Part 1 out of 2
This etext was produced by David Widger
[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the
file for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before making an
entire meal of them. D.W.]
THE MAY-FLOWER AND HER LOG
July 15, 1620--May 6, 1621
Chiefly from Original Sources
By AZEL AMES, M.D.
Member of Pilgrim Society, etc.
THE JOURNAL OF THE SHIP MAY-FLOWER
Thomas Jones, Master, from London, England, towards "Hudson's River" in
[The voyage of the MAY-FLOWER began at London, as her consort's did
at Delfshaven, and though, as incident to the tatter's brief career,
we have been obliged to take note of some of the happenings to the
larger ship and her company (at Southampton, etc.), out of due
course and time, they have been recited only because of their
insuperable relation to the consort and her company, and not as part
of the MAY-FLOWER'S own proper record]
SATURDAY, July 15/25, 1620
Gravesend. Finished lading. Got
passengers aboard and got under way for
Southampton. Dropped down the Thames to
Gravesend with the tide.
[Vessels leaving the port of London always, in that day, "dropped
down with the tide," tug-boats being unknown, and sail-headway
against the tide being difficult in the narrow river.]
Masters Cushman and Martin, agents of the
chartering--party, came aboard at London.
SUNDAY, July 16/26
Gravesend. Channel pilot aboard. Favoring
MONDAY, July 17/27
In Channel. Course D.W. by W. Favoring
TUESDAY, July 18/28
In Channel. Southampton Water.
WEDNESDAY, July 19/29
Southampton Water. Arrived at Southampton
and came to anchor.
[Both ships undoubtedly lay at anchor a day or two, before hauling
in to the quay. The MAY-FLOWER undoubtedly lay at anchor until
after the SPEEDWELL arrived, to save expense]
THURSDAY, July 20/30
Lying at Southampton off north end of "West
FRIDAY, July 21/31
Lying at Southampton. Masters Carver,
Cushman, and Martin, three of the agents
here. Outfitting ship, taking in lading,
and getting ready for sea.
SATURDAY, July 22/Aug 1
Lying off Quay, Southampton.
SUNDAY, July 23/Aug 2
Lying off Quay, Southampton.
MONDAY, July 24/Aug 3
Lying off Quay, Southampton.
TUESDAY, July 25/Aug 4
Lying off Quay, Southampton. Waiting for
consort to arrive from Holland.
WEDNESDAY, July 26/Aug 5
Lying off Quay, Southampton. Pinnace
SPEEDWELL, 60 tons, Reynolds, Master, from
Delfshaven, July 22, consort to this ship,
arrived in harbor, having on board some 70
passengers and lading for Virginia. She
came to anchor off north end "West Quay."
THURSDAY, July 27/Aug. 6
Lying at Quay, Southampton, SPEEDWELL
warped to berth at Quay near the ship, to
[Some of the cargo of the SPEEDWELL is understood to have been here
transferred to the larger ship; doubtless the cheese, "Hollands,"
and other provisions, ordered, as noted, by Cushman]
FRIDAY, July 28/Aug. 7
Lying at Quay, Southampton, Much parleying
and discontent among the passengers.
[Bradford gives an account of the bickering and recrimination at
Southampton, when all parties had arrived. Pastor Robinson had
rather too strenuously given instructions, which it now began to be
seen were not altogether wise. Cushman was very much censured, and
there was evidently some acrimony. See Cushman's Dartmouth letter
of August 17 to Edward Southworth, Bradford's Historie, Mass. ed.
SATURDAY, July 29/Aug. 8
Lying at Quay, Southampton. Some of the
passengers transferred from SPEEDWELL and
some to her. Master Christopher Martin
chosen by passengers their "Governour" for
the voyage to order them by the way, see to
the disposing of their pro visions, etc.
Master Robert Cushman chosen "Assistant."
The ship ready for sea this day, but
obliged to lie here on account of leakiness
of consort, which is forced to retrim. Ship
has now 90 passengers and consort 30.
SUNDAY, July 30/Aug. 9
Lying at Southampton.
MONDAY, July 31/Aug. 10
Lying at Southampton. Letters received for
passengers from Holland. One from the
Leyden Pastor [Robinson] read out to the
company that came from that place.
TUESDAY, Aug. 1/Aug. 11
Lying at anchor at Southampton. SPEEDWELL
retrimmed a second time to overcome
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2/Aug. 12
Lying at anchor at Southampton. Master
Weston, principal agent of the Merchants
setting out the voyage, came up from Lon
don to see the ships dispatched, but, on
the refusal of the Planters to sign certain
papers, took offence and returned to London
in displeasure, bidding them "stand on
their own legs," etc.
[The two "conditions" which Weston had changed in the proposed
agreement between the Adventurers and Planters, the Leyden leaders
refused to agree to. Bradford, op cit. p. 61. He says: "But they
refused to sign, and answered him that he knew right well that these
were not according to the first Agreement." Dr. Griffis has made
one of those little slips common to all writers--though perfectly
conversant with the facts--in stating as he does (The Pilgrims in
their Three Homes, etc. p. 158), with reference to the new
"conditions" which some blamed Cushman for assenting to, as "more
fit for thieves and slaves than for honest men," that, "nevertheless
they consented to them;" while on p. 169 he says "The SPEEDWELL
people [i.e. the Leyden leaders would not agree with the new
conditions, without the consent of those left behind in Leyden."
The fact is that the Pilgrims did not assent to the new conditions,
unwarrantably imposed by Weston, though of small consequence in any
view of the case, until Cushman came over to New Plymouth in the
FORTUNE, in 1621, and by dint of his sermon on the "Sin and Danger
of Self-Love," and his persuasion, induced them (they being also
advised thereto by Robinson) to sign them. All business up to this
time had been done between the Adventurers and the Pilgrims,
apparently, without any agreement in writing. It was probably felt,
both by Robinson and the Plymouth leaders, that it was the least
reparation they could make Cushman for their cruel and unjust
treatment of him, realizing at length that, through all
vicissitudes, he had proven their just, sagacious, faithful, and
efficient friend. There does not appear to be any conclusive
evidence that any articles of agreement between the Adventurers and
colonists were signed before the MAY-FLOWER Sailed.]
THURSDAY, Aug. 3/Aug. 13
Lying at anchor at Southampton. After
Master Weston's departure, the Planters had
a meeting and resolved to sell some of such
stores as they could best spare, to clear
port charges, etc., and to write a general
letter to the Adventurers explaining the
case, which they did. Landed some three
score firkins of butter, sold as
FRIDAY, Aug. 4/Aug. 14
Lying at anchor at Southampton. Consort
nearly ready for sea. Heard that the
King's warrant had issued to Sir James
Coventry, under date of July 23, to prepare
a Patent for the Council for the Affairs of
New England to supersede the Plymouth
Virginia Company, Sir Ferdinando Gorges and
Sir Robert Rich the Earl of Warwick among
SATURDAY, Aug. 5/Aug. 15
Weighed anchor, as did consort, and in
company dropped down Southampton Water.
Took departure from Cowes, Isle of Wight,
and laid course down the Solent to Channel.
Winds baffling. General course S.W. by S.
SUNDAY, Aug. 6/Aug. 16
Head winds. Beating out Channel.
SPEEDWELL In Company. Passed Bill of
MONDAY, Aug. 7/Aug. 17
Wind contrary. Beating out Channel.
SPEEDWELL In company.
TUESDAY, Aug. 8/Aug. 18
Wind still contrary. Beating out Channel.
SPEEDWELL in company.
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9/Aug. 19
Wind ahead. Beating down Channel. Consort
THURSDAY, Aug. 10/20
Wind fair. All sail set. SPEEDWELL in
company. Signalled by consort, which hove
to. Found to be leaking badly. On
consultation of Masters and chief of
passengers of both ships, it was concluded
that both should put into Dartmouth, being
nearest port. Laid course for Dartmouth
with wind ahead.
THURSDAY, Aug. 11/21
Wind ahead. Bearing up to Dartmouth.
SATURDAY, Aug. 12/22
Made port at Dartmouth. SPEEDWELL in
company, and came to anchor in harbor.
[Bradford, op. cit. Deane's ed. p. 68, note. Russell (Pilgrim
Memorials, p. 15) says: "The ships put back into Dartmouth, August
13/23." Goodwin (op. cit. p. 55) says: "The port was reached
about August 23: Captain John Smith strangely omits the return of
the ships to Dartmouth, and confuses dates, as he says "But the next
day after leaving Southampton the lesser ship sprung a leak that
forced their return to Plymouth," etc. Smith, New England's Trials,
2d ed. 1622. Cushman's letter, written the 17th, says they had
then lain there "four days," which would mean, if four full days,
the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th.]
SUNDAY, Aug. 13/23
Lying at anchor with SPEEDWELL leaking
badly in Dartmouth harbor. No passengers,
except leaders, allowed ashore.
[Cushman in his letter to Edward Southworth, written at Dartmouth,
August 17, says that Martin, the "governour" of the passengers in
the MAY-FLOWER, "will not suffer them the passengers to go, ashore
lest they should run away." This probably applied especially to
such as had become disaffected by the delays and disasters, the
apprenticed ("bound") servants, etc. Of course no responsible
colonist would be thus restrained for the reason alleged.]
MONDAY, Aug. 14/24
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor.
SPEEDWELL at Quay taking out lading for
TUESDAY, Aug. 15/25
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor.
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16/26
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor.
SPEEDWELL being thoroughly overhauled for
leaks. Pronounced "as open and leaky as a
sieve." Much dissatisfaction between the
passengers, and discontent with the ship's
"governour" Master Martin, between whom
and Mr. Cushman, the "assistant," there is
[Cushman portrays the contemptible character and manner of Martin
very sharply, and could not have wished to punish him worse for his
meannesses than he has, by thus holding him up to the scorn of the
world, for all time. He says, 'inter alia': "If I speak to him, he
flies in my face and saith no complaints shall be heard or received
but by himself, and saith: 'They are froward, and waspish,
discontented people, and I do ill to hear them.'"]
THURSDAY, Aug. 17/27
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor. Consort
being searched and mended. Sailors offended
at Master Martin because of meddling.
[Cushman's letter, Dartmouth, August 17. He says: "The sailors also
are so offended at his ignorant boldness in meddling and controling
in things he knows not what belongs to, as that some threaten to
mischief him . . . . But at best this cometh of it, that he
makes himself a scorn and laughing stock unto them."]
FRIDAY, Aug. 18/28
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor. Consort
still repairing. Judged by workmen that
mended her sufficient for the voyage.
SATURDAY, Aug. 19/29
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor.
SUNDAY, Aug. 20/30
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor.
MONDAY, Aug. 21/31
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor. Consort
TUESDAY, Aug. 22/Sept. 1
Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbor. Both
ships ready for sea.
[Bradford, Historie, Deane's ed. p. 68. He says: "Some leaks were
found and mended and now it was conceived by the workmen and all,
that she was sufficient, and they might proceed without either fear
or danger." Bradford shows (op. cit. p. 69, note that they must
have left Dartmouth "about the 21st" of August. Captain John Smith
gives that date, though somewhat confusedly. Arber (the Story of
the Pilgrim Fathers, p. 343 says: "They actually left on 23 August."
Goodwin (Pilgrim Republic, p. 55) says : "Ten days were spent in
discharging and re-stowing the SPEEDWELL and repairing her from stem
to stern," etc.)]
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23/Sept. 2
Weighed anchor, as did consort. Laid
course W.S.W. Ships in company. Wind
THURSDAY, Aug. 24/Sept. 3
Comes in with wind fair. General course
W.S.W. Consort in company.
FRIDAY, Aug. 25/Sept. 4
Comes in with wind fair. Course W.S.W.
SPEEDWELL in company.
SATURDAY, Aug. 26/Sept. 5
Observations showed ship above 100 leagues
W.S.W. of Land's End. SPEEDWELL signalled
and hove to. Reported leaking dangerously.
On consultation between Masters and
carpenters of both ships, it was concluded
to put back into Plymouth--Bore up for
Plymouth. Consort in company.
SUNDAY, Aug. 27/Sept. 6
Ship on course for Plymouth. SPEEDWELL in
MONDAY, Aug. 28/Sept. 7
Made Plymouth harbor, and came to anchor in
the Catwater, followed by consort.
TUESDAY, Aug. 29/Sept. 8
At anchor in roadstead. At conference of
officers of ship and consort and the chief
of the Planters, it was decided to send the
SPEEDWELL back to London with some 18 or 20
of her passengers, transferring a dozen or
more, with part of her lading, to the MAY-
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30/Sept. 9
At anchor in Plymouth roadstead off the
Barbican. Transferring passengers and
lading from consort, lying near by.
[Goodwin notes (Pilgrim Republic, p. 57) that "it was fortunate for
the overloaded MAY-FLOWER that she had fine weather while lying at
anchor there, . . . for the port of Plymouth was then only a
shallow, open bay, with no protection. In southwesterly gales its
waters rose into enormous waves, with such depressions between that
ships while anchored sometimes struck the bottom of the harbor and
were dashed in pieces."]
THURSDAY, Aug. 31/Sept. 10
At anchor in Plymouth roadstead.
Transferring cargo from SPEEDWELL.
FRIDAY, Sept. 1/Sept. 11
At anchor in Plymouth roadstead.
Transferring passengers and freight to and
from consort. Master Cushman and family,
Master Blossom and son, William Ring, and
others with children, going back to London
in SPEEDWELL. All Of SPEEDWELL'S
passengers who are to make the voyage now
aboard. New "governour" of ship and
assistants chosen. Master Carver
[We have seen that Christopher Martin was made "governour" of the
passengers on the MAY-FLOWER for the voyage, and Cushman
"assistant." It is evident from Cushman's oft-quoted letter (see
ante) that Martin became obnoxious, before the ship reached
Dartmouth, to both passengers and crew. It is also evident that
when the emigrants were all gathered in the MAY-FLOWER there was a
new choice of officers (though no record is found of it), as Cushman
vacated his place and went back to London, and we find that, as
noted before, on November 11 the colonists "confirmed" John Carver
as their "governour," showing that he had been such hitherto.
Doubtless Martin was deposed at Southampton (perhaps put into
Cushman's vacant place, and Carver made "governour" in his stead.)]
SATURDAY, Sept. 2/Sept. 12
At anchor, Plymouth roadstead. Some of
principal passengers entertained ashore by
friends of their faith. SPEEDWELL sailed
for London. Quarters assigned, etc.
SUNDAY, Sept. 3/Sept. 13
At anchor in Plymouth roadstead.
MONDAY, Sept. 4/Sept. 14
At anchor in Plymouth roadstead. Some Of
TUESDAY, Sept. 5/Sept. 15
At anchor in Plymouth roadstead. Ready for
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 6/Sept. 16
Weighed anchor. Wind E.N.E., a fine gale.
Laid course W.S.W. for northern coasts of
THURSDAY, Sept. 7/Sept. 17
Comes in with wind E.N.E. Light gale
continues. Made all sail on ship.
FRIDAY, Sept. 8/Sept. 18
Comes in with wind E.N.E. Gale continues.
All sails full.
SATURDAY, Sept. 9/Sept. 19
Comes in with wind E.N E. Gale holds.
Ship well off the land.
SUNDAY, Sept. 10/Sept. 20
Comes in with wind E.N.E. Gale holds.
Distance lost, when ship bore up for
Plymouth, more than regained.
MONDAY, Sept. 11/Sept. 21
Same; and so without material change, the
daily record of wind, weather, and the
ship's general course--the repetition of
which would be both useless and wearisome--
continued through the month and until the
vessel was near half the seas over. Fine
warm weather and the "harvest-moon." The
usual equinoctial weather deferred.
SATURDAY, Sept. 23/Oct. 3
One of the seamen, some time sick with a
grievous disease, died in a desperate manner.
The first death and burial at sea of the
[We can readily imagine this first burial at sea on the MAY FLOWER,
and its impressiveness. Doubtless the good Elder "committed the
body to the deep" with fitting ceremonial, for though the young man
was of the crew, and not of the Pilgrim company, his reverence for
death and the last rites of Christian burial would as surely impel
him to offer such services, as the rough, buccaneering Master (Jones
would surely be glad to evade them).
Dr. Griffis (The Pilgrims in their Three Homes, p. 176) says "The
Puritans [does this mean Pilgrims ?] cared next to nothing about
ceremonies over a corpse, whether at wave or grave." This will
hardly bear examination, though Bradford's phraseology in this case
would seem to support it, as he speaks of the body as "thrown
overboard;" yet it is not to be supposed that it was treated quite
so indecorously as the words would imply. It was but a few years
after, certainly, that we find both Pilgrim and Puritan making much
ceremony at burials. We find considerable ceremony at Carver's
burial only a few months later. Choate, in his masterly oration at
New York, December 22, 1863, pictures Brewster's service at the open
grave of one of the Pilgrims in March, 1621.]
A sharp change. Equinoctial weather,
followed by stormy westerly gales;
encountered cross winds and continued
fierce storms. Ship shrewdly shaken and
her upper works made very leaky. One of
the main beams in the midships was bowed
and cracked. Some fear that the ship could
not be able to perform the voyage. The
chief of the company perceiving the
mariners to fear the sufficiency of the
ship (as appeared by their mutterings) they
entered into serious consultation with the
Master and other officers of the ship, to
consider, in time, of the danger, and
rather to return than to cast themselves
into a desperate and inevitable peril.
There was great distraction and difference
of opinion amongst the mariners themselves.
Fain would they do what would be done for
their wages' sake, being now near half the
seas over; on the other hand, they were
loath to hazard their lives too
desperately. In examining of all opinions,
the Master and others affirmed they knew
the ship to be strong and firm under water,
and for the buckling bending or bowing of
the main beam, there was a great iron scrue
the passengers brought out of Holland which
would raise the beam into its place. The
which being done, the carpenter and Master
affirmed that a post put under it, set firm
in the lower deck, and otherwise bound,
would make it sufficient. As for the decks
and upper works, they would caulk them as
well as they could; and though with the
working of the ship they would not long
keep staunch, yet there would otherwise be
no great danger if they did not overpress
her with sails. So they resolved to
In sundry of these stormes, the winds were
so fierce and the seas so high, as the ship
could not bear a knot of sail, but was
forced to hull drift under bare poles for
divers days together. A succession of
strong westerly gales. In one of the
heaviest storms, while lying at hull, [hove
to D.W.] a lusty young man, one of the
passengers, John Howland by name, coming
upon some occasion above the gratings
latticed covers to the hatches, was with
the seel [roll] of the ship thrown into the
sea, but caught hold of the topsail
halliards, which hung overboard and ran out
at length; yet he held his hold, though he
was sundry fathoms under water, till he was
hauled up by the same rope to the brim of
the water, and then with a boathook and
other means got into the ship again and his
life saved. He was something ill with it.
The equinoctial disturbances over and the
strong October gales, the milder, warmer
weather of late October followed.
Mistress Elizabeth Hopkins, wife of Master
Stephen Hopkins, of Billericay, in Essex,
was delivered of a son, who, on account of
the circumstances of his birth, was named
Oceanus, the first birth aboard the ship
during the voyage.
A succession of fine days, with favoring
MONDAY Nov. 6/16
William Butten; a youth, servant to Doctor
Samuel Fuller, died. The first of the
passengers to die on this voyage.
MONDAY Nov. 7/17
The body of William Butten committed to the
deep. The first burial at sea of a
passenger, on this voyage.
MONDAY Nov. 8/18
Signs of land.
MONDAY Nov. 9/19
Closing in with the land at nightfall.
Sighted land at daybreak. The landfall
made out to be Cape Cod the bluffs [in what
is now the town of Truro, Mass.]. After a
conference between the Master of the ship
and the chief colonists, tacked about and
stood for the southward. Wind and weather
fair. Made our course S.S.W., continued
proposing to go to a river ten leagues
south of the Cape Hudson's River. After
had sailed that course about half the day
fell amongst dangerous shoals and foaming
breakers [the shoals off Monomoy] got out of
them before night and the wind being
contrary put round again for the Bay of
Cape Cod. Abandoned efforts to go further
south and so announced to passengers.
[Bradford (Historie, Mass. ed. p. 93) says: "They resolved to bear
up again for the Cape." No one will question that Jones's assertion
of inability to proceed, and his announced determination to return
to Cape Cod harbor, fell upon many acquiescent ears, for, as Winslow
says: "Winter was come; the seas were dangerous; the season was
cold; the winds were high, and the region being well furnished for a
plantation, we entered upon discovery." Tossed for sixty-seven days
on the north Atlantic at that season of the year, their food and
firing well spent, cold, homesick, and ill, the bare thought of once
again setting foot on any land, wherever it might be, must have been
an allurement that lent Jones potential aid in his high-handed
SATURDAY Nov. 11/21
Comes in with light, fair wind. On course
for Cape Cod harbor, along the coast. Some
hints of disaffection among colonists, on
account of abandonment of location
[Bradford (in Mourt's Relation) says: "This day before we come to
harbor Italics the author's, observing some not well affected to
unity and concord, but gave some appearance of faction, it was
thought good there should be an Association and Agreement that we
should combine together in one body; and to submit to such
Government and Governors as we should, by common consent, agree to
make and choose, and set our hands to this that follows word for
word." Then follows the Compact. Bradford is even more explicit in
his Historie (Mass. ed. p. 109), where he says: "I shall a little
returne backe and begin with a combination made by them before they
came ashore, being ye first foundation of their governments in this
place; occasioned partly by ye discontent & mutinous speeches that
some of the strangers amongst them [i.e. not any of the Leyden
contingent had let fall from them in ye ship--That when they came
ashore they would use their owne libertie: for none had power to
command them, the patents they had being for Virginia, and not for
New-England which belonged to another Government, with which ye
London [or First Virginia Company had nothing to doe, and partly
that such an acte by them done . . . might be as firm as any
patent, and in some respects more sure." Dr. Griffis is hardly
warranted in making Bradford to say, as he does (The Pilgrims in
their Three Homes, p. 182), that "there were a few people I
'shuffled' in upon them the company who were probably unmitigated
scoundrels." Bradford speaks only of Billington and his family as
those "shuffled into their company," and while he was not improbably
one of the agitators (with Hopkins) who were the proximate causes of
the drawing up of the Compact, he was not, in this case, the
responsible leader. It is evident from the foregoing that the
"appearance of faction" did not show itself until the vessel's prow
was turned back toward Cape Cod Harbor, and it became apparent that
the effort to locate "near Hudson's River" was to be abandoned, and
a location found north of 41 degrees north latitude, which would
leave them without charter rights or authority of any kind. It is
undoubtedly history that Master Stephen Hopkins,--then "a lay-
reader" for Chaplain Buck,--on Sir Thomas Gates's expedition to
Virginia, had, when some of them were cast away on the Bermudas,
advocated just such sentiments--on the same basis--as were now
bruited upon the MAY-FLOWER, and it could hardly have been
coincidence only that the same were repeated here. That Hopkins
fomented the discord is well-nigh certain. It caused him, as
elsewhere noted, to receive sentence of death for insubordination,
at the hands of Sir Thomas Gates, in the first instance, from which
his pardon was with much difficulty procured by his friends. In the
present case, it led to the drafting and execution of the Pilgrim
Compact, a framework of civil self-government whose fame will never
die; though the author is in full accord with Dr. Young (Chronicles,
p. 120) in thinking that "a great deal more has been discovered in
this document than the signers contemplated,"--wonderfully
comprehensive as it is. Professor Herbert B. Adams, of Johns
Hopkins University, says in his admirable article in the Magazine of
American History, November, 1882 (pp--798 799): "The fundamental
idea of this famous document was that of a contract based upon the
common law of England,"--certainly a stable and ancient basis of
procedure. Their Dutch training (as Griffis points out) had also
led naturally to such ideas of government as the Pilgrims adopted.
It is to be feared that Griffis's inference (The Pilgrims in their
Three Homes, p. 184), that all who signed the Compact could write,
is unwarranted. It is more than probable that if the venerated
paper should ever be found, it would show that several of those
whose names are believed to have been affixed to it "made their
'mark.'" There is good reason, also, to believe that neither
"sickness" (except unto death) nor "indifference" would have
prevented the ultimate obtaining of the signatures (by "mark," if
need be) of every one of the nine male servants who did not
subscribe, if they were considered eligible. Severe illness was, we
know, answerable for the absence of a few, some of whom died a few
The fact seems rather to be, as noted, that age--not social status
was the determining factor as to all otherwise eligible. It is
evident too, that the fact was recognized by all parties (by none so
clearly as by Master Jones) that they were about to plant themselves
on territory not within the jurisdiction of their steadfast friends,
the London Virginia Company, but under control of those formerly of
the Second (Plymouth) Virginia Company, who (by the intelligence
they received while at Southampton) they knew would be erected into
the "Council for the Affairs of New England." Goodwin is in error
in saying (Pilgrim Republic, p. 62), "Neither did any other body
exercise authority there;" for the Second Virginia Company under Sir
Ferdinando Gorges, as noted, had been since 1606 in control of this
region, and only a week before the Pilgrims landed at Cape Cod (i.e.
on November 3) King James had signed the patent of the Council for
New England, giving them full authority over all territory north of
the forty-first parallel of north latitude, as successors to the
Second Virginia Company. If the intention to land south of the
forty-first parallel had been persisted in, there would, of course,
have been no occasion for the Compact, as the patent to John Pierce
(in their interest) from the London Virginia Company would have been
in force. The Compact became a necessity, therefore, only when they
turned northward to make settlement above 41 deg. north latitude.
Hence it is plain that as no opportunity for "faction"--and so no
occasion for any "Association and Agreement"--existed till the MAY-
FLOWER turned northward, late in the afternoon of Friday, November
to, the Compact was not drawn and presented for signature until the
morning of Saturday, November 11. Bradford's language, "This day,
before we came into harbour," leaves no room for doubt that it was
rather hurriedly drafted--and also signed--before noon of the 11th.
That they had time on this winter Saturday--hardly three weeks from
the shortest day in the year--to reach and encircle the harbor;
secure anchorage; get out boats; arm, equip, and land two companies
of men; make a considerable march into the land; cut firewood; and
get all aboard again before dark, indicates that they must have made
the harbor not far from noon. These facts serve also to correct
another error of traditional Pilgrim history, which has been
commonly current, and into which Davis falls (Ancient Landmarks of
Plymouth, p. 60), viz. that the Compact was signed "in the harbor
of Cape Cod." It is noticeable that the instrument itself simply
says, "Cape Cod," not "Cape Cod harbour," as later they were wont to
say. The leaders clearly did not mean to get to port till there was
a form of law and authority.]
for settlement on territory under the
protection of the patent granted in their
interest to John Pierce, by the London
[The patent granted John Pierce, one of the Merchant Adventurers,
by the London Virginia Company in the interest of the Pilgrims,
was signed February 2/12, 1619, and of course could convey no rights
to, or upon, territory not conveyed to the Company by its charter
from the King issued in 1606, and the division of territory made
thereunder to the Second Virginia Company. By this division the
London Company was restricted northward by the 41st parallel, as
noted, while the Second Company could not claim the 38th as its
southern bound, as the charter stipulated that the nearest
settlements under the respective companies should not be within one
hundred miles of each other.]
Meeting in main cabin of all adult male
passengers except their two hired seamen,
Trevore and Ely, and those too ill--to make
and sign a mutual 'Compact"
[The Compact is too well known to require reprinting here (see
Appendix); but a single clause of it calls for comment in this
connection. In it the framers recite that, "Having undertaken to
plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia," etc.
From this phraseology it would appear that they here used the words
"northern parts of Virginia" understandingly, and with a new
relation and significance, from their connection with the words "the
first colony in," for such declaration could have no force or truth
except as to the region north of 41 deg. north latitude. They knew,
of course, of the colonies in Virginia under Gates, Wingfield,
Smith, Raleigh, and others (Hopkins having been with Gates), and
that, though there had been brief attempts at settlements in the
"northern plantations," there were none there then, and that hence
theirs would be in a sense "the first," especially if considered
with reference to the new Council for New England. The region of
the Hudson had heretofore been included in the term "northern parts
of Virginia," although in the southern Company's limit; but a new
meaning was now designedly given to the words as used in the
Compact, and New England was contemplated. ]
to regulate their civil government. This
done, they confirmed Master Carver their
"governour" in the ship on the voyage,
their "governour" for the year. Bore up
for the Cape, and by short tacks made the
Cape [Paomet, now Provincetown] Harbor,
coming to an anchorage a furlong within the
point. The bay so circular that before
coming to anchor the ship boxed the compass
[i.e. went clear around all points of it].
Let go anchors three quarters of an English
mile off shore, because of shallow water,
sixty-seven days from Plymouth (Eng.),
eighty-one days from Dartmouth, ninety-nine
days from Southampton, and one hundred and
twenty from London. Got out the long-boat
and set ashore an armed party of fifteen or
sixteen in armor, and some to fetch wood,
having none left, landing them on the long
point or neck, toward the sea.
[The strip of land now known as Long Point, Provincetown (Mass.)
Those going ashore were forced to wade a
bow-shot or two in going aland. The party
sent ashore returned at night having seen
no person or habitation, having laded the
boat with juniper wood.
SUNDAY, Nov. 12/22
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. All hands
piped to service. Weather mild.
MONDAY, Nov. 13/23
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor, unshipped the
shallop and drew her on land to mend and
[Bradford (Historie, Mass. ed. p. 97) says: "Having brought a large
shallop with them out of England, stowed in quarters in ye ship they
now gott her out and sett their carpenters to worke to trime her up:
but being much brused and shatered in ye ship with foule weather,
they saw she sould be longe in mending." In 'Mourt's Relation' he
says: "Monday, the 13th of November, we unshipped our shallop and
drew her on land to mend and repair her, having been forced to cut
her down, in bestowing her betwixt the decks, and she was much
opened, with the peoples lying in her, which kept us long there: for
it was sixteen or seventeen days before the Carpenter had finished
her." Goodwin says she was "a sloop-rigged craft of twelve or
fifteen tons." There is an intimation of Bradford that she was
"about thirty feet long." It is evident from Bradford's account
(Historie, Mass. ed. p. 105) of her stormy entrance to Plymouth
harbor that the shallop had but one mast, as he says "But herewith
they broake their mast in 3 pieces and their saill fell overboard in
a very grown sea."]
Many went ashore to refresh themselves, and
the women to wash.
TUESDAY, Nov. 14/24
Lying at anchor. Carpenter at work on
shallop. Arms and accoutrements being got
ready for an exploring party inland.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15/25
Lying at anchor in harbor. Master and
boat's crew went ashore, followed in the
afternoon by an armed party of sixteen men
under command of Captain Myles Standish.
Masters William Bradford, Stephen Hopkins,
and Edward Tilley being joined to him for
council. The party to be gone from the
ship a day or two. Weather mild and ground
THURSDAY, Nov. 16/26
Lying at anchor in harbor. Exploring party
still absent from ship. Weather continues
FRIDAY, Nov. 17/27
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Weather open.
Saw signal-fire on the other side of bay
this morning, built by exploring party as
arranged. The Master, Governor Carver, and
many of the company ashore in afternoon,
and met exploring party there on their
return to ship. Hearing their signal-guns
before they arrived at the shore, sent
long-boat to fetch them aboard. They
reported seeing Indians and following them
ten miles without coming up to them the
first afternoon out, and the next day found
store of corn buried, and a big ship's
kettle, which they brought to the ship with
much corn. Also saw deer and found
SATURDAY, Nov. 18/28
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Planters
helving tools, etc. Carpenter at work on
shallop, which takes more labor than at
first supposed. Weather still moderate.
Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Nov. 19/29
At anchor, Gape Cod harbor. Second Sunday
in harbor. Services aboard ship. Seamen
ashore. Change in weather. Colder.
MONDAY, Nov. 20/30
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Carpenter and
others at work on shallop, getting out
stock for a new shallop, helving tools,
making articles needed, etc.
TUESDAY, Nov. 21/Dec. 1
At anchor in harbor. Much inconvenienced
in going ashore. Can only go and come at
high water except by wading, from which
many have taken coughs and colds.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22/Dec. 2
At anchor in harbor. Weather cold and
stormy, having changed suddenly.
THURSDAY, Nov. 23/Dec. 3
At anchor in harbor. Cold and stormy.
Work progressing on shallop.
FRIDAY, Nov. 24/Dec. 4
At anchor in harbor. Continues cold and
SATURDAY, Nov. 25/Dec. 5
At anchor in harbor. Weather same. Work
on shallop pretty well finished and she can
be used, though more remains to be done.
Another exploration getting ready for
Monday. Master and crew anxious to unlade
and return for England. Fetched wood and
SUNDAY, Nov. 26/Dec. 6
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Third Sunday
here. Master notified Planters that they
must find permanent location and that he
must and would keep sufficient supplies for
ship's company and their return.
[Bradford, Historie, Mass. ed. p. 96. The doubt as to how the
ship's and the colonists' provisions were divided and held is again
suggested here. It is difficult, however, to understand how the
Master "must and would" retain provisions with his small force
against the larger, if it came to an issue of strength between Jones
MONDAY, Nov. 27/Dec. 7
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Rough weather
and cross winds. The Planters determined
to send out a strong exploring party, and
invited the Master of the ship to join them
and go as leader, which he agreed continued
to, and offered nine of the crew and the
long-boat, which were accepted. Of the
colonists there were four-and-twenty,
making the party in all four-and-thirty.
Wind so strong that setting out from the
ship the shallop and long-boat were obliged
to row to the nearest shore and the men to
wade above the knees to land. The wind
proved so strong that the shallop was
obliged to harbor where she landed. Mate
in charge of ship. Blowed and snowed all
day and at night, and froze withal.
Mistress White delivered of a son which is
called "Peregrine." The second child born
on the voyage, the first in this harbor.
TUESDAY, Nov. 28/Dec. 8
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Cold. Master
Jones and exploring party absent on shore
with long-boat and colonists' shallop. The
latter, which beached near ship yesterday
in a strong wind and harbored there last
night, got under way this morning and
sailed up the harbor, following the course
taken by the long-boat yesterday, the wind
favoring. Six inches of snow fell
yesterday and last night. Crew at work
clearing snow from ship.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29/Dec. 9
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Cold. Foul
weather threatening. Master Jones with
sixteen men in the long-boat and shallop
came aboard towards night (eighteen men
remaining ashore), bringing also about ten
bushels of Indian corn which had been found
buried. The Master reports a long march,
the exploration of two creeks, great
numbers of wild fowl, the finding of much
corn and beans,' etc.
[This seems to be the first mention of beans (in early Pilgrim
literature) as indigenous (presumably) to New England. They have
held an important place in her dietary ever since.]
THURSDAY, Nov. 30/Dec. 10
At anchor in harbor. Sent shallop to head
of harbor with mattocks and spades, as
desired by those ashore, the seamen taking
their muskets also. The shallop came
alongside at nightfall with the rest of the
explorers--the tide being out--bringing a
lot of Indian things, baskets, pottery,
wicker-ware, etc., discovered in two graves
and sundry Indian houses they found after
the Master left them. They report ground
frozen a foot deep.
FRIDAY, Dec. 1/11
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. Carpenter
finishing work on shallop. Colonists
discussing locations visited, as places for
SATURDAY, Dec. 2/12
At anchor in harbor. Much discussion among
colonists as to settlement, the Master
insisting on a speedy determination.
Whales playing about the ship in
considerable numbers. One lying within
half a musket-shot of the ship, two of the
Planters shot at her, but the musket of the
one who gave fire first blew in pieces both
stock and barrel, yet no one was hurt.
Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Dec. 3/13
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. The fourth
Sunday here. Scarce any of those aboard
free from vehement coughs, some very ill.
Weather very variable.
MONDAY, Dec. 4/14
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. Carpenter
completing repairs on shallop. Much
discussion of plans for settlement. The
Master urging that the Planters should
explore with their shallop at some
distance, declining in such season to stir
from the present anchorage till a safe
harbor is discovered by them where they
would be and he might go without danger.
This day died Edward Thompson, a servant of
Master William White, the first to die
aboard the ship since she anchored in the
harbor. Burying-party sent ashore after
services to bury him.
TUESDAY, Dec. 5/15
At anchor in harbor. Francis Billington, a
young son of one of the passengers, put the
ship and all in great jeopardy, by shooting
off a fowling-piece in his father's cabin
between decks where there was a small
barrel of powder open, and many people
about the fire close by. None hurt.
Weather cold and foul.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6/16
At anchor in harbor. Very cold, bad
weather. This day died Jasper More, a lad
bound to Governor Carver. The second death
in the harbor. The third exploring party
got away from the ship in the afternoon in
the shallop, intent on finding a harbor
recommended by the second mate, Robert
Coppin, who had visited it. Captain
Standish in command, with whom were
Governor Carver, Masters Bradford, Winslow,
John Tilley and Edward Tilley, Warren and
Hopkins, John Howland, Edward Dotey, and
two of the colonists' seamen, Alderton and
English, and of the ship's company, the
mates Clarke and Coppin, the master-gunner
and three sailors, eighteen in all. The
shallop was a long time getting clear of
the point, having to row, but at last got
up her sails and out of the harbor. Sent
burying-party ashore with body of little
More boy, after services aboard.
THURSDAY, Dec. 7/17
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. This day
Mistress Dorothy Bradford, wife of Master
Bradford, who is away with the exploring
party to the westward, fell over board and
FRIDAY, Dec. 8/18
At anchor in harbor. A strong south-east
gale with heavy rain, turning to snow and
growing cold toward night, as it cleared.
This day Master James Chilton died aboard
the ship. The third passenger, and first
head of a family; to die in this harbor.
SATURDAY, Dec. 9/19
At anchor in harbor. Burying-party sent
ashore after services aboard, to bury
Chilton. Fetched wood and water.
[The death of Chilton was the first of the head of a family, and it
may readily be imagined that the burial was an especially affecting
scene, especially as following so closely upon the tragic death of
Mrs. Bradford (for whom no funeral or burial arrangements are
SUNDAY, Dec. 10/20
At anchor in Cape Cod harbor. The fifth
Sunday in this harbor. The exploring party
still absent. Four deaths one by drowning;
very severe weather; the ship's narrow
escape from being blown up; and the absence
of so many of the principal men, have made
it a hard, gloomy week.
MONDAY, Dec. 11/21
At anchor in harbor. Clear weather.
TUESDAY, Dec. 12/22
At anchor in harbor. Exploration party
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13/23
At anchor in harbor. Exploration party
returned to ship, where much sad
intelligence met them (especially Master
Bradford), as to his wife's drowning. The
exploring party report finding a
considerable Indian burying-place; several
Indian houses; a fierce attack on them by
Indians on Friday morning, but without
harm; a severe gale on the same afternoon,
in which their rudder-hinges broke, their
mast was split in three pieces, their sail
fell over board in a heavy sea, and they
were like to have been cast away in making
a harbor which Master Coppin thought he
knew, but was deceived about. They landed
on an island at the mouth of the harbor,
which they named for Master Clarke, the
first mate, and spent Saturday and Sunday
there, and on Monday examined the harbor
they found, and are agreed that it is the
place for settlement. Much satisfaction
with the report among the colonists.
THURSDAY, Dec. 14/24
At anchor, Cape Cod harbor. The colonists
have determined to make settlement at the
harbor they visited, and which is
apparently, by Captain John Smith's chart
of 1616, no other than the place he calls
"Plimoth" thereon. Fetched wood and water.
FRIDAY, Dec. 15/25
Weighed anchor to go to the place the
exploring party discovered. Course west,
after leaving harbor. Shallop in company.
Coming within two leagues, the wind coming
northwest, could not fetch the harbor, and
was faine to put round again towards Cape
Cod. Made old anchorage at night. The
thirty-fifth night have lain at anchor
here. Shallop returned with ship.
SATURDAY, Dec. 16/26
Comes in with fair wind for Plymouth.
Weighed anchor and put to sea again and made
harbor safely. Shallop in company. Within
half an hour of anchoring the wind changed,
so if letted [hindered] but a little had
gone back to Cape Cod. A fine harbor.
Let go anchors just within a long spur of
beach a mile or more from shore. The end of
the outward voyage; one hundred and two days
from Plymouth (England to Plymouth New
England). One hundred and fifty-five days
THE SHIPS JOURNAL WHILE SHE LAY IN
SUNDAY, Dec. 17/27
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Services on
ship. This harbor is a bay greater than
Cape Cod, compassed with goodly land. It is
in fashion like a sickle or fish-hook.
MONDAY, Dec. 18/28
At anchor, Plymouth harbor: The Master of
the ship, with three or four of the sailors
and several of the Planters, went aland and
marched along the coast several miles.
Made careful examination of locality. Found
many brooks of fine water, abundant wood,
etc. The party came aboard at night weary
TUESDAY, Dec. 19/29
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. A party from
the ship went ashore to discover, some
going by land and some keeping to the
shallop. A creek was found leading up
within the land and followed up three
English miles, a very pleasant river at
full sea. It was given the name of "Jones
River" in compliment to the Master of the
ship. A bark of thirty tons may go up at
high tide, but the shallop could scarcely
pass at low water. All came aboard at
night with resolution to fix, to-morrow,
which of the several places examined they
would settle upon.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 20/30
At anchor, Plymouth harbor, many ill. Dec.
After service the colonists decided to go
ashore this morning and determine upon one
of two places which were thought most
fitting for their habitation. So a
considerable party went ashore and left
twenty of their number there to make a
rendezvous, the rest coming on board at
night. They reported that they had chosen
by the most voices the site first looked at
by the largest brook, near where they
landed on the 11th on a large rock
[The "Rock" seems to have become the established landing place of
the Pilgrims, from the time of the first visit of the third
exploring party on December 11/21. The absurdity of the claims of
the partisans of Mary Chilton, in the foolish contention which
existed for many years as to whether she or John Alden was the first
person to set foot upon the "Rock," is shown by the fact that, of
course, no women were with the third exploring party which first
landed there, while it is also certain that Alden was not of that
exploring party. That Mary Chilton may have been the first woman to
land at Cape Cod harbor is entirely possible, as it is that she or
John Alden may have been the first person to land on the "Rock"
after the ship arrived in Plymouth harbor. It was a vexatious
travesty upon history (though perpetuated by parties who ought to
have been correct) that the Association for building the Pilgrim
Monument at Plymouth should issue a pamphlet giving a picture of the
"Landing of the Pilgrims, December 21, 1620," in which women are
pictured, and in which the shallop is shown with a large fore-and-
aft mainsail, while on the same page is another picture entitled,
"The Shallop of the MAY-FLOWER," having a large yard and square-
sail, and a "Cuddy" (which last the MAY-FLOWER'S shallop we know did
not have). The printed description of the picture, however, says:
"The cut is copied from a picture by Van der Veldt, a Dutch painter
of the seventeenth century, representing a shallop," etc. It is
matter of regret to find that a book like Colonel T. W. Higginson's
'Book of American Explorers', intended for a text-book, and bearing
the imprint of a house like Longmans, Green & Co. should actually
print a "cut" showing Mary Chilton landing from a boat full of men
(in which she is the only woman) upon a rock, presumably Plymouth
THURSDAY, Dec. 21/31
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. Wet and
stormy, so the Planters could not go ashore
as planned, having blown hard and rained
extremely all night. Very uncomfortable
for the party on shore. So tempestuous
that the shallop could not go to land as
soon as was meet, for they had no victuals
on land. About eleven o'clock the shallop
went off with much ado with provision, but
could not return, it blew so strong. Such
foul weather forced to ride with three
anchors ahead. This day Richard
Britteridge, one of the colonists, died
aboard the ship, the first to die in this
FRIDAY, Dec. 22/Jan. 1
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. The storm
continues, so that no one could go ashore,
or those on land come aboard. This morning
goodwife Allerton was delivered of a son,
but dead-born. The third child born on
board the ship since leaving England,--the
first in this harbor.
SATURDAY, Dec. 23/Jan. 2
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Sent body of
Britteridge ashore for burial, the storm
having prevented going before, and also a
large party of colonists to fell timber,
etc. Left a large number on shore at the
rendezvous. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Dec. 24/Jan. 3
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. Second Sunday
here. This day died Solomon Prower, one of
the family of Master Martin, the treasurer
of the colonists, being the sixth death
this month, and the second in this harbor.
A burying-party went ashore with Prower's
body, after services aboard.
MONDAY, Dec. 25/Jan. 4
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Christmas
Day, but not observed by these colonists,
they being opposed to all saints' days,
etc. The men on shore Sunday reported that
they "heard a cry of some savages," as they
thought, that day. A large party went
ashore this morning to fell timber and
begin building. They began to erect the
first house about twenty feet square for
their common use, to receive them and their
goods. Another alarm as of Indians this
day. All but twenty of the Planters came
aboard at night, leaving the rest to keep
court of guard. The colonists began to
drink water, but at night the Master caused
them to have some beer.
TUESDAY, Dec. 26/Jan. 5
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. A violent
storm of wind and rain. The weather so
foul this morning that none could go
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27/Jan. 6
At anchor in harbor. Sent working party
ashore. All but the guard came aboard at
THURSDAY, Dec. 28/Jan. 7
At anchor. All able went ashore this
morning to work on a platform for ordnance
on the hill back of the settlement,
commanding the harbor. The Planters this
day laid out their town-site and allotted
ground to the several families. Many of
the colonists ill from exposure. All but
the guard came off to the ship at night.
FRIDAY, Dec. 29/Jan. 8
At anchor in harbor. No working-party went
aland. The Planters fitting tools, etc.,
for their work. The weather wet and cold.
SATURDAY, Dec. 30/Jan. 9
At anchor in harbor. Very stormy and cold.
No working-party sent aland. The Planters
fitting tools, etc. Great smokes of fires
visible from the ship, six or seven miles
away, probably made by Indians.
SUNDAY, Dec. 31/Jan. 10
At anchor in harbor. The third Sunday in
this harbor. Sailors given leave to go
ashore. Many colonists ill.
MONDAY, Jan. 1/Jan. 11
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. This day
Degory Priest, one of the colonists, died
aboard the ship. A large party went ashore
early to work. Much time lost between ship
and shore, the ship drawing so much water
as obliged to anchor a mile and a half off.
The working-party came aboard at nightfall.
Fetched wood and water.
TUESDAY, Jan. 2/Jan. 12
At anchor in harbor. Sent burying-party
ashore with Priest's body. Weather good.
Working-party aland and returned to ship at
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3/Jan. 13
At anchor in harbor. Working-party aland,
returned at night. They report seeing
great fires of the Indians. Smoke seen
from the ship. Have seen no savages since
THURSDAY, Jan. 4/Jan. 14
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Captain
Standish, with four or five men, went to
look for savages, and though they found
some of their old houses "wigwams" could
not meet with any of them.
FRIDAY, Jan. 5/Jan. 15
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Working-
party went aland early. One of the sailors
found a live herring upon the shore, which
the Master had to his supper. As yet have
caught but one cod.
SATURDAY, Jan. 6/Jan. 16
At anchor in harbor. In judgment of
Masters Brewster, Bradford, and others,
Master Martin, the colonists' treasurer,
was so hopelessly ill that Governor Carver,
who had taken up his quarters on land, was
sent for to come aboard to speak with him
about his accounts. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Jan. 7/Jan. 17
At anchor in harbor. Fourth Sunday here.
Governor Carver came aboard to talk with
Master Martin, who was sinking fast.
MONDAY, Jan. 8/Jan. 18
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. A very fan
fair day. The working-party went aland
early. The Master sent, the shallop for
fish. They had a great tempest at sea and
were in some danger. They returned to the
ship at night, with three great seals they
had shot, and an excellent great cod.
Master Martin died this day. He had been a
"governour" of the passengers on the ship,
and an "assistant," and was an Adventurer.
One of the Master-mates took a musket, and
went with young Francis Billington to find
the great inland sea the latter had seen
from the top of a tree, and found a great
water, in two great lakes [Billington Sea,]
also Indian houses.
TUESDAY, Jan. 9/Jan. 19
At anchor in harbor. Fair day. Sent
burying-party ashore after services aboard,
with the body of Master Martin, and he was
buried with some ceremony on the hill near
the landing-place. The settlers drew lots
for their meersteads and garden-plots. The
common-house nearly finished, wanting only
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 10/Jan. 20
At anchor in harbor. Party went aland from
THURSDAY, Jan. 11/Jan. 21
At anchor in harbor. A fair day. Party
ashore from ship and coming off at night,
reported Master William Bradford very ill:
Many ill aboard.
FRIDAY, Jan. 12/Jan. 22
At anchor in harbor. Began to rain at noon
and stopped all work. Those coming aboard
ship at night reported John Goodman and
Peter Browne, two of the colonists,
missing, and fears entertained that they
may have been taken by Indians. Froze and
snowed at night. The first snow for a
month. An extremely cold night.
SATURDAY, Jan. 13/Jan. 23
At anchor in harbor. The Governor sent out
an armed party of ten or twelve to look for
the missing men, but they returned without
seeing or hearing anything at all of them.
Those on shipboard much grieved, as deeming
them lost. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Jan. 14/Jan. 24
At anchor in harbor. About six o'clock in
the morning, the wind being very great, the
watch on deck spied the great new
rendezvous on shore on fire and feared it
fired by Indians, but the tide being out,
men could not get ashore for three quarters
of an hour, when they went armed. At the
landing they heard that the lost men were
returned, some frost-bitten, and that the
thatch of the common-house only was burnt
by a spark, but no other harm done the
roof. The most loss was Governor Carver's
and Master Bradford's, both of whom lay
sick in bed, and narrowly missed being
blown up with powder. The meeting was to
have been kept ashore to-day, the greater
number of the people now being there, but
the fire, etc., prevented. Some of those
sick in the common-house were fain to
return aboard for shelter. Fifth Sunday in
MONDAY, Jan. 15/Jan. 25
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Rained much
all day. They on shipboard could not go
ashore nor they on shore do any labor, but
were all wet.
TUESDAY, Jan. 16/Jan. 26
At anchorage. A fine, sunshining day like
April. Party went aland betimes. Many ill
both on ship and on shore.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17/Jan. 27
At anchorage. Another fine, sunshining
day. Working-party went aland early. Set
on shore some of the Planters' goods.
[Mourt's Relation, Dexter's ed. p. 77. Bradford states (op. cit.
Mass. ed. p. 110) that they were hindered in getting goods ashore
by "want of boats," as well as sickness. Mention is made only of
the "long-boat" and shallop. It is possible there were no others,
except the Master's skiff]
THURSDAY, Jan. 18/Jan. 28
At anchorage. Another fine, bright day.
Some of the common goods [i.e. belonging
to all] set on shore.
FRIDAY, Jan. 19/Jan. 29
At anchorage. A shed was begun on shore to
receive the goods from the ship. Rained at
noon but cleared toward night.
[Cleared toward evening (though wet at noon), and John Goodman went
out to try his frozen feet, as is recorded, and had his encounter
SATURDAY, Jan. 20/Jan. 30
At anchorage. Shed made ready for goods
from ship. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Jan. 21/Jan. 31
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Sixth Sunday
in this harbor. Many ill. The Planters
kept their meeting on land to-day for the
first time, in the common-house.
MONDAY, Jan. 22/Feb. 1
At anchorage. Fair day. Hogsheads of meal
sent on shore from ship and put in
TUESDAY, Jan. 23/Feb. 2
At anchorage. The general sickness
increases, both on shipboard and on land.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 24/Feb. 3
At anchor in harbor. Fair weather. Party
on shore from ship and returned at night.
THURSDAY, Jan. 25/Feb. 4
At anchorage. Weather good. Party set
ashore and came aboard at night.
FRIDAY, Jan. 26/Feb. 5
At anchorage. Weather good. Party set
ashore. The sickness increases.
SATURDAY, Jan. 27/Feb. 6
At anchorage. Weather fair. Good working
weather all the week, but many sick.
Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Jan. 28/Feb. 7
At anchorage, Plymouth harbor. Seventh
Sunday in this harbor. Meeting kept on
shore. Those of Planters on board who were
able, and some of the ship's company, went
ashore, and came off after service.
MONDAY, Jan. 29/Feb. 8
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. Morning cold,
with frost and sleet, but after reason ably
fair. Both long-boat and shallop carrying
Planters' goods on shore. Those returning
reported that Mistress Rose Standish, wife
of Captain Standish, died to-day.
TUESDAY, Jan. 30/Feb. 9
At anchorage. Cold, frosty weather, so no
working-party went on shore from ship. The
Master and others of the ship's company saw
two savages that had been on the island
near the ship [Clarke's Island]. They were
gone so far back again before they were
discovered that could not speak with them.
The first natives actually seen since the
encounter on the Cape.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31/Feb. 10
At anchor in harbor. Still cold and
frosty, with sleet. No party went on
shore. Eight of the colonists have died
this month on the ship and on shore.
THURSDAY, Feb. 1/Feb. 11
At anchor in harbor. Weather better, and
some of those on board the ship went on
shore to work, but many ill.
FRIDAY, Feb. 2/Feb. 12
At anchorage. The same.
SATURDAY, Feb. 3/13
At anchorage. Weather threatening. Fetched
wood and water.
SUNDAY, Feb. 4/14
At anchor, Plymouth harbor. The eighth
Sunday in this harbor, and now inexpedient
to think of getting away, till both Planters
and crew in better condition as to health.
[Bradford, Historie, p. 92; Young, Chronicler, p. 198. Bradford
says (op. cit. Mass. ed, pp. 120, 121): "The reason on their parts
why she stayed so long was ye necessitie and danger that lay upon
them, for it was well toward ye ende of December before she could
land anything here, or they able to receive anything ashore. After
wards, ye 14 of January the house which they had made for a general
randevoze by casulty fell afire, and some were faine to retire
aboard for shelter. Then the sickness begane to fall sore amongst
them, and ye weather so bad as they could not make much sooner
dispatch. Againe, the Governor & chiefe of them seeing so many dye,
and fall down sick dayly, thought it no wisdom to send away the
ship, their condition considered, and the danger they stood in from
ye Indians, till they could procure some shelter; and therefore
thought it better to draw some more charge upon themselves & friends
["demurrage?"] than hazard all. The Mr. and sea-men likewise;
though before they hasted ye passengers a shore to be goone [gone],
now many of their men being dead, and of ye ablest of them [as is
before noted, and of ye rest many lay sick & weake, ye Mr, durst not
put to sea till he saw his men begine to recover, and ye hart of
A very rainy day with the heaviest gusts of
wind yet experienced. The ship in some
danger of oversetting, being light and
MONDAY, Feb. 5/15
At anchor in harbor. Clearing weather.
TUESDAY, Feb. 6/16
At anchor in harbor. Cold and clear.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7/17
At anchor in harbor. Much colder.
THURSDAY, Feb. 8/18
At anchorage. Hard, cold weather.
FRIDAY, Feb. 9/19
At anchorage. Cold weather continues.
Little work possible. The little house for
the sick people on shore took fire this
afternoon, by a spark that kindled in the
roof. No great harm done. The Master
going ashore, killed five geese, which he
distributed among the sick people. He also
found a good deer the savages had killed,
having also cut off his horns. A wolf was
eating him. Cannot conceive how he came
SATURDAY, Feb. 10/20
At anchor in harbor. Getting goods on
shore, but sickness makes both Planters and
crew shorthanded. Fetched wood and water.
SUNDAY, Feb. 11/21
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. Ninth Sunday
in this harbor.
MONDAY, Feb. 12/22
At anchorage. Getting goods on shore.
TUESDAY, Feb. 13/23
At anchorage. Rainy.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14/24
At anchorage. More sickness on ship and on
shore than at any time, and more deaths.
[The sickness and mortality had rapidly increased and was now at its
THURSDAY, Feb. 15/25
At anchorage. Northerly wind and frost.
FRIDAY, Feb. 16/26
At anchorage. Northerly wind continues,
which continues the frost. Those from
shore reported that one of the Planters,
being out fowling and hidden in the reeds,
about a mile and a half from the
settlement, saw twelve Indians marching
toward the plantation and heard many more.
He hurried home with all speed and gave the
alarm, so all the people in the woods at
work returned and armed themselves, but saw
nothing of the Indians. Captain Standish's
and Francis Cooke's tools also stolen by
Indians in woods. A great fire toward
night seen from the ship, about where the
Indians were discovered.
SATURDAY, Feb. 17/27
At anchorage. All the colonists on the
ship able to go on shore went this morning
to attend the meeting for the establishment
of military orders among them. They chose
Captain Standish their captain, and gave
him authority of command in affairs. Two
savages appeared on the hill, a quarter of
a mile from the plantation, while the
Planters were consulting, and made signs
for Planters to come to them. All armed
and stood ready, and sent two towards them,
Captain Standish and Master Hopkins, but
the natives would not tarry. It was
determined to plant the great ordnance in
convenient places at once. Fetched wood
SUNDAY, Feb. 18/28
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. The Feb.
tenth Sunday in this harbor. Many sick,
both on board the ship and on shore.
MONDAY, Feb. 19/Mar. 1
At anchorage. Got one of the great guns on
shore with the help of some of the
TUESDAY, Feb. 20/Mar. 2
At anchorage. Getting cannon ashore and
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21/Mar. 3
At anchorage. The Master, with many of the
sailors, went on shore, taking one of the
great pieces called a minion, and with the
Planters drew it up the hill, with another
piece that lay on the shore, and mounted
them and a saller and two bases--five guns--
on the platform made for them. A hard
day's work. The Master took on shore with
him a very fat goose he had shot, to which
the Planters added a fat crane, a mallard,
and a dried neat's tongue (ox tongue), and
Planters and crew feasted together. When
the Master went on shore, he sent off the
Governor to take the directions of Master
Mullens as to his property, as he was lying
near to death,--as also Master White.
Master Mullens dictated his will to the
Governor, which he noted down, and Giles
Heale, the chirurgeon, and Christopher
Joanes, of the crew, witnessed, they being
left aboard to care for the sick, keep the
ship, etc. Master Mullens and Master White
both died this day. Two others also died.
Got the men aboard about nightfall.
THURSDAY, Feb. 22/Mar. 4
At anchorage. Large burial-party went
ashore with bodies of Masters Mullens and
White, and joined with those on shore made
the chief burial thus far had. The service
on shore, the most of the people being
there, Master Mullens being one of the
chief subscribing Adventurers, as well as
one of the chief men of the Planters, as
was Master White. Their deaths much
FRIDAY, Feb. 23/Mar. 5
At anchorage. Party from the ship went on
shore to help finish work on the ordnance.
SATURDAY, Feb. 24/Mar. 6
At anchorage. Same. Fetched wood and
SUNDAY, Feb. 25/Mar. 7
At anchorage in Plymouth harbor. Eleventh
Sunday in this harbor. Mistress Mary
Allerton, wife of Master Isaac Allerton,
one of the chief men of the colonists, died
on board this day, not having mended well
since the birth of her child, dead-born
about two months agone.
MONDAY, Feb. 26/Mar. 8
At anchor in harbor. Burying-party went
ashore to bury Mistress Allerton, services
being held there.
TUESDAY, Feb. 27/Mar. 9
At anchorage. The sickness and deaths of
the colonists on shore have steadily
increased, and have extended to the ship,
which has lost several of its petty
officers, including the master gunner,
three quarter-masters, and cook, and a
third of the crew, many from scurvy.
[There can be no doubt that both planters and ship's crew suffered
severely from scurvy. The conditions all favored it, the sailors
were familiar with it, and would not be likely to be mistaken in
their recognition of it, and Dr. Fuller, their competent physician,
would not be likely to err in his diagnosis of it. Tuberculosis was
its very natural associate.]
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28/Mar. 10
At anchorage. The last day of the month.
The fifty-third day the ship has lain in
this harbor, and from the present rate of
sickness and death aboard, no present
capacity or prospect of getting away, those
better being yet weak. The Planters have
lost seventeen this month, their largest
THURSDAY, Mar. 1/11
At anchorage. Blustering but milder
FRIDAY, Mar. 2/12
At anchorage. Same.
SATURDAY, Mar. 3/13
At anchorage. Wind south. Morning misty
[foggy]. Towards noon warm and fine
weather. At one o'clock it thundered. The
first heard. It rained sadly from two
o'clock till midnight. Fetched wood and
SUNDAY, Mar. 4/14
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. The twelfth
Sunday in this harbor. Cooler. Clear
MONDAY, Mar. 5/15
At anchorage. Rough weather.
TUESDAY, Mar. 6/16
At anchorage. Same.
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 7/17
At anchor in harbor. Wind full east, cold
but fair. The Governor went this day with
a party of five, to the great ponds,
discovered by one of the ship's mates and
Francis Billington. Some planting done in
THURSDAY, Mar. 8/18
At anchor in harbor. Rough easterly
FRIDAY, Mar. 9/19
At anchorage. Same. Many sick aboard.
SATURDAY, Mar. 10/20
At anchorage. Same. Fetched wood and
SUNDAY, Mar. 11/21
At anchorage, Plymouth harbor. The
thirteenth Sunday the ship has lain in this
harbor. Many of crew yet ill, including
MONDAY, Mar. 12/22
At anchorage. Easterly weather.
TUESDAY, Mar. 13/23
At anchorage. The sickness and mortality
on ship and on shore continue.
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 14/24
At anchorage. Same.
THURSDAY, Mar. 15/25
At anchorage. Same.
FRIDAY, Mar. 16/26
At anchorage. A fair, warm day, towards
noon. The Master and others went ashore to
the general meeting. The plantation was
startled this morning by a visit from an
Indian who spoke some English and bade
"Welcome." He is from Monhiggon, an island
to the eastward some days' sail, near where
Sir Ferdinando Gorges had a settlement. He
was friendly, and having had much
intercourse with Englishmen who came to
fish in those parts, very comfortable with
them. He saw the ship in the harbor from a
distance and supposed her to be a fishing
vessel. He told the Governor that the
plantation was formerly called "Patuxet"
[or Apaum], and that all its inhabitants
had been carried off by a plague about four
years ago. All the afternoon was spent in
communication with him. The Governor
purposed sending him aboard the ship at
night, and he was well content to go and
went aboard the shallop to come to the
ship, but the wind was high and water scant
[low], so that the shallop could not go to
the ship. The Governor sent him to Master
Hopkins's house and set a watch over him.
SATURDAY, Mar. 17/27
At anchor in harbor. The Master and others
came off to the ship. Samoset the Indian
went away back to the Massasoits whence he
came. A reasonably fair day. Fetched wood
SUNDAY, Mar. 18/28
At anchor in Plymouth harbor. The
fourteenth Sunday the ship has lain at this
anchorage. A fair day. The sickness
stayed a little. Many went on shore to the
meeting in the common-house. Samoset the
savage came again, and brought five others
[This Sunday visit was doubtless very much to the dislike of the
good brethren, or at least of the leaders, but policy dictated every
possible forbearance. Their consciences drew the line at trade,
however, and they got rid of their untimely visitors as soon as
possible without giving offense. Massasoit's men seem to have
shown, by leaving their peltry with them, a confidence in their new
white neighbors that is remarkable in view of the brevity of their
They left their bows and arrows a quarter
of a mile from the town, as instructed.
The Planters gave them entertainment, but
would not truck with them.
["Truck--to trade." All early and modern lexicographers give the
word, which, though now obsolete, was in common use in parts of New
England fifty years ago.]
They sang and danced after their manner,
and made semblance of amity and friendship.
They drank tobacco and carried pounded corn
to eat. Their faces were painted. They
brought a few skins which they left with
the Planters, and returned the tools which
Captain Standish and Francis Cooke left in
the woods. The Planters dismissed them
with a few trifles as soon as they could,
it being Sunday, and they promised soon to
return and trade. Samoset would not go
with them, feigning sick, and stayed.
Those on shore from the ship came off to
her at night.
MONDAY, Mar. 19/29
At anchorage. A fair day. The Planters
digging and sowing seeds.
TUESDAY, Mar. 20/30
At anchorage. A fine day. Digging and
planting of gardens on shore. Those sick
of the crew mending.
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 21/31
At anchorage. A fine warm day. Beginning
to put ship in trim for return voyage.
Bringing ballast, etc. Some, includ ing
the Masters-mates, went on shore, who on
return reported that the Planters sent the
Indian Samoset away. A general meeting of
the Planters was held at the common-house,
to conclude laws and orders, and to confirm
the military orders formerly proposed, and
twice broken off by the savages coming, as
happened again. After the meeting had held
an hour or so, two or three savages