Miles Standish


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Miles Standish

Miles Standish Marching to Quell Indian Rebellion

Standish, MILES, Pilgrim soldier; born in Lancashire, England, about 1584. He had served as a soldier in the Netherlands; was chosen captain of the New Plymouth settlers, though not a member of the church; small in person, of great energy, activity, and courage; and rendered important service to the early settlers by inspiring Indians, disposed to be hostile, with awe for the English. One of the Indians, Wituamit, had already killed two white men, and was planning to massacre the settlements at Plymouth and Weymouth. Governor Bradford ordered Captain Standish to settle matters. The Indians, having grown defiant, sent a challenge to Captain Standish through a friendly Indian who lived with the Pilgrims. Standish accepted and, with the help of a score of sturdy fighters, put the Indians to rout. In all, seven Indians were killed, and their conspiracy was nipped in the bud. Standish visited England in 1625 as agent for the colony, and brought supplies the next year. The captain's wife, Rose Standish, was one of the victims of the famine and fever of 1621. In 1626 Standish settled at Duxbury, Mass., where he lived the remainder of his days administering the office of magistrate, or assistant, during the whole term. He also took part in the settlement of Bridgewater (1649). He died Oct. 3, 1656. A monument to his memory has been erected on Captain's Hill, Duxbury. Standish has been immortalized by Longfellow in his celebrated poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish, which recounts the romance of the masterful little captain in his relations with John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. Standish lives in literature and tradition as one of the most virile and picturesque figures in early American history. In Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth, is preserved, among other relics of the Pilgrims, Standish's sword and the barrel of his musket.



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