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Tarre, Masts and other materials for building both of Ships and Houses. Also here are store of Sumacke Trees, they are good for dying and tanning of Leather, likewise such Trees yeeld a precious Gum called White Beniamen, that they say is excellent for perfumes. Also here be diuers Roots and Berries wherewith the Indium dye excellent holyday colours that no raine nor washing can alter. Also, wee haue materials to make SopeAshes and Salt-Peter in aboundance.
For Beasts there are some Beares, and they say some Lyons also; for they haue been seen at Cape Anne. Also here are seuerall sorts of Deere, some whereof bring three or foure young ones at once, which is not ordinarie in England. Also Wolues, Foxes, Beauers, Otters, Martins, great wild Cats, and a great Beast called a Molke as bigge as an Oxe. I have seen the Skins of all these Beasts since I came to this Plantation excepting Lyons. Also here are great store of Squerrels, some greater, and some smaller and lesser: there are some of the lesser sort, they tell me, that by a certaine Skin will fly from Tree to Tree though they stand farre distant.
Of the Waters of New-England with the things belonging to
T^T Ew-England hath Water enough both salt and fresh, the 131 greatest Sea in the World, the Atlanticke Sea runs all along the Coast thereof. There are aboundance of Hands along the Shore, some full of Wood and Mast to feed Swine; and others cleere of Wood, and fruitfull to beare Come. Also we haue store of excellent harbours for Ships, as at Cape Anne, and at Masathulets Bay, and at Salem, and at many other places: and they are the better because for Strangers there is a verie difficult and dangerous passage into them, but vnto such as are well acquainted with them, they are easie and safe enough. The aboundance of Sea-Fish are almost beyond beleeuing, and sure I should scarce haue beleeued it except I had seene it with mine owne Eyes. I saw great store of Whales, and Crampusse, and such aboundance of Makerils that it would astonish one to behold, likewise Cod-Fish aboundance on the Coast, and in their season are plentifully taken. There is a Fish called a Basse, a most sweet and wholesome Fish as euer I did eat, it is altogether as good as our fresh Sammon, and the season of their comming was beinm when we came first to New-England in lune, and so continued about three months space. Of this Fish our Fishers take many hundreds together, which I haue seene lying on the shore to my admiration; yea, their Nets ordinarily take more then they are able to hale to Land, and for want of Boats and Men they are constrained to let a many goe after they haue taken them, and yet sometimes they fill two Boats at a time with them. And besides Basse we take plentie of Scate and Thornbacke, and aboundance of Lobsters, that the least Boy in the Plantation may both catch and eat what he will of them. For my owne part I was soone cloyed with them, they were so great, and fat, and lussious. I haue seene some my selfe that haue weighed 16 pound, but others haue had diuers time so great Lobsters as haue weighed 25 pound, as they assured me. Also here is aboundance of Herring, Turbut, Sturgion, Cuskes, Hadocks, Mullets, Eeles, Crabs, Muskles and Oysters. Beside there is probabilitie that the Countrey is of an excellent temper for the making of Salt: for since our comming our Fishermen haue brought home verio good Salt which they found candied by the standing of the sea water and the heat of the Sunne, vpon a Rock by the Sea shore: and in diuers Salt Marishes that some haue gone through, they haue found some Salt in some places crushing vnder their Feet and cleauing to their Shoes.
And as for fresh Water the Countrey is full of daintie Springs, and some great Riuors, and some lesser Brookes; and at Masathulets Bay they digged Wels and found Water at three Foot deepe in most places: and neere Salem they haue as fine cleare Water as we can desire, and we may digge Wels and find Water where we list.
Thus we see both Land and Sea abound with store of blessings for the comfortable sustenance of Mans life in New-England.
Of the Aire of New-England with the Temper and Creatures > t» it.
I He Temper of the Aire of New-England is one speciall J thing that commends this place. Experience doth manifest that there is hardly a more healthfull place to be found in the World that agreeth better with our English Bodyes. Many that haue beene weake and sickly in old England, by comming hither haue beene thoroughly healed and growne healthful and strong. For here is an extraordinarie cleere and dry Aire that is of a most healing nature to all such as are of a Cold, Melancholy, Flegmatick, Reumaticke temper of Body. None can more truly speake hereof by their owne experience then my selfe.
My Friends that knew me can well tell how verie sickly I hane been and continually in Physick, being much troubled with a tormenting paine through an extraordinarie weaknesse of my Stomacke, and aboundance of Melancholicke humours; but since I came hither on this Voyage, I thanke God I haue had perfect health, and freed from paine and vomitings, hauing a Stomacke to digest the hardest and coursest fare who before could not eat finest meat, and whereas my Stomacke could onely digest and did require such drinke as was both strong and stale, now I can and doe oftentimes drink New-England water verie well, and I that haue not gone without a Cap for many yeeres together, neither durst leaue off the same, haue now cast away my Cap, and doe weare none at all in the day time: and whereas beforetime I cloathed my selfe with double cloathes and thicke Wastcoats to keepe me warme, euen in the Summer time, I doe now goe as thin clad as any, onely wearing a light Stuffe Cassocke vpon my Shirt and Stuffe Breeches of one thickness without Linings. Besides I haue one of my Children that was fomerly most lamentably handled with sore breaking out of both his hands and feet of the Kings-Euill, but since he came hither he is verie well ouer bee was, and there is hope of perfect recouerie shortly, euen by the verie wholesomnesse of the Aire, altering, digesting and drying vp the cold and crude humours of the Body: and therefore I thinke it is a wise course for all cold complections to come to take Physicke in New-England: for a sup of New-Englands Aire is better then a whole draft of old Englands Ale.
In the Summer time in the midst of Iuly and August, it is a good deale hotter then in old England: and in Winter, January and February are much colder as they say: but the Spring and Autume are of a middle temper.
Fowles of the Aire are plentifull here, and of all sorts as we haue in England as farre as I can learne, and a great many of strange Fowles which we know not. Whilst I was writing these things, one of our Men brought home an Eagle which he had killed in the Wood: they say they are good meat. Also here are many kinds of excellent Hawkes, both Sea Hawkes and Land Hawkes: and my selfe walking in the Woods with another in company, sprung a Partridge so bigge that through the heauinesse of his Body could fly but a little way: they that haue killed them, say they are as bigge as our Hens. Here are likewise aboundance of Turkies often killed in the Woods, farre greater then our English Turkies, and exceeding fat, sweet and fleshy, for here they haue aboundance of feeding all the yeere long, as Strawberries, in Summer all places are full of them, and all manner of Berries and Fruits. In the Winter time I haue seene Flockes of Pidgeons, and haue eaten of them: they doe flye from Tree to Tree as other Birds doe, which our Pidgeons will not doe in England: they are of all colours as ours are, but their wings and tayles are farr longer, and therefore it is likely they fly swifter to escape the terrible Hawkes in this Countrey. In Winter time this Countrey doth abound with wild Geese, wild Duckes, and other Sea Fowle, that a great part of winter the Planters haue eaten nothing but roastmeat of diuers Fowles which they haue killed.
Thus you haue heard of the Earth, Water and Aire of NewEngland, now it may be you expect something to be said of the Fire proportionable to the rest of the Elements.
Indeed I thinke New-England may boast of this Element more then of all the rest: for though it be here somthing cold in the winter, yet here we haue plentie of Fire to warme vs, and that a great deale cheaper then they sell Billets and Faggots in London: nay all Europe is not able to afford to make so great Fires as New-England. A poore Semant here that is to possesse but 50 Acres of Land, may afford to giue more wood for Timber and Fire as good as the world yeelds, then many Noble Men in England can afford to doe. Here is good liuing for those that loue good Fires. And although New-England haue no Tallow to make Candles of, yet by the aboundance of the Fish thereof, it can afford Oyle for Lamps. Yea our Pine-Trees that are the most plentifull of all wood, doth allow vs plentie of Candles, which are verie vsefull in a House: and they are such Candles as the Indians commonly vse, hauing no other, and they are nothing else but the wood of the Pine Tree clouen in two little slices something thin, which are so full of the moysture of Turpentine and Pitch, that they burne as cleere as a Torch. I haue sent you some of them that you may see the experience of them.
Thus of New-Englands commodities, now I will tell you of some discommodities that are here to be found.
First, In the Summer season for these three months Tune, Iuly and August, we are troubled much with little Flyes called Musketoes, being the same they are troubled with iii Lincolnshiere and the Fens: and they are nothing but Gnats, which except they be smoked out of their Howses are troublesome in the night season.
Secondly, In the Winter season for two months space the Earth is commonly couered with Snow, which is accompanied with sharp biting Frosts, something more sharpe then is in old England, and therefore are forced to make great Fires.
Thirdly, This Countrey being verie full of Woods and Wildernesses, doth also much abound with Snakes and Serpents of strange colours and huge greatnesse: yea there are some Serpents called Rattle Snakes, that haue Rattles in their Tayles that will not flye from a Man as others will, but will flye vpon him and sting him so mortally, that he will dye within a quarter of an houre after, except the partie stinged haue about him some of the root of an Hearbe called Snake weed to bite on, and then he shall receiue no harine: but yet seldome falles it out that any hurt is done by these. About three yeeres since an Indian was stung to death by one of them, but we heard of none since that time.
Fourthly and lastly, Here wants as yet the good company of honest Christains to bring with them Horses, Kine and Sheepe to make vse of this fruitfull Land: great pittie it is to see so much good ground for Corne and for Grasse as any is vnder the Heauens, to lye altogether vnoccupied, when so many honest Men and their Families in old England through the populousnesse thereofyda make very hard shift to liue one by the other.
Now, thus you know what New-England is, as also with the commodities and discommodities thereof: now I will shew you a little of the Inhabitants thereof, and their gouernment.
For their Gouernours they haue Kings, which they call •Sag'gamores, some greater, and some lesser, according to the number of their Subiects.
The greatest Saggamores about vs can not make aboue three hundred Men, and other lesse Saggamores haue not aboue fifteene Subiects, and others neere about vs but two.
Their Subiects about twelue yeeres since were swept away by a great and grieuous Plague that was amongst them, so that there are verie few left to inhabite the Countrey.
The Indians are not able to make vse of the one fourth part of the Land, neither haue they any settled places, as Townes to dwell in, nor any ground as they challenge for their owne possession, but change their habitation from place to place.
For their Statures, they are a tall and strong limmed People, their colours are tawny, they goe naked, saue onely they are in part couered with Beasts Skins on one of their Shoulders, and weare something before their Priuities: their Haire is generally blacke, and cut before like our Gentlewomen, and one locke longer then the rest, much like to our Gentlemen, which fashion I thinke came from hence into England.
For their weapons, they haue Bowes and Arrowes, some of them headed with Bone, and some with Brasse: I haue sent you some of them for an example.