In 1635 Weymouth was numbered among the towns of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Gorges' claim had now become of no weight, and the Gorges party had transferred this interest to the Province of Maine. Weymouth began to take a prominent pat in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In 1635 there came a large addition to the population of Weymouth. This was the Hull Company, already mentioned and a statement made where their names can be found, but it seems best that the list should be given. They came from Weymouth in England, but some of them were from other towns in Dorset and in counties near by.
We now find that the influ- ice of Boston is felt as the center of the Bay State Colony, for permission had to be given tc Hull and his company to settle in Wessagusset. Thus on July 8, 1635, the General Court of Boston passed an order giving permission to the Rev. Joseph Hull, with twenty-one families numbering about one hundred persons, to settle at Wessagusset.
The people of this company became prominent in the affairs of Weymouth, and some of their descendants hold that position today. In 1870 Mr. H. G. Somerby, who had been making investigations in England, discovered a list of the Hull passengers and sent it to Mr. William L. Appleton of Boston, with the following letter:
My DEAR MR. APPLETON: - Amongst a bundle of miscellaneous manuscripts just turned up in the Public Record Office, I find with other documents relating to New England, the following list of passengers, which I have the pleasure of sending to you for publication in the Register. I remain, yours very truly,
Mr. Appleton gave the list to the Register and it was published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Regi;ter, Vol . XXV, pages 13, 14 and 15, January, 1871.Here is the list:
tioned so much in Weymouth's history were the descendants of John King, who belonged to the Weston Colony.
In some cases there seems to be mistakes in the record, as in the case of Richard Porter, who is given as a husbandman, for how could a person bea husbandman at three years of age? Onenaturally asks the question does the figure 3 and 2 here and in other cases mean years, or that there were three of the name Rich Porter. If the latter is the meaning, then there are also two persons named John Woodcooke. The proper explanation, I think, is that the "0" is left out and that the record should be 20 and 30, not 2 and 3.
Rev. Joseph Hull was for a time the minister of the town, and as the town was incorporated in 1635, that year was important in the history of the town, and it began then to have representatives to the General Court, and became a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In the year 1635 and 1636 commissioner,, were appointed to set the boundary lines between Mount Wollaston an4 Weymouth, and the Fore River and Smelt Brook formed a part of that line, also the boundary between Weymouth and Bare Cove, now Hingham, and part of that line was Back River and Fresh River, and on a line with Plymouth Colony.
In September, 1635, Wessagusset was incorporated as a town under the name "Weymouth," and the first men to go as deputies to the General Court were William Reade, john Bursley and John Upham.
It has been stated by some writers that the early settlers in Weymouth were squatters, but if that is true then all the settlers on the American Continent were squatters.
England claimed the North American Continent by right of discovery. In 1497 and 1498 John Cabot of Bristol, Eng., in an English ship, under a license from Henry Vfl, the first of the Tudor kings, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and reached the North American shore. He was born in Italy, but was then an Englis') subject, and he went as far north as the gulf of St. Lawrence and the vicinity of Hudson Bay, and in his second voyage he went as far south as the coast of Florida.
He was followed by such men as Sir John Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Because of these discoveries the English claimed the right to colonize North America- The Weston Company, when they came to Wessagusset, had a patent or charter from the agents of the English government to settle on the North American coast, and that patent included what is now called Boston Bay.
Before settling at Wessagusset, an arrangement was made with the sachem Aberdecrest, the Indian chief, to whose tribe the region belonged by which they were given the right to settle there. This we learn ircan "Pratt's Narrative," and as he was one of the leaders of the Weston settlers, he ought to know. The Weston Company therefore had every right to settle there and should not be called squatters.
The Gorges Company had a large grant from the government, and their grant or title was the deed by which the North American Continent was held till the Revolution. Then by what chicanery or twist of history can the early settlers of Weymouth be called squatters?
A squatter is one who settles on land without any tight or grant or title to it, and these early settlers had every right. To call them squatters is simply in a line with the contemptible things that are said of them. We have followed the history of these people till after 1635, when the name Weymouth was officially given to the settlement. By this time they had spread over what has been known as Old Spain, also into other parts of what is now Ward 1, that is, they were in Weymouth Heights and the region of King Oak Hill. Not only did they cultivate land in the plains and
In the land records and boundaries, so far as we have them, we find the names of persons who had land on these hills. Much has been written about the scarcity of records in those early days, and it has even been said that no records were kept, but this is not true, for we have evidence of such records, as the Minutes of the Council for New England show. Then Rev. William Blackstone, who came in 1623, kept many records, which unfortunately were lost when his house was burned in King Philip's War, and some of those written by Thomas Morton are still intact, although the aim has been to discredit them.
Robert Tucker, who was in Weymouth in 1636, is said to have been the first recorder in Weymouth, but he removed to Rehoboth with Rev, Mr. Newman. Then in 1040 the commissioners of Weymouth were accused of keeping the town books in a disorderly manner, and of cutting out leaves so they could award the lands as they wished. Richard Lang, who brought this complaint into court, was in Weymouth as early as 1634. The writer feels that more can be learned about these early records than has yet been found, but it require-, some one with plenty of leisure to make the investigations. He has been doing what he could in the matter, but others should follow up his work.
Charles Francis Adams says that the business in Weymouth should be gone into more extensively than has been done, but we know that in those early days it was mainly agricultural. It was the raising of corn and vegetables of various kinds; hay and grain, wheat, rye and oats; and as these things had to be prepared for food, grist mills were built on the streams for that purpose. Cattle, sheep and swine were kept for food, and milk was extensively produced from cows and goats. Butter and cheese was made in large quantities, and we are even told how much milk, butter and cheese could be obtained from one cow.
From a gallon of milk they were able to make one pound of cheese, and one cow would yield one hundred and fifty pounds of cheese in a season, and from a very good cow two hundred pounds, and in addition some spring and fall butter besides milk and skimmed milk for other purposes. Both the cheese and butter were considered to be of excellent quality, and the best that came into the market.
As Weymouth was well wooded in the early days, lumber was quite a business, as in addition to home use much of it was sold in other places, and even when the native lumber was largely used up Weymouth still did a large lumber business in wood, which was imported from other places, the water privilege and harbor facilities making it easy for Weymouth to do such a business. As fish were abundant in the bay and rivers in Weymouth in those early days considerable business was done in that line, the landings in both the Fore River and the Back River making it possible for vessels78 TllF FARLY HISTORY 01: WEYMOUTH
to come and go. A special line of vessels was built for that purpose ,ahich did much business in the mackerel fishery.
Another line of business was that of iron, as the iron ore was found in the bottom of the ponds, and besides the shipping of it to other places, it was manufactured into nails and other things, and sent out of town. '['here were also some beds of yellow ochre, which ,aas used in some business. Vessels were also built in the town, and there N%as an amount of trade carried on with the outside world, especially with Boston, so that Weymouth was not isolated from other parts of the country, her vessels having gone, as I have already stated, its far as Bermuda. Salt was another commodity which was produced in considerable quantity at that time in Weymouth. It was procured from the marshes and seashore, packed in hogsheads and shipped to other places.
In 1635 Thomas Appligate of Weymouth was licensed to keep a ferry between Wessagusset and Mount Wollaston, and in Lechford's Note-Book, page 382, under date of 1640, Thomas Rawlins swore on oath that at one time he heard John King, mariner of Weymouth, in the house of said John King, say that if Thomas Appligate's boat was loaded with one more hogshead of salt it would sink. The hogshead was put into the boat that night, and in the morning it was found that the boat bad stink. This was due to the extra hogshead of salt, for without that hogshead it did not .sink. This shows a trade in salt as early as 1635. We find also in Bradford's book that one of the men they wanted at Plymouth was a man who understood the art of getting salt from the marshes.
The houses in those days were said to be of a rude nature, built of logs of wood, the space between the logs being filled with a sort of pitch or cement made of slime, sand and the grass from the beach. They were usually of one story, and had a large room used as a kitchen and general living and eating room.
It has been said that the most important thing in these houses was the chimney, which was large with open fireplace, in which logs of wood were burned. The house was built around the chimney, and any stairs for going up to an tipper room were attached to the chimney for strength. The roofs were thatched with the coarse grass which grew at the head of the beaches above where the salt water came. This grass was preserved for that purpose, and laws were made for its care and preservation, as it was valuable for such uses. Then the seaweed, which was gathered along the shore was also valuable, as it was gathered and used to pack along the base of the houses to keep out the cold and wind of winter. That has also been done in recent years, and has always been found to be very useful.
There was a great deal of waste of wood in the early days, however, and when the trees began to be much less in number, laws were made to regulate the cutting down and use of the trees.
Remarks are often made by writers on Weymouth that the records for use in writing the history of the town are very few.
The records of the early period that remains tip to 1640 give more than 130 landowners, many of them being heads of families, bit( as these records are imperfect and do not represent the whole number, which was most likely double that, there would at least be 200 heads of families.
After 1635 the records were kept better, and we find that Weymouth was growing in population all the time. In 1636 the General Court ceded Gjape Island and Round Island to Weymouth, and they have been in the town ever since. Tire records of those early days were filled with regulations concerning cattle, the cutting of timber and other public matters that seemed to be called for.
The officers we find in the records are such as townsmen, fenceviewers, and officials for laying out the boundaries between the neivirboring towns; also lines beLWeefl different states and the laying out and improving highways, and the managing of the common land of the town.
There are a few old records that may be of interest to-day. Thomas Maverick was one of the early settlers in Weymouth, and it is recorded of him in 1630, as follows:
Maverick was seated on Noddle's Island, or East Boston, and was a gentleman of good estate.
Josselyn, who visited him on July 10, 1638, calls him "the only hospitable man in all the country, giving entertainment to all who came to see him, gratis." (See Savage, Winthrop's History of New England, Vol. 1, p. 32.)
1631. - The frost breaks up in Boston Harbor on May 18, and it has been observed ever since this bay was planted by the English, namely, seven years, that the frost broke at) every year at this day. (Prince's Annals of New England, 343.)
The winter must have been longer in those days than it is at present, for tire frost now breaks tip in April instead of May.
September 31, 1632, Gov. Winthrop, Rev. John Wilson, Capt. John UnIlerhill, and Capt. Daniel Patrick visited Weymouth there they spent the night, where they were bountifully entertained with store of turkeys, geese, ducks, etc., and the next day came sale to Boston. (Savage's Life of John Winthrop, Vol. 2, p. 106.)
1633. - This year died (lie famous Saganiore Chickatabot of Squantum, whose authonitv is dc~ribed by Hutchinson "as extending around the harbors of Boston, Charlestown, through Malden, Chelsea, Nantasket, Hingham, Weymouth, and Dorchester." (Historical Tracts by Whiting, p. 29.)
Zachariali Bicknell cause from London in the ship Assurance, and settled in WeYfamith On July 2, 1635. There were 106 emigrants, among them Rev. Joseph Hull. (Hotten's Farly Emigrants, p. 283.)
Henry Waltham of Weymouth is supposed to hive come from Dorsetshire. He was early engaged in the fisheries, and was a representative in 1636- lie and Mr. Thomas Richards, who was interested with him in the mill at Weymouth so TUL FARLY OF WEYAlOUTfl
It is stated by some writers that there came a time in 1640 when the population became so great that there was not )and enough in Weymouth, and it had becurne necessary for some of the people to go to other regions. Charles Francis Adams tells us that in 1642 the townspeople thought themselves so numerous that it was expedient for a portion of them to renrove to a new settlement, and it was voted that such a removal should be made.
The Rev. Samuel Newman, the pastor at the time, offered to go with others, and be, with about two hundred persons, went to Rhode Island.
There are other writers who take issue with such a statement and say that it was religious differences that made Newman remove with some of his people.
Gilbert Nash, in his "Weymouth in Its First Twenty Years," says this removal was due to religious differences.
Rev. Samuel Newman came to Weymouth in 1639 and remained for four years, but the former religious troubles had not ceased. The spirit of unrest that had possessed the people could not so soon be quieted, and he found his position anything but pleasant. A man with the Episcopal education, ancestry, and tendencies which Newman had, although he was very liberal, could not easily become reconciled to the spirit which was fast growing in Weymouth, sci he,resolved to emigrate, and with about forty families of his people went to Seekonk in Rhode Island which he called Rehoboth, meaning "The Lord hath made room for us."
It was not because Weymouth had become too narrow in territory at this time, for not more than one-quarter of its acres were occupied then.
The pressure was on the spirit, not on the body, and instead of continuing the quarrel Newman thought best to leave.
Bliss, in his "History of Rehoboth," states that the Rev. Samuel Newman was the real founder of the town of Rehoboth. It seems strange that Rev. William Blackstone, who was an early settler in Weymouth, and the first settler in Boston, should also be the first settler in the town of Rehoboth~ for he was the first settler it) that region.
Roger Williams, when Ile had to fly for his religious views for a time, lived in a tent in the same region, but went from there to what is now Providence, and became the founder of that city.82 Till, FIARLY HISTORY OF ),~EYMOUTII
Samuel Newman, with his people from Weymouth, was the real founder. Newman's people in Weymouth obtained the first grant of land in Seekonk in 1641, and with them were some people from Hingham.
The first meeting of the "Original Planters" of Rehoboth was held in Weymouth Oct. 24, 1643, and the next meeting was also field in Weymouth on Dec. 10, 1643, and Richard Wright was empioyed to build a corn mill at Rehoboth.
The people who went with Newman had different religious views, for Robert Tricker, who was one of them was a Baptist. The names of these early settlers or proprietors of Rehoboth ire given in Bliss' "History of Rehoboth," and the list in 1643 and 1644 is as follows:
It is said that forty families went from ' ' ' ',ymouth with Newman. There seems to be more than forty heads of families in this list, but sorrie of the proprietors remained in Weymouth, and a few were from Hingham.
On Oct. 3, 1893, the town of Rehoboth celebrated its two huncited and fiftieth anniversary, and at the celebration Mr. Bradford Hawes represented Weymouth. In response to the toast, "Weyitiouth, the mother of Rehoboth," he made a most excellent speech, a report of which is published in the book issued by the town of
Rehoboth, giving a description of the celebration- The book is edited by Hon. Thomas H. Bicknell.
It may be well to mention something as to records and sources. The statement is generally made that the early records of Weymouth were destroyed by a fire. There is truth in that, but there is also another statement made which is alluded to by Gilbert Nash, and that is, that by mutual agreement the parties in the religious disputes decided not to hand down to posterity the particulars of these disputes and therefore destroyed the records. This seems quite plausible.
Then, we do not find much of anything in the Plymouth records, except what is in Bradford, Winslow and Pratt, and the early records of Plymouth are also missing, for which no reason is given, and it has been said by those who ought to know, that these records also were purposely destroyed.
It also happens that there are outside sources and records from which much can be obtained, some of which I have mentioned. Then those people who were driven from Plymouth and Weymouth and settled in Maine, New Hampshire and Virginia have left records as to how they were forced to leave these places. For instance, William Hilton, who came with his wife and children in the good ship "Anne" in 1623 to Plymouth, and on account of the baptizing of which by Rev. John Lyford in 1624 had to go to New Hampshire, where he settled at Dover Point, sometimes called Hilton's Point, left a record behind him, and Rev. James Hill Fitts in his history of the town of Newfields, N. H., refers to this baptism, and states that this was the beginning of the trouble at Plymouth with the Rev. John Lyford.
Rev. Mr. Fitts was a Congregational minister, and for that reason it does not seem that any objection can be made to his statements. The argument used sometimes in favor of the course pursued at Plymouth and Massachusetts is that the religion set up in those places w-as that of the Separatist and Puritans, therefore others should conform to it. But this argument can be used in favor of the Church of England against the Separatists and Puritans, as there is no question but that the Church of England was the religion of England, and therefore the others should have conformed to it.
The truth is that there is a great deal of mismiderstandireg and misreprescota6cut of this whole matter in England, The durch of England cannot justly be accused of intolerance, for at first the views of these people were permitted, and even churches were set apart for their use. Thus, when in 1567 the Duke of Alva's persecution in the Netherlands drove many Dutch Protestants to England, they were allowed to settle themselves in eight English towns and have their form of religion.
In London the well-known church of the Austin Friars was set apart for their use, and the Dutch Reformed Church has held that church to the present time, and when the massacre of St. Bar84 THE EARLY IIISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
tbolornew caused many Huguenot families to flee to England, they also were tolerated and permitted to have their form of religious worship.
During the reign of Queen Mary nianv Protestants and clergy had to flee to the continent, and while there these people imbibed the views of Calvin Luther and others, and later, when they returned to England, they were tolerated, but when they tried to overthrow the Church of England, and turn it over to the views and ways of Calvin and such like, then there was trouble.
These &~wnists, Separatists, Puritans, Congregationalists, or whatever we choose to call them, tried to force laws through Parliament to change the order of things in the Church of England and make it like their views, and there came opposition. The law said that no bills concerning the Church could be passed through Parfiament unless they were first acted upon by Convocation of the Church, but these non-conformists ignored Convocation, and tried to make Parliament supreme, and this led to the laws of conformity, for the violation of which these people were punished, and they call it persecution.
We always talk in favor of the separation of Church and State, and the Magna Charta and Bill of Rights preserved the independence of the Church from the State, but these so-called reformers were actually trying to deprive the Church of that independence, and now, because in those days the effort was made to make these people obey the law, we call it persecution.
Then, as far as Priority is concerned in Weymouth and around Boston, the Church of England was first, and if we are to use that argument in favor of Plymouth or Governor Winthrop, it should also be used in Weymouth, and the actions against the earlier settlers of Weymouth were, then, all wrong. But after all, the whole question was one which was settled in England rather than in the New World. It became in the end a contest between King and Parliament, and had Charles I been victorious, then Sir Ferdinando Gorges and not Winthrop would have ruled the destiny of New England, but Cromwell and his party were victorious. The power and influence of Gorges fell, and Winthrop and Endicott ruled in Massachusetts, and the Church became the State, and Winthrop in the end became the head of both Church and State.
No wonder Blackstone said he left England to get away from the power of the ford bishops, but he left Boston to get away from the power of the "Lord's Brethren."
Perbips a more important part of the history than church squabbles and Indian fights is how the people lived. We find by records that some of the men are spoken of as mariners, some as fishermen, others as planters, some as farmers, others as clapboard ryvers, some as bridge builders and others as ferrymen. As early as 1635 there was a ferry between Weymouth and Wollaston, and in 1637 between Weymouth and Hingham.In 1637 came the Indian War, called the Pequot War, and Wey-
mouth had her share in that war, as in a levy of one hundred and sixty men to carry it oil, Weymouth had to furnish five men, and this would indicate a population of five hundred souls in the settle~ mcs~',.
We find some of the men, as John King for instance, were mariners, that is, they went off to other parts of the world for trade, and brought back things that were needed in Weymouth.
On the flats by the sea the people made salt from the salt water and from the salt tl.&' ' had settled on the marsh land. This was placed in bags, and, together with furs and various articles obtained in Weymouth, put on board the small ships owned by the mariners and seamen, and carried to other parts of the world, going as far as the Barbadoes and bringing back goods that were to be obtained there.
Thus in those early days people in Weymouth were engaged in trade, and saw something of the outer world. Planting, farming, raising fruits and other things from the soil was the work of some. The men u in the fields, the women in the house, and so all were busy. Some cut down trees and made them into lumber and clapboards, and thus houses and buildings were put up and the people were busy from morning to night. Sheep were valuable; the women tended to the wool from the sheep, scouring, carding, spinning and weaving it into cloth, with which garments were made. Horses, oxen, cows, swine, fowl and sheep were kept, and we find the men engaged in the questions of boundaries, bridges, highways and fences to keep in swine that seemed disposed to wander, even in those early days.
Even then the tax collectors went on their rounds, and in f637 a tax of E27 was levied on Weymouth. By an order of the General Court in Boston, it was declared that no dwelling house should be built more than half a mile from the meeting-house.
This order was made for safety, for fear of the Indians, but the order was not enforced in Weymouth, for the people were spread over a territory of two or three miles. This territory extended from the neighborhood of King's Cove along the shore and tip the river and over the neck to Watch House Hill, a distance of a mile, and there were a number of plantations extending south and east over King Oak Hill, and also as far as Whitman's Pond in East Wevmouth.
We might say that Weymouth grew slowly in population, and this was natural, but we must remember that in addition to the company that went with Rev. Mr. Newman to Rehoboth there were others who went to Faston and Abington, thus causing Weymouth to grow more slowly than it otherwise would have done. This did not trouble the "Town Fathers" of the time, for it was a question with them whether there was land enough to serve for the growing population, and they made careful laws to regulate the
In writing of the early religious history of Weymouth, it may be well to think of the first services held in English on the North American Comment. In New England many look to Plymouth for the beginning of religion in America, but is that a correct view?
In 1578 Sir Francis Drake entered the Pacific Ocean and sailed into the Golden Gate of San Francisco, and while in this port Francis Fletcher of Drake's ship the "Pelican" read the service of the Church in English on the shore of what is now San Francisco, and a great cross in Golden Gate Park marks the spot where that service was held.
Before this, on the vessels of Hawkins, Drake and others, services in English had been held in American waters, but this was the first service of the English Prayer Book ever held on the shores of our country.
In 1585 Sir Walter Raleigh fitted out seven ships to found a colony in the neighborhood of what is now Virginia, and among these colonists was Thomas Hariot, a scientific man and scholar, who held the service of the Church on Roanoke Island, and read and explained the Bible to the Indians.
In 1587 Mantect, the Indian, was baptized, as was also Virginia Dare, the granddaughter of John White, and the first child born of English parents in America.
In 1603 Martin Pring in his voyages visited Plymouth Harbor, which he named Whitson Bay. He remained there six weeks, and the services of the English Prayer Book were held there.
Thus, while Brewster and Bradford were still in England, while William Brewster was still postmaster at Scrooby, and William Bradford belonged to the parish church at Austerfield, the Prayer Book service was used in the vicinity of Plymouth Rock.
In 1605 Capt. George Weymouth visited the coast of Maine and held service on Monhegan Island, and set up a cross to mark the spot.
A second expedition landed in 1607, and the Rev. Richard Seyinour of the Church of England held services at that cross.
In 1607 came the settlement of Jamestown, Va., when the three ships, the "Discovery," the "God-speed" and the "Susan Constant," landed the colonists, and with them as chaplain was the Rev. Robert Hunt. It was on Wednesday when they landed, and on Thursday they erected a fort and got ready for Sunday by hanging up a sail which they fastened to trees to shelter them from
the suit and rain. For seats they made use of logs of wood, and a bar of wood placed between two trees served for a pulpit. This Sunday was the Sunday after Ascension Day, and the service used was the Prayer Book service for that day.
In that simple church Rev. Mr. Hunt held daily services, and on Sundays preached two sermons, and every three months the Holy Communion was administered, and in the rude church which succeeded this the Indian maiden Pocahontas was baptized with the name Rebecca.
The clergymen who came to Virginia in her early days were men of high education and excellent character. The Rev. Robert Hunt was a graduate of Cambridge, M.A., Vicar of Reculver in Kent, and was selected by Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, because of his sweetness, ability and excellent character, to go to Virginia. Very soon after the foundation of Jamestown the following clergymen were in Virginia, all of them college graduates: Rev. Richard Burke of Oxford, Rev. John Laydon, Rev. James Stockham, Rev. Mr. Glover of Cambridge, Rev. William Means, Rev. William Wickham, Rev. Samuel M. Cook, Rev. James Blair, Rev. Alexander Murray and Rev. Alexander Whitaker.
The last named was a graduate of St. John's College, Oxford, and is called the Apostle to the Indians because of his work among them, and it was Whitaker who converted Pocahontas to Christianity. It was Whitaker also who married Pocahontas and John Rolfe in the church at Jamestown in 1614.
It is not necessary to say much about the coming of religion into Plymouth with the Pilgrims in 1620. Almost everybody knows of that. It has been the center of New England history as New England people have written it, but there is one thing we learn from the account of the various religious services in America in those early days, and that is that wherever there has been a sort of settlement, however small, religious services have been held.
As we read about Weymouth or Wessagusset, we are led to think there was no religion about it. The Weston Colony is put aside by those who have written about it as having nothing to do with religion. They were not that sort of men, we are told.
It is not possible the Weston people were anything but religious. If this were so, why is it that many of those people showed a strong religious disposition, and the sons of some became deacons in churches? What of the Kings, the Pratts, the Salisburys, the Rogerses, the Gibbses and the johnstones, and many of those who went to Virginia when the settlement was given up for a time. Even Thomas Morton, of whom so much evil has been written, was interested in religion, and when he was in Merry Mount had the services of the Church of England, and tried to read and explain the Bible to the Indians. He had the English Prayer Book and made use of its services, for the Pilgrims of Plymouth called his Prayer Book "the Book of the Devil," a common name for it among the Pilgrims and Puritans.88 TNE EARLY IIISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
The Weston Company were nearly a year in Wessagusset, and during that time ten of their number died, and are we to believe that in all that time they had no religious services over the bodies of those whom they laid in the grave? One of the first things those early settlers did was to build a church, and can we think for a moment that the Weston people did not follow that custom?
They had no minister, we are told. - How do we know they had none? Did the Pilgrims bring a minister to Plymouth? Is it not a fact that they made their own minister? If there was no minister with the Weston Company, they had those who by the laws of England had tile right to read the services of the Church. The master or mate or captain of each vessel had the right to read the services, and oil the "Swan" there was a master, Mr. Rogers, and the mate, Mr. Gibbs, and there was also the captain of the " Charity " and his mate. Is it at all likely that they did not exercise these functions, especially as that work is placed upon them by the shipping laws of the land from which they came?
The Weston people built houses and a blockhouse, and are we to say that they did not build a church? Or did not use the blockhouse at times for a church? Tradition says they did. At Jamestown they made use of a sail and logs of wood for a church, and we are told by John Smith himself that "soon after, they built a homely thing like a barn set upon cracliets, covered with rafts, sedge and earth, as was also the walls," and in that rude building they held their services.
Could not the people at Wessagusset do as much.? It is safe, then, to say (hat at Wessagusset in 1622 and 1623 there was a rude church located in the region called "Old Spain," and not far from King Cove. Future investigations may tell us about this church, but following tradition and custom we can say that the religious history of Weymouth began in 1622, and at that early date was the First Church.
In 1623, when the Gorges Company came to Wessagusset, they came prepared for religious work. They had two clergymen of the Church of England with them, and such sacred things as might be needed they brought with them. These were vestments to be used by the clergy in the services, vessels for the Celebration of the Holy Communion, Prayer Books, Bibles and other books needed, and the clergymen had such clotht, as were worn by them in England at that time. They even had the cassock or canonical coat, as the early writers of that day called it.
There can be no question as to there being religious services in Wessagusset in 1623. In the Year Book of the Old North Church at Weymouth Heights the statement is made of that church, "Gathered in 1623." Also oil a board oil the church there is the same statement, and in the Year Book, Rev. William Morell is given as the first minister of that church, 1623. These statements are true, except that the church then was that of the Church of England with the Prayer Book Service.
Rev. William Morell was a faithful minister of the Church of England, and according to the records of Cambridge University, England, and the "Magazine of History," Vol. 9, 1909, page 278, he matriculated at Magdalen College, Cambridge, in 1611, graduating with A.B. in 1614-15. Later he received his M.A. and was ordained -- ffe ministry, and at the time of his going to America he was rector of a church. Morel] was a man of a very high character with an excellent education both in a general way and also in a classical line, as his poem in Latin, which lie wrote after his return to England shows, said poem giving a beautiful description of New England. He came out with the good-will, blessing .and approval of Abbott, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Primate of England. He also had a commission from the Primate and the civil authority giving him general powers of visitation and control over the church in New England.
At the time of the expedition it was expected that the settlement would be in what is now Boston, and as it would become the center of New England, Morell was to reside in Boston while his companion, Blackstone, would take charge at Plymouth. Morell was a man of much wisdom, kind and considerate, with no disposition to persecute or punish others who were opposed to his religious ~~;'_ws, and with no desire to force on people what they did not want. He therefore did not try to make use of the powers which he possessed, knowing that it would not be agreeable to the people of Plymouth. He contented himself with performing his duties as a pastor at Wessagusset in company with his assistant, Blackstone. After remaining two years in Wessagusset, he went back to London, and exercised the duties of his office in England.
Rev. William Blackstone, who was younger than Morell, was sent out in the Gorges Company as an assistant to Morell. He is said to have been born in the county of Durham on March 5, 1596. He entered Cambridge University in 1614, and in 1617 received the degree of A.B. from Emmanuel College in that institution, and that of A.M. in 1621, and in 1622 was ordained to the ministry. While in college, Mr. Blackstone wrote his name Blaxton, and both forms of the name appear in writings concerning him. Blackstone continued his duties as a clergyman with Morell until Morell had gone.
We are to remember that the services of these clergymen at Wessagusset were of the Church of England, and it is said that in 1624 there came an addition to the population at NVessagusset, some of whom were non-conformists, that is, of the Separatist nature, and this began to make a little feeling against the services. It is thought that this, with the opposition at Plymouth to tile Chur(h of E'ngland, made Morell go back to England, and finally Zillsed Blackstone to remove to Shawnitit, now Boston.
In Boston, Blackstone devoted himself to his books and the Vtllti~ation of his farm, which was oil what is now Beacon Hill and90 THE EARLY HISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
Boston Common. fie was the first settler in Boston and the first to name that settlement "Boston."
When Isaac Johnston, one of Winthrop's people, visited Blackstone in 1630, as he looked over the beautiful settlement he took special notice of the three mountains and suggested that a good name for the place would be "Tri Mountain," but Blackstone replied that he had already called it "Boston," as many of those who came over when lie did came from Boston. Blackstone still wore his canonical coat, and Winthrop speaks of his wearing it when he paid him a visit. This shows that he had not given up his duties as a clergyman, but still conformed to the rules of the Church.
Blackstone was the first man in New England to raise apples, and when Winthrop visited him he gave him some of the apples.
When the population in Boston increased around him, Blackstone became tired of it, as their views were not his, and he sold out and removed to Rhode Island. He had an opportunity to go to Agamenticus, now York, Me., as rector of the church there, but he chose rather to go off into the wilderness and begin over again.
He settled on the shore of a river in Rhode Island, which was called the Blackstone River, after him. There he built a house on the side of a hill, which he called Study Hill. Here he lived for many years on his farm, and in the history of Rehoboth he is called the first settler in Rehoboth.
He had many valuable books in his library, among which were ten paper books containing a history of the years lie had spent in New England. These would be very valuable if they were in existence, but they were burned soon after his death by the Indians in King Philip's War.
Blackstone understood the Indian language and was friendly with the Indians. He was also a friend of Roger Williams, who fled into Rhode Island from Massachusetts because of persecution for his religious views. Blackstone often preached for Roger Williams.
In 1659 Blackstone married in Boston a widow named Stephenson, and had two children. He was in the habit of visiting both Providence and Boston and used to ride upon a trained bull.
He died at his home on Study Hill May 26, 1675. He was beloved and revered by all who knew him and was much lamented by his neighbors,
The religious life of WessagusseL from 1623 to 1625 was led by these two excellent clergymen, Morell and Blackstone. They had a church in what is now North Weymouth or "Old Spain," as it is sometimes called, and this building is- referred to by some of the early residents of Weymouth. The settlers who came to Weymouth in the early (lays spread along the river up to and beyond Phillips' Creek, and over the land extending over Watch House Hill now Burying Hill and tip to King Oak Hill, and then in other directions, to the base of Smith's Hill now called Great Hill.
Where the church building was located it is now hard to say, although some of the early settlers stated that it was on Watch
House Hill. No doubt there were two churches built on Watch House Hill, but it is more likely that the one in the days of Morell :and Blackstone was nearer to King's Cove. The first church we have any record of was built on Watch House Hill, one hundred and fifty rods north of the railroad depot now at Weymouth Heights. This was opposite the Soldiers' Monument. it was mall, we are told, and still standing in 1645, and for some years later. It was unfinished, we are told but there was another building before this on the same hill. The'one on the site one hundred an(! fifty rods north of the railroad depot served the people for many years, and was succeeded by a larger building in 1682. We may therefore say that from 1622 to the present, religious services were held in Weymouth.
As we pass on from the time of Morell and Blackstone to the days of the Hull Company, the records of the religious history are very brief, probably because those records are lost or destroyed. We have the statement of Prince in his Annals of the company that came to Wessagusset from Weymouth in England in 1624, having with them a non-conformist minister, the Rev. Mr. Barnard. The coming of this clergyman has been doubted by some, but the writer agrees with Mr. Gilbert Nash that the Rev. Mr. Barnard did come in 1624. Who he was is not yet known, perhaps because he has not been looked for sufficiently in England.
There is no doubt of the settlement of Wessagusset from 1625 to 1635, as there are various references to that settlement. Thomas Morton mentions it in his book "The New Canaan," as he was in the habit of visiting friends there. These visits Morton made between 1625 and 1628, and we have the fact that in 1628 Myles Standish went with a party to Wessagusset to arrest Morton. Then the Rev. John Oldham came in 1623 and John Lyford in 1624, and these men are said to have been in Wessagusset before they went to Plymouth, and also at Hull.
There is everything, then, to show that there must have been a church after 1625. The religious life of the little settlement continued after 1625 to the time of Huff, and later Mr. Barnard may have been one of those who kept that life up. The early records in Plymouth at that time have been lost or destroyed, so we have no information from the Pilgrims as to religion in Weymouth at that time, except as it is mentioned by Bradford in his History.
As the settlement coninued we must therefore believe that the religious life also continued in the church at Weymouth, with Mr. Barnard as pastor, who ministered to the people till the time of his death.
In 1630 Wevmouth is included in the tax list of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and in 1632 it was visited by Governor Winthrop and an incidental mention made of the church there.
In 1636 there came another minister, the Rev. Thomas Jenner, and in 1637 came the Rev- Robert Leuthall. But in the Hull Company of 1635 there was the Rev. Joseph Hull, who was born in Somersetshire, Eng., in the year 1590. He was educated at Oxford University at St. Mary's Hall, front which he was graduated in 1614, receiving the degree of A.B. in 1621. He became rector of the church at Nortlileigh, in Devonshire, Eng. He held this church
for some years, but resigned it in 1632. He was interested in the emigration to New England, and gathered together a company of more than one hundred, and in 1635 went with it to New England, sailing from Weymouth, Eng., to Weymouth, New England. He arrived at Weymouth on July 8, 1635, and on September 2 of the same year he was made a freeman.
The religious condition at Weymouth was not very satisfactory to him, and although he was liberal in his views, yet he was so loyal to the Church of England and Episcopal views that the opinions growing up in Weymouth did not suit him. He received a grant of land in Weymouth June 12, 1636, but the same year received a grant of land in Hingham, although he was the minister at Weymouth at that time. He seems to have preached in Hingham, and also at Salem and Beverly, and he is mentioned in the list of settlers at Salem in 1637, and yet in that year he was still in Weymouth. Ile was a deputy to the General Court from Hingham in 1638, and in 1639 be resigned the church at Weymouth, preaching his farewell sermon May 5, 1639. He was in Barnstable in 1639, and was made a freeman in Plymouth Colony the same year. In 1641 he was called to Yarmouth, but the same year lie preached at the Isle of Shoals. In 1642 and 1643 he was again at Barnstable, and on May 10, 1643, he became minister at York, Me. In 1659 he returned to England and was rector at St. Buryan in Cornwall, but in 1662 he was again in New England and was minister -it Oyster River, N. H. He died at the Isle of Shoals Nov. 19, 1665.
The career of Rev. Mr. Hull seems a strange one, as he moved about so much, but the conditions of the times were responsible for it. He is said to have been a fine preacher, a man of learning and worth, very popular, and elected to many important positions, but he was not a favorite with the settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
One of the strange things in Weymouth at this time was that there were so many ministers in such a small place. Two in addition to Mr. Hull have already been mentioned,-Jenner and Ixtatbol. Rev. Thomas Jenner was in Roxbury in t634 and 1635, and was called to preach at Weymouth in 1636. But why Should lie lie when Rev. Mr. Hull was already there? He was sent there in the interp,,t of the Church and authorities of the Massachusetts Bav Colony, as they wished to gain the ascendency there.
Rev. Joseph Hull was of the Church of England, and he was therefore favorable to the Episcopal form. Jenner wag a inan of gt)od character and great ability, but as lie did not receive the hcartv support of the people in Weymouth, in 1640 lie, went to Sa~ o' INIC,Rev. Robert Lentlial, NNho came to We , vniouth in 16,37, was also
condemned for heresy, although he had brought frorn England a good reputation. In 1640 he removed to Newport, R. L, the refuge for persecuted ministers, and from there he went back to England.
The next clergyman in Weymouth was the Rev. Samuel Newman, ,A ho wits called it) Weymouth in 1639. He was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on May 10, 1602, was graduated from Trinity College, Oxford, ?vlarch 3, 1620, and received the degree of A.B. on the l7th of October at St. Edmund's Hall. In 1625 he had a small church at Midhope in the parish of Ecclesfield, Yorkshire. He came to New England in 1636, in the good ship "James," which sailed from London in 1635, and was among the settlers at Dorchester in 1636. He was pastor of the church at Weymouth for four years, but the years were not pleasant, and in 1644 he removed to Rehoboth, taking a number of his people with him, and died in Rehoboth Nov. 2, 1672. He is said to have been a man of excellent character, a learned scholar, and a brilliant preacher. He was greatly beloved by his people and much lamented by them at his death.
Newman was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Thacher, who was more successful with the people. than the others, for he remained with them twenty years.
One of the principal authorities for the early religious history of Weymouth was the Hen. Christopher Webb, who furnished some historical information at celebrations in the Old North Church, and from his information is gained the statements concerning the old church buildings. From him we learn that in 1682 a new church was built, which was forty-five feet long, forty feet wide, and the walls twenty.feet high. This was built on the north side of what is now the railroad track, one hundred and fifty rods from the Weymouth Heights depot, It was built by Jacob Nash for C280, but in 1751 it took fire and was*burned to the ground.
Soon after, however, another church was built, which was fiftyfive feet long, forty-two feet wide and twenty-two feet high, and this was on the same spot. This served the people for eighty years, and in 1832 it was taken down and a still larger one was built. This was sixty-eight feet long, fifty-four feet wide and twenty-four feet high, and was a much better and handsomer building than the others.
The first church built on Watch House Hill is mentioned in the records of the General Court, but there seems to have been a great deal of trouble in the church in those early days. At one time there were four ministers contending for the same pulpit, and perhaps each one holding forth in different places at the same time. Let its try to find out what this trouble was, and thus clear up some of the religious difficulties in Weymouth in those early days.
As we consider the religious life in Wessagusset, from 1623 to 1639, we find there was trouble. The settlers who came with Gorges were Church of England People, tildL i., they were Episco-
palian. This was not plursing to the people at Plymouth. They were also loyal to King and Throne, and the Charter which Gorges had gave them power over the people at Plymouth.
The Pilgrims had come to the New World, we are told, to worship God according to their conscience. They had come that they might have religious liberty, but is this strictly true? They had religious liberty in Holland, and as they came from Holland to New England it was not religious intolerance that drove them out of Holland. They were persecuted in England, New England writers say, but it is not strictly true that it was persecution that drove them to New England.
The Church in England insisted, it is said, that they should conform to its methods of worship, but the strange thing is that when they had power in Plymouth they insisted that others should conform to the method of worship which they had devised.
There was opposition in Plymouth to the Prayer Book form of worship, and this opposition was felt in Wessagusset. Rev. William Morrell felt that he could not carry out the work he was sent out to perform. It would not be tolerated in Plymouth, so rather than have trouble with Plymouth lie went back to England.
Some writers have tried to show that there was toleration in Plymouth, but the facts do not support that claim. They permitted people of other religious views to come to Plymouth, we are told, but that was not toleration, for they did not permit them to have their own form of religious worship. If a clergyman of the Church of England wanted to officiate in Plymouth, he had to give up his orders in the Church of England and take their orders, which to those clergymen were no orders at all, as they were simply orders under the authority of laymen.
When clergymen of the Church of England tried to use their own methods of worship they were driven out of Plymouth, and stories concerning their moral character were circulated, the only basis of which was rumor. Three men, - Morton, Lyford and Oldham, - for instance, were driven out, arrested and sent to England with charges against them. They were put in prison in England, but when an attempt was made to try them, the authorities found the only thing against them was that they had tried to have their own kind of worship -that of the Church of England. Nothing else could be shown against them, so the authorities had to set them at liberty.
These items, and others like them, can be seen in the Colonial Records in Boston. This opposition in Plymouth to the religious views at Wessagusset had much to do with the false stories told about the Weston and Gorges settlements in Wessagusset. It is strange that a people like those at Plymouth, who claimed that they left.England because they could not worship God as their conscience told them, and were persecuted because they would not copfc.-m to the methods used in the Church of England, when t:iey were in power at Plymouth, should insist that all who came96 THE EARLY HISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
to Plymouth should worship according to their methods, and when thev did riot do so were persecuted and driven out of Plymouth.
After Endicott came to Saleni and Winthrop to Boston, although these Puritans professed to love the Church of England when they were leaving that country, yet when they became a power in New Fngland they would not permit the Prayer Book worship within their domain, and William Blackstone left them saying that he "left England because lie did not like the power of the Lord's Bishops, but left Boston because he did riot like to be under the power of the Lord's Brethren."
those at Plymouth and those in and around Boston. The influence of the Pilgrims at Plymouth and the Puritans at Boston thus had a great effect upon Weymouth and terided to prevent the growth of the settlement, as it caused many to leave and go elsewhere, because they were hindered in worshipping in the way they had been used to in England. Besides, there grew up a religious division in Weymouth, and this was the cause of the church troubles.
If we consult the Colonial Records we will find many instances of this trouble. The first settlers were mainly of the Episcopal form of religion, and for a time all went well; but as the influence of Plymouth and Boston became greater, it was brought to bear upon Weymouth, the aim being to curb and put an end to that form of worship. As settlers came into Weymouth the contest became more intense, and the newcomers began to interfere with and disturb the religious worship, and in the records we find men brought up before the courts and fined for disturbing religious worship. There are some instances of men being fined twenty shillings for disturbing the churches.
Most of the clergymen who came to Weymouth in tht early days were graduates of English Universities, and naturally in favor of the Church of England worship, but those who were opposed to that worship made it so disagreeable for them that they did not stay long, but went to places where they could have that worship, and then as they were interfered with there they went to Maine or Rhode Island or back to England.
In due course of time persecution came in fashion, and it became dangerous in Massachusetts to have an English Prayer Book in one's possession. The Church of England had not taken up the Calvinistic views, while the Separatists, the Congregationalists, held to the views of John Calvin, and those who did not accept his views were persecuted, t,ied and found guilty of heresy. It was heresy to have a Prayer Book; it was heresy to be a Quaker or a Baptist, and when one wits found guilty of such heresy he was morally bad. The persecution of the Quakers, Baptists and Episcopalians is a blot on the history of Massachusetts, and the men who were guilty of these heresies were men to be condemned morally and theologically. Thus Roger Williams, who to-day is honored and revered in history, was persecuted and driven out of Massa99 THE EARLY TUSIORY OF WEYMOUTH
chusetts, and many evil things said of his character. Even the "Youth's History of the (Trited States" speaks of him in a very disparaging wav, -of uncertain character and more disposed to cause trouble than to strive for peace. In all this religious excitement Weymouth did not escape.
Flon. Charles Francis Adams in his writings tells us that Weymouth was looked upon by the government of the Bay State Colony as the plague spot of prelacy, the hotbed of Episcopacy, and it must be stamped out.
In 1638 the "stamping out" process was begun by Winthrop and Dudley. Linked with Episcopacy was the question of justification by faith, baptisms or the covenant as the admission to the church, a ministry having received priestly ordination, or made ministers bythe mere authority of the congregation. Therewasalso the question of having a ritual service, or a plain service without any authorized form.
In carrying out this "stamping out" policy, Rev. John Wheelwright, who was at Mount Wollaston, was banished and his followers forced to conform to the Bay State form. Then Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, a follower of Wheelwright, with all those who stood with her was driven into exile.
The Winthrop party then turned to Weymouth, the "plague spot," the seat of Gorges, the home of MoreU, the place from which Blackstone, Walford and Maverick had come. For her there was to be no mercy; the last vestige of the Ritual and Prayer Book of the Church of England must be driven out of the limits of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A committee from Boston was sent out to Weymouth to search out and put an end to it all. Hon. Charles Francis Adams says this was like a committee sent out to a French city in the Reign of Terror -- it meant horror and distress; it nreant the end.
There had been some discussion going on between the different parties in Weymouth concerning the kind of service to be made the service in Weymouth. In 1635 there came in the Hull Company a Mr. Musachiell Bernard, with his wife and two children. His father was the Rev. Richard Bernard, or Barnard, rector of tire church at Batcombe in Somersetsh ire. Mr. George W. Chamberlain, in preparing the genealogy for the new history of Weymouth, made the discovery of the Bernard family arid its relatioa to Musachiell Bernard of Weymouth, and full particulars of the family are given by him in the genealogy.
Rev. Richard Bernard was a Puritan, but opposed to separation from the Church of England. Musachiell Bernard took great interest in the discussion about the form of church for Weymouth. He wrote to his father concerning the matter, and his father wrote a great deal concerning it, and sent out two books of description and advice. One of these was sent to the leaders at Weymouth and one to Governor Winthrop. They are supposed to have been manuscript books. Governor Winthrop, in his history of New
England, mentions these books, and tells of the answer sent to the Rev. Mr. Bernard. That answer was in opposition to Mr. Bernard's book, and one Mr. Britton, who had spoken reproachfully of the answer which had been seat to Mr. Bernard2s book, was convicted by the General Court, and punished for his offence. These relations between Mr. Bernard of Weymouth in(] the Rev. Mr. Bernard may have given rise to the staternent of Prince that a Rev. Mr. Bernard came to Weymouth in 1624. UnfortunaLetv, neither of these books are now in existence.
The Governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony refused to pay any attention to the arguments and advice of the Rev. Richard Bernard, and the "stamping out" process went on. Those Who favored in any way the Church of England and her teachings were sternly punished, fined, disfranchised and publicly whipped or driven out of town, and thus all of what was looked upon as Popery by Winthrop and others was crushed out, as was also freedom of speech and religious liberty. Order now reigned in Weymouth, and conformity to Puritanism was complete, and, as Matthew Arnold says, the people went into the prison house of Puritanism, and had the key turned upon them. He further states that "it was a defective type of religion, a narrow range of intellect and knowledge, a stunted sense of beauty and a low standard of manners."
Some one may say that the author has written them with an Episcopalian bias. It would be natural for air Episcopal clergyman to do co, but the fact- ~opport all I have written, and the writers in New England who have written on this subject, with a few exceptions, have written with a Puritan and Congregational bias. The author has refrained from mentioning many things that are. disgraceful to the Pilgrims and Puritans in New England. If we search the Colonial Records in Boston and the Crinimal Records at the Court House in Boston, we will find many th ings which show the narrowness and bigotry of these same Pilgrims and Puritans.
Think of Governor Endicott being so stirred up by his ideas of Popery that h- went and cut out the cross from the flag because he considered it an emblem of Popery. What a change has come over New England since then! Nearly all of the things which they cast out then have been restored into their churches, and the cross is everywhere. On a Baptist church in Brookline, not only have they a cross, but there is also a large cross made of electric lights which make a most brilliant display at night.
What a change from the days of Roger Williams! The power of Governor Winthrop and his aids had its way, and Puritanism became the ruling influence in Weymouth. Nfarry of those who did not approve of it, conformed to the ruling spirit and remained in Wevrnouth. Some had their lands taken from them.
With this enforcement of conformity There came religious peace in Weymouth, and at this time the Rev. Thomas Thacher became the pastor at Weymouth. He was a son of the Rev. Peter Thacher,ioo 'HIL-1 P'ARLY HISTORY OF XVM'N1 )UTH
reclor of St. Edmund's in Salisbury, Eng. Ile was born May 1, 1620, and came with his uncle to Boston in 1635. Ile was one of the great scholars of his day, an eminent preacher, and under his faithful ministry of twenty years the church in Weymouth had peace and strcccs~. According to the diary of Peter Hobart of Hingham, tire Old North Church was gathered, or organized, as the First Congregational Church of Weymouth on Jan. 30, 1639, but it wa~ really a continuation of the Old North Church, and its hi,lory goes back with certainty to 1623.
Away back in 1614 the region around what is now Weymouth and Boston was occupied, as was also the islands in the harbor or bay, by Indians, but, as we have already stated, a plague in 1616 and 1617 swept them nearly all away. The Indians in Massachusetts were the tribe of the Algonquin race known as the Massachusetts. This was the tribe that was largely destroyed by the plague, but to the north of them. wcre the Tarratines and south and west were the Narragansetts and Pequots.
When the Pilgrims came there were still Indians around, but they were few compared with what they were before the plague. The Pilgrims fortunately made a treaty with these Indians through their chief, or sagamore, Massasoit, but there were other chiefs and bands of Indians besides those whom Massasoit commanded. Indians were frequently going about in bands all through Massachusetts, and had they been as numerous as before the plague, the English would have been driven into the sea. Itisoneofthestrange things in the trend of history that a plague should have carried off these people before the coming of these early settlers. The land was thus made almost empty and ready for the white race.
The early traders and fishermen who had visited these shores before the coming of the Pilgrims had been guilty of many evil actions against the Indians, and thus the anger of the natives was stirred up against the white men. The kidnapping of Indians by Captain Weymouth, Captain Hunt and others, and the selling them into slavery, added to the ill-feeling, and they took their revenge on the French vessel that was anchored off Peddock's Island. There was another case, that of the vessel which went into Boston Harbor to trade and did not again leave it, and was never heard of more.
Then there was a ship which was wrecked off Cape Cod, but the mariners of this vessel not only saved their lives but also a large part of their goods and stores. These they tried to conceal on the shore of Cape Cod. When the Indians learned of the vessel and the presence of these seamen they gathered in numbers, and setting upon them killed all but a few, and compelled the survivors to reveal the hiding place of their property. Those who survived the attack were five in number, and they were led into captivity, distributed about and sent from one sachem to another to be made sport of and fed with the food of dogs, and at the same time they102 T1IF E NRI V HISTORY 01, NITYMOUTH
were made to serve as hewers of wood and drawers of water; in fact, the%, were compelled to lead the life of a slave.
The live who were thus captured were the sport of several tribes, but two of them were redeemed it) 1619 1)), Captain Deimer. One be(anie a incruber of a tribe, and had a squaw given to him by whom fie. had a child. Of another, a tradition has come that he &i\e(l a hook, the Bible, which, when lie had learned the Indian language, lie often read to them and rebuked his tormentors, and told them of God's displeasure with them, and that there would come a race of men that would destroy them.
The Pilgrims came into relations with many of the Indians living in the neighborhood. In September, 1621, an expedition left Plymouth ill a shallop and entered Boston Harbor. In it were ten Englishmen and three Indians. Among them was Myles Standish, William Trevore, Bradford and Winslow. They were anxious to find the great Chief Chickatabut, as they wished to get into friendly relat ions with him. He had formerly lived at what is now Wollaston, but had removed from there across the Neponset. In this journey the Pilgrims came in contact with Chief Obbatinewat and a few of his people who were moving about from place to place in fear of the Tarratiries. They also met the squaw sachem, as she was called, the widow of Nanepashemet, a chief of the Massachusetts, who bad been lately slain by the Tarratines. They visited the village where Nanepaghemet had lived and the house where he had dwelt. His stronghold was in a swamp, and was an Indian palisaded fort forty or fifty feet in diameter, of circular construction, with a single entrance, which was gained by a bridge crossing two ditches. In the midst of this palisado stood the house in which the chief lived, but being now dead he was buried there. The party went about a mile beyond this to another house of the chief's, which was also a stockade, but standing on a hilltop. After seeing sonic Indian women and a few men, and doing some trading, the party went back to their hballop and returned to Plymouth.
The party were gone four days, but they did not see Cbickatabut, as be was too far away to be reached oil that trip. It was during this expedition that the Pilgrims desecrated the grave of Chi,katabut's mother in Wollaston. There were several graves of Indians there which they dug up. The Indians were in the habit of burying the mats and robes of the dead with them, and these the Pilgrims dug up and carried auay with them. The grave of Chickatabut's mother had a sort of monument over it made with Buffalo robes. These the Pilgrims tore down as being superstitious and took with them. Full account of this and other expeditions given in Sylvester's "Indian Wars of New England," Volume 1.
Their desecration caused the hostility of the Indians against the XVeston settlement, and they were even planning revenge against Plymouth before the Weston Company came, as is learned from the expedition of Winslow and others, with Standish and Hoboinack, to Eastharn and Barnstable, where they had an engagement
with the Indians of Chief Corbil-ant, and in this expedition Squanto was capLured but afterward rescued. There were also signs of trouble becoming possible with Chief Cancinicus of the NarragariseLts.
These hands of Indians moving about were often in Wessagusset, as it was a natural center for them. They had camps in the territory which is now Weymouth, one of which was at Nahanton beach, at the base of Great Hill. This camp was therefore at the beach near Fort Point, and in the region now called Wessagusset Beach.
Later on, in 1642, the people in Weymouth got a deed of the territory of Weymouth from Sachem Nahanton and other members of the family.
The original purchase of the land, however, was made by tile Weston settlers in an arrangement with Sachem Aberdecrest, who also belonged to the family of which Chickatabut was the head.
There were other places in Weymouth where the Indians had camps. There was one between Hunt's Hill and Phillips' Creek, and another near the great swamp. The remains of these camps were seen by the early settlers, and in the time of the Weston Company some of them were occupied by Indians.
In the latter part of 1622 and in 1623 the Indians moved nearer to the settlement. As long as Massasoit lived the white people were comparatively safe, although other chiefs, both of the Tarratines and Narragansetts, were striving to persuade Massasoit to break his treaty with the people at Plymouth, and destroy both that settlement and Wessagusset.
In one or two cases Corbitant threatened Massasoit, and it looked as if he would be attacked; so much so that on one occasion the Pilgrims fitted out an expedition under Myles Standish to go to h;s defence, but Corbitant, learning of their coming, fled.
The guns of the Pilgrims were a terror to the Indians, and even at Wessagusset, when they came intending to attack the place and found the post manned with cannon and the settlers ready for air al-tack, they pretended to be friendly and retired. When Massasoit died, then other chiefs came into power, and the preparations were made from time to time which in the end led to King Philip's War. For a time there was little more than threats and expeditions to search out the land, but the chiefs before King Philip did not have the war-like spirit of Philip.
We have now seen that although the Indianswere not as numerous as they had been, yet they were around Wessagusset in the early days. The attack by them on Wessagusset has already been described, yet sometimes people wonder that Standish and his small force could so easily have killed the two great chiefs, Pecksuot and Wituwamat, and the followers with them, and have chased the other Indians afterwards.
The story has already been told, but there is another account of that wonderful event, which makes it not so strange. This is, that104 THE FARLi 111STORV OF \VEYMOUT11
Standibli and hi~ company brought food with them from Plymouth to entice tire Indians into the blockhouse. Pecksunt, Wituwarnat and othei Indians were induced to enter the building, and food was placed before them, including pork and many other things. The Indians ate of this food, and as it was drugged they fell asleep, and while in that state Standish pulled out the Indians' own knives and dispatched them. '['his account is given by Thomas Morton and also by Perkins. (See Massachusetts Historical Collections, Vol. 5, 1). 75.)
Phiricas Pratt in his narrative tells of three engagements with the Indians, one of which was the Standish fight and another when the chief carne with his forces, but as the cannon were pointed out of the loopholes, and the settlers were ready with their guns, the Indians said that the small guns could kill Indians and the large guns could knock down trees, and they thought it better to retire with the assurance of satisfaction for the stealing of the corn.
There was danger from Indians at the settlement of Wessagusset, and also at Plymouth, for bands of Indians were moving about from place to place in New England, and as many were hostile to the white settlements, it needed only a spark to set up an Indian fi re.
There was but little fear from the Massachusetts Indians, but there were their neighbors, the Pequots, or Pequods, p it is also written, the Narragansetts, Mohicans and Mohawks. The Pequots seem to have been located in Connecticut, a part of Rhode Island, and a part of Massachusetts. They were a powerful tribe, able to muster thousands of warriors for battle. They were hostile to the whites, and tried to win over the Narragansetts to the same spirit of hostility.
In 1633 it party of English traders under the command of Captain Stone of Virginia had gone up the Connecticut River, and the Pequots set upon them and savagely mutilated and murdered them.
In 1636 John Oldham of Watertown, who was driven out of Plymouth with Lyford, while on a trading voyage with Indians at Block Island, was attacked in his vessel by Peclums and murdered. The Indians were having a gay time on board the ship, and the vessel was drifting aimlessly about, when John Gallup of Boston arrived on the scene. He recognized the vessel as belonging to John Oldham, and as the Indians were visible running about the deck lie concluded that they had killed Oldham. He resolved to avenge his death, and rushed with his vessel to the attack. "Steer straight for the ship" was his order, and stationing himself in the bow of his own vessel he opened fire on the Indians. Gallup was a splendid shot and every time he fired an !Ddian was hit.
Some of the Indians, to escape the shots, ran below, and when Gallup's ship crashed into the other, six of the Indians leaped overboard, and as the vessel rebounded and then struck a second time some more Indians sprang into the sea. Only four were left, and when Gallup and his companions leaped on board they dis-
patched two and made the other two prisoners, as they begged for mercv.
Governor Vane to avenge this act by the Indians sent ninety men, under the command of Endicott, to Block Island with orders to kill all the Indians connected with the outrage. He accomplished this work only in part.
The Pequot tribe were so enraged that they determined to wipe out the white settlements. To carry out these plans they needed the help of other tribes, so the Pequots sent persuasive messengers to the Narragansetts to try and win them over to join in the work. The Narragansetts could put 5,000 warriors in the field, and had they joined, other tribes would have followed, and the white settlements would have been extinguished. Roger Williams, who had founded the city of Providence, was a friend of the Narragansetts, and he learned of the plans of the Pequots and sent word to the Governor at Boston, and the value of Williams was now beyond estimate. Roger Williams had been banished from Massachusetts because of his religious views, and he now returned good for evil.
Williams was a long way from the headquarters of the Narragansetts, but at the risk of his life lie sprang into a small canoe and paddled with all his strength along the coast till he came to the place where stood the chief's wigwam, and drawing his craft on the shore he hastened to the lodge of the chief. There he found the messengers from the Pequots, who were trying to persuade the chief to rally his army of warriors for a campaign which would not leave a white man on the soil of New England.
Williams understood the Indian tongue, and trembled as lie saw that the Narragansett chief was wavering, and much inclined to take his army on the war path. Roger Williams then addressed his old friend, Chief Miamonomoh, with such earnest words as their attachment to each other made possible. He spoke in the Indian language, which the Pequot messengers easily understood. They looked at him as if they would leap upon him and kill him, but be never faltered or abated a jot of his eloquence.
For nearly four days the great question was in the mind of the Narragansett leader while the Pequot messengers and Williams were his guests. In great peril from the Pequots, Williams remained with the chief until he gave his pledge not to join with the Pequots. Williams sent full particulars to Winthrop with suggestions as to the best way to wage war against the Pequots, which were of great service.
The Pequots continued their c,uutiaign against the whites. They cut off stragglers, burned exposed cabins and shot down men at work in the fields. White men who were taken prisoners were tortured to death in the most cruel mariner, and by the middle of the winter of 1636 they had slain over thirty people. They even assailed the town of Weathersfield, killing a large number and nearly capturing the place.106 Tilt' EARLY HISTORY 01, WEVNIOUTH
Connecticut, fearing extermination, begged Massachusetts and Plymouth to come to her help, and by 1637 one hundred and sixty men were sent from Massachusetts. Five of these were from Weymonth, and in addition, Weymouth had to pay a tax to carry oil the war.
The Massachusetts men were under the command of Capt. John Mason, who had served with Sir Thomas Fairfax in the Netherlands. The Connecticut troops were under the command of Capt. John Underhill. With them were seventy Mohican warriors under tire leadership of Sachem Uncas.
There were also a large number of Narragansett Indians. Three small vessels carried the troops along the coast, and on the evening of May 20 they entered Narragansett Bay. On the 23d a party of Niantic Indians joined them, and they began their march to the Pequot encampment, which lay to the west. The ships sailed back along the coast, and the report was made among the Pequots that the expedition was given up.
On the evening of the 2Sth they came to the Pequot stronghold, which stood on high ground on the banks of the Mystic and was very strong. The fort was a circular inclosure, surrounded by palisades, a dozen feet high, set so close that a child could not get through, but there was space enough for the women to discharge their arrows, and inside were the rows of wigwams. There were two entrances to the stronghold opposite to each other protected by bushes.
Oil the 26th of May, 1636, two hours before sunrise, as the moon was shining, the troops, under Mason, made a rush through one entrance while those under Underhill rushed through the entrance on the other side. The fight was of a fierce nature. The slaughter was fearful, but in the end the Indians were defeated with a loss of not less than a thousand. The wigwams were burned, the stronghold destroyed and the power of the Peeprots broken. There is no list of the names of the five men from Weymouth iii this war, but it is an important war a-, far as Weymouth is concerned, and should be included in her history.
After the close of the Pecluot War, for some years there was peace with the Indians, but the feeling among them against the whites was growing. There were still some of the Peclunts left, and there were also the Narragansetts, the Tarratines, the Wampanoags and the Nipmucks.
Although the Standish fight and the Pequot War had weakened the Indians, yet they were growing stronger as the years went by, and their hatred for the settlers was increasing.
Then, there was also a religious side to the hatred. John Eliot, called the "Apostle to the Indians," had been converting many to Christianity, and the chiefs felt that they were losing their people, as they were deserting their religion and taking up Christianity. Added to this they felt that the whites were taking possession of their lands and hunting grounds, and if it went on the Indians thought they would be drivep from their homes and the white man would have control of everything.
By 1670 the Indians had obtained a great many firearms, and had become so expert in their use that they were not so unequal a match for the white men as formerly. It seems that there was now some kind of an arrangement between the three tribes - the Narragairretts, Wamparioags and Nipmucks - that at the first opportunity the white settlers would be attacked.
The first attack of Philip and his men was upon the little town of Swansea, which was near Philip's territory. This was on the 24th of June, 1675, and while the people were returning home from church the Indians attacked them; they were suddenly fired upon, one of the settlers dropping dead and some being wounded. Two white itten rushed for a surgeon, but the Indians killed both of them, and also slew six others near the garrison and mutilated and scalped their bodies. The Indians then burned several houses and barns, and finally withdrew as swiftly as they came.
The war at first was confined to Plymouth Colony, but Weymouth did not escape. On Feb. 12, 1675, air assault was made upon Weymouth, when several houses and barns were burned and .~ollle men killed, and in March, 1676, the town was again attacked by a hand of Indians oil their way to tire Plymouth Colony. On that occasion seven houses and barns were burned.
Oil April 19, 1676, another attack was made upon Weymouth, when Sergt. Thomas Pratt was killed. The inhabitants of Weymouth were in a state of continuous terror, for almost every day1(8 THE, EARIX HIST(RY (F "T"YNIOUTH
Indians appeared before the town and daily they were in dread of attack. Thty dreaded war all tire greater because most of the men were away in other parts of New England fighting the Indians, a, thev had been called out by the state authorities to fight the Indians in other towns than Weymouth. Some of these men we,~! serxing on the Connecticut River, and as Weymouth was in much danger the officer of the town sent petitions to the Governor and Council in Boston to send back some of tile men of Weymouth ~Nho were serving in the war ill Connecticut, as the town was in great need of defenders, since most of the men had been called for service elsewhere and Weymouth was in the greatest danger. Letteis and petitions on this matter are preserved in the state archives and the records of the General Court. Gilbert Nash has quoted from some of them in his "History of Weymouth," pages 37, 38 and 39. The writer of this sketch has found records of the names of the men of Weymouth who served in this war, but there are, no doubt, more that have not been discovered. Here follow the names of those he has found: Hezekiah King, Isaac King, Jonas Humphrey, Joseph Richards, Allen Dugland, John Whitmarsh, Zechariah Gurney, Peter Gurney, John Reed, James Reed, John Ford, John Lovell, Sr., John Hollis, William Millis, Edward Kingman, John Burrell, William Torray, Thomas Pratt, Joshua Phillips, John Arnold, John Record, Benjamin Pool, John Ludden, Abram Shaw, Robert Corbet, John Ashdown, Isaac Cakebread, Jeremiah Clothier, William Read, James Stuart, John Hollis, Thomas Bayley, Samuel White, Richard Adams, Jacob Nash, Richard Ruse, William Sewell, Joan Pinchen, Esq., Edward Skinner, Sergeant Whitmarsh.
This is a larger list of soldiers from Weymouth in King Philip's War than has ever been published before. The writer has obtained them from Massachusetts State Records and from Bridges' "King Philip's War." It has been known that several persons were killed at Weymouffi, but, with the exception of Sergeant Pratt, these names have not been known. The writer has examined all the books on King Philip's War, including Drake, Bodge and Sylvester, but without finding them.
At last lie discovered an old paper in the files of the Suffolk Court giving the names, This paper is one which tells also something of the loss of estates.. It is called "A list of persons slain and lost estates at Weymouth in King Philip's War in 167S and 1676." Those killed are its follows: Sergeant Pratt, Thomas Bayley, Allen Dugland, Benjamin Poole, John Ford. Those who lost estates are John Ranes, Sergeant Whitmarsh, John Richards. This paper is signed bv the selectmen of Weymouth, namely; John Holbrook, Thomas Dyer, John Bicknell, Stephen French, William Torrey (deik), The paper is No. 1497, and it is in File 17 of the Suffolk Court files. In addition to the above names others were killed and wounded in battles outside of Weymouth. Thus at the battle of Turner's Falls, oil the Connecticut River, in April, 1676, John
\,11don of Weymouth was killed, and in another battle Isaac King %%as xAcninded, and is supposed to have died from his wounds, and 16(hard Ruse was wounded.
1~11ig Philip's War was the greatest Indian war in New England. it spread over Massachusetts and into New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and Connecticut, and ill many of our towns there ire stories placed to mark the place where a soldier fell in the war;
I Indian warfare are told in these towns. The .:lany stories o
itack on and defence of the town of Brookfield is one, the description of which is ,lost wild, fearful and interesting, as is that of Lancaster, from which Mrs. Rowlandson, the wife of the resident minister, with her six-year old child, was carried into capti,ity. In thiswar almost every kind of Indian warfare was carried on, - the use of Indian strategy, the burning of towns and villages, ambushes, massacres, slaying, mutilating and scalping. Great skill was manifested by the Indians, and especially by Chief Philip of the Wampanoag5, and Chief Canonchet of the Narragansetts, and tile chiefs of the Nipmucks and Tarratines. The war was carried on for more than two years, the Indians burning and slaughtering all the way from near Boston to the Connecticut River, which was then the western frontier.
During this war, out of the ninety towns in the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies, thirteen were destroyed and forty others were the scenes of fire and massacre, and of the three tribes engaged in it but few remained.
How many men from Weymouth were engaged in the war we do not actually know, but somewhere between fifty and one hun-
dred. The war is of great importance to Weymouth, as so many of her citizens were engaged in it, and the town itself suffered by the raids.
We live in peace here in Weymouth now, but do we realize that two hundred and twenty-five years ago this town was in danger from Indians for more than a year? Day and night guards had to be set around the settlement and continued watch kept. The people were in a very anxious state , with not enough men to de
fend the place should a real attack come. Daily the Indians appeared before the town, and sometimes in large enough numbers to do much damage, burning and destroying and sometimes taking life. We can imagine the terror that existed, and how the women and children must have been in a state of panic.
There are some traditions that have come down as to where the light with the Indians took place. One of the places is between NN hite's Neck and Mill Creek; another at the base of Cemetery Hill, near judgment Valley, which is near the present Weymouth Heights railway station" another was near Great Swamp, which was in the region where Neck Street is now located; and still another was on what is now Middle Street, between Broad Street and XN hitman's Pond. This was where Sergeant Pratt is supposed to have been killed. It would be an excellent thing if these places110 'rill' EARLY HISTORY (F IVEYMOUl-11
could be actually located and suitable markets set up to distinguish thern. boys are said to be food of Indian stories, and there is enough material around Weymouth to serve for many a good Indian late or novel.
( , ilbert Nash, in his "History of '~Veymouth " states that during King Philip's War the People If Weymouth ~ere in danger wherever they went, and planting wa, interfered with, as the farmers 4'0111(1 Pot do their work for fear of the Indians and a night watch was kept in the town as late as 1678. The to~n suffered so much financially by it that when the war was over it was poor, and was giA en help from other places. The taxes of those slain were levied on the whole town, and it was years before the town recovered.
Weymouth, as a region for settlement in those early days, was mo~t beautiful. We can imagine the surprise and joy of the Westmi ~cttlers as they came up along the shore from Plymouth, passing througti Massachusetts Bay into the wide mouth of the Morratiquot i,civtr. It was summer time; around them were islands covered with green foliage. To the left extended what we now call Bradley's Neck and the mouth of Back River, and in full view rose the great hill, later called Smith's Hill, and now Weymouth Great Hill.
Over them was thesunlit sky, and under them rolled the beautiful waters of the bay. On their right stretched Shed's Neck, now called Germantown, in all it-, natural beauty, unmarred by man's rude band, and away in the distance towered the high hill and neck reaching into the sea, now called Hough's Neck.
On the banks grew magnificent trees in ~rl their variegated loveliness of natural foliage, and along the shore gleamed the beautiful sand beaches. Startled by the moving ships, rose, circled and flew seagulls, wild ducks and other flying creatures which were a part of the beautiful scene.
Onward moved the boats "Charity" and "Swan," passing Rose Hill and at last reaching the point of land afterward known as Hunt's Hill. Around the hook of this hill into the cove or bay, later called King's Cove, either in the "Swan" or by boats, the passengers landed on the shore of Wessagusset, soon to be called "Old Spain" and later North Weymouth.
There the voyage was ended, Now there was to come rest and then work, - the work of building and planting. Thomas Morton, one of the passengers who seems always to have been filled with a sense of the beauty of New England, wrote of it afterward thus in his " New English Canaan: "
In the month of June, Anna '~alutis 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 endeavor to take a survey of the country.
The roore f looked the more I liked, And when I had more ~riousfy considered of the beauty of the place, with all her fair endowments, I did not think that in all the known world it could be paraii'd for so many goodly groves of trees, dainty, fine, round rising hillocks; delicate, fair, large plains; sweet, crystal fountains and clear running streams that twine in fine meanders through the ra,ads, making so sweet a murmuring noise to bear as would even lull the senses mith dclight asleep, so pleasantly do they glide upon the pebbly stories, jetting InO.t joet;ndly,where they do mett, and hand in hand run down to Neptune's ( ourt to )ay t re yearly tribute which they owe to him as Soveraigne Lord of all tit, sp~aag,.
,1(1)c, dolAll i 'It o it sort of roadway or gully, which later oil became Sea Street. The view is magnificent, as we are looking over the north of the liver into what is now called Boston Harbor, but it is also it part of Massachusetts Bay. As we walk along the beautiful bindis NNe see he water of the bay spread out before us in slowly niming waves, with the suit glittering on them in golden wavelets, and here and there a green island rising out of the water making it scene most pleasing to the eye.
The shore line by Rose Hill is passed, and we come down into a lovely little bay which has since been called Wessagusset Beach. Then along by the high cliffs of Great Hill, where under the feet is part of the ledge with stones of various sizes scattered over its surface. Some day there will be a fine boulevard along this shore, forming a junction with the boulevard from Boston.
After passing Great Hill we come to another little bay, then around in a half circle to a point of land since called Fort Point. Next over a high hill from which a splendid view of the harbor with its islands is seen, and passing a place where houses have since been built, and in later days called Rose Cliff.
just beyond this a neck of land runs out into the water to a large round hill which looks like an island. We pass over this, and on the other side come to a channel, and the hill indeed seems to be ail island, but it is connected with another round hill also, seeming like ail island. Passing over this with great interest, we come to where the sea is.rolling between us and a real island covered with trees and green foliage. This was indeed an island, and later was called Grape Island, because grapes grew on it in abundance. But we call go no further in that direction, so we sit down and rest awhile.
To the right is what has been calle-' tlie mouth of Ba-k River, and away in front of us there are islands and necks of land which the people of 1922, three hundred years later, recognize as Hull, Nantasket and Strawberry Hill. But nearer still, just beyond Grape Island, there is Sheet) Island and Peddock's and Rainsford's Islands, while oil our right there is Slate Island, and what is later known as Crow Point, Downer Landing and Melville Gardens. These all play a part in later Weymouth history, but Peddock's Island is of most importance in this narrative,
III the Weston Company that came in 1622 there was a man named Leonard Peddock, and he had an Indian boy under his charge, This boy was to be returned to the Indian sachem. Leonard Peddock settled oil this island, and it was called Peddock's after him, sometimes written Pettics. This island is separated from the mainland by Hull Got, and is one mile long, and a quarter of a mile wide. It is divided into two hills, one called the East Head and the other the West Head, and between there is a smaller hill, and south of it ail island bluff called Prince's Head.
Connected with this island there is a sad story, which was told by an Indian to Morton. In 1614 a French fishing vessel had
'ailed into Boston Harbor and came to anchor off Peddock's Island. At this time the Indians were very numerous and in the height of their power. They were disposed to attack the white men who came into these waters, so they made a plot to capture the Frenchmet]. They paddled out in their canoes to the French vessel with every appearance of peaceful intent. They had hidden their weapons under their robes, and with bundles of furs in their canoes they seemed to have come to trade. The Frenchmen, supposing all was right, permitted them to come on board. The Indians threw their beaver skills on the deck and proceeded to barter, as if in trade, but watching their opportunity when they would be able to take the Frenchmen at a disadvantage, at a given signal they sprang upon the white men with knives and hatchets, and taking the crew entirely unawares dispatched them every one. The master of the ship, whose name was Finch, was only wounded, and be managed to crawl into the hold and conceal himself. The Indians then cut the cable and caused the vessel to drift to the shore where it lay on its side. Later the wounded niaqter came up from the hold, but they seized him and quickly put him to death. The sachem divided everything movable among his followers and then set fire to the ship, and the Indians said it made a great fire.
Later on in 1616 and 1617 there came the severe plague which carried off nearly all the Indians, and some of then) said it was a judgment from God because they had dealt so treacherously with the Frenchmen.
This tribe of the Massachusetts was so numerous that it made the boast "God could not kill them," but in two years the plague came, and as if by magic the country -9- Wt void of its inhabitants.
Dvdctock's Island belonged to an Indian to whom the name Josiah had been given, but in 1684 he relinquished all his claim to the estate in the name of his father and grandfather.
A pilot used to live on the island who guided vessels through the approaches into Weymouth and Hingham. Ultimately the island came into the possession of Hull and Nantasket.
As our leader Morton now proceeded to the right along the shore over the land since occupied by the Bradley Phosphate Works, with a last look at the beautiful islands, including Bumpkin or Pumpkin Island, we followed. Now we saw something of the marvellous beauty of Weymouth Back River. We had followed what is now called Upper Neck Cove, then across Upper Neck, itlong Lower Neck Cove, and then over Lower Neck to the extreme point where we looked over at Grape Island, and if any one wishes to learn the wondrous beauty of this region, let him take that walk to-day, and he will understand what it is, even now, It ,cents strange to me that our local artists have not painted these for they can hardly find anything better.
We now followed the shore of Back River round the region where Bradley's works are, then down along what are River an(i -Nc(,k Streets, looking across the bay at Stoddard Neck with itslJo AIL E-ARLY 111sr(R%' (F WLYMOUTH
grove of trees. Most of the region we have traveled over is called Eastern Neck.
It was now time to be taking our way back to the settlement, so we climbed Weymouth Great Hill, and after gazing at the wondrous views to be seen, even in that early time, went oil our way. One might suppose that it would have been hard to go through the woods in those days, but we did Hot find it so , for there were no Iniars and but little brush. The Indians were in the habit of burning over the land in the spring and fall, so in this way they kept the woods clear.
In the spring and fall, when the wind was blowing away from the village, they set the fire, and the wind would carry it away, and they let it go where the wind blew, sometimes making a great commotion. In this way the briars and brush were kept down and the trees oil the higher land did not grow so large or so abundantly. The large trees were down in the valleys near the marsh and where it was wet. It was thus that the Indians, when they were pursued by Standish and his men, were able to hide in the swamp among the great trees, some of which had fallen down.
Great Hill was so high that it was possible by climbing a tree to see all the surrounding country. Weymouth was then even more attractive than it is to-day. Looking toward the sea the whole harbor was in view. The green islands dotted the bay, and around them the waters of the sea sparkled in the sur.; ~.u, a keel troubled the water and no paddles disturbed the scene- It was a wonderful expanse of water, - sea, island and shore, and away in the distance the water seemed to touch the sky. It was the bay in all its natural beauty, with none of man's smoke and chimneys to mar the scene,
Looking from the hill over what is now the territory of Weymonth, there stretched away the more level forest land, and here and there through the trees we could see the beautiful ponds in their native framework of natural green, and on the shore a deer was seen to bound. The river was also in view in its silvery beauty, and in and out of the ponds glimpses of streams could be seen winding their way in the narrow channels. Away to the west in the distance loomed up a range of hills in a soft, misty beauty, which had a bluish tinge and have since been called the Blue Hills. But with reluctance we had to leave the site where the broad panorama of wood and hill and dale and azure sea and verdant shore and marsh and swamp all made a part of nature's loveliness. Over the hill, down into the vale through what is now North Weymouth, Thomas Corner, and over Cemetery Hill, till at last we came to the Weston settlement, and then we had food and rest and sleep to fit us for the coming day.
Our third journey in the survey of Wessagusset is up the river, and therefore a boat is necessary. But it is better to have more than one person, as the use of a boat means labor. Morton found it wise to have some help, so he asked Leonard Peddock and the young Indian in his charge to go with him. Taking one of the small boats of the "Swan," with oars and a sail and something to eat, they started from King's Cove at the foot of Hunt's Hill, which is between Sea Street and the Quincy Point bridge. Sailing along without any trouble they came to the point of land already mentioned as being called Lovell's Grove, named after a member of the Lovell family who had land in the vicinity. This place was noted for its trees, and in one part there was a beautiful grove of pine trees. In later years Lovell's Grove became a great resort for picnics and pleasure parties, and at one time was one of the most charming resorts in the harbor. There were many handsome buildings in the grove, - dance halls, restaurants, billiard hall, bowling alley, summer and bath houses, and various things for the amusement of old and young, such as swings, tilting boards and flying horses. Bridge Street passes over the river at the north side of the grove, and at that point on the north side of the street was built the Pine Po;nt Hotel which kept in mem-ry the pine grove. This hotel provided refreshments of all '.-nds for the excursionists, and a paddle-wheel steamboat brought parties from Boston and elsewhere to enjoy the beauties and pleasrrre~ of the place, the steamboat wharf being near the hotel. This region is now the property of the Edison Electric Company.
passing the round hill forming Lovell's Grove, as it sloped down to the river, we sailed around the bend with the wooded banks oil our left, and on our right the beautiful green and almost level banks of the Quincy side of the river, with little streams running up into the marshes. This region is now occupied by the Fore River shipbuilding plant.
After passing the hill on which is Lovell's Grove we follow the shore to the left across a little bay that leads into Phillips' Creek, ;in([ pass a sort of island, which was early called Burying Island, but in recent days has also been called Whale Island, because the \\ hale Island Club had to move to this place from Whale Island in Back River, as the government had taken that island for naval polUoses. Sailing across another little bay we go around a pro118 THE EARLY HISTORY (F NVEYMOUTH
jecting hill, which has sometimes been called White's Point, because some member of the White family lived in that neighborhood. We tile,, pass some more marsh land oil the left and reach a point in tile river where now Quincy Avenue bridge crosses. Along the bank we soon reach a place in the river where important houses Nvei e la let built, the Cowing house, for instance, and the Old Arnold house, later called tile Arnold Tavern in which the Committee of Safety met during the Revolutionary War. This has just been torn down to give place for a public building. But there is one house still standing, the old Tufts mansion, now owned and occupied by Mrs. Kate Pierce Thayer. The site of this house we go by oil our return journey, not knowing the important part it was yet to play in the history of Weymouth.
We again pass White's Neck, and following the water round that hill to the right we coine into the mouth of what was later called Mill Creek, because at the Mouth of this creek was built a mill for grinding corn, the machinery of which was driven by the tide; hence it was called the Tide Mill. Away back in the early records of Weymouth we find this mill mentioned as the "Tide Mill." In 1669 it is so mentioned, and in 1682 it is called Robbins Mill and Nash's Grist Mill, and in 1696 James Nash left it to his grandson, James Drake. In its history it has been called Burrell's Mill, then Webb's Mill, as each one owned it, but in later years it came again into the possession of the Nash family, and was again called Nash's Mill. The bay or cove on which it is located has been called Mill Cove.
We row up the Mill Creek some distance and come to a place where the bank slopes down to the stream. Here we find a canoe drawn up to the shore and two Indians on the bank who have been drinking water from a spring. We draw our boat to the shore and step out oil to the bank. The Indian youd. who ;s with u:; speaks to the Indians, and we are soon very friendly. They tell us of the spring which is much frequented by the Indians, who consider that it has great medical properties. We look at the spring and see the pure crystal water bubbling up into a sort of basin which it has made for itself, or the Indians made for it, and drinking of the water we find it very cold, pure and refreshing. The Indians also tell us that the creek or streams can be followed till we come to a great pond, and there is an Indian trail along its banks. But it is time for the Indians to go, and we rest by the spring for awhile. This spring has been in existence from that day until this, and noted for the purity and excellence of the water, and it is supposed to be the "physical spring" mentioned by the early settlers in their wills, and the fame of which has come down to the present time. The spring is situated oil the Crag Cliff estate which is the residence of Rev. William Hyde, the rector of Trinity Church, Weyluouth.
A few years ag" the Bay State Street Railway Company, in a paniphlet advertising trolley trips and summer resorts, had a picture
taken of the spring and printed it in their pamphlets, as air inducement to people to visit Weymouth. The spring is now called the "Avonia Spring," and its water is well known. Wm.O.Crosby, professor of geology at the Institute of Technology, in his " Geology of Southeastern Massachusetts," it) the chapter oil the Boston Basin, writes thus of the region in which is located the Avonia spring, under the heading "The White's Neck Area."
"Tire Mill Cove Fault," terminating the King Oak Hill area on tile west, is a I ery obvious necessity, for oil the west side of the North South Brook, tributary to the head of the cove, not a trace can be found in continuation of the ledges on Church Street and the cast side of the brook; but the firm, dark granite in close and numerous ledges seems to extend continuously from Commercial Street almost to the railroad. In other words, the slate is cut squarely off, and the brook must be regarded as marking a transverse fault. This conclusion harmonizes well with the straight and gorge~like character of the valley of the brook south (if Commercial Street, and the copious, never-failing Avonia spring on Commercial Street is certainly suggestive of an important displacement,
The Weymouth spring is no ordinary spring. From a geological examination of the strata of the neighborhood I find that its water issues from a fissure in the bed rock made fly a disruptive force. The spring therefore does not depend on surface water or local rains for its supply, but upon underground fountains, pure and healthful. Weymouth is not only one of the most beautiful places in the world, abounding in every variety of scenery, - lake, river, valley, mountain and seashore, - - but its ground formation is rich in geological wonders, remains of prinuirdia( seas, glacier lakes, and strata revolutions. Its high hills are Rot one tithe of their former height. They were at one time the coast line of a great ocean.
By directions received from the Indians we follow the Mill Cove Brook, or Mill Creek as it is also called, crossing what is now Commercial Street and following the ~trcz_n along what is L, ssex Street. i lie water here flows along in a rough channel or great gully, which is like the bed of a large stream. On each side of this gully the land rises in hills, and the whole appearance is evidence of a great upheaval, causing a fault, or large crack, in the rock, or a channel ground out by glacial action, This is the great transverse fault spoken of by Professor Crosby, and across this there are some smaller faults or fissures, and through one of these fissures the Avonia spring gushes out. We finally leave the boat and follow the Indian path, and at last come to what we are seeking, --the Watching Rock, as the Indians called it. This is a great boulder ,is big as a very large house, and looking at it from a certain position there is the profile of a woman's face. We found it by a sandy bank among the trees. The face seemed to be looking out over the country as if guarding it, and for this reason it was called by the Indians "The Watching Rock."
At Squantum there is what is called Squaw Rock, a rock with a %%([Iran's face, but Weymouth may also claim a Squaw Rock. The early settlers in Weymouth did not beent to have thought touch about this rock, as they have not mentioned it often in their records,120 THE EARLN HISTORN' OF WLYMOUTH
but in later years, when the trees that concealed it somewhat were remmed, in coming along Essex Street it looked like a house, so it has been called "House Rock.- This rock has become quite famous in recent years, and parties from various places have come to see it and it has become a special relic in Weymouth.
Several years ago a son of Mr. John J. Loud was taking some views of the rock with a camera. One of these views happened to get the profile of the face, and this led to the discovery of the profile, and it was found that the face was like that of QueenVictoria, so the rock has become still more famous. It is now House Rock, Queen Rock and Sphinx Rock. Geology tells us that it is not native to Weymouth, but is a great boulder which had been brought where it is by the great mass of ice that moved over Weymouth in what may be called a "glacial age," and was dumped where it now is when the ice was melting. This relic of the ancient world should be preserved, and there ought to be public spirit enough in Weymouth to see that it is preserved, for some one may think of disposing of it for building purposes, and then it would be blasted into pieces.
House Rock is one of the great relics in Weymouth, and one which ought to be of interest to all. It teaches le~ssons in geology; and takes us back to the great ice age before the appearance of man on this planet. The novelist could wca~, '...tcresting stories in connection with its history. The question may be asked, From whence did the great mass of ice bring it, and when was it dumped on Weymouth soil?
The Pyramids have stood over the sands of Egypt for centuries, but this rock has stood in Weymouth ages before the Pyramids were built. What changes it has seen in the melting of the ice mass, the settling of water, the formation of rivers and streams, volcanic upheaval, and the life of animals and Indian men in this region! The novelist could tell us of Indian fights and of men hicling behind this rock or waiting there to attack their prey. Morton tells its in his book of several Indian fights and Indian duels, and why may 110L some of them have occurred around this rock?
But we must hasten back on our return; so we walk along and get into the boat again and proceed down the stream. The Mill Creek was much larger then than it is now, and Mill Cove was quite a bay- Man has built dams and roads and even railroads since then, and they have shut off the water, so that it does not till III) the channel of the stream as it once did.
At the city of Washington in our country there is a stream to which the name Tiber has been given, but it is not as large as Mill Creek used to be, and it was called Goose Creek in the old days before it was honored with the name of the river Tiber.Mill Creek, or strearn, is of much importance, and it drove the
inill that ground the corn for the early settlers of Weymouth for many years, and I have known old men who told me that as boys they were accustomed to take corn to this mill to be ground. Why not, then, call it a river?
We rowed down the Mill Creek till we came to the spring, where we went ashore again to see something of the country. We went up the hill over what is now the Crag Cliff estate, and on to White's Neck, and going out to the point of the neck we had a beautiful View of the river where it widens out into a bay, and it was then a magnificent scene.
This neck is very important. It is now a little settlement called Idlewell, but away back in 1630, somewhere near the neck, Capt. Thomas White, one of the early settlers, lived. He had land that bordered on Mill Creek, and he was captain of a military company that had charge of looking after the Indians lest harm should come from them. Old residents tell how people were in the habit of standing on White's Neck watching the Indians in their canoes coming up and down the river into Mill Cove and through the Mill Creek. Samuel Webb, who at one time lived in the house on the Crag Cliff estate, told of this and also of an Indian fight in a place between Crag Cliff and White's Neck. In this fight two Indians were killed, and he pointed out the place where they were said to have been buried.
In this region for several years lived Peregrine White, son of the Peregrine who was born on the "Mayflower," and in a house here was born, Jan. 26, 1686, Benoni White, a son of the abovementioned Peregrine.
There is a house on While's Neck on Commercial Street in which members of the White family lived for many generations, but whether this was the site of the house in which Capt. Thomas White lived, we do not know. The house is now owned and occupied by Mr. Philip S. Comstock.
In front of this house, on the other side of Commercial Street, there stretches another hill which in those early days was covered with trees, and down in the valley to the south of the hill there was a pond which has since been called Cranberry Pond. From this a little stream runs through the meadows, and in the time of Morton it emptied itself into the river.
The hill has since been called Loud's Hill. As we went through the woods on this hill to Cranberry Pond, we saw snakes, rabbits, foxes and deer, and here and there the beautiful flowers which Morton called lilies of the Daphnean tree.
Charles Francis Adams ridicules Morton for writing of lilies of the Daphrican trees. Adams does not seem to have known what the Daphnean tree was. It was a species of mountain laurel, and \Ncs~agusset was full of mountain laurel in those days, and the time of year when Morton was making his journeys was the time %\],(-it laurel was in full blossom.The mountain laurel is one of the evergreen plants with a sort
of lance-shaped, shining green leaf, and grows sometimes as high as a tree. The flower is of a cup shape, sometimes almost like a lily, and the colors are pink and white, some seasons a sort of yellow. They grow in clusters and are very beautiful. The mountain laurel is more of a tree than the sheep laurel, and has larger and more beautiful flowers. In Greece the mountain laurel was much used in poetry, and was called the Daphnea or Daphnean tree, culd as Morton was familiar with Greek poetry, he called it the Daphnean tree. These, with other flowering shrubs, must have made the hillsides very beautiful in Wessagusset, especially in places where the hill led down to low, wet land or swamps.
On the cast of this hill was the gorge-like channel of the Mill Creek, and the cross town Indian trail, which in time became Essex Street. Leaving the hill and passing through a valley around the pond, we came to where another hill rose up, and we climbed tip that, and found it led toward the river, and or) the other side we looked into another valley. Indeed, the characteristic of Wessagusset seemed to be hill and dale which always makes the most beautiful country.
From the top of this bill a fine view of the river and surrounding territory was given, and after admiring its beauty we passed down to the lower land, where we found an Indian trail of some width, evidently traveled much. This was a part of whaLwas afterwards called the Bay Trail. This we learned afterwarLih was the road the Indians traveled on in going from what is now Boston to Plyinoutb, and was called the Bay Trail because it kept near the shore of the river and the sea.
The Bay Trail, so far as Weymouth was concerned, led from Weymouth Fore River, near the Weston settlement ' through Weymouth, Abington, Bridgewater, Middleborough and Taunton to Narragansett Bay, but in what is now East Braintree it connected with another trail that led to Boston, so the trail in time became a road from Boston through Weymouth t~ Plymouth. This trail also connects with a path called the Cohasset and Hingham Trail, which also leads to Plymouth
The old Indian trails became the foundation for the roads in Weymouth. The hill over which we had just come was later called Mount Pleasant and Richmond Hill.Going along the Bay Trail from what is now 3 Weymouth Landing
At last we came down to the streams where we had left the boat near the spring, and with the refreshing water from the spring and food we had brought with us, we felt equal to another journey,
Having entered the boat we set ' out on the homeward sail, but we came to Phillips' Creek, and running the boat up the stream we reached a place where there seemed to be a kind of ford. The water was not so deep, and some large stones made it possible when the tide was low to pass over by stepping on the stones, and years afterwards this was called Stepping Stone bridge, and the town of Weymouth was obliged by the State law to keep it in repair, and on one occasion the town was fined by the General Court in Boston for not keeping it in proper repair.
As we remained there a little while we saw something of that locality and its beauty. On our right was what was later called Burying Island, while almost in front of us rose what was in after years called Burying Hill, or Watch House Hill. On this hill was later built a blockhouse, called the Watch House, and from this house some of the early settlers watched for the Indians so as to preserve the settlement from danger.
Morton in his book writes of a due[ that was fought by two Indians, tradition says, near Burying Island. They hid each behind a tree and tried to catch the other unawares. For some time arrows flew as a part of each one was exposed, but neither were wounded. The arrows being all sped they had to come to close quarters, and advanced on each other with knives and hatchets. After a fierce struggle, one was wounded and the other killed, and the dead Indian was buried where he fell. As was the custom in such cases a tree was marked near where the Indian fell. For a time the Indians preserved this tree with its mark, but in later years the tree met the fate of other trees at the hand of the white man, and the exact spot where the Indian ties was lo~i.
Thinking some of the Indian's sad fate, and after the young Indian had expressed himself to the shade of him who had gone to the "Happy Hunting Grounds," we entered the boat and soon arrived at King's Cove. Our journey was at an end, and we planned that the next trip would be up Back River and through the ponds.