Thursday, December 8, 2011

Plantation of the Atlantic, XIII: What the "Leaky Pump" Means

I know that I promised to reconstruct and post my research on Praying Towns here. That basically means that I'm going to run down some Internet-accessible research on these self-governing communities of Christian Indians established on the recommendation of John Eliot between 1661 and 1675, as well as parallel communities in Connecticut and discuss what the dreadfully-neglected Alltagsgeschichte of these communities shows in the case of some excellent, web-accessible PhD theses, or at least summaries thereof.

But that sounds like work, and I get to be substitute store manager this week,* and consequently am a little out of it. Instead, I'm going to trot some concrete research data about the makeup of mid-Seventeenth Century New England communities out just to put some methodological depth to my gestures to the Newfoundland fishery's "leaking pump" of transatlantic labour migration flows and allegedly consequential claims about the actual composition of those communities.

First, though, I'll rehearse some historiographic reflections. Remember Bishop Samuel Wilberforce's comments about how there were in New England in 1640 supposedly 4,000 Puritans, who “are said in fifty years to have multiplied to 100,000” (59)? Sure, Soapy Sam is an unlikely authority. After all, he's the guy that opposed Darwinism in that famous session with Huxley in the summer 1860 meeting of the BAAS and gave rise to the "better an ape as an ancestor than a bishop." On the one hand, that establishes a historical vector connecting the Plymouth Rock myth to Creationism. That's got to lead to some interesting reflections on where those ideas have gone in American politics since. On the other hand, it leaves Wilberforce a pretty unlikely martyr of truth. His defenders try to make his nickname refer to his obsessive-compulsive hand-wringing, but pretty much everyone else thinks that it's an accurate reflection on his somewhat casual approach to the truth.

That means that while Wilberforce, the man who rediscovered Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation in the library of the bishop of London and used it in this book, may have been working with the facts about migration to New England that were certainly at hand in London in the late 1830s. If so, someone had synthesised those facts and made the conclusions available, and other people, or at least the Bishop of London, was willing to gloss them in print in a book highly critical of American society in other contexts. But it might also mean that he's seen the "40,000" figure often cited for the Great Migration and lost a zero in his enthusiasm for Yank-bashing. Still, it's interesting that he went there. and used it, unlike any other modern reader, for its list of civil marriages in the back as well as Bradford’s narrative.

Second, much of this information, and my original inspiration, started with an exchange with my buddy Charleycarp over at the lately-lamented-but-now-back Edge of the American West. I'm not going to go out on a limb on the accuracy of the claim that Elizabeth Cable, wife of Jehu Burr and thus great-grandmother of the Aaron Burr was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1600,  but there it is, sourced to some old family records in the hands of the Latter Day Saints. Charley challenged it, and I went to Robert Charles Anderson, and here's what I found in that synthetic summary of two centuries of genealogical research:

Or something like that, anyway.

So, the original question, per Anderson. Who is Jehu Burr? A migrant on the 1630 Winthrop Fleet that established Boston, who came to the satellite town of Roxbury, where he was admitted as member#12 of the church. He married (llegible) in 1631 member 26 of Roxbury church, likewise indicating membership in the first induction. They had 5 children in 11 years, and he died before 1655. The eldest daughter was named Elizabeth, eldest son Jehu. Jacobus supposes that Mrs. Burr was the sister of John Cable, another Winthrop migrant of unknown English origin, listed by occupation (sawyer). So he is a millwright, a prestigious skillset to have, and perhaps it is no surprise to find him a few years later at a mill at the point where the Connecticut crosses the Fall Line. Cable's 1682 will identifies Jehu and John Burr as his beloved kinsmen and executors, and names Ann Cable as his wife. Samuel Betts, in an addendum to the will, says that he will take care of his “dear mother,” Ann Cable in a context thought to imply that Ann is Bett's stepmother-in-law, in which case John Cable's first wife may have been a woman named Sarah, while his second wife, identified only by the probate record above, is Ann Betts, previously married to Roger Betts, a man for whom no other documentary evidence survives. 

Nothing here is exactly probative. (Hah!) I'm sure not putting much faith on the "Tales of My Grandmother" approach. We have Anderson, though, and we can certainly see if some facts emerge from taking a representative data set of his several thousand documented migrants. As is my habit with honking data sets like this, I opened it up to a random page in the middleish, and began looking for whatever I could find.

Because of the way I compiled this, there are large blocks of Anderson's prose here, interpolated with my own. Assume that whatever's snarky and inelegant is mine, and whatever is lapidary and insightful is Anderson's.

Overarching, it will be seen that there in marked contrast to marriage records for England, in virtually no case do we know the names, much less the parents` names, of women married in New England. In spite of Anderson, we have relatively few individuals who can be traced to a specific ship. There are a group of maidservants entered in the Boston church in a group in 1633, but otherwise church membership lists are surprisingly poor sources for women's names. Note that because so much of the information comes from wills, poor folk are going to be underrepresented.

DAVY JOHNSON probably migrated in Mary and John in 1630, died by 1636. His widow, un-named, takes his place in a lawsuit. No other information known.

EDWARD JOHNSON (2:1096) migrated in 1622. Born about 1593, he died in 1675. He married Priscilla, no maiden name known, born about 1618, and had a son and a daughter born in 1646 and 1653. He was brought before a JP in 1665 on charges of marrying outside the law, and in 1644, “the wife of one Cornish” confessed to have lived in adultery with Johnson among others. Priscilla was presented for adultery in 1658, and for failing to attend public meeting on the Lord’s Day in 1667, replying that she had been in “Saco” for about three months. Both were called to testify on what seems to have been the common law relationship of Mrs. Ann Mesant, alias Godfrey, and Mr. George Burdett, than minister of Agamenticus. (1099).

FRANCIS JOHNSON(2:1101)  migrated in 1630, and was a trader. He died in 1690/1, intestate. He married Joan by 1636, no maiden name known, and she died before he remarried Hannah Hanbury, widow  of William Hanbury , in 1656. He had 7 children by his first wife. Naomi, eldest daughter, born 1638. She was baptised, but had to come into the Salem church by the Halfway Covenant in 1665 (in other words, was not previously a communicant) so that her son could be baptised. Eldest son was of course named Francis, youngest daughter, Joan.  Discrepancies in the records show the possibility of another wife (1103).

ISAAC JOHNSON  migrated/died in 1630, along with his wife, Lady Arabellla.

JOHN JOHNSON (2:1105). Quartermaster, ie. Military officer.  Migrated in 1630. Died 1659. One of his early commissions was to apportion land for Indians living in the Massachusetts settlement. (This document is usually cited by those interested in demonstrating that Indians lived alongside Whites in the first century of settlement.) Johnson was in the First induction at Roxbury.  One of the richest men in the Bay. Also, surveyor-general, etc.  Married (second time, first in New England), Margery, no maiden name known.  Married third Grace (Negus) Fawer. No children in New England, although his first marriage was extraordinarily fruitful and the kids came over.

PETER JOHNSON (2:1110) Migrated in 1632. Went on to Virginia.

RICHARD JOHNSON (2:1110) Mentioned as an admitted inhabitant of Charleston in 1630. No other information known.

BERTHIA JONES (2:1111) Admitted as #87 of Boston church, perhaps in 1630/1, then went on to Salem. We find only Berthia Raye and Jones' friend, Isabell Robbinson, admitted to the Salem church in 1637, suggesting that either or both married Salem men prior to this record being made.

EDWARD JONES (2:1111) Migrated 1630, died about 1644. Married Anna by 1636, no maiden name known, who was admitted to the Charlestown church in 1638. Daughters Mary and Elizabeth, no records.  Anna has been fallaciously claimed as the daughter of George Griggs of Boston.

HENRY JOSSELYN (2:1113) migrated 1630, died 1682. Steward and Justice.  Married Margaret, widow of Captain Thomas Cammock, no maiden name known. His niece(?) was accused later of living in adultery.

L. KEDBY (2:1117) attested only in a letter of John Winthrop. Perhaps a retainer who came out.

WILLIAM KELSEY migrated 1633, died 1676. His will and inventory were presented to New London county court, but do not survive. He married an unknown woman who may have had the Christian name Hester by 1634. They had 8 children between, say, 1634 and 1650.

MANASSEH KEMPTON migrated 1623 on Anne. Died 1665. Married Juliana (Carpenter) Morton, widow of George Morton, who died 1664/5. No children recorded.

RICHARD KETTLE (2:1124) migrated 1633, died 1680. Cooper. Very rich. Married “Esther Ward, our brother Atherton Haulghe’s maid servant” in 1637. Hester or Esther was not the daughter of Samuel Ward, contrary to family myth that has gotten into mainline history due to one of the children being implicated in a famous Indian raid and consequent captivity narrative.

ROBERT KEYES (2:1128) migrated 1633, died 1647, Married Sarah, no maiden name given, by 1633, and perhaps as early as 1631. Sarah remarried JOHN GAGE and died 1681. 8 children are known. Two sons, including an eldest improbably named Solomon, are not attested in birth records and thus are interpolated from later records.  The whole family record is highly irregular. (That's genealogist talk for people faking ancestors who were on the Mayflower. Not that that ever happens. Have I mentioned that I'm a direct descendant of Charlemagne Julius Caesar?)

STEPHEN KIDDER (2:1131) mentioned in a document of 1633, otherwise unknown.

HENRY KINGSBURY (2:1131) migrated 1630 with wife Margaret, first induction into Boston church, nothing further known, surprising since they were Winthrop retainers.

JOHN KIRMAN (2:1133) migrated 1631 aboard Plough. Died in 1640 or returned to England, like all other “migrants” from this ship.

NICHOLAS KNAPP (2:1135)  migrated 1630, died 1670. Married Elinor, no maiden name known, by 1631. She died 1658. Remarried Unica (Bruxton) Brown, widow of Clement and Peter successively. She died by 1670 and is not mentioned in Knapp’s will. Had 9 children between 1631 and 1647. No son named Nicholas or daughter named Elinor (genealogist talk for "someone is fibbing"). The size of their Remove Meadows grant suggests the possibility that there were others in the household, but not necessarily children.

JOHN KNIGHT (2:1137), migration assumed, first documented record 1632/3. He was a bachelor, and a link between him and a Mrs. Knight is possible, but there are no later records.

ROGER KNIGHT (2:1138) Migrated 1630, died by March 1672, Innkeeper.  Married Anne, no maiden name recorded, by 1630. She died 1662. No children recorded. He is not the mother of the Mary who married John Brewster. The record has been altered. (That's Anderson calling a spade a spade, BTW.)

WALTER KNIGHT (2:1139) Migrated by 1626. Married by 1642, since that is when he was first arraigned for living apart from his unidentified wife. Knight is one of the murky followers of Thomas Gray of the Dorchester Merchant’s Company that planted at Nantusket in the mid-1620s. A frequent litigant. No children known.

CHARLES KNILL (2:1142) attested as serving at the plantation of Pascattaquack in 1633 in return for pay and passage back to England in March 1634. Knill was a solid man who witnessed many papers, got his pay, and returned to England on schedule.

WILLIAM KNOPP (2:1143) migrated 1630, died 1659. Carpenter. Rich. Invalid will. Brought out wife Judith Tue. She died by 1651, and he married  Priscilla Akers. Seven children by his first wife, all born in England.

GEORGE KNOWER (2:1146) migrated 1631, died 1674/5. His will names his wife Elizabeth Knower, no maiden name known. Rich.  3 children known, but one’s name is unknown. As is much else about this enigmatic man, who did not serve in public office, was never called before the courts, was not a church member or a freeman. Just in case you were still under the illusion that the Pilgrim fathers were models of churchgoing public men.

THOMAS KNOWER (2:1148) migrated 1630. Died 1641. No wife or daughter appears in New England records, but Thomas Noll and Sara Knore appear in the ship’s passenger lists for Abigail  of 1635, from which a scenario is constructed of Knower returning to England to fetch his wife and daughter.

EDWARD LAMB (2:1151) Migrated 1633, died 1648/50. Married Margaret, no maiden name known. 7—9 children.

THOMAS LAMB (2:1153) migrated 1630, died 1646. Brought out Elizabeth, no maiden name known, with him. Remarried Dorothy Harbeetle, who was admitted to the Roxbury Church in 1638/9. 7 children by first wife, 4 by second.

RICHARD LANCKFORD (2:1156) attested in a tax record for Plymouth of 1633. Died 1633.

JOHN LANGMORE (2:1156). Servant of Christopher Martin, migrated in 1620, died 1620.

HENRY LANGSTAFF (2:1156): Migrated 1631, died 1705. Married an unidentified woman by 1640. 4 children. Late in life, Langstaff deposed that he came to New England in the company of Captain Henry Mason in 1635 as a bachelor servant. However, the details of his deposition are incorrect and imply knowledge of events w. respect to land disputes involving his patron c. 1631. 

WILLIAM LATHAM (2:1160) migrated 1620 as bachelor servant of John Carver. He is recorded as leaving Plymouth after 20 years residence for the Caribbean, and starving to death there.

LAWRENCE LEACH (2:1161) migrated 1629. Died 1662. Miller and Salem Church member. Married Elizabeth in 1615, or by 1636 if he had two wives.

William Learned (2:1164) migrated 1630, died 1645/6. Married Goodith Gilman in 1606. No maiden name known, as Gilman is second given name? Remarried Jane, or perhaps Sarah, who died 1660/1. 5 children.

JOHN LEGGE (2:1166) migrated 1631, died 1672/4. Mason. Rich. Married Elizabeth, no maiden name known, by 1638. 3 children. Elizabeth was frequently the subject of nuisance complaints.

EDWARD LEISTER (2:1168) migrated 1620, servant of John Carver. Left for Virginia.

WILLIAM LETHERLAND (2:1169) migrated 1630, died 1684. Carpenter. Admitted to Boston church in 1633. Kicked out in 1645 for fathering a bastard child. Readmitted in 1661. Excommunicated again in 1671 for drunkenness.  In spite of the record, general recorder of the Rhode Island General Court for various sessions, 1638—60.   Married Margaret, no family name known, but she may not be the mother of son, Zebulon, who married Elizabeth, but this relationship must have been common law.

JOHN LEVENS (2:1173) Migrated 1632. Died 1647. Carpenter. Came out with invalid wife, Elizabeth, who died 1632. Remarried Rachel White, maidservant,” had 5 children.

THOMAS LEVERETT (2:1175): Migrated 1633. Elder and Recorder of Boston Church. Rich. Married Anne Rich in Boston, Lincolnshire, and brought her out.  Fourteen children, of whom 13 born in Boston, but I find it a little suspicious (that is, suggesting adoption rather than anything else) that the eldest daughter was named Jane rather than Anne.)

WILLIAM LEVERICH (2:1178) migrated 1633. Migrated 1633, died 1677. Educated Emmanuel College, Cambridge.  Married unknown woman, not seen in any record. Two sons.

CHRISTOPHER LEVETT (2:1180) Traveller, visited twice, wrote about it, got into a court order of 1631, by which time he had already sailed back to England, dying on the way.

THOMAS LEWIS (2:1181) Migrated 1628, died 1637. Vintner. Married Elizabeth Marshall, daughter of Roger and Elizabeth (Mytton) Marshall  in 1618. 7 children.

WILLIAM LEWIS (2:1184) migrated 1632 on Lyon. Died 1683. Distinguished. Married Felix, no family name known, by 1620.

THOMAS LINCOLN (2_1187) migrated 1633. Died 1675. Weaver. Rich. Married Susannah, no family name known, between 1633 and 1641. No children known.

RICHARD LINTON (2:1188) A witness in a 1630 inquiry. A transient, No further information.

THOMAS LITTLE (2:1189) Migration 1632, died 1671. Married Plymouth 19 April 1633 Ann Warren, daughter of Richard Warren. 9 children.

EDMUND LOCKWOOD (2:1192). Migrated 1630, died 1632/5. Married an unknown woman in England, and second, Elizabeth Masters, daughter of John Masters, who remarried Cary Latham. Two children by first marriage, 1 by second.

GRACE LODGE (2:1194). Pastor John Wilson’s maidservant was admitted to Boston church in 1633. She is one of two Graces so distinguished, and GAMALIEL WAIT’s wife, Grace, while a member, was never admitted under her married name. Note that if we have traced Grace Wait, this is the only case in Anderson of a single woman admitted to a congregation who then became one of the otherwise-undocumented wives of the Pilgrim/Puritan Fathers.

THOMAS LOMBARD (2:1194) Migrated 1630, died 1663. Innkeeper. Twice married in England to unknown women, once in New England, and a 4th time to Joyce Wallen, widow of Ralph Wallen, maiden name unknown. 10 children by first 3 wives.

ROBERT LONG (2:1198) Migrated 1623 in Anne. Bachelor servant, dead or removed by 1627.

RICHARD LORD (2:1198) Migrated 1633. Died 1662. Rich. Married Sarah, no maiden name known, in 1636. Two children.

THOMAS LOTHROP Migrated 1633. Died 1676. Soldier. Prominent man who died in `the wars betwixt the English and the heathen,' specifically King Philip`s War in 1676. Married Bethia Ray, daughter of DANIEL REY after 1637. No children, although he brought out a sister and fostered several kin.

RICHARD LOUGE (2:1206) Mentioned in court records of 1630-1. He appears again in court in 1635. No other records known.

WILLIAM LOVELL (2:1206) Migration, 1633. Removed to England by 1637. Mariner. The records broadly suggest that a son who did not carry his name (or son-in-law) remained in Dorchester.

GEORGE LUDLOW (2:1206) Migrated 1630 in Mary and John , soon removed to Virginia.

ROGER LUDLOW (2:1211) Migrated 1630 in Mary and John. Oxford man, sometime Governor of Massachusetts Bay. Married Mary Cogan. 5 children.

MARY LUKAS (2:1214) Mary, maidservant of Anne Newgate, was admitted to Boston Church in December 1633. Nothing else is known.

JOHN LYFORD  (2:1214) Migrated 1624, perhaps in Charity. Irish. Died 1628 after tangling with Bradford and removing to Virginia. Bradford relates that this short-term minister was accused of having stood father to a bastard born to his wife before their marriage, perhaps Obadiah. 

The "representative sample" here hammers home the fact that we don't know who the wives of the Pilgrim/Puritan Fathers were. It also turns up numerous emended documents and fanciful stories. Not that I'm alleging anything particularly sinister here. Genealogy is the province of faked ancestries, and the fraud occurs on multiple vectors of "wishing to make it so." Far more of the error in the archives will consist of interpolating Mayflower ancestry than of obscuring the existence of Indian grandmothers because most genealogical researchers are too naive to think the latter an issue (as evidenced by the wide-eyed naivete of the "Elizabeth Cable was born in Massachusetts in 1610" cite above). And to give the genealogical researchers their due credit, I suspect that for at least the last generation they have been more likely to be pleased than upset to find an "Indian princess" in their ancestry. 

But never mind that: the entries that I've highlighted here aren't suspicious in that sense. The men that I've noted are the transients, the "mariners" and the men who "removed" back to England. Charles Knill is a particularly solid example:

This present writing testifieth that Charles Knill doth covenant, wth Capt. Walter Neale, Governor of Pascattaquack, in New-England, in the behalf of Capt. John Mason of London, Esqr. and company, that the said Charles Knill shall serve at the plantation of Pascattaquack, for the use and benefitt of the said Capt. John Mason and company, from the date of this present writing until the first of March next ensuing, during wch said time, the said Charles Knill doth promise to doe all saithful service to the said Capt. John Mason or his assignes. And the said Capt. Walter Neale doth promise in the behalfe of the said Capt. John Mason, that the said Charles Knill shall well and truely be paid for his service during the said time, the somme of sixe poundes, either here in New-England or in any other place

where where the said Charles Knill shall conveniently appoynt, and the said Walter Neale doth further promise in the behalfe of the said John Mason, Esq. and company, that the said Charles Knill shall have passage into England the next yeare after the said terme expires, in any such shipp as shall be sent hither for this plantation, provided that the said Charles Knill shall serve in the aforesaid plantation untill the shipps departure (if it shall be soe required) after the rate aforesaid. In testimony whereof the said Charles Knill hath here unto subscribed, this first of Julie, 1633.

This is the true coppie of the covenant between Capt. Walter Neale and Charles Knill in the behalfe of the company.

Given the bias in the data, men like Charles Knill and his co-workers at the Pascattaquack Plantation are, if anything, underrepresented in Anderson. They're in New-England to do a job, get rich, and impress the ladies. Not to  live a Godly life under a reformed church. What kind of job?

To Herbert Herbert and Mr. Vaughan:

For my settlement at Sanders Point, and the further good you intend me, I humbly thank you; I shall do the best I can to be grateful. I have taken into my hands all the trade goods that remains of John Raymone's and Mr. Vaughan's, and wil, with what convenience I may, put them of. You complain of your returnes; you take the coorse to have little. A plantation must be furnished with cattle and good hire-hands, and necessaries for them, and not thinke the great lookes of men and many words will be a means to raise a plantation. Those that have bin heare this three year, som of them have nether meat, money nor cloathes — a great disparagement. I shall not need to speak of this; you shal heare of it by others. For myself, my wife and child and 4 men, we have but \ a bb. of corne; beefe and porke I have not had, but on peese this 3 months, nor beare this four monthes, for I have for two and twenty months had but two barrels of beare and two barrels and four booshel of malt; our number commonly hath bin ten. I nor the servants have nether mony nor clothes. I have bin as spare as I could, but it wil not doe. These 4 men with me is Charles Knel, Thomas Clarke, Steven Kidder and Thomas Crockit. 3 of them is to have for their wages, until the first of March, 4/ per peese, and the other, for the yeare, 61, which, in your behalf, I have promised to satisfy in money, or beaver at icw per pound. If there were necessarys for them for clothing, there would not bee much for them to receave. You may, perhaps, thinke that fewer men would serve me; but I have sometimes on C or more Indians, and sar from neybers. These that I have I can set to pale in ground for corne and garden. I have diged a wel within the palizado, where is good water; I have that to close with timber. More men I could have, and more imploy, but I rest thus until I heare from you. The vines that were planted will come to little. They prosper not in the ground they were set. Them that groo natural are veri good, of divers sorts. I have sent you a note of the beaver taken by me at Newichawanicke, and how it hath gon from me. George Vaughan hath a note of all the trade goodes in my custody of the old store, John Raimon's and George Vaughan's acomtes; but the beaver being disposed of before I could make the divident, I cannot see but it must be all onpackt and be divided by you. The Governor departed from the plantation the 15th of July,332 in the morning. So sor this time I end, committing 

As usual in letters to head office, everyone is terribly underpaid, neglected, and there's a terrible need for more labour, notwithstanding the as-man-as "C" Indians that sometimes come by for employment as casual labour. It will all be paid off in beaver pelts, which can be had in plenty, if only.... All that's required is the blood-drained face and twitching features of a man who is expecting to hear the refrigeration alarm for the third time that evening  that the pelts have rotted.

Oh, by the way, since I tossed off my disagreement with Creatures of Empire all too casually last time, here's our man on the scene on business, including animal husbandry:

Yor Wor'shp have donne well in setting forward your Plantacon, and for your milles they will prove beneficial unto you, by God's assistance. I would you had taken this coorse sooner, for the merchants I shall be very cautylous how I deale wth any of them while I live. But God's will be done, I and the world doth judge that I could not in these my dayes have spent my time for noe thinge, for there sending trade and support I desire it not. I have supported but now sunke under my burthen; the more I thinke on this, the more is my griese. I have recd the hogd of mault that you sent me giveing you humble thankes for the same. The servants that were wt h me are discharged and payd there wages for the year past, and I have delivered unto Mr. Warnerton, 43 Ib. of beaver to pay those that were wth him for the year past, for the paying of the servants there old wages, or the dividing of the goods, I expect a general letter, if not then to heare further from your wor5", yor carpenters are with me and I will further them the best I can. Capt. Neale appoynted me two
of of your goates to keepe at his departinge. I praise God they are 4. Of the goods that Mr. Bright left I only recd of Capt. Neale 4 bush'lls of mault and at sevrall times 8 gallons of sack, and from Mr. Warnerton 7 bush'lls and 1 peck of mault, 5 lb. and £ of sugar, and 3 pr. of children stockings, and 97 lb. of beefe wch was of an old cow that Mr. Warnerton killed, being doubtful that shee would not live all the winter, for these I will pay Mr. Joselin for you. I prceive you have a great mynd for the lakes and I as great a will to assist you, if I had 2 horses and 3 men wth me, I would by God's helpe soone resolve you of the cituation of it, but not to live there myself.839 The Pide-cow arrived the 8th of Julie; the 13th day she cast ankor some halfe a mile from the falle; the 18th day the shippe unladen; the 19th sell downe the river; the 22d day the carpenters began about the mill; the 5 th of August the iron stone taken in the mi pp; there is of 3 soartes, on fort that the myne doth cast forth as the tree doth gum, w" * is sent in a rundit, on of the other soartes we take to be very rich. There is great stoare of it, for the other I know not; but may it please you to take notice of the waight and measure of every sort before it goith into the furnace, and wt the stone of such waight and measure will yield in iron. This that wee take to be the best stone is 1 mile to the southward of the great house, it is some 200 rods in length, 6 foot wide, the depth we know not; for want of tooles for that purpose we tooke only the surface of the mine. I have paled in a peice of ground and planted it. If it please God to send us a drie time, I hope there will be 8 or 10 quarters of corne, you have at the greate house 9 cowes, 1 bull, 4 calves of the last year, and 9 of this yeare; the prove very well, farre better than ever was expected, they are as good as your ordinary cattle in England, and they goates prove some of them very well both for milk and breed. If you did send a shippe for the Westerne Islands of 6 scoare tunne or there abouts for cowes and goates, it would be profitable for you. A stock of iron worke to put away wth your boardes from the mill will be good. Nayles, spikes, lockes, hinges, iron worke for boates....
Ambrose Gibbins 

If anything, however, Gibbons is too pessimistic. The 1635 inventory shows "31 Cows, 3 Bulls, 15 Steers & Heifers, 12 Calves, 63 Sheep, 29 Lambs, 52 Goats, 67 Hogs, old & young, 19 Mares, Horses & Colts."

From the point of the great and the good, the issue was not the establishment of plantations and towns on the New-England coast, but of a vice-admiralty to regulate a process in full swing. We need more law out there, and, coincidentally, it will make a great deal of money for Ferdinando Gorges. From the ever-reliable Knill's perspective, it was building up an enterprise with multiple dimensions of profitability. There was beaver to be had inland, if it could be hauled out. A carriage trade would imply money in raising horses. There was fish on the coast, which meant fish to be sold back home, but also ships to be reprovisioned for the homewards voyage. There were falls everywhere,  untapped by modern millpower, and unlimited quantities of ironstone and timber. Bizarre as it is to place ourselves in the mindset where industrial activities are best relegated to the margins of civilisation, that was how these men were thinking, and they were not wrong. New England was already building ships and feeding them back into the Atlantic trade. That, of course, meant, a need for free labour on the New England coast. 
The romantic take on this is that it has been going on for a while, that there was a semi-English community at Springfield in 1610, born of leaking labour. But we don't have to go that far down the rabbit hole. What the evidence suffices to demonstrate is that our neat and tidy schema of two emigrations made up of thin-lipped religious zealots, anachronistically dedicated to theocracy and racial purity is simply fantasy. This was a rough-and-tumble, anarchistic coast, and its beating heart is the labour pump. And to understand the labour pump, we have to read the interpolated documents about renovations of the new fort at Plymouth, Gorges' campaign for the vice-admiralty, fort building in New-England. And this: 
...[July 11, 1635] The only newes is that the Dunkerckers sloopes have and doe daily take many of the ffrench banckers & other small Shipps. One of their Sloopes sent into this harbor about 14 Dayes since a prize of 60 Tonns w* 1400 banckfish hir owner was the Bishopp of Newhaven; and the same sloope as is Reported hath taken & sould 5 other prizes, one at ye Cowes to Rob. Newland, a fflemish bottom of about 160 Tonns & 4 others at Waymouth poole & to the westward. They speake of above 150 sayle of ffrench brought into Dunkercke Ostend & Gravelinge. Sr I pray you be pleased to move the [?] when you fynde a convenient tyme for a warrant sor my viceadmiraltie in New England; That which I had from the Councell of that Corporation, when I shewed it, you thought it littell ptine" to the viceadmiraltie, fforasmuch as it cheifly concerned the suppressinge of pyratts & planters & Traders y' should insest ye coast or come there wthout licence; much of the same nature was that Cofnission granted by my lo: Duke sor Newfoundland ; New England is lardge & spatious & the plantations doe extend alreddy 300 miles vppon the Seacoast; The English Inhabitants are supposed about 13000 & 6 sayle of Shipps at least if not more belonginge to the plantations, besydes Resorters sor fishinge & Trade & such as carye people and Cattell yerelie amount to above 40 sayle.
The facts swirl about, but I come back to those 1500 fish belonging to the Bishop of Nieuport. We're in Henry Mainwaring's territory here. The men that crew this bankker are men like Charles Knill. They have skills that the great and good dearly need, that Gibbons thinks he can turn into pure profits if given their labour for a year. Yet they don't have "cloathes" to cover their backs. Can Gorges pay them? It's hardly clear. Here's a letter that's pure grifting. Is it an accident that he moves from the swirling chaos supposedly engulfing the returning French Newfoundland fleet as seen from the harbours of southwest England, where fish and sail are being sold under in the vice-admiral's courts under the governors' castles?

Gorges reminds my lord duke of George Calvert, who has already won the vice-admiralty of Newfoundland. The issue, again, is control of the plantations, not their establishment. Mainwaring, for his part, doesn't even bother to distinguish the use of "pirate" into separate valences of social control and social reality. Men go away to sea and return either not at all, much as before, or much, much richer. Words like "pirate" and "Puritan" see, much as anything, to function as attempts to control just how rich. Isn't that what we expect when we encounter men (and women) with useful skills, and would-be employers scrambling for the resources to pay them? You might, indeed, be inclined to use words that are meant to constrain themselves to enter a specific congregation and marry under direction. As our Dunkirker friend might have said to the Bishop of Nieuport, "Good luck with that."


*It's even less prestigious than it sounds, the industry lacking the depth of labour resources to do anything more with retail outlets generating more than half a million in turnover a week than let them run themselves. Although the logic may be on target, because there's probably more people with PhDs or in doctoral programmes on the floor of my store than in management. And, your humble correspondent excepted, there's some pretty smart ones, too.

**in History of the Episcopalian Church in America (New York: Sanford and Swords, 1843). Considering that there was an American edition, it's a little bizarre that I haven't found a review in the Cornell Library online collection. I'd be the first to admit that that isn't exactly a thorough search of sources, but the fact that there's no review in the North American Review, is telling enough.


  1. I saw it, too. I was tempted to make a Detroit connection that I noticed the other day, but I've already spent enough time on my last post. So a more modest tribute to the wild Texan today.