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18th and 19th century documents
Mass. Historical Society listings
posted March 2005
excerpts from the
For the Year 1792.
Reprinted in 1968 by Johnson Reprint Corporation, from an edition of unspecified date in the collections of
The New York Public Library
Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
The 1792 excerpts are divided into 3 sections for general convenience.
CONTENTS. Page CONSTITUTION of the Historical Society
Introductory Address from the Historical Society
Letters relating to the Expedition against Cape Breton 5
A Topographical Description of Surrinam 61
Weare's Letter to the Earl of __________
Dr. Church's Examination before the House of Representatives 84
Dr. Tenney's Letter on the Dark Day, May 19th, 1780 95
A Letter from the Town Clerk of Dorchester 98
Extracts from the Records of the Province of Maine 101
Historical Scraps 104
Dr. Cotton Mather's Letter to Lord Harrington 105
A General Description of the County of Middlesex 107
Letter of an Old English Merchant to the Earl of Sandwich upon the Expedition to Louisbourg 108
An Account of General Montgomery's Burial
A Topographical Description of the Town of Worcester 112
A Bill of Mortality for the Town of Dorchester 116
New England's Plantation, a Description of New England in the year 1629
Morell's Poem on New England, Latin and English 125
pages 139-231 are in part 2
Fabulous Traditions and Customs of the Indians of Martha's Vineyard 139
Inscription copied from a Grave-stone at Gay Head 140
Historical Collections of the Indians in New England 141 Account of Daniel Gookin 228 Indian places within, or near the County of Barnstable 230
pages 232-275 are in part 3
Amount of Warlike Stores in Massachusetts, April 14th, 1775
232 Account of the Coast of Labrador
233 A Topographical Description of Concord 237 New England's First Fruits in respect of the Progress of Learning, in the College at Cambridge 242 A Topographical Description of Georgetown 251 Account of the Settlement of Boston, (incomplete) 256 Indian places in Truro 257 Historical Account of the Settlement of Brookfield
ibid A Topographical Description of Brookfield 271 Births and Deaths in the third precinct of Brookfield
274 A Letter from Roger Williams to Major Mason 275 A Letter from a Gentleman on his return from Niagara 284
Constitution of the Historical Society.
THE preservation of Books, Pamphlets, Manuscripts, and Records, containing historical facts, biographical anecdotes, temporary projects, and beneficial speculations, conduces to mark the genius, delineate the manners, and trace the progress of society in the United States, and must always have a useful tendency to rescue the true history of this country from the ravages of time and the effects of ignorance and neglect. A collection of observations and descriptions in natural history and topography, together with specimens of natural and artificial curiosities, and a selection of every thing which can improve and promote the historical knowledge of our country, either in a physical or political view, has long been considered as a desideratum; and as such a plan can be best executed by a Society whose sole and special care shall be confined to the above objects ; WE the subscribers DO agree to form such an institution, and to associate for the above purposes, subject to the following regularities.
Article 1. This Society shall be called the Historical Society, and shall consist of a number not exceeding thirty, who shall at the time of their election be citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
Art. II. Each member at the time of his admission shall pay five dollars, and two dollars annually, to create a fund, for the benefit of the institution. And any member shall be exempted from the annual payment of two dollars, provided he shall at any time after six months from his admission, pay to the Treasurer thirty-four dollars in addition to what he had before paid.
Art. III. All elections shall be made by ballot. No member shall nominate more than one candidate at the same meeting, and all nominations shall be made at a meeting previous to that at which the ballot is to be taken.
Art. IV. There shall be four stated meetings of the Society in each yearnamely, on the last Tuesdays of January, April, July, and October. And occasional meetings shall be convened on due notification by the President; or in case of his absence by one of the Secretaries, on the application of any two of the members.
Art. V. There shall be annually chosen at the meeting in April, a President, a Recording and Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer, a Librarian, and a standing Committee of three.
Art. VI. All communications which are thought worthy of preservation, shall be entered at large, or minuted down in the books of the Society, and the originals be kept on file.
Art. VII. At the request of any two members present, any motion shall be deferred to another meeting tor farther consideration before it is finally determined.
Art. VIII. All accounts shall be kept in dollars and cents.
Art. IX. Five members present shall be a quorum for all purposes, excepting those of making alterations in, or additions to, these articles, and the election of members.
Art. X. No member shall be chosen unless there are eight members present at the election.
Art. XI. The first article shall not restrict the Society from electing corresponding members in any other state or country.
Art. XII. Members who are chosen in other states and countries, shall not exceed the number of thirty, and shall not be required to make contribution with the members who are citizens of the Commonwealth.
AMONG the singular advantages which are enjoyed by the people of these united states, none is more conspicuous than the facility of tracing the origin and progress of our several plantations. Derived from nations in which the means of literary improvement were familiar, we are able to ascertain with precision many circumstances, the knowledge of which must have been either disfigured or lost among a people rude and unlettered.
With such advantages in our hands, we are wholly inexcusable if we neglect to preserve authentic monuments of every memorable occurrence. Not only names, dates, and facts may be thus handed down to posterity ; but principles and reasonings, causes and consequences, with the manner of their operation, and their various connexions, may enter into the mass of historical information.
Our ancestors were early attentive to this important subject. Among them were men of the first abilities and improvements, who, though struggling with all the hardships of an infant settlement, were mindful of their posterity, and careful to provide for us both entertainment and instruction.
Mr. Winthrop, the first Governour of the Colony of Massachusetts, kept an exact journal of public and private events during his life; which hath been preserved in his family, and hath served as the basis of several histories of New-England. It was copied by the care of the late Governour Trumbull, and hath been lately printed at Hartford under the inspection of Mr. Webster.
Another manuscript history was compiled by Mr. Hubbard of Ipswich ; of which, one copy only is extant in this country, and is now become the property of this Society.
A collection of printed books and manuscripts was begun by the late Mr. Prince of Boston, and continued during the greater part of his life. His intention was to digest the whole in the form of Annals; and the public had great expectations from the well known abilities and information
of that gentleman. His first volume, published in 1736, contained a chronological detail of events from the creation of the world, and but ten years of the history of New-England, the professed design of his labours. The public was disgusted, and the work ceased for about twenty years. In his advanced age he resumed it; but other employments which he thought more necessary, and his increasing infirmities prevented him from pursuing it to any conclusion.
In the course of his inquiries he had amassed a very large quantity of valuable materials for the history of this country, which by his last will he committed to the care of the Old South Church, and they were deposited in an apartment of their meeting house, where from the year 1759 to the year 1773, they lay neglected and in confusion. In 1774 they were put into some order, but in the following year, when the troops of Britain held possession of this town, that elegant building became an object of their vengeance ; it was wantonly torn to pieces, and turned into a military riding school. Then the greater part of Mr. Prince's collection fell a sacrifice to British barbarity. What remained has since been put into order, and continues in the same apartment.
When those troops were about quitting this town in March, 1776, among other instances of depredation then committed, the office of the court of common pleas was plundered, and the papers were scattered about the street. After the troops were gone, the fragments were collected, and deposited in the State House.
The late Governour Hutchinson had a valuable collection of manuscripts, by the help of which he compiled a history of Massachusetts : the first volume of which was printed in 1764. In the following year, his house was destroyed by an enraged mob, and many of his papers were scattered and lost. Some of them were recovered. A second volume was presented to the public in 1767, and a volume of papers in 1769.
In 1747, the Court House in Boston was burnt, and some of the public records were consumed. In 1764 the old college at Cambridge shared the same fate, and a great number of valuable books with some manuscripts perished.
From these instances which have occurred during our own memory, it is evident that Repositories of every kind, however desirable, are exposed to such accidents, from the hand of time ; from the power of the elements, and from the ravages of unprincipled men, as to render them unsafe. There is no sure way of preserving historical records and materials, but by multiplying the copies. The art of printing affords a mode of preservation more effectual than Corinthian brass or Egyptian marble; for
statues and pyramids which have long survived the wreck of time, are unable to tell the names of their sculptors, or the date of their foundations.
Impressed with this idea, the members of the Historical Society have determined, not only to collect, but to diffuse the various species of historical information, which are within their reach. As these materials may come in at different times, and there may not be opportunity to digest them in the best order, previously to their publication ; they will present them in such order, as may be convenient; and will arrange them, by an index, at the end of the year. They cannot promise to erect a regular building; but they will plant a forest, into which every inquirer may enter at his pleasure, and find something suitable to his purpose. Having already given their names to the public, they will be answerable for the authenticity of the papers which shall appear.
One of the most remarkable events in the history of this country is the expedition to Cape Breton in 1745. There were reasons for that undertaking, both private and public. It was hazardous in the attempt, and successful in the execution. It displayed the enterprising spirit of New-England ; and though it enabled Britain to purchase a peace; yet it excited her envy and jealousy against the colonies, by whose exertions it was acquired. Several accounts of this expedition have been printed, but none of them are complete. A number of original papers, relative to that event, having fallen into the hands of this society, shall be the first offering which they make to the public eye.
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Instructions given by William Shirley, Governour of Massachusetts, to William Pepperell, Lieutenant General of the forces raised in New-England, for an expedition against the French settlements on the Island of Cape Breton.
THE officers and men, intended for the expedition against the French settlements on Cape Breton, under your command, being embarked, and the necessary artillery, ammunition, arms, provision, &c. shipped for that purpose ; you are hereby directed to repair on board the snow Shirley Galley, Captain John Rouse commander, and by virtue of the commission you have received from me, take upon you the command of all and every the ships and other vessels, whether transports or cruizers of this and the neighbouring provinces that are appointed for this service ; and of all the troops raised for the same service, by this or any other of the neighbouring governments; and to proceed with the said vessels and forces, wind and weather permitting, to Canso, which place it is absolutely necessary should be appointed a rendezvous for the fleet. On your arrival there, you are to order two companies, consisting of forty men each with their proper officers, on shore, to take possession of the place and keep it; appointing one of the two Captains commandant of the whole; which party is to have orders, without delay to land, and erect a block house frame, on the hill of Canso, where the old one stood, and hoist English colours upon it; enclosing it with pickets and pallisadoes, so that the sides of the square may extend about one hundred feet, for which it is presumed there are garden pickets...
pages 6-60 were not scanned
A topographical description of the Dutch colony of Surrinam.
By George Henry Apthorp, in a letter to his father James Apthorp, Esq. of Braintree.
As you desire me to give you some particulars concerning the country in which I live ; and as I am now perfectly at leisure, I shall do it in as satisfactory a manner as I am able, hoping only that I shall not by being too lengthy, be tiresome to you.
PARAMARIBO lies in 6 deg: North Latitude and about 55 deg : Longitude west from London, about 4 Leagues from the sea ; on the river Surrinam, on the continent of South America, at a curve of the river which gives its greatest breadth, and free current of air. This is by far the finest river I have ever seen, pretty uniformly near three quarters of an English mile broad, on each side thickly skirted to the water's edge with mangrove trees, which like all other herbage here never lose their agreeable verdure. In some places are seen openings, where the wood has been cleared to make room either for the cane or coffee grounds, or for the buildings of the different plantations. The depth of water in this river is like that of the whole of this coast, not great, but sufficient to admit the largest vessels to this town ; at which arrive annually 50 or 60 Dutch vessels from 300 to 900 tons burthen, and about the same number of small North American vessels, who sell their provisions, &c. and take in return the molasses of the country, amounting to about 7 thousand hhds. annually.
Ascending this river, about 70 miles from the sea, one meets with a village consisting of about 40 or 50 houses, inhabited by Jews, which, (with this town) are the only ones in the Colony : At a considerable distance from thence the navigation of the river (which still continues a very fine one) is interrupted by falls, but the source has, I fancy, never been explored by any European.
Besides this river are two other capital ones falling into it near its mouth, and many smaller.
This town contains about 10,000 souls, viz. 2,000 whites, one half of whom are Jews, and 8,000 slaves. The houses are, for the greatest part, of wood, covered with shingles, tolerably large and airy. Some of the principal ones having glass windows, but in general wooden shutters; the streets are straight and spacious, planted on each side with a row of orange or tamarind trees, and being formed upon a ridge of shells, are in all weathers dry, without being dusty, but in the dry season, cast so strong a reflection from the sun as to be unpleasant and hurtful to the eyes. Through the whole country runs this ridge of shells, nearly parallel to the coast, but 3 or 4 leagues distant from it, of a considerable breadth, and from 4 to 8 feet deep, composed of shells exactly of the same nature as those which form the present coast. From this and from other circumstances, there is great reason to believe that the land on which we live is all new land, rescued from the sea, either by some revolution in nature, or other unknown cause.
On each side of the rivers and creeks, are situated the Plantations, containing from 500 to 2000 acres each, in number about 550 in the whole colony, producing at present annually about 16,000 hhds. of Sugar, 12,000,000 lb. Coffee, 700,000 lb. Cocoa, 850,000 lb. Cotton : All which articles (Cotton excepted) have fallen off within 15 years, at least one third, owing to bad management, both here and in Holland, and to other causes.
Of the proprietors of these plantations, not above 80 reside here; and it is by the administration of those belonging to the absentees, that people in this country expect to attain to fortune, and this is also when once got into, a sure road to it, for exclusive of the single article of 10 per cent, on the whole amount of the produce, there are many other advantages attending these administrations. On the plantations, and at the Jews' town are about 1,200 whites and 35,000 slaves, making with those in the town 3,200 whites and 43,000 slaves in the whole Colony. The buildings on the plantations are many of them very costly, and the dwelling houses good, with piazzas before and behind, which Tender them very cool and convenient. The sugar plantations have many of them water mills, which being much more profitable than others, and the situation of the colony admitting of them, will probably become general. Of the rest some are worked by mules, others by cattle, but from the lowness of the country none by the wind. The estates are for the greatest part mortgaged for as much or more than they are worth, which greatly discourages any improvements which might otherwise be made. Was it not for the unfortunate situation of the colony, in this and in other respects, it is certainly capable of being brought to a great height. Dyes, Gums, Oils, Plants, for medical purposes, &c. might and undoubtedly will at some future period, be found in abundance. Rum might be distilled here ; Indigo, Ginger, Rice, Tobacco, have been, and may be farther cultivated ; and many other articles of which we are still ignorant. In the woods are found many kinds of good and durable timber, and some woods for ornamental purposes, particularly a kind of Mahogany called Copic. The soil is perhaps as rich and luxuriant as any in the world ; it is almost uniformly a rich, fat, clayey earth, lying in some places a little above the level of the rivers at high water (which rises about 8 feet) and in most places considerably below it. Whenever from a continued course of cultivation for many years, a piece of land becomes impoverished (for manure is not known here) it is laid under water for a certain number of years, and thereby regains its fertility and in the mean time a new piece of wood land is cleared. This country has never experienced those dreadful scourges of the West-Indies, hurricanes; droughts from the lowness of the land, it has not to fear ; nor has the produce ever been destroyed by insects or by the blast. In short this colony by proper management, might become equal to Jamaica or any other. Land is not wanting; it is finely intersected by noble rivers, and abundants creeks ; the soil is of the best kind, it is well situated ; and the climate is not very unhealthy, and is growing everyday better, and will continue so to do, the more the country is cleared of its woods, and cultivated.
The climate is, in the months of September, October and November, certainly very unhealthy, and particularly so to persons lately from Europe, full of blood and youth, and inclinable to putrefaction, and of such people we see (in those months) a dreadful havock ; otherwise the climate is by no means very unhealthy.
The disorders of this country seem to be principally fevers of all kinds, from a common ague to the most shocking putrefactions, and of this last, the greatest number of people, particularly young ones, drop off. Also the dry belly ache, which if it spare the sufferer's life, leaves him for the remainder of it, or for a considerable time, lame hand and foot. The dropsy is common among the soldiers and poor people, from their salt meat and great quantity of bad water ; and other common diseases ; among the negroes are many others.
Ascending this river about 100 miles, we meet with quite a different soil, a hilly country and a pure, light, cool air, in which a fire would sometimes be not disagreeable. Here below the air is damp and inclinable to putrefaction, always warm, though never intolerably so, the general range of the thermometer being 75 and 90 degrees throughout the year. In this and the two last months, which may be considered as the Surrinam summer, it has always been about 85 at noon : this would indeed be almost intolerable, were it not tempered by a never failing breeze from the northeast, rising about 9 o'clock, and continuing through the day. As it is, I cannot say I am incommoded by the heat, and the days and nights throughout the year being of equal length within half an hour, the air can never become heated to so great a degree as in a latitude more distant from the equator, when they have long days and short nights.
The seasons were formerly divided regularly into rainy and dry ; but of late years so much dependence cannot be placed upon them, owing probably to the country being cleared of its woods, and an uninterrupted passage being opened to the air and vapours.
As to living, I cannot say it is here very good ; we have however almost all European tame animals. Our butchers' meat is small and not very good, and costs from 9d. to 1s. per lb. Poultry is in great abundance. Of European vegetables some flourish here, others do not ; there are some few vegetables natural to this country, which are pretty good. The great abundance and goodness of Surrinam fruits (which I am told are hardly equalled by those of any other part of the West Indies) fully make up the entire want of all European ones, of which I believe not one succeeds here. We have every production of the West Indies in its highest perfection, and that greatest of blessings for these countries, the Plaintain, grows no where so well.
The water of the rivers is brackish and unfit for drinking ; the rain water on the contrary is so pleasant as to exceed almost any other I ever drank : It is caught in cisterns placed under ground, with which few houses are unprovided, and set before drinking, in large earthern pots to settle and evaporate, with which it becomes beautifully clear, well tasted and wholesome ; these cisterns are so large and numerous that water is seldom a scarcity, except in long droughts, when a bottle of wine has been given for a bottle of water. The rivers abound with fish, some of which are good ; at certain seasons of the year we have plenty of Turtle. In the woods are Deer, Hares, and Rabbits, a kind of Buffaloe and two species of wild Hogs, one of which (the Peccary) is remarkable for having its navel on the back.
The woods are infested with several species of Tigers, but I fancy with no other ravenous or dangerous animals. The rivers are rendered dangerous by Alligaters from 4 to 7 feet long ; and a man was a short time since crushed between the jaws of a fish, but it is not known what fish it was. Scorpions and Tarantulas are found here of a large size and great venom, and other insects without number, some of them very dangerous and troublesome. The Torporific Eel also, the touch of which, by means of the bare hand or any conductor, has the effect of a strong electrical shock. I had almost forgot to mention the Serpents, some of which are venomous, and others as I have heard from many creditable persons are upwards of fifty feet long. I myself have seen the skin of one of half
that length. In the woods are monkeys, also the sloth, and parrots in all their varieties ; also some birds of beautiful plumage, among others the flamingo, but few or no singing birds.
It appears to me from every thing I can see here, that the English scheme concerning the slave trade, might easily be put in practice; they were for limiting the importation of slaves by degrees, in such a manner, as at last entirely to put an end to it. If that were done, every planter would do as some few only do at presentthey would treat their slaves at least with some little appearance of humanity, and by that means raise as great a number of Creoles on their estates as were required, and of a quality in every respect far superior to the savages imported from Africa. On the subject of the general treatment of slaves I shall say little, it being a disagreeable one, but I consider them as the most unfortunate of all human beings, not so much on account of any ill treatment from their masters (whose interest it is to treat them well, humanity being a word unknown in Surrinam) but from the cruelty of barbarous managers, who being for the greatest part old soldiers or others of low extraction, are people, who to great ignorance add a total carelessness with respect to the property or interest of their employers, and as long as they can make annually their stated quantity of produce, care not by what means ; thence comes and not from the, owner, the cruel treatment and overwork of the unhappy negroes; and a slave has no law to guard him from injustice.
The river Surrinam is guarded by a fort and two redoubts at the entrance, and a fort at this town, but none of them of any strength, so that one or two frigates would be sufficient to make themselves masters of the whole colony ; and never was there a people who more ardently wished for a change of government than the inhabitants of this colony do at this time. The many grievances they labour under, and the immense burthen of taxes which almost threaten the ruin of the colony, make them in some measure excusable in their general desire to change the Dutch for a British or French government. The colony does not stand immediately under the Slates General, but under a company in Holland, called the Directors of Surrinam, a company first formed I believe by the States General, but now supplying its own vacancies : by them are appointed the Governor and all the principal officers both civil and military. The interior government consists of a Governor and a supreme and inferior council, the members of which latter are chosen by the Governor from a double nomination of the principal inhabitants, and those of the former in the same manner. By these powers, and by a magistrate presiding over all criminal affairs, justice is done, and laws are enacted, necessary for the interior government of the colony ; those of a more general and publick nature are enacted by the Directors, and require no approbation here by the Court.
The colony is guarded farther by about 1600 regular troops paid by the Directors. These troops together with a corps of about 250 free negroes paid by the court here, and another small corps of chasseurs, and so many slaves as the court thinks fit to order from the planters from time to time, are dispersed at posts placed at proper distances on a Cordon, surrounding the colony on the land side, in order, as far as possible to defend the distant plantations and the colony in general, from the attacks of several dangerous bands of runaway slaves, which from very small beginnings have, from the natural prolificacy of the negro race, and the continual
addition of fresh fugitives, arrived at such an height as to have cost the country very great sums of money and much loss of men, without its being able to do these negroes any effectual injury.
The whole of this coast from the river Oronoque to the Marowyne is claimed by the Dutch ; upon it are situated their colonies of Essequebo, Demmarara, Berbice, and Surrinam ; the latter beginning with the river Saramacha and ending with the Marowyne, including a length of coast of about 120 English miles; the whole range of this coast from the Oronoque to the Marowyne is about . Between Cayenne and the river of Amazons is no settlement. The colony of Cayenne belongs to the French.
The country all around us is thinly peopled with the native Indians, a harmless, friendly set of beings, but not over-charged with understanding. They are in general short of stature, but remarkably well made, of a light copper color, straight black hair, without beards, high cheek bones, and broad shoulders. In their ears, noses, and hair, the women wear ornaments of silver, &c. Both men and women go naked. One nation or tribe of them tye the lower part of the leg of the female children, when young, with a cord bound very tight for the breadth of 6 inches about the ancle, which cord is never afterwards taken off but to put on a new one ; by this means the flesh which should otherwise grow on that part of the leg increases the calf to a great size and leaves the bone below nearly bare. This, though it must render them very weak, is reckoned a great beauty by them. I cannot conceive what should be the origin of so remarkable a custom : it resembles a little that of the Chinese with respect to the feet of their women. The language of these Indians appears to be very soft. They are mortal enemies to every kind of labour ; but manufacture nevertheless, a few articles, such as very fine cotton hammocks, earthen water pots, baskets, a red or yellow dye called Roùcaù, and some other trifles, all which they bring to town and exchange for such articles as they stand in need of.
They paint themselves red, and some are curiously figured with black. Their food consists chiefly of fish, and crabs, and cassava, of which they plant great quantities, and this is almost the only produce they attend to. They cannot be said to be absolutely wandering tribes, but their huts being merely a few cross sticks covered with branches, so as to defend them from the rain and sun, they frequently quit their habitations if they see occasion, and establish themselves elsewhere. They do not shun the whites, and have been serviceable against the run-away negroes.
This colony was first possessed by the French as early as the year 1630 or 40, and was abandoned by them on account of its unhealthy climate. In the year 1650 it was taken up by some Englishmen, and in 1662 a charter was granted by Charles 2d. About this time it was considerably augmented by the settlement of a number of Jews who had been driven out of Cayenne and the Brasils, whose descendants (with others, Jews) compose at present one half of the white inhabitants of this colony, and are allowed great privileges. In 1667 it was taken by the Dutch, and the English having got possession about the same time of the then Dutch colony of New-York, each party retained its conquest; the English planters most of them retired to Jamaica leaving their slaves behind them, whose language is still English, but so corrupted as not to be understood
at first by an Englishman I don't know what farther I shall add, than that people live here as the Dutch do every where, pretty well, and with treat regularity and sobriety, and without much excess in any way We rise at 6, and dine at 2 o'clock ; at 11 o'clock, at night scarce any person is to be seen in the streets, and few houses have lights in them at that hour. As for amusements, we are badly off, there are however two play houses, one of Jews and one of Christians, in which the inhabitants of this town are performers, we have also a concert and now and then a private ball. Society is bad here on account of the men being entirely drawn off from the company of white women, by the coloured ones We have two respectable clubs or societies, in which people who have not sixpence above their daily expenditure, play for larger sums than they perhaps ever saw in their own country. We are well supplied here from Holland with every article of European produce or manufacture, but pay from 30 to 100 per cent above prime cost.
There are some very rich people here, but the greatest part (and among them some who make the greatest show) are poor, and live no one knows how. Our money consist of stamped cards, signed by two members of the Court, from 1s to any value, and also Danish silver coin of six pence and three pence value, other silver money bears a premium of 10 or 15 per cent but never remains long in the colony : bills on Holland are worth about 6 per cent.
I don't know how I am now to excuse myself for being too tedious, except by bringing this long story to an end, begging you to pardon me if I have told you some things which you were before acquainted with, and others which are uninteresting to you.
The following letter was written by Mr. Comptroller Weare, who was afterwards Consul at Madeira, where he died, about the year 1769 It was never published before, but communicated in manuscript, to the Society by a worthy friend, to whom they feel themselves indebted for more than one instance of his attention and politeness.
To the right Honorable the Earl of
WAS I as conscious of other abilities as I am of the rectitude of my intentions, I should offer the following observations on the British colonies in America with the same respect and duty, but with less diffidence, to your Lordship's perusal , to which nevertheless, I am encouraged by the experience of a former condescension upon a similar occasion.
The natives of America, my Lord, are the only part of mankind who retain to this day, all those original rights which each individual held independently in the state of nature , and though exposed to numberless evils, and deprived of as many comforts , yet is it still a question, whether others have not pud the full price of whatever they have acquired beyond the simple acquisitions of more savage life , for what advantage may not be over balanced by the loss of liberty ? or what can compensate for the abjectness of that miserable state into which, with too few exceptions, the remaining three fourths of our species are by the most execrable of all treasons degraded ? But as Great-Britain, through the superior excellence
of a constitution, favoured by infinite natural advantages, has alone been able, amidst this general abuse of all the rights of mankind, not only to maintain the dignity of human nature, by reconciling, agreeably to the primary intentions of all government, liberty with obedience , but hat. also actually been the first that ever derived power from its true source, national labour acquiring property under the sanctions of equitable laws, it were to be wished, for the honour of our species, that her empire, and government, might be perpetual.
If to contemplate principles which seem to lead to this end, with pleasure more than ordinary, be enthusiasm, the writer of these observations must acknowledge himself an enthusiast ; but should any degree of deception be necessarily implied in the same idea, where that deception begins, and how far it misleads him, cannot possibly escape your Lordship's discernment, whose part in the administration, by a right equal, in the opinions of a free and grateful people, to that of birth, sufficiently manifest the propriety of this address.
As far however as regards the actual state of the British plantations, I have not dared to approach your Lordship with gleanings from the vague conversations of this town, upon the authority of pamphleteers or news writers, the groundless reports of cursory travelers, or more criminal misinformations of interested men, whose bold impositions upon an over credulous public I have long observed with indignation. My great concern is, that after many years' experience, through several provinces in various characters, I should still find myself incapable of furnishing that exact and minute detail of things, which the importance of the subject merits, and which your Lordship's distinguished attention, to whatever relates to the British Colonies, gives so much reason to believe would be acceptable. But observing how difficult an affair the coming at truth is, at the distance too of a thousand leagues, and that no circumstance conducive to it, though in ever so remote a degree, could be immaterial, I presumed it pardonable, even in me to attempt giving some further insight into a country and people, who are now become of such importance to the British empire. But conceiving that upon this occasion it would best express that truth at which alone I aim, to report without reserve things as they really stand in my own mind, whatever mistakes I may fall into ought not to be ascribed to prejudice, partiality, or undue bias, from any private views of interest or gain, so far at least as it was in my power to divest myself of every such influence, an affair, after all, not very difficult to one who, on many considerations, can have no possible concern in any measures the government may think to pursue in regard to America, where he has few connexions and no interest, and who at an advanced time of life, spent in the pursuits neither of ambition or gain, would think the remainder well laid out in adding a single day to the independency of Great Britain.
Observations on the British Colonies on the continent of
THE acquisition and increase of power have ever been a principal concern of kingdoms and commonwealths, who, nevertheless, till of
pages 68-97 were not scanned
A Letter from the Town Clerk of Dorchester, to the Secretary of the Historical Society. 98
A letter from the Town, Clerk of Dorchester to the Secretary of the Historical Society.
IN the beginning of the year 1630, reckoning the year to begin with January, a congregational church was gathered at Plymouth in England, and the Rev. John Maverick, and the Rev. John Warham, were separated to the care of the said church. March 20th 1630, the aforesaid Mr. Maverick and Warham, sailed from England, with many godly families and persons. They arrived at Nantasket, May 30th, 1630, where Capt. S______ puts them ashore and leaves them to shift for themselves ; some of them get a boat of some old planters, and go up Charles' river, till it grows narrow and shallow; there, with some difficulty, land their goods,
A Letter from the Town Clerk of Dorchester, to the Secretary of the Historical Society. 99
the bank being steep. They are there but a little while, before they have orders to remove to Mattapan, because of a neck fit to keep their cattle on : they remove, begin the town, and name it Dorchester, where the natives are kind to them. Probably they removed in June. In the year 1635, the aforesaid Rev. John Warham removes from Dorchester to Windsor with the greatest part of the church. The Rev. John Maverick died in February, 1636, reckoning the year to begin as aforesaid. In August 1636 the Rev. Richard Mather was settled at Dorchester, and a new church was gathered. In a few years the Rev. Jonathan Burr, was called to be an assistant to Mr. Mather, and according to the church records was settled, but his continuance was but short ; he died August 9th 1641, and left Mr. Mather alone. In the year 1649, the Rev. John Wilson, jun. was settled with Mr. Mather, but in two years removes to Medfield, that Medfield might have a pastor, where he was minister 40 years. Mr. Mather died April 22d, 1669. An. Æt. 73, having been settled in Dorchester 32 years and 8 months. The Rev. Josiah Flint was settled December 27th, 1671. Died September 16th 1680, having been settled in Dorchester 8 years and between 8 and 9 months. The Rev. John Danforth was settled June 28th 1682. Died May 26th, 1730. An. Æt. 70, having been in the ministry almost 48 years. The Rev. Jonathan Bowman was settled with Mr. Danforth, November 5th, 1729, continued in the ministry till December 14th, 1773, having been in the ministry 44 years. The Rev. Moses Everett, the present pastor, was settled September 28th 1774.
The sepulchres of the prophets are with us. The Rev. John Maverick was buried, I suppose, in the first burying place ; the Rev. Jonathan Burr, the Rev. Richard Mather, the Rev. Josiah Flint, the Rev. John Danforth and the Rev. Jonathan Bowman, in the second.
There have been several instances of longevity in the town of Dorchester. Mrs. Anne Pierce, the widow of Robert Pierce, lived to about 104 years of age. Mr. Richard Leeds, to about 98 years. Mr. Israel Leadbetter, to the 97th year of his age. Mrs. Relief Leadbetter, to the 94th year of her age. Mr. William Dier, to the 93d year of his age. Mr. John Bird, to the 91st year of his age. Mr. John Trescott, to the 91st; and his wife, to the 98th year of her age.
More than thirty from Dorchester have had an education at Harvard college, and been graduated there. More than twenty of whom have been preachers of the gospel. To which number I may add the Rev. William Brimsmead of Marlborough, and the Rev. Ichabod Wiswell of Duxbury, as having their education at said college, who, after the law was made, for the students staying at college four years instead of three, came away without tarrying for their degrees.
The Indians at Ponkipog, now Stoughton, having sold away all their land, the Rev. John Elliot of Roxbury (who was indefatigable in his endeavours to gospelize the Indians) sent a letter to Major Atherton of Dorchester, wherein he expresses his gratitude to him and all the good people of Dorchester, that they were allowed to proceed quietly at Ponkipog ; and requests him to further these two motions, viz. 1. That you would please to make an order in your town, and record it in your town records, that you approve and allow the Indians of Ponkipog, there to sit down, and to
A letter from the Town Clerk of Dorchester, &c. 100
make a town, and to enjoy such accommodations as may be sufficient to maintain God's ordinances, among them another day. My second request is, that you would appoint fit men, who may, in a fit season, bound and lay out the same, and record that also. The letter bears date, Roxbury, the 4th of the 4th, 1657.
At a general town meeting, the 7th of December, 1657, the same day it was voted, that the Hon. Major Atherton, Lieutenant Clap, Ensign Foster, and William Sumner are desired and impowered to lay out the Indian plantation at Ponkipog, not exceeding six thousand acres of land, which it appears was done, for in a deed from Charles Josiah, an Indian Sachem, bearing date, June, 1684, he ratified and confirmed for a valuable sum of money, paid him by William Stoughton, Esq. what his father Josiah, and his grandfather Chickatabut had done before him, granting and conveying all the land in the town of Dorchester and Milton, said six thousand acres laid out for the Indians excepted.
In the year 1637, or 1638, the General Court enlarged the bounds of Dorchester, granting them to the bounds of Plymouth. In the year 1664, the line between the Colony of Massachusetts and Plymouth was run from Accord pond to Angle tree. In the year 1713, or thereabouts, the new Colony line was run. Mr. Thaxter and Mr. Thompson, as I suppose, mistaking Station tree for Angle tree, which were three miles and an half a part. A large gore of the land which the General Court granted to Dorchester, and which was purchased of Charles Josiah, an Indian Sachem, for a valuable sum of money, I suppose, was cut off from Dorchester. For a town to grant six thousand acres of land for the accommodation of the Indians, (which is more than two thirds as much as the whole quantity of land now within the bounds of Dorchester) and to have more than six thousand acres more cut off by the running of a line, is more, I trust, than can be said of any town in this Commonwealth.
In May, 1662, the town voted, that Unquety, now Milton, should be a township, if the General Court give way thereunto.
May 12th, 1707, voted in the affirmative, that the inhabitants of Dorchester new grant should be set off a precinct by themselves.
In November, 1725, the town voted that the inhabitants of the south precinct in Dorchester, and all the lands beyond it in the township of Dorchester, should be set off a township by themselves.
NOAH CLAP, Town-Clerk.
Dorchester, Jan. 4, 1792.
Extracts from the Records of the Province of Maine.
Form of an Oath appointed to be taken by Sir Ferdinando Gorges.Council, March, 1640.
[From the ancient Records of the Province of Maine.]
I DO swear and protest before God Almighty, and by the holy contents of this book, to be a faithful servant and Councellor, unto Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Knight, my lord of the Province of Mayne, and to his heirs and assigns to do and perform to the utmost of my power, all dutiful respects to him and them belonging; concealing their counsel, and without respect of persons, to do, perform, and give my opinion in all causes according to my conscience, and best understanding; both as I am a Councellor for hearing of causes, and otherwise to give him or them my opinion, as 1 am a councellor for matters of State and Commonwealth, and that I will not conceal from him or them and their councel any matter of conspiracy or mutinous practice against my said Lord, his heirs and assigns, but will constantly after my knowledge thereof, discover the same and prosecute the authors thereof with all diligence and severity, according to justice, and thereupon do humbly kiss the book.
At the first General Court held at Saco, June 25, 1640.
Before Richard Vines, Richard Bonighton, Henry Josseline and Edward Godfrey, councellors to Sir Ferdinando Gorges.
ROGER GARD, Regr.
ROBERT SANKEY, Provost Marshal.
Memorandum.That here is a matter depending in this Court, between Mr. Edward Godfrey and Mr. George Cleaves concerning 20l. which the said Edward Godfrey doth demand of the said George Cleaves, by virtue of an order out of the High Court of Starr Chamber for costs in that court, by a special writ.
WHEREAS, divers priviledges have heretofore been granted to the patentees and inhabitants of Agamenticus, as by several patents doth and may appearWe whose names are here subscribed being deputed for and in behalf off the said inhabitants, do in behalf of ourselves and those we are deputed for, Protest, as followethThat our appearance at this Court, shall be no prejudice to any grante or priviledge we now enjoy or ought to enjoy by virtue of the said patent or otherwise ; and whatsoever we speak, do or transact in this Court shall be saving this protestation.
Notwithstanding we do humbly acknowledge his Majesty's grant, of the Provincial patent to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and humbly submit ourselves thereunto so far as by law we are bound. We also desire a copy of this protestation may be taken by some notary, or other Officer of this Court here to be recorded.
EDWARD JOHNSON, }
Inhabitants of Agamenticus.
JOHN BAKER, GEORGE PUDDINGTON, BARH. BARNET.
It was ordered at this Court,
By Richard Vines, Richard Bonighton, Henry Josselyne, and Edward Godfrey Esquires, Councellors for this Province, that the Government
Extracts from the Records of the Province of Maine 102
established at Agamenticus shall so remain until such time as the said counsellors have certified the Lord of the Province thereof, and heard again from him concerning his further pleasure therein.
AT a General Court, holden at Saco, October 21, 1645.
Before RICHARD VINES, Deput.
RICHARD BONIGHTON } Esqrs.
Francis Robinson, Arthur Mackworth, Edward Small, Abraham Prebble, Magistrates.
Ordered by the General Court, that whereas, we have not heard of late from the Hon. Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Lord proprietor of this Province of Mayne, for a full establishment of government within the said Province for our peace and safety; This 21 of October, 1645, have chosen for our Deputy Governor Richard Vines Esq. for one whole year. And also order yearly to choose a Deputy Governor. And further order that in case the said Richard Vines Esq ; should depart the country before the year be expired : Then we nominate and choose Henry Josselyne Esq. Deputy Governor in his place and stead.
William Waldron recorder of the Province of Mayne chosen and sworn for one year.
Ordered, that whereas John Bonithan of Saco in the Province of Mayne hath been summoned divers times in his Majesties name to appear at our Court, and hath refused, threatening to kill or slay any person that should lay hands on him ; whereupon the law hath had its due proceeding to an outlawry; and divers judjments, executions and warrants of the good behaviour against him We, thereupon, at a General Court assembled, adjudge the said John Bonithan outlawed and incapable of his Majesty's laws, And proclaim him a rebbel.
Ordered by consent of this Court that if Mr. John Bonithan be taken, that he be sent forthwith to Boston to answer such things as there shall be brought against him.
Ordered for the charges of the General Court at Saco of the Province of Mayne, 21 October 1645.
Saco, to pay
11 } 4l. 10s 0d
The humble petition of William Cutt and ____ Cutting, sheweth,
That John Reynolds, contrary to an act, in Court, that no wimin shall live upon the Isle of Shols, hath brought his wife thither with an intention there to live and abide. And hath also brought upon Hogg Island a great stock of goats and hoggs, which doth not only spoil and destroy much fish to the great damage of several others, and likewise many of your petitioners; but also doth spoil the spring of water that is on that island, by making it unfit or unserviceable for any manner of use, which is the only relief and sustenance of all the rest of the Island.
Your petitioners therefore pray that the said Reynolds may be ordered to remove his said goats and swine from the island forthwith. Also that the
Extracts from the Records of the Province of Maine. 103
act of Court before mentioned may be put in execution for the removal of all wimin inhabiting thereAnd your petitioners shall pray.
Whereas, by the aforesaid request, the general complaint of the chief of the fishermen and owners of the Isle of Sholes, that it is a great annoyance and prejudice for Mr. John Reynolds to keep his sheep and goats at the Isle of SholesIt is by mutual concent of this Court, Ordered, that Mr. Reynolds shall within twenty days remove all his swine that he hath at Hogg Island from thence or any other Island of these Islands, that are inhabited with fishermen.
And as for the removal of his wife (if no further complaint against her) she may yet enjoy the company of her husband.
These, dated the 20th October 1647.
Whereas, the inhabitants of Piscataqua, Gorgiana, and Wells in the Province of Mayn,* have here begun to ppògat and populict these parts of the country did formerly by power derivative from Sir Ferdinando Gorges Knight, exersisethe regulating the affairs of the country as ny as we could according to the laws of England, and such other ordinances as was thought meet and requisit for the better regulating thereof. Now forasmuch as Sir Ferdinando Gorges is dead, the country by their generall letter sent to his heirs in June 1647 and 48. But by the sad distractions in England noe returne is yet come to hand. And command from the Parlament, not to meddle insoemuch as was granted to Mr. Rigley.+ Most of the commissioners being dep'ted the Province. The inhabitants are for present in sume distraction about the regulating the affairs of these sites : For the better ordering whereof till further order power and authoryty shall come out of England ; the inhabitants with one free and universanimus consent due bynd themselves in a boddy pollitick a combination to see these parts of the country and Province regulated according to such laws as formerly have been exercised and such others as shall be thought meet, not repugnant to the fundamental laws of our native country.
And to make choyse of such Governor or Governes and Magistrates as by most voysses they shall think meet. Dated in Gorgiana alias Accoms. the day of Julie 1649. The priviledge of Accoms. Charter excepted. (copied literatim.)__________
Certain presentments of Grand Juries, among which are the following :
We present Charles Potum for living an idle lazy life ; following no settled employments. Major Bryant Pembleton joined with the selectmen of Cape Porpus, to dispose of Potum according to law, and to put him under family government.
We present Jere. Guttridge for an idle person, and not providing for his family, and giving reproachful language to Mr. Nat. Frier, when he reproved him for his idleness. The Court for his offence adjudges the Delinquent to have 20 lashes on his back, and to bring
* Piscataqua is supposed to comprehend the lands now (1792) known by the names of Kittery and Berwick. Gorgiana, the name given in the Charter from Gorge to York.
+ Rigley claimed lands in Falmouth and Scarborough.
Historical Scraps. 104
security to the court to be of better behaviour in providing for his family.
We present. Adam Goodwine for denying the morality of the 4th Commandment.
We present the Selectmen of the town of Kittery for not taking care that their children and youth be taught their catechism and education according to law.
Similar presentments were made against the Selectmen of the several towns of Cape Porpus, Scarborough, and Falmouth.
CAPTAIN Benj. Church, the famous warrior against the Indians, at the eastward, fell upon a small village, from whence the warriors at his approach, had hastily fled, leaving some old squaws and a few small pappooses, that their sudden and hasty departure did not permit them to remove. These, after falling into the hands of Church and his company, were set at liberty without injury. This humanity and generosity were remembered afterwards, and recompensed by the Indians in kind, when they surprized and destroyed the greater part of the inhabitants of York, January 22, 1692, old style, by dismissing and sending into one of the garrison houses, that by vigilance escaped the carnage, some old women and a half dozen small children, or more, between three and seven years of age. One of the youngest boys then dismissed and sent, was afterwards the famous Col. Jeremiah Moulton, who died about the year 1765.
Samuel Cane Esq. an acting Justice of the Peace of York, had, pretty early one morning, two of his townsmen come before him, in order to have each other laid under bonds to keep the peace. The Justice had a saw mill, a few rods from his house with a log in it to be sawed into boards. He appeared busy and in haste, told them he wanted the log sawed ; and, if they would go to the mill and saw it, and roll it on to the carriage, while he finished the engagement he was then about, he would immediately after attend them upon the business they came to him upon. The men went to the mill together, cut the log and rolled it upon the carriage and returned : By this time the 'Squire had finished the little job he was doing. They then began to acquaint him of their apprehension of danger from each other, and, 'tis said, offered to swear the Peace (as it is sometimes expressed) against each other. Upon this his worship judiciously observed to them, if such were their real apprehensions, how it happened that they could work together upon the log at the mill ?
There were sufficient weapons and time for injuring each other, if they really had such intentions or dispositions ; and no third person to interfere. Their fears were therefore groundless. And they themselves, upon reflection, must be sensible of it. And thereupon dismissed them without complying with either of their requests.
Dr. Mather's Letter to Lord Harrington.
This letter, written by the late Dr. Cotton Mather in the year 1718, was supposed to be addressed to Lord Harrington, who was a very religious man, and a great friend to New England. He was the first of the name and peerage of Harrington. His brother was Governour of Massachusetts, as is well known, and one who was well pleasing to the people, on account of his attachment to the dissenting interest.
This letter also gives the world a character of the inhabitants of New England as well as their Governour, Col. Shute.
YOUR generous inclinations to do good unto the world, and become a general benefactor to mankind, have not been confined unto the eastern side of the Atlantic. Your influences have reached unto the American regions, and the people afar off do, on many accounts, feel and own themselves the better for you.
If New-England enjoys a singular share in your concern for the welfare of such as are always glad and proud of your patronage, it is a country that will pretend unto some, especially two, recommendations, which have somewhat of a singularity in them.
The one is, that our lawful, and rightful, and invaluable King George, is not known to have so much as one of all that are truly of this people, disaffected unto him ; none of all the dominions protected by the sceptre of that illustrious Prince, can boast of loyalty so conspicuous, and so universal : and if they approve themselves loyal, rather by heartily praying for their Prince's health, than by drinking of it, their inviolable fidelity is not the less to be relied upon.
The other is, that no church upon earth at this day so notably makes the terms of communion run parallel with the terms of salvation, as they are made among this people. The only declared basis for union among them, is that solid, vital, substantial piety, wherein all good men of different forms, are united. And Calvinists with Lutherans, Presbyterians with Episcopalians, Pedo-baptists with Anabaptists, beholding one another to fear God, and work righteousness, do with delight sit down together at the same table of the Lord ; nor do they hurt one another in the Holy mountain.
You will doubtless esteem such a people not unworthy of your kind regards : And if there should be some follies found among them, any sordid frugality, any absurd ingratitude, any weak listening to a few designing men, who sometimes, with popular and plausible insinuations, impose upon them ; your superiour spirit will compassionately make allowances for them. Such things are but humanities. And the goodness, and patience, and courage of great men, must have trials by inferiour people, in this way provided for them.
For this people you have done various and ponderous kindnesses : But the greatest that ever you did, and, Sir, you will pardon me, if I say, that it was not possible for you to do a greater for them, has been in what you have done, that we might enjoy your incomparable brother for our Governour : A person born to make every one easy and happy, that his benign rays can reach unto.
His Majesty could not, among the many millions of his good subjects, find a more faithful steward of his interests : And, at the same time, he treats the true interests of the people committed unto him with so paternal a tenderness and clemency, that they find him a better friend unto them,
Dr. Mather's Letter to Lord Harrington. 106
than they sometimes are unto themselves : And it helps to endear their King unto them, in that his royal wisdom and goodness has bestowed upon them such a Governour.
It is possible, that the best of Kings may have some enemies among us in masquerade ; enemies, but afraid, and ashamed, of being accounted such. And it is thought, that scarce any but such, be enemies of a Governour, in whom we have so bright an image of his royal master.
Certain political interests, and frustrations, did indispose the mind of a few people to him for a while : But his noble contempt of their enmity, and his prudent, unbiassed, uncorrupt administration, in a little while so conquered them, that for to speak ill of him, is become a disgrace which very few appear ambitions of.
The worst of men, confess him to be a person of excellent temper, and of unspotted justice, and every way a gentleman ; and one whom no ill may be expected from.
The best of men, all agree in rendering thanks to the glorious God for him ; and reckon the example and the countenance, wherewith virtue is animated from him, to be a mercy which we never can be too thankful for.
All men acknowledge and celebrate the felicity of our country in him ; and strangers that come among us, with one voice, invite us to be yet more sensible of it.
What a satisfaction must it be unto his Majesty, if he shall understand, that he hath granted the commission for our government, unto a person, whom if it were left unto their own election, the whole people almost to a man, would chuse for their Governour !
If any rash men should be so venomous as to exhibit any complaints against such a Governour, or to represent him under any disadvantageous character, they must needs be acted by motives and mistakes, which good men cannot but be displeased at. And if either the character of the men, or the temptation which misleads them, should be thoroughly enquired into, all their talk will at once lose all its efficacy, and never be able to make the least impression.
To lose a Governour so generally and passionately beloved, would put whole Provinces into mourning, and produce lamentations like those of Hadradimmon. And the greatest benefit that your servant, who now writes, or the people for whom he writes can ask of you, is, that you would still do, what may be in you, to secure unto us the long enjoyment of him.
What is now written comes from one who is capable to know the disposition of these Provinces, as unwilling to write any thing, which he does not know, or think to be true ; but very willing, that if there should be any occasion for it, you may expose this letter wherever it may be serviceable.
At this time I add no more; but may our great God and Saviour multiply his blessings on your person and family, and give successes to your intentions for the good of our nation, and of his people in the world.
Your most sincere, and humble servant.
Nov. 4, 1718.
A general Description of the County of Middlesex. 107
A general Description of the County of Middlesex,
by James Winthrop, Esq.
MIDDLESEX is one of the most ancient shires in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which first adopted the division by Counties in 1643. It has been rendered eminent by the military event of April 19th, 1775, which gave birth to the American Revolution. The battle of Lexington, honourable to our country, is so recent in memory, as to render it unnecessary for us to be more particular than merely to mention its date.
This County is also distinguished by the University or Cambridge ; a society that has, from the beginning, furnished supplies of statesmen qualified to support the rights of mankind, and of men eminent in every branch of literature.
The County deviates a little from a square, but its area is nearly equal to a square of forty miles on a side. It is divided into forty-one towns of unequal extent and population. The late survey under the act of Congress, gave for the whole number of souls in the County upwards of forty-two thousand, of which number two thousand one hundred belong to Cambridge, the shire town. This town is about three miles west from Boston, and beautifully situated in a plain, watered by the Charles, which enters the County at Newton, about seven miles from Cambridge in the direction of the road. The Lower Fall, as it is called, is about twenty feet in its direct descent at the bridge between Newton and Needham. At this place the river separates Middlesex from Suffolk. Below Cambridge the river forms a wide bay, extending more than half a mile from shore to shore, and including the marsh, a mile and a quarter wide in the direction of the new bridge between Boston and Cambridge; of which that will be the length. Another bridge, over the Charles, where six years ago was a ferry, somewhat more than a quarter of a mile wide, connects Boston and Charlestown. A third bridge, one of the longest now in the world, is over the Mistic, and joins Charlestown to Malden, both those towns being in this County.
The Mistic is indeed a short river, being not more than a dozen miles in length ; but though small, it is well improved by the industrious and flourishing town of Medford.
Another river of note in the County for the length of its course, the gentleness of its current, and the meadows that are watered by it, is Concord river. It rises at Hopkinton in the south west corner of the County, and passing through Framingham, Sudbury, Concord, Billerica, and Chelmsford, joins the Merrimack at Tewkesbury, below the ridge of land which interrupts the tranquillity of each stream, and forms a considerable cataract.
Nashua river enters the County of Middlesex at Groton, and crossing that part of the County, goes into the state of New-Hampshire, where it is lost in the Merrimack.
The Merrimack rises in the northern parts of New-Hampshire, and running southerly receives a large supply of water from Lake Winipiseogee, in the centre of that State. It afterwards enters Massachusetts at Dunstable in this County, when turning eastward it passes by several
Letter of an old English Merchant to the Earl of Sandwich. 108
towns, and leaving the County, at Tewkesbury continues its course through the County of Essex to the sea at Newbury Port.
The southern and northern sides of the County are hilly, but cannot be considered as mountainous, few of the hills exceeding an hundred feet in height, and being generally wooded or cultivated quite to the summit.
The climate is very fine, the air generally serene, and the temperature mild. The extreme variation of Fahrenheit's thermometer may be considered as an hundred degrees in a year; but it is in very few instances, that in the course of a year it reaches either extreme. Ninety-two degrees may be considered as the extreme of summer heat, and five or six degrees below 0, as that of the winter cold. Instances are to be found of its exceeding these limits, but they are so rare as to be exceptions to the general rule, and do not form a rule of themselves.
Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, grapes, and currants are among our fruits, and by cultivation, arrive at great perfection. The three last sorts are indigenous, but it is not so certain of the rest. The oak, chesnut, walnut, oilnut, pine, maple, button or plane tree, elm, ash, and birch, are among the trees that variegate our forests and beautify the face of the country.
Letter of an old English Merchant to the Earl of Sandwich,
upon the Expedition to Louisbourg.[From the Daily Advertiser.]
My Lord, London, April 22, 1775.
I HAVE waited a considerable time, in expectation, either that some abler advocate for the living and the dead, would have exposed the fallacy of your late extraordinary harangue in the House of Lords, as it was printed in the public newspapers ; or that a positive contradiction would have appeared from authority ; I mean a solemn asseveration that you never made use of such absurd terms, or related such an improbable particular instance, attended with such ludicrous circumstances concerning the brave Sir Peter Warren, and the equally brave North Americans: This latter expectation was rather reasonable in me, because, though I was admitted to the honour of being present at the memorable siege of Louisbourg, in 1745, I cannot, in these times of inquisitorial secrecy, be admitted to the like honour at the assemblies of the British sages ; I mean, in the Houses of Lords or Commons, and of course cannot depend upon what may be said to have passed there; the constituents of the Commons are rudely thrust out of the gallery of their own House, and as that celebrated botanist, philosopher, favourite, and Knight of the Polar Star, Sir John Hill, says, in the preface to his animadversions upon the Royal Society, I have the honour not to be a member of either. But, my Lord, I was an eye-witness to the siege in question, was much nearer than Sir Peter, at the time of, and assisted to cover, the landing, which was heroically effected ; and I do most absolutely deny your second-hand character, and account given of the Americans, if it is yours, to be true : I was also frequently an ear-witness to the declarations of Sir Peter, which were always directly contrary to what he hath been lately made to relate ; I therefore also sincerely believe that part of the harangue in question not
Letter of an old English Merchant to the Earl of Sandwich. 109
to be true. You know, my good Lord, dead men tell no tales ; it is well for some they cannot, or perhaps, if they could, in this refined and free thinking age, they would not be believed, no, not even Moses and the Prophets, were they to arise. Your Lordship will excuse the quotation ; you was always extravagantly fond of the scriptures, at least I have been told so ; and one tale, my good Lord, may be as true as another, you know : and yet, after all, your Lordship, far from declaiming so fallaciously, may never have even seen the ludicrous tale, you are represented to have so ludicrously embellished. You may, my Lord, be infinitely above reading of newspapers ; nevertheless, in justice to your Lordship, as well as the rest of the concerned, it once more makes its appearance, with a few remarks; and would your Lordship condescend so far, you might learn how injuriously to your honour, you have been libelled in the public prints.
____"As to their prowess, I remember very well, when I had the honour to be at the Board at which I now preside, I had the curiosity to inquire about the surprising feats said to be performed by those people [the Americans] at the siege of Louisbourg, of the great naval officer who commanded on that expedition, as able and honest a seaman as ever lived (Sir Peter Warren) who told me very frankly, they were the greatest set of cowards and poltroons he ever knew; they were all bluster, noise, and conquest, before they got in the presence of their enemies, but then they were good for nothing. I remember a particular instance he told me, which, from the ludicrous circumstances attending it, made a very deep impression on my mind. Soon after their landing, there was a battery, called the Island Battery, which commanded the entrance of the harbour. Sir Peter having ordered them to attack it, they engaged to perform it; but what was the consequence ? They ran away on the first fire. And how did you manage ? Did you employ them afterwards, or upbraid them with their cowardice, says I ?No, answered Sir Peter, neither would it have been prudent; I formed the marines and part of the ships' crews into a body, to act on shore; and instead of upbraiding them, I told them they had behaved like heroes; for, if I had acted otherwise, I should have never taken the town, as their presence and numbers were necessary to intimidate the besieged.
"Their numbers, [meaning the Americans at large] and extent of country both, will unite with their cowardice to render their conquest the more easy ; for, in the first place, it will be more difficult to assemble them, and when they are assembled, the more easy to defeat them. I would be better pleased, that the standing army should meet 200,000 of such a rabble, armed with old rusty firelocks, pistols, staves, clubs, and broomsticks, than 20,000, as the war would be at an end ; and instead of five victories, one on our part would be equally decisive."
Sir Peter Warren, then a Commodore only, was as able and honest a seaman as ever stept between the stem and stern of a ship. He might have been advised with ; nay, he certainly was, because the most perfect harmony subsisted between the land and sea officers; but he never ordered the land forces to attack any part of the fortifications, nor would they have engaged to perform such orders, if he had : the chief naval officer understood discipline much better, than to trench upon the province of General
Letter of an old English Merchant, &c. 110
Pepperell ; such orders must have bred ill blood. Can any man be brought to believe, that the General, or his brave volunteer irregulars, about 3,800 in number, every one of whom belonged to America, nay almost to a man * New-Englanders, would have suffered such treatment? Besides, would any mere naval officer, in his senses, have made himself unnecessarily responsible for consequences so hazardous! Lastly, and beyond all, who could have imagined that an English First Lord of the Admiralty would have espoused such a doctrine, and approved of such conduct ?
The Island Battery stood upon a small rock, almost inaccessible, about 20 yards broad, and 200 long, with a circular battery of 42 pounders, towards the neck of the harbour, in front, with a guard-house and barracks behind. How could they, the Americans, run away, then, on the first fire? Or where to? unless into the ocean; for the whaling and ship's boats were sunk, or obliged to draw off': As it was, they made a noble stand : one Brookes, an American officer, had nearly struck the flag of the fort, it was actually half down, when a French-Swiss trooper, clove his skull. Their courageous landing, their dragging of 18 pounders, several miles over rocks, and through morasses, their drilling of 42 pounders left in the deserted grand battery which had been spiked up by the French, and then conveying them round the north-east harbour to the light-house ; the speedy and close approach of the fascine batteries to the ramparts, and the general alertness of the successful besiegers, entitles them, surely, to more than a sneer; it justly entitles them to the real appellation of heroes : Could men, so circumstanced, exert themselves more ? Do such an handful of undisciplined soldiers deserve the opprobious epithets of cowards or poltroons ?
The admiral, it is true, blocked up the harbour effectually, and neglected nothing in the power of an experienced and valiant naval officer, on sea or shore, to assist the land forces; but did any one, besides your Lordship, ever hear him boast, that if he had acted otherwise, than by crouching and lying to cowards and poltroons, he should have taken the town ? Modesty is a constant attendant upon real merit; the admiral would have modestly insisted, that the fleet blocked up the port and did its duty, but that the army took the town.
You have been libelled, my Lord, or you have paid a poor compliment to the memory of Sir Peter Warren, and much poorer to the names of the brave North Americans who perished before the walls ; neither have you done justice to the survivers upon that expedition ; I bled in this business my Lord ; and, though an old Englishman, feel for the honour of the British
*"___ Inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay, New-Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode-Island ; 3,850 voluntary soldiers, principally substantial persons, and men of beneficial occupations ; this brave, determined, though undisciplined band of soldiers, embarked from Boston on the 20th of March for Canso; and, pray for us, while we fight for you, was the valiant and endearing language wherewith they animated their desponding countrymen, on their departure from their families, their fortunes, and their occupations."
Rolt's Impartial Representation, &c. vol.4, fol. 13.
An account of General Montgomery's Burial. 111
empire in every quarter of the globe. I feel also my proportionate part of the ungenerous and degrading insult; but every defamation that gross falsehood and sheer ignorance can suggest, against our truly meritorious and much injured brethren of America, is now courtly, and of course fashionable.
How would your Lordship approve of it, to have the ashes of your departed, your broken-hearted brother, Captain Montagu, commonly called Mad Montagu, raked up? Would you like to be reminded of his drunken skirmishes, his nightly window breakings, and his amorous rencounters at Boston ? I have been an eye-witness to several such particular instances, attended with ludicrous circumstances likewise, and cannot but remember, when one of those brave fellows, whom you are said to have stigmatized with the base character, of cowards, poltroons, and rabble, Joe Pierrepont, a small sized man, of Roxbury, near Boston, nicknamed the Duke of Kingston, fairly fought with, and drubbed him within an inch of his life. I will go further, my Lord, than you perhaps have chosen to do : to your brother's credit it shall be recorded that he regarded the man for the residue of his days.
I have done with your Lordship for the present, but not with the publick : As the best refutation to such illiberal malice, I lately caused even Dr Smollett to give testimony against it, and will in a few days make other apt quotations from other historical writers, written at a period when some late pernicious Tory doctrines had not been broached, or if they had, would not have been countenanced, much less encouraged ; I mean in the reign of King George the II. under whom, as Sterne makes uncle Toby declare of King William the III.. I had the honour to serve, though now I am no more, than an old English merchant.
Many false reports having been published, both in this country and England, of General Montgomery's being buried with the honours of war, we have procured the following true, account from a gentleman, who resided many years in Quebec, and obtained some of the particulars from the British officer, who commanded the guard, at the time General Montgomery's body was shown to the American prisoners. In printing it, our object is not to depredate the reputation of General Carleton, whom we believe to be a humane, as well as brave officer, but merely to set a part of the history of the United States in its true light.
THE spot where General Montgomery fell, is a place a little above Fraser's wharf, under Cape Diamond. The road there is exceeding narrow, and will not admit of more than five or six people to walk abreast. A barrier had been made across the road ; and from the windows of a low house, which formed part of it, were planted two cannon. At his appearing upon a little rising ground, at the distance of about twenty or thirty yards, they were discharged : He and his two aids de camp fell at the same time, and thence rolled into the river upon the ice, that always forms in the winter upon its side. The next morning, a party being sent out to pick up the dead, he was discovered among the slain. He was immediately
taken to the prison, where the Americans were confined, as they denied his death ; upon which they acknowledged him, and burst into tears. The same night he was buried by a few soldiers, without any kind of distinction whatever, at the corner of the powder house, near Port Louis. The Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, Mr. Cramché, having served with him in the British army, was induced, by the persuasions of a lady, who was afterwards Mrs. Cramché, to order him a coffin ; but made in the roughest mariner. The other officers were indiscriminately thrown, with their clothes on, into the same grave with their men. As there was a great quantity of snow on the ground, and the earth was frozen very hard, it was impossible to dig the graves very deep ; of course the bodies were but slightly covered. On the thawing of the snow in the ensuing spring, many of them appeared above ground and became offensive. They were however again buried on Gen. Carleton's being made acquainted with it. Gen. Montgomery's grave cannot be distinguished, as there is no stone placed to point it out.
These facts are known to every person, who was in Quebec at the time of his defeat.
The following particulars relating to Worcester, in the Stale of Massachusetts, were communicated by Timothy Paine, William Young, Edward Bangs, Esqrs. and Dr. Samuel Stearns; to whom, the Historical Society acknowledge themselves much obliged.
Situation.] WORCESTER, the shire town of the county of Situation.] Worcester, is situated 47 miles W. from Boston, in lat. 42° 20' N. and long. 0° 42' W. from the meridian of Cambridge. The town lies near the centre of the western division of the state, at about the same distance from Boston, Providence, and Connecticut river. Should therefore the District of Maine be erected into a separate state, it would perhaps be the most convenient place for the seat of government.
Extent and Boundaries.] The course and length of the boundary lines (including a square piece of land on the S. W. corner of the township, containing 2200 acres, which a few years since was taken out of Worcester and annexed to Ward) are as follows : The northern and southern lines, E. 32° N. six miles ; the western and eastern lines, N. 12° W. six miles and a half. It is bounded northerly by Holden, which was originally a part of Worcester ; westerly, by Leicester ; easterly, partly by Shrewsbury, and partly by Long Pond ; southerly, partly by a gore of land called Worcester gore,* and partly by Sutton and Ward. The dimensions of the township are about six miles square.
Soil and Produce.] The soil is pretty good, warm, more inclined to sand than to clay but cannot however be called sandy : friendly to the growth of Indian corn. The inhabitants have had little success in raising wheat or flax, and at present seldom attempt it. Rye succeeds very
* By an act passed January 14, 1785, this gore was annexed to Worcester, and consequently the township is now bounded southerly by Sutton.
A Topographical Description of the Town of Worcester 113
well, and is raised in great quantities. The rising grounds are very good for pasture; and the level, not indifferent for hay. But indeed there is soil of every kind in Worcester, and almost on every farm. It is difficult to describe its general properties ; because it is productive in a degree of almost every growth of the country, and not very remarkable for any particular one.
Woods.] The natural growth is oak, walnut, chesnut, and pine ; beside which there are ash trees, maples, and birches. These vegetate with such surprising rapidity, that the slothful man will soon have his fields overgrown with them.
Hills.] The township is full of round gradual rising hills, and dales: there are few craggy precipices, and few extensive plains. The middle, or most settled part of the township, is in a valley, surrounded by pleasant hills, and from the hill, as you enter the town on the east, it makes a very agreeable appearance. Tatnuck and Boggochoag hills are remarkable for having formerly had Indian towns on them. They are neither of them very high. Mill-stone hill, about half of a mile from the court-house, is the common property of the inhabitants, who procure from it stone, some of which they split out and hew for underpinning to their houses. It is hard grained, and peculiarly fit for millstones. As every fanner has his own plat of woodland on his homestead farm, the face of the township appears more woody from the hills, than it is in fact. The interspersion of hills and dales, fields and woods, affords an agreeable and variegated prospect, extending about six or seven miles from the observer's eye : For you cannot have a more enlarged view from the highest hill in Worcester.
Air.] The air is not remarkably different from that in Boston ; except that the east wind, by passing over land, loses much of its chilling dampness, before it reaches Worcester ; and that the fogs, which arise from the banks in the sea, seldom roll so far, as to involve the town.
Minerals.] About the year 1754, a broad flat vein, about one foot thick, of lead and silver ore, in the proportion of 2 ½ pennyweights of silver to 1 lb. of lead, was discovered, running slantwise down into a rock. Some persons purchased it, and procured a miner, who followed it a little way into the rock on a hill; and then advised to meet it by digging away before it. Considerable expense was laid out, but they never met the vein. After a while, they left off, discouraged. In digging to meet the vein, however, they found several pieces of ore, about the size of a peck or half bushel.
Ponds.] Quinsigamond, Worcester, or Long Pond, is a beautiful piece of water, in the form of a crescent, about four miles in length,* on the line between Worcester and Shrewsbury. The breadth is from 60 to 100 rods. From a small bridge over a brook, at the upper end, as you enter the township on the E. it has the appearance of a large river, ornamented with woods on each side. The pond is interspersed with a number of islands, one of which is upwards of 200 acres in extent. It is supplied with pickerel, large perch, eels, shiners, breams, pouts ; and the brooks,
* The pond, in a straight line, is three miles and 24 rods long.
A Topographical Description of the Town of Worcester 114
which run into it, contain some trout. In some places it is 96 feet deep. Out of the lower end of the pond issues a river, which runs through Men-don, and joins Blackstone river. North Pond is of an oval form, covering about 30 acres of land, surrounded partly by woods, and partly by a swamp and meadow. Though not an agreeable pond, yet it is supplied with fish, of the same kind as those in Long Pond, and in greater plenty. They are not, however, of so good a quality, the water being stiller, and the bottom more muddy.
Brooks and Rivers.] Bimilik, or Mill Brook, takes its source from North Pond. Running southwardly, it crosses the road a little N. of the court-house, and empties into Blackstone river. It is not more than ten feet wide, and one foot deep. Turkey Brook, of about the same bigness, runs from Holden Tatnuck Brook, or Halfway River, which also runs from Holden, empties perhaps about ten times as much water, and is about two rods wide. Boggachoag Brook, which runs northwardly, through the corner of Ward above mentioned, is nearly of the same breadth as Halfway River. These three brooks unite their streams in French River, which running a little way, receives the name of Blackstone River, and finally discharges its waters at Providence.
Mills.] Upon these streams there are four grist mills, four saw mills, two fulling mills, and two trip hammers.
Manufactures.] Beside the manufactures which the mills afford, there are two pot-ash works, in one of which pearl-ash is also made.
Means of Subsistence.] In the outer parts of the township, the inhabitants subsist by husbandry. But in the centre are collected the county officers, a number of shop keepers, professional men, and mechanicks of various kinds. A large trade is carried on in European and West India goods, and the adjacent country supplied from this town. A printing press was set up in the year 1775, by Mr. Isaiah Thomas, who is generally esteemed the first printer in the State.
Number of Inhabitants, &c.] The number of inhabitants in the year 1790 was 2095. From 1783 to 1783, 44 were baptized, and 31 buried; from 1783 to 1784, 42 were baptized, and 28 buried ; from 1784 to 1785, 34 were baptized, and 38 buried. The number of baptisms and burials since the year 1785, we have not been able to obtain.
Houses, &c] The meeting houses and court-house are neat and convenient. The jail is a stone building, 64 feet long, 32 broad, and three stones high. The lower story is divided into four arches crosswise, forming four rooms for the safe custody of persons convict, or committed for gross crimes. The second story is divided in the same manner into four rooms, but not arched with stone. These are for the keeping of debtors, who have not the liberty of the yard, and for persons committed for small offences. The upper story has an entry, or walk from end to end, and is divided into eight convenient rooms, for the use of prisoners for debt, who have the liberty of the jail yard. This yard extends so as to take in the jailor's house, and the meeting house of the second parish. There is an elegant school house lately built, of about the same dimensions as the jail, and two stories high. On the lower floor are two apartments ; one intended
A Topographical Description of the Town of Worcester 115
for a grammar school, and the other for a writing school. In the upper story there is one large apartment, with a fire-place at each end. This is not finished. If it were not too low in the walls, it might be made a handsome hall. It is now used by the scholars on their exhibition days; and sometimes, when the company is numerous, to dance in. The dwelling houses are generally well built, and many of them elegant. The street, which runs through the centre of the town, is very pleasant, and beautified with trees on each side. Upon the whole, this town is esteemed by strangers one of the most agreeable inland situations in the State.
Roads.] The great post road, from Boston to Springfield, is pretty good, in that part of it which goes through Worcester. As the town is central, a number of roads meet from other places. These are not so good in general as the post road ; but none of them are bad.
Religion.] There are two congregational parishes, called the First and the Second Parishes. These have no distinct territories ; both meeting houses being in the central or compact part of the town. They are called poll parishes ; each inhabitant having a right by law to belong to which parish he pleases ; only signifying his choice, by leaving his name for that purpose with the town clerk.
Settlement.] The township of Worcester is part of a tract of land, called by the aboriginals Quinsigamond. This territory was by them esteemed to bound easterly, partly on Quinsigamond Pond, and partly on Hassanamisco; southerly on the Nipmug country ; westerly on Quaboag, or Squaboag ; and northerly on Naushawag. In the year 1668, a township of land, by the name of Worcester, eight miles square, bounding eastwardly on Quinsigamond Pond, was granted to Daniel Gookin, Daniel Henchman, Thomas Prentiss, and their associates. But war soon after prevailing with the Indians, the settlement of the town was prevented until the year 1685 ; when the Indians appearing to be disposed for peace, and behaving in a friendly manner to the English, the above mentioned persons, together with John Wing, George Dawson, Peter Goulding, Dickrey Sargeant, Isaac Bull, Jacob Leonard, and ___ ___, were encouraged to begin the planting of Worcester. The year following, several other persons with their families removed into the township, and the settlement went on prosperously till the year 1701, when the Indians began again to attack the frontier towns in Massachusetts. In the following year, the Indians killed the wife of Dickrey Sargeant, and two of his children, and carried three of his children into captivity.* The war raged with such fury at this time, that Worcester was entirely depopulated. Peace being concluded with the Indians, in the beginning of the year 1713, some of the proprietors of Worcester applied to the General Court for encouragement and direction for the re-settlement of the town. In consequence of which the Court appointed a committee
* The names of two of these children were John and Thomas. The third was a daughter. They did not choose to return to their native country. However, in the year 1726, they accompanied Mrs. Williams, who was taken captive from Deerfield, on a visit to their friends in Massachusetts.
Bill of Mortality in Dorchester. 116
to ascertain the claims of the ancient proprietors, and to conduct the re-settlement of Worcester. In the spring of the next year, Jonas Rice with his family settled in the township, and there remained without any other inhabitant till the spring of the year 1715, when a considerable number of persons joined him. The number of inhabitants was augmented by emigrants from Ireland in the year 1718 ; since which time it has been a flourishing town. In 1719, a meeting house was erected, and the Rev. Andrew Gardner, the first minister, settled. Mr. Gardner was succeeded in the ministry by the Rev. Thaddeus Maccarty, who died in the year 1784. The present minister of the first parish is the Rev. Samuel Austin. In the year 1786, the second parish was formed, and the Rev. Aaron Bancroft appointed minister. In the year 1731, a new county, of the same name, being formed out of the counties of Middlesex, Suffolk, and Hampshire, Worcester was made the shire town.
Births standing upon record in the town of Dorchester from March 13 1748-9, O. S. to March 24, 1792, N. S. the space of forty-three years, as I have cast them, and the Deaths and Marriages in the town in said space of time, as follows, viz.
Years. Births. Deaths. Marri. Years. Births. Deaths Marri. 1749 55 24 10 1772 49 27 12 1750 39 33 10 1773 35 26 7 1751 36 24 9 1774 44 24 3 1752 33 43 12 1775 45 50 13 1753 43 21 9 1776 33 36 10 1754 40 15 11 1777 39 17 26 1755 37 16 9 177S 33 33 16 175G 41 18 11 1779 52 14 8 1757 53 19 9 1780 42 18 11 1758 43 15 6 1781 51 11 13 1759 38 20 9 1782 50 16 12 1760 45 33 9 1783 50 26 13 1761 55 40 12 1784 49 21 4 1762 49 23 9 1785 44 18 4 1763 46 17 10 1786 41 21 7 1764 51 12 11 1787 31 20 8 1765 47 21 8 1788 37 10 8 1766 43 25 8 1789 45 16 13 1767 53 20 16 1790 32 28 9 1768 51 21 11 1791 46 27 5 1769 41 21 11
1770 55 25 9
1771 39 20 13 1792 10 6 3
Total. Births 1891, Deaths 991, Marriages 463.
N. B. I the subscriber recorded more than 1700 of the above mentioned births, more than 900 of the deaths, and more than 400 of the marriages. NOAH CLAP, Clerk of the town of Dorchester.
N.B. Samuel Coolidge, Esq. deceased, was clerk for the town of Dorchester three years, viz. 1786, 1787, and 1788.
New-England's Plantation. 117
Or, a short and true Description of the Commodities and Discommodities of that countrey. Written in the year 1629, by Mr. Higgeson, a Reverend Divine, now there resident. Whereunto is added a letter, sent by Mr. Graves, an Enginere, out of New-England. Reprinted from the third edition, London, 1630.
LETTING passe our voyage by sea,* we will now begin our discourse on the shore of New-England. And because the life and wel-fare of every creature heere below, and the commodiousnesse of the countrey whereat such creatures live, doth by the most wise ordering of God's providence, depend next unto himselfe, upon the temperature and disposition of the foure elements, earth, water, aire, and fire (for as of the mixture of all these, all sublunary things are composed ; so by the more or lesse enjoyment of the wholesome temper and convenient use of these, consisteth the onely well-being both of man and beast in a more or lesse comfortable measure in all countreys under the heavens) therefore I will indeavour to shew you what New-England is by the consideration of each of these apart, and truly indeavour by God's helpe to report nothing but the naked truth, and that both to tell you of the discommodities as well as of the commodities, though as the idle proverbe is, travellers may lye by authoritie, and so may take too much sinfull libertie that way. Yet I may say of my selfe as once Nehemiah did in another case : Shall such a man as I lye? No verily : It becommeth not a preacher of truth to be a writer of falshod in any degree : And therefore I have beene carefull to report nothing of New-England but what I have partly scene with mine own eyes, and partly heard and enquired from the mouths of verie honest and religious persons, who, by living in the countrey a good space of time, have had experience and knowledge of the state thereof, and whose testimonies [ doe beleevc as my selfe.
First therefore of the earth of New-England and all the appertenances thereof: It is a land of divers and sundry sorts all about Masathulets Bay, and at Charles river is as fat blacke earth as can be scene any where : and in other places you have a clay soyle, in other gravell, in other sandy, as it is all about our plantation at Salem, for so our towne is now named, Psal. 76. 2.
The forme of the earth here in the superfices of it is neither too flat in the plainnesse, nor too high in hils, but partakes of both in a mediocritie, and fit for pasture, or for plow or meddow ground, as men please to employ it : though all the countrey bee as it were a thicke wood for the generall, yet in divers places there is much ground cleared by the Indians, and especially about the plantation : And I am told that about three miles from us a man may stand on a little hilly place and see divers thousands of acres
* For the Journal of Mr. Higgeson's Voyage, see Hutchinson's Collection of Papers, page 32.
of ground as good as need to be, and not a tree in the same. It is thought here is good clay to make bricke and tyles and earthen-pot as need to be. At this instant we are setting a brick-kill on worke to make brickes and tiles for the building of our houses. For stone, here is plentie of slates at the Isle of Slate in Masathulets bay, and lime-stone, free-stone, and smooth-stone, and iron-stone, and marble-stone also in such store, that we have great rocks of it, and a harbour hard by. Our plantation is from thence called Marble-harbour.
Of minerals there hath yet beene but little triall made, yet we are not without great hope of being furnished in that soyle.
The fertilitie of the soyle is to be admired at, as appeareth in the aboundance of grasse that groweth everie where, both verie thicke, verie long, and verie high in divers places : But it groweth verie wildly with a great stalke and a broad and ranker blade, because it never had been eaten with cattle, nor mowed with a sythe, and seldome trampled on by foot. It is scarce to bee beleeved how our kine and goates, horses and hogges, doe thrive and prosper here and like well of this countrey.
In our plantation we have already a quart of milke for a penny : but the aboundant increase of corne proves this countrey to bee a wonderment. Thirtie, fortie, fiftie, sixtie are ordinarie here : Yea Joseph's encrease in Ægypt is out-stript here with us. Our planters hope to have more then a hundred fould this yere : And all this while I am within compasse ; what will you say of two hundred fould and upwards ? It is almost incredible what great gaine some of our English planters have had by our Indian corne. Credible persons have assured me, and the partie himselfe avouched the truth of it to me, that of the setting of 13 gallons of corne hee hath had encrease of it 52 hogsheads, every hogshead holding seven bushels of London measure, and every bushell was by him sold and trusted to the Indians for so much beaver as was worth 18 shillings ; and so of this 13 gallons of corne, which was worth 6 shillings 8 pence, he made about 327 pounds of it in the yeere following, as by reckoning will appeare: where you may see how God blessed husbandry in this land. There is not such greate and plentifull eares of corne I suppose any where else to bee found but in this countrey : Because also of varietie of colours, as red, blew, and yellow, &c. and of one corne there springeth four or five hundred. I have sent you many eares of divers colours that you might see the truth of it.
Little children here by setting of corne may earne much more then their owne maintenance.
They have tryed our English corne at New Plimmouth plantation, so that all our several graines will grow here verie well, and have a fitting soyle for their nature.
Our Governor hath store of greene pease growing in his garden, as good as ever I eat in England.
This country aboundeth naturally with store of roots of great varietie and good to eat. Our turnips, parsnips, and carrots are here both bigger and sweeter then is ordinary to be found in England. Here are store of pumpions, cowcombers, and other things of that nature which I know not. Also divers excellent pot-herbs grow abundantly among the grasse, as strawberrie leaves in all places of the countrey, and plenty of strawberries
New-England's Plantation. 119
in their time, and pennyroyal!, wintersaverie, sorrell, brookelime, liverwort, carvell, and watercresses, also leekes and onions are ordinarie, and divers physicall herbs. Here are also aboundance of other sweet herbs delightful to the smell, whose names we know not, &c. and plentie of single damaske roses verie sweete ; and two kinds of herbes that bare two kinds of (lowers very sweet, which they say, are as good to make cordage or cloath as any hempe or flaxe we have.
Excellent vines are here up and downe in the woods. Our Governour hath already planted a vineyard with great hope of encrease.
Also, mulberries, plums, raspberries, corrance, chesnuts, filberds, walnuts, smalnuts, hurtleberries, and hawes of whitethorne neere as good as our cherries in England, they grow in plentie here.
For wood there is no better in the world I thinke, here being foure sorts of oke differing both in the leafe, timber, and colour, all excellent good. There is also good ash, elme, willow, birch, beech, saxafras, juniper, cipres, cedar, spruce, pines, and firre that will yeeld abundance of turpentine, pitch, tarre, masts, and other materials for building both of ships and houses. Also here are store of sumacke trees, they are good for dying and tanning of leather, likewise such trees yeeld a precious gem called wine benjamin, that they say is excellent for perfumes. Also here be divers roots and berries wherewith the Indians dye excellent holding colours that no raine nor washing can alter. Also, wee have materials to make sope-ashes and salt-peter in aboundance.
For beasts there are some beares, and they say some lyons also ; for they have been seen at Cape Anne. Also here are several sorts of deere, some whereof bring three or foure young ones at once, which is not ordinarie in England. Also wolves, foxes, beavers, otters, martins, great wild cats, and a great beast called a molke as bigge as an oxe. I have seen the skins of all these beasts since I came to this plantation excepting lyons. Also here are great store of squerrels, some greater, and some smaller and lesser : there are some of the lesser sort, they tell me, that by a certaine skill will fly from tree to tree, though they stand farre distant.
Of the waters of New-England, with the things belonging to the same.
NEW-ENGLAND hath water enough, both salt and fresh, the greatest sea in the world, the Atlanticke sea, runs all along the coast thereof. There are abundance of Ilands along the shore, some full of wood and masts to feed swine ; and others cleere of wood, and fruitful to bear corne. Also wee have store of excellent harbours for ships, as at Cape Anne, and at Masathulets Bay, and at Salem, and at many other places : and they are the better because for strangers there is a verie difficult and dangerous passage into them, but unto such as are well acquainted with them, they are easie and safe enough. The aboundance of sea-fish are almost beyond beleeving, and sure I should scarce have beleeved it, except I had seene it with mine owne eyes. I saw great store of whales, and crampusse, and such aboundance of mackerils that it would astonish one to behold, likewise cod-fish in aboundance on the coast, and in their season are plentifully
New-England's Plantation. 120
taken. There is a fish called a basse, a most sweet and wholesome fish as ever I did eate, it is altogether as good as our fresh sammon, and the season of their comming was begun when wee came first to New-England in June, and so continued about three months space. Of this fish our fishers take many hundreds together, which I have seen lying on the shore to my admiration ; yea their nets ordinarily take more than they are able to hale to land, and for want of boats and men they are constrained to let a many goe after they have taken them, and yet sometimes they fill two boates at a time with them. And besides basse wee take plentie of scate and thornbacks, and abundance of lobsters and the least boy in the plantation may both catch and eat what he will of them. For my owne part I was soone cloyed with them, they were so great, and fat, and lussious. I have seene some myselfe that have weighed 16 pound, but others have had divers times so great lobsters as have weighed 25 pound, as they assure mee. Also heere is abundance of herring, turbut, sturgion, cuskes, hadocks, mullets, eeles, crabbes, muskles, and oysters. Besides there is probability that the countrey is of an excellent temper for the making of salt : For since our comming our fishermen have brought home very good salt which they found candied by the standing of the sea water and the heat of the sunne, upon a rocke by the sea shore : and in divers salt marishes that some have gone through, they have found some salt in some places crushing under their feete and cleaving to their shooes.
And as for fresh water, the countrey is full of dainty springs, and some great rivers, arid some lesser brookes ; and at Masathulets .Bay they digged wels and found water at three foot deepe in most places : And neere Salem thay have as fine cleare water as we can desire, and we may digge wels and find water where we list.
Thus wee see both land and sea abound with store of blessings for the comfortable sustenance of man's life in New-England.
Of the aire of New-England with the temper and creatures in it.
The temper of the aire of New-England is one speciall thing that commends this place. Experience doth manifest that there is hardly a more healthfull place to be found in the world that agreeth better with our English bodyes. Many that have beene weeke and sickly in old England, by comming hither have beene thoroughly healed and growne healthfull strong. For here is an extraordinarie cleere and dry aire that is of a most healing nature to all such as are of a cold, melancholy, flegmatick, rheumatick temper of body. None can more truly speake hereof by their owne experience then my selfe. My friends that knew me can well tell how verse sickly I have bin and continually in physick, being much troubled with a tormenting paine through an extraordinarie weaknesse of my stomacke, and aboundance of melancholicke humors ; but since I came hither on this voyage, I thanke God, I have had perfect health, and freed from paine and vomiting, having a stomacke to digest the hardest and coursest fare, who before could not eat finest meat; and whereas my stomache could onely digest and did require such drinke as was both strong and stale, now I can and doe often times drink New-England water verie
New-England's Plantation. 121
well; and I that have not gone without a cap for many yeeres together, neither durst leave off the same, have now cast away my cap, and doe weare none at all in the day time : And whereas beforetime I cloathed my selfe with double cloaths and thicke waistcoates to keepe me warme, even in the summer time, I doe now goe as thin clad as any, onely wearing a light stuffe cassocke upon my shirt, and stuffe breeches of one thicknesse without linings. Besides I have one of my children that was formerly most lamentably handled with sore breaking out of both his hands and feet of the king's-evill, but since he came hither hee is very well ever he was, and there is hope of perfect recoverie shortly even by the very wholesomnesse of the aire, altering, digesting and drying up the cold and crude humours of the body : And therefore I thinke it is a wise course for al cold complections to come to take physick in New-England : for a sup of New-England's aire is better then a whole draught of Old England's ale.
In the summer time, in the midst of July and August, it is a good deale hotter then in Old England : And in winter, January and February are much colder, as they say : But the spring and autumne are of a middle temper.
Fowles of the aire are plentifull here, and of all sorts as we have in England, as farre as I can learn, and a great many of strange fowles which we know not. Whilst I was writing these things, one of our men brought home an eagle which hee had killed in the wood : They say they are good meate. Also here are many kinds of excellent hawkes, both sea hawkes and land hawkes : And my self walking in the woods with another in company, sprung a patridge so bigge that through the heavinesse of his body could fly but a little way : They that have killed them, say they are as bigge as our hens. Here are likewise aboundance of turkies often killed in the woods, farre greater then our English turkies, and exceeding fat, sweet, and fleshy, for here they have aboundance of feeding all the yeere long, as strawberries, in summer al places are full of them, and all manner of berries and fruits. In the winter time I have seene flockes of pidgeons, and have eaten of them : They doe fly from tree to tree as other birds doe, which our pidgeons will not doe in England : They are of all colours as ours are, but their wings and tayles are far longer, and therefore it is likely they fly swifter to escape the terrible hawkes in this country. In winter time this country doth abound with wild geese, wild ducks, and other sea fowle, that a great part of winter the planters have eaten nothing but roast-meate of divers fowles which they have killed.
Thus you have heard of the earth, water and aire of New-England, now it may bee you expect something to bee said of the fire proportionable to the rest of the elements. Indeede I thinke New-England may boast of this element more then of all the rest : For though it bee here somewhat cold in the winter, yet here we have plenty of fire to warme us, and that a great deal cheaper then they sel billets and faggots in London : Nay, all Europe is not able to afford to make so great fires as New-England. A poore servant here that is to possesse but 50 acres of land, may afford to give more wood for timber and fire as good as the world yeelds,
New-England's Plantation. 122
then many noble men in England can afford to do. Here is good living for those that love good fires. And although New-England have no tallow to make candles of, yet by the aboundance of the fish thereof, it can afford oil for lampes. Yea our pine-trees that are the most plentifull of all wood, doth allow us plenty of candles which are very usefull in a house : And they are such candles as the Indians commonly use, having no other, and they are nothing else but the wood of the pine tree cloven in two little slices, something thin, which are so full of the moysture of turpentine and pitch, that they burne as cleere as a torch. I have sent you some of them that you may see the experience of them.
Thus of New-England's commodities : now I will tell you of some discommodities that are here to be found.
First, in the summer season for these three months, June, July, and August, we are troubled much with little flyes called musketoes, being the same they are troubled with in Lincolneshire and the Fens ; and they are nothing but gnats, which except they bee smoked out of their houses are troublesome in the night season.
Secondly, in the winter season for two months space, the earth is commonly covered with snow, which is accompanied with sharp biting frosts, something more sharpe then is in Old England, and therefore are forced to make great fires.
Thirdly, the countrey being very full of woods, and wildernesses, doth also much abound with snakes and serpents of strange colours, and huge greatnesse: yea there are some serpents called rattle-snakes that have rattles in their tailes, that will not fly from a man as others will, but will flye upon him, and sting him so mortally, that hee will dye within a quarter of an houre after, except the partie stinged have about him some of the root of an herbe called snake-weed to bite on, and then hee shall receive no harme : but yet seldom falles it out that any hurt is done by these. About three years since, an Indian was stung to death by one of them, but wee heard of none since that time.
Fourthly and lastly, here wants as it were good company of honest christians to bring with them horses, kine, and sheepe, to make use of this fruitfull land : great pitty it is to see so much good ground for corne and for grasse as any is under the heavens, to ly altogether unoccupied, when so many honest men and their families in Old England through the populousnesse thereof, do make evry hard shift to live one by the other.
Now, thus you know what New-England is, as also with the commodities and discommodities thereof: Now I will shew you a little of the inhabitants thereof, and their government.
For their governors they have kings, which they call Saggamores, some greater, and some lesser, according to the number of their subjects.
The greatest Saggamores about us can not make above three hundred men,* and other lesse Saggamores have not above fifteen subjects, and others neere about us but two.
Their subjects above twelve years since+ were swept away by a great and grievous plague that was amongst them, so that there are verie few left to inhabite the country.
* That is fighting men.
New-England's Plantation. 123
The Indians are not able to make use of the one fourth part of the land, neither have they any settled places, as townes to dwell in, nor any ground as they challenge for their own possession, but change their habitation from place to place.
For their statutes, they are a tall and strong limmed people, their colours are tawney, they goe naked, save onely they are in part covered with beasts skins on one of their shoulders, and weare something before their privities ; their haire is generally blacke, and cut before, like our gentelewomen, and one locke longer than the rest, much like to our gentelmen, which fashion I thinke came from hence into England.
For their weapons, they have bowes and arrowes, some of them headed with bone, and some with brasse : I have sent you some of them for an example.
The men for the most part live idely, they do nothing but hunt and fish : Their wives set their corne and doe all their other worke. They have little houshold stuffe, as a kettle, and some other vessels like trayes, spoones, dishes, and baskets.
Their houses are verie little and homely, being made with small poles pricked into the ground, and so bended and fastned at the tops, and on the sides they are matted with boughs and covered on the roof with sedge and old mats, and for their beds that they take their rest on, they have a mat.
They doe generally professe to like well of our coming and planting here ; partly because there is abundance of ground that they cannot possesse nor make use of, and partly because our being here will bee a meanes both of relief to them when they want, and also a defence from their enemies, wherewith (I say) before this plantation began, they were often indangered.
For their religion they do worship two Gods, a good God and an evil God : The good God they call Tantum, and their evil God whom they fear will doe them hurt, they call Squantum.
For their dealing with us, we neither fear them nor trust them, for fourtie of our musketeeres will drive five hundred of them out of the field. We use them kindly ; they will come into our houses sometimes by half a dozen or half a score at a time when we are at victuals, but will ask or take nothing but what we give them.
We purpose to learn their language as soon as we can, which will be a means to do them good.
Of the present condition of the Plantation, and what it is.
WHEN we came first to Nehum-kek, we found about half a score houses, and a faire house newly built for the Governor, we found also aboundance of corne planted by them, very good and well liking. And we brought with us about two hundred passengers and planters more, which by common consent of the old planters were all combined together into one body politicke, under the same Governour.
There are in all of us both old and new planters about three hundred, whereof two hundred of them are settled at Nehum-kek, now called Salem : And the rest have planted themselves at Masathulets Bay, beginning
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to build a towne there which wee do call Cherton, or Charles Town.
We that are settled at Salem make what haste we can to build houses, so that within a short time we shall have a faire towne.
We have great ordnance, wherewith we doubt not but we shall fortifie ourselves in a short time to keepe out a potent adversary. But that which is our greatest comfort, and meanes of defence above all other, is, that we have here the true religion and holy ordinances of Almighty God taught amongst us : Thankes be to God, wee have here plenty of preaching, and diligent catechizing, with strict and carefull exercise, and good and commendable orders to bring our people into a Christian conversation with whom we have to doe withall. And thus wee doubt not but God will be with us, and if God be with us, who can be against us?
[Here ends Master Higgeson's relation of New-England..]
A letter sent from New-England, by Master Graves, Engynere, now there resident.
THUS much I can affirme in generall, that I never came in a more goodly country in all my life, all things considered : If it hath not at any time been manured and husbanded, yet it is very beautifull in open lands, mixed with goodly woods, and again open plaines, in some places five hundred acres, some places more, some lesse, not much troublesome for to cleere for the plough to goe in, no place barren, but on the tops of the hils; the grasse and weeds grow up to a man's face, in the lowlands and by fresh rivers aboundance of grasse and large meddowes without any tree or shrubbe to hinder the sith. I never saw, except in Hungaria, unto which I alwayes paralell this countrie, in all our most respects, for every thing that is heare eyther sowne or planted prospereth far better then in Old-England : The increase of come is here farre beyond expectation, as I have seene here by experience in barly, the which because it is so much above your conception I will not mention. And cattle doe prosper very well, and those that are bredd here farr greater than those with you in England. Vines doe grow here plentifully laden with the biggest grapes that ever I saw, some I have seene foure inches about, so that I am bold to say of this countrie, as it is commonly said in Germany of Hungaria, that for cattel, corne, and wine it excelleth. We have many more hopefull commodities here in this country, the which time will teach to make good use of: In the mean time wee abound with such things which next under God doe make us subsist: as fish, foule, deere, and sundrie sorts of fruits, as musk-millions, water-millions, Indian pompions, Indian pease, beanes, and many other odde fruits that I cannot name ; all which are made good and pleasant through this maine blessing of God, the healthfulnesse of the countrie which far exceedeth all parts that ever I have beene in : It is observed that few or none doe here fal sicke, unless, of the scurvy, that they bring from aboard the ship with them, whereof I have cured some of my companie onely by labour.
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Morell's Poem on New-England.
SOON after the establishment of the Council of Plymouth, of which Sir Ferdinando Gorges was an active member, they thought it proper to appoint his son, Capt. Robert Gorges, to be a general governour of the fishermen and planters in New-England. He accordingly came over hither in 1623 with several families, intending to make a settlement at Wessagussett, now Weymouth, in the bay of Massachusetts, which failed of success. He brought with him William Morrell, an episcopal clergyman, who had a commission from the Ecclesiastical Court in England, to exercise a kind of superintendency over the churches, which were, or might be, established here. Gorges staid in the country but a short time, and at his departure left Morrell behind at Plymouth, where he continued about a year, making inquiries and observations respecting the country, but made no use of his commission, nor even mentioned it, till just before his departure.
He seems to have been a man of prudence, of a diligent and inquisitive turn of mind, and of a classical taste. The result of his inquiries he wrought into a Latin poem, which he translated into English verse, and after his return to England, published them both in one pamphlet.
The Latin poem is descriptive and elegant. The translation does not possess equal merit. The diction is, in some places, obscure; and many of the verses are rough and unharmonious. It contains, however, several good lines; and it maybe suggested as an apology for the rest, that it was composed long before Dryden and Pope had "tuned the English tongue." * With all its defects, we think it worthy of being presented, as a curious relick, to the publick, by whom we hope it will be favourably received.
CANDIDE si placidum dederis Philomuse Camnæ
Intuitum : tristi dulce levamen erit.
Optima mellifluis modulari carmina nervis
Illud Apollineis cantibus euge melos.
Melles cleste est effundere carmina munus,
Frustrà de sicco pumice quæris aquam.
Dicito musa probè, brevitèr, simul, ordine, perge :
Gloria summa tibi dicere vera : Vale.
IF thou Apollo hold'st thy scepter forth,
To these harsh numbers, that's thy royall worth.
Vaine is all search in these to search that vaine,
Whose stately style is great Apolloe's straine.
Minerva ne're distil'd into my muse
Her sacred droppes, my pumesse wants all juce.
My muse is plaine, conscise, her fam's to tell
In truth, and method, love or leave : Farewell.
* Johnson's Life of Pope.
ADDRESSED TO KING CHARLES I.
NEW-England so nam'd by your Princely Grace,
Dread Soveraigne, now most humbly sues to see
Your Royal Highnes in your regall place,
Wishing your Grace all peace, blisse, soveraignty,
Trusting your goodnesse will her state and fame
Support, which goodnesse once vouchsaf'd her name.
HACTENUS ignotam populis ego carmine primus,
Te Nova, de veteri cui contigit Anglia nomen,
Aggredior trepidus pingui celebrare Minerva.
Fer mihi numen opem, cupienti singula plectro
Pandere veridico, quæ nuper vidimus ipsi:
Ut brevitèr vereque sonent modulamina nostra,
Temperiem cli, vim terræ, munera ponti,
Et varios gentis mores, velamina, cultus.
Anglia felici meritò Nova nomine gaudens,
Sævos nativi mores pertæsa Coloni,
Indigni penitùs populi tellure feraci,
Msta superfusis attollit fletibus ora,
Antiquos precibus flectens ardentibus Anglos,
Numinis æterni felicem lumine gentem
Efficere : æternis quæ nunc peritura tenebris.
Gratum opus hoc Indis, dignumque piis opus Anglis,
Angelicæ quibus est naturæ nomen in umbra:
Clica ut extremis dispergant semina terris.
FEARE not poore muse, 'cause first to sing her fame,
That's yet scarce known, unless by map or name;
A grand-childe to earth's paradize is borne,
Well lim'd, well nerv'd, faire, riche, sweete, yet forlone.
Thou blest director, so direct my verse,
That it may winne her people, friends, commerce;
Whilst her sweet ayre, rich soile, blest seas, my penne
Shall blaze and tell the natures of her men.
New-England, happie in her new true stile,
Wearie of her cause she's to sad exile
Expos'd by her's unworthy of her land,
Intreates with tears Great Brittaine to command,
Her empire, and to make her know the time,
Whose act and knowledge onely makes divine.
A royall worke well worthy England's king,
These natives to true truth and grace to bring.
A noble worke for all these noble peares
Which guide this state in their superiour spheres.
You holy Aarons let your sensors nere
Cease burning, till these men Jehovah feare.
Est locus occiduo procul hinc spatiosus in orbe,
Plurima regna tenens, populisque incognitus ipsis :
Felix frugiferis sulcis, simul æquore felix :
Prædis perdives variis, et flumine dives,
Axe satis calidus, rigidoque a frigore tutus.
Proximus æthereo socius volitabilis igni
Aer, natali saliens levitate ; calore
Temperieque satis felicibus, humidus ante
Omnia principia, innatâ virtute coactus
Sistere difficilè in propria regione, volenti
Alterius motn penetrans loca, inania complens
Vi tenui: foetæ regio quæ proxima terræ
Solis ab igne, poli motu, terræque vaporum,
Undæque attractu calet hinc, hinc humida restat,
Hinc fit temperies : fit et hâc Nova terra beata.
Est aliquandò tamèn rapidis subjecta procellis,
Quæ celeri subitoque solumque salumque minantur,
Flamine corripere, et terras diffundere clis;
Mox tamèn Æolio compressis carcere ventis,
Omnia continuò remanent sub sidere tula.
Indè suis vicibus luctantes murmure venti
Qua data porta ruunt, quatientes turbine terras.
Magna parens tellus, rerum communis alumna,
Frigida, sicca, gravis, subsidens vallibus imis,
Montibus extendens nemerosa cacumina celsis.
Westward a thousand leagues a spatious land,
Is made unknown to them that it command.
Of fruitfull mould, and no lesse fruitlesse maine
Inrich with springs and prey high-land and plaine.
The light well tempred, humid ayre, whose breath
Fils full all concaves betwixt heaven and earth,
So that the region of the ayre is blest
With what earth's mortals wish to be possest.
Great Titan darts on her his heavenly rays
Whereby extreames he quells, and overswayes.
Blest is this ayre with what the ayre can blesse ;
Yet frequent ghusts doe much this place distresse ;
Here unseene ghusts doe instant on-set give,
As heaven and earth they would together drive.
An instant power doth surprize their rage,
In their vast prison, and their force asswage.
Thus in exchange a day or two is spent,
In smiles and frownes: in great yet no content.
The earth grand parent to all things on earth,
Cold, dry, and heavie, and the next beneath
The ayre, by nature's arme with low discents,
Is as it were intrencht; againe ascents
Mount up to heaven by Jove's omnipotence,
Whose looming greenesse joyes the sea-mans sence.
Invites him to a land if he can see,
Longius intuitu nautis pergrata : feraci
Irriguoque solo lætanti messibus sequis
Optima frugiferis mandantes semina sulcis.
Agricolis quam terra ferax, quæ grata ministrat
Assiduis alimenta viris : nulloque serenti
Dulcia dat varies naturæ mora, nucesque
Dissimiles, placidas tumidasque in vitibus uvas
Innumeris, mixtas redolentes floribus herbas
Multigenis, morbo lsos medicare potentes
Artus, radices, similis virtutis amnas,
Vimine gramineo nux subterranea suavis
Serpit hurni, tenui flavo sub cortice, pingui
Et placido nucleo nivei candoris ab intra,
Melliflua parcos hilarans dulcedine gustus,
Donec in æstivum Phbus conscenderit axem.
His nucleis lautè versutus vescitur Indus :
His exempta fames segnis nostratibus omnis
Dulcibus his vires revocantur victibus almæ.
Arboribus dives vernantibus, est quoque tellus,
Cedris, et fagis, juglandibus et Jovis altâ
Arbore, fraxinea, gummosis pinibus, alnis,
Juniperus, multisque aliis turn gramine et herbis.
Worthy the thrones of stately soveraigntie.
The fruitfull and well watered earth doth glad
All hearts, when Flora's with her spangles clad,
And yeelds an hundred fold for one,
To feede the bee and to invite the drone.
O happie planter, if you knew the height
Of planter's honours where ther's such delight;
There nature's bounties, though not planted are,
Great store and sorts of berries great and faire :
The filberd, cherry, and the fruitful vine,
Which cheares the heart and makes it more divine.
Earth's spangled beauties pleasing smell and sight;
Objects for gallant choyce and chiefe delight.
A ground-nut there runnes on a grassie threed,
Along the shallow earth as in a bed,
Yealow without, thin filmd, sweete, lilly white,
Of strength to feede and cheare the appetite.
From these our natures may have great content,
And good subsistance when our meanes is spent.
With these the natives do their strength maintaine
The winter-season, which time they retaine
Their pleasant vertue, but if once the spring
Returne, they are not worth the gathering.
All ore that maine the vernant trees abound,
Where cedar, cypres, spruce, and beech are found.
Ash, oake, and wal-nut, pines, and junipere;
The hasel, palme, and hundred more are there.
Ther's grasse and hearbs contenting man and beast,
Pascua quæ prebent animalibus ; undè fugaces
Pinguescunt, cervi, vulpes, ursique, lupique,
Linces, et fibri, musci, lutrseque politæ
Pellibus eximii pretii ; volucresque saporis
Perplacidi variæ, pellique, gruesque, palumbes
Mergulus, et phasianus, anas, cignus Jovis, ales,
Penelopesque, columbæ, perdix, accipitresque,
Et Capitolii aves, variæ, turn carne sapora,
Turn pennis glacidè decorantibus arte canautas:
E quibus ornatu capitis, fit plumula digna
Vertice sublimi ; quibus ad renovanda levanda,
Languida perplacidum completur membra cubile.
Intima frugiferæ vix cognita viscera terræ
Prætereo : artifices gremium scrutentur opimum.
Dulce solum clumque vides, en terra serenis,
Perspicuis, placidis, levibus, liquidisque beata
Fontibus, et fluviis facili quærentibus Eurum
Motu, præcipiti cursu post flumina nimbos,
In mare decurrunt, stagnisque paludibus Indis
Aucupio placidis benè, piscatuque colonis
Grata solum, clumque viris alimonia præbent.
Devia quam dives regio hæc ! benedicta sereno
On which both deare, and beares, and wolves do feast.
Foxes both gray and blacke (though black I never
Beheld) with muscats, lynces, otter, bever,
With many other which I here omit,
Fit for to warme us, and to feede us fit.
The fowles that in those bays and harbours feede,
Though in their seasons they doe else-where breede,
Are swans and geese, herne, phesants, duck and crane,
Culvers and divers all along the maine:
The turtle, eagle, partridge, and the quaile,
Knot, plover, pigeons, which doe never faile,
Till sommer's heate commands them to retire,
And winter's cold begets their old desire.
With these sweete dainties man is sweetly fed,
With these rich feathers ladies plume their head ;
Here's flesh and feathers both for use and ease
To feede, adorne, and rest thee, if thou please.
The treasures got, on earth, by Titan's beames,
They best may search that have best art and meanes.
The ayre and earth if good, are blessings rare,
But when with these the waters blessed are,
The place is compleat; here each pleasant spring,
Is like those fountains where the muses sing.
The easie channels gliding to the east,
Unlesse oreflowed, then post to be releast,
The ponds and places where the waters stay,
Content the fowler with all pleasant prey.
Thus ayre and earth and water give content,
Aere, fcundis glebis, felicibus undis.
Prospera tranquillus contingit littora portus,
Altus, apertus, ubi valeant se condere naves.
Invitis ventis, securæ rupe et arena.
Æquora multiplices præbent tranquilla marinas
Temporibus solitis prædas utentibus hamis :
Halices, fagros, scombros, cancrosque locustas,
Ostrea curvatis conchis, conchasque trigones,
Cete, etiam rhombos, sargos, cum squatina asellos.
His naves vastas onerat piscator honestus:
His mercator opes cumulat venerabilis almas,
His pius ampla satis faciat sibi lucra colonos.
Denique divitibus quibus intima cura suorum
Divitiæ et pietas, licet hisce beare colonus.
Digna viris patria en dignis, ubi mnia digna.
Principibus Claris facilè est fabricare columnis
Excelsis, eheu nunc tota cupidinis antrum.
Sunt etenim populi minimi sermonis, et oris.
And highly honour this rich continent.
As nature hath this soile blest, so each port
Abounds with blisse, abounding all report.
The carefull naucleare may a-farre discry
The land by smell, as't loomes below the skie,
The prudent master there his ship may more,
Past winde and weather, then his God adore.
Man forth each shalop with three men to sea,
Which oft returne with wondrous store of prey ;
As oysters, cra-fi»h, crab, and lobsters great,
In great abundance when the seaes retreate:
Torteise, and herring, turbut, hacke and base :
With other small fish, and fresh bleeding place;
The mighty whale doth in these harbours lye,
Whose oyle the careful mearchant deare will buy.
Besides all these and others in this maine :
The costly codd doth march with his rich traine :
With which the sea-man fraughts his merry ship :
With which the merchant doth much riches get:
With which plantations richly may subsist,
And pay their merchants debt and interest.
Thus ayre and earth, both land and sea yeelds store
Of nature's dainties both to rich and poore;
To whom if heavens a holy vice-roy give,
The state and people may most richly live :
And there erect a pyramy of estate,
Which onely sinne and heaven can ruinate.
Let deepe discretion this great work attend,
What's well begun for th' most part well doth end :
So may our people peace and plenty finde,
And kill the dragon that would kill mankinde.
Those well seene natives in grave natures hests,
Austeri, risusque parùm, saevique superbi;
Constricto nodis hirsuto crine sinistro,
Imparibus formis tondentes ordine villos ;
Mollia magnanimæ peragentes otia gentes,
Arte sagittiferâ pollentes, cursibus, armis
Astutæ ; recto, robusto corpore et alto,
Pellibus indutæ cervinis, frigora contra
Aspera, cum placeant conversis flamina pelles
Obvia ut impellant, calefacto pelle lacerto
Dextro, quo facilis sit flexile sumere cornu,
Omnia ut extinguant subitò in surgentia; et ipsos
Salvos defendant, inducto tergore corpus
Villoso, levitèr miris se singula formis
Texta ligant, molles cingunt genitalia pelles;
Grande femur caligæ cervinæ cruraque longa
Exornant, plantas conservat calceus aptus ;
Hos tamen exutos curant aliundè reversi
Depositosque suos calamos, arcusque sonantes,
Fessaque constrato sua stramine membra solutis
Tectis instar haræ, dextrè loca verna petentes,
All close, designes conceale in their deepe brests :
What strange attempts so ere they doe intend,
Are fairly usherd in, till their last ende.
Their well advised talk evenly conveyes
Their acts to their intents, and nere displayes
Their secret projects, by high words or light,
Till they conclude their end by fraud or might.
No former friendship they in mind retaine,
If you offend once, or your love detaine :
They're wondrous cruell, strangely base and vile,
Quickly displeasd, and hardly reconcild ;
Stately and great, as read in rules of state;
Incensd, not caring what they perpetrate.
Whose hayre is cut with greeces, yet a locke
Is left; the left side bound up in a knott:
Their males small labour but great pleasure know,
Who nimbly and expertly draw the bow ;
Traind up to suffer cruell heat and cold,
Or what attempt so ere may make them bold ;
Of body straight, tall, strong, mantled in skin
Of deare or bever, with the hayre-side in ;
An otter skin their right armes doth keepe warme,
To keepe them fit for use, and free from harme ;
A girdle set with formes of birds or beasts,
Begirts their waste, which gentle gives them ease.
Each one doth modestly bind up his shame,
And deare-skin start-ups reach up to the same ;
A kind of pinsen keeps their feet from cold,
Which after travels they put off, up-fold,
Themselves they warme, their ungirt limbes they rest
Adveniente hiemis glaciali tempore sævæ
Inque suam patriam redeuntes sole benigno
Calfaciente leves artus fervore, revisa
Ut pereant inimica, soloque nocentia, frugem
Detque solum solitam, rutilis dant igrribus arva.
Horurn nonnulli regali nomini gaudent,
Et consorte tori prognata sanguine tali,
Regibus undè pari fiierit virtute propago,
Rectores fuciens regali prole parentes;
Inferiore sibi capientes stirpe maritas ;
Progeniem timidam credunt, cordisque socordis,
Nee solii, sceptrive sui forè posse capacem.
Rex tenet imperium, pnas et præmia cunctis
Constituit, dat jura ; senes, viduasque, pupillos,
Et miseros curat, peregrinos molliter omnes
Excipit hospitio semper, tamen indè (tributi
Nomine) primitias rerum partemque priorem,
Venatu captæ prædæ capit, atque requirit.
Cingitur obsequio regis plebs omnis, et ultrò
Arma capit, fortique facit sua prælia, dextra
Pallida lethiferis, faciens præcordia telis
In straw, and houses, like to sties: Distrest
With winter's crueil blasts, a hotter clime
They quickly march to, when that extreame time
Is over, then contented they retire
To their old homes, burning up all with fire.
Thus they their ground from all things quickly cleare,
And make it apt great store of corne to beare.
Each people hath his orders, state, and head,
By which they'r rul'd, taught, ordered, and lead.
The first is by descent their lord and king,
Pleas'd in his name likewise and governing :
The consort of his bed must be of blood
Coequall, when an of-spring comes as good,
And highly bred in all high parts of state,
As their commanders of whom they're prognate.
If they unequal loves at Hymen's hand
Should take, that vulgar seede would nere command
In such high dread, great state and deepe decrees
Their kingdomes, as their kings of high degrees :
Their kings give lawes, rewardes to those they give,
That in good order, and high service live.
The aged widow and the orphanes ali,
Their kings maintaine, and strangers when they call.
They entertaine with kind salute for which
In homage, they have part of what's most rich.
These heads are guarded with their stoutest men,
By whose advice and skill, how, where, and when,
They enterprize all acts of consequence,
Hostium, et expugnans sceleratis fata sagittis.
Insupèr ornavit quorum Bellona corolla
Ternpora, præsidio, vitâ, virtute virili,
Regibus incedunt comites tutamine certo.
His reges capiunt consultis cautiùs arma ;
Cautiùs exactis faciunt his fdera bellis :
Eloquiis horum concedere regibus omnis
Subsidium, quodcunque valet, plebs alma movetur,
Mundi acie tantùm semel undè profecta reversâ.
Nec priùs exercet crudelia parvulus arma,
Quam patiens armorum ut sit sibi pectus, amaram
Herbis compositam peramaris sorbiat undam,
Usque in sanguineum vertatur lympha colorem,
Undaque sanguinea ex vomitu rebibenda tenellis,
Usque valent maribus : sic fit natura parata
Omnia dura pati: puer hæc cui potio grata,
Pectore fit valido cuncta expugnare pericla,
Magnanimis medici comites virtute periti
Artibus empiricis, diro cantamine, tactu,
Fletu, sudore, et percusso pectore palmis,
Duritèr expassis proprio, pallentia eorum
Corpora restituunt facili medicamine sana:
Vulnera sanandi si nulla potentia verbis,
Artibus aut herbis, confestim spiritus illis,
Impius humanâ specie respondet iniquis,
Reddidit iratus Deus artus morte solutos
Moribus : unde dolor nullis medicabilis herbis.
Denique sunt populi fungentes munere jusso,
Instar servorum, quæcunque subire parati
Ardua, consiliis subjecti, fmina, fumus
Whether offensive or for safe defence.
These potents doe invite all once a yeare,
To give a kind of tribute to their peere.
And here observe thou how each childe is traind ;
To make him fit for armes he is constraind
To drink a potion made of hearbes most bitter.
Till turnd to blood with casting, whence he's fitter,
Induring that to under-goe the worst
Of hard attempts, or what may hurt him most.
The next in order are their well seene men
In herbes, and rootes, and plants, for medicen,
With which by touch, with clamors, teares, and sweat,
With their curst magicke, as themselves they beat,
They quickly ease: but when they cannot save,
But are by death surprizd, then with the grave
The divell tells them he could not dispence;
For God hath kild them for some great offence.
The lowest people are as servants are,
Which doe themselves for each command prepare :
Indicus ad certos inhibetur et omnibus annos.
Posteà liberior concessa potentia cunctis,
Connubio multas sibi conjunxisse maritas :
Ditior est plures nuptas qui duxerit omnis,
Viribus, at natis: nati quia summa parentum
Gaudia, decessus quorum (nam mortis hiatu
Cotnpressos lachrymis decorant) longoque, gravique
Commemorant luctu, tumulisque cadavera mandant
A genibus subrecta cavis pallentia cuncta ;
Impositis opibus tumulis, Titanis ad ortus,
Attollunt facies, ad quem post tempora longa
Venturos credunt omnes, ubi prmia digna
Imposita accipient, fuerintque salutis ad hortos
Elysios vecti, mirandaque gaudia summis
Exornata bonis: hæec spes post funera gentis.
Est alia utilitas, multis uxoribus arva,
Valdè onerata tenent Cerealibus, omnis eorum
Nocte dieque cibo gaudet quasi natus ut omnis
Illicò consumat fruges ; sua granaque (Marte
Arripiente manu penetrantia tela) minutis,
Abdita speluncis tutis, et ab hostibus, hoste
Decedente suo subito repetenda reponit.
They may not marry nor tobacco use,
Till certain yeares, least they themselves abuse.
At which yeares to each one is granted leave,
A wife or two, or more, for to receive.
By having many wives, two things they have ;
First, children which before all things to save
They covet, 'cause by them their kingdomes fild,
When as by fate or armes their lives are spild.
Whose death as all that dye they sore lament,
And fill the skies with cries: impatient
Of nothing more than pale and fearful death,
Which old and young bereaves of vitall breath.
Their dead wrapt up in mats to th' grave they give,
Upright from th' knees with goods whilst they did live,
Which they best lov'd : their eyes turn'd to the east,
To which after much time, to be releast
They all must march, where all shall all things have
That heart can wish, or they themselves can crave.
A second profit, which by many wives
They have, is corne, the staffe of all their lives.
All are great eaters; he's most rich whose bed
Affords him children, profit, pleasure, bread.
But if fierce Mars begins his bow to bend,
Each king stands on his guard, seekes to defend
Himselfe, and his, and therefore hides his graine
In earth's close concaves, to be fetch'd againe,
If he survives : Thus saving of himselfe,
He acts much mischiefe, and retains his wealth.
Artibus Hybernus produxit temporis olirn,
Multum, Marte, levis, versutus, durus, inermis,
Difficilè edomitus donee secreta latebant
Indicia, atque doli taciti : fit et arte superstes.
Sæpiùs hac Indus, victoris victor et ingens.
Fasmina prætereà vultu plerumque venusto,
Multos irridens risus, linguamque loquacem ;
Judicioque gravi, genio placidoque virili
Pectore, perrecta corpus per et orane statura :
Nervis connexa validis, manibusque tenellis,
Pollice pergracili, digitis felicitèr altis.
Inclita diversis faciendo est gramine corbes
Contextos formis, varioque colore tapetum.
Stramine compositum tenui, mirisque figuris.
His decor eximius color est contrarius albo :
Ortibus unde suis per totum candidus artus
Et piceo facies est obfucata colore.
Consuetudo taraen populis his fæmina ut omnis,
Omnia perficiat duria mandata laboris :
Arva fodit manibus, committit semina terris,
Utque seges crescit levibus fulcitur ab illa,
By this deepe wyle, the Irish long withstood
The English power, whilst they kept their food,
Their strength of life their come ; that lost, they long
Could not withstand this nation, wise, stout, strong.
By this one art, these natives oft survive
Their great'st opponents, and in honour thrive.
Besides, their women, which for th' most part are
Of comely formes, not blacke, nor very faire:
Whose beautie is a beauteous blacke laid on
Their paler cheeke, which they most doat upon :
For they by nature are both faire and white,
Inricht with graceful presence, and delight;
Deriding laughter, and all prattling, and
Of sober aspect, grast with grave command :
Of man-like courage, stature tall and straight,
Well nerv'd with hands and fingers small and right.
Their slender fingers on a grassie twyne,
Make well form'd baskets wrought with art and lyne;
A kind of arras, or straw-hangings, wrought
With divers formes, and colours, all about.
These gentle pleasures, their fine fingers fit,
Which nature seem'd to frame rather to sit;
Rare stories, princes, people, kingdomes, towers,
In curious finger-worke, or parchment flowers :
Yet are these hands to labours all intent,
And what so ere without doores, give content.
These hands doe digge the earth, and in it lay
Their fair' choyce come, and take the weeds away,
As they doe grow, raysing with earth each hill,
Continuò terris, segetem sarritque, resarrit.
Tergore portat onus, victumque labore paratum,
Et brevitèr peragit mulier conamine prompto,
Omnia ad humanam spectantia munera vitam.
Hinc Anglos Indi stolidos dixêre maritos,
Cum videant operis ferventes omnibus illos,
Attamèn uxores omnem deducere vitam
Molli, vel nullo fungendi munere dextrâ.
Quamlibet ob noxam manet altâ mente reposta,
Invidia, et dirum gelido sub pectore vulnus.
Undè fugit celeri pede fortia fortis in arma
Hostis, et indè sui lætans fit sponsa cubilis,
Præda satis felix ; hinc victa injuria mentis.
Denique cujusdam cultores numinis omnes
Sunt, cui primitias reddunt, quotiesque necesse,
Fortia discruciat miserabile pectora, luctu,
Acrique horrendis clamoribus æthera complent.
Omnia principio fecisse agnoscitur ill is,
Unum principium ; primos crevisse parentes,
Unum terrarum dominum, consorte duobus;
His mortale genus divam sumpsisse figuram :
As Ceres prospers to support it still.
Thus all worke women doe, whilst men in play,
In hunting, arrnes, and pleasures, end the day.
The Indians whilst our Englishmen they see
In all things servile exercisd to be ;
And all our women freed, from labour all
Unless what's easie ; us much fooles they call,
'Cause men doe all things ; but our women live
In that content which God to man did give.
Each female likewise long reteines deepe wrath,
And's nere appeas'd till wrongs reveng'd shee hath :
For they when forraigne princes armes up take
Against their leige, quickly themselves betake
To th' adverse armie, where they're entertaind
With kind salutes, and presently are daign'de
Worthy fair Hymen's favours : thus offence
Obtaines by them an equall recompence.
Lastly, though they no lynes nor altars know,
Yet to an unknowne God these people bow :
All feare some God, some God they worship all,
On whom in trouble and distresse they call ;
To whom of all things they give sacrifice,
Filling the ayre with their shrill shrikes and cries,
The knowledge of this God they say they have
From their forefathers, wond'rous wise and grave ;
Who told them of one God, which did create
All things at first, himself though increate.
He our first parents made, yet made but two,
One man, one woman, from which stocke did grow
Quorum progenies illi, quoque stirpe racemi.
Insupèr hunc dorninum dominis posuisse creatis,
Optima justiticæ sacræ precepta docenda,
Sacro perpetuis ætatibus omnia jussu.
Hactenus est omnis longævæ litera genti
Vix audita, viris penitusque incognita cunctis.
Fas, non quid fasti : falsum non, fdera curant:
Lumine naturæ summi sunt juris amantes
Promissique dati; tanti sunt fdera gentis.
Nulla fides populis tamen est capiente sagittas,
Marte feras, fueris nisi sævis fortior armis.
Litera cuncta licet latet hos, modulamina quædam
Fistula disparibus calamis facit, est et agrestis
Musica vocis iis, minime jucunda, sonoris
Obtusisque sonis oblectans pectora, sensus,
Atque suas aures, artis sublimis inanes.
Omnes, præsertim multos provectus in annos,
Indi, quid cli cursus, quid sidera, vires
Sunt, benè concipiunt animis, clumque futurum :
Quâ. mihi notitiâ latet, aut quo numine certo.
Festi tamen gens nulla nisi Cerealia servat:
Genti nulla dies sancto discrimine nota :
Annus et ignotus, notus tamen est bene mensis ;
Num sua lunari distinguunt tempora motu,
Non quot Phoebus habet cursus, sed quot sua conjux
Royall mankinde, of whom they also came
And tooke beginning, being, forme, and frame :
Who gave them holy lawes, for aye to last,
Which each must teach his childe till time be past.
Their grosse fed bodies yet no letters know,
No bonds nor bills they value, but their vow.
Thus without art's bright lampe, by nature's eye,
They keepe just promise, and love equitie.
But if once discord his fierce ensigne weare,
Expect no promise unless't be for feare:
And, thougli these men no letters know, yet their
Pan's harsher numbers we may somewhere heare;
And vocall odes which us affect with griefe;
Though to their mindes perchance they give reliefe.
Besides these rude insights in nature's brest,
Each man by some meanes is with sence possest
Of heaven's great lights, bright starres, and influence,
But chiefely those of great experience.
Yet they no feasts (that I can learne) observe,
Besides their Ceres, which do'th them preserve.
No dayes by them descernd from other dayes,
For holy certaine service kept alwayes.
Yet they when extreame heate doth kill their come,
Afflict themselves some dayes, as men forelorne.
Their times they count not by the yeare as we,
But by the moone their times distingui'sht be ;
Expletos vicibus convertat Cynthia cursus :
Noctibus enumerant sua tempora, nulla diebus.
Mosque diis Itidis est inservire duobus,
Quorum mollis, amans, bona dans, inimica, repellens
Unus, ainore bonum venerantur : at invidus alter,
Diros effundens cum turbine, fulgura nimbos.
Afficiensque malis variis, morbisque nefandis,
Et violentis : hunc gelidâ formidine adorant.
Naturæ gens luce suæ sublimia tentat,
Agnoscens precepta dei pia singula summi
Excepto de ducendis uxoribus uno ;
Affectis etenim morbis uxoribus illis,
Vel gravidis, aliis opus est uxoribus illis.
Heu quam dissimilis natura, gratia vera,
Humana et ratio. Sublimia gratia vitæ
Aspicit æternæ fidei bonitate potita :
Enervata suis ratio at virtutibus æquis,
Illi nulla manet veræ scintilla salutis.
Talia quis fando lacrymas non fundit amaras,
Divinæ lucis, virtutis, visque capacem
Gentem ; clestis veræ pietatis inanem ;
Flebilis ardentes mitti Phlegetontis in undas.
Aspicis effigiem terræ; levis ætheris, undæ :
Aspicis antiquæ mores, velamina, gentis:
Aspicis optatos hilarantia littora portus :
Not by bright Phbus, or his glorious light,
But by his Phbe and her shadowed night.
They now accustom'd are two Gods to serve,
One good, which gives all good, and doth preserve;
This they for love adore : the other bad,
Which hurts and wounds, yet they for feare are glad
To worship him. See here a people who
Are full of knowledge, yet do nothing know
Of God aright: yet say his lawes are good,
All, except one, whereby their will's withstood
In having many wives; if they but one
Must have, what must they doe when they have none.
O how farre short comes nature of true grace.
Grace sees God here ; hereafter face to face :
But nature quite encru'd of all such right,
Reteines not one poore sparcle of true light.
And now what soule dissolves not into teares,
That hell must have ten thousand thousand heires,
Which have no true light of that truth divine,
Or sacred wisdome of th' eternall Trine.
O blessed England far beyond all sence,
That knowes and loves this Trine's omnipotence.
In briefe survey here water, earth, and ayre,
A people proud, and what their orders are :
The fragrant flowers, and the vernant groves,
Aspicis his modicum flicitèr (Ente faventi
Clestum cæptis) lætantia singula votum.
Si mea Barbaricæ prosint conanima genti:
Si valet Anglicanis incompta placere poesis:
Et sibi perfaciles hac reddere gente potentes,
Assiduosque pios sibi persuadere Colonos :
Si doceat primi vitam victumque parentis :
Angli si fuerint Indis exempla beaté
Vivendi, capiant quibus ardua limiua cli :
Omnia succedunt votis : modulamina spero
Hæc mea sublimis fuerint præsagia regni.
The merry shores, and storme-astranting coves.
In briefe, a briefe of what may make man blest,
If man's content abroad can be possest.
If these poore lines may winne this country love,
Or kinde compassion in the English move ;
Perswade our mightie and renowned state,
This pore-blinde people to comiserate;
Or painefull men to this good land invite,
Whose holy workes these natives may inlight:
If heavens graunt these, to see here built I trust,
An English kingdome from this Indian dust.