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Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 1622, Part III

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

Mourt's Relation was written primarily by Edward Winslow, although William Bradford appears to have written most of the first section.  Written between November 1620 and November 1621, it describes in detail what happened from the landing of the Pilgrims at Cape Cod, though their exploring and eventual settling at Plymouth, to their relations with the surrounding Indians, up to the First Thanksgiving and the arrival of the ship Fortune.  Mourt's Relation was first published in London in 1622, presumably by George Morton (hence the title, Mourt's Relation).
This version of Mourt's Relation is based on a University Microfilm (Ann Arbor, Michigan) facimilie edition of the original 1622 edition, to which I have updated the spelling to modern American-English standards.  Then I adapted the general paragraphing scheme from the 1969 Dwight Heath version, which is clearly more appropriate for web page presentation. 

Our thanks to Mr. Johnson for presenting this hypertext version of Mourt's Relation. Go to Mr. Johnson's Mayflower History page.

Mourt's Relation, Part I Mourt's Relation, Part II Mourt's Relation, Part III
Mourt's Relation, Part IV Mourt's Relation, Part V Mourt's Relation, Part VI



of our Men to the Kingdom of

NAUSET, to seek a Boy that had

lost himself in the WOODS;

With such Accidents

as befell us in that


The 11th of June we set forth, the weather being very fair:  but ere we had been long at sea, there arose a storm of wind and rain, with much lightning and thunder, insomuch that a spout arose not far from us:   but, God be praised, it dured not long, and we put in that night for harbor at a place called Cummaquid, where we had some hope to find the boy. Two savages were in the boat with us, the one was Tisquantum, our interpreter, the other Tokamahamon, a special friend. It being night before we came in, we anchored in the midst of the bay, where we were dry at alow water. In the morning we espied savages seeking lobsters, and sent our two interpreters to speak with them, the channel being between them; where they told them what we were, and for what we were come, willing them not at all to fear us, for we would not hurt them. Their answer was, that the boy was well, but he was at Nauset; yet since we were there they desired us to come ashore and eat with them; which, as soon as our boat floated, we did, and went six ashore, having four pledges for them in the boat. They brought us to their sachem or governor, whom they call Iyanough, a man not exceeding twenty-six years of age, but very personable, gentle, courteous, and fair conditioned, indeed not like the savage, save for his attire; his entertainment was answerable to his parts, and his cheer plentiful and various.

One thing was very grievous unto us at this place; there was an old woman, whom we judged to be no less than a hundred years old, which came to see us because she never saw English, yet could not behold us without breaking forth into great passion, weeping and crying excessively. We demanding the reason of it, they told us she had three sons who, when Master Hunt was in these parts, went aboard his ship to trade with him, and he carried them captives into Spain (for Tisquantum at this time was carried away also) by which means she was deprived of the comfort of her children in her old age. We told them we were sorry that any Englishman should give them that offense, that Hunt was a bad man, and that all the English that heard of it condemned him for the same:  but for us, we would not offer them any such injury though it would gain us all the skins in the country. So we gave her some small trifles, which somewhat appeased her.

After dinner we took boat for Nauset, Iyanough and two of his men accompanying us. Ere we came to Nauset, the day and tide were almost spent, insomuch as we could not go in with our shallop, but the sachem or governor of Cummaquid went ashore and his men with him. We also sent Tisquantum to tell Aspinet, the sachem of Nauset, wherefore we came. The savages here came very thick amongst us, and were earnest with us to bring in our boat. But we neither well could, nor yet desired to do it, because we had least cause to trust them, being they only had formerly made an assault upon us in the same place, in time of our winter discovery for habitation. And indeed it was no marvel they did so, for howsoever, though snow or otherwise, we saw no houses, yet we were in the midst of them.

When our boat was aground they came very thick, but we stood therein upon our guard, not suffering any to enter except two:  the one being of Maramoick, and one of those whose corn we had formerly found, we promised him restitution, and desired him either to come to Patuxet for satisfaction, or else we would bring them so much corn again, he promised to come, we used him very kindly for the present. Some few skins we got there but not many.

After sunset, Aspinet came with a great train, and brought the boy with him, one bearing him through the water:  he had not less than a hundred with him, the half whereof came to the shallop side unarmed with him, the other stood aloof with their bows and arrows. There he delivered us the boy, behung with beads, and made peace with us, we bestowing a knife on him, and likewise on another that first entertained the boy and brought him thither. So they departed from us.

Here we understood that the Narragansets had spoiled some of Massasoit's men, and taken him. This struck some fear in us, because the colony was so weakly guarded, the strength whereof being abroad:  but we set forth with resolution to make the best haste home we could; yet the wind being contrary, having scarce any fresh water left, and at least sixteen leagues home, we put in again for the shore. There we met again with Iyanough the sachem of Cummaquid, and the most of his town, both men, women, and children with him. He, being still willing to gratify us, took a runlet and led our men in the dark a great way for water, but could find none good, yet brought such as there was on his neck with him. In the meantime the women joined hand in hand and dancing before the shallop, the men also showing all the kindness they could, Iyanough himself taking a bracelet from about his neck and hanging it upon one of us.

Again we set out, but to small purpose, for we gat but little homeward; our water also was very brackish, and not to be drunk. The next morning Iyanough espied us again and ran after us; we being resolved to go to Cummaquid again to water, took him into the shallop, whose entertainment was not inferior unto the former.

The soil at Nauset and here is alike, even and sandy, not so good for corn as where we are. Ships may safely ride in either

harbor. In the summer they abound with fish.

Being now watered we put forth again,

and by God's providence, came

safely home that night.

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