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CHAPTER III
THE TOWNS

WHETHER just or not, the summary punishment dealt out by Standish all but destroyed the natives' confidence in the whites; and as such a situation was particularly bad for trade, the whites, too, got their reward. Yet the Indians, when occasion offered, were ready to be kind. In December, 1626, the ship Sparrowhawk, London to Virginia, as far out of her reckoning as the Mayflower had been, bumped over the shoals of Monomoyick and grounded on the flats. Her master was ill, crew and passengers knew not where they were, and being out of “wood, water, and beer," had run her, head on, for the first land that hove in sight. Night was falling, and as canoes made out from the shore, “they stood on their guard.” But the Indians gave them a friendly hail, asked if they were “the governor of Plymouth's men,” offered to carry letters to Plymouth, and supplied their needs of the moment. Plymouth duly notified, the Governor led out a relief expedition, and, it being no season to round the Cape, landed at Namskaket, a creek between Brewster and Orleans, “whence it was not much above two miles across the Cape to the bay where the ship lay. The Indians carried the things we brought overland to the ship.” The Governor bought corn from the natives for

sight. Night was tond on their guaruse they were “t

the strangers, loaded more for his own use, and returned to Plymouth. But hardly was he there than a second message came that the ship, fitted out to proceed, had been shattered by a great storm; and the upshot was that the travellers, bag and baggage, came to Plymouth and visited there until the spring. The region of the wreck was called “Old Ship Harbor,” men had forgotten why until, two hundred and thirtyseven years later, shifting sands disclosed the hull of the Sparrowhawk. And at another time the natives had opportunity to show their good-will when Richard Garratt and his company from Boston, which was rival of Plymouth for the native corn supply, were cast away on the Cape in a bitter winter storm; and all would have perished there had it not been for the savages who decently buried the dead, though the ground was frozen deep, and, having nursed the survivors back to life, guided them to Plymouth.

Plymouth trade, not only with the mother country, but with other colonies, grew apace. As early as 1627, in order to facilitate communication to the southward with the Indians and with the Dutch settlement on the Hudson, the Pilgrims may be said to have made the first move toward a Cape Cod Canal. “To avoid the compassing of Cape Cod and those dangerous shoals," wrote Bradford, “and so to make any voyage to the southward in much shorter time and with less danger," they established a trading post with a farm to support it, and built a pinnace, at Manomet on the river flowing into Buzzard's Bay. Their route lay by boat from Plymouth to Scusset Harbor, where they landed their goods for a portage overland of three or four miles to the navigable waters of the river and the coasting vessel there. And in September of that same year, Isaac de Rasieres, secretary of the Dutch Government at New Amsterdam, landed at Manomet with sugar, stuffs, and other commodities, and was duly convoyed to Plymouth in a vessel sent out by the Governor for such purpose. De Rasieres entered Plymouth in state, “honorably attended by the noise of his trumpeters," and wrote a fine account of the town which is preserved for our interest.

The colony, by 1637, had grown to comprise the towns of Plymouth, Duxbury, and Scituate; in no long time it included the present counties of Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable, and a bit of Rhode Island. Traders, fishermen, an adventurer now and again had visited the Cape, even a few settlers, unauthorized by Plymouth, had broken ground there; but up to 1637 its early history is indissolubly bound up with that of Plymouth. In April of that year the first settlement was organized at Sandwich when certain men of Saugus, who were of a broader mind than their neighbors of Massachusetts Bay, wished to emigrate to the milder rule of Plymouth. Under due restrictions, they were granted the privilege to “view a place to sit down, and have sufficient land for three score families.” They chose Sandwich. And with the first ten of Saugus came fifty others of Saugus and Duxbury and Plymouth. All was duly regulated; and two men who were found. clearing ground without permission, and without

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