◆   Anno 1621   ◆

They now began to dispatch the ship away which brought them over, which lay till about this time, or the beginning of April. The reason on their parts why she stayed so long, was the necessity, and danger that lay upon them; for it was well towards the End of December before she could land anything here; or they able to receive anything ashore. Afterwards the 14[th] of January the house which they had made for a general rendezvous by casualty fell afire, and ^some^1 were fain to retire aboard for shelter; then the sickness began to fall sore amongst them, and the weather so bad as they could not make much sooner any dispatch; again the Governour & chief of them, seeing so many die, and fall down sick daily, thought it no wisdom to send away the ship, their condition considered, and the danger they stood in from the Indians, till they could procure some more charge upon themselves, & friends, than hazard all. The master and seamen likewise, though before they hasted the passengers ashore to be gone; now many of their men being dead, & of the ablest of them (as is before noted) and of the rest many lay sick & weak, the master durst not put to Sea, till he saw his men begin to recover, and the heart of winter over.

Afterwards they (as many as were able) began to plant their Corn, In which service Squanto stood them ^in^ great stead, showing them both the manner how to set it, and after how to dress & tend it; Also he told them, except they got fish, & Set with it (In these old grounds) It would come to nothing, and he showed ^them^ that In the middle of April, they should have store enough, come up the brook, by which they began to build, and taught them how to take it; And where to get other provisions nessessary for them. All which they found true by trial, & experience. Some English seed they sow[ed], as wheat, & peas, but it came not to good; either by the badness of the seed, or lateness, of the season, or both; or some other defect. [62]

In this month of April2 whilst they were busy about their seed; their Governour (Mr. John Carver) came out of the field very sick, it being a hot day; he complained greatly of his head, and lay down, and within a few hours his senses failed, so as he never spake more till he died, which was within a few days after. Whose death was much lamented, and caused great heaviness amongst them, as there ^was^ cause. He was buried in the best manner they could, with some vollies of shot by all that bore arms; and his wife being a weak woman, died within 5 or 6 weeks after him.

Shortly after William Bradford was chosen Governour in his stead, and being not yet recovered of his Illness, in which he had been near the point of death; Isaac Allerton3 was chosen to be an Assistant unto him, who by renewed Election every year, continued sundry years together, which I here note once for all.

May 12 was the first marriage in this place;4 which according to the laudable custom of the Low Countries, in which they had lived, was thought most requisite to be performed, by the magistrate; as being a Civil thing, upon which many questions about Inheritances do depend, with other things most proper to their cognizance; and most consonant to the Scriptures, Ruth 4.5 And nowhere found in the Gospel to be laid on the ministers as a part of their office. This ^decree^ or law about marriage was published by the States of the Low Countries,6 Anno 1590, That those of any religion “(after lawful, and open publication) Coming before the magistrates, in the Town,” or State-house, were to be orderly (by them) “married one, to another.” Petit’s History, fol. 1029.7 And this practise hath continued amongst, not only them, but hath been followed by all the famous churches of Christ in these parts to this time, Anno 1646.8

Having in some sort ordered their business at home; It was thought meet to send some ^abroad^ to see their new friend Massasoit, and to bestow upon him some gratuity to bind him the faster unto them; as also that hereby they might view the country, and see in what manner he lived, what strength he had about him, and how the ways were to his place, If at any time they should ^have^9 occasion. So the 2[nd] of July they sent Mr. Edward Winslow,10 & Mr. Hopkins,11 with the foresaid Squanto for their guide; who gave him a suit of clothes, and a horseman’s coat, with some other small things, which were kindly accepted; but they found but short commons, and came both weary, & hungry.12 For the Indians used then, to have nothing [63] so much corn,13 as they have since the English have stored them with their hoes, and seen their Industry in breaking up new grounds therewith. They found his place to be 40 miles from hence,14 the soil good, & the people not many, being dead & abundant wasted in the late great mortality, which fell in all these parts, about three years before we the coming of the English; wherein thousands of them died, they not being able to bury one another their selves, and bones were found In many places lying still above ground, where their houses & dwellings had been, a very sad spectacle to behold. But they brought word that the Narragansetts,15 lived but on the other side of that great bay, & were a strong people, & many in number living compact together, & had not been at all touched with this wasting plague.

Anonymous (School of Robert Walker), Edward Winslow, 1651

(Collections of Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Mass.)

About the later end of this month, one John Billington16 lost himself in the woods, & wandered up & down some 5 days living on berries, & what he could find; at length he light on an English Indian plantation, 20 miles south of this place called Manomet;17 they conveyed him furder off, to Nauset, among those people that had before set upon the English when they were coasting whilst the ship lay at the Cape, as is before noted. But the Governour Caused him to be enquired for among the Indians, and ^at^ length Massasoit sent us word where he was, and the Governour sent a shallop for him, & had him delivered. Those people also came and made their peace; and they gave full satisfaction, to those whose corn they had found, and taken when they were at Cape Cod.

Thus their peace, & acquaintance was pretty well established with the natives about them; and there was another Indian Called, Hobomock,18 come to live amongst them, a proper lusty man, and a man of account for his valour & parts amongst the Indians; and continued very faithful and constant to the English till he died. He & Squanto being gone upon business among the Indians, at their return (whether it was out of envy to them, or malice to the English) there was a sachem Called Corbitant,19 allied to Massasoit, but never any good friend to the English to this day, met with them at an Indian town called Namasket20 14 miles to the west of this place, and began to quarrel with [64] them and offered to stab Hobomock, but being a lusty man, he cleared himself of him, and came running away all sweating and told the Governor what had befallen him, and he feared they had killed Squanto, for they threatened them both, and for no other cause, but because they were friends to the English, and serviceable unto them. Upon this the Governour taking counsel, It ^was^ conceived not fit to be borne, for if they should suffer their friends, & messengers thus to be wronged, they should have none would cleave to them, or give them any Intelligence, or do them service afterwards; but next they ^would^ fall upon themselves. Whereupon It was resolved to send the Captain,21 & 14 men well armed; and to go, & fall upon them in the night; and if they found that Squanto was killed, to cut off Corbitant’s head; but not to hurt any but those that had a hand in it. Hobomock was asked if he would go, & be their guide, & bring them there before day; he said he would, & bring them to the house where the man lay, and show them which was he. So they set forth the 14[th] of August,22 and beset the house round; the Captain giving charge to let none pass out, entered the house to search for him. But he was gone away that day, so they missed him; but understood that Squanto was alive, & that he had only threatened to kill him, & made an offer to stab him but did not; so they withheld and did no more hurt, & the people came trembling, & brought them the best provisions they had, after they were acquainted, by Hobomock what was only Intended. There was 3 sore wounded which broke out of the house, and assayed to pass through the guard; these they brought home with them, & and they had their wounds dressed, & cured, and sent home. After this they had many gratulations from diverse Sachems, and much firmer peace; yea those of the Isles of Capawack23 sent to make friendship; and this Corbitant himself, used the mediation of Massasoit to make his peace, but was shy to Come near them a long while after.

After this, the 18[th] of September they sent out their shallop to the Massachusetts, with 10 men, and Squanto for their guide, and [65] Interpreter, to discover, and view that Bay, and trade with the natives; The which they performed, and found kind entertainment; the people were much afraid of the Tarrantines24 a people to the Eastward which used to come in harvest time, and take away their corn, & many times kill their persons.25 They returned in safety, and brought home a good quantity of beaver, and made report of the place, wishing we ^they^26 had been there seated (but it seems the Lord, who assigns to all men the bounds of their habitations,27 had appointed it for another use). And thus they found the Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to bless their outgoings, & Incomings;28 for which let his holy name have the praise forever, to all posterity.

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had; and to fit up their houses and dwellings, against winter, being all well recovered in health & strength; and had all things in good plenty, for as some were thus Employed in affairs abroad; others were exercised in fishing, about cod, & bass, & other fish of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion; all the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees), and besides water fowl, there was great store of wild Turkies, of which they took many, besides venison, &c. Besides they had about a peck o’ meal29 a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty ^here^30 to their friends in England, which were not feigned, but true reports.31

She came the 9[th] to the Cape.In November about that time twelvemonth, that themselves came; there came In a small ship32 to them unexpected or looked for; in which came Mr. Cushman (so much spoken of before) and with ^him^33 35 persons to remain ^& live^ in the plantation. Which did not a little rejoice them; and they when they came ashore and found all well, and saw plenty of victuals in every house were no less glad; for they most of them were lusty young men, and many of them In wild enough, who little considered whither, or about what they went till they came into the harbor at Cape Cod, and there saw nothing but a naked and barren place; they then began to think what should become of them, If the people here were dead, or cut off by the Indians; they began to consult (upon some speeches that some of the seamen had cast out), to take the sails from the yard lest ^the^ ship [66] should get away and leave them there; but the master hearing of it, gave them good words; and told them, if anything but well should have befallen the people here, he hoped he had victuals enough to carry them to Virginia, and whilst he had a bit they should have their part, which gave them good satisfaction. So they were all landed, but there was not so much as bisquit cake or any other xvictuals forx Nay they were fain to spare the ship some to carry her home. them, neither had they any bedding, but some sorry things they had in their cabins, nor pot, or pan to dress any meat in; nor over-many clothes, for many of them had brushed away their coats, & cloaks at Plimoth as they came; but there was sent over some Birchin-Lane suits34 in the ship out of which they were supplied. The plantation was glad of this addition of strength, but could have wished, that many of them, had been of better condition; and all of them better furnished with provisions, but that could not now be helped.

In this ship Mr. Weston sent a large letter, to Mr. Carver, the late Governour now deceased; full of complaints ^&^ expostulations about former passages, at Hampton; and the keeping the ship, so long in the country, and returning her without lading, &c. Which for brevity I omit; The rest is as followeth.

Part of Mr. Weston’s letter.

I durst never acquaint the adventurers,35 with the alterations of the conditions first agreed on between us; which I have since been very glad of, for I am well assured had they known as much as I do, they would not have adventured a half-penny, of what was necessary for this ship. That you sent no lading in the ship, is wonderful, and worthily distasted; I know your will weakness was the cause of it, and I believe more weakness of Judgement, than weakness of hands; a quarter of the time you spent in discoursing, arguing, & Consulting, would have done much more; but that is past, &c. If you mean bonafide, to perform the conditions agreed upon; do us the favor to Copy them out fair, and subscribe them with the principal of your name. And likewise give us account as particularly as you can, how our monies were laid out. And then I shall be able to give them some satisfaction, whom I am now forced with good words to shift off. And consider that the life of the business depends on the lading of this ship; which if you do to any good purpose, that I may be freed from the great sums I have disbursed for the former, and must do for the latter. I promise you, I will never quit the business, though all the other adventurers should. [67] We have procured you a Charter the best we could, which is better than your former, and with less limitation.36 For anything that is else worth writing Mr. Cushman can Inform you; I pray write Instantly for Mr. Robinson to come to you. And so praying God to bless you with all graces nessessary, both for this life, & that to come, I rest,

London, July 6, 1621.

Your very loving friend,

Thomas Weston

This ship (called the Fortune) was speedily dispatched away, being laden with good clapboard as full as she could stow, and 2 hogsheads of beaver and otter skins, which they got with a few trifling commodities brought with them at first, being all together unprovided for trade; neither was there any amongst ^them^37 that ever saw a beaver skin till they came here, and were Informed by Squanto. The freight was estimated to be worth near £500. Mr. Cushman returned back also with this ship;38 for so Mr. Weston & the rest had appointed him, for their better Information. And he doubted not, nor themselves neither, but they should have a speedy supply; considering also how by Mr. Cushman’s persuasion, and letters received from Leiden, wherein they willed ^them^39 so to do, they yielded to the aforesaid conditions, and subscribed them with their hands. But it proved otherwise, for Mr. Weston who had made that large promise in his letter (as is before noted) that if all the Rest, should fall off, yet he would never quit the business but stick to them; if they yielded to the conditions, and sent some lading in the ship; and of this Mr. Cushman was confident, and confirmed the same from his mouth, & serious protestations to himself before he came. But all proved but wind, for he was the first, and only man that forsook them; and that before he so much as heard of the return of this ship, or knew what was done (so vain is the confidence in man). But of this more in its place.

A letter in answer to his writ to Mr. Carver; was sent to him from the Governour of which, so much as is pertinent to the thing in hand, I shall here Insert.

Sir, your large letter written to Mr. Carver and dated the 6[th] of July 1621 I have received the 10[th] of November. Wherein (after the Apology made for yourself) you lay many heavy Imputations upon him and us all. Touching him, he is departed this life, and now is at rest [68] In the Lord, from all those troubles, and Incumbrances with which we are yet to strive. He needs not my apology; for his care & pains was so great for the Common good, both ours, and yours; as that therewith (It is thought) he oppressed himself, and shortened his days; of whose loss we cannot sufficiently complain. At great lose charges in this adventure, I confess you have been, and many losses may sustain; but the loss of his, and many other honest, and Industrious men’s lives, cannot be valued at any price; of the one, there may be hope of recovery; but the other no recompence can make good. But I will not Insist in generals, but come more particularly to the things thenselves. You greatly blame us for keeping the ship so long in the country, and then to send her away Empty. She lay 5 weeks at Cape Cod; whilst with many a weary step (after a long Journey) and the Endurance of many a hard brunt, we sought out (in the foul winter[)] a place of habitation. Then we went in so tedious a time to make provision to shelter us, and our goods, about which labour, many of our arms, & legs can tell us to this day, we were not negligent. But it pleased God to visit us then, with death daily, and with so general a disease; that the living were scarce able to bury the dead; and the well not in any measure sufficient to tend the sick. And now to be so greatly blamed, for not freighting the ship, doth Indeed go near us, and much discourage us. But you say, you know we will pretend weakness, and do ^you^40 think we had not cause? Yes, you tell us you believe it; but it was more weakness of Judgment, than of hands. Our weakness herein is great we confess, therefore we will bear this check patiently amongst the rest till God send us wiser men. But they which told you we spent so much time in discoursing & consulting, &c., their hearts can tell their tongues, they lie. They cared not, so they might salve their own sores, how they wounded others. Indeed it is our calamity, that we are (beyond expectation) yoked with some ill-conditioned people, who will never do good, but corrupt and abuse others, &c.

The rest of the letter declared how they had subscribed those conditions according to his desire, and sent him the former accounts very particularly; also how the ship was laden, and In what condition their affairs stood; that the coming of these [69] people would bring famine upon them unavoidably, if they had not supply in time (as Mr. Cushman could more fully Inform him & the rest of the Adventurers). Also that seeing he was now satisfied in all his demands, that offences would be forgotten ^and^41 he remember his promise, etc.

After the departure of this ship (which stayed not above 14 days) the Governour & his assistant hav^ing^ disposed these latecomers into several families, ^as^ they best could; took an exact account of all their provisions in store, and proportioned the same to the number of persons; and found that it would not hold out above 6 months, at half allowance; and hardly that; and they could not ^well^ give less this winter^time^ till fish came In again. So they were presently put to half allowance, one as well as another, which began to be hard, which but they bore it patiently under hope of supply.

Soon after this ship’s departure, that great people of the Narragansetts In a braving manner, sent a messenger unto them with a bundle of arrows tied about with a great snakeskin; which their Interpretours told them, was a threatening, & a challenge; Upon which the Governour with the advice of others, sent them a round answer, that if they had rather have war than peace, they might begin when they would; they had done them no wrong, neither did they fear them, or should they find them unprovided. And by another ^messenger^ sent the snakeskin back againe with bullets in it, but they would not receive it but sent it back again. But these things I do but mention, because they are more at large already put forth in print, by Mr. Winslow at the request of some friends.42 And it is like the reason was their own ambition, (who since the death of so many of the Indians) thought to domineer & lord it over the rest; & Conceived the English would ^be a^ bar in their way, and saw that Massasoit took shelter already under their wings. But this made them43 the more carefully to look to themselves so as they agreed to Enclose their dwellings with a good strong pale,44 and make flankers in convenient places with gates to shut which were every night locked; and a watch kept, and when need required there was also warding on the daytime. And the company was by the Captain’s45 and the Governour’s [70] advice, divided into 4 squadrons, and every one had their quarter appointed them, unto which they were to repair upon any sudden alarm. And if there should be any cry of fire, a Company was ^were^46 appointed for a guard ^with muskets^ whilst others quenched the same, to prevent Indian treachery. This was accomplished very cheerfully, and ^the^ town Impaled round by the beginning of March, In which every family had a pretty garden plot secured. And herewith I shall end this year. Only I shall remember one passage more, rather of mirth, than of weight; on the day called Chrismas day, the Governour called them out to work (as was used), But the most of this new company excused themselves, and said it went against their consciences to work on that day. So the Governor told them that if they made it matter of conscience, he would spare them, till they were better Informed; so he led away the rest and left them; but when they came home at noon, from their work, he found them in the street at play openly; some pitching the bar, & some at stoolball, and such-like Sports. So he went to them, and took away their Implements, and told them, that was against his conscience, that they should play, & others work; if they made the keeping of it matter of devotion, let them keep their houses; but there should be no gaming, or revelling in the streets. Since which time nothing hath been attempted that way, at least openly.47