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The day answering to the eleventh of December is celebrated as the day of the landing of the Pilgrims; * but on that day a place was discovered, and fixed upon for their settlement. Parties before had landed and made some discoveries.
The same day that the memorable instrument was signed, a party left the ship, and landed to explore the country and get wood, but returned without making any particular discovery. But a few days ter, (November fifteenth) sixteen men, under Captain Myles Standish, were permitted to go in search of a convenient place for settlement. They saw five Indians, whom they followed all day, but could not overtake them. The next day they discovered several Indian graves, one of which they opened, and found some rude implements of war, a mortar, and an carthen pot; all which they took care to wplace, being unwilling to disturb the sepulchres of the dead. They
a small mound of earth a celiar curiously lined with bark, in which was stored a quantity of Indian corn. Of this they took as much as they could carry, and returned to the ship.
Soon after, twenty-four others made the like excursion, and obtained a considerable quantity of corn, which, with that obtained before, was about ten bushels. Some beans were also found. This discovery gave them great encouragement, and perhaps prevented their further removal; it also saved them from famine.
After considerable discussion concerning a place for settlement, in which some were for going to Agawam,t and some not so far, it was concluded to send out a shallop to make further discovery in the bay. Accordingly, Governor Carver, with eighteen or twenty men, set out on the sixth of December to explore the deep bay of Cape Cod. The weather was very cold, and the spray of the sea lighting on them, they were soon covered with ice, as it were like coats of mail. At night, having got to the bottom of the bay, they discovered ten or twelve Indians, about a league off, cutting up a grampus, who, on discovering the English, ran away with what of the fish they had cut otiWith some difficulty from shoals, they landed and erected a hut, and passed the first night. In the morning they divided their company ; some went by land and others in the vessel, to make further discovery of the bay, to which they gave the name of Grampus, because that fish was found there. They met again at night, and some
on board the shallop, and the rest as before. The next morning, December the eighth, as they were about to canbark, they were furiously beset by Indians. Some of the company having carried their guns down to the boat, the others discharged upon them as fast as they could; but the Indians shouted and rushed on, until those had regained their arms, and then they were put to flight. One, however, more courageous than the rest, took a position behind a tree, and withstood several volleys of shot, dis
To reduce the old style to new, eleven days are added; therefore, the 24 December is celebrated as the landing of the forefathers.
Ipswich is supposed to have been meant, as it was known by that
Dame in a former voyage.
charging arrows himself at the same time. At length a shot, glancing upon the side of the tree, hurled the bark so about his head, that he thought it time to escape. Eighteen arrows were picked up by the English after the battle, which they sent to their friends in England as curiosities. Some were headed with brass, and others with horn and bone. The place where this happened was, on this account, called the First Encounter.*
The company, after leaving this place, narrowly escaped being cast away; but they got safe on an uninhabited island, † where they passed the night. The next day, December the ninth, they dried their clothes, and repaired their vessel, which had lost her mast and met with other damage. The next day they rested, it being Sunday. The day following they found a place which they judged fit for settlement; and after going on shore,s and discovering good water, and where there had been corn-fields, returned to the ship. This was on the eleventh of December, 1620, and the day celebrated as the FOREFATHERS' Day.
On the titteenth, the ship came into the new harbor. The two following days, the people went on shore, but returned at night to the ship.
On the twenty-third, timber was begun to be prepared for building a common store-house. The next day the cry of Indians was heard, but none appeared. On the twenty-fifth, the first house was begun. A fort was built on the hill soon after, (where the burying-ground now is,) which commanded the town and harbor; and they were diligently employed until a town was laid out, to which they gave the name of Plymouth, on account of the kind treatment they received from the people of Plymouth in England, and that being the place in their native country from which they last sailed.
In January, 1621, their store-house took fire, and was nearly consumed. Most of the people now were sick, and Governor Carver and Mr. Bradford were confined in the store-house when it took fire. In March, an Indian came boldly into the town, and saluted them with these words, “Welcome Englishmen! Welcome Englishmen!" This was uttered in broken English, but was clearly understood. His name was Samoset, and he came from the eastward, where he had been acquainted with some fishermen, and had learned some of their lan
* It was before called Namskeket. "A creek, which now bears the name of Skakit, lies between Eastham and Harwich; distant about three or four miles westward from Nauset--the seat of a tribe of Indians, who as they afterwards learned) made this attack."
+ This they called “Clark's Island, because Mr. Clark, the master's mate, first stepped ashore thereon."- Morton, 24.
I A large rock near the water, said to be the place where they first stepped ashore, is shown with a degree of veneration by the inhabitants of Plymouth. It is a granite of a reddish cast, and has long since been nearly levelled with the surface of the ground. A large fragment bas been placed near the head of the main street, where it is made a rendezvous for boys in pleasant evenings. This, as well as the part from which it was taken, suffers occasionally under the force of a dull axe, to add to the entertainment of the story of the traveller.
guage. They treated him with kindness, and he informed them that the great Sachem, Massasoit, was coming to visit them; and told them of one Squanto, that was well acquainted with the English language. He left them, and soon after returned in company with Magsasoit and Squanto. This Indian continued with the English as long as he lived, and was of infinite service to them. He showed them how to cultivate corn, and other American productions.
About this time (beginning of April) Governor Carver died. Soon aster, Mr. William Bradford was chosen. The mortality that began soon after their arrival had, before the end of March, carried off fortyfour of their number.
Such was the beginning of New England, which is now, alone, a formidable nation. At the death of the first governor, it contained fifty-seven European inhabitants, and at the end of two hundred years it contained upwards of one million six hundred thousand.
Perhaps the annals of the world do not furnish a parallel to the first peopling of New England, as it respects purity of intentions, judgment and fortitude in its execution, and in sustaining for a series of
years a government that secured the happiness of all,-an object of admiration, justly increasing on every succeeding generation, in proportion to the remoteness of time; founded on the genuineness of those authorities who, without the least shadow of fable, have trans mitted to us their true history; rendered peculiarly interesting from its minuteness of detail, even beyond what could have been expected. Insomuch that no one can read, without the deepest interest in their situations; and seeming, as it were, to live over those days with them, and to gain a perfect acquaintance with a Carver, a Bradford, a Win. slow, and, indeed, the whole train of worthies.
SINOPSIS OF THE NEW ENGLAND INDIANS AT THE DATE OF THE PLY. MOUTH SETTLEMENT-"THEIR FIRST HEAD SACHEN, KNOWN TO THE ENGLISU, MASSASOIT-THE FIRST INTERVIEW BETWEEN HIM AND THE WIIITES-HIS VISIT TO PLYMOUTH, IN 1621.
Tue clearest, if not the completest classification of the New Eng. land Indians, at the date of the settlement of Plymouth, includes five principal confederacies, cach occupying their own territory, and governed by their own chiefs. The Pequots inhabited the castern part of Connecticut. Fast of them were the Narragansetts, within whose limits Rhode Island, and various smaller islands in the vicinity, were
The following synopsis of the New England Indians is taken from B. B. Fletcher's Indian Biography.
comprised. The Pawtucket tribes were situated chiefly in the southern section of New Hampshire; the Massachusetts tribes around the bay of their own name; and between these upon the north and the Narragansetts upon the south, the Pokanokets claimed a tract. of what is now Bristol county, (Rhode Island) bounded laterally by Taunton and Pawtucket rivers for some distance, together with large parts of Plymouth and Barnstable.
This confederacy exercised some dominion over the Indians of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and over several of the nearest Massachusetts and Nipmuck tribes;--the latter name designating an interior territory, now mostly within the boundaries of Worcester county. Of the Pokanokets, there were nine separate cantons or tribes, each
governed by its own petty sagamore or squaw, but all subject to one grand-sachem, who was also the particular chief of the Wampanoag canton, living about Montaup. *
The first knowledge we have of the Wampanoags, and of the indi. viduals who ruled over them and the other Pokanokets, is furnished in the collections of Purchas, on the authority of a Captain Dermer, (the Master Thomas Dirmire spoken of by John Smith in his New Eng. land Trialls, as “ an vnderstanding and industrious gentleman, who was also with him amongst the Frenchmen.”) Dermer was sent out from England in 1619, by Sir Fr. Gorges, on account of the President and Council of New England, in a ship of two hundred tons. He had a Pokanoket Indian with him, named SQUANTO, one of about twenty who had been kidnapped on the coast by Captain Hunt, in 1614, and sold as slaves at Malaga, for twenty pounds a man.t Squanto and a few others of the captives were cither rescued or redeemed, by the benevolent interposition of some of the monks upon
that island. 6. When I arrived,” says Dermer in his letter to Purchas, “ at my savage's na. tive country, finding all dead, I travelled along a day's journey to a place called Nummastaquyt, where, finding inhabitants, 1 despatched a messenger a day's journey further west, to Pacanokit, which bordercth on the sea; whence came to see me, two kings, attended with a guard of fifty armed men, who, being well satisfied with that my savage and I discoursed unto them, (being desirous of novelty) gave me content in whatsoever I demanded. Here I redeemed a Frenchman, and afterwards another at Masstachusitt, who three years since escaped shipwreck at the northeast of Cape Cod.” One of these two kinys,
* This celebrated eminence, (frequently called, by corruption of the Indian name, Mount-Ilope) is a mile or two east of the village of Bristol. It is very steep on all sides, and terminates in a large rock, having the appearance, to a distant spectator, of an immense dome.
f It is gratifying to learn from Smith that Hunt was punished, though not according to the baseness of his infamous crime. “He betraied foure and twentie of these poore Saluages aboord his sbip, and most dishonestly and inhumanely for their kinde usage of me and all our men, carried them with him to Maligo, and there for a little private gaine sold those silly Saluages for Rials of eight; but this vilde act kept him ever after from any more emploiement to these parts."—Generale Historie of New England, published in 1632.