A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at No. 25 Beacon Street, Boston, on Thursday, 27 December, 1900, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the first Vice-President, William Watson Goodwin, D.C.L., in the chair.
After the Minutes of the Annual Meeting had been read and approved, the Vice-President announced that the President-elect was present and was ready to assume office, and appointed Mr. John Noble and Mr. Henry H. Edes a committee to escort him to the chair.
President Kittredge then took the chair and delivered his Inaugural Address.
The Treasurer announced that since the last meeting he had received the sum of Ten thousand dollars from the Executrix of the late President Wheelwright, the same being the first instalment of his bequest to the Society. He then offered for consideration the draught of a Vote the adoption of which by the Society was recommended by the Council. After some discussion, in which several of the members participated, and an amendment, the Vote was unanimously adopted in the following form: —
Voted, That the bequest of President Wheelwright is hereby gratefully accepted; that it should be, and hereby is, made a part of the Permanent Endowment of the Society; that it be forever known as the Edward Wheelwright Fund; that only the income thereof shall ever be used; and that said income shall be applied to defraying the cost of the Society’s Publications.
The President announced the death on the twenty-first instant of the Honorable Roger Wolcott, a Resident Member, and said that as his death had occurred so recently it was deemed fitting that the tributes to his memory which members would wish to pay should be deferred until the Stated Meeting in January. He then referred to the death of Dean Everett, to whose memory he paid a brief tribute.
Mr. S. Lothrop Thorndike, having been called upon, said:
I am taken rather unawares. When I agreed to say something about Everett I certainly did not expect to lead in paying the proper tribute to his memory. I only meant, as a neighbor and a relative, to add a word or two to whatever might be said by others better fitted than I to speak of what gave his career and character their real interest and value. Even the little that I might say from the domestic standpoint would better find place in the memoir which someone else may by and by put upon record.
He came, on the paternal side, from a well known Dorchester family. His father, Ebenezer Everett, was own cousin to Alexander Hill Everett, the scholar and diplomatist, and Edward Everett, the statesman and orator. The father of Ebenezer and the father of Alexander and Edward were both Harvard graduates, both Orthodox ministers, and both, by a mingling or change of profession, of which perhaps other instances might be found in the Everett family, at some time in their lives Justices of the Court of Common Pleas.
Ebenezer Everett graduated at Harvard in 1806, studied law in Beverly with Nathan Dane, and practised his profession at Brunswick, Maine. In Beverly he married Joanna Prince, an interesting, lovely person, still mentioned in religious circles as one of the two excellent women who started the first Sabbath School in America.44
Carroll Everett, as he was always called in the family, was the second son of this worthy couple, the only child who carne to adult age. He was born and brought up at Brunswick, graduating at Bowdoin in 1850. He studied medicine, off and on, for some years, spending meantime a couple of years in Europe and afterward served as Tutor of Modern Languages, as Librarian and as temporary Professor in Bowdoin. His nomination as full Professor was rejected by the Trustees, for the reason that he had shown a leaning to Unitarian views, and Bowdoin was Orthodox. His connection with the college was severed in 1857, and of this turning point in his career I will say a word presently.
Everett and I were related through our mothers, who were cousins. Our common great-grandfather was Josiah Batchelder, a person of some note in Essex County in the Revolution and the years that followed, being an important member of the Provincial Congress from 1775 to 1779, and holding other offices until his death in 1809. I never heard him spoken of otherwise than as Squire Batchelder. Squire Batchelder’s father, also Josiah, wrote once of his mother’s mother that, “She was the daughter of a Baptist minister, and some of her descendants are tinctured with her whims to this day. She was otherwise a very worthy woman.” The amused charity, which may be read between the lines, for the people who thought that the whims made a difference, and the humor of the last remark that “she was otherwise a very worthy woman,” make one think of the habit of mind of Everett himself.
The first thing which occurs to me at this moment about Everett is to wonder that we are talking about him at all here in this Colonial Society, — to wonder how he ever came to join us. The details of such a history as that of Colonial New England were, I fancy, as far out of the sphere of his interests, as the whims of his grandmother were to the ancestor of whom I have spoken. Or, if he cared for them at all, it was only for their results upon to-day. He was emphatically a man of the present and the future. To family history he was, or thought he was, entirely indifferent. I wrote him once to ask what he knew, or what he had heard his mother say, about our ancestor, the Squire, of whom I have spoken. He answered: “I am extremely sorry that I know absolutely nothing of this matter. I have not an antiquarian fibre in my body. I wish I had.”
I say that he thought he was indifferent to family history. So he was sometimes and in detail. But when he deals with such questions in his essays I remember that after speaking of the principle of honesty and truthfulness becoming a part of a man’s personality and self-assertion, and thereupon taking its place as honor, he adds that the principle is intensified or accentuated if it is recognized as an assertion not merely of self but of blood. There was, besides, a certain indication that he cared a good deal more about the past than he thought he did, in the fact that he was especially sensitive about anything which seemed to him a derogation of dignity in any of his forbears. The same was true with regard to his contemporary relatives. But when the defect did not go to character, but was an innocent weakness, it did not trouble him. On the contrary, it appealed to his humor, and his vivid sense of the ludicrous overcame him, as it was apt to do even at inopportune moments. I might mention some anecdotes illustrative of both of these points, but I am conscious that words spoken here are apt to appear afterward in black and white, and must not fall below the dignity of print.
I am asked to speak of Everett domestically, on the ground of our relationship. I can hardly do this, because for thirty years of our life we lived in different states. As a boy and a youth I saw him rarely. I knew of him as doing the hard work of a student and a teacher, then as afterward with the efficient use of but one eye. Then came the story that his heresy had made his professor’s chair untenable by him. The writer of an excellent article in the Christian Register speaks of this as a “tradition of the prehistoric days before the war.” Tradition if it be, it is a case of tradition as exact and true as history. It was a solemn fact, very solemn to those of his relations who still adhered to the Calvinism of their forefathers. With my branch of the family, that had already made the dreadful lapse into Unitarianism, it was a matter of rejoicing, but I dare say that I could find even now relations who have never ceased to look upon him as a sheep of the wrong color. They are fewer in number than thirty years ago. Upon the whole, the old order has changed, and it is worth noting that Bowdoin gave him his Doctorate of Divinity several years before it was given by Harvard.
After losing his place at Bowdoin he spent two years at the Harvard Divinity School, and was then a Unitarian pastor at Bangor for some ten years. He then returned to Cambridge to take the place in the Divinity School which he retained until his death. After I became a resident of Cambridge, I knew him better than ever before, but perhaps not better than many of you knew him.
Our ways of life lay in different lines, and of his success in his chosen profession I can only say what is well known even by those outside of his academic circle. He gave to theological study in Cambridge a broader scope than it had had before, and wider relations both inside and outside Christianity. He gave the theological department its proper academic place and its true importance to the rest of the university. But of all this one would never hear a word from him, at least in private. He was not apt to speak of his profession, as such. I think that I never heard him say a word about it, except to express great pleasure that his lectures attracted to the school clerical gentry of more Orthodox denominations. He was good-natured enough not to be cross when I told him not to be puffed up, that probably they only followed their calling, and hated the sin while they loved the sinner.
The article already quoted spoke of his heresy being not a stumbling block but a stepping stone. For himself, the article meant, but it is just as true for everybody with whom he was brought into contact. For everybody who ever heard him talk in private, or at the club dinner table, his good-humored heresies were stepping stones in every direction, and his little skepticisms (if one may use a word so dangerously apt to be misconstrued) were Cartesian, — defences against too easy assent, — tests of asserted conclusions.
One could hardly do justice to Everett’s memory without saying a word of his wit and humor. Many bright things which he said or wrote might be repeated, but jokes rechauffés are apt to have a flavor a little stale. And one might say much of the earnest, serious man that abode beneath an exterior so pleasant and sometimes so light. One who wishes to know him as he was can find him in his little volume on Poetry, Comedy and Duty. If I wanted to describe him, in every act of his life, I should borrow a quotation from that book, — “A man who performs a righteous act from a sense of duty stands much higher than one who does n’t perform it at all; but one who performs it because it seems the most natural thing in the word, simply because he wants to, stands still higher.”
As a theologian Dr. Everett had a position peculiarly his own. Many have wondered what sort of theology could be taught in an undenominational or poly-denominational School of Divinity, and have supposed that the only courses open to the instructor would be either to treat his subject more or less vaguely and superficially or else to present as fairly as possible a variety of forms of belief and leave the student to make his choice. This was not Dr. Everett’s method. He found underlying the differing creeds and methods certain fundamental principles of faith necessary to all of them. He discussed in his lectures such topics as the nature of religion, the belief in a God, the reasonableness of belief in Him, the denials of this reasonableness, the answer to such denials; the possibility of man’s approach to God, the nature of inspiration, the methods of revelation, the grounds of belief in immortality, the question as to whether Christianity was to be considered an absolute religion. These topics and others similar, not fragmentarily as I have given them, but consecutively and with definite system, made up a study of faith profound and suggestive, in following which the student, whatever his creed, found his faith deepened and enlarged, and his insight quickened.
The respect which we felt for Dr. Everett as a teacher was strengthened as we came to know him personally. The elevation and serenity of his life, consistent with his teaching, the unaffected courtesy and ready friendliness with which he met those about him, his gentle fun, his quick wit, the wisdom of his counsel, the breadth of his sympathies, — all these made intercourse with him at once a delight and an inspiration.
Mr. Frederick Lewis Gay remarked that through the kindness of Mr. Robert C. Winthrop, Jr., he had the honor of communicating six documents of the seventeenth century which have recently come to light. Four are letters written by Governor John Winthrop, one is a letter written by the Reverend Edmund Browne, while the sixth is a very interesting report on the state of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Mr. Browne, — all sent to Sir Simonds D’Ewes. The documents follow, preceded by an introductory note obligingly prepared by Mr. Winthrop.
Sir Simonds D’Ewes, Baronet, of Stow Langtoft Hall, County Suffolk, a lawyer, antiquary, and sometime member of Parliament, was born 18 December, 1602, and died 8 April, 1650, aged forty-eight. His first wife was a Clopton, kinswoman of the second wife of Governor Winthrop, which fact, coupled with their pronounced Puritanism, led to some intimacy between them. By tradition, letters of D’Ewes formerly existed among the Winthrop Papers long preserved in New London. If so, they probably disappeared in the last century, as none such came to light, — nor any letters from Winthrop to D’Ewes, — when the Honorable James Savage edited Winthrop’s New England, or when the Honorable Robert C. Winthrop subsequently prepared the Life and Letters of John Winthrop. The last named work, however, contains a passage from the published autobiography of D’Ewes, in which he describes the reasons which induced Winthrop and others to emigrate to New England in 1630.45
The papers of Sir Simonds D’Ewes ultimately passed into the possession of that well-known bibliographer, Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford, and have long since formed part of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum. In the spring of 1900 Mr. Joseph James Muskett, Editor of Suffolk Manorial Families, accidentally discovered in this collection four original letters from Governor Winthrop to Sir Simonds D’Ewes, together with a long and interesting one to him from the Reverend Edmund Browne describing the general condition of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, all written between 1633 and 1639. Mr. Muskett at once made known his find, the value of which he did not at first realize, but after some correspondence careful copies were forwarded to Mr. Winthrop, to whom it seemed particularly appropriate to place them at the disposal of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, for which purpose he banded them to Mr. Gay, whose name has become associated with the discovery of the true site of Governor Winthrop’s house during the first twelve years of his residence in Boston.46
JOHN WINTHROP TO SIR SIMONDS D’EWES.
Ta the right worpll his muche honored friend & cosin Sr Simeon Dewes at Lavenham in Suff.
Yors by younge Hamond I received, & cannot but most thankfully accept yor kind remembrance of me & yor good affection to this work, wch the Lords owne hand hath begune & upheld hetherto, in the prosperitye whereof some blessinge & comforte may redounde to all the Church of Christ. For or estate heere, both Politick & Eccɫiaƚƚ:, I knowe you are allreadye sufficiently informed, & although we cañot professe a ⅌fection in either (wch is not to be looked for in this worlde) yet it is suche as the Lords holy & wise servants (suche as he hath vouchsafed to bestowe upon us both formerly & now of late) doe approve of, & accordingly doe joyne wth us in the same Course.
I meane especially those 2 reverd & faithfull miñrs Mr Cotton & Mr Hooker, who lately arrived heere wth their familyes in as good healthe (praised be God) as when they came forthe, althoughe Mrṣ Cotton was delivered of a sonne at sea, who was since baptized on shore & name Seaborne.
For yor advise about or affaires, I am muche behoulden to yor care of us & doe concurre wth yor opinion in the most, as or practice dothe declare, & shalbe somewhat rectified by yor advice at present & more as or meanes may be enlarged; but in the last both or practice & judgment differ from yors, but I suppose we should soone be agreed if you were heere to see the state of things as we see them. I think it fitt [not] to enter into ⅌tic̃ because Ir̃es are subject to miscarrye, but you can conceive my meaning. I cañot enlarge towards you as yor love deserves. I hope you will consider my occasions & many lr̃es wch I must write.
How you should imploye any stock heere, except you send some faithfull man to manage it, I cañot advise you; onely you may drive a trade wth the Lord heere, in helping forwarde the worke of the Gospell, by sending over some poore godly familyes wth a yeares provision, wch I account one of the best workes wch may be ⅌formed at this season. If you will please to rayse a Colonye heere in that mañer (wch would not be difficult for yorself wth such godly frends as you may have to joyn wth you) I would take off any further trouble from you about it, but I leave it to yor consideration. So wth my hearty Salutation & due respect to yr Lady, I com̄end you to the Lord & take my leave. I rest
Yors to doe you service in the Lord
Massachusetts, N: Eng: Sept. 26: 1633.47
JOHN WINTHROP TO SIR SIMONDS D’EWES.
Muche Honored Sr,
Yors ⅌ Wm Hamond I recd, acknowledging my self so muche bound to you that you are pleased to take all occasions to manifest yor good will to or Colonye & to myself in ⅌tic̃, that I would gladly have bestowed much paynes in Satisfieing yr desire concerning the estate of or Countrye & Affaires, & I did hope upon the discharge of my place to have good leysure to that end; but or new Governor (my brother Dudly) dwelling out of the ways, I was still as full of companye & business as before. But for the natives in these pts, God hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest pte of them are swept awaye by the small poxe wch still continues among them: So as God hathe therby cleered or title to this place, & those who remaine in these pts, being in all not 50, have putt themselves under or protection & freely confined themselves & their interest wthin certaine limitts.
For yor counsell of Conforminge orselves to the Ch: of E: though I doubt not but it proceeds of of yr care of or wellfare, yet I dare not thank you for it, because it is not conformable to Gods will revealed in his worde. What you may doe in E: where things are otherwise established, I will not dispute; but or case here is otherwise, being come to dearer light & more Libtye, wch we trust by the good hand of or God wth us, & the gratious indulgence of or Kinge, we may freely enjoye it.
So desiring you to excuse my brevitye & to continue yr good will towards us, I com̃end you wth yor good Lady & all yrs to the gratious protectiõ & directiõ of the Lord, & so I take leave & rest
At yor service in the Lord
Boston N: E:
July 21. 1634.50
JOHN WINTHROP TO SIR SIMONDS D’EWES.
To the right worpƚƚ Sr Simondes Dewes, Knight.
Sir, — I received 2: lr̃es from you, the one written longe since & putt backe in the Hope; by the other I understande yor good affection to or Plantation, whereof you desire we should taste the fruits. Blessed be the Lord who hath inclined yor heart ther toward us for good, & blessed be you of the Lord for it. According to yor direction I spake wth Hamond, who tould me that you bestowed pte of yr Moy vinegre to have made Sturgeon, wch being putt aborde the Richard was forced back again, & so by shipp & putt in aboard another shippe Suffered much losse. I spake wth Mr Trerice51 the master of the same shippe, who affirmed that of 12: hogshds of vinegre there was lost by leakage about 3: hogshds. Old Hamonde came allso before the Govnr (Mr Haines) & other of us & affirmed that there came as benefite of yor Moy but losse, so that howsoever by yor bonde we might have compelled them to have payd the whole 30ɫi, yet respecting the loss wch (by Gods providence) hapned in the adventure we were content to take the principall wch the old man hath undertaken to pay, wch when we have received it shalbe bestowed upon some publk worke. In the meane tyme the Governr & Assistants return you thanks by me.
For our condition heere the Lord is pleased still to continue health & peace to us & so to increase or numbers (there have come about 20: shipps this sum̃er allreadye) as we are putt to rayse new Colonys about 100: miles to the weste of us, upon a very fine river & a most fruitfull place, onely shipps cañot come neere by 20: legues. Mr Hooker is like to goe thither next yeare, not for any difference between Mr Cotton & him (soe reporte) for they doe hould a most sweet & brotherly com̃union together (thoughe their judgmts doe somewhat differ about the lawfullnesse of the Crosse in the ensigne) but that the people & cattle are so increased as the place will not suffice them. The posstinges [?] this yeare (throughe the Lords speciall providence) & their cattle are come wth such speed & safety as no sickness hath been among them, nor above 2: ⅌sons miscarried & very fewe cattle.
I might further inlarge but indeed I am so full of business as I can scarce gett leysure to scribble thes fewe lines. I desire you to beare wth me, & to continue still yor good will towards us & yor prayres for us, & so with my love & due respecte to yrself & yor worthy Lady, I com̃end you to the Lord & rest
At yr Service
Boston in New Engld: July 20: 1635.52
JOHN WINTHROP TO SIR SIMONDS D’EWES.
To the righte worƚƚ Sr Simonds Dewes, Knight, at Stowe Langthon in Suff: To be left wth Mr Gurdon at Assington in Suff:
Sir, — The benefite wch we have received from that wch you were pleased in yor kindnesse to bestowe upon or plantation, calles upon me to give you accompt therof & to acquainte you further wth or estate heere. As soone as I understood yor minde in it, I acquainted the Governor & the rest of the Assistants wth it, & calling Hamonde before us, & finding by such evidence as he produced that ⅌te of that 30ɫi he rec. of you miscarried by the waye, & that his estate was not able to answere what might be required of him, we thought fitt to accept of 20ɫi, whereof he hath payd 10ɫi; but the other 10ɫi is now desperate, for yonge Wm Hamond goeing wth all that his father & he could make & borrowe to trade in Virginia for corne, the vessell was caste awaye upon Longe Iland & 7: ⅌sons drowned. Hamonde escaped on shore, but was killed by the Indians & one other wth him, whereby the olde man’s estate is wholly overthrowne.53
It hath been observed that God hath allwayes crossed us in or trade wth Virginia. Diverse of or people went thither above halfe a yeare since, but have not been yet heard of; there was a verye great mortality last winter: about 60: masters of shipps & other officers died there; but or people (I prayse God) have their healhe well heere. Sr Hen: Vane his sonne & heire is or Governr this yeare, a godly gentl & of excellent ⅌ts. Heere have been allready 11: English shipps & 4: Dutche, most of them were but 5: weeks in their passage.
My tyme is short & I have ɫres to write, so as I cañt enlarge. My love & due respect to yor self & Lady rememembered, I rest
At yr service,
Boston, N: E: June 4 [?] 1636.54
EDMUND BROWNE TO SIR SIMONDS D’EWES.
Right Noble Sr, — After providence wth a most merciful hand carried mee over the seas, wth as upon or under an extended wings, and crowned my desires wth an injoyment of what I long desired to see, I presently considered your loving request to present unto you a description of our New Eɫṇ̣ estate: therefore as a testimony of my reall honouring of your worth, and as a signifcãt carrecter of my gratefull reflex, I have addressed a miscelaneous display, to attend your gracing of it wth a favoarable serveying of it. Had I injoyed time of inditing more refinedly, I should have presented it in a more pollisht forme, though I hate flattery and would rather both speake and doe sancte than cincte.
I hope your Wor will not be displeased if by the way it calleth in at Broomely to wayte upon your brother Sr Thomas,55 my endeered master, and his Lady to whom I am much obliged.
Concerning your letter sent to Mr Hooker, I have not yet spooke to him, being an 100d miles distant from mee, but for your satisfaction I shall, if it please God, send unto you our Churches apollogy either this yeere or the next to be agreed upon by all our eiders & other divines, & to be dispersed for the satisfieing of all quœstionists out of desire of the truth.
And lastly, concerning a plantation for your Wor̃: I have travayled aboute to see the country and I have seene good places. The best for soyle is one Merrimacke wthin 7 miles of Ipswich and adjoyning to Newberry; yet for temper the southerne side is more excellent. Wee have grantes of 600 acres to some Gentlemen. There be many Lords that have plantations heere, but if a gentleman intendeth not to come himselfe, or to send some honest friend, nor bee carefull in his electing of godly and able men in agriculture, he will be a looser by it. Therefore in such case it is best to venter a Sum̃e of monys to be turned into cattle at the assigment and approbation of the governour Mr Winthrope, a godly and wise gentleman, wth whom I had some discourse about your Woṛ and desireth to tender his respect unto you. There is much to be gotten heere that way according to the custome of the plantation, if the Lord blesse the increase. If therefore your Woṛ by a plantation should not make provision of refuge for harsh times, if they should happen at England, my advice is that you would venture some thing by degrees, to bee implyed in the breeding of cattle, as 20ɫ, 40ɫ, or 60ɫ, or more as it shall please you, and I will become undertaker for the improvement of it in breeding cattell, and soe when a little stock shall be raysed then to enter upõ some lotte to break up ground, wch will then yeeld 40s per an͠n by the acre, if good. If you shall please to ad venture such a sum, I intend to send for my father over the next yeere if wee live, but if you shall venter this yeere then he would come over this yeere, & soe both my selfe and hee shall be obliged to you (for by that meanes he shall have some thing to imply him in). I thanke the Lord I have convenient mayntenance, scɫ: 20ɫ per anñ, & much love, but now in case that I should change my condition, I would be glad to have a stocke for a lotte, as the rest of the Elders have, but I am not able to stocke it; where as if your selfe now would adventure but the tyth of what you intended, it will conduce much for my benefit, the Lord blessing it. I have appoynted one to wayte on you for an answer.
There came over one Knight, and a Lady widow, besides personages of worth, & the plantations are much peopled and inlarged this yeere. Thus wth my service to your selfe and ingenious Lady, and my prayers for either of your inlargements, I rest, remaining
Yor Wor to com̃and in all Christian service
Boston: Septemb: 7th .
My office is yet to preach to some 4 or 5 greate familys, but I know not whether I shall settle heere; if it prove not a church, I suppose I shall not.56
REPORT OF EDMUND BROWNE.57
When God, by an over ruling hand, denyed mee liberty, wch I expected in the ship called the Nicholas of London, the Lord presented it mee in an other ship called the Thomas & Frances, where in I found some company of worth, as one Mr Downing who married the Governours sister, to whom I was much obliged for her matron and mother like care over mee in supplying my wants out of her treasury of provision. I was joyned in the messe wth them, had a often refreshing wth fresh meate and bottle beere et cœter̃.
I was little sicke, but had my health in a competent manner. The time of our floating on the sea was some 8 weeks from the Downes, & yet wee had but 2 large winds to purpose, scɫ: in carriing us out from the Downes, and in bringing us in to the land upon our discovery of it, vidl: Cape Cod, lying south from the bay. Wee were often put into some feare of pyrates or men of warre, but our God preserved us. When wee had bin 3 weekes at sea the contagions Pox struck in amongst us, yet ordered by the Lords power, as if it had not bin infectious; I suppose some 30 had it, yet directly I think but one or 2 dyed. It was confined within one division in our ship, scɫ: midle decke, the gunroome being free unlesse some 2 or 3 childeren wch had them sparingly, and all other roome, allthough there was converse wth them, were free & injoyed health.
The next day of our arrival I was invited to the Governour’s to dinner, where wee had an old England table furnished for our entertainment to my admire; in the after noone I heard Mr Cotton, vewing their comely order & faith, blessed be the Lord for them. The plantation I found to exceede all her sisters, though her ancestours in time, as Virginia, Bermudas, & wch not of their time, inconvenient buildings, settled courts, and adjacent townes. Of the Lord yet bee its protectour & inlarger, to ye prayse of his name & sylensing bitter spirits wth the newes of her glory.
Now concerning the plantation, this I affirme: The soyle I judge to be lusty and fat in many places, light and hot, in some places sandy bottomed and in some loomy, reasonably good for all sorts of grayne wthout manuring, but exceding good wth manure, some for wheate, some for rye &c. I saw much good corne of all sorts this yeare. The ground graseth not so well as O: E:, for wee have not brought it into a way of baring English grasse, though in some places our E: clover is found; yet it feedeth cattle very well, I have seene oxen heare yt were worth some 14ɫ an oxe in O: E: and good beefe not wthstanding their labour. Wee plow and cart wth them, some farmers have two yoake of them; in many townes there be 200 head of cattel, yet because of freshcomers doe hold the price of 20ɫ a cow or ox, & mares be of the same. The land is rocky in many places, yet yt grownd beareth good indian corne, wch grayne is in many places manured wth fish; the corne yeeldeth greate increase, & doth compare if not excell your O: E: wheate in puddings and in being used as a boyled wheate. The land is grovy and hilly in many places, the ayre cleere and dry, the sunne is seldom enerved by any cloudy interposition.
The fruits of the earth naturally growing are abundance of strawberrys, rosberrys, goose berrys red & greene, most large grapes yet not soe delicious as old E: grapes for not pruned nor dressed, & abundance of plumb trees, all sorts of garden fruits, as roots & herbs; we have 3 kinds of mellons most delectable, the one called an aple squash, soe called from its size and pleasantness being boyled & soe prepared, a musk mellon wch is heere soe ripned wth the sunne as both in smell & tast it may compare wth goodly peares; alsoe a watter mellon not inferior to the best, both of these last are eaten raw. Aple trees, peare trees & plumb trees grow & beare notably heere, being planted.
Heere is greate store of fish wch the sea furnisheth us with: as abundance of Sturgeon, some salmons, holly boat, cod, basse, a fish that in his head &c excelleth the Sam̃ons jowle, makerell all the som̃er & catched wth hookes and excelleth our O: E: makerell by farre in fatnesse. There is some time a 1000d basse caught in a draught at a time. Heere be abundance of oysters very large & fatte, greate lobsters, wth other shell fish, much fresh water fish, though differing much from the kinds in England in regard of shape, yet not inferiour to any in goodnesse.
Heere is a large kind of deere, whose flesh is sold for 2d a pound in the winter; heere be wild rabbets, & hares that have bin caught, & many of our tame rabbits, breede excellently heere. Heere bee hum birds feathered in colours and not bigger than a dorre, a strange wonder. Heere be many upland fowle, eagles and hawkes, turkeys very large, many pigeons, abundance of black birds &c, fayre partridges in covys and many quayles; abundance likewise of sea fowles, as swan, goose, duck, teale &c, of wch abundance is taken, wee had in Mr Thomas family 30 to pluck in an evening the last yeere.
Mutton and Porke are usnally eaten heere. Our summer for a month exceedeth in heate our O: E: sum̃ers and our winter be colder, as I am informed by reason of a N: East wind. To conclude this relation, if the Lord put us upon some way of trading wee shall bee happy in outward injoyernents, and I doe conclude that heere is that wch will bring in benefit, for its subsistence & inrichment. I suppose wee shall have a trade in fishing the next yeere, as being for the present the most secure way to fall upon.
Heere be yeerly many new plantations set upon in both the pattons [patents] to the good comfort of our spirits. Our greatest enimyes are our wolves, but yet flee man, and the musceta, being our English gnat, is exiled out of places inhabited. The Indians are wholly subjected, and wee more secure from land enimyes & añoyances by theeves then in O: England. I telle you not untrueth, our outward doore hath stood by a qrtr of a yeere unlocked, and men ride & travayle abroad 10 or 20 miles wthout sword or offensive staffe, for both wolves and Indians are affrayd of us (the Lord be praysed), there be very few Indians.
Now concerning our church way & order, both in its gathering together, electing of members, presbytery, carefull admittance, confoederate walling, and exact ejecting out by church censure, I judge apostollicall: our members either transient or manent (by a stricter tye) performe noe more or are not required to doe anything (as I have received by information) then what the Scripture requireth or maybe performed by any true proffessour; whereby the church is preserved from Sin (unlesse it erreth from this rule). Wee have not (praysed be God) such mixed assemblyes as elswhere (wch was some time my burden). Now whereas it was reported that many godly men, judged soe in England, are wthout any particular church, the reason is because for some reason of not being setled they doe not seeke it; or else have soe taynted their life that their condicion is questionable.
And concerning the not promiscuous baptizing of Infants, I judge the order apostolicall, for first the child of unbelievers is uncleane & unholy, the meaning of wch text I would know. Now suppose the parents of a child new borne should be excommunicated upon a scandelous course, as I conceive, during that time as they are in their persons not to partake of the Sacrament soe not their child till they shall returne by repentance, and to be soe ejected or not admitted condicioneth man alike. 2d noe pastour nor teacher hath any call to baptise soe, for they bee only pastours and teachers of those (that have elected them) I meane those in the body (then or after admitted), I say the pastour being not ordeyned in generall for other places, or to live and dye a pastour in case he resyneth up his place. Soe then, if the child hath noe right, nor pastour call to baptize wthout his charge, as he nor the church hath ought to judge them that be wthout, why doe wee soe blame this order and idolize the ordinances.
But because of hast, if any shall desire any farther reasons, I shall, if the Lord please, unparte my mind more fully; and I thinke you will see the Eiders answer to it, for it is to be sent unto England & I shall if God please direct it to my friends, sc̃l: your worship &c.
Lastly, concerning the controversys, they are thus farre composed. That of them wch are resident in the bay only Mr Cotton affirmeth that primitive evidence is from the im̃ediate witnesse of the Spirit; now other Elders would have the Lord left free web way to worke. He is wth us at Boston, all the opinionatists that remayne soe are removed either wth Mr Wheelwright to the Eastward, or wth Mr Hutchinson unto the South part; thus God hath given a 2 fold peace unto the churches heere (his name be praysed).
Mr Wheelwright was exiled upon conceite that he intended hostile sedition in a sermõ of his, concluding all his bretheren presbyters and their people, not tenentizd wth him, to be under a covenant of workes. Mrs Hutchinson was and is a womã who led aside silly men & women into strange conclusions; I have heere presented some of them unto you: That union with Ch. is not by faith; 2 that faith is a law from 3.27: & therefore killeth; 3 yt there is an ingreftment into Xst and not by faith, & yt a soule may bee in Ch. and yet Chrĩ not in it; 4 that there are no graces in the Soule, but the presence of Xst acting, the soule being wholly passive; wth a many other strange contradictory conclusions, boasting much of her revelacions and scriptuerlike certaynty of them. But as the Lord hath scattered these conceited persons, soe hath he followed them strangely, & that in 2 monstrous births that one Mrs Dyers and Mrs Hutchinson had. The former whilst she lived in Boston, who wth her husband being young & lusty, and active in holding forth Mrs Hutchinsons conceites or some of them, was delivered of a large woman child in time 2 months before her com̃pte; it was still borne, yet alive 2 months before birth; it was on this forme: it had noe backe part of the head, the face stood low upon the breast, it had noe forehead but 4 hornes in the roome, 2 being an intch long & harde, and 2 lesse; it had apish eares placed upon the shoulders, the eyes & mouth were strangely butting out, the nose crooked upwards, the backe & breast were prickly like a thorne backe; the sex distinguishing parts were placed on the back side beneath the back bone and the hips were anteplaced, likewise on the backe were 2 holes and 2 peeces of flesh appearing out of them; upon the toes on etch foote were 3 clawes like to a young fowle. The women called to the travayle were taken wth greate vomiting (although fasting) before the very acte of bringing forth, and were sent for home wth all speede because (then and not before or since) their children were taken wth convulsions, by wch meanes only 2 being left and one asleepe besides midwife Hawkĩs (of the same stamp wth her) when she was delivered, at wch time there was a great Stinke and the bed shaked. It was concealed by a confederacy, but revealed strangly & confessed, and for the trueths sake was digged up and found soe, and applyed conjecturally to their opinions.58
Alsoe since their removall up to the island Mrs Hutchinson is brought to bed of a monstrous shape, but in what forme it is not yet Knowne as the Govenour told mee, but reported to be many false conceptions in a lump.
Wee have a Cambridge heere, a College erecting, youth lectured, a library, and I suppose there will be a presse this winter. There was wth us the last yeere a Lord, and this yeere came to live wth us a Knight and a Lady widdow, besides other persons of worth.59
Mr. Thomas Minns presented to the Society five large mounted photographs of buildings and places in Rolland that were closely associated with the Reverend John Robinson and his congregation, and described them in some interesting remarks, in substance as follows:
On the front of a house in Leyden, now standing on Klok Steeg, or Bell Alley, immediately adjoining the Square on which stands St. Peter’s Church, is an inscription to the effect that John Robinson, the leader of the first Puritan party banished from England, lived, taught and died there. That house, of which I now show you the photograph, was built in 1683 on the site of the original house of the Pilgrims. You will see the date across the front above the windows, and below the window on the right is the tablet to Robinson. It says simply:
On This Spot
Lived, Taught, And Died
This is a photograph of the bronze tablet set in 1891 in the outer wall of St. Peter’s Church in Leyden by the National Council of American Congregational Churches in Memory of the Reverend John Robinson, whose remains lie buried in the vault beneath the church. St. Peter’s Church is the largest in Leyden and was built in 1315. The tablet has at the top a ship in full sail. Below it:
The Mayflower, 1620.
In Memory of
Rev. John Robinson, M.A.
Pastor of the English Church worshiping over against this spot, A.D. 1609–1625. Whence at his prompting went forth
THE PILGRIM FATHERS
to settle New England
Buried under this house of Worship, 4 Mar. 1625.
AET. XLIX YEARS.
IN MEMORIA AETERNA ERIT JUSTUS.
Erected by the National Council of the Congregational
Churches of the United States of America.
Arminius, the founder of the Arminian doctrine, has a monument here, 1609, with many others, Boerhaave, Scaliger, and Luzac, the friend and correspondent of Washington. Mr. George Sumner found in the church receipt book a receipt for payment of the burial fees, of which the translation is as follows:
1625, 10th March
Open & Hire for John Robens, English
preacher. 9 florins.
The old Dutch Reformed Church here shown facing the canal is where tradition says the Pilgrims held their last meeting in Delfshaven before they set sail, and through this canal they passed in boats to go on board their vessel, the Speed well, for England.
This gives the interior of the same church, quite unchanged it is said from that time. There is a visitors’ book here and whether the tradition is true or not, this is an objective point for all seekers in Pilgrim history.
This gives a view of the place of embarkment at Delfshaven and what is now called Pilgrims’ Quay. This Quay is the long tree-shaded promenade along the canal on the left of the photograph.
Mr. Henry H. Edes then said:
I have brought here this afternoon a well-preserved Commission, on parchment, running in the name of Queen Anne and signed by Governor Joseph Dudley and Secretary Addington, to Samuel Porter, appointing him Sheriff of the County of Hampshire. It bears date 13 August, 1702. The seal of the Province, which is appended to it by a ribbon, is in a perfect state of preservation. It has been loaned for exhibition this afternoon by a lineal descendant of the Sheriff.
Samuel Porter of Hadley was the eldest son of Samuel Porter of Windsor, who subsequently removed to Hadley, and his wife Hannah, daughter of Thomas Stanley. He was born at Hadley, 6 April, 1660, and is said to have been the first born in that town. He was an extensive trader with England, being, in this respect, second only to John Pynchon of Springfield, and accumulated what, in his time, was accounted a great fortune. He was a Representative to the General Court, Justice of the Peace, Sheriff of the County of Hampshire and Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He married, 22 February, 1683–84, Joanna, daughter of Aaron Cook; had fourteen children, among them Aaron who graduated at Harvard in 1708 and became the first minister of Medford; and died 29 July, 1722. One of his grandsons, — his namesake, — a Harvard graduate of the Class of 1730, was the third minister of Sherborn, while another was slain by the Indians in 1755 at Lake George.
General Charles Greely Loring of Boston was elected a Resident Member.