◆   Anno Domini 1626   ◆

About the beginning of April they heard of Captain Standish his arrival, and sent a boat to fetch him home, and the things he had brought; welcome he was, but the news he brought was sad in many regards; not only in regard of the former losses (before related) which our ^their^ friends had suffered, by which some in a manner ^were^ undone, others much disabled from doing any further help, and some dead of the plague. But also that Mr. Robinson their pastor was dead, which struck them with much Sorrow, & sadness, as they had cause; his, and their adversaries, had been long, & continually plotting, how they might hinder his coming hither, but the Lord had appointed him a better place. Concerning whose death, & the manner thereof It will appear by these few lines, writ to the Governour & Mr. Brewster.

Loving & kind friends, &c. I know not whether this will ever come to your hands, or miscarry, as other my letters have done; yet in regard of the Lord’s dealing with us here, I have had a great desire to write unto you. Knowing your desire to bear a part with us; both in our Joys, & sorrows, as we do with you. These are therefore to give you to understand, that it hath pleased the Lord to take out of this vale of tears, your, and our loving, & faithful pastor, and my dear, & Reverend brother Mr. John Robinson, who was sick some 8 days; he began to be sick on Saturday in the morning, yet the next day in th (being the Lord’s Day) he taught us twice. And so the week after grew weaker, ever day more than other, yet he felt no pain, but weakness all the time of his sickness; the physick he took, wrought kindly in man’s Judgement, but he grew weaker every day, feeling little, or no pain, and sensible to the very last. He fell sick the 22[nd] of February and departed this life the 1[st] of March.1 He had a continual Inward ague, but free from Infection, so that all his friends came freely to him. And if either prayers, tears, or means, would have saved his life, he had ^not^ gone hence. But he having faithfully finished his course, and performed his work which the Lord had appointed him here to do, he now resteth with the Lord in eternal happiness. We wanting him, & all church Governours yet we still (by the mercy of God) continue, & hold ^close^ together, in peace, and quietness; and so hope we shall do, though we be very weak. Wishing (if such were the will of God) that you, & we, were again united together in one, either there, or here; but seeing it is the will of the Lord thus to dispose of things, we must labour with patience to rest contented, till it please the Lord otherwise to dispose. For [140]2 news here is not much; only as in England we have lost our old king James, who departed this life, about a month ago; so here they have lost the old prince, Grave Maurice. And as in Who both departed this life since my Brother Robinson; and as in England we have a new king Charles, of whom there is great hope; so here they have made prince Hendrick General3 in his brother’s place, &c. Thus with my love remembered, I take leave & rest,

Leiden, April 28, Anno 1625.

Your assured loving friend,4

Roger White5

He further brought them notice of the death of their ancient friend Mr.Thus these two great princes, and their pastor left this world, near about one time. Death make no difference. Cushman, whom the Lord took away also this year, & about this ^time^ who was as their right hand, with their friends the adventurers, and for diverse years had done, & agitated all their business with them, to their great advantage. He had writ to the Governour but some few months before, of the sore Sickness of Mr. James Sherley (^who^ was a chief friend to the plantation) and lay at the point of death, declaring his love, & helpfulness, in all things, and much bemoaned the loss, they should have of him, if God should now take him away, as being the stay, & life of the whole business. As also his own purpose, this year to come over, and spend his days with them. But he that thus writ of another’s sickness, knew not that his own death was so near; It shows also that a man’s ways, are not in his own power, but in his hands, who hath the Issue of life and, death. Man may purpose, but God doth dispose. Their6 ^other^ friends from Leiden writ many letters to them full of sad laments for their heavy loss; and though their wills were good to come to them, yet they saw no probability of means, how it might be effected; but concluded (as it were) that all their hopes were cut off. And many being aged began to drop away by death.

All which things (before related) being well weighed, and laid together It could not but strike them, with great perplexity; and to look humanly on the state of things as they presented themselves, at this time; It is a marvel it did not wholly discourage them, and sink them; But they gathered up their spirits, and the Lord so helped them; whose work they had in hand; as now *Notewhen they were at* lowest they began to rise again; and being stripped (in a manner) of all humane helps, and hopes, he brought things about otherwise, in his divine providence, as they were not only upheld & sustained, but their proceedings both Honoured, and Imitated by others; as by the sequel will more appear, If the Lord spare me life, & time to declare the same.

Having now no fishing business, or other things to Intend, but only their trading, & planting, they set themselves to follow the same, with the best Industry they could; the planters finding their corn (what they could spare from their necessities) to be a commodity (for they sold it at 6s a bushel), used great diligence in planting the same. And the Governour and such as were designed to manage the same trade (for it was retained for the general good [141] And none were to trade in particular) they followed ^it^ to the best advantage they could; and wanting trading goods, they understood that a plantation which was at Monhegan,7 & belonged to some merchants of Plimoth was to break up, and diverse useful goods was there to be sold; the Governour and Mr. Winslow, took a boat and ^some^ hands and went thither; but Mr. David Thomson, who lived at Pascataway, understanding their purpose, took opportunity to go with them; which was some hinderance to them both; for they perceiving, their Joint desires to buy, held their goods at higher rates, and not only so; but would not sell a parcel of their trading goods, except they sold all; so lest they should further prejudice one, another, they agreed to buy all, & divide them equally between them. They bought also a parcel of goats, which they distributed at home as they saw need & occasion, and took corn for them, of the people, which gave them good content; their moiety of the goods came to above £400 sterling. There was also that spring a French ship cast away at Sagadahoc,8 in which were many Biscay9 rugs, & other commodities, which were fallen into these men’s hands, & some other fishermen at Damariscove; which were also bought in partnership, and made their part arise to above £500. This they made shift to pay for ^for the most part^ with the beaver & commodities they had got the winter before, & what they had gathered up that summer; Mr. Thomson having something overcharged himself, desired they would take some of his; but they refused except he would let them have his French goods ^only^; and the merchant10 (who was one of Bristol) would take their bill for the to ^be^ paid the next year, they were both willing; so they became Engaged for them, & took them. By which means, they became very well furnished for trade; and took off thereby some other Engagements which lay upon them, as the money taken up by Captain Standish, and the remains of former debts. With these goods, and their corn after harvest, they got good store of trade, so as they were enabled to pay their Engagements against the time, & to get some clothing for the people, and had some commodities beforehand; but now they began to be envied, and others went and filled the Indians with corn, and beat down the price giving them twice as much as they had done, and under-traded them in other commodities also.11

This year they sent Mr. Allerton into England, and gave him order to make a composition with the adventurers, upon as good term as he could (unto which some way had been made the year before by Captain Standish), but yet Enjoined him not to conclude absolutely, till they knew the terms, and had well considered of them, but to drive it to as good an Issue as he could, and refer the conclusion to them. Also they gave him a commission under their hands, & seals to take up some money, provided it exceeded not such a sum specified, for which they engaged themselves; and gave him order how to lay out the same for the use of the plantation.

And12 finding they ran a great hazard, to go so long voyages in a small open boat, especially the winter season; they began to think how they might get a small pinnace, as for the reason aforesaid; so also because others ^had^ raised the price with the Indians above the half, of what they had formerly given, so as in such a boat they could not [143]13 Carry a quantity sufficient to answer their ends. They had no ship carpenter amongst ^them^, neither knew how to get one at present; but they ^having^ an Ingenious man, that was a house carpenter; who also had wrought with the ^ship^ Carpenter (that was dead) when he built their boats; at their request, he put forth himself to make a trial that way of his skill; and took one of the biggest of their shallops, and sawed her in the middle, and so lengthened her some 5 or 6 foot, and strengthened her with timbers, and so built her up, and laid a deck on her; and so made her a convenient, and wholesome vessel, very fit, & comfortable for their use, which did them service 7 years after; and they got her finished, and fitted with sails & anchors the Ensuing year. And thus passed the affairs of this year.