Good Newes from New England
N E VV E S
FROM New England:
A true Relation of things very re-
markable at the Plantation of Plimoth
in N e vv - E n g l a n d
Showing the wondrous providence and good-
nes of God, in their preſervation and continuance,
being delivered from many apparant
deaths and dangers.
Together with a Relation of ſuch religious and
civill Laws and Cuſtomes, as are in practiſe amongſt
the Indians, adjoyning to them at this day. As alſo
what Commodities are there to be rayſed for the
maintenance of that and other Planta-
tions in the ſaid Country.
Written by E.W. who hath borne a part in the
fore-named troubles, and there liued ſince
their firſt Arrivall.
L O N D O N
Printed by I.D. for William Bladen and Iohn Bellamie, and
are to be ſold at their Shops, at the Bible in Pauls Church-
yard, and at the three Golden Lyons in Corn-hill,
neere the Royal Exchange. 1624.
AND FVRTHERES OF
Plantations in New England: especially
to ſuch as either haue or deſire to aſſiſt, the
people of Plimoth in their iuſt proceedings,
Grace, and Peace, bee
Ight Honorable and Worſhipfull Gentlemen, or whatſouer: Since it hath pleaſed God to ſtir you vp to be inſtruments of his glory, in ſo honorable an enterpriſe as the inlarging of his Maieſties Dominions, by planting his loyall ſubiects in ſo healthfull and hopefull a Countrey as New-England is; where the Church of God being ſeated in ſincerity, there is no leſſe hope of convincing the Heathen of their euill wayes, and converting them to the true knowledge and worſhip of the living God, and ſo conſequently the ſalvation of their ſoules by the merits of Ieſus Chriſt, then elſewhere though it be much talked on, & lightly or lamely proſecuted. I therefore thinke it but my dutie to offer the view of our proceedings to your worthy conſiderations, hauing to that end compoſed them together thus briefly as you ſee; wherein to your great encouragement, you may behold the good providence of God working with you in our preſeruation from ſo many dangerous plots and treacheries, as haue beene intended againſt vs; as alſo in giuing his bleſſing ſo powerfully vpon the weake meanes wee had, inabling vs with health and ability beyond expectation, in our greateſt ſcarcities, and proſſeſſing the hearts of the Saluages with aſtoniſhment and feare of vs, whereas if God had let them looſe, they might eaſily haue ſwallowed vs vp, ſcarce being an handfull in compariſon of thoſe forces they might haue gathered together againſt vs, which now by Gods bleſſing will be more hard and difficult, in regard our number of men is increaſed, our towne better fortified, and our ſtore better victualed. Bleſſed therefore be his name, that hath done ſo great things for vs, & hath wrought ſo great a change amongſt vs.
Accept I pray you my weake endevours, pardon my vnskilfulneſſe, and beare with my plaineneſſe in the things I haue handled. Bee not diſcouraged by our former neceſſities, but rather incouraged with vs, hoping that as God hath wrought with vs in our beginning of this worthy Worke, vndertaken in his name and feare; ſo he will by vs accompliſh the ſame to his glory and our comfort, if wee neglect not the meanes. I confeſſe, it hath not bin much leſſe chargeable to ſome of you, then hard and difficult to vs, that haue endured the brunt of the battell, and yet ſmall profits returned; onely by Gods mercy wee are ſafely ſeated, houſed, and fortified, by which meanes a great ſtep is made vnto gaine, and a more direct courſe taken for the ſame, then if at firſt we had raſhly and covetouſly fallen vpon it.
Indeed, three things are the overthrow and bane (as I amy terme it) of Plantations.
1. The vaine expectation of preſent profit, which too too commonly taketh a principall ſeate in the heart and affection; though Gods glory, &c. is preferred before it in the mouth with proteſtation.
2. Ambition in their Governours and Commanders, ſeeking onely to make themſelues great, and ſlaues of all that are vnder them, to maintaine a tranſitory baſe honour in themſelues, which God oft puniſheth with contempt.
3. The careleſnes of thoſe that ſend over ſupplies of men vnto them, not caring how they bee qualified: ſo that oft times they are rather the Image of men endued with beſtiall, yea, diabolicall affections, then the Image of God, endued with reaſon, vnderſtanding, and holines. I prayſe God I ſpeake not theſe things experimentally, by way of complaint of our owne condition, but hauing great cauſe on the contrary part to be thankefull to God for his mercies towardes vs: but rather, if there bee any too deſirous of gaine, to intreate them to moderate their affections, and conſider that no man expecteth fruit before the tree be growne; adviſing all men, that as they tender their owne well fare, ſo to make choiſe of ſuch to mannage and governe their affayres, as are approued not to be ſeekers of themſelues, but the common good of all for whom they are imployed; and beſeeching ſuch as haue the care of tranſporting men for the ſupply and furniſhing of Plantations, to be truely carefull in ſending ſuch as may further and not hinder ſo good an action. There is no godly honeſt man, but will be helpfull in his kinde, and adorne his profeſſion with an vpright life and converſation, which Doctrine of manners ought firſt to bee Preached by giuing good example to the poore Savage Heathens amongſt home they liue. On the contrary part, what great offence hath beene giuen by many profane men, who being but ſeeming Chriſtians, haue made Chriſt and Chriſtianitie ſtinke in the noſtrils of the poor Infidels, and ſo laid a ſtumbling blocke before them: but woe be to them by whom ſuch offences come.
Theſe things I offer to your Chriſtian conſiderations, beſeeching you to make a good conſtruction of my ſimple meaning, and take in good part this enſuing Relation, dedicating my ſelfe and it euermore vnto your ſeruice; beſeeching God to crowne our Chriſtian and faithfull endeuours with his bleſſings temporall and eternail.
to be commanded:
Good Reader, when I first penned this diſcourſe, I intended it chiefly for the ſatisfaction of my priuate friends, but ſince that time haue been perſwaded to publiſh the ſame: And the rather, becauſe of a diſorderly Colony that are diſperſed, and most of them returned, to the great preiudice and dammage of him that ſet them forth; who, as they were a ſtaine to old England that bred them, in reſpect of their liues and manners amongſt the Indians: So it is to be feared, will bee no leſſe to New-England in their vile and clamorous reports, becauſe ſhee would not foſter them in their deſired idle courſes. I would not bee vnderſtood to thinke there were no wel-deſeruing perſons amongſt them: for of mine owne knowledge it was a griefe to ſome that they were ſo yoaked; whoſe deſerts, as they were then ſuitable to their honeſt proteſtations, ſo I deſire ſtill may be, in reſpect of their iuſt and true Relations.
Peraduenture thou wilt rather maruell that I deale ſo plainely, then any way doubt the truth of this my Relation, yea, it may be tax me therewith, as ſeeming rather to diſcourage men, then any way to further ſo noble an action? If any honeſt minde be diſcouraged, I am ſorry, ſure I am, I haue giuen no iuſt cauſe, and am ſo farre from being diſcouraged my ſelfe, as I purpoſe to returne forthwith. And for other light and vaine perſons, if they ſtumble hereat I haue my deſire, accounding it better for them and vs that they keepe where they are, as being vnfit and vnable to performe ſo great a taske.
Some faults haue eſcaped becauſe I could not attend on the Preſſe, which I pray thee correct as thou findeſt, and I ſhall account it as a fauour vnto me.
THe Good Ship called the Fortune, which in the Moneth of Nouemb. 1621. (bleſſed be God) brought vs a new ſupply of 35. perſons, was not long departed our Coaſt, ere the Great people of Nanohigganſet, which are reported to be many thouſands ſtrong, began to breath forth many threats againſt vs, notwithſtanding their deſired and obtained peace with vs in the fore-going ſummer. Inſomuch as the common talke of our neighbour Indians on all ſides was of the preparation they made to come againſt vs. In reaſon a man would thinke they ſhould haue now more cauſe to fear vs than before our ſupply came: but though none of them were preſent, yet vnderſtanding by others that they neither brought Armes nor other prouiſions with them, but wholly relied on vs, it occaſioned them to ſleight and braue vs with ſo many threats as they did. At length came one of them to vs, who was ſent by Conauacus their chief Sachim or King, accompanied with one Tokamahamon, a friendly Indian. This meſſenger inquired for Tiſquantum our Interpreter, who not being at home ſeemed rather to be glad than ſorry, and leauing for him a bundle of new arrowes lapped in a rattle Snakes skin, deſired to depart with all expedition. But our Gouernours not knowing what to make of this ſtrange cariage, and comparing it with that we had formerly heard, committed him to the cuſtodie of Captain Standiſh, hoping now to know ſome certaintie of that we ſo often heard, either by his owne relation to vs, or to Tiſquantum at his returne, deſiring my ſelfe, hauing ſpeciall familiaritie with the other fore-named Indian, to ſee if I could learne any thing from him, whoſe anſwer was ſparingly to this effect; that he could not certainly tell, but thought they were enemies to vs. That night Captaine Standiſh gaue me and another charge of him, and gaue vs order to vſe him kindly, and that hee ſhould not want any thing he deſired, and to take all occaſions to talk and inquire of the reaſons of thoſe reports we heard, and withall to ſignifie that vpon his true relation he ſhould be ſure of his owne freedome. At firſt feare ſo poſſeſt him, that he could ſcarce ſay any thing: but in the end became more familiar, and told vs that the meſſenger which his Maſter ſent in Summer to treat of peace, at his returne perſwaded him rather to warre; and to the end he might prouoke him thereunto, (as appeared to him by our reports) detained many of the things were ſent him by our Gouernour, ſcorning the meanneſſe of them both in reſpect of what himſelf had formerly ſent, & alſo of the greatneſſe of his owne perſon; ſo that he much blamed the former Meſſenger, ſaying, that vpon the knowledge of this his falſe cariage, it would coſt him his life; but aſſured vs that vpon his relation of our ſpeech then with him to his Maſter, he would be friends with vs. Of this we informed the Gouernour and his Aſſiſtant, and Captain Standiſh, who after conſultation conſidered him howſoeuer but in the ſtate of a meſſenger, and it being as well againſt the Law of Armes amongſt them as vs in Europe, to lay violent hands on any ſuch, ſet him at liberty, the Gouernour giuing him order to certifie his Maſter that he had heard of his large and many threatnings, at which hee was much offended, daring him in thoſe reſpects to the vtmost, if he would not be reconciled to liue peaceably as other his neighbours; manifeſting withall (as euer) his deſire of peace; but his feareleſſe reſolution, if he could not ſo liue amongſt them. After which he cauſed meat to be offered him, but he refuſed to eat, making all ſpeed to returne, and giuing many thanks for his liberty. But requeſting the other Indian againe to return, the weather being violent, he vſed many words to perſwade him to ſtay longer, but could not. Whereupon he left him, and ſaid he was with his friends, and would not take a iourney in ſuch extremie.
After this when Tiſquantum returned, and the arrowes were deliuered, and the manner of the meſſengers cariage related, he ſignified to the Gouernour, that to ſend the rattle Snakes skin in that manner, imported enmitie, and that it was no better than a challenge. Hereupon after ſome deliberation, the Gouernour ſtuffed the skin with powder and ſhot, and ſent it backe, returning no leſſe defiance to Conanacus, aſſuring him if hee had ſhipping now preſent thereby to ſend his men to Nanohigganſet (the place of his abode) they ſhould not need to come ſo farre by land to vs: yet withall ſhewing that they ſhould neuer come vnwelcome or vnlooked for. This meſſage was ſent by an Indian, and deliuered in ſuch ſort, as it was no ſmall terrour to this ſauage King, inſomuch as hee would not once touch the powder and ſhot, or ſuffer it to ſtay in his houſe or Country. Whereupon the Meſſenger refuſing it, another tooke it vp, and hauing beene poſted from place to place a long time, at length came whole backe againe.
In the meane time, knowing our owne weakneſſe, notwithſtanding our high words and loftie lookes towards them, and ſtill lying open to all caſualty, hauing as yet (vnder God) no other defence than our Armes, wee thought it moſt needfull to impale our Towne, which with all expedition wee accompliſhed in the moneth of February and ſome few dayes, taking in the top of the Hill vnder which our Towne is ſeated, making foure bulwarkes or ietties without the ordinarie circuit of the pale, from whence wee could defend the whole Towne: In three whereof are gates, and the fourth in time to be. This being done, Captain Standiſh diuided our ſtrength into foure ſquadrons or companies, appointing whom hee thought moſt fit to haue command of each; And at a generall Muſter or Trayning, appointed each his place, gaue each his Companie, giuing them charge vpon euery alarum to reſort to their Leaders to their appointed place, and in his abſence, to be commanded and directed by them. That done according to his order, each drew his Companie to his appointed place for defence, and there together diſcharged their muskets. After which they brought their new Commanders to their houſes, where againe they graced them with their ſhot, and ſo departed.
Fearing alſo leſt the enemie at any time ſhould take any aduantage by firing our houſes, Captain Standiſh appointed a certaine Companie, that whenſoeuer they ſaw or heard fire to be cryed in the Towne, ſhould onely betake themſelues to their Armes, and ſhould incloſe the houſe or place ſo indangered, and ſtand aloofe on their guard, with their backs towards the fire, to preuent trechery, if any were in that kinde intended. If the fire were in any of the houſes of this guard, they were then freed from it, but not otherwiſe, without ſpeciall command.
Long before this time wee promiſed the people of Maſſachuſet in the beginning of March to come vnto them, and trade for their Furres, which being then come, we began to make preparation for that voyage. In the meane time, an Indian called Hobbamock, who ſtill liued in the Towne, told vs, that he feared the Maſſachuſets or Maſſachuſeucks (for they so called the people of that place) were ioyned in confederacy with the Nanohigganneucks, or people of Nanohigganſet, and that they therefore would take this opportunitie to cut off Captain Standiſh and his company abroad: but howſoeuer in the meane time, it was to be feared that the Nanohigganeuks would aſſault the Towne at home, giuing many reaſons for his iealouſie, as alſo that Tiſquantum was in the confederacie, who we ſhould finde would vse many perſwaſions to draw ſs from our ſhallops to the Indians houſes for their better aduantage. To confirme this his iealouſie he told vs of many secret paſſages that paſſed betweene him and others, hauing their meetings ordinarily abroad in the woods: but if at home howſoeuer he was excluded from their ſecrecie, ſaying it was the manner of the Indians when they meant plainly to deale openly: but in this his practiſe there was no ſhew of honeſtie.
Hereupon the Gouernour, together with his Aſſiſtant and Captain Standiſh, called together ſuch, as by them were thought moſt meet for advice in ſo weighty a buſineſſe, who after conſideration hereof came to this reſolution; That as hitherto vpon all occaſions betweene them and vs, we had euer manifeſted vndanted courage and reſolution, ſo it would not now ſtand with our ſafetie to mew vp our ſelues in our new-encloſed towne, partly becauſe our Store was almoſt emptie, and therefore muſt ſeeke out for our daily food, without which we could not long ſubſiſt; but eſpecially for that thereby they would ſee us diſmaied, & be encouraged to proſecute their malicious purpoſes; with more eagerneſſe than euer they intended: whereas on the contrary, by the bleſſing of God, our feareleſſe carriage might be a meanes to diſcourage and weaken their proceedings. And therefore thought beſt to proceed in our trading voyage, making this vſe of that wee heard, to goe the better prouided, and vſe the more carefulneſſe both at home and abroad, leauing the euent to the diſpoſing of the Almightie, whoſe prouidence as it had hitherto beene ouer vs for good, ſo we had now no cauſe (ſaue our ſinnes) to deſpaire of his mercie in our preſeruation and continuance, where wee deſired rather to bee inſtruments of good to the Heathens about vs, than to giue them the leaſt meaſure of iuſt offense.
All things being now in readineſſe, the forenamed Captaine with ten men, accompanied with Tiſquantum and Hobbamock, ſet forwards for the Maſſachuſets: but wee had no ſooner turned the point of the harbour called the Gurnets noſe (where being becalmed wee let fall our grapnell, to ſet things to rights, and prepare to row) but there came an Indian of Tisquantums family, running to certaine of our people that were from home with all eagerneſſe, hauing his face wounded, and the blood ſtill freſh on the ſame, calling to them to repaire home, oft looking behinde him, as if ſome others had him in chaſe, ſaying that at Nemaschet (a town some fifteen miles from vs) there were many of the Nanohigganſets, Maſſaſſowat our ſuppoſed friend, and Conbatant our feared enemie, with many others, with a reſolution to take aduantage on the preſent opportunitie, to aſſault the towne in the Captaines abſence, affirming that he receiued the wound in his face for ſpeaking in our behalfe, and by flight eſcaped, looking oft backward, as if he ſuſpected them to be at hand. This he affirmed againe to the Gouernour, whereupon he gaue command that three peece of Ordnance ſhould bee made ready and diſcharged, to the end that if we were not out of hearing, we might returne thereat. Which we no ſooner heard, but wee repaired homeward with all conuenient ſpeed, arming our ſelues, and making all in readineſſe to fight. When wee entred the harbour, we ſaw the Towne likewiſe on their guard, whither we haſted with all conuenient ſpeed. The newes being made knowne vnto vs, Hobbamock ſaid flatly that it was falſe, aſſuring vs of Maſſaſſowats faithfulneſſe; howſoeuer he preſumed he would neuer haue vndertaken any ſuch act without his priuitie, himſelfe being a Pinſe, that is, one of his chiefeſt champions or men of valour, it being the manner amongſt them not to vndertake ſuch enterpriſes without the aduice and furtherance of men of that ranke. To this the Gouernour anſwered, hee ſhould be ſorry that any iuſt and neceſſary occaſions of warre ſhould ariſe betweene him and any the Sauages, but eſpecially Maſſaſſowat, not that hee feared him more than the reſt, but becauſe his loue more exceeded towards him than any. Whereunto Hobbamock replied, There was no cauſe wherefore hee ſhould diſtruſt him, and therefore ſhould doe well to continue his affections.
But to the end things might be made more manifeſt, the Gouernour cauſed Hobbamock to ſend his wife with all priuacie to Puckanokick the chiefe place of Maſſaſſowats residence, (pretending other occaſions) there to informe herſelfe, and ſo vs, of the right ſtate of things. When ſhee came thither, and ſaw all things quiet, and that no ſuch matter was or had beene intended, told Maſſaſſowat what had hapned at Plimoth, (by them called Patuxet) which when hee vnderſtood, he was much offended at the cariage of Tiſquantum, returning many thanks to the Gouernour for his good thoughts of him; and aſſuring him that according to their firſt Articles of peace, he would ſend word and giue warning when any such buſineſſe was towards.
Thus by degrees wee began to diſcouer Tiſquantum, whoſe ends were only to make himſelfe great in the eyes of this Country-men, by meanes of his neareneſſe and fauour with vs, not caring who fell ſo hee ſtood. In the generall, his courſe was to perſwade them hee could lead vs to peace or warre at his pleaſure, and would oft threaten the Indians, ſending them word in a priuate manner, wee were intended ſhortly to kill them, that thereby hee might get gifts to himſelfe to worke their peace, inſomuch as they had him in greater esteeme than many of their Sachims; yea they themſelues ſought to him, who promiſed them peace in reſpect of vs; yea and protection alſo, ſo as they would reſort to him. So that whereas diuers were wont to relie on Maſſaſſowat for protection, and reſort to his abode, now they began to leaue him, and ſeeke after Tiſquantum. Now though hee could not make good theſe his large promiſes, eſpecially becauſe of the continued peace betweene Maſſaſſowat and vs, he therefore raiſed this falſe alarum, hoping whileſt things were hot in the heat of bloud, to prouoke vs to march into his Country againſt him, whereby he hoped to kindle ſuch a flame as would not eaſily be quenched, and hoping if that blocke were once remoued, there were no other betweene him and honour; which he loued as his life, and preferred before his peace. For theſe and the like abuſes, the Gouernour ſharply reproued him, yet was hee ſo neceſſarie and profitable an inſtrument, as at that time wee could not miſſe him. But when wee vnderſtood his dealings, we certified all the Indians of our ignorance and innocencie therein, aſſuring them till they begun with vs, they ſhould haue no cauſe to feare. And if any hereafter ſhould raiſe any ſuch reports, they ſhould puniſh them as liers and ſeekers of their and our diſturbance, which gaue the Indians good ſatisfaction on all ſides.
After this wee proceeded in our voyage to the Maſſachuſets, where wee had good ſtore of Trade, and (bleſſed be God) returned in ſafety, though driuen from before our Towne in great danger and extremitie of weather.
At our returne, we found Maſſaſſowat at the Plantation, who made his ſeeming iuſt Apologie for all former matters of accuſation, being much offended and inraged againſt Tiſquantum, whom the Gouernour pacified as much as hee could for the preſent. But not long after his departure, hee ſent a meſſenger to the Gouernour, intreating him to giue way to the death of Tiſquantum, who had ſo much abuſed him. But the Gouernour anſwered; Although hee had deſerued to die both in reſpect of him and vs; yet for our ſakes hee deſired hee would ſpare him, and the rather becauſe without him hee knew not well how to vnderſtand himſelfe, or any other the Indians. With this anſwer the meſſenger returned, but came againe not long after, accompanied with diuers others, demanding him from Maſſaſſowat their Maſter, as being one of his ſubiects, whom by our firſt Articles of peace wee could not retaine: yet becauſe hee would not willingly doe it without the Gouernours approbation, offered him many Beuers skins for his conſent thereto, ſaying, that according to their manner, their Sachim had ſent his owne knife, and them therewith, to cut off his head and hands, and bring them to him. To which the Gouernor anſwered; It was not the manner of the Engliſh to ſell mens liues at a price, but when they had deſerued iuſtly to die, to giue them their reward, and therefore refuſed their Beauers as a gift: but ſent for Tiſquantum, who though hee knew their intent, yet offered not to flie, but came and accused Hobbamock as the author and worker of his ouerthrow; yeelding himſelfe to the Gouernour to be ſent or not according as hee thought meet. But at the inſtant, when our Gouernour was ready to deliuer him into the hands of his Executioners, a Boat was ſeene at Sea to croſſe before our Towne, and fall behinde a head-land not farre off: whereupon, hauing heard many rumors of the French, and not knowing whether there were any combination betweene the Sauages and them, the Gouernour told the Indians, he would firſt know what Boat that was ere he would deliuer him into their cuſtodie. But being mad with rage, and impatient at delay, they departed in great heat.
Here let mee not omit one notable (though wicked) practiſe of this Tiſquantum, who to the end he might poſſeſſe his Countrymen with the greater feare of vs, and ſo conſequently of himſelfe, told them wee had the plague buried in our ſtore-houſe, which at our pleaſure wee could ſend forth to what place or people wee would, and deſtroy them therewith, though wee ſtirred not from home. Being vpon the fore-named brabbles ſent for by the Gouernour to this place, where Hobbamock was and ſome other of vs, the ground being broke in the middeſt of the houſe, (whereunder certaine barrels of powder were buried, though vnknowne to him) Hobbamock asked him what it meant? To whom he readily anſwered; That was the place wherein the plague was buried, whereof hee formerly told him and others. After this Hobbamock asked one of our people, whether ſuch a thing were, and whether wee had ſuch command of it? Who anſwered no; But the God of the Engliſh had it in ſtore, and could ſend it at his pleaſure to the deſtruction of his and our enemies.
This was, as I take it, about the end of May 1622. At which time our ſtore of victuals was wholly ſpent, hauing liued long before with a bare and ſhort allowance: The reaſon was, that ſupply of men before mentioned, which came ſo vnprouided, not landing ſo much as a barrell of bread or meal for their whole company, but contrariwiſe receiued from vs for their ſhips ſtore homeward. Neither were the ſetters forth thereof altogether to be blamed therein, but rather certaine amongſt our ſelues, who were too prodigall in their writing and reporting of that plenty we enioyed. But that I may returne.
This Boat proued to be a Shallop that belonged to a fiſhing ſhip, called the Sparrow, ſet forth by Master Thomas Weſton, late Merchant and Citizen of London, which brought ſix or ſeuen paſſengers at his charge, that ſhould before haue beene landed at our Plantation, who alſo brought no more prouiſion for the preſent than ſerued the Boats gang for their returne to the ſhip, which made her voyage at a place called Damarins Coue near Munhiggen ſome forty leagues from vs North-eaſt-ward; about which place there fiſhed aboue thirty ſaile of ſhips, and whither my ſelfe was imployed by our Gouernour, with orders to take vp ſuch victuals as the ſhips could ſpare, where I found kinde entertainment and good reſpect, with a willingneſſe to ſupply our wants: But being not able to ſpare that quantitie I required, by reaſon of the neceſſitie of ſome amongſt themſelues, whom they ſupplied before my comming, would not take any Bils for the ſame, but did what they could freely, wiſhing their ſtore had beene ſuch as they might in greater meaſure haue expreſſed their owne loue, and ſupplied our neceſſities, for which they ſorrowed, prouoking one another to the vtmost of their abilities: which although it were not much amongſt ſo many people as were at the Plantation, yet through the prouident and diſcreet care of the Gouernours, recouered and preſerued ſtrength till our owne crop on the ground was ready.
Hauing diſpatched there, I returned home with all ſpeed conuenient, where I found the ſtate of the Colonie much weaker than when I left it: for till now wee were neuer without ſome bread, the want whereof much abated the ſtrength and fleſh of ſome, and ſwelled others. But here it may be ſaid, if the Country abound with Fiſh and Fowl in ſuch meaſure as is reported, how could men vndergoe ſuch meaſure of hardneſſe, except through their owne negligence? I anſwer; Euery thing muſt be expected in its proper ſeaſon. No man, as one ſaith, will goe into an Orchard in the Winter to gather Cherries: ſo hee that looks for Fowle there in the Summer, will be deceiued in his expectation. The time they continue in plenty with vs, is from the beginning of October to the end of March: but theſe extremities befell us in May and Iune. I confeſſe that as the Fowle decreaſe, ſo Fiſh increaſe. And indeed their exceeding abundance was great cauſe of increaſing our wants. For though our Bay and Creekes were full of Baſſe, and other fiſh, yet for want of fit and ſtrong Saynes, and other netting, they for the moſt part brake thorow and carried all away before them. And though the Sea were full of Cod, yet wee had neither tackling nor harſeis for our Shallops. And indeed had wee not beene in a place where diuers ſorts of ſhell-fiſh are that may be taken with the hand, wee muſt haue periſhed, vnleſſe God had raiſed ſome vnknowne or extraordinary meanes for our preſeruation.
In the time of theſe ſtreits (indeed before my going to Munhiggen) the Indians began againe to caſt forth many inſulting ſpeeches, glorying in our weakneſſe, and giuing out how eaſie it would be ere long to cut vs off. Now alſo Maſſaſſowat ſeemed to frowne on vs, and neither came or ſent to vs as formerly. Theſe things occaſioned further thoughts of Fortification: And whereas wee haue a Hill called the Mount, incloſed within our pale, vnder which our Towne is ſeated, wee reſolued to erect a Fort thereon, from whence a few might eaſily ſecure the Towne from any aſſault the Indians can make, whileſt the reſt might be imployed as occaſion ſerued. This worke was begun with great eagerneſſe, and with the approbation of all men, hoping that this being once finiſhed, and a continuall guard there kept, it would vtterly diſcourage the Sauages from hauing any hopes or thoughts of riſing againſt vs. And though it tooke the greateſt part of our ſtrength from dreſſing our corne, yet (life being continued) we hoped God would raiſe ſome meanes in ſtead thereof for our further preſeruation.
In the end of Iune, or beginning of Iuly, came into our harbour two ſhips of Maſter Weſtons aforeſaid, the one called the Charitie, the other the Swan, hauing in them some fifty or ſixty men ſent ouer at his owne charge to plant for him. Theſe we receiued into our Towne, affording them whatſoeuer curteſie our meane condition could afford. There the Charitie, being the bigger ſhip, left them, hauing many paſſengers which ſhee was to land in Virginia. In the meane time, the body of them refreſhed themſelues at Plimoth, whileſt ſome moſt fit ſought out a place for them. That little ſtore of corne wee had, was exceedingly waſted by the vniuſt and diſhoneſt walking of theſe ſtrangers, who though they would ſometimes ſeeme to helpe vs in our labour about our corne, yet ſpared not day and night to ſteale the vame, it being then eatable, and pleaſant to taſte, though greene and vnprofitable. And though they receiued much kindneſſe, ſet light both by it and vs; not ſparing to requite the loue wee ſhewed them, with ſecret backbitings, reuilings, &c. the chiefe of them being foreſtaled and made againſt vs, before they came, as after appeared: Neuertheleſſe for their Maſters ſake, who formerly had deſerued well from vs, wee continued to doe them whatſoeuer good or furtherance wee could, attributing theſe things to the want of conſcience and diſcretion, expecting each day, when God in his prouidence would disburden vs of them, ſorrowing that their Ouer-ſeers were not of more abilitie and fitneſſe for their places, and much fearing what would be the iſſue of ſuch raw and vnconſcionable beginnings.
At length their Coaſters returned, hauing found in their iudgement a place fit for plantation, within the Bay of the Maſſachusets, at a place called by the Indians Wichaguſeuſſet. To which place the boiey of them went with all conuenient ſpeed, leauing ſtill with vs ſuch as were ſicke and lame, by the Gouernours permiſſion, though on their parts vndeserued, whom our Surgeon by the helpe of God recouered gratis for them, and they fetched home, as occaſion ſerued.
They had not beene long from vs, ere the Indians filled our eares with clamours againſt them, for ſtealing their corne, and other abuſes conceiued by them. At which wee grieued the more, becauſe the ſame men, in mine owne hearing, had been earneſt in perſwading Captain Standiſh, before their comming to ſolicite our Gouernour to ſend ſome of his men to plant by them, alledging many reaſons how it might be commodious for vs. But we knew no meanes to redreſſe thoſe abuſes, ſaue reproofe, and aduiſing them to better walking, as occaſion ſerued.
In the end of Auguſt came other two ſhips into our harbour, the one (as I take it) was called the Diſcouerie, Captain Iones hauing the command thereof, the other was that ſhip of Mr. Weſtons called the Sparrow, which had now made her voyage of fiſh, and was conſorted with the other, being both bound for Virginia. Of Captain Iones wee furniſhed our ſelues of ſuch prouiſions as we moſt needed, and he could beſt ſpare, who as hee vſed vs kindly, ſo made vs pay largely for the things wee had. And had not the Almightie, in his All-ordering Prouidence, directed him to vs, it would haue gone worſe with vs, than euer it had beene, or after was: for, as wee had now but ſmall ſtore of corne for the yeere following: ſo for want of ſupply, wee were worne out of all manner of trucking ſtuffe, not hauing any means left to helpe our ſelues by trade; but, through Gods good mercie towards vs, he had wherewith, and did ſupply our wants on that kinde competently.
In the end of September, or beginning of October, Mr. Weſtons biggeſt ſhip called the Charitie, returned for England, and left their Colony ſufficiently victualled, as ſome of moſt credit amongſt them reported. The leſſer, called the Swan, remained with his Colony for their further helpe. At which time they deſired to ioyne in partnerſhip with vs to trade for corne; to which our Gouernour and his Aſſiſtant agreed vpon ſuch equall conditions, as were drawne and confirmed betweene them and vs. The chiefe places aimed at were to the Southward of Cape Cod, and the more becauſe Tiſquantum, whove peace before this time was wrought with Maſſaſſowat, vndertooke to diſcouer vnto vs that ſuppoſed, and ſtill hoped paſſage within the Sholes.
Both Colonies being thus agreed, and their companies fitted and ioyned together, wee reſolued to ſet forward, but were oft croſſed in our purpoſes; as firſt Maſter Richard Greene, brother in Law to Maſter Weſton, who from him had a charge in the ouerſight and gouernment of his Colony, died ſuddenly at our Plantation, to whom wee gaue burial befitting his place, in the beſt manner wee could. Afterward, hauing further order to proceed by letter from their other Gouernour at the Maſſachuſets, twice Captain Standiſh ſet forth with them, but were driuen in againe by croſſe and violent windes: himſelfe the ſecond time being ſicke of a violent feuer. By reaſon whereof (our owne wants being like to bee now greater than formerly; partly, becauſe wee were enforced to neglect our corne, and ſpend much time in fortification, but eſpecially becauſe ſuch hauocke was made of that little wee had, through the vniuſt and diſhoneſt carriage of thoſe people before mentioned, at our firſt entertainment of them) our Gouernour in his owne perſon ſupplyed the Captaines place, and in the month of Nouember againe ſet forth, hauing Tiſquantum for his Interpreter and Pilot, who affirmed hee had twice paſſed within the Sholes of Cape Cod, both with Engliſh and French. Neuertheleſſe, they went ſo farre with him, as the Maſter of the ſhip vaw no hope of pavvage: but being (as hee thought) in danger, bare vp, and according to Tiſquantums directions, made for an harbour not farre from them, at a place called Manamoycke, which they found, and ſounding it with their ſhallop found the channell, though but narrow and crooked, where at length they harboured the ſhip. Here they preceiued that the tide ſet in and out with more violence at ſome other place more Southerly, which they had not ſeene nor could diſcouer, by reaſon of the violence of the ſeaſon all the time of their abode there. Some iudged the entrance thereof might bee beyond the Sholes, but there is no certaintie thereof as yet knowne. That night the Gouernour accompanied with others, hauing Tiſquantum for his Interpreter went aſhore; At firſt the Inhabitants plaied leaſt in ſight, becauſe none of our people had euer beene there before; but vnderſtanding the ends of their comming, at length came to them, welcomming our Gouernour according to their Sauage manner, refreſhing them verie well with ſtore of veniſon and other victuals, which they brought them in great abundance, promiſing to trade with them, with a ſeeming gladneſſe of the occaſion: yet their ioy was mixed with much iealousie, as appeared by their after practiſes: for at firſt they were loath their dwellings ſhould bee knowne, but when they ſaw our Gouernours reſolution to ſtay on the ſhore all night, they brought him to their houſes, hauing firſt conuayed all their ſtuffe to a remote place, not farre from the ſame, which one of our men walking forth occaſionally eſpied; whereupon, on the ſudden, neither it nor them could bee found, and ſo many times after vpon conceiued occaſions, they would bee all gone, bag and baggage: But being afterwards (by Tiſquantums meanes) better perſwaded, they left their iealouſie and traded with them; where they got eight hogſheads of corne and beanes, though the people were but few. This gaue our Gouernour and the company good encouragement. Tiſquantum being ſtill confident in the paſſage, and the Inhabitants affirming, they had ſeene ſhips of good burthen paſſe within the Sholes aforeſaid. But here, though they had determined to make a ſecond aſſay, yet God had otherwayes diſpoſed, who ſtrucke Tiſquantum with ſickneſſe, in ſo much as hee there died, which croſſed their Southward trading, and the more becauſe the Maſters ſufficiencie was much doubted, and the ſeaſon verie tempeſtuous, and not fit to goe vpon diſcouerie, hauing no guide to direct them.
From thence they departed, and the wind being faire for the Maſſachuſets went thither, and the rather becauſe the Sauages vpon our motion had planted much corne for vs, which they promiſed not long before that time. When they came thither, they found a great ſickneſſe to be amongſt the Indians, not vnlike the plague, if not the ſame. They renued their complaints to our Gouernour, againſt that other plantation ſeated by them, for their iniurious walking. But indeed the trade both for Furres and corne was ouerthrowne in that place, they giuing as much for a quart of corne, as we vſed to doe for a Beauers skin; ſo that little good could be there done. From thence they returned into the bottome of the Bay of Cape Cod, to a place called Nauſet, where the Sachim vſed the Gouernour very kindly, and where they bought eight or ten hogſheads of corne and beanes. Alſo at a place called Mattachieſt, where they had like kind entertainment and corne alſo. During the time of their trade in theſe places, there were ſo great and violent ſtormes, as the ſhip was much endangered, and our ſhallop caſt away, ſo that they had now no meanes to carry the corne aboard that they had bought, the ſhip riding by their report well neere two leagues from the ſame, her owne Boat being ſmall, and ſo leake, (hauing no Carpenter with them) as they durſt ſcarce fetch wood or water in her. Hereupon the Gouernour cauſed the corne to be made in a round ſtack, and bought mats, and cut ſedge to couer it, and gaue charge to the Indians not to meddle with it, promiſing him that dwelt next to it a reward, if he would keep vermine alſo from it, which he vndertooke, and the Sachim promiſed to make good. In the meane time, according to the Gouernours requeſt, the Sachim ſent men to ſeeke the ſhallop, which they found buried almoſt in ſand at a high-water marke, hauing many things remaining in her, but vnſeruiceable for the preſent; whereof the Gouernour gaue the Sachim ſpeciall charge that it ſhould not be further broken, promiſing ere long to fetch both it and the corne; aſſuring them, if neither were diminiſhed, he would take it as a ſigne of their honeſt and true friendſhip, which they ſo much made ſhew of, but if they were, they ſhould certainly ſmart for their vniuſt and diſhoneſt dealing, and further make good whatſoeuer they had ſo taken. So he did likewiſe at Mattachiest, and tooke leaue of them, being reſolued to leaue the ſhip, and take his iourney home by land with our owne company, ſending word to the ſhip, that they ſhould take their firſt opportunitie to goe for Plimoth, where hee determined, by the permiſſion of God, to meet them. And hauing procured a Guide, it being no leſſe than fifty miles to our Plantation, ſet forward, receiuing all reſpect that could be from the Indians in his iourney, and came ſafely home, though weary and ſurbated, whither ſome three daies after the ſhip alſo came. The corne being diuided which they had got, Maſter Weſtons company went to their owne Plantation, it being further agreed, that they ſhould returne with all conuenient ſpeed, and bring their Carpenter, that they might fetch the reſt of the corne, and ſaue the ſhallop.
At their returne, Captain Standiſh being recouered and in health, tooke another ſhallop, and went with them to the corne, which they found in ſafety as they left it: alſo they mended the other ſhallop, and got all their corne aboard the ſhip. This was in Ianuary, as I take it, it being very cold and ſtormy, inſomuch as (the harbour being none of the beſt) they were conſtrained to cut both the ſhallops from the ſhips ſterne, and ſo loſt them both a ſecond time. But the ſtorme being ouer, and ſeeking out, they found them both, not hauing receiued any great hurt. Whileſt they were at Nauſet, hauing occaſion to lie on the ſhore, laying their ſhallop in a Creeke not far from them, an Indian came into the ſame, and ſtole certaine Beads, Ciſſers, and other trifles out of the ſame, which when the Captaine miſſed, he tooke certaine of his company with him, and went to the Sachim, telling him what had hapned, and requiring the ſame again, or the party that ſtole them, (who was knowne to certaine of the Indians) or else he would reuenge it on them before his departure, and ſo tooke leaue for that night being late, refuſing whatſoeuer kindneſſe they offered. On the morrow, the Sachim came to their randeuow, accompanied with many men, in a ſtately manner, who ſaluting the Captaine in this wiſe; He thruſt out his tongue, that one might ſee the root thereof, and therewith licked his hand from the wriſt to the fingers end, withall bowing the knee, ſtriuing to imitate the Engliſh geſture, being inſtructed therein formerly by Tiſquantum: his men did the like, but in ſo rude and ſauage a manner, as our men could ſcarce forbeare to break out in open laughter. After ſalutation, he deliuered the Beads, & other things, to the Captain, ſaying, he had much beaten the partie for doing it, cauſing the women to make bread, and bring them, according to their deſire, ſeeming to be very ſorry for the fact, but glad to be reconciled. So they departed, and came home in ſafety; where the corne was equally diuided, as before.
After this the Gouernour went to two other inland Townes, with another company, and bought corne likewiſe of them, the one is called Namasket, the other Manomet. That from Namasket was brought home partly by Indian women; but a great ſickneſſe ariſing amongſt them, our owne men were inforced to fetch home the reſt. That at Manomet the Gouernour left in the Sachims cuſtody: this Towne lieth from vs South well neere twenty miles, and ſtands vpon a freſh riuer, which runneth into the Bay of Nanohigganſet, and cannot be leſſe than ſixty miles from thence. It will beare a boat of eight or ten tunne to this place. Hither the Dutch or French, or both vſe to come. It is from hence to the Bay of Cape Cod about eight miles; out of which Bay it floweth into a Creeke ſome ſix miles almoſt direct towards the Towne. The heads of the Riuer, and this Creeke are not far divtant. This Riuer yeeldeth thus high, Oyſters, Muſcles, Clams, and other ſhell-fiſh, one in ſhape like a beane, another like a Clam, both good meat, and great abundance at all times; beſides it aboundeth with diuers ſorts of freſh fiſh in their ſeaſons. The Gouernour or Sachim of this place, was called Canacum, who had formerly, as well as many others, (yea all with whom as yet we had to doe) acknowledged themſelues the ſubiects of our Souereigne Lord the King. This Sachim vſed the Gouernour very kindly, and it ſeemed was of good reſpect and authoritie amongſt the Indians. For whileſt the Gouernour was there within night in bitter weather, came two men from Manamoick before ſpoken of, and hauing ſet aſide their bowes and quiuers, according to their manner, ſate downe by the fire, and took a pipe of Tobacco, not vſing any words in that time, nor any other to them, but all remained ſilent, expecting when they would ſpeake: At length they looked toward Canacum, and one of them made a ſhort ſpeech, and deliuered a preſent to him from his Sachim, which was a basket of Tobacco, and many Beads, which the other receiued thankfully. After which hee made a long ſpeech to him, the contents hereof was related to vs by Hobbamock (who then accompanied the Gouernour for his Guide) to be as followeth; It hapned that two of their men fell out as they were in game (for they vſe gaming as much as any where, and will play away all, euen their skin from their backs, yea and for their wiues skins alſo, though it may be they are many miles distant from them, as my ſelfe haue ſeene) and growing to great heat, the one killed the other. The actor of this fact was a Powah, one of ſpecial note amongſt them, and ſuch an one as they could not well miſſe, yet another people greater than themſelues threatned them with warre, if they would not put him to death. The party offending was in hold, neither would their Sachim doe one way or other till their returne, reſting vpon him for aduice and furtherance in ſo weighty a matter. After this there was ſilence a ſhort time; at length men gaue their iudgement what they thought beſt. Amongſt others, he asked Hobbamock what he thought? Who answered, he was but a ſtranger to them, but thought it was better that one ſhould die than many, ſince he had deſerued it, and the reſt were innocent; whereupon he paſſed the ſentence of death vpon him.
Not long after (hauing no great quantitie of corne left) Captain Standiſh went againe with a ſhallop to Mattachieſt, meeting alſo with the like extremitie of weather, both of wind, ſnow, and froſt, inſomuch as they were frozen in the harbour the firſt night they entred the ſame. Here they pretended their wonted loue, and ſpared them a good quantity of corne to confirme the ſame: Strangers alſo came to this place, pretending only to ſee him and his company, whom they neuer ſaw before that time, but intending to ioyne with the reſt to kill them, as after appeared. But being forced through extremitie to lodge in their houſes, which they much preſſed, God poſſeſſed the heart of the Captaine with iuſt iealouſie, giuing ſtrait command, that as one part of his company ſlept, the reſt ſhould wake, declaring ſome things to them which hee vnderſtood, whereof hee could make no good conſtruction. Some of the Indians ſpying a fit opportunitie, ſtole some beads alſo from him, which hee no ſooner perceiued, hauing not aboue ſix men with him, drew them all from the Boat, and ſet them on their guard about the Sachims houſe, where the moſt of the people were, threatening to fall vpon them without further delay, if they would not forthwith reſtore them, ſignifying to the Sachim eſpecially, and ſo to them all, that as he would not offer the leaſt iniury; ſo hee would not receiue any at their hands, which ſhould eſcape without puniſhment or due ſatisfaction. Hereupon the Sachim beſtirred him to finde out the party, which when he had done, cauſed him to returne them againe to the ſhallop, and came to the Captaine, deſiring him to ſearch whether they were not about the Boat, who ſuſpecting their knauery, ſent one, who found them lying openly vpon the Boats cuddy; yet to appeaſe his anger, they brought corne afreſh to trade, inſomuch as he laded his ſhallop, and ſo departed. This accident ſo daunted their courage, as they durſt not attempt any thing againſt him. So that through the good mercy and prouidence of God they returned in ſafety. At this place the Indians get abundance of Baſſe both ſummer and winter: for it being now February they abounded with them.
In the beginning of March, hauing refreſhed himſelf, he tooke a ſhallop, and went to Manomet, to fetch home that which the Gouernour had formerly bought, hoping alſo to get more from them, but was deceiued in his expectation, not finding that entertainment hee found elſe-where, and the Gouernour had there receiued. The reaſon whereof, and of the treachery intended in the place before ſpoken of, was not then knowne vnto vs, but afterwards: wherein may be obſerued the abundant mercies of God working with his prouidence for our good. Captaine Standiſh being now far from the Boat, and not aboue two or three of our men with him, and as many with the ſhallop, was not long at Canacum the Sachims houſe, but in came two of the Maſſachuſets men, the chiefe of them was called Wituwamat, a notable inſulting villaine, one who had formerly imbrued his hands in the bloud of Engliſh and French, and had oft boaſted of his owne valour, and derided their weakneſſe, eſpecially becauſe (as hee ſaid) they died crying, making ſowre faces, more like children than men. This villaine tooke a dagger from about his necke, (which hee had gotten of Maſter Weſtons people) and preſented it to the Sachim, and after made a long ſpeech in an audacious manner, framing it in ſuch ſort, as the Captaine (though he be the beſt Linguiſt amongſt vs) could not gather anything from it. The end of it was afterward diſcouered to be as followeth: The Maſſacheuſeucks had formerly concluded to ruinate Master Weſtons Colonie, and thought themſelues, being about thirty or forty men ſtrong, enough to execute the ſame: yet they durſt not attempt it, till ſuch time as they had gathered more ſtrength to themſelues to make their party good againſt vs at Plimoth, concluding, that if we remained, (though they had no other Arguments to vſe againſt vs) yet we would neuer leaue the death of our Countrymen vnreuenged, and therefore their ſafety could not be without the ouerthrow of both Plantations. To this end they had formerly ſollicited this Sachim, as alſo the other called Ianough at Mattachiest, and many others to aſſiſt them, and now againe came to proſecute the ſame; and ſince there was ſo faire an opportunitie offered by the Captaines preſence, they thought beſt to make ſure him and his company. After this his meſſage was deliuered, his entertainment much exceeded the Captaines, inſomuch as he ſcorned at their behauiour, and told them of it; after which they would haue perſwaded him, becauſe the weather was cold, to haue ſent to the Boat for the reſt of his company, but he would not, deſiring according to promiſe, that the corne might be caried downe, and hee would content the women for their labour, which they did. At the ſame time there was a luſty Indian of Paomet or Cape Cod then preſent, who had euer demeaned himſelfe well towards vs, being in his generall cariage, very affable, courteous, and louing, eſpecially towards the Captaine. This Sauage was now entred into confederacie with the reſt, yet to auoid ſuſpition, made many ſignes of his continued affections, and would needs beſtow a kettle of ſome ſix or ſeuen gallons on him, and would not accept of any thing in lieu thereof, ſaying, he was rich, and could afford to beſtow ſuch fauours on his friends whom he loued: alſo he would freely helpe to carry ſome of the corne, affirming he had neuer done the like in his life before, and the wind being bad would needs lodge with him at their Randeuow, hauing indeed vndertaken to kill him before they parted, which done they intended to fall vpon the reſt. The night proued exceeding cold, inſomuch as the Captaine could not take any reſt, but either walked or turned himſelfe to and fro at the fire: This the other obſerued, and asked wherefore hee did not ſleepe as at other times, who anſwered he knew not well, but had no deſire at all to reſt. So that hee then miſt his opportunity. The wind ſeruing on the next day, they returned home, accompanied with the other Indian, who vſed many arguments to perſwade them to go to Paomet, where himſelfe had much corne, and many other, the moſt whereof he would procure for vs, ſeeming to ſorrow for our wants. Once the Captaine put forth with him, and was forced back by contrary wind; which wind ſeruing for the Maſſachuſet, was fitted to goe thither. But on a ſudden it altered againe.
During the time that the Captaine was at Manomet, newes came to Plimoth, that Maſſaſſowat was like to die, and that at the ſame time there was a Dutch ſhip driven ſo high on the ſhore by ſtreſſe of weather, right before his dwelling, that till the tides encreaſed, ſhee could not be got off. Now it being a commendable manner of the Indians, when any (eſpecially of note) are dangerouſly ſicke, for all that profeſſe friendſhip to them, to viſit them in their extremitie, either in their perſons, or elſe to ſend ſome acceptable perſons to them, therefore it was thought meet (being a good and warrantable action) that as wee had euer profeſſed friendſhip, ſo wee ſhould now maintaine the ſame, by obſeruing this their laudable cuſtome: and the rather, because wee deſired to haue ſome conference with the Dutch, not knowing when wee ſhould haue ſo fit an opportunitie. To that end my ſelfe hauing formerly beene there, and vnderſtanding in ſome meaſure the Dutch tongue, the Gouernour againe laid this ſeruice vpon my ſelfe, and fitted mee with ſome cordials to adminiſter to him, hauing one Maſter Iohn Hamden a Gentleman of London (who then wintered with vs, and deſired much to ſee the Countrey) for my Conſort, and Hobbamock for our guide. So wee ſet forward, and lodged the firſt night at Namasket, where wee had friendly entertainment. The next day about one of the clocke, we came to a ferrie in Conbatants Countrey, where vpon diſcharge of my peece, diuers Indians came to vs from a houſe not farre off. There they told vs, that Maſſaſſowat was dead, and that day buried, and that the Dutch would be gone before we could get thither, hauing houe off their ſhip already. This newes ſtrucke vs blancke: but eſpecially Hobbamock, who deſired we might returne with all ſpeed. I told him I would firſt thinke of it, conſidering now that hee being dead, Conbatant was the moſt like to ſucceed him, and that we were not aboue three miles from Mattapuyſt his dwelling place, although hee were but a hollow-hearted friend towards vs, I thought no time ſo fit as this, to enter into more friendly termes with him, and the reſt of the Sachims thereabout, hoping (through the bleſſing of God) it would be a meanes in that vnſettled ſtate, to ſettle their affections towards vs, and though it were ſomewhat dangerous, in reſpect of our perſonall ſafetie, becauſe my ſelfe and Hobbamock had beene imployed vpon a ſeruice againſt him, which he might now fitly reuenge, yet eſteeming it the beſt meanes, leauing the euent to God in his mercie, I reſolued to put it in practiſe, if Maſter Hamden and Hobbamock durſt attempt it with mee, whom I found willing to that or any other courſe might tend to, the generall good. So we went towards Mattapuyſt. In the way, Hobbamock manifeſting a troubled ſpirit, brake forth into theſe ſpeeches, Neen womaſu Sagimus, neen womaſu Sagimus, &c. My louing Sachim, my louing Sachim, Many haue I knowne, but neuer any like thee: And turning him to me ſaid; Whileſt I liued, I ſhould neuer ſee his like amongſt the Indians, ſaying, he was no lyer, he was not bloudy and cruell like other Indians; In anger and paſſion he was ſoone reclaimed, eaſie to be reconciled towards ſuch as had offended him, ruled by reaſon in ſuch meaſure, as he would not ſcorne the aduice of meane men, and that he gouerned his men better with few ſtrokes than others did with many; truly louing where he loued; yea he feared we had not a faithfull friend left among the Indians, ſhewing how he oft-times reſtrained their malice, &c. continuing a long ſpeech with ſuch ſignes of lamentation and vnfeigned ſorrow, as it would haue made the hardeſt heart relent. At length we came to Mattapuyſt, and went to the Sachimo Comaco (for ſo they call the Sachims place, though they call an ordinarie houſe Witeo) but Conbatant the Sachim was not at home, but at Puckanokick, which was ſome fiue or ſix miles off; the Squa-ſachim (for ſo they call the Sachims wife) gaue vs friendly entertainment. Here wee inquired againe concerning Maſſaſſowat, they thought him dead, but knew no certainty; whereupon I hired one to goe with all expedition to Puckanokick, that we might know the certainty thereof, and withall to acquaint Conbatant with our there being. About halfe an houre before Sunne-ſetting, the meſſenger returned, and told vs that he was not yet dead, though there was no hope we ſhould finde him liuing. Vpon this we were much reuiued, and ſet forward with all ſpeed, though it was late within night ere we got thither. About two of the clocke that afternoone the Dutchmen departed, ſo that in that reſpect our iourney was fruſtrate. When we came thither, we found the houſe ſo full of men, as we could ſcarce get in, though they vſed their beſt diligence to make way for vs. There were they in the middeſt of their charmes for him, making ſuch a helliſh noiſe, as it diſtempered vs that were well, and therefore vnlike to eaſe him that was ſicke. About him were vix or eight women, who chafed his armes, legs, and thighes, to keepe heat in him; when they had made an end of their charming, one told him that his friends the Engliſh were come to ſee him; (hauing vnderſtanding left, but his ſight was wholly gone) he asked who was come, they told him Winſnow (for they cannot pronounce the letter 1, but ordinarily n in the place thereof) hee deſired to ſpeake with me; when I came to him, and they told him of it, he put forth his hand to me, which I tooke; then he ſaid twice, though very inwardly, keen Winſnow, which is to ſay, Art thou Winslow? I answered ahhe, that is, yes; then hee doubled theſe words, Matta neen wonckanet namen Winſnow; that is to ſay, O Winſlow I ſhall neuer ſee thee againe. Then I called Hobbamock and deſired him to tell Maſſaſſowat, that the Gouernour hearing of his ſickneſſe was ſorry for the ſame, and though by reaſon of many buſineſſes he could not come himſelfe, yet he ſent me with ſuch things for him as he thought moſt likely to doe him good in this his extremitie, and whereof if he pleaſed to take, I would preſently giue him; which he deſired, and hauing a confection of many comfortable conſerues, &c. on the point of my knife, I gaue him ſome, which I could ſcarce get thorow his teeth; when it was diſſolued in his mouth, he ſwallowed the iuice of it, whereat thoſe that were about him much reioyced, ſaying, he had not ſwallowed any thing in two daies before. Then I deſired to ſee his mouth, which was exceedingly furred, and his tongue ſwelled in ſuch manner, as it was not poſſible for him to eat ſuch meat as they had, his paſſage being ſtopt vp: then I waſhed his mouth, and ſcraped his tongue, and got abundance of corruption out of the ſame. After which, I gaue him more of the confection, which he ſwallowed with more readineſſee; then he deſiring to drinke, I diſſolued some of it in water, and gaue him thereof: within halfe an hour this wrought a great alteration in him in the eyes of all that beheld him; preſently after his ſight began to come to him, which gaue him and vs good encouragement. In the meane time I inquired how hee ſlept, and when he went to the ſtoole? They ſaid he ſlept not in two daies before, and had not had a ſtoole in fiue; then I gaue him more, and told him of a miſhap we had by the way in breaking a bottle of drinke, which the Gouernour alſo ſent him, ſaying, if he would ſend any of his men to Patuxet, I would ſend for more of the ſame, alſo for chickens to make him broth, and for other things which I knew were good for him, and would ſtay the returne of the meſſenger if he deſired. This hee tooke maruellous kindly, and appointed ſome who were ready to goe by two of the clocke in the morning, againſt which time I made ready a letter, declaring therein our good ſucceſſe, the ſtate of his body, &c. deſiring to ſend me ſuch things as I ſent for, and ſuch phyſicke as the Surgion durſt adminiſter to him. He requeſted me that the day following, I would take my Peece, and kill him ſome Fowle, and make him ſome Engliſh pottage, ſuch as he had eaten at Plimoth, which I promiſed: after his ſtomacke comming to him, I muſt needs make him ſome without Fowle, before I went abroad, which ſomewhat troubled me, being vnaccuſtomed and vnacquainted in ſuch buſineſſes, eſpecially hauing nothing to make it comfortable, my Conſort being as ignorant as my ſelfe; but being wee muſt doe ſomewhat, I cauſed a woman to bruiſe ſome corne, and take the flower from it, and ſet ouer the grut or broken corne in a pipkin (for they haue earthen pots of all ſizes.) When the day broke, we went out (it being now March) to seeke herbes, but could not finde any but ſtrawberry leaues, of which I gathered a handfull and put into the ſame, and becauſe I had nothing to reliſh it, I went forth againe, and pulled vp a ſaxafras root, and ſliced a peece thereof, and boyled it till it had a good reliſh, and then tooke it out againe. The broth being boyled, I ſtrained it thorow my handkerchiffe, and gaue him at leaſt a pinte, which he dranke, and liked it very well. After this his ſight mended more and more, alſo he had three moderate ſtooles, and tooke ſome reſt. Inſomuch as wee with admiration bleſſed God for giuing his bleſſing to ſuch raw and ignorant meanes, making no doubt of his recouery, himſelfe and all of them acknowledging vs the inſtruments of his preſeruation. That morning he cauſed me to ſpend in going from one to another amongſt thoſe that were ſicke in the Towne, requeſting me to waſh their mouthes alſo, and giue to each of them ſome of the ſame I gaue him, ſaying, they were good folke. This paines I tooke with willingneſſe, though it were much offenſiue to me, not being accuſtomed with ſuch poyſonous ſauours. After dinner he deſired me to get him a Gooſe or Duck, and make him ſome pottage therewith, with as much ſpeed as I could: ſo I tooke a man with me, and made a ſhot at a couple of Ducks, ſome ſix ſcore paces off, and killed one, at which he wondered: ſo we returned forthwith, and dreſſed it, making more broth therewith, which he much deſired; neuer did I ſee a man ſo low brought, recouer in that meaſure in ſo ſhort a time. The Fowle being extraordinary fat, I told Hobbamock I muſt take off the top thereof, ſaying it would make him very ſick againe if he did eat it; this hee acquainted Maſſaſſowat therewith, who would not be perſwaded to it, though I preſſed it very much, ſhewing the ſtrength thereof, and the weakneſſe of his ſtomacke, which could not poſſibly beare it. Notwithſtanding he made a groſſe meale of it, and ate as much as would well haue ſatisfied a man in health. About an houre after he began to be very ſicke, and ſtraining very much, caſt vp the broth againe, and in ouer-ſtraining himſelfe, began to bleed at the noſe, and ſo continued the ſpace of foure houres; then they all wiſhed he had beene ruled, concluding now he would die, which we much feared alſo. They asked me what I thought of him; I anſwered, his caſe was deſperate, yet it might be it would ſaue his life: for if it ceaſed in time, he would forthwith ſleepe and take reſt, which was the principall thing he wanted. Not long after his bloud ſtaied, and he ſlept at leaſt ſix or eight houres; when he awaked I waſhed his face, and bathed and ſuppled his beard and noſe with a linen cloth: but on a ſudden he chopt his noſe in the water, and drew vp ſome therein, and ſent it forth againe with ſuch violence, as he began to bleed afreſh, then they thought there was no hope, but we perceiued it was but the tenderneſſe of his noſtrill, and therefore told them I thought it would ſtay preſently, as indeed it did.
The meſſengers were now returned, but finding his ſtomacke come to him, he would not haue the chickens killed, but kept them for breed. Neither durſt wee giue him any phyſicke which was then ſent, becauſe his body was ſo much altered ſince our inſtructions, neither ſaw we any need, not doubting now of his recouery, if he were carefull. Many whileſt we were there came to ſee him, ſome by their report from a place not leſſe than an hundred miles. To all that came one of his chiefe men related the manner of his ſickneſſe, how neere hee was ſpent, how amongſt others his friends the Engliſh came to ſee him, and how ſuddenly they recouered him to this ſtrength they ſaw, he being now able to sit vpright of himſelfe.
The day before our comming, another Sachim being there, told him, that now he might ſee how hollow-hearted the Engliſh were, ſaying if we had beene ſuch friends in deed, as we were in ſhew, we would haue viſited him in this his ſickneſſe, vſing many arguments to withdraw his affections, and to perſwade him to giue way to ſome things againſt vs, which were motioned to him not long before: but vpon this his recouery, he brake forth into thesſ ſpeeches; Now I ſee the Engliſh are my friends and loue me, and whileſt I liue I will neuer forget this kindneſſe they haue ſhewed mee. Whileſt we were there, our entertainment exceeded all other ſtrangers. Diuers other things were worthy the noting, but I feare I haue been too tedious.
At our cõming away, he called Hobbamock to him, & priuately (none hearing ſaue two or three other of his Pneeſes, who are of his Councell) reuealed the plot of the Maſſacheuſeucks before ſpoken of, againſt Maſter Weſtons Colony, and ſo againſt vs, ſaying that the people of Nauſet, Paomet, Succonet, Mattachiest, Manomet, Agowaywam, and the Ile of Capawack were ioyned with them; himſelfe alſo in his ſickneſſe was earneſtly ſollicited, but he would neither ioyne therein, nor giue way to any of his. Therefore as we resſected the liues of our Countreymen, and our owne after-ſafety, he aduiſed vs to kill the men of Maſſachuſet, who were the authors of this intended miſchiefe. And whereas wee were wont to ſay, we would not ſtrike a ſtroke till they firſt begun; if ſaid he vpon this intelligence, they make that anſwer, tell them, when their Countrymen at Wichaguſcuſſett are killed, they being not able to defend themſelues, that then it will be too late to recouer their liues, nay through the multitude of aduerſaries they ſhall with great difficulty preſerue their owne, and therefore he counſelled without delay to take away the principals, and then the plot would ceaſe. With this he charged him thorowly to acquaint me by the way, that I might informe the Gouernour thereof at my firſt comming home. Being fitted for our returne, we tooke our leaue of him, who returned many thanks to our Gouernour, and alſo to our ſelues for our labour and loue: the like did all that were about him. So we departed.
That night thorow the earneſt requeſt of Cõbatant, who til now remained at Sawaams or Puckanukick, we lodged with him at Mattapuyst. By the way, I had much conference with him; ſo likewiſe at his houſe, he being a notable politician, yet ful of merry ieſts & ſquibs, & neuer better pleaſed than when the like are returned againe vpon him. Amongſt other things he asked me, If in caſe he were thus dangerouſly ſicke, as Maſſaſſowat had beene, and ſhould ſend word thereof to Patuxet for Maskiet, that is, Phyſicke, whether then Mr Gouernour would ſend it? And if he would, whether I would come therewith to him? To both which I anſwered yea, whereat he gaue me many ioyfull thankes. After that, being at his house he demanded further, how wee durſt being but two come ſo farre into the Countrey? I anſwered, where was true loue there was no feare, and my heart was ſo vpright towards them that for mine owne part I was feareles to come amongſt them. But, ſaid he, if your loue be ſuch, and it bring forth ſuch fruits, how cometh it to paſſe, that when wee come to Patuxet, you ſtand vpon your guard, with the mouths of your Peeces preſented towards vs? Whereunto I anſwered, it was the moſt honourable and reſpectiue entertainement we could giue them; it being an order amongſt vs ſo to receiue our beſt reſpected friends: and as it was vſed on the Land, ſo the ſhips obſerued it alſo at Sea, which Hobbamock knew, and had ſeene obſerued. But ſhaking the head he anſwered, that he liked not ſuch sſlutations.
Further, obſeruing vs to craue a bleſſing on our meate before we did eate, and after to giue thankes for the ſame, he asked vs what was the meaning of that ordinary cuſtome? Hereupon I took occaſion to tell them of Gods workes of Creation, and Preſeruation, of his Lawes and Ordinances, eſpecially of the ten Commandements, all which they hearkened vnto with great attention, and liked well of: onely the seuenth Commandement they excepted againſt, thinking there were many inconueniences in it, that a man ſhould be tyed to one woman: about which we reaſoned a good time. Alſo I told them that whatſoeuer good things wee had, we receiued from God, as the Author and giuer thereof, and therefore craued his bleſſing vpon that we had, and were about to eate, that it might nouriſh and ſtrengthen our bodies, and hauing eaten ſufficient, being ſatisfied therewith, wee againe returned thankes to the ſame our God for that our refreſhing, &c. This all of them concluded to be very well, and ſaid, they belieued almoſt all the ſame things, and that the ſame power that wee called God, they called Kichtan. Much profitable cõference was occaſioned hereby, which would be too tedious to relate, yet was no leſſe delightfull to them, then comfortable to vs. Here wee remained onely that night, but neuer had better entertainement amongſt any of them.
The day following, in our iourney, Hobbamock told me of the private conference he had with Maſſaſſowat, and how he charged him perfectly to acquaint me therewith (as I ſhewed before) which hauing done, he vſed many arguments himſelfe to moue vs thereunto; That night we lodged at Namasket, and the day following about the mid way betweene it and home, wee met two Indians, who told vs that Captaine Standiſh was that day gone to the Maſſachuſets: but contrary windes againe driue him backe, ſo that we found him at home; where the Indian of Paomet ſtill was, being very importunate that the Captaine ſhould take the firſt opportunitie of a faire wind to goe with him, but their ſecret and villanous purpoſes being through Gods mercy now made knowne, the Gouernour cauſed Captaine Standiſh to ſend him away without any diſtaſteor manifeſtation of anger, that wee might the better effect and bring to paſſe that which ſhould be thought moſt neceſſary.
Before this iourney we heard many complaints both by the Indians and ſome others of beſt deſert amongſt Maſter Weſtons Colony, how exceedingly their Company abaſed themſelues by vndirect meanes, to get victualls from the Indians, who dwelt not farre from them, fetching them wood and water, &c. and all for a meales meate, whereas in the meane time, they might with diligence haue gotten enough to haue ſerued them three or foure times. Other by night brake the earth, and robbed the Indians ſtore, for which they had beene publiquely ſtocked and whipt, and yet was there ſmall amendment. This was about the end of February, at which time they had ſpent all their bread and corne, not leauing any for ſeed, neither would the Indians lend or ſell them any more vpon any termes. Hereupon they had thoughts to take it by violence, and to that ends ſpiked vp euery entrance into their Towne (being well impaled) ſaue one, with a full reſolution to proceed. But ſome more honeſtly minded, adviſed Iohn Sanders their Over-ſeer firſt to write to Plimoth, and if the Gouernour adviſed him thereunto, he might the better doe it. This courſe was well liked, and an Indian was ſent with all ſpeede with a letter to our Gouernour, the contents whereof were to this effect; That being in great want, and. their people daily falling downe, he intended to goe to Munhiggen, where was a Plantation of Sir Ferdi: Gorges, to buy bread from the Ships that came thither a fiſhing, with the firſt opportunitie of wind; but knew not how the Colony would be preſerued till his returne: he had vſed all meanes both to buy and borrow of Indians whom hee knew to be ſtored, and he thought maliciouſly with-held it, and therefore was reſolued to take it by violence, and onely waited the returne of the Meſſenger, which he deſired ſhould be haſtned, crauing his advice therein, promiſing alſo to make reſtitution afterward. The Gouernour vpon the receipt hereof, asked the Meſſenger what ſtore of corne they had, as if he had intended to buy of them; who anſwered very little more then that they reſerued for ſeed, hauing alreadie ſpared all they could. Forth-with the Gouernour and his Aſſiſtant ſent for many of vs to adviſe with them herein, who after ſerious conſideration, no way approuing of this intended courſe, the Gouernour anſwered his Letter, and cauſed many of vs to ſet our handes thereto, the contents whereof were to this purpoſe; Wee altogether diſliked their intendment, as being againſt the law of God and Nature, ſhewing how it would croſſe the worthy ends and proceedings of the Kings Maiestie, and his honorable Councell for this place, both in reſpect of the peaceable enlarging of his Maieſties Dominions, and alſo of the propagation of the knowledge and Law of God, and the glad tydings of ſaluation, which we and they were bound to ſeeke, and were not to vſe ſuch meanes as would breed a diſtaſt in the Salvages againſt our perſons and profeſſions, aſſuring them their Maſter would incurre much blame hereby, neither could they anſwere the ſame; For our owne parts our caſe was almoſt the ſame with theirs, hauing but a ſmall quantitie of Corne left, and were enforced to liue on ground nuts, clams, muſſels, and ſuch other things as naturally the Countrey afforded, and which did and would maintaine ſtrength, and were eaſie to be gotten, all which things they had in great abundance, yea, Oyſters alſo which we wanted, and therefore neceſſitie could not be ſaid to conſtraine them thereunto. Moreouer, that they ſhould conſider, if they proceeded therein, all they could ſo get would maintaine them but a ſmall time, and then they muſt perforce ſeeke their foode abroad, which hauing made the Indians their enemies, would be very difficult for them, and therefore much better to beginne a little the ſooner, and ſo continue their peace, vpon which courſe they might with good conſcience deſire and expect the bleſſing of God, whereas on the contrary they could not.
Alſo that they ſhould conſider their owne weakeneſſe, being moſt ſwelled, and diſeaſed in their bodies, and therefore the more vnlikely to make their partie good againſt them, and that they ſhould not expect helpe from vs in that or any the like vnlawfull actions. Laſtly, that howſoeuer ſome of them might eſcape, yet the principall Agents ſhould expect no better then the Galhouſe, whenſoeuer any ſpeciall Officer ſhould be ſent ouer by his Maiestie, or his Councell for New England, which wee expected, and who would vndoubtedly call them to account for the ſame. Theſe were the contents of our Anſwere, which was directed to their whole Colony. Another particular Letter our Governour ſent to Iohn Sanders, ſhewing how dangerous it would be for him aboue all others, being he was their leader and commander; and therefore in friendly manner adviſed him to deſiſt.
With theſe Letters we diſpatched the Meſſenger; Vpon the receipt whereof they altered their determination, reſoluing to ſhift as they could, till the returne of Iohn Sanders from Munhiggen, who firſt coming to Plimoth, notwithſtanding our owne neceſſities, the Gouernour ſpared him ſome Corne to carry them to Munhiggen. But not hauing ſufficient for the Ships ſtore, he tooke a Shallop and leauing others with inſtructions to over ſee things till his returne, ſet forward about the end of February, ſo that he knew not of this conſpiracie of the Indians before his going; neither was it knowne to any of vs till our returne from Sawaams or Puckanakick: At which time alſo another Sachim called Waſſapinewat, brother to Obtakieſt the Sachim of the Maſſachuſets, who had formerly ſmarted for partaking with Conbatant, and fearing the like againe, to purge himſelfe revealed the ſame thing.
The three and twentieth of March being now come, which is a yeerely Court day, the Governour having a double teſtimony, and many circumſtances agreeing with the truth thereof, not being to vndertake warre without the conſent of the bodie of the Company; made known the ſame in publique Court, offering it to the conſideration of the Company, it being high time to come to reſolution, how ſudden ſoever it ſeemed to them, fearing it would bee put in execution before we could giue any intelligence thereof. This buſineſſe was no leſſe troubleſome then grievous, and the more, becauſe it is ſo ordinarie in these times for men to meaſure things by the events thereof: but eſpecially for that we knew no meanes to deliuer our Countrimen and preſerue our ſelues, then by returning their malicious and cruell purpoſes vpon their owne heads, and cauſing them to fall into the same pitte they had digged for others, though it much grieued vs to ſhed the blood of thoſe whoſe good wee euer intended and aymed at, as a principall in all our proceedings. But in the end we came to this publique concluſion, that becauſe it was a matter of ſuch weight as euery man was not of ſufficiency to iudge, nor fitneſſe to know becauſe of many other Indians which dayly as occaſion ſerueth conuerſe with vs; therefore the Governour, his Aſſiſtant, and the Captaine, ſhould take ſuch to thẽſelues as they thought moſt meete, and conclude thereof; which done we came to this concluſion, That Captaine Standiſh ſhould take ſo many men as he thought ſufficient to make his party good againſt all the Indians in the Maſſachuſet bay; and becauſe (as all men know that haue had to doe in that kinde) it is impoſſible to deale with them vpon open defiance, but to take them in ſuch trappes as they lay for others; therefore hee ſhould pretend trade as at other times: but firſt goe to the Engliſh and acquaint them with the plot, and the end of his owne comming, that comparing it with their carriages towards them hee might the better iudge of the certainty of it, and more fitly take opportunity to revenge the ſame: but ſhould forbeare if it were poſſible till ſuch time as hee could make ſure Wituwamat, that bloody and bold villaine before ſpoken of, whoſe heade hee had order to bring with him, that hee might be a warning and terrour to all of that diſpoſition. Vpon this Captaine Standiſh made choyce of eight men, and would not take more becauſe hee would prevent iealouſie, knowing their guilty conſciences would ſoone be prouoked hereunto: but on the next day before hee could goe, came one of Mr. Weſtons Company by land vnto vs, with his packe at his backe, who made a pitifull narration of their lamentable and weake eſtate, and of the Indians carriages, whose boldneſſe increaſed abundantly, inſomuch as the victuals they got they would take it out of their potts and eat before their faces, yea if in any thing they gaine-ſayd them, they were ready to hold a knife at their breaſts; that to giue them content, ſince Iohn Sanders went to Munhiggen, they had hanged one of them that ſtole their corne, and yet they regarded it not; that another of their Company was turned Saluage, that their people had moſt forſaken the towne, and made their randeuous where they got their victuals, becauſe they would not take paines to bring it home; that they had ſold their cloathes for corne, and were ready to ſtarue both with cold and hunger alſo, becauſe they could not indure to get victuals by reaſon of their nakedneſſe; and that they were diſperſed into-three Companies ſcarce hauing any powder and ſhot left. What would be the event of theſe things (he ſaid) he much feared; and therefore not daring to ſtay any longer among them, though hee knew not the way yet aduentured to come to vs, partly to make knowne their weake and dangerous eſtate, as hee conceiued, and partly to deſire hee might there remaine till things were better ſettled at the other plantation. As this relation was grievout to vs, ſo it gaue vs good encouragement to proceede in our intendments, for which Captain Standiſh was now fitted, and the winde comming faire, the next day ſet forth for the Maſſachuſets.
The Indians at the Maſſachuſets miſſed this man, and ſuſpecting his comming to vs as we conceiue, ſent one after him and gaue out there that hee would never come to Patuxet, but that ſome Wolues or Beares would eate him: but we know both by our owne experience and the report of others, that though they finde a man ſleeping, yet ſo ſoone as there is life diſcerned they feare and ſhun him. This Indian miſſed him but very little, and miſſing him paſſed by the towne and went to Manomet, whom wee hoped to take at his return, as afterward we did. Now was our Fort made fit for ſeruice and ſome Ordnance mounted; and though it may ſeeme long worke it being ten moneths ſince it begun, yet wee muſt note, that whereſo great a work is begun with ſuch ſmall meanes, a little time cannot bring to perfection: beſide those workes which tend to the preſervation of man, the enemie of mankinde will hinder what in him lieth, ſometimes blinding the iudgement and cauſing reaſonable men to reaſon againſt their owne ſafety, as amongſt vs diuerſe ſeeing the worke proue tedious, would haue diſſwaded from proceeding, flattering themſelues with peace and ſecurity, and accounting it rather a worke of ſuperfluity and vaine-glory, then ſimple neceſſity. But God (whoſe providence hath waked and as I may ſay, watched for vs whilſt wee ſlept) having determined to preſerue vs from theſe intended treacheries, vndoubtedly ordained this as a ſpeciall meanes to advantage vs and diſcourage our adverſaries, and therefore ſo ſtirred vp the hearts of the Governours and other forward inſtruments, as the work was iuſt made ſerviceable againſt this needfull and dangerous time, though wee ignorant of the ſame. But that I may proceed, the Indian laſt mentioned in his returne from Monomet, came through the towne pretending ſtill friendſhip and in loue to ſee vs, but as formerly others, ſo his end was to ſee whether wee continued ſtill in health and ſtrength, or fell into weakeneſſe like their neighbours, which they hoped and looked for (though God in mercy provided better for vs) and hee knew would be glad tydings to his Countrey men. But here the Governour ſtayd him, and ſending for him to the Fort, there gaue the Guard charge of him as their priſoner, where he told him hee muſt be contented to remaine till the returne of Captaine Standiſh from the Maſſachuſets, ſo hee was locked in a chaine to a ſtaple in the Court of guard, and there kept. Thus was our Fort hanſelled, this being the firſt day as I take it, that euer any watch was there kept.
The Captaine being now come to the Maſſachuſets, went firſt to the ſhip, but found neither man, or ſo much as a dogge therein: vpon the diſcharge of a Musket the Maſter and ſome others of the plantation ſhewed themſelues, who were on the ſhore gathering ground-nuts, and getting other foode. After ſalutation Captaine Standiſh asked them how they durſt ſo leaue the ſhip and liue in ſuch ſecurity, who anſwered like men ſenſleſſe of their owne miſery, they feared not the Indians, but liued and ſuffered them to lodge with them, not having ſword, or gunne, or needing the ſame. To which the Captaine anſwered, if there were no cauſe hee was the gladder but vpon further inquirie, vnderſtanding that thoſe in whom Iohn Sanders had receiued moſt ſpecial confidence and left in his ſtead to governe the reſt were at the Plantation, thither hee went, and to be briefe, made knowne the Indians purpoſe and the end of his owne comming, as alſo (which formerly I omitted) that if afterward they durſt not there ſtay, it was the intendment of the Gouernours and people of Plimouth there to receiue them till they could be better prouided: but if they conceiued of any other courſe that might bee more likely for their good, that himſelfe ſhould further them therein to the vttermost of his power. Theſe men comparing other circumſtances with that they now heard, anſwered, they could expect no better, and it was Gods mercy that they were riot killed before his comming, deſiring therefore that hee would neglect no opportunitie to proceede: Hereupon hee adviſed them to ſecrecy, yet withall to ſend ſpeciall command to one third of their Company that were fartheſt off to come home, and there enioyne them on paine of death to keepe the towne, himſelfe allowing them a pint of Indian corne to a man for a day (though that ſtore hee had was ſpared out of our ſeed.) The weather prouing very wet and ſtormy, it was the longer before hee could doe any thing.
In the meane time an Indian came to him and brought ſome furres, but rather to gather what hee could from the Captaines then comming then for trade; and though the Captaine carryed things as ſmoothly as poſſibly he could, yet at his returne hee reported hee ſaw by his eyes that hee was angry in his heart, and therefore beganne to ſuſpect themſelues diſcouered. This cauſed one Pecksuot who was a Pineſe, being a man of a notable ſpirit to come to Hobbamock, who was then with them, and told him hee vnderſtood that the Captaine was come to kill himſelfe and the reſt of the Saluages there, tell him ſayd hee wee know it, but feare him not, neither will wee ſhunne him; but let him beginne when hee dare, he ſhall not take vs at vnawares: many times after diuerſe of them ſeuerally, or few together, came to the Plantation to him, where they would whet and ſharpen the points of their kniues before his face, and vſe many other inſulting geſtures and ſpeeches. Amongſt the reſt, Wituwamat bragged of the excellency of his knife; on the end of the handle there was pictured a womens face, but ſayd hee, I haue another at home wherewith I haue killed both French and Engliſh, and that hath a mans face on it, and by and by theſe two muſt marry: Further hee ſayd of that knife hee there had; Hinnaim namen, hinnaim michen, matta cuts: that is to ſay, By and by it ſhould ſee, and by and by it ſhould eate, but not ſpeake. Alſo Peckſuot being a man of greater ſtature then the Captaine, told him though hee were a great Captaine, yet hee was but a little man: and ſayd he, though I be no Sachim, yet I am a man of great ſtrength and courage. Theſe things the Captaine obſerued, yet bare with patience for the preſent. On the next day, ſeeing hee could not get many of them together at once, and this Pecksuot and Wituwamat both together, with another man, and a youth of ſome eighteene yeeres of age, which was brother to Wituwamat, and villaine-like trode in his ſteps, dayly putting many tricks vpon the weaker ſort of men, and hauing about as many of his owne Company in a roome with them, gaue the word to his men, and the doore being faſt ſhut began himſelfe with Pecksuot, and ſnatching his owne knife from his neck though with much ſtruggling killed him therewith, the point whereof hee had made as ſharpe as a needle, and ground the backe alſo to an edge: Wituwamat and the other man, the reſt killed, and tooke the youth, whom the Cap. cauſed to be hanged; but it is incredible how many wounds these two Pneeses received before they dyed, not making any fearful noise, but catching their weapons and striving to the last. Hobomok stood by all this time as a spectator and meddled not, observing how our men demeaned themselves in this action; all being here ended, smiling he brake forth into these speeches to the Captain, Yesterday Pecksuot bragging of his own strength and stature, said, though you were a great Captain yet you were but a little man; but to day I see you are big enough to lay him on the ground. But to proceed, there being some women at the same time, Captain Standish left them in the custody of Mr. Weston's people at the town, and sent word to another Company that had intelligence of things to kill those Indian men that were amongst them, these killed two more: himself also with some of his own men went to another place, where they killed another, and through the negligence of one man an Indian escaped, who discovered and crossed their proceedings. Not long before this execution, three of Mr. Weston's men which more regarded their bellies then any command or Commander, having formerly fared well with the Indians for making them Canoes, went again to the Sachem to offer their service, and had entertainment. The first night they came thither within night late came a Messenger with all speed, and delivered a sad and short message: Whereupon all the men gathered together, put on their boots and breeches, trussed up themselves, and took their bows and arrows and went forth, telling them they went a hunting, and that at their return they should have venison enough. Being now gone, one being more ancient and wise than the rest, calling former things to mind, especially the Captain's presence, and the strait charge that on pain of death none should go a musket shot from the plantation, and comparing this sudden departure of theirs therewith, began to dislike and wish himself at home again, which was further off than divers other dwelt. Hereupon he moved his fellows to return, but could not persuade them. So there being none but women left, and the other that was turned savage, about midnight came away, forsaking the paths, lest he should be pursued; and by this means saved his life. Captain Standish took one half of his men, and one or two of Mr. Weston's, and Hobomok, still seeking to make spoil of them and theirs. At length they espied a file of Indians, which made towards them amain; and there being a small advantage in the ground, by reason of a hill near them, both companies strove for it. Captain Standish got it; whereupon they retreated, and took each man his tree, letting fly their arrows amain, especially at himself and Hobomok. Whereupon Hobomok cast off his coat, and being a known pinese, (theirs being now killed,) chased them so fast, as our people were not able to hold way with him; insomuch as our men could have but one certain mark, and then but the arm and half face of a notable villain, as he drew at Captain Standish; who together with another both discharged at once at him, and brake his arm; whereupon they fled into a swamp. When they were in the thicket, they parleyed, but to small purpose, getting nothing but foul language. So our Captain dared the sachem to come out and fight like a man, showing how base and woman-like he was in tonguing it as he did; but he refused, and fled. So the Captain returned to the Plantation; where he released the women, and would not take their beaver coats from them, nor suffer the least discourtesy to be offered them. Now were Mr. Weston's people resolved to leave their plantation, and go for Monhiggan, hoping to get passage and return with the fishing ships. The Captain told them, that for his own part he durst there live with fewer men than they were; yet since they were otherways minded, according to his order from the governors and people of Plymouth, he would help them with corn competent for their pro- vision by the way; which he did, scarce leaving himself more than brought them home. Some of them disliked the choice of the body to go to Monhiggan, and therefore desiring to go with him to Plymouth, he took them into the shallop: and seeing them set sail and clear of the Massachusetts bay, he took leave and returned to Plymouth, whither he came in safety (blessed be God) and brought the head of Wituwamat with him. Amongst the rest there was an Indian youth that was ever of a courteous and loving disposition towards Us, he notwithstanding the death of his Countrymen came to the Captain without fear, saying his good conscience and love towards us emboldened him so to do. This youth confessed that the Indians intended to kill Mr. Weston's people, and not to delay any longer then till they had two more Canoes or Boats, which Mr. Weston's men would have finished by this time (having made them three already) had not the Captain prevented them, and the end of stay for those Boats, was to take their Ship therewith. Now was the Captain returned and received with joy, and the head being brought to the fort and there set up, the Governors and Captains with divers others went up the same further to examine the prisoner, who looked piteously on the head, being asked whether he knew it, he answered, yea: Then he confessed the plot, and that all the people provoked Obtakiest their Sachem hereunto, being drawn to it by their importunity: Five there were (he said) that prosecuted it with more eagerness then the rest, the two principal were killed, being Pecksuot and Witowamat, whose head was there, the other three were Powahs, being yet living, and known unto Us, though one of them was wounded, as aforesaid. For himself he would not acknowledge that he had any hand therein, begging earnest for his life, saying, he was not a Massachusetts man, but as a stranger lived with them. Hobomok also gave a good report of him, and besought for him but was bribed so to do: Nevertheless, that we might show mercy as well as extremity, the Governor released him, and the rather because we desired he might carry a message to Obtakiest his Master. No sooner were the irons from his legs, but he would have been gone, but the Governor bid him stay and fear not, for he should receive no hurt, and by Hobomok commanded him to deliver this message to his Master; That for our parts, it never entered into our hearts to take such a course with them, till their own treachery enforced us hereunto, and therefore might thank themselves for their own over-throw, yet since he had begun, if again by any the like courses he did provoke him, his Country should not hold him, for he would never suffer him or his to rest in peace, till he had utterly consumed them, and therefore should take this as a warning. Further, that he should send to Patuxet the three Englishmen he had and not kill them; also that he should not spoil the pale and houses at Wessagussett, and that this Messenger should either bring the English, or an answer, or both, promising his safe return. This message was delivered, and the party would have returned with answer, but was at first dissuaded by them, whom afterward they would but could not persuade to come to us. At length (though long) a Woman came and told us that Obtakiest was sorry that the English were killed before he heard from the Governor, otherwise he would have sent them. Also she said, he would fain make his peace again with us, but none of his men durst come to treat about it, having forsaken his dwelling, and daily removed from place to place, expecting when we would take further vengeance on him. Concerning those other people that intended to join with the Massachuseucks against us, though we never went against any of them, yet this sudden and unexpected execution, together with the just judgment of God upon their guilty consciences, hath so terrified and amazed them, as in like manner they forsook their houses, running running to and fro like men distracted, living in swamps and other desert places, and so brought manifold diseases amongst themselves, whereof very many are dead, as Canacum the Sachem of Manomet, Aspinet, the Sachem of Nauset, and Ianough, Sachem of Mattachuest. This Sachem in his life, in the midst of these distractions, said the God of the English was offended with them, and would destroy them in his anger, and certainly it is strange to hear how many of late have, and still daily die amongst them, neither is there any likelihood it will easily cease, because through fear they set little or no Corn, which is the staff of life, and without which they cannot long preserve health and strength. From one of these places a boat was sent with presents to the Governor, hoping thereby to work their peace, but the boat was cast away, and three of the persons drowned, not far from our plantation, only one escaped, who durst not come to us, but returned, so as none of them dare come amongst us. I fear I have been too tedious both in this and other things, yet when I considered how necessary a thing it is that the truth and grounds of this action, especially should be made known, and the several dispositions of that dissolved Colony, whose reports undoubtedly will be as various, I could not but enlarge my self where I thought to be most brief; neither durst I be too brief, least I should eclipse and rob God of that honor, glory, and praise, which belongeth to him for preserving us from falling when we were at the pits brim, and yet feared nor knew not that we were in danger.
The month of April being now come, on all hands we began to prepare for Corn. And because there was no Corn left before this time, save that was preserved for seed, being also hopeless of relief by supply, we thought best to leave off all other works, and prosecute that as most necessary. And because there was no small hope of doing good in that common course of labor that formerly we were in, for that the Governors that followed men to their labors, had nothing to give men for their necessities, and therefore could not so well exercise that command of them therein as formerly they had done, especially considering that self-love wherewith every man (in a measure more or less) loveth and preferreth his own good before his neighbors, and also the base disposition of some drones, that as at other times so now especially would be most burdenous to the rest; It was therefore thought best that every man should use the best diligence he could, for his own preservation, both in respect of the time present and to prepare his own Corn for the year following and bring in a competent portion for the maintenance of public Officers, Fishermen, etc. which could not be freed from their calling without greater inconveniences. This course was to continue till harvest, and then the Governors to gather in the appointed portion, for the maintenance of themselves and such others as necessity constrained to exempt from this Condition. Only if occasion served upon any special service they might employ such as they thought most fit to execute the same, during this appointed time, and at the end thereof all men to be employed by them in such service as they thought most necessary for the general good. And because there is great difference in the ground, that therefore a set quantity should be set down for a person, and each man to have his fall by lot, as being most just and equal, and against which no man could except. At a general meeting of the Company, many courses were propounded, but this approved and followed, as being the most likely for the present and future good of the Company; and therefore before this month began to prepare our ground against seed-time. In the midst of April we began to set, the weather being then seasonable, which much encouraged us, giving us good hopes of after plenty: the setting season is good till the latter end of May. But it pleased God for our further chastisement, to send a great drought, insomuch, as in six weeks after the latter setting there scarce fell any rain, so that the stalk of that was first set began to send forth the ear before it came to half growth, and that which was later, not like to yield any at all, both blade and stalk hanging the head, and changing the color in such manner, as we judged It utterly dead: our Beans also ran not up according to their wonted manner, but stood at a stay, many being parched away, as though they had been scorched before the fire. Now were our hopes overthrown, and we discouraged, our joy being turned into mourning. To add also to this sorrowful estate in which we were, we heard of a supply that was sent unto us many months since, which having two repulses before, was a third time in company of another ship three hundred Leagues at Sea, and now in three months time heard no further of her, only the signs of a wrack were scene on the coast, which could not be judged to be any other then the same. So that at once God seemed to deprive us of all future hopes. The most courageous were now discouraged, because God which hitherto had been our only Shield and Supporter, now seemed in his anger to arm himself against us; and who can withstand the fierceness of his wrath. These, and the like considerations moved not only every good man privately to enter Into examination with his own estate between God and his conscience, and so to humiliation before him: but also more solemnly to humble our selves together before the Lord by fasting and prayer. To that end a day was appointed by public authority, and set a-part from all other employments, hoping that the same God which had stirred us Up hereunto, would be moved hereby in mercy to look down upon Us, and grant the request of our dejected souls, if our continuance there might any way stand with his glory and our good. But oh the mercy of our God! Who was as ready to hear as we to ask: For though in the morning when we assembled together, the heavens were as clear and the drought as like to continue as ever it was: yet (our exer- cise continuing some eight or nine hours) before our departure the weather was over-cast, the clouds gathered together on all sides, and on the next morning distilled such soft, sweet, and moderate showers of rain, continuing some fourteen days, and mixed with such seasonable weather, as it was hard to say whether our withered Corn or drooping affections were most quickened or revived. Such was the bounty and goodness of our God. Of this the Indians by means of Hobomok took notice: who being then in the Town, and this exercise in the midst of the week, said, it was but three days since Sunday, and therefore demanded of a boy what was the reason thereof? Which when he knew and saw what effects followed thereupon, he and all of them admired the goodness of our God towards us, that wrought so great a change in so short a time, strewing the difference between their conjuration, and our invocation on the name of God for rain; theirs being mixed with such storms and tempests, as sometimes in stead of doing them good, it layeth the Corn flat on the ground, to their prejudice: but ours in so gentle and seasonable a manner, as they never observed the like. At the same time Captain Standish being formerly employed by the Governor to buy provisions for the refreshing of the Colony, returned with the same, accompanied with one Mr. David Tomson, a Scotchman, who also that Spring began a Plantation twenty-five leagues northeast from us, near Smiths Isles, at a place called Pascatoquack, where he liketh well. Now also heard we of the third repulse that our supply had, of their safe though dangerous return into England, and of their preparation to come to us. So that having these many signs of Gods favor and acceptation, we thought it would be great ingratitude, if secretly we should smoother up the same, or content our selves with private thanksgiving for that which by private prayer could not be obtained. And therefore another solemn day was set a-part and appointed for that end, wherein we returned glory, honor, and praise, with all thankfulness to our God, which dealt so graciously with us, whose name for these and all other his mercies towards his Church and chosen ones, by them be blessed and praised now and evermore, Amen. In the latter end of July and the beginning of August, came two Ships with supply unto us, who brought all their passengers, except one, in health, who recovered in short time, who also notwithstanding, all our wants and hardship (blessed be God) found not any one sick person amongst us at the Plantation. The bigger Ship called the Anne was hired, and there again freighted back, from whence we set sail the tenth of September. The lesser called the little James, was built for the company at their charge. She was now also fitted for Trade and discovery to the South-ward of Cape Cod, and almost ready to set sail, whom I pray God to bless in her good and lawful proceedings.
Thus have I made a true and full Narration of the state of our Plantation, and such things as were most remarkable therein since December 1621. If I have omitted any thing, it is either through weakness of memory, or because I judged it not material: I confess my stile rude, and unskillfulness in the task I undertook, being urged hereunto by opportunity, which I knew to be wanting in others, and but for which I would not have undertaken the same; yet as it is rude so it is plain, and therefore the easier to be understood; wherein others may see that which we are bound to acknowledge, viz. That if ever any people in these later ages were upheld by the providence of God after a more special manner then others, then we: and therefore are the more bound to celebrate the memory of his goodness, with everlasting thankfulness. For in these forenamed straits, such was our state, as in the morning we had often our food to seek for the day, and yet performed the duties of our Callings, I mean other daily labors, to provide for after time: and though at some times in some seasons at noon I have seen men stagger by reason of faintness for want of food, yet ere night by the good providence and blessing of God, we have enjoyed such plenty as though the windows of heaven had been opened unto us. How few, weak, and raw were we at our first beginning, and there selling, and in the midst of barbarous enemies? yet God wrought our peace for us. How often have we been at the pits brim, and in danger to be swallowed up, yea, not knowing, till afterward that we were in peril? and yet God preserved us: yea, and from how many that we yet know not of, he that knoweth all things can best tell: So that when I seriously consider of things, I cannot but think that God hath a purpose to give that Land as an inheritance to our Nation, and great pity it were that it should long lie in so desolate a state, considering it agreeth so well with the constitution of our bodies, being both fertile, and so temperate for heat and cold, as in that respect one can scarce distinguish New-England from Old. A few things I thought meet to add hereunto, which I have observed amongst the Indians, both touching their Religion, and sundry other Customs amongst them. And first, whereas my self and others, in former Letters (which came to the Press against my will and knowledge) wrote, that the Indians about us are a people without any Religion, or knowledge of any God, therein I erred, though we could then gather no better: For as they conceive of many divine powers, so of one whom they call Kiehtan, to be the principal and maker of all the rest, and to be made by none: He (they say) created the heavens, earth, sea, and all creatures contained therein. Also that he made one man and one woman, of whom they and we and all mankind came: but how they became so far dispersed that know they not. At first they say, there was no Sachem, or King, but Kiehtan, who dwelleth above in the Heavens, whither all good men go when they die, to see their friends, and have their fill of all things: This his habitation lyeth far West-ward in the heavens, they say; thither the bad men go also, and knock at his door, but he bids them Quatchet, that is to say, Walk abroad, for there is no place for such; so that they wander in restless want and penury: Never man saw this Kiehtan; only old men tell them of him, and bid them tell their children, yea, to charge them to teach their posterities the same, and lay the like charge upon them. This power they acknowledge to be good, and when they would obtain any great matter, meet together, and cry unto him, and so likewise for plenty, victory, etc. sing, dance, feast, give thanks, and hang up Garlands and other things in memory of the same. Another power they worship, whom they call Hobomok, and to the Northward of us Hobbamoqui; this as far as we can conceive is the Devil, him they call upon to cure their wounds and diseases. When they are curable, he persuades them he sends the same for some conceived anger against them, but upon their calling upon him can and cloth help them: But when they are mortal, and not curable in nature, then he persuades them Kiehtan is angry and sends them, whom none can cure: in so much, as in that respect only they somewhat doubt whether he be simply good, and therefore in sickness never call upon him. This Hobomok appears in sundry forms unto them, as in the shape of a Man, a Deer, a Fawn, an Eagle, etc. but most ordinarily a Snake: He appears not to all but the chiefest and most judicious amongst them, though all of them strive to attain to that hellish height of honor. He appeareth most ordinary and is most conversant with three sorts of people, one I confess I neither know by name nor office directly of these they have few but esteem highly of them, and think that no weapon can kill them: another they call by the name of Powah, and the third Pniese. The office and duty of the Powah is to be exercised principally in calling upon the Devil, and curing diseases of the sick or wounded. The common people join with him in the exercise of invocation, but do but only assent, or as we term it, say ten to that he saith, yet sometime break out into a short musical note with him. The Powah is eager and free in speech, fierce in countenance, and joineth many antics and laborious gestures with the same over the party diseased. If the party be wounded he will also seem to suck the wound, but if they be curable (as they say) he toucheth it not, but a Skooke, that is the Snake, or Wobsacuck, that is the Eagle, sitteth on his shoulder and licks the same. This none see but the Powah, who tells them he cloth it himself. If the party be otherwise diseased, it is accounted sufficient if in any shape he but come into the house, taking it for an undoubted sign of recovery. And as in former ages Apollo had his temple at Delphos, and Diana at Ephesus; so have I heard them call upon some as if they had their residence in some certain places, or because they appeared in those forms in the same. In the Powahs speech he promiseth to sacrifice many skins of beasts, kettles, hatchets, beads knives, and other the best things they have to the fiend, if he will come to help the party diseased: But whether they perform it I know not. The other practices I have scene, being necessarily called at some times to be with their sick, and have used the best arguments I could make them understand against the same: They have told me I should see the Devil at those times come to the party, but I assured my self and them of the contrary, which so proved: yea, them selves have confessed they never saw him when any of us were present. In desperate end extraordinary hard travel in childbirth, when the party cannot be delivered by the ordinary meals, they send for this Powah though ordinarily their travel is not so extreme as in our parts of the world, they being of a more hardy nature; for on the third day after child-birth I have scene the mother with the infant upon a small occasion in cold weather in a boat upon the Sea. Many sacrifices the Indians use, and in some cases kill children. It seemeth they are various in their religious worship in a little distance, and grow more and more cold in their worship to Kiehtan; saying in their memory he was much more called upon. The Narragansetts exceed in their blind devotion, and have a great spacious house wherein only some few (that are as we may term them Priests) come: thither at certain known times resort all their people, and offer almost all the riches they have to their gods, as kettles, skins, hatchets, beads, knives, etc. all which are cast by the Priests into a great fire that they make in the midst of the house, and there consumed to ashes. To this offering every man bringeth freely, and the more he is known to bring, hath the better esteem of all men. This the other Indians about us approve of as good, and wish their Sachems would appoint the like: and because the plague hath not reigned at Narragansetts as at other places about them, they attribute to this custom there used. The Pnieses are men of great courage and wisdom, and to these also the Devil appeareth more familiarly then to others, and as we conceive maketh covenant with them to preserve them from death, by wounds, with arrows, knives, hatchets, etc. or at least both themselves and especially the people think themselves to be freed from the same. And though against their batters all of them by painting disfigure themselves, yet they are known by their cottage and boldness, by reason whereof one of them will chase almost an hundred men, for they account it death for whomsoever stand in their way. These are highly esteemed of all sorts of people, and are of the Sachems Council, without whom they will not war or undertake any weighty business. In war their Sachems for their more safety go in the midst of them. They are commonly men of the greatest stature and strength, and such as will endure most hardness, and yet are more discreet, courteous, and humane in their carriages then any amongst them scorning theft, lying, and the like base dealings, and stand as much upon their reputation as any men. And to the end they may have store of these, they train up the most forward and likeliest boys from their childhood in great hardness, and make them abstain from dainty meat, observing divers orders prescribed, to the end that when they are of age the Devil may appear to them, causing to drink the juice of Sentry and other bitter herbs till they cast, which they must disgorge into the platter, and drink again, and again, till at length through extraordinary oppressing of nature it will seem to be all blood, and this the boys will do with eagerness at the first, and so continue till by reason of faintness they can scarce stand on their legs, and then must go forth into the cold: also they beat their shins with sticks, and cause them to run through bushes, stumps, and brambles, to make them hardy and acceptable to the Devil, that in time he may appear unto them. Their Sachems cannot be all called Kings, but only some few of them, to whom the rest resort for protection, and pay homage unto them, neither may they war without their knowledge and approbation, yet to be commanded by the greater as occasion serveth. Of this sort is Massasoit our friend, and Conanacus of Narragansett our supposed enemy. Every Sachem taketh care for the widow and fatherless, also for such as are aged, and any way maimed, if their friends be dead or not able to provide for them. A Sachem will not take any to wife but such an one as is equal to him in birth, otherwise they say their seed would in time become ignoble, and though they have many other wiues, yet are they no other then concubines or ſervants, and yeeld a kinde of obedience to the principall, who ordereth the family, and them in it. The like their men obſerue alſo, and will adhere to the firſt during their liues; but put away the other at their pleaſure.
This gouernment is ſucceſſiue and not by choyce. If the father die before the ſonne or daughter be of age, then the childe is committed to the protection and tuition of ſome one amongſt them, who ruleth in his ſtead till he be of age, but when that is I know not.
Every Sachim knoweth how farre the bounds and limits of his owne Countrey extendeth, and that is his owne proper inheritance, out of that if any of his men deſire land to ſet their corne, hee giueth them as much as they can vſe, and ſets them their bounds. In this circuit whoſoever hunteth, if they kill any veniſon, bring him his fee, which is the fore parts of the ſame, if it be killed on the land, but if in the water, then the skin thereof: The great Sachims or Kings, know their owne bounds or limits of land, as well as the reſt.
All trauellers or ſtrangers for the moſt part lodge at the Sachims, when they come they tell them how long they will ſtay, and to what place they goe, during which time they receiue entertainement according to their perſons, but want not.
Once a yeere the Pnieſes vſe to prouoke the people to beſtow much corne on the Sachim. To that end they appoint a certain time and place neere the Sachims dwelling, where the people bring many baskets of corne, and make a great ſtack thereof. There the Pnieſes ſtand ready to giue thanks to the people on the Sachims behalfe, and after acquainteth the Sachims therewith, who fetcheth the ſame, and is no leſſe thankefull, beſtowing many gifts on them.
When any are viſited with ſickneſſe, their friends reſort vnto them for their comfort, and continue with them oft-times till their death or recouery. If they die they ſtay a certain time to mourne for them. Night and morning they performe this dutie many dayes after the buriall in a moſt dolefull manner, inſomuch as though it be ordinary and the note muſicall, which they take one from another, and all together, yet it will draw teares from their eyes, & almoſt from ours alſo. But if they recouer then becauſe their ſickneſſe was chargeable, they ſend corne and other gifts vnto them at a certaine appointed time, whereat they feaſt and dance, which they call Commoco.
When they bury the dead they ſow up the corps in a mat and ſo put it in the earth. If the party bee a Sachim they cover him with many curious mats, and bury all his riches with him, and incloſe the graue with a pale. If it bee a childe the father will alſo put his owne moſt ſpeciall iewels and ornaments in the earth with it, alſo will cut his haire and disfigure himſelef very much in token of ſorrow. If it be the man or woman of the houſe, they will pull downe the mattes and leaue the frame ſtanding, and burie them in or neere the ſame, and either remoue their dwelling or giue ouer houſe-keeping.
The men imploy themſelues wholly in hunting, and other exerciſes of the bow, except at ſome times they take ſome paines in fiſhing.
The women liue a moſt ſlauiſh life, they carry all their burdens, ſet and dreſſe their corne, gather it in, ſeeke out for much of their food, beate and make ready the corne to eate, and haue all houſhold care lying vpon them.
The younger ſort reverence the elder, and do all meane offices whilſt they are together, although they bee ſtrangers. Boyes and girles may not weare their haire like men and women, but are diſtinguiſhed thereby.
A man is not accounted a man till he doe ſome notable act, or ſhew forth ſuch courage and reſolution as becometh his place. The men take much tobacco, but for boyes ſo to doe they account it odious.
All their names are ſignificant and variable, for when they come to the ſtate of men and women, they alter them according to their deeds or diſpoſitions.
When a maide is taken in marriage ſhe firſt cutteth her haire, and after weareth a couering on her head till her hayre be growne out. Their women are diuerſly diſpoſed, ſome as modeſt as they will ſcarce talke one with another in the company of men, being very chaſte also; yet other ſome light, laſciuious and wanton.
If a woman haue a bad husband, or cannot affect him, and there be warre or oppoſition between that and any other people, ſhee will runne away from him to the contrary party and there liue, where they neuer come vnwelcome: for where are moſt women, there is greateſt plenty.
When a woman hath her monethly termes ſhee ſeparateth her ſelfe from all other company, and liueth certaine dayes in a houſe alone: after which ſhe waſheth her ſelfe and all that ſhee hath touched or vſed, and is againe receiued to her husbands bed or family.
For adultery the husband will beate his wife and put her away, if he pleaſe. Some common ſtrumpets there are as well as in other places, but they are ſuch as either never marryed, or widowes, or put away for adultery: for no man will keepe ſuch an one to wife.
In matters of vniuſt and diſ-honeſt dealing the Sachim examineth and puniſheth the ſame. In caſe of thefts, for the firſt offence he is diſgracefully rebuked, for the ſecond beaten by the Sachim with a cudgell on the naked backe, for the third hee is beaten with many ſtroakes, and hath his noſe ſlit vpward, that thereby all men may both know and ſhun him. If any man kill another, hee muſt likewiſe die for the ſame. The Sachim not only paſſeth the ſentence vpon malefactors, but executeth the ſame with his owne hands, if the party be then preſent; if not, ſendeth his owne knife in caſe of death, in the hands of others to performe the ſame. But if the offender bee to receiue other puniſhment, hee will not receiue the ſame but from the Sachim himſelfe, before whom being naked he kneeleth, and will not offer to run away though hee beat him never ſo much, it being a greater diſparagement for a man to cry during the time of his correction, then is his offence and puniſhment.
As for their apparell they weare breeches and ſtockings in one like ſome Iriſh, which is made of Deare skinnes, and haue ſhooes of the ſame leather. They weare also a Dears skin looſe about them like a cloake, which they will turne to the weather ſide. In this habit they travell, but when they are at home or come to their iourneys end, preſently they pull off their breeches, ſtockins, and ſhooes, wring out the water if they bee wet, and dry them, and rub or chafe the ſame. Though theſe be off, yet haue they another ſmall garment that couereth their ſecrets. The men weare alſo when they goe abroad in colde weather an Otter or Foxe skin on their right arme, but onely their bracer on the left. Women and all of that ſexe weare ſtrings about their legs, which the men neuer doe.
The people are very ingenious and obſervatiue, they keepe account of time by the moone, and winters or ſummers; they know diuerſe of the ſtarres by name, in particular, they know the North-ſtarre and call it maske, which is to ſay the beare. Alſo they haue many names for the windes. They will gueſſe very well at the winde and weather before hand, by obſervations in the heauens. They report alſo, that ſome of them can cauſe the winde to blow in what part they liſt, can raiſe ſtormes and tempeſts which they vſually doe when they intend the death or deſtruction of other people, that by reavon of the vnſeaſonable weather they may take advantage of their enemies in their houſes. At ſuch times they performe their greateſt exployts, and in ſuch ſeaſons when they are at enmity with any, they keepe more carefull watch then at other times.
As for the language it is very copious, large, and difficult, as yet we cannot attain to any great meaſure thereof; but can vnderſtand them, and explaine our ſelues to their vnderſtanding, by the helpe of thoſe that daily converve with vs. And though there be difference in an hundred miles diſtance of place, both in language and manners, yet not ſo much but that they very well vnderſtand each other. And thus much of their liues and manners.
In ſtead of Records and Chronicles, they take this courſe, where any remarkeable act is done, in memorie of it, either in the place, or by ſome path-way neere adioyning, they make a round hole in the ground about a foote deepe, and as much over, which when others paſſing by behold, they enquire the cauſe and occaſion of the ſame, which being once knowne, they are carefull to acquaint all men, as occaſion ſerueth therewith. And leaſt ſuch holes ſhould be filled, or growne vp by any accident, as men paſſe by they will oft renew the ſame: By which means many things of great Antiquitie are freſh in memory. So that as a man travelleth, if he can vnderstand his guide, his iourney will be the leſſe tedious, by reaſon of the many hiſtoricall Diſcourses will be related vnto him.
In all this it may be ſaid, I haue neither prayſed nor diſprayſed the Country: and ſince I liued ſo long therein, my iudgment thereof will giue no leſſe ſatiſfaction to them that know me, then the Relation of our proceedings. To which I anſwere, that as in one ſo of the other, I will ſpeake as ſparingly as I can, yet will make knowne what I conceiue thereof.
And firſt for that Continent, on which wee are called New England, although it hath ever beene conceived by the Engliſh to be a part of that maine Land adioyning to Virginia, yet by relation of the Indians it ſhould appeare to be otherwisſ: for they affirme confidently, that it is an Iland, and that either the Dutch or French paſſe thorow from Sea to Sea, betweene vs and Virginia, and driue a great Trade in the ſame. The name of that inlet of the Sea they call Mohegon, which I take to be the ſame which we call Hudſons River, vp which Maſter Hudſon went many Leagues, and for want of meanes (as I heare) left it vndiſcovered. For confirmation of this, their opinion is thus much; Though Virginia be not aboue an hundred and fiftie Leagues from vs, yet they neuer heard of Powhatan, or knew that any Engliſh were planted in his Countrey, ſaue onely by vs and Tiſquantum, who went in an Engliſh Ship thither: And therefore it is the more probable, becauſe the water is not paſſable for them, who are very adventurous in their Boates.
Then for the temperature of the ayre, in almoſt three yeares experience, I can ſcarce diſtinguiſh New-England from Old England, in reſpect of heate, and cold, froſt, ſnow, raine, winds, &c. Some obiect, becauſe our Plantation lieth in the latitude of 42. it muſt needs be much hotter. I confeſſe, I cannot giue the reaſon of the contrary; onely experience teacheth vs, that if it doe exceed England, it is ſo little as muſt require better iudgements to diſcerne it. And for the Winter, I rather thinke (if there be difference) it is both ſharper and longer in New England then Old; and yet the want of thoſe comforts in the one which I have enioyed in the other, may deceiue my iudgment alſo. But in my beſt obſeruation, comparing our owne condition with the Relations of other parts of America, I cannot conceiue of any to agree better with the conſtitution of the Engliſh, not being oppreſſed with extremitie of heate, nor nipped with biting cold, by which meanes, bleſſed be God, we enioy our health, notwithſtanding, thoſe difficulties we haue vnder-gone, in ſuch a meaſure as would haue beene admired, if wee had liued in England with the like meanes.
The day is two houres longer then here when it is at the ſhorteſt, and as much ſhorter there, when it is at the longeſt.
The ſoile is variable, in ſome places mould, in ſome clay, others, a mixed ſand, &c. The chiefeſt graine is the Indian Mays, or Ginny-Wheate; the ſeed-time beginneth in midſt of Aprill, and continueth good till the midſt of May. Our harveſt beginneth with September. This corne increaſeth in great meaſure, but is inferiour in quantitie to the ſame in Virginia, the reaſon I conceiue, is becauſe Virginia is farre hotter then it is with vs, it requiring great heate to ripen; but whereas it is obiected against New-England, that Corne will not there grow, except the ground be manured with fiſh? I anſwere, That where men ſet with fiſh (as with vs) it is more eaſie ſo to doe then to cleare ground and ſet without ſome fiue or ſixe yeares, and ſo begin anew, as in Virginia and elſe where. Not but that in ſome places, where they cannot be taken with eaſe in ſuch abundance, the Indians ſet foure yeares together without, and haue as good Corne or better then we haue that ſet with them, though indeed I thinke if wee had Cattell to till the ground, it would be more profitable and better agreeable to the ſoile, to ſow Wheate, Rye, Barley, Peaſe, and Oats, then to ſet Mays, which our Indians call Ewachim: for we haue had experience that they like and thriue well; and the other will not be procured without good labour and diligence, eſpecially at ſeed-time, when it muſt alſo be watched by night to keepe the Wolues from the fiſh, till it be rotten, which will be in foureteene dayes; yet men agreeing together, and taking their turnes it is not much.
Much might be ſpoken of the benefit that may come to ſuch as ſhall here plant by Trade with the Indians for Furs, if men take a right courſe for obtaining the ſame, for I dare preſume vpon that ſmall experience I haue had, to affirme, that the Engliſh, Dutch, and French, returne yeerely many thouſand pounds profits by Trade onely from that Iland, on which we are ſeated.
Tobacco may be there planted, but not with that profit as in ſome other places, neither were it profitable there to follow it, though the increaſe were equall, becauſe fiſh is a better and richer Commoditie, and more neceſſary, which may be and are there had in as great abundance as in any other part of the world; Witneſſe the Weſt-country Merchants of England, which returne incredible gaines yearely from thence. And if they can ſo doe which here buy their ſalt at a great charge, and tranſport more Company to make their voyage, then will ſaile their Ships, what may the planters expect when once they are ſeated, and make the most of their ſalt there, and imploy themſelues at leſt eight moneths in fiſhing, whereas the other fiſh but foure, and haue their ſhip lie dead in the harbour all the time, whereas ſuch ſhipping as belong to plantations, may take fraight of pavſengers or cattell thither, and haue their lading provided againſt they come. I confeſſe, we haue come so farre ſhort of the meanes to raiſe ſuch returnes, as with great difficultie wee haue preſerued our liues; inſomuch, as when I looke backe vpon our condition, and weake meanes to preſerue the ſame, I rather admire at Gods mercy and providence in our preſervation, then that no greater things haue beene effected by vs. But though our beginning haue beene thus raw, ſmall, and difficult, as thou haſt ſeene, yet the ſame God that hath hitherto led vs thorow the former, I hope will raiſe means to accomplivh the latter. Not that we altogether, or principally propound profit to be the maine end of that wee haue vndertaken, but the glory of God, and the honour of our Country, in the inlarging of his Maiesties Dominions, yet wanting outward meanes, to ſet things in that forwardneſſe we deſire, and to further the latter by the former, I thought meete to offer both to conſideration, hoping that where Religion and profit iump together (which is rare) in ſo honourable an action, it will encourage euery honeſt man, either in perſon or purſe, to ſet forward the ſame, or at leaſt-wiſe to commend the well-fare thereof in his daily prayers to the bleſving of the bleſſed God.
I will not againe ſpeake of the abundance of fowle, ſtore of Veniſon, and variety of Fiſh, in their ſeaſons, which might incourage many to goe in their perſons, only I adviſe all ſuch before hand to conſider, that as they heare of Countries that abound with the good creatures of God, ſo meanes muſt be vſed for the taking of euery one in his kinde, and therefore not onely to content themſelues that there is ſufficient, but to foreſee how they ſhall be able to obtaine the ſame, otherwiſe, as he that walketh London ſtreetes, though he be in the middeſt of plentie, yet if he want meanes, is not the better but hath rather his ſorrow increaſed by the ſight of that he wanteth, and cannot enioy it: ſo alſo there, if thou want art and other neceſſaries hereunto belonging, thou maiſt ſee that thou wanteſt, and thy heart deſireth, and yet be never the better for the ſame. Therefore if thou ſee thine own inſufficiencie of thy ſelfe, then ioyne to ſome others, where thou maieſt in ſome meaſure enioy the ſame, otherwiſe aſſure thy ſelfe, thou art better where thou art. Some there be that thinking altogether of their preſent wants they enioy here, and not dreaming of any there, through indiſcretion plunge themſelues into a deeper ſea of miſery. As for example, it may be here, rent and firing are ſo chargeable, as without great difficultie a man cannot accompliſh the ſame; neuer conſidering, that as he ſhall haue no rent to pay, ſo he muſt build his houſe before he haue it, and peradventure may with more eaſe pay for his fuell here, then cut and fetch it home, if he haue not cattle to draw it there; though there is no ſcarcitie but rather too great plentie.
I write not theſe things to diſſwade any that ſhall ſeriously vpon due examination ſet themſelues to further the glory of God, and the honour of our Countrey, in ſo worthy an Enterpriſe, but rather to diſcourage ſuch as with too great lightneſſe vndertake ſuch courſes, who peradventure ſtrain themſelues and their friends for their paſſage thither, and are no ſooner there, then ſeeing their fooliſh imagination made voyde, are at their wits end, and would giue ten times ſo much for their returne, if they could procure it, and out of ſuch diſcontented paſſions and humors, ſpare not to lay that imputation vpon the Country, and others, which themſelues deſerue.
As for example, I haue heard ſome complaine of others for their large reports of New England, and yet becauſe they muſt drinke water and want many delicates they here enioyed, could preſently returne with their mouthes full of clamours. And can any bee ſo ſimple as to conceiue that the fountaines ſhould ſtreame forth Wine, or Beare, or the woods and rivers be like Butchers-ſhops, or fiſh-mongers ſtalles, where they might haue things taken to their hands. If thou canſt not liue without ſuch things, and haſt no meanes to procure the one, and wilt not take paines for the other, nor haſt ability to employ others for thee, reſt where thou art: for as a proud heart, a dainty tooth, a beggers purſe, and an idle hand, bee here intollerable, ſo that perſon that hath theſe qualities there, is much more abhominable. If therefore God hath giuen thee a heart to vndertake ſuch courſes, vpon ſuch grounds as bear thee out in all difficulties, viz. his glory as a principall, and all other outward good things but as acceſſaries, which peradventure thou ſhalt enioy, and it may be not: then thou wilt with true comfort and thankfulnes receiue the leaſt of his mercies; whereas on the contrary, men depriue themſelues of much happineſſe, being ſenſleſſe of greater bleſſings, and through preiudice smoother vp the loue and bounty of God, whoſe name be euer glorified in vs, and by vs, now and euermore. Amen.
IF any man deſire a more ample relation of the State of this Countrie, before ſuch time as this preſent relation taketh place, I referre them to the two former printed bookes: The one publiſhed by the Preſident and Councell for New-England, and the other gathered by the Inhabitants of this preſent Plantation at Plimouth in New-England: Both which bookes are to be ſold by Iohn Bellamy, at his ſhop at the three golden Lions in Corne-hill neere the Royall Exchange.
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.