by William Bradford


Book Two / pp. 152 to 186

152                      HIS'TORY OF                       [BOOK II.

This somer they builte a fort with good timber,

both strong & comly, which was of good defence, made

with a flate rofe & batllments, on which their ordnance

were mounted, and wher they kepte constante watch,

espetially in time of danger.  It served them allso for

a meeting house, and was fitted accordingly for that

use.  It was a great worke for them in this weaknes

and time of wants; but ye deanger of ye time required

it, and both ye continuall rumors of ye fears from ye

Indeans hear, espetially ye Narigansets, and also ye

hearing of that great massacre in Virginia, made all

hands willing to despatch ye same.

     Now ye wellcome time of harvest aproacbed, in which

all had their hungrie bellies filled. But it arose but to a litle,

 in comparison of a full years supplie; partly by reason

they were not yet well aquainted with ye maiier of Indean

corne, (and they. had no other,) allso their many other

imployments, but cheefly their weaknes for wante of

food, to tend it as they

should have done.  Also much was stolne both by

night & day, before it became scarce eatable, & much

more afterward.  And though many were well whipt

(when they were taken) for a few ears of corne, yet

hunger made others (whom conscience did not re-

straine) to venture.  So as it well appeared yt famine

must still insue ye next year allso, if not some way

prevented, or supplie should faile, to which they durst

not trust.  Markets there was none to goe too, but

1622.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                153

only ye Indeans, and they had no trading comodities.

Behold now another providence of God; a ship comes

into ye [91] harbor, one Captain Jons being cheefe

therin.  They were set out by some marchants to dis-

covere all ye harbors betweene this & Virginia, and ye

shoulds of Cap-Cod, and to trade along ye coast wher

they could.  This ship had store of English-beads

(which were then good trade) and some knives, but

would sell none but at dear rates, and also a good

quantie togeather.  Yet they we ere glad of ye occa-

sion, and faine to buy at any rate; they were faine

to give after ye rate of cento per cento, if not more,

and yet pay away coat-beaver at 3s. perli., which in a

few years after yeelded 20s.  By this means they were

fitted againe to trade for beaver & other things, and

intended to buy what corne they could.

     But I will hear take liberty to make a title digres-

sion.  Ther was in this ship a gentle-man by name

Mr. John Poory; he had been secretarie in Virginia,

and was now going home passenger in this ship.

After his departure he write a leter to ye Govr in ye

postscrite wherof he hath these lines.

     To your selfe and Mr. Brewster, I must acknowledg my

selfe many ways indebted, whose books I would have you

thinke very well bestowed on him, who esteemeth them shuch

juells.  My hast would not suffer me to remember (much

less to begg) Mr. Ainsworths elaborate worke upon ye 5.

books of Moyses.  Both his & Mr. Robinsons doe highly

154                      HISTORY OF.                       [BOOK II.

com end the authors, as being most conversante in ye scrip-

turs of all others.  And what good (who knows) it may

please God to worke by them, through my hands, (though

most unworthy,) who finds shuch high contente in them.

God have you all in his keeping.

Your unfained and firme freind,

Aug. 28.1622.                                                      JOHN PORY.

     These things I hear inserte for honour sake of ye

authors memorie, which this gentle-man doth thus in-

geniusly acknowledg; and him selfe after his returne

did this poore-plantation much credite amongst those

of no mean ranck.  But to returnee

      [92] Shortly after harvest Mr. Westons people who

were now seated at ye Massachusets, and by disorder

(as it seems) had made havock of their provissions,

begane now to perceive that want would come upon

them.  And hearing that they hear had bought trading

comodities & intended to trade for corne, they write

to ye Govr and desired they might joyne with them,

and they would imploy their small ship in ye servise;

and furder requested either to lend or sell them so

much of their trading comodities as their part might

come to, and they would undertake to make paymente

when Mr. Weston, or their supply, should come.  The

Govr condesended upon equall terms of agreemente,

thinkeing to goe aboute ye Cap to ye southward

with ye ship, wher some store of corne might be

got.  Althings being provided, Captaint Standish was

1622.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                155

apointed to goe with them, and Squanto for a guid &

interpreter, about ye latter end of September; but ye

winds put them in againe, & putting out ye 2. time,

he fell sick of a feavor, so ye Govr wente him selfe.

But they could not get aboute ye should of Cap-Cod,

for flats & breakers, neither could Squanto directe

them better, nor ye mr. durst venture any further, so

they put into Manamoyack Bay and got wt* they

could ther.  In this place Squanto fell sick of an

Indean feavor, bleeding much at ye nose (which ye

Indeans take for a simptome of death), and within a

few days dyed ther; desiring ye Govr to pray for him,

that he might goe to ye Englishmens God in heaven,

and bequeathed sundrie of his things to sundry of his

English freinds, as remembrances of his love; of whom

they had a great loss.  They got in this vioage, in one

place & other, about 26. or 28. hogsheads of corne &

beans, which was more then ye Indeans could well

spare in these parts, for ye set but a litle till they got

English hows.  And so were faine to returne, being sory

they could not gett about the Cap, to have been better

laden.  After ward ye Govr tooke a few men & wente

to ye inland places, to get what he could, and to fetch

it home at ye spring, which did help them something.

     [93]  After these things, in Feb: a messenger came

from John Sanders, who was left cheefe over Mr. Wes-

ton's men in ye bay of Massachusets, who brought a

*Wth in the mannscript.

156                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

letter shewing the great wants they were falen into;

and he would have borrowed a hh of corne of ye In-

deans, but they would lend him none.  He desired

advice whether he might not take it from them by

force to succore his men till he came from ye east-

ward, whither he was going.  The Govr & rest de-

swaded him by all means from it, for it might so

exasperate the Indeans as might endanger their saftie,

and all of us might smart for it; for they had already

heard how they had so wronged ye Indeans by steal-

ing their corne, &c. as they were much incensed

against them.  Yea, so base were some of their own

company, as they wente & tould ye Indeans yt their

Govr was purposed to come and take their corne by

force.  The which with other things made them enter

into a conspiracie against ye English, of which more

in ye nexte.  Hear with I end this year.

Anno Dom: 1623.

     IT may be thought strang that these people should

fall to these extremities in so short a time, being left

competently provided when ye ship left them, and had

an addition by that moyetie of corn that was got by

trade, besids much they gott of ye Indans wher they

lived, by one means & other.  It must needs be their

great disorder, for they spent excesseivly whilst they

had, or could get it; and, it may be, wasted parte

away among ye Indeans (for he yt was their cheef

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                157

was taxed by some amongst them for keeping Indean

women, how truly I know not).  And after they

begane to come into wants, many sould away their

cloathes and bed coverings; others (so base were they)

became servants to ye Indeans, and would cutt them

woode & fetch them water, for a cap full of corne;

others fell to plaine stealing, both night & day, from

ye Indeans, of which they greevosly complained.  In

ye end, they came to that misery, that some starved

& dyed with could & hunger.  One in geathering

shell-fish was so weake as he stuck fast in ye mudd,

and was found dead in ye place.  At last most of them

left their dwellings & scatered up & downe in ye [94]

woods, & by ye water sids, wher they could find

ground nuts & clames, hear 6. and ther ten.  By

which their cariages they became contemned & scorned

of ye Indeans, and they begane greatly to insulte over

them in a most insolente maner; insomuch, many times

as they lay thus scatered abrod, and had set on a pot

with ground nuts or shell-fish, when it was ready the

Indeans would come and eate it up; and when night

came, wheras some of them had a sorie blanket, or

such like, to lappe them selves in, the Indeans would

take it and let ye other lye all nighte in the could;

so as their condition was very lamentable.  Yea, in

ye end they were faine to hange one of their men,

whom they could not recliame from stealing, to give

ye Indeans contente.

158                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

Whilst things wente in this maner with them, ye

Govr & people hear had notice yt Massasoyte ther

freind was sick & near unto death.  They sent to

vissete him, and withall sente him such comfortable

things as gave him great contente, and was a means

of his recovery; upon which occasion he discovers ye

conspiracie of these Indeans, how they were resolved

to cutt of Mr. Westons people, for the continuall in-

juries they did them, & would now take opportunitie

of their weaknes to doe it; and for that end had con-

spired with other Indeans their neighbours their aboute.

And thinking the people hear would revenge their

death, they therfore thought to doe ye like by them,

& had solisited him to joyne with them.  He advised

them therfore to prevent it, and that speedly by tak-

ing of some of ye cheefe of them, before it was to

late, for he asured them of ye truth hereof.

     This did much trouble them, and they tooke it into

serious delibration, and found upon examenation other

evidence to give light hear unto, to longe hear to

relate.  In ye mean time, came one of them from

ye Massachucts, with a small pack at his back; and

though he knew not a foote of ye way, yet he got

safe hither, but lost his way, which was well for him,

for he was pursued, and so was mist.  He tould them

hear how all things stood amongst them, and that he

durst stay no longer, he apprehended they (by what

he observed) would be all knokt in ye head shortly.

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                159

This made them make ye more hast, & dispatched a

boate a way wth Capten Standish & some men, who

found them in a miserable condition, out of which he

rescued them, and helped them to some releef, cut of

some few of ye cheefe conspirators, and, according to

his order, offered to bring them all hither if they

thought good; and they should fare no worse then

them selves, till Mr. Weston or some supplie came to

them.  Or, if any other course liked them better,

he was to doe them any helpfullnes he could.  They

thanked him & ye rest.  But most of them desired he

would help them with some corne, and they would

goe with their smale ship to ye eastward, wher hapily

they might here of Mr. Weston, or some supply from

him, seing ye time of ye year was for fishing ships

to [95] be in ye land.  If not, they would worke

among ye fishermen for their liveing, and get ther pas-

sage into England, if they heard nothing from Mr.

Weston in time.  So they shipped what they had of

any worth, and he got them all ye corne he could

(scarce leaving to bring him home), and saw them

well out of ye bay, under saile at sea, and so came

home, not takeing ye worth of a peny of any thing

that was theirs.  I have but touched these things

breefly, because they have allready been published in

printe more at large.

     This was ye end of these that some time bosted of

their strength, (being all able lustie men,) and what

160                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

they would doe & bring to pass, in comparison of ye

people hear, who had many women & children and

weak ons amongst them; and said at their first arivall,

when they saw the wants hear, that they would take

an other course, and not to fall into shuch a condition

as this simple people were come too.  But a mans

way is not in his owne power; God can make ye

weake to stand; let him also that standeth take heed

least he fall.

     Shortly after, Mr. Weston came over with some of

ye fishermen, under another name, and ye disguise of a

blacke-smith, were he heard of ye mine and disolution

of his colony.  He got a boat and with a man or

2. came to see how things were.  But by ye way, for

wante of skill, in a storme, he cast away his shalop in

ye botome of ye bay between Meremek river & Pas-

cataquack, & hardly escaped with life, and afterwards

fell into the hands of ye Indeans, who pillaged him

of all he saved from the sea, & striped him out of

all his cloaths to his shirte.  At last he got to Pas-

cataquack, & borrowed a suite of cloaths, and got

means to come to Plimoth.  A strang alteration ther

was in him to such as had seen & known him in his

former florishing condition; so uncertaine are ye muta-

ble things of this unstable world.  And yet men set their

harts upon them, though they dayly see ye vanity


     After many passag~s, and much discourse, (former

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                161

things boyling in his mind, but bit in as was dis-

cernd,) he desired to borrow some beaver of them;

and tould them he had hope of a ship & good supply

to come to him, and then they should have any thing

for it they stood in neede of.  They gave title credite

to his supplie, but pitied his case, and remembered

former curtesies.  They tould him he saw their wants,

and they knew not when they should have any supply;

also how ye case stood betweene them & their ad-

venturers, he well knew; they had not much bever,

& if they should let him have it, it were enoughe to

make a mutinie among ye people, seeing ther was no

other means to procure them foode which they so much

wanted, & cloaths allso.  Yet they tould him they

would help him, considering his necessitie, but must

doe it secretly for ye former reasons.  So they let

him have 100. beaver-skins, which waighed 170li. odd

pounds.  Thus they helpt him when all ye world faild

him, and with this means he went againe to ye ships,

and stayed his small ship & some of his men, &

bought provissions and fited him selfe; and it was ye

only foundation [96] of his after course.  But he re-

quited them ill, for he proved after a bitter enimie

unto them upon all occasions, and never repayed them

any thing for it, to this day, but reproches and evill

words.  Yea, he divolged it to some that were none

of their best freinds, whilst he yet had ye beaver in

his boat; that he could now set them all togeather by

162                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

ye ears, because they had done more then they could

answer, in letting him have this beaver, and he did

not spare to doe what he could.  But his malice could

not prevaile.

     All this whille no supply was heard of, neither knew

they when they might expecte any.  So they begane

to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they

could, and obtaine a beter crope then they had done,

that they might not still thus languish in miserie.  At

length, after much debate of things, the Govr (with

ye advise of ye cheefest amongest them) gave way that

they should set corne every man for his owne per-

ticuler, and in that regard trust to them selves; in all

other things to goe on in ye generall way as before.

And so assigned to every family a parcell of land,

according to the proportion of their number for that

end, only for present use (but made no devission for

inheritance), and ranged all boys & youth under some

familie.  This had very good success; for it made all

hands very industrious, so as much more corne was

planted then other waise would have bene by any

means ye Govr or any other could use, and saved him

a great deall of trouble, and gave farr better contente.

The women now wente willingly into ye feild, and

tooke their litle-ons with them to set corne, which

before would aledg weaknes, and inabilitie; whom to

have compelled would have bene thought great tiranie

and oppression.

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                163

     The experience that was had in this comone course

and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst

godly and sober men, may well evince the vanitie of

that conceite of Platos & other ancients, applauded

by some of later times; that ye taking away of

propertie, and bringing in comunitie into a comone

wealth, would make them happy and florishing; as if

they were wiser then God.  For this comunitie (so

farr as it was) was found to breed much confusion &

discontent, and retard much imploymet that would

have been to their beneflte and comforte.  For ye

yong-men that were most able and fitte for labour &

service did repine that they should spend their time

& streingth to worke for other mens wives and chil-

dren, with out any recompence.  The strong, or man

of parts, had no more in devission of victails & cloaths,

then he that was weake and not able to doe a quarter

ye other could; this was thought injuestice.  The aged

and graver men to be ranked and [97] equalised in

labours, and victails, cloaths, &c., with ye meaner &

yonger sorte, thought it some indignite & disrespect

unto them.  And for mens wives to be commanded to

doe servise for other men, as dresing their meate, wash-

ing their cloaths, &c., they deemd it a kind of slaverie,

neither could many husbands well brooke it.  Upon ye

poynte all being to have alike, and all to doe alike,

they thought them selves in ye like condition, and one

as good as another; and so, if it did not cut of those

164                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

relations that God hath set amongest men, yet it did

at least much diminish and take of ye mutuall respects

that should be preserved amongst them.  And would

have bene worse if they had been men of another

condition.  Let none objecte this is men's corruption,

and nothing to ye course it selfe.  I answer, seeing all

men have this corruption in them, God in his wis-

dome saw another course fiter for them.

      But to returnee.  After this course setled, and by

that their core was planted, all ther victails were

spente, and they were only to rest on Gods provi-

dence; at night not many times knowing wher to have

a bitt of any thing ye next day.  And so, as one well

observed, had need to pray that God would give them

their dayly brade, above all people in ye world.  Yet

they bore these wants with great patience & allacritie

of spirite, and that for so long a time as for ye most

parte of 2. years; which makes me remember what

Peter Martire writs, (in magnifying ye Spaniards) in

his 5.  Decade, pag. 208.  They (saith he) led a m is-

erable life for 5. days togeather, with ye parched graine

of maize only, and that not to saturitie; and then con-

cluds, that shuch pains, shuch labours, and shuch hunger,

he thought none living which is not a Spaniard could

have endured.  But alass! these, when they had maize

(yt is, Indean corne) they thought it as good as a

feast, and wanted not only for 5. days togeather, but

some time 2. or 3. months togeather, and neither had

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                165

bread nor any kind of corne.  Indeed, in an other

place, in his 2.  Decade, page 94. he mentions how

others of them were worse put to it, wher they were

faine to eate doggs, toads, and dead men, and so

dyed almost all.  From these extremities the * Lord in

his goodnes kept these his people, and in their great

wants preserved both their lives and healthes; let his

name have ye praise.  Yet let me hear make use of

his conclusion, which in some sorte may be applied

to this people:  That with their miseries they opened

a way to these new-lands; and after these stormes, with

what ease other men came to inhabite in them, in respecte

of ye calamities these men suffered; so as they seeme to

goe to a bride feaste wher all things are provided for


      They haveing but one boat left and she not over

well fitted, they were devided into severall companies,

6. or 7. to a gangg or company, and so wente out

with a nett they had bought, to take bass & such like

fish, by course, every company knowing their turne.

No sooner was ye boate discharged [98] of what she

brought, but ye next company tooke her and wente

out with her.  Neither did they returne till they had

cauight something, though it were 5. or 6. days be-

fore, for they knew ther was nothing at home, and to

goe home emptie would be a great discouragemente

to ye rest.  Yea, they strive who should doe best.

*They in the MS.

166                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK ll.

If she stayed longe or got litle, then all went to seek-

ing of shel-fish, which at low-water they digged out

of ye sands.  And this was their living in ye somer

time, till God sente ym beter; & in winter they were

helped with ground-nuts and foule.  Also in ye somer

they gott now & then a dear; for one or 2. of ye

fitest was apoynted to range ye woods for yt end, &

what was gott that way was devided amongst them.

     At length they received some leters from ye ad-

venturers, too long and tedious hear to record, by

which they heard of their furder crosses and frustra-

tions; begining in this maner.

    Loving freinds, as your sorrows & afflictions have bin

great, so our croses & interceptions in our proceedings hear,

have not been small.  For after we had with much trouble

& charge sente ye Parragon away to sea, and thought all ye

paine past, within 14. days after she came againe hither,

being dangerously leaked, and brused with tempestious

stormes, so as shee was faine to be had into ye docke, and

an 100li. bestowed upon her.  All ye passengers lying upon

our charg for 6. or 7. weeks, and much discontent and dis-

temper was occasioned hereby, so as some dangerous evente

had like to insewed.  But we trust all shall be well and

worke for ye best and your benefite, if yet with patience

you can waite and but have strength to hold in life. 

Whilst these things were doing, Mr. Westons ship came

and brought diverce leters from you, &c.  It rejoyseth us

much to hear of those good reports yt diverce have brought

home from you, &c.

These letters were dated Des. 21: 1622.

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                167

So farr of this leter.

     This ship was brought by Mr. John Peirce, and set

out at his owne charge, upon hope of great maters. 

These passengers, & ye goods the company sent in

her, he tooke in for fraught, for which they agreed

with him to be delivered hear.  This was he in whose

name their first patente was taken, by reason of

aquaintance, and some aliance that some of their

freinds had with him.  But his name was only used in

trust.  But when he saw they were hear hopfully thus

seated, and by ye success God gave them had obtained

ye favour of ye Counsell of New-England, he goes and

sues to them for another patent of much larger extente

(in their names), which was easily obtained.  But he

mente to keep it to him selfe and alow them what

he pleased, to hold of him as tenants, and sue to his

courts as cheefe Lord, as will appear by that which

follows.  But ye Lord marvelously crost him; for after

this first returne, and ye charge above mentioned,

when shee was againe fitted, he pesters him selfe and

taks in more passengers, and those not very good to

help to bear his losses, and sets out ye 2. time.  But

[99] what ye event was will appear from another leter

from one of ye cheefe of ye company, dated ye 9. of

Aprill, 1623. writ to ye Govr hear, as followeth.

     Loving freind, when I write my last leter, I hope to have

received one from you well-nigh by this time.  But when

I write in Des: I litle thought to have seen Mr. John

168                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

Peirce till he had brought some good tidings from you.  But

it pleased God, he brought us ye wofull tidings of his

returne when he was half-way over, by extraime tempest,

werin ye goodnes & mercie of God appeared in sparing their

lives, being 109. souls.  The loss is so great to Mr. Peirce,

&c., and ye companie put upon so great charge, as veryly, &c.

     Now with great trouble & loss, we have got Mr. John

Peirce to assigne over ye grand patente to ye companie,

which he had taken in his owne name, and made quite voyd

our former grante.  I am sorie to writ how many hear thinke

yt the hand of God was justly against him, both ye first

and 2. time of his returne; in regard he, whom you and

we so confidently trusted, but only to use his name for ye

company, should aspire to be lord over us all, and so make

you & us tenants at his will and pleasure, our assurance

or patente being quite voyd & disanuled by his means.  I

desire to judg charitably of him.  But his unwillingnes to

part with his royall  Lordship, and ye high-rate he set it at,

which was 500li. which cost him but 50li., maks many speake

and judg hardly of him.  The company are out for goods in

his ship, with charge aboute ye passengers, 640li., &c.

      We have agreed with 2. marchants for a ship of 140.

tunes, caled ye Anne, which is to be ready ye last of this

month, to bring 60. passengers & 60. tune of goods, &c.

    This was dated Aprill 9. 1623.

    These were ther owne words and judgmente of this

mans dealing & proceedings; for I thought it more

meete to render them in theirs then my owne words.

And yet though ther was never got other recompence

then the resignation of this patente, and ye shares he

had in adventure, for all ye former great sumes, he

was never quiet, but sued them in most of ye cheefe

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                169

courts in England, and when he was still cast, brought

it to ye Parlemente.  But he is now dead, and I will

leave him to ye Lord.

     This ship suffered ye greatest extreemitie at sea at

her 2. returne, that one shall lightly hear of, to be

saved; as I have been informed by Mr. William Peirce

who was then mr. of her, and many others that were

passengers in her.  It was aboute ye midle of Feb:

The storme was for ye most parte of 14. days, but

for 2. or 3. days & nights togeather in most violent

extremitie.  After they had cut downe their mast, ye

storme beat of their round house and all their uper

works; 3. men had worke enough at ye helme, and he

that cund ye ship before ye sea, was faine [100] to be

bound fast for washing a way; the seas did so over-

rake them, as many times those upon ye decke knew

not whether they were within bord or withoute; and

once she was so foundered in ye sea as they all

thought she would never rise againe.  But yet ye

Lord preserved them, and brought them at last safe

to Ports-mouth, to ye wonder of all men yt saw in

what a case she was in, and heard what they had


      About ye later end of June came in a ship, with

Captaine Francis West, who had a comission to be

admirall of New-England, to restraine interlopers, and

shuch fishing ships as came to fish & trade without

a licence from ye Counsell of New-England, for which

170                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

they should pay a round sume of money.  But he

could doe no good of them, for they were to stronge

for him, and he found ye fisher men to be stuberne

fellows.  And their owners, upon complainte made to

ye Parlemente, procured an order yt fishing should be

free.  He tould ye Govr they spooke with a ship at

sea, and were abord her, yt was coming for this plan-

tation, in which were sundrie passengers, and they

marvelled she was not arrived, fearing some miscariage;

for they lost her in a storme that fell shortly after

they had been abord.  Which relation filled them full

of fear, yet mixed with hope.  The mr. of this ship

had some 2. hh of pease to sell, but seeing their

wants, held them at 9li. sterling a hoggshead, & under

8li. he would not take, and yet would have beaver at

an under rate.  But they tould him they had lived

so long with out, and would doe still, rather then

give so unreasonably.  So they went from hence to

Virginia. *

*I may not here omite how, notwithstand all their great paines & indns-

trie, and ye great hops of a large cropp, the Lord seemed to blast, & take

away the same, and to threaten further & more sore famine unto them, by

a great drought which continued from ye 3. weeke in May, till about ye

midle of July, without any raine, and with great heat (for ye most parte),

insomuch as ye corne begane to wither away, though it was set with fishe,

the moysture wherof helped it much.  Yet at length it begane to languish

sore, and some of ye drier grounds were partched like withered hay, part

wherof was never recovered.  Upon which they sett a parte a solemne day

of humilliation, to seek ye Lord by humble & fervente prayer, in this great

distrese.  And he was pleased to give them a gracious & speedy answer, both

to their owne, & the lndeans admiration, that lived amongest them.  For all

ye morning, and greatest part of the day, it was clear weather & very hotte,

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANATION.                  171

     About 14. days after came in this ship, caled ye

Anne, wherof Mr. William Peirce was mr., and aboute

a weeke or 10. days after came in ye pinass which in

foule weather they lost at sea, a fine new vessell of

about 44. tune, which ye company had builte to stay

in the cuntrie.  They brought about 60. persons for

ye generall, some of them being very usefull persons,

and became good members to ye body, and some were

ye wives and children of shuch as were hear allready.

And some were so bad, as they were faine to be at

charge to send them home againe ye next year.  Also,

besids these ther came a company, that did not belong

to ye generall body, but came one* their perticuler,

and were to have lands assigned them, and be for

them selves, yet to be subjecte to ye generall Gov-

and not a cloud or any signe of raine to be seen, yet toward evening it

begane to overcast, and shortly after to raine, with shuch sweete and gentle

showers, as gave them cause of rejoyceing, & blesing God.  It came, without

either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degreese in yt abundance,

as that ye earth was thorowly were and soked therwith.  Which did so

apparently revive & quicken ye decayed Corne & other fruits, as was won-

derfull to see, and made ye Indeans astonished to behold; and afterwards the

Lord sent them shuch seasonable showers, with enterchange of faire warme

weather, as, through his blessing, caused a fruitfull & liberall harvest, to

their no small comforte and rejoycing.  For which mercie (in time con-

veniente) they also sett aparte a day of thanksgiveing.  This being overslipt

in its place, I thought meet here to inserte ye same.

      [The above is written on the reverse of page 103 of the original, and

should properly be inserted here.  This passage, "being overslipt in its

place," the author at first wrote it, or the most of it, under the preceding

year; but, discovering his error before completing it, drew his pen across it,

and wrote beneath, "This is to be here rased out, and is to be placed on

page 103, wher it is inserted."] 

     * On.

172                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

erment; which caused some diferance and disturbance

[101] amongst them, as will after appeare.  I shall

hear againe take libertie to inserte a few things out

of shuch leters as came in this shipe, desiring rather

to manefest things in ther words and apprehentions,

then in my owne, as much as may be, without


      Beloved freinds, I kindly salute you all, with trust of

your healths & wellfare, being right sorie yt no supplie hath

been made to you all this while; for defence wher of, I

must referr you to our generall leters.  Naitheir indeed have

we now sent you many things, which we should & would,

for want of money.  But persons, more then inough, (though

not all we should,) for people come flying in upon us, but

monys come creeping in to us.  Some few of your old

freinds are come, as, &c.  So they come droping to you,

and by degrees, I hope ere long you shall enjoye them all.

And because people press so hard upon us to goe, and often

shuch as are none of ye fitest, I pray you write ernestly to

ye Treasurer and directe what persons should be sente.  It

greeveth me to see so weake a company sent you, and yet

had I not been hear they had been weaker.  You must still

call upon the company hear to see yt honest men be sente

you, and threaten to send them back if any other come, &c.

Weare not any way so much in danger, as by corrupte an

noughty persons.  Shuch, and shuch, came without my con-

sente; but ye importunitie of their freinds got promise of

our Treasurer in my absence.  Neither is ther need we

should take any lewd men, for we may have honest men

enew, &c.

Your assured freind,

R. C.

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                173

The following was from ye genrall.

      Loving freinds, we most hartily salute you in all love and

harty affection; being yet in hope yt the same God which

hath hithertoo preserved you in a marvelous maner, doth yet

continue your lives and health, to his owne praise and all

our comforts.  Being right sory that you have not been sent

unto all this time, &c.  We have in this ship sent shuch

women, as were willing and ready to goe to their husbands

and freinds, with their children, &c.  We would not have

you discontente, because we have not sent you more of your

old freinds, and in spetiall, him* on whom you most depend.

Farr be it from us to neclecte you, or contemne him.  But

as ye intente was at first, so ye evente at last shall shew it,

that we will deal fairly, and squarly answer your expec-

tations to the full.  Ther are also come unto you, some

honest men to plant upon their particulers besids you.  A

thing which if we should not give way unto, we should wrong

both them and you.  Them, by puting them on things more

inconveniente, and you, for that being honest men, they will

be a strengthening to ye place, and good neighbours [102]

unto you.  Tow things we would advise you of, which we

have likwise signified them hear.  First, ye trade for skins

to be retained for the generall till ye devidente; 21y. yt their

setling by you, be with shuch distance of place as is neither

inconvenient for ye lying of your lands, nor hurtfull to your

speedy & easie assembling togeather.

    We have sente you diverse fisher men, with salte, &c.

Diverse other provissions we have sente you, as will appear

in your bill of lading, and though we have not sent all we

would (because our cash is small), yet it is yt we could, &c.

      And allthough it seemeth you have discovered many more

rivers and fertill grounds then yt wher you are, yet seeing by

*I. R.

174                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

Gods providence yt place fell to your lote, let it be accounted

as your portion; and rather fixe your eyes upou that which

may be done ther, then languish in hops after things els-wher.

If your place be not ye best, it is better, you shall be ye

less envied and encroached upon; and shuch as are earthly

minded, will not setle too near your border.*  If ye land

afford you bread, and ye sea yeeld you fish, rest you a while

contented, God will one day afford you better fare.  And all

men shall know you are neither fugetives nor discontents.

But can, if God so order it, take ye worst to your selves,

with content,! & leave ye best to your neighbours, with


     Let it not be greeveous unto you yt you have been instru-

ments to breake ye ise for others who come after with less

dificulty, the honour shall be yours to ye worlds end, &c.

     We bear you always in our brests, and our harty affection

is towards you all, as are ye harts of hundreds more which

never saw your faces, who doubtles pray for your saftie as

their owne, as we our selves both doe & ever shall, that ye

same God which hath so marvelously preserved you from

seas, foes, and famine, will still preserve you from all

future dangers, and make you honourable amongst men, and

glorious in blise at ye last day.  And so ye Lord be with

you all & send us joyfull news from you, and inable us

with one shoulder so to accomplish & perfecte this worke,

as much glorie may come to Him yt confoundeth ye mighty

by the weak, and maketh small thinges great.  To whose

greatnes, be all glolie for ever & ever.

    This leter was subscribed with 13. of their names.

    These passengers, when they saw their low & poore

condition a shore, were much danted and dismayed,

                      *This proved rather, a propheti. then advice.

!Contend in the manuscript.

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                175

and according to their diverse humores were diversly

affected; some wished them selves in England againe;

others fell a weeping, fancying their own miserie in

what yey saw now in others; other some pitying the

distress they saw their freinds had been long in, and

still were under; in a word, all were full of sadnes.

Only some of their old freinds rejoysed to see them,

and yt it was no worse with them, for they could not

expecte it should be better, and now hoped they should

injoye better days togeather.  And truly it was [103]

no marvell they should be thus affected, for they were

in a very low condition, many were ragged in aparell,

& some litle beter then halfe naked; though some yt

were well stord before, were well enough in this re-

gard.  But for food they were all alike, save some yt

had got a few pease of ye ship yt was last hear.  The

best dish they could presente their freinds with was

a lobster, or a peece of fish, without bread or any

thing els but a cupp of fair spring water.  And ye long

continuance of this diate, and their labours abroad,

had something abated ye freshnes of their former com-

plexion.  But God gave them health and strength in

a good measure; and shewed them by experience ye

truth of yt word, Deut. 8. 3. Ye man liveth not by

bread only, but by every word ye proceedeth out of ye.

mouth of ye Lord doth a man live.

     When I think qow sadly ye scripture speaks of the

famine in Jaakobs time, when he said to his sonns,

176                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

Goe buy us food, that we may live and not dye.

Gen. 42. 2. and 43.1, that the famine was great, or

heavie in the land; and yet they had such great herds,

and store of catle of sundrie kinds, which, besids flesh,

must needs produse other food, as milke, butter &

cheese, &c., and yet it was counted a sore aflliction;

theirs hear must needs be very great, therfore, who

not only wanted the staffe of bread, but all these

things, and had no Egipte to goe too.  But God fedd

them out of ye sea for ye most parte, so wonderfull

is his providence over his in all ages; for his mercie

endureth for ever.

     On ye other hand the old planters were affraid that

their corne, when it was ripe, should be imparted to ye

new-comers, whose provissions wch they brought with

them they feared would fall short before ye year wente

aboute (as indeed it did).  They came to ye Govr and

besought him that as it was before agreed that they

should set corne for their perticuler, and accordingly

they had taken extraordinary pains ther aboute, that

they might freely injoye the same, and they would not

have a bitte of ye victails now come, but waite till

harvest for their owne, and let ye new-comers injoye

what they had brought; they would have none of it,

excepte they could purchase any of it of them by

bargaine or exchainge.  Their requeste was granted

them, for it gave both sides good contente; for ye

new-comers wera as much afraid that ye hungrie

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                177

planters would have eat up ye provissions brought, and

they should have fallen into ye like condition.

     This ship was in a shorte time laden with clapbord,

by ye help of many hands.  Also they sente in her all

ye beaver and other furrs they had, & Mr. Winslow

was sent over with her, to informe of all things, and

procure such things as were thought needfull for their

presente condition.  By this time harvest was come,

and in stead of famine, now God gave them plentie,

and ye face of things was changed, to ye rejoysing of

ye harts of many, for which they blessed God.  And

ye effect of their particuler planting was well seene, for

all had, one way & other, pretty well to bring ye year

aboute, and some of ye abler sorte and more [104]

industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any

generall wante or famine hath not been amongst them

since to this day.

     Those that come on their perticuler looked for greater

matters then they found or could attaine unto, aboute

building great houses, and such pleasant situations for

them, as them selves had fancied; as if they would be

great men & rich, all of a sudaine; but they proved

castls in ye aire.  These were ye conditions agreed on

betweene ye colony and them.

     First, that ye Govr, in ye name and with ye consente

of ye company, doth in all love and frendship receive

and imbrace them; and is to allote them competente

places for habitations within ye towne.  And promiseth

178                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

to shew them all such other curtesies as shall be rea-

sonable for them to desire, or us to performe.

    2.  That they, on their parts, be subjecte to all such

laws & orders as are already made, or hear after shall

be, for ye publick good.

     3.  That they be freed and exempte from ye generall

imployments of the said company, (which their pres-

ente condition of comunitie requireth,) excepte com-

mune defence, & such other imployments as tend to

ye perpetuall good of ye collony.

     4ly.  Towards ye maintenance of Govrt, & publick

officers of ye said collony, every male above ye age of

16. years shall pay a bushell of Indean wheat, or

ye worth of it, into ye commone store.

     5ly.  That (according to ye agreemente ye marchants

made with ym before they came) they are to be wholy

debared from all trade with the Indeans for all sorts

of furrs, and such like commodities, till ye time of ye

comunallitie be ended.

     About ye midle of September arrived Captaine

Robart Gorges in ye Bay of ye Massachusets, with

sundrie passengers and families, intending ther to

begine a plantation; and pitched upon ye place Mr.

Weston's people had forsaken.  He had a comission

from ye Counsell of New-England, to be generall Gover

of ye cuntrie, and they appoynted for his counsell &

assistance, Captaine Francis West, ye aforesaid admirall,

Christopher Levite, Esquire, and ye Govr of Plimoth for

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                179

ye time beeing, &c.  Allso, they gave him authoritie to

chuse such other as he should find fit. Allso, they gave

(by their comission) full power to him & his assistants,

or any 3. of them, wherof him selfe was allway to be

one, to doe and execute what to them should seeme

good, in all cases, Capitall, Criminall, and Civill, &c.,

with diverce other instructions.  Of which, & his

comission, it pleased him to suffer ye Govr hear to

take a coppy.

     He gave them notice of his arivall by letter, but

before they could visite him he went to ye eastward

with ye ship he came in; but a storme arising, (and

they wanting a good pilot to harbor them in those

parts,) they bore up for this harbor.  He and his

men were hear kindly entertained; he stayed hear

14. days.  In ye mean time came in Mr. Weston with

his small ship, which he had now recovered. [105*]

Captaine Gorges tooke hold of ye opportunitie, and

acquainted ye Govr hear, that one occasion of his

going to ye eastward was to meete with Mr. Weston,

and call him to accounte for some abuses he had to

lay to his charge.  Wherupon he called him before

him, and some other of his assistants, with ye Govr of

this place; and charged him, first, with ye ille carriage

of his men at ye Massachusets; by which means the

peace of ye cuntrie was disturbed, and him selfe & the

people which he had brought over to plante in that

*In MS. also 145.

180                      HISTORY OF                        [Book II.

bay were therby much prejudised.  To this Mr. Weston

easily answered, that what was that way done, was in

his absence, and might have befalen any man; he left

them sufficently provided, and conceived they would

have been well governed; and for any errour comitted

he had sufficiently smarted.  This particuler was passed

by.  A 2d. was, for an abuse done to his father, Sr.

Ferdenando Gorges, and to ye State.  The thing was

this; he used him & others of ye Counsell of New-

England, to procure him a licence for ye transporting

of many peeces of great ordnance for New-England,

pretending great fortification hear in ye countrie, & I

know not what shipping.  The which when he had

obtained, he went and sould them beyond seas for his

private profite; for which (he said) ye State was much

offended, and his father suffered a shrowd check, and

he had order to apprehend him for it.  Mr. Weston

excused it as well as he could, but could not deney

it; it being one maine thing (as was said) for which

he with-drew himself.  But after many passages, by

ye mediation of ye Govr and some other freinds hear,

he was inclined to gentlnes (though he aprehended ye

abuse of his father deeply); which, when Mr. Weston

saw, he grew more presumptuous, and gave such pro-

vocking & cutting speches, as made him rise up in

great indignation & distemper, and vowed yt he would

either curb him, or send him home for England.  At

which Mr. Weston was something danted, and came

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                181

privatly to ye Govr hear, to know whether they would

suffer Captaine Gorges to apprehend him.  He was

tould they could not hinder him, but much blamed

him, yt after they had pacified things, he should thus

breake out, by his owne folly & rashnes, to bring

trouble upon him selfe & them too.  He confest it

was his passion, and prayd ye Govr to entreat for him,

and pacifie him if he could.  The which at last he

did, with much adoe; so he was called againe, and ye

Govr was contente to take his owne bond to be ready

to make further answer, when either he or ye lords

should send for him.  And at last he tooke only his

word, and ther was a freidly parting on all hands.

     But after he was gone, Mr. Weston in lue of thanks

to ye Govr and his freinds hear, gave them this quib

(behind their baks) for all their pains.  That though

they were but yonge justices, yet they wear good

beggers.  Thus they parted at this time, and shortly

after ye Govr tooke his leave and went to ye Mas-

sachusets by land, being very thankfull for his kind

entertainemente.  The ship stayed hear, and fitted her

selfe to goe for Virginia, having some passengers ther

to deliver; and with her returned sundrie of those

from hence which came over on their perticuler, some

out of discontente and dislike of ye cuntrie; others by

reason of a fire that broke out, and burnt ye houses

they lived in, and all their provisions [106*] so as

*In MS. also 146.

182                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

they were necessitated therunto.  This fire was occa-

sioned by some of ye sea-men that were roystering in

a house wher it first begane, makeing a great fire in

very could weather, which broke out of ye chimney

into ye thatch, and burnte downe 3. or 4. houses, and

consumed all ye goods & provissions in ym.  The

house in which it begane was right against their store-

house, which they had much adoe to save, in which

were their comone store & all their provissions; ye

which if it had been lost, ye plantation had been over-

throwne.  But through Gods mercie it was saved by

ye great dilligence of ye people, & care of ye Govr &

some aboute him.  Some would have had ye goods

throwne out; but if they had, ther would much have

been stolne by the rude company yt belonged to these

2. ships, which were allmost all ashore.  But a trusty

company was plased within, as well as those that with

wet-cloaths & other means kept of ye fire without,

that if necessitie required they might have them out

with all speed.  For yey suspected some malicious

dealling, if not plaine treacherie, and whether it was

only suspition or no, God knows; but this is certaine,

that when ye tumulte was greatest, ther was a voyce

heard (but from whom it was not knowne) that bid

them looke well aboute them, for all were not freinds

yt were near them.  And shortly after, when the

vemencie of ye fire was over, smoke was seen to arise

within a shed yt was joynd to ye end of ye store-

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                183

house, which was watled up with bowes, in ye withered

leaves wherof ye fire was kindled, which some, runing

to quench, found a longe firebrand of an ell longe,

lying under ye wale on ye inside, which could not

possibly come their by cassualtie, but must be laid

ther by some hand, in ye judgmente of all that saw

it.  But God kept them from this deanger, what ever

was intended.

      Shortly after Captaine, Gorges, ye generall Govr, was

come home to ye Massachusets, he sends a warrante

to arrest Mr. Weston & his ship, and sends a mr. to

bring her away thither, and one Captain Hanson (that

belonged to him) to conducte him along.  The Govr

& others hear were very sory to see him take this

course, and tooke exception at ye warrante, as not

legall nor sufficiente; and withall write to him to dis-

swade him from this course, shewing him yt he would

but entangle and burthen him selfe in doing this; for

he could not doe Mr. Weston a better turne, (as things

stood with him); for he had a great many men that

belonged to him in this barke, and was deeply ingaged

to them for wages, and was in a maner out of victails

(and now winter); all which would light upon him, if

he did arrest his barke.  In ye mean time Mr. Weston

had notice to shift for him selfe; but it was conceived

he either knew not whither to goe, or how to mend

him selfe, but was rather glad of ye occasion, and so

stirred not.  But ye Govr would not be perswaded, but

184                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

[107] sent a very forman warrente under his hand &

seall, with strict charge as they would answere. it to

ye state; he also write that he had better considered

of things since he was hear, and he could not answer

it to let him goe so; besids other things that were

come to his knowledg since, which he must answer too.

So he was suffered to proceede, but he found in the

end that to be true that was tould him; for when an

inventorie was taken of what was in ye ship, ther was

not vitailes found for above 14. days, at a pare allow-

ance, and not much else of any great worth, & the

men did so crie out of him for wages and diate, in ye

mean time, as made him soone weary.  So as in con-

clusion it turned to his loss, and ye expence of his

owne provissions; and towards the spring they came to

agreement, (after they had bene to ye eastward,) and

ye Govr restord him his vessell againe, and made him

satisfaction, in bisket, meal, and such like provissions,

for what he had made use of that was his, or what

his men had any way wasted or consumed.  So Mr.

Weston came hither againe, and afterward shaped his

course for Virginie, & so for present I shall leave


     The Govr and some yt depended upon him returned

for England, haveing scarcly saluted ye cuntrie in his

Govermente, not finding the state of things hear to

      * He dyed afterwards at Bristoll, in ye time of the warrs, of ye sicknes

in yt place.

1623.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                185

answer his quallitie & condition.  The peopl dispersed

them  selves, some went for England, others for Vir-

ginia, some few remained, and were helped with sup-

plies from hence.  The Govr brought over a minister

with him, one Mr. Morell, who, about a year after ye

Govr returned, tooke shipping from hence.  He had I

know not what power and authority of superintendancie

over other churches granted him, and sundrie instruc-

tions for that end; but he never shewed it, or made any

use of it; (it should seeme he saw it was in vaine;)

he only speake of it to some hear at his going away.

This was in effect ye end of a 2. plantation in that

place.  Ther were allso this year some scatering be-

ginings made in other places, as at Paskataway,

by Mr. David Thomson, at Monhigen, and some other

places by sundrie others.

     It rests now yt I speake a word about ye pinass

spoken of before, which was sent by ye adventurers to

be imployed in ye cuntrie.  She was a fine vessell, and

bravely set out,* and I fear ye adventurers did over

pride them selves in her, for she had ill success.  How

ever, they erred grosly in tow things aboute her; first,

though she had a sufficiente maister, yet she was rudly

maned, and all her men were upon shars, and none was

to have any wages but ye mr.  2ly, wheras they mainly

lookt at trade, they had sent nothing of any value to

trade with.  When the men came hear, and mette with

            * With her flages, & streamers, pendents, & wastcloaths, &c.

186                      HISTORY OF                        [BOOK II.

ill counsell from Mr. Weston & his crue, with others

of ye same stampe, neither mr. nor Govr could scarce

rule [108] them, for they exclaimed that they were

abused & deceived, for they were tould they should

goe for a man of warr, and take I know not whom,

French & Spaniards, &c.  They would neither trade

nor fish, excepte they had wages; in fine, they would

obey no comand of ye maisters; so it was appre-

hended they would either rune away with ye vessell,

or get away wth ye ships, and leave her; so as Mr. Peirce

& others of their freinds perswaded the Govr to chaing

their condition, and give them wages; which was ac-

cordingly done.  And she was sente about ye Cape to

ye Narigansets to trade, but they made but a poore

vioage of it.  Some corne and beaver they got, but ye

Dutch used to furnish them with cloath & better comod-

ities, they haveing only a few beads & knives, which

were not ther much esteemed.  Allso, in her returne

home, at ye very entrance into ther owne harbore, she

had like to have been cast away in a storme, and was f

orced to cut her maine mast by ye bord, to save her-

selfe from driving on ye flats that lye without, caled

Browns Ilands, the force of ye wind being so great as

made her anchors give way and she drive right upon

them; but her mast & takling being gone, they held

her till ye wind shifted.

Continue on to Book Two / pp. 187 - 226

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