The history of almost any old New England town is a mine of fascinating stories and traditions. There is a charrit about the "good old days," the years of struggles and sacrifices of the earlv settlers, which appeals to nearly all of us. The sources of our local history cannot always be available- Every year makes it. more difficult to gather the right kind of matter for the narrative of the beginning of our town. We take great pride in the work which has been done along this line by the Weymouth Historical Society since its formation many years ago, - work which gives us much valuable material for this history which otherwise would have been absolutely lost. To the men who founded this Society, and by their labors gave us such a nucleus for our present work, we owe a debt of gratitude that can only be expressed but never paid.
It seems almost incredible that a town of such historical resources as Weymouth should lack a well-written and satisfactory history, and it is with the desire to fill this want that this work is undertaken. We do not claim that it is perfect, or even all it should be, but we do claim it is evidence of the interest and willingness of many of our friends to give to the public the result of their investigations. The writers are in all instances Weymouth people, and our thanks are due them for their hearty co-operation. This matter of publication has been tinder consideration by the Weymouth Historical Society during the past forty years, and unsuccessfit] efforts have been made to carrv it into effect. But the event of the tercentenary of the town seems to make this most eminently the proper time for its publication, and so as part of the celebration of that event we present this work in behalf of the Weymouth Historical Society.
A school girl, who was studying the history of Ancient Egypt and did not find it much to her liking, once made the remark that "she could not understand why men who knew enough to write history (lid not know enough to write things which people wanted to know," and that remark gave us ail idea, and an ambition to do just that thing, and, while we do not claim to have accomplished everything to be desired, yet we trust that among the many subjects treated will be found someihing of interest to every reader. We talk about the "good old times," and we believe they were "good old times," but while it seems to us in our generation that our ancestors suffered many hardships and privations, yet we have evidence that they were cheerful, happy, contented and thankful. Mary of the perplexing problems of to-day were unknown to them, and irue neighborliness was ail outstanding precept of their lives.
What can be more interesting than to think of your grandmother or great grandmother, seated on a pillion on a horse behind her husband, startinF for meeting every Sunday for a long ride through the woods, for in those days nearly all the roads were through dense woods, and - Was that an Indian lurking under cover? No, it was only the shadow cast by a tree, but there were times when the Indian became a fact, and it was only by traveling in groups that disaster was averted. And then think of sitting through three jong hours in the meeting-house listening to sermons on such subjects as "Justification."
And music, unless it was out of tune, was considered a sin. The intoning and doling of the hymns was hardly a thing to be enjoyed, and, indeed, if you went to meeting to "enjoy" the sermon it was quite as heinous a sin as to stay at home for such trifling excuses as headache or toothache, - excuses which seem to be very satisfactory nowadays.
And the homes where our ancestors lived - "How dear to our hearts." We have tried to locate most of the old houses of a himdred years ago as best we can, and memories will come to you as you recall your association with these places. The comfortable "homey" rooms; the large family seated around the table bountifully laden with home-grown products; the kitchen, low posted, with its great fireplace; the brick oven; and the quaint Dutch cooker. Perhaps this was before you can remember, but now that you are here draw your chair up before the blazing fire and listen to the tales as they are narrated in the following pages.
We have all recently been stirred by the celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Plymouth, and the Pilgrims have been one of the chief topics of the newspapers. There is a very close relation between Plymouth and Weymouth, as the date of the first settlers in Weymouth is only two years later than Plymouth, and some of the same men had to do with both places. Still more recently we have rejoiced in the grand celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of Weymouth itself.
The story of the various efforts to make a settlement on the coast of what is now Massachusetts is a very interesting one, but in a short sketch like this we can only mention them. These attempts had a relation to Plymouth and Weymouth, as they led up to them and prepared the way for their success, and therefore should at least be mentioned. There was the work of Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh; the founding of the Fisheries Company, the London Company and the Plymouth Company. The special work of these companies was the sending out if fishing vessels to the coasts of what is now Newfoundland and the coast of Maine where fishing stations were established, to which vessels resorted year by year. These companies were composed of business men interested in trade and colonization. There was also the Merchants-Adventurers Company of London, and later the Council for New England.
Some of these companies were chartered, as, for instance, the London and Plymouth Companies, as early as 1606. The Council for New England received its charter in 1620, and had much to do with the colonization of New England. The Virginia Company, later forming the London and Plymouth Companies, obtained its charter in 1603, and began the founding of Virginia in 1607. The region between the French and Spanish possessions in North America at first was called Virginia, but later the territory from Maine to Ma~sachusctts was named North Virginia, and still later, New England.
In 1602 Bartholomew Gosoold. in a ship called 'Ile "Concord," explored the coast of North Virginia, and on May 14, 1602, he was at what is now Cape Porpoise and the Nubble off Cape Neddick. Later he came to a cape to which, because he caught a great quantity of codfish, he gave the name Cape Cod. Sailing along the coast, he landed on an island on May 21, which he called Martha's Vineyard. He next visited Gay Head, to which he gave the name Dover Cliff, and on May 28 he landed at Cuttyhunk, where he built a small fort and remained till June 19. He planned to make his headquarters here and form a station or settlement, but finding he had not provisions enough to carry him through the winter, he loaded his vessel with cedar and sassafras and went back to England.
In 1603 Martin Pring with fifty-four inen came out to North Virginia in the ships "Speedwell" and "Discovery," and after some exploration in Maine he entered what is now Plymouth harbor, which he named Whitson Bay. He loaded the "Discovery" with sassafras and sent her back to England, but he remained himself with others, and the "Speedwell." Like Gosnold, he did some planting, and also like him succeeded in getting grain and peas and beans to grow, but in the end he also went back to England.
It is now known that some of the early explorers, such as the Norsemen, as early as the year 1000 visited the coast of Nova Scotia and New England, and it is a most romantic thing to realize that some of these earliest adventurers sailed in the vicinity of Weymouth Bay.
Among the Norsemen was Eric "the Red," who went from Iceland to what is now called Greenland, which he named. The sons of Eric are generally said to have been the first white men to reach the mainland of America. These sons were named Lief the Lucky and Thm-wald. They visited Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New England, and even what is now New York City. At one time they had a settlement on Buzzards Bay. The dates of these visits were 1603, 1604, 1607 and 1610. Thorwald was killed in a fight with the Indians on the shore of Cape Cod.
Among the Hebrews the tribe of Dan is recognized as the Pioneer of Israel. That tribe was noted for voyages by sea, so that, even in the Bible, the question is asked, "Why did Dan abide in his ships?" History relates their sailing through the Mediterranean to Greece and other lands, and even through the Pillars of Hercules away off westward over the Atlantic Ocean, and some of the early visitors to the American Continent are said to have been of the "Tribe of Dan." The Eagle was the emblem of Dan, and it has become the ernhient of the United States of America, and is it not wonderful to think that the Eagle which Dan carried all over .Europe and parts of Asia should have sailed along our New Fngland coast before the birth of Christ, and should we riot use the Eagle as our emblem?22 THL EARLY HISTORY OF WEYNIOUTH
Between 1605 and 1608, the French explorer Champlain visited the sime region, having been at Cape Ann, Boston, Plymouth and Cape Cod. There was also Capt. George Weymouth, who came out in the
Archangel " to the coast of Maine in 1605. Then there was the Popham Colony on the Kennebeck in 1607.
But perhaps of those who came to New England before the Pilgrims, most credit is due to Capt. John Smith, the founder of Virginia. In 1614 be explored the coast of North Virginia and gave it the name New England. He made a map of the whole coast, which is of great importance, and for many years was the best map of the whole region and was extensively used. This map gives the coast line with much of the interior from the Penobscot to Cape Cod, with the principal headlands, bays, river mouths, islands, Indian villages and some of the P.,~,mtains.
Later editions of this map gave more of the back country or mainland and the regionsat the head of Massachusetts Bay. On this map we have the names New England, Cape Ann, Boston, Charlestown, Plymouth, Cape Cod, the Charles River and other rivers, and places with Indian names, afterwards so named by the King at Smith's request.
During this expedition Smith explored what is now Boston Harbor. He also in his map shows that he entered Quincy and Weymouth Bays, and his description of these regions made them familiar to the fishermen and explorers who came out in after years.
The report brought back by these traders, explorers and fishermen caused much excitement in England, and the companies of business men and others became greatly interested in the matter of colonization, both as a matter of settlement and as a business project. The result was the obtaining of grants and patents of land in the New World from the government, and the struggle for them 'cd to rivalry between the companies and efforts on the part of some to get the better of the others. This in the end led to the settleinent of Plymouth, Weymouth and other places, and the rivalry caused misrepresentations of some by those who were in the contest, and without considering this we cannot form a correct estiinate of those who settled Weymouth.
THOMAS WESTON AND HIS RELATIONS TO THE
The settlement of Weymouth in 1622 is due to Thomas Weston, a merchant of London, but before his enterprise at Wessagusset, or Weymouth, he had much to do with the settlement of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, which it is ne~ecsary to know something of in order to understand his work at Weymouth.
When the Pilgrims in Holland began to feel disappointed with their residence in Leyden, and did not wish their children to grow up as Dutchmen, they began to think of some place to which they might remove so as to get English civilization, laws and institutions, and at the same time freedom to worship as they wished.
At first they thought of New Amsterdam, afterwards New York, but as this was a Dutch settlement they gave that idea up as not likely to give them British civilization, but a continuation of Dutch influence.
Then they thought of Virginia, and entered into arrangements with the Virginia Company to go to that settlement. It was necessary that they should have help which the Virginia Company were willing to give under certain conditions. These conditions were of such a nature with reference to trade and future return that the Pilgrims felt they could not agree to them, The result was that their efforts with the Virginia Company proved a failure.
At this point Thomas Weston came to the rescue. He was the treasurer of the Merchants-Adventure Company, and being a wealthy man for his day he had large investments in the company. In 1619 and 1620 he was very active in that company and introduced Robert Cushman, the agent of the Pilgrims, to the other members of the company- He proposed assistance and urged the Leyden people to go out to America under the Merchants auspices.
As Weston was more interested in trade and colonization than religion, he, like the Virginia Company, insisted on certain trade conditions which Cushman could not agree to, and after having gone back to Leyden for instructions, Cushman canie to London again with Carver as special agents from the Pilgrims to effect some arrangements with the Merchants Company- The arrangements asked by the Pilgrims were such that other members of the company would have nothing more to do with the matter, and the whole affair being left to Mr. Weston the enterprise seerned to come to an end.24 THE EARLY HISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
At last Thomas Weston decided to take the responsibility into his own hands, and in conjunction with Cushman chartered the "Mayflower" for the expedition. It may thus be said that had it not been for Weston there would have been no settlement at Plymouth.
Sonic weeks were spent in discussing terms with Weston and those fie had succeeded in associating with himself, but finally the "Mayflower," in September, 1620, sailed for New England, and in due course of time the settlement at Plymouth had begun.
Thomas Weston then became dissatisfied with the Pilgrims because they did not meet his conditions, and withdrew some of his support, which made it hard for the enterprise, and when the "Mayflower" returned to England without a cargo he became disgusted with the enterprise, although he assisted Cushman in sendingout the "Fortune" in 1621 to the aid of the Plymouth Colony,
Weston has been severely censured by the Pilgrims and others for his dealings with the Plymouth settlement, but I will consider that question when I come to the defence or Weston _nrl ~he Weston Colony. The matter of the Plymouth settlement belongs to the History of Plymouth, but it was necessary to write the above for the better understanding of what is to follow.
Thomas Weston now had severed his financial connection with the Plymouth settlement, and he began to lay plans for a settlement of his own. He had learned much of the New England coast from those who bad gone before. He had Smith's map of New England, and he resolved to carry out a settlement somewhere in what is now called Boston Bay. Some of the early writers say at what is now Boston itself.
In conjunction with a Mr. Beauchamp, one of the members of the Merchants Company, he purchased a vessel named the "Sparrow" and had her fitted out for a fishing and trading expedition. This vessel was intended to be the forerunner of a larger colony which fie was planning to send out later.
The passengers on board the "Sparrow" consisted of the crew and some seven or eight men to whom Weston gave special directions to look tip a fit place in the region of what is now Boston Bay.
As this expedition was mainly a fishing and trading venture, the " Spar row" sailed for the fishing station an the coast of Maine, and arrived at tire Damariscove Islands early in May, where it anchored and proceeded in the work of fishing.
These islands are just south of Penobscot Bay, and the fishing station was a very important one, and even at the time of the "Sparrow's" arrival had a Maypole for amusement.
Ten men from the "Sparrow," leaving the others at the fishing station, entered an open boat or shallop and proceeded to carry out Weston's instructions for finding a place for a permanent slation. Th", had letters and other things brought over in the
"Sparrow" for the people of Plymouth. In this journey, which was a dangerous one, as they had no pilot, they sailed along the coast toward Plymouth, stopping at the Isle of Shoals and at Cape Ann. Then they sailed across to Boston Bay and spent several days in exploring for the site which Weston wished for his settlemerit or station. After searching they selected a place called in the Indian tongue, "Wessagusset," because in that neighborhood they found fewer Indians, or because it was the site on the map selected by Weston.
They then proceeded to Plymouth where their arrival was a great surprise to the settlers, and was the means of saving the life of the Indian guide and interpreter, Squanto,
The Pilgrims at Plymouth had become suspicious of Squanto, as they thought he was in league with the Indians for a raid on Plym. outh. They had decided to put Squanto to death, and were about to execute him when the arrival of the shallop in the harbor delayed the execution, and it was found that Squanto was innocent.
The Pilgrims were glad to receive the letters from England, but they were sorry to learn that Weston had deserted them, as this was the first time they knew that they could receive no more aid from Weston. The people at this time were in a bad way in Plymouth for lack of food, and it was decided to send Edward Winslow and a party back with the "Sparrow's" shallop on its return to the Damariscove fishing station, there to obtain supplies.
This mission of Winslow's was somewhat successful, as the fishing vessels, when they heard the story of want and privation at Plymouth, gladly gave what they could from their storeq, and their miss:oii was thus a help to the Pilgrims and was the means of introcrucing them to the fishing stations on the Maine coast, and to another way of getting news from England.
The settlement of Virginia, the making of the fishing stations, and the work of Raleigh and others caused so much interest in England that merchants and adventurers looked toward the New World as a place where fortunes could be made, and because of this business men appealed to the government for grants of land in America for settlement and stations. At the time of Weston the legislation of Parliament was interfered with by merchants and adventurers seeking such grants. When Thomas Weston made up his mind to plant a station on the coast of Massachusetts Bay, he obtained a grant or patent through government agents. This grant is said by some writers to have been 6,000 acres in what is now Massachusetts Bay.
With this authority he began his preparations. lie bought two vessels, the "Charity" and "Swan, " and fitted them for his larger expedition, after sending out the "Sparrow" as a forerunner. The "Charity" was a vessel of 100 tons, and the "Swan" one of 30 tons. The "Swan" was to be used at the plantation, while the "Charity" was to journey back and forth between the station and England, carrying the produce of the settlers and also bringing from England what might be needed at the settlement.
Weston had withdrawn from the Merchants-Adventurers Company and was using his means now to carry out his own plans. He was tired of the discussing, arguing and bargaining with the Plymouth people- He had no interest in their religious views. What be looked for was trade and returns. He felt that the Leyden expedition was not made of the right sort of material; that it was encumbered with women and children and also with peculiar religious views. Therefore these things were to be left out of his expedition. No families, no women, no children were to be in his settlement at first-only able-bodied men.
He therefore gathered together men for this expedition, and some of them may have been of a rude material and somc -.~.,ere fishermen - very necessary in such an expedition. We are told that there were thirty servants among them, the rest being considered as gentlemen.
The exact number of passengers on board the "Charity" and "Swan" has not been known, being stated by writers as f,,rty , fiftv or sixty, but the writer has found a record that the number was eighty, although some of these went to Virginia. The number that remained at Wessagusset was about sixty.
Thomas Weston did not intend to go out with the company, but planned to go later. He therefore put the expedition under the charge of his brother, Andrew Weston, and his brother-in-law, Richard Green.
It was the purpose of Weston to establish a plantation and trading post, and it was his plan to have friendly relations with the colony at Plymouth, but meddlesome individuals in England, who were friends of the Plymouth people, wrote letters to them, warning them of Weston and accusing him of unjust intentions toward them. But as Weston found these letters in the possession of some of his passengers, and, after reading them, sent them on to their destination, there seems no reason to suppose that the things written against him were true, but may have been due to the jealousy of those who wrote them.
The "Charity" and "Swan" left London about the middle of April, 1622, two months after the "Sparrow" had sailed with the advance guard. The "Charity" and "Swan" sailed in company, and seem to have had a pleasant passage, as they reached Plymouth at the end of June, - good time for such a journey in those days.
The "Charity" was in charge of Andrew Weston, who had with him Thomas Morton, a lawyer from Clifford's Inn, Londoi~*,afterwards of Merry Mount fame.
The "Swan" was in charge of Richard Green, and the vessels touched at certain places on the way, such as the Damariscove Islands, already mentioned.
The fact that the two vessels had such a good voyage seems to contradict the statements of those writers who have so much to say against Weston and his colony. They wrote of Andrew Weston and Richard Green as poor seamen, and Weston as reckless, headstrong and violent, and yet they seem to have brought their vessels to Plymouth as well as any others ever did.
At Plymouth the leaders of the Weston Company met some of the advance guard of the "Sparrow," and while the "Charity" went on to Virginia the "Swan," under Richard Green, went to the place selected by those on the "Sparrow." They exchanged presents with Aberdecest, the local sachem of the Indians, and made such arrangements with the Indians as gave them the right to settle at the place called "Wessagusset."Sailing into what is now called "Fore River Bay," they came to
t,;11 projecti~ig out into the water with a curving point, passing around which they came into a beautiful bay forming good anchorage and sheltered from the wind and waves. Here they moored their vessel, and the beginning of Weymouth had commenced.
On the shore of this beautiful bay they landed, and the voyage from England came to its successful end. The "Charity" soon after came back from Virginia, and the company were all assembled.
There have been various speculations as to the exact spot where Weston's Colony landed. For many years the site of the Weston plantation has not been positively known. It has been supposed28 'mE EARLY HISTORY OF WFYNIOUTH
to be on Phillips' Creek, near what is now Pearl Street, but that site did not fully answer the description of the place where the Weston people landed. It was therefore considered that the conditions on Phillips' Creek were different in 1622, and that changes had taken place since then which had altered the site, and until recently we find all the writers, including Gilbert Nash and Charles Francis Adams, in his first address, giving the place for the landing of Weston's party as Phillip%' Creek.
In 1884, however, Henry Waters discovered among the manuscripts of the Sloan collection, in the British Museum in London, a map of Massachusetts Bay drawn by Governor Winthrop in 1634, and a reproduction of this map was given in the " Defences of Norumbega" by Prof. E. N. Horsford, published in 1891. This map was seen by Charles Francis Adams, and a part of it, covering the Weymouth Fore River and the site of Wessagusset, was published in the " Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, Vol. VI L pages 22-30, and by this map the site of the Weston settlement was set at Hunt's Hill, between the present Quincy Point bridge and the foot of Sea Street in North Weymouth, not far from Sea Street. The hill itself was called Hunt's Hill, and the cove or bay where they landed was called King's Cove.
Unfortunately Hunt's Hill is gone, the owner having sold it some years ago to the city of Boston as gravel, and it was carried away in scows to fill in and build what is now known as Marine Park, South Boston.
It is a shame that this site was not known before the hill was sold, as to-day it would be a valuable site on which a monument could be placed to commemorate the settlement of Weymouth, and it would be a more inspiring memorial than even Plymouth Rock.
The town of Weymouth ought to wake up to the importance of many things in the town, and if she had been wide-awake she would have known of this site long ago and been able to save it. The writer remembers this site, as he has walked over the hill ank; admired its beauty and the bpauty of the bay and river at that place.
The Weston people having now landed in King's Cove Bay, and the "Charity" and "Swan" both being at their moorings in the harbor, the people began the work of preparing buildings to live in. A blockhouse was built to serve for protection from the Indians if need be, houses in which to live, and other buildings needed in the life of a settlement. Indeed, it has been said that these people were more interested in putting up buildings than they were in providing food for the winter, and the result was seen in the following winter when food became scarce.
Hunt's Hill, which is now known as the site of Weston's Colony, was a ridge of glacial origin projecting into the Fore River Bay at the mouth of the Monatiquot River and rose to a considerable height. It was divided into two sections by a sort of gully or small, ancient channel, which was given the name of "the ravine," and played an important part in some of the events of Weymouth history. just where the Weston people built their houses is not known, but they were no doubt built in the vicinity of the hill and on the hill. There was the blockhouse, some buildings for storing goods, and the houses in which the settlers lived, the whole being surrounded by a stockade, and as wood was plenty in the neighborhood, it was easy to build all these.
Weston intended the station to be a permanent one, and his orders were to build all things needful. Some of the company had been left in Plymouth, but in a few weeks the " Charity " returned and all were removed to Wessagusset. It has been stated they had very little food and other material, but when the "Charity" left Wessagusset in September to return to England, it is stated she left the people well provided.
The time up to September or later was spent in getting ready for the life of a trading and fishing station, but not thinking of the coming winter and the chance of a scarcity of food, they did not make proper preparation, expecting that their needs would be met from England, as the "Charity" was to come back bringing food and other things with an increase of men, while the "Swan" was to sail up and down tue shore trading and getting fish.
Smith, in his voyage made in 1614, describes the whole of the Boston Bay coast as the paradise of all those parts, covered with Indian villages and many isles planted with corn, groves, Indian gardens, mulberries and good harbors, so it was easy for the Weston people to think they could get food when it was needed.
This was all true in 1614, but a pestilence which came among the Indians in Massachusetts in 1616 and 1617 swept most of them away, and with their deaths the gardens ceased.
Howev,., the Weston people were care free and they were wasteful, we are told by the Plymouth settlers, and soon they came to be in want. They traded with the Indians for corn, but that becoming difficult, Green wrote to Bradford at Plymouth proposing a joint expedition in search of food.Andrew Weston had gone back to England, thus leaving Richard
Green in charge at Wessagusset. Green agreed to furnish the vessel and the Plymouth people the commodities for barter with the Indians. Bradford agreed to this, and by the middle of October they were ready to journey to the siouth side of Cape Cod. Green went in the "Swan" to Plymouth, but while there he fell sick and died, and the expedition ended for a time.
Green was succeeded by John Saunders, who proposed the carrying out of the expedition, and soon after the burial of Green the "Swan" was, got ready, and, under the command of Myles Standish, the expedition started with Squanto as guide. The delay caused by the sickness and death of Green made it impossible to start until November. With Squanto as pilot they started toward Cape Cod and went safety as far as the shoals off Orleans, and then the look of the ocean was so terrible that they put into what is now Chatham Harbor, but here Squanto took sick with an Indian fever and died, and without him they could go no further.
Before Squanto's sickness and death, however, by Squanto's aid, they did some trading with the Indians, and were able to get from them some venison and other food, besides eight hogsheads of corn and beans, and is they now had no guide, and the wind being in the right quarter, they went around the Cape again and headed for Boston Bay.
Anoth,~ expedition was made - this time inside of Cape Cod - to what is now Eastham, Yarmouth and Barnstable, but the weather became stormy, the "Swan" was in danger, and a shallop which the Plymouth people had brought was cast away and so damaged and buried in the sand that they had to leave it with the food that was in it. They had, however, received thirty hogsheads of corn and beans which was in the 11 Swan "I and when they reached Plymouth an equal division was made and the Weston party went back to Wessagusset.
In January, however, another expedition was started for Eastham, with Standish in command. The voyage was stormy and cold, but was somewhat successful, and they recovered the shallop which was lost in November, with the supplies in her, and after another division the "Swan" again returned to her moorings in the Weymouth Fore River.
These expeditions were of great benefit to the Plymouth people, as they were as badly off for food as those of Wessagusset. For a little while the food question was not so serious at Wessagusset, but as the food collected was being gradually used up Saunders began to be anxious about the winter. The people became weaker for lack of sufficient food.
Attempts were made to buy corn from the Indians, but they refused to sell, and only by giving more than the value of the food in commodities were they able to obtain any, and they were thus accused by the Plymouth people of lowering the standard of exchange.The Indians became arrogant as the people became more dis-
tressed, and began to show a hostile spirit. Toward the end of Februarv Saunders made new attempts to obtain food from them, but they refused to sell, saying that they had none to spare, mhich was most likely true.
Saunders then began to think of taking by force what lie could not buy, and made preparations to do so, and as hostilities might result from such action he made preparations. The plantation at Wessagusf;et was much like that at Plymouth, consisting of log houses and buildings surrounded by a stockade- This stockade Saunders now made stronger and more perfect, all the entrances being secured or closed except one, and that was made so it could be easily defended.
Before proceeding to such violent measures with the Indians, however, Saunders sent word to the people at Plymouth what he was planning to do. Bradford became alarmed and called a meeting of the elders at Plymouth. An answer was drawn up, which they all signed, and it was sent to Saunders. In it the danger of such a course was shown, - that it might lead to war with the Indians, and might cause the destruction of the settlements, besides being contrary to the laws of God. They were reminded that they had nuts, clams, mussels and oysters on which they could live as they did at Plymouth. Besxitb, ~i they escaped the Indians, they would get no help from Plymouth, and when news reached King James it might lead to the gallows.
In this way Saunders was persuaded to give up the project. Saunders then conceived the plan of going to the fishing stations in Maine and there seek food. He went to Plymouth in the "Swan " to see if they could aid in provisioning her for such a voyage, but the conditions at Plymouth were such that, they could not (to so. Saunders then went back to Wessagusset and worked with his problems as well - be could. , -
For some time the people struggled along, living on clams, nuts and other things, including such fish as they could get in the winter, digging with hoes through the snow for nuts, and it is said they even stole corn from the Indians, which led to trouble.
Finally, although the winter was not wholly over, Saunders decided to go to the fishing station at Monhegan in search of food. Leaving the "Swan" at Wessagusset he set forth in a shallop for the Maine coast. This was a very dangerous journey at that time of the year, and the Plymouth and other writers say he was never heard of more, but the writer has found records of him on the coast of Maine, so he reached the fishing stations.
We new come to one of the strange events in the history of Weymouth. After Saunders had leit Wessagusset things seemed to grow worse with the people left there. The scarcity of food bVcarne more severe, and the difficulty of obtaining something to eat greater.
The people at Plymouth and later writers place the blame for this condition upon the settlers at Wessagusset. They were a careless and lazy set, we are told, who wasted the food they had in the earlier days of their sojourn, and when the hard times came they had nothing.
This does not agree very well with the fact that these same writers state that when Weston's people came their vessels were not properly provided with provisions, and there was even then a scarcity of food among them. They could no longer go on expeditions in search of food, the Indians would not sell, the winter snow was on the ground, the lakes or ponds were frozen, and they were compelled to go about with hoes or other implements and dig through the snow and ice for nuts and shellfish. In many cases it was hard even to do that because of the mud.
In one case a man, who was weak for want of food, while digging for shellfish, was caught in the mud, and not being strong enough to pull himself out, was drowned when the tide came in.
They struggled through the winter in this way, but ten persons died because of these hardships and disease. In order to get food they even did menial work for the Indians and bartered away their clothes and blankets.
The result of all this was that the Indians became bolder and bolder, losing all fear of the whites, and as the white settlers were most of the time scattered about looking for food and were in groups, it was easy for the Indians to feel as if they were their masters.
Sometimes when a few of the whites had set up a pot and cooked nuts and shellfish, when it was ready to eat, the Indians would come and eat it up.
We are told also that the Weston people stole from the Indians, that when an opportunity offered they stole the Indians' corn. The Indians complained to the Plymouth people of such actions by the people at Wessagusset. In some cases the thieves were caught by the Indians and brought into the settlement to be punislied. They were whipped and confined, but it had no effect, for starving men in their condition could not be kept from stealing.
Finally the place where the Indians kept their corn for seed was broken into, and, the thief being caught, was brought by the angry Indians to the blockhouse to be severely punished. The Indians were so evidently hostile that the Weston people became alarmed, and feeling that they must be satisfied told the savages to take their prisoner and deal with him as they saw lit. This the Indians refused to do, saying that the white people must punish the offender themselves.
The man who was now in command of the settlement agreed to do so. He accordingly called a council of the settler~, and, forming a sort of court or parliament of the people, made examination of the matter. One Edward Johnson was made a judge in the examination, and after due consideration and consultation it was decided that the deed was a felony, and according to the laws of England was punishable with death. The judge gave his decision accordingly, and that the execution should be carried out publicly before the Indians as an example, and as the only way to appease the savages.
Then one of the company arose, and, asking to be heard in the matter, said that he admitted the justice of the decision or sentence, yet it seemed to him there was another way in which the Indians could be satisfied. The culprit, he said, was young, strong and valuable to the settlement, and would be of great help to the settlers in case of trouble with the Indians. "We all agree," said he, "that one man must die-" He then spoke of another man, sick and dying, for whom there was no possible hope of recovery. Let us take the clothes of the young man and put them on the sick man, and let him die in the other's stead. Then the Indians would be satisfied and the life of a valuable and necessary man saved.
This pleased the assembly and would have been carried out had it not been for another member of the company, who, with a strong voice, arose and spoke in opposition. He represented that such an action would be a perversion of justice, and in the end the deceit would be found out by the savages, and stir their minds more with hatred and a desire for revenge, and for these reasons he urged that the culprit should die.
In the end it was decided that the offender should be executed, but he was so strong and powerful that it was only by strategies they were able to seize him and put the sentence into execution.
It has been generally accepted by historians that the man was hanged in front of the blockhouse, so that all could see, yet for many years there was handed down a tradition that the real culprit was not hanged, but that the dying man was hanged in his stead, and it was spoken of as the "New England vicarious atonement."
Thomas Morton gives an account of it in his "New England Canaan," and as he was one of the Weston party he ought to have known all about it. Charles FrancisAdarns, in his "Three Episodes of Massachusetts History," expresses the opinion that it was Thomas Morton who proposed the exchange of the sick man for the culprit, as it seemed so like what Morton would propose, and34 1111, EARL% HISTORY OF WLYNIOUTH
as Morton published his "New England Canaan" ten years after the event, the matter was all fresh enough in his mind.
If Morton was the one who made the suggestion, then it places him in Wessagusset some time later than he is supposed to have gone back to England.
Morton's book was published in 1632, and in 1663 Samuel Butler published the second part of his English satire called "Hudibras." In some way Butler was either acquainted with Morton, or he had read the "Nem, England Canaan," and as the story amused him very much lie worked it into his satire, and it was used by the Cavaliers as a story against the Puritans.
We now come to what may be called the closing scene of the Weston settlement- We have seen that trouble was fast developing between the settlers and the Indians. At Plymouth there had been peaceful relations between them and the Indians, and this was more likely to exist because so many of the savages had died with the plague in 1617. A treaty of peace and friendship had been made between Massasoit, the chief of the Massachusetts Indians, and the people of Plymouth, and this treaty Massasoit kept faithfully till the last, but there were other tribes of Indians, such as the Narragansetts, and as treat7es were made between the Massachusetts and other tribes, a spirit of hostility to the whites was being developed. Besides this, as I (assasoit became old, new chiefs were coming to the front who wet ~ hostile to the settlers.
News of the great massacre at Virgini. on March 22, 1622, had reached the Indians in Massachusetts an~' stirred up something of the sanit feeling there. The "Charity," % hen she came back front Jamestown on her return trip from Virginia, brought the news of that massacre to Wessagusset and Plymouth, and the people at Plymouth, dreading a like occurrence, were in an anxious state and were making preparations to defend themselves.
At Wessagusset also there was anxiety, although the Indians were allowed to come and go among the settlers as they pleased. The Indians seemed in a way to be friendly, but there were some actions on their part which were strange and suspicious. Phinehas Pratt, one of the seven men who came over in the "Sparrow," began to think there was danger. At this time he seems to have become a sort of leader at Wes~sagusset. In his narrative he tells of actions by the Indians which indicated a hostile intent, especially on the part of a chief named Wituwamat. He came into the settlement with one or two others, and while there talked in a way about the man who stole the corn, showing a knife with a woman's face on the handle, and stating what dreadful work it could do if the stealing of corn did not cease.
To Phinebas Pratt this seerned a mere excuse, for only one man among the settlers, he states, had been guilty of stealing the corn, and he had been whipped and punished. Thinking of the Jamestown massacre he thought there might be a plot on foot, and when the Indians came in a party to the settlement he had the fort manned and guns in position. He tried to send a man to Plymouth to warn them of what he thought was coming, but could find no one who was willing to go. Finally he resolved to go himself, and had set the time, but a settler told one of the Indians, thinking it36 EARLY HISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
ought frighten them, on learning which Pratt did not start at the time lie had set.
At last, early on the morning of the Ist of April, he started out to go to Plymouth, taking a hoe with him as if he were going to dig clarns. Working hi~ way toward some wigwams which were near the salt marsh, and digging with the hoe as if in search of nuts or clarns, and finding that no one was moving about, he gradually made his way till lie was out of sight. Then he hurried his steps and set his course as well as he could toward Plymouth.
It was still winter and the ground was covered with snow. It was a hard journey for him, and he had to go out of his way to avoid going through the snow, for his footprints could be easily followed if pursued.
Ile finally lost his way and wandered aimlessly about. This was fortunate, for the Indian who was sent out to follow him, seeing that lie was bound for Plymouth, took the direct trail to Plymouth, and in this way did riot find him.
Pratt's journey to Plymouth in the woods, through ice and snow, is a most interesting one, full of danger and trial. Weak and weary he had to ford the icy stream of the North River, and with but little to eat. He had to sleep at night in a deep hollow in the woods among fallen trees.
On the afternoon of the third day he at last came in sight of the buts at Plymouth. After being warmed and fed lie was able to tell his story, but the Plymouth people were already prepared, for Winslow at his visit to the sick Chief Massasoit, whom he had cured of his sickness, was told by him of the plo, Ly Wituwamat and other chiefs to destroy not only the settlement at Wessagusset but also that at Plymouth.
Arrangements were made to send a party to Wessagusset to meet the plot. Myles Standish was put in command of the party. In the winter of 1623 Standish went with a few men to what is now Sandwich, and going inland there on a visit to the local Sachem Canacurn, he met Wituwarnat and another Indian who behaved toward Standish in an insulting manner, even using a knife in a threatening way and speaking of destroyirn,, the settlement at Wessagusset.
Standish wisely did not resent the insult at that time, but made up his mind that he would pay Wituwamat back for it at some time. The opportunity had now come, so taking eight men with him and the friendly Indian Hobamack, he set out for Wessagusset in a shallop. If he had taken a large party with him, the Indians would have been suspicious, but they were used to his going about with a small party, so did not mind it.
Standish reached Wessagusset by water in the shallop, not by land, its Longlellow tells in his "Courtship of Myles Standish."
Longfellow'* description of the march of Myles Standish and his force through the woods in the winter snow may be poetry, but it is Pure fiction, as it is not in accordance with history.Standish gathered the people at Wessagusset together inside the
stockade and told them of their danger. After Standish's arrival Chief Wituwamat, with another huge Indian, Pecksuot by name, and one or two others, came inside the stockade on a visit to Standish. While there Wituwainat again indulged in threatening language, and drawing a knife he held it before the eyes of Standish, showing him the face of a woman on the handle. Then he said he had another in his wigwam with the face of a man, and these two would marry, he said, and then there would be destruction. He told how with those knives he had killed both Frenchmen and Englishmen. Peckstiot also joined in the talk and taunted Standish with his small stature.
The next day, April 6, 1623, Pecksuot and Wituwamat and two others came inside the stockade and were permitted to come into the principal blockhouse. Standish had laid his plans. He expected a larger number of Indians in the visit, but he felt that in Wituwarnat and Pecksuot he had the most dangerous ones. He had five of his own men with him, and seeing a good chance to take the Indians unawares, he gave a signal. The doors of the blockhouse were closed, and Standish, suddenly springing upon Pecksuot, seized a knife from its sheath at Pecksuot's breast, and plunged it into him and thus put an end to his existence. The others fell upon Wituwainat and the other Indians, and for a little while there was a fierce fight, but in the end the Indians were dispatched, the two warriors, Wituwamat and Pecksuot, being covered with wounds.
Outside of the stockade three more Indians were killed, and Standish with his force made an attack on the Indian camp, some of them passing through the ravine of Hunt's Hill. ~ When they reached the camp there were only a few women there, the men having fled. The next day Standish with his party, guided by Hobamack, went to the camp of Aberdecrest, where was the main body of his people, but news of the fight had reached the village, and the men, taking their weapons, had left. But later Standish discovered them, and both parties, seeing each other, rushed to reach a hill near by. Standish reached it first and so had the advantage.
The Indians sought the shelter of the trees and let fly a flight of arr-,vs, but did no damage. The Indians had lost in Pecksuot and ;~ituwatnat their greatest warriors, and were scarcely equal to such a fight, and when Hobamack, with tomahawk in hand, shouting his war cry, with others rushed upon them, they turned and fled into a swamp in the mire and branches of which they found it hiding place.
As they could not be easily reached in the swamp, and would not come out, the pursuit was given up and Standish with his party returned to Wessagusset.
Thus ended the great fight at Weymouth which broke the power of the Indians and put back the Indian War to the time of King Philip. After this, by Standish's advice, the settlement at Wessagusset was given up. some of the settlers going to Plymouth with Standish, others going in the "Swan" to the fishing stations on the Maine coast, and others to Fngland.
Writers on the early history of Massachusetts Bay, especially the later ones, seem possessed to write of Thomas Weston as if he were a man of but little character. Concerning his relations with Wessagusset and the Weston settlement, the best work has been done by the Hon. Charles Francis Adams and Gilbert Nash, the first secretary of the Weymouth Historical Society.
Charles Francis Adams was asked to deliver the address at the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of Weymouth on July 4, 1874. This address, as Mr. Adams says himself, made him investigate the history of Massachusetts Bay and caused him to become a historian. The result is seen in that address, in his "Three Episodes of Massachusetts History," and his second address, "Weymouth Thirty Years Later."
Gilbert Nash did his great work in.the "History of Weymouth" and in his "First Twenty Years of Weymouth History." These books are the best that have ever been written on Weymouth history, and they have been mainly the productions of the Weymonth Historical Society.
Many errors concerning Thomas Weston and the Wessagusset settlement have been corrected by these writers, and much added to our knowledge of Weymouth.
There are other writers who seem to have had the aim of blackening the character of Thomas Weston. He has been represented as a man of poor judgment, of a reckless and headstrong nature, and not having much honesty. At best he is spoken of as an adventurer, half trader, half explorer and almost a freebooter. A vulgar adventurer, some writers say, and even Charles Francis Adams speaks of him as an "adventurer of the Smith, Raleigh and Gorges type."
This to some seems an evil description, but is it not a fact that it was to men like Smith and Raleigh that we ow~ the discovery of continents and the opening up of new lands? They were adventurers, but at the same time they were the discoverers of new worlds.
Columbus was an adventurer, but he is honored to-day as the discoverer of America. Smith and Raleigh were adventurers, but they are honored to-day in British history. So Thomas Weston may have been an adventurer, but he should be honored as being the one inan who helped the Pilgrims where others failed, and mitbout him there would have been no N-w Plymouth, and his
coast in a starving state. There he received food and shelter and went to Plymouth, but Gorge5, coming there, arrested him by the power of the Council for New England. In the end he was set at liberty, his vessel the "Swan" was restored to him, and, after paying a % isit to Wessagusset, he finally went to Virginia.
In 1642 be went to Maryland with five others and settled in St. Georges Hundred. There be prospered and built a beautiful mansion called "Westbury Manor." He became a leading man in St. Georges, distinguished himself in a war with the Indians, received the praise of Governor Calvert, and in case of an Indian alarm the people of St. George's Hundred were directed by the Governor to convey the women and children to Westbury Manor for safety.There are many records of Weston in Maryland (see the New
His daughter married Rielifird Conant, Jr., so the Conants of America go back to Thomas Weston. The five men who went with Weston to Maryland were Richard Hanniford, William Marshall, William Palmer, John Kelly and jasper Collins.
We have now seen that Thomas Weston was not the kind of man the Pilgrims and others have represented him to be.
The people who came to Wessagusset in 1622 have also been misrepresented. There were a class of writers who seemed to delight in misrepresenting the Weston people. They have been spoken of as an unruly company, even by Bradford, and from Plymouth to Boston and elsewhere much has been written against them.
We are told that they were "Rude Fellows," "Stout Knaves," They could have been all that without the words having the low meaning which some writers have given to them.
We are told that Weston picked them up from the slums of London, and they were thus "a gang of vagabonds, collected at haphazard."
It has not been the custom for those in the slums, or gangs of vagabonds, to undertake such dangerous voyages as the Weston ships had to make, and thus the improbability of the thing throws doubts on all these statements.
There were rude fishermen among them, no doubt, and such men were needed in the venture, and they might be stout fellows and strong knaves without using the words in an evil sense.
They have been represented as coming to Plymouth and staying there through the summer and winter, and eating the Plymouth people out of house and home.
George W. Bodge, in his book called "King Philip's War," pages 4 and 5, states the following:
The Unrolly company which came in Robert Cushman's ship in 1621 and lived upon the hospitality of the Pilgrims through the winter and spring, reducing the Pilgrim Colony to the verge of famine went away in August to form a new plantation at a place since called Weymouth, under the grant to Mr. Thomas Weston. 'nese Colonists proved to be an indolent and wayward set, abused the confidence of the Indiins and finally caused a threatened outbreak of the Indian$, whuh rumor having tome to the cars of Covernor Bradford, he sent Capt. Standish with a party of men to Weymouth to quell the outbreak.
Now who was Robert Cushman? And what was the ship that brought the unruly company?
Robert Cushman, as we have already learned, was one of the Pilgrims from Leyden, and the agent whom they Fear to England to arrange for their journey to New England. The ship was the "Fortune" which he, with the aid of Weston, sent in 1621 to the help of the Pilgrims at New Plymouth.At the time when the Pilgrims were about starting out on their
journey to the New World, the " Speedwell " was found to be unfit for a sea voyage, so the "Mayflower" had to start alone, but she could not carry all the Pilgrims, so many had to be left behind to come in a later vessel.
The " unruly company," then, who spent the winter at Plymouth in 1621, and ate up nearly all their provisions, were the Pitgritus who had been left behind.
Weston's Colony did not come over in the "Fortune," nor did they spend the winter at Plymouth. They arrived in July, and in August, 1622, were in Wessagusset, and the story of their eating the Pilgrim to starvation is largely a fabrication.
Yet this story has been repeated over and over again by historians. and the Weston settlers have been represented so often as a low and lazy lot, that it has become a common matter of belief with those who ought to know better.
Only a few months ago there was a large sign on the road between Plymouth and Weymouth which was about as follows:
You are now coming to the town of Weymouth, which was settled in 1622 by a band of pirates won were driven out of Plvmouth.
This was a sign in the form of an open book advertising automobile tires. The president of the Weymouth Historical Society took the matter up with the company, showing them that the statement was not in accordance with history, and poor advertising at that, and the company gladly changed the sign to a proper wording.
I might quote these same words in a number of writers from the time of the Pilgrims down to the present, and they all show the utter carelessness with which they write about the Weston settlenuent of Wessagusset.
In "Zion's Herald" for Feb. 7 and 14, 1917, there are two articles by a man named Edmund James Carpenter, Litt.D. One is called "Troublous Days in Plymouth," and the other, "Famine Again Assails Plymouth."
In these articles the references to Wessagusset, the Weston Company and the Gorges Colony have the same kind of mistakes and misrepresentation, even placing Weston in Plymouth at the time of his settlement, when history states that he did not come out till after the P4intation was given up.
Carpenter calls them "an improvident gang of roysterers." "thieves and rude fellows," and "unbidden guests of the Plymouth people. "
There is also a picture in the paper of Myles Standish with his eight men led by the Indian Hobamack, marching through the woods to the relief of Wessagusset. This is contrary to history, a, Standish and his party went in a boat by water, not by land.
If the author (Carpenter) had read Charles Francis Adams' "Three Episodes of Massachusetts Hktory" he would not have written as he did,44 T11F EARLY 111STORY OF INLYNIOUTH
When one reads what has been written concerning the Weston Company by Bradford, Winslow, Phineas Pratt, Thomas Morton, Lovett, Winter, Nathaniel Morton, Young in his "Chronicles," Prince in his "Chronicles," Winthrop and others, down to Charles Francis Adanis and Gilbert Nash, he finds it difficult to decide about the Weston Compaliv,
These writers differ so. ~ome speak well of them, others do not. Some tell us that the Weston ships were well provided, and others state they were poorly provisioned, so all we can 0- is read them all and try to decide for ourselves,
Thomas Morton in his "New England Canaan," page 59, states, "In the month of June, Anno Salutis 1622, it was my chance to arrive in the parts of New England with thirty servants and provisions of all sorts fit for a plantation and while our houses were building I did endeavour to take a survey of the Country."
He must have come in the "Charity," as that was the only vessel with the "Swan" that came at that time, and as we know lie was in the Weston Company his reference is to that company, as that is the only company that was building houses that summer.
If there were thirty servants in the company, most of the Other thirty may have been gentlemen, therefore the representation of them as a low class must be incorrect. Then the statements of their having eaten up the Pilgrim's food seems improbable, for at the most they were only two months in Plymouth, and they had food of their own - perhaps more than the Plymouth people themselves, for they too were almost in a state of famine.
Then it is quite likely that Plymouth got as much, if not more, through the Weston people than they consumed while at Plymouth, for there was the journey with the shallop that came from the "Sparrow" to the fishing stations whence the Plymouth people obtained food. There were also the two expeditions with the "Swan" by means of which food was obtained.
When the "Sparrow" with the "Discovery" returned from the fishing stations in Maine they called at both Wessagusset and Pivniouth, as they were loaded with fish and other things.
Bradford himself *rates that Plymouth got stocked up from these vet,sels, much to the people's joy. The Weston people were blamed hecause they did not plant corn and other things for food, but it was rather late in the season to do so, and they did not have the advantages which the Plymouth people had; for they, had the two Indians, Squanto and Hobamack, who taught them how to plant corn and how to take care of it, and only for those Indians tile PI) month people would have died of starvation.
The Ilestoll people suffered terribly, we are told, during the uinter for lack of food and from the cold, but only ten of them died, %%]tile at Plymouth more than half of the settlers died during the first winter.
Mu(h is made of the fact that at least a part of the Weston Company fed at Plyrnouth for nearly two months, and some sick
ones, but the Weston people spoke of tire food received as being very meager.
After the battle with the Indians, when Standish gave the settlers Opportunity to go with him to Plymouth or elsewhere, the majority did not care to go there, as they did not like the meager fare and the rigid religious service at Plymouth.
A great deal of weight has been given to the letters to Bradford by Edward Pickering and William Greene by some writers. These
were ent secretly through one of Weston's party, but they were founr('by Weston, who sent them to their destination with a denial of the statements in the letters.
Pickering and Greene were members of the Merchants-Adventurers Company, and they were the very men who opposed giving any more help to the Pilgrims, when the other members of the Company were willing to give one-third as much as they had done before Pickering and Greene opposed it.
Their talk of the low estate of Weston's Company ~nnounts to very little, as the very fact that they differed from the Pilgrims in their religious views made them, as a class, not acceptable to the Pilgrims.
Then, as for Cushman's letter to Governor Bradford, and that of John Peirce in which he speaks of Weston's people as of base condition and not fit for an honest man's company, we have only to read the letters in Bradford's History and Weston's answer to see that they are of little account.
They were due to jealousy and hatred of Weston because he left the Merchant-Adventurers, Company and intended to start a plantation for himself which they thought would hurt the one at Plymouth.
Weston bad no such intention, but he expected that the two plantations would be a help to each other. It was contemptible in Cushman to write such a letter after Weston had aided him so much in helping the Pilgrims, and Cushman in his advice to Bradford reveals a shrewd trading and haggling instinct which Weston never thought of.
Governor Bradford had the good sense not to follow Cushman's advice, but tried to treat Weston's people as well as he could, and he is to be commended for his actions. The company of Pilgrims that came to Plymouth in 1620 and 1621 was not entirely free from "Rude Fellows," and the old rule applies: "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones."
The passengers on board the ships in those early days are of great importance. Lists giving the names of all the passengers sailing in the vessels were kept, and looking at these it is possible to learn who the early immigrants were, and oftentimes the places where they came from.
So far the list of the passengers on Weston's ships has not been found, and it is supposed that it was destroyed by a fire at the Custorn House in London soon after -6- vear 1800.
There are ports in England such as Weymouth, Southampton, Liverpool, Dealpoole, Plymouth and Whitby where something might be obtained by search, and the author of these sketches hopes at some time to visit England and make such a search,
As no list has been found, writers on Weymouth history tell us that after the battle with the Indians at Wessagusset, when the settlers left the settlement came to an end, and nothing more was heard of the settlers. Three men were left behind, however, one of whom took an Indian squaw for a wife and lived with the Indians, while the other two are said to have been killed by the Indians.
The common statement is that nothing remained of Weston's settlement, and then the whole thing came to an end. The names of two or three of the men are known, such as John Saunders, but we are told they were never heard of more.
The buildings remained, however, and sometimes were used by the Indians. They did not destroy them, and besides this we learn that sometimes stragglers occupied them, so it is not proper to say there was not a continuous settlement at Wessagusset.
Some of the Weston settlers remained on the Maine coast where the fishing stations were, and some of them came back to Wessagusset when the Gorges Company came in 1623. Then some of them also hovered around the Massachusetts coast.
The writer has been trying to find these men and has succeeded in finding several. Take John Saunders, for instance, who left Wessagusset to go to the fishing station in Maine; that was the last of him, we are told. It is not known if he reached the Maine coast.
John Saunders did reach the fishing -station, and the writer found a record concerning him in the will of Jonathan Weymouth, dated Nov. 19, 1639, in which he states that John Saunders was living as a fisherman at Pascataway on the Maine coast. (See New England Register, Vol. 2, p. 261.) There are descendants of John Saunders living in Massachusetts to-day.
ChristopheAevitt, one of the Council for New England, who made a voyage to New England in 1623 and 1624, states in his book that he had in his plantation at York, Me., now Portland, four of Weston's men. These men are also mentioned by Winter and Trelawny, and Trelawny gives their names as Thomas Alger from Newton Ferris, Eng., Edward Baker from Newton Ferris, and Nycholas Rouse of Wesaberry- The fourth one may have been Bennet Wills of Plymouth, Eng., whom Trelawny also mentions.
Then from the "Sparrow" we have Mr. Rogers, Mr. Gibbs and Dr. Salisbury. Among the passengers on the "Charity" who came from England to WessagusseL in 1622, and from thence to Virginia, were Joseph Royall, who came in July, 1622, and was an inhabitant of the neck of land in the Corporation of Charles Cittie in Virginia, and appears in the records Jan. 21, 1624.
Robert Cholmle and James Sta"dwh both came in the "Charity," and appear in the muster of the Governor's men at Pasbehaighs in Virginia.
Thomas Bransby came in the "Charity" in 1622, and was living at Ancher's Hope, James City, in 1624. A maid servant of Mr. Bransby's was among the dead at Ancher Hope in 1624.
John Cliew came in the "Charity" in 1622, and appears in the muster of Lieutenant Barkley.
Thomas Parrish, aged twenty-six, came in the "Charity" in 1622, and appears in Mr. Thomas Spilman's muster.
John Olison came in the "Prosperous" to Virginia in 1619 (June), and Ellen, his wife, came in the "Charity" in 1622, and were inhabitants of Ancher's Hope, James City.
The following came from Wessagusset in the "Swan " to Virginia in 1623, after the settlement was given up: Benjamin Owin, aged eighteen, came in the "Swan" in 1623, and appears in the muster of Capt. Francis West in Elizabeth City beyond Hampton River, 1624; John Pedrio, a negro, aged thirty, came in the "Swan" in 1623, and appears in Captain West's muster; William Bibble, aged twenty-two, came in the "Swan" in 1623, and appears in William Bibble's muster. (See Holten's Original Lists of Emigrants, pp. 201, 202, 221, 230, 231, 237, 252, 258, 265.)
Then there was Edward Johnson, who acted as judge at the trial of the man who stole the corn from the Indians, and Mr. Manly, whose son William was a witness to the will of John Whitman in 1685. The Manlys went from Weymouth to Randolph after 1800. There was also Leonard Leddock who came in the "Charity" to Wessagusset, and the Indian boy that came with him.
The five men who went with Weston to Maryland in 1642 are also said to have belonged to the Weston Colony. They were Richard Hanniford, William Marshall, William Palmer, John Kelly and jasper Collins.We may also mention a gentleman, John Poory, who was a
passenper it, the "Charity," going to Virginia. He afterwards wrote a letter to Governor Bradford from Virginia which gave the GoNernor much satisfaction.
Thomas Morton, the lawyer from Clifford's Inn, London, came to Wessagusso in the "Charity" in 1622, but afterwards went back to England and came out again in 1625 with Captain Wollaston and becarne the hero of Merry Mount at Wollaston. He was an educated gentleman, as his book "The New Canaan" shows,
The Plymouth people did not like him, and much has been written against him. He set up a Maypole and had the old English games, leaching the Indians to join in them. I ne fishing stations on the coast of Maine all bad the Maypole dances, and it was the arousement of the fishermen.
Morton is accused of many things by the leaders at Plymouth, and much can be said in his defence, but it is not my aim to go into that. He simply illustrates the difference between Cavalfers and Puritans, Morton representing the liberty of the Cavaliers, and the Pilgrims in their rigid rules representing the Puritans.
We have already mentioned Phineas Pratt, but we must not forget that he also belonged to the Wc~-,~;r Colony, and he. certainly was not a "Rude Fellow" in the evil sense that some take the phrase. He settled in Plymouth after the WessaguNset settlement was given up. He married and had children, and after living for many years in Plymouth went to Charlestown, where in due course of time he (lied and was buried in the old Charlestown cemetery. He was much respected both in Plymouth and Charlestown, arid his descendants are living to-day.
In the earliest wills of the first settlers in Weymouth we have the names of witnesses who are residents of Weymouth, but of whom we know nothing. Some of them, no doubt, came in the Gorges Company, but some belonged to Weston's people and came back to Wessagusset after Gorges came.
John King, for instance, came to Wessagusset in the "Charity" in 1622. In 1623 he'went to the fishing station on the coast of Maine. From there he went back to England, arid later returned to WessagUsseL, but this time his wife Mary was with him. He had ten acres of land adjoining land of Joseph Shaw. This land was bounded by the sea and included King's Cove, named after him. He lived in a house in a grove of trees between King'~ Cove and Burying Hill. This grove was called "King's Grove," He also had land on King Oak Hill and in other parts of Weymouth. He had ]arid in the Ferry Field through which ran the road to "the Ferry."
John King is said to have come from Dorset; others say front Devonshire; still others say from Stepney, which is now a part of London. Stepney wits a great place in those days for mariners, and John King was a mariner, seaman arid planter. He was born in England in 1600. Being a mariner he took many journeys about, so we find him in these trips making visits to several places in New
England. In 1631 lie was in Plymouth and signed his name as a witness to a deed of land. In 1636 he was in Newton, now Cambridge. In 1637 he went with others in a boat from Lynn to Sandwich. In 1638 lie was before the General Court in Boston. In 1635 his son Samuel was born in Weymouth.
Samuel King married Experience Phillips in 1658 arid became the ancestor of the Kings in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. The sons of John and Mary were noted in Weymouth history. His son Thomas, born in Weymouth in 1643, married Mary Sprague of Hingham, went to live in Taunton, where he died in 1713, at the age of seventy, and is buried at Dighton. He was the ancestor of the Kings of Scarboro, Me., one of whom, Rufus King, filled many important positions and became ambassador to the Court of England, and William King, a brother of Rufus, became Governor of Maine. John and Mary King had nine children. and their descendants are in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and other states. His eldest son John married Esther Bailey, and their descendants remained in Weymouth for many years.
Philip King, who married judith Whitman, is _id by some to bavebeena son of John and Mary. In 1683 he remov;~ to Taunton, where he bought a neck of land called the Calf's Pasture.
Many other descendants of John King could be mentioned who were men of prominence, deacons of churches, rioted clergymen and mayors of cities. But this is not a genealogy, so I must not dwell on them. These Kings are strong proof that the people who came in Weston's ships were not the " Rude fellows" they are represented to be by some writers, and the same good record could be given of other families besides the Kings.
I have now given the names of thirty-three of the passengers who came in Weston's ships, and yet those who write disparagingly of them state that none of them were ever heard of more. I have stated that the number of the passengers on Weston's ships was eighty. One proof of this is a record in the Fourth Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission, First Series, 4, 277, dated 1622:
Philemon Powell Parser of a ship bound for New England with eighty emigrants. He was servant to Thomas Weston and was imprisoned and does not know why, asks for release.
I have accounted for thirty-three, ten died at Wessagusset, two were killed by the Indians, and one married an Indian squaw, making a total of forty-six out of the eighty, and still we have been told that none of them were ever found.
We now come to a man who filled a great part in the settlement of New England. This was Sir Ferdinando Gorges. He was an English gentleman who stood high in favor at Court and was associated with the Earl of Essex who was a great favorite with Queen Elizabeth.
Gorges was a cavalier, a soldier and served also in the navy. He served with distinction in several wars and was with Henry of Navarre at the seige of Paris.
Although his name sounds Spanish, yet he was of real west of England stock, and was connected with the Russells and the Raleighs, and belonged to an excellent family. He was sent over by Elizabeth as one of the officers with the Earl of Essex to the aid of the Huguenots, and was very active at the seige of Rouen. He also served in Spain and in various campaignq with the Earl of Essex, and was made military governor of Plymouth.
While Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, was in favor with Queen Elizabeth, Gorges stood high and had power, but after Essex was tried and put to death for an insurrection, he lost influence and many friends because his testimony at the trial of Essex was very much against the Earl. Gorges before this was in great favor with the Puritan party, but after the Earl's death the Puritans were against him, as they looked upon him as a traitor to Essex.
Sir Ferdinando was mixed up in the attempted insurrection of the earl, and although his life was sparect, yeL he was put in prison and deprived of his position as Governor of Plymouth.
After the death of Elizabeth, and James came to the throne, Gorges was released from prison and restored to his old position as military governor of Plymouth.Gorges early took an interest in the fishing stations in New
ngland and the various attempts at colonization and the voyages of Gosnold and Pring. In 1605, when Capt. George Weymouth returned from his voyage to the coast of Maine, Gorges was much interested in his account of that voyage. For three years the savages which Weymouth brought over from the Penobscott were under the care and protection of Gorges, and he became familiar with their language and learned many things concerning the new country. Like his kinsman, Raleigh, he had a love for adventure and exploration, and but for his duties as Governor at Plymouth lie would have gone on some of these expeditions himself, but he
hoped at some day to go and found a great settlement on the American coast.
He was a great friend of the Lord Chief Justice, Sir John Popham, and through his influence in 1606 two royal patents were secured, forming the first and second colonies, which became the London and Plymouth Companies, and this patent included all the territory along the coast and for fifty miles inland between what is now called Cape Breton and the mouth of the Potomac.C
,orges was especially connected with the Plymouth Company, and in 1606 he sent out a company for settlement, but the vessel was seized by Spaniards, and the company was only released later with great difficulty.
Another company was sent out the same year which, meeting with success, brought back such favorable reports that the Popham Colony was sent out in 1607 to the mouth of the Kennebec.
In this way much of Gorges wealth was spent, and as Popham died it became harder for him to do as he wished, but he kept a party of men for several seasons among the Penobscot Indians to get fish and furs, and in this way lie did a fair business.
In 1614, in conjunction with the Earl of Southampton, he set out under the Indian guide, Epenow, on an expedition to Martha's Vineyard to seek for gold, which proved a failure, but in this way he learned more and more of New England, and gathered together charts, letters and maps, and studied them. He also got into his possession every Indian he heard of, and at one time he had Squanto under his care.
Squanto, or Tisquariturn as he is sometimes called, was an Indian of the Pokanoket tribe, and was living at Patuxet, afterwards Plymouth, when Capt. John Smith was in,New England in 1614. Capt. Thomas Hunt, one of Smith's captains, kidnapped Squanto and took him to England, where he lived in London for three years, learned the English language and the ways of the English people. He was with Gorges for some time, and finally got to Newfoundland, and from there back to New England, where he became the friend and guide of the Plymouth people.
I In 1620 Gorges felt that it was time to get a new royal patent. The Plymouth Company was too poor in capital, enterprise and power, so he formed the Council for New Frigland, and obtained a new charter, which covered the territory from sea to sea, and included the whole of what is now known as the Northern States, the best portion of Canada and the Pacific States.
This great domain on Nov. 3, 1620, was turned over by King James Stuart to the Governor of Plymouth and thirty-nine others, and this grant became the Great Charter of New England; and to this day this patent is the right by which three states of the Union and several British Provinces are held.
Among those besides Gorges then in the Council were the Duke of Lenox, Lord Steward of the Household; the High Admiral Buckingham; Pembroke, the Lord Chamberlain of the Household;