◆   Anno Domini 1638   ◆

This year Mr. Thomas Prence was chosen Governour.

Amongst other enormities that fell out amongst them; this year 3 men were (after due trial) executed for Robbery, & murder, which they had Committed; their names were these, Arthur Peach, Thomas Jackson, and Richard Stinnings; there was a 4[th], Daniel Cross who was also guilty, but he escaped away, and could not be found. This Arthur Peach was the chief of them, and the Ringleader of all the rest; he was a lusty, and a desperate young man, and had been one of the soldiers in the Pequot war; and had done as good service, as the most there, and one of the forwardest in any attempt; And being now out of means, and loath to work, and falling to Idle courses, & company, ^he^ Intended to go to the Dutch plantation; and had allured these 3, being other men’s servants, and apprentices to go with him.1 But another cause there was also of his secret going away in this manner; he was not ^only^ run into debt, but he had got a maid with child (which was not known till after his death), a man’s servant in the town; and fear of punishment made him get away. The other 3 ^com^plotting2 with him, ran away from their masters in the night, and could not be heard of; for ^they^ went not the ordinary way, but shaped such a course as they thought to avoid the pursuit of any. [228] But falling into the way that lieth between the Bay of Massachusetts, and the Narragansetts,3 and being disposed to rest themselves, struck fire, and took Tobacco, a little out of the way, by the wayside; at length there came a Narragansett Indian by;4 who had been in the Bay a-trading, and had both cloth & beads about him (they had met him the day before & he was now returning). Peach called him to drink tobacco with them,5 and he came, & Sat down with them; Peach, told the other, he would kill him, and take what he had from him, but they were something afraid, but he said “Hang him, rogue, he had killed many of them”; so they let him alone ^to do as he would^.6 And when he saw his time, he took a rapier, & ran him through the body once, or twice, and took from ^him^ 5 fathom of wampum[peag]7 and 3 coats of cloth, and went their way, leaving him for dead. But he scrabbled away,8 when they were gone, and made shift to get home (but died within a few days, after), by which means they were discovered; and by subtilty the Indians took them, for they desiring a canoe to set them over a water (not thinking their fact had been known), by the Sachem’s Command they were carried to Aquidneck Island,9 & there accused of the murder; and were ^examined &^ Committed upon it by the English there. The Indians sent for Mr. Williams,10 & made a grievous Complaint; his friends, and kindred were ready to rise in arms, and provoke the rest thereunto, some conceiving they should now find the Pequots’ words true; that the English would fall upon them. But Mr. Williams pacified them, & told them, they should see Justice done upon the offenders; & went to the man, & took Mr. James a physician with him;11 the man told him who did it, & in what manner it was done; but the physician found his wounds mortal, and that he could not live (as he after testified upon oath, before the Jury in open court), and so he died shortly after, as both Mr. Williams, Mr. James, and some Indians testified in court.12 The Government in the Bay were acquainted with ^it^, but referred x And yet afterwards they laid claim to those parts in the controversy about Seakonk.it hither, because it was done in this xJurisdiction; but pressed by all means that Justice might be done in it; or else the country must rise & see Justice done, otherwise it would raise a war. Yet some of the rude, & Ignorant sort murmured that any English should be put to death for the Indians. So at last they of the Island brought them hither, and being often examined, & the Evidence produced, they all in the end freely confessed in effect, all that the Indian accused them of, & that they had done it, in the manner aforesaid; Sept. 4.and so upon the forementioned evidence, were cast by the Jury, & condemned, & executed for the same. And some of the Narragansett Indians, & of the party’s friends were present when it was done, which gave them, & all the country good satisfaction. But it was a matter of much sadness to them here, and was the 2[nd] execution which they had since they came; being both for willful murder, as hath been before related.13 Thus much of this matter. [229]

They received this year more letters from England full of renewed complaints on the one side, that they could get no money nor account from Mr. Sherley; & he again that he was pressed thereto, saying he was to account with those here, and not with them, &c. So as was before resolved, If nothing came of their last letters, they would now send them what they could, as supposing when some good part was paid them, that Mr. Sherley, & they, would more easily agree about the remainder.

So they sent to Mr. Andrews, and Mr. Beauchamp

——1325 lbs. weight of beaver

by Mr. Joseph Young, in the Mary, & Anne,——

divided between them; Mr. Beauchamp returned an

account of his moiety that he made; £400 Sterling of

it, freight, and all charges paid; But Mr. Andrews

though he had the more and better part, yet he made

not so much of his, through his own Indiscretion;

x And divided between them.and yet turned the x loss upon them here ^but^

Without cause.

They sent them more by bills, & other payment

———£434 sterling

which was received, & acknowledged by them, In

x Being about £40.money, x & the like. Which was for cattle sold of

Mr. Allerton’s, and the price of a bark sold which

belonged to the stock, and made over to them in


The whole sum ^was^——

£1234 sterling

Save what Mr. Andrews lost in

the beaver, which was otherwise

made good. But yet this did not

stay their clamors, as will

appear hereafter more at large.

It pleased God in these times, so to bless the country with ^such^ access, & confluence of people into it; as it was thereby much enriched, and Cattle of all kinds stood at a high rate for diverse years together; kine were sold, at £20 and some at £25 apiece, yea sometimes at £28. A Cow calf usually at £10. A milch goat at £3 & some at £4. And female kids at 30s and often at 40s apiece; by which means the ancient planters,14 which had any stock began to grow in their estates; corn also went at a round rate, viz. 6s a bushel. So as other trading began to be neglected; and the old partners (having now forbidden Mr. Sherley to send them no ^any^ more goods) broke off their trade at Kennebec, (and as things stood) would follow it no longer. But some of them (with other they Joined with), being loath, it should be lost, by discontinuance; agreed with the company for it; and gave them about the 6[th] part of their gains for it. [130(230)]15 With the first fruits of which, they built a house for a prison; and the trade there hath been since continued, to the great benefit of the place; for some well foresaw, that these high prices of corn, and Cattle, would not long continue; and that then the commodities there raised would be much missed.

This year about the 1[st] or 2[nd] of June, was a great, & fearful earthquake; it was in this place heard, before it was felt, it came with a rumbling noise, or low murmur, like unto remote thunder. ^It^16 which Came from the Norward, & passed Southward; as the noise approached nearer, the17 earth began to shake, and came at length with that violence; as Caused platters, dishes, & such-like things, as stood upon shelves to Clatter, & fall down. Yea persons were afraid of the houses themselves; It so fell out that at the same time, diverse of the chief of this town were met together at one house, conferring with some of their friends, that were upon their removal from the place (as if the Lord would hereby show the signs of his displeasure, in their shaking a-pieces, & removals one from another). However it was very terrible for the time, and as the men were set talking in the house, some women, & others were without the doors, and the earth shook with that violence, as they could not stand without catching hold of the18 posts, & pales that stood next them, but the violence lasted not long. And about half an hour, or less, came another noise & shaking, but neither so loud nor strong as the former, but quickly passed over; and so it ceased. It was not only on the sea Coast, but the Indians felt it within land; and some ships that were upon the coast were shaken by it.——So powerful is the mighty hand of the Lord, as to make both the earth, & sea to shake, and the mountains to tremble before him, when he pleases; and who can stay his hand?19 It was observed, that the Summers for diverse years together after this earthquake; were not so hot, & seasonable, for the ripening of corn, & other fruits, as formerly; but more cold, & moist, & subject to early and untimely frosts, by which many times, much Indian corn Came not to maturity; but whether this was any cause, I leave it to Naturalists to Judge.