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At this time those who were in place of civill Government, having some addition Pillars to under-prop the building, begun to thinke of a place of more safety in the eyes of Man, then the two frontire Towns of Charles Towne, and Boston were for the habitation of such as the Lord had prepared to Governe this Pilgrim People. ...
It being a work (in the apprehension of all, whose capacity could reach to the great sums of money, the edifice of a mean Coledg would cost) past the reach of a poor Pilgrim people, who had expended the greatest part of their estates on a long voyage, ...
Thir year (1650) was the first noted year wherein any store of people died, the ayr and place being very healthy naturally, made this correction of the Lord seem the greater, for the most that died were children, and that of an untoward disease here, though frequent in other places, the Lord now smiting many families with death in them, although there were not any families wherein more then one died, or very rare if it were otherwise, yet were these pilgrim people minded of the suddain forgetfulness of those worthies that died not long before, but more specially the little regard had to provide means to train their children up in the knowledg of learning, and improve such means as the Lord hath appointed to leave their posterity an able Minister.
In a letter to John Winthrop, Jr., dated October 30, 1660, the Rev. John Davenport said: “It was of Mantoweeze that the land was bought, whereby N. H. [New Haven Colony] bounds extended neare unto Cold Spring, beyond Pilgrims Harbour.”? Pilgrims' Harbor
Massachusetts Centinel of December 8, 1784 (p. 3/3). And in the same paper of December 22, 1784 (p. 4/2), is this advertisement:
To be SOLD,
(If applied for immediately), . MHE good Sloop PILGRIM, British built, burthen about 90 tons, as she
I now lies at the south side of the Long-Wharf. She is a fast sailing vessel, well found, and exceedingly well calculated for the Southern Trade
1 Wonder-working Providence (1654), pp. 60–61, 193, 216. The references in the first two paragraphs are to the church gathered at Cambridge in 1633 and to Harvard College.
? 4 Massachusetts Historical Collections, vii. 518. There åre allusions (16661687) to Pilgrims' Harbor in the Connecticut Colonial Records (ü. 53, 127, iii. 235), and also (1660–1742) in C. H. S. Davis's History of Wallingford, etc. (1870), pp. 128–130. Referring to the regicides Whalley and Goffe, on July 18, 1785, President Stiles wrote: “After the Restor of Charles II. 1660 these holy Pilgrims came first to Boston. But being hunted there they fled to New Haven, ... It being still dangerous here, they removed to & resided near a Rivulet in
was "probably a hut where travellers between Hartford and New Haven found shelter.” 1 In 1660 Henry Gardiner wrote:
... if good Society and English Government were there, people would rather live there, than in Africk, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, or England; it transcends all the Baltick Seas, and affords all or any Commodity they have, & more plenty of sundry sorts, and of more concernment to his Majesty, than if all the Baltic Seas were annexed to his Empire; as in a short Epitomy and Anotamy of those countries, from New-found-land to Cape Florida, with Mapps and Cards shall appear, with Collections of 55 years Pilgrimage.?
In 1694 Joshua Scottow said: “Thus far of the Light and white side of the Pillar, which attended us in this our Wilderness Pilgrimage; the black and dark side remains." 3 In 1702 Cotton Mather, referring to Saleh, wrote:
An Entrance being thus made upon the Design of Planting a Country of English and Reformed Churches; they that were concerned for the Plantation, made their Application to Two Non-Conformists Ministers,
Meriden 20 M. fr. N. Haven at a place known to this day by the name of Pilgrims Harbor;' and on May 8, 1793: "To Hartfd, ... Tradition at Meriden & about here Pilgrim's Harbor so named from two men stopt here till could make a float. Afterwdf Public built a shed for Pilgrims caught here by high Freshes" (Literary Diary, ii. 170, 494). In the next year (1794) Stiles published his History of Three of the Judges of King Charles I, and then, after stating that Whalley and Goffe arrived at Boston on July 27, 1660, and at New Haven on March 7, 1661, said: “On the 13th of October, 1664, they left Milford, and proceeded in this excursion. I shall suppose that the first night they came over to New-Haven to their friend Jones, though of this there is no tradition, as there is of their making a lodgment at Pilgrims Harbor, so called from them, being twenty miles from New Haven, at a place since called Meriden, half-way between New-Haven and Hartford. ... But of this I find no tradition, saving only, that in their rout to Hadley they made one station at Pilgrims Harbor" (pp. 22, 44, 108). As the letter quoted in the text was written four years before the regicides are alleged to have taken shelter at Pilgrims' Harbor, obviously Stiles's theory that it received its name from that fact is erroneous. “If the regicides ever made use of it,” says E. E. Atwater, "it was after this letter was written. It was not, as President Stiles suggests, called Pilgrims' Harbor because the regicides lodged in it" (History of the Colony of New Haven, 1881, p. 447 note).
I am indebted to our associate Professor Franklin B. Dexter for the references to Atwater, to Davis, and to Stiles's History,
· E. E. Atwater, History of the Colony of New Haven, p. 447 note.
that they would go over to serve the Cause of God and of Religion in the beginning of those Churches. The one of these was Mr. Higginson, ... the other was Mr. Skelton, ... These Ministers came over to Salem, in the Summer of the Year 1629. . . . 'Tis true, there were two other Clergy-Men, who came over about the same time; nevertheless, ... we will proceed with our Story; which is now to tell us, That the Passage of these our Pilgrims was attended with many Smiles of Heaven upon them."
1 Magnalia, bk. i. ch. iv. § 4, pp. 16–17. In his Discourse delivered at Plymouth in 1828, the Rev. Samuel Green said:
Sons of the Pilgrims, look at these beacons, as they rise around you, and beware of forsaking the God of your fathers. Their graves are before you. This occasion rolls back the light of their doctrines, and the light of their example. “It is reported of the Scythians," says Cotton Mather, “that in battles, when they came to stand upon the graves of their dead fathers, they would stand there immoveable till they died on the spot: and, thought I, why may not such a method now engage the children of the Pilgrims, to stand fast in their faith, and their order, and in the power of godliness? I will show them the graves of their dead fathers; and if any of them do retreat unto the errors of another Gospel, they shall undergo the irresistible rebukes of their progenitors, here brought from the dead for their admonition” (pp. 31-32).
No reference for this quotation is given. It is conceivable that Mather might have used the expression “children of the Pilgrims," and if so it would be interesting to know whether in reference to the Plymouth or to the Massachusetts settlers. It turns out, however, that Mr. Green's memory was at fault. On the few occasions when Mather quoted Paradise Lost, he did so inaccurately, once changing Milton's "Chariot and charioteer” to “Salvage and Sagamore." In the present instance the tables were turned against Mather, for what he actually wrote is as follows:
It is reported of the Scythians, who were, doubtless, the Ancestors of the Indians first inhabiting these Regions, that in Battels, when they came to stand upon the Graves of their dead Fathers, they would there stand immovable, 'till they dy'd upon the spot: And, thought I, why may not such a Method now effectually engage the English in these Regions, to stand fast in their Faith and their Order, and in the Power of Godliness? I'll shew them, the Graves of their dead Fathers; and if any of them do retreat unto a Contempt or Neglect of Learning, or unto the Errors of another Gospel, or unto the Superstitions of Will-Worship, or unto a worldly, a selfish, a little Conversation, they shall undergo the irresistible Re bukes of their Progenitors, here fetch'd from the dead, for their Admonition; and I'll therewithal advertise my New-Englanders, that if a Grand-child of a Moses becomes an Idolater, he shall, [as the Jews remark upon Judg. 18. 30.) be destroy'd, as if not a Moses, but a Manasseh, had been his Father. Besides, Plus Vivitur Exemplis quam Præceptis! (Magnalia, 1702, bk. üi. pt. i., To the Reader, $ 2, p. 11.)
In 1786 David Humphreys, in his “Poem, On the Happiness of America; Addressed to the Citizens of the United States," wrote:
Here equal fortunes, ease, the ground their own,
The following extract is taken from the Independent Chronicle of January 6, 1794:
CONCORD, December 26, 1793. At the Anniversary Meeting of the Pilgrim Society in Concord, on the 25th instant, at Lieut. John Richardson's,* for the purpose of commemorating the Divine Nativity; after transacting the necessary business of the Society, they spent the evening in grateful and Christian conviviality, and most cordially drank the following pertinent Toasts on the occasion, viz.
First. The Birth-Day of our SAVIOUR.
Third. The Day. — While we feast as strangers and brethren, let us rejoice as Christians.
Fourth. May the light of Reason and Philosophy, banish superstition.
Fifth. May we never want a WASHINGTON, nor a WASHINGTON a grateful People.
Sixth. May the basis of our freedom be virtue, and lasting as time.
Seventh. May those, who are struggling for Freedom and Equality, ever enjoy them.
Eighth. May we ever rejoice in each others freedom and prosperity. Ninth. Strangers, wheresoever they are.
After which the Members retired to their respective places of abode, in great good order and filled with many good impressions.
* A Society formed in Concord, some years since by a number of young Men, who emigrated from various towns, and settled in Concord, and replenished from time to time, with persons only of that description. — The Society now consists of about 20 members. 2
i Boston Magazine, 1786, iii. 397.
? P. 4/1. Presumably it was at Concord, Massachusetts, that this Pilgrim Society existed; but no other allusion to it has been found. John Richardson was born at Watertown July 11, 1758; went to Concord in 1778, opened an inn there in 1789, but moved away in 1804; became a member of the Social
Between 1785 and 1794, the Rev. Ezra Stiles often spoke of the regicides who had taken refuge in New England as Pilgrims.
It is possible that when Mather alluded to Higginson and Skelton as "these our Pilgrims,” he may have been influenced by the passage in Bradford's History, known to him through Morton; but such could not have been the case with the other writers just quoted. It is interesting to find the early Massachusetts settlers called a Pilgrim people or Pilgrims a century and a half before the word was specifically applied to the Plymouth settlers, and a Pilgrim Society at Concord thirty years before a similarly-named society was formed at Plymouth.
Circle in 1782; on March 7, 1790, was married to Anna Bemis of Watertown, who died July 14, 1796 ; on December 29, 1801, was married to Hannah Bemis of Watertown, a sister of his first wife; had several children by both wives; and died at Newton May 3, 1837. (Memoirs of the Social Circle in Concord, i. 52, 159, 163, ii. p. ix; Concord Registers, pp. 323, 387; Watertown Records, iii. 140, 178, 230, iv, 159; H. Bond, Genealogies of Watertown, pp. 25, 412; Newton Vital Records, p. 495.) The early history of the Social Circle in Codcord is somewhat obscure, but apparently there was no connection between it and the Pilgrim Society. In “A Topographical Description of the Town of Concord, August 20th, 1792. Presented by Mr. William Jones, student of Harvard College,” it is stated that “An association is established called the Social Club, who meet once a week at each other's houses. The club is founded upon principles, and governed by rules, that are admirably promotive of the social affections and useful improvements" (1 Massachusetts Historical Collections, i. 239).
1 See p. 366 note 2, above. This use of the word pilgrim, without reference to the Pilgrims of Plymouth, is of course occasionally met with after 1798. Thus a poem printed in the Independent Chronicle of January 21, 1799 (p. 4/1), began as follows:
WACHUSETT 's true can boast of many trees
Contemptuous thorns and ugly bushes. A novel entitled "Love's Pilgrimage; A Story founded on facts" was advertised in the Columbian Centinel of January 8, 1800 (p. 4/1); but whether English or American, I do not know. The following lines occur in a political skit published in 1820 entitled “The Pilgrims of Hope: An Oratorio For the Clintonian celebration of the New Year” (p. 19):
See from the shores of subjugated France,