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these adventurers undertook their enterprise under the authority and sanction of a royal charter, yet they commenced their political existence as a republic. December 22, 1620, they disembarked and went on shore. The place where they landed, called by the Indians Patuxet, they named Plymouth, after the town in England from which they last sailed.
Such was the origin of the settlement of the Plymouth colony.
Sentiments of high respect for the principles and character of the first settlers of New England have been cherished in every succeeding generation of their descendants. They have been eager to reward their inestimable service by commemorating their virtues and piety, and by preserving a recollection of their sufferings, resolution, and noble deeds, in so glorious a cause. In doing this they have been actuated by the dictates of nature, reason, and gratitude.
On January 13, 1769, when the storm of British oppression was gathering, and the time for open and decided resistance to the crown was at hand, an association called the “ Old Colony Club” was formed at Plymouth, consisting of some of the principal men of that place and vicinity; and on December 22, of that year, the “ Landing of the Forefathers” was first celebrated.* The Wins
the office of chief-magistrate but four months and twenty-four days. "He was a man of great prudence, integrity, and firmness of mind. He had a good estate in England, which he spent in the migration 16 Holland and America. He was one of the foremosi in action, and bore a large share of suffering in the service of the colony, who confided in him as its friend and father. Piety, humility, and benevolence, were eminent traits in his character."- Dr. Belknap.
On the death of Governor Carver, although only thirty-two years old, and confined at the time by sickness, Mr. William Bradford was unanimously elecied his successor, as Governor of the colony. He conducted the affairs of the colony for the great part of the time, as chief, and two or three years as second magistrate, with consummale prudence and ability for a period of more than thirty-one years. - In his youth, he embraced the doctrines which were taught by the venerable Clifton, and afterwards by Robinson, and became one of their most devoted followers. He applied himself with great diligence to the study of the ancient languages, both Latin and Greek. Of the Hebrew his knowledge was intimate, and the French and Dutch he spoke with ease. He read much on subjects of history and philosophy. In theology he was deeply versed, and few there were who could contend with him successfully in a polemical dispute. He wrote considerably; the loss of his valuable manuscript history of the colony to 1616, can never be supplied. – Dr. Thacher's History of Plymouth.
* The following dishes were served up for entertainment on the first anniversary; and the account is here inserted as a matter of curiosity: "1, a large baked Indian whortleberry, pudding; 2, a dish of sauquetach (succatach, corn and beans hoiled together); 3, a dish of clams ; 4, a dish of oysters and a dish of cod fish; 5, a haunch of venison, roasted by the first jack brought to the colony ; 6, a dish of roasted sea fowl; 7, a dish of frost fish and eels; 8, an apple pie ; 9, a course of cranberry tarts and cheese made in the Old Colony." - Dr. Thacher's History of Plymouth.
The following ioasts were also given on the occasion : 1. To the memory of our brave and pious ancestors, the first settlers of the Old Colony. 2. To the meinory of John Carver and all the other worthy Governors of the Old Colony. 3. To the memory of that pious man and faithful historian, Mr. Secretary Morton. 4. To the memory of that brave man and good officer, Capt. Miles Standish. 5. To the memory of Massasoit, our first and best friend, and ally of the Natives. 6. To the memory of Mr. Robert Cushman, who preached ihe first sermon in New England.
7. The union of the Old Colony and Massachusetts.
8. May every person be possessed of the same noble sentiments against arbitrary power that our worthy ancestors were endowed with.
9. May every enemy to civil or religious liberty meet the same or a worse fate than Archbishop Laud.
lows, Watsons, and Howlands were among those who were the most prominent. Major-General John Winslow of Marshfield, who had been an eminent officer in the war between England and France, in 1754-1762, General Peleg Wadsworth, Colonel Gamaliel Bradford, and Hon. George Partridge of Duxbury, Hon. William Sever and General John Thomas of Kingston, Colonel Alexander Scammell, then a teacher of youth in Plymouth, and afterwards a distinguished officer in the American Revolution, were original or early members of the Society.
“ In the year 1773 the Association was dissolved, in consequence of conflicting opinions existing among its members, in relation to the American Revolution,” and two of the early members of the Club left the country, from attachment to the British government.
The following gentlemen have delivered sermons or addresses, by the request of the “ Old Colony Club," or of the inhabitants of the town, or of the meinbers of some one of the religious societies, at the times of the anniversary at Plymouth, on the 22nd of December. Edward Winslow, Jr., Esq., Plymouth ; Rev. Chandler Robbins, D. D., Plymouth; Rev. Charles Turner, Duxbury ; Rev. Gad Hitchcock, D. D., Pembroke; Rev. Samuel Baldwin, Hanover; Rev. Sylvanus Conant, Middleborough ; Rev. Samuel West, D. D., Dartmouth; Rev. Timothy Hilliard, Barnstable; Rev. Williarn Shaw, D. D., Marshfield ; Rev. Jonathan Moore, Rochester; Doct. Zaccheus Bartlett, Plymouth; Hon. John Davis, LL. D., Boston ; Rev. John Allyne, D. D., Duxbury; Hon. John Quincy Adams, LL. D., Quincy; Rev. John Thornton Kirkland, D. D., Cambridge; Rev. Jonathan Strong, D. D., Randolph; Rev. James Kendall, D. D., Plymouth; Alden Bradford, LL. D., Boston ; Rev. Abiel Holmes, D. D., Cambridge; Rev. James Freeman, D. D., Boston; Rev. Adoniram Judson, Plymouth; Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, D. D., Dorchester; Rev. Abiel Abbot, D. D., Beverly; Rev. John Elliot, D. D., Boston; Rev. James Flint, D. D., Salem; Rev. Ezra Goodwin, Sandwich; Rev. Horace Holley, LL. D., Boston; Hon. Wendell Davis, Sandwich; and Hon. Francis Calley Gray, Boston.
As the “ Old Colony Club” had for many years ceased to act as a society, and had, in fact, ceased to exist, that the object of the annual celebration of the “ Landing of our Forefathers” might be
10. May the Colonies be speedily delivered from all the burthens and oppressions they now labor under.
11. A speedy and lasting union between Great Britain and her Colonies. 12. Unanimity, prosperity, and happiness to the Colonies. — Russell's Guille to Plymouth.
better accomplished, a society was formed, November 9, 1819, by the name of the “ Old Colony Pilgrim Society," and immediately went into operation. The Hon. Joshua Thomas, William Jackson, and Nathaniel M. Davis, Esqs., were chosen a committee on behalf of the Society, to petition the General Court for an act of incorporation. On February 24, 1820, the Society was incorporaled and made a body politic, by the name of the “ Pilgrim Society." The design of the institution may in part be learned from a clause in the first section of the act of incorporation, which is, “ 10 perpetuate the memory of the virtues, the enterprise, and unparalleled sufferings of their ancestors.”
The “ Landing of our Forefathers” was first celebrated by the Pilgrim Society, December 22, 1820, that being the completion of the second century since the settlement of New England, or the landing of the Pilgrims. This event, which, in a most important sense, gave existence to the nation, with all that is valuable in its civil, literary, and religious establishments, was observed that year with more than usual solemnity and interest. The Hon. Daniel Webster delivered an address* on the occasion, worthy of himself and the memory of those whose character and sufferings he so eloquently portrayed. A large concourse of people attended the celebration, and were escorted to the place of public service by the Standish Guards, a military company so called in honor of Capt. Miles Standish. †
There were present on the occasion, a delegation from the Massachusetts Historical Society, and from the American Antiquarian Society. The Hon. Judge Davis addressed the Pilgrim Society on behalf of the former institution, and the Hon. Levi Lincoln on behalf of the latter. The Rev. Dr. Kendall replied to the one, and Alden Bradford, Esq., replied to the other. The kindest sentiments and feelings universally prevailed, and the occasion was one of great satisfaction and rejoicing.
The Pilgrim Society, as such, annually commemorates the day on which our Forefathers landed at Plymouth. On some of these anniversaries, addresses have been delivered ; in 1820, by Hon.
* The address was published, and has passed through several editions, and been a source of considerable income to the Society.
† It is said of Capt. Standish, He possessed much native talent, was decided, ardent, resolute, and persevering, indifferent to danger, a bold and hardy man, stern, ausiere, and unyielding; of exemplary piely, and of incorruptible integrity; "an iron-nerved Puritan, who could hew down forests and live on crumbs."
The Rev. John Thornton Kirkland, D. D., President of Harvard College, and the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, D. D., first President of Dartmouth College, were descendants of Capt. Standish.
Daniel Webster; in 1824, by Hon. Edward Everett; in 1829, by Hon. William Sullivan ; in 1831, by Rev. George Washington Blagden ; in 1835, by Hon. Peleg Sprague; in 1837, by Rev. Robert B. Hall; in 1939, by Rev. Thomas Robbins, D. D.; and in 1315, by Joseph R. Chandler, Esq. Since 1820, at the request of some religious society or association, the following gentlemen have delivered addresses on these anniversary occasions, though not specially before the Pilgrim Society; Rev. Richard S. Storrs, D. D., Braintree; Rev. Lyman Beecher, D. D., Boston; Rev. Samuel Green, Boston; Rev. Daniel Huntington, North Bridgewater; Rev. Benjamin B. Wisner, D. D., Boston; Rev. John Codman, D. D., Dorchester; Rev. Convers Francis, D. D., Watertown; Rev. Jonathan Bigelow, Rochester; Rev. Samuel Barrett, Boston; Rev. William T. Torrey, Plymouth; Rev. John Brazier, D. D., Salem; and Rev. Mark Hopkins, D. D., Williamstown. In the addresses which have been delivered, the principles, motives, intentions, and character of the Forefathers have been exhibited and approved; the causes of their emigration, the interposition of God in their behalf, and the glorious results which have followed, have been glowingly described.
The Society erected in the year 1824 a monumental edifice; the corner-stone of which was laid with appropriate solemnities, and in an excavation made in it for the purpose, was deposited, with other articles, a plate having the following inscription : " In grateful memory of our Ancestors, who exiled themselves from their native country, for the sake of religion, and here successfully laid the foundation of Freedom and Empire, December 22, A. D. MDCXX., their descendants, the Pilgrim Society, have raised this edifice, August XXXI. A. D. MDCCCXXIV.”
The edifice is built of unwrought split granite, and is seventy feet in length by forty in width, and is two stories in height. It has a handsome Doric portico in front, eight feet wide, supported by six pillars, sixteen feet high. The whole expense of the building and its appurtenances was more than $15,000. Its location is pleasant and presents a full view of the outer harbor of the town. The princi, al ball is adorned by a magnificent painting, representing our Forefathers. This picture, valued at $3,000, was a donation to the Pilgrim Society by the artist, Henry Sargent, Esq., Boston. It is a splendid representation of the Pilgrims at their arrival on these western shores. Pilgrim Hall is the most suitable receptacle for it; and Col. Sargent has exhibited a noble generosity in placing it within its walls. The dimensions of the picture are sixteen feet
by thirteen. It contains several groups of individuals attired in the costume of their day. 1. Governor Carver and his wife and children; 2. Governor Bradford; 3. Governor Winslow; 4. Wife of Governor Winslow; 5. Mr. William Brewster, the presiding Elder; 6. Capt. Miles Standish; 7. Mr. William White and his child Peregrine; 8. Mr. Isaac Allerton and his wife; 9. Mr. John Alden; 10. Mr. John Turner; 11. Mr. Stephen Hopkins, his wise, and children; 12. Mr. Richard Warner; 13. Mr. Edward Tilley; 14. Mr. Samuel Fuller; 15. Wife of Capt. Standish; 16. Samoset, an Indian Sagamore; 17. Mr. John Howland, of Governor Carver's family, who married his daughter.
In the edifice there is a room set apart for a Library and a Cabinet of curiosities. It is already supplied with a number of volumes and many manuscripts of early date. It is desirable that a copy of all the works published by the Pilgrims and their descendants should be deposited in the Library.
“ Among the antiquities in the Cabinet of the Pilgrim Society are the following:
“A chair which belonged to Gov. Carver. The sword of Miles Standish, presented by William S. Williams, Esq. A pewter dish which belonged to Miles Standish, presented by the late Joseph Head, Esq. An iron pot which belonged to Miles Standish, presented by the late John Watson, Esq. A brass steelyard, owned by Thomas South worth. A cane which belonged to William White; presented by Hon. John Reed. A dressing-case which belonged to William White. The gunbarrel with which King Philip was killed, presented by Mr. John Cook of Kingston. The original letter of King Philip to Gov. Prince, written in 1662. A china mug and leather pocket-book which belonged to Thomas Clark. A piece of ingenious embroidery, in a frame, executed by Lora Standish, a daughter of Miles Standish; presented by Rev. Lucius Alden of East Bridgewater. Many curiosities are still in the hands of individuals and families, which might add much 10 the interest of Pilgrim Hall."
The following Portraits embellish Pilgrim Hall: “1. of Edward Winslow, painted in London in 1651, copied from the original, by C. A. Foster. 2. of Josiah Winslow, the first native Governor of the Old Colony, painted in London in 1651, copied from the orig. inal, by C. A. Foster. 3. of Gov. Josiah Winslow's wife, Penelope Pelham, copied from the original, by C. A. Foster. 4. of General John Winslow, copied from the original, by C. A. Foster. The