Part 5 out of 6
"This day, before we came into harbour," leaves no room for doubt
that it was rather hurriedly drafted--and also signed--before noon
of the 11th. That they had time on this winter Saturday--hardly
three weeks from the shortest day in the year--to reach and
encircle the harbor; secure anchorage; get out boats; arm, equip,
and land two companies of men; make a considerable march into the
land; cut firewood; and get all aboard again before dark, indicates
that they must have made the harbor not far from noon. These facts
serve also to correct another error of traditional Pilgrim history,
which has been commonly current, and into which Davis falls
(Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth, p. 60), viz. that the Compact was
signed "in the harbor of Cape Cod." It is noticeable that the
instrument itself simply says, "Cape Cod," not "Cape Cod harbour,"
as later they were wont to say. The leaders clearly did not mean
to get to port till there was a form of law and authority.]
for settlement on territory under the
protection of the patent granted in their
interest to John Pierce, by the London
[The patent granted John Pierce, one of the Merchant Adventurers,
by the London Virginia Company in the interest of the Pilgrims,
was signed February 2/12, 1619, and of course could convey no rights
to, or upon, territory not conveyed to the Company by its charter
from the King issued in 1606, and the division of territory made
thereunder to the Second Virginia Company. By this division the
London Company was restricted northward by the 41st parallel, as
noted, while the Second Company could not claim the 38th as its
southern bound, as the charter stipulated that the nearest
settlements under the respective companies should not be within one
hundred miles of each other.]
Meeting in main cabin of all adult male
passengers except their two hired seamen,
Trevore and Ely, and those too ill--to make
and sign a mutual 'Compact"
[The Compact is too well known to require reprinting here (see
Appendix); but a single clause of it calls for comment in this
connection. In it the framers recite that, "Having undertaken to
plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia," etc.
From this phraseology it would appear that they here used the words
"northern parts of Virginia" understandingly, and with a new
relation and significance, from their connection with the words "the
first colony in," for such declaration could have no force or truth
except as to the region north of 41 deg. north latitude. They knew,
of course, of the colonies in Virginia under Gates, Wingfield,
Smith, Raleigh, and others (Hopkins having been with Gates), and
that, though there had been brief attempts at settlements in the
"northern plantations," there were none there then, and that hence
theirs would be in a sense "the first," especially if considered
with reference to the new Council for New England. The region of
the Hudson had heretofore been included in the term "northern parts
of Virginia," although in the southern Company's limit; but a new
meaning was now designedly given to the words as used in the
Compact, and New England was contemplated. ]
to regulate their civil government. This
done, they confirmed Master Carver their
"governour" in the ship on the voyage,
their "governour" for the year. Bore up
for the Cape, and by short tacks made the
Cape [Paomet, now Provincetown] Harbor,
coming to an anchorage a furlong within the
point. The bay so circular that before
coming to anchor the ship boxed the compass
[i.e. went clear around all points of it].
Let go anchors three quarters of an English
mile off shore, because of shallow water,
sixty-seven days from Plymouth (Eng.),
eighty-one days from Dartmouth, ninety-nine
days from Southampton, and one hundred and
twenty from London. Got out the long-boat
and set ashore an armed party of fifteen or
sixteen in armor, and some to fetch wood,
having none left, landing them on the long
point or neck, toward the sea.
[The strip of land now known as Long Point, Provincetown (Mass.)
Those going ashore were forced to wade a
bow-shot or two in going aland. The party
sent ashore returned at night having seen
no person or habitation, having laded the
boat with juniper wood.
SUNDAY, Nov. 12/22
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. All hands
piped to service. Weather mild.
MONDAY, Nov. 13/23
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor, unshipped the
shallop and drew her on land to mend and
[Bradford (Historie, Mass. ed. p. 97) says: "Having brought a large
shallop with them out of England, stowed in quarters in ye ship they
now gott her out and sett their carpenters to worke to trime her up:
but being much brused and shatered in ye ship with foule weather,
they saw she sould be longe in mending." In 'Mourt's Relation' he
says: "Monday, the 13th of November, we unshipped our shallop 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 peoples lying in her, which kept us long there: for
it was sixteen or seventeen days before the Carpenter had finished
her." Goodwin says she was "a sloop-rigged craft of twelve or
fifteen tons." There is an intimation of Bradford that she was
"about thirty feet long." It is evident from Bradford's account
(Historie, Mass. ed. p. 105) of her stormy entrance to Plymouth
harbor that the shallop had but one mast, as he says "But herewith
they broake their mast in 3 pieces and their saill fell overboard in
a very grown sea."]
Many went ashore to refresh themselves, and
the women to wash.
TUESDAY, Nov. 14/24
Lying at anchor. Carpenter at work on
shallop. Arms and accoutrements being got
ready for an exploring party inland.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15/25
Lying at anchor in harbor. Master and
boat's crew went ashore, followed in the
afternoon by an armed party of sixteen men
under command of Captain Myles Standish.
Masters William Bradford, Stephen Hopkins,
and Edward Tilley being joined to him for
council. The party to be gone from the
ship a day or two. Weather mild and ground
THURSDAY, Nov. 16/26
Lying at anchor in harbor. Exploring party
still absent from ship. Weather continues
FRIDAY, Nov. 17/27
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Weather open.
Saw signal-fire on the other side of bay
this morning, built by exploring party as
arranged. The Master, Governor Carver, and
many of the company ashore in afternoon,
and met exploring party there on their
return to ship. Hearing their signal-guns
before they arrived at the shore, sent
long-boat to fetch them aboard. They
reported seeing Indians and following them
ten miles without coming up to them the
first afternoon out, and the next day found
store of corn buried, and a big ship's
kettle, which they brought to the ship with
much corn. Also saw deer and found
SATURDAY, Nov. 18/28
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Planters
helving tools, etc. Carpenter at work on
shallop, which takes more labor than at
first supposed. Weather still moderate.
Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Nov. 19/29
At anchor, Gape Cod harbor. Second Sunday
in harbor. Services aboard ship. Seamen
ashore. Change in weather. Colder.
MONDAY, Nov. 20/30
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Carpenter and
others at work on shallop, getting out
stock for a new shallop, helving tools,
making articles needed, etc.
TUESDAY, Nov. 21/Dec. 1
At anchor in harbor. Much inconvenienced
in going ashore. Can only go and come at
high water except by wading, from which
many have taken coughs and colds.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22/Dec. 2
At anchor in harbor. Weather cold and
stormy, having changed suddenly.
THURSDAY, Nov. 23/Dec. 3
At anchor in harbor. Cold and stormy.
Work progressing on shallop.
FRIDAY, Nov. 24/Dec. 4
At anchor in harbor. Continues cold and
SATURDAY, Nov. 25/Dec. 5
At anchor in harbor. Weather same. Work
on shallop pretty well finished and she can
be used, though more remains to be done.
Another exploration getting ready for
Monday. Master and crew anxious to unlade
and return for England. Fetched wood and
SUNDAY, Nov. 26/Dec. 6
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Third Sunday
here. Master notified Planters that they
must find permanent location and that he
must and would keep sufficient supplies for
ship's company and their return.
[Bradford, Historie, Mass. ed. p. 96. The doubt as to how the
ship's and the colonists' provisions were divided and held is again
suggested here. It is difficult, however, to understand how the
Master "must and would" retain provisions with his small force
against the larger, if it came to an issue of strength between Jones
MONDAY, Nov. 27/Dec. 7
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Rough weather
and cross winds. The Planters determined
to send out a strong exploring party, and
invited the Master of the ship to join them
and go as leader, which he agreed continued
to, and offered nine of the crew and the
long-boat, which were accepted. Of the
colonists there were four-and-twenty,
making the party in all four-and-thirty.
Wind so strong that setting out from the
ship the shallop and long-boat were obliged
to row to the nearest shore and the men to
wade above the knees to land. The wind
proved so strong that the shallop was
obliged to harbor where she landed. Mate
in charge of ship. Blowed and snowed all
day and at night, and froze withal.
Mistress White delivered of a son which is
called "Peregrine." The second child born
on the voyage, the first in this harbor.
TUESDAY, Nov. 28/Dec. 8
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Cold. Master
Jones and exploring party absent on shore
with long-boat and colonists' shallop. The
latter, which beached near ship yesterday
in a strong wind and harbored there last
night, got under way this morning and
sailed up the harbor, following the course
taken by the long-boat yesterday, the wind
favoring. Six inches of snow fell
yesterday and last night. Crew at work
clearing snow from ship.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29/Dec. 9
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Cold. Foul
weather threatening. Master Jones with
sixteen men in the long-boat and shallop
came aboard towards night (eighteen men
remaining ashore), bringing also about ten
bushels of Indian corn which had been found
buried. The Master reports a long march,
the exploration of two creeks, great
numbers of wild fowl, the finding of much
corn and beans,' etc.
[This seems to be the first mention of beans (in early Pilgrim
literature) as indigenous (presumably) to New England. They have
held an important place in her dietary ever since.]
THURSDAY, Nov. 30/Dec. 10
At anchor in harbor. Sent shallop to head
of harbor with mattocks and spades, as
desired by those ashore, the seamen taking
their muskets also. The shallop came
alongside at nightfall with the rest of the
explorers--the tide being out--bringing a
lot of Indian things, baskets, pottery,
wicker-ware, etc., discovered in two graves
and sundry Indian houses they found after
the Master left them. They report ground
frozen a foot deep.
FRIDAY, Dec. 1/11
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Carpenter
finishing work on shallop. Colonists
discussing locations visited, as places for
SATURDAY, Dec. 2/12
At anchor in harbor. Much discussion among
colonists as to settlement, the Master
insisting on a speedy determination.
Whales playing about the ship in
considerable numbers. One lying within
half a musket-shot of the ship, two of the
Planters shot at her, but the musket of the
one who gave fire first blew in pieces both
stock and barrel, yet no one was hurt.
Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Dec. 3/13
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. The fourth
Sunday here. Scarce any of those aboard
free from vehement coughs, some very ill.
Weather very variable.
MONDAY, Dec. 4/14
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. Carpenter
completing repairs on shallop. Much
discussion of plans for settlement. The
Master urging that the Planters should
explore with their shallop at some
distance, declining in such season to stir
from the present anchorage till a safe
harbor is discovered by them where they
would be and he might go without danger.
This day died Edward Thompson, a servant of
Master William White, the first to die
aboard the ship since she anchored in the
harbor. Burying-party sent ashore after
services to bury him.
TUESDAY, Dec. 5/15
At anchor in harbor. Francis Billington, a
young son of one of the passengers, put the
ship and all in great jeopardy, by shooting
off a fowling-piece in his father's cabin
between decks where there was a small
barrel of powder open, and many people
about the fire close by. None hurt.
Weather cold and foul.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6/16
At anchor in harbor. Very cold, bad
weather. This day died Jasper More, a lad
bound to Governor Carver. The second death
in the harbor. The third exploring party
got away from the ship in the afternoon in
the shallop, intent on finding a harbor
recommended by the second mate, Robert
Coppin, who had visited it. Captain
Standish in command, with whom were
Governor Carver, Masters Bradford, Winslow,
John Tilley and Edward Tilley, Warren and
Hopkins, John Howland, Edward Dotey, and
two of the colonists' seamen, Alderton and
English, and of the ship's company, the
mates Clarke and Coppin, the master-gunner
and three sailors, eighteen in all. The
shallop was a long time getting clear of
the point, having to row, but at last got
up her sails and out of the harbor. Sent
burying-party ashore with body of little
More boy, after services aboard.
THURSDAY, Dec. 7/17
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. This day
Mistress Dorothy Bradford, wife of Master
Bradford, who is away with the exploring
party to the westward, fell over board and
FRIDAY, Dec. 8/18
At anchor in harbor. A strong south-east
gale with heavy rain, turning to snow and
growing cold toward night, as it cleared.
This day Master James Chilton died aboard
the ship. The third passenger, and first
head of a family; to die in this harbor.
SATURDAY, Dec. 9/19
At anchor in harbor. Burying-party sent
ashore after services aboard, to bury
Chilton. Fetched wood and water.
[The death of Chilton was the first of the head of a family, and it
may readily be imagined that the burial was an especially affecting
scene, especially as following so closely upon the tragic death of
Mrs. Bradford (for whom no funeral or burial arrangements are
SUNDAY, Dec. 10/20
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. The fifth
Sunday in this harbor. The exploring party
still absent. Four deaths one by drowning;
very severe weather; the ship's narrow
escape from being blown up; and the absence
of so many of the principal men, have made
it a hard, gloomy week.
MONDAY, Dec. 11/21
At anchor in harbor. Clear weather.
TUESDAY, Dec. 12/22
At anchor in harbor. Exploration party
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13/23
At anchor in harbor. Exploration party
returned to ship, where much sad
intelligence met them (especially Master
Bradford), as to his wife's drowning. The
exploring party report finding a
considerable Indian burying-place; several
Indian houses; a fierce attack on them by
Indians on Friday morning, but without
harm; a severe gale on the same afternoon,
in which their rudder-hinges broke, their
mast was split in three pieces, their sail
fell over board in a heavy sea, and they
were like to have been cast away in making
a harbor which Master Coppin thought he
knew, but was deceived about. They landed
on an island at the mouth of the harbor,
which they named for Master Clarke, the
first mate, and spent Saturday and Sunday
there, and on Monday examined the harbor
they found, and are agreed that it is the
place for settlement. Much satisfaction
with the report among the colonists.
THURSDAY, Dec. 14/24
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. The colonists
have determined to make settlement at the
harbor they visited, and which is
apparently, by Captain John Smith's chart
of 1616, no other than the place he calls
"Plimoth" thereon. Fetched wood and water.
FRIDAY, Dec. 15/25
Weighed anchor to go to the place the
exploring party discovered. Course west,
after leaving harbor. Shallop in company.
Coming within two leagues, the wind coming
northwest, could not fetch the harbor, and
was faine to put round again towards Cape
Cod. Made old anchorage at night. The
thirty-fifth night have lain at anchor
here. Shallop returned with ship.
SATURDAY, Dec. 16/26
Comes in with fair wind for Plymouth.
Weighed anchor and put to sea again and made
harbor safely. Shallop in company. Within
half an hour of anchoring the wind changed,
so if letted [hindered] but a little had
gone back to Cape Cod. A fine harbor.
Let go anchors just within a long spur of
beach a mile or more from shore. The end of
the outward voyage; one hundred and two days
from Plymouth (England to Plymouth New
England). One hundred and fifty-five days
THE SHIPS JOURNAL WHILE SHE LAY IN
SUNDAY, Dec. 17/27
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Services on
ship. This harbor is a bay greater than
Cape Cod, compassed with goodly land. It is
in fashion like a sickle or fish-hook.
MONDAY, Dec. 18/28
At anchor, Plymouth harbor: The Master of
the ship, with three or four of the sailors
and several of the Planters, went aland and
marched along the coast several miles.
Made careful examination of locality. Found
many brooks of fine water, abundant wood,
etc. The party came aboard at night weary
TUESDAY, Dec. 19/29
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. A party from
the ship went ashore to discover, some
going by land and some keeping to the
shallop. A creek was found leading up
within the land and followed up three
English miles, a very pleasant river at
full sea. It was given the name of "Jones
River" in compliment to the Master of the
ship. A bark of thirty tons may go up at
high tide, but the shallop could scarcely
pass at low water. All came aboard at
night with resolution to fix, to-morrow,
which of the several places examined they
would settle upon.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 20/30
At anchor, Plymouth harbor, many ill. Dec.
After service the colonists decided to go
ashore this morning and determine upon one
of two places which were thought most
fitting for their habitation. So a
considerable party went ashore and left
twenty of their number there to make a
rendezvous, the rest coming on board at
night. They reported that they had chosen
by the most voices the site first looked at
by the largest brook, near where they
landed on the 11th on a large rock
[The "Rock" seems to have become the established landing place of
the Pilgrims, from the time of the first visit of the third
exploring party on December 11/21. The absurdity of the claims of
the partisans of Mary Chilton, in the foolish contention which
existed for many years as to whether she or John Alden was the first
person to set foot upon the "Rock," is shown by the fact that, of
course, no women were with the third exploring party which first
landed there, while it is also certain that Alden was not of that
exploring party. That Mary Chilton may have been the first woman to
land at Cape Cod harbor is entirely possible, as it is that she or
John Alden may have been the first person to land on the "Rock"
after the ship arrived in Plymouth harbor. It was a vexatious
travesty upon history (though perpetuated by parties who ought to
have been correct) that the Association for building the Pilgrim
Monument at Plymouth should issue a pamphlet giving a picture of the
"Landing of the Pilgrims, December 21, 1620," in which women are
pictured, and in which the shallop is shown with a large
fore-and-aft mainsail, while on the same page is another picture
entitled, "The Shallop of the MAY-FLOWER," having a large yard and
square-sail, and a "Cuddy" (which last the MAY-FLOWER'S shallop we
know did not have). The printed description of the picture,
however, says: "The cut is copied from a picture by Van der Veldt,
a Dutch painter of the seventeenth century, representing a
shallop," etc. It is matter of regret to find that a book like
Colonel T. W. Higginson's 'Book of American Explorers', intended
for a text-book, and bearing the imprint of a house like Longmans,
Green & Co. should actually print a "cut" showing Mary Chilton
landing from a boat full of men (in which she is the only woman)
upon a rock, presumably Plymouth Rock.]
THURSDAY, Dec. 21/31
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. Wet and
stormy, so the Planters could not go ashore
as planned, having blown hard and rained
extremely all night. Very uncomfortable
for the party on shore. So tempestuous
that the shallop could not go to land as
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. Such
foul weather forced to ride with three
anchors ahead. This day Richard
Britteridge, one of the colonists, died
aboard the ship, the first to die in this
FRIDAY, Dec. 22/Jan. 1
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. The storm
continues, so that no one could go ashore,
or those on land come aboard. This morning
goodwife Allerton was delivered of a son,
but dead-born. The third child born on
board the ship since leaving England,--the
first in this harbor.
SATURDAY, Dec. 23/Jan. 2
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Sent body of
Britteridge ashore for burial, the storm
having prevented going before, and also a
large party of colonists to fell timber,
etc. Left a large number on shore at the
rendezvous. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Dec. 24/Jan. 3
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. Second Sunday
here. This day died Solomon Prower, one of
the family of Master Martin, the treasurer
of the colonists, being the sixth death
this month, and the second in this harbor.
A burying-party went ashore with Prower's
body, after services aboard.
MONDAY, Dec. 25/Jan. 4
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Christmas
Day, but not observed by these colonists,
they being opposed to all saints' days,
etc. The men on shore Sunday reported that
they "heard a cry of some savages," as they
thought, that day. A large party went
ashore this morning to fell timber and
begin building. They began to erect the
first house about twenty feet square for
their common use, to receive them and their
goods. Another alarm as of Indians this
day. All but twenty of the Planters came
aboard at night, leaving the rest to keep
court of guard. The colonists began to
drink water, but at night the Master caused
them to have some beer.
TUESDAY, Dec. 26/Jan. 5
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. A violent
storm of wind and rain. The weather so
foul this morning that none could go
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27/Jan. 6
At anchor in harbor. Sent working party
ashore. All but the guard came aboard at
THURSDAY, Dec. 28/Jan. 7
At anchor. All able went ashore this
morning to work on a platform for ordnance
on the hill back of the settlement,
commanding the harbor. The Planters this
day laid out their town-site and allotted
ground to the several families. Many of
the colonists ill from exposure. All but
the guard came off to the ship at night.
FRIDAY, Dec. 29/Jan. 8
At anchor in harbor. No working-party went
aland. The Planters fitting tools, etc.,
for their work. The weather wet and cold.
SATURDAY, Dec. 30/Jan. 9
At anchor in harbor. Very stormy and cold.
No working-party sent aland. The Planters
fitting tools, etc. Great smokes of fires
visible from the ship, six or seven miles
away, probably made by Indians.
SUNDAY, Dec. 31/Jan. 10
At anchor in harbor. The third Sunday in
this harbor. Sailors given leave to go
ashore. Many colonists ill.
MONDAY, Jan. 1/Jan. 11
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. This day
Degory Priest, one of the colonists, died
aboard the ship. A large party went ashore
early to work. Much time lost between ship
and shore, the ship drawing so much water
as obliged to anchor a mile and a half off.
The working-party came aboard at nightfall.
Fetched wood and water.
TUESDAY, Jan. 2/Jan. 12
At anchor in harbor. Sent burying-party
ashore with Priest's body. Weather good.
Working-party aland and returned to ship at
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3/Jan. 13
At anchor in harbor. Working-party aland,
returned at night. They report seeing
great fires of the Indians. Smoke seen
from the ship. Have seen no savages since
THURSDAY, Jan. 4/Jan. 14
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Captain
Standish, with four or five men, went to
look for savages, and though they found
some of their old houses "wigwams" could
not meet with any of them.
FRIDAY, Jan. 5/Jan. 15
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Working-
party went aland early. One of the sailors
found a live herring upon the shore, which
the Master had to his supper. As yet have
caught but one cod.
SATURDAY, Jan. 6/Jan. 16
At anchor in harbor. In judgment of
Masters Brewster, Bradford, and others,
Master Martin, the colonists' treasurer,
was so hopelessly ill that Governor Carver,
who had taken up his quarters on land, was
sent for to come aboard to speak with him
about his accounts. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Jan. 7/Jan. 17
At anchor in harbor. Fourth Sunday here.
Governor Carver came aboard to talk with
Master Martin, who was sinking fast.
MONDAY, Jan. 8/Jan. 18
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. A very fan
fair day. The working-party went aland
early. The Master sent, the shallop for
fish. They had a great tempest at sea and
were in some danger. They returned to the
ship at night, with three great seals they
had shot, and an excellent great cod.
Master Martin died this day. He had been a
"governour" of the passengers on the ship,
and an "assistant," and was an Adventurer.
One of the Master-mates took a musket, and
went with young Francis Billington to find
the great inland sea the latter had seen
from the top of a tree, and found a great
water, in two great lakes [Billington Sea,]
also Indian houses.
TUESDAY, Jan. 9/Jan. 19
At anchor in harbor. Fair day. Sent
burying-party ashore after services aboard,
with the body of Master Martin, and he was
buried with some ceremony on the hill near
the landing-place. The settlers drew lots
for their meersteads and garden-plots. The
common-house nearly finished, wanting only
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 10/Jan. 20
At anchor in harbor. Party went aland from
THURSDAY, Jan. 11/Jan. 21
At anchor in harbor. A fair day. Party
ashore from ship and coming off at night,
reported Master William Bradford very ill:
Many ill aboard.
FRIDAY, Jan. 12/Jan. 22
At anchor in harbor. Began to rain at noon
and stopped all work. Those coming aboard
ship at night reported John Goodman and
Peter Browne, two of the colonists,
missing, and fears entertained that they
may have been taken by Indians. Froze and
snowed at night. The first snow for a
month. An extremely cold night.
SATURDAY, Jan. 13/Jan. 23
At anchor in harbor. The Governor sent out
an armed party of ten or twelve to look for
the missing men, but they returned without
seeing or hearing anything at all of them.
Those on shipboard much grieved, as deeming
them lost. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Jan. 14/Jan. 24
At anchor in harbor. About six o'clock in
the morning, the wind being very great, the
watch on deck spied the great new
rendezvous on shore on fire and feared it
fired by Indians, but the tide being out,
men could not get ashore for three quarters
of an hour, when they went armed. At the
landing they heard that the lost men were
returned, some frost-bitten, and that the
thatch of the common-house only was burnt
by a spark, but no other harm done the
roof. The most loss was Governor Carver's
and Master Bradford's, both of whom lay
sick in bed, and narrowly missed being
blown up with powder. The meeting was to
have been kept ashore to-day, the greater
number of the people now being there, but
the fire, etc., prevented. Some of those
sick in the common-house were fain to
return aboard for shelter. Fifth Sunday in
MONDAY, Jan. 15/Jan. 25
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Rained much
all day. They on shipboard could not go
ashore nor they on shore do any labor, but
were all wet.
TUESDAY, Jan. 16/Jan. 26
At anchorage. A fine, sunshining day like
April. Party went aland betimes. Many ill
both on ship and on shore.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17/Jan. 27
At anchorage. Another fine, sunshining
day. Working-party went aland early. Set
on shore some of the Planters' goods.
[Mourt's Relation, Dexter's ed. p. 77. Bradford states (op. cit.
Mass. ed. p. 110) that they were hindered in getting goods ashore
by "want of boats," as well as sickness. Mention is made only of
the "long-boat" and shallop. It is possible there were no others,
except the Master's skiff]
THURSDAY, Jan. 18/Jan. 28
At anchorage. Another fine, bright day.
Some of the common goods [i.e. belonging
to all] set on shore.
FRIDAY, Jan. 19/Jan. 29
At anchorage. A shed was begun on shore to
receive the goods from the ship. Rained at
noon but cleared toward night.
[Cleared toward evening (though wet at noon), and John Goodman went
out to try his frozen feet, as is recorded, and had his encounter
SATURDAY, Jan. 20/Jan. 30
At anchorage. Shed made ready for goods
from ship. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Jan. 21/Jan. 31
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Sixth Sunday
in this harbor. Many ill. The Planters
kept their meeting on land to-day for the
first time, in the common-house.
MONDAY, Jan. 22/Feb. 1
At anchorage. Fair day. Hogsheads of meal
sent on shore from ship and put in
TUESDAY, Jan. 23/Feb. 2
At anchorage. The general sickness
increases, both on shipboard and on land.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 24/Feb. 3
At anchor in harbor. Fair weather. Party
on shore from ship and returned at night.
THURSDAY, Jan. 25/Feb. 4
At anchorage. Weather good. Party set
ashore and came aboard at night.
FRIDAY, Jan. 26/Feb. 5
At anchorage. Weather good. Party set
ashore. The sickness increases.
SATURDAY, Jan. 27/Feb. 6
At anchorage. Weather fair. Good working
weather all the week, but many sick.
Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Jan. 28/Feb. 7
At anchorage, Plymouth harbor. Seventh
Sunday in this harbor. Meeting kept on
shore. Those of Planters on board who were
able, and some of the ship's company, went
ashore, and came off after service.
MONDAY, Jan. 29/Feb. 8
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. Morning cold,
with frost and sleet, but after reason ably
fair. Both long-boat and shallop carrying
Planters' goods on shore. Those returning
reported that Mistress Rose Standish, wife
of Captain Standish, died to-day.
TUESDAY, Jan. 30/Feb. 9
At anchorage. Cold, frosty weather, so no
working-party went on shore from ship. The
Master and others of the ship's company saw
two savages that had been on the island
near the ship [Clarke's Island]. They were
gone so far back again before they were
discovered that could not speak with them.
The first natives actually seen since the
encounter on the Cape.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31/Feb. 10
At anchor in harbor. Still cold and
frosty, with sleet. No party went on
shore. Eight of the colonists have died
this month on the ship and on shore.
THURSDAY, Feb. 1/Feb. 11
At anchor in harbor. Weather better, and
some of those on board the ship went on
shore to work, but many ill.
FRIDAY, Feb. 2/Feb. 12
At anchorage. The same.
SATURDAY, Feb. 3/13
At anchorage. Weather threatening. Fetched
wood and water.
SUNDAY, Feb. 4/14
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. The eighth
Sunday in this harbor, and now inexpedient
to think of getting away, till both Planters
and crew in better condition as to health.
[Bradford, Historie, p. 92; Young, Chronicler, p. 198. Bradford
says (op. cit. Mass. ed, pp. 120, 121): "The reason on their parts
why she stayed so long was ye necessitie and danger that lay upon
them, for it was well toward ye ende of December before she could
land anything here, or they able to receive anything ashore. After
wards, ye 14 of January the house which they had made for a general
randevoze by casulty fell afire, and some were faine to retire
aboard for shelter. Then the sickness begane to fall sore amongst
them, and ye weather so bad as they could not make much sooner
dispatch. Againe, the Governor & chiefe of them seeing so many dye,
and fall down sick dayly, thought it no wisdom to send away the
ship, their condition considered, and the danger they stood in from
ye Indians, till they could procure some shelter; and therefore
thought it better to draw some more charge upon themselves & friends
["demurrage?"] than hazard all. The Mr. and sea-men likewise;
though before they hasted ye passengers a shore to be goone [gone],
now many of their men being dead, and of ye ablest of them [as is
before noted, and of ye rest many lay sick & weake, ye Mr, durst not
put to sea till he saw his men begine to recover, and ye hart of
A very rainy day with the heaviest gusts of
wind yet experienced. The ship in some
danger of oversetting, being light and
MONDAY, Feb. 5/15
At anchor in harbor. Clearing weather.
TUESDAY, Feb. 6/16
At anchor in harbor. Cold and clear.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7/17
At anchor in harbor. Much colder.
THURSDAY, Feb. 8/18
At anchorage. Hard, cold weather.
FRIDAY, Feb. 9/19
At anchorage. Cold weather continues.
Little work possible. The little house for
the sick people on shore took fire this
afternoon, by a spark that kindled in the
roof. No great harm done. The Master
going ashore, killed five geese, which he
distributed among the sick people. He also
found a good deer the savages had killed,
having also cut off his horns. A wolf was
eating him. Cannot conceive how he came
SATURDAY, Feb. 10/20
At anchor in harbor. Getting goods on
shore, but sickness makes both Planters and
crew shorthanded. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Feb. 11/21
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Ninth Sunday
in this harbor.
MONDAY, Feb. 12/22
At anchorage. Getting goods on shore.
TUESDAY, Feb. 13/23
At anchorage. Rainy.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14/24
At anchorage. More sickness on ship and on
shore than at any time, and more deaths.
[The sickness and mortality had rapidly increased and was now at its
THURSDAY, Feb. 15/25
At anchorage. Northerly wind and frost.
FRIDAY, Feb. 16/26
At anchorage. Northerly wind continues,
which continues the frost. Those from
shore reported that one of the Planters,
being out fowling and hidden in the reeds,
about a mile and a half from the
settlement, saw twelve Indians marching
toward the plantation and heard many more.
He hurried home with all speed and gave the
alarm, so all the people in the woods at
work returned and armed themselves, but saw
nothing of the Indians. Captain Standish's
and Francis Cooke's tools also stolen by
Indians in woods. A great fire toward
night seen from the ship, about where the
Indians were discovered.
SATURDAY, Feb. 17/27
At anchorage. All the colonists on the
ship able to go on shore went this morning
to attend the meeting for the establishment
of military orders among them. They chose
Captain Standish their captain, and gave
him authority of command in affairs. Two
savages appeared on the hill, a quarter of
a mile from the plantation, while the
Planters were consulting, and made signs
for Planters to come to them. All armed
and stood ready, and sent two towards them,
Captain Standish and Master Hopkins, but
the natives would not tarry. It was
determined to plant the great ordnance in
convenient places at once. Fetched wood
SUNDAY, Feb. 18/28
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. The Feb.
tenth Sunday in this harbor. Many sick,
both on board the ship and on shore.
MONDAY, Feb. 19/Mar. 1
At anchorage. Got one of the great guns on
shore with the help of some of the
TUESDAY, Feb. 20/Mar. 2
At anchorage. Getting cannon ashore and
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21/Mar. 3
At anchorage. The Master, with many of the
sailors, went on shore, taking one of the
great pieces called a minion, and with the
Planters drew it up the hill, with another
piece that lay on the shore, and mounted
them and a saller and two bases--five guns
--on the platform made for them. A hard
day's work. The Master took on shore with
him a very fat goose he had shot, to which
the Planters added a fat crane, a mallard,
and a dried neat's tongue (ox tongue), and
Planters and crew feasted together. When
the Master went on shore, he sent off the
Governor to take the directions of Master
Mullens as to his property, as he was lying
near to death,--as also Master White.
Master Mullens dictated his will to the
Governor, which he noted down, and Giles
Heale, the chirurgeon, and Christopher
Joanes, of the crew, witnessed, they being
left aboard to care for the sick, keep the
ship, etc. Master Mullens and Master White
both died this day. Two others also died.
Got the men aboard about nightfall.
THURSDAY, Feb. 22/Mar. 4
At anchorage. Large burial-party went
ashore with bodies of Masters Mullens and
White, and joined with those on shore made
the chief burial thus far had. The service
on shore, the most of the people being
there, Master Mullens being one of the
chief subscribing Adventurers, as well as
one of the chief men of the Planters, as
was Master White. Their deaths much
FRIDAY, Feb. 23/Mar. 5
At anchorage. Party from the ship went on
shore to help finish work on the ordnance.
SATURDAY, Feb. 24/Mar. 6
At anchorage. Same. Fetched wood and
SUNDAY, Feb. 25/Mar. 7
At anchorage in Plymouth harbor. Eleventh
Sunday in this harbor. Mistress Mary
Allerton, wife of Master Isaac Allerton,
one of the chief men of the colonists, died
on board this day, not having mended well
since the birth of her child, dead-born
about two months agone.
MONDAY, Feb. 26/Mar. 8
At anchor in harbor. Burying-party went
ashore to bury Mistress Allerton, services
being held there.
TUESDAY, Feb. 27/Mar. 9
At anchorage. The sickness and deaths of
the colonists on shore have steadily
increased, and have extended to the ship,
which has lost several of its petty
officers, including the master gunner,
three quarter-masters, and cook, and a
third of the crew, many from scurvy.
[There can be no doubt that both planters and ship's crew suffered
severely from scurvy. The conditions all favored it, the sailors
were familiar with it, and would not be likely to be mistaken in
their recognition of it, and Dr. Fuller, their competent physician,
would not be likely to err in his diagnosis of it. Tuberculosis was
its very natural associate.]
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28/Mar. 10
At anchorage. The last day of the month.
The fifty-third day the ship has lain in
this harbor, and from the present rate of
sickness and death aboard, no present
capacity or prospect of getting away, those
better being yet weak. The Planters have
lost seventeen this month, their largest
THURSDAY, Mar. 1/11
At anchorage. Blustering but milder
FRIDAY, Mar. 2/12
At anchorage. Same.
SATURDAY, Mar. 3/13
At anchorage. Wind south. Morning misty
[foggy]. Towards noon warm and fine
weather. At one o'clock it thundered. The
first heard. It rained sadly from two
o'clock till midnight. Fetched wood and
SUNDAY, Mar. 4/14
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. The twelfth
Sunday in this harbor. Cooler. Clear
MONDAY, Mar. 5/15
At anchorage. Rough weather.
TUESDAY, Mar. 6/16
At anchorage. Same.
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 7/17
At anchor in harbor. Wind full east, cold
but fair. The Governor went this day with
a party of five, to the great ponds,
discovered by one of the ship's mates and
Francis Billington. Some planting done in
THURSDAY, Mar. 8/18
At anchor in harbor. Rough easterly
FRIDAY, Mar. 9/19
At anchorage. Same. Many sick aboard.
SATURDAY, Mar. 10/20
At anchorage. Same. Fetched wood and
SUNDAY, Mar. 11/21
At anchorage, Plymouth harbor. The
thirteenth Sunday the ship has lain in this
harbor. Many of crew yet ill, including
MONDAY, Mar. 12/22
At anchorage. Easterly weather.
TUESDAY, Mar. 13/23
At anchorage. The sickness and mortality
on ship and on shore continue.
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 14/24
At anchorage. Same.
THURSDAY, Mar. 15/25
At anchorage. Same.
FRIDAY, Mar. 16/26
At anchorage. A fair, warm day, towards
noon. The Master and others went ashore to
the general meeting. The plantation was
startled this morning by a visit from an
Indian who spoke some English and bade
"Welcome." He is from Monhiggon, an island
to the eastward some days' sail, near where
Sir Ferdinando Gorges had a settlement. He
was friendly, and having had much
intercourse with Englishmen who came to
fish in those parts, very comfortable with
them. He saw the ship in the harbor from a
distance and supposed her to be a fishing
vessel. He told the Governor that the
plantation was formerly called "Patuxet"
[or Apaum], and that all its inhabitants
had been carried off by a plague about four
years ago. All the afternoon was spent in
communication with him. The Governor
purposed sending him aboard the ship at
night, and he was well content to go and
went aboard the shallop to come to the
ship, but the wind was high and water scant
[low], so that the shallop could not go to
the ship. The Governor sent him to Master
Hopkins's house and set a watch over him.
SATURDAY, Mar. 17/27
At anchor in harbor. The Master and others
came off to the ship. Samoset the Indian
went away back to the Massasoits whence he
came. A reasonably fair day. Fetched wood
SUNDAY, Mar. 18/28
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. The
fourteenth Sunday the ship has lain at this
anchorage. A fair day. The sickness
stayed a little. Many went on shore to the
meeting in the common-house. Samoset the
savage came again, and brought five others
[This Sunday visit was doubtless very much to the dislike of the
good brethren, or at least of the leaders, but policy dictated every
possible forbearance. Their consciences drew the line at trade,
however, and they got rid of their untimely visitors as soon as
possible without giving offense. Massasoit's men seem to have
shown, by leaving their peltry with them, a confidence in their new
white neighbors that is remarkable in view of the brevity of their
They left their bows and arrows a quarter
of a mile from the town, as instructed.
The Planters gave them entertainment, but
would not truck with them.
["Truck--to trade." All early and modern lexicographers give the
word, which, though now obsolete, was in common use in parts of New
England fifty years ago.]
They sang and danced after their manner,
and made semblance of amity and friendship.
They drank tobacco and carried pounded corn
to eat. Their faces were painted. They
brought a few skins which they left with
the Planters, and returned the tools which
Captain Standish and Francis Cooke left in
the woods. The Planters dismissed them
with a few trifles as soon as they could,
it being Sunday, and they promised soon to
return and trade. Samoset would not go
with them, feigning sick, and stayed.
Those on shore from the ship came off to
her at night.
MONDAY, Mar. 19/29
At anchorage. A fair day. The Planters
digging and sowing seeds.
TUESDAY, Mar. 20/30
At anchorage. A fine day. Digging and
planting of gardens on shore. Those sick
of the crew mending.
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 21/31
At anchorage. A fine warm day. Beginning
to put ship in trim for return voyage.
Bringing ballast, etc. Some, including
the Masters-mates, went on shore, who on
return reported that the Planters sent the
Indian Samoset away. A general meeting of
the Planters was held at the common-house,
to conclude laws and orders, and to confirm
the military orders formerly proposed, and
twice broken off by the savages coming, as
happened again. After the meeting had held
an hour or so, two or three savages
appeared on the hill over against the town,
and made semblance of daring the Planters.
Captain Standish and another, with their
muskets, went over to them, with the two
Masters-mates of the ship, who were ashore,
also armed with muskets. The savages made
show of defiance, but as our men drew near
they ran away. This day the carpenter, who
has long been ill of scurvy, fitted the
shallop to carry all the goods and
furniture aboard the ship, on shore.
THURSDAY, Mar. 22/Apr. 1
At anchorage. A very fair, warm day.
At work on ship getting ready for sea,
bringing ballast aboard, etc. Another
general meeting of the Planters which all
able attended. They had scarce been an
hour together when Samoset the Indian came
again with one Squanto, the only native of
Patuxet (where the Planters now inhabit)
surviving, who was one of the twenty captives
carried away from this place by Captain Hunt,
to England. He could speak a little English.
They brought three other Indians with them.
They signified that their great Sagamore,
Masasoyt, was hard by, with Quadequina his
brother, and all their men. They could not
well express what they would in English,
but after an hour the king came to the top
of the hill, over against the plantation,
with his train of about sixty men. Squanto
went to him and brought a message that one
should be sent to parley with him, and Master
Edward Winslow went, to know hisnmind, and
signify the wish of the Governor to have
trading and peace with him, the Governor
sending presents to the king and his brother,
with something to eat and drink.
[Edward Winslow gives us here another proof of that rare
self-sacrifice, that entire devotion to his work, and that splendid
intrepidity which so signally characterized his whole career. At
this most critical moment, the fate of the little colony trembling
in the balance, when there was evident fear of treachery and
surprise on the part of both the English and the savages; though the
wife of his youth lay at the point of death (which came but two days
later), and his heart was heavy with grief; forgetting all but the
welfare of his little band of brethren, he goes forward alone, his
life in his hand, to meet the great sachem surrounded by his whole
tribe, as the calm, adroit diplomatist, upon whom all must depend;
and as the fearless hostage, to put himself in pawn for the savage
The king, leaving Master Winslow with
brother, came over the brook, with some
twenty of his men, leaving their bows and
arrows behind them, and giving some six or
seven of their men as hostages for Master
Winslow. Captain Standish, with Master
Williamson, the ship's-merchant, as
[It would seem from the frequent mention of the presence of some of
the ship's company, Master Jones, the "Masters-mates," and now the
"ship's-merchant," that the ship was daily well represented in the
little settlement on shore. The presence of Master Williamson on
this occasion is perhaps readily accounted for. Every other meeting
with the Indians had been unexpected, the present one was
anticipated, and somewhat eagerly, for upon its successful issue
almost everything depended. By this time Standish had probably
become aware that Tisquantum's command of English was very limited,
and he desired all the aid the ship's interpreter could give. By
some means, the sachem and the colonists succeeded in establishing
on this day a very good and lasting understanding.]
and a guard of half a dozen musketeers, met
the king at the brook,
[The guard was probably made thus small to leave the body of the
colonists as strong a reserve force as possible to meet any surprise
attack on the part of the Indians. Colonel Higginson, in his Book
of American Explorers, gives a cut of this meeting of Massasoit and
his pineses with Standish and his guard of honor, but it is
defective in that the guard seems to have advanced to the hill
("Strawberry," or later "Watson's") to meet the sachem, instead of
only to "the brook;" and more especially in that there are but two
officers with the "six musketeers," where there ought to be three,
viz. Standish, in command, Edward Window, as the envoy and hostage
(in full armor), and "Mr. Williamson," the ship's-merchant or
purser, as interpreter, perhaps acting as lieutenant of the guard.
It is always matter of regret when books, especially text-books,
written by authors of some repute, and published by reputable
houses, fail, for want of only a little care in the study of the
available history of events they pictorially represent, to make
their pictures and the known facts correspond.]
and they saluted each other, and the guard
conducted the Sagamore to one of the new
houses then building, where were placed a
green rug and three or four cushions. Then
came the Governor with drum and trumpet,
and a guard of musketeers, and they drank
to each other in some strong waters, and
the Governor gave the king and his
followers meat, and they made a treaty in
King James's name, and drank tobacco
together. His face was painted a sad red,
and his head and face were oiled, which
made him look greasy. All his followers
were more or less painted. So after all
was done, the Governor conducted him to the
brook, and his brother came, and was also
feasted, and then conveyed him to the
brook, and Master Winslow returned.
Samoset and Squanto stayed in the town and
the Indians stayed all night in the woods
half a mile away. The last of the
colonists on board the ship went ashore to
FRIDAY, Mar. 23/Apr. 2
At anchor. A fair day. Some of the ship's
company went on shore. Some of the Indians
came again, and Captain Standish and Master
Allerton went to see the king, and were
welcomed by him. This morning the Indians
stayed till ten or eleven of the clock, and
the Governor, sending for the king's
kettle, filled it with pease, and they went
their way? Making ready for sea, getting
ballast, wood, and water from the shore,
etc. The Planters held a meeting and
concluded both of military orders and some
laws, and chose as Governor, for the coming
year, Master John Carver, who was
"governor" on the ship.
SATURDAY, Mar. 24/April 3
At anchorage. The ship's company busy with
preparations for the return voyage,
bringing ballast, wood, and water from the
shore, etc., the ship having no lading for
the return. This day died, on shore,
Mistress Elizabeth Winslow, wife of Master
Winslow. Many still sick. More on the
ship than on shore.
SUNDAY, Mar. 25/April 4
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. The
fifteenth Sunday in this port. Many of the
crew dead and some still sick, but the
sickness and mortality lessening.
MONDAY, Mar. 26/April 5
At anchor. Bringing ballast from shore and
getting ship in trim.
TUESDAY, Mar. 27/April 6
At anchorage. Getting ballast, overhauling
rigging, getting wood, water, etc., from
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 28/April 7
At anchorage. Same.
THURSDAY, Mar. 29/April 8
At anchorage. The Master offered to take
back any of the colonists who wished to
return to England, but none desired to go.
Getting in stores and ballast.
FRIDAY, Mar. 30/April 9
At anchorage. Hastening all preparations
for sailing. Getting ballast, etc. Water
SATURDAY, Mar. 31/April 10
At anchorage. Setting up rigging, bending
light sails, etc. Getting ballast and wood
from the beach and island. The colonists
have lost thirteen by death the past month,
making in all half of their number.
SUNDAY, April 1/11
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. The
sixteenth Sunday the ship has lain at
anchor here, and to be the last, being
nearly ready to sail. Most of the crew
ashore on liberty. In the sixteen weeks the
ship has lain here, half of her crew (but
none of her officers) have died, and a few
are still weak. Among the petty officers
who have died have been the master gunner,
boatswain, and three quartermasters, beside
the cook, and more than a third of the
sailors. A bad voyage for the owner,
Adventurers, ship, and crew.
MONDAY, April 2/12
Still at anchor, but making last
preparations for voyage. Ship's officers
made farewells on shore. Governor Carver
copied out, and Giles Heale and Chris.
Jones witnessed, Master Mullens's will, to
go to England.
TUESDAY, April 3/13
Still at anchorage, but (near) ready to
sail with a fair wind. Master Williamson,
the ship's-merchant [purser], appointed by
Master Mullens an overseer of his will,
takes copy of same to England for probate,
with many letters, keepsakes, etc., etc.,
to Adventurers and friends. Very little
lading, chiefly skins and roots. Make
adieus to Governor Carver and company.
WEDNESDAY, April 4/14
Still at anchor in Plymouth harbor. Sails
loosened and all ready for departure except
Governor's letters. Last visits of shore
people to ship. Sail with morning tide, if
wind serves. One hundred and ten days in
THURSDAY, April 5/15
Got anchors, and with fair wind got
underway at full tide. Many to bid adieu.
Set colors and gave Planters a parting
salute with the ensign and ordnance.
Cleared the harbor without hindrance, and
laid general course E.S.E. for England
with a fine wind. Took departure from Cape
Cod early in the day, shook off the land
and got ship to rights before night. All
sails set and the ship logging her best.
And so the MAY-FLOWER began her speedy, uneventful, homeward run,
of but thirty-one days, arriving in England May 6, 1621, having been
absent, on her "round voyage," from her sailing port, two hundred and
THE END OF THE VOYAGE
AND OF THIS
AUTHOR'S NOTE. Of the "Log" Of the MAY-FLOWER, the author is able to
repeat the assurance given as to the brief Journal of the SPEEDWELL, and
is able to say, in the happy phrase of Griffis, "I have tried to state
only recorded facts, or to give expression to well grounded inferences."
In view of the natural wish of many of "restricted facilities," to consult
for themselves the full text of certain of the principal letters and
documents which have imparted much of the most definite and valuable
information concerning the Pilgrim movement, it has been thought well to
include certain of them here verbatim, that they may be of ready
availability to the reader. The list comprises copies of--
I. The Agreement of the Merchant Adventurers and Planters;
II. The Letter of the Leyden Leaders to John Carver and Robert Cushman
(at London), May 31/June 10, 1620;
III. The Letter of Robert Cushman to John Carver (then at Southampton),
Saturday, June 10/20, 1620;
IV. The Letter of Robert Cushman to the Leyden Leaders, June 10/20,
V. The Letter of Robert Cushman to the Leyden Leaders, Sunday, June
VI. The Letter of Rev. John Robinson to John Carver at London, June
VII. The Letter of the Planters to the Merchant Adventurers from
Southamp ton, August 3, 1620;
VIII. The Letter of Robert Cushman (from Dartmouth) to Edward
Southworth, Thursday, August 17,1620;
IX. The MAY-FLOWER Compact;
X. The Nuncupative Will of Master William Mullens; and
XI. The Letter of "One of the Chiefe of ye Companie" (The Merchant
Adventurers), dated at London, April 9, 1623--
Many other early original documents frequently referred to in this volume
are of no less interest than those here given, but most of them have
either had such publication as to be more generally known or accessible,
or involve space and cost disproportionate to their value in this
THE AGREEMENT OF THE MERCHANT ADVENTURERS AND PLANTERS
Anno: 1620, July 1.
1. The adventurers & planters doe agree, that every person that goeth
being aged 16. years & upward, be rated at 10li., and ten pounds to be
accounted a single share.
2. That he goeth in person, and furnisheth him selfe out with 10li.
either in money or other provisions, be accounted as haveing 20li. in
stock, and in ye devission shall receive a double share.
3. The persons transported & ye adventurers shall continue their joynt
stock & partnership togeather, ye space of 7 years, (excepte some
unexpected impedimente doe cause ye whole company to agree otherwise,)
during which time, all profits & benifits that are gott by trade,
traffick, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means of any person or
persons, remaine still in ye comone stock untill ye division.
4. That at their coming ther, they chose out such a number of fitt
persons, as may furnish their ships and boats for fishing upon ye sea;
imploying the rest of their severall faculties upon ye land; as building
houses, tilling, and planting ye ground, & makeing shuch comodities as
shall be most usefull for ye collonie.
5. That at ye end of ye 7 years, ye capitall & profits, viz. the
houses, lands, goods and chatels, be equally devided betwixte ye
adventurers, and planters; wch done, every man shall be free from other
of them of any debt or detrimente concerning this adventure.
6. Whosoever cometh to ye colonie hereafter, or putteth any into ye
stock, shall at the ende of ye 7. years be alowed proportionably to ye
time of his so doing.
7. He that shall carie his wife & children, or servants, shall be alowed
for everie person now aged 16. years & upward, a single share in ye
devision, or if he provid them necessaries, a duble share, or if they be
between 10. year old and 16., then 2. of them to be reconed for a person,
both in trasportation and devision.
8. That such children as now goe, & are under ye age of ten years, have
noe other shar in ye devision, but 50. acers of unmanured land.
9. That such persons as die before ye 7. years be expired, their
executors to have their parte or sharr at ye devision, proportionably to
ye time of their life in ye collonie.
10. That all such persons as are of this collonie, are to have their
meate, drink, apparell, and all provissions out of ye comon stock & goods
of ye said collonie.
Governor Bradford adds:--
"The chief and principal differences betwene these & the former
[original] conditions, stood in those 2. points; that ye houses, & lands
improved, espetialy gardens & home lotts should remaine undevided wholy
to ye planters at ye 7. years end. 2ly, yt they should have had 2. days
in a weeke for their owne private imploymente, for ye more comforte of
themselves and their families, espetialy such as had families."
[Apparently, as has been noted, neither these articles of agreement, nor
their predecessors which received the approval of the Leyden leaders,
were ever signed by the contracting parties, until Robert Cushman brought
the later draft over in the FORTUNE, in 1621, and the planter body
(advised thereto by Pastor Robinson, who had previously bitterly opposed)
signed them. Much might be truly said on either side of this
controversy--indeed was said at the time; but if the Pilgrims were to
abandon their contention, whatever its merits, in a year's time, as they
did, it would seemingly have been much better not to have begun it, for
it undoubtedly cost them dear.]
LETTER OF THE LEYDEN LEADERS TO JOHN CARVER AND
ROBERT CUSHMAN, AT LONDON
May 31/June 10, 1620.
To their loving freinds John Carver and Robart Cushman, these, &c.
Good bretheren, after salutations, &c. We received diverse letters at ye
coming of Mr. [Thomas] Nash & our pilott, which is a great incouragmente
unto us, and for whom we hop after times will minister occasion of
praising God; and indeed had you not sente him, many would have been
ready to fainte and goe backe. Partly in respecte of ye new conditions
which have bene taken up by you, which all men are against, and partly in
regard of our owne inabillitie to doe any one of those many waightie
bussineses you referr to us here. For ye former wherof, wheras Robart
Cushman desirs reasons for our dislike, promising therupon to alter ye
same, or els saing we should thinke he hath no brains, we desire him to
exercise them therin, refering him to our pastors former reasons, and
them to ye censure of ye godly wise. But our desires are that you will
not entangle your selvs and us in any such unreasonable courses as those
are, viz. yt the marchants should have ye halfe of mens houses and lands
at ye dividente; and that persons should be deprived of ye 2. days in a
weeke agreed upon, yea every momente of time for their owne perticuler;
by reason wherof we cannot conceive why any should carie servants for
their own help and comfort; for that we can require no more of them than
all men one of another. This we have only by relation from Mr. Nash, &
not from any writing of your owne, & therfore hope you have not proceeded
farr in so great a thing without us. But requiring you not to exseed the
bounds of your comission, which was to proceed upon ye things or
conditions agred upon and expressed in writing (at your going over it),
we leave it, not without marveling, that your selfe, as you write,
knowing how smale a thing troubleth our consultations, and how few,
as you fear, understands the busnes aright, should trouble us with such
matters as these are, &c. Salute Mr. Weston from us, in whom we hope we
are not deceived; we pray you make known our estate unto him, and if you
thinke good shew him our letters, at least tell him (yt under God) we
much relie upon him & put our confidence in him; and, as your selves well
know, that if he had not been an adventurer with us, we had not taken it
in hand; presuming that if he had not seene means to accomplish it, he
would not have begune it; so we hope in our extremitie he will so farr
help us as our expectation be no way made frustrate concerning him.
Since therfor, good brethren, we have plainly opened ye state of things
with us in this matter, you will, &c. Thus beseeching ye Allmightie, who
is allsufficiente to raise us out of this depth of difficulties, to
assiste us herin; raising such means by his providence and fatherly care
for us, his pore children & servants, as we may with comforte behould ye
hand of our God for good towards us in this our bussines, which we
undertake in his name & fear, we take leave & remaine
Your perplexed, yet hopful
June 10, New Stille
Ano: 1620. SAMUEL FULLER, EDWARD WINSLOW,
WILLIAM BRADFORD, ISAAC ALLERTON.
THE LETTER OF ROBERT CUSHMAN (AT LONDON), TO
JOHN CARVER (AT SOUTHAMPTON)
Saturday, June 10/20, 1620.
To his loving freind Mr. John Carver, these, &c.
Loving freind, I have received from you some letters, full of affection &
complaints, & what it is you would have of me I know not; for your
crieing out, Negligence, negligence, negligence, I marvell why so
negligente a man was used in ye bussines: Yet know you yt all that I have
power to doe hear, shall not be one hower behind, I warent you. You have
reference to Mr. Weston to help us with money, more then his adventure;
wher he protesteth but for his promise, he would not have done any thing.
He saith we take a heady course, and is offended yt our provissions are
made so farr of; as also that he was not made aquainted with our
quantitie of things; and saith yt in now being in 3. places, so farr
remote, (i.e. Leyden, London, and Southampton) we will, with going up &
downe, and wrangling & expostulating, pass over ye sourer before we will
goe. And to speake ye trueth, they is fallen already amongst us a flatt
schisme; and we are redier to goe to dispute, then to sett forwarde a
vaiage. I have received from Leyden since you wente (to Southampton) 3.
or 4. letters directed to you, though they only conscerne me. I will not
trouble you with them. I always feared ye event of ye Amsterdamers
(members of Rev. Henry Ainsworth's church there) striking in with us.
I trow you must excomunicate me, or els you must goe without their
companie, or we shall wante no quareling; but let them pass.
We have reckoned, it should seeme, without our host; and, count upon a
150. persons, ther cannot be founde above 1200li. & odd moneys of all ye
venturs you can reckone, besids some cloath, stockings, & shoes, which
are not counted; so we shall come shorte at least 3. or 400li. I would
have had some thing shortened at first of beare (beer) & other
provissions in hope of other adventurs, & now we could have, both in
Amsterd & Kente, beere inough to serve our turne, but now we cannot
accept it without prejudice. You fear we have begune to build & and
shall not be able to make an end; indeed, our courses were never
established by counsell, we may therfore justly fear their standing.
Yea, then was a schisme amongst us 3. at ye first. You wrote to Mr.
Martin, to prevente ye making of ye provissions in Kente, which he did,
and sett downe his resolution how much he would have of every thing,
without respecte to any counsell or exception. Surely he yt is in a
societie & yet regards not counsell, may better be a king then a
consorte. To be short, if then be not some other dispossition setled
unto then yet is, we yt should be partners of humilitie and peace, shall
be examples of jangling & insulting. Yet your money which you ther
[Southampton] must have, we will get provided for you instantly. 500li.
you say will serve; for ye rest which hear & in Holand is to be used, we
may goe scratch for it. For Mr. Crabe, of whom you write, he hath
promised to goe with us, yet I tell you I shall not be without feare till
I see him shipped, for he [i.e. his going] is much opposed, yet I hope
he will not faile. Thinke ye best of all, and bear with patience what is
wanting, and ye Lord guid us all.
Your loving freind,
London June 10.
THE LETTER OF ROBERT CUSHMAN TO THE LEYDEN LEADERS
(Probably written at London, Saturday, June 10/20, 1620.)
Brethern, I understand by letters & passagess yt have come to me, that
ther are great discontents, & dislike of my proceedings amongst you.
Sorie I am to hear it, yet contente to beare it, as not doubting but yt
partly by writing, and more principally by word when we shall come
togeather, I shall satisfie any reasonable man. I have been perswaded by
some, espetialy this bearer, to come and clear things unto you; but as
things now stand I cannot be absente one day, excepte I should hazard all
ye viage. Neither conceive I any great good would come of it. Take
then, brethern, this as a step to give you contente. First, for your
dislike of ye alteration of one clause in ye conditions, if you conceive
it right, ther can be no blame lye on me at all. For ye articles first
brought over by John Carver were never seene of any of ye adventurers
hear, excepte Mr. Weston, neither did any of them like them because of
that clause; nor Mr. Weston him selfe, after he had well considered it.
But as at ye first ther was 500li. withdrawne by Sr. Georg Farrer and his
brother upon that dislike, so all ye rest would have withdrawne (Mr.
Weston excepted) if we had not altered yt clause. Now whilst we at
Leyden conclude upon points, as we did, we reckoned without our host,
which was not my faulte. Besids, I shewed you by a letter ye equitie of
yt condition, & our inconveniences, which might be sett against all Mr.
Rob: [Robinson's] inconveniences, that without ye alteration of yt
clause, we could neither have means to gett thither, nor supplie wherby
to subsiste when we were ther. Yet notwithstanding all those reasons,
which were not mine, but other mens wiser than my selfe, without answer
to any one of them, here cometh over many quirimonies, and complaints
against me, of lording it over my brethern, and making conditions fitter
for theeves & bondslaves then honest men, and that of my owne head I did
what I list. And at last a paper of reasons, framed against yt clause in
ye conditions, which as yey were delivered me open, so my answer is open
to you all. And first, as they are no other but inconveniences, such as
a man might frame 20. as great on ye other side, and yet prove nor
disprove nothing by them, so they misse & mistake both ye very ground of
ye article and nature of ye project.
For, first, it is said, that if ther had been no divission of houses &
lands, it had been better for ye poore. True, and yt showeth ye
inequalitie of ye condition; we should more respect him yt ventureth both
his money and his person, then him yt ventureth but his person only.
2. Consider whereaboute we are, not giveing almes, but furnishing a
store house; no one shall be porer then another for 7. years, and if any
be rich, none can be pore. At ye least, we must not in such bussines
crie, Pore, pore, mercie, mercie. Charitie hath it[s] life in wraks, not
in venturs; you are by this most in a hopefull pitie of makeing,
therefore complaine not before you have need.
3. This will hinder ye building of good and faire houses, contrarie to
ye advise of pollitiks. A. So we would have it; our purpose is to build
for ye presente such houses as, if need be, we may with litle greefe set
a fire, and rune away by the lighte; our riches shall not be in pompe,
but in strength; if God send us riches, we will imploye them to provid
more men, ships, munition, &c. You may see it amongst the best
pollitiks, that a comonwele is readier to ebe then to flow, when once
fine houses and gay cloaths come up.
4. The Govet may prevente excess in building. A. But if it be on all
men beforehand resolved on, to build mean houses, ye Govet laboure is
5. All men are not of one condition. A. If by condition you mean
wealth, you are mistaken; if you mean by condition, qualities, then I say
he that is not contente his neighbour shall have as good a house, fare,
means, &c. as him selfe, is not of a good qualitie. 2ly. Such retired
persons, as have an eie only to them selves, are fitter to come wher
catching is, then closing; and are fitter to live alone, then in any
societie, either civil or religious.
6. It will be of litle value, scarce worth 5li. A. True, it may not be
worth halfe 5li. If then so smale a thing will content them, (the
Adventurers) why strive we thus aboute it, and give them occasion to
suspecte us to be worldly & covetous? I will not say what I have heard
since these complaints came first over [from Leyden].
7. Our freinds with us yt adventure mind not their owne profite, as did
ye old adventurers. A. Then they are better than we, who for a little
matter of profite are readie to draw back, and it is more apparente,
brethern looke too it, that make profit your maine end; repente of this,
els goe not least you be like Jonas to Tarshis. Though some of
them mind not their profite, yet others doe mind it; and why not as well
as we? venturs are made by all sorts of men, and we must labour to give
them all contente, if we can.
8. It will break ye course of comunitie, as may be showed by many
reasons. A. That is but said, and I say againe, it will best foster
comunion, as may be showed by many reasons.
9. Great profite is like to be made by trucking, fishing, &c. A. As it
is better for them, so for us; for halfe is ours, besids our living still
upon it, and if such profite in yt way come, our labour shall be ye less
on ye land, and our houses & lands will be of less value.
10. Our hazard is greater than theirs. A. True, but doe they put us
upon it? doe they urge or egg us? hath not ye motion & resolution been
always in our selves? doe they any more then in seeing us resolute if we
had means, help us to means upon equall termes & conditions! If we will
not goe, they are content to keep their moneys.
Thus I have pointed at a way to loose those knots, which I hope you will
consider seriously, and let me have no more stirr about them.
Now furder, I hear a noise of slavish conditions by me made; but surly
this is all I have altered, and reasons I have sent you. If you mean it
of ye 2. days in a week for perticuler, as some insinuate, you are
deceived; you may have 3. days in a week for me if you will. And when I
have spoken to ye adventurers of times of working, they have said they
hope we are men of discretion & conscience, and so fitt to be trusted our
selves with that. But indeed ye ground of our proceedings at Leyden was
mistaken, and so here is nothing but tottering every day, &c.
As for them of Amsterdam, [i.e. the members of Rev. Henry Ainsworth's
church there] I had thought they would as soon gone to Rome as with us;
for our libertie is to them as ratts bane, and their riggour as bad to us
as ye Spanish Inquisition. If any practise of mine discourage them, let
them yet draw back; I will undertake they shall have their money againe
presently paid hear. Or if the Company think me to be ye Jonas, let them
cast me of before we goe; I shall be content to stay with good will,
having but ye cloaths on my back; only let us have quietnes, and no more
of these clamors; full little did I expect these things which are now
come to pass, &c.
THE LETTER OF ROBERT CUSHMAN TO THE LEYDEN LEADERS, LONDON
(Sunday, June 11/21, 1620.)
Salutations, &c. I received your letter [of May 31/June 10] yesterday,
by John Turner, with another ye same day from Amsterdam by Mr. W.
savouring of ye place whenc it came. And indeed the many discouragements
I find her,[London] togeather with ye demurrs and retirings ther,[Leyden]
had made me to say, I would give up my accounts to John Carver, & at his
comeing aquainte him fully with all courses, and so leave it quite, with
only ye pore cloaths on my back. But gathering up my selfe by further
consideration, I resolved yet to make one triall more, and to acquainte
Mr. Weston with ye fainted state of our bussines; and though he hath been
much discontented at some thing amongst us of late, which hath made him
often say, that save for his promise, he would not meadle at all with ye
bussines any more, yet considering how farr we were plunged into maters,
& how it stood both on our credits & undoing, at ye last he gathered up
him selfe a litle more, & coming to me 2. hours after, he tould me he
would not yet leave it. And so advising togeather we resolved to hire a
ship, and have tooke liking of one till Monday, about 60. laste, for a
greater we cannot gett, excepte it be tow great; but a fine ship it is.
And seeing our neer freinds ther are so streite lased, we hope to assure
her without troubling them any further; and if ye ship fale too small, it
fitteth well yt such as stumble at strawes already, may rest them ther a
while, least worse blocks come in ye way ere 7. years be ended. If you
had beaten this bussines so throuly a month agoe, and write to us as now
you doe, we could thus have done much more conveniently. But it is as it
is; I hope our freinds they, if they be quitted of ye ship hire, will be
indusced to venture ye more. All yt I now require is yt salt and netts
may ther be boughte, and for all ye rest we will here provid it; yet if
that will not be, let them but stand for it a month or tow, and we will
take order to pay it all. Let Mr. Reinholds tarie ther, and bring ye
ship to Southampton. We have hired another pilote here, one Mr. Clarke,
who went last year to Virginia with a ship of kine.
You shall here distinctly by John Turner, who I thinke shall come hence
on tewsday night. I had thought to have come with him, to have answered
to my complaints; but I shal lerne to pass litle for their censurs; and
if I had more minde to goe & dispute & expostulate with them, then I have
care of this waightie bussines, I were like them who live by clamours &
jangling. But neither my mind nor my body is at libertie to doe much,
for I am fettered with bussines, and had rather study to be quiet, then
to make answer to their exceptions. If men be set on it, let them beat
ye eair; I hope such as are my sinceire freinds will not thinke but I can
give some reason of my actions. But of your mistaking aboute ye mater,
& other things tending to this bussines, I shall nexte informe you
more distinctly. Mean space entreate our freinds not to be too bussie in
answering matters, before they know them. If I doe such things as I
canot give reasons for, it is like you have sett a foole aboute your
bussines, and so turne ye reproofe to your selves, & send an other, and
let me come againe to my Combes. But setting aside my naturall
infirmities, I refuse not to have my cause judged, both of God, & all
indifferent men; and when we come togeather I shall give accounte of my
actions hear. The Lord, who judgeth justly without respect of persons,
see into ye equitie of my cause, and give us quiet, peacable, and patient
minds, in all these turmoils, and sanctifie unto us all crosses
whatsoever. And so I take my leave of you all, in all love & affection.
I hope we shall gett all hear ready in 14. days.
Your pore brother,
June 11. 1620 [O.S.].
A LETTER OF MR. JOHN ROBINSON TO JOHN CARVER,
JUNE 14. (N.S.), 1620
[Professor Arber ("The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers," p. 317) has
apparently failed to notice that in the original MS. of Bradford,
this letter is dated "June 14, 1620, N. Stile," which would make it
June 4., O.S., while Arber dates it "14/24 June," which is
manifestly incorrect. A typographical error in Arber (p. 317)
directs the letter to "Leyden" instead of to London. ]
June 14. 1620. N. Stile.
My dear freind & brother, whom with yours I alwaise remember in my best
affection, and whose wellfare I shall never cease to comend to God by my
best & most earnest praires. You doe throwly understand by our generall
letters ye estate of things hear, which indeed is very pitifull;
espetialy by wante of shiping, and not seeing means lickly, much less
certaine, of having it provided; though withall ther be great want of
money & means to doe needfull things. Mr. [Edward] Pickering, you know
before this, will not defray a peny hear; though Robert Cushman presumed
of I know not how many 100li. from him, & I know not whom. Yet it seems
strange yt we should be put to him to receive both his & his partners
[William Greene's] adventer, and yet Mr. Weston write unto him, yt in
regard of it, he hath drawne upon him a 100li. more. But they is in this
some misterie, as indeed it seems ther is in ye whole course. Besids,
wheras diverse are to pay in some parts of their moneys yet behinde, they
refuse to doe it, till they see shiping provided, or a course taken for
it. Neither doe I thinke is ther a man hear would pay anything, if he
had againe his money in his purse. You know right well we depended on
Mr. Weston alone, and upon such means as he would procure for this
commone bussines; and when we had in hand an other course with ye