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This agreemente was very well liked of, and approved by all the plantation, and consented unto; though they knew not well how to raise the payment, and discharge their other ingagements, and supply the yearly wants of the plantation, seeing they were forced for their necessities to take up money or goods at so high intrests. Yet they undertooke it, and. 7. or. 8. of the cheefe of the place became joyntly bound for the paimente of this 1800li. (in the behalfe of the rest) at the severall days. In which they rane a great adventure, as their present state stood, having many other heavie burthens allready upon them, and all things in an uncertaine condition amongst them. So the next returne it was absolutly confirmed on both sides, and the bargen fairly ingrossed in partchmente and in many things put into better forme, by the advice of the learnedest counsell they could gett; and least any forfeiture should fall on the whole for none paimente at any of the days, it rane thus: to forfite 30s. a weeke if they missed the time; and was concluded under their hands and seals, as may be seen at large by the deed it selfe. [145].1

Now though they had some untowarde persons mixed amongst them from the first, which came out of England, and more afterwards by some of the adventure[r]s, as freindship or other affections led them, though sundrie were gone, some for Virginia, and some to other places, yet diverse were still mingled amongst

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Richard Wright,
John Ling,

Thomas Goffe,


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Of these names six were found among the members of the Massachusetts Company, viz. John White, John Pocock, Thomas Goffe, Samuel Sharpe, John Revell, and Thomas Andrews.

1 This deed has not been preserved. "Thus all now is become our own, as we say in the proverb, when our debts are paid. And doubtless this was a great mercy of God unto us, and a great means of our peace and better subsistence, and wholly dashed all the plots and devises of our enemies, both there and here, who daily expected our ruin, dispersion and utter subversion by the same; but their hopes were thus far prevented, though with great care and labor, we were left to struggle with the payment of the money." Bradford Letter Book, 48,

them, about whom the Gove[rno]r and counsell with other of their cheefe freinds had serious consideration, how to setle things in regard of this new bargen or purchas made, in respecte of the distribution of things both for the presente and future. For the present, excepte peace and union were preserved, they should be able to doe nothing, but indanger to over throw all, now that other tyes and bonds were taken away. Therfore they resolved, for sundrie reasons, to take in all amongst them, that were either heads of families, or single yonge men, that were of ability, and free, (and able to governe them selves with meete descretion, and their affairs, so as to be helpfull in the comone-welth,) into this partnership or purchass. First, they considered that they had need of men and strength both for defence and carrying on of bussinesses. 2ly, most of them had borne ther parts in former miseries and wants with them, and therfore (in some sort) but equall to partake in a better condition, if the Lord be pleased to give it. But cheefly they saw not how peace would be preserved without so doing, but danger and great disturbance might grow to their great hurte and prejudice other wise. Yet they resolved to keep shuch a mean in distribution of lands, and other courses, as should not hinder their growth in others coming to them.

So they caled the company togeather, and conferred with them, and came to this conclusion, that the trade should be managed as before, to help to pay the debts; and all shuch persons as were above named should be reputed and inrouled for purchasers; single free men to have a single share, and every father of a familie to be alowed to purchass so many shares as he had persons in his family; that is to say, one for him selfe, and one for his wife, and for every child that he had living with him, one. As for servants, they had none, but what either their maisters should give them out of theirs, or their deservings should obtaine from the company afterwards. Thus all were to be cast into single shares according to the order abovesaid; and so every one was to pay his part according to his


proportion towards the purchass, and all other debts, what the profite of the trade would not reach too; viz. a single man for a single share, a maister of a famalie for so many as he had.' This gave all good contente. And first accordingly the few catle which they had were devided, which arose to this proportion; a cowe to. 6. persons or shares, and 2. to goats the same, which were first equalised for age and goodnes, and then lotted for; single persons consorting with others, as they thought good, and smaler familys likwise; and swine though more [146] in number, yet by the same rule.2 Then they agreed that every person or share should have. 20 acres of land devided unto them, besides the single acres they had allready; and they appoynted were to begin first on the one side of the towne, and how farr to goe; and then on the other side in like maner; and so to devide it by lotte; and appointed sundrie by name to doe it, and tyed them to certaine rules to proceed by; as that they should only lay out settable or tillable land, at least shuch of it as should butt on the water side, (as the most they were to lay out did,) and pass by the rest as refuse and commone; and what they judged fitte should be so taken. And they were first to agree of the good


1 This amounted in practice to a poll-tax, so much for every head of population, servants not included, except under the conditions given in the text. No records of these earlier tax lists survive, and the first in point of time was that for 1633. Plymouth Col. Rec., 1. 9. In that list the sum to be raised, £68. 75., may have included items other than what were necessary to make up the payment to the adventurers. At all events a strict per capita tax was abandoned, and a man's ability came into consideration. These rates were levied in corn. The value placed upon each share is not given by Bradford, nor is the actual rate levied upon each share. If this rate was paid in corn it would only be natural to find it expressed in the market or official price of that product, or some multiple of that price. In fact the rates levied in 163334 were multiples of nine shillings, except in some few instances, and all were multiples of three shillings, which would have represented half a bushel of corn. Compare the rate fixed for those on their particular in 1623, vol. 1. p. 327, when corn must have been much higher in value.

• For the division of cattle made in 1627, see Plymouth Col. Rec., XII. 9.

'This division of land was, January 3, 1627-28, directed to be made under the following conditions:

"Imprimis. That the first division of the acres should stand and continue firme

nes and fitnes of it before the lott was drawne, and so it might as well prove some of ther owne, as an other mans; and this course they were to hould throwout. But yet seeking to keepe the peoaccording to the former division made unto the possessors thereof and to their heires for ever: Free Liberty being Reserved for all to gett fire wood [thereon] but the Timber trees were excepted for the owners of the ground.

"2ly. That the 2 division should consist of 20 acres to every person and to Contain five in breadth and four in length and so accordingly to be di[vided] by lott to every one which was to have share therein.

"3ly. The Ground to be judged sufficient before the Lots were drawne and the rest to be left to common use.

"4ly. This being done, that for our better subsistance and convenience those grounds which are nearest the Town, in whose lott soever they fall shall be used by the whole for the space of 4 years from the date hereof: vizt. first that the Right owner make choice of twice that quantity he shall or may [use] within the said terme and then to take to him such neighbours as shall have need and he think fitt; but if they cannot agree then the Governour and Councill may appoint as they think meet: provided that the woods [be] ordered for felling and lopping according as the owner shall appo[int:] for neither fire wood nor other timber either for building or fen[cing] or any other use is to be felled or caryed off of any of these without the owners leave and license, but he is to preserve [them] to his best advantage.

"5ly. That what soever the surveighers judge sufficient shall stand wi[thout] contradiction or opposition and every man shall Rest Contented [with] his lott.

"6ly. That after the purchasers are served as aforesaid; that then such p[lan]ters as are heirs to such as dyed before the Right of the land was [yield]ed to the Adventurers have also 20 acres a person proportionable to their Right Layed out in part of their Inheritance.

"7ly. That first they shall begin where the acres of the first division end and Lay out that to the Eele River so far as shall be thought fitt by the Surveighors, and Returne to the north side of the Tow[n] and so proceed accordingly, and that they leave all great Tim[ber] swamps for common use.

"8ly. That Fowling fishing and Hunting be free:

"9ly. That the old path ways be still allowed and that eve[ry] man be allowed a convenient way to the water where [soever] the lott fall:

"Lastly that Every man of the Surveighers have a peck of Corne for Every share of land layed out by them to be paid by the owner thereof when the same is layd out.

"The names of the layers out were these

WILLIAM Bradford





Plymouth Colony Records, XI. 4.


ple togither, as much as might be, they allso agreed upon this order, by mutuall consente, before any lots were cast: that whose lotts soever should fall next the towne, or most conveninte for nearnes, they should take to them a neigboure or tow, whom they best liked; and should suffer them to plant corne with them for 4 years, and afterwards they might use as much of theirs for as long time, if they would. Allso every share or 20 acres was to be laid out.5. acres in breadth by the water side, and 4 acres in lenght, excepting nooks and corners, which were to be measured as they would bear to best advantage. But no meadows were to be laid out at all, nor were not of many years after, because they were but streight1 of meadow grounds; and if they had bene now given out, it would have hindred all addition to them afterwards; but every season all were appoynted wher they should mowe, according to the proportion of catle they had. This distribution gave generally


1 Confined or restricted.

? The first recorded "orders about mowing of grasse" made in July, 1633, will be found in Plymouth Col. Rec., 1. 14. If they were "streight of meadow grounds," the charge made in vol. 1. p. 364, held some truth.

This distribution of cattle and of land among the "shareholders" gave an opportunity for sales in each and the economic life of the plantation was thereby advanced. The first recorded sale of land occurred in 1628, when Philip Delanoy sold to Stephen Deane one acre of land, that which he had received in the division of 1623. The price paid was "fower pounds sterling eyther to be made in currant monye of England or in such other commodity as will Readily procure or amount vnto the said som, in this plantation"; one half to be paid on October 1, 1628, and twenty shillings on the same day in 1629 and 1630. In 1630 Deane sold the two acres, his own and that purchased of Delanoy, for four pounds sterling. Plymouth Col. Rec., XII. 7. The value of land can only remotely be determined from the records of sales, as commodities varied in value. In September, 1629, an acre was sold for thirty pounds of "good and marchantable Tobacco," and, on the next day the same lot, with another added, sold for five pounds sterling, or fifty shillings, part of which was to be liquidated by six pounds of beaver. Ib. 7, 8.

So of the cattle. Edward Winslow, in January, 1628, sold to Myles Standish for five pounds ten shillings his six shares in the red cow, to be paid "in Corne at the rate of six shillings per bushell freeing the said Edward from all manner of charg belonging to the said shares during the terme of the nine yeares they are let out to halues and

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