◆   Anno Domini 1636   ◆

Mr. Edward Winslow was chosen Governour this year.

In the former year (because they perceived by Mr. Winslow’s later letters) that no accounts would be sent; they resolved to keep the beaver, and send no more till they had them, or came to some further agreement. At least they would forbear till Mr. Winslow came over, that by more full conference with him, they might better understand what was meet to be done. But when he came, though he brought no accounts, yet he persuaded them to send the beaver, & was confident upon the receipt of that beaver, & his letters, they should have accounts in the next year; and though they thought his grounds but weak, that gave him this hope, & made him so confident; yet by his Importunity they yielded, & sent the same. There being a ship at the latter end of year, by whom they sent 1150 pounds’ weight of beaver, and 200 otter skins besides sundry small furs, as 55 minks, 2 black fox skins, &c. And this year In the spring came in a Dutchman, who thought to have traded at the Dutch [215] fort; but they1 would not suffer him. He having a good store of trading goods came to this place, & tendered them to sell; of whom they bought a good quantity; they being very good, & fit for their turn, as Dutch roll,2 kettles, &c., which goods amounted to the value of £500, for the payment of which they passed bills to Mr. Sherley in England. Having before, sent the forementioned parcel of beaver. And now this year (by another ship) sent another good round parcel to ^that^ might come to his hands, & be sold before, any of these bills should be due. The quantity of beaver now sent was 1809 pounds’ weight, and of otters 10 skins, and shortly after (the same year) was sent by another ship (Mr. Langrume master), In beaver 719 pounds’ weight, and of Otter skins 199, concerning which Mr. Sherley thus writes.

Your letters I have received, with 8 hogsheads of beaver by Edward Wilkinson, master of the Falcon, blessed be God, for the safe coming of it. I have also seen, & accepted 3 bills of exchange, &c. But I must now acquaint you; how the Lord’s heavy hand is upon this kingdom in many places, but chiefly in this city, with his Judgement of the plague;3 the last week’s bill,4 was 1200 & odd, I fear this will be more;5 and it is much feared it will be a winter sickness. By reason whereof it is Incredible, the number of people that are gone into the citie country, & left the city. I am persuaded many more, than went out the last great sickness;6 so as here is no trading, carriers from most places put down; nor no receiving of any money, though long due. Mr. Hall7 owes us more than would pay these bills, but he, his wife, and all are in the country, 60 miles from London; I writ to him, he came up, but could not pay us. I am persuaded if I should offer to sell the beaver at 8s per pound It would not yield money, but when the Lord shall please to cease his hand I hope we shall have better, & quicker markets, so it shall lie by. Before I accepted the bills I acquainted Mr. Beauchamp, & Mr. Andrews with them, & how there could be no money made, nor received; and that it would ^be^ a great discredit to you, which never yet had any turned back, and a shame to us, having 1800 lbs. of beaver lying by us, and more owing than the bills come to, &c. But all was nothing, neither of them both will put to their finger to help; I offered to supply my 3[rd] part, but they gave me their answer, they neither would nor could, &c. However your bills shall be satisfied to the party’s good content; but I would not have thought they would have left either you, or me at this time, &c. You will, and may expect I should write more, & answer your letters, but I am not a day ^in the week^ at home at town, but carry my books, & all to Clapham; for8 here is the miserablest time, that I think hath been known, in many ages. I have known 3 great Sicknesses, but none like this. And that which should be a means, to pacify the Lord, & help us; that9 is taken away, preaching put down in many places, not a sermon in Westminster on the sabbath, nor in many towns about us,10 the Lord in mercy look upon us. In the beginning of the year was a great [216] drought, & no rain for many weeks together, so as all was burnt up, hay, at £5 a load; and now all rain, so as much summer corn, & later hay is spoiled. Thus the Lord sends Judgement, after Judgement, and yet we cannot see, nor humble ourselves; and therefore may Justly fear heavier Judgements; unless we speedily repent, & return unto him, which the Lord give us grace to do if it be his blessed will. Thus desiring you to remember us in your prayers; I ever rest,

September 14, 1636.

Your loving friend,

James Sherley

This was all the answer they had from Mr. Sherley, by which Mr. Winslow saw his hopes failed him. So they now resolved to send no more beaver in that way which they had done, till they came to some Issue or other about these things. But now came over letters from Mr. Andrews, & Mr. Beauchamp full of complaints; that they marvelled that nothing was sent over, by which any of their monies should be paid in; for it did appear by the account sent in Anno 1631, that they were each of them out, about eleven hundred pounds a piece, and all this while had not received one penny towards the same. But now Mr. Sherley sought to draw more money from them, and was offended because they denied him. And blamed them here very much that all was sent to Mr. Sherley, & nothing to them. They11 marvelled much at this, for they conceived, that much of their monies had been paid in; & that yearly each of them had received a proportionable quantity out of the large returns sent home. For they had sent home since that account was received in Anno 1631 (in which all, & more than all their debts, with that year’s supply was charged upon them), these sums following.

November 18, Anno 1631.

By Mr. Peirce

400 lbs. weight of beaver, & otters


July 13, Anno 1632.

By Mr. Griffin

1348 lbs. beaver, & otters


Anno 1633.

By Mr. Graves

3366 lbs. beaver, & Otters


Anno 1634.

By Mr. Andrews

3738 lbs. beaver, & otters


Anno 1635.

By Mr. Babb

1150 lbs. beaver, & otters


June 24, Anno 1636.

By Mr. Willkinson

1809 lbs. beaver, & otters



By Mr. Langrume

719 lbs. beaver, & otters


12150 lbs.


All these sums were safely received, & well sold, as appears by Letters. The coat beaver usually at 20s per pound, and some at 24s, the skin at 15 & sometimes 16. I do not remember any under 14. It may be the last year might ^be^ something lower, so also there were some small furs that are ^not^ reckoned in this account, & some black beaver at higher rates, to make up the defects. [217] It was conceived that the former parcels of beaver came to little less than £10000 sterling, and the otter skins would pay all the charge, & they with other furs make up ^besides^ of anything wanted of the former sum. When the former account was passed, all their debts (those of White Angel, & Friendship Included) came but ^to^ £4770. And they could not estimate that all the supplies, since sent them, & bills paid for them, could come to above £2000, so as they conceived their debts had been paid, with advantage or Interest. But it may be objected; how comes it, that they could not as well exactly set down their receipts; as their returns, but thus estimate it. I Answer 2 things were the cause of it; the first, & principal was, that the new accountant,12 which they in England would needs press upon them, did wholly fail them, & could never give them any account; but trusting to his memory, & loose papers, let things run into such confusion, that neither he, nor any with him could bring things to rights. But being often called upon, to perfect his accounts; he desired to have such a time, and such a time of leisure, and he would do it; In the Interim he fell into a great sickness; and in conclusion it fell out he could make no account ^at^ all; his books were after a little good beginning left altogether unperfect; and his papers some were lost, & others so Confused, as he knew not what to make of them himself, when they came to be searched, & examined. This was not unknown to Mr. Sherley; and they came to smart for it to purpose (though it was not their fault) both thus in England; and also here, for they conceived they lost some hundreds of pounds, for goods trusted out in the place which were lost for want of clear accounts to call them in. Another reason of this mischief was, that after Mr. Winslow13 was sent into England to demand accounts, and to except against the White Angel, they never had any price sent with their goods, nor any certain Invoice of them; but all things stood in confusion; and they were fain to guess at the prices of them.

They writ back to Mr. Andrews, & Mr. Beauchamp, and told them they marvelled, they should write, they had sent nothing home since the last accounts; for they had sent a great deal; and it might rather be marvelled how they could be able to send so much; besides defraying all charge at home; and what they had lost by the French, and so much cast away at sea, when Mr. Peirce lost his ship on the coast of Virginia.14 What they had sent was to them all, ^and^15 to themselves, as well as Mr. Sherley, and if they did not look after it, it was their own faults; they must refer them to Mr. Sherley, who had received [218] It, to demand it of him. They also writ to Mr. Sherley to the same purpose, and what the others’ complaints were.

This year 2 shallops going to Connecticut with goods from the Massachusetts, of such as removed thither to plant; were in an Easterly storm, cast away in coming into this harbor in the night; the boats’ men were lost, and the goods were driven all along the shore, and strowed up & down at high-water mark. But the Governour caused them to be gathered up, and drawn together, and appointed some to take an Inventory of them, and others to wash & dry, such things as had need thereof; by which means most of the goods were saved, and restored to the owners. Afterwards another boat of theirs (going thither likewise), was cast away near unto Scusset,16 and such goods as came ashore were preserved for them; such crosses they met with in their beginnings. Which some Imputed as a correction from God, for their Intrusion (to the wrong of others), into that place.17 But I dare not be bold with God’s Judgements in this kind.

In the year 1634, The Pequots (a stout and warlike people) who had made wars with sundry of their neighbours, and puffed up with many victories; grew now at variance with the Narragansetts (a great people bordering upon them). These Narragansetts held correspondence, and terms of friendship with the English of the Massachusetts. Now the Pequots being conscious of the guilt of Captain Stone’s Death,18 whom they knew to be an Englishman, as also those that were with him; and being fallen out with the Dutch; lest they should have over-many enemies at once, sought to make friendship with the English of the Massachusetts; and for that end sent both messengers, & gifts unto them. As appears by some letters sent from the Governour hither.

Dear & worthy Sir, &c. To let you know somewhat of our affairs; you may understand that the Pequots have sent some of theirs to us,19 to desire our friendship, and offered much Wampumpeag20 & beaver, &c. The first messengers, were dismissed without Answer; with the next we had diverse days’ conference; and taking the advice of some of our ministers, and seeking the Lord in it. We concluded a peace, & friendship with them, upon these Conditions; that they should deliver up to us, those men who were guilty of Stone’s death, &c. And if we desired to plant in Connecticut, they should give up their ^right^ to us, and so we would send to trade with them as our friends (being which was the chief thing we aimed at, being now in war with the Dutch, and the rest of their neighbours).21 To this they readily agreed; and that we should mediate a peace, between them, and the Narragansetts, for which end they were content we should give the Narragansetts part of that present, they would bestow on us (for they stood [119(219)]22 so much on their honour, as they would not be seen to give anything of themselves). As for Captain Stone, they told us there were but 2 left, of those who had any hand in his death; and that they killed him in a JustThere is little trust to be given to their relations in these things. quarrel, for (say they) he surprised 2 of our men, and bound them, to make them by force to shew him the way up the river, and he with 2 other coming on shore, 9 Indians watched him, and when they were asleep in the night, they killed them, to deliver their own men; and some of them going afterwards to the pinnace, it was suddenly blown up. We are now preparing to send a pinnace unto them, &c.

In another of his, dated the 12[th] of the first month, he hath this.

Our pinnace is lately returned from the Pequots, they put off but little commodity; and found them a very false people, so as they mean to have no more to do with them. I have diverse other things to write unto you, &c.

Boston, 12[th] of the 1[st] month, 1634.

Yours ever assured,

John Winthrop23

After these things, and as I take this year, John Oldham24 (of whom much is spoken before) being now an Inhabitant of the Massachusetts; went with a small vessel, & slenderly manned, a-trading into these south parts, and upon a quarrel between him & the Indians was cut off by them (as hath been before noted) at an Island called by the Indians Munisses, but since by the English Block Island. This, with the former, about the death of Stone, and the baffling of the Pequots with ^the^ English of the Massachusetts; moved them to set out some, to take revenge, and require Satisfaction for these wrongs;25 but It was done so superficially and without their acquainting of those of Connecticut, & other neighbours with the same; as they did little good, but their neighbours had ^more^ hurt done, for some of the murderers of Oldham fled, to the Pequots, and though the English went to the Pequots, and had some parlay with them; yet they did but delude them, & the English returned without doing anything to purpose, being frustrate of their opportunity by the others’ deceit. After the English were returned, the Pequots took their time, and opportunity to cut off some of the English as they passed in boats, and went on fowling, and assaulted them the next spring at their habitations, as will appear in its place; I do but touch these things, because I make no question, they will be more fully, & distinctly handled by themselves, who had more exact knowledge of them, and whom they did more properly concern.

This26 year Mr. Smith laid down his place of ministry; partly by his own willingness, as thinking it too heavy a burthen; and partly at the desire, and by the persuasion of others.27 And the church sought out [120(220)]28 for some other, having often been disappointed in their hopes, and desires heretofore. And it pleased the Lord to send them, an able, and a godly xman,29x Mr. John Raynor. and of a meek and humble spirit, sound in the truth; and every way unreproveable in his life, & conversation. Whom after some time of trial, they chose for their teacher; the fruits of whose labours they Enjoyed many years with much comfort, in peace, & good agreement.