Imágenes de páginas

L. Island

1619. pounds of tobacco were exported this year from Virginia to

England, the whole crop of the preceding year.'

A great mortality prevailed among the people of Virginia, not

less than 300 of whom died.2 Voyage of Thomas Dermer, employed by Sir Ferdinando Gorges on a T. Dermer fishing voyage to New England, Ioaded a ship of 200 tons with 10.N. Eng. fish and furs at Monahigan, and despatched it for England.3 May 20.

Proceeding in a small bark for Virginia, he sailed between the Passes

main land and Long Island ; and was the first person who ascerthrough

tained this to be an island.4 Sound.

The origin of the English Puritans has already been observed. Retrospect The first half century of their history has been passed over; of Mr.

but it is resumed where it becomes necessary to the illustration Pobinson's

of the annals of New England. In 1606, the Puritan, or Reformed church in the north of England, had, on account of its dispersed state, become divided into two distinct churches, to one of which belonged Mr. John Robinson, afterward its minister, and Mr. William Brewster, afterward its ruling elder. This church, in common with other dissenting churches throughout England, being extremely harassed for its nonconformity, sought at length an asylum in Holland, where religious toleration was sanctioned by the laws. Mr. Robinson and as many of his congregation, as found it in their power, left England in the years 1607 and 1608, and settled in Amsterdam ; whence in 1609 they removed to Leyden. After residing several years in that city, various causes influenced them to entertain serious thoughts of a removal to America. These causes were, the unhealthiness of the low country where they lived; the hard labours to which they were subjected; the dissipated manners of the Hollanders, especially their lax observance of the Lord's day; the apprehension of war at the conclusion of the truce between Spain 1619. and Holland, which was then near its close; the fear, lest their young men would enter into the military and naval service; the tendency of their little community to become absorbed and lost in a foreign nation ; the natural and pious desire of perpetuating a church, which they believed to be constituted after the simple and pure model of the priinitive church of Christ ; and a commendable zeal to propagate the gospel in the regions of the New World. In 1617, having concluded to go to Virginia, and settle in a distinct body under the general government of that colony, they sent Mr. Robert Cushman and Mr. John Carver to England, to treat with the Virginia company, and to ascertain whether the king would grant them liberty of conscience in that distant country. Though these agents found the Virginia company very desirous of the projected settlement in their American territory, and willing to grant them a patent with as ample privileges, as they had power to convey ; yet they could prevail with the king no farther, than to engage that he would connive at them, and not molest them, provided they should conduct peaceably. Toleration in religious liberty by his public authority, under his seal, was denied. The agents returned to Leyden the year following to the great discouragement of the congregation. Resolved to make another trial, they sent two other agents to



1 Chalmers, i. 47. The reason assigned for the king's proclamation, is that “ divers conceal and utter tobacco without paying any impost.”

2 Belknap, Biog. ii. 65.

3 Smith says, every sailor had £16. 10 for his seven month's work; and Har. ris, that every sailor had, beside his charges, £17 clear money in his pocket.

4 Smith, Virg. 127, 129. Prince, 1619. Purchas, b.9. c.2, 3, 13. Harris' Voy. i. 852. Morton's Memorial, under A. D. 1620. Dermer, in his account of this passage through Long Island Sound [in Purchas), says, “ Wee found a most dangerous catwract amongst small rocky islands, occasioned by two unequall tydes, the one ebbing and flowing two houres before the other." This was doubtless what is now well known by the name of Hell Gate, an appellation derived from the Dutch: "quem nostri inferni os, vulgo het Hellegat, appellant.” Laet, 72. A place of this name is mentioned in Grimston's History of the Netherlands. One of the articles of a treaty in 1583, between the duke of Anjou and the States, is : “ The armie shall passe into Hellegat, where it shall be furnished with victuals " &c. In England a similar name is found in Camden's Britannia : " In hujus agro tres sunt mire profunditatis putei, Hell Kettles vocat vulgus id est, Inferni caldaria quia per antiperistasin calescat in illis aqua.”

5 See A. D. 1550. Morton, Records of the First Church at Plymouth in Haz. Coll. i. 349–354. Prince, 1606—1609, from governor Bradford's MS. History; by which " it seems as if they began to remove to Leydon at the end of 1608.”

Agents sent England, in February of this year (1619), to agree with the from HolVirginia company; but, dissensions then arising in that body, the land into

England. business was necessarily procrastinated. After long attendance, the agents obtained a patent, granted and confirmed under the Patent obseal of the Virginia company; but, though procured with much tained. expense and labour, it was never used, because the gentleman, in whose name it was taken out, was prevented from executing his purpose of accompanying the Leyden congregation. This patent, however, being carried to Leyden for the consideration of the people, with several proposals from English merchants and Prepara. friends for their transportation, they were requested to prepare removing to immediately for the voyage. The success of their enterprise America. designates a new Period; for “the settlement of New England forms an epoch in the history of colonization.”2

1 See Note XXI. The truce, mentioned in the text, was concluded between Spain and the United Netherlands in 1609. After a war of above 30 years, this truce, principally through the mediation of the kings of England and France, was concluded for 12 years. Histoire de la Republique des Provinces-Unies, 1609. Anderson, 1609. The Hollanders had, in a few preceding years, taken and destroyed more than 30 of the great galeons of Spain.

2 Plymouth Church Records, in Haz. Coll. i. 354—370, and p. 87. Hubbard, c. 9. Prince, 1616—19. Verplanck's Discourse before the New York Historical Society. The person, in whose name the patent was taken out, but who was prevented from coming to New England, was Mr. John Wincob, “a religious gentleman, belonging to the countess of Lincoln."






1620. This year is menorable for the first settlement of New England. It was agreed by the English Congregation at Leyden, that some of their number should go to America, to make preparation for the rest. Mr. Robinson, their minister, was prevailed on to slay with the greater part at Leyden ; Mr. Brewster, their elder, was to accompany the first adventurers; but these, and their brethren remaining in Holland, were to continue to be one church, and to receive each other to Christian communion, without a formal dismission, or testimonial. Several of the congregation sold their estates, and made a cornmon bank, which, together with money received from other adventurers, enabled them to purchase the Speedwell, a ship of 60 tons, and to bire in England the Mayflower, a ship of 180 tons, for the intended enter

prise. English Pu

Preparation being thus made, the adventurers, having left Leyritans leave den for England in July, sailed on the 5th of August from SouthLeyden.

ampton for America; but, on account of the leakiness of the small ship, they were twice obliged to return. Dismissing this

ship, as unfit for the service, they sailed from Plymouth on the 6th Sept. 6.

of September in the Mayflower. After a boisterous passage, they at break of day on the 9th of November discovered the land of Cape Cod.' Perceiving that they had been carried to the northward of the place of their destination, they stood to the southward, intending to find some place near Hudson's river, for

Sail for

settlement; but falling among shoals," they were induced by this 1620. perilous incident, the advanced season of the year, and the weakness of their condition, to relinquish that part of their original design. The master of the ship, availing himself of the fears of the passengers, and of their extreme solicitude to be set on shore, gladly shifted his course to the northward ; for he had been clandestinely promised a reward in Holland, if he would not carry the English to Hudson's river.2 Steering again therefore Nov. 10. for the cape, the ship was clear of the danger before night ; and Anchor at the next day, a storm coming on, they dropped anchor in Cape Cape Cod. harbour, where they were secure from winds and shoals.

Finding the harbour to be in the 42d degree of north latitude, and therefore beyond the territory of the South Virginia company, they perceived that their charter, received from that company, had become useless. Symptoms of faction at the same time appearing among the servants on board, who imagined, that, when on shore, they should be under no government ; it was judged expedient, that, before disembarkation, they should combine themselves into a body politic, to be governed by the majority. After solemn prayer and thanksgiving, a written instrument, drawn for that purpose, was accordingly subscribed on board the ship, on the 11th day of November. This contract Nov. 11. was signed by 41 of their number; and they, with their families, tract for amounted to 101 persons.3 Mr. John Carver was now unani- civil govmously chosen their governor for one year. Thus did these in- ernment telligent colonists find means to erect themselves into a republic, even though they had commenced their enterprise under the sanction of a royal charter ; a case that is rare in history, and can be effected only by that perseverance, which the true spirit of liberty inspires."4

Government being thus established, 16 men, well armed, with Various oca few others, were sent on shore the same day, to fetch wood and make discoveries; but they returned at night, without having found any person or habitation. The company, having rested on the Lord's day, disembarked on Monday, the 13th of November; and soon after proceeded to make farther discovery of the country. On Wednesday the 15th, Miles Standish and 16 armed

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1 The same,

which Gosnold called Point Care and Tucker's Terror; but which the French and Dutch call Malebar. Prince, 1620. See A. D. 1602.

2 Some historians represent this bribery of Jones, the master of the ship, as
what was suspected merely; but Morton (N. Eng. Memorial, 34.] says,
this plot, betwixt the Dutch and Mr. Jones, I have had late and certain intelli-

3 This contract, with the names of its subscribers, is in Morton's N. England's
Memorial, 37—39; Purchas, v. 1843 ; Prince, P. 2. $ 1; Hazard, Coll. i. 119;
and Belknap, Biog. Art. CARVER.
4 Univ. Hist. xxxix. 275.



1620. men, in searching for a convenient place for settlement, saw five

or six Indians, whom they followed several miles, until night ; but, not overtaking them, were constrained to lodge in the woods. The next day they discovered heaps of earth, one of which they dug open, but, finding within implements of war, they concluded these were Indian graves; and therefore, replacing what they had taken out, they left them inviolate. In different heaps of sand they also found baskets of corn, a large quantity of which they carried away in a great kettle, found at the ruins of an Indian house. This providential discovery gave them seed for

a future harvest, and preserved the infant colony from famine. First Euro Before the close of the month, Mrs. Susanna White was deliverborn in N. ed of a son, who was called Peregrine ; and this was the first England.

child of European extraction, born in New England. The adven- On the 6th of December, the shallop was sent out with several turers seek of the principal men, Carver, Bradford, Winslow, Standish and settlement. others, and 8 or 10 seamen, to sail around the bay in search of a

place for settlement. The next day, this company was divided; and, while some travelled on shore, others coasted in the shallop. Early in the morning of the Sth, those on the shore were surprised by a flight of arrows from a party of Indians; but, on the discharge of the English muskets, the Indians instantly disappeared. The shallop, after imminent hazard from the loss of its rudder and mast in a storm, and from shoals, which it narrowly escaped, reached a small island on the night of the Sth; and here the company the next day, which was the last day of the week, reposed themselves, with pious gratitude for their preservation. On this island they kept the Christian sabbath.3

1 This “ had been some ship’s kettle, and brought out of Europe.” Mourt's Relation in Purchas, v. 1844, 1845. In a second excursion a few days after, they discovered near the same place more corn, which, in addition to what they had taken away before, made about ten bushels; the whole of which was afterward paid for, to the entire satisfaction of the natives. This place they called Cornhill; a name, which the inhabitants of Truro (in whose township it lies) have lately consented to revive. Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. viü. 214. But for the first excursion, this very interesting discovery of the corn would probably not have been made ; for, in the second instance, “the ground,” says Mourt's Relation," was now covered with snow, and so hard frosen, that we were faine with our cutlaxes and short swords, to hew and carve the ground a foote deepe, and then wrest it up with leavers.” It was a custom of the country to preserve the corn in these subterrranean granaries. “ The natives commonly thresh it as they gather it, dry it well on mats in the sun, and then bestow it in holes in the ground (which are their barns) well lined with withered grass and mats, and then covered with the like, and over all with earth ; and so it is kept very well, till they use it.” Mr. Winthrop's account of “ The Culture of Maize" in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Abridg.), ii. 635.

2 These were the Nauset Indians. Purchas, v. 1849. Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. viii. 161, 267.

3 The shoals, “ in a cove full of breakers,” were between the Gurnet's Nose and Saquish. For the correction of Morton's mistake about the name of the last place, I was long since indebted to Judge Davis, who has corrected it himself

« AnteriorContinuar »