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ready fitted. They answered they had commission from the Gov[erno)r of Plimoth to goe up the river to shuch a place, and if they did shoote, they must obey their order and proceede; they would not molest them, but would goe one. So they passed along, and though the Dutch threatened them hard, yet they shoot not. Comming to their place, they clapt up their house quickly, and landed their provissions, and left the companie appoynted, and sent the barke home; and afterwards palisadoed their house aboute, and fortified them selves better. The Dutch sent word home to the Monhatas what was done; and in proces of time, they sent a band of aboute •70. men, in warrlike maner, with collours displayed, to assaulte them; but seeing them strengt[h]ened, and that it would cost blood, they came to parley, and returned in peace.” And this
1 Having failed to inlist the aid of Massachusetts, New Plymouth sent out this expedition under the command of William Holmes.. October 25 found him above the Dutch fort and with his house and people landed. To him the Dutch protested: “demaunding of him to desist from his vndertaking; and depart from thence with all that hee had there from which vndertakings he did not desist but did further vse and frequent the lands of our high and mighty where neuer any English had been before; vpon the aforsaid Riuer by force of Armes Invading and vsu[r]ping against the rules of righteousnes to the great Injury and vilepending of the Netherlands State and by (the apparent great hurt and losse as may further appeer by the protests and answares of William Holmes now extant and to bee seen and read.” Acts of the Commissioners of the United Colonies, Plymouth Col. Rec., x. 65. Holmes replied to the Dutch protest that he had been appointed by the Governor and Council of New Plymouth, and must remain until further orders from them; also that he was there and intended to remain, in the name of the King of England, whose servants they were. Documents relating to the History of New York, 11. 140.
The Indian name of the place taken by Plymouth was Matianuck (Mettaneug, Mattaneaug), and the name remained while the Plymouth trading house was there. Apart from Jonathan Brewster, the records have preserved the name of one of the Plymouth men employed in the house, that of William Baker. His questionable record will be found in 4 Mass. Hist. Collections, vi. 215, where Roger Williams recalled something of his ill conduct when living at Plymouth. In the Plymouth Col. Rec. (1. 8, 102), he is mentioned in 1633 as hired to Richard Church, to saw and pit timber.
* This occurred late in 1634. On December 22, Winthrop recorded: “By a letter from Plimouth it was certified, that the Dutch of Hudson's River had been at Connecticut, and came in warlike manner to put the Plimouth men out of their house
was their enterance ther, who deserved to have held it, and not by freinds to have been thrust out, as in a sorte they were, as will after appere. They did the Dutch no wrong, for they took not a foote of any land they bought, but went to the place above them, and bought that tracte of land which belonged to these Indeans which they carried with them, and their friends, with whom the Dutch had nothing to doe. But of these matters more in another place.
It pleased the Lord to visite them this year with an infectious fevoure,' of which many fell very sicke, and upward of.20. persons dyed, men and women, besides children, and sundry of them of their anciente friends which had lived in Holand; as Thomas Blossome, Richard Masterson, with sundry (198) others, and in the end (after he had much helped others) Samuell Fuller, who was their surgeon and phisition, and had been a great help and comforte unto them; as in his facultie, so otherwise, being a deacon of the church, a man godly, and forward to doe good, being much missed after his death; and he and the rest of their brethren much
there; but when they stood upon their defence, they departed, without offering any violence.” History, 1. *153.
· This wave of mortality led to an enactment providing for the proving of wills within one month after the death of the testator and for presenting a full inventory, duly valued, before letters of administration would be granted. The land assigned for the maintenance of himself and family could not be -seized by creditors, and remained with his survivors; but other land could be sold to pay debts proved against the estate. Plymouth Col. Rec., XI. 15. The settlement at Massachusetts Bay appears to have escaped a visitation from this sickness.
• Thomas Blossom and son were among those who came from Leyden to Plymouth, but were forced to return because of the failure of the Speedwell. Writing in 1625 he said: “God hath taken away my son that was with me in the ship, when I went back again; I have only two children which were born since I left you.” To Bradford and Brewster, December 15, 1625. Bradford Letter Book. He came to New Plymouth in 1629. His widow, Anne, married Henry Rowley.
s Richard Masterson was one of the signers of the letter from Leyden to Bradford, in November, 1625, and then hoped to come to New Plymouth. Bradford Letter Book. He is supposed to have been a passenger in one of the vessels that arrived in 1629.
lamented by them, and caused much sadnes and mourning amongst them; which caused them to humble them selves, and seeke the Lord; and towards winter it pleased the Lord the sicknes ceased. This disease allso swept away many of the Indeans from all the places near adjoyning; and the spring before, espetially all the month of May, ther was shuch a quantitie of a great sorte of flies, like (for bignes) to wasps, or bumble-bees, which came out of holes in the ground, and replenished all the woods, and eate the green-things, and made shuch a constante yelling noyes, as made all the woods ring of them, and ready to deafe the hearers. They have not by the English been heard or seen before or since. But the Indeans tould them that sicknes would follow, and so it did in June, July, August, and the cheefe heat of sommer.
It pleased the Lord to inable them this year to send home a great quantity of beaver, besides paing all their charges, and debts at home, which good returne did much incourage their freinds in England. They sent in beaver 3366li. waight, and much of it coat
1 Winthrop merely says, under November, 1633: "A great mortality among the Indians. ... The disease was the small pox. Some of them were cured by such means as they had from us; many of their children escaped, and were kept by the English." History, 1. *116. Hubbard, on no known authority, asserts that “thousands of them were swept away.” It is known that the tribes under John Sagamore and James Sagamore were practically wiped out, for the effort of the English to save the children proved unavailing, and that the disease reached as far as Pascataqua. Winthrop, I. *119, 120. Hubbard is also authority for the statement that the small-pox “it is said, is not usual among them (the Indians), if ever it was there known before.” See vol. I. p. 223. He further states, perhaps with the case of Squanto in his mind, that the two chiefs “promised, if ever they recovered, to live with the English, and serve their God.” The visitation was, of course, a providential casting out of the heathen to make way for God's people. History, 195.
· The insect was the cicada septendecim of Linnæus. Josselyn notes “great swarms of strange flyes up and down the Country, which was a presage of the following mortality." 3 Mass. Hist. Collections, III. 378.
• Sent by Graves, and formed one of the largest shipment of furs after 1630, being exceeded only by that of 1634. See p. 229, infra.
beaver, which yeeled 20s. per pound, and some of it above; and of otter-skines 1.346. sould also at a good prise. And thus much of the affairs of this year.
· The skin was sold at.145 • and 155 · the pound. — BRADFORD.
* The shipment of beaver to London was so large as to lower the price. “You shall understand that the market is bad for bever, so that I have foreborne to sell it in hope of better, for the Plymouth marchants great parcell hath brought downe the prices.” Francis Kirby to John Winthrop, Jr., February 26, 1633-34. 3 Mass. Hist. Collections, ix. 263.
Anno Dom: •1634
HIS year Mr. Thomas Prence was chosen Gov[erno)r.
I name a head or •2• therin. First, he desires they will take nothing ill in what he formerly write, professing his good affection towards them as before, etc. zly. For Mr. Allertons accounts, he is perswaded they must suffer, and that in no small summes; and that they have cause enough to complaine, but it was now too late. And that he had failed them ther, those here, and him selfe in his owne aimes. And that now, having thus left them here, he feared God had left or would leave him, and it would not be strange, but a wonder if he fell not into worse things, etc. 3ly. He blesseth God and is thankfull to them for the good returne made this year. This is the effecte of his letters, other things being of more private nature.
I am now to enter upon one of the sadest things that befell them since they came;? but before I begine, it will be needfull to premise shuch parte of their patente as gives them right and priviledge at Kenebeck; as followeth; (199]
1 "At this court (January 1, 1633-34), Mr. Thomas Prence was elected Governor for the yeare following, and to enter upon the place the first of March or the 27 of the same, and to execute the office of Governor for one whole yeare from the time of his entry. At the same time, Edw: Wynslow, Mr. Will. Bradford, Mr. Isaack Allerton, Mr. John Alden, Mr. John Howland, and Mr. Stephen Hopkins (were) chosen to the office of Assistants to the said Governor, and to enter thereupon with the said Governor elect as aforesaid.” Plymouth Col. Rec., 1. 21. Morton gives the name of Myles Standish in place of that of Isaac Allerton, and adds that of William Collier.
* This event must have taken place late in April or early in May. The news reached Boston May 3, 1634. The unsigned deposition printed in N. E. Hist. Gen. Reg., IX. 80, says "upon - day of Aprill.” P. 179, infra.