◆   Anno Domini 1623   ◆

It1 may be thought strange that these people2 should fall to these extremities in so short a time; being left competently provided when the ship left them, and had an addition by that moiety3 of Corn that was got by trade, besides much they got of the Indians where they lived by one means, & other. It must needs be their great disorder, for they sent ^spent^4 excessively whilst they had, or could get it; and it may be wasted part away among ^the^ Indians (for he that was their chief, was taxed by some amongst them, for keeping Indian women, how truly I know not). And after they began to come into wants, many sold away their clothes, and bed coverings; others (so base were they) became servants to the Indians, and would Cut them wood, & fetch them water, for a cap full of corn; others fell to plain stealing, both night & day from the Indians, of which they grievously complained. In the End they came to that misery, that some starved & died with cold & hunger; one in gathering shellfish was so weak ^as he^ stuck fast in the mud, and was found dead in the place. At last most of them left their dwellings, & scattered up, & down in the [94] woods, & by the watersides, where they could find ground nuts ^&^ clams, here 6 and there ten. By which their carriages they became contemned & scorned of the Indians; and they began greatly to Insult over them, in a most Insolent manner. Insomuch many times as they lay thus scattered abroad, and had set on a pot with ground nuts, or shellfish, when it was ready the Indians would come and eat it up; and when night came, whereas5 some of them had a sorry blanket, or such like, to lap themselves in, the Indians would take it, and let the other lie all night in the Cold; so as their condition was very lamentable. Yea in the End they were fain to hang one of their men, whom they could not reclaim from stealing, to give the Indians content.

Whilst things went in this manner with them; the Governour & people here had notice that Massasoit their friend was sick, & near unto death; they sent to visit him, and withal sent him such comfortable things as gave him great content, and was a means of his recovery;6 upon which occasion he discovers the conspiracy of these Indians, how they were resolved to cut off Mr. Weston’s people, for the Continual Injuries they did them, & would now take opportunity of their weakness to do it; and for that end had conspired with other Indians their neighbours thereabout; and thinking the people here would revenge their death; they therefore thought to do the like by them, & had Solicited him to Join with them; he advised them therefore to prevent it, and that speedily by taking of some of the chief of them, before it was too late, for he assured them of the truth hereof.

This did much trouble them, and they took it into serious deliberation and found upon examination, other evidence to give light ^here^unto too long to relate. In the meantime, came one of them from the Massachusetts with a small pack at his back, and though he knew not a foot of the way yet he got safe hither, but lost his way, which was well for him for he was pursued, and so was missed.7 He told them here, how all things stood amongst them, and that he durst stay no longer; he apprehended they (by what he observed) would be all knocked in the head shortly. This made them make the more haste, & dispatched a boat away with Captain Standish, & some men, who found them in a miserable Condition, out of which he rescued them, and helped them to some relief; [and] Cut off some few of the chief conspirators. And according to his order, offered to bring them all hither if they thought good, and ^they^ should fare no worse than themselves, till Mr. Weston, or some supply came to them. Or if any other course liked them better, he was to do them any helpfulness he could. They thanked him, & the rest; But most of them desired he would help them with some corn, and they would go with their small ship to the Eastward, where happily they might hear of Mr. Weston, or some supply from him, seeing the time of the year was for fishing ships to be [95] In the land; if not they would work among the fishermen for their living, and get their passage into England, If they heard nothing from Mr. Weston in time. So they shipped what they had of any worth, and he got them all the corn he could (scarce leaving [any] to bring him home), And saw them well out of the Bay, under sail at sea, and so came home, not taking the worth of a penny of anything that was theirs. I have but touched these things briefly because they have already been published in print more at large.8

This was the End of these, that sometime boasted of their strength (being all able lusty men), and what they would do & bring to pass; in comparison of the people here, who had many women & children and weak ones amongst them. And said at their first arrival, when they saw the wants here, that they would take another course, and not fall into such as ^a^9 condition, as this simple people were come to. But a man’s way is not in his own power; God can make the weak to stand; let him ^also^ that standeth take heed lest he fall.10

Shortly after Mr. Weston came over with some of the fishermen, under another name, and the disguise of a blacksmith. Where11 he heard of the ruin and dissolution of his Colony; he got a boat and with a man or 2 came to see how things were. But by the way, for want of skill, in a storm he cast away his shallop in the bottom of the bay between Merrimac River, & Pascataqua,12 & hardly Escaped with life. And afterwards fell into the hands of the Indians, who pillaged him of all he saved from the Sea, & stripped him out of all his clothes to his shirt. At last he got to Pascataqua, & borrowed a suit of clothes, and got means to Come to Plimoth. A strange alteration there was in him, to such as had seen, & known him, in his former flourishing condition; so uncertain are the mutable things of this unstable world, and yet men set their hearts upon ^them^ though they daily see the vanity thereof.

After many passages, and much discourse (former things boiling in his mind, but bit in as was discerned), so he desired to loan borrow some beaver of them; and told ^them^ he had hope of a ship, & good supply to come to him, and they should have anything for it they stood in need of. They gave little credit to his supply, but pitied his case, and remembered former courtesies. They13 told him he saw their wants, and they knew not when they should have any supply, also how the case stood between them & their adventurers, he well knew; they had not much beaver, & if they should let him have it, It were enough to make a mutiny among the people; seeing there was no other means to procure them food which they so much wanted, & clothes also. Yet they told him they would help him, considering his necessity, but must do it secretly for the former reasons. So they let him have 100 beaverskins, which weighed 170-odd pounds. Thus they helped him when all the world failed him; and with this means he went again to the ships, and stayed his small ship, & some of his men, & bought provisions and fitted himself; and it was the only foundation [96] of his after-course. But he requited them ill, for he proved after a bitter enemy unto them upon all occasions; and never repaid them anything for it, to this ^day^14 but reproaches and Evil words. Yea he divulged it to some, that were none of their best friends, whilst he yet had the beaver in his boat; that he could now set them altogether by the ears, because they had done more than ^they^ could answer in letting him have this beaver, and he did not spare to do what he could; but his malice could not prevail.

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much Corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done; that they might ^not^ still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things,15 The Governour (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before.16 And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for Inheritance), and ranged all boys, & youth under some family.17 This had very good Success; for it made all hands very Industrious, so as much more corn was planted, than other ways would have been; by any means the Governour or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content; the women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness, and Inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny, and oppression.

The18 experience that was had in this common course, and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst godly, and sober men; may well evince, the vanity of that conceit, of Plato’s, & other ancients, applauded by some of later times. That the taking away of property, and bring^ing^ in community, into, a commonwealth; would make them happy, and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.19 For this community (so far as it was), was found to breed much confusion, & discontent, and retard much Employment, that would have been to their benefit, and comfort. For the young men that were most able and fit for Labour, & service; did repine that they should spend their time, & strength to work for other men’s wives, and children, without any recompence. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals, & clothes, than he that was weak, and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought Injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked, [97] and equalised, in labours, and victuals, clothes, &c., with the meaner, & younger sort, thought it some Indignity, & disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded, to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, &c., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so if it did not cut off, those relations, that God hath set amongst men; yet it did at least much diminish, and take off, the mutual respects, that should be preserved amongst them. And would have been worse if they had been men of another condition. Let none object this is men’s corruption; and nothing to the course itself; I answer seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.

But to return; after this course settled; and by that their corn was planted, all their victuals were spent, and ^they^ were only to rest on God’s providence; at night, not many ^times^20 knowing where to have a bit21 of anything the next day. And so as one well observed, had need to pray that God would give them their daily bread,22 above all people in the world; yet they bore these wants with great patience, & alacrity of spirit; and that for so long a time as for the most part of 2 years. Which makes me remember what Peter Martyr writes (In magnifying the Spaniards) in his 5[th] Decade, pag. 208. “They” (saith he) “led a miserable Life for 5 days together, with the parched grain of maize only, and that not to saturity”; and then concludes, that such pains, such labours, and “such hunger, he thought none living, which is not a Spaniard could have endured.”23 But alas these, when they ^had^ maize (that is Indian corn), they thought it as good as a feast, and wanted not only for 5 days together, but sometime 2 or 3 months together, and neither had bread, nor any kind of corn. Indeed in another place, In his 2[nd] Decade, pag. 94, he mentions how others of them were worse put to it; where they were fain to eat, dogs, Toads, and dead men; and so died ^almost all^ from these extremities. The Lord in his goodness, kept these his people; and In their great wants, preserved both their lives, and healths; let his name have the praise. Yet let me here make use of his conclusion; which in some sort may be applied to this people. That with their miseries they opened a way to these new lands; and “after these storms, with what ease other men” came to Inhabit in them; “In respect of the calamities these men suffered; ^so as^ they seem to go to a bridefeast, where all things” are provided for them.24

They having but one boat left, and she not over-well fitted; they were divided into several companies, 6 or 7 to a gang, or company, and so went out (with a net they had bought) ^to^ take bass & such-like fish, by course, every company knowing their turn; no sooner was the boat discharged [98] of what she brought, but the next company took her, and went out with her. Neither did they return, till they had caught something; though it were, 5 or 6 days before, for they knew there was nothing at home, and to go home Empty would be a great discouragement to the rest; yea they strive who should do best; if she stayed long, or got little, then all went to seeking of shellfish, which at low-water they digged out of the sands. And this was their living in the summer time, till God sent them better; & ^in^ winter they were helped with ground nuts, and fowl; also in the summer they got now, & then a deer; for one, or 2 of the fittest was appointed to range the woods for that end, & what was got that way, was divided amongst them.

At length they received some letters from the adventurers, too long and tedious here to record. By which they heard of their further crosses and frustrations. Beginning in this manner.

These letters were dated December 21, 1622.Loving friends, as your sorrows, & afflictions, have been great; so our crosses, & Interceptions in our proceedings here, have not been small. For after we had with much trouble, & charge sent the Paragon25 away to Sea, and thought all the pain past. Within 14 days after she came again hither, being dangerously leaked, and bruised with tempestious storms. So as she was fain to be had into the dock, and an £100 bestowed upon her. All the passengers lying upon our charge for 6 or ^7^ weeks, and much discontent, and distemper, was occasioned hereby, so as some dangerous event had like to Ensued. But we trust all shall be well, and work for the best, and your benefit; If yet with patience you can wait, and but ^have^26 strength to hold in life. Whilst these things were doing Mr. Weston’s ship27 came and brought diverse letters from you, &c. It rejoiceth us much, to hear of those good reports that diverse have brought home from you, &c.

So far of this letter.

This ship was bought by Mr. John Peirce, and set out at his own charge, upon hope of great matters; these passengers, & the goods the Company sent in her, he took in for fraught,28 for which they agreed with him to be hear delivered here. This was he in whose name ^their^ our first patent was taken, by reason of acquaintance, and some alliance that some of their friends had with him. But his name was only used in trust; but when he saw we ^they^ were here ^thus^ hopefully seated, and by the success God gave us ^them^, had obtained, the favour of the Council of New England, he goes and sues to them for another patent29 of much larger extent (in our their names), which was easily obtained. But he meant to keep it to himself, and allow them what he pleased, to hold of him as tenants, and to sue to his courts as chief Lord.30 As will appear by that which follows. But the Lord marvelously crossed him, for after this first return, and the charge above-mentioned; when she was again fitted, he pesters himself and takes in more passengers, and these not very good to help to bear his losses, and sets out the 2[nd] time. But [99] what the event was will appear from another letter from one of the chief of the company, dated the 9[th] of April 1623, writ to the Governour here. As followeth.

Loving friend, when I writ my last letter, I hoped to have received one from you well-nigh by this time. But when I writ in December I little thought to have seen Mr. John Peirce till he had brought some good tidings from you. But it pleased God, he brought us the woeful tidings of his return when he was halfway over, by extreme Tempest. Wherein the goodness, & mercy of God appeared in sparing their lives, being 109 Souls. The loss is so great to Mr. Peirce, &c., And the company put upon so great charge as verily, &c.

Now with great trouble, & loss, We have got Mr. John Peirce to assign over the grand patent to the company, which he had taken in his own name, and made quite void our former grant. I am sorry to write how many here, think the hand of God was Justly against him, both the first and 2[nd] time of his return; in regard he, whom you, and we so confidently trusted, but only to use his name for the company; should aspire to be lord over us all. And so make you, & us, Tenants at his will, and pleasure; our assurance, or patent being quite void, & disannulled by his means. I desire to Judge charitably of him. But his unwillingness to part with his royal Lordship, and the high rate he set it at, which was £500, which cost him but ^£50^ an .100. marke; makes many speak and Judge hardly31 of him. The company are out for goods in his ship, with charge about the passengers, £640, &c. We have agreed with 2 merchants for a ship of 140 tuns called the Anne which is to be ready the last of this month to bring 60 passengers, & 60 tun of goods, &c.

This was dated April 9, 1623.

These were their own words, and Judgement of this man’s dealing & proceedings; for I thought it more meet to render them in theirs, than my own ^words^. And yet though there was never got, other recompence than, the resignation of this patent, and the shares he had in adventure, for all the former great sums; he was never quiet, but sued them in most of the chief courts in England, and when he was ^still^ cast,32 brought it to the Parliament. But he is now dead and I will leave him to the Lord.

This ship suffered the greatest extremity at Sea, at her 2[nd] return, that one shall lightly hear of, to be saved; as I have been Informed by Mr. William Peirce who was then master of her, and many others that were passengers in her. It was about the middle of February; The storm was for the most part of 14 days, but for 2 or 3 days & nights together in most violent extremity. After they had cut down their mast it ^the storm^33 beat off their roundhouse, and all their upper works; 3 men had work ^enough^ at the helm, ^and^ he that conned the ship before the Sea, was fain [100] to be bound fast for washing away; the seas did so overrake them, as many times, those upon the deck knew not, whether they were within board, or without; and once she was so foundered in the sea as they all thought she would never rise again. But yet the Lord preserved them, and brought them at last safe to Portsmouth,34 to the wonder of all men that saw what a case she was in, and heard what they had endured.

About the later end of June came in a ship; with Captain Francis West,35 who had a Commission to be admiral of New England; to restrain Interlopers; and such fishing ships, as came to fish, & trade without a license from the Council of New England. For which they should pay a round sum of money; but he could do no good of them, for they were too strong for him, and he found the fishermen to be stubborn fellows. And their owners upon complaint made to the Parliament, procured an order that fishing should be free. He told the Governour they spoke with a ship at sea, and were aboard her, that was coming for this plantation, In which were sundry passengers, and they marvelled she was not arrived, fearing some miscarriage, for they lost her, in a storm that fell shortly after they had been aboard. Which relation filled them full of fear, yet mixed with hope. The master of this ship had some 2 hogsheads of peas to sell; but seeing their wants, held them at £9 sterling a hogshead, & under £8 he would not take, and yet would have beaver at an underrate. But they told him they had lived so long without, and would do still, rather than give so unreasonably; so They went from hence to Virginia.

About 14 days after came in this ship, called the Anne, whereof Mr. William Peirce was master, and about a week^ or 10 days^ after came In the pinnace36 which in foul ^weather^ they lost at sea, a fine new vessel of about 44 tun, which the company had built to stay in the Country. They brought about 60 persons ^for the general^, some of them being very useful persons, and became good members to the body, and some were the wives and children of such as were here already. And some were so bad; as they were fain to be at charge to send them home again the next year. Also besides these there came a company, that did not belong to the general body; but came on their particular, and were to have lands assigned them, and be for themselves, yet to be Subject to the general Government, which caused some difference, and disturbance [101] amongst them, as will after appear.37 I shall here again take liberty to Insert a few things out of such letters as came in this ship, desiring rather to manifest things in their words, and apprehensions, than in my own, as much as may be, without tediousness.38

Beloved friends I kindly salute you all, with trust of your healths, & welfare; being right sorry that no supply hath been made to you all this while; for defence whereof, I must refer you to our general letters.

Naither Indeed have we now sent you many things, which we should, & would, for want of money. But persons, more than Enough (though not all we should): for people come flying in upon us, but monies come creeping in to us. Some few of your old friends are come as, &c. So they come dropping to you, and by degrees, I hope ‘ere long you shall enjoy them all.39 And because people press so hard upon us to go, and often such as are none of the fittest; I pray you write earnestly to the Treasurer,40 and direct what persons should be sent; It grieveth me to see, so weak a company sent you; and yet had I not been here they had been weaker. You must still call upon the Company here to see that honest men be sent you, and threaten to send them back If any other come, &c. We are not any way, so much in danger, as by corrupt, an[d] naughty41 persons. Such, and such, came without my consent; but the Importunity of their friends, got promise of our Treasurer in my absence; neither is there need we should take any lewd men, for we may have honest men enew, &c.

Your assured friend,

R[obert] C[ushman]

This following was from the general.42

Loving friends we most heartily salute you, in all love and hearty affection. Being yet in hope that the same God which hath hitherto, preserved you in a marvelous manner; doth yet continue, your lives, and health, to his own praise, and all our comforts. Being right sorry that you have not been sent unto all this time, &c. We have in this ship sent such women, as were willing, and ready to go to their husbands, and friends, with their children, &c. We would not have you discontent, because we have not sent you more of your old friends; and in specialx him, on whom you most depend; far be it from us to neglect you, orx J[ohn] R[obinson]. contemn him. But as the Intent was at first, so the Event at last shall shew it, that we will ^deal^ fairly, and squarely answer your expectations to the full. There are also come unto you, some honest men to plant upon their particulars besides you. A thing which ^if^ we could ^should^ not give way unto, we should wrong, both them, and you. Them by putting them on things more Inconvenient; and you, for that being honest men, they will be a strengthening to the place; and good neighbours [102] unto you.43 Two things we would advise you of, which we have likewise signified to44 them here. First the trade for skins to be retained for the general till the dividend; 2ly ^that^ their settling by you, be with such distance of place; as is neither Inconvenient for the lying of your lands; nor hurtful to your speedy, & easy assembling together.

We have sent you diverse fishermen with salt, &c. Diverse other provisions we have sent you as will appear in your bill of lading, and though we have not sent all we would (because our cash is small) yet it is that we could, &c.45

And although it seemeth you have discovered many more rivers, and fertile grounds than that where you are; yet seeing by God’s providence, that place fell to your lot, let it be accounted as your portion; and rather fix your Eyes This proved rather, a prophecy, than advice.upon that which may be done ^there^46 than languish in hopes, after things elsewhere. If your place be not the best, It is better, you shall be the less envied, and encroached upon; and such as are earthly minded, will not settle too near your border. If the land afford you bread, and the sea yield you fish, rest you a while contented, God will one day afford you better fare. And all men shall know, you are neither fugitives, nor discontents. But Can if God so order it, take the worst to yourselves, with content; & leave the best to your neighbours, with cheerfulness.

Let it not be grieveous unto you, that you have been Instruments, to break the Ice for others, who come after with less difficulty; the honour shall be yours to the world’s end, &c.

We bear you always in our breasts, and our hearty affection is towards you all; as are the hearts of hundreds more, which never saw your faces; who doubtless pray for your safety as their own. As we ourselves, both do, & ever shall, that the same God, which hath so marvelously preserved you, from seas, foes, and famine; will still preserve you from all future dangers. And make you honourable amongst men, and glorious in bliss at the last day. And so the Lord be with you all, & send us joyful news from you; and Enable us with one shoulder, so to accomplish, & perfect this work; as much glory may come to him, that confoundeth the mighty, by the weak,47 and maketh small things great. To whose greatness, be all glory for ever, & ever.

This letter was subscribed

with 13 of their names.

These passengers when they saw their low, and poor condition ashore, were much daunted, and dismayed; and according to their diverse humors were, diversely affected; some wished themselves in England again; others fell a-weeping, fancying their own misery, in what they saw now in others; other some pitying the distress they saw their friends had been long in, and still were under; in a word all were full of sadness. Only some of their old friends rejoiced, to see them; and that it was no worse with them, for they could not expect it should be better; and now hoped they should Enjoy better days together. And truly it was [103] no marvel they should be thus affected; for they were in a very low condition, many were ragged in apparel, & some little better than half naked; though some that were well stored before, were well enough in this regard. But for food they were all alike (save some that had got a few peas of the ship that was last here). The best dish they could present their friends with was a lobster, or a piece of fish, without bread, or anything else, but a cup of fair spring water.48 And the long continuance of this diet, and their labours abroad; had something abated the freshness of their former complexion, But God gave them health and strength in a good measure.49 And shewed them by experience the truth of that word, Deut. 8:3, that man liveth not by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth ^of the Lord^50 doth a man live.

When I think how sadly the Scripture, speaks, of the famine In Jacob’s time, when he said to his sons, “Go buy us food, that we may live, and not die,”51 Gen. 42:2 and 43:1, ^that^ the famine was great, or heavy in the land. And yet they had such great herds, and store of cattle of sundry kinds; which besides flesh, must needs produce other food as milk, ^butter, & cheese,^ &c. And yet it ^was^ counted a sore affliction. Theirs here must needs be very great therefore; who not only wanted, the staff of bread, but all these things, and had no Egypt to go to. But God fed them out of the sea for the most part; so wonderful is his providence over his, in all ages; for his mercy endureth for ever.52

On the other hand the old planters were afraid that their corn, when it was ripe should be Imparted to the new-comers; whose provisions which they brought with them, they feared would fall short, before the year went about (as Indeed it did). They came to the Governour and besought him, that as it was before agreed, that they should set corn for their particular, and accordingly they had taken extraordinary pains thereabout; that they might freely Enjoy the same; and they would not have a bit53 of the victuals now come, but wait till harvest for their own; and let the new-comers Enjoy what they had brought, they would have none of it, except they could purchase any of it of them, by bargain, or exchange. Their request was granted them; for it gave both sides good content; for the new-comers were as much afraid, that the hungry planters, would have eat54 up the provisions brought, and they should have fallen into the like condition. [102v]

This ship was in a short time laden with clapboard, by the help of many hands; Also they sent in her all the beaver, and other furs they had; & Mr. Winslow was sent over with her, to Inform of all things, and procure such things, as were thought needful for their present condition.56 By this time Harvest was come; and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many; for which they blessed God. And the effect of their particular planting was well seen, for all had one way, & other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort, and more Industrious [104] had to spare, and sell to others; so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them, since to this day.

Those that come on their particular, looked for greater matters than they found, or could attain unto, about building great houses, and such pleasant situations for them, as themselves had fancied; as if they would be great men, & rich all of a sudden. But they proved castles in the air. These were the conditions agreed on, between the Colony and them.57

  1. 1. First, that the Governour in the name, and with the consent of the Company; doth in all love, and friendship, receive and Embrace them; and ^is^58 to allot them competent places for habitations, within the town. And promiseth ^to^ shew them all such other courtesies, as shall be reasonable for them to desire, or us to perform.
  2. 2. That they on their parts, be subject to all such laws ^&^ orders as are already made; or hereafter shall be for the public good.
  3. 3. That they be freed, and exempt from the general Employments of the said Company (which their present condition of community requireth) except Commune59 defence, & such other Employments, as tend to the perpetual good of the Colony.
  4. 4. Fourthly, towards the maintenance of Government & public officers of the said Colony, every male above the ^age^ of 16 years; shall pay a bushel of Indian wheat, or the worth of it, Into the common store.
  5. 5. Fifthly: That (according to the agreement, the merchants made with them, before they came) they are to be wholly debarred from all trade with the Indians, for all sorts of furs, and such–like commodities; till the time of the communality be ended.60

About the middle of September arrived Captain Robert Gorges, In the Bay of Massachusetts with sundry passengers, and families; Intending there to begin a plantation; And pitched upon the place, Mr. Weston’s people had forsaken.61 He had a Commission from the Counsel of New England,62 to be general Governour of the country; and they appointed for his counsel, & assistance, Captain Francis West, the aforesaid admiral,63 Christopher Levett Esquire,64 and the Governour of Plimoth for the time being, &c. Also they gave him authority, to choose such other as he should find fit; also they gave (by their commission) full power to him, & his assistants or any 3 of them, whereof himself was alway to be one; to do and execute, what to them should seem good; in all cases, Capital, Criminal, and Civil & with diverse other Instructions.65 Of which, & his Commission, it pleased him to suffer the Governour here to take a Copy.

He gave them notice of his arrival by letter, but before they could visit him, he went to the Eastward with the ship he came in; but a storm arising (and they wanting a good pilot to harbor them in those parts) they bore up for this harbor. He, and his men, were here kindly entertained; he stayed here 14 days. In the meantime came in Mr. Weston with his small ship,66 which he had now recovered. [105]67 Captain Gorges took hold of the opportunity, and acquainted the Governour here, that one occasion, of his going to the Eastward was to meet with Mr. Weston, and call him to account for some abuses he had to lay to his charge.68 Whereupon he called him before him, and some other of his assistants, with the Governour of this place; and charged him first, with the Ill carriage of his men, at the Massachusetts; by which means the peace of the Country was disturbed; and himself, & the people which he had brought over to plant in that Bay, were thereby much prejudiced. ^To^69 This Mr. Weston easily answered, that what was that way done, was in his absence, and might have befallen any man; he left them sufficiently provided, and conceived they would have been well Governed, and for any errour committed, he had sufficiently smarted.

This particular was passed by; a second was, for an abuse done to his father Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and to the state. The thing was this; he used him & others of the Council of New England, to procure him a license for the transporting of many pieces of great ordinance, for New England, pretending great fortification here in the country, & I know not what shipping. The which when he had obtained, he went and sold them beyond seas, for his private profit; for which (he said) the state was much offended, and his father suffered a shroud check,70 and he had order to apprehend him for it. Mr. Weston excused it as well as he Could, but could not deny it; it being one main thing (as was said) for which he withdrew himself. But after many passages, by the mediation of the Governour and some other friends here, he was Inclined to gentleness (though he apprehended the abuse of his father deeply), which when Mr. Weston saw he grew more presumptuous, and gave such provoking, & cutting speeches; as made him rise up in great Indignation, & distemper, and vowed, that he would either curb him, or send him home for England; at which Mr. Weston was something daunted; and came privately to the Governour here, to know whether they would suffer Captain Gorges to apprehend him. He was told they could not hinder him; but much blamed him, that after they had pacified things, he should thus break out, by his own folly & rashness, to bring trouble upon himself, & them too. He confessed it was his passion, and prayed the Governour to entreat for him, and pacify him if he could. The which at last he did, with much ado; so he was called again, and the Governour was content to take his ^own^ bond, to be ready to make further answer, when either he, or the lords should send for him; and at last he took only his word, and there was a friendly parting on all hands.

But after he was gone, Mr. Weston in lieu of thanks to the governour and his friends here, gave them this quib (behind their backs), for all their pains: That though they were but young Justices; yet they were good beggars. Thus they parted at this time, and shortly after the Governour71 took his leave and went to the Massachusetts by land, being very thankful for his kind entertainement. The ship stayed here, and fitted herself to go for Virginia, having some passengers there to deliver; and with her returned sundry of those from hence, which came over on their particular, some out of discontent, and dislike of the country; others by reason of a fire that broke out,72 and burnt the houses they lived in, and all their provisions, [106]73 So as they were necessitated thereunto. This fire was occasioned by some of the Seamen, that were roystering in a house where it first began, making a great fire in very cold weather; which broke out of the chimney into the thatch, and burnt down 3 or 4 houses, and consumed all the goods & provisions in them;74 The house in which it began, was right against their storehouse which they had much ado to save; in which were their common store & all their provisions, the which if it had been lost, the plantation had been overthrown. But through God’s mercy it was saved, by the great diligence of the people, & care of the Governour & some about him; some would have had the goods thrown out, but if they had, there would much have been stolen, by the rude company that belonged to these 2 ships, which were almost all ashore. But a trusty company was placed within, as well as those that with wet cloaths & other means kept off the fire without; that if necessity required they might have them out with all speed. For they suspected some malicious dealing, if not plain treachery, and whether it was only suspicion or no, God knows; but this is certain, that when the tumult was greatest, there was a voice heard (but from whom it was not known) that bid them look well about them, for all were not friends that were near them; and shortly after, when the vehemency of the fire was over, smoke was seen to arise within a shed that was Joined to the end of the storehouse, which was wattled up with boughs, in the withered leaves whereof, the fire was kindled; which some running to quench, found a long firebrand of an ell long,75 Lying under the wale76 on the Inside, which could not possibly come there by casualty, but must be laid there by some hand; in the Judgment ^of^77 all that saw it. But God kept them from this danger, whatever was Intended.

Shortly after Captain Gorges, the general Governour, was come home to the Massachusetts, he sends a warrant to arrest Mr. Weston, & his ship; and sends a master to bring her away thither, and one Captain Hanson (that belonged to him) to conduct him along. The Governour & others here, were ^very^ sorry to see him take this course, and took exception at the warrant, as not legal, nor sufficient; and withal writ to him, to dissuade him from this course, shewing him that he would but entangle, and burthen himself in doing this; for he could not do Mr. Weston a better turn (as things stood with him); for he had a great many men ^that^78 belonged to him in this bark, and 79was deeply Engaged to them for wages, and was in a manner out of victuals (and now winter);80 all which would light upon him, if he did arrest his bark. In the meantime Mr. Weston had notice, to shift for himself; but it was conceived, he either knew not whither to go, or how to mend himself, but was rather glad of the occasion, and so stirred not. But the Governour would not be persuaded, but [107] sent a very formal warrant under his hand ^&^ seal, with strict charge as they would answer it to the state; he also writ that he had better considered of things since he was here, and he could not answer it to let him go so; besides other things that were come to his knowledge ^since^, which he must answer to. So he was suffered to proceed, but he found in the end that to be true that was told him; for when an Inventory was taken of what was in the ship there was not victuals found for above 14 days, at ^a^81 poor allowance, and not much else of any great worth, & the men did so cry out of him for wages, and diet in the meantime as made him soon weary. So 82as in conclusion it turned to his loss, and the expence of his own provisions; and towards the spring83 they came to agreement (after they had been to the eastward). And the Governour restored him his vessel again; and made him satisfaction, in biscuit, meal, and such-like provisions, for what he had made use of that was his, or what his men had any way wasted or consumed. So Mr. Weston came hither again; and afterward shaped his course for Virginie, & so for present I shall leave him. ^He died afterwards at Bristol, In the time of the wars, of the sickness in that place.^84

The Governour and some that depended upon him returned for England having scarcely saluted the Country in his Goverment; not finding the state of things here to answer his quality, & Condition. The people dispersed themselves, some went for England, others for Virginia, some few remained, and were helped with supplies from hence. The Governour brought over a minister with him, one Mr. Morell,85 who about a year after the Governour returned, took shipping from hence; he had I know not what power, and authority of superintendancy over other churches granted him; and sundry Instructions for that end; but he never shewed it, or made any use of it (It should seem he saw it was in vain); he only spoke of ^it^ to some here at his going away. This was in effect the end of a 2[nd] plantation in that place.

There were also, this year some scattering beginnings made in other places, as at Piscataqua by Mr. David Thomson; at Monhegan, and some other places, by sundry others.86

It rests now that I speak a word about the pinnace spoken of before, which was sent by the adventurers to be employed in the country.87 She was x With her flags, & streamers, pendants, & waistclothes, &c. a fine vessel and xbravely set out (and I fear the adventurers did overpride themselves in her) for she had ill success. However they erred grossly in two things about her; first though she had a sufficient master, yet she was rudely manned, and all her men were upon shares, and none was to have any wages but the master. 2ly: whereas they mainly looked at trade, they had sent, nothing of any value to trade with. When the men came here, and met with ill counsel, from Mr. Weston & his crew, with others of the same stamp; neither master, nor Governour could scarce rule [108] them, for they exclaimed, that they were abused, & deceived, for they were told they should go for a man of war, and take I know not whom, French, & Spaniards, &c. They would neither trade, nor fish, except they had wages, In fine they would obey no command of the master’s; so as it was apprehended they would either run away with the vessel, or get away with the ships and leave here; so as Mr. Peirce, & others of their friends, persuaded the Governour to change their condition, and give them wages; which was accordingly done. And she was sent about the Cape to the Narragansetts to trade, but they made but a poor voyage of it; some corn, and beaver they got; but the Dutch used to furnish them with cloth, and better commodities, they having only a few beads, & knives, which were not there much esteemed. Also in her return home, at the very entrance into their own harbor, she had like to have been cast away, in a storm, and was forced to cut her main mast by the board; to save herself from driving on the flats that lie without, called Brown’s Islands, the force of the wind being so great as made her anchors give way and she drive right upon them; but her mast & tackling being gone, they held her till the wind shifted.