◆   Anno Domini 1633   ◆

This year Mr. Edward Winslow was chosen Governor.

By the first return this year, they had letters from Mr. Sherley of Mr. Allerton’s further Ill Success; and the loss by Mr. Peirce, with many Sad complaints; but little hope of anything to be got of Mr. Allerton, or how their accounts might be either eased, or any way rectified by them there. But now saw plainly that the burthen of all would be cast on their backs. The special passages of his letters I shall here Insert, as shall be pertinent to these things; for though I am weary of this tedious ^& uncomfortable^ subject, yet for the clearing of the truth, I am compelled to be more large in the opening of these matters; upon which [194] so much trouble hath Ensued, and so many hard censures have passed on both sides. I would not be partial to either, but deliver the truth in all, and as near as I can, In their own words and passages; and so leave it to the Impartial Judgement, of any that shall come to read, or view these things. His letters are as follow. Dated June 24, 1633.

March 22.Loving friends, my last1 was sent In the Mary, & John, by Mr. William Collier,2 &c. I then certified you of the great, & uncomfortable, and unseasonable loss, you, & we had, In the loss of Mr. Peirce his ship, the Lyon; but the Lord’s holy name be blessed, who gives, & takes as it pleaseth him, his will be done, Amen. I then related unto you, that fearful accident, or rather Judgement, the Lord pleased to lay on London Bridge (by fire)3 and therein gave you a touch of my great loss; the Lord I hope will give me patience to bear it, and faith to trust in him, & not in these slippery, and uncertain things of this world.

I hope Mr. Allerton is near upon sail4 with you by this; but he had many disasters here before he could get away; yet the last was a heavy one, his ship, going out of the harbor at Bristol, by stormy weather was so far driven on the shore, as it cost him above £100 before she could be got off again. Verily his case was so lamentable, as I could not but afford him ^some help^5 therein (and so did some mere strangers to him). Besides your goods were In her, and if he had not been supported, he must have broke off his voyage, and so loss could not have been avoided on all sid^e^s. When he first bought her, I think he had made a saving match, If he had then sunk her, and never set her forth. I hope he sees the Lord’s hand against him, and will leave off these voyages; I think we did well in parting with her; she would have been but a clog to the account from time, to time, and now though we shall not get much by way of satisfaction, yet we shall lose no more. And now as before I have writ, I pray you finish all the accounts and reckonings with him there, for here he hath nothing, but many debts, that he stands Engaged to many men for. Besides here is not a man that will spend a day, or scarce an hour about the accounts, but myself, and that business will require more time, and help, than I can afford. I shall not need to say any more; I hope you will do that which shall be best, & Just; to which add mercy, and consider his Intent, though he failed in many particulars, which now cannot be helped, &c.

Tomorrow or next day at furthest we are to pay £300, and Mr. Beauchamp is out of the town, yet the business I must do; oh the grief, & trouble that man, Mr. Allerton, hath brought upon you, and us; I cannot forget it, and to think on it draws many a sigh from my heart, and tears from my eyes; And now the Lord hath visited me with another great loss, yet I can undergo it with more patience. But this ^I^ have foolishly pulled upon myself, &c. [And in another, he hath this passage.]6 By Mr. Allerton’s fair propositions and large [195] promises I have overrun myself; verily at this time grief hinders me to write, and tears will not suffer me to see, wherefore as you love those, that ever loved you, and that plantation, think upon us.7 Oh what shall I say of that man, who hath abused your trust, and wronged our loves; but now to complain is too late, neither can I complain of your backwardness; for I am persuaded it lies as heavy on your hearts, as it doth on our purses, or credits. And had the Lord sent Mr. Peirce safe home, we had eased both you, and us, of some of those debts; the Lord I hope will give us patience to bear these crosses. And that great God, whose care, & providence is everywhere, and specially over all those that desire truly to fear, & serve him; direct, guide, prosper, & bless you so, as that you may be able (as I persuade myself you are willing) to discharge, & take off this great, & heavy ^burthen^ which now lies upon me for your sakes. And I hope in the End for the good of you, & many thousands more; for had not you, & we Joined, & continued together, New England might yet have been scarce known, I am persuaded, not so replenished, & Inhabited with honest English people, as now it is. The Lord Increase & bless them, &c. So with my continual prayers for you all I rest,

June 24, 1633.

Your assured loving friend,

James Sherley

By this it appears when Mr. Sherley sold him the ship, & all her accounts; It was more for Mr. Allerton’s advantage than theirs; and If they could get any there well, & good, for they were like to have nothing here. And what Course was held to hinder them there, hath already been manifested. And though Mr. Sherley (became more sensible of his own condition, by these losses, and thereby more sadly, & plainly, to complain of Mr. Allerton), yet no course was taken to help them here, but all left unto themselves; not so much as to examine & rectify the accounts, by which (it is like) some hundreds of pounds might have been taken off. But very probable it ^is^ the more they saw was taken off, the less might come unto themselves. But I leave these matters, & come to other things.

Mr.8 Roger Williams (a man godly & Zealous, having many precious parts; but very unsettled In Judgement) came over first to the Massachusetts, but upon some discontent left that place, and came hither (where he was friendly Entertained, according to their poor ability), and exercised his gifts amongst ^them^, & after some time was admitted a member of the church. And his teaching well approved, for the benefit whereof I still bless God, and am thankful to him, even for his sharpest admonitions ^& reproofs^ so far as they agreed with truth. He this year began to fall into some strange opinions, and from opinion, to practise; which caused some controversy between the church, & him; and in the end some discontent on his part, by occasion whereof he left them something abruptly. Yet afterwards sued for his dismission to the church of Salem, which was granted, with some caution to them concerning him, and what care they ought to have of him. But he soon fell into more things there, both to their, and the government’s trouble, [196] & disturbance. I shall not ^need to^ name particulars, they are too well known now to all, though for a time, the church here went under some hard censure, by his occasion from some, that afterwards smarted themselves. But he is to be pitied, and prayed for; and so I shall leave the matter, and desire the Lord to shew ^him^ his errors, and reduce him into the way of truth, and give him a settled Judgement, and constancy in the same, for I hope he belongs to the Lord, and that he will shew him mercy.

Having had formerly converse, and familiarity with the Dutch (as is before remembered),9 they seeing them seated here in a barren quarter, told them of a river called by them the Fresh River, but now is known by the name of Connecticut River, which they often commended unto them for a fine place both for plantation, and trade, and wished them to make use of it. But their hands being full otherwise, they let is pass. But afterwards there coming a company of banished Indians Into these parts,10 that were driven out from thence, by the potency of the Pequots, which usurped upon them, and drive them from thence. They often solicited them to go thither and they should have much trade, especially if they would keep a house there; and having now good store of commodities, and also need to look out where they could advantage themselves to help them out of their great Engagements, they now began to send that way to discover the same, and trade with the natives; they found ^it^ to be a fine place but had no great store of trade, but the Indians excused the same in regard of the season, and ^the^11 Fear the Indians were in of their enemies. So they tried diverse times, not without profit, But saw the most certainty would be by keeping a house there, to receive the trade when it came down out of the Inland. These Indians not seeing ^them^ very forward to build there, solicited them of the Massachusetts in like sort (for their end was to be restored to their country again), but they in the Bay being but lately come, were not fit for the same; but some of their chief made a motion to join with the people ^partners^ here, to trade Jointly with them in that river; the which they were willing to Embrace, and so they should have built, and put in equal stock together; a time of meeting was appointed at the Massachusetts, and some of the chief here, was12 appointed to treat with them, and went accordingly; but they cast many fears, of danger, & loss and the Like; which was perceived to be the main obstacles, though they alleged they were not provided of trading goods; but those ^here^ offered at present to put in sufficient for both, provided they would become Engaged for the half, and prepare against the next year. They confessed more could not be offered, but thanked them, and told them they had no mind to it. They then answered, they hoped it would be no offence unto [197] them, If themselves went on without them, If they saw it meet; they said there was no reason they should; and thus this treaty broke off, and those here took convenient time to make a beginning there; and were the first English that both discovered that place, and built in the same. Though they were little better than thrust out of it afterward as may appear.13

But the Dutch (began now to repent) and hearing of their purpose, & preparation Endeavoured to prevent them; and got in a little before them, and made a slight fort,14 and planted 2 pieces of ordnance, threatening to stop their passage. But they having made a small frame of a house ready; and having a great new bark they stowed their frame in her hold, & boards Enow to cover, & finish it, having nails, & all other provisions fitting for their use (this they did the rather, that they might have a present defence against the Indians),15 who were much offended that they brought home & restored the right Sachem of the place (called Natawanute), so as they were to Encounter with a double danger in this attempt, both the Dutch, and the Indians. When they came up the river, the Dutch demanded what they Intended, and whither they would go; they answered up the river to trade (now their order was to go, and seat above them). They bid them strike, & stay, or else they would shoot them (& stood by their ordnance ready fitted); they answered they had commission from the Governour of Plimoth to go up the river to such a place, and if they did shoot, they must obey their order, and proceed; they would not molest them, but would go on. So they passed along, and though the Dutch threatened them hard, yet they shoot not;16 coming to their place, they clapped up their house quickly; and landed their provisions, and left the company appointed, and sent the bark home, and afterwards palisadoed their house about,17 and fortified themselves better; the Dutch sent word home to the Manhatas18 what was done; and in process of time, they sent a band of about 70 ^men^ in warlike manner with Colours displayed, to assault them, but seeing them strengthened, & that it would cost blood, they came to parlay, and returned in peace.19 And this was their entrance there; who deserved to have held it, and not by friends to have been thrust out as in a sort they were; as will after appear. They did the Dutch no wrong, for they took not a foot of any land they bought, but went to the place above them, and bought that tract of land which belonged to these Indians which they carried with them, and their friends; with whom the Dutch had nothing to do. But of these matters more in another place.

It pleased the Lord to visit them this year with an Infectious fever of which many fell very sick, and upward of 20 persons died, men and women, besides children; and sundry of them of their ancient friends which had lived in Holland, as Thomas Blossom, Richard Masterson,20 with sundry [198] others, and in the ^end (after he had much helped others)^ Samuel Fuller, who was their surgeon, & physician, and had been a great help and comfort unto them; as in his faculty, so otherwise being a deacon of the church, a man godly, and forward to do good, being much missed after his death. And he, and the rest of their Brethren much lamented by them, and ^caused much^ sadness, & mourning amongst them; which caused them to humble themselves, & seek the Lord; and towards winter it pleased the Lord the sickness ceased. This disease also swept away many of the Indians from all the places near adjoining; and the spring before, especially all the month of May,21 there was such a quantity, of a great sort of flies, like (for bigness) to wasps, or bumblebees, which came out of holes in the ground, and replenished all the woods, and eat the green things; and made such a constant yelling noise, as made all the woods ring of them, and ready to deaf the hearers; they have not by the English been heard, or seen before or since. But ^the^ Indians told them that sickness would follow, and so it did In June, July, August, and the chief heat of summer.22

It pleased the Lord to Enable them this year, to send home a great quantity of beaver [(]besides paying all their charges, & debts at home), which good return did much Encourage their friends in England. They sent in beaverThe skin was sold at 14s, & 15 the pound. 3366 pounds’ weight, and much of it coat beaver, which yielded 20s per pound, & some of it above. And of otter skins 346, sold also at a good price. And ^thus^ much of the affairs of this year.