Gookin, Daniel (DNB00)

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GOOKIN, DANIEL (1612?–1687), writer on the American Indians, born about 1612, was the third son of Daniel Gookin by his wife Marian or Mary, daughter of Richard Birde, D.D., prebendary of Canterbury, Kent, and nephew of Sir Vincent Gookin [q. v.] In the autumn of 1621 the elder Gookin, accompanied by his son, sailed from Ireland to Virginia, ‘with fifty men of his owne and thirty passengers,’ and fixed himself at Newport News (Smith, Generall Historie of Virginia, 1819, ii. 60). During the Indian massacre of March 1622 he, with barely thirty-five men, held his plantation against the natives. In the spring or summer of the same year he returned home, and by November was in possession of the castle and lands of Carrigaline, in the county of Cork. Daniel acted as agent for his father in Virginia in February 1630. On 29 Dec. 1637 he obtained a grant of 2,500 acres in the upper county of New Norfolk, upon the north-west of Nansemond river. Two years later he was in England. On 4 Nov. 1642 ‘Capt. Daniell Gookin’ had a grant of fourteen hundred acres upon Rappahannock river. In 1643 he was so deeply impressed by the preaching of a puritan missionary named Thompson (Mather, Magnalia, ed. 1820, i. 398) that he left Virginia, and was admitted into the First Church of Boston on 26 May 1644. He was made freeman only three days after his admission to the church, an indication of unusual respect. Having first settled in Boston, he was of Roxbury in 1645–6, where he founded the public school, removed to Cambridge in 1648, and was appointed captain of the military company in Cambridge (Johnson, Wonder-Working Providence, ed. Poole, p. 192). In 1649 and 1651 he was elected a representative of Cambridge, and in the last year was chosen speaker of the house. In 1652 he was elected an assistant, and re-elected continuously to 1686, except at the May election of 1676, when he was defeated for his noble care of the friendly Indians in the war then raging (Savage, Geneal. Dict. of First Settlers in New England, ii. 279). On 6 April 1648 he assigned to Captain Thomas Burbage the fourteen hundred acres of land granted to him in 1642. He made several visits to England. An order of the council of state dated 24 July 1650 authorises him to export ammunition to New England (Cal. State Papers, Col. Ser. 1574–1660, p. 341). Upon the capture of Jamaica Gookin was sent thither by Cromwell as commissioner for settling the new colony from New England, and sailed towards the end of 1655 (ib. Dom. 1655, p. 608, and 1655–6, pp. 64, 551). His instructions are printed in Granville Penn's ‘Memorials of Sir William Penn’ (ii. 585–9) from the books of the council of state. Gookin's mission met with no success, as may be seen from his letters to Secretary Thurloe (Thurloe State Papers, iv. 440, v. 6–7, vi. 362. Copies of the papers on this subject, issued by the council held at Boston 7 March 1655, are in the Bodleian Library, Rawlinson MS. A. xxxviii. ff. 263–270). Gookin was in England in 1657 (cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1659–60, p. 185), and on 10 March 1658–9 was commissioned by the council of state to receive the duties at Dunkirk (ib. Dom. 1658–9, p. 302). The committee for Dunkirk recommended him, on 30 Aug. 1659, for the post of deputy treasurer at war, to reside in Dunkirk and superintend all the financial arrangements (ib. Dom. 1659–60, p. 161). At the Restoration he returned to America, in company with the regicides Edward Whalley and William Goffe [q. v.], who resided under his protection at Cambridge until they were sent to New Haven. The king's commissioners reported that he declined to deliver up some cattle supposed to belong to them (see A Collection of Original Papers relative to .... Massachusetts Bay, Boston, 1769, p. 420; also Cal. State Papers, Col. &c. 1661–8, p. 345). In 1656 he had been appointed by the general court superintendent of all the Indians who had submitted to the government of Massachusetts. He was reinstated in 1661, and continued to hold the office until his death, although his protection of the natives made him unpopular. His work suggested his ‘Historical Collections of the Indians in New England,’ completed in 1674, first published in vol. i. of the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1792. Prefixed are epistles to Charles II as a ‘nursing father’ to the church, and to Robert Boyle as governor of the corporation for propagating the gospel in America. In 1677 he completed an ‘Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians in New England in the years 1675, 1676, 1677,’ after King Philip's war, first published in the ‘Archæologia Americana,’ ii. 423–534. Gookin was the only magistrate who joined John Eliot [q. v.] in opposing the harsh measures enacted against the Natick and other Indians, and consequently subjected himself to reproaches from his fellow-magistrates and insult in the public streets. In 1662 Gookin and a minister named Mitchell were appointed the first licensers of the printing-press at Cambridge. The first movement towards a purchase of the province of Maine by Massachusetts is in a letter written with consummate skill by Gookin to Ferdinando Gorges, dated 25 June 1663, and printed in the ‘New England Historical and Genealogical Register,’ xiii. 347–50. A postscript to his ‘Historical Collections’ informs us that Gookin as early as 1674 had half finished a ‘History of New England, especially of the Colony of Massachusetts, in eight books.’ He took an active part against the measures which ultimately led to the withdrawal of the colonial charter in 1686. He was with others charged with misdemeanor by Edward Randolph in February 1681 before the lords of the council. Gookin requested that a paper in defence of his opinion, which he drew up as his dying testimony, might be lodged with the court (first published in the ‘New England Historical and Genealogical Register,’ ii. 168–71). In 1681 Gookin was appointed major-general of the colony of Massachusetts. He died on 19 March 1686–7, and was buried at Cambridge, where his epitaph may still be read. He was married three times. The license for his second marriage, to Mary Dolling, granted by the Bishop of London 11 Nov. 1639, describes him as a widower, aged about twenty-seven (Chester, London Marriage Licences, 1521–1869, ed. Foster, col. 567). His third marriage (between 1675 and 1685) was to Hannah, daughter of Edward Tyng, and widow (in 1669) of Habijah Savage (cf. New England Hist. and Geneal. Register, ii. 172). She survived him. All his seven children are believed to have been by his second marriage. He died so poor that John Eliot solicited from Robert Boyle a gift of 10l. for his widow.

[Salisbury's Family Memorials, pt. ii.; Cal. of State Papers, Col. Ser., America and the West Indies, 1622–68; Winthrop's Hist. of New England (Savage, 1853), ii. 432.]

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