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Title: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth; Mourt's Relation: A Relation or Journal of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England, by Certain English adventurers both merchants and others
Author: Dwight B. Heath, - To be updated
Language: English
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                            A Journal of the
                          Pilgrims at Plymouth

                            MOURT’S RELATION
                         A RELATION OR JOURNAL
of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England, by certain
             English adventurers both merchants and others.

               Edited from the original printing of 1622,
                    with introduction and notes, by
                            Dwight B. Heath

    [Illustration: The American Experience Series]


                             CORINTH BOOKS
                                NEW YORK

DWIGHT B. HEATH has done extensive ethnographic field work among various
Indian tribes in Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States, in
the course of earning his A.B. at Harvard College and Ph.D. at Yale. As
Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Brown University, one of his
subsidiary interests is ethnohistory, analyzing historical sources from
anthropological perspectives.

             Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 62-17660
                    Copyright © 1963 Dwight B. Heath

The cover illustration, “Pilgrims Going to Church” by George H. Boughton
(1867), is from the Robert L. Stuart Collection of the New York
Historical Society and reproduced with their kind permission.

                    Published by Corinth Books, Inc.
               32 West Eighth Street, New York 11, N. Y.
                    Distributed by The Citadel Press
                222 Park Avenue South, New York 3, N. Y.

                         _Printed in U.S.A. by_
                      NOBLE OFFSET PRINTERS, INC.
                           NEW YORK 3, N. Y.


  Editor’s introduction                                              vii

                           _MOURT’S RELATION_
  To His Much Respected Friend, Mr. I. P.                              3
  To the Reader.                                                       6
  Certain Useful Advertisements sent in a Letter written by a
          Discreet Friend unto the Planters in New England, at their
          first setting sail from Southampton, who earnestly
          desireth the prosperity of that, their new plantation.       9
  A Relation or Journal of the Proceedings of the Plantation settled
          at Plymouth in New England.                                 15
  A Journey to Pokanoket, the habitation of the great King
          Massasoit; as also our message, the answer and
          entertainment we had of him.                                60
  A Voyage Made by Ten of Our Men to the Kingdom of Nauset, to seek
          a boy that had lost himself in the woods; with such
          accidents as befell us in that voyage.                      69
  A Journey to the Kingdom of Nemasket in defense of the great King
          Massasoit against the Narragansets, and to revenge the
          supposed death of our interpreter, Squanto.                 73
  A Relation of Our Voyage to the Massachusets, and what happened
          there.                                                      77
  A Letter sent from New England to a Friend in these parts, setting
          forth a brief and true declaration of the worth of that
          plantation; as also certain useful directions for such as
          intend a voyage into those parts.                           81
  Reasons and Considerations touching the Lawfulness of Removing out
          of England into the parts of America.                       88


  Photographs from Plimoth Plantation
      1. The _Mayflower_.
      2. The shallop.
      3. Indian wigwam.
      4. Constructing a house at Plymouth.
      5. Pilgrim house in winter.
      6. A Pilgrim family.
      7. The first Thanksgiving.
      8. Pilgrims going to church.
  Samuel de Champlain’s Map of Plymouth Harbor                       xix
  Captain John Smith’s Map of New England                          xxiii
  Facsimile of original title page                                 xxvii

                         EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION


The coming of the Pilgrims and their establishment of the Plymouth
Plantation is one of the great adventures in the American experience.
This book is the earliest published account of that adventure, a
day-by-day journal written in a simple forceful manner by men who took
part in it. The story is familiar[1]—deceptively familiar, in that
portions of it have undergone a complex process of transformation and
emerge as modern myths in our national folklore. Still it is a story
full of glory, and of tragedy, which deserves a wider public.

The glory, as usual, exists mostly in retrospect. The Separatists had
already shown the courage of their convictions in defying both Church
and State by worshiping in their own way in England. They had finally
been driven to take refuge in Holland, the only European nation where
they could then enjoy complete religious tolerance. After twelve years
of poverty and social isolation in Amsterdam and Leyden, the self-styled
“Saints”[2] sought the New World largely as a land of economic
opportunity where they hoped to start afresh. Similar motives
undoubtedly moved the “Strangers,”[3] the motley group of fellow
travelers who joined the party at Plymouth, England, and doubled their
numbers. The “Strangers” were loyal to the Church of England, as were
the few indentured servants and hired men, who soon comprised a
dissident faction. They cared no more for freedom of conscience than did
the “merchant adventurers,” a joint stock company of about seventy
London businessmen who sponsored the plantation only as a commercial
venture likely to yield high profits.

Some have read the “Mayflower Compact” as the glorious cornerstone of
American democracy, but it seems hardly revolutionary in context here
where it first appeared in print. The fact that the Pilgrims enjoyed
warm relations with some Indians is also much to their credit, but it
may reflect the charity of the Indians at least as much as their own
benevolence. Still one cannot belittle the achievement of these simple
people. They consistently showed resourcefulness in coping with new
problems, and courage in the face of danger. The greatest glory of the
Pilgrims may well have been the ardent faith and dogged persistence
which saw them through great tragedy.

Although there is little talk of tragedy in this volume, we know that
more than half of the original party died during the first year at
Plymouth. Considering their primitive living conditions, it is a wonder
that so many did survive the “general sickness” while wading to and from
the shallop, and working hard to develop new skills in the harsh and
alien environment of a strenuous New England winter. Another tragedy is
only presaged here, in the white man’s facile rationalization of his
usurpation of lands which had long been used by Indians. Within the span
of a single lifetime, the indigenous peoples were dispossessed, and
their way of life did not long survive after the mutually debilitating
“King Philip’s War.” The tragedy and the glory of Pilgrims and Indians
alike emerge in a careful reading of this journal.

                            _About the Book_

Any good book must mean many things to many readers, and this journal
offers more than just reflections of past glories and intimations of
great tragedy. It is a primary source for American history in that
critical period when a beach-head of Anglo culture was established in
the New World. In this volume are the earliest accounts of the
“Mayflower Compact,” the establishment of a community which has become
focal in our national heritage, the signing of this country’s first
mutual security pact, and the famous first Thanksgiving. There is no
question of the book’s essential authenticity, and most of it has the
flavor of having been written on the spot at the time.

This sense of immediacy also enhances the value of the journal as a well
written story of true adventure. The protagonists quietly suppressed an
impending mutiny, even before they landed. While exploring the unknown
wastes of Cape Cod, they conducted archeological excavations before they
had a roof over their heads. They were attacked by Indians, and yet
persisted, built their homes in a foreign land, and soon traveled freely
among the natives. This is high adventure indeed!

Political implications are of some importance too. The passengers on the
_Mayflower_ are famous for their founding of “a civil body politic ...
to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances,
acts, [and] offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and
convenient for the general good of the colony.” Within less than a week
of their first conversation with an Indian, the Pilgrims signed an
enduring peace treaty with Massasoit, a leader of the neighboring
Wampanoags. A year later, they enjoyed trading relations and military
alliance with many other Indian groups.

The journal may also be viewed as a valuable ethnographic document.
Although previous sporadic contacts by explorers and traders had yielded
some impressionistic descriptions, the Pilgrims were the first Europeans
to be in close and sustained contact with the Indians of southern New
England. At first they expected only hostility from the “savages,” but
it was not long before they found valuable helpers in Squanto and
Samoset, both of whom had learned already some English when they were
kidnapped and sold as slaves by English traders. The Pilgrims were
obliged to work out a modus vivendi with these “tall and proper men”
whose dress seemed outlandish, whose foods were strange, and whose
customs were curious enough to deserve description. We are indebted to
the authors of this journal for a wealth of information about such
patterns during the brief period before they disappeared forever. There
are many aspects of the native ways of life of which the Pilgrims were
unaware, and others which they treated with only tantalizing brevity,
but a wealth of irreplaceable ethnographic data in this volume serves to
illuminate our fragmentary understanding of coastal Algonquian cultures.

Just as we can learn much about the Indians from this book, we can also
gain rich insights into the character of the Pilgrims themselves.
Mention of the threat of mutiny explodes the hoary myth of dedicated
unity of purpose among all members of the party. The bravery of the
Pilgrims emerges in bold relief, as does their readiness to rob the
graves of Indians. In light of this text, their industriousness cannot
be doubted. Flashes of humor occur, and their strong sense of being a
“chosen people” is clearly manifest in recurrent references to a
felicitous “divine providence.”

“Human interest” is not lacking either. We can imagine the chagrin of
William Bradford unwittingly caught up in a deer snare, just as we can
sympathize with the consternation created when a prankish boy fired his
father’s musket in a ship’s cabin where open kegs of gunpowder lay
about. It is easy to feel for the “old [Indian] woman whom we judged to
be no less than a hundred years old” who wept because “she was deprived
of the comfort of her children in her old age” when Capt. Hunt kidnapped
her three sons. And how his playmates must have envied the boy who was
lost on Cape Cod, and was returned by the Nauset Indians, “behung with

Within this brief but diverse book there is also a pervasive mystery,
for no one knows who wrote it. The book has become known as _Mourt’s
Relation_, but it is not the unitary effort of a single man. Five of the
ten “chapters” have bylines, and Mourt’s contribution is almost the
briefest of the ten. The mystery deepens when we confess not knowing
much about the man named Mourt. Perhaps the most fruitful way to
approach the problem is through a discussion of the several components
of the book.

It opens with a dedicatory letter of transmittal “To his much respected
friend....” This is a form of profuse and discursive acknowledgment
typical of the time. It seems to have been appended by an associate of
the settlers, whose concern was “... but the recommendation of the
relation itself,” to a distinguished member of the “merchant
adventurers” who had sponsored the _Mayflower_ voyage. The dedication is
signed _R.G._, which I assume to be a misprint for the initials of
Robert Cushman. The only member of the party at Plymouth with initials
R.G. was Richard Gardiner, an undistinguished “Stranger” who stayed only
briefly and took little part in the venture. The fact that misprints are
frequent throughout the rest of the book suggests the possibility of
reference to Cushman, who is a person most likely to have drafted such a
letter. As a deacon of the Leyden congregation who also served as their
business agent, he was instrumental in securing English permission for
removal to the New World, and, after having had to turn back on the
unseaworthy _Speedwell_, he continued negotiations with the “merchant
adventurers” while the _Mayflower_ sailed on to Plymouth. Visiting the
plantation on the second ship, _Fortune_, he delivered the patent which
confirmed their legal right to settle there, together with a stringent
contract from the sponsors, which he finally induced the Pilgrims to
sign, after preaching a pointed sermon on “The Dangers of Self-Love.”
The manuscript of the relations must have been carried back to England
with him on the _Fortune_ in December of 1621.

Appended at the end of the volume is another chapter which I attribute
to Cushman. A long exposition of “Reasons and considerations touching
the lawfulness of removing out of England into the parts of America,”
signed _R.C._, is a thinly veiled promotional tract organized like a
sermon, which cites Scripture to justify the plantation and to persuade
others to follow.

Among the prefatory letters is one containing “Certain useful
advertisements ...” and signed _I.R._. We are told that this letter of
advice concerning man’s proper relation with God and with his fellow men
was “... written by a discreet friend unto the planters in New England,
at their first setting sail from Southampton.”[4] This “unfeigned
well-willer” is most likely John Robinson, pastor of the expatriate
Separatist congregation in Leyden, and hence understandably solicitous
for the welfare of the Pilgrims, and also in a position to proffer such
counsel. The letter may have been appended to this book especially to
serve as a model of morality for those “Strangers” who might hopefully
be induced to emigrate and join the party at Plymouth.

Five “relations” constitute the major portion of the book, and none of
these is signed. The first and longest, on “The proceedings of the
plantation ...,” begins with the departure from Plymouth, England, and
recounts events of the next six months, including the voyage, the
signing of the “compact,” the several “discoveries,” the choice of a
site and the building there, as well as early contacts with the Indians,
culminating in the signing of a peace treaty with Massasoit. A second
deals with “A journey to Pokanoket ...” and describes further friendly
dealings with the Wampanoag Indians. The next treats “A voyage ... to
the Kingdom of Nauset, to seek a boy that had lost himself in the
woods....” An account of “A journey to Nemasket ...” shows how the
Pilgrims sought to defend their Indian allies against the hostile
Narragansets, and “A relation of our voyage to the Massachusets ...”
describes the expansion of trade relations to the north.

According to the dedicatory letter, these vivid reports were “... writ
by the several actors themselves, after their plain and rude manner.” It
is almost certain that the principal author was Edward Winslow, although
it is generally believed that William Bradford also had a hand in the
effort. Both of these men were among the few who were prominent in the
affairs of the plantation, and they two are the only ones of the first
party who obviously enjoyed writing. Winslow’s _Good News from New
England_ (London, 1624), continued the narrative of the plantation from
the time when this volume left off, and is markedly similar in style. In
his _Good News_ ..., Winslow mentions descriptions of aspects of Indian
culture which were prepared by “... myself and others, in former
letters, (which came to the press against my will and knowledge) ...”; I
know of no publication other than _Mourt’s Relation_ to which this could
refer. Bradford’s manuscript history _Of Plymouth Plantation_ (first
published in Boston, 1856) has become the principal source on the
Pilgrim experience, although he could hardly be said to claim priority
when he “... first began these scribbled writings (which was about the
year 1630 and so pieced up at times of leisure afterward).” His
treatment of the first year at Plymouth is a curious combination,
consisting largely of passages identical with those in _Mourt’s
Relation_, together with discursive classical allusions and philosophic
ruminations. Bradford’s style generally tends to be more analytic than
descriptive, and the specificity of detail which makes this text such a
rich source material for the historian and ethnographer rarely occurs
elsewhere in Bradford’s work. It is entirely within the realm of
possibility that he may have incorporated in his manuscript the work of
others as it had appeared in _Mourt’s Relation_; he freely adopted
material from other sources.

The ensuing “Letter sent from New England ... setting forth ... the
worth of that plantation ...,” follows the five narrative relations
closely in style, and is signed by _E.W._. It is almost certainly
Winslow who here sounds vaguely like a twentieth-century Florida real
estate agent when he describes the first Thanksgiving as indicating the
richness of the land: “I never in my life remember a more seasonable
year than we have here enjoyed and if we have once but kine, horses, and
sheep, I make no question but men might live as contented here as in any
part of the world.” He also includes some very specific suggestions
concerning the practical needs of those who might choose to come.

And what was Mourt’s contribution to the book which has been linked with
his name by historians, librarians, and bibliographers since Prince[5]
first invented the convenient title, _Mourt’s Relation_, as a substitute
for the cumbersome original? A brief foreword, or introduction, “To the
reader,” is all that we must credit to the signer, one _G. Mourt_. It
may have been he who was responsible for bringing to press this
collection of papers, “... hoping of a cheerful proceeding, both of
adventurers and planters.” He explicitly denied authorship of the
narratives: “These relations coming to my hand from my both known and
faithful friends, on whose writings I do much rely, I thought it not
amiss to make them more general....” But scholars still do not know who
he was!

It is suggested that he had at some time been associated with the
authors of the relations, whom he called “my both known and faithful
friends.” It is also suggested that he had long hoped to emigrate to the
New World, “... as myself then much desired, and shortly hope to effect,
if the Lord will, the putting to of my shoulder in this hopeful
business.” These criteria clearly apply to Robert Cushman, who, as we
have seen, was a person who might appropriately have introduced such a

The specifications also apply to another member of the Leyden
congregation who was active in negotiating with the “merchant
adventurers” until he did sail to Plymouth, on the first ship bound for
the plantation after the book was printed. If no more than the initials
had been given in the signature to the introduction—as was the case in
every other portion of the volume—there would be little hesitation to
identify the author as George Morton.

As it is, however, one must attempt to account for the discrepancy in
name if he suggests that it may have been Morton who wrote it. It is
easy to suggest that the use of “Mourt” for “Morton” could have been
merely another of the many misprints in the book. At least as plausible,
however, is the suggestion that it may have been a pseudonym. It is not
difficult to imagine why there might have been some attempt to conceal
the fact _if_ Morton had been intimately involved in the preparation and
promulgation of the book. A printer might have been reluctant to
“publish” a document written by Separatists unless it carried an
introduction by an apparently disinterested party. In a period of strict
royal control of the press in England, William Brewster of the Leyden
congregation had already incurred the wrath of King James by printing an
outspoken opposition tract, _Perth Assembly_ (Leyden, 1619), so that any
writings by his friends and associates might logically also be suspect.
Furthermore, the fact that _Mourt’s Relation_ is essentially a
promotional effort is clearly implied in the phrasing of the original
title, describing the “safe arrival” of the “English planters,” and
“their joyful building of, and comfortable planting themselves in the
now well defended town of New Plymouth.” In such an effort to excite
more prospective settlers, it would have been sound public relations to
minimize the degree of identification between the plantation and the
“Saints,” who were popularly scorned as heretics and criminals.

Another possibility must be mentioned. I am only half-joking when I
suggest that at least this portion of _Mourt’s Relation_ may actually
have been written by someone named G. Mourt, of whom we know nothing
else. One of the delights of historical research is the fact that one
always raises more questions than he can answer. The mystery remains.

_Mourt’s Relation_ is clearly a book which offers different meanings to
every reader. I hope that this edition may reach a broad audience and
increase popular understanding of a neglected portion of the American

                        _A Note on This Edition_

My intention is to provide the contemporary reader with an appreciation
of this exciting book as it was received by an eager and curious public
when it was first published almost three and a half centuries ago. In
keeping with this aim, the entire text is included here, in the order of
the original.[6] So that the authors may speak forcefully and directly
to the reader of today, I have introduced only uniform spelling,
punctuation, and paragraphing, structural niceties which were of no
concern to authors or printers until late in the eighteenth century. The
eloquent English language of the period is familiar to us all, through
the King James version of the Bible or the works of Shakespeare, and I
have scrupulously left each word intact. The text, then, is reproduced
verbatim, including marginalia, chapter headings, and running heads,
altered only by the use of modern orthography for the sake of clarity.

I have deliberately avoided distracting the reader from the original
text, by introducing a minimum of footnotes. Some annotation seems
indispensable for understanding the work of another age, but this
edition does not bear the tender burden of scholarly disquisition.
Modern equivalents are given for archaic words and place-names, and I
have offered brief explanations of a few outdated allusions. Dates are
retained as in the original, so that ten days must be added to any date
given in the text in order to fit it into the modern Gregorian calendar,
which was not adopted by England and her colonies until 1752.

In the exacting task of collating this text with the original, I was
helped by my friend and colleague, Anna Mae Cooper. We worked in the
John Carter Brown Library where Thomas R. Adams kindly put excellent
facilities at our disposal, including the library’s copy of the first
edition of the book, as well as the Smith and Champlain maps. Lucille
Hanna first introduced me to the excitement of history, and J. L.
Giddings pointed out the ethnographic value of _Mourt’s Relation_. Miss
Rose T. Briggs, Director of Pilgrim Hall, shared her enthusiasm and
broad knowledge of the Pilgrims. E. Lawrence Couter, David Freeman,
Arthur G. Pyle, Muriel Stefani, and the entire staff of Plimoth
Plantation were helpful in many ways, and the corporation generously
provided the photographs. The title page, ornamental letters and
top-page designs are reproduced from a copy of the original, now in
possession of the Rhode Island Historical Society. Mrs. N. Mac Donald
typed from a difficult manuscript.

An adventure such as this rightfully belongs to all who would chase

                                                         DWIGHT B. HEATH
                                                       _Brown University
                                                      Providence, R. I._


Although the Pilgrims were the first Europeans to establish a permanent
colony in northeastern North America, they did not come to an unknown
land. As early as 1605, Samuel de Champlain had mapped Plymouth Harbor,
in the course of a three-year expedition during which he explored the
coast from Nova Scotia to Martha’s Vineyard. The quality of his detailed
and accurate observations on the land and people appears in this map,
and in his notes on the visit: “There came to us two or three canoes,
which had just been fishing for cod and other fish which are found there
in large numbers. These they catch with hooks made of a piece of wood,
to which they attach a bone in the shape of a spear and fasten it very
securely. The whole has a fang-shape, and the line attached to it is
made out of the bark of a tree. They gave me one of their hooks, which I
took out of curiosity. In it the bone was fastened on by hemp, like that
in France, as it seemed to me, and they told me that they gathered this
plant without being obliged to cultivate it, and indicated that it grew
to the height of four or five feet. This canoe went back on shore to
give notice to their fellow inhabitants, who caused columns of smoke to
arise on our account. We saw eighteen or twenty savages, who came to the
shore and began to dance. Our canoe landed in order to give them some
bagatelles, at which they were greatly pleased. Some of them came to us
and begged us to go to their river. We weighed anchor to do so, but were
unable to enter on account of the small amount of water, it being low
tide, and were accordingly obliged to anchor at the mouth. I went
ashore, where I saw many others, who received us very cordially. I made
also an examination of the river, but saw only an arm of water extending
a short distance inland, where the land is only in part cleared. Running
into this is merely a brook not deep enough for boats except at full
tide. The circuit of the bay is about a league. On one side of the
entrance to this bay there is a point which is almost an island, covered
with wood, principally pines, and adjoins sandbanks, which are very
extensive. On the other side, the land is high. There are two islets in
this bay, which are not seen until one has entered, and around which it
is almost entirely dry at low tide. This place is very conspicuous from
the sea, for the coast is very low, excepting the cape at the entrance
to the bay. We named it the Port du Cap. St. Louis...”.

    [Illustration: map]

Reproduced is a copy from a first edition of _Les Voyages du Sieur de
Champlain_ (Paris, 1613), now in possession of the John Carter Brown


The Pilgrims were familiar with Capt. John Smith’s account of a voyage
in which he had surveyed the coast from Cape Cod to Penobscot Bay in
1614. He had even offered his services as guide and military captain,
but Myles Standish got the job. Undoubtedly they did bring with them his
_Description of New England_ (London, 1616), in which the following map
was published.

Capt. Smith, who had already gained some fame and fortune in Virginia,
dedicated to Prince Charles this effort in which the term “New England”
first appeared: “... it being my chance to range some other parts of
America, whereof I here present your highness the description in a map,
my humble suit [in original, “sure”] is you would please to change their
barbarous names for such English, as posterity may say Prince Charles
was their godfather.” Several English place-names were incorporated in
the map, but posterity disregarded most of them, a noteworthy exception
being “Plimouth.” Smith notes that the Indians called the site “...
Accomack, an excellent good harbor, good land, and no want of any thing
but industrious people,” recalling that “After much kindness, upon a
small occasion we fought also with 40 or 50 of those [Indians]; though
some were hurt and some slain, yet within an hour after, they became

The map was subsequently reissued in several other works by Smith,
additions being made on the engraved copper plate from time to time, to
indicate more recent discoveries and settlements. The copy reproduced
here is from a first edition, now in possession of the John Carter Brown
Library; obviously the representations of European-style buildings were
as inappropriate as were the illustrations of monsters, introduced by
imaginatively artistic cartographers. (The note concerning Smith’s death
was written in ink by a previous owner of this copy.)

    [Illustration: map]

    [Illustration: facsimile of title page]

                              RELATION OR
                Journal of the beginning and proceedings
   of the English Plantation settled at _Plymouth_ in New England, by
         certain English adventurers both merchants and others.
With their difficult passage, their safe arrival, their joyful building
of, and comfortable planting themselves in the now well defended town of
                              New Plymouth

                       AS ALSO A RELATION OF FOUR
  several discoveries since made by some of the same English Planters
                            there resident.

I. _In a journey to _Pokanoket_, the habitation of the Indians’ greatest
King _Massasoit_: as also their message, the answer and entertainment
they had of him._

II. _In a voyage made by ten of them to the Kingdom of _Nauset_, to seek
a boy that had lost himself in the wood: with such accidents as befell
them in that voyage._

III. _In their journey to the Kingdom of _Nemasket_, in defense of their
greatest King _Massasoit_, against the _Narragansets_, and to revenge
the supposed death of their Interpreter _Squanto_._

IIII. _Their voyage to the _Massachusets_, and their entertainment

 With an answer to all such objections as are any way made against the
           lawfulness of English plantations in those parts.

 Printed for _John Bellamie_, and are to be sold at his shop at the Two
         Greyhounds in Cornhill near the Royal Exchange. 1622.

    [Illustration: decorative border]

                              TO HIS MUCH
                     respected friend, Mr. I. P.[7]

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

Good Friend:

As we cannot but account it an extraordinary blessing of God in
directing our course for these parts, after we came out of our native
country, for that we had the happiness to be possessed of the comforts
we receive by the benefit of one of the most pleasant, most healthful,
and most fruitful parts of the world; so must we acknowledge the same
blessing to be multiplied upon our whole company, for that we obtained
the honor to receive allowance and approbation of our free possession
and enjoying thereof, under the authority of those thrice honored
persons, the President and Council for the Affairs of New England, by
whose bounty and grace, in that behalf, all of us are tied to dedicate
our best service unto them,[8] as those under his Majesty, that we owe
it unto, whose noble endeavors in these their actions the God of heaven
and earth multiply to his glory and their own eternal comforts.

As for this poor relation, I pray you to accept it, as being writ by the
several actors themselves, after their plain and rude manner; therefore
doubt nothing of the truth thereof. If it be defective in any thing, it
is their ignorance, that are better acquainted with planting than
writing. If it satisfy those that are well affected to the business, it
is all I care for. Sure I am the place we are in, and the hopes that are
apparent, cannot but suffice any that will not desire more than enough.
Neither is there want of aught among us but company to enjoy the
blessings so plentifully bestowed upon the inhabitants that are here.
While I was a-writing this, I had almost forgot that I had but the
recommendation of the relation itself to your further consideration, and
therefore I will end without saying more, save that I shall always rest

                    Yours in the way of friendship,

                                                                R. G.[9]

From Plymouth, in New England.

    [Illustration: decorative border]

                             To the Reader

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

_Courteous Reader, be entreated to make a favorable construction of my
forwardness in publishing these ensuing discourses. The desire of
carrying the Gospel of Christ into those foreign parts, amongst those
people that as yet have had no knowledge nor taste of God, as also to
procure unto themselves and others a quiet and comfortable habitation,
were, amongst other things, the inducements (unto these undertakings of
the then hopeful, and now experimentally known good enterprise for
plantation in New England) to set afoot and prosecute the same. And
though it fared with them, as it is common to the most actions of this
nature, that the first attempts prove difficult, as the sequel more at
large expresseth, yet it hath pleased God, even beyond our expectation
in so short a time, to give hope of letting some of them see (though
some he hath taken out of this vale of tears)[10] some grounds of hope
of the accomplishment of both those ends by them at first propounded._

_And as myself then much desired, and shortly hope to effect, if the
Lord will, the putting to of my shoulder in this hopeful business, and
in the meantime, these relations coming to my hand from my both known
and faithful friends, on whose writings I do much rely, I thought it not
amiss to make them more general, hoping of a cheerful proceeding, both
of adventurers and planters, entreating that the example of the
honorable Virginia and Bermudas Companies, encountering with so many
disasters, and that for divers years together, with an unwearied
resolution, the good effects whereof are now eminent, may prevail as a
spur of preparation also touching this no less hopeful country, though
yet an infant, the extent and commodities whereof are as yet not fully
known, after time will unfold more. Such as desire to take knowledge of
things, may inform themselves by this ensuing treatise, and, if they
please, also by such as have been there a first and second time.[11] My
hearty prayer to God is_ _that the event of this and all other honorable
and honest undertakings, may be for the furtherance of the kingdom of
Christ, the enlarging of the bounds of our sovereign lord King James,
and the good and profit of those who, either by purse or person or both,
are agents in the same, so I take leave, and rest_

                             _Thy friend_,

                                                         _G. Mourt_.[12]

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                             CERTAIN USEFUL
                          ADVERTISEMENTS SENT
   in a Letter written by a discreet friend unto the Planters in New
  England, at their first setting sail from Southampton, who earnestly
         desireth the prosperity of that their new Plantation.

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

Loving and Christian friends. I do heartily and in the Lord salute you
all, as being they with whom I am present in my best affection, and most
earnest longings after you, though I be constrained for a while to be
bodily absent from you; I say constrained, God knowing how willingly and
much rather than otherwise I would have borne my part with you in this
first brunt, were I not by strong necessity held back for the present.
Make account of me in the meanwhile, as of a man divided in myself with
great pain, and as (natural bonds set aside) having my better part with

And though I doubt not but in your godly wisdoms you both foresee and
resolve upon that which concerneth your present state and condition,
both severally and jointly, yet have I thought but my duty to add some
further spur of provocation unto them who run already, if not because
you need it, yet because I owe it in love and duty.

And first, as we are daily to renew our repentance with our God, special
for our sins known, and general for our unknown trespasses, so doth the
Lord call us in a singular manner upon occasions of such difficulty and
danger as lieth upon you, to a both more narrow search and careful
reformation of our ways in his sight, lest he, calling to remembrance
our sins forgotten by us or unrepented of, take advantage against us,
and in judgment leave us for the same to be swallowed up in one danger
or other; whereas on the contrary, sin being taken away by earnest
repentance and pardon thereof from the Lord, sealed up unto a man’s
conscience by his Spirit, great shall be his security and peace in all
dangers, sweet his comforts in all distresses, with happy deliverance
from all evil, whether in life or in death.

Now next after this heavenly peace with God and our own consciences, we
are carefully to provide for peace with all men what in us lieth,
especially with our associates, and for that end watchfulness must be
had, that we neither at all in ourselves do give, no, nor easily take
offense being given by others. Woe be unto the world for offenses, for
though it be necessary (considering the malice of Satan and man’s
corruption) that offenses come, yet woe unto the man or woman either by
whom the offense cometh, saith Christ, Matt. 18:7. And if offenses in
the unseasonable use of things in themselves indifferent, be more to be
feared than death itself, as the Apostle teacheth, 1 Cor. 9:15, how much
more in things simply evil, in which neither honor of God, nor love of
man is thought worthy to be regarded.

Neither yet is it sufficient that we keep ourselves by the grace of God
from giving offense, except withal we be armed against the taking of
them when they are given by others. For how unperfect and lame is the
work of grace in that person, who wants charity to cover a multitude of
offenses, as the Scriptures speak. Neither are you to be exhorted to
this grace only upon the common grounds of Christianity, which are, that
persons ready to take offense, either want charity to cover offenses, or
wisdom duly to weigh human fraility; or lastly are gross, though close
hypocrites, as Christ our Lord teacheth, Matt. 7:1,2,3, as indeed in
mine own experience, few or none have been found which sooner give
offense, than such as easily take it; neither have they ever proved
sound and profitable members in societies, which have nourished in
themselves that touchy humor.

But besides these, there are divers special motives provoking you above
others to great care and conscience this way: as first, you are many of
you strangers, as to the persons, so to the infirmities one of another,
and so stand in need of more watchfulness this way, lest when such
things fall out in men and women as you suspected not, you be
inordinately affected with them, which doth require at your hands much
wisdom and charity for the covering and preventing of incident offenses
that way. And lastly your intended course of civil community will
minister continual occasion of offense, and will be as fuel for that
fire, except you diligently quench it with brotherly forbearance. And if
taking offense causelessly or easily at men’s doings be so carefully to
be avoided, how much more heed is to be taken that we take not offense
at God himself, which yet we certainly do so oft as we do murmur at his
providence in our crosses, or bear impatiently such afflictions as
wherewith he pleaseth to visit us. Store we up therefore patience
against the evil day, without which we take offense at the Lord himself
in his holy and just works.

A fourth thing there is carefully to be provided for, to wit, that with
your common employments you join common affections truly bent upon the
general good, avoiding as a deadly plague of your both common and
special comfort all retiredness of mind for proper advantage, and all
singularly affected any manner of way; let every man repress in himself
and the whole body in each person, as so many rebels against the common
good, all private respects of men’s selves, not sorting with the general
conveniency. And as men are careful not to have a new house shaken with
any violence before it be well settled and the parts firmly knit, so be
you, I beseech you brethren, much more careful, that the house of God
which you are and are to be, be not shaken with unnecessary novelties or
other oppositions at the first settling thereof.

Lastly, whereas you are to become a body politic, using amongst
yourselves civil government, and are not furnished with any persons of
special eminency above the rest, to be chosen by you into office of
government, let your wisdom and godliness appear not only in choosing
such persons as do entirely love, and will diligently promote the common
good, but also in yielding unto them all due honor and obedience in
their lawful administrations, not beholding in them the ordinariness of
their persons, but God’s ordinance for your good, nor being like unto
the foolish multitude, who more honor the gay coat than either the
virtuous mind of the man or glorious ordinance of the Lord. But you know
better things, and that the image of the Lord’s power and authority
which the Magistrate beareth is honorable, in how mean persons soever.
And this duty you both may the more willingly, and ought the more
conscionably to perform, because you are at least for the present to
have only them for your ordinary governors which yourselves shall make
choice of for that work.

Sundry other things of importance I could put you in mind of, and of
those before mentioned in more words, but I will not so far wrong your
godly minds as to think you heedless of these things, there being also
divers among you so well able to admonish both themselves and others of
what concerneth them.

These few things therefore, and the same in few words I do earnestly
commend unto your care and conscience, joining therewith my daily
incessant prayers unto the Lord, that he who hath made the heavens and
the earth, the sea and all rivers of waters, and whose providence is
over all his works, especially over all his dear children for good,
would so guide and guard you in your ways, as inwardly by his Spirit, so
outwardly by the hand of his power, as that both you and we also, for
and with you, may have after matter of praising his name all the days of
your and our lives. Fare you well in him in whom you trust, and in whom
I rest

      An unfeigned well-willer
        of your happy success
          in this hopeful voyage,

                                                               I. R.[13]

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                         A RELATION OR JOURNAL
                           OF THE PROCEEDINGS
                           OF THE PLANTATION
                  settled at Plymouth in New England.

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

Wednesday, the sixth of September, the wind coming east-north-east, a
fine small gale, we loosed from Plymouth, having been kindly entertained
and courteously used by divers friends there dwelling, and after many
difficulties in boisterous storms, at length, by God’s providence, upon
the ninth of November following, by break of the day we espied land
which we deemed to be Cape Cod, and so afterward it proved. And the
appearance of it much comforted us, especially seeing so goodly a land,
and wooded to the brink of the sea. It caused us to rejoice together,
and praise God that had given us once again to see land. And thus we
made our course south-south-west, purposing to go to a river ten leagues
to the south of the Cape,[14] but at night the wind being contrary, we
put round again for the bay of Cape Cod. And upon the 11th of November
we came to an anchor in the bay,[15] which is a good harbor and pleasant
bay, circled round, except in the entrance which is about four miles
over from land to land, compassed about to the very sea with oaks,
pines, juniper, sassafras, and other sweet wood. It is a harbor wherein
a thousand sail of ships may safely ride. There we relieved ourselves
with wood and water, and refreshed our people, while our shallop was
fitted to coast the bay, to search for a habitation. There was the
greatest store of fowl that ever we saw.

And every day we saw whales playing hard by us, of which in that place,
if we had instruments and means to take them, we might have made a very
rich return, which to our great grief we wanted. Our master and his
mate, and others experienced in fishing, professed we might have made
three or four thousand pounds’ worth of oil. They preferred it before
Greenland whale-fishing, and purpose the next winter to fish for whale
here. For cod we assayed, but found none; there is good store, no doubt,
in their season. Neither got we any fish all the time we lay there, but
some few little ones on the shore. We found great mussels, and very fat
and full of sea-pearl, but we could not eat them, for they made us all
sick that did eat, as well sailors as passengers. They caused to cast
and scour,[16] but they were soon well again.

The bay is so round and circling that before we could come to anchor we
went round all the points of the compass. We could not come near the
shore by three quarters of an English mile, because of shallow water,
which was a great prejudice to us, for our people going on shore were
forced to wade a bow shot or two in going a land, which caused many to
get colds and coughs, for it was nigh times freezing cold weather.

This day before we came to harbor, observing some not well affected to
unity and concord, but gave some appearance of faction,[17] it was
thought good there should be an association and agreement that we should
combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and
governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose, and
set our hands to this that follows word for word.[18]

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal
subjects of our dread sovereign lord King James, by the grace of God, of
Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the
Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant
the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents
solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another,
covenant, and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for
our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends
aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such
just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, offices from time
to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general
good of the colony: unto which we promise all due submission and
obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names;
Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our
sovereign lord King James, of England, France and Ireland eighteenth and
of Scotland fifty-fourth, Anno Domini 1620.[19]

The same day, so soon as we could we set ashore fifteen or sixteen men,
well armed, with some to fetch wood, for we had none left; as also to
see what the land was, and what inhabitants they could meet with. They
found it to be a small neck of land, on this side where we lay is the
bay, and the further side the sea; the ground or earth, sand hills, much
like the downs in Holland, but much better; the crust of the earth a
spit’s[20] depth excellent black earth; all wooded with oaks, pines,
sassafras, juniper, birch, holly, vines, some ash, walnut; the wood for
the most part open and without underwood, fit either to go or ride in.
At night our people returned, but found not any person, nor habitation,
and laded their boat with juniper, which smelled very sweet and strong
and of which we burnt the most part of the time we lay there.

Monday, the 13th of November, we unshipped our shallop[21] and drew her
on land, to mend and repair her, having been forced to cut her down in
bestowing her betwixt the decks, and she was much opened with the
people’s lying in her,[22] which kept us long there, for it was sixteen
or seventeen days before the carpenter had finished her. Our people went
on shore to refresh themselves, and our women to wash, as they had great
need. But whilst we lay thus still, hoping our shallop would be ready in
five or six days at the furthest, but our carpenter made slow work of
it, so that some of our people, impatient of delay, desired for our
better furtherance to travel by land into the country, which was not
without appearance of danger, not having the shallop with them, nor
means to carry provision, but on their backs, to see whether it might be
fit for us to seat in or no, and the rather because as we sailed into
the harbor there seemed to be a river opening itself into the main land.
The willingness of the persons was liked, but the thing itself, in
regard of the danger, was rather permitted than approved, and so with
cautions, directions, and instructions, sixteen men were set out with
every man his musket, sword, and corslet, under the conduct of Captain
Miles Standish, unto whom was adjoined, for counsel and advice, William
Bradford, Stephen Hopkins, and Edward Tilley.

Wednesday, the 15th of November, they were set ashore, and when they had
ordered themselves in the order of a single file and marched about the
space of a mile, by the sea they espied five or six people with a dog,
coming towards them, who were savages, who when they saw them, ran into
the wood and whistled the dog after them, etc. First they supposed them
to be Master Jones, the master, and some of his men, for they were
ashore and knew of their coming, but after they knew them to be Indians
they marched after them into the woods, lest other of the Indians should
lie in ambush. But when the Indians saw our men following them, they ran
away with might and main and our men turned out of the wood after them,
for it was the way they intended to go, but they could not come near
them. They followed them that night about ten miles by the trace of
their footings, and saw how they had come the same way they went, and at
a turning perceived how they ran up a hill, to see whether they followed
them. At length night came upon them, and they were constrained to take
up their lodging, so they set forth three sentinels, and the rest, some
kindled a fire, and others fetched wood, and there held our rendezvous
that night.

In the morning so soon as we could see the trace, we proceeded on our
journey, and had the track until we had compassed the head of a long
creek, and there they took into another wood, and we after them,
supposing to find some of their dwellings, but we marched through boughs
and bushes, and under hills and valleys, which tore our very armor in
pieces, and yet could meet with none of them, nor their houses, nor find
any fresh water, which we greatly desired, and stood in need of, for we
brought neither beer nor water with us, and our victuals was only
biscuit and Holland cheese, and a little bottle of aquavitae, so as we
were sore athirst. About ten o’clock we came into a deep valley, full of
brush, wood-gaile, and long grass, through which we found little paths
or tracks, and there we saw a deer, and found springs of fresh water, of
which we were heartily glad, and sat us down and drunk our first New
England water with as much delight as ever we drunk drink in all our

When we had refreshed ourselves, we directed our course full south, that
we might come to the shore, which within a short while after we did, and
there made a fire, that they in the ship might see where we were (as we
had direction) and so marched on towards this supposed river. And as we
went in another valley we found a fine clear pond of fresh water, being
about a musket shot broad and twice as long. There grew also many fine
vines, and fowl and deer haunted there; there grew much sassafras.[23]
From thence we went on, and found much plain ground, about fifty acres,
fit for the plow, and some signs where the Indians had formerly planted
their corn. After this, some thought it best, for nearness of the river,
to go down and travel on the sea sands, by which means some of our men
were tired, and lagged behind. So we stayed and gathered them up, and
struck into the land again, where we found a little path to certain
heaps of sand, one whereof was covered with old mats, and had a wooden
thing like a mortar whelmed[24] on the top of it, and an earthen pot
laid in a little hole at the end thereof. We, musing what it might be,
digged and found a bow, and, as we thought, arrows, but they were
rotten. We supposed there were many other things, but because we deemed
them graves, we put in the bow again and made it up as it was, and left
the rest untouched, because we thought it would be odious unto them to
ransack their sepulchres.

We went on further and found new stubble, of which they had gotten corn
this year, and many walnut trees full of nuts, and great store of
strawberries, and some vines. Passing thus a field or two, which were
not great, we came to another which had also been new gotten, and there
we found where a house had been, and four or five old planks laid
together; also we found a great kettle which had been some ship’s kettle
and brought out of Europe.[25] There was also a heap of sand, made like
the former—but it was newly done, we might see how they had paddled it
with their hands—which we digged up, and in it we found a little old
basket full of fair Indian corn, and digged further and found a fine
great new basket full of very fair corn of this year, with some
thirty-six goodly ears of corn, some yellow, and some red, and others
mixed with blue, which was a very goodly sight. The basket was round,
and narrow at the top; it held about three or four bushels, which was as
much as two of us could lift up from the ground, and was very handsomely
and cunningly made. But whilst we were busy about these things, we set
our men sentinel in a round ring, all but two or three which digged up
the corn. We were in suspense what to do with it and the kettle, and at
length, after much consultation, we concluded to take the kettle and as
much of the corn as we could carry away with us; and when our shallop
came, if we could find any of the people, and come to parley with them,
we would give them the kettle again, and satisfy them for their
corn.[26] So we took all the ears, and put a good deal of the loose corn
in the kettle for two men to bring away on a staff; besides, they that
could put any into their pockets filled the same. The rest we buried
again, for we were so laden with armor that we could carry no more.

Not far from this place we found the remainder of an old fort, or
palisade, which as we conceived had been made by some Christians. This
was also hard by that place which we thought had been a river, unto
which we went and found it so to be, dividing itself into two arms by a
high bank. Standing right by the cut or mouth which came from the sea,
that which was next unto us was the less; the other arm was more than
twice as big, and not unlike to be a harbor for ships. But whether it be
a fresh river, or only an indraught of the sea, we had no time to
discover, for we had commandment to be out but two days. Here also we
saw two canoes, the one on the one side, the other on the other side; we
could not believe it was a canoe, till we came near it. So we returned,
leaving the further discovery hereof to our shallop, and came that night
back again to the fresh water pond, and there we made our rendezvous
that night, making a great fire, and a barricade to windward of us, and
kept good watch with three sentinels all night, every one standing when
his turn came, while five or six inches of match was burning.[27] It
proved a very rainy night.

In the morning we took our kettle and sunk it in the pond, and trimmed
our muskets, for few of them would go off because of the wet, and so
coasted the wood again to come home, in which we were shrewdly puzzled,
and lost our way. As we wandered we came to a tree, where a young
sprit[28] was bowed down over a bow, and some acorns strewed underneath.
Stephen Hopkins said it had been to catch some deer. So as we were
looking at it, William Bradford being in the rear, when he came looked
also upon it, and as he went about, it gave a sudden jerk up, and he was
immediately caught by the leg. It was a very pretty device, made with a
rope of their own making and having a noose as artificially[29] made as
any roper in England can make, and as like ours as can be, which we
brought away with us. In the end we got out of the wood, and were fallen
about a mile too high above the creek, where we saw three bucks, but we
had rather have had one of them.[30] We also did spring three couple of
partridges, and as we came along by the creek we saw great flocks of
wild geese and ducks, but they were very fearful of us. So we marched
some while in the woods, some while on the sands, and other while in the
water up to the knees, till at length we came near the ship, and then we
shot off our pieces, and the long boat came to fetch us. Master Jones
and Master Carver being on the shore, with many of our people, came to
meet us. And thus we came both weary and welcome home, and delivered in
our corn into the store, to be kept for seed, for we knew not how to
come by any, and therefore were very glad, purposing, so soon as we
could meet with any of the inhabitants of that place, to make them large
satisfaction. This was our first discovery, whilst our shallop was in

Our people did make things as fitting as they could, and time would, in
seeking out wood, and helving[31] of tools, and sawing of timber to
build a new shallop. But the discommodiousness of the harbor did much
hinder us for we could neither go to nor come from the shore, but at
high water, which was much to our hindrance and hurt, for oftentimes
they waded to the middle of the thigh, and oft to the knees, to go and
come from land. Some did it necessarily, and some for their own
pleasure, but it brought to the most, if not to all, coughs and colds,
the weather proving suddenly cold and stormy, which afterwards turned to
the scurvy,[32] whereof many died.

When our shallop was fit—indeed, before she was fully fitted, for there
was two days’ work after bestowed on her—there was appointed some
twenty-four men of our own, and armed, then to go and make a more full
discovery of the rivers before mentioned. Master Jones was desirous to
go with us, and we took such of his sailors as he thought useful for us,
so as we were in all about thirty-four men. We made Master Jones our
leader, for we thought it best herein to gratify his kindness and
forwardness. When we were set forth, it proved rough weather and cross
winds, so as we were constrained, some in the shallop, and others in the
long boat, to row to the nearest shore the wind would suffer them to go
unto, and then to wade out above the knees. The wind was so strong as
the shallop could not keep the water, but was forced to harbor there
that night, but we marched six or seven miles further, and appointed the
shallop to come to us as soon as they could. It blowed and did snow all
that day and night, and froze withal; some of our people that are dead
took the original of their death here.

The next day, about eleven o’clock, our shallop came to us and we
shipped ourselves, and the wind being good, we sailed to the river we
formerly discovered, which we named Cold Harbor, to which when we came
we found it not navigable for ships, yet we thought it might be a good
harbor for boats, for it flows there twelve foot at high water. We
landed our men between the two creeks and marched some four or five
miles by the greater of them, and the shallop followed us. At length
night grew on, and our men were tired with marching up and down the
steep hills and deep valleys which lay half a foot thick with snow.
Master Jones, wearied with marching, was desirous we should take up our
lodging, though some of us would have marched further, so we made there
our rendezvous for that night, under a few pine trees. And as it fell
out, we got three fat geese and six ducks to our supper, which we ate
with soldiers’ stomachs, for we had eaten little all that day. Our
resolution was next morning to go up to the head of this river, for we
supposed it would prove fresh water, but in the morning our resolution
held not, because many liked not the hilliness of the soil, and badness
of the harbor. So we turned towards the other creek, that we might go
over and look for the rest of the corn that we left behind when we were
here before.

When we came to the creek we saw the canoe lie on the dry ground, and a
flock of geese in the river, at which one made a shot and killed a
couple of them, and we launched the canoe and fetched them and when we
had done, she carried us over by seven or eight at once. This done, we
marched to the place where we had the corn formerly, which place we
called Cornhill, and digged and found the rest, of which we were very
glad. We also digged in a place a little further off, and found a bottle
of oil. We went to another place which we had seen before, and digged,
and found more corn, viz. two or three baskets full of Indian wheat,[33]
and a bag of beans, with a good many of fair wheat[33] ears. Whilst some
of us were digging up this, some others found another heap of corn,
which they digged up also, so as we had in all about ten bushels, which
will serve us sufficiently for seed.                   [Sidenote: Note.]
And sure it was God’s good providence that we found this corn, for else
we know not how we should have done, for we knew not how we should find
or meet with any Indians, except it be to do us a mischief.[34] Also, we
had never in all likelihood seen a grain of it if we had not made our
first journey, for the ground was now covered with snow, and so hard
frozen that we were fain with our cutlasses and short swords to hew and
carve the ground a foot deep, and then wrest it up with levers, for we
had forgot to bring other tools. Whilst we were in this employment, foul
weather being towards, Master Jones was earnest to go aboard, but sundry
of us desired to make further discovery and to find out the Indians’
habitations. So we sent home with him our weakest people, and some that
were sick, and all the corn, and eighteen of us stayed still, and lodged
there that night, and desired that the shallop might return to us next
day and bring us some mattocks and spades with them.

The next morning we followed certain beaten paths and tracks of the
Indians into the woods, supposing they would have led us into some town,
or houses. After we had gone a while, we light upon a very broad beaten
path, well nigh two feet broad. Then we lighted all our matches[35] and
prepared ourselves, concluding that we were near their dwellings, but in
the end we found it to be only a path made to drive deer in, when the
Indians hunt, as we supposed.

When we had marched five or six miles into the woods and could find no
signs of any people, we returned again another way, and as we came into
the plain ground we found a place like a grave, but it was much bigger
and longer than any we had yet seen. It was also covered with boards, so
as we mused what it should be, and resolved to dig it up, where we
found, first a mat, and under that a fair bow, and there another mat,
and under that a board about three quarters[36] long, finely carved and
painted, with three tines, or broaches, on the top, like a crown. Also
between the mats we found bowls, trays, dishes, and such like trinkets.
At length we came to a fair new mat, and under that two bundles, the one
bigger, the other less. We opened the greater and found in it a great
quantity of fine and perfect red powder, and in it the bones and skull
of a man. The skull had fine yellow hair still on it, and some of the
flesh unconsumed; there was bound up with it a knife, a packneedle,[37]
and two or three old iron things. It was bound up in a sailor’s canvas
cassock, and a pair of cloth breeches. The red powder was a kind of
embalment, and yielded a strong, but no offensive smell; it was as fine
as any flour. We opened the less bundle likewise, and found of the same
powder in it, and the bones and head of a little child. About the legs
and other parts of it was bound strings and bracelets of fine white
beads; there was also by it a little bow, about three quarters long, and
some other odd knacks. We brought sundry of the prettiest things away
with us, and covered the corpse up again. After this, we digged in
sundry like places, but found no more corn, nor any thing else but

There was variety of opinions amongst us about the embalmed person. Some
thought it was an Indian lord and king. Others said the Indians have all
black hair, and never any was seen with brown or yellow hair. Some
thought it was a Christian of some special note, which had died amongst
them, and they thus buried him to honor him. Others thought they had
killed him, and did it in triumph over him.

Whilst we were thus ranging and searching, two of the sailors, which
were newly come on the shore, by chance espied two houses which had been
lately dwelt in, but the people were gone. They, having their pieces and
hearing nobody, entered the houses and took out some things, and durst
not stay but came again and told us. So some seven or eight of us went
with them, and found how we had gone within a flight shot of them
before. The houses were made with long young sapling trees, bended and
both ends stuck into the ground. They were made round, like unto an
arbor, and covered down to the ground with thick and well wrought mats,
and the door was not over a yard high, made of a mat to open. The
chimney was a wide open hole in the top, for which they had a mat to
cover it close when they pleased. One might stand and go upright in
them. In the midst of them were four little trunches[38] knocked into
the ground, and small sticks laid over, on which they hung their pots,
and what they had to seethe.[39] Round about the fire they lay on mats,
which are their beds. The houses were double matted, for as they were
matted without, so were they within, with newer and fairer mats. In the
houses we found wooden bowls, trays and dishes, earthen pots,
handbaskets made of crabshells wrought together, also an English pail or
bucket; it wanted a bail, but it had two iron ears. There was also
baskets of sundry sorts, bigger and some lesser, finer and some coarser;
some were curiously wrought with black and white in pretty works, and
sundry other of their household stuff. We found also two or three deer’s
heads, one whereof had been newly killed, for it was still fresh. There
was also a company of deer’s feet stuck up in the houses, harts’ horns,
and eagles’ claws, and sundry such like things there was, also two or
three baskets full of parched acorns, pieces of fish, and a piece of a
broiled herring. We found also a little silk grass, and a little tobacco
seed, with some other seeds which we knew not. Without was sundry
bundles of flags, and sedge, bulrushes, and other stuff to make mats.
There was thrust into a hollow tree two or three pieces of venison, but
we thought it fitter for the dogs than for us. Some of the best things
we took away with us, and left the houses standing still as they were.

So it growing towards night, and the tide almost spent, we hasted with
our things down to the shallop, and got aboard that night, intending to
have brought some beads and other things to have left in the houses, in
sign of peace and that we meant to truck with them, but it was not done,
by means of our hasty coming away from Cape Cod. But so soon as we can
meet conveniently with them, we will give them full satisfaction. Thus
much of our second discovery.

Having thus discovered this place, it was controversial amongst us what
to do touching our abode and settling there; some thought it best, for
many reasons, to abide there. As first, that there was a convenient
harbor for boats, though not for ships. Secondly, good corn-ground ready
to our hands, as we saw by experience in the goodly corn it yielded,
which would again agree with the ground, and be natural seed for the
same. Thirdly, Cape Cod was like to be a place of good fishing, for we
saw daily great whales of the best kind for oil and bone, come close
aboard our ship, and in fair weather swim and play about us. There was
once one, when the sun shone warm, came and lay above water as if she
had been dead, for a good while together, within half a musket shot of
the ship, at which two were prepared to shoot to see whether she would
stir or no. He that gave fire first, his musket flew in pieces, both
stock and barrel, yet, thanks be to God, neither he nor any man else was
hurt with it, though many were there about. But when the whale saw her
time, she gave a snuff, and away. Fourthly, the place was likely to be
healthful, secure, and defensible.

But the last and especial reason was, that now the heart of winter and
unseasonable weather was come upon us, so that we could not go upon
coasting and discovery without danger of losing men and boat, upon which
would follow the overthrow of all, especially considering what variable
winds and sudden storms do there arise. Also, cold and wet lodging had
so tainted our people, for scarce any of us were free from vehement
coughs, as if they should continue long in that estate it would endanger
the lives of many, and breed diseases and infection amongst us. Again,
we had yet some beer, butter, flesh, and other such victuals left, which
would quickly be all gone, and then we should have nothing to comfort us
in the great labor and toil we were like to undergo at the first. It was
also conceived, whilst we had competent victuals, that the ship would
stay with us, but when that grew low, they would be gone and let us
shift as we could.

Others again, urged greatly the going to Anguum, or Angoum,[40] a place
twenty leagues off to the northwards, which they had heard to be an
excellent harbor for ships, better ground, and better fishing. Secondly,
for anything we knew, there might be hard by us a far better seat, and
it should be a great hindrance to seat where we should remove again.
Thirdly, the water was but in ponds, and it was thought there would be
none in summer, or very little. Fourthly, the water there must be
fetched up a steep hill. But to omit many reasons and replies used
hereabouts, it was in the end concluded to make some discovery within
the bay, but in no case so far as Anguum. Besides, Robert Coppin, our
pilot, made relation of a great navigable river and good harbor in the
other headland of this bay, almost right over against Cape Cod, being in
a right line not much above eight leagues distant, in which he had been
once; and because that one of the wild men with whom they had some
trucking stole a harping iron[41] from them, they called it Thievish
Harbor. And beyond that place they were enjoined not to go, whereupon, a
company was chosen to go out upon a third discovery. Whilst some were
employed in this discovery, it pleased God that Mistress White was
brought a-bed of a son, which was called Peregrine.

The 5th day, we, through God’s mercy, escaped a great danger by the
foolishness of a boy, one of Francis Billington’s sons, who, in his
father’s absence, had got gunpowder and had shot of a piece or two, and
made squibs, and there being a fowling-piece charged in his father’s
cabin, shot her off in the cabin; there being a little barrel of powder
half full, scattered in and about the cabin, the fire being within four
feet of the bed between the decks, and many flints and iron things about
the cabin, and many people about the fire, and yet, by God’s mercy, no
harm done.

Wednesday, the 6th of December, it was resolved our discoverers should
set forth, for the day before was too foul weather, and so they did,
though it was well o’er the day ere all things could be ready. So ten of
our men were appointed who were of themselves willing to undertake it,
to wit, Captain Standish, Master Carver, William Bradford, Edward
Winslow, John Tilley, Edward Tilley, John Howland, and three of London,
Richard Warren, Stephen Hopkins, and Edward Dotte, and two of our
seamen, John Allerton and Thomas English. Of the ship’s company there
went two of the master’s mates, Master Clarke and Master Coppin, the
master gunner, and three sailors. The narration of which discovery
follows, penned by one of the company.

Wednesday, the 6th of December, we set out, being very cold and hard
weather. We were a long while after we launched from the ship before we
could get clear of a sandy point which lay within less than a furlong of
the same. In which time two were very sick, and Edward Tilley had like
to have sounded[42] with cold; the gunner also was sick unto death, (but
hope of trucking made him to go), and so remained all that day and the
next night. At length we got clear of the sandy point and got up our
sails, and within an hour or two we got under the weather shore, and
then had smoother water and better sailing, but it was very cold, for
the water froze on our clothes and made them many times like coats of
iron. We sailed six or seven leagues by the shore, but saw neither river
nor creek; at length we met with a tongue of land, being flat off from
the shore, with a sandy point. We bore up to gain the point, and found
there a fair income or road of a bay, being a league over at the
narrowest, and some two or three in length, but we made right over to
the land before us, and left the discovery of this income till the next
day. As we drew near to the shore, we espied some ten or twelve Indians
very busy about a black thing—what it was we could not tell—till
afterwards they saw us, and ran to and fro as if they had been carrying
something away. We landed a league or two from them, and had much ado to
put ashore anywhere, it lay so full of flat sands. When we came to
shore, we made us a barricade, and got firewood, and set out our
sentinels, and betook us to our lodging, such as it was. We saw the
smoke of the fire which the savages made that night, about four or five
miles from us.

In the morning we divided our company, some eight in the shallop, and
the rest on the shore went to discover this place, but we found it only
to be a bay, without either river or creek coming into it. Yet we deemed
it to be as good a harbor as Cape Cod, for they that sounded it found a
ship might ride in five fathom water. We on the land found it to be a
level soil, though none of the fruitfullest. We saw two becks[43] of
fresh water, which were the first running streams that we saw in the
country, but one might stride over them. We found also a great fish,
called a grampus, dead on the sands; they in the shallop found two of
them also in the bottom of the bay, dead in like sort. They were cast up
at high water, and could not get off for the frost and ice. They were
some five or six paces long, and about two inches thick of fat, and
fleshed like a swine; they would have yielded a great deal of oil if
there had been time and means to have taken it. So we finding nothing
for our turn, both we and our shallop returned.

We then directed our course along the sea sands, to the place where we
first saw the Indians. When we were there, we saw it was also a grampus
which they were cutting up; they cut it into long rands or pieces, about
an ell[44] long, and two handfull broad. We found here and there a piece
scattered by the way, as it seemed, for haste. This place the most were
minded we should call the Grampus Bay, because we found so many of them
there. We followed the track of the Indians’ bare feet a good way on the
sands; at length we saw where they struck into the woods by the side of
a pond. As we went to view the place, one said he thought he saw an
Indian house among the trees, so went up to see. And here we and the
shallop lost sight one of another till night, it being now about nine or
ten o’clock.

So we light on a path, but saw no house, and followed a great way into
the woods. At length we found where corn had been set, but not that
year. Anon we found a great burying place, one part whereof was
encompassed with a large palisade, like a churchyard, with young
spires[45] four or five yards long, set as close one by another as they
could, two or three feet in the ground. Within it was full of graves,
some bigger and some less; some were also paled about, and others had
like an Indian house made over them, but not matted. Those graves were
more sumptuous than those at Cornhill, yet we digged none of them up,
but only viewed them, and went our way. Without the palisade were graves
also, but not so costly. From this place we went and found more
corn-ground, but not of this year. As we ranged we light on four or five
Indian houses, which had been lately dwelt in, but they were uncovered,
and had no mats about them, else they were like those we found at
Cornhill but had not been so lately dwelt in. There was nothing left but
two or three pieces of old mats, and a little sedge. Also, a little
further we found two baskets full of parched acorns hid in the ground,
which we supposed had been corn when we began to dig the same; we cast
earth thereon again and went our way. All this while we saw no people.

We went ranging up and down till the sun began to draw low, and then we
hasted out of the woods, that we might come to our shallop, which when
we were out of the woods, we espied a great way off, and called them to
come unto us, the which they did as soon as they could, for it was not
yet high water. They were exceeding glad to see us (for they feared
because they had not seen us in so long a time), thinking we would have
kept by the shore side. So being both weary and faint, for we had eaten
nothing all that day, we fell to make our rendezvous and get firewood,
which always costs us a great deal of labor. By that time we had done,
and our shallop come to us, it was within night, and we fed upon such
victuals as we had, and betook us to our rest, after we had set out our
watch. About midnight we heard a great and hideous cry, and our
sentinels called, “Arm! Arm!” So we bestirred ourselves and shot off a
couple of muskets, and the noise ceased; we concluded that it was a
company of wolves or foxes, for one told us he had heard such a noise in

About five o’clock in the morning we began to be stirring, and two or
three which doubted whether their pieces would go off or no made trial
of them, and shot them off, but thought nothing at all. After prayer we
prepared ourselves for breakfast and for a journey, and it being now the
twilight in the morning, it was thought meet to carry the things down to
the shallop. Some said it was not best to carry the armor down; others
said they would be readier; two or three said they would not carry
theirs till they went themselves, but mistrusting nothing at all. As it
fell out, the water not being high enough, they laid the things down
upon the shore and came up to breakfast. Anon, all upon a sudden, we
heard a great and strange cry, which we knew to be the same voices,
though they varied their notes. One of our company, being abroad, came
running in and cried, “They are men! Indians! Indians!” and withal,
their arrows came flying amongst us.    [Sidenote: Our first combat with
                                                           the Indians.]
Our men ran out with all speed to recover their arms, as by the good
providence of God they did. In the meantime, Captain Miles Standish,
having a snaphance[46] ready, made a shot, and after him another. After
they two had shot, other two of us were ready, but he wished us not to
shoot till we could take aim, for we knew not what need we should have,
and there were four only of us which had their arms there ready, and
stood before the open side of our barricade, which was first assaulted.
They thought it best to defend it, lest the enemy should take it and our
stuff, and so have the more vantage against us. Our care was no less for
the shallop, but we hoped all the rest would defend it; we called unto
them to know how it was with them, and they answered, “Well! Well!”
every one and, “Be of good courage!” We heard three of their pieces go
off, and the rest called for a firebrand to light their matches. One
took a log out of the fire on his shoulder and went and carried it unto
them, which was thought did not a little discourage our enemies. The cry
of our enemies was dreadful, especially when our men ran out to recover
their arms; their note was after this manner, “_Woach woach ha ha hach
woach_.”[47] Our men were no sooner come to their arms, but the enemy
was ready to assault them.

There was a lusty man and no whit less valiant, who was thought to be
their captain, stood behind a tree within half a musket shot of us, and
there let his arrows fly at us. He was seen to shoot three arrows, which
were all avoided, for he at whom the first arrow was aimed, saw it, and
stooped down and it flew over him; the rest were avoided also. He stood
three shots of a musket. At length one took, as he said, full aim at
him, after which he gave an extraordinary cry and away they went all. We
followed them about a quarter of a mile, but we left six to keep our
shallop, for we were careful of our business. Then we shouted all
together two several times, and shot off a couple of muskets and so
returned; this we did that they might see we were not afraid of them nor

Thus it pleased God to vanquish our enemies and give us deliverance. By
their noise we could not guess that they were less than thirty or forty,
though some thought that they were many more. Yet in the dark of the
morning we could not so well discern them among the trees, as they could
see us by our fireside. We took up eighteen of their arrows which we
have sent to England by Master Jones, some whereof were headed with
brass, others with harts’ horn, and others with eagles’ claws. Many more
no doubt were shot, for these we found were almost covered with leaves;
yet, by the especial providence of God, none of them either hit or hurt
us though many came close by us and on every side of us, and some coats
which hung up in our baricade were shot through and through.

So after we had given God thanks for our deliverance, we took our
shallop and went on our journey, and called this place, The First
Encounter. From thence we intended to have sailed to the aforesaid
Thievish Harbor, if we found no convenient harbor by the way. Having the
wind good, we sailed all that day along the coast about fifteen leagues,
but saw neither river nor creek to put into. After we had sailed an hour
or two, it began to snow and rain, and to be bad weather. About the
midst of the afternoon, the wind increased and the seas began to be very
rough, and the hinges of the rudder broke so that we could steer no
longer with it, but two men with much ado were fain to serve with a
couple of oars. The seas were grown so great that we were much troubled
and in great danger, and night grew on. Anon Master Coppin bade us be of
good cheer; he saw the harbor. As we drew near, the gale being stiff and
we bearing great sail to get in, split our mast in three pieces, and
were like to have cast away our shallop. Yet, by God’s mercy, recovering
ourselves, we had the flood with us, and struck into the harbor.

Now he that thought that had been the place was deceived, it being a
place where not any of us had been before, and coming into the harbor,
he that was our pilot did bear up northward, which if we had continued
we had been cast away. Yet still the Lord kept us, and we bore up for an
island before us, and recovering of that island, being compassed about
with many rocks, and dark night growing upon us, it pleased the Divine
Providence that we fell upon a place of sandy ground, where our shallop
did ride safe and secure all that night, and coming upon a strange
island kept our watch all night in the rain upon that island. And in the
morning we marched about it and found no inhabitants at all, and here we
made our rendezvous all that day, being Saturday, 10th of December. On
the Sabbath day we rested, and on Monday we sounded the harbor, and
found it a very good harbor for our shipping. We marched also into the
land, and found divers cornfields, and little running brooks, a place
very good for situation, so we returned to our ship again with good news
to the rest of our people, which did much comfort their hearts.[48]

On the 15th day we weighed anchor, to go to the place we had discovered,
and coming within two leagues of the land, we could not fetch the
harbor, but were fain to put room again towards Cape Cod, our course
lying west, and the wind was at northwest. But it pleased God that the
next day, being Saturday the 16th day, the wind came fair and we put to
sea again, and came safely into a safe harbor; and within half an hour
the wind changed, so as if we had been letted[49] but a little, we had
gone back to Cape Cod.

This harbor is a bay greater than Cape Cod, compassed with a goodly
land, and in the bay, two fine islands uninhabited, wherein are nothing
but wood, oaks, pines, walnuts, beech, sassafras, vines, and other trees
which we know not. This bay is a most hopeful place, innumerable store
of fowl, and excellent good, and cannot but be of fish in their seasons;
skote,[50] cod, turbot, and herring, we have tasted of, abundance of
mussels the greatest and best that ever we saw; crabs and lobsters, in
their time infinite. It is in fashion like a sickle or fish-hook.

Monday the 18th day, we went a-land, manned with the master of the ship
and three or four of the sailors. We marched along the coast in the
woods some seven or eight miles, but saw not an Indian nor an Indian
house; only we found where formerly had been some inhabitants, and where
they had planted their corn. We found not any navigable river, but four
or five small running brooks of very sweet fresh water, that all run
into the sea. The land for the crust of the earth is, a spit’s[51]
depth, excellent black mould,[52] and fat[53] in some places, two or
three great oaks but not very thick, pines, walnuts, beech, ash, birch,
hazel, holly, asp,[54] sassafras in abundance, and vines everywhere,
cherry trees, plum trees, and many others which we know not. Many kinds
of herbs we found here in winter, as strawberry leaves innumerable,
sorrel, yarrow, carvel, brooklime, liverwort, watercresses, great store
of leeks and onions, and an excellent strong kind of flax and hemp. Here
is sand, gravel, and excellent clay, no better in the world, excellent
for pots, and will wash like soap, and great store of stone, though
somewhat soft, and the best water that ever we drank, and the brooks now
begin to be full of fish. That night, many being weary with marching, we
went aboard again.

The next morning, being Tuesday the 19th of December, we went again to
discover further; some went on land, and some in the shallop. The land
we found as the former day we did, and we found a creek, and went up
three English miles. A very pleasant river, at full sea a bark of thirty
tons may go up, but at low water scarce our shallop could pass. This
place we had a great liking to plant in, but that it was so far from our
fishing, our principal profit,[55] and so encompassed with woods that we
should be in much danger of the savages, and our number being so little,
and so much ground to clear, so as we thought good to quit and clear
that place till we were of more strength. Some of us having a good mind
for safety to plant in the greater isle,[56] we crossed the bay which is
there five or six miles over, and found the isle about a mile and a half
or two miles about, all wooded, and no fresh water but two or three
pits, that we doubted of fresh water in summer, and so full of wood as
we could hardly clear so much as to serve us for corn. Besides, we
judged it cold for our corn, and some part very rocky, yet divers
thought of it as a place defensible, and of great security.

That night we returned again a-shipboard, with resolution the next
morning to settle on some of those places; so in the morning, after we
had called on God for direction, we came to this resolution: to go
presently ashore again, and to take a better view of two places, which
we thought most fitting for us, for we could not now take time for
further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent,
especially our beer, and it being now the 19th of December. After our
landing and viewing of the places, so well as we could we came to a
conclusion, by most voices, to set on the mainland, on the first place,
on a high ground, where there is a great deal of land cleared, and hath
been planted with corn three or four years ago, and there is a very
sweet brook runs under the hill side, and many delicate springs of as
good water as can be drunk, and where we may harbor our shallops and
boats exceeding well, and in this brook much good fish in their seasons;
on the further side of the river also much corn-ground cleared. In one
field is a great hill on which we point to make a platform and plant our
ordnance, which will command all round about. From thence we may see
into the bay, and far into the sea, and we may see thence Cape Cod. Our
greatest labor will be fetching of our wood, which is half a quarter of
an English mile, but there is enough so far off. What people inhabit
here we yet know not, for as yet we have seen none. So there we made our
rendezvous, and a place for some of our people, about twenty, resolving
in the morning to come all ashore and to build houses.

But the next morning, being Thursday the 21st of December, it was stormy
and wet, that we could not go ashore, and those that remained there all
night could do nothing, but were wet, not having daylight enough to make
them a sufficient court of guard[57] to keep them dry. All that night it
blew and rained extremely; it was so tempestuous that the shallop could
not go on land so soon as was meet, for they had no victuals on land.
About eleven o’clock the shallop went off with much ado with provision,
but could not return; it blew so strong and was such foul weather that
we were forced to let fall our anchor and ride with three anchors ahead.

Friday, the 22nd, the storm still continued, that we could not get
a-land nor they come to us aboard. This morning good-wife[58] Allerton
was delivered of a son, but dead born.

Saturday, the 23rd, so many of us as could, went on shore, felled and
carried timber, to provide themselves stuff for building.

Sunday, the 24th, our people on shore heard a cry of some savages (as
they thought) which caused an alarm, and to stand on their guard,
expecting an assault, but all was quiet.

Monday, the 25th day, we went on shore, some to fell timber, some to
saw, some to rive, and some to carry, so no man rested all that day. But
towards night some, as they were at work, heard a noise of some Indians,
which caused us all to go to our muskets, but we heard no further. So we
came aboard again, and left some twenty to keep the court of guard. That
night we had a sore storm of wind and rain.

Monday, the 25th day, we went on shore, some to fell drink water aboard,
but at night the master caused us to have some beer, and so on board we
had divers times now and then some beer, but on shore none at all.

Tuesday, the 26th, it was foul weather, that we could not go ashore.

Wednesday, the 27th, we went to work again.

Thursday, the 28th of December, so many as could went to work on the
hill where we purposed to build our platform for our ordnance, and which
doth command all the plain and the bay, and from whence we may see far
into the sea, and might be easier impaled, having two rows of houses and
a fair street. So in the afternoon we went to measure out the grounds,
and first we took notice how many families there were, willing all
single men that had no wives to join with some family, as they thought
fit, that so we might build fewer houses, which was done, and we reduced
them to nineteen families. To greater families we allotted larger plots,
to every person half a pole in breadth, and three in length,[59] and so
lots were cast where every man should lie, which was done, and staked
out. We thought this proportion was large enough at the first for houses
and gardens, to impale them round, considering the weakness of our
people, many of them growing ill with cold, for our former discoveries
in frost and storms, and the wading at Cape Cod had brought much
weakness amongst us, which increased so every day more and more, and
after was the cause of many of their deaths.

Friday and Saturday, we fitted ourselves for our labor, but our people
on shore were much troubled and discouraged with rain and wet, that day
being very stormy and cold. We saw great smokes of fire made by the
Indians, about six or seven miles from us, as we conjectured.

Monday, the 1st of January, we went betimes to work. We were much
hindered in lying so far off from the land, and fain to go as the tide
served, that we lost much time, for our ship drew so much water[60] that
she lay a mile and almost a half off, though a ship of seventy or eighty
tons at high water may come to the shore.

Wednesday, the 3rd of January, some of our people being abroad to get
and gather thatch, they saw great fires of the Indians, and were at
their corn-fields, yet saw none of the savages, nor had seen any of them
since we came to this bay.

Thursday, the 4th of January, Captain Miles Standish with four or five
more, went to see if they could meet with any of the savages in that
place where the fires were made. They went to some of their houses, but
not lately inhabited, yet could they not meet with any. As they came
home, they shot at an eagle and killed her, which was excellent meat; it
was hardly to be discerned from mutton.

Friday, the 5th of January, one of the sailors found alive upon the
shore a herring, which the master had to his supper, which put us in
hope of fish, but as yet we had got but one cod; we wanted small hooks.

Saturday, the 6th of January, Master Martin was very sick, and to our
judgment no hope of life, so Master Carver was sent for to come aboard
to speak with him about his accounts, who came the next morning.

Monday, the 8th day of January, was a very fair day, and we went betimes
to work. Master Jones sent the shallop, as he had formerly done, to see
where fish could be got. They had a great storm at sea, and were in some
danger; at night they returned with three great seals and an excellent
good cod, which did assure us that we should have plenty of fish

This day, Francis Billington, having the week before seen from the top
of a tree on a high hill a great sea as he thought, went with one of the
master’s mates to see it. They went three miles and then came to a great
water, divided into two great lakes, the bigger of them five or six
miles in circuit, and in it an isle of a cable length[61] square, the
other three miles in compass; in their estimation they are fine fresh
water, full of fish, and fowl. A brook issues from it; it will be an
excellent help for us in time. They found seven or eight Indian houses,
but not lately inhabited. When they saw the houses they were in some
fear, for they were but two persons and one piece.

Tuesday, the 9th of January, was a reasonable fair day, and we went to
labor that day in the building of our town, in two rows of houses for
more safety. We divided by lot the plot of ground whereon to build our
town. After the proportion formerly alloted, we agreed that every man
should build his own house, thinking by that course men would make more
haste than working in common. The common house, in which for the first
we made our rendezvous, being near finished wanted only covering, it
being about twenty feet square. Some should make mortar, and some gather
thatch, so that in four days half of it was thatched. Frost and foul
weather hindered us much, this time of the year seldom could we work
half the week.

Thursday, the 11th, William Bradford being at work (for it was a fair
day) was vehemently taken with a grief and pain, and so shot to his
huckle-bone.[62] It was doubted that he would have instantly died; he
got cold in the former discoveries, especially the last, and felt some
pain in his ankles by times, but he grew a little better towards night
and in time, through God’s mercy in the use of means, recovered.

Friday, the 12th, we went to work, but about noon it began to rain that
it forced us to give over work.

This day two of our people put us in great sorrow and care; there was
four sent to gather and cut thatch in the morning, and two of them, John
Goodman and Peter Brown, having cut thatch all the forenoon, went to a
further place, and willed the other two to bind up that which was cut
and to follow them. So they did, being about a mile and a half from our
plantation. But when the two came after, they could not find them, nor
hear any thing of them at all, though they hallooed and shouted as loud
as they could, so they returned to the company and told them of it.
Whereupon Master Leaver[63] and three or four more went to seek them,
but could hear nothing of them, so they returning, sent more, but that
night they could hear nothing at all of them. The next day they armed
ten or twelve men out, verily thinking the Indians had surprised them.
They went seeking seven or eight miles, but could neither see nor hear
any thing at all, so they returned, with much discomfort to us all.

These two that were missed, at dinner time took their meat in their
hands, and would go walk and refresh themselves. So going a little off
they find a lake of water, and having a great mastiff bitch with them
and a spaniel, by the water side they found a great deer; the dogs
chased him, and they followed so far as they lost themselves and could
not find the way back. They wandered all that afternoon being wet, and
at night it did freeze and snow. They were slenderly apparelled and had
no weapons but each one his sickle, nor any victuals. They ranged up and
down and could find none of the savages’ habitations. When it drew to
night they were much perplexed, for they could find neither harbor nor
meat, but, in frost and snow were forced to make the earth their bed and
the element their covering. And another thing did very much terrify
them; they heard, as they thought, two lions roaring exceedingly for a
long time together, and a third, that they thought was very near them.
So not knowing what to do, they resolved to climb up into a tree as
their safest refuge, though that would prove an intolerable cold
lodging; so they stood at the tree’s root, that when the lions came they
might take their opportunity of climbing up. The bitch they were fain to
hold by the neck, for she would have been gone to the lion; but it
pleased God so to dispose, that the wild beasts came not. So they walked
up and down under the tree all night; it was an extreme cold night. So
soon as it was light they travelled again, passing by many lakes and
brooks and woods, and in one place where the savages had burnt the space
of five miles in length, which is a fine champaign[64] country, and
even. In the afternoon, it pleased God, from a high hill they discovered
the two isles in the bay, and so that night got to the plantation, being
ready to faint with travail and want of victuals, and almost famished
with cold. John Goodman was fain to have his shoes cut off his feet they
were so swelled with cold, and it was a long while after ere he was able
to go; those on the shore were much comforted at their return, but they
on shipboard were grieved at deeming them lost.

But the next day, being the 14th of January, in the morning about six of
the clock the wind being very great, they on shipboard spied their great
new rendezvous on fire, which was to them a new discomfort, fearing
because of the supposed loss of the men, that the savages had fired
them. Neither could they presently go to them, for want of water, but
after three quarters of an hour they went, as they had purposed the day
before to keep the Sabbath on shore, because now there was the greater
number of people. At their landing they heard good tidings of the return
of the two men, and that the house was fired occasionally by a spark
that flew into the thatch, which instantly burnt it all up but the roof
stood and little hurt. The most loss was Master Carver’s and William
Bradford’s, who then lay sick in bed, and if they had not risen with
good speed, had been blown up with powder, but, through God’s mercy,
they had no harm. The house was as full of beds as they could lie one by
another, and their muskets charged, but, blessed be God, there was no
harm done.

Monday, the 15th day, it rained much all day, that they on shipboard
could not go on shore, nor they on shore do any labor but were all wet.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, were very fair sunshiny days, as if it had
been in April, and our people, so many as were in health, wrought

The 19th day we resolved to make a shed to put our common provision in,
of which some were already set on shore, but at noon it rained, that we
could not work. This day in the evening, John Goodman went abroad to use
his lame feet, that were pitifully ill with the cold he had got, having
a little spaniel with him. A little way from the plantation two great
wolves ran after the dog; the dog ran to him and betwixt his legs for
succor. He had nothing in his hand but took up a stick, and threw at one
of them and hit him, and they presently ran both away, but came again;
he got a pale-board[65] in his hand, and they sat both on their tails,
grinning at him a good while, and went their way and left him.

Saturday, 20th, we made up our shed for our common goods.

Sunday, the 21st, we kept our meeting on land.

Monday, the 22nd, was a fair day. We wrought on our houses, and in the
afternoon carried up our hogsheads of meal to our common storehouse. The
rest of the week we followed our business likewise.

Monday, the 29th, in the morning cold frost and sleet, but after
reasonable fair; both the long-boat and the shallop brought our common
goods on shore.

Tuesday and Wednesday, 30th and 31st of January, cold frosty weather and
sleet, that we could not work. In the morning the master and others saw
two savages that had been on the island near our ship. What they came
for we could not tell; they were going so far back again before they
were descried, that we could not speak with them.

Sunday, the 4th of February, was very wet and rainy, with the greatest
gusts of wind that ever we had since we came forth, that though we rid
in a very good harbor, yet we were in danger, because our ship was
light, the goods taken out, and she unballasted; and it caused much
daubing[66] of our houses to fall down.

Friday, the 9th, still the cold weather continued, that we could do
little work. That afternoon our little house for our sick people was set
on fire by a spark that kindled in the roof, but no great harm was done.
That evening, the master going ashore, killed five geese, which he
friendly distributed among the sick people. He found also a good deer
killed; the savages had cut off the horns, and a wolf was eating of him;
how he came there we could not conceive.

Friday, the 16th, was a fair day, but the northerly wind continued,
which continued the frost. This day after noon one of our people being
a-fowling, and having taken a stand by a creek-side in the reeds, about
a mile and a half from our plantation, there came by him twelve Indians
marching towards our plantation, and in the woods he heard the noise of
many more. He lay close till they were passed, and then with what speed
he could he went home and gave the alarm, so the people abroad in the
woods returned and armed themselves, but saw none of them; only toward
the evening they made a great fire, about the place where they were
first discovered. Captain Miles Standish and Francis Cook, being at work
in the woods, coming home, left their tools behind them, but before they
returned their tools were taken away by the savages. This coming of the
savages gave us occasion to keep more strict watch, and to make our
pieces and furniture ready, which by the moisture and rain were out of

Saturday, the 17th day, in the morning we called a meeting for the
establishing of military orders among ourselves, and we chose Miles
Standish our captain, and gave him authority of command in affairs. And
as we were in consultation hereabouts, two savages presented themselves
upon the top of a hill, over against our plantation, about a quarter of
a mile and less, and made signs unto us to come unto them; we likewise
made signs unto them to come to us, whereupon we armed ourselves, and
stood ready, and sent two over the brook towards them, to wit, Captain
Standish and Stephen Hopkins, who went towards them. Only one of them
had a musket, which they laid down on the ground in their sight, in sign
of peace, and to parley with them, but the savages would not tarry their
coming. A noise of a great many more was heard behind the hill, but no
more came in sight. This caused us to plant our great ordnances in
places most convenient.

Wednesday, the 21st of February, the master came on shore with many of
his sailors, and brought with him one of the great pieces, called a
minion,[67] and helped us to draw it up the hill, with another piece
that lay on shore, and mounted them, and a saller,[68] and two
bases.[69] He brought with him a very fat goose to eat with us, and we
had a fat crane, and a mallard, and a dried neat’s[70] tongue, and so we
were kindly and friendly together.

Saturday, the 3rd of March, the wind was south, the morning misty, but
towards noon warm and fair weather; the birds sang in the woods most
pleasantly. At one of the clock it thundered, which was the first we
heard in that country; it was strong and great claps, but short, but
after an hour it rained very sadly[71] till midnight.

Wednesday, the 7th of March, the wind was full east, cold, but fair.
That day Master Carver with five others went to the great ponds, which
seem to be excellent fishing-places; all the way they went they found it
exceedingly beaten and haunted with deer, but they saw none. Amongst
other fowl, they saw one a milk-white fowl, with a very black head. This
day some garden seeds were sown.

Friday, the 16th, a fair warm day towards; this morning we determined to
conclude of the military orders, which we had begun to consider of
before but were interrupted by the savages, as we mentioned formerly.
And whilst we were busied hereabout, we were interrupted again, for
there presented himself a savage, which caused an alarm. He very boldly
came all alone and along the houses straight to the rendezvous, where we
intercepted him,[72] not suffering him to go in, as undoubtedly he
would, out of his boldness. He saluted us in English, and bade us
welcome, for he had learned some broken English among the Englishmen
that came to fish at Monchiggon,[73] and knew by name the most of the
captains, commanders, and masters that usually come. He was a man free
in speech, so far as he could express his mind, and of a seemly
carriage. We questioned him of many things; he was the first savage we
could meet withal. He said he was not of these parts, but of
Morattiggon,[73] and one of the sagamores or lords thereof, and had been
eight months in these parts, it lying hence a day’s sail with a great
wind, and five days by land. He discoursed of the whole country, and of
every province, and of their sagamores, and their number of men, and
strength. The wind beginning to rise a little, we cast a horseman’s coat
about him, for he was stark naked, only a leather about his waist, with
a fringe about a span[74] long, or little more; he had a bow and two
arrows, the one headed, and the other unheaded. He was a tall straight
man, the hair of his head black, long behind, only short before, none on
his face at all; he asked some beer, but we gave him strong water[75]
and biscuit, and butter, and cheese, and pudding, and a piece of
mallard, all which he liked well, and had been acquainted with such
amongst the English. He told us the place where we now live is called
Patuxet, and that about four years ago all the inhabitants died of an
extraordinary plague,[76] and there is neither man, woman, nor child
remaining, as indeed we have found none, so as there is none to hinder
our possession, or to lay claim unto it. All the afternoon we spent in
communication with him; we would gladly have been rid of him at night,
but he was not willing to go this night. Then we thought to carry him on
shipboard, wherewith he was well content, and went into the shallop, but
the wind was high and the water scant, that it could not return back. We
lodged him that night at Stephen Hopkin’s house, and watched him.

The next day he went away back to the Massasoits,[77] from whence he
said he came, who are our next bordering neighbors. They are sixty
strong, as he saith. The Nausets are as near southeast of them, and are
a hundred strong, and those were they of whom our people were
encountered, as we before related. They are much incensed and provoked
against the English, and about eight months ago slew three Englishmen,
and two more hardly escaped by flight to Monchiggon; they were Sir
Ferdinando Gorges his men,[78] as this savage told us, as he did
likewise of the _huggery_, that is, fight, that our discoverers had with
the Nausets, and of our tools that were taken out of the woods, which we
willed him should be brought again, otherwise, we would right ourselves.
These people are ill affected towards the English, by reason of one
Hunt,[79] a master of a ship, who deceived the people, and got them
under color of trucking with them, twenty out of this very place where
we inhabit, and seven men from the Nausets, and carried them away, and
sold them for slaves[80] like a wretched man (for twenty pound a man)
that cares not what mischief he doth for his profit.

Saturday, in the morning we dismissed the savage, and gave him a knife,
a bracelet, and a ring; he promised within a night or two to come again,
and to bring with him some of the Massasoits, our neighbors, with such
beavers’ skins as they had to truck with us.

Saturday and Sunday, reasonable fair days. On this day came again the
savage, and brought with him five other tall proper men; they had every
man a deer’s skin on him, and the principal of them had a wild cat’s
skin, or such like on the one arm. They had most of them long hosen[81]
up to their groins, close made; and above their groins to their waist
another leather, they were altogether like the Irish-trousers.[82] They
are of complexion like our English gypsies, no hair or very little on
their faces, on their heads long hair to their shoulders, only cut
before, some trussed up before with a feather, broad-wise, like a fan,
another a fox tail hanging out. These left (according to our charge
given him before) their bows and arrows a quarter of a mile from our
town. We gave them entertainment as we thought was fitting them; they
did eat liberally of our English victuals. They made semblance unto us
of friendship and amity; they sang and danced after their manner, like
antics.[83] They brought with them in a thing like a bow-case (which the
principal of them had about his waist) a little of their corn pounded to
powder, which, put to a little water, they eat. He had a little tobacco
in a bag, but none of them drank[84] but when he listed. Some of them
had their faces painted black, from the forehead to the chin, four or
five fingers broad; others after other fashions, as they liked. They
brought three or four skins, but we would not truck with them at all
that day, but wished them to bring more, and we would truck for all,
which they promised within a night or two, and would leave these behind
them, though we were not willing they should, and they brought us all
our tools again which were taken in the woods, in our men’s absence. So
because of the day we dismissed them so soon as we could. But Samoset,
our first acquaintance, either was sick, or feigned himself so, and
would not go with them, and stayed with us till Wednesday morning. Then
we sent him to them, to know the reason they came not according to their
words, and we gave him a hat, a pair of stockings and shoes, a shirt,
and a piece of cloth to tie about his waist.

The Sabbath day, when we sent them from us, we gave every one of them
some trifles, especially the principal of them. We carried them along
with our arms to the place where they left their bows and arrows,
whereat they were amazed, and two of them began to slink away, but that
the other called them. When they took their arrows, we bade them
farewell, and they were glad, and so with many thanks given us they
departed, with promise they would come again.

Monday and Tuesday proved fair days; we digged our grounds, and sowed
our garden seeds.

Wednesday a fine warm day, we sent away Samoset.

That day we had again a meeting to conclude of laws and orders for
ourselves, and to confirm those military orders that were formerly
propounded and twice broken off by the savages’ coming, but so we were
again the third time, for after we had been an hour together on the top
of the hill over against us two or three savages presented themselves,
that made semblance of daring us, as we thought. So Captain Standish
with another, with their muskets went over to them, with two of the
master’s mates that follow them without arms, having two muskets with
them. They whetted and rubbed their arrows and strings, and made show of
defiance, but when our men drew near them, they ran away; thus were we
again interrupted by them. This day with much ado we got our carpenter
that had been long sick of the scurvy, to fit our shallop, to fetch all
from aboard.

Thursday, the 22nd of March, was a very fair warm day. About noon we met
again about our public business, but we had scarce been an hour
together, but Samoset came again, and Squanto, the only native of
Patuxet, where we now inhabit, who was one of the twenty captives that
by Hunt were carried away, and had been in England,[85] and dwelt in
Cornhill with Master John Slanie, a merchant, and could speak a little
English, with three others, and they brought with them some few skins to
truck, and some red herrings newly taken and dried, but not salted, and
signified unto us, that their great sagamore Massasoit was hard by, with
Quadequina his brother, and all their men. They could not well express
in English what they would, but after an hour the king came to the top
of a hill over against us, and had in his train sixty men, that we could
well behold them and they us. We were not willing to send our governor
to them, and they unwilling to come to us, so Squanto went again unto
him, who brought word that we should send one to parley with him, which
we did, which was Edward Winslow, to know his mind, and to signify the
mind and will of our governor, which was to have trading and peace with
him. We sent to the king a pair of knives, and a copper chain with a
jewel at it. To Quadequina we sent likewise a knife and a jewel to hang
in his ear, and withal a pot of strong water, a good quantity of
biscuit, and some butter, which were all willingly accepted.

Our messenger made a speech unto him, that King James saluted him with
words of love and peace, and did accept of him as his friend and ally,
and that our governor desired to see him and to truck with him, and to
confirm a peace with him, as his next neighbor. He liked well of the
speech and heard it attentively, though the interpreters did not well
express it. After he had eaten and drunk himself, and given the rest to
his company, he looked upon our messenger’s sword and armor which he had
on, with intimation of his desire to buy it, but on the other side, our
messenger showed his unwillingness to part with it. In the end he left
him in the custody of Quadequina his brother, and came over the brook,
and some twenty men following him, leaving all their bows and arrows
behind them. We kept six or seven as hostages for our messenger; Captain
Standish and Master Williamson[86] met the king at the brook, with half
a dozen musketeers. They saluted him and he them, so one going over, the
one on the one side, and the other on the other, conducted him to a
house then in building, where we placed a green rug and three or four
cushions. Then instantly came our governor with drum and trumpet after
him, and some few musketeers. After salutations, our governor kissing
his hand, the king kissed him, and so they sat down. The governor called
for some strong water, and drunk to him, and he drunk a great draught
that made him sweat all the while after; he called for a little fresh
meat, which the king did eat willingly, and did give his followers. Then
they treated of peace, which was:

                                                  [Sidenote: The
                                                  agreements of peace
                                                  between us and

  1. That neither he nor any of his should injure or do hurt to any of
  our people.

  2. And if any of his did hurt to any of ours, he should send the
  offender, that we might punish him.

  3. That if any of our tools were taken away when our people were at
  work, he should cause them to be restored, and if ours did any harm to
  any of his, we would do the like to them.

  4. If any did unjustly war against him, we would aid him; if any did
  war against us, he should aid us.

  5. He should send to his neighbor confederates, to certify them of
  this, that they might not wrong us, but might be likewise comprised in
  the conditions of peace.

  6. That when their men came to us, they should leave their bows and
  arrows behind them, as we should do our pieces when we came to them.

Lastly, that doing thus, King James would esteem of him as his friend
and ally.

All which the king seemed to like well,[87] and it was applauded of his
followers; all the while he sat by the governor he trembled for fear. In
his person he is a very lusty man, in his best years, an able body,
grave of countenance, and spare of speech. In his attire little or
nothing differing from the rest of his followers, only in a great chain
of white bone beads about his neck, and at it behind his neck hangs a
little bag of tobacco, which he drank and gave us to drink; his face was
painted with a sad[88] red like murry,[89] and oiled both head and face,
that he looked greasily. All his followers likewise, were in their
faces, in part or in whole painted, some black, some red, some yellow,
and some white, some with crosses, and other antic works; some had skins
on them, and some naked, all strong, tall, all men in appearance.

So after all was done, the governor conducted him to the brook, and
there they embraced each other and he departed; we diligently keeping
our hostages, we expected our messenger’s coming, but anon, word was
brought us that Quadequina was coming, and our messenger was stayed till
his return, who presently came and a troop with him, so likewise we
entertained him, and conveyed him to the place prepared. He was very
fearful of our pieces, and made signs of dislike, that they should be
carried away, whereupon commandment was given they should be laid away.
He was a very proper tall young man, of a very modest and seemly
countenance, and he did kindly like of our entertainment, so we conveyed
him likewise as we did the king, but divers of their people stayed
still. When he was returned, then they dismissed our messenger. Two of
his people would have stayed all night, but we would not suffer it. One
thing I forgot, the king had in his bosom, hanging in a string, a great
long knife; he marvelled much at our trumpet, and some of his men would
sound it as well as they could. Samoset and Squanto, they stayed all
night with us, and the king and all his men lay all night in the woods,
not above half an English mile from us, and all their wives and women
with them. They said that within eight or nine days they would come and
set corn on the other side of the brook, and dwell there all summer,
which is hard by us. That night we kept good watch, but there was no
appearance of danger.

The next morning divers of their people came over to us, hoping to get
some victuals as we imagined; some of them told us the king would have
some of us come see him. Captain Standish and Isaac Allerton went
venturously, who were welcomed of him after their manner: he gave them
three or four ground-nuts, and some tobacco. We cannot yet conceive but
that he is willing to have peace with us, for they have seen our people
sometimes alone two or three in the woods at work and fowling, when as
they offered them no harm as they might easily have done, and especially
because he hath a potent adversary the Narragansets, that are at war
with him, against whom he thinks we may be some strength to him, for our
pieces are terrible unto them. This morning they stayed till ten or
eleven of the clock, and our governor bid them send the king’s kettle,
and filled it full of pease, which pleased them well, and so they went
their way.

Friday was a very fair day; Samoset and Squanto still remained with us.
Squanto went at noon to fish for eels; at night he came home with as
many as he could well lift in one hand, which our people were glad of.
They were fat and sweet; he trod them out with his feet, and so caught
them with his hands without any other instrument.

This day we proceeded on with our common business, from which we had
been so often hindered by the savages’ coming, and concluding both of
military orders and of some laws and orders as we thought behooveful for
our present estate, and condition, and did likewise choose our governor
for this year, which was Master John Carver, a man well approved amongst

    [Illustration: decorative border]

                         Journey to Pokanoket,
                    the habitation of the great King
    as also our message, the answer and entertainment we had of him.

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

It seemed good to the company for many considerations to send some
amongst them to Massasoit, the greatest commander amongst the savages
bordering upon us; partly to know where to find them if occasion served,
as also to see their strength, discover the country, prevent abuses in
their disorderly coming unto us, make satisfaction for some conceived
injuries to be done on our parts, and to continue the league of peace
and friendship between them and us. For these, and the like ends, it
pleased the governor to make choice of Stephen Hopkins and Edward
Winslow to go unto him, and having a fit opportunity,[90] by reason of a
savage called Squanto (that could speak English) coming unto us, with
all expedition provided a horseman’s coat of red cotton, and laced with
a slight lace, for a present, that both they and their message might be
the more acceptable amongst them.

The message was as followeth: that forasmuch as his subjects came often
and without fear, upon all occasions amongst us, so we were now come
unto him, and in witness of the love and good-will the English bear unto
him, the governor hath sent him a coat, desiring that the peace and
amity that was between them and us might be continued, not that we
feared them, but because we intended not to injure any, desiring to live
peaceably, and as with all men, so especially with them, our nearest
neighbors. But whereas his people came very often, and very many
together unto us, bringing for the most part their wives and children
with them, they were welcome; yet we being but strangers as yet at
Patuxet, alias New Plymouth,[91] and not knowing how our corn might
prosper, we could no longer give them such entertainment as we had done,
and as we desired still to do. Yet if he would be pleased to come
himself, or any special friend of his desired to see us, coming from him
they should be welcome; and to the end we might know them from others,
our governor had sent him a copper chain, desiring if any messenger
should come from him to us, we might know him by bringing it with him,
and hearken and give credit to his message accordingly. Also requesting
him that such as have skins should bring them to us, and that he would
hinder the multitude from oppressing us with them. And whereas at our
first arrival at Paomet (called by us Cape Cod) we found there corn
buried in the ground, and finding no inhabitants but some graves of dead
new buried, took the corn, resolving if ever we could hear of any that
had right thereunto, to make satisfaction to the full for it, yet since
we understand the owners thereof were fled for fear of us, our desire
was either to pay them with the like quantity of corn, English meal, or
any other commodities we had to pleasure them withal; requesting him
that some one of his men might signify so much unto them, and we would
content him for his pains. And last of all, our governor requested one
favor of him, which was, that he would exchange some of their corn for
seed with us, that we might make trial which best agreed with the soil
where we live.

With these presents and message we set forward the 10th June, about nine
o’clock in the morning, our guide resolving that night to rest at
Nemasket,[92] a town under Massasoit, and conceived by us to be very
near, because the inhabitants flocked so thick upon every slight
occasion amongst us; but we found it to be some fifteen English miles.
On the way we found some ten or twelve men, women, and children, which
had pestered us till we were weary of them, perceiving that (as the
manner of them all is) where victual is easiest to be got, there they
live, especially in the summer: by reason whereof, our bay affording
many lobsters, they resort every spring-tide thither; and now returned
with us to Nemasket. Thither we came about three o’clock after noon, the
inhabitants entertaining us with joy, in the best manner they could,
giving us a kind of bread called by them _maizium_, and the spawn of
shads, which then they got in abundance, insomuch as they gave us spoons
to eat them. With these they boiled musty acorns, but of the shads we
ate heartily. After this they desired one of our men to shoot at a crow,
complaining what damage they sustained in their corn by them, who
shooting some fourscore off and killing, they much admired it, as other
shots on other occasions.

After this, Squanto told us we should hardly in one day reach
Pokanoket,[93] moving us to go some eight miles further, where we should
find more store and better victuals than there. Being willing to hasten
our journey we went, and came thither at sunsetting, where we found many
of the Namascheucks (they so calling the men of Nemasket) fishing upon a
weir which they had made on a river which belonged to them, where they
caught abundance of bass. These welcomed us also, gave us of their fish,
and we them of our victuals, not doubting but we should have enough
where’er we came. There we lodged in the open fields, for houses they
had none, though they spent the most of the summer there. The head of
this river is reported to be not far from the place of our abode; upon
it are and have been many towns, it being a good length. The ground is
very good on both sides, it being for the most part cleared. Thousands
of men have lived there, which died in a great plague not long since;
and pity it was and is to see so many goodly fields, and so well seated,
without men to dress and manure[94] the same. Upon this river dwelleth
Massasoit. It cometh into the sea at the Narraganset Bay, where the
Frenchmen so much use. A ship may go many miles up it, as the savages
report, and a shallop to the head of it; but so far as we saw, we are
sure a shallop may.

But to return to our journey. The next morning we broke our fast, took
our leave and departed, being then accompanied with some six savages.
Having gone about six miles by the river side, at a known shoal place,
it being low water, they spake to us to put off our breeches, for we
must wade through. Here let me not forget the valor and courage of some
of the savages on the opposite side of the river, for there were
remaining alive only two men, both aged, especially the one being above
threescore. These two, espying a company of men entering the river, ran
very swiftly and low in the grass, to meet us at the bank, where with
shrill voices and great courage standing charged upon us with their
bows; they demanded what we were, supposing us to be enemies, and
thinking to take advantage on us in the water. But seeing we were
friends, they welcomed us with such food as they had, and we bestowed a
small bracelet of beads on them. Thus far we are sure the tide ebbs and

Having here again refreshed ourselves we proceeded in our journey, the
weather being very hot for travel, yet the country so well watered that
a man could scarce be dry, but he should have a spring at hand to cool
his thirst, beside small rivers in abundance. But the savages will not
willingly drink but at a springhead. When we came to any small brook
where no bridge was, two of them desired to carry us through of their
own accords, also fearing we were or would be weary, offered to carry
our pieces, also if we would lay off any of our clothes, we should have
them carried; and as the one of them had found more special kindness
from one of the messengers, and the other savage from the other so they
showed their thankfulness accordingly in affording us all help and
furtherance in the journey.

As we passed along, we observed that there were few places by the river
but had been inhabited, by reason whereof much ground was clear, save of
weeds which grew higher than our heads. There is much good timber, both
oak, walnut tree, fir, beech, and exceeding great chestnut trees. The
country, in respect of the lying of it, is both champaign and hilly,
like many places in England. In some places it is very rocky both above
ground and in it. And though the country be wild and overgrown with
woods, yet the trees stand not thick, but a man may well ride a horse
amongst them.

Passing on at length, one of the company, an Indian, espied a man and
told the rest of it. We asked them if they feared any; they told us that
if they were Narraganset men they would not trust them. Whereat we
called for our pieces and bid them not to fear, for though they were
twenty, we two alone would not care for them. But they hailing him, he
proved a friend, and had only two women with him; their baskets were
empty but they fetched water in their bottles, so that we drank with
them and departed. After, we met another man with other two women, which
had been at rendezvous by the salt water, and their baskets were full of
roasted crab, fishes, and other dried shell fish, of which they gave us,
and we ate and drank with them, and gave each of the women a string of
beads, and departed.

After, we came to a town of Massasoit’s, where we ate oysters and other
fish. From thence we went to Pokanoket but Massasoit was not at home;
there we stayed, he being sent for. When news was brought of his coming,
our guide Squanto requested that at our meeting we would discharge our
pieces. But one of us going about to charge his piece, the women and
children, through fear to see him take up his piece, ran away, and could
not be pacified till he laid it down again, who afterward were better
informed by our interpreter.

Massasoit being come, we discharged our pieces, and saluted him, who
after their manner kindly welcomed us, and took us into his house, and
set us down by him, where, having delivered our foresaid message and
presents, and having put the coat on his back and the chain about his
neck, he was not a little proud to behold himself, and his men also to
see their king so bravely[95] attired.

For answer to our message, he told us we were welcome, and he would
gladly continue that peace and friendship which was between him and us,
and, for his men, they should no more pester us as they had done; also
that he would sent to Paomet, and would help us with corn for seed,
according to our request.

This being done, his men gathered near to him, to whom he turned
himself, and made a great speech; they sometimes interposing, and, as it
were, confirming and applauding him in that he said. The meaning whereof
was (as far as we could learn) thus: Was not he Massasoit, commander of
the country about them? Was not such a town his, and the people of it?
And should they not bring their skins unto us? To which they answered,
they were his and would be at peace with us, and bring their skins to
us. After this manner he named at least thirty places, and their answer
was as aforesaid to every one, so that as it was delightful, it was
tedious unto us.

This being ended, he lighted tobacco for us, and fell to discoursing of
England, and of the King’s Majesty, marvelling that he would live
without a wife.[96] Also he talked of the Frenchmen, bidding us not to
suffer them to come to Narraganset, for it was King James his country,
and he also was King James his man. Late it grew, but victuals he
offered none, for indeed he had not any, being he came so newly home. So
we desired to go to rest. He laid us on the bed with himself and his
wife, they at the one end and we at the other, it being only planks laid
a foot from the ground, and a thin mat upon them. Two more of his chief
men, for want of room, pressed by and upon us, so that we were worse
weary of our lodging than of our journey.

The next day, being Thursday, many of their sachems, or petty governors,
came to see us, and many of their men also. There they went to their
manner of games for skins and knives. There we challenged them to shoot
with them for skins, but they durst not; only they desired to see one of
us shoot at a mark, who shooting with hail-shot, they wondered to see
the mark so full of holes.

About one o’clock, Massasoit brought two fishes that he had shot; they
were like bream but three times so big, and better meat. These being
boiled there were at least forty looked for share in them, the most ate
of them. This meal only we had in two nights and a day, and had not one
of us bought a partridge we had taken our journey fasting. Very
importunate he was to have us stay with them longer. But we desired to
keep the Sabbath at home, and feared we should either be light-headed
for want of sleep, for what with bad lodging, the savages’ barbarous
singing (for they use to sing themselves asleep), lice and fleas within
doors, and mosquitoes without, we could hardly sleep all the time of our
being there; we much fearing that if we should stay any longer, we
should not be able to recover home for want of strength. So that on the
Friday morning before sunrising, we took our leave and departed,
Massasoit being both grieved and ashamed that he could no better
entertain us, and retaining Squanto to send from place to place to
procure truck for us, and appointing another, called Tokamahamon, in his
place, whom we had found faithful before and after upon all occasions.

At this town of Massasoit’s where we before ate, we were again refreshed
with a little fish, and bought about a handful of meal of their parched
corn, which was very precious at that time of the year, and a small
string of dried shell-fish, as big as oysters. The latter we gave to the
six savages that accompanied us, keeping the meal for ourselves. When we
drank, we ate each a spoonful of it with a pipe of tobacco, instead of
other victuals, and of this also we could not but give them so long as
it lasted. Five miles they led us to a house out of the way in hope of
victuals, but we found nobody there and so were but worse able to return
home. That night we reached to the weir where we lay before, but the
Namascheucks were returned, so that we had no hope of any thing there.
One of the savages had shot a shad in the water, and a small squirrel as
big as a rat, called a _neuxis_; the one half of either he gave us, and
after went to the weir to fish. From hence we wrote to Plymouth, and
sent Tokamahamon before to Nemasket, willing him from thence to send
another, that he might meet us with food at Nemasket. Two men now only
remained with us, and it pleased God to give them good store of fish, so
that we were well refreshed. After supper we went to rest, and they to
fishing again; more they got and fell to eating afresh, and retained
sufficient ready roast for all our breakfasts. About two o’clock in the
morning arose a great storm of wind, rain, lightning, and thunder, in
such violent manner that we could not keep in our fire, and had the
savages not roasted fish when we were asleep, we had set forward
fasting, for the rain still continued with great violence, even the
whole day through, till we came within two miles of home.

Being wet and weary, at length we came to Nemasket; there we refreshed
ourselves, giving gifts to all such as had showed us any kindness.
Amongst others, one of the six that came with us from Pokanoket, having
before this on the way unkindly foresaken us, marvelled we gave him
nothing, and told us what he had done for us. We also told him of some
discourtesies he offered us, whereby he deserved nothing. Yet we gave
him a small trifle, whereupon he offered us tobacco; but the house being
full of people, we told them he stole some by the way, and if it were of
that we would not take it, for we would not receive that which was
stolen upon any terms; if we did, our God would be angry with us, and
destroy us. This abashed him and gave the rest great content. But at our
departure he would needs carry him on his back through a river, whom he
had formerly in some sort abused. Fain they would have had us to lodge
there all night, and wondered we would set forth again in such weather.
But, God be praised, we came safe home that night, though wet, weary,
and surbated.[97]

    [Illustration: decorative border]

                           VOYAGE MADE BY TEN
                  of our men to the Kingdom of Nauset,
 to seek a boy that had lost himself in the woods; with such accidents
                      as befell us in that voyage.

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

The 11th of June we set forth, the weather being very fair. But ere we
had been long at sea, there arose a storm of wind and rain, with much
lightning and thunder, insomuch that a spout arose not far from us, but,
God be praised, it dured not long, and we put in that night for harbor
at a place called Cummaquid,[98] where we had some hope to find the boy.
Two savages were in the boat with us, the one was Squanto, our
interpreter, the other Tokamahamon, a special friend. It being night
before we came in, we anchored in the midst of the bay, where we were
dry at alow water. In the morning we espied savages seeking lobsters,
and sent our two interpreters to speak with them, the channel being
between them; where they told them what we were, and for what we were
come, willing them not at all to fear us, for we would not hurt them.
Their answer was, that the boy was well, but he was at Nauset;[99] yet
since we were there they desired us to come ashore and eat with them;
which, as soon as our boat floated, we did, and went six ashore, having
four pledges for them in the boat. They brought us to their sachem or
governor, whom they call Iyanough, a man not exceeding twenty-six years
of age, but very personable, gentle, courteous, and fair conditioned,
indeed not like a savage, save for his attire. His entertainment was
answerable to his parts, and his cheer plentiful and various.

One thing was very grievous unto us at this place. There was an old
woman, whom we judged to be no less than a hundred years old, which came
to see us because she never saw English, yet could not behold us without
breaking forth into great passion, weeping and crying excessively. We
demanding the reason of it, they told us she had three sons who, when
Master Hunt was in these parts, went aboard his ship to trade with him,
and he carried them captives into Spain (for Squanto at that time was
carried away also) by which means she was deprived of the comfort of her
children in her old age. We told them we were sorry that any Englishman
should give them that offense, that Hunt was a bad man, and that all the
English that heard of it condemned him for the same; but for us, we
would not offer them any such injury though it would gain us all the
skins in the country. So we gave her some small trifles, which somewhat
appeased her.

After dinner we took boat for Nauset, Iyanough and two of his men
accompanying us. Ere we came to Nauset, the day and tide were almost
spent, insomuch as we could not go in with our shallop, but the sachem
or governor of Cummaquid went ashore and his men with him. We also sent
Squanto to tell Aspinet, the sachem of Nauset, wherefore we came. The
savages here came very thick amongst us, and were earnest with us to
bring in our boat. But we neither well could, nor yet desired to do it,
because we had least cause to trust them, being they only had formerly
made an assault upon us in the same place, in time of our winter
discovery for habitation. And indeed it was no marvel they did so, for
howsoever, through snow or otherwise, we saw no houses, yet we were in
the midst of them.

When our boat was aground they came very thick, but we stood therein
upon our guard, not suffering any to enter except two, the one being of
Manomoyik,[100] and one of those whose corn we had formerly found; we
promised him restitution, and desired him either to come to Patuxet for
satisfaction, or else we would bring them so much corn again. He
promised to come; we used him very kindly for the present. Some few
skins we got there but not many.

After sunset, Aspinet came with a great train, and brought the boy with
him, one bearing him through the water. He had not less than a hundred
with him, the half whereof came to the shallop side unarmed with him,
the other stood aloof with their bows and arrows. There he delivered us
the boy, behung with beads, and made peace with us, we bestowing a knife
on him, and likewise on another that first entertained the boy and
brought him thither. So they departed from us.

Here we understood that the Narragansets had spoiled[101] some of
Massasoit’s men, and taken him. This struck some fear in us, because the
colony was so weakly guarded, the strength thereof being abroad. But we
set forth with resolution to make the best haste home we could; yet the
wind being contrary, having scarce any fresh water left, and at least
sixteen leagues home, we put in again for the shore. There we met again
with Iyanough, the sachem of Cummaquid, and the most of his town, both
men, women, and children with him. He, being still willing to gratify
us, took a runlet[102] and led our men in the dark a great way for
water, but could find none good, yet brought such as there was on his
neck with him. In the meantime the women joined hand in hand, singing
and dancing before the shallop, the men also showing all the kindness
they could, Iyanough himself taking a bracelet from about his neck and
hanging it upon one of us.

Again we set out, but to small purpose, for we gat but little homeward.

Our water also was very brackish, and not to be drunk. The next morning,
Iyanough espied us again and ran after us; we, being resolved to go to
Cummaquid again to water, took him into the shallop, whose entertainment
was not inferior unto the former.

The soil at Nauset and here is alike, even and sandy, not so good for
corn as where we are. Ships may safely ride in either harbor. In the
summer they abound with fish. Being now watered we put forth again, and,
by God’s providence, came safely home that night.

    [Illustration: decorative border]

                             JOURNEY TO THE
                          Kingdom of Nemasket
in defense of the great King Massasoit, against the Narragansets, and to
         revenge the supposed death of our interpreter Squanto.

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

At our return from Nauset, we found it true that Massasoit was put from
his country by the Narragansets. Word also was brought unto us that
Corbitant, a petty sachem or governor under Massasoit (whom they ever
feared to be too conversant with the Narragansets), was at Nemasket, who
sought to draw the hearts of Massasoit’s subjects from him, speaking
also disdainfully of us, storming at the peace between Nauset,
Cummaquid, and us, and at Squanto, the worker of it; also at
Tokamahamon, and one Hobomok (two Indians, or Lemes,[103] one of which
he would treacherously have murdered a little before, being a special
and trusty man of Massasoit’s). Tokamahamon went to him, but the other
two would not, yet put their lives in their hands, privately went to see
if they could hear of their king, and lodging at Nemasket were
discovered to Corbitant, who set a guard to beset the house, and took
Squanto (for he had said, if he were dead the English had lost their
tongue). Hobomok, seeing that Squanto was taken, and Corbitant held a
knife at his breast, being a strong and stout man, broke from them and
came to New Plymouth, full of fear and sorrow for Squanto, whom he
thought to be slain.

Upon this news the company assembled together, and resolved on the
morrow to send ten men armed to Nemasket, and Hobomok for their guide,
to revenge the supposed death of Squanto on Corbitant our bitter enemy,
and to retain Nepeof, another sachem or governor, who was of this
confederacy, till we heard what was become of our friend Massasoit.

On the morrow we set out ten men armed, who took their journey as
aforesaid, but the day proved very wet. When we supposed we were within
three or four miles of Nemasket, we went out of the way and stayed there
till night, because we would not be discovered. There we consulted what
to do, and thinking best to beset the house at midnight, each was
appointed his task by the captain, all men encouraging one another to
the utmost of their power. By night our guide lost his way, which much
discouraged our men, being we were wet, and weary of our arms, but one
of our men, having been before at Nemasket, brought us into the way

Before we came to the town, we sat down and ate such as our knapsacks
afforded. That being done, we threw them aside, and all such things as
might hinder us, and so went on and beset the house, according to our
last resolution. Those that entered demanded if Corbitant were not
there, but fear had bereft the savages of speech. We charged them not to
stir, for if Corbitant were not there, we would not meddle with them; if
he were, we came principally for him, to be avenged on him for the
supposed death of Squanto, and other matters; but, howsoever, we would
not at all hurt their women or children. Notwithstanding, some of them
pressed out at a private door and escaped, but with some wounds. At
length perceiving our principal ends, they told us Corbitant was
returned with all his train, and that Squanto was yet living, and in the
town, offering some tobacco, other such as they had to eat. In this
hurly-burly we discharged two pieces at random, which much terrified all
the inhabitants, except Squanto and Tokamahamon, who, though they knew
not our end in coming, yet assured them of our honesty, that we would
not hurt them. Those boys that were in the house, seeing our care of
women, often cried, “_Neen squaes_,” that is to say, “I am a woman”; the
women also hanging upon Hobomok, calling him _Towam_, that is, “friend.”
But to be short, we kept them we had, and made them make a fire that we
might see to search the house. In the meantime Hobomok got on the top of
the house and called Squanto and Tokamahamon, which came unto us
accompanied with others, some armed and others naked. Those that had
bows and arrows, we took them away, promising them again when it was
day. The house we took for our better safeguard, but released those we
had taken, manifesting whom we came for and wherefore.

On the next morning we marched into the midst of the town, and went to
the house of Squanto to breakfast. Thither came all whose hearts were
upright towards us, but all Corbitant’s faction were fled away. There in
the midst of them we manifested again our intendment, assuring them,
that although Corbitant had now escaped us, yet there was no place
should secure him and his from us if he continued his threatening us and
provoking others against us, who had kindly entertained him, and never
intended evil towards him till he now so justly deserved it. Moreover,
if Massasoit did not return in safety from Narraganset, or if hereafter
he should make any insurrection against him, or offer violence to
Squanto, Hobomok, or any of Massasoit’s subjects, we would revenge it
upon him, to the overthrow of him and his. As for those were wounded, we
were sorry for it, though themselves procured it in not staying in the
house at our command; yet if they would return home with us, our surgeon
should heal them.

At this offer, one man and a woman that were wounded went home with us,
Squanto and many other known friends accompanying us, and offering all
help that might be by carriage of any thing we had to ease us. So that,
by God’s good providence, we safely returned home the morrow night after
we set forth.

                            RELATION OF OUR
                      Voyage to the Massachusets,
                        and what happened there.

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

It seemed good to the company in general, that though the Massachusets
had often threatened us (as we were informed), yet we should go amongst
them, partly to see the country, partly to make peace with them, and
partly to procure their truck. For these ends the governors chose ten
men fit for the purpose, and sent Squanto and two other savages to bring
us to speech with the people, and interpret for us.

We set out about midnight,[104] the tide then serving for us. We
supposing it to be nearer than it is, thought to be there the next
morning betimes, but it proved well near twenty leagues from New

We came into the bottom of the bay,[105] but being late we anchored and
lay in the shallop, not having seen any of the people. The next morning
we put in for the shore. There we found many lobsters that had been
gathered together by the savages, which we made ready under a cliff. The
captain set two sentinels behind the cliff to the landward to secure the
shallop, and taking a guide with him and four of our company, went to
seek the inhabitants; where they met a woman coming for her lobsters,
they told her of them, and contented her for them. She told them where
the people were. Squanto went to them; the rest returned, having
direction which way to bring the shallop to them.

The sachem or governor of this place, is called Obbatinewat, and though
he lives in the bottom of the Massachusetts Bay, yet he is under
Massasoit. He used us very kindly; he told us he durst not then remain
in any settled place, for fear of the Tarentines.[106] Also the Squaw
Sachem,[107] or Massachusets’ queen, was an enemy to him.

We told him of divers sachems that had acknowledged themselves to be
King James his men, and if he also would submit himself, we would be his
safeguard from his enemies, which he did, and went along with us to
bring us to the Squaw Sachem. Again we crossed the bay, which is very
large and hath at least fifty islands in it, but the certain number is
not known to the inhabitants. Night it was before we came to that side
of the bay where this people were. On shore the savages went but found
nobody. That night also we rid at anchor aboard the shallop.

On the morrow we went ashore, all but two men, and marched in arms up in
the country. Having gone three miles we came to a place where corn had
been newly gathered, a house pulled down, and the people gone. A mile
from hence, Nanepashemet, their king, in his life-time had lived. His
house was not like others, but a scaffold was largely built, with poles
and planks some six feet from ground, and the house upon that, being
situated on the top of a hill.

Not far from hence, in a bottom, we came to a fort built by their
deceased king, the manner thus: there were poles some thirty or forty
feet long, stuck in the ground as thick as they could be set one by
another, and with these they enclosed a ring some forty of fifty feet
over. A trench breast high was digged on each side; one way there was to
go into it with a bridge; in the midst of this palisade stood the frame
of a house wherein, being dead, he lay buried.

About a mile from hence, we came to such another, but seated on the top
of a hill; here Nanepashemet was killed, none dwelling in it since the
time of his death. At this place we stayed, and sent two savages to look
the inhabitants, and to inform them of our ends in coming, that they
might not be fearful of us. Within a mile of this place they found the
women of the place together, with their corn on heaps, whither we
supposed them to be fled for fear of us, and the more, because in divers
places they had newly pulled down their houses, and for haste in one
place had left some of their corn covered with a mat, and nobody with

With much fear they entertained us at first, but seeing our gentle
carriage towards them, they took heart and entertained us in the best
manner they could, boiling cod and such other things as they had for us.
At length, with much sending for, came one of their men, shaking and
trembling for fear. But when he saw we intended them no hurt, but came
to truck, he promised us his skins also. Of him we inquired for their
queen, but it seemed she was far from thence—at least we could not see

Here Squanto would have had us rifle the savage women, and taken their
skins and all such things as might be serviceable for us; for (said he)
they are a bad people, and have oft threatened you. But our answer was:
Were they never so bad, we would not wrong them, or give them any just
occasion against us; for their words, we little weighed them, but if
they once attempted any thing against us, then we would deal far worse
than he desired.

Having well spent the day, we returned to the shallop, almost all the
women accompanying us to truck, who sold their coats from their backs,
and tied boughs about them, but with great shamefacedness (for indeed
they are more modest than some of our English women are). We promised
them to come again to them, and they us, to keep their skins.

Within this bay the savages say there are two rivers, the one whereof we
saw, having a fair entrance, but we had no time to discover it. Better
harbors for shipping cannot be than here are. At the entrance of the bay
are many rocks, and in all likelihood very good fishing-ground. Many,
yea, most of the islands have been inhabited, some being cleared from
end to end, but the people are all dead, or removed.

Our victual growing scarce, the wind coming fair, and having a light
moon, we set out at evening and, through the goodness of God, came
safely home before noon the day following.

    [Illustration: decorative border]

                            LETTER SENT FROM
                New England to a friend in these parts,
    setting forth a brief and true declaration of the worth of that
   plantation; as also certain useful directions for such as intend a
                        voyage into those parts.

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

Loving and Old Friend,[108]

Although I received no letter from you by this ship,[109] yet forasmuch
as I know you expect the performance of my promise, which was, to write
unto you truly and faithfully of all things, I have therefore at this
time sent unto you accordingly, referring you for further satisfaction
to our more large relations.[110]

You shall understand that in this little time that a few of us have been
here, we have built seven dwelling-houses, and four for the use of the
plantation, and have made preparation for divers others. We set the last
spring some twenty acres of Indian corn, and sowed some six acres of
barley and pease, and according to the manner of the Indians, we manured
our ground with herrings, or rather shads, which we have in great
abundance, and take with great ease at our doors. Our corn did prove
well, and, God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and
our barley indifferent good, but our pease not worth the gathering, for
we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and
blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom.

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that
so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had
gathered the fruit of our labors.[111] They four in one day killed as
much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a
week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms,
many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest
king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained
and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought
to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and
others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this
time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that
we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

We have found the Indians very faithful in their covenant of peace with
us, very loving and ready to pleasure us. We often go to them, and they
come to us; some of us have been fifty miles by land in the country with
them, the occasions and relations whereof you shall understand by our
general and more full declaration of such things as are worth the
noting. Yea, it hath pleased God so to possess the Indians with a fear
of us, and love unto us, that not only the greatest king amongst them,
called Massasoit, but also all the princes and peoples round about us,
have either made suit unto us, or been glad of any occasion to make
peace with us, so that seven of them at once have sent their messengers
to us to that end.[112] Yea, an Fle[113] at sea, which we never saw,
hath also, together with the former, yielded willingly to be under the
protection, and subjects to our sovereign lord King James. So that there
is now great peace amongst the Indians themselves, which was not
formerly, neither would have been but for us; and we for our parts walk
as peaceably and safely in the wood as in the highways in England. We
entertain them familiarly in our houses, and they as friendly bestowing
their venison on us. They are a people without any religion or knowledge
of any God, yet very trusty, quick of apprehension, ripe-witted, just.
The men and women go naked, only a skin about their middles.

For the temper of the air, here it agreeth well with that in England,
and if there be any difference at all, this is somewhat hotter in
summer. Some think it to be colder in winter, but I cannot out of
experience so say; the air is very clear and not foggy, as hath been
reported. I never in my life remember a more seasonable year than we
have here enjoyed, and if we have once but kine, horses, and sheep, I
make no question but men might live as contented here as in any part of
the world. For fish and fowl, we have great abundance; fresh cod in the
summer is but coarse meat with us; our bay is full of lobsters all the
summer and affordeth variety of other fish; in September we can take a
hogshead of eels in a night, with small labor, and can dig them out of
their beds all the winter. We have mussels and othus[114] at our doors.
Oysters we have none near, but we can have them brought by the Indians
when we will; all the spring-time the earth sendeth forth naturally very
good sallet herbs.[115] Here are grapes, white and red, and very sweet
and strong also. Strawberries, gooseberries, raspas,[116] etc. Plums of
three sorts, with black and red, being almost as good as a damson;
abundance of roses, white, red, and damask; single, but very sweet
indeed. The country wanteth only industrious men to employ, for it would
grieve your hearts if, as I, you had seen so many miles together by
goodly rivers uninhabited, and withal, to consider those parts of the
world wherein you live to be even greatly burdened with abundance of
people. These things I thought good to let you understand, being the
truth of things as near as I could experimentally take knowledge of, and
that you might on our behalf give God thanks who hath dealt so favorably
with us.

Our supply of men[117] from you came the 9th of November 1621, putting
in at Cape Cod, some eight or ten leagues from us. The Indians that
dwell thereabout were they who were owners of the corn which we found in
caves, for which we have given them full content, and are in great
league with them. They sent us word there was a ship near unto them, but
thought it to be a Frenchman, and indeed for ourselves, we expected not
a friend so soon. But when we perceived that she made for our bay, the
governor commanded a great piece to be shot off, to call home such as
were abroad at work; where-upon every man, yea, boy, that could handle a
gun, were ready, with full resolution that if she were an enemy, we
would stand in our just defense, not fearing them, but God provided
better for us than we supposed. These came all in health, not any being
sick by the way (otherwise than by sea-sickness) and so continue at this
time, by the blessing of God; the good-wife Ford was delivered of a son
the first night she landed, and both of them are very well.

When it pleaseth God, we are settled and fitted for the fishing
business, and other trading; I doubt not but by the blessing of God the
gain will give content to all. In the mean time, that we have gotten we
have sent by this ship,[118] and though it be not much, yet it will
witness for us that we have not been idle, considering the smallness of
our number all this summer. We hope the merchants will accept of it, and
be encouraged to furnish us with things needful for further employment,
which will also encourage us to put forth ourselves to the uttermost.

Now because I expect your coming unto us[119] with other of our friends,
whose company we much desire, I thought good to advertise[120] you of a
few things needful. Be careful to have a very good bread-room to put
your biscuits in. Let your cask for beer and water be iron-bound for the
first tire if not more; let not your meat be dry-salted—none can better
do it than the sailors. Let your meal be so hard trod in your cask that
you shall need an adz or hatchet to work it out with. Trust not too much
on us for corn at this time, for by reason of this last company that
came, depending wholly upon us, we shall have little enough till
harvest; be careful to come by some of your meal to spend by the way—it
will much refresh you. Build your cabins as open as you can, and bring
good store of clothes and bedding with you. Bring every man a musket or
fowling-piece; let your piece be long in the barrel, and fear not the
weight of it, for most of our shooting is from stands. Bring juice of
lemons, and take it fasting; it is of good use. For hot waters, aniseed
water is the best, but use it sparingly. If you bring any thing for
comfort in the country, butter or sallet oil, or both is very good. Our
Indian corn, even the coarsest, maketh as pleasant meat as rice,
therefore spare that unless to spend by the way; bring paper and linseed
oil for your windows, with cotton yarn for your lamps. Let your shot be
most for big fowls, and bring store of powder and shot. I forbear
further to write for the present, hoping to see you by the next return,
so I take my leave, commending you to the Lord for a safe conduct unto
us. Resting in him,

                          Your loving friend,
                                                              E. W.[121]

Plymouth, in New England, this 11th of December, 1621.

                       Reasons and Considerations
  touching the lawfulness of removing out of England into the parts of

                                                  [Sidenote: The

    [Illustration: illuminated capital]

Forasmuch as many exceptions are daily made against the going into and
inhabiting of foreign desert places, to the hindrances of plantations
abroad, and the increase of distractions at home, it is not amiss that
some which have been ear-witnesses of the exceptions made, and are
either agents or abettors of such removals and plantations, do seek to
give content to the world, in all things that possibly they can.

And although the most of the opposites are such as either dream of
raising their fortunes here,[122] to that than which there is nothing
more unlike, or such as affecting their home-born country so vehemently,
as that they had rather with all their friends beg, yea, starve in it,
than undergo a little difficulty in seeking abroad; yet are there some
who, out of doubt in tenderness of conscience, and fear to offend God by
running before they be called, are straitened and do straiten others
from going to foreign plantations.

For whose cause especially, I have been drawn, out of my good affection
to them, to publish some reasons that might give them content and
satisfaction, and also stay and stop the wilful and witty caviller; and
herein I trust I shall not be blamed of any godly wise, though through
my slender judgment I should miss the mark, and not strike the nail on
the head, considering it is the first attempt that hath been made (that
I know of) to defend those enterprises. Reason would, therefore, that if
any man of deeper reach and better judgment see further or otherwise,
that he rather instruct me than deride me.

                                                  [Sidenote: Cautions]

And being studious for brevity, we must first consider that whereas God
of old did call and summon our fathers by predictions, dreams, visions,
and certain illuminations to go from their countries, places, and
habitations,                           [Sidenote: Gen. 12:1, 2, & 35:1.]
to reside and dwell here or there, and to wander up and down from city
to city, and land to land, according to his will and pleasure, now there
is no such calling to be expected for any matter whatsoever,  [Sidenote:
                                                            Matt. 2:19.]
neither must any so much as imagine that there will now be any such
thing.                                           [Sidenote: Ps. 105:13.]
God did once so train up his people, but now he doth not,     [Sidenote:
                                                           Heb. 1:1, 2.]
but speaks in another manner, and so we must apply ourselves to God’s
present dealing, and not to his wonted dealing; and as the miracle of
giving manna                                     [Sidenote: Josh. 5:12.]
ceased when the fruits of the land became plenty, so God, having such a
plentiful storehouse of directions in his holy word, there must not now
any extraordinary revelations be expected. But now the ordinary examples
and precepts of the Scriptures, reasonably and rightly understood and
applied, must be the voice and word that must call us, press us, and
direct us in every action.

Neither is there any land or possession now, like unto the possession
which the Jews had in Canaan,                     [Sidenote: Gen. 17:8.]
being legally holy and appropriated unto a holy people, the seed of
Abraham, in which they dwelt securely and had their days prolonged, it
being by an immediate voice said, that he (the Lord) gave it them as a
land of rest after their weary travels, and a type of eternal rest in
heaven but now there is no land of that sanctimony, no land so
appropriated, none typical, much less any that can be said to be given
of God to any nation as was Canaan, which they and their seed must dwell
in, till God sendeth upon them sword or captivity. But now we are all in
all places strangers and pilgrims, travellers and sojourners, most
properly, having no dwelling but in this earthen tabernacle; our
dwelling is but a wandering, and our abiding but as a fleeting, and in a
word our home is nowhere, but in the heavens,    [Sidenote: II Cor. 5:1,
                                                                  2, 3.]
in that house not made with hands, whose maker and builder is God, and
to which all ascend that love the coming of our Lord Jesus.

                                                  [Sidenote: So were the
                                                  Jews, but yet their
                                                  temporal blessings and
                                                  inheritances were more
                                                  large than ours.]

Though then there may be reasons to persuade a man to live in this or
that land, yet there cannot be the same reasons which the Jews had, but
now as natural, civil and religious bands tie men, so they must be
bound, and as good reasons for things terrene and heavenly appear, so
they must be led.

                                                  [Sidenote: Object.]

And so here falleth in our question, how a man that is here born and
bred, and hath lived some years, may remove himself into another

                                                  [Sidenote: Answ. 1.
                                                  What persons may hence

I answer, a man must not respect only to live, and do good to himself,
but he should see where he can live to do most good to others; for, as
one saith, “He whose living is but for himself, it is time he were
dead.” Some men there are who of necessity must here live, as being tied
to duties, either to church, commonwealth, household, kindred, etc. But
others, and that many, who do no good in none of those, nor can do none,
as being not able, or not in favor, or as wanting opportunity, and live
as outcasts, nobodies, eye-sores, eating but for themselves, teaching
but themselves, and doing good to none, either in soul or body, and so
pass over days, years, and months, yea, so live and so die. Now such
should lift up their eyes and see whether there be not some other place
and country to which they may go to do good and have use towards others
of that knowledge, wisdom, humanity, reason, strength, skill, faculty,
etc., which God hath given them for the service of others and his own

                                                  [Sidenote: 2. Why they
                                                  should remove.]

                                                  [Sidenote: Reas. 1]

But not to pass the bounds of modesty so far as to name any, though I
confess I know many, who sit here still          [Sidenote: Luke 19:20.]
with their talent in a napkin, having notable endowments both of body
and mind, and might do great good if they were in some places, which
here do none, nor can do none, and yet through fleshly fear,
niceness,[123] straitness of heart, etc., sit still and look on and will
not hazard a dram of health, nor a day of pleasure, nor an hour of rest
to further the knowledge and salvation of the sons of Adam in that New
World, where a drop of the knowledge of Christ is most precious, which
is here not set by. Now what shall we say to such a profession of
Christ, to which is joined no more denial of a man’s self?

                                                  [Sidenote: Object.]

But some will say, what right have I to go live in the heathens’

                                                  [Sidenote: Answ.]

Letting pass the ancient discoveries, contracts and agreements which our
Englishmen have long since made in those parts, together with the
acknowledgment of the histories and chronicles of other nations, who
profess the land of America from the Cape de Florida unto the Bay of
Canada (which is south and north three hundred leagues and upwards, and
east and west further than yet hath been discovered) is proper to the
King of England—yet letting that pass, lest I be thought to meddle
further than it concerns me, or further than I have discerning, I will
mention such things as are within my reach, knowledge, sight and
practise, since I have travailed in these affairs.

                                                  [Sidenote: Reas. 2.]

And first, seeing we daily pray for the conversion of the heathens, we
must consider whether there be not some ordinary means and course for us
to take to convert them, or whether prayer for them be only referred to
God’s extraordinary work from heaven. Now it seemeth unto me that we
ought also to endeavor and use the means to convert them, and the means
cannot be used unless we go to them or they come to us; to us they
cannot come, our land is full; to them we may go, their land is empty.

                                                  [Sidenote: Reas. 3.]

This then is a sufficient reason to prove our going thither to live
lawful: their land is spacious and void, and there are few and do but
run over the grass, as do also the foxes and wild beasts. They are not
industrious, neither have art, science, skill or faculty to use either
the land or the commodities of it, but all spoils, rots, and is marred
for want of manuring, gathering, ordering, etc. As the ancient
patriarchs therefore removed from straiter places into more roomy, where
the land lay idle and waste, and none used it, though there dwelt
inhabitants by them, (as Gen. 13:6,11,12, and 34:21, and 41:20), so is
it lawful now to take a land which none useth, and make use of it.

                                                  [Sidenote: Reas. 4.
                                                  This is to be
                                                  considered as
                                                  respecting New
                                                  England, and the
                                                  territories about the

And as it is a common land or unused, and undressed country, so we have
it by common consent, composition and agreement, which agreement is
double. First, the imperial governor Massasoit, whose circuits in
likelihood are larger than England and Scotland, hath acknowledged the
King’s Majesty of England to be his master and commander, and that once
in my hearing, yea, and in writing, under his hand to Captain Standish,
both he and many other kings which are under him, as Paomet, Nauset,
Cummaquid, Narraganset, Nemasket, etc., with divers others that dwell
about the bays of Patuxet and Massachusetts. Neither hath this been
accomplished by threats and blows, or shaking of sword and sound of
trumpet, for as our faculty that way is small, and our strength less, so
our warring with them is after another manner, namely by friendly usage,
love, peace, honest and just carriages, good counsel, etc., that so we
and they may not only live in peace in that land,        [Sidenote: Pss.
                                                         110:3, & 48:3.]
and they yield subjection to an earthly prince, but that as voluntaries
they may be persuaded at length to embrace the Prince of Peace, Christ
Jesus, and rest in peace with him forever.

Secondly, this composition is also more particular and applicatory, as
touching ourselves there inhabiting: the emperor, by a joint consent,
hath promised and appointed us to live at peace where we will in all his
dominions, taking what place we will, and as much land as we will, and
bringing as many people as we will, and that for these two causes.
First, because we are the servants of James, King of England, whose the
land (as he confesseth) is; second, because he hath found us just,
honest, kind and peaceable, and so loves our company; yea, and that in
these things there is no dissimulation on his part, nor fear of breach
(except our security engender in them some unthought of treachery, or
our uncivility provoke them to anger) is most plain in other
relations,[124] which show that the things they did were more out of
love than out of fear.

It being then, first, a vast and empty chaos; secondly, acknowledged the
right of our sovereign king; thirdly, by a peaceable composition in part
possessed of divers of his loving subjects, I see not who can doubt or
call in question the lawfulness of inhabiting or dwelling there, but
that it may be as lawful for such as are not tied upon some special
occasion here, to live there as well as here. Yea, and as the enterprise
is weighty and difficult, so the honor is more worthy, to plant a rude
wilderness, to enlarge the honor and fame of our dread sovereign, but
chiefly to display the efficacy and power of the Gospel, both in zealous
preaching, professing, and wise walking under it, before the faces of
these poor blind infidels.

As for such as object the tediousness of the voyage thither, the danger
of pirates’ robbery, of the savages’ treachery, etc., these are but
lions in the way,                               [Sidenote: Prov. 22:13.]
and it were well for such men if they were in heaven, for who can show
them a place in this world where iniquity shall not       [Sidenote: Ps.
compass them at the heels, and where they shall have a day without
grief, or a lease of life for a moment;          [Sidenote: Matt. 6:34.]
and who can tell, but God, what dangers may lie at our doors, even in
our native country, or what plots may be abroad, or when God will cause
our sun to go down at noon-days, and in the midst of our peace and
security, lay upon us                              [Sidenote: Amos 8:9.]
some lasting scourge for our so long neglect and contempt of his most
glorious Gospel?

                                                  [Sidenote: Ob.]

But we have here great peace, plenty of the Gospel, and many sweet
delights, and variety of comforts.

                                                  [Sidenote: Answ.]

True indeed, and far be it from us to deny and diminish the least of
these mercies, but have we rendered unto God thankful obedience for this
long peace, whilst other peoples have been at wars?        [Sidenote: II
                                                          Chron. 32:25.]
Have we not rather murmured, repined, and fallen at wars amongst
ourselves, whilst our peace hath lasted with foreign power? Was there
ever more suits in law, more envy, contempt and reproach than nowadays?
Abraham and Lot departed asunder              [Sidenote: Gen. 13:9, 10.]
when there fell a breach betwixt them, which was occasioned by the
straitness of the land; and surely, I am persuaded that howsoever the
frailties of men are principal in all contentions, yet the straitness of
the place is such as each man is fain to pluck his means, as it were,
out of his neighbor’s throat; there is such pressing and oppressing in
town and country, about farms, trades, traffic, etc., so as a man can
hardly any where set up a trade but he shall pull down two of his

The towns abound with young tradesmen, and the hospitals are full of the
ancient; the country is replenished with new farmers, and the almshouses
are filled with old laborers; many there are who get their living with
bearing burdens, but more are fain to burden the land with their whole
bodies. Multitudes get their means of life by prating, and so do numbers
more by begging. Neither come these straits upon men always through
intemperance, ill husbandry, indiscretion, etc., as some think, but even
the most wise, sober, and discreet men go often to the wall, when they
have done their best, wherein, as God’s providence swayeth all, so it is
easy to see that the straitness of the place, having in it so many
strait hearts, cannot but produce such effects more and more, so as
every indifferent minded man should be ready to say with father Abraham,
“Take thou the right hand, and I will take the left.” Let us not thus
oppress, straiten, and afflict one another, but seeing there is a
spacious land, the way to which is through the sea, we will end this
difference in a day.

That I speak nothing about the bitter contention that hath been about
religion, by writing, disputing, and inveighing earnestly one against
another, the heat of which zeal, if it were turned against the rude
barbarism of the heathens, it might do more good in a day than it hath
done here in many years. Neither of the little love to the Gospel, and
profit which is made by the preachers in most places, which might easily
drive the zealous to the heathens who, no doubt, if they had but a drop
of that knowledge which here flieth about the streets, would be filled
with exceeding great joy and gladness, as that they would even pluck the
kingdom of heaven by violence, and take it as it were, by force.

                                                  [Sidenote: The last

The greatest let[125] that is yet behind is the sweet fellowship of
friends, and the satiety of bodily delights.

But can there be two nearer friends almost than Abraham and Lot, or than
Paul and Barnabas? And yet, upon as little occasions as we have here,
they departed asunder, two of them being patriarchs of the church of
old; the other the apostles of the church which is new, and their
covenants were such as it seemeth might bind as much as any covenant
between men at this day, and yet to avoid greater inconveniences they
departed asunder.

Neither must men take so much thought for the flesh, as not to be
pleased except they can pamper their bodies with variety of dainties.
Nature is content with little, and health is much endangered by mixtures
upon the stomach. The delights of the palate do often inflame the vital
parts as the tongue setteth afire the whole body. [Sidenote: James 3:6.]
Secondly, varieties here are not common to all, but many good men are
glad to snap at a crust. The rent-taker lives on sweet morsels, but the
rent-payer eats a dry crust often with watery eyes, and it is nothing to
say what some one of a hundred hath, but what the bulk, body and
commonalty hath, which I warrant you is short enough.

And they also which now live so sweetly, hardly will their children
attain to that privilege, but some circumventor or other will outstrip
them, and make them sit in the dust, to which men are brought in one
age, but cannot get out of it again in seven generations.

To conclude, without all partiality, the present consumption which
groweth upon us here, whilst the land groaneth under so many
close-fisted and unmerciful men, being compared with the easiness,
plainness and plentifulness in living in those remote places, may
quickly persuade any man to a liking of this course, and to practise a
removal, which being done by honest, godly and industrious men, they
shall there be right heartily welcome, but for other of dissolute and
profane life, their rooms are better than their companies. For if here,
where the Gospel hath been so long and plentifully taught, they are yet
frequent in such vices as the heathen would shame to speak of, what will
they be when there is less restraint in word and deed? My only suit to
all men is, that whether they live there or here, they would learn to
use this world as they used it not, keeping faith and a good conscience,
both with God and men, that when the day of account shall come, they may
come forth as good and fruitful servants, and freely be received, and
enter into the joy of their Master.

                                                              R. C.[126]



[1]An immense body of literature, both popular and scholarly, has been
    written on the story of the Pilgrims, and much of it is excellent.
    One of the most comprehensive accounts is also one of the most
    enjoyable; George F. Willison’s _Saints and Strangers_ (New York,
    1945) combines exhaustive scholarship with style and wit.

[2]In the Biblical sense of “God’s chosen people,” or simply, “members
    of a Christian church.”

[3]So-called because they were unknown to members of the Leyden
    congregation, having been enlisted by the sponsors of the

[4]The Pilgrims originally embarked in two ships at Southampton, 5
    August 1620, but because the _Speedwell_ leaked dangerously they put
    in at Dartmouth for repairs. When they returned to the open sea,
    they discovered that she still shipped water. Turning to the nearest
    port, they reluctantly decided to abandon the _Speedwell_ as
    unseaworthy, and many of the party transferred to the already
    crowded _Mayflower_, while a few decided to defer their emigration.
    The successful voyage from Plymouth began 6 September, with their
    third departure from the homeland.

[5]Thomas Prince, _A Chronological History of New England_ ... (Boston,
    1736), vol. I, pt. 2, p. 71, fn. 38.

[6]Although portions of the book have been reprinted frequently, the
    only other presentation of the full text was a facsimile in an
    edition limited to 285 copies, prepared by Henry M. Dexter, and
    entitled _Mourt’s Relation_ (Boston, 1865). It is a heavily
    annotated volume, and Dexter’s monumental effort has aided a
    generation of scholars, but his meticulous attention to “faithful
    reproduction of the original, letter for letter” makes it formidable
    to any but a dedicated student. The best known and most widely
    available edition includes annotation and uniform spelling, but is
    marred by some minor omissions and transpositions: Alexander Young,
    _Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers_ (Boston, 1841), pp. 110-249.

[7]Presumably, the initials of John Peirce. Peirce was a London
    businessman one of the “merchant adventurers” who had contributed to
    the _Mayflower’s_ first voyage. It is possible that he underwrote
    the printing of the book; it is certain that the patent to lands
    occupied by the Pilgrims—as virtual squatters for almost a year—was
    finally issued in his name, in trust for the settlers. They were
    delighted to receive this confirmation of their legal rights, and
    may have dedicated the book to him in gratitude. Only later did they
    learn of the many devious ways in which he tried to cheat them.

[8]Acknowledging their indebtedness to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and his
    partners in the Council for New England, (formerly, the Second
    Virginia Company, and the Plymouth Company), who exercised legal
    authority over the area, which had previously been called “Northern

[9]Presumably a misprint for the initials of Robert Cushman. See

[10]The writer studiously avoids mentioning the grim fact that more than
    half of the group who sailed on the _Mayflower_ had already died.

[11]Although they were pioneer settlers in New England, the Pilgrims had
    not come to unknown territory. This portion of the coast had been
    sailed by Giovanni de Verrazzano as early as 1524; probably the
    first Englishman to visit the area was Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602.
    In 1605, George Waymouth commanded a voyage of exploration and
    trade, and kipnapped five Indians in Maine, of whom one, Squanto,
    later befriended the Pilgrims. By 1608, Samuel de Champlain had even
    charted the _Port du Cap de St. Louis_, which was to become Plymouth
    Harbor. Capt. John Smith’s map of New England, prepared on a voyage
    in 1614, already shows the site named “Plimouth.” Apparently two
    mates (or pilots?) of the _Mayflower_ had sailed the coast

[12]Reasons for assuming that the writer is George Morton have been
    discussed in the Introduction.

[13]Presumably, the initials of John Robinson, pastor of the Leyden
    congregation. See Introduction.

[14]Bradford’s _Of Plymouth Plantation_ identifies this as the Hudson
    River, where the New Netherlands Company had invited the Pilgrims to
    settle. Ten leagues appears too short a distance from Cape Cod to
    the Hudson: _ten_ may here be a misprint, or reference may be to the
    appropriate latitude rather than to the mouth of the river.

[15]Presumably, Provincetown Harbor.

[16]to vomit and have diarrhea

[17]Members of the Leyden congregation were fearful of mutiny and other
    abuses by some of the many “Strangers” who had joined the group in
    England. The party had no patent for New England, so that they would
    have been a people outside the law as soon as they disembarked, and
    individual license could have posed a real threat.

[18]The following is the earliest known text of the famous “Mayflower
    Compact”, the original document has never been found. John Quincy
    Adams overstated the case when he said that “This is perhaps the
    only instance in human history of that positive social compact which
    speculative philosophers have imagined as the only legitimate source
    of government.” As evidenced in the signatures, the distinction
    between masters and servants remained, and women had no legal voice
    but were still chattel. Nevertheless, it is an unusual document in
    which the concept of self-government emerges so sharply during a
    time when the divine right of kings was assumed. It is clearly
    modelled on the “covenants” or “combinations” which characterized
    most Separatist congregations, and is presaged in Rev. Robinson’s
    farewell letter.

[19]The names of the signers were first printed in Nathaniel Morton’s
    _New England’s Memorial_ (Cambridge, 1669). In alphabetical order,
    they are:

    John Alden, Isaac Allerton, John Allerton, John Billington, William
    Bradford, William Brewster, Richard Britteridge, Peter Brown, John
    Carver, James Chilton, Richard Clark, Francis Cook, John Crackstone,
    Edward Doten, Francis Eaton, Thomas English, Moses Fletcher, Edward
    Fuller, Samuel Fuller, Richard Gardiner, John Goodman, Stephen
    Hopkins, John Howland, Edward Leister, Edmond Margeson, Christopher
    Martin, William Mullins, Digory Priest, John Ridgedale, Thomas
    Rogers, George Soule, Miles Standish, Edward Tilley, John Tilley,
    Thomas Tinker, John Turner, Richard Warren, William White, Thomas
    Williams, Edward Winslow, Gilbert Winslow.


[21]A large longboat which can be rowed, or fitted with a small mast and

[22]An indication of the overcrowded conditions aboard the _Mayflower_
    is the fact that some passengers slept in the shallop, which had
    been partially disassembled for easier storage.

[23]The frequent mention of sassafras is understandable in view of the
    immense commercial value of that plant in the early seventeenth
    century; the root and bark were sold as medicines throughout the Old


[25]Cf. note 2, p. 16.

[26]It is little wonder that the Indians later took the Pilgrims to task
    for having appropriated dried corn from such caches where it had
    been stored.

[27]Most of their guns were matchlocks.


[29]artfully; skillfully

[30]A quaint touch of humor.


[32]More likely, pneumonia.

[33]I.e., corn.

[34]Knowledge of Indian attacks on white settlers in the Spanish
    colonies and in what is now Virginia had led the Pilgrims to expect
    ill of them.

[35]I.e., the slow-burning wicks of their matchlock muskets.

[36][of a yard]

[37]a large strong needle used for sewing packages in stout cloth


[39]simmer; boil

[40]Agawam; now, Ipswich, Massachusetts.




[44]I.e., 45 inches.


[46]A kind of flintlock musket.

[47]This defies translation. It is probably less an accurate
    transcription of specific Algonquian words than an Englishman’s
    vague approximation of the incomprehensible sounds which seemed
    threatening to him in such a context.

[48]The landing at Plymouth is reported here as having been almost
    fortuitous, although some scholars believe that a few of the leaders
    may long before have planned to settle at that site. Clearly there
    is nothing here that can be construed as referring to “Plymouth


[50]Presumably a misprint for _skate_.


[52]loose friable earth

[53]fertile; rich


[55]The Pilgrims were in a situation far different from that of later
    pioneers who settled elsewhere as independent farmers. According to
    the terms of their stringent contract with the “merchant
    adventurers,” their primary concern was to produce salable goods
    (e.g., fish, lumber, furs) for their sponsors. This commitment was
    to endure seven years, during which the sponsors were to continue
    their support of the settlers. The English businessmen seem to have
    taken full advantage of the dependent situation of the Pilgrims who
    had no other sources of supply nor outlets for their goods.

[56]Clark’s Island, in Plymouth Harbor.

[57]guard-house; i.e., a shelter affording some security against
    possible attack

[58]mistress of a household, (a title of respect)

[59]I.e., 8¼ by 49½ feet.

[60]The _Mayflower_ was a vessel of 180 tons.

[61]I.e., approximately 600 feet.


[63]Presumably a misprint for _Carver_. There is no other mention of a
    Leaver in the party.



[66]This may refer to mud used for plastering the inner side of
    clapboard walls, typical of the frame houses which were among the
    first permanent buildings at Plymouth. During these early months,
    however, it may conceivably refer to a more fundamental structural
    feature in temporary huts of wattle-and-daub construction, where mud
    is the principal material, daubed over a framework of small

[67]A cannon with 3¼ inch bore, firing a 4 pound shot.

[68]Presumably a misprint for _saker_, a cannon with 4 inch bore, firing
    a 6 pound shot.

[69]small cannons with 1¼ inch bore, firing ½ pound shot


[71]hard; steadily

[72]On first encounter, the Pilgrims were hardly hospitable to Samoset,
    whose friendly help in many respects was invaluable to them in later

[73]Presumably, Monhegan Island, off southeastern Maine.

[74]I.e., 9 inches.

[75]A generic term for liquor.

[76]The fact that bubonic plague had recently decimated a major portion
    of the indigenous population along the entire coast of New England
    was interpreted by the Pilgrims as divine intervention, and served
    as a convenient rationalization for English claims to the land.

[77]I.e., to the Wampanoag village where Massasoit was sachem.

[78]Actually members of a crew led by Capt. Thomas Dermer, on an
    expedition sponsored by Gorges.

[79]Thomas Hunt, captain of a ship in Capt. John Smith’s company.

[80](in Spain)


[82]Ireland was little better known than New England in the early
    seventeenth century, and comparisons between Indians and Irishmen
    are frequent in the descriptive accounts of English explorers of the



[85]The adventures of Samoset, Squanto, and other Indians who had been
    kidnapped and taken to Europe before whites settled in New England
    are recounted with accuracy and appropriate color by Carolyn T.
    Foreman, _Indians Abroad_, 1493-1938 (Norman, 1943).

[86]Presumably a misprint for _Williams_. There is no other mention of a
    Williamson in the early Plymouth sources.

[87]This first American mutual security pact remained inviolate
    throughout Massasoit’s life. He and his eldest son Wamsutta (named
    “Alexander” by the English) signed such a treaty in Plymouth in
    1639, and it was ratified and confirmed by the colonial government.
    The peace was broken in 1675, for which most historians blame
    Wamsutta’s brother and successor, Metacom (“King Philip”).



[90]The journey to Pokanoket took place in the summer of 1621. During
    the preceding three months, which are unreported in this journal,
    Bradford notes that almost half of the settlers died in the “General
    Sickness.” None abandoned the enterprise, however, and the
    _Mayflower_ returned empty to England.

[91]The derivation of this name is not clear. Six different spellings
    occur even within this book: _Plimoth, and New Plimoth_ (both on the
    title page!), _Plimouth_, _Plimmouth_, _New Plimmouth_, and _New
    Plimmouth_. It is true that Plymouth was the town from which the
    settlers had finally set sail from their native country, “... having
    been kindly entertained and courteously used by divers friends there
    dwelling.” Furthermore, the land company which granted their patent
    had once been called the Plymouth Company. But we need evoke neither
    sentimentalism nor commercial diplomacy on the part of the Pilgrims
    to account for the name. In fact, this site was called “Plimouth” on
    the map which they carried on the _Mayflower_, from Capt. John
    Smith’s _Description of New England_ (London, 1616); supposedly it
    was arbitrarily so designated by Prince Charles when Smith showed
    him a draft of the map.

[92]Now, Middleborough, Massachusetts.

[93]Now, the Mount Hope area of Bristol, Rhode Island.

[94]cultivate; till


[96]The wife of James I had died more than a year before the Pilgrims
    sailed from England.

[97]fatigued; bruised

[98]Now, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

[99]Now, Eastham, Massachusetts.

[100]Now, Chatham, Massachusetts.

[101]In early seventeenth-century usage, this could imply anything from
    disarming to kidnapping, from robbing to killing.

[102]small keg

[103]This passage defies interpretation. “Or Lemes” has no sense in
    seventeenth-century English or local Indian languages. Most previous
    editors have assumed this to be a misprint for _our allies_; I am
    not altogether happy with that interpretation but have nothing
    better to offer.

[104]Bradford’s _Of Plymouth Plantation_ sets the date of this
    embarkation as 18 September 1621.

[105]I. e., Boston Harbor.

[106]Presumably, the Abnaki, an Algonquian tribe of eastern Maine.

[107]Presumably, the widow of Nanepashemet.

[108]The following appears to be a covering letter which may have
    accompanied the manuscript journal when it was sent from Plymouth.
    Perhaps the “loving and old friend” of the author is George Morton,
    who presumably edited the relations for publication. See

[109]The _Fortune_, first to follow the _Mayflower_.

[110]I. e., the preceding five narratives.

[111]The following is the earliest description of the first
    Thanksgiving. The dates are not specified, nor is there specific
    mention of turkeys as comprising part of the feast, although they
    doubtless did.

[112]The author here probably refers to the following document which was
    printed in 1669, in Morton’s _New England’s Memorial_:

    “September 13, Anno Dom. 1621.

    “Know all men by these presents, that we whose names are
    underwritten do acknowledge ourselves to be the loyal subjects of
    King James, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of
    the Faith, &c. In witness whereof, and as a testimonial of the same,
    we have subscribed our names or marks, as followeth:

    Ohquamehud, Cawnacome, Obbatinnua, Nattawahunt, Caunbatant,
    Chikkatabak, Quadequina, Huttamoiden, Apannow.

[113]No such word occurs in either seventeenth-century English or local
    Indian languages. It is presumably a misprint for “Ile,” i.e.,
    _isle_, referring to Martha’s Vineyard.

[114]This also defies identification. Perhaps it is a misprint for

[115]I.e., salad greens.


[117]Thirty-five new settlers arrived on the _Fortune_, of whom some had
    set out with the original party but had to return to Plymouth,
    England, with the disabled ship _Speedwell_. The newly arrived heads
    of family were (in alphabetical order):

    John Adams, William Basset, William Beale, Edward Bompasse, Jonathan
    Brewster, Clement Briggs, John Cannon, William Conner, Thomas
    Cushman, Stephen Dean, Philip de la Noye, Thomas Flavell, Widow
    Ford, Robert Hicks, William Hilton, Bennet Morgan, Thomas Morton,
    Austin Nicholas, William Palmer, William Pitt, Thomas Prence, Moses
    Simonson, Hugh Stacie, James Stewart, William Tench, John Winslow,
    William Wright.

    Also aboard was Robert Cushman who presumably carried the manuscript
    journal back to England with him on the _Fortune’s_ return trip a
    month later.

[118]Bradford’s _Of Plymouth Plantation_ describes the _Fortune’s_ cargo
    as comprising beaver skins, clapboards, and sassafras, all of which
    was stolen by French privateers shortly before her arrival in

[119]George Morton, to whom this letter was presumably written, did come
    with the next party, on the ship _Anne_.


[121]Presumably, Edward Winslow. See Introduction.

[122]I.e., in England.


[124]That is, the preceding journal.


[126]Presumably, Robert Cushman. See Introduction.

    [Illustration: THE MAYFLOWER

    Weighing about 180 tons, and only about 106 feet long, the
    overcrowded _Mayflower_ must have had a rough voyage. The Pilgrims
    sailed across the north Atlantic to avoid pirates who frequented the
    more temperate latitudes. No one knows exactly what the original
    _Mayflower_ looked like, but this reconstruction of a typical ship
    of the time and class is probably very similar.]

    [Illustration: THE SHALLOP

    Small groups of Pilgrims explored Cape Cod and Clark’s Island before
    selecting Plymouth as the site for their settlement. They plied
    between the _Mayflower_ and the shore in a shallop, a large open
    boat which could be rowed and/or fitted with sails.]

    [Illustration: INDIAN WIGWAM

    This reconstructed wigwam and its contents are like those
    encountered by the Pilgrims during their first explorations. The
    bark huts of their Algonquian Indian neighbors soon became familiar
    shelters to the Pilgrims, whose descriptive accounts allow us to
    understand much of the native way of life which fast disappeared in
    New England.]


    Members of the group early agreed that each family should build its
    own house, “... thinking by that course men would make more haste.”
    Roofs were thatched with bundles of rushes and grass, which provided
    a good watershed but could easily be fired by a spark from the
    chimney, as is graphically described in _Mourt’s Relation_.]

    [Illustration: PILGRIM HOUSE IN WINTER

    Pilgrim houses like this may have been almost as snug as log cabins
    which were unknown in America until several years later. Clapboards
    prepared by the Pilgrims also constituted a major portion of the
    first shipment which was sent back to the sponsoring “merchant
    adventurers” in England.]

    [Illustration: A PILGRIM FAMILY

    Everyone had to work at securing food during the first difficult
    years in the new plantation. Corn, pumpkin, and turkey came to be
    major items in the diet of the Pilgrims after they learned their
    uses from the Indians.]


    It must have been a festive occasion when, “Our harvest being gotten
    in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a
    special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of
    our labors.” Massasoit and ninety other Indians were welcomed and
    contributed five deer to the three-day harvest festival.]


    Most of the Pilgrims were Separatists who were opposed to the forms
    of the Church of England, but spent most of the sabbath in informal
    services combining social and religious activities. Fear of Indian
    attack made the first settlers cautious, so they rarely traveled
    unarmed, and in 1622-23 built a combined fort and meeting-house,
    although they were fortunate in enjoying warm relations with
    neighboring tribes for several years.]


The preceding photographs illustrating modern reconstructions of things
familiar to the Pilgrims were generously provided by Plimoth Plantation,
in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Plantation includes full-scale replicas
of the _Mayflower_, the shallop, and the original settlement, much as
they probably looked in 1627. During that year the first census was
recorded and the herd which had been owned in common was divided.
Records kept by administrators of the colony tell where the various
houses were located, how much land was alloted to each household, and
other relevant information. Historical research in such documents has
been supplemented by archeological excavation to yield clues which allow
plausible reconstruction. With such full-scale exhibitions, and through
a continuing program of research and publication, this non-profit
organization attempts to foster better public understanding of the
adventure of the Pilgrims, which was first recounted in _Mourt’s



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  AE 20  MUTINY ON BOARD THE WHALESHIP GLOBE by William Lay and Cyrus M.
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    [Illustration: Back cover]

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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