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mind them that they were pilgrims and strangers upon the earth, and must not seek great things for themselves. So great was their distress in that time of general sick. ness, that sometimes there was not above six or seven sound and well, able to take care of the rest, who (to their commendation be it spoken) were very ready to do the meanest offices to help the weak and impotent, sparing no pains, night nor day, wherein they might be helpful to them.
It had been a very easy matter for the savages at that time to have cut them all off, as they had done others before, had not God, by his special providence, laid a restraint upon them, as was promised of old to Israel, that their enemies should not have mind to invade them, when they went up to worship before the Lord. This time of sickness and calamity continued with them all the latter part of the winter, and if a great part of those had not been removed by death, it was feared they might all have perished for want of food, before any more supplies came from England. In the beginning of March the coldness of the winter was over, and the weather began to be very comfortable, the spring coming on that year more early than ordinarily it uses to do, which was no small reviving to those decrepit and infirm planters. But that which added more life unto their hopes, was not so much the change of the air, as the change wrought in the hearts of the heathen, who were come, instead of hating, to fear this poor handful of people, and to be proffering them all kindness they were capable to show, thereby, as it were, seeking their favour. Thus was it found in their experience, that the hearts of all are in the hands of the Lord, and that he turns them as the rivers of waters; for about the middle of the said month of March, an Indian, called Samoset, came to them, and soon after another, whose name was Squanto, or Tisquantum, (for he is called in several authors by these several names,) came boldly in amongst them, and said in a broken dialect of our language, “Welcome, Englishmen.” Within a day or two came the other, and spake in the like dialect, to the same purpose or effect; at which the planters were sur-'
prised with no small amazement; but they presently un-
These were by that means so well ac-
extirpation of all his friends and adherents, within a few months after they began it, as is declared in the narrative, which may be hereunto annexed. The articles and conditions, which the said league was agreed upon, were as followeth, as in Mason, page 24. The experiences of the aforementioned passages of providence put the new inhabitants of Plymouth in mind of God's promise to the people of Israel in their passage towards the possession of the land of Canaan, where he engaged to them concerning the Canaanite and the Hittite, that he would hy little and little drive them out from before his people, till they were increased, and did inherit the land; which consideration is the more to be remembered herein, in that it was known to the said planters of Plymouth not long after, that these Indians, before they came to make friendship with them, had taken Balaam's counsel against Israel in getting all the powwaws of the country together, who for three days incessantly had, in a dark and dismal swamp, attempted to have cursed the English, and thereby have prevented their settling in those parts, which when they discerned was not like to take place, they were not unwilling to seek after a peace. The like was confessed many years after to have been attempted by an old and noted and chief Sagamore and Powaw, about Merrimack, to the northward of the Massachusetts, called Passaconaway, who, when he perceived he could not bring about his end therein, he left it, as his last charge to his son, that was to succeed him, and all his people, never to quarrel with the English, lest thereby they came to be destroyed utterly, and rooted out of the country. This hath been confirmed to the remnant of the faithful, that surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, nor divination against Israel.
It may be here added, that in the following year, 1621, several other Sachems or Sagamores—which are but one and the same title, the first niore usual with the southward, the other with the northward Indians, to ex. press the title of him that hath the chief command of a place or people as well as the afore named Massasoit, came to the Governour of New Plymouth, and did volun
tarily acknowledge themselves to be the loyal subjects of our Lord, King James, and subscribed a writing to that purpose with their own hands, the tenour of which here followeth, with their names annexed thereunto, that succeeding times may keep a memorial thereof, it hav. ing no small influence into the first foundations here laid. Morton, page 29.
Sept. 13, Anno Dom. 1621.
Of the Government, Civil and Military, established in the
Colony of New Plymouth.
That which our Saviour once affirmed concerning a kingdom, is as true of the smallest colony, or puny state, or least society of mankind, that if it be di. vided against itself it cannot stand; and how can divi. sions be avoided where all sorts of people are to be at their liberty, whether in things civil or sacred, to do all that doeth, and nothing but what doeth seem good in their own eyes. Our first founders of this new colony, were aware of this, before they removed themselves from the parts of Europe, whether England or Holland, to those of America; and therefore, according to the pru. dent advice of Mr. Robinson, their Pastor, they had procured a patent for themselves, or had a power granted from their Sovereign Prince, whereby they might form themselves into a body politic in the place speci. fied in their patent. But missing of the place, the things
contained therein were utterly invalidated, and made useless thereby, which they wisely considered in the first place, as was said before, and therefore they all signed an instrument, concerning some way of order and government, which they, according as necessity required, intended to mould themselves into, upon the first opportunity, which should offer itself, after they had found a place of habitation fit to settle upon. By the aforesaid accident, things so fell out, that for the present they could not fall into any order of government, but by way of combination ; with which they intended to content themselves till occasion might serve for the obtaining another patent from the King, for that place where Providence now had cast their lot. For the present therefore they devolved the sole power
Mr. John CARVER; in whose prudence they so far confided, that he would not adventure upon any matter of moment without consent of the rest, or at least advice of such as were thought to be the wisest amongst them, and not to increase the number of rulers, where the persons were so few to be ruled; knowing also that they could at their pleasure add more as there might be occasion, much better than to have eased themselves of the burden, if they should pitch upon too
One Nehemiah is better than a whole Sanhedrim of mercenary Shemaiahs.
The Laws they intended to be governed by were the Laws of England, the which they were willing to be subject unto, though in a foreign land, and have since that time continued in that mind for the general, adding only some particular muncipal laws of their own, suit. able to their constitution. In such cases, where the common laws and statutes of England could not well reach or afford them help in emergent difficulties of the place, possibly on the same ground that Pacavius sometimes advised his neighbours of Capua, not to cashier their old magistrates, till they could agree upon better to place in their room; so did these choose to abide by the Laws of England, till they could be provided of bet. ter.
many at first.