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CH. VI.]

LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS.

55

fury the Mayflower encountered; and “Having undertaken, for the glory of it was not till the 9th of November God, and the advancement of the Christhat they came in sight of the coast of tian faith, and the honour of our king New England, at no great distance and country, a voyage to plant the first from Cape Cod. As their object had colony in the northern parts of Virbeen to settle near the Hudson River, ginia, do, by these presents, solemnly the course of the ship was turned to and mutually, in the presence of God the south; getting entangled, however, and one of another, covenant and comamong the shoals, they bore up again, bine ourselves together into a civil and came to anchor in Cape Cod body-politic, for our better order and harbor. *

preservation, and furtherance of the Weary of the discomforts of the ends aforesaid ; and by virtue hereof crowded Mayflower, they were all to enact, constitute, and frame such eager to land; but as they were out just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, of the limits of the Virginia Company, constitutions, offices, from time to time, and as there were some signs of insub- as shall be thought most meet and conordination among a portion of the emi-venient for the general good of the grants, it was judged best to enter into colony; unto which we promise all due a voluntary compact as a basis of social submission and obedience. In witness polity, and to appoint a governor. | whereof we have hereunder subscribed John Carver was chosen to act as gov- our names. Cape Cod, 11th Novemernor for the term of one year, and the ber, in the reign of our sovereign lord, whole company of the men—who, with King James, of England, France, and their wives and children, amounted to Ireland, 18, and of Scotland, 54. Anno one hundred and one souls -- affixed Domini 1620." their signatures to the following docu- An exploring party was sent out diment:

rectly. The country was covered with "In the name of God. Amen. We, pine forests, and here and there a dewhose names are underwritten, the serted wigwam was found, but rarely loyal subjects of our dread sovereign did they get sight of any of the nalord, King James, by the grace of God, tives. A quantity of Indian corn was of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, discovered buried in the sand in basKing, Defender of the Faith, etc.,

kets, which proved a very timely sup

ply of seed for the following spring. * The story which has often been told, to the in Winter came upon them in all its sejury of the Dutch, that they bribed the master of the verity; and as it was absolutely necesMayflower not to land the company on the Hudson, sary to fix upon some spot for a settleis without solid foundation. It seems to have origi- ment, the hardiest of the company, nated in the ill feeling which sprung up at a subsequent date between the New England colonists and despite the cold and the fatal exposure, the Dutch. Grahame (History, vol. i., p. 144,) re- undertook the labor of searching out peats the story as if it were undoubtedly true. Bancroft (History, &c., vol. i., p. 309,) leaves the matter

a good harbor and convenient place where they might begin to lay the

somewhat in doubt.

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1620.

foundations of the colony. Five weeks say, that during these three dreary were thus spent, and it was not till months one half their number were cut Monday, December 11th, O.S., or more off. That winter they had to form

correctly, the 21st of December, seven times more graves for the dead

that this band of pioneers set | than habitations for the living. They foot on the far-famed Plymouth Rock. were buried on the bank not far from Remembering the kindness which they the landing—a spot still to be venerahad received at Plymouth, in England, ted-and, lest the Indians should take the name New PLYMOUTH was bestowed courage to attack the survivors from upon the infant settlement.

their weakened state, the soil which The whole company were landed at covered the graves of their beloved this point, on the report of the explor- relatives was carefully beaten down ing party, and they immediately set and planted with a crop of corn. about erecting habitations to shelter During the winter the colonists saw them from the weather. A bold hill, but little of the Indians, although they commanding a look-out over the bay, were not without occasional alarm. offered a vantage ground for their fort, Early in the spring, when they were which was garnished with a few small beginning again to have hope of sucpieces of ordnance; at its foot two cess, an Indian one morning walked rows of huts were laid out and staked boldly into the village, and saluted —the habitations of nineteen families. them in tolerable English, “Welcome, The winter had now set in, with se- Englishmen!” He was a sagamore or verity and sternness, and their labors petty chief, named Samoset, and inat felling trees and constructing their formed them that a great plague had rude habitations were carried on in the recently raged among the Indians on midst of constant storms of rain and these shores; this circumstance, leavsleet; already had the seeds of mortal ing the country entirely open to settledisease been implanted; by privations ment, is noted by the early New Engand exposure to the rigor of the season, land historians, as a special providence by wading through the icy water from in behalf of the infant colony. By the ship to the land, the strong man means of Samoset and other friendly became weak as a child, and the deli- Indians, intercourse was opened, and cate frame of woman sunk under the finally a treaty of amity agreed upon double pressure of mental anxiety and with Massasoit, head chief of the Pophysical exhaustion. During this first kanokets or Wampanoags, who were winter they faded gradually away; and immediate neighbors of the colonists.

one of the first entries was the Carver was reëlected governor, but

following :-“ January 29, dies died a few weeks after. Bradford was Rose, the wife of Captain Standish.” chosen his successor. The MayBradford's wife had perished by drown- flower set sail for England in ing. But not to follow the melancholy April of this year; and the colonists, chronicle of bereavements, suffice it to taking heart as the mild weather ap

1691.

1621.

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CH. VI.]

PROGRESS OF NEW PLYMOUTH.

57

1622.

proached, sent out a party to explore significant hint of what the whites Massachusetts Bay, some forty miles to would do-whereat the Indians were the northward: they then, for the first not a little frightened, esteeming it some time, beheld the three-crested penin- fatal charm.

It was judged sula of Shawmut, site of the present prudent by the colonists to surcity of Boston. In November, the round the village with a palisade of Fortune arrived, bringing thirty-five timbers driven into the ground, a mile new colonists, together with Cush- in circuit, with three gates. man, who had obtained a patent from Weston, who had taken an active the Council of New England, chiefly part in fitting out the Plymouth colony, through the good offices of Sir Ferdi- was dissatisfied with the pecuniary renando Gorges. Cushman returned to sults of that undertaking, and accordEngland shortly after.

ingly resolved to found a separate planThe Fortune had brought over new tation for his own advantage. He sent mouths, and no provisions; the result out some sixty men, chiefly indented serwas a famine of several months' dura- vants, to begin the settlement. They tion; all had to be put on half allow- were fellows of indifferent character ance; the corn was all eaten, and the at best, who, after intruding upon the colonists were reduced to the scantiest people of Plymouth for two or three rations--chiefly of fish, or to such pre- months, and eating or stealing half carious supplies as were occasionally their provisions, attempted a settleobtained from passing vessels at an ex- ment at Wissagusset, now Weymouth, orbitant cost. No cattle had been yet on the south shore of Massachusetts imported ; their agricultural instru- Bay. Having soon exhausted their ments were scanty and rude, and they own stock, they began to plunder the were almost destitute of boats and Indians, who formed a conspiracy to tackle to enable them to profit by the cut them off. The plot was revealed shoals of fish which abounded on the by the dying sachem Massasoit. Here coasts. Mortality and distress had pre- there was fresh cause to deplore that vented them from subduing the soil - hasty spirit of revenge which had, in men, toiling at the rude labors of a first almost every instance, sown the seeds settlement, “often staggered for want of lasting hatred and hostility in the Inof food.” Nor were they without ap- dian breast. Captain Standish, brave prehensions of attack from the In- but greatly wanting in discretion, surdians. On one occasion, Canonicus, prised Wituwamot, the chief of this sachem of the powerful Narragansetts, conspiracy, and put him to death on who were enemies of the Wampanoags, the spot, together with several of his sent, by way of defiance, to New Indians. When Robinson heard of Plymouth, a bundle of arrows, tied up this, he wrote back to the colonists, with the skin of a rattlesnake. Brad- "Oh how happy a thing had it been, ford lost no time in returning the same had you converted some, before you skin, stuffed with powder and balla had killed any!” The plantation at

VOL. I.--10

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