CapeCodHistory.us home page
genealogy
book reviews
posted March 2005

THE

ROMANTIC STORY

OF THE MAYFLOWER

PILGRIMS

AND ITS PLACE IN THE LIFE OF TO-DAY

BY

A. C. ADDISON

AUTHOR OF " OLD BOSTON .' ITS PURITAN SONS AND PILGRIM SHRINES," ETC.

WITH NUMEROUS ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS

BOSTON

 
L. C. PAGE & COMPANY

MDCCCCXI

title pagecover

Addison endpaper 1Addison endpaper b

Chapter V, pages 127-156

THE PILGRIM ROLL CALL FATE AND FORTUNES OF THE FATHERS

On Fame's eternall beadroll wortbie to be fyled.

Edmund Spenser.

There were men with hoary hair
    Amidst that pilgrim band:
Why had they come to wither there,
    Away from their childhood's land?

There was woman's fearless eye,
    Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
    And the fiery heart of youth.

SO sings Mrs. Hemans in her famous poem "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England." That devoted little Pilgrim band comprised, indeed, the Fathers and their families together, members of both sexes of all ages. When the compact was signed in the Mayflower's cabin on November 21, 1620, while the vessel lay off Cape Cod, each man subscribing to it indicated those who accompanied him. There were forty-one signatories, and the total number of passengers was shown to be one hundred and two. What became of them? What was their individual lot and fate subsequent to the landing on Plymouth Rock on December 26? For

128     THE ROMANTIC STORY OF

long, long years the record as regards the majority of them was lost to the world. Now, after much painstaking search, it has been found, bit by bit, and pieced together. And we have it here. It is a document full of human interest.

John Alden, the youngest man of the party, was hired as a cooper at Southampton, with right to return to England or stay in New Plymouth. He preferred to stay, and married, in 1623, Priscilla MuIIins, the "May-flower of Plymouth," the maiden who, as the legend goes, when he first went to plead Miles Standish's suit, witchingly asked, "Prithee, why don't you speak for yourself, John?" Alden was chosen as assistant in 1633, and served from 1634 to 1639 and from 1650 to 1686. He was treasurer of the Colony from 1656 to 1659; was Deputy from Duxbury in 1641-42, and from 1645 to 1649; a member of the Council of War from 1653 to 1660 and 1675-76; a soldier in Captain Miles Standish's company 1643. He was the last survivor of the signers of the compact of November, 1620, dying September 12, 1687, aged eighty-four years.

Bartholomew Allerton, born in Holland in 1612, was in Plymouth in 1627, when he returned to England. He was son of Isaac Allerton.

Isaac Allerton, a tailor of London, married at Leyden, November 4, 1611, Mary Norris from Newbury, Berkshire, England. He was a freeman of Leyden. His wife died February

THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS     131

25, 1621, at Plymouth. Allerton married Fear Brewster (his second wife), who died at Plymouth, December 12, 1634. In 1644 he had married Joanna (his third wife). He was an assistant in 1621 and 1634, and Deputy Governor. He was living in New Haven in 1642, later in New York, then returned to New Haven. He died in 1659.

John Allerton, a sailor, died before the Mayflower made her return voyage. Mary Allerton, a daughter of Isaac, was born in 1616. She married Elder Thomas Cushman. She died in 1699, the last survivor of the Mayflower passengers. Remember Allerton was another daughter living in Plymouth in 1627. Sarah Allerton, yet another daughter, married Moses Maverick of Salem.

Francis Billington, son of John and Eleanor, went out in 1620 with his parents. In 1634 he married widow Christian (Penn) Eaton, by whom he had children. He removed before 1648 to Yarmouth. He was a member of the Plymouth military company in 1643. He died in Yarmouth after 1650.

John Billington was hanged 1 in 1630 for the

1 The murderer Billington, sad to relate, was one of those who signed the historic compact on board the Mayflower. He was tried, condemned to death, and executed by his brethren in accordance with their primitive criminal procedure. At first, trials in the little colony were conducted by the whole body of the townsmen, the Governor presiding. In 1623 trial by jury was established, and

132     THE ROMANTIC STORY OF

murder of John Newcomen. His widow, Eleanor, who went over with him, married in 1638 Gregory Armstrong, who died in 1650, leaving no children by her. John Billington, a son of John and Eleanor, born in England, died at Plymouth soon after 1627.

William Bradford, baptised in 1589 at Auster-field, Yorkshire, was a leading spirit in the Pilgrim movement from its inception to its absorption in the Union of the New England Colonies. We have seen how, on the death of John Carver, he became the second Governor of Plymouth Colony, and he five times filled that office, in 1621-33, 1635, 1637, 1639-44, and 1645-47, as well as serving several times as Deputy Governor and assistant. A patent was granted to him in

subsequently a regular code of laws was adopted. The capital offences were treason, murder, diabolical conversation, arson, rape, and unnatural crimes. Plymouth had only six sorts of capital crime, against thirty-one in England at the accession of James I, and of these six it actually punished only two, Billington's belonging to one of them. The Pilgrims used no barbarous punishments. Like all their contemporaries they used the stocks and the whipping-post, without perceiving that those punishments in public were barbarizing. They inflicted fines and forfeitures freely without regard to the station or quality of the offenders. They never punished, or even committed any person as a witch. Restrictive laws were early adopted as to spirituous drinks, and in 1667 cider was included. In 1638 the smoking of tobacco was forbidden out-of-doors within a mile of a dwelling-house or while at work in the fields; but unlike England and Massachusetts, Plymouth never had a law regulating apparel.

THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS     135

1629 by the Council of New England vesting the Colony in trust to him, his heirs, associates and assigns, confirming their title to a tract of land and conferring the power to frame a constitution and laws; but eleven years later he transferred this patent to the General Court, reserving only to himself the allotment conceded to him in the original division of land. Bradford's rule as chief magistrate was marked by honesty and fair dealing, alike in his relations with the Indian tribes and his treatment of recalcitrant colonists. His word was respected and caused him to be trusted; his will was resolute in every emergency, and yet all knew that his clemency and charity might be counted on whenever it could be safely exercised. The Church was always dear to him: he enjoyed its faith and respected its institutions, and up to the hour of his death, on May 9, 1657, he confessed his delight in its teachings and simple services. Governor Bradford was twice married, first, as we know, at Leyden in 1613 to Dorothy May, who was accidentally drowned in Cape Cod harbour on December 7, 1620; and again on August 14, 1623, to Alice Carpenter, widow of Edward Southworth. By his first wife he had one son, and by his second, two sons and a daughter. Jointly with Edward Winslow, Bradford wrote "A Diary of Occurences during the First Year of the Colony," and this was published in England in 1622. He left many manuscripts, letters and chronicles, verses and

136     THE ROMANTIC STORY OF

dialogues, which are the principal authorities for the early history of the Colony; but the work by which he is best remembered is his manuscript "History of Plymouth Plantation," now happily, after being carried to England and lost to sight for years in the Fulham Palace Library, restored to the safe custody of the State of Massachusetts.

William Brewster more than any man was entitled to be called the Founder of the Pilgrim Church. It originated in his house at Scrooby, where he was born in 1566, and he sacrificed everything for it. He was elder of the church at Leyden and Plymouth, and served it also as minister for some time after going out. Through troubles, trials, and adversity, he stood by the Plymouth flocks, and when his followers were in peril and perplexity, worn and almost hopeless through fear and suffering, he kept a stout heart and bade them be of good cheer. Bradford has borne touching testimony to the personal attributes of his friend, who, he tells us, was "qualified above many," and of whom he writes that "he was wise and discrete, and well-spoken, having a grave and deliberate utterance, of a very cheerful spirite, very sociable and pleasante among his friends, of an humble and modest mind, of a peaceable disposition, under-valewing himself and his own abilities and sometimes over-vallewing others, inoffensive and innocent in his life and conversation, which gained him ye love of those without, as well as those within."

THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS     139

Of William Brewster it has been truly said that until his death, on April 16, 1644, his hand was never lifted from Pilgrim history. He shaped the counsels of his colleagues, helped to mould their policy, safeguarded their liberties, and kept in check tendencies towards religious bigotry and oppression. He tolerated differences, but put down wrangling and dissension, and promoted to the best of his power the strength and purity of public and private life. Mary Brewster, wife of William, who went out with him, died before 1627.

Love Brewster, son of Elder William, born in England, married (1634) Sarah, daughter of William Collier. He was a member of the Duxbury company in 1643, and died at Duxbury in 1650.

Wrestling Brewster, son of Elder William, emigrated at the same time; he died a young man, unmarried.

Richard Britteridge died December 21, 1620, his being the first death after landing.

Peter Brown probably married the widow Martha Ford; he died in 1633.

William Button, a servant of Samuel Fuller, died on the voyage.

John Carver, first Governor of the Plymouth Colony, landed from the Mayflower with his wife, Catherine, and both died the following spring or summer. Carver was deacon in Holland. He left no descendants.

Robert Carter was a servant of William Mullins, and died during the first winter.

140     THE ROMANTIC STORY OF

James Chilton died December 8, 1620, before the landing at Plymouth, and his wife succumbed shortly after. Their daughter Mary, tradition states, romantically if not truthfully, was the first to leap on shore. She married John Winslow, and had ten children.

Richard Clarke died soon after arrival.

Francis Cook died at Plymouth in 1663.

John Cook, son of Francis Cook by his wife, Esther, shipped in the Mayflower with his father. He married Sarah, daughter of Richard Warren. On account of religious differences he removed to Dartmouth, of which he was one of the first purchasers. He became a Baptist minister there. He was also Deputy in 1666-68, 1673, and 1681-83-86. The father and son were both members of the Plymouth military company in 1643.

John Cook died at Dartmouth after 1694.

Humility Cooper returned to England, and died there.

John Crackston died in 1621; his son, John, who went out with him, died in 1628.

Edward Dotey married Faith Clark, probably as second wife, and had nine children, some of whom moved to New Jersey, Long Island, and elsewhere. He was a purchaser of Dartmouth, but moved to Yarmouth, where he died August 23, 1655. He made the passage out as a servant to Stephen Hopkins, and was wild and headstrong in his youth, being a party to the first duel fought in New England.

THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS     143

Francis Eaton went over with his first wife, Sarah, and their son, Samuel. He married a second wife, and a third, Christian Penn, before 1627. He died in 1633.

Samuel Eaton married, in 1661, Martha Billington. In 1643 he was in the Plymouth military company, and was living at Duxbury in 1663. He removed to Middleboro, where he died about 1684.

Thomas English died the first winter.

One Ely, a hired man, served his time and returned to England.

Moses Fletcher married at Leyden, in 1613, widow Sarah Dingby. He died during the first winter.

Edward Fuller shipped with his wife, Ann, and son, Samuel. The parents died the first season.

Samuel Fuller, the son, married in 1635 Jane, daughter of the Reverend John Lothrop; he removed to Barnstable, where he died October 31, 1683, having many descendants.

Dr. Samuel Fuller, brother of Edward, was the first physician; he married (1) Elsie Glascock, (2) Agnes Carpenter, (3) Bridget Lee; he died in 1633. His descendants of the name are through a son, Samuel, who settled in Middleboro.

Richard Gardiner, mariner, was at Plymouth in 1624, but soon disappeared.

John Goodman, unmarried, died the first winter.

144     THE ROMANTIC STORY OF

John Hooke died the first winter, as did also William Holbeck.

Giles Hopkins, son of Stephen, married in 1639 Catherine Wheldon; he moved to Yarmouth and afterwards to Eastham, and died about 1690.

Stephen Hopkins went out with his second wife, Elizabeth, and Giles and Constance, children by a first wife. On the voyage a child was born to them, which they named Oceanus, but it died in 1621. He was an assistant, 1634-35, and died in 1644. His wife died between 1640 and 1644. Constance, daughter of Stephen, married Nicholas Snow. They settled at Eastham, from which he was a Deputy in 1648, and he died November 15, 1676; she died in October, 1677, having had twelve children. Damaris, a daughter, was born after their arrival and married Jacob Cooke.

John Howland married Elizabeth, daughter of John Tilley. He was a Deputy in 1641, 1645 to 1658, 1661, 1663, 1666-67, and 1670; assistant in 1634 and 1635; also a soldier in the Plymouth military company in 1643. He died February 23, 1673, aged more than eighty years, and his widow died December 21, 1687, aged eighty years.

John Langemore died during the first winter.

William Latham about 1640 left for England, and afterwards went to the Bahamas, where he probably died.

Edward Leister went to Virginia.

THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS     147

Edmund Margeson, unmarried, died in 1621.

Christopher Martin and wife both died early; his death took place January 8, 1621.

Desire Minter returned to England, and there died.

Ellen More perished the first winter.

Jasper More removed to Scituate, and his name is said to have become Mann. He died in Scituate in 1656; his brother died the first winter.

William Mullins shipped with his wife, son Joseph, and daughter Priscilla, who married John Alden. The father died February 21, 1621, and his wife during the same winter, as did also the son.

Solomon Power died December 24, 1620.

Degory Priest married in 1611, at Leyden, widow Sarah Vincent, a sister of Isaac Allerton; he died January 1, 1621.

John Rigdale went out with his wife, Alice, both dying the first winter.

Joseph Rogers went with his father, Thomas Rogers, who died in 1621. The son married, and lived at Eastham in 1655, dwelling first at Duxbury and Sandwich. He was a lieutenant, and died in 1678 at Eastham.

Harry Sampson settled at Duxbury, and married Ann Plummer in 1636. He was of the Duxbury military company in 1643, and died there in 1684.

George Soule was married to Mary Becket. He was in the military company of Duxbury,

148     THE ROMANTIC STORY OF

where he resided, and was the Deputy in 1645-46, and 1650-54. He was an original proprietor of Bridgewater and owner of land in Dartmouth and Middleboro; he died 1680, his wife in 1677.

Ellen Story died the first winter.

Miles Standish, that romantic figure in the Pilgrim history, did good service for the Colony, and practically settled the question whether the Anglo-Saxon or the native Indian was to predominate in New England. Born in Lancashire about 1584, and belonging to the Duxbury branch of the Standish family, he obtained a lieutenant's commission in the English army and fought in the wars against The Netherlands and Spain. His taste for military adventure led to his joining the Pilgrims at Leyden, and when the Mayflower reached Cape Cod, he led the land exploring parties. Soon he was elected military captain of the Colony, and with a small force he protected the settlers against Indian incursions until the danger from that quarter was past. When they were made peaceably secure in their rights and possessions, and warlike exploits and adventures were at an end, Standish retired to his estate at Duxbury, on the north side of Plymouth Bay: but in peace, as in war, he was still devoted to the interests of the Colony, frequently acting as Governor's assistant from 1632 onward, becoming Deputy in 1644, and serving as treasurer between that year and 1649. His wife Rose,

THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS     151

who sailed with him in the Mayflower, died January 29, 1621, but he married again, and had four sons and a daughter. He died on October 3, 1656, honoured by all the community among whom he dwelt, and his name and fame are perpetuated in history, in the poetry of Longfellow and Lowell, and by the monument which stands upon what was his estate at Duxbury, the lofty column on Captain's Hill, seen for miles both from sea and land.

Edward Thompson died December 4, 1620. Edward Tilley and his wife Ann both died the first winter.

John Tilley accompanied his wife and daughter Elizabeth; the parents died the first winter, but the daughter survived and married John Howland.

Thomas Tinker, with his wife and son, died the first winter.

John Turner had with him two sons, but the party succumbed to the hardships of the first season.

William Trevore entered as a sailor on the Mayflower, and returned to England on the Fortune in 1621.

William White went out with his wife Susanna, and son Resolved. A son, Peregrine, was born to them in Provincetown Harbour, who has been distinguished as being the first child of the Pilgrims born after the arrival in the New World. This is his strongest claim, as his early life was rather disreputable, though his obituary, in

152     THE ROMANTIC STORY OF

1704, allowed "he was much reformed in his last years." William, the father, died on February 21, 1621; his widow married, in the May following, Edward Winslow, who had recently lost his wife.

Resolved White married (1) Judith, daughter of William Vassall; he lived at Scituate, Marshfield, and lastly Salem, where he married, (2) October 5, 1674, widow Abigail Lord, and died after 1680. He was a member of the Scituate military company in 1643.

Roger Wilder died the first winter, and Thomas Williams also died the first season.

Edward Winslow, an educated young English gentleman from Droitwich, joined the brethren at Leyden in 1617, and accompanying them to New England, was the third to sign the compact on board the Mayflower, Carver and Bradford signing before, and Brewster after him, then Isaac Allerton and Miles Standish. Winslow was one of the party sent to prospect along the coast. Before leaving Holland, he married at Leyden, in 1618, Elizabeth Barker, who went out with him, but died March 24, 1621, and as we have seen, he shortly afterwards married widow Susanna (Fuller) White. Winslow proved himself a man of exceptional ability and character, and gave the best years of his life to the service of the Colony. While on a mission to England in its interests in 1623, he published an account of the settlement and struggles of the Mayflower Pilgrims, under the title "Good


THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS     155

News for New England, or a relation of things remarkable in that Plantation." Later he wrote (and published in 1646) "Hypocrisie Unmasked; by a true relation of the proceedings of the Governor of Massachusetts against Samuel Groton [sic], a notorious Disturber of the Peace," which is chiefly remarkable for an appendix giving an account of the preparations in Leyden for removal to America, and the substance of John Robinson's address to the Pilgrims on their departure from Holland. Winslow was Governor of the Colony in 1633, 1636, and 1644, and at other times assistant. In 1634 he went to England again on colonial business, and before sailing accepted a commission for the Bay Colony which required him to appear before the King's Commissioners for Plantations. Here he was brought face to face with Archbishop Laud, who could not resist the opportunity of venting his wrath upon the representative of the Plymouth settlement, about whose sayings and doings he had been duly informed. Winslow was accused of taking part in Sunday services and of conducting civil marriages. He admitted the charges, and pleaded extenuating circumstances; but Laud was not to be appeased and committed the bold Separatist to the Fleet Prison, where he remained for seventeen weeks, when he was released and permitted to return to America, wounded in his conscience by the cruel wrong done him and impoverished by legal expenses. In October, 1646, against the advice of his com-

156     THE ROMANTIC STORY OF

patriots, Winslow undertook another mission to the old country, this time in connection with the federation of the New England Colonies, and, accepting service under Cromwell, sailed on an expedition to the West Indies, caught a fever, and died, and was buried at sea on May 8, 1655.

Gilbert Winslow, another subscriber to the compact in the Mayflower's cabin, returned subsequently to England and died in 1650.

Apart from the events of their after lives, the spirit which possessed the Mayflower Pilgrims and guided their leaders in exile is well expressed by Mrs. Hemans when she says, in her stirring lines

    They sought a faith's pure shrine!
Ay, call it holy ground,
    The soil where first they trod;
They have left unstained what there they found
    Freedom to worship God.