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It is further stated that "the toasts were interspersed with many excellent Songs,” one of which “had been composed at a few hours' notice” by Thomas Green Fessenden.
In the discourses delivered at Plymouth and in the accounts of the celebrations held there from 1769 to 1798, both included, the words "ancestors," "ancestry," "fathers," and "forefathers” frequently occur, but neither Pilgrim nor Pilgrim Fathers. These terms were first recorded, in 1798 and 1799 respectively, not at Plymouth, where one would naturally expect to find them, but in Boston. It is a reasonable conjecture, however, that they were in colloquial use before they found their way into print; and it seems fair to assume that they arose at Plymouth somewhere between 1793 and 1798.2
1 Independent Chronicle, January 2, 1806, p. 2/1. The New England Society of Charleston was founded January 6, 1819, and incorporated December 20, 1820; and discourses were annually delivered from 1819 to 1835, both included (p. 61 of “An Oration delivered on the anniversary of the New-England Society, Charleston, S. C. December 22. 1835; in commemoration of the Landing of the Pilgrims upon the Rock of Plymouth, December 22d. 1620. By Joshua Barker Whitridge, A.M., M.D. . . . Charleston: . . . 1836.") Apparently the third New England Society to be formed outside of New England was that in Philadelphia. (Discourse before the Society of the Sons of New England of the City and County of Philadelphia, on the History of the early settlement of their country; being their first anniversary. Delivered December 21, 1844, by their President, Samuel Breck. Philadelphia: . . . 1845.) The “Address delivered before the New England Society of Michigan, December 22, 1848," by Lewis Cass, was printed at Detroit in 1849. The “Address delivered before the New England Society of San Francisco, at the American Theatre, on the twentysecond day of December, A. D. 1852. By Rev. T. Dwight Hunt. Pastor of the New England Church," was printed at San Francisco in 1853.
· Though not recorded at Plymouth until 1800, it is possible that the word Pilgrim was employed in the "spirited song composed by B. Seymour" in 1797 (p. 308, above), which does not appear to have been printed. Previous to 1798, apparently the only poems written for these occasions were those by A. Scammell in 1770 (p. 301, above), by J. Davis in 1794 (p. 306, above), and by B. Seymour in 1797. A poem entitled " Thanksgiving Hymn. Deo Optim. Maxim. Composed for December 11th," and dated Boston, December, 1783," was printed in the Boston Magazine for December, 1783, i. 70–71. Poems on the subject of the Pilgrims will be found in Thacher's History of the Town of Plymouth (pp. 373–382 of the 1832 edition, pp. 341-352 of the 1835 edition); in Airs of the Pilgrims, appended to W. S. Russell's Guide to Plymouth (1846); and in Zilpha H. Spooner's Poems of the Pilgrims (1881). The most famous of these poems is of course that written by Mrs. Hemans, about which Moncure D. Conway related the following anecdote in his Autobiography (1904):
ORIGIN OF THE TERM We have seen that, as applied specifically to the early settlers at Plymouth, Pilgrim first appeared in 1798 and Pilgrim Fathers in 1799. To explain how these terms came to be so used, we must glance back one hundred and seventy-eight years. But before doing so, let us consider the words pilgrim and peregrine. The former, derived from the Latin peregrinum, “one that comes from foreign parts, a stranger," has, with its derivatives, been employed in English literature for over seven centuries in various senses, but chiefly in the following five. (1) “One who travels from place to place; a person on a journey; a wayfarer, a traveller; a wanderer; a sojourner,” found as early as about 1200. (2) “One who journeys (usually a long distance) to some sacred place, as an act of religious devotion; one who makes a pilgrimage,” found as early as about 1225. (3) “Figuratively, chiefly in allegorical religious uses,” found as early as about 1225. (4) In American history, as discussed in this paper.2 (5) “An original settler; a new-comer, a recent immigrant.”3 The word peregrine, derived from the Latin peregrinus,
“When the elder Channing visited Europe he went to see Mrs. Hemans, whose poems were popular in America, in her home near Windermere. He spoke of her hymn on 'The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England,' and told her that he had heard it sung by a great multitude on the spot where the Pilgrims landed. But when, in answer to her questions, he was compelled to inform her that the coast described in her hymn as 'stern and rock-bound' was without any rocks, she burst into tears" (i. 161). The following advertisment was printed in the Columbian Centinel of December 20, 1826 (p. 3/4):
PILGRIM FATHERS. SONG written by Mrs. HEMANS, and set to Music by her sister, Miss A BROWNE — is This Day published by C. BRADLEE, and for sale by 8. H. PARKER, 164, Washington-street.
The profits arising from the sale of the above will be appropriated for the benefit of the author, Mrs. Hemans.
1 These definitions, and the dates of early use, are taken (except in sense 4) from the Oxford English Dictionary.
The present investigation was undertaken for the Dictionary at the request of Sir James Murray in 1905. At the meeting held in December of that year, the tentative results then reached were placed before the Society (Publications, X. 180).
• Marked “U. S. and Colonial,” the two earliest extracts (1851, 1865) being from New Zealand sources. The third extract is the following from L. Swinhas been employed, with its derivatives, in meanings similar to those of pilgrim, for over five centuries. In particular we should note the
burne's article on The Bucolic Dialect of the Plains in Scribner's Magazine for October, 1887:
“Pilgrim” and “tenderfoot” were formerly applied almost exclusively to newly imported cattle, but by a natural transference they are usually used to designate all new-comers, tourists and business-men (ii. 508).
This is putting the cart before the horse as regards pilgrim certainly, and probably as regards tenderfoot also. At all events, the example is a belated one, and so a few other extracts are cited. In 1841 the Rev. William L. McCalla probably meant by the word a wanderer, but as his use of the word is the earliest known to me in the West, I give his sentence:
After such an address from a citizen of that calumniated country (Texas) to a shattered old pilgrim, I took the liberty of withdrawing to another apartment, to enjoy in secret the luxury of weeping, and communing with home and with heaven (Adventures in Texas, p. 46).
In 1852 Captain Howard Stansbury, speaking of Salt Lake City, but not referring to the Mormons in particular, wrote:
The studding, therefore, of this beautiful city with noble trees, will render it, by contrast with the surrounding regions, a second “Diamond of the Desert," in whose welcome shade, like the solitary Sir Kenneth and the princely Ilderim, the pilgrim, wayworn and faint, may repose his jaded limbs and dream of the purling brooks and waving woodlands he has left a thousand miles behind him (Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, p. 129).
In a letter dated Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory, June 11, 1866, Col. James F. Meline said he had “ascertained from the officer on duty there that since May 15, emigrant trains have gone west from Kearney City at the rate of eighty wagons and one hundred and sixty people (men, women, and children) per day," and inserted “an extract from the Kearney City paper giving the departures for two days," June 5 and 6. This is headed “LIST OF FREIGHTERS' AND PILGRIMS' TRAINS ORGANIZED AT AND PASSING WEST OF KEARNEY.” Meline adds this note:
The term Pilgrims for emigrants first came into use at the period of the heavy Mormon travel — the Mormons styling themselves “Pilgrims to the promised land of Utah.” The word has been retained on the Plains, and applied indiscriminately to all emigrants (Two Thousand Miles on Horseback, Santa Fé and Back, 1867, p. 22 and note).
In 1869 Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden wrote:
During the gold excitement in the San Juan Mountains, west of the Rio Grade del Norte, in 1862, a large number of miners, or, as they were called in those days, “pilgrims,” crossed the Sangre de Christo Pass, and camped for rest after a long journey from Idaho, Montana, and Northern Colorado, on Placiere
way in which these words have been employed in the Bible, especially in St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews. In the Geneva version Creek (Preliminary Field Report of the United States Geological Survey of Colorado and New Mexico, p. 73).
In 1873 the Rev. James D. Butler remarked:
Many pioneers leave their families in the old home, until they have prepared the new ones. Few can leave their farms and go for them, but westward trains are full of wives carrying children to their husbands. Sixteen babies have been counted in a single car on this pilgrimage — Japhets in search of their Fathers (Nebraska: its Characteristics and Prospects, p. 17).
In a letter to the writer dated Unity, Montana, December 27, 1905, Mr. C. W. Cook said:
In 1868 I was interested in placer mining in Diamond City, at that time quite a noted mining camp. A gentleman from Chicago spent a few days with me. He was quite an extensive traveler and a writer of some standing. To him I expressed a great desire to explore the upper valley of the Yellowstone. It seemed to interest him as something new in the line of travel, and he proposed to join me. But after due deliberation I decided it was too late in the season to take a trip into unexplored mountains with a "pilgrim" not inured to hardship, so the matter was dropped.
Mention should also be made of the fact that there once existed in this country a fanatical sect called the Pilgrims. The only allusion I have found to them occurs under date of January 21, 1820, when Thomas Nuttall, then at the junction of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, wrote:
Not far from this place, a few days ago were encamped, the miserable remnant of what are called the Pilgrims, a band of fanatics, originally about 60 in number. They commenced their pilgrimage from the borders of Canada, and wandered about with their wives and children through the vast wilderness of the western states, like vagabonds, without ever fixing upon any residence. They looked up to accident and charity alone for support; imposed upon themselves rigid fasts, never washed their skin, or cut or combed their hair, and like the Dunkards wore their beards. Settling nowhere, they were consequently deprived of every comfort which arises from the efforts of industry. Desertion, famine, and sickness, soon reduced their numbers, and they were every where treated with harshness and neglect, as the gypsies of modern civilized society. Passing through Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, they at length found their way down the Mississippi to the outlet of White river and the Arkansa. Thus ever flying from society by whom they were despised, and by whom they had been punished as vagabonds, blinded by fanatic zeal, they lingered out their miserable lives in famine and wretchedness, and have now nearly all perished or disappeared. Two days after my arrival in the territory, one of them was found dead in the road which leads from the Mississippi to Arkansas. If I am correctly informed, there now exists of them only one man, three women, and two children. Two other children were taken from them in compassion for their miserable situation, and the man was but the other day seized by a boat's crew descending the river, and forcibly shaved, washed, and dressed (Journal of Travels into the Arkansa Territory, 1821, pp. 226-227).
of 1557 - and it was this version which the Mayflower passengers brought with them - Hebrews XI. 13 reads thus:
And they all dyed in faith, and receaued not the promises, but sawe them a farre of, and beleued them, and receaued them with thanckes, and confessed that they were strangers and pylgrems on the earth.
It was design, not chance, that gave to the first child of English parents born in New England the name of Peregrine White.?
1 The English Hexapla (1841). It will be of interest to give, from the same source, five other versions previous to 1620:
Wiclif, 1380: bi feith alle these ben deed, whanne the biheestis weren not takun but thei behilden hem afer, and gretynge hem wel: and knowlechiden that thei weren pilgryms, & herborid men on the erthe.
Tyndale, 1534: And they all dyed in fayth and receaved not the promyses: but sawe them a farre of and beleved them and saluted them: and confessed that they were straungers and pilgrems on the erthe.
Cranmer, 1539: These all dyed accordynge to fayth, whan they had not receaued the promyses: but sawe them a farre of, and beleued them, and saluted them, and confessed, that they were straungers and pilgrems on the erthe.
Rheims, 1582: According to faith died al these, not hauing receiued the promises, but beholding them a farre of, and saluting them, and confessing that they are pilgrimes and strangers vpon the earth.
Authorized, 1611: These all.died in faith, not hauing receiued the promises, but hauing seene them afarre off, and were perswaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
As printed in the 1856 edition of Bradford's History (p. 59), the marginal reference to “Heb. 11” was placed in a footnote and so easily overlooked. Some writers have apparently not been aware that Bradford was quoting from the Bible. Thus John A. Goodwin, remarking that “Bradford never wrote a finer sentence than this, which ends his story of the departure,” quotes the passage in the text (Pilgrim Republic, 1888, p. 49).
2 “And beyond that place they were enioyned not to goe, whereupon, a Company was chosen to goe out vppon a third discoverie: whilest some were imployed in this discovery, it pleased God that Mistris White was brought to bed of a Sonne, which was called Peregrine" (Mourt's Relation, 1622, p. 15). The exact date of his birth on the Mayflower is not known, but the late Dr. Dexter (in his edition of Mourt's Relation, 1865, p. 42 note) put it between December 7 and 10, 1620 (New Style). He was the son of William and Susanna (Fuller) White; was brought up by Edward Winslow, who married his mother Susanna; and died July 20, 1704. In the Massachusetts Magazine for September, 1790, appeared the following:
Newengland, for salubrity of air and temperature of climate, has been much and very justly celebrated. Frequent instances of longevity confirm this opinion. There is a woman now living in Marshfield, County of Plymouth, in the ninety fifth year of her age. Although Newengland has been settled almost an hundred and seventy years, yet she perfectly remembers Peregrine White, the