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Week Four: Puritanism, Indians and Witchcraft

Perkins−Perkins: Selections from American Literature

Mary Rowlandson Author Bio © The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2007

MARY ROWLANDSON (1636?–1711?)

In 1675–1676, the New England settlements came under siege by the Indians in the confrontation that became known as King Philip’s War. Metacomet, or King Philip, was chief of the Wampanoags and son of Massasoit, who had signed a treaty with the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1621. Although Indians and European settlers had mingled easily and peacefully in the early years of New England, a number of difficulties consequent upon heavy immigration and acquisition of In- dian lands increased mutual distrust to a point where open hostilities broke out in a series of Indian raids on scattered settlements, with the colonists retaliating as best they could. By August 1676, the war was over; King Philip was dead, his body drawn and quartered, and his head displayed upon a pole in Plymouth. Indian power within New England was virtually at an end.

Mary White Rowlandson became one of the most celebrated victims of the war. She was a minister’s wife, living in the small garrisoned frontier town of Lan- caster, when the Indians attacked and carried her into the captivity that became the subject of her narrative. Not much beyond her own account is known of her. She was probably born in England. Her parents were among the early settlers of Salem, arriving in 1638. By 1653, at about seventeen, she was living with her people in Lancaster. In 1656 she married the Reverend Joseph Rowlandson. By the time of the attack shehad given birth to four children, one of whom died as an infant, and Lancaster had grown to a village of perhaps fifty families, organized into five or six garrisons. After her return—her captivity had lasted eleven weeks and five days—she and her family lived briefly in Boston before settling in Wethersfield, Connecticut, in 1677.

No copies of the first edition, printed in Cambridge, are known to exist. The second, issued later the same year by the same printer, begins its title page with a significant emphasis upon God’s providence: The Soveraignty and Goodness of GOD, Together With the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed; Being a Narra- tive Of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. This emphasis exists also within the narrative, where the author’s attention to detail and frequent biblical reference stand in close relation to one another as she presents her experi- ence for its value in assisting the reader toward an understanding of the workings of God’s plan. Writing clearly and thoughtfully, she created a remarkably readable account of survival under harrowing conditions. Especially in the seventeenth cen- tury an extremely popular work on both sides of the Atlantic, the Narrative has passed through approximately thirty editions and reprintings.

Mrs. Rowlandson’s account, from the second edition, is included in Narratives of the Indian Wars, 1675–1699, ed. Charles H. Lincoln, 1913, the source of the present selections. For criticism and discus- sion, see Richard Slotkin, Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1973; Richard Van Der Beets, The Indian Captivity Narrative: An American Genre, 1983; and Mitchell R. Breitweiser, American Puritanism and the Defense of Mourning: Religion, Grief and Ethnology in Mary White Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative, 1990.

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MARY ROWLANDSON

From A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

On the tenth of February 1675,1 Came the Indians with great numbers upon Lan- caster: Their first coming was about Sun-rising; hearing the noise of some Guns, we looked out; several Houses were burning, and the Smoke ascending to Heaven. There were five persons taken in one house, the Father, and the Mother and a suck- ing Child, they knockt on the head; the other two they took and carried away alive. Their were two others, who being out of their Garison upon some occasion were set upon; one was knockt on the head, the other escaped: Another their was who running along was shot and wounded, and fell down; he begged of them his life, promising them Money (as they told me) but they would not hearken to him but knockt him in head, and stript him naked, and split open his Bowels. Another seeing many of the Indians about his Barn, ventured and went out, but was quickly shot down. There were three others belonging to the same Garison who were killed; the Indians getting up upon the roof of the Barn, had advantage to shoot down upon them over their Fortification. Thus these murtherous wretches went on, burning, and destroying before them.

At length they came and beset our own house, and quickly it was the dole- fullest day that ever mine eyes saw. The House stood upon the edg of a hill; some of the Indians got behind the hill, others into the Barn, and others behind any thing that could shelter them; from all which places they shot against the House, so that the Bullets seemed to fly like hail; and quickly they wounded one man among us, then another, and then a third. About two hours (according to my ob- servation, in that amazing time) they had been about the house before they pre- vailed to fire it (which they did with Flax and Hemp, which they brought out of the Barn, and there being no defence about the House, only two Flankers2 at two opposite corners and one of them not finished) they fired it once and one ventured out and quenched it, but they quickly fired it again, and that took. Now is the dreadfull hour come, that I have often heard of (in time of War, as it was the case of others) but now mine eyes see it. Some in our house were fighting for their lives, others wallowing in their blood, the House on fire over our heads, and the bloody Heathen ready to knock us on the head, if we stirred out. Now might we hear Mothers and Children crying out for themselves, and one another, Lord, What shall we do? Then I took my Children (and one of my sisters, hers) to go forth and leave the house: but as soon as we came to the dore and appeared, the Indians shot so thick that the bulletts rattled against the House, as if one had taken an handfull of stones and threw them, so that we were fain to give back. We had six stout Dogs belonging to our Garrison, but none of them would stir, though an-

1. By the Old Style calendar then in use; by the present Gregorian calendar, the date was February 20, 1676. Rowlandson’s Old Style chrononology is followed in subsequent footnotes. 2. Fortified projections.

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other time, if any Indian had come to the door, they were ready to fly upon him and tear him down. The Lord hereby would make us the more to acknowledge his hand, and to see that our help is always in him. But out we must go, the fire in- creasing, and coming along behind us, roaring, and the Indians gaping before us with their Guns, Spears and Hatchets to devour us. No sooner were we out of the House, but my Brother in Law (being before wounded, in defending the house, in or near the throat) fell down dead, wherat the Indians scornfully shouted, and hallowed, and were presently upon him, stripping off his cloaths, the bulletts fly- ing thick, one went through my side, and the same (as would seem) through the bowels and hand of my dear Child in my arms. One of my elder Sisters Children, named William, had then his Leg broken, which the Indians perceiving, they knockt him on head. Thus were we butchered by those merciless Heathen, stand- ing amazed, with the blood running down to our heels. My eldest Sister being yet in the House, and seeing those wofull sights, the Infidels haling Mothers one way, and Children another, and some wallowing in their blood: and her elder Son telling her that her Son William was dead, and my self was wounded, she said, And, Lord, let me dy with them; which was no sooner said, but she was struck with a Bullet, and fell down dead over the threshold. I hope she is reaping the fruit of her good labours, being faithfull to the service of God in her place. In her younger years she lay under much trouble upon spiritual accounts, till it pleased God to make that precious Scripture take hold of her heart, 2 Cor. 12. 9. And he said unto me, my Grace is sufficient for thee. More then twenty years after I have heard her tell how sweet and comfortable that place was to her. But to return: The Indians laid hold of us, pulling me one way, and the Children another, and said, Come go along with us; I told them they would kill me: they answered, If I were willing to go along with them, they would not hurt me.

Oh the dolefull sight that now was to behold at this House! Come, behold the works of the Lord, what dissolations he has made in the Earth.3 Of thirty seven persons who were in this one House, none escaped either present death, or a bitter captivity, save only one, who might say as he, Job 1. 15, And I only am escaped alone to tell the News. There were twelve killed, some shot, some stab’d with their Spears, some knock’d down with their Hatchets. When we are in prosperity, Oh the little that we think of such dreadfull sights, and to see our dear Friends, and Relations ly bleeding out their heart-blood upon the ground. There was one who was chopt into the head with a Hatchet, and stript naked, and yet was crawling up and down. It is a solemn sight to see so many Christians lying in their blood, some here, and some there, like a company of Sheep torn by Wolves, All of them stript naked by a company of hell-hounds, roaring, singing, ranting and insulting, as if they would have torn our very hearts out; yet the Lord by his Almighty power preserved a number of us from death, for there were twenty-four of us taken alive and carried Captive.

I had often before this said, that if the Indians should come, I should chuse rather to be killed by them then taken alive but when it came to the tryal my mind changed; their glittering weapons so daunted my spirit, that I chose rather to go

3. Psalm 46:8.

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along with those (as I may say) ravenous Beasts, then that moment to end my dayes; and that I may the better declare what happened to me during that grievous Captivity, I shall particularly speak of the severall Removes we had up and down the Wilderness.

The First Remove

Now away we must go with those Barbarous Creatures, with our bodies wounded and bleeding, and our hearts no less than our bodies. About a mile we went that night, up upon a hill within sight of the Town, where they intended to lodge. There was hard by a vacant house (deserted by the English before, for fear of the Indi- ans). I asked them whither I might not lodge in the house that night to which they answered, what will you love English men still? this was the dolefullest night that ever my eyes saw. Oh the roaring, and singing and danceing, and yelling of those black creatures in the night, which made the place a lively resemblance of hell. And as miserable was the wast that was there made, of Horses, Cattle, Sheep, Swine, Calves, Lambs, Roasting Pigs, and Fowl (which they had plundered in the Town) some roasting, some lying and burning, and some boyling to feed our mer- ciless Enemies; who were joyful enough though we were disconsolate. To add to the dolefulness of the former day, and the dismalness of the present night: my thoughts ran upon my losses and sad bereaved condition. All was gone, my Hus- band gone (at least separated from me, he being in the Bay;4 and to add to my grief, the Indians told me they would kill him as he came homeward) my Children gone, my Relations and Friends gone, our House and home and all our comforts within door, and without, all was gone, (except my life) and I knew not but the next moment that might go too. There remained nothing to me but one poor wounded Babe, and it seemed at present worse than death that it was in such a pitiful condition, bespeaking Compassion, and I had no refreshing for it, nor suit- able things to revive it. Little do many think what is the savageness and bruitish- ness of this barbarous Enemy, aye, even those that seem to profess more than others among them, when the English have fallen into their hands.

Those seven that were killed at Lancaster the summer before upon a Sabbath day, and the one that was afterward killed upon a week day, were slain and man- gled in a barbarous manner, by one-ey’d John, and Marlborough’s Praying Indi- ans, which Capt. Mosely brought to Boston,5 as the Indians told me.

The Second Remove6

But now, the next morning, I must turn my back upon the Town, and travel with them into the vast and desolate Wilderness, I knew not whither. It is not my tongue, or pen can express the sorrows of my heart, and bitterness of my spirit, that I had at this departure: but God was with me, in a wonderfull manner, carry- ing me along, and bearing up my spirit, that it did not quite fail. One of the Indi- ans carried my poor wounded Babe upon a horse, it went moaning along, I shall

4. In Boston, about thirty-five miles away. 5. Seven people were killed in a raid on Lancaster on August 22, 1675. Fifteen Christianized Indians from Marlborough, Massachusetts, were brought to Boston by Captain Samuel Mosely on August 30, 1675, and accused of the attack. 6. To Princeton, Massachusetts, about ten miles west of Lancaster.

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dy, I shall dy. I went on foot after it, with sorrow that cannot be exprest. At length I took it off the horse, and carried it in my armes till my strength failed, and I fell down with it: Then they set me upon a horse with my wounded Child in my lap, and there being no furniture upon the horse back, as we were going down a steep hill, we both fell over the horses head, at which they like inhumane creatures laught, and rejoyced to see it, though I thought we should there have ended our dayes, as overcome with so many difficulties. But the Lord renewed my strength still, and carried me along, that I might see more of his Power; yea, so much that I could never have thought of, had I not experienced it.

After this it quickly began to snow, and when night came on, they stopt: and now down I must sit in the snow, by a little fire, and a few boughs behind me, with my sick Child in my lap; and calling much for water, being now (through the wound) fallen into a violent Fever. My own wound also growing so stiff, that I could scarce sit down or rise up; yet so it must be, that I must sit all this cold win- ter night upon the cold snowy ground, with my sick Child in my armes, looking that every hour would be the last of its life; and having no Christian friend near me, either to comfort or help me. Oh, I may see the wonderfull power of God, that my Spirit did not utterly sink under my affliction: still the Lord upheld me with his gracious and mercifull Spirit, and we were both alive to see the light of the next morning.

The Third Remove7

The morning being come, they prepared to go on their way. One of the Indians got up upon a horse, and they set me up behind him, with my poor sick Babe in my lap. A very wearisome and tedious day I had of it; what with my own wound, and my Childs being so exceeding sick, and in a lamentable condition with her wound. It may be easily judged what a poor feeble condition we were in, there being not the least crumb of refreshing that came within either of our mouths, from Wednesday night to Saturday night, except only a little cold water. This day in the afternoon, about an hour by Sun, we came to the place where they intended, viz. an Indian Town, called Wenimesset, Norward of Quabaug.8 When we were come, Oh the number of Pagans (now merciless enemies) that there came about me, that I may say as David, Psal. 27. 13, I had fainted, unless I had believed, etc. The next day was the Sabbath: I then remembered how careless I had been of Gods holy time, how many Sabbaths I had lost and mispent, and how evily I had walked in God’s sight; which lay so close unto my spirit, that it was easie for me to see how righteous it was with God to cut off the thread of my life, and cast me out of his presence for ever. Yet the Lord still shewed mercy to me, and upheld me; and as he wounded me with one hand, so he healed me with the other. This day there came to me one Robbert Pepper (a man belonging to Roxbury) who was taken in Captain Beers his Fight,9 and had been now a considerable time with the Indians; and up with them almost as far as Albany, to see king Philip, as he told me, and

7. February 12–27, ending on the Ware River, fifteen miles southwest of Princeton, near New Braintree. 8. Near Brookfield. 9. Captain Beers and most of his men had been killed at Northfield, September 4, 1675.

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was now very lately come into these parts.1 Hearing, I say, that I was in this In- dian Town, he obtained leave to come and see me. He told me, he himself was wounded in the leg at Captain Beers his Fight; and was not able some time to go, but as they carried him, and as he took Oaken leaves and laid to his wound, and through the blessing of God he was able to travel again. Then I took Oaken leaves and laid to my side, and with the blessing of God it cured me also; yet before the cure was wrought, I may say, as it is in Psal. 38. 5, 6. My wounds stink and are corrupt, I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly, I go mourning all the day long. I sat much alone with a poor wounded Child in my lap, which moaned night and day, having nothing to revive the body, or cheer the spirits of her, but in stead of that, sometimes one Indian would come and tell me one hour, that your Master will knock your Child in the head, and then a second, and then a third, your Mas- ter will quickly knock your Child in the head.

This was the comfort I had from them, miserable comforters are ye all, as he said.2 Thus nine dayes I sat upon my knees, with my Babe in my lap, till my flesh was raw again; my Child being even ready to depart this sorrowfull world, they bade me carry it out to another Wigwam (I suppose because they would not be troubled with such spectacles) Whither I went with a very heavy heart, and down I sat with the picture of death in my lap. About two houres in the night, my sweet Babe like a Lambe departed this life, on Feb. 18, 1675. It being about six yeares, and five months old. It was nine dayes from the first wounding, in this miserable condition, without any refreshing of one nature or other, except a little cold water. I cannot, but take notice, how at another time I could not bear to be in the room where any dead person was, but now the case is changed; I must and could ly down by my dead Babe, side by side all the night after. I have thought since of the wonderfull goodness of God to me, in preserving me in the use of my reason and senses, in that distressed time, that I did not use wicked and violent means to end my own miserable life. In the morning, when they understood that my child was dead they sent for me home to my Masters Wigwam: (by my Master in this writ- ing, must be understood Quanopin, who was a Saggamore, and married King Phillips wives Sister; not that he first took me, but I was sold to him by another Narrhaganset Indian, who took me when first I came out of the Garison). I went to take up my dead child in my arms to carry it with me, but they bid me let it alone: there was no resisting, but goe I must and leave it. When I had been at my masters wigwam, I took the first opportunity I could get, to go look after my dead child; when I came I askt them what they had done with it? then they told me it was upon the hill: then they went and shewed me where it was, where I saw the ground was newly digged, and there they told me they had buried it: There I left that Child in the Wilderness, and must commit it, and my self also in this Wilderness- condition, to him who is above all. God having taken away this dear Child, I went to see my daughter Mary, who was at this same Indian Town, at a Wigwam not very far off, though we had little liberty or opportunity to see one another. She was about ten years old, and taken from the door at first by a Praying Ind and af-

1. King Philip had established his headquarters for the winter of 1675–1676 east of Albany, New York. 2. As Job said, “Miserable comforters are ye all” (Job 16:2).

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terward sold for a gun. When I came in sight, she would fall a weeping; at which they were provoked, and would not let me come near her, but bade me be gone; which was a heart-cutting word to me. I had one Child dead, another in the Wilderness, I knew not where, the third they would not let me come near to: Me (as he said) have ye bereaved of my Children, Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin also, all these things are against me.3 I could not sit still in this condition, but kept walking from one place to another. And as I was going along, my heart was even overwhelm’d with the thoughts of my condition, and that I should have Children, and a Nation which I knew not ruled over them. Whereupon I earnestly entreated the Lord, that he would consider my low estate, and shew me a token for good, and if it were his blessed will, some sign and hope of some relief. And indeed quickly the Lord answered, in some measure, my poor prayers: for as I was going up and down mourning and lamenting my condition, my Son came to me, and asked me how I did; I had not seen him before, since the destruction of the Town, and I knew not where he was, till I was informed by him- self, that he was amongst a smaller percel of Indians, whose place was about six miles off; with tears in his eyes, he asked me whether his Sister Sarah was dead; and told me he had seen his Sister Mary; and prayed me, that I would not be trou- bled in reference to himself. * * *

The Fifth Remove4

The occasion (as I thought) of their moving at this time, was, the English Army, it being near and following them: For they went, as if they had gone for their lives, for some considerable way, and then they made a stop, and chose some of their stoutest men, and sent them back to hold the English Army in play whilst the rest escaped: And then, like Jehu, they marched on furiously, with their old, and with their young: some carried their old decrepit mothers, some carried one, and some another. Four of them carried a great Indian upon a Bier; but going through a thick Wood with him, they were hindered, and could make no hast; whereupon they took him upon their backs, and carried him, one at a time, till they came to Bacquaug River. Upon a Friday, a little after noon we came to this River. When all the company was come up, and were gathered together, I thought to count the number of them, but they were so many, and being somewhat in motion, it was beyond my skil. In this travel, because of my wound, I was somewhat favoured in my load; I carried only my knitting work and two quarts of parched meal: Being very faint I asked my mistriss5 to give me one spoonfull of the meal, but she would not give me a taste. They quickly fell to cutting dry trees, to make Rafts to carry them over the river: and soon my turn came to go over: By the advantage of some brush which they had laid upon the Raft to sit upon, I did not wet my foot (which many of themselves at the other end were mid-leg deep) which cannot but be ac- knowledged as a favour of God to my weakened body, it being a very cold time. I was not before acquainted with such kind of doings or dangers. When thou pass-

3. Jacob’s lament (Genesis 42:36). 4. The fourth remove took them a dozen miles northwest to modern Petersham. The fifth remove was another dozen miles in the same direction to the Bacquaug River (Miller’s River) at Orange. 5. Weetamo, one of Quanopin’s wives.

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eth through the waters I will be with thee, and through the Rivers they shall not overflow thee, Isai. 43. 2. A certain number of us got over the River that night, but it was the night after the Sabbath before all the company was got over. On the Saturday they boyled an old Horses leg which they had got, and so we drank of the broth, as soon as they thought it was ready, and when it was almost all gone, they filled it up again.

The first week of my being among them, I hardly ate any thing; the second week, I found my stomach grow very faint for want of something; and yet it was very hard to get down their filthy trash: but the third week, though I could think how formerly my stomach would turn against this or that, and I could starve and dy before I could eat such things, yet they were sweet and savoury to my taste. I was at this time knitting a pair of white cotton stockins for my mistriss; and had not yet wrought upon a Sabbath day; when the Sabbath came they bade me go to work; I told them it was the Sabbathday, and desired them to let me rest, and told them I would do as much more to morrow; to which they answered me, they would break my face. And here I cannot but take notice of the strange providence of God in preserving the heathen: They were many hundreds, old and young, some sick, and some lame, many had Papooses at their backs, the greatest number at this time with us, were Squaws, and they travelled with all they had, bag and baggage, and yet they got over this River aforesaid; and on Munday they set their Wigwams on fire, and away they went: On that very day came the English Army after them to this River, and saw the smoak of their Wigwams, and yet this River put a stop to them. God did not give them courage or activity to go over after us; we were not ready for so great a mercy as victory and deliverance; if we had been, God would have found out a way for the English to have passed this River, as well as for the In- dians with their Squaws and Children, and all their Luggage. Oh that my People had hearkened to me, and Israel had walked in my ways, I should soon have sub- dued their Enemies, and turned my hand against their Adversaries, Psal. 81: 13, 14.

The Sixth Remove6

On Munday (as I said) they set their Wigwams on fire, and went away. It was a cold morning, and before us there was a great Brook with ice on it; some waded through it, up to the knees and higher, but others went till they came to a Beaver- dam, and I amongst them, where through the good providence of God, I did not wet my foot. I went along that day mourning and lamenting, leaving farther my own Country, and travelling into the vast and howling Wilderness, and I under- stood something of Lot’s Wife’s Temptation,7 when she looked back: we came that day to a great Swamp, by the side of which we took up our lodging that night. When I came to the brow of the hil, that looked toward the Swamp, I thought we had been come to a great Indian Town (though there were none but our own Com- pany). The Indians were as thick as the trees: it seemed as if there had been a thou- sand Hatchets going at once: if one looked before one, there was nothing but Indians, and behind one, nothing but Indians, and so on either hand, I myself in

6. Monday, March 6, to the modern Northfield, Massachusetts, near the Connecticut River, at the bor- der of New Hampshire and Vermont. 7. Lot’s wife looked back upon Sodom and Gomorrah and “became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).

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the midst, and no Christian soul near me, and yet how hath the Lord preserved me in safety? Oh the experience that I have had of the goodness of God, to me and mine!

The Seventh Remove8

After a restless and hungry night there, we had a wearisome time of it the next day. The Swamp by which we lay, was, as it were, a deep Dungeon, and an ex- ceeding high and steep hill before it. Before I got to the top of the hill, I thought my heart and legs, and all would have broken, and failed me. What through faint- ness, and soreness of body, it was a grievous day of travel to me. As we went along, I saw a place where English Cattle had been: that was comfort to me, such as it was: quickly after that we came to an English Path, which so took with me, that I thought I could have freely lyen down and dyed. That day, a little after noon, we came to Squaukheag, where the Indians quickly spread themselves over the de- serted English Fields, gleaning what they could find; some pickt up ears of Wheat that were crickled down, some found ears of Indian Corn, some found Ground- nuts, and others sheaves of Wheat that were frozen together in the shock, and went to threshing of them out. My self got two ears of Indian Corn, and whilst I did but turn my back, one of them was stolen from me, which much troubled me. There came an Indian to them at that time, with a basket of Horse-liver. I asked him to give me a piece: What, sayes he, can you eat Horse-liver? I told him, I would try, if he would give a piece, which he did, and I laid it on the coals to rost; but before it was half ready they got half of it away from me, so that I was fain to take the rest and eat it as it was, with the blood about my mouth, and yet a savoury bit it was to me: For to the hungry Soul every bitter thing is sweet.9 A solemn sight methought it was, to see Fields of wheat and Indian Corn forsaken and spoiled: and the remainders of them to be food for our merciless Enemies. That night we had a mess of wheat for our Supper.

The Eighth Remove1

* * * But to Return, We travelled on till night; and in the morning, we must go over the River to Philip’s Crew.2 When I was in the Cannoo, I could not but be amazed at the numerous crew of Pagans that were on the Bank on the other side. When I came ashore, they gathered all about me, I sitting alone in the midst: I ob- served they asked one another questions, and laughed, and rejoyced over their Gains and Victories. Then my heart began to fail: and I fell a weeping which was the first time to my remembrance, that I wept before them. Although I had met with so much Affliction, and my heart was many times ready to break, yet could I not shed one tear in their sight: but rather had been all this while in a maze, and like one astonished: but now I may say as, Psal. 137. 1. By the Rivers of Babylon, there we sate down: yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. There one of them asked me, why I wept, I could hardly tell what to say: yet I answered, they would kill me: No, said he, none will hurt you. Then came one of them and gave me two

8. To another location in Northfield. 9. Proverbs 27:7. 1. To modern South Vernon, Vermont, across the Connecticut River. 2. King Philip was apparently returning from New York to continue his campaign.

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spoon-fulls of Meal to comfort me, and another gave me half a pint of Pease; which was more worth than many Bushels at another time. Then I went to see King Philip, he bade me come in and sit down, and asked me whether I woold smoke it (a usual Complement nowadayes amongst Saints and Sinners) but this no way suited me. For though I had formerly used Tobacco, yet I had left it ever since I was first taken. It seems to be a Bait, the Devil layes to make men loose their pre- cious time: I remember with shame, how formerly, when I had taken two or three pipes, I was presently ready for another, such a bewitching thing it is: But I thank God, he has now given me power over it; surely there are many who may be bet- ter imployed than to ly sucking a stinking Tobacco-pipe.

Now the Indians gather their Forces to go against North-Hampton:3 over- night one went about yelling and hooting to give notice of the design. Whereupon they fell to boyling of Ground-nuts, and parching of Corn (as many as had it) for their Provision: and in the morning away they went. During my abode in this place, Philip spake to me to make a shirt for his boy, which I did, for which he gave me a shilling: I offered the mony to my master, but he bade me keep it: and with it I bought a piece of Horse flesh. Afterwards he asked me to make a Cap for his boy, for which he invited me to Dinner. I went, and he gave me a Pancake, about as big as two fingers; it was made of parched wheat, beaten, and fryed in Bears grease, but I thought I never tasted pleasanter meat in my life. There was a Squaw who spake to me to make a shirt for her Sannup,4 for which she gave me a piece of Bear. Another asked me to knit a pair of Stockins, for which she gave me a quart of Pease: I boyled my Pease and Bear together, and invited my master and mistriss to dinner, but the proud Gossip,5 because I served them both in one Dish, would eat nothing, except one bit that he gave her upon the point of his knife. Hearing that my son was come to this place, I went to see him, and found him lying flat upon the ground: I asked him how he could sleep so? he answered me, That he was not asleep, but at Prayer; and lay so, that they might not observe what he was doing. I pray God he may remember these things now he is returned in safety. At this Place (the Sun now getting higher) what with the beams and heat of the Sun, and the smoak of the Wigwams, I thought I should have been blind. I could scarce discern one Wigwam from another. There was here one Mary Thurston of Medfield, who seeing how it was with me, lent me a Hat to wear: but as soon as I was gone, the Squaw (who owned that Mary Thurston) came running after me, and got it away again. Here was the Squaw that gave me one spoonfull of Meal. I put it in my Pocket to keep it safe: yet notwithstanding some body stole it, but put five Indian Corns in the room of it: which Corns were the greatest Pro- visions I had in my travel for one day.

The Indians returning from North-Hampton, brought with them some Horses, and Sheep, and other things which they had taken: I desired them, that they would carry me to Albany, upon one of those Horses, and sell me for Pow- der: for so they had sometimes discoursed. I was utterly hopeless of getting home

3. They attacked on March 14, killing six inhabitants. 4. Husband. 5. Friend, or wife.

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on foot, the way that I came. I could hardly bear to think of the many weary steps I had taken, to come to this place.* * *

The Twelfth Remove6

It was upon a Sabbath-day-morning, that they prepared for their Travel. This morning I asked my master whither he would sell me to my Husband; he answered me Nux,7 which did much rejoyce my spirit. My mistriss, before we went, was gone to the burial of a Papoos, and returning, she found me sitting and reading in my Bible; she snatched it hastily out of my hand, and threw it out of doors; I ran out and catcht it up, and put it into my pocket, and never let her see it afterward. Then they packed up their things to be gone, and gave me my load: I complained it was too heavy, whereupon she gave me a slap in the face, and bade me go; I lifted up my heart to God, hoping the Redemption was not far off: and the rather because their insolency grew worse and worse.

But the thoughts of my going homeward (for so we bent our course) much cheared my Spirit, and made my burden seem light, and almost nothing at all. But (to my amazment and great perplexity) the scale was soon turned: for when we had gone a little way, on a sudden my mistriss gives out, she would go no further, but turn back again, and said, I must go back again with her, and she called her Sannup, and would have had him gone back also, but he would not, but said, He would go on, and come to us again in three dayes. My Spirit was upon this, I con- fess, very impatient, and almost outragious. I thought I could as well have dyed as went back: I cannot declare the trouble that I was in about it; but yet back again I must go. As soon as I had an opportunity, I took my Bible to read, and that quiet- ing Scripture came to my hand, Psal. 46. 10. Be still, and know that I am God. Which stilled my spirit for the present: But a sore time of tryal, I concluded, I had to go through, My master being gone, who seemed to me the best friend that I had of an Indian, both in cold and hunger, and quickly so it proved. Down I sat, with my heart as full as it could hold, and yet so hungry that I could not sit nei- ther: but going out to see what I could find, and walking among the Trees, I found six Acorns, and two Ches-nuts, which were some refreshment to me. Towards Night I gathered me some sticks for my own comfort, that I might not ly a-cold: but when we came to ly down they bade me go out, and ly some-where-else, for they had company (they said) come in more than their own: I told them, I could not tell where to go, they bade me go look; I told them, if I went to another Wig- wam they would be angry, and send me home again. Then one of the Company drew his sword, and told me he would run me thorough if I did not go presently. Then was I fain to stoop to this rude fellow, and to go out in the night, I knew not whither. Mine eyes have seen that fellow afterwards walking up and down Boston, under the appearance of a Friend-Indian, and severall others of the like Cut. I went to one Wigwam, and they told me they had no room. Then I went to an- other, and they said the same; at last an old Indian bade me come to him, and his

6. The ninth and tenth removes were to different locations in the Ashuelot Valley in New Hampshire. The eleventh was to modern Chesterfield, New Hampshire, slightly north. The twelfth, Sunday, April 9, appears to have been a few miles south and west, in the same general area. 7. Yes.

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Squaw gave me some Ground-nuts; she gave me also something to lay under my head, and a good fire we had: and through the good providence of God, I had a comfortable lodging that night. In the morning, another Indian bade me come at night, and he would give me six Ground-nuts, which I did. We were at this place and time about two miles from Connecticut River. We went in the morning to gather Ground-nuts, to the River, and went back again that night. I went with a good load at my back (for they when they went, though but a little way, would carry all their trumpery with them) I told them the skin was off my back, but I had no other comforting answer from them than this, That it would be no matter if my head were off too.

The Thirteenth Remove8

Instead of going toward the Bay, which was that I desired, I must go with them five or six miles down the River into a mighty Thicket of Brush: where we abode almost a fortnight. Here one asked me to make a shirt for her Papoos, for which she gave me a mess of Broth, which was thickened with meal made of the Bark of a Tree, and to make it the better, she had put into it about a handfull of Pease, and a few roasted Ground-nuts. I had not seen my son a pritty while, and here was an Indian of whom I made inquiry after him, and asked him when he saw him: he an- swered me, that such a time his master roasted him, and that himself did eat a piece of him, as big as his two fingers, and that he was very good meat: But the Lord upheld my Spirit, under this discouragement; and I considered their horrible addictedness to lying, and that there is not one of them that makes the least con- science of speaking of truth. In this place, on a cold night, as I lay by the fire, I re- moved a stick that kept the heat from me, a Squaw moved it down again, at which I lookt up, and she threw a handfull of ashes in mine eyes; I thought I should have been quite blinded, and have never seen more: but lying down, the water run out of my eyes, and carried the dirt with it, that by the morning, I recovered my sight again. Yet upon this, and the like occasions, I hope it is not too much to say with Job, Have pitty upon me, have pitty upon me, O ye my Friends, for the Hand of the Lord has touched me.9 And here I cannot but remember how many times sit- ting in their Wigwams, and musing on things past, I should suddenly leap up and run out, as if I had been at home, forgetting where I was, and what my condition was: But when I was without, and saw nothing but Wilderness, and Woods, and a company of barbarous heathens, my mind quickly returned to me, which made me think of that, spoken concerning Sampson, who said, I will go out and shake my self as at other times, but he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.1

About this time I began to think that all my hopes of Restoration would come to nothing. I thought of the English Army, and hoped for their coming, and being taken by them, but that failed. I hoped to be carried to Albany, as the Indians had discoursed before, but that failed also. I thought of being sold to my Husband, as my master spake, but in stead of that, my master himself was gone, and I left be-

8. To a location in or near Hinsdale, New Hampshire. 9. Job 19:21. 1. Judges 16:20.

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hind, so that my Spirit was now quite ready to sink. I asked them to let me go out and pick up some sticks, that I might get alone, And poure out my heart unto the Lord. Then also I took my Bible to read, but I found no comfort here neither, which many times I was wont to find: So easie a thing it is with God to dry up the Streames of Scripture-comfort from us. Yet I can say, that in all my sorrows and afflictions, God did not leave me to have my impatience work towards himself, as if his wayes were unrighteous. But I knew that he laid upon me less then I de- served. Afterward, before this dolefull time ended with me, I was turning the leaves of my Bible, and the Lord brought to me some Scriptures, which did a little revive me, as that Isai. 55. 8, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your wayes my ways, saith the Lord. And also that, Psal. 37. 5, Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he shal bring it to pass. About this time they came yelping from Hadly, where they had killed three English men, and brought one Captive with them, viz. Thomas Read.2 They all gathered about the poor Man, asking him many Questions. I desired also to go and see him; and when I came, he was crying bitterly, supposing they would quickly kill him. Whereupon I asked one of them, whether they intended to kill him; he answered me, they would not: He being a little cheared with that, I asked him about the wel-fare of my Hus- band, he told me he saw him such a time in the Bay, and he was well, but very melancholly. By which I certainly understood (though I suspected it before) that whatsoever the Indians told me respecting him was vanity and lies. Some of them told me, he was dead, and they had killed him: some said he was Married again, and that the Governour wished him to Marry; and told him he should have his choice, and that all perswaded I was dead. So like were these barbarous creatures to him who was a lyer from the beginning.

As I was sitting once in the Wigwam here, Phillips Maid came in with the Child in her arms, and asked me to give her a piece of my Apron, to make a flap for it, I told her I would not: then my Mistriss bad me give it, but still I said no: the maid told me if I would not give her a piece, she would tear a piece off it: I told her I would tear her Coat then, with that my Mistriss rises up, and takes up a stick big enough to have killed me, and struck at me with it, but I stept out, and she struck the stick into the Mat of the Wigwam. But while she was pulling of it out, I ran to the Maid and gave her all my Apron, and so that storm went over.

Hearing that my Son was come to this place, I went to see him, and told him his Father was well, but very melancholly: he told me he was as much grieved for his Father as for himself; I wondered at his speech, for I thought I had enough upon my spirit in reference to my self, to make me mindless of my Husband and every one else: they being safe among their Friends. He told me also, that a while before, his Master (together with other Indians) were going to the French for Pow- der; but by the way the Mohawks met with them, and killed four of their Com- pany which made the rest turn back again, for which I desire that my self and he may bless the Lord; for it might have been worse with him, had he been sold to the French, than it proved to be in his remaining with the Indians. * * *

2. Read escaped about May 15.

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The Fourteenth Remove3

Now must we pack up and be gone from this Thicket, bending our course toward the Bay-towns, I haveing nothing to eat by the way this day, but a few crumbs of Cake, that an Indian gave my girle the same day we were taken. She gave it me, and I put it in my pocket: there it lay, till it was so mouldy (for want of good bak- ing) that one could not tell what it was made of; it fell all to crumbs, and grew so dry and hard, that it was like little flints; and this refreshed me many times, when I was ready to faint. It was in my thoughts when I put it into my mouth, that if ever I returned, I would tell the World what a blessing the Lord gave to such mean food. As we went along, they killed a Deer, with a young one in her, they gave me a piece of the Fawn, and it was so young and tender, that one might eat the bones as well as the flesh, and yet I thought it very good. When night came on we sate down; it rained, but they quickly got up a Bark Wigwam, where I lay dry that night. I looked out in the morning, and many of them had line in the rain all night, I saw by their Reaking. Thus the Lord dealt mercifully with me many times, and I fared better than many of them. In the morning they took the blood of the Deer, and put it into the Paunch, and so boyled it; I could eat nothing of that, though they ate it sweetly. And yet they were so nice in other things, that when I had fetcht water, and had put the Dish I dipt the water with, into the Kettle of water which I brought, they would say, they would knock me down; for they said, it was a slut- tish trick. * * *

The Sixteenth Remove4

We began this Remove with wading over Baquag River: the water was up to the knees, and the stream very swift, and so cold that I thought it would have cut me in sunder. I was so weak and feeble, that I reeled as I went along, and thought there I must end my dayes at last, after my bearing and getting thorough so many difficulties; the Indians stood laughing to see me staggering along: but in my dis- tress the Lord gave me experience of the truth, and goodness of that promise, Isai. 43. 2. When thou passest thorough the Waters, I will be with thee, and through the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee. Then I sat down to put on my stockins and shoos, with the teares running down mine eyes, and many sorrowfull thoughts in my heart, but I gat up to go along with them. Quickly there came up to us an Indian, who informed them, that I must go to Wachusit5 to my master, for there was a Letter come from the Council to the Saggamores, about redeeming the Cap- tives, and that there would be another in fourteen dayes, and that I must be there ready. My heart was so heavy before that I could scarce speak or go in the path; and yet now so light, that I could run. My strength seemed to come again, and re- cruit my feeble knees, and aking heart: yet it pleased them to go but one mile that night, and there we stayed two dayes. In that time came a company of Indians to us, near thirty, all on horseback. My heart skipt within me, thinking they had been English-men at the first sight of them, for they were dressed in English Apparel,

3. A few miles south, in the direction of Orange, Massachusetts. The fifteenth remove carried them in the same general direction. 4. Over the Bacquaug (Bacquaug, or Miller’s) River at Orange, returning the way they had come. 5. Mount Wachusett, in Princeton, Massachusetts.

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with Hats, white Neckcloths, and Sashes about their wasts, and Ribbonds upon their shoulders: but when they came near, their was a vast difference between the lovely faces of Christians, and the foul looks of those Heathens, which much damped my spirit again.

The Seventeenth Remove6

A comfortable Remove it was to me, because of my hopes. They gave me a pack, and along we went chearfully; but quickly my will proved more than my strength; having little or no refreshing my strength failed me, and my spirit were almost quite gone. Now may I say with David, Psal. 119. 22, 23, 24. I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down like the locust; my knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh faileth of fatness. At night we came to an Indian Town, and the Indians sate down by a Wigwam discoursing, but I was almost spent, and could scarce speak. I laid down my load, and went into the Wigwam, and there sat an Indian boyling of Horses feet (they being wont to eat the flesh first, and when the feet were old and dried, and they had nothing else, they would cut off the feet and use them). I asked him to give me a little of his Broth, or Water they were boiling in; he took a dish, and gave me one spoonfull of Samp,7 and bid me take as much of the Broth as I would. Then I put some of the hot water to the Samp, and drank it up, and my spirit came again. He gave me also a piece of the Ruff or Ridding8 of the small Guts, and I broiled it on the coals; and now may I say with Jonathan, See, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey, 1 Sam. 14. 29. Now is my Spirit revived again; though means be never so inconsiderable, yet if the Lord bestow his blessing upon them, they shall refresh both Soul and Body.

The Eighteenth Remove

We took up our packs and along we went, but a wearisome day I had of it. As we went along I saw an English-man stript naked, and lying dead upon the ground, but knew not who it was. Then we came to another Indian Town, where we stayed all night. In this Town there were four English Children, Captives; and one of them my own Sisters. I went to see how she did, and she was well, considering her Captive-condition. I would have tarried that night with her, but they that owned her would not suffer it. Then I went into another Wigwam, where they were boyling Corn and Beans, which was a lovely sight to see, but I could not get a taste thereof. Then I went to another Wigwam, where there were two of the En- glish Children; the Squaw was boyling Horses feet, then she cut me off a little piece, and gave one of the English Children a piece also. Being very hungry I had quickly eat up mine, but the Child could not bite it, it was so tough and sinewy, but lay sucking, gnawing, chewing and slabbering of it in the mouth and hand, then I took it of the Child, and eat it my self, and savoury it was to my taste. Then

6. The seventeenth and eighteenth removes continued the journey in the direction of Mount Wachusett, by way of Petersham and Barre, Massachusetts. 7. An Indian corn porridge. 8. The remains, normally thrown out.

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I may say as Job, Chap. 6. 7. The things that my soul refused to touch, are as my sorrowfull meat. Thus the Lord made that pleasant refreshing, which another time would have been an abomination. Then I went home to my mistresses Wigwam; and they told me I disgraced my master with begging, and if I did so any more, they would knock me in head: I told them, they had as good knock me in head as starve me to death.

The Nineteenth Remove9

They said, when we went out, that we must travel to Wachuset this day. But a bit- ter weary day I had of it, travelling now three dayes together, without resting any day between. At last, after many weary steps, I saw Wachuset hills, but many miles off. Then we came to a great Swamp, through which we travelled, up to the knees in mud and water, which was heavy going to one tyred before. Being almost spent, I thought I should have sunk down at last, and never gat out; but I may say, as in Psal. 94. 18, When my foot slipped, thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. Going along, having indeed my life, but little spirit, Philip, who was in the Company, came up and took me by the hand, and said, Two weeks more and you shal be Mistress again. I asked him, if he spake true? he answered, Yes, and quickly you shal come to your master again; who had been gone from us three weeks. After many weary steps we came to Wachuset, where he was: and glad I was to see him. He asked me, When I washt me? I told him not this month, then he fetcht me some water him- self, and bid me wash, and gave me the Glass to see how I lookt; and bid his Squaw give me something to eat: so she gave me a mess of Beans and meat, and a little Ground-nut Cake. I was wonderfully revived with this favour shewed me, Psal. 106. 46, He made them also to be pittied, of all those that carried them Captives.

My master had three Squaws, living sometimes with one, and sometimes with another one, this old Squaw, at whose Wigwam I was, and with whom my Master had been those three weeks. Another was Wattimore,1 with whom I had lived and served all this while: A severe and proud Dame she was, bestowing every day in dressing her self neat as much time as any of the Gentry of the land: powdering her hair, and painting her face, going with Neck-laces, with Jewels in her ears, and Bracelets upon her hands: When she had dressed her self, her work was to make Girdles of Wampom and Beads. The third Squaw was a younger one, by whom he had two Papooses. By that time I was refresht by the old Squaw, with whom my master was, Wettimores Maid came to call me home, at which I fell a weeping. Then the old Squaw told me, to encourage me, that if I wanted victuals, I should come to her, and that I should ly there in her Wigwam. Then I went with the maid, and quickly came again and lodged there. The Squaw laid a Mat under me, and a good Rugg over me; the first time I had any such kindness shewed me. I understood that Wettimore thought, that if she should let me go and serve with the old Squaw, she would be in danger to loose, not only my service, but the redemption-pay also. And I was not a little glad to hear this; being by it raised in my hopes, that in Gods due time there would be an end of this sorrowfull hour. Then came an Indian, and asked

9. To Mount Wachusett. 1. Or Weetamo.

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me to knit him three pair of Stockins, for which I had a Hat, and a silk Handker- chief. Then another asked me to make her a shift, for which she gave me an Apron.

Then came Tom and Peter,2 with the second Letter from the Council, about the Captives. Though they were Indians, I gat them by the hand, and burst out into tears; my heart was so full that I could not speak to them; but recovering my self, I asked them how my husband did, and all my friends and acquaintance? they said, They are all very well but melancholy. They brought me two Biskets, and a pound of Tobacco. The Tobacco I quickly gave away; when it was all gone, one asked me to give him a pipe of Tobacco, I told him it was all gone; then began he to rant and threaten. I told him when my Husband came I would give him some: Hang him Rogue (sayes he) I will knock out his brains, if he comes here. And then again, in the same breath they would say, That if there should come an hundred without Guns, they would do them no hurt. So unstable and like mad men they were. So that fearing the worst, I durst not send to my Husband, though there were some thoughts of his coming to Redeem and fetch me, not knowing what might follow. For there was little more trust to them then to the master they served. When the Letter was come, the Saggamores met to consult about the Cap- tives, and called me to them to enquire how much my husband would give to re- deem me, when I came I sate down among them, as I was wont to do, as their manner is: Then they bade me stand up, and said, they were the General Court.3

They bid me speak what I thought he would give. Now knowing that all we had was destroyed by the Indians, I was in a great strait: I thought if I should speak of but a little, it would be slighted, and hinder the matter; if of a great sum, I knew not where it would be procured: yet at a venture, I said Twenty pounds, yet de- sired them to take less; but they would not hear of that, but sent that message to Boston, that for Twenty pounds I should be redeemed. It was a Praying Indian that wrote their Letter for them.4 There was another Praying Indian, who told me, that he had a brother, that would not eat Horse; his conscience was so tender and scrupulous (though as large as hell, for the destruction of poor Christians). Then he said, he read that Scripture to him, 2 Kings, 6. 25. There was a famine in Samaria, and behold they besieged it, untill an Asses head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a Kab of Doves dung, for five pieces of sil- ver. He expounded this place to his brother, and shewed him that it was lawfull to eat that in a Famine which is not at another time. And now, sayes he, he will eat Horse with any Indian of them all. There was another Praying Indian, who when he had done all the mischief that he could, betrayed his own Father into the En- glish hands, thereby to purchase his own life. Another Praying Indian was at Sudbury-fight,5 though, as he deserved, he was afterward hanged for it. There was another Praying Indian, so wicked and cruel, as to wear a string about his neck, strung with Christians fingers. Another Praying Indian, when they went to Sudbury-fight, went with them, and his Squaw also with him, with her Papoos at her back: Before they went to that fight, they got a company together to Powaw; the manner was as followeth. There was one that kneeled upon a Deerskin, with

2. Christian Indians, Tom Dublet and Peter Conway. 3. The name for the Massachusetts colonial assembly. 4. Peter Jethro, who apparently wrote from the dictation of King Philip. 5. April 18. About thirty Englishmen were killed.

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the company round him in a ring who kneeled, and striking upon the ground with their hands, and with sticks, and muttering or humming with their mouths; be- sides him who kneeled in the ring, there also stood one with a Gun in his hand: Then he on the Deer-skin made a speech, and all manifested assent to it: and so they did many times together. Then they bade him with the Gun go out of the ring, which he did, but when he was out, they called him in again; but he seemed to make a stand, then they called the more earnestly, till he returned again: Then they all sang. Then they gave him two Guns, in either hand one: And so he on the Deer- skin began again; and at the end of every sentence in his speaking, they all as- sented, humming or muttering with their mouthes, and striking upon the ground with their hands. Then they bade him with the two Guns go out of the ring again; which he did, a little way. Then they called him in again, but he made a stand; so they called him with greater earnestness; but he stood reeling and wavering as if he knew not whither he should stand or fall, or which way to go. Then they called him with exceeding great vehemency, all of them, one and another: after a little while he turned in, staggering as he went, with his Armes stretched out, in either hand a Gun. As soon as he came in, they all sang and rejoyced exceedingly a while. And then he upon the Deer-skin, made another speech unto which they all as- sented in a rejoicing manner: and so they ended their business, and forthwith went to Sudbury-fight. To my thinking they went without any scruple, but that they should prosper, and gain the victory. And they went out not so rejoycing, but they came home with as great a Victory. For they said they had killed two Captains, and almost an hundred men. One English-man they brought along with them: and he said, it was too true, for they had made sad work at Sudbury, as indeed it proved. Yet they came home without that rejoycing and triumphing over their vic- tory, which they were wont to shew at other times, but rather like Dogs (as they say) which have lost their ears. Yet I could not perceive that it was for their own loss of men: They said, they had not lost above five or six: and I missed none, ex- cept in one Wigwam. When they went, they acted as if the Devil had told them that they should gain the victory: and now they acted, as if the Devil had told them they should have a fall. Whither it were so or no, I cannot tell, but so it proved, for quickly they began to fall, and so held on that Summer, till they came to utter ruine. They came home on a Sabbath day, and the Powaw that kneeled upon the Deer-skin came home (I may say, without abuse) as black as the Devil. When my master came home, he came to me and bid me make a shirt for his Papoos, of a holland-laced Pillowbeer.6 About that time there came an Indian to me and bid me come to his Wigwam, at night, and he would give me some Pork and Ground- nuts. Which I did, and as I was eating, another Indian said to me, he seems to be your good Friend, but he killed two Englishmen at Sudbury, and there ly their Cloaths behind you: I looked behind me, and there I saw bloody Cloaths, with Bullet-holes in them; yet the Lord suffered not this wretch to do me any hurt; Yea, instead of that, he many times refresht me: five or six times did he and his Squaw refresh my feeble carcass. If I went to their Wigwam at any time, they would al- wayes give me something, and yet they were strangers that I never saw before. An-

6. Pillowcase.

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other Squaw gave me a piece of fresh Pork, and a little Salt with it, and lent me her Pan to Fry it in; and I cannot but remember what a sweet, pleasant and de- lightfull relish that bit had to me, to this day. So little do we prize common mer- cies when we have them to the full.

The Twentieth Remove7

It was their usual manner to remove, when they had done any mischief, lest they should be found out: and so they did at this time. We went about three or four miles, and there they built a great Wigwam, big enough to hold an hundred Indi- ans, which they did in preparation to a great day of Dancing. They would say now amongst themselves, that the Governour would be so angry for his loss at Sud- bury, that he would send no more about the Captives, which made me grieve and tremble. My Sister being not far from the place where we now were, and hearing that I was here, desired her master to let her come and see me, and he was willing to it, and would go with her: but she being ready before him, told him she would go before, and was come within a Mile or two of the place; Then he overtook her, and began to rant as if he had been mad; and made her go back again in the Rain; so that I never saw her till I saw her in Charlestown. But the Lord requited many of their ill doings, for this Indian her Master, was hanged afterward at Boston. The Indians now began to come from all quarters, against their merry dancing day. Among some of them came one Goodwife Kettle: I told her my heart was so heavy that it was ready to break: so is mine too said she, but yet said, I hope we shall hear some good news shortly. I could hear how earnestly my Sister desired to see me, and I as earnestly desired to see her: and yet neither of us could get an op- portunity. My Daughter was also now about a mile off, and I had not seen her in nine or ten weeks, as I had not seen my Sister since our first taking. I earnestly de- sired them to let me go and see them: yea, I intreated, begged, and perswaded them, but to let me see my Daughter; and yet so hard hearted were they, that they would not suffer it. They made use of their tyrannical power whilst they had it: but through the Lords wonderfull mercy, their time was now but short.

On a Sabbath day, the Sun being about an hour high in the afternoon, came Mr. John Hoar8 (the Council permitting him, and his own foreward spirit inclin- ing him) together with the two forementioned Indians, Tom and Peter, with their third Letter from the Council. When they came near, I was abroad: though I saw them not, they presently called me in, and bade me sit down and not stir. Then they catched up their Guns, and away they ran, as if an Enemy had been at hand; and the Guns went off apace. I manifested some great trouble, and they asked me what was the matter? I told them, I thought they had killed the English-man (for they had in the mean time informed me that an English-man was come) they said, No; They shot over his Horse and under, and before his Horse; and they pusht him this way and that way, at their pleasure: shewing what they could do: Then they let them come to their Wigwams. I begged of them to let me see the English- man, but they would not. But there was I fain to sit their pleasure. When they had

7. April 28–May 2, to Wachusett Lake, Princeton. 8. Of Concord, who was appointed to negotiate for Rowlandson’s ransom.

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talked their fill with him, they suffered me to go to him. We asked each other of our welfare, and how my Husband did, and all my Friends? He told me they were all well, and would be glad to see me. Amongst other things which my Husband sent me, there came a pound of Tobacco: which I sold for nine shillings in Money: for many of the Indians for want of Tobacco, smoaked Hemlock, and Ground-Ivy. It was a great mistake in any, who thought I sent for Tobacco: for through the favour of God, that desire was overcome. I now asked them, whither I should go home with Mr. Hoar? They answered No, one and another of them: and it being night, we lay down with that answer; in the morning, Mr. Hoar invited the Sag- gamores to Dinner; but when we went to get it ready, we found that they had stollen the greatest part of the Provision Mr. Hoar had brought, out of his Bags, in the night. And we may see the wonderfull power of God, in that one passage, in that when there was such a great number of the Indians together, and so greedy of a little good food; and no English there, but Mr. Hoar and my self: that there they did not knock us in the head, and take what we had: there being not only some Provision, but also Tradingcloth, a part of the twenty pounds agreed upon: But in- stead of doing us any mischief, they seemed to be ashamed of the fact, and said, it were some Matchit Indian9 that did it. Oh, that we could believe that there is no thing too hard for God! God shewed his Power over the Heathen in this, as he did over the hungry Lyons when Daniel was cast into the Den.1 Mr. Hoar called them betime to Dinner, but they ate very little, they being so busie in dressing them- selves, and getting ready for their Dance: which was carried on by eight of them, four Men and four Squaws: My master and mistress being two. He was dressed in his Holland shirt, with great Laces sewed at the tail of it, he had his silver Buttons, his white Stockins, his Garters were hung round with Shillings, and he had Girdles of Wampom upon his head and shoulders. She had a Kersey Coat, and covered with Girdles of Wampom from the Loins upward: her armes from her elbows to her hands were covered with Bracelets; there were handfulls of Necklaces about her neck, and severall sorts of Jewels in her ears. She had fine red Stokins, and white Shoos, her hair powdered and face painted Red, that was alwayes before Black. And all the Dancers were after the same manner. There were two other singing and knocking on a Kettle for their musick. They keept hopping up and down one after another, with a Kettle of water in the midst, standing warm upon some Embers, to drink of when they were dry. They held on till it was almost night, throwing out Wampom to the standers by. At night I asked them again, if I should go home? They all as one said No, except my Husband would come for me. When we were lain down, my Master went out of the Wigwam, and by and by sent in an Indian called James the Printer,2 who told Mr. Hoar, that my Master would let me go home to morrow, if he would let him have one pint of Liquors. Then Mr. Hoar called his own Indians, Tom and Peter, and bid them go and see whither he would promise it before them three: and if he would, he should have it; which he did, and he had it. Then Philip smeling the business cal’d me to him, and asked me what I would give him, to tell me some good news, and speak a good word for me. I told him, I could not tell what to give him, I would any thing I had, and

9. Bad Indian. 1. The story of Daniel in the lions’ den is told in Daniel 6:1–28. 2. A Praying Indian who assisted John Eliot in printing his Indian Bible.

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asked him what he would have? He said, two Coats and twenty shillings in Mony, and half a bushel of seed Corn, and some Tobacco. I thanked him for his love: but I knew the good news as well as the crafty Fox. My Master after he had had his drink, quickly came ranting into the Wigwam again, and called for Mr. Hoar, drinking to him, and saying, He was a good man: and then again he would say, Hang him Rogue: Being almost drunk, he would drink to him, and yet presently say he should be hanged. Then he called for me. I trembled to hear him, yet I was fain to go to him, and he drank to me, shewing no incivility. He was the first In- dian I saw drunk all the while that I was amongst them. At last his Squaw ran out, and he after her, round the Wigwam, with his mony jingling at his knees: But she escaped him: But having an old Squaw he ran to her: and so through the Lords mercy, we were no more troubled that night. Yet I had not a comfortable nights rest: for I think I can say, I did not sleep for three nights together. The night before the Letter came from the Council, I could not rest, I was so full of feares and trou- bles, God many times leaving us most in the dark, when deliverance is nearest: yea, at this time I could not rest night nor day. The next night I was overjoyed, Mr. Hoar being come, and that with such good tidings. The third night I was even swallowed up with the thoughts of things, viz. that ever I should go home again; and that I must go, leaving my Children behind me in the Wilderness; so that sleep was now almost departed from mine eyes.

On Tuesday morning they called their General Court (as they call it) to con- sult and determine, whether I should go home or no: And they all as one man did seemingly consent to it, that I should go home; except Philip, who would not come among them.

But before I go any further, I would take leave to mention a few remarkable passages of providence, which I took special notice of in my afflicted time.

1. Of the fair opportunity lost in the long March, a little after the Fort-fight, when our English Army was so numerous, and in pursuit of the Enemy, and so near as to take several and destroy them: and the Enemy in such distress for food, that our men might track them by their rooting in the earth for Ground-nuts, whilest they were flying for their lives. I say, that then our Army should want Provision, and be forced to leave their pursuit and return homeward: and the very next week the Enemy came upon our Town, like Bears bereft of their whelps, or so many rav- enous Wolves, rending us and our Lambs to death. But what shall I say? God seemed to leave his People to themselves, and order all things for his own holy ends. Shal there be evil in the City and the Lord hath not done it?3 They are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph, therefore shal they go Captive, with the first that go Captive.4 It is the Lords doing, and it should be marvelous in our eyes.

2. I cannot but remember how the Indians derided the slowness, and dulness of the English Army, in its setting out. For after the desolations at Lancaster and Medfield, as I went along with them, they asked me when I thought the English Army would come after them? I told them I could not tell: It may be they will come in May, said they. Thus did they scoffe at us, as if the English would be a quarter of a year getting ready.

3. Amos 3:6. 4. Amos 6:6–7.

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3. Which also I have hinted before, when the English Army with new supplies were sent forth to pursue after the enemy, and they understanding it, fled before them till they came to Baquaug River, where they forthwith went over safely: that that River should be impassable to the English. I can but admire to see the won- derfull providence of God in preserving the heathen for farther affliction to our poor Countrey. They could go in great numbers over, but the English must stop: God had an over-ruling hand in all those things.

4. It was thought, if their Corn were cut down, they would starve and dy with hunger: and all their Corn that could be found, was destroyed, and they driven from that little they had in store, into the Woods in the midst of Winter; and yet how to admiration did the Lord preserve them for his holy ends, and the destruction of many still amongst the English! strangely did the Lord provide for them; that I did not see (all the time I was among them) one Man, Woman, or Child, die with hunger.

Though many times they would eat that, that a Hog or a Dog would hardly touch; yet by that God strengthened them to be a scourge to his People.

The chief and commonest food was Ground-nuts: They eat also Nuts and Acorns, Harty-choaks, Lilly roots, Ground-beans, and several other weeds and roots, that I know not.

They would pick up old bones, and cut them to pieces at the joynts, and if they were full of wormes and magots, they would scald them over the fire to make the vermine come out, and then boile them, and drink up the Liquor, and then beat the great ends of them in a Morter, and so eat them. They would eat Horses guts, and ears, and all sorts of wild Birds which they could catch: also Bear, Venni- son, Beaver, Tortois, Frogs, Squirrels, Dogs, Skunks, Rattle-snakes; yea, the very Bark of Trees; besides all sorts of creatures, and provision which they plundered from the English. I can but stand in admiration to see the wonderful power of God, in providing for such a vast number of our Enemies in the Wilderness, where there was nothing to be seen, but from hand to mouth. Many times in a morning, the generality of them would eat up all they had, and yet have some forther supply against they wanted. It is said, Psal. 81. 13, 14. Oh, that my People had hearkned to me, and Israel had walked in my wayes, I should soon have subdued their Ene- mies, and turned my hand against their Adversaries. But now our perverse and evil carriages in the sight of the Lord, have so offended him, that instead of turn- ing his hand against them, the Lord feeds and nourishes them up to be a scourge to the whole Land.

5. Another thing that I would observe is, the strange providence of God, in turning things about when the Indians was at the highest, and the English at the lowest. I was with the Enemy eleven weeks and five dayes, and not one Week passed without the fury of the Enemy, and some desolation by fire and sword upon one place or other. They mourned (with their black faces) for their own lossess, yet tri- umphed and rejoyced in their inhumane, and many times devilish cruelty to the English. They would boast much of their Victories; saying, that in two hours time they had destroyed such a Captain, and his Company at such a place; and such a

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Captain and his Company in such a place; and such a Captain and his Company in such a place: and boast how many Towns they had destroyed, and then scoffe, and say, They had done them a good turn, to send them to Heaven so soon. Again, they would say, This Summer that they would knock all the Rogues in the head, or drive them into the Sea, or make them flie the Countrey: thinking surely, Agag-like, The bitterness of Death is past.5 Now the Heathen begins to think all is their own, and the poor Christians hopes to fail (as to man) and now their eyes are more to God, and their hearts sigh heaven-ward: and to say in good earnest, Help Lord, or we perish: When the Lord had brought his people to this, that they saw no help in any thing but himself: then he takes the quarrel into his own hand: and though they had made a pit, in their own imaginations, as deep as hell for the Christians that Summer, yet the Lord hurll’d them selves into it. And the Lord had not so many wayes before to preserve them, but now he hath as many to destroy them.

But to return again to my going home, where we may see a remarkable change of Providence: At first they were all against it, except my Husband would come for me; but afterwards they assented to it, and seemed much to rejoyce in it; some askt me to send them some Bread, others some Tobacco, others shaking me by the hand, offering me a Hood and Scarfe to ride in; not one moving hand or tongue against it. Thus hath the Lord answered my poor desire, and the many earnest re- quests of others put up unto God for me. In my travels an Indian came to me, and told me, if I were willing, he and his Squaw would run away, and go home along with me: I told him No: I was not willing to run away, but desired to wait Gods time, that I might go home quietly, and without fear. And now God hath granted me my desire. O the wonderfull power of God that I have seen, and the experi- ence that I have had: I have been in the midst of those roaring Lyons, and Salvage Bears, that feared neither God, nor Man, nor the Devil, by night and day, alone and in company: sleeping all sorts together, and yet not one of them ever offered me the least abuse of unchastity to me, in word or action. Though some are ready to say, I speak it for my own credit; But I speak it in the presence of God, and to his Glory. Gods Power is as great now, and as sufficient to save, as when he pre- served Daniel in the Lions Den; or the three Children in the fiery Furnace.6 I may well say as his Psal. 107. 12, Oh give thanks unto the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath re- deemed from the hand of the Enemy, especially that I should come away in the midst of so many hundreds of Enemies quietly and peacably, and not a Dog mov- ing his tongue. So I took my leave of them, and in coming along my heart melted into tears, more then all the while I was with them, and I was almost swallowed up with the thoughts that ever I should go home again. About the Sun going down, Mr. Hoar, and my self, and the two Indians came to Lancaster, and a solemn sight it was to me. There had I lived many comfortable years amongst my Relations and Neighbours, and now not one Christian to be seen, nor one house left stand- ing. We went on to a Farm house that was yet standing, where we lay all night: and a comfortable lodging we had, though nothing but straw to ly on. The Lord

5. I Samuel 15:32. Shortly after this reflection, “Samuel hewed Agag in pieces” (I Samuel 15:33). 6. Daniel 3:13–30.

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preserved us in safety that night, and raised us up again in the morning, and car- ried us along, that before noon, we came to Concord. Now was I full of joy, and yet not without sorrow: joy to see such a lovely sight, so many Christians together, and some of them my Neighbours: There I met with my Brother, and my Brother in Law, who asked me, if I knew where his Wife was? Poor heart! he had helped to bury her, and knew it not; she being shot down by the house was partly burnt: so that those who were at Boston at the desolation of the Town, and came back afterward, and buried the dead, did not know her. Yet I was not without sorrow, to think how many were looking and longing, and my own Children amongst the rest, to enjoy that deliverance that I had now received, and I did not know whither ever I should see them again. Being recruited7 with food and raiment we went to Boston that day, where I met with my dear Husband, but the thoughts of our dear Children, one being dead, and the other we could not tell where, abated our com- fort each to other. I was not before so much hem’d in with the merciless and cruel Heathen, but now as much with pittiful, tender-hearted and compassionate Chris- tians. In that poor, and destressed, and beggerly condition I was received in, I was kindly entertained in severall Houses: so much love I received from several (some of whom I knew, and others I knew not) that I am not capable to declare it. But the Lord knows them all by name: The Lord reward them seven fold into their bosoms of his spirituals, for their temporals.8 The twenty pounds the price of my redemption was raised by some Boston Gentlemen, and Mrs. Usher, whose bounty and religious charity, I would not forget to make mention of. Then Mr. Thomas Shepard of Charlstown received us into his House, where we continued eleven weeks; and a Father and Mother they were to us. And many more tender-hearted Friends we met with in that place. We were now in the midst of love, yet not with- out much and frequent heaviness of heart for our poor Children, and other Rela- tions, who were still in affliction. The week following, after my coming in, the Governour and Council sent forth to the Indians again; and that not without suc- cess; for they brought in my Sister, and Good-wife Kettle: Their not knowing where our Children were, was a sore tryal to us still, and yet we were not without secret hopes that we should see them again. That which was dead lay heavier upon my spirit, than those which were alive and amongst the Heathen; thinking how it suffered with its wounds, and I was no way able to relieve it; and how it was buried by the Heathen in the Wilderness from among all Christians. We were hurried up and down in our thoughts, sometime we should hear a report that they were gone this way, and sometimes that; and that they were come in, in this place or that: We kept enquiring and listning to hear concerning them, but no cer- tain news as yet. About this time the Council had ordered a day of publick Thanks- giving:9 though I thought I had still cause of mourning, and being unsettled in our minds, we thought we would ride toward the Eastward, to see if we could hear any thing concerning our Children. And as we were riding along (God is the wise disposer of all things) between Ipswich and Rowly we met with Mr. William Hub-

7. Supplied. 8. Worldly gifts. 9. June 29, 1676.

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bard, who told us that our Son Joseph was come in to Major Waldrens, and an- other with him, which was my Sisters Son. I asked him how he knew it? He said, the Major himself told him so. So along we went till we came to Newbury; and their Minister being absent, they desired my Husband to Preach the Thanks giving for them; but he was not willing to stay there that night, but would go over to Sal- isbury, to hear further, and come again in the morning; which he did, and Preached there that day. At night, when he had done, one came and told him that his Daugh- ter was come in at Providence: Here was mercy on both hands: Now hath God fulfiled that precious Scripture which was such a comfort to me in my distressed condition. When my heart was ready to sink into the Earth (my Children being gone I could not tell whither) and my knees trembled under me, And I was walk- ing through the valley of the shadow of Death: Then the Lord brought, and now has fulfilled that reviving word unto me: Thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears, for thy Work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord, and they shall come again from the Land of the Enemy.1 Now we were between them, the one on the East, and the other on the West: Our Son being near- est, we went to him first, to Portsmouth, where we met with him, and with the Major also: who told us he had done what he could, but could not redeem him under seven pounds; which the good People thereabouts were pleased to pay. The Lord reward the Major, and all the rest, though unknown to me, for their labour of Love. My Sisters Son was redeemed for four pounds, which the Council gave order for the payment of. Having now received one of our Children, we hastened toward the other; going back through Newbury, my Husband preached there on the Sabbath-day: for which they rewarded him many fold.

On Munday we came to Charlstown, where we heard that the Governour of Road-Island had sent over for our Daughter, to take care of her, being now within his Jurisdiction: which should not pass without our acknowledgments. But she being nearer Rehoboth than Road-Island, Mr. Newman went over, and took care of her, and brought her to his own House. And the goodness of God was ad- mirable to us in our low estate, in that he raised up passionate2 Friends on every side to us, when we had nothing to recompance any for their love. The Indians were now gone that way, that it was apprehended dangerous to go to her: But the Carts which carried Provision to the English Army, being guarded, brought her with them to Dorchester, where we received her safe: blessed be the Lord for it, For great is his Power, and he can do whatsoever seemeth him good. Her coming in was after this manner: She was travelling one day with the Indians, with her basket at her back; the company of Indians were got before her, and gone out of sight, all except one Squaw; she followed the Squaw till night, and then both of them lay down, having nothing over them but the heavens, and under them but the earth. Thus she travelled three dayes together, not knowing whither she was going: having nothing to eat or drink but water, and green Hirtle-berries. At last they came into Providence, where she was kindly entertained by several of that Town. The Indians often said, that I should never have her under twenty pounds: But now the Lord hath brought her in upon free-cost, and given her to me the sec-

1. Jeremiah 31:16. 2. Compassionate.

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ond time. The Lord make us a blessing indeed, each to others. Now have I seen that Scripture also fulfilled, Deut. 30:4, 7. If any of thine be driven out to the out- most parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee. And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them which hate thee, which persecuted thee. Thus hath the Lord brought me and mine out of that horrible pit, and hath set us in the midst of tender-hearted and compassionate Christians. It is the desire of my soul, that we may walk worthy of the mercies received, and which we are receiving.

Our Family being now gathered together (those of us that were living) the South Church in Boston hired an House for us: Then we removed from Mr. Shep- ards, those cordial Friends, and went to Boston, where we continued about three quarters of a year: Still the Lord went along with us, and provided graciously for us. I thought it somewhat strange to set up House-keeping with bare walls; but as Solomon sayes, Mony answers all things;3 and that we had through the benevo- lence of Christian-friends, some in this Town, and some in that, and others: And some from England, that in a little time we might look, and see the House furnished with love. The Lord hath been exceeding good to us in our low estate, in that when we had neither house nor home, nor other necessaries; the Lord so moved the hearts of these and those towards us, that we wanted neither food, nor raiment for our selves or ours, Prov. 18. 24. There is a Friend which sticketh closer than a Brother. And how many such Friends have we found, and now living amongst? And truly such a Friend have we found him to be unto us, in whose house we lived, viz. Mr. James Whitcomb, a Friend unto us near hand, and afar off.

I can remember the time, when I used to sleep quietly without workings in my thoughts, whole nights together, but now it is other wayes with me. When all are fast about me, and no eye open, but his who ever waketh, my thoughts are upon things past, upon the awfull dispensation of the Lord towards us; upon his won- derfull power and might, in carrying of us through so many difficulties, in return- ing us in safety, and suffering none to hurt us. I remember in the night season, how the other day I was in the midst of thousands of enemies, and nothing but death before me: It is then hard work to perswade my self, that ever I should be satisfied with bread again. But now we are fed with the finest of the Wheat, and, as I may say, With honey out of the rock:4 In stead of the Husk, we have the fat- ted Calf:5 The thoughts of these things in the particulars of them, and of the love and goodness of God towards us, make it true of me, what David said of himself, Psal. 6. 6. I watered my Couch with my tears. Oh! the wonderfull power of God that mine eyes have seen, affording matter enough for my thoughts to run in, that when others are sleeping mine eyes are weeping.

I have seen the extrem vanity of this World: One hour I have been in health, and wealth, wanting nothing: But the next hour in sickness and wounds, and death, having nothing but sorrow and affliction.

Before I knew what affliction meant, I was ready sometimes to wish for it. When I lived in prosperity, having the comforts of the World about me, my rela- tions by me, my Heart chearfull, and taking little care for any thing; and yet seeing

3. Ecclesiastes 10:19. 4. Psalm 81:16. 5. Luke 15:23.

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many, whom I preferred before my self, under many tryals and afflictions, in sick- ness, weakness, poverty, losses, crosses, and cares of the World, I should be some- times jealous least I should have my portion in this life, and that Scripture would come to my mind, Heb. 12. 6. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every Son whom he receiveth. But now I see the Lord had his time to scourge and chasten me. The portion of some is to have their afflictions by drops, now one drop and then another; but the dregs of the Cup, the Wine of astonish- ment, like a sweeping rain that leaveth no food, did the Lord prepare to be my portion. Affliction I wanted, and affliction I had, full measure (I thought) pressed down and running over; yet I see, when God calls a Person to any thing, and through never so many difficulties, yet he is fully able to carry them through and make them see, and say they have been gainers thereby. And I hope I can say in some measure, As David did, It is good for me that I have been afflicted.6 The Lord hath shewed me the vanity of these outward things. That they are the Vanity of vanities,7 and vexation of spirit; that they are but a shadow, a blast, a bubble, and things of no continuance. That we must rely on God himself, and our whole dependance must be upon him. If trouble from smaller matters begin to arise in me, I have something at hand to check my self with, and say, why am I troubled? It was but the other day that if I had had the world, I would have given it for my freedom, or to have been a Servant to a Christian. I have learned to look beyond present and smaller troubles, and to be quieted under them, as Moses said, Exod. 14. 13. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.

Finis.

1682

6. Psalm 119:71. 7. “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

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EDWARD TAYLOR (1642?–1729)

During the lifetime of Edward Taylor only a few friends read his poems, which re- mained in manuscript. The quiet country pastor tended his flock at Westfield, then a frontier village, in the Connecticut valley, and regarded his poems as sacramen- tal acts of private devotion and worship. Ezra Stiles, the poet’s grandson, inherited the manuscript, along with Taylor’s command “that his heirs should never pub- lish” it; he therefore deposited it in the library at Yale College, of which he was the president. More than two centuries passed before it was discovered, and by that time little could be learned of the man besides what appears in the poetry.

The poetry alone is sufficient to establish him as a writer of a genuine power unequaled by any American poet until Bryant appeared, 150 years later. “A man of small stature but firm: of quick Passions—yet serious and grave,” wrote his grand- son Ezra Stiles; and Samuel Sewall remembered a sermon he had preached at the Old South Church in Boston, which “might have been preached at Paul’s Cross.” This poet was clearly a man of great spiritual passion, of large and liberal learning, enraptured by the Puritan dream to such a degree that he could express it in living song. His success was by no means invariable, but his best poems, a considerable number, justify the position that he at once attained in our literature when in 1939 Thomas H. Johnson published from manuscript a generous selection.

Taylor was probably born in Sketchley, Leicestershire, England, and most likely in a family of dissenters. Johnson points out that an ardent young Congre- gationalist was not then welcome at the British universities, and concludes that the persecutions of 1662 confirmed Taylor’s resolution to emigrate. He taught school for a few years, but finally, in July 1668, he arrived in Boston, seeking lib- erty and education. He carried letters to Increase Mather, already a prominent clergyman, and to John Hull, the Master of the Mint, the leading capitalist of the colony, and father of Sewall’s first wife. The earnest young seeker captured the af- fections of his hosts—the Mathers became his intimates for life—and in a few days it was arranged for him to be off for Harvard, where he and Samuel Mather, a nephew of Increase, were classmates. He and Sewall were still closer—“Chamber- fellows and Bed-fellows,” as the latter records, adding that “he * * * drew me thither.” Quite certainly young Taylor captivated everyone, although his college life was otherwise uneventful, save for some academic distinctions.

Upon graduation in 1671 he accepted a call from the congregation of West- field, and spent the remaining fifty-eight years of his life in quiet usefulness as pas- tor to his Congregational flock. He married twice and became the father of thirteen children, most of whom he outlived. In 1720 Harvard conferred on him the de- gree of master of arts. Taylor died in 1729, “entirely enfeebled * * * longing and waiting for his Dismission.”

Taylor’s manuscript book is in several sections: “God’s Determinations,” which includes “The Preface,” “The Glory of and Grace in the Church set out,” and “The Joy of Church Fellowship rightly attended”; the “Preparatory Meditations,” in two series, including the “Meditations” below and “The Reflexion”; and “Miscella- neous Poems,” the source of the remaining poems reprinted here. Never a servile

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imitator, Taylor was quite evidently acquainted with the serious British poetry of his times, especially the metaphysical poets—such as Donne, Crashaw, and Her- bert—and the contemporaries of Milton, who published Paradise Lost the year be- fore young Taylor set out for America. Dr. Samuel Johnson called Donne’s poems “metaphysical” in disparagement, but poets of the twentieth century restored them to honor. Readers of the seventeenth-century poets or of Hopkins, Yeats, or Eliot will recognize Taylor’s metaphysical language, in which the extreme extension of an emotion has led to extravagant projection of the figure of speech, or to the asso- ciation of ideas and images under almost unbearable tensions, as in the figure of the spinning wheel of “Huswifery” and in the metaphors of the bird of paradise and the bread of life in “Meditation 8.” Taylor’s work was uneven; yet at his best he produced lines and passages of startling vitality, fusing lofty concept and homely detail in the memorable fashion of great poetry. He was a true mystic whose expe- rience still convinces us, and one of the four or five American Puritans whose writ- ings retain the liveliness of genuine literature.

Thomas H. Johnson edited The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor, 1939, a selection. Donald E. Stan- ford’s The Poems of Edward Taylor, 1960, is more complete. Other editions of Taylor’s work include Norman S. Grabo’s Edward Taylor’s “Christographia,” 1962; Grabo’s edition of Treatise Concerning the Lord’s Supper, 1966; T. M. and V. L. Davis, eds., The Unpublished Writings of Edward Taylor, 3 vols., 1981; and T. M. and V. L. Davis, eds., Edward Taylor’s Harmony of the Gospels, 1983. Studies are by Donald Stanford, Edward Taylor, 1965; Karl Keller, The Example of Edward Taylor, 1975; Karen E. Rowe, Saint and Singer: Edward Taylor’s Typology and the Poetics of Meditation, 1986; and John Gatta, Gracious Laughter: The Meditative Wit of Edward Taylor, 1989.

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Edward Taylor Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children

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EDWARD TAYLOR

Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children

A Curious Knot God made in Paradise, And drew it out inamled neatly Fresh.

It was the True-Love Knot, more sweet than spice And set with all the flowres of Graces dress. Its Weddens Knot, that ne’re can be unti’de. 5 No Alexanders Sword can it divide.1

The slips here planted, gay and glorious grow: Unless an Hellish breath do sindge their Plumes.

Here Primrose, Cowslips, Roses, Lilies blow With Violets and Pinkes that voide2 perfumes. 10 Whose beautious leaves ore laid with Hony Dew. And Chanting birds Cherp out sweet Musick true.

When in this Knot I planted was, my Stock Soon knotted, and a manly flower3 out brake.

And after it my branch again did knot 15 Brought out another Flowre its sweet breathd mate. One knot gave one tother the tothers place. Whence Checkling smiles fought in each others face.

But oh! a glorious hand from glory came Guarded with Angells, soon did Crop this flowre 20

Which almost tore the root up of the same At that unlookt for, Dolesome, darksome houre. In Pray’re to Christ perfum’de it did ascend, And Angells bright did it to heaven tend.

But pausing on’t, this sweet perfum’d my thought, 25 Christ would in Glory have a Flowre, Choice, Prime,

And having Choice, chose this my branch forth brought. Lord take’t. I thanke thee, thou takst ought of mine,

“Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children” from The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor, edited by Thomas H. Johnson. Copyright 1939 by Rockland Editions. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

1. As in the story of the Gordian knot cut by Alexander the Great. 2. Emit. 3. The first of four children of Taylor mentioned in the poem (see ll. 16, 32, 33). Two died before the poem was written, probably in 1682 or 1683—after the second death, but before the birth of a fifth child, not mentioned in the poem.

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It is my pledg in glory, part of mee Is now in it, Lord, glorifi’de with thee. 30

But praying ore my branch, my branch did sprout And bore another manly flower, and gay

And after that another, sweet brake out, The which the former hand soon got away. But oh! the tortures, Vomit, screechings, groans, 35 And six weeks Fever would pierce hearts like stones.

Griefe o’re doth flow: and nature fault would finde Were not thy Will, my Spell Charm, Joy, and Gem:

That as I said, I say, take, Lord, they’re thine. I piecemeale pass to Glory bright in them. 40 I joy, may I sweet Flowers for Glory breed, Whether thou getst them green, or lets them seed.

1682–1683 1939

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In the grand vision of John Winthrop’s “A Model of Christian Charity,” Puritansin Massachusetts were placed “as a city upon a hill” to create a model of suc- cess and prosperity that would light the way for the rest of humankind. They be- lieved that God had chosen them to establish a New Jerusalem in a land of Edenic promise and conceived of that effort as an epic fraught with peril. The country was rich to the plow but darkened by forests of unknown nature and extent. The native people, scarce remainders of a population decimated by diseases prior to the earliest Puritan settlements, greeted them in friendship, but they were not be- lievers in ways familiar to Europeans.

The Puritans believed God both favored and tested them. In their theology the devil possessed real existence as a tempter and tormentor, whose efforts they must defeat in order to earn the eternal salvation of God’s best promise. Some saw the Indians as souls to be saved, and men like John Eliot worked to Christianize them, establishing towns of “Praying Indians” near Boston and other settlements. Others saw them as imps of Satan, conscripts in the devil’s warfare against the godly. As the seventeenth century wore on, events conspired to diminish the idea of Indians as potential friends and allies and greatly enlarge the concept of them as implacable enemies and instruments of the devil. By the closing decades of the seventeenth cen- tury, Puritans inhabited a land where the bright promise of the plow had turned into a grim reality of guns and tomahawks. Towns and villages burned, and men, women, and children, both white and red, died in bloody ways and astonishing numbers. Whites were carried as captives to Canada. Indians were sent as slaves to Barbados.

In this grievous time, the Puritans believed that God sent another test. In 1692, when Massachusetts succumbed to witchcraft fever, they believed that the devil was asserting his power again, though the scourge itself was not new. They had no doubt that witches existed. In Europe, an estimated half a million had been put to death, most by burning. By this measure, Salem numbers seem small, the deaths less grisly.

On the American side of the Atlantic, the drama played out against a back- ground of unknown forces in dark forests. The “black man” or “tawny man” mentioned in trial records simultaneously evoked both the devil and the Indians. Torments alleged against the witches replicated hurts suffered at the hands of the Indians, and supernatural powers accorded to both seemed eerily similar. While the trials progressed, Indian raids continued to bring burnings, deaths, mutila- tions, and captivities to nearby towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire where some of the accused and their accusers had lived. In the resultant hysteria, the very life of the Puritan settlements seemed at risk.

The trials lasted only a few months. Indian wars in New England lasted not much longer. The region’s deep wounds from both sources brought lasting remorse and fueled later fires of literary imagination and social reform.

CROSSCURRENTS Puritanism, Indians, and Witchcraft

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The following selections reflect the trajectory of the Puritans’ witch anxiety: they show the connection between Indian powaws (or medicine men) and witch- craft in the Puritan imagination; they show the similarities between the magic the Indians were believed to practice and that the accused witches were thought guilty of; they display the strength and spiritual integrity of one of the victims of the tri- als; and they show the community’s later deep sorrow and repentance.

WILLIAM WOOD (fl. 1629–1635)

An early resident of Massachusetts, Wood is remembered for his call for others to settle there, New England’s Prospect: A True, Lively, and Experimental Description of that Part of America, Commonly Called New England (1634), the source of the following selection. The Indians in his time were friendly, but the belief that they had powers that came from the devil opened a wedge of prejudice for the future.

[Native Religion]

* * * They report of one Pissacannawa that he can make the water burn, the rocks move, the trees dance, metamorphize himself into a flaming man. But, it may be objected, this is but deceptio visus.1 He will therefore do more, for in win- ter, when there is no green leaves to be got, he will burn an old one to ashes, and putting those into the water, produce a new green leaf, which you shall not only see but substantially handle and carry away; and make of a dead snake’s skin a living snake, both to be seen, felt, and heard. This I write but upon the report of the Indians, who confidently affirm stranger things.

But to make manifest that by God’s permission, through the Devil’s help, their charms are of force to produce effects of wonderment, an honest gentleman re- lated this story to me, being an eyewitness of the same. A powaw2 having a pa- tient with the stump of some small tree run through his foot, being past the cure of his ordinary surgery, betook himself to his charms, and being willing to show his miracle before the English stranger, he wrapped a piece of cloth about the foot of the lame man. Upon that wrapping a beaver skin, by his sucking charms he brought out the stump, which he spat into a tray of water, returning the foot as whole as its fellow in a short time.

The manner of their action in their conjuration is thus. The parties that are sick or lame being brought before them, the powaw sits down, the rest of the Indi- ans give attentive audience to his imprecations and invocations, and after the vio- lent expression of many a hideous bellowing and groaning, he makes a stop, and then all the auditors with one voice utter a short canto; which done, the powaw still proceeds in his invocations, sometimes roaring like a bear, other times groan-

1. An illusion. 2. Magician or medicine man.

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ing like a dying horse, foaming at the mouth like a chased boar, smiting on his naked breast and thighs with such violence as if he were mad. Thus will he con- tinue sometimes half a day, spending his lungs, sweating out his fat, and torment- ing his body in this diabolical worship. Sometimes the Devil for requital of their worship recovers the party, to nuzzle them up in their devilish religion.

1634

JOHN WINTHROP (1588–1649)

In his History of New England from 1630 to 1649 Winthrop reports a witchcraft trial nearly half a century before the Salem trials of 1692.

[The Trial of Margaret Jones]

At this court one Margaret Jones of Charlestown was indicted and found guilty of witchcraft, and hanged for it [1648].

The evidence against her was: 1. That she was found to have such a malig- nant touch as many persons (men, women, and children) whom she stroked or touched with any affection or displeasure were taken with deafness, or vomiting, or other violent pains or sickness.

2. She practicing physic, and her medicines being such things as (by her own confession) were harmless, as aniseed, liquors, et cetera, yet had extraordinary vi- olent effects.

3. She would use to tell such as would not make use of her physic that they would never be healed, and accordingly their diseases and hurts continued, with relapse against the ordinary course, and beyond the apprehension of all physicians and surgeons.

4. Some things which she foretold came to pass accordingly; other things she could tell of (as secret speeches, et cetera) which she had no ordinary means to come to the knowledge of.

5. She had (upon search) an apparent teat in her secret parts as fresh as if it had been newly sucked, and after it had been scanned, upon a forced search, that was withered and another began on the opposite side.

6. In the prison, in the clear daylight, there was seen in her arms, she sitting on the floor and her clothes up, a little child, which ran from her into another room, and the officer following it, it was vanished. The like child was seen in two other places, to which she had relation; and one maid that saw it fell sick upon it, and was cured by the said Margaret, who used means to be employed to that end.

Her behavior at her trial was very intemperate, lying notoriously and railing upon the jury and witnesses, and in the like distemper she died. The same day and hour she was executed, there was a very great tempest at Connecticut, which blew down many trees.

1825–1826

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COTTON MATHER (1663–1728)

In Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), Mather reports on mixed Indian and Christian beliefs and practices.

[Indian Powaws and Witchcraft]

Having promised an account of the conversation of many Indians inhabiting these parts of America, it may be well expected I should say something of their religion while heathen.

They generally acknowledged and worshiped many gods, and therefore greatly esteemed and reverenced their priests, powaws, or wizards, as having im- mediate converse with the gods. To them therefore they addressed themselves in all difficult cases. Yet could not all that desire that dignity (as they esteemed it) ob- tain familiarity with the infernal spirits, nor were all powaws alike successful in their addresses; but they become such, either by immediate revelation or in the use of certain rites and ceremonies. Tradition had left a means conducing to that end, in so much that parents often out of zeal dedicated their children to the gods and educated them accordingly, observing certain diet, debarring sleep, et cetera. Yet of the many thus designed, but few obtained their desire.

Supposing that where the practice of witchcraft has been highly esteemed, there may be given the plainest demonstration of mortals having familiarity with infernal spirits, I am willing to let my reader know that not many years since died here one of the powaws, who never pretended to astrological knowledge, yet could precisely inform such who desire his assistance from whence goods stolen from them were taken, and whither carried, with many things of the like nature. Nor was he ever known to endeavor concealing that his knowledge was immediately from a god subservient to him that the English worshiped. * * *

I must a little digress, and tell my reader that this powaw’s wife was accounted a godly woman and lived in the practice and profession of the Christian religion, not only by the approbation but encouragement of her husband. She constantly prayed in the family, and he could not blame her for that she served a God that was above him. But that as to himself, his god’s continued kindness obliged him not to forsake his service.

That the powaws by the infernal spirits often killed persons, caused lameness and impotency, as well as showed their art in performing things beyond human, by diabolic skill—such who have conversed much among them have had no rea- son to question.

Their practice was either to desire the spirit appearing to them to perform what mischief they intended; or to form a piece of leather, like an arrowhead, tying an hair thereto, or using some bone, as of fish (that it might be known witchcraft to the bewitched), over which they performed certain ceremonies, and dismissed them to effect their desire.

Such enchanted things have most certainly either entered the bodies of those intended by them to be wounded, or the Devil hath formed the like within their flesh, without any outward breach of the skin. Such we have good reason to be- lieve, the powaws acknowledging that practice, and such things having been taken

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out of the flesh of the ones supposed to be bewitched. Or they seize something of the spirit (as the Devil made them think) of those they intended to torment or kill, while it wandered in their sleep. This they kept, being in form of a fly, closely im- prisoned; and accordingly as they dealt with this, so it fared with the body it be- longed to.

1702

MARY TOWNE EASTY (1634?–1692)

Mary Easty was accused of witchcraft during the Salem trials. In April 1692, Judge John Hathorne, an ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne, ordered her to join her sis- ters Sarah Cloyce and Rebecca Nurse in jail. Rebecca was tried in June and hanged in July. Mary appeared before the grand jury in August and was tried, condemned, and hanged in September.

She had petitioned that “no more innocent blood be shed,” but Governor Phips did not respond to her petition. For most of the summer and during the pe- riod of Easty’s trial and execution, he was in Maine (then a part of Massachusetts), where he was attempting to forestall further attacks from the French and Indians. Nor did others within the court system respond, although sentiment against the tri- als was rapidly building. Robert Calef reported in his More Wonders of the Invis- ible World (1700) that her death was “as serious, religious, distinct, and affectionate as could well be expressed” and that her “last farewell” drew “tears from the eyes of almost all present.” She and the seven men and women who died with her were the last “witches” to be executed in Massachusetts.

By the end of the year the trials were terminated. Easty’s petition speaks elo- quently to the independent spirit, unwavering faith, and firm resolve of a strong woman caught in the web of a tragic communal mistake.

[The Petition of Mary Easty]

The humble petition of Mary Easty unto his Excellencies Sir William Phips, and to the Honored Judge and bench now sitting in judicature in Salem, and the Rev- erend Ministers, humbly sheweth:

That whereas your poor and humble petitioner, being condemned to die, do humbly beg of you to take it in your judicious and pious considerations that your poor and humble petitioner, knowing my own innocencie—blessed be the Lord for it—and seeing plainly the wiles and subtility of my accusers, by myself cannot but judge charitably of others that are going the way of myself, if the Lord steps not mightily in. I was confined a whole month upon the same account that I am condemned now for, and then cleared by the afflicted persons, as some of your Honors know. And in two days time I was cried out upon by them and have been confined and now am condemned to die. The Lord above knows my innocencie then and likewise does now, as at the great day will be known to men and angels. I petition to your Honors not for my own life, for I know I must die and my ap- pointed time is set, but (the Lord knows it is) that if it be possible, no more inno- cent blood may be shed, which undoubtedly cannot be avoided in the way and course you go in. I question not but your Honors does to the utmost of your power

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in the discovery and selecting of witchcraft and witches, and would not be guilty of innocent blood for the world; but by my innocencie I know you are in the wrong way. The Lord in his infinite mercy direct you in this great work, if it be blessed will that no more innocent blood be shed. I would humbly beg of you that your Honors would be pleased to examine these afflicted persons strictly and keep them apart some time, and likewise to try some of these confessing witches, I being confident there is several of them has belied themselves and others, as will appear if not in this world I am sure in the world to come, whither I am now a-going. And I question not but you’ll see an alteration of these things they say myself and others, having made a league with the devil, we cannot confess. I know and the Lord knows, as will shortly appear, they belie me and so I question not but they do others. The Lord above, who is the searcher of all hearts, knows that as I shall answer it at the tribunal seat that I know not the least thing of witchcraft—there- fore I cannot, I dare not, belie my own Soul. I beg your Honors not to deny this my humble petition from a poor dying innocent person, and I question not but that the Lord will give a blessing to your endeavors.

1692

SAMUEL SEWALL (1652–1730)

Five years after the witchcraft trials ended, Judge Sewall posted his confession in church and summarized the occasion in his diary in the form reprinted below. Such was the community’s accumulated sense of wrong that a dozen jurors also begged forgiveness, expressing “to all in general (and to the surviving Sufferers in especial) our deep sense of, and sorrow for our Errors, in acting on such Evidence to the condemning of any person.”

[A Witchcraft Judge’s Confession of Guilt]

Jan. 14, 1697. Copy of the Bill I put up on the Fast day; giving it to Mr. Willard as he pass’d by, and standing up at the reading of it, and bowing when finished; in the Afternoon.

Samuel Sewall, sensible of the reiterated strokes of God upon himself and family;1 and being sensible, that as to the Guilt contracted upon the opening of the late commission of Oyer and Terminer2 at Salem (to which the order for this Day relates) he is, upon many accounts, more concerned than any that he knows of, Desires to take the Blame and shame of it, Asking pardon of men, And espe- cially desiring prayers that God, who has an Unlimited Authority, would pardon that sin and all other his sins; personal and Relative: And according to his infinite Benignity, and Sovereignty, Not Visit the sin of him, or of any other, upon himself or any of his, nor upon the Land: But that He would powerfully defend him against all Temptations to Sin, for the future; and vouchsafe him the efficacious, saving Conduct of his Word and Spirit. 1697 1878

1. In 1696, the Sewalls had lost two children, a stillborn son in May and a daughter in December. 2. Court for criminal trials.

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COTTON MATHER (1663–1728)

From his own day to the present, few of his critics have been able to express unal- loyed enthusiasm for Cotton Mather, either as man or as writer. Yet it is impossi- ble to ignore the fantastic bulk of his writing, his contemporary influence, or the international reputation of his best works. In fact, in spite of the colossal mass, dullness, and personal bias of his work as a whole, it has been a valuable source for knowledge of the history and the people of colonial New England, while a number of his writings possess genuine and enduring power. Mather himself has been viewed as a pedantic egotist, a reactionary, and a bigoted witch-hunter; yet it seems only just to remember also that he was fighting a losing battle for the sur- vival of an ideal and a theology that to him were life itself, while the tide of a new age, secular and materialistic, crumbled the defenses about his zealot’s Zion.

The way of life that he belatedly defended was symbolized by the dynasty of which he was the last, in succession to his grandfather, Richard, and his father, In- crease Mather. This priesthood had represented the dominant hierarchy of New England during more than a half century. Cotton Mather was enrolled in Harvard at eleven, already prodigious for his command of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and soon to become saturated with self-conscious piety and learning. Receiving his mas- ter of arts degree at eighteen, he entered the ministry at the Second Church in Boston as assistant to his father, whom he succeeded in due course. There he spent his life in a superhuman ferment of activity and publication which carried far beyond his parish duties into public issues, decorum, and morals, as well as theological dogma.

His personality, however, was not likely to sustain his chosen role even under favorable circumstances, and Boston was no longer the Puritan community of his father’s youth. Encouraged by inherited authority and by his early reputation of unearthly genius, convinced that God had ordained him vicar by removing a speech defect, he became, as Moses Coit Tyler says in A History of American Lit- erature, 1607–1765, a victim of circumstances, “stretched every instant of his life, on the rack of ostentatious exertion, intellectual and religious, * * * in defer- ence to a dreadful system of ascetic and pharisaic formalism, in which his nature was hopelessly enmeshed.” In his all-consuming study he amassed two thousand books, the largest of the colonial libraries; his scientific speculations secured his election to the Royal Society; his ceaseless writing produced 444 bound volumes, fourteen of them in one year in which he also continued to perform his duties as pastor and observed twenty vigils and sixty fasts. It is reported that he kept 450 fasts during his life and once publicly humiliated himself for his sins. In modern terms this suggests a state of hysteria, a Puritan tragedy of genius. When he died in 1728, he had survived three wives—the last died insane—he had outlived all but two of fifteen children, and one of the survivors had gone far astray. His pub- lic leadership had failed, yet his own faith had never wavered, however narrow it may seem to modern thought.

Mather’s great literary defect was his style—pedantic, heavy with literary al- lusions and quotations in several languages, often arrogant, violent in its images, language, and bursts of passion. This “fantastic” style had flourished for a time in

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various European literatures from Italy to England, and Mather was among its last defenders. When he was deeply moved, however, he could make of it an im- pressive instrument, particularly in the biographical sketches in Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), his best-known production. This ponderous work comprises seven books, including a history of the New England settlements; “lives” of gov- ernors, magistrates, and “sixty famous divines”; records of “divine providences” and the “wars of the Lord” against Satan, witches, heretics, Quakers, and Indi- ans—a pastiche of brilliance, beauty, and botch-work. The earlier Wonders of the Invisible World (1693) is a vigorous analysis of the validity of evidence against witches, which still evokes the morbid fascination of reasoned error. Mather had not participated in the bloody trials of the previous year, but his influence then was on the side of the prosecution, although in 1700 he repudiated some of the convicting evidence as invalid. Bonifacius (1710), later called Essays to Do Good, quite remarkably establishes a practical system for the daily transaction of good deeds and benevolence—and delighted Franklin’s rationalistic mind. Psalterium Americanum (1718), a translation of the psalms, advanced Mather’s liberal lead- ership in the movement to restore psalm singing to worship. Parentator (1724), his life of his father, vies with his sketch of John Eliot in Magnalia for gentleness and insight; and these qualities are again present in Manuductio ad Ministerium (1726), a manual of guidance for young ministers.

There is no collected edition of the works of Cotton Mather. Editions are listed in J. T. Holmes, Cot- ton Mather: A Bibliography of His Works, 3 vols., with analyses and notes, 1940. Carefully chosen and edited is Kenneth B. Murdock’s Selections from Cotton Mather, 1926. Magnalia Christi Americana; or The Ecclesiastical History of New-England, was published in London, 1702, and in Hartford, 1820, new ed., 2 vols., 1853–55. A scholarly modern edition is Magnalia Christi Americana, ed. Kenneth B. Murdock, with Elizabeth W. Miller, 1977. Other modern editions of value include Selected Letters, ed. K. Silverman, 1971, and Bonifacius, ed. David Levin, 1966. Wonders of the Invisible World, reprinted as Witchcraft, appeared in 1956, and the Diary, 2 vols., in 1957. The first full biography is Kenneth Sil- verman’s The Life and Times of Cotton Mather, 1984. An earlier profile is Barrett Wendell’s Cotton Mather, 1891. See also Robert Middlekauff, The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1971; David Levin, Cotton Mather: The Young Life of The Lord’s Remembrancer, 1978; and J. Erwin, The Millennialism of Cotton Mather, 1990.

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Cotton Mather from Bonifacius: Essays to Do Good

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COTTON MATHER

From Bonifacius: Essays to Do [email protected]

Much Occasion for Doing Good

Such glorious things are spoken in the oracles of God, concerning them who de- vise good, that A BOOK OF GOOD DEVICES may reasonably demand attention and ac- ceptance from those who have any impressions of the most reasonable religion upon them. I am devising such a BOOK; but at the same time offering a sorrowful demonstration, that if men would set themselves to devise good, a world of good might be done more than is now done, in this “present evil world.” Much is requi- site to be done that the great God and his Christ may be more known and served in the world; and that the errors which prevent men from glorifying their Creator and Redeemer may be rectified. Much is necessary to be done that the evil man- ners of the world, by which men are drowned in perdition, may be reformed; and mankind rescued from the epidemical corruption which has overwhelmed it. Much must be done that the miseries of the world may have suitable remedies provided for them; and that the wretched may be relieved and comforted. The world con- tains, it is supposed, about a thousand millions of inhabitants. What an ample field do these afford, for doing good? In a word, the kingdom of God in the world calls for innumerable services from us. To do such things is to do good. Those men devise good, who form plans which have such a tendency, whether the objects be of a temporal or spiritual nature. You see the general matter, appearing as yet but a chaos, which is to be wrought upon. O! that the good Spirit of God may now fall upon us, and carry on the glorious work which lies before us!

1. In its first publication (1710) Bonifacius had a five-line title, but it soon became known as “Essays to Do Good.” Actually the essays have a certain continuity: the first third or more is the philosophical generalization, which we represent here. The remainder is a quaintly pedagogical, yet perceptive analy- sis of problems of “doing good” for specific groups—wives, servants, and so on; or in occupations—as teachers, civil officials, “rich men,” lawyers.

In the philosophical generalization, his magnanimous “world-view” somewhat resembles the con- cerns of the present century. Mather’s ethical system is God-centered, but God is not exclusively the Judeo-Christian Jehovah. “I produce,” says Mather, “not only religion but even Humanity itself. * * * I speak to wise men, whose reason shall be my rhetoric, and to Christians, whose conscience shall be my eloquence, * * * that Mankind [be] rescued from the epidemical corruption which has over- whelmed it. * * * A man cannot but find himself while he is doing good [because of] that ‘divine na- ture’ of which we are partakers.”

Among many, Franklin was early influenced by this book, as he tells us in his Autobiography, so much so that he echoed its title for the “Do-good Papers.” Also, Franklin’s system of self-appraisal may reflect the system of practical self-discipline recommended by Mather. And fifty years after Mather’s death Franklin wrote to Richard Mather, his son (from Passy, France, 1779), “it gave me such a turn of thinking as to have influence on my conduct through life.”

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The Excellence of Well-Doing

It may be presumed that my readers will readily admit, that it is an excellent thing to be full of devices to bring about such noble designs. For any man to deride or despise my proposal, “That we resolve and study to do as much good in the world as we can,” would be the mark of so black a character, that I am almost unwilling to suppose its existence. Let no man pretend to the name of a Christian, who does not approve the proposal of a perpetual endeavour to do good in the world. What pretension can such a man have to be a follower of the Good One? The primitive Christians gladly accepted and improved the name, when the Pagans, by a mis- take, styled them Chrestians; because it signified, useful ones. The Christians, who have no ambition to be such, shall be condemned by the Pagans; among whom it was a title of the highest honour to be termed, “a Benefactor:” To have done good, was accounted honourable. The philosopher being asked, Why every one desired to gaze on a fair object, answered, that it was the question of a blind man. If any man ask, Why it is so necessary to do good? I must say, it sounds not like the ques- tion of a good man. The “spiritual taste” of every good man will give him an un- speakable relish for it. Yea, unworthy to be deemed a man, is he, who is not for doing good among men. An enemy to the proposal, “that mankind may be the better for us,” deserves to be reckoned little better than a common enemy of mankind. How cogently do I bespeak a good reception of what is now designed! I produce not only religion, but even humanity itself, as full of a “fiery indignation against the adversaries” of the design. Excuse me, Sirs; I declare, that if I could have my choice, I would never eat or drink, or walk, with such a one, as long as I live; or look on him as any other than one by whom humanity itself is debased and blemished. A very wicked writer had yet found himself compelled, by the force of reason, to publish this confession: “To love the public; to study the universal good; and to promote the interest of the whole world, as far as it is in our power, is surely the highest goodness, and constitutes that temper, which we call divine.” And he proceeds—“Is doing good for the sake of glory so divine?” (alas! too much human!) “or, is it not more divine to do good, even where it may be thought in- glorious; even to the ungrateful, and to those who are wholly insensible of the good they receive?” A man must be far gone in wickedness, who will open his mouth against such maxims and actions! A better pen has remarked it; yea, the man must be much a stranger to history, who has not made the remark: “To speak truth, and to do good, were, in the esteem even of the heathen world, most God- like qualities.” God forbid, that there should be any abatement of esteem for those qualities in the Christian world!

The Reward of Well-Doing

I will not yet propose the REWARD of well doing, and the glorious things which the mercy and truth of God will perform for those who devise good; because I would have to do with such as esteem it a sufficient reward to itself. I will suppose my readers to be possessed of that ingenuous temper, which will induce them to ac- count themselves well rewarded in the thing itself, if God will permit them to do good in the world. It is an invaluable honour to do good; it is an incomparable pleasure. A man must look upon himself as dignified and gratified by God, when an opportunity to do good is put into his hands. He must embrace it with rapture,

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as enabling him to answer the great end of his being. He must manage it with rap- turous delight, as a most suitable business, as a most precious privilege. He must “sing in those ways of the Lord,” wherein he cannot but find himself while he is doing good. As the saint of old sweetly sang, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord;”2 so ought we to be glad when any opportu- nity of doing good is presented to us. We should need no arguments to incline us to entertain the offer; but should naturally fly into the matter, as most agreeable to that “divine nature” of which we are made partakers. It should gratify us wonder- fully; as much as if an ingot of gold were presented to us! We should rejoice as having obtained the utmost of our wishes. Some servants of God have been so in- tent on this object, that they have cheerfully proposed to make any recompense that could be desired, to a friend who would supply the barrenness of their own thoughts, and suggest any special methods by which they might be useful. Cer- tainly, to do good, is a thing that brings its own recompense, in the opinion of those who deem information on this head worthy of a recompense. I will only say, that if any of my readers are strangers to such a disposition as this, and do not consider themselves enriched and favoured of God, when he employs them in doing good—with such persons I have done, and would beg them to lay the book aside: it will be irksome to carry on any further conversation with them: it is a subject on which the house of Caleb3 will not be conversed with. I will be content with one of Dr. Stoughton’s4 introductions; “It is enough for me that I speak to wise men, whose reason shall be my rhetoric; to Christians, whose conscience shall be my eloquence.”

Though the assertion may fly like a chain-shot amongst us, and rake down all before it, I will again and again assert, that every one of us might do more good than he does; and therefore this is the first proposal I would make. To be exceed- ingly humbled that we have done so little good in the world. I am not uncharita- ble in saying, that I know not one assembly of Christians on earth, which ought not to be a Bochim,5 on this consideration. O! tell me in what Utopia I shall find it. Sirs! let us begin to be fruitful, by lamenting our past unfruitfulness. Verily, sins of omission must be confessed and lamented, or else we add to their number. The most useful men in the world have gone out of it, crying, “Lord, forgive our sins of omission!” Many a good man, who has been peculiarly conscientious about the profitable employment of his time, has had his death bed rendered uneasy by this reflection, “The loss of time now lies heavy upon me!” Certain it is, that all unre- generate persons are unprofitable persons; and they are properly compared to “thorns and briers,” to teach us what they are. An unrenewed sinner! alas, he never performed one good work in all his life! In all his life, did I say? I recall that word. He is “dead while he liveth”—he is “dead in sin;” he has not yet begun to

2. Psalm 122:1. 3. An emissary of Joshua sent with other scouts to view the land of Canaan before the actual entry of the Israelites. They returned with fine fruits as evidence of the productivity of the land, but some mur- mured that the land could not be captured (Numbers 13:2 ff.). 4. William Stoughton (1630?–1710), one of the judges of the Salem witch trials, founder of Stoughton Hall, Harvard, one-time lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. 5. The place of mourners.

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“live unto God;” and as he is himself dead, so are all his works; they are “dead works.” O, wretched, useless being! Wonder, wonder, at the patience of Heaven, which yet forbears to cut down such “a cumberer of the ground!” O that such persons may immediately acknowledge the necessity of turning to God; and how unable they are to do it; and how unworthy they are that God should make them able! O that they may cry to God for his sovereign grace to quicken them; and let them plead the sacrifice of Christ for their reconciliation to God; seriously resolve on a life of obedience to God, and resign themselves up to the Holy Spirit, that he may lead them in the paths of holiness! No good will be done, till this be done. The first-born of all devices to do good, is in being born again. * * *

On Internal Piety and Self-Examination

Why should not the charity of which we are treating, “begin at home?” It ob- serves not a due decorum if it doth not; and it will be liable to great exceptions in its pretensions and proceedings, “Call not that man wise whose wisdom begins not at home.” This then, is to be made an early PROPOSAL.

First, Let every man devise what good may be done for the correction of what is yet amiss, IN HIS OWN HEART AND LIFE. It is a good remark of the witty Fuller;6

“He need not complain of too little work, who hath a little world in himself to mend.” It was of old complained, “No man repented him, saying, What have I done?” Every man upon earth may find in himself something that wants correct- ing; and the work of repentance is to inquire, not only, “what we have done,” but also, “what we have to do.” Frequent self-examination is the duty of all who would know themselves, or would not lose themselves. The great intention of self- examination is to find out the points wherein we are to “amend our ways.” A christian that would thrive in christianity must be no stranger to a course of medi- tation. This is one of the masters which are requisite to make a “man of God.” One article and exercise in our meditation should be to find out the things wherein a greater conformity to the truths upon which we have been meditating, may be attempted. If we would be good men, we must often devise how we may grow in knowledge and in all goodness. Such an inquiry as this should often be made: “What shall I do, that what is yet lacking in the image of God upon me, may be perfected? What shall I do, that I may live more perfectly, more watchfully, more fruitfully before my glorious Lord?”

And why should not our meditation, when we retire to that profitable engage- ment, conclude with some resolution? Devise now, and resolve something to strengthen your walk with God.

With some devout hearers of the word, it is a practice, where they have heard a sermon, to think, “What good thing have I now to ask of God with a peculiar importunity?” they are also accustomed to call upon their children, and make them answer this question: “Child, what blessing will you now ask of the glorious God?” After which, they charge them to go and do accordingly.

In pursuance of this piety, why may not this be one of the exercises which shall conspire to form a good evening for the best of days? Let it be a part of our

6. Thomas Fuller (1608–1661), prominent British clergyman and author.

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work on the Lord’s-day evening, seriously to ask ourselves the following question: “If I should die this week, what have I left undone, which I should then wish I had been more diligent in performing?” My friend, place thyself in dying circum- stances; apprehend and realize thy approaching dissolution. Suppose thy last, solemn hour arrived: thy breath failing, thy throat rattling, thy hands with a cold sweat upon them—only the turn of the tide expected for thy expiration. In this condition, “What wouldst thou wish to have done more than thou hast already done, for thy own soul, for thy family, or for the people of God?” Think upon this question, and do not forget the result of thy thoughts; do not delay to perform what thou hast resolved upon. How much more agreeable and profitable would such an exercise be on the Lord’s-day evening than those vanities to which that evening is too commonly prostituted, and by which all the good of the past day is defeated! And if such an exercise were often performed, O! how much would it regulate our lives; how watchfully, how fruitfully would it cause us to live; what an incredible number of good works would it produce in the world!

Will you remember, Sirs, that every christian is a “temple of God!” It would be of great service to christianity, if this notion of its true nature were more fre- quently and clearly cultivated. But certainly there yet remains very much for every one of us to do, that the temple may be carried on to perfection; that it may be re- paired, finished, purified, and the topstone of it laid, with shoutings of “grace, grace!” unto it.

As a branch of this piety, I will recommend a serious and fruitful improvement of the various dispensations of Divine Providence which we have occasion to no- tice. More particularly: Have you received any special blessing and mercies from the hand of God? You do not suitably express your thankfulness; you do not ren- der again according to the benefit that is done unto you, unless you set yourself to consider, “What shall I render unto the Lord?” You should contrive some signal thing to be done on this occasion; some service to the kingdom of God, either within yourself, or among others, which may be a just confession and memorial of what a gracious God has done for you. This is an action, to which the “goodness of God leadeth you.” And I would ask, How can a good voyage, or a good bargain be made without some special returns of gratitude to God? I would have a portion of your property made a thank-offering, by being set apart for pious uses. * * *

Give me leave to press this one point of prudence upon you. There are not a few persons who have many hours of leisure in the way of their personal callings. When the weather takes them off from their business, or when their shops are not full of customers, they have little or nothing to do. Now, Sirs, the proposal is, “Be not fools,” but redeem this time to your own advantage, to the best advantage. To the man of leisure as well as to the minister, it is an advice of wisdom, “Give thy- self unto reading.” Good books of all sorts may employ your leisure, and enrich you with treasures more valuable than those which you might have procured in your usual avocations. Let the baneful thoughts of idleness be chased out of our minds. But then also, let some thoughts on that subject, “What good may I do?” succeed them. When you have leisure to think on that subject you can have no ex- cuse for neglecting so to do.

1710

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Thematic Section Introduction

The South and the Middle Colonies

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The South and the Middle Colonies

During the seventeenth century, the South was not a land of large plantations. The eventual shift from a yeoman economy of small landholding farmers to a slave- holding plantation economy resulted from pressures of British mercantilism, a colonial system that brought substantial benefits for a time to the agricultural colonies of the South. England’s Navigation Acts of the late seventeenth century were intended to compel the colonists to sell to the mother country all their raw materials and agricultural exports, in exchange for British manufactured prod- ucts. Since British shipping had a monopoly of the carriage, at rates fixed in En- gland, the mother country was assured of a credit balance. In the northern colonies, where natural conditions favored manufactures and commerce, this ex- ploitation in time became intolerable and provided one of the deep-rooted reasons for the Revolution.

Although the southern plantation colonies were restless at being confined to the British market, their crops were generally salable there. Southern plantation wealth grew steadily, as did the system of chattel slavery. By the time of the Revo- lution the colonies had imported half a million Africans—roughly a dozen times the number of British convicts transported to work out their sentences. In the eigh- teenth century, the system supported a tidewater aristocracy that produced fami- lies of great culture, whose sons enjoyed the advantages of British and Continental universities and built fine private libraries. Among them were such leaders and statesmen as the Byrds, Jefferson, and Madison. Yet, before the period of the Rev- olution, the South added little to the creative literature of the colonies. This is not surprising. Southern urban centers were small and widely separated, and the pop- ulation, much dispersed, was composed of a few privileged aristocrats, thousands of slaves, a number of indentured servants, and a white middle class of generally unlettered frontier settlers and small yeoman farmers.

Between New England and the sprawling farmlands of the southern colonies stretched the provinces of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The seeds of American toleration rooted early in this area populated by diverse national strains. Here the melting pot that produced Crèvecœur’s conception of an American boiled with a briskness unknown elsewhere along the Atlantic seaboard. Dutch and Swedish colonies were established in New York and Pennsylvania be- fore the British came, the tolerance of Pennsylvania attracted large numbers of French Huguenot and German refugees, and Jewish merchants appeared early in New York and Philadelphia.

Of all the colonies, the Middle Colonies enjoyed the best geographical loca- tion: the easiest access to the great inland waterways and stored natural resources of the continent, and the finest balance of agricultural, manufacturing, and com- mercial potentials. By 1750, the Quaker city of Philadelphia had become the unofficial colonial capital by virtue of its location, the size of its population, and the volume of its commercial activity; in these respects it surpassed all other cities in the British Empire except London. The cultural institutions of the Middle

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Colonies proved quite as important as those of New England in providing condi- tions and ideas that combined during the revolutionary crises of the eighteenth century to shape a national character and frame a democratic government then unique among nations. When the time came, the Middle Colonies, with their mixed cultures and central location, served as the natural center for activities of mutual interest, such as the colonial convention or congress.

Of the many groups in the Pennsylvania Colony, the Quakers were most ho- mogeneous. Although they were drawn in the beginning primarily from the hum- bler ranks of the English middle classes—artisans, tradesmen, and yeoman farmers—their American leader, William Penn, was one of the best-trained men in the colonies, and one of the greatest. He was a follower of George Fox, the En- glish shepherd and cobbler whose powerful evangelism welded his disciples into the Religious Society of Friends. Fundamentally closer to Luther’s theology than to Calvin’s, early Quaker theology was concerned less with the original depravity that was so important to Puritans than with the abounding grace of God. Also ex- tending Luther’s rebellion against the delegated authority of pope or bishop fur- ther than the Puritans, Fox and his followers taught that the ultimate authority for any person was the “inner light,” the divine immanence, revealed to that per- son’s own soul. Thus, the Quaker worshiped in quiet, waiting upon the inward revelation of unity with the Eternal.

Inheriting from his father a large financial claim upon the government of Charles II, in 1681 Penn secured in settlement the vast colonial estate that the king named Pennsylvania. As proprietor, Penn possessed great powers, but in writing his famous “Frame of Government” he ordained a free commonwealth, bestow- ing wide privileges of self-government upon the people. Convinced that “the na- tions want a precedent,” he declared that “any government is free to the people where the laws rule * * * and the people are party to the laws. * * * Liberty without obedience is confusion, and obedience without liberty is slavery.” These words, and the precedent established by his “Holy Experiment,” remained alive in the American colonies, much later to be embodied in the Declaration of Indepen- dence and the United States Constitution, both written in Penn’s Philadelphia, a city named from the Greek words for “brotherly love.”

Pennsylvania thrived. Like the Puritans, the Quakers quickly provided for ed- ucation. Four years after Penn’s arrival, they established their first press (1686) and a public school chartered by the proprietor. In 1740 Philadelphians chartered the Charity School, soon called the Academy and later the University of Pennsyl- vania, the fourth colonial college (following Harvard, William and Mary, and Yale) and the first secular one. During the same period the Middle Colonies founded three other colleges: Princeton (The College of New Jersey, 1746), Co- lumbia (King’s College, 1754), and Rutgers (Queen’s College, 1766). The energies of these colonists of mixed cultures, centered in Pennsylvania, fostered the devel- opment of science and medicine, technical enterprise and commerce, journalism, and government—Penn, for example, made the first proposal for a union of the colonies—but, in spite of the remarkable currency of the printed word among them, they produced less of lasting literary value than New England did until after the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Among Penn’s most interesting writings are his “Frame of Government”; his No Cross No Crown (1669), a defense of his creed; and Some Fruits of Solitude (1693), a collection of essays on the conduct of

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life and his Christian faith. The arrival of Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia five years after the death of Penn brought to Pennsylvania one of the great writers of the early period, an intellectual and literary giant whose deistic humanism meshed well with the colony’s Quaker heritage. Other writings of the Middle Colonies were varied. Many early American Friends published journals, but only John Woolman’s survives as great literature. Some early colonial travelers and observers from the Middle Colonies produced records comparable with those of Byrd of Virginia and Knight of Boston. Crèvecœur, the most gifted of colonial observers, settled in Pennsylvania and later in upstate New York. John Bartram and his more famous son, William, established a long tradition of natural history in Philadel- phia. Each of the Bartrams left an important record of his travels and observa- tions of American natural history, scientifically valuable and, in William’s case, a work of lasting literature.

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