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    2. Why, and to what effect, does Champlain allude to Old World/European examples of successful colonization of places that at first seemed to promise little success ie Venice, Genoa, Marseilles?

    3. What cultural adaptations, if any, does Champlain foresee for Frenchmen who cultivate/colonize New France?

    4. Why do you think Champlain extolls converting Canadian Indians to Christianity as the true virtue of kings?

    5. What attitude does Champlain take to the Canadian Indians’ culture(s)?

    Why? How do you know? How does his attitude compare with that of de Vaca or Smith? Why and to what effect does Champlain detail the torturing of a Mohawk Iroquois prisoner of war by the Montagnais (with whom Champlain fought)?

    Page | 75





    1.8 JOHN SMITH


    Born into a farming family in Lincoln-

    shire, John Smith early on sought a more

    adventurous life. At the age of sixteen, he

    joined in the (Protestant) Dutch War of

    Independence from the (Catholic) Philip

    II of Spain. He next saw action in the

    Mediterranean and in the Austrian war

    against the Turks. His service in this war

    earned him the rank of Captain. Wounded

    in battle and captured by the Turks, Smith

    escaped slavery by assassinating his owner

    and fleeing to Eastern Europe. He eventually

    returned to England in 1604.

    Smith’s military experience led to his

    being appointed to the ruling council of the

    Virginia Company, a company of investors Image 1.10 | Captain John Smith who supported colonizing efforts in North Artist | Unknown Source | Wikimedia Commons

    America. Himself somewhat unruly and bad- License | Public Domain tempered, Smith was placed under arrest

    on the voyage over and was even threatened

    with execution. Once having reached their

    destination, Smith took his place on the

    governing council and became governor

    of the colony in 1607. Although active in

    maintaining the settlement, especially in

    the face of sickness and starvation, Smith

    made extensive explorations of Virginia.

    During one of these exploratory treks,

    Smith was captured by the Chesapeake Bay

    Indians, then ruled by Powhatan (1545–

    1618) whose daughter Pocahontas (d. 1617)

    saved Smith from execution. He was almost

    executed by the Jamestown colonists for Image 1.11 | Pocahontas the death of two of his soldiers but escaped Artist | Unknown punishment upon the arrival of a much- Source | Wikimedia Commons needed supply ship. After suffering injury License | Public Domain from an accidental explosion of gunpowder, Smith returned to England. There he wrote of his experiences and explorations of Virginia and New England in terms that captivated the imagination of future settlers. His own imagination may have Page | 76

    colored many of the events he detailed, including his famous encounter with Pocahontas, an encounter that many modern-day historians doubt ever occurred.

    The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles (1624) compiled previously-published accounts with Smith’s own writing. In it, he offered lavish details of the land’s bountiful resources, countered biased views of Native Americans as simple savages and nomads by describing the Powhatan confederacy, and advocated strong leaders and leadership for maintaining colonies.

    1.8.1 From The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England,

    and the Summer Isles


    Third Book

    Chapter 2

    Being thus left to our fortunes, it fortuned that within ten dayes scarce ten amongst vs could either goe, or well stand, such extreame weaknes and sicknes oppressed vs. And thereat none need marvaile, if they consider the cause and reason, which was this; whilest the ships stayed, our allowance was somewhat bettered, by a daily proportion of Bisket, which the sailers would pilfer to sell, giue, or exchange with vs, for money, Saxefras, furres, or loue. But when they departed, there remained neither taverne, beere-house, nor place of reliefe, but the common Kettell. Had we beene as free from all sinnes as gluttony, and drunkennesse, we might haue beene canonized for Saints; But our President would never haue beene admitted, for ingrossing to his private, Oatmeale, Sacke, Oyle, Aquavitæ, Beefe, Egges, or what not, but the Kettell; that indeed he allowed equally to be distributed, and that was halfe a pint of wheat, and as much barley boyled with water for a man a day, and this having fryed some 26. weekes in the ships hold, contained as many wormes as graines; so that we might truely call it rather so much bran then corne, our drinke was water, our lodgings Castles in the ayre: with this lodging and dyet, our extreame toile in bearing and planting Pallisadoes, so strained and bruised vs, and our continuall labour in the extremitie of the heat had so weakned vs, as were cause sufficient to haue made vs as miserable in our natiue Countrey, or any other place in the world. From May, to September, those that escaped, liued vpon Sturgeon, and Sea-crabs, fiftie in this time we buried, the rest seeing the Presidents proiects to escape these miseries in our Pinnace by flight (who all this time had neither felt want nor sicknes) so moved our dead spirits, as we deposed him; and established Ratcliffe in his place, (Gosnoll being dead) Kendall deposed, Smith newly recovered, Martin and Ratcliffe was by his care preserved and relieued, and the most of the souldiers recovered, with the skilfull diligence of Mr Thomas Wotton our Chirurgian generall. But now was all our provision spent, the Sturgeon gone, all helps abandoned, each houre expecting the fury of the Salvages; when Page | 77

    God the patron of all good indevours, in that desperate extremitie so changed the hearts of the Salvages, that they brought such plenty of their fruits, and provision, as no man wanted.

    And now where some affirmed it was ill done of the Councell to send forth men so badly provided, this incontradictable reason will shew them plainely they are too ill advised to nourish such ill conceits; first, the fault of our going was our owne, what could be thought fitting or necessary we had, but what we should find, or want, or where we should be, we were all ignorant, and supposing to make our passage in two moneths, with victuall to liue, and the advantage of the spring to worke; we were at Sea fiue moneths, where we both spent our victuall and lost the opportunitie of the time, and season to plant, by the vnskilfull presumption of our ignorant transporters, that vnderstood not at all, what they vndertooke.

    Such actions haue ever since the worlds beginning beene subiect to such accidents, and every thing of worth is found full of difficulties, but nothing so difficult as to establish a Common-wealth so farre remote from men and meanes, and where mens mindes are so vntoward as neither doe well themselues, nor suffer others. But to proceed.

    The new President and Martin, being little beloved, of weake iudgement in dangers, and lesse industrie in peace, committed the managing of all things abroad to Captaine Smith: who by his owne example, good words, and faire promises, set some to mow, others to binde thatch, some to build houses, others to thatch them, himselfe alwayes bearing the greatest taske for his owne share, so that in short time, he provided most of them lodgings, neglecting any for himselfe. This done, seeing the Salvages superfluitie beginne to decrease (with some of his workemen) shipped himselfe in the Shallop to search the Country for trade. The want of the language, knowledge to mannage his boat without sailes, the want of a sufficient power, (knowing the multitude of the Salvages) apparell for his men, and other necessaries, were infinite impediments, yet no discouragement. Being but six or seauen in company he went downe the river to Kecoughtan, where at first they scorned him, as a famished man, and would in derision offer him a handfull of Corne, a peece of bread, for their swords and muskets, and such like proportions also for their apparell. But seeing by trade and courtesie there was nothing to be had, he made bold to try such conclusions as necessitie inforced, though contrary to his Commission: Let fly his muskets, ran his boat on shore, whereat they all fled into the woods. So marching towards their houses, they might see great heapes of corne: much adoe he had to restraine his hungry souldiers from present taking of it, expecting as it hapned that the Salvages would assault them, as not long after they did with a most hydeous noyse. Sixtie or seaventie of them, some blacke, some red, some white, some party-coloured, came in a square order, singing and dauncing out of the woods, with their Okee (which was an Idoll made of skinnes, stuffed with mosse, all painted and hung with chaines and copper) borne before them: and in this manner being well armed, with Clubs, Targets, Bowes and Arrowes, they charged the English, that so kindly receiued them with their muskets loaden with Page | 78

    Pistoll shot, that downe fell their God, and divers lay sprauling on the ground; the rest fled againe to the woods, and ere long sent one of their Quiyoughkasoucks to offer peace, and redeeme their Okee. Smith told them, if onely six of them would come vnarmed and loade his boat, he would not only be their friend, but restore them their Okee, and giue them Beads, Copper, and Hatchets besides: which on both sides was to their contents performed: and then they brought him Venison, Turkies, wild foule, bread, and what they had, singing and dauncing in signe of friendship till they departed. In his returne he discovered the Towne and Country of Warraskoyack.

    Thus God vnboundlesse by his power,

    Made them thus kind, would vs deuour.

    Smith perceiving (notwithstanding their late miserie) not any regarded but from hand to mouth (the company being well recovered) caused the Pinnace to be provided with things fitting to get provision for the yeare following; but in the interim he made 3. or 4. iournies and discovered the people of Chickahamania: yet what he carefully provided the rest carelesly spent Wingfield and Kendall liuing in disgrace, seeing all things at randome in the absence of Smith, the companies dislike of their Presidents weaknes, and their small loue to Martins never mending sicknes, strengthened themselues with the sailers, and other confederates to regaine their former credit and authority, or at least such meanes abord the Pinnace, (being fitted to saile as Smith had appointed for trade) to alter her course and to goe for England. Smith vnexpectedly returning had the plot discovered to him, much trouble he had to prevent it, till with store of sakre and musket shot he forced them stay or sinke in the riuer, which action cost the life of captaine Kendall.

    These brawles are so disgustfull, as some will say they were better forgotten, yet all men of good iudgement will conclude, it were better their basenes should be manifest to the world, then the busines beare the scorne and shame of their excused disorders. The President and captaine Archer not long after intended also to haue abandoned the country, which proiect also was curbed, and suppressed by Smith. The Spaniard never more greedily desired gold then he victuall, nor his souldiers more to abandon the Country, then he to keepe it. But finding plentie of Corne in the riuer of Chickahamania where hundreds of Salvages in diuers places stood with baskets expecting his comming. And now the winter approaching, the rivers became so covered with swans, geese, duckes, and cranes, that we daily feasted with good bread, Virginia pease, pumpions, and putchamins, fish, fowle, and diverse sorts of wild beasts as fat as we could eate them: so that none of our Tuftaffaty humorists desired to goe for England. But our Comœdies never endured long without a Tragedie; some idle exceptions being muttered against Captaine Smith, for not discovering the head of Chickahamania river, and taxed by the Councell, to be too slow in so worthy an attempt. The next voyage hee proceeded so farre that with much labour by cutting of trees in sunder he made his passage, Page | 79

    but when his Barge could passe no farther, he left her in a broad bay out of danger of shot, commanding none should goe a shore till his returne: himselfe with two English and two Salvages went vp higher in a Canowe, but hee was not long absent, but his men went a shore, whose want of government, gaue both occasion and opportunity to the Salvages to surprise one George Cassen, whom they slew, and much failed not to haue cut of the boat and all the rest. Smith little dreaming of that accident, being got to the marshes at the rivers head, twentie myles in the desert, had his two men slaine (as is supposed) sleeping by the Canowe, whilst himselfe by fowling sought them victuall, who finding he was beset with 200. Salvages, two of them hee slew, still defending himselfe with the ayd of a Salvage his guid, whom he bound to his arme with his garters, and vsed him as a buckler, yet he was shot in his thigh a little, and had many arrowes that stucke in his cloathes but no great hurt, till at last they tooke him prisoner. When this newes came to Iames towne, much was their sorrow for his losse, fewe expecting what ensued. Sixe or seuen weekes those Barbarians kept him prisoner, many strange triumphes and coniurations they made of him, yet hee so demeaned himselfe amongst them, as he not onely diverted them from surprising the Fort, but procured his owne libertie, and got himselfe and his company such estimation amongst them, that those Salvages admired him more then their owne Quiyouckosucks. The manner how they vsed and deliuered him, is as followeth.

    The Salvages hauing drawne from George Cassen whether Captaine Smith was gone, prosecuting that oportunity they followed him with. 300. bowmen, conducted by the King of Pamavnkee, who in diuisions searching the turnings of the riuer, found Robinson and Emry by the fire side, those they shot full of arrowes and slew. Then finding the Captaine, as is said, that vsed the Salvage that was his guide as his sheld (three of them being slaine and diuers other so gauld) all the rest would not come neere him. Thinking thus to haue returned to his boat, regarding them, as he marched, more then his way, slipped vp to the middle in an oasie creeke & his Salvage with him, yet durst they not come to him till being neere dead with cold, he threw away his armes. Then according to their composition they drew him forth and led him to the fire, where his men were slaine. Diligently they chafed his benummed limbs. He demanding for their Captaine, they shewed him Opechankanough, King of Pamavnkee, to whom he gaue a round Ivory double compass Dyall. Much they marvailed at the playing of the Fly and Needle, which they could see so plainely, and yet not touch it, because of the glasse that covered them. But when he demonstrated by that Globe-like Iewell, the roundnesse of the earth, and skies, the spheare of the Sunne, Moone, and Starres, and how the Sunne did chase the night round about the world continually; the greatnesse of the Land and Sea, the diversitie of Nations, varietie of complexions, and how we were to them Antipodes, and many other such like matters, they all stood as amazed with admiration. Notwithstanding, within an houre after they tyed him to a tree, and as many as could stand about him prepared to shoot him, but the King holding vp the Compass in his hand, they all laid downe their Bowes and Arrowes, and in a Page | 80

    triumphant manner led him to Orapaks, where he was after their manner kindly feasted, and well vsed.

    Their order in conducting him was thus; Drawing themselues all in fyle, the King in the middest had all their Peeces and Swords borne before him. Captaine Smith was led after him by three great Salvages, holding him fast by each arme: and on each side six went in fyle with their Arrowes nocked. But arriving at the Towne (which was but onely thirtie or fortie hunting houses made of Mats, which they remoue as they please, as we our tents) all the women and children staring to behold him, the souldiers first all in fyle performed the forme of a Bissom so well as could be; and on each flanke, officers as Serieants to see them keepe their order. A good time they continued this exercise, and then cast themselues in a ring, dauncing in such severall Postures, and singing and yelling out such hellish notes and screeches; being strangely painted, every one his quiver of Arrowes, and at his backe a club; on his arme a Fox or an Otters skinne, or some such matter for his vambrace; their heads and shoulders painted red, with Oyle and Pocones mingled together, which Scarlet-like colour made an exceeding handsome shew; his Bow in his hand, and the skinne of a Bird with her wings abroad dryed, tyed on his head, a peece of copper, a white shell, a long feather, with a small rattle growing at the tayles of their snaks tyed to it, or some such like toy. All this while Smith and the King stood in the middest guarded, as before is said, and after three dances they all departed. Smith they conducted to a long house, where thirtie or fortie tall fellowes did guard him, and ere long more bread and venison was brought him then would haue served twentie men, I thinke his stomacke at that time was not very good; what he left they put in baskets and tyed over his head. About midnight they set the meate againe before him, all this time not one of them would eate a bit with him, till the next morning they brought him as much more, and then did they eate all the old, & reserved the new as they had done the other, which made him thinke they would fat him to eat him. Yet in this desperate estate to defend him from the cold, one Maocassater brought him his gowne, in requitall of some beads and toyes Smith had given him at his first arrivall in Virginia.

    Two dayes after a man would haue slaine him (but that the guard prevented it) for the death of his sonne, to whom they conducted him to recover the poore man then breathing his last. Smith told them that at Iames towne he had a water would doe it, if they would let him fetch it, but they would not permit that; but made all the preparations they could to assault Iames towne, crauing his advice, and for recompence he should haue life, libertie, land, and women. In part of a Table booke he writ his minde to them at the Fort, what was intended, how they should follow that direction to affright the messengers, and without fayle send him such things as he writ for. And an Inventory with them. The difficultie and danger, he told the Salvages, of the Mines, great gunnes, and other Engins exceedingly affrighted them, yet according to his request they went to Iames towne, in as bitter weather as could be of frost and snow, and within three dayes returned with an answer.

    Page | 81

    But when they came to Iame towne, seeing men sally out as he had told them they would, they fled; yet in the night they came againe to the same place where he had told them they should receiue an answer, and such things as he had promised them, which they found accordingly, and with which they returned with no small expedition, to the wonder of them all that heard it, that he could either divine, or the paper could speake: then they led him to the Youthtanunds, the Mattapanients, the Payankatanks, the Nantaughtacunds, and Onawmanients vpon the rivers of Rapahanock, and Patawomek, over all those rivers, and backe againe by divers other severall Nations, to the Kings habitation at Pamavnkee, where they entertained him with most strange and fearefull Coniurations; As if neare led to hell,

    Amongst the Devils to dwell.

    Not long after, early in a morning a great fire was made in a long house, and a mat spread on the one side, as on the other, on the one they caused him to sit, and all the guard went out of the house, and presently came skipping in a great grim fellow, all painted over with coale, mingled with oyle; and many Snakes and Wesels skins stuffed with mosse, and all their tayles tyed together, so as they met on the crowne of his head in a tassell; and round about the tassell was as a Coronet of feathers, the skins hanging round about his head, backe, and shoulders, and in a manner covered his face; with a hellish voyce and a rattle in his hand. With most strange gestures and passions he began his invocation, and environed the fire with a circle of meale; which done, three more such like devils came rushing in with the like antique tricks, painted halfe blacke, halfe red: but all their eyes were painted white, and some red stroakes like Mutchato’s, along their cheekes: round about him those fiends daunced a pretty while, and then came in three more as vgly as the rest; with red eyes, and white stroakes over their blacke faces, at last they all sat downe right against him; three of them on the one hand of the chiefe Priest, and three on the other. Then all with their rattles began a song, which ended, the chiefe Priest layd downe fiue wheat cornes: then strayning his armes and hands with such violence that he sweat, and his veynes swelled, he began a short Oration: at the conclusion they all gaue a short groane; and then layd down three graines more.

    After that, began their song againe, and then another Oration, ever laying downe so many cornes as before, till they had twice incirculed the fire; that done, they tooke a bunch of little stickes prepared for that purpose, continuing still their devotion, and at the end of every song and Oration, they layd downe a sticke betwixt the divisions of Corne. Till night, neither he nor they did either eate or drinke, and then they feasted merrily, with the best provisions they could make. Three dayes they vsed this Ceremony; the meaning whereof they told him, was to know if he intended them well or no. The circle of meale signified their Country, the circles of corne the bounds of the Sea, and the stickes his Country. They imagined the world to be flat and round, like a trencher, and they in the middest. After this they Page | 82

    brought him a bagge of gunpowder, which they carefully preferved till the next spring, to plant as they did their corne; because they would be acquainted with the nature of that seede. Opitchapam the Kings brother invited him to his house, where, with as many platters of bread, foule, and wild beasts, as did environ him, he bid him wellcome; but not any of them would eate a bit with him, but put vp all the remainder in Baskets. At his returne to Opechancanoughs, all the Kings women, and their children, flocked about him for their parts, as a due by Custome, to be merry with such fragments.

    But his waking mind in hydeous dreames did oft see wondrous shapes, Of bodies strange, and huge in growth, and of stupendious makes.

    At last they brought him to Meronocomoco, where was Powhatan their Emperor. Here more then two hundred of those grim Courtiers stood wondering at him, as he had beene a monster; till Powhatan and his trayne had put themselues in their greatest braveries. Before a fire vpon a seat like a bedsted, he sat covered with a great robe, made of Rarowcun skinnes, and all the tayles hanging by. On either hand did sit a young wench of 16 to 18 yeares, and along on each side the house, two rowes of men, and behind them as many women, with all their heads and shoulders painted red; many of their heads bedecked with the white downe of Birds; but every one with something: and a great chayne of white beads about their necks. At his entrance before the King, all the people gaue a great shout. The Queene of Appamatuck was appointed to bring him water to wash his hands, and another brought him a bunch of feathers, in stead of a Towell to dry them: having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they could, a long consultation was held, but the conclusion was, two great stones were brought before Powhatan: then as many as could layd hands on him, dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being ready with their clubs, to beate out his braines, Pocahontas the Kings dearest daughter, when no intreaty could prevaile, got his head in her armes, and laid her owne vpon his to saue him from death: whereat the Emperour was contented he should liue to make him hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper; for they thought him as well of all occupations as themselues. For the King himselfe will make his owne robes, shooes, bowes, arrowes, pots; plant, hunt, or doe any thing so well as the rest.

    They say he bore a pleasant shew

    But sure his heart was sad.

    For who can pleasant be, and rest

    That liues in feare and dread

    And having life suspected, doth

    It still suspected lead.

    Two dayes after, Powhatan having disguised himselfe in the most fearefullest manner he could, caused Capt Smith to be brought forth to a great house in the Page | 83

    woods, and there vpon a mat by the fire to be left alone. Not long after from behinde a mat that divided the house, was made the most dolefullest noyse he ever heard; then Powhatan more like a devill then a man with some two hundred more as blacke as himselfe, came vnto him and told him now they were friends, and presently he should goe to Iames towne, to send him two great gunnes, and a gryndstone, for which he would giue him the Country of Capahowosick, and for ever esteeme him as his sonne Nantaquoud. So to Iames towne with 12 guides Powhatan sent him. That night they quarterd in the woods, he still expecting (as he had done all this long time of his imprisonment) every houre to be put to one death or other: for all their feasting. But almightie God (by his divine providence) had mollified the hearts of those sterne Barbarians with compassion. The next morning betimes they came to the Fort, where Smith having vsed the Salvages with what kindnesse he could, he shewed Rawhunt, Powhatans trusty servant two demi-Culverings & a millstone to carry Powhatan: they found them somewhat too heavie; but when they did see him discharge them, being loaded with stones, among the boughs of a great tree loaded with Isickles, the yce and branches came so tumbling downe, that the poore Salvages ran away halfe dead with feare. But at last we regained some conference with them, and gaue them such toyes; and sent to Powhatan, his women, and children such presents, as gaue them in generall full content. Now in Iames Towne they were all in combustion, the strongest preparing once more to run away with the Pinnace; which with the hazzard of his life, with Sakrefalcon and musket shot, Smith forced now the third time to stay or sinke.

    Some no better then they should be, had plotted with the President, the next day to haue put him to death by the Leviticall law, for the liues of Robinson and Emry, pretending the fault was his that had led them to their ends: but he quickly tooke such order with such Lawyers, that he layd them by the heeles till he sent some of them prisoners for England. Now ever once in foure or fiue dayes, Pocahontas with her attendants, brought him so much provision, that saved many of their liues, that els for all this had starved with hunger.

    Thus from numbe death our good God sent reliefe,

    The sweete asswager of all other griefe.

    His relation of the plenty he had seene, especially at Werawocomoco, and of the state and bountie of Powhatan, (which till that time was vnknowne) so revived their dead spirits (especially the loue of Pocahontas) as all mens feare was abandoned. Thus you may see what difficulties still crossed any good indevour: and the good successe of the businesse being thus oft brought to the very period of destruction; yet you see by what strange means God hath still delivered it. As for the insufficiency of them admitted in Commission, that error could not be prevented by the Electors; there being no other choise, and all strangers to each others education, qualities, or disposition. And if any deeme it a shame to our Nation to haue any mention made of those inormities, let them pervse the Histories of the Page | 84

    Spanyards Discoveries and Plantations, where they may see how many mutinies, disorders, and dissentions haue accompanied them, and crossed their attempts: which being knowne to be particular mens offences; doth take away the generall scorne and contempt, which malice, presumption, covetousnesse, or ignorance might produce; to the scandall and reproach of those, whose actions and valiant resolutions deserue a more worthy respect.

    Now whether it had beene better for Captaine Smith, to haue concluded with any of those severall proiects, to haue abandoned the Countrey, with some ten or twelue of them, who were called the better sort, and haue left Mr Hunt our Preacher, Master Anthony Gosnoll, a most honest, worthy, and industrious Gentleman, Master Thomas Wotton, and some 27 others of his Countrymen to the fury of the Salvages, famine, and all manner of mischiefes, and inconveniences, (for they were but fortie in all to keepe possession of this large Country;) or starue himselfe with them for company, for want of lodging: or but adventuring abroad to make them provision, or by his opposition to preserue the action, and saue all their liues; I leaue to the censure of all honest men to consider. But We men imagine in our Iolitie

    That ‘tis all one, or good or bad to be.

    But then anone wee alter this againe

    If happily wee feele the sence of paine;

    For then we’re turn’d into a mourning vaine.

    1.8.2 Reading and Review Questions

    1. How does Smith’s account of his experiences in the New World compare with the descriptions and assumptions of Columbus, Cabeza de Vaca, or Harriot?

    2. What grounds Smith’s assessment of events that he recounts, events like the men’s starving at the settlement? Does he ground his assessment in cause and effect? In Providence? Why, either way, do you think?

    3. Compare the way the Native Americans treat Smith after capturing him with the way his own men treat him before he leaves to follow the Council’s bidding. What, if anything, causes the differences, do you think?

    4. How does Smith use scientific knowledge against the Native Americans or for his own defense? Why?

    5. What introduction, if any, does Smith give to Pocahontas? Why? What purpose lies behind Smith’s probably inventing his rescue by Pocahontas?

    What role, if any, does it play in legitimizing a cultural as well as military conquest?

    Page | 85





    Adriaen van der Donck was born in

    Breda, Netherlands. His maternal grand-

    father, Adrian van Bergen took part in the

    Eighty Years’ War against Spain and helped

    capture the city of Breda in 1590. Starting in

    1638, van der Donck attended the University

    of Leiden, where he studied law, earning a

    degree in both civil and canon law.

    Van der Donck’s interest in the New

    World led him to obtain a post as schout,

    a sheriff and prosecutor, from Kiliaen van

    Rensselaer, who owned territory near what

    is now Albany. He later worked for the

    Dutch West India Company. As a reward

    for negotiating peace with American Indian

    tribes, the Dutch West India Company gifted Image 1.12 | Presumed Portrait of Adriaen van der Donck

    van der Donck land north of what is now Artist | Unknown the island of Manhattan. There, he became Source | Wikimedia Commons known as the Gentleman, or Jonker in License | Public Domain Dutch, from which the modern day Yonkers derives.

    He worked as administrator to Peter Stuyvesant and was appointed to the Council of Nine, New Amsterdam’s governing body. His petitioning for democratic reform in the colony won him the ire of Peter Stuyvesant, who briefly jailed van der Donck. Van der Donck returned to the Netherlands, where he continued to petition the Dutch government for democratic reform. He also wrote A Description of New Netherland, the Country. He returned to America in 1653 and lived on his estate until his death in 1655.

    1.9.1 From A Description of New Netherland, the Country

    Where, and by whom, New-Netherlands was first discovered.

    This country was first found and discovered in the year of our Lord 1609; when, at the cost of the incorporated East India Company, a ship named the Half-Moon was fitted out to discover a westerly passage to the kingdom of China. This ship was commanded by Hendrick Hudson, as captain and supercargo, who was an Englishman by birth, and had resided many years in Holland, during which he had been in the employment of the East India Company. This ship sailed from the Canary Islands, steering a course north by west; and, after sailing twenty days with good speed, land was discovered, which, by their calculation, lay 320 degrees by west. On approaching the land, and observing the coast and shore convenient, Page | 86

    they landed, and examined the country as well as they could at the time, and as opportunity offered; from which they were well satisfied that no Christian people had ever been there before, and that they were the first who by Providence had been guided to the discovery of the country.

    The Netherlanders the First Possessors of New-Netherland.

    Although the possession and title which the Netherlanders have to New-

    Netherlands are amply treated of in their length and breadth, in the Representation of the Commonalty, and little more can be said in relation to them unless access be had to the Registers of the Honorable West India Company, we will nevertheless, touch upon them briefly, en passant. When this country was first discovered by the Netherlanders in the year 1609, and it was told them by the natives that they were the first Christian explorers in that region, they took possession of it in the name and on behalf of their High Mightinesses, the Lords of the States-General of the United Netherlands, first in the South Bay at Cape Hinloopen, which they so called at that time, and which still retains that name; and so all along the coast and up the rivers, giving names to the different places as far as the great North River, a great distance up which they sailed, and which some of the English will still call Hudson’s River, but which was then named Mauritius River after Prince Maurice, who at that time was governor in Netherland; from whence they sailed further along till they went beyond Cape Cod, of which they also took possession, and which they named New Holland. And our Netherlanders have sailed there and traded at the same places thus taken into possession from time to time since then, until the charter was granted to the West Indian Company, when they passed under its jurisdiction. And although before we had there in our favor the circumstances of fifty families and cattle, yet since the year 1622 several forts have been built, farms and plantations taken up, much of the land bought of the natives, and then tokens of possession shown as is to be seen at length in the Representation of the Commonalty of New-Netherland, to which we refer the curious reader. It is therefore unusual, unhandsome, and unreasonable for any other nation to assert title or jurisdiction over these places or over those situated between such as were first discovered by the Netherlanders.

    Of Agricultural Production

    The pursuit of agriculture is not heavy and expensive there, as it is in the Netherlands. First, because the fencing and enclosing of the land does not cost much; for, instead of the Netherlands dykes and ditches, they set up post and rail, or palisado fences, and when new clearings are made, they commonly have fencing timber enough on the land to remove, which costs nothing but the labour, which is reasonably cheap to those who have their own hands, and without domestic labour very little can be effected. The land whereon there are few standing trees, and which has been grubbed and ploughed twice, we hold to be prepared for a crop Page | 87

    of winter grain. For summer grain one ploughing is sufficient. If it is intended to sow the same field again with winter grain, then the stubble is ploughed in, and the land is sowed with wheat or rye, which in ordinary seasons will yield a fine crop.

    I can affirm that during my residence of nine years in the country I have never seen land manured, and it is seldom done. The land is kept in order by tillage, which is often done to keep down weeds and brush, but for which it would have rest. Some persons (which I also hold to be good management), when their land becomes foul and weedy, break it up and sow the same with peas, because a crop of peas softens the land and makes it clean; but most of the land is too rich for peas, which when sown on the same grow so rank that the crop falls and rots on the land.

    Some of the land must be reduced by cropping it with wheat and barley, before it is proper to sow the same with peas. We have frequently seen the straw of wheat and barley grow so luxuriant that the crops yielded very little grain.

    I deem it worthy of notice that with proper attention, in ordinary seasons, two ripe crops of peas can be raised on the same land in one season, in the New-

    Netherlands. It has frequently been done in the following manner, viz. The first crop was sown in the last of March or first of April, which will ripen about the first of July; the crop is then removed, and the land ploughed, and sowed again with peas of the first crop. The second crop will ripen in September, or about the first of October, when the weather is still fine and warm. The same can also be done with buckwheat, which has frequently been proved; but the first crop is usually much injured by finches and other birds, and, as wheat and rye are plenty, therefore there is very little buckwheat sown. The maize (Indian corn) is carefully attended to, and is sufficient to the wants of the country.

    The Turkey wheat, or maize, as the grain is named, many persons suppose to be the same kind of grain which Jesse sent parched by his son David to his other sons of the army of Israel. This is a hardy grain, and is fit for the sustenance of man and animals. It is easily cultivated and will grow in almost every kind of land . . . .

    After a corn crop is gathered, the land may be sowed with winter grain in the fall without previous ploughing. When this is intended, the corn is gathered, the stalks are pulled up and burnt, the hills levelled, and the land sown and harrowed smooth and level. Good crops are raised in this manner. I have seen rye sown as before described, which grew so tall that a man of common size would bind the ears together above his head, which yielded seven and eight schepels, Amsterdam measure, per vin of 108 sheaves, of which two vins made a wagon load.

    The Rev. Johannis Megapolensis, Junior, minister of the colony of Rensselaerwyck, in certain letters which he has written to his friends, which were printed (as he has told me) without his consent, but may be fully credited,—he being a man of truth and of great learning, who writes in a vigorous style,—states, with other matters, that a certain farmer had cropped one field with wheat eleven years in succession, which to many persons will seem extraordinary, and may not be credited. Still it is true, and the residents of the place testify to the same, and they add that this same land was ploughed but twelve times in the eleven seasons,—twice in the first Page | 88

    year, and once in every succeeding year, when the stubble was ploughed in, the wheat sown and harrowed under. I owned land adjoining the land referred to, and have seen the eleventh crop, which was tolerably good. The man who did this is named Brandt Pelen; he was born in the district of Utrecht, and at the time was a magistrate (schepen) of the colony of Rensselaerwyck. We acknowledge that this relation appears to be marvellous, but in the country it is not so, for there are many thousand morgens of as good land there as the land of which we have spoken.

    During the period when I resided in the New-Netherlands, a certain honorable gentleman, named John Everts Bout (who was recommended to the colonists by their High Mightinesses, &c.), laid a wager that he could raise a crop of barley on a field containing seven morgens of land, which would grow so tall in every part of the field that the ears could easily be tied together above his head. I went to see the field of barley, and found that the straw, land by land, was from six to seven feet high, and very little of it any shorter. It has also been stated to me as a fact that barley has frequently been raised, although not common, which yielded eleven schepel, Amsterdam measure, per vin of 108 sheaves. Therefore, all persons who are acquainted with the New-Netherlands judge the country to be as well adapted for the cultivation of grain as any part of the world which is known to the Netherlanders, or is in their possession.

    With the other productions of the land we must include tobacco, which is also cultivated in the country, and is, as well as the maize, well adapted to prepare the land for other agricultural purposes, which also, with proper attention, grows fine, and yields more profit. Not only myself, but hundreds of others, have raised tobacco the leaves of which were three-fourths of a yard long. The tobacco raised here is of different kind, but principally of the Virginia kind, from which it differs little in flavour, although the Virginia is the best. Still it does not differ so much in quality as in price. Next to the Virginia it will be the best; many persons esteem it better, and give it a preference. It is even probable that when the people extend the cultivation of the article, and more tobacco is planted, that it will gain more reputation and esteem. Many persons are of opinion that the defect in flavour arises from the newness of the land, and hasty cultivation, which will gradually be removed.

    Barley grows well in the country, but it is not much needed. Cummin seed, canary seed, and the like, have been tried, and Commander Minuit testifies that those articles succeed well, but are not sought after. Flax and hemp will grow fine, but as the women do not spin much, and the Indians have hemp in abundance in the woods from which they make strong ropes and nets, for these reasons very little flax is raised; but the persons who do sow the seed find that the land is of the proper quality for such articles.

    Of their bodily form and appearance, and why we named them ( Wilden) Wild Men.

    Having briefly remarked on the situation and· advantages of the country, we deem it worth our attention to treat concerning the nature of the original native Page | 89

    inhabitants of the land; that after the Christians have multiplied and the natives have disappeared and melted away, a memorial of them may be preserved.

    Their appearance and bodily form, as well of the men as of the women, are well proportioned, and equal in height to the Netherlanders, varying little from the common size. Their limbs are properly formed, and they are sprightly and active.

    They can run very fast for a long time, and they can carry heavy packs. To all bodily exertions they are very competent, as far as their dispositions extend; but to heavy slavish labour the men have a particular aversion, and they manage their aff airs accordingly, so that they need not labour much. Misshapen or ill-formed persons are very rare amongst them. During the whole time of my residence in the country, I have not seen more than one who was born deformed. Cripples, hunch-backed, or other bodily infirmities, are so rare, that we may say that there are none amongst them; and when we see or hear of one who is crippled or lame, we on inquiry find the same to have originated by accident or in war. They are all properly formed and well proportioned persons. None are gross or uncommonly heavy. Although nature has not given them abundant wisdom, still they exercise their talents with discretion. No lunatics or fools are found amongst them, nor any mad or raving persons of either sex. The men and women commonly have broad shoulders and slender waists. Their hair, before old age, is jet black, sleek and uncurled, and nearly as coarse as a horse’s tail. Hair of any other colour they dislike and despise. On the skin, the breast, under the arms, and on other parts of the body, they have little or no hair, and if any appear on their chins they pluck it out by the roots, and it seldom sprouts again. Their old men sometimes have a little stubble on their chins. The men and women all have fine brown eyes, and snow white teeth. Purblind, cross-

    eyed persons are rare objects, and I have never heard of a native who was born blind, and they seldom lose their sight by accident. One I have seen who had lost his eye-sight by the small pox; and when they become old, their sight does not fail so early in life as ours. The colour of their skin is not so white as ours; still we see some of them who have a fine skin, and they are mostly born with good complexions; otherwise they have a yellowish colour like the Tartars, or heathen who are seen in Holland, or like the Outlanders who keep in the fields and go uncovered as they do.

    Their yellowness is no fault of nature, but it is caused by the heat of the scorching sun, which is hotter and more powerful in that country than in Holland, which from generation to generation has been shining on that people, and exhibits its effects stronger. Although this yellowness of the skin appears more or less on all this race, still we find very comely men and women amongst them. It is true that they appear singular and strange to our nation, because their complexion, speech and dress are so different, but this, on acquaintance, is disregarded. Their women are well favoured and fascinating. Several of our Netherlanders were connected with them before our women came over, and remain firm in their attachments. Their faces and countenances are as various as they are in Holland, seldom very handsome, and rarely very ugly, and if they were instructed as our women are, there then would be little or no difference in their qualifications.

    Page | 90

    The original natives of the country, (for now there are native born Christians also,) although they are composed of different tribes, and speak different tongues, all pass by the appellation of (Wilden) wild men; and this name was given them, as far as we can learn, at the first discovery of the country, which for various reasons seems very appropriate. First, on account of their religion, of which they have very little, and that is very strange; and secondly, on account of their marriages, wherein they differ from civilized societies; thirdly, on account of their laws, which are so singular as to deserve the name of wild regulations. And the Christians hold different names necessary to distinguish different nations, such as Turks, Mamelukes, and Barbarians; and as the name of Heathen is very little used in foreign lands, therefore they would not distinguish the native Americans by either of these names;. and as they trade in foreign countries with dark and fair coloured people, and with those who resemble ourselves, in distinction from negroes, and as the American tribes are bordering on an olive colour, the name of wild men suits them best. Thus without delibera tion, and as it were by chance at the first word, (as we suppose,) they were called Wild Men. And as unlearned persons never reflect much but speak their first thoughts in this manner, it has probably happened that this people received their national name, because they seemed to be wild and strangers to the Christian religion.

    Of the Nature and Diversions of the Indians

    The Indians are naturally (with few exceptions) of taciturn, steady and pensive dispositions and tempers, and of few words, which are well considered, uttered slowly, and long remembered; they say no more than is necessary to the subject in hand. When they want to buy or to sell any article, they say no more than is necessary to the bargain. On the other occasions, they talk of no subjects except hunting, fishing, and war. Their young men frequently entertain each other on their gallantry with young female connections. They despise lying, and still they are not very precise in the performance of their engagements. Swearing and scolding are not heard among them, unless it be among those who have learned those habits from us. They do not possess great wisdom or extensive knowledge, but reasonable understanding, resulting from practical experience, which they certainly possess without any desire for further instruction; they are naturally civil and well disposed, and quick enough to distinguish between good and evil, but after they have associated amongst us, they become cunning and deceitful, They are slovenly, careless, and dirty of their persons, and are troubled with the evils which attend filthiness. They are very revengeful and obstinate even unto death, and when in trouble they disregard and despise all pain and torture that can be done to them, and will sing with proud contempt until death terminates their suffer ings. They are all stingy and inclined to beggary, and cannot be trusted too far because they also are thievish; denying them the least trifle does not offend them. They are all free by nature and will not bear any domineering or lording over them; they will not bear any insult, unless they have done wrong, and they will bear chastisement Page | 91

    without resentment. Delicious food or drink they disregard; they fear no accidents, and can endure heat, cold, hunger, and thirst, in a wonderful manner, and they can all swim like ducks from their childhood. When abroad, they spend their time in hunting, fishing or war; at home they smoke tobacco, and play a game with pieces of reeds, resembling our card playing. The old men knit nets, and make wooden bowls and ladles. Labour among the young men is uncommon, and nearly all the necessary labour is done by the females.

    Of their Religion, and whether they can be brought over to the Christian Faith.

    The natives are all heathen and without any religious devotions. Idols are neither known nor worshipped among them. When they take an oath they swear by the sun, which, they say, sees all things. They think much of the moon, and believe it has great influence over vegetation. Although they know all the planets from the other stars, by appropriate names, still they pay no idolatrous worship to the same, yet by the planets and other signs they are somewhat weatherwise. The offering up of prayers, or the making of any distinction between days, or any matter of the kind, is unknown among them. They neither know or say any thing of God; but they possess great fear of the devil, who they believe causes diseases, and does them much injury. When they go on a hunting or fishing excursion they usually cast a part of what is first taken into the fire, without using any ceremony on the occasion, then saying “stay thou devil, eat thou that.” They love to hear usspeak of God and of our religion; and are very attentive and still during divine service and prayers, and apparently are inclined to devotion; but in truth they know nothing about it, and live without any religion, or without any inward or outward godly fear, nor do they know of any superstition or idolatry; they only follow the instilled laws of nature, therefore some suppose they can easily be brought to the knowledge and fear of God. Among some nations the word Sunday is known by the name of Kintowen. The oldest among them say that in former times the knowledge and fear of God had been known among them, and they remark, that since they can neither read nor write, in process of time the Sunday will be forgotten, all knowledge of the same lost. Their old men, when we reason earnestly with them on the matter, seem to feel pensive or sorrowful, but manifest no other emotions or agitations—when we reprove them for bad conduct and reason with them on its impropriety, and say that there is a God in heaven above whom they offend, their common answer is—‘We do not know that God, we have never seen him, we know not who he is—if you know him and fear him, as you say you do, how does it then happen that so many thieves, drunkards, and evil-doers are found among you. Certainly that God will punish you severely, because he has warned you to beware of those deeds, which he has never done to us. We know nothing about it, and therefore we do not deserve such punishment.’ Very seldom do they adopt our religion, nor have there been any political measures taken for their conversion.

    When their children are young some of them are frequently taken into our families for assistants, who are, according to opportunity, instructed in our religion, but as Page | 92

    soon as they are grown up, and turn lovers and associate again with the Indians, they forget their religious impressions and adopt the Indian customs. The Jesuits have taken great pains and trouble in Canada to convert the Indians to the Roman Church, and outwardly many profess that religion; but inasmuch as they are not well instructed in its fundamental principles, they fall off lightly and make sport of the subject and its doctrine.

    In the year 1639, when a certain merchant, who is still living with us, went into that country to trade with an Indian chief who spoke good French, after he had drank two or three glasses of wine, they began to converse on the subject of religion.

    The chief said that he had been instructed so far that he often said mass among the Indians, and that on a certain occasion the place where the altar stood caught fire by accident, and our people made preparations to put out the fire, which he forbade them to do, saying that God, who stands there, is almighty, and he will put out the fire himself; and we waited with great attention, but the fire continued till all was burned up, with your almighty God himself and with all the fine things about him. Since that time I have never held to that religion, but regard the sun and moon much more, as being better than all your Gods are; for they warm the earth and cause the fruits to grow, when your lovely Gods cannot preserve themselves from the fire. In the whole country I know no more than one Indian who is firm in his religious profession, nor can any change be expected among them, as long as matters are permitted to remain as heretofore. If they are to be brought over to the Christian faith, then the public hand must be extended to them and continued; we must establish good schools at convenient places among them, for the instruction of their children; let them learn to write our catechism, and let them be thoroughly instructed in the fundamental principles of our religion, so that in process of time they may be enabled to instruct each other and become attached thereto. It certainly would be attended with some trouble and expense to the government, still, without such means and measures, it will be difficult to do any good, among them. Our negligence on those matters is very reprehensible, for the Indians themselves say that they are very desirous to have their children instructed in our language and religion.

    Of their hope after this present life.

    It is a wonderful truth which affords strong evidence against unbelievers and free-thinking spirits, that this barbarous wild race of people of whom we have treated, should know that there is a distinction between the body and the soul, and believe, as they actually do, that the one is perishable and the other immortal.

    The soul, they say, is that spirit which directs all the actions of the body, and is the producing cause of all good and evil conduct, which, when the body dies, separates from it and removes to a place towards the south, where the climate is so fine that no covering against the cold will be necessary, and where the heat will never be troublesome. To this place the souls of all those who have been good and valuable in this life will go, where they will be satisfied and have an abundance of good things, without any trouble or labour for the same, forever; and they who have been bad in Page | 93

    this life, after death will go to another place, where their condition will be directly contrary to the first; where they will never enjoy peace and contentment, as the good will do. But I have never been able rightly to discover whether they believe the soul will be hereafter united to the body. I have, however, spoken with Christians who remark, that they have heard them state such to be their belief. But they do not affirm to this fact. When they hear voices or noises in the woods at night, which frequently happens, and which, we believe, usually proceed from wild animals, but which they declare, with fear and astonishment, are made by the wicked, the souls of whom are thus doomed to wander at night in the woods and solitary palaces for punishment in unhappy situations. The Indians, because they fear those subjects, do not travel by night unless it be necessary, and then go in parties or companies; when they go alone they always carry a fire-brand with them, with which they believe they can keep off those evil spirits and prevent them from doing them any injury, which, they say, are always disposed to frighten them and do them wrong.

    They acknowledge also that the soul proceeds from God, and that the same is his gift. This we sometimes learn from their old men of understanding, when an opportunity presents itself in conversation and we probably would discover more of them in relation to this matter, if we did perfectly understand their languages.

    Among their common or young people we do not hear those spoken of. In this we still see the providence of God, who, by the common light of nature, has given to this people the knowledge that there is, after this life, a reward for the just, and a punishment for the unjust, which all mankind may expect.

    1.9.2 Reading and Review Questions

    1. How, why, and to what effect does van der Donck assert the right of the Dutch to possess New Netherland? What assumptions about law and jurisdiction does he make, and why?

    2. What details of Dutch culture can be inferred by van der Donck’s description of the land, crops, and people in New Netherland? How does van der Donck’s description in this way differ from that of other New World accounts?

    3. Van der Donck records details of American Indian lives and culture to prevent regret over their inevitable disappearance. According to van der Donck, who will feel this regret? Why?

    4. Why did the Dutch “name” American Indians the “wilden?” How does van der Donck justify this name as appropriate, even as he acknowledges that different tribes and groups exist, each with their own distinct name?

    5. Van der Donck recounts an American Indian noting how the Christian God allows himself to be burnt (when a Christian altar and relics catch fire and burn). Van der Donck declares that the American Indian mocked the Christian God. Why does van der Donck recount this event and this so-called mockery? What do you think is van der Donck’s point?

    Page | 94

    2Seventeenth Century English

    Colonial Literature


    After reading this chapter, students will be able to

    • Understand both the shared and distinctive motives leading to different European groups’ traveling to and settling in the new world.

    • Understand how their respective founding charters shaped the ideologies of the different European settlements in the new world.

    • Understand the adverse effects on the relationship of the English and the Native American tribes of the ongoing European expansion of English colonies in North America.

    • Understand the significance of the Pequod War and the so-called King Philip’s War.

    • Identify the introduction, growth, and effects of African slavery in the colonies.

    • Understand the significance of Puritanism to seventeenth century literature and culture in the new world.

    • Identify the aesthetic features of the Puritan plain style in literature.


    The Puritans tend to be overrepresented in the histories and literature of the seventeenth century English colonies in North America; however, they were hardly the only group from England to travel to the new world. Some groups came for similar reasons as the Puritans—to practice their religion freely—though many came for secular reasons. The Jamestown colony in Virginia, a territory which originally included not only the current state of Virginia but also the northern parts of North Carolina up to the Long Island Sound in New York, was founded as a commercial venture. In addition, people with commercial interests in the new world traveled alongside William Bradford’s pilgrims on the Mayflower, and considerable tension existed between settlements with secular interests and those Page | 95


    of the Puritans, as we see in William Bradford’s account of Thomas Morton (c.

    1579–1647) and the residents of Merrymount.

    More colonies soon joined those in Massachusetts and Virginia. In 1632, Lord Baltimore (1605–1675) was given a charter for land north of the Potomac River.

    A Catholic, Baltimore established the colony of Maryland as a place of religious tolerance. A charter for the Carolinas, a territory which extended well beyond the modern borders of those states, was granted in 1663 and settlers established one of the first colonies under this charter near Charleston, South Carolina. In 1681, Pennsylvania was granted by King Charles II to William Penn (1644–1718) in repayment of a debt owed to Penn’s father. The colony became a refuge for members of the Society of Friends or Quakers, as Penn was a recent convert to the denomination. Georgia was the last of the original colonies. Founded in 1732, the colony was intended primarily as a bulwark between the English colonies to the north and the Spanish colonies to the south.

    Certainly, this ongoing expansion of English colonies caused continual tension with the Native American tribes already occupying the territory. The Powhatan Confederacy, a union of tribes occupying the tidewater Virginia region, alternately collaborated with and fought against the Jamestown colony from its founding until 1645, when the English forced the confederacy to surrender and cede land. In New England, the Pequod War (1636–1638) was one of the first significant fights between the colonies in Massachusetts and the local tribes, pitting the Pequod tribe against the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook colonies and their allies, the Narragansett tribe. The natives of New England continued attempting to hold back English encroachments, making their last major effort when the Wampanoag, Narragansett, and other allied tribes, led by Metacom (1638–1675)—called King Philip by the English—attacked frontier towns. The so-called King Philip’s War lasted from 1675 to 1676, when Metacom was captured and executed.

    The use of African slaves in the colonies also grew during this century.

    African slavery had first been introduced to North America by the Spanish, especially after the Catholic Church started cracking down on enslaving Native Americans. Slaves were first brought to the English colony of Jamestown in 1619, to Connecticut in 1629, and to Massachusetts in 1637. The widespread adoption of slavery languished initially as it proved to be too expensive of an option for the struggling colonists. Indentured servants were a more economical option, but as wages rose in England toward the end of the century and dried up the supply of indentured servants, the use of enslaved Africans grew in the colonies. Though slavery was most prevalent in the southern colonies because of their greater focus on agriculture, the New England colonies were the first to codify slavery (in Massachusetts in 1641) and the first to forbid it (in Rhode Island in 1652). Even before America was a nation officially, America had a slavery problem. As Samuel Sewall’s anti-slavery tract shows, the arguments for and against slavery made during this century are some of the same ones that will be made again and again in the following two centuries.

    Page | 96


    While the Puritans were only one of many groups settling the English colonies, they were the one with the most cultural power. For that reason, it is necessarily to understand who they were and how they saw the world to understand many of the readings of this section. The Puritans were groups who felt that the Church of England, otherwise known as the Anglican Church, retained too much of the doctrine and culture of the Catholic Church after the Protestant reformation. Their name derived from their desire to purify the church of these Catholic vestiges. There were also non-separatist and separatist groups within the Puritans as a whole. The non-separatists, like John Winthrop’s company, believed that the Puritans should remain within the Anglican Church and correct it from within the system; the separatists, represented by William Bradford’s Plymouth company, felt the Church of England was a lost cause from which the Puritans should separate themselves.

    The restoration of King James I to the throne and the subsequent persecutions of dissenters made the distinction moot. The only way to safely practice views that differed from the orthodoxy was to put considerable distance between oneself and English authorities, which both Winthrop’s and Bradford’s groups did.

    The Puritans came to the new world with the goal of building a community constructed around religious principles that could stand as a model—a “city upon a hill,” as Winthrop put it—for a Christian community. The Puritans subscribed to Calvinist theology, and Calvinism’s assumptions about humanity and its relationship to God influence their works. First, Calvinism held that mankind was born depraved as a result of Adam’s original sin. The presence of sin within the human soul meant that all of man’s impulses, desires, and beliefs were tainted. As John Calvin put it in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536): Let it stand, therefore, as an indubitable truth, which no engines can shake, that the mind of man is so entirely alienated from the righteousness of God that he cannot conceive, desire, or design any thing but what is wicked, distorted, foul, impure, and iniquitous; that his heart is so thoroughly envenomed by sin that it can breathe out nothing but corruption and rottenness; that if some men occasionally make a show of goodness, their mind is ever interwoven with hypocrisy and deceit, their soul inwardly bound with the fetters of wickedness.

    Congenitally incapable of righteousness, humanity was incapable of achieving salvation on their own. Only God’s intervention could save people from the damnation they deserved.

    According to Calvinism, some of the faithful will be saved because of unconditional election. Election, or God’s decision to replace a person’s original depraved spirit with a clean one capable of understanding and following God’s will, could not be earned through good behavior; it was unconditional in that it had nothing to do with choices the person made or would make. It was also limited to a relatively small number of people rather than all of humanity. A logical outgrowth of these points of theology was the concept of predestination, which Calvin Page | 97


    described in Institutes as “the eternal decree of God, by which He hath determined in Himself what He would have to become of every individual of mankind . . . .

    eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others.” Whatever one’s predestined fate was, one could do nothing to change it. Nonetheless, the Puritans held that one should always behave piously regardless of one’s destined outcome and emphasized the weaning of affections from the things of this world.

    Puritans were instructed to develop an attitude of indifference toward material things—to “wean” themselves of their natural attraction to the worldly—as well as to personal relationships, including one’s own family. This was not to encourage hard-heartedness but rather to make spiritual things the main priority of one’s life because the things of this world will not last; only the life of the spirit was permanent for the Puritans.

    Given their beliefs in the total fallibility of mankind, Puritans looked outside of themselves for guidance in following God’s will. The first source of guidance was the Bible, which the Puritans took to be the most direct expression of God’s will.

    The Puritans, like other scholars of the Bible before them, believed in a typological relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Stories of the Old Testament were types or, as Hebrews 10:1 puts it, “a shadow of good things to come,” that foreshadowed the antitypes or “the very image of the good things”

    in the New Testament. For example, Jonah’s release from the whale in the Old Testament would be considered a type to the antitype of Jesus’ resurrection in the New Testament. However, the Puritans did not confine typological interpretation to the Bible alone. Typology assumes that all of human history and experience is part of a larger pattern of meanings that communicate God’s will, so any event—as big as smallpox decimating the native populations in greater numbers than the colonial populations or as small as a snake failing to ingest a mouse as recorded in John Winthrop’s journal—could be considered part of that pattern and signs of God’s approbation or disapprobation.

    Despite vigorous policing of their theological borders against antinomians (who argued that salvation through faith meant that one needn’t follow the laws of a church); Quakers who disagreed with the beliefs of total depravity and salvation for only a limited number; and others who criticized Puritan practices, the Puritans’

    power eventually faded along with the membership of the denomination by the end of the seventeenth century. Initially, the bar for membership in the church was quite high. Believing that only the elect, or those who are destined to be saved, should be members of the church and thereby be able to choose leaders for both the church and the state, prospective members were required to testify of their conversion experience and be interrogated by the other members of the church.

    It was a rigorous experience that more and more people decided to forego, and eventually, church members in the colonies were outnumbered by non-church members. To increase their ranks and hold on to political power, Puritan churches adopted the Half-Way Covenant in 1662. Under this covenant, the children of church members could become members without testifying to their conversion.

    Page | 98




    Despite this measure, the political power of the Puritan churches continued to decline, though their cultural power continues to influence American culture.

    Finally, in the spirit of purification and a return to a simpler practice, many of the works in this section demonstrate the Puritan aesthetic of plain style. In contrast to the more ornate style of writers like William Shakespeare, the Puritans and some other Protestant denominations felt that the best style was that which lacked embellishment or ornamentation and strove for simplicity and accessibility to the average person. Plain-style writing typically eschewed classical allusions, preferring to use figurative language originating either in the Bible or in everyday experience; was didactic (intended to teach a lesson) rather than entertaining; and featured limited variation in syntactical structures—though those structures might seem complex to a modern reader. This aesthetic can also be seen in the narrow color range of Puritan clothing and the distinct lack of gilding, statuary, and altars in Puritan churches.



    William Bradford was born in Austerfield,

    Yorkshire and reared as a farmer. In

    1606, inspired by the preaching of non-

    conformist minister Richard Clyfton (d.

    1616), Bradford joined the Separatist group

    tied to William Brewster (1568–1644) in

    Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. As Separatists

    from the Church of England headed by

    the English monarch, this group (and

    similar others) engaged in treason against

    the English crown. To escape the conse-

    quent-enforced secrecy and persecution, the

    group left England for the Netherlands. In

    1609, Bradford joined them there, became a

    weaver, and started his own business upon

    inheriting money from his family.

    To escape further persecution, the

    group petitioned for and won a land grant Image 2.1 | William Bradford in North America. Bradford was one of the Artist | Unknown pilgrims who sailed from Southampton, Source | Wikimedia Commons England in 1620 on the Mayflower to settle License | Public Domain in the land granted. Their land grant was originally meant to be in Virginia but, due to difficulty navigating in storms, they landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

    William Bradford helped define for themselves and future generations their Puritan settlement and endeavor at Plymouth Plantation. After the death of their Page | 99




    elected governor John Carver (1576–1621), Bradford was elected governor. He was re-elected thirty times, serving as governor for almost all but the last five years of his life. He signed the Mayflower Compact that ordered their earthly rule (even as a means to prepare for heavenly rule); held to the Compact’s democratic principles in his governorship; worked to repay the debt to the British investors who funded their project in America; and did much to organize and lead the pilgrims’ lives.

    Self-educated particularly in languages—including Hebrew—and an avid reader, Bradford applied his knowledge and skills to recording the history Of Plymouth Plantation. He started this chronicle largely in response to the growth of Non-Separatist settlers in the colony, settlers whom he saw as competing with the Separatists. His history records such important events as the pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth, the Mayflower Compact, the first Thanksgiving, and the Puritan ethic in action as it was put to trial and served as testimony of God’s designs. These designs included the pilgrims’ persecutions, voyage to and landing at Plymouth, suffering starvation and sickness there, as well as experiencing increasing tensions between themselves and the Native Americans. In the Puritan plain style, Bradford offers simple yet monumental truths of their lives.

    Image 2.2 | Landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth 11th Dec. 1620

    Artist | N. Currier

    Source | Wikimedia Commons

    License | Public Domain

    Page | 100


    2.3.1 Of Plymouth Plantation


    BOOK I

    Chapter I

    It is well knowne unto ye godly and judicious, how ever since ye first breaking out of ye lighte of ye gospell in our Honourable Nation of England, (which was ye first of nations whom ye Lord adorned ther with, affter yt grosse darknes of popery which had covered & overspred ye Christian worled,) what warrs & opposissions ever since, Satan hath raised, maintained, and continued against the Saincts, from time to time, in one sorte or other. Some times by bloody death and cruell torments; other whiles imprisonments, banishments, & other hard usages; as being loath his kingdom should goe downe, the trueth prevaile, and yechurches of God reverte to their anciente puritie, and recover their primative order, libertie, &

    bewtie. But when he could not prevaile by these means, against the maine trueths of ye gospell, but that they began to take rootting in many places, being watered with ye blooud of ye martires, and blessed from heaven with a gracious encrease; He then begane to take him to his anciente strategemes, used of old against the first Christians. That when by ye bloody & barbarous persecutions of ye Heathen Emperours, he could not stoppe & subuerte the course of ye gospell, but that it speedily overspred with a wounderfull celeritie the then best known parts of ye world, He then begane to sow errours, heresies, and wounderfull dissentions amongst yeprofessours them selves, (working upon their pride & ambition, with other corrupte passions incidente to all mortall men, yea to ye saints them selves in some measure,) by which wofull effects followed; as not only bitter contentions,

    & hartburnings, schismes, with other horrible confusions, but Satan tooke occasion & advantage therby to foyst in a number of vile ceremoneys, with many unproffitable cannons & decrees, which have since been as snares to many poore

    & peaceable souls even to this day. So as in ye anciente times, the persecutions by ye heathen & their Emperours, was not greater then of the Christians one against other; the Arians & other their complices against ye orthodoxe & true Christians.

    As witneseth Socrates in his 2. booke. His words are these; The violence truly (saith he) was no less than t hat of ould practised towards ye Christians when they were compelled & drawne to sacrifice to idoles; for many indured sundrie kinds of tormente, often rackings, & dismembering of their joynts; confiscating of ther goods; some bereaved of their native soyle; others departed this life under ye hands of ye tormentor; and some died in banishmēte, & never saw ther cuntrie againe, &c.

    The like methode Satan hath seemed to hold in these later times, since ye trueth begane to springe & spread after ye great defection made by Antichrist, yt man of sin̄e.

    Page | 101


    For to let pass ye infinite examples in sundrie nations and severall places of ye world, and instance in our owne, when as yt old serpente could not prevaile by those firie flames & other his cruell tragedies, which he by his instruments put in ure every wher in ye days of queene Mary & before, he then begane an other kind of warre, & went more closly to worke; not only to oppuggen, but even to ruinate

    & destroy ye kingdom of Christ, by more secrete & subtile means, by kindling ye flames of contention and sowing yeseeds of discorde & bitter enmitie amongst ye proffessors & seeming reformed them selves. For when he could not prevaile by ye former means against the principall doctrins of faith, he bente his force against the holy discipline & outward regimente of the kingdom of Christ, by which those holy doctrines should be conserved, & true pietie maintained amongest the saints

    & people of God.

    Mr. Foxe recordeth how yt besids those worthy martires & confessors which were burned in queene Marys days & otherwise tormented, many (both studients & others) fled out of ye land, to ye number of 800. And became severall congregations. At Wesell, Frankford, Bassill, Emden, Markpurge, Strausborugh,

    & Geneva, &c. Amongst whom (but especialy those at Frankford) begane yt bitter warr of contention & persecutiō aboute ye ceremonies, & servise-booke, and other popish and antichristian stuffe, the plague of England to this day, which are like ye highplases in Israell, wch the prophets cried out against, & were their ruine; which ye better parte sought, according to ye puritie of ye gospell, to roote out and utterly to abandon. And the other parte (under veiled pretences) for their ouwn ends &

    advancments, sought as stifly to continue, maintaine, & defend. As appeareth by ye discourse therof published in printe, Ano: 1575; a booke ytdeserves better to be knowne and considred.

    The one side laboured to have ye right worship of God & discipline of Christ established in ye church, according to ye simplicitie of ye gospell, without the mixture of mens inventions, and to have & to be ruled by ye laws of Gods word, dispensed in those offices, & by those officers of Pastors, Teachers, & Elders,

    &c. according to ye Scripturs. The other partie, though under many colours &

    pretences, endevored to have yeepiscopall dignitie (affter ye popish man̄er) with their large power & jurisdiction still retained; with all those courts, cannons, &

    ceremonies, togeather with all such livings, revenues, & subordinate officers, with other such means as formerly upheld their antichristian greatnes, and enabled them with lordly & tyranous power to persecute ye poore servants of God. This contention was so great, as neither ye honour of God, the commone persecution, nor ye mediation of Mr. Calvin & other worthies of ye Lord in those places, could prevaile with those thus episcopally minded, but they proceeded by all means to disturbe ye peace of this poor persecuted church, even so farr as to charge (very unjustly, & ungodlily, yet prelatelike) some of their cheefe opposers, with rebellion

    & hightreason against ye Emperour, & other such crimes.

    And this contētion dyed not with queene Mary, nor was left beyonde ye seas, but at her death these people returning into England under gracious queene Elizabeth, Page | 102


    many of them being preferred to bishopricks & other promotions, according to their aimes and desires, that inveterate hatered against ye holy discipline of Christ in his church hath continued to this day. In somuch that for fear it should preveile, all plotts & devices have been used to keepe it out, incensing ye queene & state against it as dangerous for ye com̄on wealth; and that it was most needfull yt ye fundamentall poynts of Religion should be preached in those ignorante & superstitious times; and to win̄e ye weake & ignorante, they might retaine diverse harmles ceremoneis; and though it were to be wished yt diverse things were reformed, yet this was not a season for it. And many the like, to stop ye mouthes of ye more godly, to bring them over to yeeld to one ceremoney after another, and one corruption after another; by these wyles begyleing some & corrupting others till at length they begane to persecute all ye zealous professors in ye land (though they knew little what this discipline mente) both by word & deed, if they would not submitte to their ceremonies, & become slaves to them & their popish trash, which have no ground in ye word of God, but are relikes of yt man of sine. And the more ye light of ye gospell grew, ye more yey urged their subscriptions to these corruptions. So as (notwithstanding all their former pretences & fair colures) they whose eyes God had not justly blinded might easily see wherto these things tended. And to cast contempte the more upon ye sincere servants of God, they opprobriously & most injuriously gave unto, & imposed upon them, that name of Puritans, which [it] is said the Novatians out of prid did assume

    & take unto themselves. And lamentable it is to see ye effects which have followed.

    Religion hath been disgraced, the godly greeved, afflicted, persecuted, and many exiled, sundrie have lost their lives in prisones & otherways. On the other hand, sin hath been countenanced, ignorance, profannes, & atheisme increased, & the papists encouraged to hope againe for a day.

    This made that holy man Mr. Perkins crie out in his exhortation to repentance, upon Zeph. 2. Religion (saith he) hath been amongst us this 35. years; but the more it is published, the more it is contemned & reproached of many, &c. Thus not prophanes nor wickednes, but Religion it selfe is a byword, a moking-stock,

    & a matter of reproach; so that in England at this day the man or woman yt begines to profes Religion, & to serve God, must resolve with him selfe to sustaine mocks & injueries even as though he lived amongst ye enimies of Religion. And this com̄one experience hath confirmed & made too apparente.

    A late observation, as it were by the way, worthy to be Noted.

    Full litle did I thinke, yt the downfall of ye Bishops, with their courts, cannons, & ceremonies, &c. had been so neare, when I first begane these scribled writings (which was aboute ye year 1630, and so peeced up at times of leasure afterward), or that I should have lived to have seene or heard of ye same; but it is ye Lords doing, and ought to be marvelous in our eyes! Every plante which mine heavenly father hath not planted (saith our Saviour) shall be rooted up.

    Mat: 15. 13. I have snared the, and thou art taken, O Babell (Bishops), and thou wast not aware; thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven Page | 103


    against the Lord. Jer. 50. 24. But will they needs strive against ye truth, against yeservants of God; what, & against the Lord him selfe? Doe they provoke the Lord to anger? Are they stronger than he? 1. Cor: 10. 22. No, no, they have mete with their match. Behold, I come unto ye, O proud man, saith the Lord God of hosts; for thy day is come, even the time that I will visite the. Jer: 50. 31. May not the people of God now say (and these pore people among ye rest), The Lord hath brought forth our righteousnes; come, let us declare in Sion the work of the Lord our God. Jer: 51. 10. Let all flesh be still before the Lord; for he is raised up out of his holy place. Zach: 2. 13.

    In this case, these poore people may say (among ye thousands of Israll), When the Lord brougt againe the captivite of Zion, we were like them that dreame.

    Psa: 126. 1. The Lord hath done greate things for us, wherof we rejoyce. v. 3.

    They that sow in teares, shall reap in joye. They wente weeping, and carried precious seede, but they shall returne with joye, and bring their sheaves, v. 5, 6.

    Doe you not now see ye fruits of your labours, O all yee servants of ye Lord that have suffered for his truth, and have been faithfull witneses of ye same, and yee litle handfull amongst ye rest, ye least amongest ye thousands of Israll?

    You have not only had a seede time, but many of you have seene yejoyefull harvest; should you not then rejoyse, yea, and againe rejoyce, and say Hallelu-iah, salvation, and glorie, and honour, and power, be to ye Lord our God; for true and righteous are his judgments. Rev. 19. 1, 2.

    But thou wilte aske what is ye mater? What is done? Why, art thou a stranger in Israll, that thou shouldest not know what is done? Are not those Jebusites overcome that have vexed the people of Israll so long, even holding Jerusalem till Davids days, and been as thorns in their sids, so many ages; and now begane to scorne that any David should meadle with them; they begane to fortifie their tower, as that of the old Babelonians; but those proud Anakimes are throwne downe, and their glory laid in yedust. The tiranous bishops are ejected, their courts dissolved, their cannons forceless, their servise casheired, their ceremonies uselese and despised; their plots for popery prevented, and all their superstitions discarded & returned to Roome from whence they came, and ye monuments of idolatrie rooted out of ye land. And the proud and profane suporters, and cruell defenders of these (as bloody papists & wicked athists, and their malignante consorts) marvelously over throwne. And are not these greate things? Who can deney it?

    But who hath done it? Who, even he that siteth on ye white horse, who is caled faithfull, & true, and judgeth and fighteth righteously, Rev: 19. 11. whose garments are dipte in blood, and his name was caled the word of God, v. 13. for he shall rule them with a rode of iron; for it is he that treadeth the winepress of the feircenes and wrath of God almighty. And he hath upon his garmente, and upon his thigh, a name writen, The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, v. 15, 16.


    Anno Dom: 1646.

    Page | 104


    But that I may come more near my intendmente; when as by the travell &

    diligence of some godly & zealous preachers, & Gods blessing on their labours, as in other places of ye land, so in ye North parts, many became inlightened by the word of God, and had their ignorance & sins discovered unto them, and begane by his grace to reforme their lives, and make conscience of their wayes, the worke of God was no sooner manifest in them, but presently they were both scoffed and scorned by ye prophane multitude, and yeministers urged with ye yoak of subscription, or els must be silenced; and ye poore people were so vexed with apparators, &

    pursuants, & ye comissarie courts, as truly their affliction was not smale; which, notwithstanding, they bore sundrie years with much patience, till they were occasioned (by ye continuance & encrease of these troubls, and other means which the Lord raised up in those days) to see further into things by the light of ye word of God. How not only these base and beggerly ceremonies were unlawfull, but also that ye lordly & tiranous power of ye prelats ought not to be submitted unto; which thus, contrary to the freedome of the gospell, would load & burden mens consciences, and by their compulsive power make a prophane mixture of persons & things in the worship of God. And that their offices & calings, courts & cannons, &c. were unlawfull and antichristian; being such as have no warrante in ye word of God; but the same yt were used in poperie, & still retained. Of which a famous author thus writeth in his Dutch com̄taries. At the coming of king James into England; The new king (saith he) found their established ye reformed religion, according to ye reformed religion of king Edward ye 6. Retaining, or keeping still ye spirituall state of ye Bishops, &c. after ye ould maner, much varying & differing from ye reformed churches in Scotland, France, & ye Neatherlands, Embden, Geneva, &c.

    whose reformation is cut, or shapen much nerer ye first Christian churches, as it was used in ye Apostles times.

    So many therfore of these proffessors as saw ye evill of these things, in thes parts, and whose harts yeLord had touched wth heavenly zeale for his trueth, they shooke of this yoake of antichristian bondage, and as ye Lords free people, joyned them selves (by a covenant of the Lord) into a church estate, in ye felowship of ye gospell, to walke in all his wayes, made known, or to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavours, whatsoever it should cost them, the Lord assisting them. And that it cost them something this ensewing historie will declare.

    These people became 2. distincte bodys or churches, & in regarde of distance of place did congregate severally; for they were of sundrie townes & vilages, some in Notingamshire, some of Lincollinshire, and some of Yorkshire, wher they border nearest togeather. In one of these churches (besids others of note) was Mr. John Smith, a man of able gifts, & a good preacher, who afterwards was chosen their pastor. But these afterwards falling into some errours in ye Low Countries, ther (for ye most part) buried them selves, & their names.

    But in this other church (wch must be ye subjecte of our discourse) besids other worthy men, was Mr. Richard Clifton, a grave and reverēd preacher, who by his paines and dilligens had done much good, and under God had ben a means of ye Page | 105


    conversion of many. And also that famous and worthy man Mr. John Robinson, who afterwards was their pastor for many years, till ye Lord tooke him away by death. Also Mr. William Brewster a reverent man, who afterwards was chosen an elder of ye church and lived with them till old age.

    But after these things they could not long continue in any peaceable condition, but were hunted & persecuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were but as flea-bitings in comparison of these which now came upon them. For some were taken & clapt up in prison, others had their houses besett & watcht night and day, & hardly escaped their hands; and ye most were faine to flie & leave their howses & habitations, and the means of their livelehood. Yet these & many other sharper things which affterward befell them, were no other then they looked for, and therfore were ye better prepared to bear them by ye assistance of Gods grace

    & spirite. Yet seeing them selves thus molested, and that ther was no hope of their continuance ther, by a joynte consente they resolved to goe into ye Low-Countries, wher they heard was freedome of Religion for all men; as also how sundrie from London, & other parts of ye land, had been exiled and persecuted for ye same cause, & were gone thither, and lived at Amsterdam, & in other places of ye land.

    So affter they had continued togeither aboute a year, and kept their meetings every Saboth in one place or other, exercising the worship of God amongst them selves, notwithstanding all ye dilligence & malice of their adverssaries, they seeing they could no longer continue in yt condition, they resolved to get over into Hollād as they could; which was in ye year 1607. & 1608.; of which more at large in ye next chap.

    Chapter IV

    Showing ye reasons & causes of their remoovall.

    After they had lived in this citie about some 11. or 12. years, (which is ye more observable being ye whole time of yt famose truce between that state & ye Spaniards,) and sundrie of them were taken away by death, & many others begane to be well striken in years, the grave mistris Experience haveing taught them many things, those prudent governours with sundrie of yesagest members begane both deeply to apprehend their present dangers, & wisely to foresee yefuture, & thinke of timly remedy. In ye agitation of their thoughts, and much discours of things hear aboute, at length they began to incline to this conclusion, of remoovall to some other place. Not out of any newfanglednes, or other such like giddie humor, by which men are oftentimes transported to their great hurt & danger, but for sundrie weightie & solid reasons; some of yecheefe of which I will hear breefly touch. And first, they saw & found by experience the hardnes of ye place & countrie to be such, as few in comparison would come to them, and fewer that would bide it out, and continew with them. For many yt came to them, and many more yt desired to be with them, could not endure yt great labor and hard fare, with other inconveniences which they underwent & were contented with. But though they loved their persons, Page | 106


    approved their cause, and honoured their sufferings, yet they left them as it weer weeping, as Orpah did her mother in law Naomie, or as those Romans did Cato in Utica, who desired to be excused & borne with, though they could not all be Catoes.

    For many, though they desired to injoye yeordinances of God in their puritie, and ye libertie of the gospell with them, yet, alass, they admitted of bondage, with danger of conscience, rather then to indure these hardships; yea, some preferred & chose ye prisons in England, rather then this libertie in Holland, with these afflictions.

    But it was thought that if a better and easier place of living could be had, it would draw many, & take away these discouragments. Yea, their pastor would often say, that many of those wo both wrate & preached now against them, if they were in a place wher they might have libertie and live comfortably, they would then practise as they did.

    2ly. They saw that though ye people generally bore all these difficulties very cherfully, & with a resolute courage, being in ye best & strength of their years, yet old age began to steale on many of them, (and their great & continuall labours, with other crosses and sorrows, hastened it before ye time,) so as it was not only probably thought, but apparently seen, that within a few years more they would be in danger to scatter, by necessities pressing them, or sinke under their burdens, or both. And therfore according to ye devine proverb, yt a wise man seeth ye plague when it cometh, & hideth him selfe, Pro. 22. 3., so they like skillfull & beaten souldiers were fearfull either to be intrapped or surrounded by their enimies, so as they should neither be able to fight nor flie; and therfor thought it better to dislodge betimes to some place of better advantage & less danger, if any such could be found. Thirdly; as necessitie was a taskmaster over them, so they were forced to be such, not only to their servants, but in a sorte, to their dearest chilldren; the which as it did not a litle wound ye tender harts of many a loving father & mother, so it produced likwise sundrie sad & sorowful effects. For many of their children, that were of best dispositions and gracious inclinations, haveing lernde to bear ye yoake in their youth, and willing to bear parte of their parents burden, were, often times, so oppressed with their hevie labours, that though their minds were free and willing, yet their bodies bowed under ye weight of ye same, and became decreped in their early youth; the vigor of nature being consumed in ye very budd as it were. But that which was more lamentable, and of all sorowes most heavie to be borne, was that many of their children, by these occasions, and ye great licentiousnes of youth in yt countrie, and ye manifold temptations of the place, were drawne away by evill examples into extravagante & dangerous courses, getting ye raines off their neks, &

    departing from their parents. Some became souldiers, others tooke upon them farr viages by sea, and other some worse courses, tending to dissolutnes & the danger of their soules, to ye great greefe of their parents and dishonour of God. So that they saw their posteritie would be in danger to degenerate & be corrupted.

    Lastly, (and which was not least,) a great hope & inward zeall they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way therunto, for ye propagating &

    advancing ye gospell of ye kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of ye world; yea, Page | 107


    though they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for ye performing of so great a work.

    These, & some other like reasons, moved them to undertake this resolution of their removall; the which they afterward prosecuted with so great difficulties, as by the sequell will appeare.

    The place they had thoughts on was some of those vast & unpeopled countries of America, which are frutfull & fitt for habitation, being devoyd of all civill inhabitants, wher ther are only salvage & brutish men, which range up and downe, litle otherwise then ye wild beasts of the same. This proposition being made publike and coming to ye scaning of all, it raised many variable opinions amongst men, and caused many fears & doubts amongst them selves. Some, from their reasons &

    hops conceived, laboured to stirr up & incourage the rest to undertake & prosecute ye same; others, againe, out of their fears, objected against it, & sought to diverte from it, aledging many things, and those neither unreasonable nor unprobable; as that it was a great designe, and subjecte to many unconceivable perills & dangers; as, besids the casulties of ye seas (which none can be freed from) the length of ye vioage was such, as ye weake bodys of women and other persons worne out with age & traville (as many of them were) could never be able to endure. And yet if they should, the miseries of ye land which they should be exposed unto, would be to hard to be borne; and lickly, some or all of them togeither, to consume & utterly to ruinate them. For ther they should be liable to famine, and nakednes, & ye wante, in a maner, of all things. The chang of aire, diate, & drinking of water, would infecte their bodies with sore sickneses, and greevous diseases. And also those which should escape or overcome these difficulties, should yett be in continuall danger of ye salvage people, who are cruell, barbarous, & most trecherous, being most furious in their rage, and merciles wher they overcome; not being contente only to kill, & take away life, but delight to tormente men in ye most bloodie man̄er that may be; fleaing some alive with ye shells of fishes, cutting of ye members &

    joynts of others by peesmeale, and broiling on ye coles, eate ye collops of their flesh in their sight whilst they live; with other cruelties horrible to be related. And surely it could not be thought but ye very hearing of these things could not but move ye very bowels of men to grate within them, and make ye weake to quake &

    tremble. It was furder objected, that it would require greater sum̄es of money to furnish such a voiage, and to fitt them with necessaries, then their consumed estats would amounte too; and yett they must as well looke to be seconded with supplies, as presently to be trāsported. Also many presidents of ill success, & lamentable misseries befalne others in the like designes, were easie to be found, and not forgotten to be aledged; besids their owne experience, in their former troubles &

    hardships in their removall into Holand, and how hard a thing it was for them to live in that strange place, though it was a neighbour countrie, & a civill and rich comone wealth.

    It was answered, that all great & honourable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable Page | 108


    courages. It was granted ye dangers were great, but not desperate; the difficulties were many, but not invincible. For though their were many of them likly, yet they were not cartaine; it might be sundrie of ye things feared might never befale; others by providente care & ye use of good means, might in a great measure be prevented; and all of them, through ye help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne, or overcome. True it was, that such atempts were not to be made and undertaken without good ground & reason; not rashly or lightly as many have done for curiositie or hope of gaine, &c. But their condition was not ordinarie; their ends were good & honourable; their calling lawfull, & urgente; and therfore they might expecte ye blessing of God in their proceding. Yea, though they should loose their lives in this action, yet might they have comforte in the same, and their endeavors would be honourable. They lived hear but as men in exile, & in a poore condition; and as great miseries might possibly befale them in this place, for ye 12. years of truce were now out, & ther was nothing but beating of drumes, and preparing for warr, the events wherof are allway uncertaine. Ye Spaniard might prove as cruell as the salvages of America, and ye famine and pestelence as sore hear as ther, & their libertie less to looke out for remedie. After many other perticuler things answered

    & aledged on both sids, it was fully concluded by ye major parte, to put this designe in execution, and to prosecute it by the best means they could.

    Chapter IX

    Of their vioage, & how they passed ye sea, and of their safe arrivall at Cape Codd.

    Septr: 6. These troubls being blowne over, and now all being compacte togeather in one shipe, they put to sea againe with a prosperus winde, which continued diverce days togeather, which was some incouragmente unto them; yet according to ye usuall maner many were afflicted with sea-sicknes. And I may not omite hear a spetiall worke of Gods providence. Ther was a proud & very profane yonge man, one of ye sea-men, of a lustie, able body, which made him the more hauty; he would allway be contemning ye poore people in their sicknes, & cursing them dayly with greēous execrations, and did not let to tell them, that he hoped to help to cast halfe of them over board before they came to their jurneys end, and to make mery with what they had; and if he were by any gently reproved, he would curse and swear most bitterly. But it plased God before they came halfe seas over, to smite this yong man with a greeveous disease, of which he dyed in a desperate maner, and so was him selfe ye first yt was throwne overbord. Thus his curses light on his owne head; and it was an astonishmente to all his fellows, for they noted it to be ye just hand of God upon him.

    After they had injoyed faire winds and weather for a season, they were incountred many times with crosse winds, and mette with many feirce stormes, with which ye shipe was shroudly shaken, and her upper works made very leakie; and one of the maine beames in ye midd ships was bowed & craked, which put them in some fear that ye shipe could not be able to performe ye vioage. So some of ye Page | 109


    cheefe of ye company, perceiveing ye mariners to feare ye suffisiencie of ye shipe, as appeared by their mutterings, they entred into serious consulltation with ye mr.

    & other officers of ye ship, to consider in time of ye danger; and rather to returne then to cast them selves into a desperate & inevitable perill. And truly ther was great distraction & differance of opinion amongst ye mariners them selves; faine would they doe what could be done for their wages sake, (being now halfe the seas over,) and on ye other hand they were loath to hazard their lives too desperatly.

    But in examening of all opinions, the mr. & others affirmed they knew ye ship to be stronge & firme under water; and for the buckling of ye maine beame, ther was a great iron scrue ye passengers brought out of Holland, which would raise ye beame into his place; ye which being done, the carpenter & mr. affirmed that with a post put under it, set firme in ye lower deck, & otherways bounde, he would make it sufficiente. And as for ye decks & uper workes they would calke them as well as they could, and though with ye workeing of ye ship they would not longe keepe stanch, yet ther would otherwise be no great danger, if they did not overpress her with sails. So they com̄ited them selves to ye will of God, & resolved to proseede.

    In sundrie of these stormes the winds were so feirce, & ye seas so high, as they could not beare a knote of saile, but were forced to hull, for diverce days togither.

    And in one of them, as they thus lay at hull, in a mighty storme, a lustie yonge man (called John Howland) coming upon some occasion above ye grattings, was, with a seele of the shipe throwne into [ye] sea; but it pleased God yt he caught hould of ye top-saile halliards, which hunge over board, & rane out at length; yet he held his hould (though he was sundrie fadomes under water) till he was hald up by ye same rope to ye brime of ye water, and then with a boat hooke & other means got into ye shipe againe, & his life saved; and though he was something ill with it, yet he lived many years after, and became a profitable member both in church & com̄one wealthe. In all this viage ther died but one of ye passengers, which was William Butten, a youth, servant to Samuell Fuller, when they drew near ye coast. But to omite other things, (that I may be breefe,) after longe beating at sea they fell with that land which is called Cape Cod; the which being made & certainly knowne to be it, they were not a litle joyfull. After some deliberation had amongst them selves &

    with ye mr. of ye ship, they tacked aboute and resolved to stande for ye southward (ye wind & weather being faire) to finde some place aboute Hudsons river for their habitation. But after they had sailed yt course aboute halfe ye day, they fell amongst deangerous shoulds and roring breakers, and they were so farr intangled ther with as they conceived them selves in great danger; & ye wind shrinking upon them withall, they resolved to bear up againe for the Cape, and thought them selves hapy to gett out of those dangers before night overtooke them, as by Gods providence they did. And ye next day they gott into ye Cape-harbor wher they ridd in saftie.

    A word or too by ye way of this cape; it was thus first named by Capten Gosnole &

    his company, Anno: 1602, and after by Capten Smith was caled Cape James; but it retains ye former name amongst seamen. Also yt pointe which first shewed those dangerous shoulds unto them, they called Pointe Care, & Tuckers Terrour; but ye Page | 110


    French & Dutch to this day call it Malabarr, by reason of those perilous shoulds, and ye losses they have suffered their.

    Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees & blessed ye God of heaven, who had brought them over ye vast & furious ocean, and delivered them from all ye periles & miseries therof, againe to set their feete on ye firme and stable earth, their proper elemente. And no marvell if they were thus joyefull, seeing wise Seneca was so affected with sailing a few miles on ye coast of his owne Italy; as he affirmed, that he had rather remaine twentie years on his way by land, then pass by sea to any place in a short time; so tedious & dreadfull was ye same unto him.

    But hear I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amased at this poore peoples presente condition; and so I thinke will the reader too, when he well considers ye same. Being thus passed ye vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembred by yt which wente before), they had now no freinds to wellcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire too, to seeke for succoure. It is recorded in scripture as a mercie to ye apostle & his shipwraked company, yt the barbarians shewed them no smale kindnes in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians, when they mette with them (as after will appeare) were readier to fill their sids full of arrows then otherwise. And for ye season it was winter, and they that know ye winters of yt cuntrie know them to be sharp & violent, & subjecte to cruell & feirce stormes, deangerous to travill to known places, much more to serch an unknown coast. Besids, what could they see but a hidious & desolate wildernes, full of wild beasts & willd men? and what multituds ther might be of them they knew not. Nether could they, as it were, goe up to ye tope of Pisgah, to vew from this willdernes a more goodly cuntrie to feed their hops; for which way soever they turnd their eys (save upward to ye heavens) they could have litle solace or content in respecte of any outward objects. For sum̄er being done, all things stand upon them with a wetherbeaten face; and ye whole countrie, full of woods & thickets, represented a wild & savage heiw. If they looked behind them, ther was ye mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a maine barr & goulfe to seperate them from all ye civill parts of ye world. If it be said they had a ship to sucour them, it is trew; but what heard they daly from ye mr. & company? but yt with speede they should looke out a place with their shallop, wher they would be at some near distance; for ye season was shuch as he would not stirr from thence till a safe harbor was discovered by them wher they would be, and he might goe without danger; and that victells consumed apace, but he must & would keepe sufficient for them selves

    & their returne. Yea, it was muttered by some, that if they gott not a place in time, they would turne them & their goods ashore & leave them. Let it also be considred what weake hopes of supply & succoure they left behinde them, yt might bear up their minds in this sade condition and trialls they were under; and they could not but be very smale. It is true, indeed, ye affections & love of their brethren at Leyden was cordiall & entire towards them, but they had litle power to help them, or them Page | 111


    selves; and how ye case stode betweene them & ye marchants at their coming away, hath allready been declared. What could now sustaine them but the spirite of God

    & his grace? May not & ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our faithers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this willdernes; but they cried unto ye Lord, and he heard their voyce, and looked on their adversitie, &c. Let them therfore praise ye Lord, because he is good, & his mercies endure for ever. Yea, let them which have been redeemed of ye Lord, shew how he hath delivered them from ye hand of ye oppressour.

    When they wandered in ye deserte willdernes out of ye way, and found no citie to dwell in, both hungrie, & thirstie, their sowle was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before ye Lord his loving kindnes, and his wonderfull works before ye sons of men.

    Chapter X

    Showing how they sought out a place of habitation, and what befell them theraboute.

    Being thus arrived at Cap-Cod ye 11. of November, and necessitie calling them to looke out a place for habitation, (as well as the maisters & mariners importunitie,) they having brought a large shalop with them out of England, stowed in quarters in ye ship, they now gott her out & sett their carpenters to worke to trime her up; but being much brused & shatered in ye shipe wth foule weather, they saw she would be longe in mending. Wherupon a few of them tendered them selves to goe by land and discovere those nearest places, whilst ye shallop was in mending; and ye rather because as they wente into yt harbor ther seemed to be an opening some 2. or 3

    leagues of, which ye maister judged to be a river. It was conceived ther might be some danger in ye attempte, yet seeing them resolute, they were permited to goe, being 16. of them well armed, under ye conduct of Captain Standish, having shuch instructions given them as was thought meete. They sett forth ye 15. of Novebr: and when they had marched aboute the space of a mile by ye sea side, they espied 5.

    or 6. persons with a dogg coming towards them, who were salvages; but they fled from them, & ran̄e up into ye woods, and ye English followed them, partly to see if they could speake with them, and partly to discover if ther might not be more of them lying in ambush. But ye Indeans seeing them selves thus followed, they againe forsooke the woods, & rane away on ye sands as hard as they could, so as they could not come near them, but followed them by ye tracte of their feet sundrie miles, and saw that they had come the same way. So, night coming on, they made their randevous & set out their sentinels, and rested in quiete yt night, and the next morning followed their tracte till they had headed a great creake, & so left the sands, & turned an other way into ye woods. But they still followed them by geuss, hopeing to find their dwellings; but they soone lost both them & them selves, falling into shuch thickets as were ready to tear their cloaths & armore in peeces, but were most distresed for wante of drinke. But at length they found water & refreshed them Page | 112


    selves, being ye first New-England water they drunke of, and was now in thir great thirste as pleasante unto them as wine or bear had been in for-times. Afterwards they directed their course to come to ye other shore, for they knew it was a necke of land they were to crosse over, and so at length gott to ye sea-side, and marched to this supposed river, & by ye way found a pond of clear fresh water, and shortly after a good quantitie of clear ground wher ye Indeans had formerly set corne, and some of their graves. And proceeding furder they saw new-stuble wher corne had been set ye same year, also they found wher latly a house had been, wher some planks and a great ketle was remaining, and heaps of sand newly padled with their hands, which they, digging up, found in them diverce faire Indean baskets filled with corne, and some in eares, faire and good, of diverce collours, which seemed to them a very goodly sight, (haveing never seen any shuch before). This was near ye place of that supposed river they came to seeck; unto which they wente and found it to open it selfe into 2. armes with a high cliffe of sand in ye enterance, but more like to be crikes of salte water then any fresh, for ought they saw; and that ther was good harborige for their shalope; leaving it further to be discovered by their shalop when she was ready. So their time limeted them being expired, they returned to ye ship, least they should be in fear of their saftie; and tooke with them parte of ye corne, and buried up ye rest, and so like ye men from Eshcoll carried with them of ye fruits of ye land, & showed their breethren; of which, & their returne, they were marvelusly glad, and their harts incouraged.

    After this, ye shalop being got ready, they set out againe for ye better discovery of this place, & ye mr. of ye ship desired to goe him selfe, so ther went some 30.

    men, but found it to be no harbor for ships but only for boats; ther was allso found 2. of their houses covered with matts, & sundrie of their implements in them, but ye people were rune away & could not be seen; also ther was found more of their corne, & of their beans of various collours. The corne & beans they brought away, purposing to give them full satisfaction when they should meete with any of them (as about some 6. months afterward they did, to their good contente). And here is to be noted a spetiall providence of God, and a great mercie to this poore people, that hear they gott seed to plant them corne ye next year, or els they might have starved, for they had none, nor any liklyhood to get any till ye season had beene past (as ye sequell did manyfest). Neither is it lickly they had had this, if ye first viage had not been made, for the ground was now all covered with snow, & hard frozen. But the Lord is never wanting unto his in their greatest needs; let his holy name have all ye praise.

    The month of November being spente in these affairs, & much foule weather falling in, the 6. of Desemr: they sente out their shallop againe with 10. of their principall men, & some sea men, upon further discovery, intending to circulate that deepe bay of Cap-codd. The weather was very could, & it frose so hard as ye sprea of ye sea lighting on their coats, they were as if they had been glased; yet that night betimes they gott downe into ye botome of ye bay, and as they drue nere ye shore they saw some 10. or 12. Indeans very busie aboute some thing. They Page | 113


    landed aboute a league or 2. from them, and had much a doe to put a shore any wher, it lay so full of flats. Being landed, it grew late, and they made them selves a barricade with loggs & bowes as well as they could in ye time, & set out their sentenill & betooke them to rest, and saw ye smoake of ye fire ye savages made yt night. When morning was come they devided their company, some to coaste along ye shore in ye boate, and the rest marched throw ye woods to see ye land, if any fit place might be for their dwelling. They came allso to ye place wher they saw the Indans ye night before, & found they had been cuting up a great fish like a grampus, being some 2. inches thike of fate like a hogg, some peeces wher of they had left by ye way; and ye shallop found 2. more of these fishes dead on ye sands, a thing usuall after storms in yt place, by reason of ye great flats of sand that lye of. So they ranged up and doune all yt day, but found no people, nor any place they liked.

    When ye sune grue low, they hasted out of ye woods to meete with their shallop, to whom they made signes to come to them into a creeke hardby, the which they did at highwater; of which they were very glad, for they had not seen each other all yt day, since ye morning. So they made them a barricado (as usually they did every night) with loggs, staks, & thike pine bowes, ye height of a man, leaving it open to leeward, partly to shelter them from ye could & wind (making their fire in ye midle, & lying round aboute it), and partly to defend them from any sudden assaults of ye savags, if they should surround them. So being very weary, they betooke them to rest. But aboute midnight, they heard a hideous & great crie, and their sentinell caled, “Arme, arme”; so they bestired them & stood to their armes,

    & shote of a cupple of moskets, and then the noys seased. They concluded it was a companie of wolves, or such like willd beasts; for one of ye sea men tould them he had often heard shuch a noyse in New-found land. So they rested till about 5. of ye clock in the morning; for ye tide, & ther purposs to goe from thence, made them be stiring betimes. So after praier they prepared for breakfast, and it being day dawning, it was thought best to be carring things downe to ye boate. But some said it was not best to carrie ye armes downe, others said they would be the readier, for they had laped them up in their coats from ye dew. But some 3. or 4. would not cary theirs till they wente them selves, yet as it fell out, ye water being not high enough, they layed them downe on ye banke side, & came up to breakfast. But presently, all on ye sudain, they heard a great & strange crie, which they knew to be the same voyces they heard in ye night, though they varied their notes, & one of their company being abroad came runing in, & cried, “Men, Indeans, Indeans”; and wthall, their arowes came flying amongst them. Their men rane with all speed to recover their armes, as by ye good providence of God they did. In ye mean time, of those that were ther ready, tow muskets were discharged at them, & 2. more stood ready in ye enterance of ther randevoue, but were comanded not to shoote till they could take full aime at them; & ye other 2. charged againe with all speed, for ther were only 4. had armes ther, & defended ye baricado which was first assalted. The crie of ye Indeans was dreadfull, espetially when they saw ther men rune out of ye randevoue towourds ye shallop, to recover their armes, the Indeans Page | 114


    wheeling aboute upon them. But some run̄ing out with coats of malle on, &

    cutlasses in their hands, they soone got their armes, & let flye amongs them, and quickly stopped their violence. Yet ther was a lustie man, and no less valiante, stood behind a tree within halfe a musket shot, and let his arrows flie at them. He was seen shoot 3. arrowes, which were all avoyded. He stood 3. shot of a musket, till one taking full aime at him, and made ye barke or splinters of ye tree fly about his ears, after which he gave an extraordinary shrike, and away they wente all of them. They left some to keep ye shalop, and followed them aboute a quarter of a mille, and shouted once or twise, and shot of 2. or 3. peces, & so returned. This they did, that they might conceive that they were not affrade of them or any way discouraged. Thus it pleased God to vanquish their enimies, and give them deliverance; and by his spetiall providence so to dispose that not any one of them were either hurte, or hitt, though their arrows came close by them, & on every side them, and sundry of their coats, which hunge up in ye barricado, were shot throw

    & throw. Aterwards they gave God sollamne thanks & praise for their deliverance,

    & gathered up a bundle of their arrows, & sente them into England afterward by ye mr. of ye ship, and called that place ye first encounter. From hence they departed, & costed all along, but discerned no place likly for harbor; & therfore hasted to a place that their pillote, (one Mr. Coppin who had bine in ye cuntrie before) did assure them was a good harbor, which he had been in, and they might fetch it before night; of which they were glad, for it begane to be foule weather.

    After some houres sailing, it begane to snow & raine, & about ye midle of ye afternoone, ye wind increased, & ye sea became very rough, and they broake their rudder, & it was as much as 2. men could doe to steere her with a cupple of oares.

    But their pillott bad them be of good cheere, for he saw ye harbor; but ye storme increasing, & night drawing on, they bore what saile they could to gett in, while they could see. But herwith they broake their mast in 3. peeces, & their saill fell over bord, in a very grown sea, so as they had like to have been cast away; yet by Gods mercie they recovered them selves, & having ye floud with them, struck into ye harbore. But when it came too, ye pillott was deceived in ye place, and said, ye Lord be mercifull unto them, for his eys never saw yt place before; & he & the mr.

    mate would have rune her ashore, in a cove full of breakers, before ye winde. But a lusty seaman which steered, bad those which rowed, if they were men, about with her, or ells they were all cast away; the which they did with speed. So he bid them be of good cheere & row lustly, for ther was a faire sound before them, & he doubted not but they should find one place or other wher they might ride in saftie.

    And though it was very darke, and rained sore, yet in ye end they gott under ye lee of a smalle iland, and remained ther all yt night in saftie. But they knew not this to be an iland till morning, but were devided in their minds; some would keepe ye boate for fear they might be amongst ye Indians; others were so weake and could, they could not endure, but got a shore, & with much adoe got fire, (all things being so wett,) and ye rest were glad to come to them; for after midnight ye wind shifted to the north-west, & it frose hard. But though this had been a day & night of much Page | 115


    trouble & danger unto them, yet God gave them a morning of comforte & refreshing (as usually he doth to his children), for ye next day was a faire sunshinīg day, and they found them sellvs to be on an iland secure from ye Indeans, wher they might drie their stufe, fixe their peeces, & rest them selves, and gave God thanks for his mercies, in their manifould deliverances. And this being the last day of ye weeke, they prepared ther to keepe ye Sabath. On Munday they sounded ye harbor, and founde it fitt for shipping; and marched into ye land, & found diverse cornfeilds,

    & litle runing brooks, a place (as they supposed) fitt for situation; at least it was ye best they could find, and ye season, & their presente necessitie, made them glad to accepte of it. So they returned to their shipp againe with this news to ye rest of their people, which did much comforte their harts.

    On ye 15. of Desemr: they wayed anchor to goe to ye place they had discovered,

    & came within 2. leagues of it, but were faine to bear up againe; but ye 16. day ye winde came faire, and they arrived safe in this harbor. And after wards tooke better view of ye place, and resolved wher to pitch their dwelling; and ye 25. day begane to erecte ye first house for com̄one use to receive them and their goods.


    Chapter X

    In these hard & difficulte beginings they found some discontents & murmurings arise amongst some, and mutinous speeches & carriags in other; but they were soone quelled & overcome by ye wisdome, patience, and just & equall carrage of things by ye Govr and better part, wch clave faithfully togeather in ye maine. But that which was most sadd & lamentable was, that in 2. or 3. moneths time halfe of their company dyed, espetialy in Jan: & February, being ye depth of winter, and wanting houses & other comforts; being infected with ye scurvie & other diseases, which this long vioage & their inacomodate condition had brought upon them; so as ther dyed some times 2. or 3. of a day, in ye foresaid time; that of 100. & odd persons, scarce 50. remained. And of these in ye time of most distres, ther was but 6. or 7. sound persons, who, to their great comendations be it spoken, spared no pains, night nor day, but with abundance of toyle and hazard of their owne health, fetched them woode, made them fires, drest them meat, made their beads, washed their lothsome cloaths, cloathed & uncloathed them; in a word, did all ye homly &

    necessarie offices for them wch dainty & quesie stomacks cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly & cherfully, without any grudging in ye least, shewing herein their true love unto their freinds & bretheren. A rare example & worthy to be remembred. Tow of these 7. were Mr. William Brewster, ther reverend Elder, &

    Myles Standish, ther Captein & military comander, unto whom my selfe, & many others, were much beholden in our low & sicke condition. And yet the Lord so upheld these persons, as in this generall calamity they were not at all infected either with sicknes, or lamnes. And what I have said of these, I may say of many others who dyed in this generall vissitation, & others yet living, that whilst they had Page | 116


    health, yea, or any strength continuing, they were not wanting to any that had need of them. And I doute not but their recompence is with ye Lord.

    But I may not hear pass by an other remarkable passage not to be forgotten. As this calamitie fell among ye passengers that were to be left here to plant, and were hasted a shore and made to drinke water, that ye sea-men might have ye more bear, and one in his sicknes desiring but a small cann of beere, it was answered, that if he were their owne father he should have none; the disease begane to fall amongst them also, so as allmost halfe of their company dyed before they went away, and many of their officers and lustyest men, as ye boatson, gunner, 3. quarter-maisters, the cooke, & others. At wch ye mr. was something strucken and sent to ye sick a shore and tould ye Govr he should send for beer for them that had need of it, though he drunke water homward bound. But now amongst his company ther was farr another kind of carriage in this miserie then amongst ye passengers; for they that before had been boone companions in drinking &

    joyllity in ye time of their health & wellfare, begane now to deserte one another in this calamitie, saing they would not hasard ther lives for them, they should be infected by coming to help them in their cabins, and so, after they came to dye by it, would doe litle or nothing for them, but if they dyed let them dye. But shuch of ye passengers as were yet abord shewed them what mercy they could, wch made some of their harts relente, as ye boatson (& some others), who was a prowd yonge man, and would often curse & scofe at ye passengers; but when he grew weak, they had compassion on him and helped him; then he confessed he did not deserve it at their hands, he had abused them in word & deed. O! saith he, you, I now see, shew your love like Christians indeed one to another, but we let one another lye &

    dye like doggs. Another lay cursing his wife, saing if it had not ben for her he had never come this unlucky viage, and anone cursing his felows, saing he had done this & that, for some of them, he had spente so much, & so much, amongst them, and they were now weary of him, and did not help him, having need. Another gave his companion all he had, if he died, to help him in his weaknes; he went and got a litle spise & made him a mess of meat once or twise, and because he dyed not so soone as he expected, he went amongst his fellows, & swore ye rogue would cousen him, he would see him choaked before he made him any more meate; and yet ye pore fellow dyed before morning.

    All this while ye Indians came skulking about them, and would sometimes show them selves aloofe of, but when any aproached near them, they would rune away. And once they stoale away their tools wher they had been at worke, & were gone to diner. But about ye 16. of March a certaine Indian came bouldly amongst them, and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand, but marvelled at it. At length they understood by discourse with him, that he was not of these parts, but belonged to ye eastrene parts, wher some English-ships came to fhish, with whom he was aquainted, & could name sundrie of them by their names, amongst whom he had gott his language. He became proftable to them in aquainting them with many things concerning ye state of ye cuntry in ye east-parts Page | 117


    wher he lived, which was afterwards profitable unto them; as also of ye people hear, of their names, number, & strength; of their situation & distance from this place, and who was cheefe amongst them. His name was Samaset; he tould them also of another Indian whos name was Squanto, a native of this place, who had been in England & could speake better English then him selfe. Being, after some time of entertainmente & gifts, dismist, a while after he came againe, & 5. more with him,

    & they brought againe all ye tooles that were stolen away before, and made way for ye coming of their great Sachem, called Massasoyt; who, about 4. or 5. days after, came with the cheefe of his freinds & other attendance, with the aforesaid Squanto. With whom, after frendly entertainment, & some gifts given him, they made a peace with him (which hath now continued this 24. years) in these terms.

    1. That neither he nor any of his, should injurie or doe hurte to any of their peopl.

    2. That if any of his did any hurte to any of theirs, he should send ye offender, that they might punish him.

    3. That if any thing were taken away from any of theirs, he should cause it to be restored; and they should doe ye like to his.

    4. If any did unjustly warr against him, they would aide him; if any did warr against them, he should aide them.

    5. He should send to his neighbours confederats, to certifie them of this, that they might not wrong them, but might be likewise comprised in ye conditions of peace.

    6. That when ther men came to them, they should leave their bows & arrows behind them.

    After these things he returned to his place caled Sowams, some 40. mile from this place, but Squanto continued with them, and was their interpreter, and was a spetiall instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corne, wher to take fish, and to procure other comodities, and was also their pilott to bring them to unknowne places for their profitt, and never left them till he dyed. He was a native of this place, & scarce any left alive besids him selfe. He was caried away with diverce others by one Hunt, a mr. of a ship, who thought to sell them for slaves in Spaine; but he got away for England, and was entertained by a marchante in London, & imployed to New-foundland &

    other parts, & lastly brought hither into these parts by one Mr. Dermer, a gentleman imployed by Sr. Ferdinando Gorges & others, for discovery, & other designes in these parts. Of whom I shall say some thing, because it is mentioned in a booke set forth Ano: 1622. by the Presidente & Counsell for New-England, that he made ye peace betweene ye salvages of these parts & ye English; of which this plantation, as it is intimated, had ye benefite. But what a peace it was, may apeare by what befell him & his men.

    Page | 118


    This Mr. Dermer was hear the same year that these people came, as apears by a relation written by him, & given me by a friend, bearing date June 30. Ano: 1620. And they came in Novembr: following, so ther was but 4. months differance.

    In which relation to his honored freind, he hath these passages of this very place.

    I will first begine (saith he) wth that place from whence Squanto, or Tisquantem, was taken away; wch in Cap: Smiths mape is called Plimoth: and I would that Plimoth had ye like comodities. I would that the first plantation might hear be seated, if ther come to the number of 50. persons, or upward. Otherwise at Charlton, because ther ye savages are lese to be feared. The Pocanawkits, which live to ye west of Plimoth, bear an inveterate malice to ye English, and are of more streingth then all ye savags from thence to Penobscote. Their desire of revenge was occasioned by an English man, who having many of them on bord, made a great slaughter with their murderers & smale shot, when as (they say) they offered no injurie on their parts. Whether they were English or no, it may be douted; yet they beleeve they were, for ye Frenche have so possest them; for which cause Squanto can̄ot deney but they would have kiled me when I was at Namasket, had he not entreated hard for me. The soyle of ye borders of this great bay, may be compared to most of ye plantations which I have seene in Virginia. The land is of diverce sorts; for Patuxite is a hardy but strong soyle, Nawsel & Saughtughtett are for ye most part a blakish & deep mould, much like that wher groweth ye best Tobaco in Virginia. In ye botume of yt great bay is store of Codd & basse, or mulett, &c.

    But above all he comends Pacanawkite for ye richest soyle, and much open ground fitt for English graine, &c.

    Massachussets is about 9. leagues from Plimoth, & situate in ye mids betweene both, is full of ilands & peninsules very fertill for ye most parte.

    With sundrie shuch relations which I forbear to transcribe, being now better knowne then they were to him.

    He was taken prisoner by ye Indeans at Manamoiak (a place not farr from hence, now well knowne). He gave them what they demanded for his liberty, but when they had gott what they desired, they kept him still & indevored to kill his men; but he was freed by seasing on some of them, and kept them bound till they gave him a cannows load of corne. Of which, see Purch: lib. 9. fol. 1778. But this was Ano: 1619.

    After ye writing of ye former relation he came to ye Ile of Capawack (which lyes south of this place in ye way to Virginia), and ye foresaid Squanto wth him, wher he going a shore amongst ye Indans to trad, as he used to doe, was betrayed

    & assaulted by them, & all his men slaine, but one that kept the boat; but him selfe gott abord very sore wounded, & they had cut of his head upon ye cudy of his Page | 119


    boat, had not ye man reskued him with a sword. And so they got away, & made shift to gett into Virginia, wher he dyed; whether of his wounds or ye diseases of ye cuntrie, or both togeather, is uncertaine. By all which it may appeare how farr these people were from peace, and with what danger this plantation was begune, save as ye powerfull hand of the Lord did protect them. These things were partly the reason why they kept aloofe & were so long before they came to the English.

    An other reason (as after them selvs made know̄) was how aboute 3. years before, a French-ship was cast away at Cap-Codd, but ye men gott ashore, & saved their lives, and much of their victails, & other goods; but after ye Indeans heard of it, they geathered togeather from these parts, and never left watching & dogging them till they got advantage, and kild them all but 3. or 4. which they kept, & sent from one Sachem to another, to make sporte with, and used them worse then slaves; (of which ye foresaid Mr. Dermer redeemed 2. of them;) and they conceived this ship was now come to revenge it.

    Also, (as after was made knowne,) before they came to ye English to make freindship, they gott all the Powachs of ye cuntrie, for 3. days togeather, in a horid and divellish maner to curse & execrate them with their cunjurations, which asembly & service they held in a darke & dismale swampe.

    But to returne. The spring now approaching, it pleased God the mortalitie begane to cease amongst them, and ye sick and lame recovered apace, which put as it were new life into them; though they had borne their sadd affliction with much patience & contentednes, as I thinke any people could doe. But it was ye Lord which upheld them, and had beforehand prepared them; many having long borne ye yoake, yea from their youth. Many other smaler maters I omite, sundrie of them having been allready published in a Jurnall made by one of the company; and some other passages of jurneys and relations allredy published, to which I referr those that are willing to know them more perticulerly. And being now come to ye 25. of March I shall begine ye year 1621.

    Chapter XIX

    This year the Dutch sent againe unto them from their plantation, both kind leterss, and also diverse comodities, as suger, linen cloth, Holand finer & courser stufes, &c. They came up with their barke to Manamete, to their house ther, in which came their Secretarie Rasier; who was accompanied with a noyse of trumpeters, and some other attendants; and desired that they would send a boat for him, for he could not travill so farr over land. So they sent a boat to Manonscussett, and brought him to ye plantation, with ye cheefe of his company. And after some few days entertainmente, he returned to his barke, and some of them wente with him, and bought sundry of his goods; after which begining thus made, they sente often times to ye same place, and had entercourse togeather for diverce years; and amongst other comodities, they vended much tobaco for linen cloath, stuffs, &c., which was a good benefite to ye people, till the Virginians found out their plantation.

    But that which turned most to their profite, in time, was an entrance into the trade Page | 120


    of Wampampeake; for they now bought aboute 50li. worth of it of them; and they tould them how vendable it was at their forte Orania; and did perswade them they would find it so at Kenebeck; and so it came to pass in time, though at first it stuck, & it was 2. years before they could put of this small quantity, till ye inland people knew of it; and afterwards they could scarce ever gett enough for them, for many years togeather. And so this, with their other provissions, cutt of they trade quite from ye fisher-men, and in great part from other of ye stragling planters.

    And strange it was to see the great allteration it made in a few years amonge ye Indeans them selves; for all the Indeans of these parts, & ye Massachussets, had none or very litle of it, but ye sachems & some spetiall persons that wore a litle of it for ornamente. Only it was made & kepte amonge ye Nariganssets, & Pequents, which grew rich & potent by it, and these people were poore & begerly, and had no use of it. Neither did the English of this plantation, or any other in ye land, till now that they had knowledg of it from ye Dutch, so much as know what it was, much less yt it was a com̄oditie of that worth & valew. But after it grue thus to be a comoditie in these parts, these Indeans fell into it allso, and to learne how to make it; for ye Narigansets doe geather ye shells of which yey make it from their shors.

    And it hath now continued a current comoditie aboute this 20. years, and it may prove a drugg in time. In ye mean time it maks ye Indeans of these parts rich &

    power full and also prowd therby; and fills them with peeces, powder, and shote, which no laws can restraine, by reasone of ye bassnes of sundry unworthy persons, both English, Dutch, & French, which may turne to ye ruine of many. Hithertoo ye Indeans of these parts had no peeces nor other armes but their bowes & arrowes, nor of many years after; nether durst they scarce handle a gune, so much were they affraid of them; and ye very sight of one (though out of kilter) was a terrour unto them. But those Indeans to ye east parts, which had com̄erce with ye French, got peces of them, and they in the end made a commone trade of it; and in time our English fisher-men, led with ye like covetoussnes, followed their example, for their owne gaine; but upon complainte against them, it pleased the kings majestie to prohibite ye same by a stricte proclaimation, commanding that no sorte of armes, or munition, should by any of his subjects be traded with them.

    Aboute some 3. or 4. years before this time, ther came over one Captaine Wolastone, (a man of pretie parts,) and with him 3. or 4. more of some eminencie, who brought with them a great many servants, with provissions & other implments for to begine a plantation; and pitched them selves in a place within the Massachusets, which they called, after their Captains name, Mount-Wollaston. Amongst whom was one Mr. Morton, who, it should seeme, had some small adventure (of his owne or other mens) amongst them; but had litle respecte amongst them, and was sleghted by ye meanest servants. Haveing continued ther some time, and not finding things to answer their expectations, nor profite to arise as they looked for, Captaine Wollaston takes a great part of ye sarvants, and transports them to Virginia, wher he puts them of at good rates, selling their time to other men; and writs back to one Mr. Rassdall, one of his cheefe partners, and accounted their marchant, to bring Page | 121


    another parte of them to Verginia likewise, intending to put them of ther as he had done ye rest. And he, wth ye consente of ye said Rasdall, appoynted one Fitcher to be his Livetenante, and governe ye remaines of ye plantation, till he or Rasdall returned to take further order theraboute. But this Morton abovesaid, haveing more craft then honestie, (who had been a kind of petie-fogger, of Furnefells Inne,) in ye others absence, watches an oppertunitie, (commons being but hard amongst them,) and gott some strong drinck & other junkats, & made them a feast; and after they were merie, he begane to tell them, he would give them good counsell.

    You see (saith he) that many of your fellows are carried to Virginia; and if you stay till this Rasdall returne, you will also be carried away and sould for slaves with ye rest. Therfore I would advise you to thruste out this Levetenant Fitcher; and I, having a parte in the plantation, will receive you as my partners and consociats; so may you be free from service, and we will converse, trad, plante, & live togeather as equalls, & supporte & protecte one another, or to like effecte. This counsell was easily received; so they tooke oppertunitie, and thrust Levetenante Fitcher out a dores, and would suffer him to come no more amongst them, but forct him to seeke bread to eate, and other releefe from his neigbours, till he could gett passages for England. After this they fell to great licenciousnes, and led a dissolute life, powering out them selves into all profanenes. And Morton became lord of misrule, and maintained (as it were) a schoole of Athisme. And after they had gott some good into their hands, and gott much by trading with ye Indeans, they spent it as vainly, in quaffing & drinking both wine & strong waters in great exsess, and, as some reported, 10li. worth in a morning. They allso set up a May-pole, drinking and dancing aboute it many days togeather, inviting the Indean women, for their consorts, dancing and frisking togither, (like so many fairies, or furies rather,) and worse practises. As if they had anew revived & celebrated the feasts of ye Roman Goddes Flora, or ye beasly practieses of ye madd Bacchinalians. Morton likwise (to shew his poetrie) composed sundry rimes & verses, some tending to lasciviousnes, and others to ye detraction & scandall of some persons, which he affixed to this idle or idoll May-polle. They chainged allso the name of their place, and in stead of calling it Mounte Wollaston, they call it Merie-mounte, as if this joylity would have lasted ever. But this continued not long, for after Morton was sent for England, (as follows to be declared,) shortly after came over that worthy gentlman, Mr. John Indecott, who brought over a patent under ye broad seall, for ye govermente of ye Massachusets, who visiting those parts caused yt May-polle to be cutt downe, and rebuked them for their profannes, and admonished them to looke ther should be better walking; so they now, or others, changed ye name of their place againe, and called it Mounte-Dagon.

    Now to maintaine this riotous prodigallitie and profuse excess, Morton, thinking him selfe lawless, and hearing what gaine ye French & fisher-men made by trading of peeces, powder, & shotte to ye Indeans, he, as ye head of this consortship, begane ye practise of ye same in these parts; and first he taught them how to use them, to charge, & discharg, and what proportion of powder to give ye peece, according to Page | 122


    ye sise or bignes of ye same; and what shotte to use for foule, and what for deare.

    And having thus instructed them, he imployed some of them to hunte & fowle for him, so as they became farr more active in that imploymente then any of ye English, by reason of ther swiftnes of foote, & nimblnes of body, being also quick-sighted, and by continuall exercise well knowing ye hants of all sorts of game. So as when they saw ye execution that a peece would doe, and ye benefite that might come by ye same, they became madd, as it were, after them, and would not stick to give any prise they could attaine too for them; accounting their bowes & arrowes but bables in comparison of them.

    And here I may take occasion to bewaile ye mischefe that this wicked man began in these parts, and which since base covetousnes prevailing in men that should know better, has now at length gott ye upper hand, and made this thing com̄one, notwithstanding any laws to ye contrary; so as ye Indeans are full of peeces all over, both fouling peeces, muskets, pistols, &c. They have also their moulds to make shotte, of all sorts, as muskett bulletts, pistoll bullets, swane & gose shote, &

    of smaler sorts; yea, some have seen them have their scruplats to make scrupins them selves, when they wante them, with sundery other implements, wherwith they are ordinarily better fited & furnished then ye English them selves. Yea, it is well knowne that they will have powder & shot, when the English want it, nor cannot gett it; and yt in a time of warr or danger, as experience hath manifested, that when lead hath been scarce, and men for their owne defence would gladly have given a groat a l which is dear enoughe, yet hath it bene bought up & sent to other places, and sould to shuch as trade it with ye Indeans, at 12. pence ye li.; and it is like they give 3. or 4.s ye pound, for they will have it at any rate. And these things have been done in ye same times, when some of their neigbours &

    freinds are daly killed by ye Indeans, or are in deanger therof, and live but at ye Indeans mercie. Yea, some (as they have aquainted them with all other things) have tould them how gunpowder is made, and all ye materialls in it, and that they are to be had in their owne land; and I am confidente, could they attaine to make saltpeter, they would teach them to make powder. O the horiblnes of this vilanie! how many both Dutch & English have been latly slaine by those Indeans, thus furnished; and no remedie provided, nay, ye evill more increased, and ye blood of their brethren sould for gaine, as is to be feared; and in what danger all these colonies are in is too well known. Oh! that princes & parlements would take some timly order to prevente this mischeefe, and at length to suppress it, by some exemplerie punishmente upon some of these gaine thirstie murderers, (for they deserve no better title,) before their collonies in these parts be over throwne by these barbarous savages, thus armed with their owne weapons, by these evill instruments, and traytors to their neigbors and cuntrie. But I have forgott my selfe, and have been to longe in this digression; but now to returne. This Morton having thus taught them ye use of peeces, he sould them all he could spare; and he and his consorts detirmined to send for many out of England, and had by some of ye ships sente for above a score. The which being knowne, and his neigbours Page | 123


    meeting ye Indeans in ye woods armed with guns in this sorte, it was a terrour unto them, who lived straglingly, and were of no strenght in any place. And other places (though more remote) saw this mischeefe would quietly spread over all, if not prevented. Besides, they saw they should keep no servants, for Morton would entertaine any, how vile soever, and all ye scume of ye countrie, or any discontents, would flock to him from all places, if this nest was not broken; and they should stand in more fear of their lives & goods (in short time) from this wicked & deboste crue, then from ye salvages them selves.

    So sundrie of ye cheefe of ye stragling plantations, meeting togither, agreed by mutuall consente to sollissite those of Plimoth (who were then of more strength then them all) to joyne with them, to prevente ye further grouth of this mischeefe, and suppress Morton & his consortes before yey grewe to further head and strength. Those that joyned in this acction (and after contributed to the charge of sending him for England) were from Pascataway, Namkeake, Winisimett, Weesagascusett, Natasco, and other places wher any English were seated. Those of Plimoth being thus sought too by their messengers & letters, and waying both their reasons, and the com̄one danger, were willing to afford them their help; though them selves had least cause of fear or hurte. So, to be short, they first resolved joyntly to write to him, and in a freindly & neigborly way to admonish him to forbear these courses, & sent a messenger with their letters to bring his answer. But he was so highe as he scorned all advise, and asked who had to doe with him; he had and would trade peeces with ye Indeans in dispite of all, with many other scurillous termes full of disdaine. They sente to him a second time, and bad him be better advised, and more temperate in his termes, for ye countrie could not beare ye injure he did; it was against their comone saftie, and against ye king’s proclamation. He answerd in high terms as before, and that ye kings proclamation was no law; demanding what penaltie was upon it. It was answered, more then he could bear, his majesties displeasure. But insolently he persisted, and said ye king was dead and his displeasure with him, & many ye like things; and threatened withall that if any came to molest him, let them looke to them selves, for he would prepare for them. Upon which they saw ther was no way but to take him by force; and having so farr proceeded, now to give over would make him farr more hautie & insolente. So they mutually resolved to proceed, and obtained of ye Govr of Plimoth to send Captaine Standish, & some other aide with him, to take Morton by force. The which accordingly was done; but they found him to stand stifly in his defence, having made fast his dors, armed his consorts, set diverse dishes of powder & bullets ready on ye table; and if they had not been over armed with drinke, more hurt might have been done. They som̄aned him to yeeld, but he kept his house, and they could gett nothing but scofes & scorns from him; but at length, fearing they would doe some violence to ye house, he and some of his crue came out, but not to yeeld, but to shoote; but they were so steeld with drinke as their peeces were to heavie for them; him selfe with a carbine (over charged &

    allmost halfe fild with powder & shote, as was after found) had thought to have Page | 124


    shot Captaine Standish; but he stept to him, & put by his peece, & tooke him.

    Neither was ther any hurte done to any of either side, save yt one was so drunke yt he rane his owne nose upon ye pointe of a sword yt one held before him as he entred ye house; but he lost but a litle of his hott blood. Morton they brought away to Plimoth, wher he was kepte, till a ship went from ye Ile of Shols for England, with which he was sente to ye Counsell of New-England; and letters writen to give them information of his course & cariage; and also one was sent at their com̄one charge to informe their Hors more perticulerly, & to prosecute against him. But he foold of ye messenger, after he was gone from hence, and though he wente for England, yet nothing was done to him, not so much as rebukte, for ought was heard; but returned ye nexte year. Some of ye worst of ye company were disperst, and some of ye more modest kepte ye house till he should be heard from. But I have been too long aboute so un-worthy a person, and bad a cause.

    This year Mr. Allerton brought over a yonge man for a minister to ye people hear, wheather upon his owne head, or at ye motion of some freinds ther, I well know not, but it was without ye churches sending; for they had bene so bitten by Mr. Lyford, as they desired to know ye person well whom they should invite amongst them. His name was Mr. Rogers; but they perceived, upon some triall, that he was crased in his braine; so they were faine to be at further charge to send him back againe ye nexte year, and loose all ye charge that was expended in his hither bringing, which was not smalle by Mr. Allerton’s accounte, in provissions, aparell, bedding, &c. After his returne he grue quite distracted, and Mr. Allerton was much blamed yt he would bring such a man over, they having charge enough otherwise.

    Chapter XXIII

    Also ye people of ye plantation begane to grow in their owtward estats, by reason of ye flowing of many people into ye cuntrie, espetially into ye Bay of ye Massachusets; by which means corne & catle rose to a great prise, by wch many were much inriched, and com̄odities grue plentifull; and yet in other regards this benefite turned to their hurte, and this accession of strength to their weaknes. For now as their stocks increased, and ye increse vendible, ther was no longer any holding them togeather, but now they must of necessitie goe to their great lots; they could not other wise keep their katle; and having oxen growne, they must have land for plowing & tillage. And no man now thought he could live, except he had catle and a great deale of ground to keep them; all striving to increase their stocks. By which means they were scatered all over ye bay, quickly, and ye towne, in which they lived compactly till now, was left very thine, and in a short time allmost desolate. And if this had been all, it had been less, thoug to much; but ye church must also be devided, and those yt had lived so long togeather in Christian

    & comfortable fellowship must now part and suffer many divissions. First, those that lived on their lots on ye other side of the bay (called Duxberie) they could Page | 125


    not long bring their wives & children to ye publick worship & church meetings here, but with such burthen, as, growing to some competente number, they sued to be dismissed and become a body of them selves; and so they were dismiste (about this time), though very unwillingly. But to touch this sadd matter, and handle things together that fell out afterward. To prevent any further scatering from this place, and weakning of ye same, it was thought best to give out some good farms to spetiall persons, yt would promise to live at Plimoth, and lickly to be helpfull to ye church or comonewelth, and so tye ye lands to Plimoth as farmes for the same; and ther they might keepe their catle & tillage by some servants, and retaine their dwellings here. And so some spetiall lands were granted at a place generall, called Greens Harbor, wher no allotments had been in ye former divission, a plase very weell meadowed, and fitt to keep & rear catle, good store.

    But alass! this remedy proved worse then ye disease; for wthin a few years those that had thus gott footing ther rente them selves away, partly by force, and partly wearing ye rest with importunitie and pleas of necessitie, so as they must either suffer them to goe, or live in continuall opposition and contention. And others still, as yey conceived them selves straitened, or to want accom̄odation, break away under one pretence or other, thinking their owne conceived necessitie, and the example of others, a warrente sufficente for them. And this, I fear, will be ye ruine of New-England, at least of ye churches of God ther, & will provock ye Lords displeasure against them.

    Chapter XXVII

    In ye year 1634, the Pequents (a stoute and warlike people), who had made warrs with sundry of their neigbours, and puft up with many victories, grue now at varience with ye Narigansets, a great people bordering upon them. These Narigansets held correspondance and termes of freindship with ye English of ye Massachusetts. Now ye Pequents, being conscious of ye guilte of Captain-Stones death, whom they knew to be an-English man, as also those yt were with him, and being fallen out with ye Dutch, least they should have over many enemies at once, sought to make freindship with ye English of ye Massachusetts; and for yt end sent both messengers & gifts unto them, as appears by some letters sent from ye Govr hither.

    Dear & worthy Sr: &c. To let you know somwhat of our affairs, you may understand that ye Pequents have sent some of theirs to us, to desire our freindship, and offered much wampam & beaver, &c. The first messengers were dismissed without answer; with ye next we had diverce dayes conferance, and taking ye advice of some of our ministers, and seeking the Lord in it, we concluded a peace & freindship with them, upon these conditions: that they should deliver up to us those men who were guilty of Stones death, &c. And if we desired to plant in Conightecute, they should give up their right to us, and so we would send to trade with them as our freinds (which was ye cheefe thing Page | 126


    we aimed at, being now in warr with ye Dutch and ye rest of their neigbours).

    To this they readily agreed; and that we should meadiate a peace betweene them and the Narigansetts; for which end they were contente we should give the Narigansets parte of yt presente, they would bestow on us (for they stood so much on their honour, as they would not be seen to give any thing of them selves). As for Captein Stone, they tould us ther were but 2. left of those who had any hand in his death; and that they killed him in a just quarell, for (say they) he surprised 2. of our men, and bound them, to make them by force to shew him ye way up ye river; and he with 2. other coming on shore, 9. Indeans watched him, and when they were a sleepe in ye night, they kiled them, to deliver their owne men; and some of them going afterwards to ye pinass, it was suddainly blowne up. We are now preparing to send a pinass unto them, &c.

    In an other of his, dated ye 12. of ye first month, he hath this.

    Our pinass is latly returned from ye Pequents; they put of but litle comoditie, and found them a very false people, so as they mean to have no more to doe with them. I have diverce other things to write unto you, &c.

    Yours ever assured,

    Jo: Winthrop.

    Boston, 12. of ye 1. month, 1634.

    After these things, and, as I take, this year, John Oldom, (of whom much is spoken before,) being now an inhabitant of ye Massachusetts, went wth a small vessell, & slenderly mand, a trading into these south parts, and upon a quarell betweene him & ye Indeans was cutt of by them (as hath been before noted) at an iland called by ye Indeans Munisses, but since by ye English Block Iland. This, with ye former about the death of Stone, and the baffoyling of ye Pequents with ye English of ye Massachusetts, moved them to set out some to take revenge, and require satisfaction for these wrongs; but it was done so superfitially, and without their acquainting of those of Conightecute & other neighbours with ye same, as they did litle good. But their neigbours had more hurt done, for some of ye murderers of Oldome fled to ye Pequents, and though the English went to ye Pequents, and had some parley with them, yet they did but delude them, & ye English returned without doing any thing to purpose, being frustrate of their oppertunitie by ye others deceite. After ye English were returned, the Pequents tooke their time and oppertunitie to cut of some of ye English as they passed in boats, and went on fouling, and assaulted them ye next spring at their habytations, as will appear in its place. I doe but touch these things, because I make no question they wall be more fully & distinctly handled by them selves, who had more exacte knowledg of them, and whom they did more properly concerne.

    Page | 127


    Chapter XXVIII

    Anno Dom: 1637.

    In ye fore parte of this year, the Pequents fell openly upon ye English at Conightecute, in ye lower parts of ye river, and slew sundry of them, (as they were at work in ye feilds,) both men & women, to ye great terrour of ye rest; and wente away in great prid & triumph, with many high threats. They allso assalted a fort at ye rivers mouth, though strong and well defended; and though they did not their prevaile, yet it struk them with much fear & astonishmente to see their bould attempts in the face of danger; which made them in all places to stand upon their gard, and to prepare for resistance, and ernestly to solissite their freinds and confederats in ye Bay of Massachusets to send them speedy aide, for they looked for more forcible assaults. Mr. Vane, being then Govr, write from their Generall Courte to them hear, to joyne with them in this warr; to which they were cordially willing, but tooke opportunitie to write to them aboute some former things, as well as presente, considerable hereaboute. The which will best appear in ye Govr answer which he returned to ye same, which I shall here inserte.

    Sr: The Lord having so disposed, as that your letters to our late Govr is fallen to my lott to make answer unto, I could have wished I might have been at more freedome of time & thoughts also, that I might have done it more to your & my owne satisfaction. But what shall be wanting now may be supplyed hereafter.

    For ye matters which from your selfe & counsell were propounded & objected to us, we thought not fitte to make them so publicke as ye cognizance of our Generall Courte. But as they have been considered by those of our counsell, this answer we thinke fitt to returne unto you. (1.) Wereas you signifie your willingnes to joyne with us in this warr against ye Pequents, though you cannot ingage your selves without ye consente of your Generall Courte, we acknowledg your good affection towards us, (which we never had cause to doubt of,) and are willing to attend your full resolution, when it may most seasonably be ripened.

    (2ly.) Wheras you make this warr to be our peopls, and not to conceirne your selves, otherwise then by consequence, we do in parte consente to you therin; yet we suppose, that, in case of perill, you will not stand upon such terms, as we hope we should not doe towards you; and withall we conceive that you looke at ye Pequents, and all other Indeans, as a com̄one enimie, who, though he may take occasion of ye begining of his rage, from some one parte of ye English, yet if he prevaile, will surly pursue his advantage, to ye rooting out of ye whole nation. Therfore when we desired your help, we did it not without respecte to your owne saftie, as ours. (3ly.) Wheras you desire we should be ingaged to aide you, upon all like occasions; we are perswaded you doe not doubte of it; yet as we now deale with you as a free people, and at libertie, so as we cannot draw you into this warr with us, otherwise then as reason may guid & provock you; so we desire we may be at ye like freedome, when any occasion may call for help Page | 128


    from us. And wheras it is objected to us, that we refused to aide you against ye French; we conceive ye case was not alicke; yet we cannot wholy excuse our failing in that matter. (4ly.) Weras you objecte that we began ye warr without your privitie, & managed it contrary to your advise; the truth is, that our first intentions being only against Block Iland, and ye interprice seeming of small difficultie, we did not so much as consider of taking advice, or looking out for aide abroad. And when we had resolved upon ye Pequents, we sent presently, or not long after, to you aboute it; but ye answer received, it was not seasonable for us to chaing our counsells, excepte we had seen and waighed your grounds, which might have out wayed our owne.

    (5ly.) For our peoples trading at Kenebeck, we assure you (to our knowledge) it hath not been by any allowance from us; and what we have provided in this and like cases, at our last Courte, Mr. E. W. can certifie you.

    And (6ly); wheras you objecte to us yt we should hold trade & correspondancie with ye French, your enemise; we answer, you are misinformed, for, besids some letters which hath passed betweene our late Govr and them, to which we were privie, we have neither sente nor incouraged ours to trade with them; only one vessell or tow, for ye better conveāce of our letters, had licens from our Govr to sayle thither.

    Diverce other things have been privatly objected to us, by our worthy freind, wherunto he received some answer; but most of them concerning ye apprehention of perticuler discurteseis, or injueries from some perticuler persons amongst us. It concernes us not to give any other answer to them then this; that, if ye offenders shall be brought forth in a right way, we shall be ready to doe justice as ye case shall require. In the meane time, we desire you to rest assured, that such things are without our privity, and not a litle greeveous to us.

    Now for ye joyning with us in this warr, which indeed concerns us no other wise then it may your selves, viz.: the releeving of our freinds & Christian breethren, who are now first in ye danger; though you may thinke us able to make it good without you, (as, if ye Lord please to be with us, we may,) yet 3. things we offer to your consideration, which (we conceive) may have some waight with you. (First) yt if we should sinck under this burden, your opportunitie of seasonable help would be lost in 3. respects. 1. You cannot recover us, or secure your selves ther, with 3. times ye charge & hazard which now ye may. 2ly. The sorrowes which we should lye under (if through your neglect) would much abate of ye acceptablenes of your help afterwards. 3ly.

    Those of yours who are now full of courage and forwardnes, would be much damped, and so less able to undergoe so great a burden. The (2.) thing is this, that it concernes us much to hasten this warr to an end before ye end of this somer, otherwise ye newes of it will discourage both your & our freinds from coming to us next year; with what further hazard & losse it may expose us unto, your selves may judge.

    Page | 129


    The (3.) thing is this, that if ye Lord shall please to blesse our endeaours, so as we end ye warr, or put it in a hopefull way without you, it may breed such ill thoughts in our people towards yours, as will be hard to entertaine such opinione of your good will towards us, as were fitt to be nurished among such neigbours & brethren as we are. And what ill consequences may follow, on both sids, wise men may fear, & would rather prevente then hope to redress. So with my harty salutations to you selfe, and all your counsell, and other our good freinds with you, I rest

    Yours most assured in ye Lord,

    Jo: Winthrop.

    Boston, ye 20. of ye 3. month, 1637.

    In ye mean time, the Pequents, espetially in ye winter before, sought to make peace with ye Narigansets, and used very pernicious arguments to move them therunto: as that ye English were stranegers and begane to overspred their countrie, and would deprive them therof in time, if they were suffered to grow & increse; and if ye Narigansets did assist ye English to subdue them, they did but make way for their owne overthrow, for if they were rooted out, the English would soone take occasion to subjugate them; and if they would harken to them, they should not neede to fear ye strength of ye English; for they would not come to open battle with them, but fire their houses, kill their katle, and lye in ambush for them as they went abroad upon their occasions; and all this they might easily doe without any or litle danger to them selves. The which course being held, they well saw the English could not long subsiste, but they would either be starved with hunger, or be forced to forsake the countrie; with many ye like things; insomuch that ye Narigansets were once wavering, and were halfe minded to have made peace with them, and joȳed against ye English. But againe when they considered, how much wrong they had received from the Pequents, and what an oppertunitie they now had by ye help of ye English to right them selves, revenge was so sweete unto them, as it prevailed above all ye rest; so as they resolved to joyne with ye English against them, & did.

    The Court here agreed forwith to send 50. men at their owne charg; and wth as much speed as posiblie they could, gott them armed, and had made them ready under sufficiente leaders, and provided a barke to carrie them provisions & tend upon them for all occasions; but when they were ready to march (with a supply from ye Bay) they had word to stay, for ye enimy was as good as vanquished, and their would be no neede.

    I shall not take upon me exactly to describe their proceedings in these things, because I expecte it will be fully done by them selves, who best know the carrage

    & circumstances of things; I shall therfore but touch them in generall. From Connightecute (who were most sencible of ye hurt sustained, & ye present danger), they sett out a partie of men, and an other partie mett them from ye Bay, at ye Narigansets, who were to joyne with them. Ye Narigansets were ernest to be gone before ye English were well rested and refreshte, espetially some of them which Page | 130


    came last. It should seeme their desire was to come upon ye enemie sudenly, &

    undiscovered. Ther was a barke of this place, newly put in ther, which was come from Conightecutte, who did incourage them to lay hold of ye Indeans forwardnes, and to shew as great forwardnes as they, for it would incorage them, and expedition might prove to their great advantage. So they went on, and so ordered their march, as the Indeans brought them to a forte of ye enimies (in which most of their cheefe men were) before day. They approached ye same with great silence, and surrounded it both with English & Indeans, that they might not breake out; and so assualted them with great courage, shooting amongst them, and entered ye forte with all speed; and those yt first entered found sharp resistance from the enimie, who both shott at & grapled with them; others rane into their howses, & brought out fire, and sett them on fire, which soone tooke in their matts, &, standing close togeather, with ye wind, all was quickly on a flame, and therby more were burnte to death then was otherwise slain; it burnte their bowstrings, and made them unservisable.

    Those yt scaped ye fire were slaine with ye sword; some hewed to peeces, others rune throw with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatchte, and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400. at this time. It was a fearfull sight to see them thus frying in ye fyer, and ye streams of blood quenching ye same, and horrible was ye stinck & sente ther of; but ye victory seemed a sweete sacrifice, and they gave the prays therof to God, who had wrought so wonderfuly for them, thus to inclose their enimise in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud & insulting an enimie. The Narigansett Indeans, all this while, stood round aboute, but aloofe from all danger, and left ye whole execution to ye English, exept it were ye stoping of any yt broke away, insulting over their enimies in this their ruine & miserie, when they saw them dancing in ye flames, calling them by a word in their owne language, signifing, O brave Pequents! which they used familierly among them selves in their own prayes, in songs of triumph after their victories. After this servis was thus happily accomplished, they marcht to the water side, wher they mett with some of their vesells, by which they had refreishing with victualls & other necessaries. But in their march ye rest of ye Pequents drew into a body, and acoasted them, thinking to have some advantage against them by reason of a neck of land; but when they saw the English prepare for them, they kept a loofe, so as they neither did hurt, nor could receive any. After their refreishing & repair to geather for further counsell & directions, they resolved to pursue their victory, and follow ye warr against ye rest, but ye Narigansett Indeans most of them forsooke them, and such of them as they had with them for guids, or otherwise, they found them very could and backward in ye bussines, ether out of envie, or yt they saw ye English would make more profite of ye victorie then they were willing they should, or els deprive them of such advantage as them selves desired by having them become tributaries unto them, or ye like.

    For ye rest of this bussines, I shall only relate ye same as it is in a leter which came from Mr. Winthrop to ye Govr hear, as followeth.

    Page | 131


    Worthy Sr: I received your loving letter, and am much provocked to express my affections towards you, but straitnes of time forbids me; for my desire is to acquainte you with ye Lords greate mercies towards us, in our prevailing against his & our enimies; that you may rejoyce and praise his name with us.

    About 80. of our men, haveing costed along towards ye Dutch plantation, (some times by water, but most by land,) mett hear & ther with some Pequents, whom they slew or tooke prisoners. 2. sachems they tooke, & beheaded; and not hearing of Sassacous, (the cheefe sachem,) they gave a prisoner his life, to goe and find him out. He wente and brought them word where he was, but Sassacouse, suspecting him to be a spie, after he was gone, fled away with some 20. more to ye Mowakes, so our men missed of him. Yet, deviding them selves, and ranging up & downe, as ye providence of God guided them (for ye Indeans were all gone, save 3. or 4. and they knew not whither to guid them, or els would not), upon ye 13. of this month, they light upon a great company of them, viz. 80. strong men, & 200. women & children, in a small Indean towne, fast by a hideous swamp, which they all slipped into before our men could gett to them. Our captains were not then come togeither, but ther was Mr. Ludlow and Captaine Masson, with some 10. of their men, & Captaine Patrick with some 20. or more of his, who, shooting at ye Indeans, Captaine Trask with 50. more came soone in at ye noyse. Then they gave order to surround ye swampe, it being aboute a mile aboute; but Levetenante Davenporte & some 12. more, not hearing that com̄and, fell into ye swampe among ye Indeans. The swampe was so thicke with shrub-woode, & so boggie with all, that some of them stuck fast, and received many shott. Levetenant Davenport was dangerously wounded aboute his armehole, and another shott in ye head, so as, fainting, they were in great danger to have been taken by ye Indeans. But Sargante Rigges, & Jeffery, and 2. or 3. more, rescued them, and slew diverse of ye Indeans with their swords. After they were drawne out, the Indeans desired parley, & were offered (by Thomas Stanton, our interpretour) that, if they would come out, and yeeld them selves, they should have their lives, all that had not their hands in ye English blood. Wherupon ye sachem of ye place came forth, and an old man or 2. & their wives and children, and after that some other women & children, and so they spake 2. howers, till it was night. Then Thomas Stanton was sente into them againe, to call them forth; but they said they would selle their lives their, and so shott at him so thicke as, if he had not cried out, and been presently rescued, they had slaine him. Then our men cutt of a place of ye swampe with their swords, and cooped the Indeans into so narrow a compass, as they could easier kill them throw ye thickets. So they continued all ye night, standing aboute 12. foote one from an other, and ye Indeans, coming close up to our men, shot their arrows so thicke, as they pierced their hatte brimes, & their sleeves, & stockins, & other parts of their cloaths, yet so miraculously did the Lord preserve them as not one of them was wounded, save those 3. who rashly went into ye swampe. When it was nere day, it grue very darke, so as those of Page | 132


    them which were left dropt away betweene our men, though they stood but 12. or 14. foote assunder; but were presenly discovered, & some killed in ye pursute. Upon searching of ye swampe, ye next morning, they found 9. slaine,

    & some they pulled up, whom ye Indeans had buried in ye mire, so as they doe thinke that, of all this company, not 20. did escape, for they after found some who dyed in their flight of their wounds received. The prisoners were devided, some to those of ye river, and the rest to us. Of these we send ye male children to Bermuda, by Mr. William Peirce, & ye women & maid children are disposed aboute in the townes. Ther have been now slaine & taken, in all, aboute 700.

    The rest are dispersed, and the Indeans in all quarters so terrified as all their friends are affraid to receive them. 2. of ye sachems of Long Iland came to Mr.

    Stoughton and tendered them selves to be tributaries under our protection.

    And 2. of ye Neepnett sachems have been with me to seeke our frendship.

    Amonge the prisoners we have ye wife & children of Mononotto, a womon of a very modest countenance and behaviour. It was by her mediation that the 2.

    English maids were spared from death, and were kindly used by her; so that I have taken charge of her. One of her first requests was, that the English would not abuse her body, and that her children might not be taken from her. Those which were wounded were fetched of soone by John Galopp, who came with his shalop in a happie houre, to bring them victuals, and to carrie their wounded men to ye pinass, wher our cheefe surgeon was, wth Mr. Willson, being aboute 8. leagues off. Our people are all in health, (ye Lord be praised,) and allthough they had marched in their armes all ye day, and had been in fight all ye night, yet they professed they found them selves so fresh as they could willingly have gone to such another bussines.

    This is ye substance of that which I received, though I am forced to omite many considerable circomstances. So, being in much straitnes of time, (the ships being to departe within this 4. days, and in them the Lord Lee and Mr.

    Vane,) I hear breake of, and with harty saluts to, &c., I rest Yours assured,

    Jo: Winthrop.

    The 28. of ye 5. month, 1637.

    The captains reporte we have slaine 13. sachems; but Sassacouse & Monotto are yet living.

    That I may make an end of this matter: this Sassacouse (ye Pequents cheefe sachem) being fled to ye Mowhakes, they cutt of his head, with some other of ye cheefe of them, whether to satisfie ye English, or rather ye Narigansets, (who, as I have since heard, hired them to doe it,) or for their owne advantage, I well know not; but thus this warr tooke end. The rest of ye Pequents were wholy driven from their place, and some of them submitted them selves to ye Narigansets, & lived under them; others of them betooke them selves to ye Monhiggs, under Uncass, their sachem, wth the approbation of ye English of Conightecutt, under whose Page | 133


    protection Uncass lived, and he and his men had been faithful to them in this warr,

    & done them very good service. But this did so vexe the Narrigansetts, that they had not ye whole sweay over them, as they have never ceased plotting and contriving how to bring them under, and because they cannot attaine their ends, because of ye English who have protected them, they have sought to raise a generall conspiracie against ye English, as will appear in an other place.

    Chapter XXXIV

    Anno Dom: 1644.

    Mr. Edward Winslow was chosen Govr this year.

    Many having left this place (as is before noted) by reason of the straightnes &

    barrennes of ye same, and their finding of better accommodations elsewher, more sutable to their ends & minds; and sundrie others still upon every occasion desiring their dismissions, the church begane seriously to thinke whether it were not better joyntly to remove to some other place, then to be thus weakened, and as it were insensibly dissolved. Many meetings and much consultation was held hearaboute, and diverse were mens minds and opinions. Some were still for staying togeather in this place, aledging men might hear live, if they would be contente with their condition; and yt it was not for wante or necessitie so much yt they removed, as for ye enriching of them selves. Others were resolute upon removall, and so signified yt hear yey could not stay; but if ye church did not remove, they must; insomuch as many were swayed, rather then ther should be a dissolution, to condescend to a removall, if a fitt place could be found, that might more conveniently and comfortablie receive ye whole, with such accession of others as might come to them, for their better strength & subsistence; and some such like cautions and limitations.

    So as, with ye afforesaide provissos, ye greater parte consented to a removall to a place called Nawsett, which had been superficially veiwed and ye good will of ye purchassers (to whom it belonged) obtained, with some addition thertoo from ye Courte. But now they begane to see their errour, that they had given away already the best & most com̄odious places to others, and now wanted them selves; for this place was about 50. myles from hence, and at an outside of ye countrie, remote from all society; also, that it would prove so straite, as it would not be competente to receive ye whole body, much less be capable of any addition or increase; so as (at least in a shorte time) they should be worse ther then they are now hear. The which, with sundery other like considerations and inconveniences, made them chaing their resolutions; but such as were before resolved upon removall tooke advantage of this agreemente, & wente on notwithstanding, neither could ye rest hinder them, they haveing made some begin̄ing. And thus was this poore church left, like an anciente mother, growne olde, and forsaken of her children, (though not in their affections,) yett in regarde of their bodily presence and personall helpfullness. Her anciente members being most of them worne away by death; and these of later time being like children translated into other families, and she like Page | 134




    a widow left only to trust in God. Thus she that had made many rich became her selfe poore.

    2.3.2 Reading and Review Questions

    1. How does Bradford connect the Pilgrims’ experience typologically with the Old Testament? Why does he do so?

    2. Why and how does Bradford place the Puritan faith within the larger Christian struggle against Satan and related history of martyrs and pilgrims such as the Marian exiles?

    3. How does Bradford measure God’s approval of the Puritan efforts? Why?

    Are his views consistent? Why or why not?

    4. What governing (versus religious) principles shape the Mayflower Compact? Why?

    5. What is Bradford’s attitude towards Native Americans? What shapes his attitude? How do you know?



    John Winthrop was born into a pros-

    perous family in Groton, England, and

    followed the path of many such prosper-

    ous gentlemen by studying at Cambridge

    University. Though he practiced law at

    the Inner Temple, he soon shifted paths

    when he became a Puritan, devoted to

    purifying the Anglican Church from within

    and eschewing lingering Catholic practices

    and rituals. When Charles I ascended the

    throne, Puritans such as Winthrop faced

    being ruled by a monarch with clear and

    expressed sympathies for Catholicism. To

    avoid losing his earthly possessions to the Image 2.3 | John Winthrop throne, Winthrop joined a group of Puritans Artist | Charles Osgood who obtained permission from the king to Source | Wikimedia Commons leave England for America. They gained a License | Public Domain charter from the Council for New England and formed themselves as “The Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England,” free to found a religious colony beyond the king’s rule. Their colony would in time become New England’s chief colony.

    In 1629, Winthrop was chosen governor, a position he would hold for twenty years. The initial group of colonists left England on April 8, 1630, sailing on the Page | 135




    Arbella. Either before embarkation or

    early in the voyage itself, Winthrop gave

    his sermon A Model of Christian Charity

    which envisaged a harmonious Puritan

    community that would serve as guide and

    model for future emigrants. Preparing

    the colonists to face adversity and

    temptation, the sermon also prepared

    for their future society’s being built on

    and guided by Christian principles. As

    governor of the colony, Winthrop himself

    modeled these principles through his

    steadfast morality and selfless concern

    for others.

    A Model of Christian Charity speaks

    plainly and clearly of an earthly life in

    Image 2.4 | Massachusetts Bay Colony Seal

    the wilderness guiding towards God’s

    Artist | Unknown

    heavenly city, the new Jerusalem.

    Source | Wikimedia Commons

    License | Public Domain

    2.4.1 A Model of Christian Charity



    By the Hon. John Winthrop Esqr. In his passage (with a great company of Religious people, of which Christian tribes he was the Brave Leader and famous Governor;) from the Island of Great Brittaine to New-England in the North America. Anno 1630.

    A Modell hereof.

    God Almighty in his most holy and wise providence, hath soe disposed of the condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich, some poore, some high and eminent in power and dignitie; others mean and in submission.

    The Reason hereof.

    1 Reas. First to hold conformity with the rest of his world, being delighted to show forth the glory of his wisdom in the variety and difference of the creatures, and the glory of his power in ordering all these differences for the preservation and good of the whole; and the glory of his greatness, that as it is the glory of princes to have many officers, soe this great king will haue many stewards, counting himself more honoured in dispensing his gifts to man by man, than if he did it by his owne immediate hands.

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    2 Reas. Secondly that he might haue the more occasion to manifest the work of his Spirit: first upon the wicked in moderating and restraining them: soe that the riche and mighty should not eate upp the poore nor the poore and dispised rise upp against and shake off theire yoake. 2ly In the regenerate, in exerciseing his graces in them, as in the grate ones, theire love, mercy, gentleness, temperance &c., in the poore and inferior sorte, theire faithe, patience, obedience &c.

    3 Reas. Thirdly, that every man might have need of others, and from hence they might be all knitt more nearly together in the Bonds of brotherly affection. From hence it appears plainly that noe man is made more honourable than another or more wealthy &c., out of any particular and singular respect to himselfe, but for the glory of his creator and the common good of the creature, man. Therefore God still reserves the propperty of these gifts to himself as Ezek. 16. 17. he there calls wealthe, his gold and his silver, and Prov. 3. 9. he claims theire service as his due, honor the Lord with thy riches &c.—All men being thus (by divine providence) ranked into two sorts, riche and poore; under the first are comprehended all such as are able to live comfortably by their own meanes duely improved; and all others are poore according to the former distribution. There are two rules whereby we are to walk one towards another: Justice and Mercy. These are always distinguished in their act and in their object, yet may they both concurre in the same subject in eache respect; as sometimes there may be an occasion of showing mercy to a rich man in some sudden danger or distresse, and alsoe doeing of meere justice to a poor man in regard of some perticular contract &c. There is likewise a double Lawe by which wee are regulated in our conversation towardes another; in both the former respects, the lawe of nature and the lawe of grace, or the morrall lawe or the lawe of the gospell, to omitt the rule of justice as not propperly belonging to this purpose otherwise than it may fall into consideration in some perticular cases. By the first of these lawes man as he was enabled soe withall is commanded to love his neighbour as himself. Upon this ground stands all the precepts of the morrall lawe, which concernes our dealings with men. To apply this to the works of mercy; this lawe requires two things. First that every man afford his help to another in every want or distresse. Secondly, that hee performe this out of the same affection which makes him carefull of his owne goods, according to that of our Savior, (Math.) Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you. This was practised by Abraham and Lot in entertaining the angells and the old man of Gibea. The lawe of Grace or of the Gospell hath some difference from the former; as in these respects, First the lawe of nature was given to man in the estate of innocency; this of the Gospell in the estate of regeneracy. 2ly, the former propounds one man to another, as the same flesh and image of God; this as a brother in Christ allsoe, and in the communion of the same Spirit, and soe teacheth to put a difference between christians and others.

    Doe good to all, especially to the household of faith; upon this ground the Israelites were to putt a difference betweene the brethren of such as were strangers though not of the Canaanites.

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    3ly. The Lawe of nature would give no rules for dealing with enemies, for all are to be considered as friends in the state of innocency, but the Gospell commands loue to an enemy. Proofe. If thine Enemy hunger, feed him; Love your Enemies, doe good to them that hate you. Math. 5. 44.

    This lawe of the Gospell propounds likewise a difference of seasons and occasions. There is a time when a christian must sell all and give to the poor, as they did in the Apostles times. There is a time allsoe when christians (though they give not all yet) must give beyond their abillity, as they of Macedonia, Cor.

    2, 6. Likewise community of perills calls for extraordinary liberality, and soe doth community in some speciall service for the churche. Lastly, when there is no other means whereby our christian brother may be relieved in his distress, we must help him beyond our ability rather than tempt God in putting him upon help by miraculous or extraordinary meanes.

    This duty of mercy is exercised in the kinds, Giueving, lending and forgiving.—

    Quest. What rule shall a man observe in giueving in respect of the measure?

    Ans. If the time and occasion be ordinary he is to giue out of his abundance. Let him lay aside as God hath blessed him. If the time and occasion be extraordinary, he must be ruled by them; taking this withall, that then a man cannot likely doe too much, especially if he may leave himselfe and his family under probable means of comfortable subsistence.

    Object. A man must lay upp for posterity, the fathers lay upp for posterity and children, and he is worse than an infidell that pronideth not for his owne.

    Ans. For the first, it is plaine that it being spoken by way of comparison, it must be meant of the ordinary and usuall course of fathers, and cannot extend to times and occasions extraordinary. For the other place the Apostle speaks against such as walked inordinately, and it is without question, that he is worse than an infidell who through his owne sloathe and voluptuousness shall neglect to provide for his family.—

    Object. The wise man’s Eies are in his head, saith Solomon, and foreseeth the plague; therefore he must forecast and lay upp against evill times when hee or his may stand in need of all he can gather.

    Ans. This very Argument Solomon useth to persuade to liberallity, Eccle.: Cast thy bread upon the waters, and for thou knowest not what evill may come upon the land. Luke 26. Make you friends of the riches of iniquity; you will ask how this shall be? very well. For first he that giues to the poore, lends to the lord and he will repay him even in this life an hundredfold to him or his.— The righteous is ever mercifull and lendeth and his seed enjoyeth the blessing; and besides wee know what advantage it will be to us in the day of account when many such witnesses shall stand forth for us to witnesse the improvement of our tallent. And I would know of those whoe pleade soe much for laying up for time to come, whether they holde that to be Gospell, Math. 16. 19. Lay not upp for yourselves Treasures upon Earth &c. If they acknowledge it, what extent will they allowe it? if only to those primitive times, let them consider the reason whereopon our Saviour groundes it.

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    The first is that they are subject to the moathe, the rust, the theife. Secondly, They will steale away the hearte; where the treasure is there will ye heart be allsoe. The reasons are of like force at all times. Therefore the exhortation must be generall and perpetuall, withallwayes in respect of the love and affection to riches and in regard of the things themselves when any speciall seruice for the churche or perticular Distresse of our brother doe call for the use of them; otherwise it is not only lawfull but necessary to lay upp as Joseph did to haue ready uppon such occasions, as the Lord (whose stewards wee are of them) shall call for them from us; Christ giues us an Instance of the first, when hee sent his disciples for the Ass, and bidds them answer the owner thus, the Lord hath need of him: soe when the Tabernacle was to be built, he sends to his people to call for their silver and gold, &c; and yeildes noe other reason but that it was for his worke. When Elisha comes to the widow of Sareptah and findes her preparing to make ready her pittance for herselfe and family, he bids her first provide for him, he challengeth first God’s parte which she must first give before shee must serve her owne family. All these teache us that the Lord lookes that when hee is pleased to call for his right in any thing wee haue, our owne interest wee haue, must stand aside till his turne be served. For the other, wee need looke noe further then to that of John 1. he whoe hath this world’s goodes and seeth his brother to neede and shutts upp his compassion from him, how dwelleth the loue of God in him, which comes punctually to this conclusion; if thy brother be in want and thou canst help him, thou needst not make doubt, what thou shouldst doe; if thou louest God thou must help him.

    Quest. What rule must wee observe in lending?

    Ans. Thou must observe whether thy brother hath present or probable or possible means of repaying thee, if there be none of those, thou must give him according to his necessity, rather then lend him as he requires; if he hath present means of repaying thee, thou art to look at him not as an act of mercy, but by way of Commerce, wherein thou arte to walk by the rule of justice; but if his means of repaying thee be only probable or possible, then is hee an object of thy mercy, thou must lend him, though there be danger of losing it, Deut. 15. 7. If any of thy brethren be poore &c., thou shalt lend him sufficient. That men might not shift off this duty by the apparent hazzard, he tells them that though the yeare of Jubile were at hand (when he must remitt it, if hee were not able to repay it before) yet he must lend him and that chearefully. It may not greive thee to giue him (saith hee) and because some might object, why soe I should soone impoverishe myself and my family, he adds with all thy worke &c; for our Saviour, Math. 5. 42. From him that would borrow of thee turne not away.

    Quest. What rule must we observe in forgiuing?

    Ans. Whether thou didst lend by way of commerce or in mercy, if he hath nothing to pay thee, must forgive, (except in cause where thou hast a surety or a lawfull pleadge) Deut. 15. 2. Every seaventh yeare the Creditor was to quitt that which he lent to his brother if he were poore as appears ver. 8. Save when there shall be no poore with thee. In all these and like cases, Christ was a generall rule, Page | 139


    Math. 7. 22. Whatsoever ye would that men should doe to you, doe yee the same to them allsoe.

    Quest. What rule must wee observe and walke by in cause of community of perill?

    Ans. The same as before, but with more enlargement towards others and lesse respect towards ourselves and our owne right. Hence it was that in the primitive Churche they sold all, had all things in common, neither did any man say that which he possessed was his owne. Likewise in theire returne out of the captivity, because the worke was greate for the restoring of the church and the danger of enemies was common to all, Nehemiah directs the Jews to liberallity and readiness in remitting theire debts to theire brethren, and disposing liberally to such as wanted, and stand not upon their owne dues which they might have demanded of them. Thus did some of our Forefathers in times of persecution in England, and soe did many of the faithful of other churches, whereof wee keepe an honorable remembrance of them; and it is to be observed that both in Scriptures and latter stories of the churches that such as have beene most bountifull to the poore saintes, especially in those extraordinary times and occasions, God hath left them highly commended to posterity, as Zacheus, Cornelius, Dorcas, Bishop Hooper, the Cuttler of Brussells and divers others. Observe againe that the Scripture gives noe caussion to restraine any from being over liberall this way; but all men to the liberall and cherefull practise hereof by the sweeter promises; as to instance one for many, Isaiah 58. 6. Is not this the fast I have chosen to loose the bonds of wickedness, to take off the heavy burdens, to lett the oppressed go free and to breake every yoake, to deale thy bread to the hungry and to bring the poore that wander into thy house, when thou seest the naked to cover them; and then shall thy light brake forth as the morning and thy healthe shall growe speedily, thy righteousness shall goe before God, and the glory of the Lord shall embrace thee; then thou shall call and the Lord shall answer thee &c., Ch. 2. 10. If thou power out thy soule to the hungry, then shall thy light spring out in darkness, and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfie thy soule in draught, and make falt thy bones, thou shalt be like a watered garden, and they shalt be of thee that shall build the old wast places &c. On the contrary most heavy cursses are layed upon such as are straightened towards the Lord and his people, Judg. 5. Cursse the Meroshe because he came not to help the Lord. Hee whoe shutteth his eares from hearing the cry of the poore, he shall cry and shall not be heard; Math. 25. Goe ye curssed into everlasting fire &c. I was hungry and ye fedd mee not, Cor. 2. 9.

    16. He that soweth sparingly shall reape sparingly. Haveing already sett forth the practice of mercy according to the rule of God’s lawe, it will be useful to lay open the groundes of it allsoe, being the other parte of the Commandment and that is the affection from which this exercise of mercy must arise, the Apostle tells us that this love is the fullfilling of the lawe, not that it is enough to loue our brother and soe noe further; but in regard of the excellency of his partes giueing any motion to the other as the soule to the body and the power it hath to sett all the faculties on Page | 140


    worke in the outward exercise of this duty; as when wee bid one make the clocke strike, he doth not lay hand on the hammer, which is the immediate instrument of the sound, but setts on worke the first mouer or maine wheele; knoweing that will certainely produce the sound which he intends. Soe the way to drawe men to the workes of mercy, is not by force of Argument from the goodness or necessity of the worke; for though this cause may enforce, a rationall minde to some present act of mercy, as is frequent in experience, yet it cannot worke such a habit in a soule, as shall make it prompt upon all occasions to produce the same effect, but by frameing these affections of loue in the hearte which will as naturally bring forthe the other, as any cause doth produce the effect.

    The deffinition which the Scripture giues us of loue is this. Love is the bond of perfection, first it is a bond or ligament. 2ly it makes the worke perfect. There is noe body but consists of partes and that which knitts these partes together, giues the body its perfection, because it makes eache parte soe contiguous to others as thereby they doe mutually participate with each other, both in strengthe and infirmity, in pleasure and paine. To instance in the most perfect of all bodies; Christ and his Church make one body; the severall partes of this body considered a parte before they were united, were as disproportionate and as much disordering as soe many contrary quallities or elements, but when Christ comes, and by his spirit and loue knitts all these partes to himselfe and each to other, it is become the most perfect and best proportioned body in the world, Eph. 4. 16. Christ, by whome all the body being knitt together by every joint for the furniture thereof, according to the effectuall power which is in the measure of every perfection of partes, a glorious body without spott or wrinkle; the ligaments hereof being Christ, or his love, for Christ is love, 1 John 4. 8. Soe this definition is right. Love is the bond of perfection.

    From hence we may frame these conclusions. 1. First of all, true Christians are of one body in Christ, 1 Cor. 12. 12. 13. 17. Ye are the body of Christ and members of their parte. All the partes of this body being thus vnited are made soe contiguous in a speciall relation as they must needes partake of each other’s strength and infirmity; joy and sorrowe, weale and woe. 1 Cor. 12. 26. If one member suffers, all suffer with it, if one be in honor, all rejoyce with it. 2ly. The ligaments of this body which knitt together are loue. 3ly. Noe body can be perfect which wants its propar ligament. 5ly. This sensibleness and sympathy of each other’s conditions will necessarily infuse into each parte a native desire and endeavour, to strengthen, defend, preserve and comfort the other. To insist a little on this conclusion being the product of all the former, the truthe hereof will appeare both by precept and patterne. 1 John 3. 10. Yee ought to lay doune your lives for the brethren. Gal. 6.

    2. beare ye one another’s burthen’s and soe fulfill the lawe of Christ. For patterns wee haue that first of our Saviour whoe out of his good will in obedience to his father, becomeing a parte of this body and being knitt with it in the bond of loue, found such a natiue sensibleness of our infirmities and sorrowes as he willingly yielded himselfe to deathe to ease the infirmities of the rest of his body, and soe Page | 141


    healed theire sorrowes. From the like sympathy of partes did the Apostles and many thousands of the Saintes lay doune theire lives for Christ. Againe the like wee may see in the members of this body among themselves. 1 Rom. 9. Paule could have been contented to have been separated from Christ, that the Jewes might not be cutt off from the body. It is very observable what hee professeth of his affectionate partaking with every member; whoe is weake (saith hee) and I am not weake? whoe is offended and I burne not; and againe, 2 Cor. 7. 13. therefore wee are comforted because yee were comforted. Of Epaphroditus he speaketh, Phil. 2. 30. that he regarded not his owne life to do him service. Soe Phebe and others are called the servants of the churche. Now it is apparent that they served not for wages, or by constrainte, but out of loue. The like we shall finde in the histories of the churche, in all ages; the sweete sympathie of affections which was in the members of this body one towards another; theire chearfullness in serueing and suffering together; how liberall they were without repineing, harbourers without grudgeing, and helpfull without reproaching; and all from hence, because they had feruent loue amongst them; which onely makes the practise of mercy constant and easie.

    The next consideration is how this loue comes to be wrought. Adam in his first estate was a perfect modell of mankinde in all their generations, and in him this loue was perfected in regard of the habit. But Adam, rent himselfe from his Creator, rent all his posterity allsoe one from another; whence it comes that every man is borne with this principle in him to loue and seeke himselfe onely, and thus a man continueth till Christ comes and takes possession of the soule and infuseth another principle, loue to God and our brother, and this latter haueing continuall supply from Christ, as the head and roote by which he is vnited, gets the predomining in the soule, soe by little and little expells the former. 1 John 4. 7. loue cometh of God and every one that loueth is borne of God, soe that this loue is the fruite of the new birthe, and none can have it but the new creature. Now when this quallity is thus formed in the soules of men, it workes like the Spirit upon the drie bones. Ezek.

    39. bone came to bone. It gathers together the scattered bones, or perfect old man Adam, and knitts them into one body againe in Christ, whereby a man is become againe a living soule.

    The third consideration is concerning the exercise of this loue, which is twofold, inward or outward. The outward hath beene handled in the former preface of this discourse. From unfolding the other wee must take in our way that maxime of philosophy. Simile simili gaudet, or like will to like; for as of things which are turned with disaffection to eache other, the ground of it is from a dissimilitude or ariseing from the contrary or different nature of the things themselves; for the ground of loue is an apprehension of some resemblance in the things loued to that which affects it. This is the cause why the Lord loues the creature, soe farre as it hathe any of his Image in it; he loues his elect because they are like himselfe, he beholds them in his beloued sonne. So a mother loues her childe, because shee throughly conceives a resemblance of herselfe in it. Thus it is betweene the Page | 142


    members of Christ; eache discernes, by the worke of the Spirit, his oune Image and resemblance in another, and therefore cannot but loue him as he loues himself.

    Now when the soule, which is of a sociable nature, findes anything like to itselfe, it is like Adam when Eve was brought to him. She must be one with himselfe. This is flesh of my flesh (saith he) and bone of my bone. Soe the soule conceives a greate delighte in it; therefore shee desires nearness and familiarity with it. Shee hath a greate propensity to doe it good and receiues such content in it, as fearing the miscarriage of her beloved, shee bestowes it in the inmost closett of her heart. Shee will not endure that it shall want any good which shee can giue it. If by occasion shee be withdrawne from the company of it, shee is still looking towardes the place where shee left her beloved. If shee heard it groane, shee is with it presently. If shee finde it sadd and disconsolate, shee sighes and moanes with it. Shee hath noe such joy as to see her beloved merry and thriving. If shee see it wronged, shee cannot hear it without passion. Shee setts noe boundes to her affections, nor hath any thought of reward. Shee findes recompense enough in the exercise of her loue towardes it. Wee may see this acted to life in Jonathan and David. Jonathan a valiant man endued with the spirit of love, soe soone as he discovered the same spirit in David had presently his hearte knitt to him by this ligament of loue; soe that it is said he loued him as his owne soule, he takes soe great pleasure in him, that hee stripps himselfe to adorne his beloved. His father’s kingdome was not soe precious to him as his beloved David, David shall haue it with all his hearte.

    Himself desires noe more but that hee may be neare to him to rejoyce in his good.

    Hee chooseth to converse with him in the wildernesse even to the hazzard of his oune life, rather than with the greate Courtiers in his father’s Pallace. When hee sees danger towards him, hee spares neither rare paines nor perill to direct it. When injury was offered his beloued David, hee would not beare it, though from his oune father. And when they must parte for a season onely, they thought theire heartes would have broake for sorrowe, had not theire affections found vent by abundance of teares. Other instances might be brought to showe the nature of this affection; as of Ruthe and Naomi, and many others; but this truthe is cleared enough. If any shall object that it is not possible that loue shall be bred or upheld without hope of requitall, it is graunted; but that is not our cause; for this loue is alluayes vnder reward. It never giues, but it alluayes receives with advantage; First in regard that among the members of the same body, loue and affection are reciprocall in a most equall and sweete kinde of commerce.

    2nly. In regard of the pleasure and content that the exercise of loue carries with it, as wee may see in the naturall body. The mouth is at all the paines to receive and mince the foode which serves for the nourishment of all the other partes of the body; yet it hath noe cause to complaine; for first the other partes send backe, by severall passages, a due proportion of the same nourishment, in a better forme for the strengthening and comforting the mouthe. 2ly the laboure of the mouthe is accompanied with such pleasure and content as farre exceedes the paines it takes.

    Soe is it in all the labour of love among Christians. The partie louing, reapes loue Page | 143


    again, as was showed before, which the soule covetts more then all the wealthe in the world. 3ly. Nothing yeildes more pleasure and content to the soule then when it findes that which it may loue fervently; for to love and live beloved is the soule’s paradise both here and in heaven. In the State of wedlock there be many comforts to learne out of the troubles of that Condition; but let such as have tryed the most, say if there be any sweetness in that Condition comparable to the exercise of mutuall loue.

    From the former Considerations arise these Conclusions.—1. First, This loue among Christians is a reall thing, not imaginarie. 2ly. This loue is as absolutely necessary to the being of the body of Christ, as the sinews and other ligaments of a naturall body are to the being of that body. 3ly. This loue is a divine, spirituall, nature; free, active, strong, couragious, permanent; undervaluing all things beneathe its propper object and of all the graces, this makes us nearer to resemble the virtues of our heavenly father. 4thly It rests in the loue and wellfare of its beloued. For the full certain knowledge of those truthes concerning the nature, use, and excellency of this grace, that which the holy ghost hath left recorded, 1 Cor. 13, may give full satisfaction, which is needful for every true member of this louely body of the Lord Jesus, to worke upon theire heartes by prayer, meditation continuall exercise at least of the speciall [influence] of this grace, till Christ be formed in them and they in him, all in eache other, knitt together by this bond of loue.

    It rests now to make some application of this discourse, by the present designe, which gaue the occasion of writing of it. Herein are 4 things to he propounded; first the persons, 2ly the worke, 3ly the end, 4thly the meanes. 1. For the persons.

    Wee are a company professing ourselves fellow members of Christ, in which respect onely though wee were absent from each other many miles, and had our imployments as farre distant, yet wee ought to account ourselves knitt together by this bond of loue, and, live in the exercise of it, if wee would have comforte of our being in Christ. This was notorious in the practise of the Christians in former times; as is testified of the Waldenses, from the mouth of one of the adversaries Æneas Sylvius “mutuo ament pere antequam norunt,” they use to loue any of theire owne religion even before they were acquainted with them. 2nly for the worke wee have in hand. It is by a mutuall consent, through a speciall overvaluing providence and a more than an ordinary approbation of the Churches of Christ, to seeke out a place of cohabitation and Consorteshipp under a due forme of Government both ciuill and ecclesiasticall. In such cases as this, the care of the publique must oversway all private respects, by which, not only conscience, but meare civill pollicy, dothe binde us. For it is a true rule that particular Estates cannot subsist in the ruin of the publique. 3ly The end is to improve our lives to doe more service to the Lord; the comforte and encrease of the body of Christe, whereof we are members; that ourselves and posterity may be the better preserved from the common corruptions of this evill world, to serve the Lord and worke out our Salvation under the power and purity of his holy ordinances. 4thly for the meanes whereby this must be effected. They are twofold, a conformity with the worke and end wee aime at. These Page | 144


    wee see are extraordinary, therefore wee must not content ourselves with usuall ordinary meanes. Whatsoever wee did, or ought to have, done, when wee liued in England, the same must wee doe, and more allsoe, where wee goe. That which the most in theire churches mainetaine as truthe in profession onely, wee must bring into familiar and constant practise; as in this duty of loue, wee must loue brotherly without dissimulation, wee must loue one another with a pure hearte fervently. Wee must beare one anothers burthens. We must not looke onely on our owne things, but allsoe on the things of our brethren. Neither must wee thinke that the Lord will beare with such faileings at our hands as he dothe from those among whome wee have lived; and that for these 3 Reasons; 1. In regard of the more neare bond of mariage between him and us, wherein hee hath taken us to be his, after a most strickt and peculiar manner, which will make them the more jealous of our loue and obedience. Soe he tells the people of Israell, you onely have I knowne of all the families of the Earthe, therefore will I punishe you for your Transgressions. 2ly, because the Lord will be sanctified in them that come neare him. We know that there were many that corrupted the service of the Lord; some setting upp altars before his owne; others offering both strange fire and strange sacrifices allsoe; yet there came noe fire from heaven, or other sudden judgement upon them, as did upon Nadab and Abihu, whoe yet wee may think did not sinne presumptuously. 3ly When God gives a speciall commission he lookes to have it strictly observed in every article, When he gave Saule a commission to destroy Amaleck, Hee indented with him upon certain articles, and because hee failed in one of the least, and that upon a faire pretense, it lost him the kingdom, which should have beene his reward, if hee had observed his commission. Thus stands the cause betweene God and us. We are entered into Covenant with Him for this worke. Wee haue taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to drawe our own articles. Wee haue professed to enterprise these and those accounts, upon these and those ends. Wee have hereupon besought Him of favour and blessing.

    Now if the Lord shall please to heare us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath hee ratified this covenant and sealed our Commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if wee shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends wee have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnall intentions, seeking greate things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely breake out in wrathe against us; be revenged of such a [sinful]

    people and make us knowe the price of the breache of such a covenant.

    Now the onely way to avoyde this shipwracke, and to provide for our posterity, is to followe the counsell of Micah, to doe justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, wee must be knitt together, in this worke, as one man.

    Wee must entertaine each other in brotherly affection. Wee must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of other’s necessities. Wee must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekeness, gentlenes, patience and liberality. Wee must delight in eache other; make other’s conditions our oune; Page | 145


    rejoice together, mourne together, labour and suffer together, allwayes haueving before our eyes our commission and community in the worke, as members of the same body. Soe shall wee keepe the unitie of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as his oune people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our wayes. Soe that wee shall see much more of his wisdome, power, goodness and truthe, than formerly wee haue been acquainted with. Wee shall finde that the God of Israell is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when hee shall make us a prayse and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, “the Lord make it likely that of New England.” For wee must consider that wee shall be as a citty upon a hill. The eies of all people are uppon us. Soe that if wee shall deale falsely with our God in this worke wee haue undertaken, and soe cause him to withdrawe his present help from us, wee shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. Wee shall open the mouthes of enemies to speake evill of the wayes of God, and all professors for God’s sake. Wee shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause theire prayers to be turned into curses upon us till wee be consumed out of the good land whither wee are a goeing.

    I shall shutt upp this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithfull servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israell, Deut. 30. Beloued there is now sett before us life and good, Death and evill, in that wee are commanded this day to loue the Lord our God, and to loue one another, to walke in his wayes and to keepe his Commandements and his Ordinance and his lawes, and the articles of our Covenant with him, that wee may liue and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may blesse us in the land whither wee goe to possesse it. But if our heartes shall turne away, soe that wee will not obey, but shall be seduced, and worshipp and serue other Gods, our pleasure and proffitts, and serue them; it is propounded unto us this day, wee shall surely perishe out of the good land whither wee passe over this vast sea to possesse it;

    Therefore lett us choose life

    that wee, and our seede

    may liue, by obeyeing His

    voyce and cleaveing to Him,

    for Hee is our life and

    our prosperity.

    2.4.2 Reading and Review Questions

    1. In what ways, if any, is A Model of Christian Charity a theodicy, that is, a vindication of divine goodness in the face of existing evil, justifying the ways of God to man? Why? How do you know?

    2. What temptations, if any, does Winthrop believe the Puritans will face in America? Why does he view them as temptations rather than opportunities?

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    3. According to Winthrop, what causes social distinctions, or inequalities?

    What does he think counters or answers them? Why?

    4. Why is self-love not a form of love, according to Winthrop? Why does he think self-love should be avoided, and what are the benefits he sees for doing so?

    5. Why does Winthrop believe that the Massachusetts Bay Colony should be seen as a city on a hill? What is he cautioning against through this allusion? What is he promising?


    (c. 1603–1683)

    Born in London, Roger Williams hailed from a merchant family. His work as a stenographer for Sir Edward Coke (1552–1634) led to Williams’ attending a grammar school in London and then enrolling as a scholarship student at Cambridge University in 1623. He earned his BA with honors and, in order to graduate, signed an oath to the Anglican Church, which was headed by the English monarch. He began a course of study for an MA in theology; however, growing estranged from what he saw as the corrupt practices of the Anglican Church, he withdrew without obtaining the degree and converted to Puritanism.

    The religious controversies in England were tied to the crown, and the civil war between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians was already fomenting. To escape threatened persecutions against the Puritans, Roger Williams and his wife Mary Barnard (m. 1629–d. 1676) left for religious freedom in America.

    He soon deemed the refuge he sought as unobtainable at the Massachusetts Bay Colony and other such established religious colonies. He objected to their intolerance of religious dissent, appropriation of Native American land, and uniting government with the church. His objections and criticisms led the General Court of Massachusetts Bay to eject Rogers from the colony in 1636. He again sought refuge, this time at Narragansett Bay, where he purchased land from the Native Americans and founded Providence in what is now Rhode Island, a city he envisaged as a religious sanctuary for true Dissenters and Separatists.

    Williams viewed existing churches and institutions—as well as Christians themselves—as imperfect and unable to achieve true purity until the return of Christ, or the millennium. From this perspective, he believed that the church had no dominion over individual conscience and should therefore not enforce religious conformity in its civil rule or organization.

    He returned to England in 1644 to obtain a patent for Rhode Island, returning again in 1651 to have it renewed upon its expiration or annulment. Williams thereby ensured a place open to liberty of conscience and relative tolerance of religious and racial differences. In 1654, he was elected as the colony’s president, a position he held for three succeeding terms.

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