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GOVERNOR WILLIAM BRADFORD OF PLYMOUTH 1590-1657
During the Revolution the manuscript of Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation made its way from Boston to England. Through the efforts of Senator Hoar the precious volume was returned. With graceful courtesy and warm expressions of friendliness, England sent it across the Atlantic and presented it to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
From "Of Plimoth Plantation." From the edition issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1898.
The Pilgrims Depart from Leyden
Chapter VII 
At length, after much travell and these debats, all things were got ready and provided. A smale ship was bought, & fitted in Holand, which was intended as to serve to help to transport them, so to stay in ye cuntrie and atend upon fishing and shuch other affairs as might be for ye good & benefite of ye colonie when they came ther. Another was hired at London, of burden about 9. score; and all other things gott in readines. So being ready to departe, they had a day of solleme humiliation, their pastor taking his texte from Ezra 8. 21. And ther at ye river, by Ahava, I proclaimed a fast, that we might humble ourselves before our God, and seeke of him a right way for us, and for our children, and for all our substance. Upon which he spente a good parte of ye day very profitably, and suitable to their presente occasion. The rest of the time was spente in powering out prairs to ye Lord with great fervencie, mixed with abundance of tears. And ye time being come that they must departe, they were accompanied with most of their brethren out of ye citie, unto a towne sundrie miles of called DelfesHaven, wher the ship lay ready to receive them. So they lefte yt goodly & pleasante citie, which had been ther resting place near 12. years; but they knew they were pilgrimes, & looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to ye heavens,
their dearest cuntrie, and quieted their spirits. When they came to ye place they found ye ship and all things ready; and shuch of their freinds as could not come with them followed after them, and sundrie also came from Amsterdame to see them shipte and to take their leave of them. That night was spent with litle sleepe by ye most, but with freindly entertainmente & christian discourse and other reall expressions of true christian love. The next day, the wind being faire, they wente aborde, and their freinds with them, where truly dolfull was ye sight of that sade and mournfull parting; to see what sighs and sobbs and praires did sound amongst them, what tears did gush from every eye, & pithy speeches peirst each harte; that sundry of ye Dutch strangers yt stood on ye key as spectators, could not refraine from tears. Yet comfortable & sweete it was to see shuch lively and true expressions of dear & unfained love. But ye tide (which stays for no man) caling them away yt were thus loath to departe, their Rvēd: pastor falling downe on his knees, (and they all with him,) with watrie cheeks comended them with most fervente praiers to the Lord and his blessing. And then with mutuall imbrases and many tears, they tooke their leaves one of an other; which proved to be ye last leave to many of them.
The Exploring Party
Chapter X 
It was conceived ther might be some danger in ye attempte, yet seeing them resolute, they were permited to goe, being 16. of them well armed, under ye conduct of Captain Standish, having shuch instructions given them as was thought meete. They sett forth ye 15. of Novebr: and when they had marched aboute ye space of a mile by ye sea side, they espied 5. or 6. persons with a dogg coming towards them, who were salvages; but they fled from them, & rañe up into ye woods, and ye English followed them, partly to see if they could speake with them, and partly to discover if ther might not be more of them lying inambush. But ye Indeans seeing them selves thus followed,
they againe forsooke the woods, & rane away on ye sands as hard as they could, so as they could not come near them, but followed them by ye tracte of their feet sundrie miles, and saw that they had come the same way. So, night coming on, they made their randevous & set out their sentinels, and rested in quiete yt night, and the next morning followed their tracte till they had headed a great creake, & so left the sands, & turned an other way into ye woods. But they still followed them by geuss, hopeing to find their dwellings; but they soone lost both them & them selves, falling into shuch thickets as were ready to tear their cloaths & armore in peeces, but were most distresed for wante of drinke. But at length they found water & refreshed them selves, being ye first New-England water they drunke of, and was now in thir great thirste as pleasante unto them as wine or bear had been in for-times. Afterwards they directed their course to come to ye other shore, for they knew it was a necke of land they were to crosse over, and so at length gott to ye sea-side, and marched to this supposed river, & by ye way found a pond of clear fresh water, and shortly after a good quantity of clear ground wher ye Indeans had formerly set corne, and some of their graves. And proceeding furder they saw new-stuble wher corne had been set ye same year, also they found wher latly a house had been, where some planks and a great ketl was remaining, and heaps of sand newly padled with their hands, which they, digging up, found in them diverce faire Indean baskets filled with corne, and some in eares, faire and good, of diverce collours, which seemed to them a very goodly sight, (haveing never seen any shuch before). This was near ye place of that supposed river they came to seeck; unto which they wente and found it to open it selfe into 2. armes with a high cliffe of sand in ye enterance, but more like to be crikes of salte water then any fresh, for ought they saw; and that ther was good harborige for their shalope; leaving it further to be discovered by their shalop when she was ready. So their time limeted them being expired, they returned to ye ship, least they should be in fear of their saftie; and tooke with them parte of ye corne, and buried up ye rest, and so like ye men from
Eshcoll carried with them of ye fruits of ye land, & showed their breethren; of which, & their returne, they were marvelusly glad, and their harts incouraged.
JOHN WINTHROP, FIRST GOVERNOR OF
The manuscript of Winthrop's History had almost as many adventures before finding its way into print as did that of Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation. At the beginning of the Revolution, its three volumes were in the library of the Old South Church in Boston. Some time after the close of the war, two volumes were found in Connecticut, in the hands of a branch of the Winthrop family. The third volume was lost for more than a score of years, but was finally discovered in the church.
From "The History of New England from 1630 to 1649," by John Winthrop, Esq., First Governour of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay; edited by James Savage. Edition of 1853.
The First Visit of White Men to the White Mountains
Vol. II, 1642
One Darby Field, an Irishman, living about Pascataquack, being accompanied with two Indians, went to the top of the white hill. He made his journey in 18 days. His relation at his return was, that it was about one hundred miles from Saco, that after 40 miles travel he did, for the most part, ascend, and within 12 miles of the top was neither tree nor grass, but low savins, which they went upon the top of sometimes, but a continual ascent upon rocks, on a ridge between two valleys filled with snow, out of which came two branches of Saco river, which met at the foot of the hill where was an Indian town of some 200 people. Some of them accompanied him within 8 miles of the top, but durst go no further, telling him that no Indian ever dared to go higher, and that he would die if he went. So they staid there till his return, and his two Indians
took courage by his example and went with him. They went divers times through the thick clouds for a good space, and within 4 miles of the top they had no clouds, but very cold.
By the way, among the rocks, there were two ponds, one a blackish water and the other reddish. The top of all was plain about 60 feet square. On the north side there was such a precipice, as they could scarce discern to the bottom. They had neither cloud nor wind on the top, and moderate heat. All the country about him seemed a level, except here and there a hill rising above the rest, but far beneath them. He saw to the north a great water which he
judged to be about 100 miles broad, but could see no land beyond it. The sea by Saco seemed as if it had been within 20 miles. He saw also a sea to the eastward, which he judged to be the gulf of Canada: he saw some great waters in parts to the westward, which he judged to be the great lake which Canada river comes out of. He found there much muscovy glass, they could rive out pieces of 40 feet long and 7 or 8 broad. When he came back to the Indians, he found them drying themselves by the fire, for they had a great tempest of wind and rain. About a month after he went again with five or six in his company, then they had some wind on the top, and some clouds above them which hid the sun. They brought some stones which they supposed had been diamonds, but they were most crystal.