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is for that they have no succour and known safe harbour in those parts., i But if our nation were once planted there or thereabouts, whereas they now fish for but two months in the year, they might then fish for so long as pleased themselves . . . which being brought to pass shall increase the number of our ships and mariners.
Moreover, it is well known that all savages . . will take marvellous delight in any garment, be it ever so simple, as a shirt, a blue, a yellow, red, or green cotton cassock, a cap, or such like, and will take incredible pains for such a trifle ... which being so, what vent for our English cloths will thereby ensue, and how great benefit to all such persons and artificers, whose names are quoted in the margin, I leave to such as are discreet. ...
To what end need I endeavor myself by arguments to prove that by this voyage our navy and navigation shall be enlarged, when as there needeth none other reason than the manifest and late example of the near neighbors to this realm, the Kings of Spain and Portugal, who, since the first discovery of the Indies, have not only mightily enlarged their dominions, greatly enriched themselves and their subjects, but have also, by just account, trebled the number of their ships, masters and mariners, a matter of no small moment and importance?
Besides this, it will prove a general benefit unto our country, that, through this occasion, not only a great number of men which do live idly at home, and are burdenous, chargeable, and unprofitable to this realm, shall hereby be set on work, but also children of twelve or fourteen years of age, or under, may be kept from idleness, in making of a thousand kinds of trifling things, which will be good merchandise for that country. And, moreover, our idle women (which the realm may well spare) shall also be employed on plucking, drying, and sorting of feathers, in pulling, beating, and working of hemp, and in gathering of cotton, and divers things right necessary for dyeing. All which things are to be found in those countries most plentifully. And the men may employ themselves in dragging for pearl, working for mines, ; and in matters of husbandry, and likewise in hunting the whale for trane, and making casks to put the same in, besides in fishing for cod, salmon, and herring, drying, salting, and barrelling the same, and felling of trees, hewing and sawing of them, and such like work, meet for those persons that are no men of art or science.
Many other things may be found to the great relief and good employment of no small number of the natural subjects of this realm, which do now live here idly, to the common annoy of the whole State. Neither may I here omit the great hope and likelihood of a
passage beyond the Grand Bay into the South Seas, confirmed by sundry authors to be found leading to Cataia, the Moluccas and Spiceries, whereby may ensue as general a benefit to the realm, or greater than hath yet been spoken of, without either such charges or other inconveniences, as, by the tedious tract of time and peril, which the ordinary passage to those parts at this day doth minister.
I must now, according to my promise, show forth some probable reasons that the adventurers in this journey are to take particular profit by the same. It is, therefore, convenient that I do divide the adventurers into two sorts, the noblemen and gentlemen by themselves, and the merchants by themselves. For, as I do hear, it is meant that there shall be one society of the noblemen and gentlemen, and another society of the merchants; and yet not so divided, but that each society may freely and frankly trade and traffic one with the other.
And first to bend my speech to the noblemen and gentlemen, who do chiefly seek a temperate climate, wholesome air, fertile soil, and a strong place by nature whereupon they may fortify, and there either plant themselves or such other persons as they shall think good to send to be lords of that place and country: - To them I say that all these things are very easy to be found within the degrees of 30 and 60 aforesaid, either by south or north, both in the continent and in islands thereunto adjoining, at their choice . . . and in the whole tract of that land, by the description of as many as have been there, great plenty of mineral matter of all sorts, and in very many places both stones of price, pearl and chrystal, and great store of beasts, birds, and fowls, both for pleasure and necessary use of man are to be found..
And now for the better contemplation and satisfaction of such worshipful, honest-minded and well-disposed merchants as have a desire to the furtherance of every good and commendable action, I will first say unto them, as I have done before to the noblemen and gentlemen, that within the degrees aforesaid is doubtless to be found the most wholesome and best temperature of air, fertility of soil, and every other commodity or merchandise, for the which, with no small peril, we do travel into Barbary, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Muscovy and Eastland, and yet to the end my arguments shall not altogether stand upon likelihoods and presumptions, I say that such persons as have discovered and travelled those parts do testify that they have found in those countries all these things following, namely:
[a list of beasts, birds, fishes, trees, minerals, etc.]...
The sixth chapter sheweth that the traffic and planting in those countries shall be unto the savages themselves very beneficial and gainful.
... First and chiefly, in respect of the most happy and gladsome tidings of the most glorious gospel of our Saviour Jesus Christ, whereby they may be brought from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from the highway of death to the path of life, from superstitious idolatry to sincere Christianity, from the devil to Christ, from hell to heaven. And if in respect of all the commodities they can yield us (were they many more) that they should receive but this only benefit of Christianity, they were more than fully recompensed.
B. Advice to Colonists to New England, 16211 The picture of conditions in the colony at Plymouth is as valuable to us today as the advice was then to the intending colonist. Winslow was one of the leading men in the colony and later became governor.
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...
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
Relation or Tournall, etc. By Edward Winslow (London, 1622). In Chronicles of Pilgrim Fathers. By Alexander Young (Boston, 1841), 230-8, passim.
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 muscles and othus (others?] 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. Here are grapes, white and red, and very sweet and strong also; strawberries, gooseberries, raspas, &c.; plums of three sorts, white, 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 burthened 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.
Now because I expect your coming unto us, with other of our friends, whose company we much desire, I thought good to advertise you of a few things needful. Be careful to have a very good breadroom 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 anything 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. Plymouth, in New England, this with of December, 1621.
C. Information respecting Land in New Netherland, 16501 The colonization of New Netherland by the Dutch proceeded rather more slowly than that of the neighboring colonies, and various methods were followed by the States General to hasten its development. The following extract is from a report to them by their secretary on the conditions of settlement. Information relative to taking up land in New Netherland, in
the form of Colonies or private bouweries. Delivered in
by Secretary van Tienhoven, on the 4th of March, 1650. ... Boors and others who are obliged to work at first in Colonies ought to sail from this country in the fore or latter part of winter, in order to arrive with God's help in New Netherland early in the Spring, in March, or at latest in April, so as to be able to plant, during that summer, garden vegetables, maize and beans, and moreover employ the whole summer in clearing land and building cottages, as I shall hereafter describe.
All then who arrive in New Netherland must immediately set about preparing the soil so as to be able, if possible to plant some winter grain, and to proceed the next winter to cut and clear the timber. The trees are usually felled from the stump, cut up and burnt in the field, unless such as are suitable for building, for palisades, posts and rails, which must be prepared during the winter, so as to be set up in the spring on the new made land which is intended to be sown, in order that the cattle may not in any wise injure the crops. In most lands is found a certain root, called red Wortel, which must before ploughing, be extirpated with a hoe, expressly made for that purpose. This being done in the winter, some plough right around the stumps, should time or circumstances not allow these to be removed; others plant tobacco, maize and beans, at first. The soil even thus becomes very mellow, and they sow winter grain the next fall. From tobacco, can be realized some of the expenses incurred in clearing the land. The maize and beans help to support both men and cattle. The farmer having thus begun, must en
1 Documents relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York. Ed. by E. B. O'Callaghan (Albany, 1850), I, 365-71, passim.