New Plymouth

 

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Pilgrims

Plymouth, NEW, universally known as the Plymouth Settlement, was founded by Pilgrims from Holland in 1620. Their first care on landing from the Mayflower was to build a rude fort and plant five cannon upon it which they had brought with them. Then they "fell to building houses." Distributed into nineteen families, they all worked diligently until nearly all were prostrated by sickness. There were no delicacies for the sick and very little wholesome food. The sailors of the Mayflower had unkindly refused to let the passengers have a variety by sharing their own coarse food with them. At times that winter the huts at New Plymouth were half buried in snow-drifts. The Pilgrims trembled in fear of the surrounding Indians, but felt comforted by the voice of one of them as he went through the new village, crying, " Welcome, Englishmen! Welcome, Englishmen!" It was Samoset, who had learned a few English words from English sailors at Mohegan. He afterwards brought to New Plymouth Squanto, whom Hunt kidnapped. Squanto had returned, and through him an acquaintance and friendship were formed with Massasoit. The town lay on a slope; and when, six years after the arrival of the Mayflower, it was visited by Dutch commissioners, the houses were built of hewn timber, and the whole village was surrounded by a palisade of timbers driven into the ground and pointed at the top, a mile in circuit, and at the end of the streets were three gates made of strong beams. In the centre of the village was the governor's house, before which was a square enclosure bearing four mounted swivels. Upon an eminence was a square house, with a flat roof, made of thick sawed planks, stayed with oak beams, upon which were mounted six 5-pounder cannon. The lower part of this building was used for a church, where worshippers were seen with loaded muskets. (Also See PILGRIM FATHERS, Plymouth Company, Plymouth Declaration of Rights)

 

 

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