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his back, who made a pitiful narration of
their lamentable and weak eftate, and of the
Indians 5 carriage ; whofe boldnefs increafed
abundantly, infomuch as they would take
the victuals out of their pots, and eat before
their faces ; yea, if in any thing they gain-
fayed them, they were ready to hold a knife
at their breafts. He faid that, to give them
content, they had hanged one* of the Com

* Mr. Huhbard's account of this matter, is as follows.
" The Company, as fome report, pretended, in way of fat-
isfa&ion, to punifh him that did the theft ; but in his ftead,
hanged a poor decrepid old man, that was unferviceable to
the Company, and burdenfome to keep alive : This was
the ground of the ftory, with which the merry gentleman
that wrote the poem called Httdibras, did in his poetical
fancy, make fo much fport. The inhabitants of Plym
outh tell the ftory much otherwife, as if tha perfon hanged,
was really guilty of dealing, as were many of the reft.
Yet, it is poffible, that juftice might be executed, not on
him that moft deferred it, but on him that could .beft be
fpared, or who was not likely to live long, if he had been
let alone."

The paflage of Hudibras above referred to, is in part 2,
canto 2. line 403, &c.

" Tho* nice and dark the point appear,

Quoth Ralph, it may hold up and clear ;

That fmners may fupply the place

Of fuffering faints, is a plain cafe.

Juftice gives fentencc many times,

On one man for another's crimes.


S T A N D I S H. 319

pany, who had ftolen their corn, and yet they
regarded it not ; that another of them had
turned favage ; that their people had moftly
forfaken the town, and made their rendez
vous where they got their victuals, becaufe


Our brethren of New-England ufe,
Choice malefactors to excufe,
And hang the guiltlefs in their (lead,
Of whom the Churches have lefs need ;
As lately happened. In a town,
There liv'd a Cobler, and but one,
Who out of doftrine, could cut ufe,
And mend men's lives as well as fhoes.
This precious brother, having flain
In time of peace, an Indian,
Not out of malice, but mere zeal
Becaufe he was an infidel ;
The mighty Tottipotimoy
Sent to our Elders an envoy,
Complaining forely of the breach
Of league, held forth by brother Patch,
Againft the articles in force
Between both Churches, his and ours ;
For which he crav'd the faints to render
Into his hands, or hang th' offender.
But they, maturely having weighed,
They had no more but him of the trade ;
A man that ferv'd them, in a double
Capacity, to teach and cobble,
Refolv'd to fpare him, yet to do
The Indian Hogan Mogan, too,
Impartial juftice, in his ftead did
Hang an old Weaver, that was bed-rid?



they would not take pains to bring it home ;
that they had fold their clothes for corn,
and were ready to perim with hunger and
cold, and that they were difperfed into three
companies, having fcarcely any powder and
{hot. As this relation was grievous to us, fo
it gave us good encouragement to proceed ;
and the wind coming fair the next day,
March 25, Captain Standifh being now fitted,
fet forth for Maflachufetts."

a The Captain being come to Maflachu
fetts, went firft to the fhip, but found neither
man nor dog therein. On the difcharge of
a mufket, the Matter and fome others mew
ed themfelves, who were on more gathering
ground-nuts and other food. After faluta-
tion, Captain Standifh afked them, how they
durft fo leave the fhip, and live in fuch
fecurity ? they anfwered, like men fenfelefs


Then, wherefore may not you be fldpp'd,
And in your room another whipp'd P*

The ftory is here moft ridiculoufly caricatured as a
flur upon the Churches of New-England. I do not find
that the people of Wefton's plantation had any Church
at all ; they were a fet of needy adventurers, intent only
on gaining a fubfiftence. Mr. Neal fays, that " he obtain
ed a patent under pretence of propagating the difciplme of
the Church of England in America."

Hift, N. E. Chap. iii. p. 102,

S T A N D I S H, 32!

of their own mifeiy, that they feared not the
Indians, but lived and fufFered them to lodge
with them, not having iword nor gun, or
needing the fame. To which the Captain
replied, that if there were no caufe, he was
glad. But upon further, inquiry, under-
ftanding that thofe in whom John Sanders
had repofed mo ft confidence were at the
plantation, thither he went, and made known
th^ Indians' purpofe, and the end of his own
coming ; and told them that if they dunt
not ftay there^ it was the intentiort of the
Governor and people of Plymouth, to re
ceive them, till they could be better provi
ded for. Thefe men anfwered that they
could expect no better, and it was of God's
mercy that they were not killed before his
coming, defiring that he would neglect no
opportunity to proceed ; hereupon he advif-
ed them to fec^ecy and to order one third of
their company that were fartheft oif to COTTC
home, and on pain of death to keep there,
himfelf allowing them a pint of Indian corn,
to a man, for a day, though that was fpured.
out of our feed. The weather proving very
wet and ftormy, it was the longer betore he
could do any thing."

R R " la

"In the mean time an Indian came to
him and brought fome furs, but rather to get
what he could from the Captain than to
trade ; and though the Captain carried things
as fmoothly as he could, yet, at his return,
the Indian reported that he faw by his eyes
that he was angry in his heart, and therefore
began to fufpeb themfelves difcovered. This
caufed one Peckfuot, who was a Pinefe
[chief] being a man of a notable fpirit to
come to Hobamock [Standifh's Indian guide
and interpreter] and tell him that he under-
ftood the Captain was come to kill himfelf
and the reft of the favages there : " Tell
him, faid he, we know it, but fear him not,
neither will we ihun him ; but let him begin
when he dare, he {hall not take us at un
awares." Many times after, divers of them?
feverally or a few together, came to the plan
tation, where they would whet and fharpen
the point of their knives before his face, and
ufe many other infulting geftures and fpeech-
es. Among the reft, Wittuwamat bragged
of the excellency of his knife, on the han
dle of which was pictured a woman's face.
" But, faid he, I have another at home,
wherewith I have killed both French and
Englifh, and that hath a man's face on it,


S T A N D I S H. 323

and by and by, thefe two muft be married.'*
Further he faid of that knife which he there
had, Hlnnaim namen, hlnnalm michen, matta
ctits^ that is to fay, by and by itjhouldfee^ by
and by it Jhould eat, but not fpeak. Alfo
Peckfuot being a man of greater ftature than
the Captain, told him "though you are a
great Captain, yet you are but a little man ;
though I be no Sachem, yet I am a 'man of
great ftrength and courage." Thefe things
the Captain obferved, but, for the prefent,
bore them with patience.

" On the next day, feeing he could not
get many of them together at once, but
Peckfuot and Wittuwamat being together,
with another man and the brother of Wittu
wamat a youth of eighteen, putting many
tricks on the weaker fort of men, and having
about as many of his own men in the fame
room, the Captain gave the word to his men ;
and the door being faft (hut, he begun him-
felf with Peckfuot and matching the knife
from his neck, after much druggling killed
him therewith ; the reft killed Wittuwamat
and the other man ; the youth they took
and hanged. It is incredible, how many
wounds thefe men received, before they died,
not making any fearful noife, but catching


324 S T A N D I S H.

at their weapons, and ftriving to the laft.
Hobamock flood by as a fpectator, obferv-
ing how our men demeaned themfelves in
the action ; which being ended, he, fmiling,
brake forth and faid, u Yefterday Peckfuot
bragged of his own ftrength and ftature, and
told you that though you were a great Cap
tain, yet you were but a little man ; but, to
day, I fee you are big enough to lay him on
the ground/*

" There being fome women, at the fame
time there, Captain Standim left them, in
the cuflody of Wefton's people, at the
town ; and fent word to another Company,
to kill thofe Indian men that were among
them. Thefe killed two more ; himfelf with
fome of his own men, went to another place
and killed another ; but through the negli
gence of one man, an Indian efcaped, who
discovered and croffed their proceedings."

" Captain Standiih took one half of his
men with one or two of Weijon's and Ho
bamock, ftill feeking them. At length they
efpied a file of Indians, making toward them;
and, there being a fmall advantage in the
ground, by reafon of a hill, both companies
ftrove for it. Captain Standim got it ;
whereupon the Indians retreated, and took


S T A N D I S H. 325

each man his tree, letting fly their arrows
amain, efpecially at himfelf and Hobamock.
Whereupon Hobamock caft off his coat, and
chafed them fo faft, that our people were not
able to hold way with him. They could
have but one certain mark, the arm and half
the face of a notable villain, as he drew [his
bow] at Captain Standifh, who with anoth
er, both difcharged at him, and brake his
arm. Whereupon, they fled into a fwamp;
when they were in the thicket, they parli-
ed but got nothing but foul language. So
our Captain dared the Sachem to come out
and fight like a man, fhowing how bafe and
woman-like he was, in tonguing it as he did j
but he refufed and fled. So the Captain re
turned to the plantation ; where he releafed
the women and took not their beaver coats
from them, nor fuffered the leaft difcourtefy
to be offered them."

" Now were Wefton's people refolved to
leave the plantation, and go to Monhegan,
hoping to get paflfage and return [to Eng
land] with the timing {hips. The Captain
told them, that for his own part, he durft live
there with fewer men than they were ; yet
fmce they were otherwife minded, according
{o his orders from the Governor and peo

326 S T A N D I S H.

pie of Plymouth, he would help them with
corn, which he did, fcarce leaving himfelf
more than brought them home. Some of
them difliked to go to Monhegan ; and de-
firing to go with him to Plymouth, he took
them into the fhallop ; and feeing the others
fet fail, and clear of Maffachufetts Bay, he
took leave and returned to Plymouth, bring
ing the head of Wittuwamet, which was fet
up on the fort.""

" This fudden and unexpected execution,
hath fo terrified and amazed the other peo
ple who intended to join with the Maffa-
chufencks againft us, that they forfook their
houfes, running to and fro like men diffract
ed ; living in fwamps, and other defert pla
ces, and fo brought difeafea upon themfelves,,
whereof many are dead ; as Canacum, Sa
chem of Manomet ; Afpinet, of Naufet ;
and lanough, of Mataehieft. This Sachem,
[lanough] in the mid ft of thefe diftra&ions,
faid, "the Ggd of the Englilh was offended


* This may excite in fome minds an objection to the
humanity of our forefathers. The reafon affigned for it
was, that it might prove a terror to others. In matters of
war and public juftice, they obfeived the cuftoms and laws
of the Engliih nation. As late as the year 1 747, the heads
of the lords, who were concerned in the Scots rebellion*
were fet up over Temple-Bar, the moft frequented paffage
between London and Weftminfter.

S T A N D I S t*. 32?

with them, and would deftroy them in his
anger." From one of thefe places, a boat
was fent with prefents to the Governor,
hoping thereby to work their peace ; but
the boat tvas loft, and three of the people
drowned ; only one efcaped, who returned ;
fo that none of them dm it come among us."
The Indian who had been confined at
Plymouth, on his examination, confefled the
plot ; in which five peribns were principally
concerned, of whom two were killed. He
protefted his own innocence, and his life
was fpared, on condition that he would
carry a mefTage to his Sachem, Gbtakieft t
Demanding three of Wefton's men, whom
he held in cuftody. A woman returned
with his anfwer, that the men were killed
before the meflage arrived, for which he
was very forry.

Thus ended Wefton's plantation, within
one year after it began. He had been one of
the adventurers to Plymouth ; but quitted
them, and took a feparate patent ; and his
plantation was intended to rival that of
Plymouth. He did not come in perfon to
America, till after the difpcrfion of his peo
ple, fome of whom he found among the eaft-
ern fimermen, and from them he firfl heard


328 S T A N D I S H.

of the ruin of his enterprize. In a ftorm, he?
was caft away between the rivers of Pafcat-
aqua and Merrimack, and was robbed by the
natives of all which he had faved from the
wreck. Having borrowed a fuit of clothes
From foine of the people at Pafcataqua, he
came to Plymouth ; where, in confideration,
of his neceflity, the government lent him
two hundred weight of beaver, with which
he failed to the eaftward, with fuch of his own
people as were difpcfed to accompany him.
It is obferved that he never repaid the debt,
but with enmity and reproach.*

The next adventure, in which we find
Captain Standifh engaged, was at Cape Anil,
where the fimermen of Plymouth had ifi
1624 erected a ftage, and a company from
the weft of England in the following year
had taken pofleflion of it. Standifh was or
dered from Plymouth, with a party to retake
it ; but met a refufal. The controverfy grew
warm, and high words parTed on both fides.
But the prudence of Roger Conant, agent for
the weft countrymen, and of Mr. Pierce,
mafter of their fhip, prevented matters from
coming to extremity. The (hip's crew lent
their affi fiance in building another ftage y

* Prince, p. 135.

S T A N D I S H. 329

which tiie Plymouth fifhermen accepted in
lieu of the former, and thus peace and har
mony were reftored. Mr. Hubbard, who
has preferved the memory of this affair, re
flects on Captain Standiih in the following
manner : " He had been bred a foldier in the
low countries, and never entered into the
fchool of Chrift, or of John the Baptift ; or
if ever he was there, he had forgot his firft
leflbns, to offer violence to no man, and to
part with the cloak, rather than needlefsly
contend for the coat, though taken away
without order. A little chimney is foon fir
ed ; fo was the Plymouth Captain, a man of
very fmall ftature, yet of a very hot and angry
temper. The fire of his paflion, foon
kindled, and, blown up into a flame by hot
words, might eafily have confumed all, had
it not been feafonably quenched. "^

When the news of the tranfadions at We-
faguflet, where Standifh had killed the In
dians, was carried to Europe, Mr. Robinfon
from Leyden wrote to the Church of Plym
outh, " to confider the difpofition of their
Captain, who was of a warm temper. j~ He
hoped the Lord had fent him among them
S s for

* Hubbard's MS. p. 84.

f Hutchinfon, II. 461.

330 S T A N D I S H.

for good, if they ufed him right ; but he
doubted whether there was not wanting that
tendernefs of the life of man, made after
God's image, which was meet ; and he
thought it would have been happy if they
had converted fome, before they had killed

The beft apology for Captain Standifh is,
that as a foldier he had been accuftomed to
difcipline and obedience ; that he confidered
himfelf as the military fervant of the Colony,
and received his orders from the Governor
and people. Sedentary perfons are not al
ways the beft judges of a foldier's merit or
feelings. Men of his own profeflion will
admire the courage of Standifh, his prompt
itude and decifion in the execution of his or
ders. No one has ever charged him, either
with failure in point of obedience or of wan
tonly exceeding the limits of his commif-
fion. If the arm of flefh were neceflary to
eftablim the rights and defend the lives and
property of Colonifts, in a new country, fur-
rounded with enemies and falfe friends ; cer
tainly fuch a man as Standifh, with all his
imperfections, will hold a high rank among
the worthies of New-England. Mr. Prince




does not fcruple to reckon him among thofe
heroes of antiquity, "who chofe to fuffer
affliction with the people of God ; who
through faith fubdued kingdoms, wrought
righteoufnefs, obtained promifes, flopped the
mouths of lions, waxed valiant in fight, and
turned to flight the armies of the aliens ;"*
and even Mr. Hubbard, in another part of
his hiftory, fays that Captain Standifh " was
a gentleman very expert in military fervice ;
by whom the people were all willing to be
ordered, in thofe concerns. He was like-
wife improved [employed] to good accept
ance and fuccefs in affairs of the greater!
moment in that Colony ; to whofe intereft
he continued firm and ftedfaft to the laft, and
always managed his truft, with great integ
rity and faithfulnefs."f

Two fhips which had come, with fupplies
to the Colony, the fame year (1625) return
ed, in the autumn with cargoes of fifh and
furs. In one of thefe, Standifh embarked,
as agent for the Colony, and arrived fafely
in England ; the other was captured by a
Turkim fliip of war, and the lofs of her val

f Preface to Mafon's Hiftory of P-quoJ war.
t Hubbard's MS. p. 50.

332 S T A N D I S H.

liable cargo was a fevere blow to the Colony.
He arrived in a very unfortunate time ; the
plague raging in London, carried off more
than forty thoufand people in the fpace of
one year. Commerce was ftagnated, the
merchants and IP embers of the Council of
New-England were difperfed and no meet
ing could be holden. All which Captain
Standifh could do, was, by private confer
ence, to prepare the way for a compofition
with the Company of adventurers, and by
the help of a few friends, with great trou
ble and danger, to procure a fmall quantity
of goods, for the Colony, amounting to
/"I5O, which he took up at the exorbi
tant intereft of 50 per cent. With this in-
fufficient but welcome fupply, he returned
to Plymouth, in the fpring of 1626 ; bring
ing the forrowful news of the death of Mn
Robinfon and Mr. Cufhman,,

Several attempts were, about this time,
made to form plantations, within the bay of
Maffachufetts, at Cape Ann and Pafcataqua.*
Among thefe a4venturers was one Captain
Wollafton, " a man of confiderable parts, and
with him three or four more of fome emi


' '

S T A N D I S H. 333

nence, who brought over many fervants, and
much provifions." He pitched on the fouth-
ern fide of the bay, at the head of the creek,
and called an adjoining hill Mount "Wollaf-
ton, [Quincy.] One of his company was
Thomas Morton, " a pettifogger of Furni-
val's Inn," who had fome property of his
own, or of other men committed to him.
After a fhort trial, Wollafton, not finding
his expectations realized, went to Virginia,
with a great part of the fervants ; and being
better pleafed with that country, fent for the
reft to come to him. Morton thought this
a proper opportunity to make hirnfelf head
of the Company ; and, in a drunken frolic,
perfuaded them to depofe Filcher, the Lieu
tenant, and fet up for liberty and equality.

Under this influence they foon became li
centious and debauched. They fold their
goods to the natives for furs, taught them the
ufe of arms, and employed them in hunting.
They invited and received fugitives from all
the neighbouring fettlements ; and thus en
dangered their fafety, and obliged them to
unite their ftrength in oppoiition to them.
Captain Endicott from Naumkeag made them
a vifit, and gave them a fmall check, by cut

334 S T A N D I S H.

ting down a May-pole, which they had
erected as a central point of diffipation and
extravagance ; but it was referved for Cap
tain Standim to break up their infamous
combination. After repeated friendly admo
nitions, which were difregarded, at the re-
queft and joint expenfe* of the fcattered
planters, and by order of the Government of
Plymouth, he went to Mount Wollafton,
and fummoned Morton to furrender. Mor
ton prepared for his defence, armed his ad
herents, heated them with liquor, and anfwer-
ed Standilh with abufive language. But,
when he ftepped out of his door, to take
aim at his antagonift, the Captain feized his
mufket with one hand, and his collar with
the other, and made him prifoner. The


* From the bill of expenfe, fent to the Council of New-
England, may be feen the number and ability of the
plantations in 1628.

Plymouth contributed 2 : 10

Naumkeag, [Salem] i : 10

Pafcataquack, [Mafon's Company} 2 : 10
Mr. Jeffery and Mr. Burflem, 2

Nantafcot, I : 10

Mr. Thomfon, [Squantum neck] 15

Mr. Blackfton, [Bofton] 12

Mr. Edward Hilton, [Dover] i

12 : 7
See Gov. Bradford's Letter Book in CoL Hiil. Soc. in. 63.

S T A N D I S H. 335

others quietly fubmitted. I^o blood was
Ihed, nor a gun fired. They were all con
ducted to Plymouth, and thence fent to Eng
land ; where Morton was treated with lefe
feverity than he deferved, and was permitted
to return and difturb the fettlements, till
the eftablifhment of the Maflachufetts Colo
ny, when he retired to Paicataqua, and there
ended his days.

After this encounter, which happened in
1628, we have no particular account of Cap
tain Standifh. He is not mentioned in the
account of the Pequot war, in 1637. ^ e
w r as chofen one of the magiftrates or aflift-
ants of Plymouth Colony as long as he liv
ed. As he advanced in years, he was much
afflicted with the ftone and the ftrangury ;
he died in 1 656, being then very old,-at Dux-
bury, near Plymouth ; where he had a tract
of land, which to this day is known by the
name of Captain's Hill.

He had one fon, Alexander, who died in
Duxbury. The late Dr. Wheelock, founder
of Dartmouth College, and Mr. Kirkland,
Miffionary to the Indians, were defcended
from him. One of his grandfons was in
pofleflion of his coat of mail, which is now


S T A N D I S H.

fuppofed to be loft ; but his fword is preferv-
ed in the Cabinet of the Hiftorical Society,
of which one of his defcendants, John
Thornton Kirkland, is a member. His name
is ftill venerated, and the merchants of Plym
outh and Bofton have named their {hips af
ter him. His pofterity chiefly refide in fev-
eral towns of the county of Plymouth*





J_ HIS worthy gentleman was defcend-
ed from a family remarkable for its attach
ment to the reformed religion from the ear-
lieft period of the reformation. His grand
father, Adam Winthrop, was an eminent
lawyer and lover of the gofpel, in the reign
of Henry VIII. and brother to a memorable
friend of the reformation, in the reign of
Mary I. in whofe hands the Martyr Philpot
left his papers, which make a confulerable
part of the Hiftory of the Martyrs. His
father, Adam Winthrop, was a gentleman of
the fame profeflton and character. Gov
ernor Winthrop was born at the family feat
at Groton, in Suffolk, June 12, 1587, and
was bred to the law, though he had a very
ftrong inclination to theological fhidies. At
the age of eighteen he was made a Juftice of
the Peace, and his virtues became confpicu-
GUS. He was exemplary in his profeffion
as an upright and impartial magiftfate, and
in his private character as a chriflian. He
had wifdom to difcern, and fortitude to do


right in the execution of his office ; and as a
T T gentleman,

33 8 W I N T H R O R

gentleman, was remarkable for liberality and
hofpitality* Thefe qualities rendered him
dear to men of fobriety and religion, and fit
ted him to engage in the great and difficult
\vork of founding a Colony.

When the defign of fettling a Colony in
New-England was by fome eminent perfons
undertaken, this gentleman was, by the con-
fent of all, chofen for their leaden Having
converted a fine eftate of fix or fevcn hun
dred pounds flerling per annum into money,
he embarked for New-England in the forty-
third year of his age, and arrived at Salem
with the Maflachufetts charter, June 12,
3630* Within five days, he, with fome of
the principal perfons of the Colony, travelled
through the woods twenty miles, to lock
out a convenient fituation for a town in fome
part of the Bay of Mafiachufetts. Some of
them built their huts on the north fide of
Charles river, [Charleftown] but the Gover
nor and moft of the Afliftants pitched upon
the peninfula of Sbawmut^ and lived there
the firft winter, intending in the fpring to
build a fortified town, but undetermined as

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Online LibraryUnknownAmerican biography: or, An historical account of those persons who have been distinguished in America, as adventurers, statesmen, philosophers, divines, warriors, authors, and other remarkable characters .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 16 of 24)