treatment of the
Captives. - 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


CHAPTER II.

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


CHAPTER III.

Repairing the Shallop. - The Second Exploring Tour. - Interesting
Discoveries. - Return to the Ship. - A Week of Labor. - The
Third Exploring Tour. - More Corn Found. - Perplexity 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


CHAPTER IV.

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. - Arrangement 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


CHAPTER V.

Days of Sunshine and Storm. - Ravages of Pestilence. - A Raging
Storm. - New Alarm of Fire. - Twelve Indians Seen. -
Two Indians Appear on the Hill. - Great Alarm in the
Settlement. - Measures of Defense. - More Sunny Days. -
Humanity 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 Wampanoags. - More
Indian Visitors. - Bad Conduct of the Billingtons. 92


CHAPTER VI.

Two Savages on the Hill. - The Return of Samoset with Squantum. -
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 England. - A View
of Plymouth. - Brighter Days. - Visit of Messrs. Winslow and
Hopkins to the Seat of Massasoit. - Incidents of the Journey.
117


CHAPTER VII.

The Lost Boy. - The Expedition to Nauset. - Interesting
Adventures. - The Mother of the Kidnapped Indians. -
Tyanough. - Payment for the Corn. - Aspinet, the Chief. -
The Boy Recovered. - 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


CHAPTER VIII.

Arrival of the Fortune. - Object of the Pilgrims in their
Emigration. - Character of the New-Comers. - Mr. Winslow’s
Letter. - The First Thanksgiving. - Advice to Emigrants. -
Christmas 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


CHAPTER IX.

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


CHAPTER X.

Search for Corn. - Trip to Buzzard’s Bay. - Interesting
Incident. - Energy and Sagacity of Captain Standish. -
Hostile Indications. - 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


CHAPTER XI.

Letter from Rev. Mr. Robinson. - Defense of Captain Standish. -
New Policy Introduced. - Great Destitution. - Day of Fasting
and Prayer. - Answer to Prayer. - The First Thanksgiving. -
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 Vanquished. -
Difficulty at Cape Ann. - Increasing Emigration. - The
Division of Property. 232


CHAPTER XII.

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


CHAPTER XIII.

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


CHAPTER XIV.

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


CHAPTER XV.

Friendship Between Captain Standish and Mr. Brewster. - Character
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
Duxbury. - Present Aspect of the Region. 332


CHAPTER XVI.

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 Sargent. -
Sketch of his Life. - Other Speakers. - Laying the Corner
Stone. - Description of the Shaft. 358


[Illustration]




CHAPTER I.

_The Pilgrims in Holland._

Elizabeth’s Act of Uniformity. - Oppressive Enactments. - King
James and his Measures. - Persecution of the Non-Conformists. -
Plans for Emigration. - The Unavailing Attempt. - The Disaster
near Hull. - Cruel Treatment of the Captives. - 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.


Elizabeth, the maiden queen of England, commenced 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 England, 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 uniformity in the most
peremptory terms. Thirty-seven out of the ninety-eight ministers of
London were arrested for violating this law. They were all suspended
from their ministerial functions, and fourteen of them were sent to
jail.

There were now three ecclesiastical parties in England - the Papal
or Roman Catholic, the Episcopal, or Church of England, and the
Presbyterian or Puritan 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 ministers, in six counties, were speedily
deposed. A Court of High Commission was appointed invested with
extraordinary powers to arrest and punish all delinquents.

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 “conventicle 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 “Declaration
of Conformity.” Or in default of such declaration he was to be sent
to perpetual exile under penalty 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 emigrated to Holland where, under Protestant rule
there was freedom of religious worship.

Upon the accession of James the Sixth of Scotland to the throne of
England, eight hundred clergymen 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 better observance
of the Lord’s day, and for a dispensation 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, saying, “I will have one doctrine, one
discipline, one religion. 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 clergymen 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 continued with so much
vigor, that the friends of religious reform became hopeless. Some
sought refuge in concealment, while many fled from their country to
Holland where, the principles of Protestantism prevailing, 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 history as these places have been till
within a few years, it is likely that when, towards sunset on the 15th
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 reconnoitered that village the next morning. Its old church is 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 kennels. In what was the garden is a mulberry tree so old that
generations, before Brewster, may have regaled 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 attained 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 employments, 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-Conformists or Puritans
as they began to be called. Bands of armed men vigilantly guarded all
the seaports. 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 country 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 adventure
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 husbandry.

“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 extraordinary 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 chartered 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 travelled by land to the appointed rendezvous, where to
their bitter disappointment, they found neither captain nor vessel.
After a long delay and heavy expenses, for which they were quite
unprepared, the vessel made its appearance and, in the night, all
were received on board. Then this infamous captain, having 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 exhibited to the derisive gaze
and the jeers of an ignorant and a brutal populace. A despatch was
immediately 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 Holland. They did not venture again to trust one
of their own countrymen, but made a contract with 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 night.

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 arrived 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 returning 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


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottMiles Standish, the Puritan captain → online text (page 1 of 20)