Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Gookin, Daniel

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

GOOKIN, Daniel, soldier, b. in Kent, England, about 1612; d. in Cambridge, Mass., 19 March, 1687. He came with his father to Virginia in 1621. During the Indian massacre of 1622, Gookin, with thirty-five men, held his plantation, at what is now Newport News, against the savages. In May, 1644, in consequence of his doctrinal sympathies with the Puritans, he removed to Cambridge, Mass., where he was soon afterward appointed a captain of militia and a member of the house of deputies. In 1651 he was speaker of the house, and in 1652 elected a magistrate. In 1656 he was appointed by legislative enactment superintendent of all the Indians who acknowledged the government of Massachusetts, an office which he retained until his death, although he became unpopular because of the protection which, as a magistrate, he extended to the Indians. He zealously co-operated with John Eliot in his efforts for their spiritual instruction. King Philip's war led to the passage of several measures against the Natick and other Indians, who had submitted to the English. Gookin was the only magistrate who joined Eliot in opposing these measures, and consequently subjected himself to reproaches from his fellow-magistrates, and insult in the public streets. He visited England in 1656, and was authorized by Cromwell to invite the people of New England to colonize Jamaica, then recently conquered from Spain. He went to England again in the following year, returning in 1660 in the same ship with the fugitive regicides, Goffe and Whalley, whom he aided in protecting. He was one of the licensers of the Cambridge printing-press in 1662. In 1681 he was made major-general of the colony. He took an active part on the side of the people against the measures which terminated in the withdrawal of the colonial charter in 1686. He died so poor that John Eliot solicited from Robert Boyle a gift of £10 for his widow. His “Historical Collections of the Indians of Massachusetts,” written in 1674, was published by the Massachusetts historical society in 1792. He was also author of a “History of New England,” never published, the fate of which is unknown. — His grandson, Nathaniel, clergyman, b. in 1688; d. in 1734, was graduated at Harvard in 1703, and ordained in 1710. He published three sermons on the occasion of the earthquake in October, 1727; to which were added an account of the earthquake, and of some remarkable thunder-storms.