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Good Newes from New England
Chapter 3, 1624

Caleb Johnson, a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, provides the following comments on this hypertext version:

Written by Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow, Good Newes from New England was published in London in 1624.  It is a journal of events that occured between 1622 and 1623 at Plymouth Colony.  It includes information about Tisquantum's death (November 1622), the sickness of Massasoit, Thomas Weston's Wessagussett Colony, and much more.
This is a modernized-English version of the book as it was reprinted in the Mayflower Descendant, volume 25-26.  There really are no distinct chapters, but I have adopted the chapterization used in the recent Applewood Books edition of Good Newes from New England.

Our thanks to Mr. Johnson for presenting this hypertext version of Good Newes from New England. Go to Mr. Johnson's Mayflower History page.

Goode Newes, Introduction Goode Newes, Chap. 1 Goode Newes, Chap. 2
Goode Newes, Chap. 3 Goode Newes, Chap. 4 Goode Newes, Chap. 5
Goode Newes, Chap. 6 Goode Newes, Chap. 7 Goode Newes, Chap. 8

Chapter 3, Good News from New England

In the end of June, or beginning of July, came into our harbor two Ships of Master Weston's aforesaid, the one called the Charity, the other the Swan, having in them some fifty or sixty men sent over at his own charge to plant for him. These we received into our Town, affording them whatsoever courtesy our mean condition could afford. There the Charity, being the bigger ship, left them, having many passengers which she was to land in Virginia. In the mean time, the body of them refreshed themselves at Plymouth, whilest some most fit sought out a place for them. That little store of come we had, was exceedingly wasted by the unjust and dishonest walking of these strangers, who though they would sometimes seem to help us in our labor about our come, yet spared not day and night to steal the same, it being then eatable, and pleasant to taste, though green and unprofitable. And though they received much kindness, set light both by it and us; not sparing to requite the love we showed them, with secret backbitings, revilings, etc. the chief of them being forestalled and made against us, before they came, as after appeared: Nevertheless for their Masters sake, who formerly had deserved well from us. We continued to doe them whatsoever good or furtherance we could, attributing these things to the want of conscience and discretion, expecting each day, when God in his providence would disburden us of them, sorrowing that their Over-seers were not of more ability and fitness for their places and much fearing what would be the issue of such raw and unconscionable beginnings.

At length their Coasters returned, having found in their judgment a place fit for plantation, within the Bay of the Massachusetts, at a place called by the Indians Wessugussett. To which place the body of them went with all convenient speed, leaving still with us such as were sick and lame, by the Governors permission, though on their parts undeserved, whom, our Surgeon by the help of God recovered gratis for them, and they fetched home, as occasion served.

They had not been long from us, ere the Indians filled our ears with clamors against them, for stealing their come, and other abuses conceived by them. At which we grieved the more, because the same men, in mine own hearing, had been earnest in persuading Captain Standish, before their coming to solicit our Governor to send some of his men to plant by them, alleging many reasons how it might be commodious for us. But we knew no means to redress those abuses, save reproofs, and advising them to better walking, as occasion served.

In the end of August came other two ships into our harbor, the one (as I take it) was called the Discovery, Captain Jones having the command thereof, the other was that ship of Mr. Weston's called the Sparrow, which had now made her voyage of fish, and was consorted with the other, being both bound for Virginia. of Captain Jones we furnished our selves of such. provisions as we most needed, and he could best spare, who as he used us kindly, so made us pay largely for the things we had. And had not the Almighty, in his All-ordering Providence, directed him to us, it would have gone worse with us, than ever it had been, or after was: for, as we had now but small store of come for the year following: so for want of supply, we were worn out of all manner of trucking stuff, not having any means left to help our selves by trade; but, through Gods good mercy towards us, he had wherewith, and did supply our wants on that kind competently.

In the end of September, or beginning of October, Mr. Weston's biggest ship called the Charity, returned for England, and left their Colony sufficiently victualed, as some of most credit amongst them reported. The lesser, called the Swan, remained with his Colony for their further help. At which time they desired to join in partnership with us to trade for come; to which our Governor and his Assistant agreed upon such equal conditions, as were drawn and confirmed between them and us. The chief places aimed at were to the Southward of Cape Cod, and the more because Tisquantum, whose peace before this time was wrought with Massasoit, undertook to discover unto us that supposed, and still hoped passage within the Shoals.

Both Colonies being thus agreed, and their companies fitted and joined together, we resolved to set forward, but were oft crossed in our purposes; as first Master Richard Greene, brother in Law to Master Weston, who from him had a charge in the oversight and government of his Colony, died suddenly at our Plantation, to whom we gave burial befitting his place, in the best manner we could. Afterward, having further order to proceed by letter from their other Governor at the Massachusetts, twice Captain Standish set forth with them, but were driven in again by cross and violent winds: himself the second time being sick of a violent fever. By reason whereof (our own wants being like to be now greater than formerly; partly, because we were enforced to neglect our come, and spend much time in fortification, but especially because such havoc was made of that little we had, through the unjust and dishonest carriage of those people before mentioned, at our first entertainment of them) our Governor in his own person supplied the Captains place, and in the month of November again set forth, having Tisquantum, for his Interpreter and Pilot, who affirmed he had twice passed within the Shoals of Cape Cod, both with English and French. Nevertheless, they went so far with him, as the Master of the ship saw no hope of passage: but being (as he thought) in danger, bare up, and according ' to Tisquantum's directions, made for an harbor not far from them, at a place called Manamoycke, which they found, and: sounding it with their shallop found the channel, though but narrow and crooked, where at length they harbored the ship. Here they perceived that the tide set in and out with more violence at some other place more Southerly, which they had not scene nor could discover, by reason of the violence of the season all the time of their abode there. Some judged the entrance thereof might be beyond the Shoals, but there is no certainty thereof as yet known.

That night the Governor accompanied with others, having Tisquantum for his Interpreter went ashore; At first the Inhabitants plated least in sight, because none of our people had ever been there before; but understanding the ends of their coming, at length came to them, welcoming our Governor according to their Savage manner, refreshing them very well with store of venison and other victuals, which they brought them in great abundance, promising to trade with them, with a seeming gladness of the occasion: yet their joy was mixed with much jealousy, as appeared by their after practices: for at first they were loath their dwellings should be known, but when they saw our Governors resolution to stay on the shore all night, they brought him to their houses, having first conveyed all their stuff to a remote place, not far from the same, which one of our men walking forth occasionally espied; whereupon, on the sudden, neither it nor them could be found, and so many times after upon conceived occasions, they would be all gone, bag and baggage: But being afterwards (by Tisquantum's means) better persuaded, they left their jealousy and traded with them; where they got eight hogsheads of come and beans, though the people were but few. This gave our Governor and the company good encouragement. Tisquantum being still confident in the passage, and the Inhabitants affirming, they had scene ships of good burthen pass within the Shoals aforesaid. But here, though they had determined to make a second assay, yet God had otherways disposed, who struck Tisquantum with sickness, in so much as he there died, which crossed their Southward trading, and the more because the Masters sufficiency was much doubted, and the season very tempestuous, and not fit to go upon discovery, having no guide to direct them.

From thence they departed, and the wind being faire for the Massachusetts went thither, and the rather because the Savages upon our motion had planted much come for us, which they promised not long before that time. When they came thither they found a great sickness to be amongst the Indians, not unlike the plague, if not the same. They renewed their complaints to our Governor, against that other plantation seated by them, for their injurious walking. But indeed the trade both for Furs and come was overthrown in that place, they giving as much for a quart of come, as we used to doe for a Beavers skin; so that little good could be there done.

From thence they returned into the bottom of the Bay of Cape Cod, to a place called Nauset, where the Sachem used the Governor very kindly, and where they bought eight or ten hogsheads of come and beans. Also at a place called Massachusetts, where they had like kind entertainment and come also. During the time of their trade in these places, there were so great and violent storms, as the ship was much endangered, and our shallop cast away, so that they had now no means to carry the come aboard that they had bought, the ship riding by their report well near two leagues from the same, her own Boat being small, and so leaky, (having no Carpenter with them) as they durst scarce fetch wood or water in her. Hereupon the Governor caused the come to be made in a round stack, and bought mats, and cut sedge to cover it, and gave charge to the Indians not to meddle with it, promising him that dwelt next to it a reward, if he would keep vermin also from it, which he undertook, and the Sachem promised to make good. In the mean time, according to the Governors request, the Sachem sent men to seek the shallop, which they found buried almost in sand at a high-water mark, having many things remaining in her, but unserviceable for the present; whereof the Governor gave the Sachem special charge that it should not be further broken, promising ere long to fetch both it and the come; assuring them, if neither were diminished, he would take it as a sign of their honest and true friendship, which they so much made show of, but if they were, they should certainly smart for their unjust and dishonest dealing, and further make good whatsoever they had so taken. So he did likewise at Massachusetts, and took leave of them, being resolved to leave the ship, and take his journey home by ten with our own company, sending word to the ship, that they should take their first opportunity to go for Plymouth, where he determined, by the permission of God, to meet them. And having procured a Guide, it being no less than fifty miles to our Plantation, set forward, receiving all respect that could be from the Indians in his journey, and came safely home, though weary and surbated, whither some three days after the ship also came. The come being divided which they had got, Master Weston's company went to their own Plantation, it being further agreed, that they should return with all convenient speed, and bring their Carpenter, that they might fetch the rest of the come, and save the shallop.

At their return, Captain Standish being recovered and in health, took another shallop, and went with them to the come, which they found in, safety as they left it: also they mended the other shallop, and got all their come aboard the ship. This was in January, as I take it, it being very cold and stormy, insomuch as (the harbor being none of the best) they were constrained to cut both the shallops from the ships stern, and so lost them both a second time. But the storm being over, and seeking out, they found them both, not having received any great hurt. Whilest they were at Nauset, having t occasion, to lie on the shore, laying their shallop in a Creek not far from them, an Indian came into the same, and stole certain Beads, scissors, and other trifles out of the same, which when the Captain missed, he took certain of his company with him, and went to the Sachem, telling him what had happened, and requiring the same again, or the party that stole them,. (who was known to certain of the Indians) or else he would revenge it on them before his departure, and so took leave for that night being late, refusing whatsoever kindness they offered; On the morrow, the Sachem came to their rendezvous, accompanied with many men, in a stately manner, who saluting the Captain in this wise; He thrust out his tongue, that one might see the root thereof, and therewith licked his hand from the wrist to the fingers end, withal bowing the knee, striving to imitate the English gesture, being instructed therein formerly by Tisquantum: his men did the like, but in so rude and savage a manner, as our men could scarce forbear to break out in open laughter. After salutation, he delivered the Beads, and other things, to the Captain, saying, he had much beaten the party for doing it, causing the women to make bread, and bring them, according to their desire, seeming to be very sorry for the fact, but glad to be reconciled. So they departed, and came home in safety; where the come was equally divided, as before.

After this the Governor went to two other inland Towns, with another company, and bought come likewise of them, the one is called Nemasket, the other Manomet. That from Nemasket was brought home partly by Indian women; but a great sickness arising amongst them, our own men were enforced to fetch home the rest. That at Manomet the Governor left in the Sachems custody: this Town lieth from us South well near twenty miles, and stands upon a fresh river, which runneth into the Bay of Narragansett, and cannot be less than sixty miles from thence. It will bear a boat of eight or ten tun to this place. Hither the Dutch or French, or both use to come. It is from hence to the Bay of Cape Cod about eight miles; out of which Bay it floweth into a Creek some six miles almost direct towards the Town. The heads of the River, and this Creek are not far distant. This River yieldeth thus high, Oysters, Muscles, Clams, and other shell-fish, one in shape like a bean, another like a Clam, both good meat, and great abundance at all times; besides it aboundeth with divers sorts of fresh fish in their seasons.

The Governor or Sachem of this place, was called Canacum, who had formerly, as well as many others, (yea all with whom as yet we had to doe) acknowledged themselves the subjects of our Sovereign Lord the King. This Sachem used the Governor very kindly, and it seemed was of good respect and authority amongst the Indians. For whilest the Governor was there within night in bitter weather, came two men from Manamoick before spoken of, and having set aside their bows and quivers, according to their manner, sate down by the fire, and took a pipe of Tobacco, not using any words in that time, nor any other to them, but all remained silent, expecting when they would speak: At length they looked toward Canacum, and one of them made a short speech, and delivered a present to him from his Sachem, which was a basket of Tobacco, and many Beads, which the other received thankfully. After which he made a long speech to him, the contents hereof was related to us by Hobomok (who then accompanied the Governor for his Guide) to be as followeth; It happened that two of their men fell out as they were in game ( for they use gaming as much as any where, and will play away all, even their skin from their backs, yea and for their wives skins also, though it may be they are many miles distant from them, as my self have scene) and growing to great heat, the one killed the other. The actor of this fact was a Powah, one of special note amongst them, and such an one as they could not well miss, yet another people greater than themselves threatened them with war, if they would not put him to death. The party offending was in hold, neither would their Sachem doe one way or other till their return, resting upon him for advice and furtherance in so weighty a matter. After this there was silence a short time; at length men gave their judgment what they thought best. Amongst others, he asked Hobomok what he thought? Who answered, he was but a stranger to them, but thought it was better that one should die than many, since he had deserved it, and the rest were innocent; whereupon he passed the sentence of death upon him.

Not long after (having no great quantity of come left) Captain Standish went again with a shallop to Massachusetts, meeting also with the like extremity of weather, both of wind, snow, and frost, insomuch as they were frozen in the harbor the first night they entered the same. Here they pretended their wonted love, and spared them a good quantity of come to confirm the same: Strangers also tame to this place, pretending only to see him and his company, whom they never saw before I that time, but intending to join with the rest to kill them, as after appeared. But being forced through extremity to lodge in their houses, which they much pressed, God possessed the heart of the Captain with just jealousy, giving strait command, that as one part of his company slept, the rest should wake, declaring some things to them which he understood, whereof he could make no good construction. Some of the Indians spying a fit opportunity, stole some beads also from him, which he no sooner perceive, having not above six men with him, drew them all from the Boat, and set them on their guard about the Sachems house, where the most of the people were, threatening to fall upon them without further delay, if they would not forthwith restore them, signifying to the Sachem especially, and so to them all, that as he would not offer the least injury; so he would not receive any at their hands, which should escape without punishment or due satisfaction. Hereupon the Sachem bestirred him to find out the party, which when he had done, caused him to return them again to the shallop, and came to the Captain, desiring him to search whether they were not about the Boat, who suspecting their knavery, sent one, who found them lying openly upon the Boats cuddy; yet to appease his anger, they brought come afresh to trade, insomuch as he laded his shallop, and so departed. This accident so daunted their courage, as they durst not attempt any thing against him. So that through the good mercy and providence of God they returned in safety. At this place the Indians get abundance of Bass both summer and winter: for it being now February they abounded with them.

In the beginning of March, having refreshed himself, he took a shallop; and went to Manomet, to fetch home that which the Governor had formerly bought, hoping also to get more from them, but was deceived in his expectation, not finding that entertainment he found else-where, and the Governor had there received. The reason whereof, and of the treachery intended in the place before spoken of, was not then known. unto us, but afterwards: wherein may be observed the abundant mercies of God working with his providence for our good. Captain Standish being now far from the Boat, and not above two or three of our men with him, and as many with the shallop, was not long at Canacum the Sachems house, but in came two of the Massachusetts men, the chief of them was called Witawamat, a notable insulting villain, one who had formerly imbrued his hands in the blood of English and French, and had oft boasted of his own valor, and derided their weakness, especially because (as he said) they died crying, making sour faces, more like children than men.

This villain took a dagger from about his neck, (which he had gotten of Master Weston's people) and presented it to the Sachem, and after made a long speech in an audacious manner, framing it in such sort, as the Captain (though he be the best Linguist amongst us) could not gather anything from it. The end of it was afterward discovered to be as followeth: The Massacheuseucks had formerly concluded to ruinate Master Weston's Colony, and thought themselves, being about thirty or forty men strong, enough to execute the same: yet they durst not attempt it, till such time as they had gathered more strength to themselves to make their party good against us at Plymouth, concluding, that if we remained, (though they had no other Arguments to use against us) yet we would never leave the death of our Countrymen unrevenged, and therefore their safety could not be without the overthrow of both Plantations. To this end they had formerly solicited this Sachem, as also the other called Ianough at Massachusetts, and many others to assist them, and now again came to prosecute the same; and since there was so faire an opportunity offered by the Captains presence, they thought best to make sure him and his company. After this his message was delivered, his entertainment much exceeded the Captains, insomuch as he scorned at their behavior, and told them of it; after which they would have persuaded him, because the weather was cold, to have sent to the Boat for the rest of his company, but he would not, desiring according to promise, that the come might be carried down, and he would content the women for their labor, which they did. At the same time there was a lusty Indian of Paomet or Cape Cod then present, who had ever demeaned himself well towards us, being in his general carriage, very affable, courteous, and loving, especially towards the Captain. This Savage was now entered into confederacy with the rest, yet to avoid suspicion, made many signs of his continued affections, and would needs bestow a kettle of some six or seven gallons on him, and would not accept of any thing in lieu thereof, saying, he was rich, and could afford to bestow such favors on his friends whom he loved: also he would freely help to carry some of the corn, affirming he had never done the like in his life before, and the wind being bad would needs lodge with him at their rendezvous, having indeed undertaken to kill him before they parted, which done they intended to fall upon the rest.

The night proved exceeding cold, insomuch as the Captain could not take any rest, but either walked or turned himself to and fro at the fire: This the other observed, and asked wherefore he did not sleep as at other times, who answered he knew not well, but had no desire at all to rest. So that he then mist his opportunity. The wind serving on the next day, they returned home, accompanied with the other Indian, who used many arguments to persuade them to go to Paomet, where himself had much come, and many other, the most whereof he would procure for us, seeming to sorrow for our wants. Once the Captain put forth with him, and was forced back by contrary wind; which wind serving for the Massachusetts, was fitted to go thither. But on a sudden it altered again.

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