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blazing stars have been seen,” said Increase Mather, “great mutations and miseries have come upon mortals.”
The price which Mr. Walley apprehended was sufficiently heavy, yet the outcome was as might have been expected. In August, 1676, when Philip of the Wampanoags was killed, “Thus fell a mighty warrior," and then ended his war. In the sparsely settled colonies six hundred men were slain, twelve or thirteen towns destroyed, and a huge debt contracted. Plymouth shouldered a burden that exceeded the entire personal estate of the citizens, which she met by vigorous taxation and partly, it may be said, by the sale of lands that had belonged to the exterminated Indians. The aftermath of war meant peculiar suffering for the devastated districts; the Cape, fortunate in its remoteness, offered asylum, which was, however, gratefully declined, to Rehoboth, Taunton, and Bridgewater. It is interesting that “Divers Christians in Ireland” sent over a relief fund of something over a hundred pounds. It is also interesting that no encouragement or aid had been received, or asked or expected, from the mother country; and another useful lesson in self-dependence had been learned by the colonies.
The Cape forces had been ably led by John Gorham, of Barnstable. A letter to the council, written in October, 1675, shows something of his temper as a man: “Our soldiers being much worn, having been in the field this fourteen weeks and little hope of finding the enemy, we are this day returning toward our General, but as for my own part, I shall be ready to serve God and the country in this just war so long as I have life and health. Not else to trouble you, I rest yours to serve in what I am able, John Gorrun." Three days later the Court appointed him captain of the second company of Plymouth, of which Jonathan Sparrow, of Eastham, was lieutenant.
The commander-in-chief was James Cudworth, of Scítuate, who had been a member of John Lothrop's flock, and had lived for a time in Barnstable and owned salt-works there. He had been disfranchised for his sympathy with the Quakers, and bound over in five hundred pounds to appear at court “in reference unto a seditious letter sent to England, the coppy whereof is come over in print,” which, however, was no more than a full setting out of the unlawful persecutions. But he was too valuable a man to lose: Scituate was nearly unanimous in his favor, as were Barnstable and Sandwich. In 1666 the Scituate militia, against the will of the Court, chose him captain; in 1673 he was unanimously made captain of the Plymouth forces in a contemplated expedition against the Dutch. His declination of the honor, which he was later to undertake in the Indian war, was not, he declared, “out of any discontent in my spirit arising from any former difference. I am as freely willing to serve my King and Country as any man, but I do not understand that a man is called to serve his country with the inevitable ruin and devastation of his own family.” Cudworth pleaded the care of his farm and his wife's illness. “She cannot lie for want of breath,”
wrote he. “And when she is up she cannot light a pipe of tobacco, but it must be lighted for her. And she has never a maid. And for tending and looking after my creatures; the fetching home of my hay, that is yet at the place where it grew; getting of wood, going to mill; and for the performance of all other family occasions I have now but a small Indian boy, about thirteen years of age, to help me.” “So little of state was there,” is Palfrey's comment on the artless narrative, “in the household economy of the commanderin-chief in a foreign war." And again: “It is amusing and touching at once to see how hard, in those days, it was to induce men to be willing to be great."
I THE so-called French and Indian Wars, a series of conflicts reflecting the entanglements of England overseas, lasted well on to seventy-five years after the accession of William and Mary in 1689. Political history in Massachusetts was making in the meantime: Andros had reigned and been deposed; the Earl of Bellamont, a good friend of King William and a just man popular with the colonists, had served a brief term, wherein he had captured and shipped to England for trial the notorious Captain Kidd; and Sir William Phips, a native of New England acceptable to the people, was the first Governor under the charter of William and Mary that, in 1692, formally united Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. Plymouth had fought well for her independence as against absorption either by New York or Massachusetts Bay; but when the skill of Increase Mather won her as prize, Governor Hinckley had the good sense to thank him for his work, as Massachusetts was preferable to New York. Maine, Massachusetts, and Plymouth, then, were united under the rule of Governor, Deputy Governor, and Secretary appointed by the king, and twenty-eight Councillors chosen by the people. On Cape Cod, at the time of the union, there were about four thousand whites grouped in six towns — Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Eastham, Falmouth, and Mannomoit - which sent nine representatives to the first Provincial Assembly.
It is interesting that at about this time began the advent of men of Irish blood, who, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, have been among the most thrifty and prosperous of the Cape people. Early in the reign of William and Mary laws were put afoot to turn Ireland from manufacturing to agriculture. Swift gibed at the policy of "cultivating cattle and banishing men”; Lord FitzWilliam protested that a hundred thousand operatives were forced to leave the country. Many, the vanguard of a mighty host, came to the American colonies. Few of these early immigrants, probably, were of pure Celtic blood: they were the Scotch-Irish of the north, the Anglo-Irish and the French of the south, artisans rather than farmers, who were to play an enormous part in the development of our country. Among the early settlers of the Cape were many Irishmen: Higgins, Kelley, Belford, Delap, Estabrook, Wood, and the Reverend Samuel Osborn who succeeded Mr. Treat at Eastham. Mr. Osborn taught his parishioners the use of peat as a fuel and some improvements in farming; but, alas, in that orthodox community, he was suspected of liberalism. Thoreau says: “Ten ministers with their churches sat on him and spoiled his usefulness” — but only for Eastham. In Boston he became a successful schoolmaster, and lived there to be near a hundred years of age.