« AnteriorContinuar »
In 1886 William Everett said:
Brethren, how far are we to carry the parallel? We are proud of our descent from the Pilgrims and our inheritance of that birthright they won so hard. We had rather claim kindred with them than with the heroes of the war for the Union and the struggle for Independence, with the signers of the Constitution and the Declaration. We will not own the name of Puritan for our fathers, though that name would link them with Conant and Endicott, with Winthrop and Cotton, with the apostle Eliot and the martyr Vane.
And in 1895 Senator George F. Hoar wrote:
The commonwealths which were united in 1692 and became the Province of Massachusetts Bay are still blended in the popular conception. Their founders are supposed to have the same general characteristics, and are known to the rest of the world by the common title of New England Puritans. I suppose this belief prevails even in New England, except to a small circle of scholars and descendants of the Pilgrims who still dwell in the Old Colony, and who have studied personally the history of their ancestors. Many of our historians have treated the two with little distinction, except that the suffering of the Pilgrim, the dangerous and romantic voyage of the Mayflower, the story of the landing in December and the hardship of the first winter have made, of course, a series of pictures of their own. Even Mr. Webster, after narrating as could have been done by no other chronicler who ever lived, these picturesque incidents, proceeds in his oration of 1820 to discuss the principles which lay at the foundation of the Puritan State, and which were, in the main, common to both communities.
Yet the dwellers of Plymouth know well the difference between the Pilgrim that landed here and the Puritan that settled in Salem and Boston. ...
Massachusetts has educated the foreigner. She is making an American of him. She is surely, and not very slowly, when we consider the great periods that constitute the life of a State, impressing upon him what is best of the Pilgrim and the Puritan quality and the Pilgrim and the Puritan conception of a State.
The distinction now so sharply drawn between the Pilgrims of Plymouth and the Puritans of Massachusetts thus appears to be due
i Discourse (1887), p. 8.
Quaker was put to death in Plymouth Colony, yet Quakers were apprehended and banished in 1657 and disfranchized in 1658, and their books were seized and presented in court in 1659.1 In short, it may well be doubted whether the religious, intellectual, and moral differences between the Plymouth and the Massachusetts settlers were so fundamental as some recent writers would have us believe; and certain it is that these writers have occasionally gone astray in their judgments. Finally, much confusion will be avoided by always bearing in mind that the terms Pilgrims and Pilgrim Fathers, as
1 Plymouth Colony Records, iii. 111, 123, 167, xi. 101, 121. Mr. Scott can acquit the Pilgrim Fathers of persecuting the Quakers only by strictly limiting that term to the Mayflower passengers (see p. 377, above) and then by killing them off before some of them actually died. “In 1656,” he says, "every leader of that party, whose name history has recorded, was in his grave" (p. 34), including Governor Bradford. As a matter of fact Bradford did not die until May 9, 1657. The first legislation against the Quakers was at a Court of Assistants on February 3, 1657, at which Bradford was himself present as Governor. At that time John Alden was Treasurer and also an Assistant, and John Cooke and John Howland were Deputies: hence four of the Mayflower passengers were concerned in the earliest legislation against the Quakers. It is not of course my intention to dispute the generally accepted view that the sway of Plymouth was milder and more tolerant than was that of Massachusetts, but clearly some of Mr. Scott's statements are open to criticism. The popular notion as to the treatment of the Quakers by the Plymouth Colony is singularly at fault. Thus in 1870 Emerson said: “It is the honorable distinction of that first colony of Plymouth, of the Pilgrims, not of the Puritans, that they did not persecute; that those same persons who were driven out of Massachusetts then were received in Plymouth. They did not banish the Quakers” (in New England Society Orations, ii. 388). As a matter of fact, Quakers in the Plymouth Colony were not only, as stated in the text, apprehended, banished, and disfranchized, but were imprisoned, sent to the house of correction, put in stocks or cage, whipped, fined for attending their meetings, and others were fined for harboring or encouraging them, etc. (See Plymouth Colony Records, vols. iii, xi.)
An instance may be given. “I think the first Puritans," wrote the Rev. Thomas Robbins on February 5, 1807, “discovered something of a separatical spirit” (Diary, i. 316). To this remark, the Rev. I. N. Tarbox, who edited the Diary, appends this note:
The Pilgrims who came to Plymouth in 1620 were open and avowed Separatists. Mr. Robbins seems to imply that some of the Puritans who came to the Massachusetts Bay in 1629 and 1630 had something of the same idea, though they disowned the name of Separatists. He grounds his remark probably on what took place at Salem in 1629, in the organization of the first church in the Massachusetts Bay. Robbins's remark stands by itself, without context. So obsessed was Dr. Tarbox with the notion that the word Pilgrims could be applied only to the early Plym
used in American history, were unknown until the closing years of the eighteenth century.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE PLYMOUTH DISCOURSES
List A, a chronological list, gives the year, the day of the month, the day of the week, the name of the body by whom the celebration was held, and the name of the speaker (if there was one) down to 1820; but after 1820 it includes only the celebrations at which were delivered discourses afterwards printed. List B is an alphabetical list of speakers with titles of the discourses printed, or, if a discourse was not printed, the year in which it was delivered? Also, down to
outh settlers, while the word Puritans could mean only the early Massachusetts settlers, that, finding Robbins using the word Puritans, he inferred that Robbins must refer to the early Massachusetts settlers. Had he consulted Robbins's Historical View of the First Planters of New-England, published in 1815, he would have seen that Robbins frequently speaks of the early Plymouth settlers as Puritans; and that the distinction between the Pilgrims and the Puritans, upon which he himself insisted so strongly (see p. 380, above), was quite unknown to Robbins. It is possible that when he made his remark, Robbins had in mind the early Massachusetts settlers; but it is far more probable that by “the first Puritans” he meant those who preceded both the Plymouth and the Massachusetts settlers.
An amusing episode, thoroughly characteristic of Boston, occurred in 1907, when certain persons petitioned for the incorporation of the Pilgrim Trust Company of Boston. Objection to the name was raised by the counsel for the Puritan Trust Company, a distinguished citizen of Massachusetts, who said: “The name 'Puritan Trust Company' is valuable. There is a confusion in the public mind as to the Puritans and Pilgrims, and there would be sure to be confusion if there were two trust companies bearing such similar designations. The Pilgrims were a tolerant people who were not addicted to the burning of witches." To this the opposing counsel replied, “But the Puritans have been out of the witch burning business for some time.” The persistency with which the erroneous notion that persons were burned in Massachusetts for witchcraft is adhered to and repeated by those who ought to know better, is extraordinary. (See the Boston Evening Transcript of July 31, 1907, p. 1/6).
1 The expressions “Pilgrim martyr," referring to John Penry, who was executed in 1593; “Pilgrim church," meaning Robinson's church at Scrooby, England, afterwards removed to Amsterdam and then to Leyden; “Pilgrim press," in allusion to the press managed by Brewster and Brewer at Leyden ; and other similar expressions are convenient and are now in frequent use, but are liable to misinterpretation unless the fact stated in the text is kept constantly in mind.
? For the sake of completeness, list B includes the titles not only of all printed discourses, but also of the volumes containing the proceedings at various cele
1820, the place of residence of the speaker is given. An asterisk (*) denotes that a discourse was printed separately at the time. A dagger (t) denotes that a discourse was printed in whole or in part) at a later time.
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF CELEBRATIONS 1769 Dec. 22 Fr Old Colony Club 17707 Mo
E. Winslow, Jr. 1771 of 23 Mo 1772
Rev. C. Robbins 1773*
Rev. C. Turner 1774*
Town of Plymouth Rev. G. Hitchcock 1775* Fr
Rev. S. Baldwin 1776* " 23 Mo
Rev. S. Conant 1777* Mo
Rev. S. West 1778
Rev. T. Hilliard 1779
Rev. W. Shaw 1780 “ 22 Fr
Rev. J. Moore 1781-1792
No celebration 1793* Dec. 22
Town of Plymouth Rev. C. Robbins 1794 " 22
Private celebration 1795–1796
No celebration or private 1797 Dec. 22
Private celebration 1798 - 22
Dr. Z. Bartlett 1799
No celebration 18001 Dec. 22 Mo Town of Plymouth J. Davis 1801* " 22 Tu
06 1 "
Rev. J. Allyn 1802* " 22 We
J. Q. Adams 1802* " 22 We Third Church
Rev. A. Judson 18037 " 22 Th Town of Plymouth Rev. J. T. Kirkland 1803* " 22 Th
Rev. J. Strong brations — those held on August 1 in commemoration of the embarkation from Delft Haven as well as those on Forefathers' Day; and likewise of the Report, published in 1850, relating to the correct date of Forefathers' Day.
1 Lists have been printed in Harris's Discourse (1808), p. 32; in Webster's Discourse (1821), pp. 103–104; in Thacher's History of the Town of Plymouth, pp. 369-371 of the 1832 edition, pp. 339–340 of the 1835 edition; in W. S. Russell's Guide to Plymouth (1846), pp. 230-283; and in W. T. Davis's Plymouth Town Records (1903), iii. 457-458; and cf. Sullivan's Discourse (1830), p. 42. None of these lists, however, is either complete or wholly accurate. The present lists owe what completeness and accuracy they may have largely to our associate Mr. Arthur Lord, who owns a complete set of the printed discourses and has furnished several titles that otherwise would have escaped me. I am also indebted to Mr. Lord for information derived from the records of the Pilgrim Society (p. 320 note 2, above).
It is curious that the word Pilgrims first occurs in these titles in 1826 (R. S. Storrs), and the term Pilgrim Fathers in 1828 (S. Green).