Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

der me important aid. Mr. Charles Deane has been indefatigable in giving me the benefit of his large acquisition of knowledge respecting our early annals.

To no one am I indebted for more light than to that eminent archaeologist, Mr. Samuel Foster Haven, of Worcester. Especially have I been aided by him in elaborating the view, presented in these pages, of the origin and purposes of the Company of Massachusetts Bay. So long ago as the year 1837,* as well as at different times since, I published my thoughts respecting the political relations of some of those early movements of the government of Massachusetts, which have generally been ascribed to religious bigotry. I have been greatly assisted in maturing them by Mr. Haven's treatise on the Massachusetts Company, in the third volume of the " Collections of the American Antiquarian Society,'' and not less by private correspondence with which he has honored me.

In making up the narrative from materials thus carefully brought together, it is little to say that I have aimed to be veracious and just. I should have been neither, if I had affected to conceal my veneration for the founders of New England. But I hope that I am not disqualified for writing of their conduct without undue bias in their favor. My ancestors, on the one side and on the other, were in Plymouth and in Massachusetts from the earliest moment of those Colonies; but they never acted any responsible part in the public business. Nor am I in danger of being induced by religious sympathy to judge the leading actors with too much indulgence. My interpretations of the Gospel differ widely from those which have ruled in the councils of the New England commonwealths, from the colonization down to a time within the memory of living men. With the belief which I entertain, I could not have been admitted to any church established by the Fathers, if, indeed, an attempt to propagate my belief would not have made me an exile from their society.

* North American Review, XLIV. 568 et seq.

It will not surprise me to learn that I am thought, in the composition of the work, to have indulged myself too freely in the interweaving of quotations. It is however of set purpose, that, especially in relating some parts of the story, I have adopted a method which mere considerations of rhetorical taste might not recommend. The peculiar language of the men whom I describe is a substantive part of their peculiar history. It displays the form and pressure of the place and time. The phraseology of the actors is to the reader a constant expositor and reminder of the complexion of the thoughts and sentiments that determined the course of affairs.

In the journey which I have been pursuing, I have observed some erring steps of writers who have trodden the same path before me. But it would ill become me to point them out with censure. I have learned too well how difficult it is to master such a multiplicity of details as lies within the compass of this narrative. I seem to myself to have used extreme diligence in the authentication of facts; but I shall be surprised if the accurate knowledge of some who will read what I have written shall not convict me of mistakes.

In the copper-plate Map of New England prefixed to this volume, the delineation of mountain topography records the personal observations of Professor Guyot, who, with that generosity which always actuates him, communicated them to me for this use. The names affixed to the principal ranges and peaks have, of course, been recently applied, differing in that respect from the names inserted along the coast line, which were in use at the close of the history related in this volume. The "photo-lithographed" copy of the Map of Captain Smith represents the first edition of it, published in London in 1616. The copy of William Wood's Map of New England is taken from the print inserted in his "New England's Prospect," issued in London in 1636, which is in the Library of Harvard College. John Underbill's " Newes from New England," which has furnished the lithographed plan of the attack on the Pequot fort, is also in that Library. But the plan is there mutilated, and the defect has been supplied from another copy, belonging to Mr. John Carter Brown.

It only remains for me to avow my obligations to my almost lifelong friend, Mr. Charles Folsom, for the very important favor of a careful revisal of the sheets of this volume as they passed through the press. At every step his critical sagacity and practised judgment have stood me greatly in stead.

J. G. P.

[ocr errors]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Map of New England in 1620-1644 . . . Before the Title-page. Mill at Chesterton in Warwickshire ...... Page 58

Round Tower at Newport . .58

Smith's Map of New England 94

Wood's Map of New England 360

PequotFort 466

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »