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VOYAGE OF THE PILGRIMS.
the charge of their pastor, Mr. John Robinson, resided for some years in obscurity and safety; but not finding their situation congenial to their feelings as Englishmen, and fearful of losing their national identity, they had come to the determination of removing in a body to America.
They accordingly sent two of their number, Robert Cushman and John Carver, to England, for the purpose of obtaining the consent of the London company to their emigration to Virginia. Permission was promised, and a formal application, signed by the greatest part of the congregation, was transmitted to the company.
They were desirous that their enterprise should receive the formal approbation of the king. But James I was hostile to all the Puritans; and the utmost that he would promise was neglect. A patent under the company's seal was, however, obtained through the influence of Sir Ed win Sandys, and a tract of land assigned them within the limits of the Virginia charter. The funds necessary for defraying the expenses of the expedition were obtained in London, on terms by no means favourable to the borrowers; but this circumstance could not deter men who were actuated by the spirit of the Pilgrims.
Two vessels, the Speedwell, of sixty tons, and the Mayflower, of one hundred and eighty tons burden, were hired in England. Only a part of the congregation could be accommodated in these ; and Robinson was obliged to remain at Leyden, while Brewster, an elder, conducted the company.
It was on the morning of the 22d of July, 1620, when Robinsor., kneeling in prayer on the sea shore at Delfthaven, consecrated the embarkation of the Pilgrims. The beginning of their voyage was prosperous. They touched at Southampton, in England, and sailed thence on the 5th of August. Their prospect soon darkened; they were obliged to put back twice in order to repair the smaller of their vessels, and finally to abandon her with such of their company as were too cowardly to con tinue the voyage; so that it was not until the 6th of September, 1620, that they took their final departure from England in the Mayflower.
Who was their pastor ?-Why did they determine to leave Holland To whom did they apply for permission to settle in America ?- What was done by James I!-How did they obtain their patent ?-Where did they raise money ?-What ships did they hire ?-Who was their leader ?-When did they leave Holland ?-What occasioned the aban donment of one of their ships ?
CONSTITUTION OF THE PILGRIMS.
'The destination of the Pilgrims was the mouth of the Hudson; but by the treachery of their captain, who is supposed to have been bribed by the Dutch'interested in the colony of New Amsterdam, they were conducted to the inhospitable coast of Massachusetts. They did 1101 make the land till the ninth of November. On the next day they cast anchor in the harbour of Cape Cod.
Before landing, they adopted a solemn compact de sonstitution of government in the following words:
• In the name of God, amen; we, whose names are mderwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereigu King James, having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honour of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do, by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and of me another, covenant and combine ourselves together, into a civi] body politic, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof, do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most convenient for the general good of the colony. Unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.'
This instrument was signed by the men, forty-one in namber; and they, with their families, amounted to one hundred and one persons. As soon as their covenant o contract was signed, Mr. John Carver was unanimously chosen their governor for one year.
The inclemency of the season was very unfavourable to their undertaking. Several days were spent in searching for a suitable place to land ; and much hardship was endured by those who went in the boats for this purpose. Some traces of the Indians were discovered; a heap of maize, a burial place, and fou or five deserted wigwams On the 8th of December, Carver, Bradford, Winslow Standish, and eight or ten seamen, being on shore nea; Namskeket, on Great Meadow Creek, were assailed by a party of Indians, who welcomed them with the wa whoop, and a flight of arrows. On the same day, they were near being wrecked in their shallop, as they were
What was the destination of the Pilgrims ?-Why did they not lanc there ?-Whither were they conducted ?-What was their constitution ! -Who was chosen governor ?-What befell a party of them on the & of December ?
seeking a harbour. They escaped this danger, however, and landed at night on a small island. Here they kept the Christian Sabbath with strict observance, and on the day following, December 11, found the long sought harbour, to which, in grateful remembrance of the friends they had left at their last port in England, they gave the name of Plymouth.
In a few days, the Mayflower was safely moored in Plymouth harbour; the surrounding country was then explored, and a high ground facing the bay, where the land was cleared and the water good, was selected for building.
On the morning of the 20th of December, 1620, after imploring the divine guidance and blessing, the Pilgrims landed on the rock of Plymouth. The spot which their footsteps first touched, on this memorable occasion, has ever since been regarded by their descendants as sacred, and the day is still
celebrated with all the enthusiasm of religion and patriotism.
When the landing of the Pilgrims was effected, their difficulties and distresses were but just begun. We are to recollect that it was in the depth of a New England winter, that their company, was already suffering with colds, lung fevers, and incipient consumptions, contracted by their exposure to snow, rain, and the beating surf, in exploring the coast; that their stock of provisions was scanty; and that the care of their wives and children What passed on the 11th :—When did the Pilgrims land ?
DISTRESSES OF THE PILGRIMS.
was added to hardships which manhood was hardıy abło to encounter.
The month of January was spent in erecting such tenements as their scanty means afforded. Sickness attended them, and mortality thinned their numbers through the winter; and it was not until the spring was far advanced that health revisited the remnant of the colony. Half their number had perished. Carver, their first governor, died in March ; and William Bradford was chosen to succeed him.
Privation and want were still to be endured. A reinforcement of emigrants, which came out in the autumn of 1621, brought no supply of provisions, and the colony was compelled to subsist, for six months longer, on half allowance. The scarcity of provisions continued, with only occasional relief, for two years longer.
A mistaken policy, or a desire to conform to the simplicity of apostolic times, had induced the Pilgrims to adopt the system of community of property. This was one of the causes of scarcity. In the spring of 1623, each family was allowed a parcel of ground to cultivate for itself; and after the harvest of that year, no general want of food was experienced.
A profitable commerce was established with the Indians. European trinkets were exchanged for furs; and the colonists were at length enabled to barter corn with them for the products of the chase. The Indians were not numerous in the vicinity of Plymouth; for before the arrival of the English, a sweeping pestilence had carried off whole tribes of them, but enough were left to render a sort of military organisation necessary for the defence of the colony; and Captain Miles Standish a man of great courage, and fortitude, obtained the chief Command.
In March, 1621, the colonists were visited by Samoset, a chief of the Wampanoags, who bade them welcome; and in the name of his tribe gave them permission to occupy the soil, which there was no one of the original possessors alive to claim.
In the same month, Massasoit, the greatest king of the How was their first winter passed ?-When did Carver die ?-Who fucceeded him ?-When did a reinforcement arrive ?-- What cause of (listress remained ?-For how long a time ?-What mistake was made by the Pilgrims ?-When was rectified !-How ?- With whom did they trade-In what commodities ?- What had thinned the Iudians ? Who was the military leader of the Pilgrims ?-Who visited them?
neighbouring Indians, paid them a visit, and entered into a league of friendship, which was inviolably observed for upwards of fifty years.
This event was followed by others of the same cha racter. A sachem who had threatened hostilities was compelled to sue for peace; and nine chiefs subscribed an instrument of submission to King James. Canonicus, the sachem of the Narragansetts, sent a bundle of arrows, wrapped in a rattlesnake's skin, to the governor, in token of defiance; but Bradford coolly stuffed the skin with powder and shot, and returned it. The Indian's courage • failed at the sight of this unequivocal symbol; and he followed the example of his countrymen by subscribing a treaty of peace.
The population of the old colony at Plymouth increased slowly. Ten years after the first settlement there were only three hundred inhabitants. But they had spread over a wide territory, and become firmly rooted in the soil.
The government of the old colony was strictly republican. The governor was elected by the people, and restricted by a council of five, and afterwards of sever, assistants. The legislature was at first composed of the whole body of the people. But as the populati in increased, they adopted the representative system.
Who made a treaty with them? What events followed ?-Tell thre story of Canonicus.-For what country was a patent afterwards granted? What is said of the population of the Plymouth colony ?--What is said of the government ?