Captain Thomas Dermer


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Dermer, THOMAS, an active friend of colonization schemes, and a man of prudence and industry, was employed by the Plymouth Company after his return from Newfoundland, in 1618, to bring about, if possible, reconciliation with the Indians of New England, and to make further explorations. He sailed from Plymouth with two vessels (one a small, open pinnace) in February, 1619, touched at Mohegan Island, and then visited the coast. Dermer was accompanied from England by Squanto; also by Samoset, a native of Sagadahock, whom John Mason, governor of Newfoundland, had lately sent home, he having been one of Hunt's captives. Dermer succeeded, in a degree, and proceeded to explore the coast to Virginia. He sent home his ship from Mohegan Island, laden with fish and furs, and, leaving Squanto at Saco, sailed southward. Near Cape Cod he was captured by Indians, but ransomed himself by a gift of some hatchets. Passing Martin's (Martha's) Vineyard, he navigated Long Island Sound by the help of an Indian pilot, the first Englishman who had sailed upon these waters, and passed out to sea at Sandy Hook. The current was so swift that he did not stop at Manhattan; but on his return from Virginia (1620) he touched there and held a conference with some Dutch traders " on Hudson's River," warning them that they were on English territory. Dermer sent a journal of his proceedings to Gorges, and thus, no doubt, hastened the procurement of the new charter for the PLYMOUTH COMPANY.



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