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Pilgrim Plantation 1634 Scituate and Barnstable

First Settlers, William & Alice Crocker



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                 The English voyaged West before Columbus

          King Solomons Ships And The Gospel letter to Athens

                                      By  Lewis  Brackett

Pilgrim Plantation  1634 

    Samuel was kicking the pew in front of him. The rest of the small children were fighting as well.. William saw that and reached over to stop Samuel   as his father glared at him. “I will hear it again “William if he could stop his younger siblings from doing anything. Father is not pleased. With Samuel now blankly glaring off into space, it was quiet –at least for the moment. The minister droned on and on. Half the congregation, William thought, were praying that the grains would pour through the hour glass at least a little faster. But they were draining out at a painfully slow pace this Sunday. The Sexton would turn over the hourglass as the preacher started, and the preacher had to preach the whole hour. William  thought, “what if the sand in the glass stops? Will we be here till doomsday?”He thought grimly.... Now little Lise was squirming in the hard wooden pew, a totally unhappy look on her tiny cute face. William couldn't reach her so his big brother John did so. And father glared again. William almost wished that it was during the week and he was busy in his fathers shop, helping to stitch together the heavy leather harnesses for the royal contracts while upstairs his mother and two hired women sewed prettier clothes for their better clients...

    Then he heard a book drop, and looked up to see the minister descending down the circular stairs from the pulpit. Everyone stood and sang a final hymn. The minister gave the blessing, and he and the alter boys with the Cross led the recessional down the isle to the front door. Then the members got up and filed out of the church past the minister, Saying their goodbys. To his amusement, William heard person after person thank the minister for his “excellent wonderful inspiring sermon.” Even his father was carried away with his felt need to please the minister. Finally they all escaped through the front door and started walking home. Williams task was to take Lise and Samuel's hands and walk them home. Being four and six they might do just about anything. Even at 16, William knew he risked a whipping from his father if the family was embarrassed any further by the children’s antics. As if he could really stop them. They finally got home to their apartment over the shop, and William and John sat with their father in his study while their mother prepared lunch.

Then father said “we do not want to call attention to ourselves. All English must pay the proper respect to the King through his established Church... The fact that we may not agree with the Church and their doctrine is irrelevant in public. Privately we may believe what we want., or not at all. But before the world we are good Anglicans and loyal Englishmen... “

    “We all see what happens to dissenters, to those denounced by the busybodies. We do what we must.” “What do we believe, father?” William asked. Hugh looked at his son for a long moment. “We believe in family, in business” he answered. “But what of the Nicene creed, the faith?” William asked. “The Churchmen, the elders, really don’t believe it,” father replied. “They recite by memory the same litany every Sunday, but then they do otherwise the rest of the week... Its about status, position and being holier than other men. The Churchmen live like princes, they abuse, persecute anyone who does not revere them. They are bloody men giving their office to support the King, and in turn the King arrests tortures and imprisons anyone who opposes the Church. It is an unholy marriage made in hell. So decent people like us live quietly, go to Church Sunday, and as Jesus said “Give to Caesar what is Caesar's” and in our private lives at home give to GOD what is GOD's.”“But what of the dissenters, the Pilgrims?” John asked. “They dare to worship GOD in their own way?”“And are drowned in the Thames, burned at the stake, or driven out of England altogether...Like those miserable wretches across the ocean in Plymouth colony” Hugh replied. “That group that voyaged West 10 years ago did survive—or at least some of them, but then use their freedom to persecute anyone among them that differs from their sect. The persecuted become the persecutors in their turn.” Hugh added. “Its best to live quietly, worship GOD privately, and give Caesar his due” Hugh concluded. “Lunch my family” Mother announced through the doorway, and they assembled at the kitchen table. Father asked the blessing on the food and they ate in silence...

    The Next day, in the shop, the lieutenant was insistent. “ Crocker, I need our order now. Our regiment has received orders to ship out immediately . My colonel needs this order filled today.” “I understand your request, lieutenant ,” Hugh replied. “But the due date for this order is next week We can sell you what we have made. We have some other items in stock.The rest you can likely find elsewhere. I will let you know where, although I hate loosing business.” Hugh said. He followed the officer outside. “You need to sign the invoice and settle the account” he said, and was ignored.                                The lieutenant mounted his horse and glared down at this annoying shopkeeper “Gentlemen”, he said,  “do not engage in business”...”The quartermaster will sign your invoice and give you a promissory note”

“Its up to you to get your money from the Crown:” “But sir, where is he?” Hugh asked. “Blast your eyes, get out of my way man,” the lieutenant replied., and spurred his horse to the head of the column of wagons. Hugh asked each wagon driver in turn about the ware bouts of the quartermaster , but only received blank or hostile stares in reply.         So all in all, the army made off with two weeks of his work without paying for it. Not to mention much extra leather and fabric... Hugh walked over two miles the soldiers barracks. He found only two enlisted quartermasters still there amid the turmoil of the brigade leaving that afternoon. They both rudely told him it was not their business to sigh for and pay invoices they had not ordered.

So Hugh then knew that he had been swindled by the lieutenant. His attempt to address a higher ranking officer was thwarted by his guard and he barely avoided his head being split open by a musket butt. Finally, dejectedly, he left the barracks and walked home, not knowing what he was going to do.

As he returned to the shop,, William was waiting for him.”Father” he said, “while you were out front with the officer, and left ,a dozen soldiers came back and carried out all our store of leather, saying they needed it to finish the making the harnesses the army demanded. Said to bill the Crown. They took most everything, father, even some of our tools.” In disbelief, Hugh walked through his shop seeing that there was almost nothing left...Then sat heavily and dejectedly in his chair. “I don't see those bolts of cloth”he stated, looking at where the women had been working. It seemed they were gone too.“I am nearly bankrupt, son, unless I get the Crown to pay me for what the army took. Tomorrow I will go to the gentlemen who have not yet paid for the clothes we made them, and I will send John with a letter to the Army quartermasters at London for payment. William, you will have to help me here on what we can and see the women have what we need.. I also have to go see my creditors this afternoon to try to get more money for more material we need to stay in business.”

    William was fascinated with the pretty girl that lived down the street. Her name was Alice. He would see her with her mother at the bakery next door often at lunch time. Often when he saw her he would  say he was taking lunch now, and would casually walk over to the bakery and stand behind her and her mother in line to get bread. He would greet them and when he said her name he would get lost in the depth of her green hazel eyes peeking out at him below her cute bonnet past dark black curls.He had heard that the family were strict Puritans, dissenters from the Church of England. His brother John had warned him to keep his distance from the family, as they all could be arrested at any time. But he just could not resist those green hazel eyes. This particular day after the soldiers had ransacked his fathers shop, he saw her coming to the bakery alone, and went out to talk to her. “Come to buy some bread Alice?” he almost stammered. Right next to her as she entered the shop. “I know its really good the baker was teasing us with the smell all morning”

She blushed a little and replied “Mother sent me to get some rolls this morning she is not feeling well today” “I'm sorry to hear that” William replied, secretly blessing his luck in being able to talk to Alice without her hovering mother present. “Tell me, where do you have church?”he quietly asked at her elbow so no one else could hear. “We only go to the High Church because Father is afraid not to... I don’t really

believe in what they preach” William added. “Really?”Alice replied, looking strait at him for the first time. “And I thought you just liked to stare at my pretty face” She giggled softly and William's heart melted. It was William's turn to blush a little.”Well, that too,' he grinned “I do want to see you for more than a couple minutes a day and maybe without your mother to drag you away the moment I greet you” She smiled. “You're a nice boy, William,” she said. “You come to my church, you might even be allowed to sit with us , and might even be invited to dinner” With that, it was her turn to tell the baker what she wanted. After a couple minutes, he walked her almost home. “you can't walk with me to the door”. She said and stopped. “Mother would be upset. But if you promise to tell no one else?”she asked and William nodded. “Thursday come to the rear door of Elmer’s tannery just after dark, say “Jesus invited me” , and they will let you in. you can likely sit with us.” “I'm sure you will hear something different than what you have heard in church before.” William felt like he was walking on air all the way home. He also dreaded what his cautious father would say if / when he found out. Which he eventually would, William just knew. His father found  out the gossip on everyone. So to have it available to maybe use for his benefit.


    “William” His father called out from the back of the shop “help me with this layout” so they together pressed flat the rolls of leather and inscribed the outline of the things to be later cut out in the morning..Finally, hours later, they could barely see in the gathering darkness.. And so, rather than light a lamp, quit for the night. Shortly their footsteps announced their arrival upstairs. And mother laid out their supper.. “Thank you, precious Tomasin,” father said as he kissed mothers cheek. One lamp cast dim shadows across the room. “How went the day, my husband?” she asked. Hugh frowned. “My creditors are hesitant with loaning money to buy more stock”, Hugh advised. “I only told them half what the army did, and they almost stopped my credit entirely. If I had told them the whole truth, they would have demanded payment in full.” He left the rest unsaid, staring off into darkness.

William thought about debtors prison, that dark rat infested dungeon where debtors and often their whole families were imprisoned. “Do you think our farmer cousin David would take us in if our creditors seize our home and business?” William asked his father, when mother was at the stove.

Father looked at him. “Lets hop it does not come to that, boy but if I'm arrested and thrown in debtors prison, take the family to David’s farm”. “You remember where it is?” “Yes father,” William answered as Mother returned to the table. “Do you think it will come to that?” ”If the Army and fancy gentlemen won't pay their debts, it is possible, lad.” was all father said off into the darkness... Later, after mother had left the room, Father said, “don’t let them seize you, they could sell you into slavery to pay my debts” “Indentured servitude, the lawyers call it, but its still often brutal slavery. Still” Thursday night came quickly enough. After supper, William left the shop by the back door into the alley, and made his way in the starless gloom to the back door of the tannery. “boy it was dark out here” William thought as he knocked on the door....after waiting a few moments, he knocked again. A low voice answered “who is it?” William paused, then got up the courage to say “Jesus invited me”..The door opened cautiously, and he was bid enter. William stepped into the dimly lit room. In the far corner people were ghostly shadows. One mans quietly spoke “over here William” and he walked over and sat next to Alice's father.... He could barely see the white glow of Alice's face framed by her bonnet in the dimly lit room.”Welcome William” Alice said.”The elder should speak soon”. Three men were having a quiet 6 animated discussion over by the two candles.

    Finally, one of them stood up.. “Brethren, before tonight's lesson, I would like to announce that some of the faithful brethren will be going to the New Jerusalem, the Plymouth colony, this spring. The first two waves of settlement were successful, and two or three more ships will be going by June. That is two months from now. Our lives here are proving to be difficult due to the ever preset Kings men and informers. We must live double lives, pretending to be faithful to the Kings church , while in our hearts having no King but Jesus. And the only true Church in our homes.Now our brother who has traveled to us from another city will speak to us.” The man got up slowly in some pain.”Brothers and sisters, the church in Birmingham greet you in the precious name of Jesus and hopes you are steadfast in your faith despite the persecutions we face. Sadly, some of our brethren neighboring Ermington were arrested last week and are still in prison . Their children were wrenched from their bosoms and sold into slavery to the London merchants. and to be led away from the true faith. The Church that denies the Bible by their deeds is no Church at all, but the harlot that rides the beast, the state and the King. .

Now to the Gospel lesson.” The Brother teacher spoke at length about the Apostle Paul and the terrors he faced spreading the Gospel throughout the pagan Roman empire. This empire had a state religion just like England , a corrupt whore ruling kings. Finally, after an hour, there was a long list of prayer requests and prayer for them.William mentioned his families need as to what had happened to them.

    Finally, the congregation proclaimed “Next year in Jerusalem” partially meaning the Plymouth Colony ruled by GOD not by men. There they would be free to worship and be a part of GOD's church in the wilderness, To pray as their conscience compelled them. Then, gradually, a family left every few minutes , disappearing in the darkness. Finally Alice’s family got up and left with William. Then Alice’s father spoke.”William, you must not speak of this meeting to your father or anyone else.” “I understand” William answered. “My family may soon need to leave here for sanctuary . I will explain more later.”. With that, the parted company...William had a hard time getting to sleep that night. The next day his adventure took on a dream like quality, William not quite believing what he had witnessed. Two days later as he relaxed in the alley 7 behind the shop at lunch time, a street urchin walking by, stopped, looked both ways then walked over to William and spoke. “ No meetings at the tannery for a while. You will be told of the next meeting. Are you interested?” “yes” William said. The boy nodded and walked down the street.

   Two nights later on Thursday, the family was startled by noise on the street, horses houves, then shouting , many voices several houses down The street. The sound of hammering on wood, than a crash as a door was broken in. more shouts, a woman screaming in fear that was suddenly silenced. It seemed an hour later Kings men under the constables standard were seen riding past their house with sever poor wretch's crowding together in a cage on top of a wagon, the women sobbing, as it drove past..When the kings men had left, word was past down the street that Elmer's tannery had been broken into by the kings officers and the tanners family had been carried off in that wagon. “Yes, all of them” Hugh was told by neighbors through the alley window. “Rumor is they were separatists, disloyal to the King,” he was told, “good riddance” With that Hugh angrily shut the window shutters, ending the conversation.

The next day the mood was somber at the shop. Finally, Hugh spoke to William” Son, go to Allen’s tannery across town and ask if they have any leather not promised to customers. Tell them our neighbor the tanner was taken away last night.” As he was leaving, John finally returned, a beaten look on his face. “No money, brother, the crown refused to pay. Said they give each regiment money for their equipment.” High overheard from the doorway and grimly listened. “Some clerk may send the regiment a letter of inquiry, but...” John's voice trailed off in silence...When John was finished, Hugh said “There is no point in trying to buy supplies now. We are bankrupt. I cannot make next months payment on my debt, we need to save every penny we have. John. Torrow morning you go to see farmer David and see if he will take in our family. William and I will wind up our business here. Two weeks we have, maybe three before the kings constable comes in search of our creditor's money. Now say nothing to Mother, as we don't need gossip about our situation reaching our creditors sooner than necessary.

    Early the next morning, William told his father “there will be no-where really safe from the constable in England, Father. I have a mind to join the next expedition to the New World, to Plymouth colony.. At least there a man can be his own man with

no one to arrest him. The new towns around Plymouth are even more tolerant, a man can make a future there. There is no future for me here.” “It has to do 8 with that green eyed lass?” Hugh asked. William blushed.. “Somewhat father, yes, but John and I can be arrested here and sold to pay your debt.” “I/we must leave..” “True son” Hugh sadly said, “I give you my blessing” William walked down the street to Alice's fathers store. Everything on the street seemed normal for a Friday morning. William stopped to look in a couple store fronts along the way to make sure it was safe before entering Mr Fosters store. He saw Alice sitting in the corner working on something, he could not quite figure out what. There were two other customers in the store. As soon as they left, William spoke quietly but directly. “Mr. Foster, it was mentioned that a couple ships are leaving soon for Plymouth colony. I would like to go on them. I have my fathers blessing on this.”

    My Fosters eyes went up, then frowned, but said nothing. Then “I see”, he said “Yes Brother Lothrop is bringing over a number of his church . Do you have money for the passage, boy?” “No Elder but I am very good at my trade” William replied. “I suppose you could work a couple years for your passage.”“The group does need someone of your trade.” “You would be apprenticed to a solid fair man and as soon as the debt is paid you would be free.” William thought a moment, then replied, “that would be acceptable. elder””Very well, show up tonight at nine with your tools and clothing and I will have someone to lead you to preacher Lothrop's group.” ”Now, I see more customers, so be on your way, boy” William looked wistfully over at Alice as he left and was surprised to see a shy dimpled smile. William quietly told his father later. “So soon?” Hugh asked. “Yes Father, apparently preacher Lothrop's church leaves very soon” “Then you must go, my son” Hugh sadly said.”You have your tool belt and I will give you a few more tools for you as well. John will help us move the night after next. Who knows, he might eventually follow you West. Now do not tell anyone, especially Mother., as she will make a scene. We will only tell her that you are gone away on business.”

    The rest of the day went slowly. at supper time William went upstairs to eat. He quietly looked around at his family, knowing that this was the last time he would ever see them in this life. He was both anxious and sad … and strangely exited at leaving home. How he longed to tell his mother, but as father had sternly warned him, “not a word boy, not a word.. We don’t want womans gossip to endanger our family.” So he somberly ate. After dinner, he gave his mother a hug, and , said “I have to go on business Be back soon”, and left, pausing at the door for one last long look at his family. He had already  brought some clothes , and a couple of his favorite books downstairs to the shop when his mother was out, so as not to have to gather up his things now, causing questions. in her mind. Then , with tears in his eyes, he turned and was gone. William stopped in the dark shop to buckle on his tool belt, pick up his two bags, and walked out the back door to the alley, softly closing it behind him. As he walked away, William remembered how he had played in the alley as a small boy. As he reached the corner, he took a long last look and put his past behind him...and became a man.

William knocked on Alice’s family’s back door a few minutes later. Alice’s younger brother let him in. and led him through the dark store to the stairs leading to their living quarters over the shop. “Wait here, father will be down I a minute” he said, so William sat on the bottom stair to wait. It was only a few minutes later that he heard two men coming down the stairs. As they reached the bottom, Alice's father spoke. “Young man, this is Mr Henry. He will take you tonight. We could not tell you sooner, but we will be joining preacher Lothrop on his ship as well.. Its just no longer safe for us here.” Williams heart lept within him...Alice-going to the new world too! He couldn’t believe his good fortune. Mr. Henry asked, “got your tools and clothes, boy?” “Yes elder, Mr. Henry “ William replied.. “I'll carry one of your bags. Its only a short distance to my wagon” Mr. Henry said. With that, the two men exchanged glances, bid goodbye, and William followed Mr. Henry out into the dark lane.The wagon bumped along with such a noise in the evening darkness that William suspected that they could be heard a long way. However in a few minutes they were out of town on the Kings highway.

    After a while, the wagon turned abruptly off the road as they reached a shallow stony creek, and drove up the creek a hundred yards, then right up the bank behind a small farm house, and stopped.       “We wait here until tomorrow, lad,” Mr Henry said. “likely no one will come down the road looking for us, but we are careful.” ”You help all the brethren escape all the Kings men?”William asked. “we don't tell anyone the extent of our service, boy,” Mr. Henry replied. “Its to protect all of us. All you need to know is that we help you. Tomorrow we help someone else.”There was an elderly quiet couple that owned the safe house. They welcomed William, but said little and showed him to a small room in the back of the house. “Are you hungry?”, the wife asked. “no. 10 William said.”Very well” she replied. “There is a pitcher of water on the night stand. Good night, we will see you in the morning.” With that, she went out and shut the door. Early next morning William was awakened by the sound of a wagon receding from the house. He quickly dressed and made his way down the hallway to the kitchen. The early light revealed the old woman sitting at her kitchen table with her head in her hands. “There you are boy” she said, looking up. 'Mr Henry just left. Someone else will be here soon.” “Is the Foster family also coming here?” William asked. “We cant tell you that lad. The less you know, the less you can tell the Kings men should they take you .” She rose and got some bread from a cupboard , placed it on the table, said “sit lad, eat.”

    After breakfast, she said, “you can go out on the back porch lad. But if you hear more than two horses coming, go hide behind the large bushes out back. And if its the Kings men, slip away back to the river. There is a lean-to just up stream a short ways.” “Thank you, mam,” he said and went to the back porch. It wasnt until late afternoon that a man on horseback quietly rode up to the back of the house leading another horse. “Afternoon lad, I'm a friend” he said “I'm a deacon of Brother Lothrop's church.” “I'm William Crocker, Elder” William said. The old woman pushed out her back door and stood there..”I'll be taking the lad as soon as it gets a little dark, friend.” She nodded. “Don't forget your bags, boy” she said, then went back inside.

They rode for hours before coming to a dairy barn. “we're here, lad” the elder said.:”I'm bro James, Your friends the Fosters will be here in a wagon in a day or so and we will all go, family by family, to the ships boats that will pick us up in a nearby cove. Its not wise for all of us to crowd into a ship in a port, so she sails a few miles along the coast and picks up another group or two before setting sail West.” It was indeed another two evenings before William heard wagon wheels. Their noise, creaking stopped outside the barn. William looked and saw that it was the Fosters and another family.

Brother James greeted him. A few minutes, William climbed up on the wagon beside Alice and the two wagons made for the cove. Some time later they stopped at the waters edge.. A ship was just coming into view. She presently anchored, and a long boat loaded the rest of the families belongings and then rowed out to the ship. A while later, the boat was back for the Foster family and William. Soon the anchor was raised, the sails filled, and she bore off South into the darkness. Just West of Plymouth, Devon. Shortly 11 after, being a good distance offshore, the good ship Griffin hauled her yards around and headed as close to the wind as she could towards the West .... West to the New World...

    The Griffin was heavily laden, and as such occasionally a wave would break on the Port bow, washing over the whole mid deck. The deck was no place for passingers, so everyone was confined below deck in the ships hold. It was mostly a dark place with only dim rays of light coming from around the hatch and down the companionway. All about them, the ship creaked, groaned and the deck pitched and rolled ceaselessly. Most everyone was seasick, and the hold a cold wet smelly miserable place. The Boson's mate who came down below decks once a watch to inspect the ships hold told them with a bantering grin “hey, its good weather up there-wait till we find a storm, then you can complain.”

Brother Preacher Lothrop held Bible studies daily to try to get the peoples mind off their distress. Some openly stated they wanted to turn back and go to Holland .instead of West to Plymouth, but it was pointed out to them that it was a bit late to

change their mind about that. There was also one rather funny-well sort of anyway- Bible lesson about our situation being like Jonah being in the belly of a whale for 3 days... And one tired voice remarked that while Jonah was in his fish 3 days, we would be lucky to be in this beast only three months... Which brought a few wiry smiles from most...            The third week out it did get much worse, the ship working to windward through a storm. It seemed the whole world was a violently lurching thing. The poor cows and sheep suffered more than the people. And for once William and the other young men could not tend to them and their nose some discharges.

    It was found necessary to suspend the cows in slings to avoid them falling breaking legs. Their annoyed painful bellows and pitiful moans added to the din in the ships hold... Not to even mention trying to keep peoples belongings, farm implements, secured in one place , All this among 200 passengers in the Griffin's hold... This storm chaos went on for three days before they had some reprieve. By now, people were mostly over their sea sickness. Except for two poor souls who had died and  who were buried at sea the 4th day after a brief service on the wind and spray tossed main deck...After this, the weather had improved enough that the captain allowed a handful of passengers on the main deck at a time for fresh air. One thing they all agreed on was this was the LAST sea voyage they would EVER sail on !After this, however William decided that the sea wasn't really that bad. Being a passenger 12

cooped up in the aweful smelly hold was what was bad. The church's elders had talked with him after everyone had been feeling somewhat better. It had been decided that since brother Adams had given most of the passage money for William to come to the new world, William would be working for Brother Adams until the debt was paid. Likely a year or two. It was not a formal indenture but a handshake contract none the less. And William readily agreed to it. It meant that in a year or two he would be free to marry Alice.-if she would have him. Her father had said that when he could provide for her and if she was agreeable AND if he proved a hard working young man it was likely it could be arranged...

    Although the passengers did not have much to do during the voyage, the elders had put William to work in his leather craft, making things they would need once ashore. The ships boson had him stitch, repair sails when he wasn't busy doing other things... So, he was busy. William did get to talk with Alice, occasionally, briefly despite her hovering mother. They talked about where they might live in the colony .The elders said though the ship would land in Boston, we might go South towards Plymouth... There was a new town called Situate where more freethinking people went. Already the Puritans’ in Boston were making themselves unpopular with many...” Alice said one evening.” I heard my father talking with the elders.” “I heard that pastor Lothrop wants to keep his church together in one town, “ She added.“If there is unpleasantness in the greater regional church, Pastor might even start a new town somewhere.” “What, go live with the Indians?”William teased. “A real town with real houses and real teasers like you.” she giggled. “Alice, will you do your sewing?” her mother reproved. Her mother both scolded and hovered. They both smiled. Somewhat later, supper being over pastor Lothrop said,” Evening prayer studies, family.” unlike some other pastors, this one was interesting and William thought he was actually learning something.

    The next morning was really good weather, so all the passengers came upon deck after breakfast. They were confined to the lower well deck forward of the quarterdeck except for a few like William who were able and willing to be useful. William found himself upon the Fo'castle with two hands remove a canvas hatch cover and replace it The hatch must be measured, laid out, cut and the rope around the new cover sewed, the grommets sewed in, it looked like it would take all day. William took the project 13 back to the amidships deck to sew it together, and sat down next to Alice. Who was doing women’s work, scrubbing out some things in a small tub.”Warmer and drier here than on the fo-castle” he said to her.”The what?” she asked with a smile. “ fo'castle, the front part of the ship. A long time ago, ships had castles at both ends of the ship.” “The one in the pointy end, you know, over there “ he teased and grinned. Alice stuck out her tongue at him. “Mable”, she called to another girl, “Williams gonna be a sailor” “With a girl in every port” Mable replied, laughing. “He had better not,” Alice called back and several laughed at that. “No I'm going to be a farmer,” William replied. “But I might someday build a fishing skiff.” “I'm a good carpenter, my father had a forge, ..I have my forging tools,” William finished.” So, looking at Alice “You will be well taken care of” Alice blushed and giggled..And William was a little embarrassed. talk resumed around them, so William continued sewing the rope around the cover. The 2nd mate stopped by, watched William for a minute or two, then said, “Anytime you want a job as a sailor or sail maker, we can use you lad”. William replied with a smile.”Thanks, mate, but I'm going to be a farmer and artificer” William said. “And that pretty girl wouldn't let me go no-how” He added. The mate shook his head, and walked on. It took all afternoon to do the work, but by evening he took the new cover forward , removing the old one, did the final fitting and tied the new cover on. Returning to the hold, locked his tools in Mr Fosters chest. “Sure don't want anyone stealing my tools.”

Supper arrived soon, and it was another long lecture/sermon about Saint Luke and the errors of the English church. At the end of the lecture, there was a discussion time, and he wanted to ask a couple questions, but remembered his fathers caution “go along and get along.” William realized that the important thing was to fit into this group. After the lesson, the families retired to their tiny cubicles

with canvas walls in the upper hold.

    Each room had barely space for two bunk beds separated by four feet with the families chest s under the lower bunk, And a blanket draped over the door. William slept with three other single men in hammocks slung in a small open passageway in the lower hold. Daytimes, the hammocks were triced up out of the way. Breakfast was cold biscuits and dried fish. Evening meals were usually warmed up fish and biskets with weevels in them... You rapped the biscuit before eating it so the worms would crawl out—or not... Even meals were cooked in the big pot in the galley after the crew had eaten theirs... They had to cook the evening meal three times to feet 200 people... “I sure  hope this cargo doesn’t shift and squeeze us to death” William prayed every night as he climbed into his hammock. Thankfully they were sailing in early spring. That left them several months to build homes and clear land for late fall crops. Food the first year might be scarce, he realized, despite they had brought much grain with them. “I wonder how long a growing season were going to have and how much help are we going to get from the residents?” With that he finally fell asleep. The next morning as he emerged on deck, the Bo-son saw him and said “young Crocker, I have some work for you aloft at the Main top.” William looked up and stated “I'm getting paid for this?” he asked. “My passage fee is being reduced?” “Sure lad” the boson grinned. “Can I have that in writing from the captain?”

William asked. The bo'son got mad. William replied “Guess I have my answer” The boson tried to backhand him, but William ducked and ran back down below. The bo'son didn't follow. “Guess that's the end of that job” William concluded.

    Elder Johnson asked him what was that all about. William told him and the elder was not pleased with either of them. There was, however, much the colonists needed fabricated. So William found himself busy with that. The more he did, the more people liked the quality of his work. “I know father would be proud” William thought. Even though the passage was uncomfortable. William realized it could have been much worse. No real storms now, just sometimes lots of wind. Most of the passage West the ship was sailing into the wind, healed over so they found the decks were always at an angle, making it after hard to walk. Often they found themselves walking half on the deck and half on the long rows of cargo amidships in front of their cabins to stay upright.

   Most of the passengers were over sea sickness by now except for two poor wretches who clung to the ships rail all day and much of the night only then to collapse below decks too tired to realize their vertigo and heaving of their stomachs. At least a few days every two weeks the ship had a fair wind from the South, and all the passengers could gather on deck and the afore mentioned wretches could keep some food down in their stomachs. Those were gorgeous days and awestruck nights

showing the splendor of GODs creation from the beauty of the open sea. The dolphins raced the ship, the flocks of tiny black birds ran across the wave tope out of the way of the ship .before sitting down again and feeding on the minute sea creatures just at their feet. Several times they saw the great whales and marveled at 15them. The voyage seemed to last forever. But one evening, William overheard the lookout coming

off duty say to the Mate that the clouds on the horizon might be over land, And that he had seen a pair of sea gulls . This might mean that by dawn, we might see land again.

    Just at dusk, however, the captain came up on deck from his cabin with the chief mate and ordered the ship hove too and all the sails furled and the ships lantern hung on a rope from the after mast to the stern. He kept the lanteen sail raised on the after mast to help keep the ship’s bow into the wind. Asking a Mate, William was curtly told that the Captain did now want to risk making a landfall at night as it would be all too easy to run the ship aground, so his caution.

     With the dawns early light William found himself upon the focastle, the crew dropping the sails from the yards and sheeting them home, hauling the yards as far around to starboard as the could so they could make good time to the West with the fair breeze. Almost two hours, the lookout called, “Land Land on the Port bow.” An hour later, the captain opinioned the land looked like the Northern end of the Cape, and ordered the ships course Northwest. If this was indeed the Northern end of Cape Cod, them would reach the Boston settlement by evening. As the day progressed, the Cape came into view from the deck, the ship only a few miles to the North. An hour later, a freshening breeze ushered them on their way across the great Cape Cod bay.

It was afternoon when the coast could be seen from the deck, and late afternoon when they sailed past the outer islands, and into Boston harbor.. The Captain finally had the rudder put over, heading the ship into the wind, the sails being furled as the anchor splashed into the debts of the Charles river. Charles Town was a small village, he thought Marshes and grassland to the South past a jutting peninsular, and before him beaches ending in a primal forest. Occasional  homes and cleared land here and there. Great trees almost down to the waters edge in places, every one of which could be the mast of a Kings ship It would be a good land, he realized. William found Alice at his elbow “Beautiful isn't it ?“ she shyly asked. “Yes” William answered, and, falling into her green hazel eyes, replied “We will make a good life here.” She looked down, blushed a little, then took his hand in hers, and said “Yes.”In the morning, it seemed it took forever to get the boats loaded for the first landing on the shore.

    Over to the meeting house and fort. They would spend a while there before finding land and building homes. The mayor and some Puritan elders had come aboard last night to talk with Bro. Lothrop and our elders. For some reason, however, William was told it had not gone well .After all had come ashore, they all had a meeting in the meeting house and were told that since their doctrine was somewhat different that the Puritans, they needed to settle “a few miles” South in a new settlement in a place called Scituate... Various unhappy non conformers had already left Boston forming a settlement there a few months ago... Most of the natives around had already been wiped out in the great smallpox sickness, so finding land there would be fairly simple. Unlike Boston, where the good land was already taken and where they weren't really wanted anyway.

    William sadly remembered what his father had said .”the persecuted often become the persecutors.”Bro Lothrop said “We are still not too late in the season that we can get in a crop for the fall harvest. Your first homes will be humble, like Israel in the wilderness (all smiled at that) but as you have time and acquire means, there is no reason that with hard work we cannot be successful... Free men get to make their choices and indentured servants live with them until the work off their debt. They will also be able to find good land. I'm told its not even necessary to fully clear and plow land to plant crops. They will show us the native way of planting corn and potatoes. It works very well indeed... No need for oxen and plows. Even though we have the plows.”

    The colonists had brought four small vessels with them, all neatly stacked within each other on deck, taking up only a reasonable space... The largest was 21feet, then 18feet, 14feet and 12 feet... the two smallest boats for fishing and the larger ones perhaps for carrying goods between Massachusetts Bay's towns. Some few families such as Alice's had brought an ox or a cow with them, and so put much of their goods on a travoise and left Boston the few miles South to Scituite. The rest started stowing their goods into the four shallops, and a couple larger ones owned by the Boston colony... Far be it for a Puritan to pass up a few shillings to transport cargo! William was now with Bro Adams so he at his direction helped load the four boats and then when they all had set sail, trekked with many others South. It took them two days of walking to get to Scituate.

    After the voyage and trek down the coast in small boats to Scituate, they set up living in tents. 17 They bought good land and saw that the native way to farm was to dig a hole, throw in some ripe stinky fish, planted corn and potatoes on top of them. When William asked how do you keep the animals from digging up the fish he was told “We mix in a little dung and we have dogs too- they keep the forest creatures away... Otherwise your tender young shoots will be eaten up.” Now, William found himself working for Brother Adams and his wife Catherine and they had four children. At the end of about two years he would be free. William wondered how many holes he would have to dig. Breaking the ground one shovelful at a time was hard work. Clearing the grass sod in a six foot circle ,then digging several shallow holes around it. The children then threw in some fish someone had caught.. then putting a little dirt on top followed by some seed and potato eyes on the South side of the holes, To be out of the corns shadows. It seemed it would take forever. William knew they would be planting a month or so until they ran out of seed. By then most of the native meadow would be planted, it was hoped. Evenings finally came, with meals of fresh fish and some porridge. At least the ocean was teeming with fish. They had their few small boats and caught more than enough to hang on racks to dry for winter. as well as to feed the corn for the harvest.. Some of their Puritan neighbors came over occasionally insisting they come over to their church and hear “the Word of God as it should be taught” “who decides” William thought for himself.” we came here for freedom, or at least that's what was said. And in my case to escape debtors prison” he thought. Every evening, at the last rays of sunlight, during the evening meal, the congregation was gathered together to hear bro Lothrop teach a Bible study and pray for the coming day. William did not mind as he was tired and got to sit with Alice. and sometimes even hold her hand. During the day he only saw her from a distance, as she die women’s work with the other women. After the planting, William was told to go out on the small boats and learn fishing. William and Henry saw the boats were well used, but sound . The two young men who had brought the boats up the bay seemed pleasant enough. They had just finished dragging the mornings catch up the beach “You Fred


and Allen?” Henry asked. Fred confessed they were. “Help us get the fish over to the racks?' 18Fred asked. “The children will split, salt and hang them” A couple tired looking twelve year olds came around the rack, and stared dragging the fish away. “Shortly we will sail back out for more fish” Fred said. They sat on the sand for a while.and ate their meal, filled their water jugs, then pushed the boats back in the water.The wind was from the Southwest, filling the sail ghosting the boat out into the bay. “Certainly better than digging holes” William thought with a smile.

    He had never sailed a small boat much less fished. Being observant was teaching him a lot. He watched Allen carefully as Allen sailed the boat. The other boat was following a ways back . In almost no time they were on the edge of a sandbar bank, and William could even see fish below them. Fred brought her up into the wind, dropped an anchor, then dropped the sail. “We put these lines in the water,: Fred said, as he started baiting hooks. After they had baited one row of hooks, Fred reached into the line tub and carefully lowered the line to the bottom. Then he tied

the line to the bow. , Fred then let the anchor out a bit then dropped another line with hooks off the stern... “Now we wait a few minutes.” “The tide is changing and the fish will be hungry for the next hour or two ” He said. In a while we will pull in the fish we caught. Re-bait, then drop it back over the side Fred said.Then we will pick up the 2nd line. After a couple hours of back breaking pulling in of lines, William almost changed his mind about fishing being easier than farming. But at least, he thought, “I don't have an elder watching over my shoulder every moment and growling to dig faster.” He tiredly smiled. Supper will be welcome, as will Alice's smile. Maybe the hardest part of farming had been carrying loads of fish guts from the back to the fields, he thought. By the time William had helped bring the in the last of the fish, it was late afternoon.. And almost dark by the time he had washed for supper. Then after supper, he had to listen to the Bible teacher drone on and on about what William really did not care about. Saying to himself “ a little much religion is better than the Kings jail.” And so William patiently endured.                                                                        

     Politics, William ruefully thought. The bane of the settlements was Politics driven by religion...Each village had its own idea of what religion meant, and which preacher to follow. The “General Court” being set up by the various elders to enforce a conformity of belief to stop the endless confusion. William guessed it would be this way for a while. However soorner or later a more tolerant crowd would emigrate here, he hoped, and moderate the position of the Church as the Lord and ruler over every aspect of life. William was also becoming open to the idea of leaving this group in a new venture where things would be freer... Already some had abandoned all three towns for free land and free opinion

South through the wilderness. A few days after William started fishing, all the crops being planted, and the elders thought it was time to provide for their winter shelter. It had been decided that a common shelter would be best for the first winter... So they started building their church / meeting house. Putting up fish for the winter was still the job of the children and younger men such as William and so he was not at first required to do the back breaking work of felling and trimming the large trees.

    Alice asked him one evening “I did not see you today” William replied “ Still fishing” He grinned “someone has to do it... I am getting better at sailing the boat. And I only got two hooks in my fingers today” She grimaced. “I'll be a sailor yet” :”You be careful William,” Alice retorted with a frown on here cute bonneted face. “I don't want you becoming fish food” William smiled, patted her hand. “I don’t either” he reassured her... The preacher droned on-and on- and on !!!The oxen pulled the cut sections over to the building site. It often took several men to raise the logs upon each other, making the walls of the Church. Later, trees were split, hewn with flat adzes for timbers for the framing and the roof...

Finally, more agile men were needed, and William found himself high up on the roof nailing on the long boards along the roof before shingles could be placed. Thankfully, three of the men were good at splitting shingles.. Alice was really anxious about Having William working way up there. But he just grinned “ Lots easier than digging holes-or pulling in fishing lines” he replied. “I'll be fine, my love.. I'll be fine” At that she pouted, but said nothing in return,

    It took a month to finish the building and three more weeks to do the inside... Plastering the inside of the chimneys was really difficult, and only the young boys could fit inside the chimney.

    Bonnets, William thought, then realized.. Each girl had pretty bonnets... He smiled... William realized that was how each mother kept track of her daughter from a distance... By her bonnet! SO... If two girls had the same bonnets, mothers would be confused... And he and Alice could get some private time away from prying hovering eyes! Alice was carrying some things in a double yoke that women used over to the store house. William saw her, and came up along side her and half whispered “Alice, your mother keeps track of you by your pretty bonnet” William stated. “If you and Mary have similar bonnets tomorrow, Sunday afternoon, we can get away a short distance for a private talk. Away from your mother” Alice put down the heavy baskets at the door, “Yes, I agree” she said with a twinkle in her eyes.“Be fun to get away for a couple hours... I will wear my blue bonnet to morning church, and Mary will wear her green one. Then when we girls are together, we can change colors” She giggled. “Several of us girls will go berry picking at the edge of the clearing, and we can meet at the split tree down the trail.”

    After church William went for a walk down the beach. Then once out of sight, went up into the woods. In no time, he found the split tree. A few minutes later, he saw Alice. Their eyes met, then he offered her his hand and they walked hand in hand to a vantage point overlooking the sound. “The girls are taking turns wearing my color bonnet” They snikered together. She snuggled close to him with her head on his shoulder, in his arm, and sighed...”Two more years before your free?” she asked. “Well, year and a half, anyway” he answered. “The elders will decide” William replied... Then, we can find some land, I can build a house... so yes, likely about two years.” After a couple hours , she whispered, “I had better be getting back” So William walked her almost back to her group of berry pickers, said goodby, and kissed her on the cheek to the giggles of the other girls. Alice changed her bonnet, then sat with her friends They had gathered some berries for her basket so no one would notice... William wistfully made his way back down to the beach, remembering her soft touch and the wonderfullness of her nearness...

    Much like on the ship, it was decided to use canvas partitions between the rooms for each family. Also thankfully, Each family had much more room than on the ship... And they had steady ground 21to stand on this time... Until October, or cold rainy weather, they intended to remain in their tents, as it was much more private.. Ever Sunday they Had the day of rest and William and Alice were now inseparable... Her mother had finally for the most part given up hovering, seeing the inevitable... And trusting them both... They were chaperoned by the group... No one was really alone in their society... one of the young men had become fairly adept at snaring small game... Rumor was that someone had been a poacher on the Crown land years ago... Teaching what he knew to his sons who then passed along some of that trade to their friends... The dogs regularly caught and killed prey as well... IF the owner could get there in time, a nice pelt and meat added really well to fish and porridge...

    Now that the Church was done, it was decided to start on other buildings before harvest. Certainly, secure places had to be built to keep the harvest safe from thieves... Both human and less than...Some single men would have to live in the store houses to secure them... September was here already and the corn, potatoes and some grain was almost ready for harvest... William certainly did not look forward to digging up all those potatoes, but was sure he would be enlisted in that cause... True, every family had purchased their own acres... However this first year, only the acreage closest to the Church had been tilled... In the spring, everyone would be busy with their plots...and houses would be built come summer...

William had received a letter fro his brother John... Seems he had come over on another ship and was in Boston... It was not certain if he would come down the coast to Scituate... Or if he would fit in with the people in Boston for that matter... William remembered well how irritable John could be at times..The last John knew, their family was safe enough on the farm.. Time would tell..

    Alice's mother was with child again... As were several others... Some joked that The first nights ashore must have had been fruitful... And come Spring all manner of newborns would be arriving...Another funny/sad story was also going around that a farm boy in Boston had his eyes only for a wealthy fanilies daughter, annoying the girls father so much that he caused the elders council to 22forbid him “seeking her afections”... nearly banishing the unfortunate lad from Boston...There was also news that a vessel had grounded ashore in a storm on the way back to Boston from New Amsterdam with few survivors Noted also for those trying to sail South with a cargo was that the reefs East of Nantucket stretched miles off shore and were daunting in any weather... A vessel trying to round the Cape that was caught in a storm was almost sure to be driven upon them... And it was thought that several were... One of the more outrageous acts of the Governors council had been to give title of large

tracts of land to gentlemen and the lower class had to buy from these... All the islands below the Cape had been given to Gentlemen to do with them what they were want to... All this caused wrath from decent men, such abuses they had fled from and now it seems were descending upon them here... At least the lands here had not been too dearly bought...

    The native peoples had been trading for centuries on the banks of the Manomet river where it flowed into the great bay stretching from South of Cape Cod North to within a few miles of Massachusetts Bay...Plymouth had established a trading post there several years before. A small river called the Scusset exited the North side of the Cape, with enough depth at high tide for a shallop to enter and sail or row a couple miles up stream where there was said to be a portage over to the Manumet river a scant three miles away.. Then a few miles down the Manumet to the trading post and bay.... It was decided by the elders that they should send the 15foot shallop there with three men and a small quantity of pelts for trade at Aptucxet... William was delighted to be one of the two young men to go. The third was Elder Jacobs. It was also mentioned of the possibility of having one of their familes settle at the head of the bay with a large shallop to trade South to New Amsterdam...They decided to wait for a favorable wind. Otherwise they would have to sail all the way upwind and that would be really tiring, beating people up for no reason...

    Finally, a day shortly came with the wind more Westerly than usual, and William, Allen, and elder Jacobs set off... They were towing behind them a well covered light canoe to portage tween the rivers Once there on the Manumet, one would paddle downstream with the cargo and the other two would walk along the riverbank downstream... As you expect, the shallop was a heavy sea keeping vessel not suitable for a portage... They had left by about nine in the morning and it took several hours to make enough distance that they were abeam of Plymouth... However, they were over three miles offshore, the waves were becoming bothersome this far from land, so the elder decided to tack the boat back toward the shore. There was no real chance of making the Scusset river before dark, so it was as well to make Plymouth and there spend the night on the beach... And maybe find out more about the location of the river portage... They made Plymouth harbor about supper time, and pulled the boat as far up the beach as they could, then tieng it to a tree. “You stay here, lads”, elder stated, as he then walked off into town. Several of the neighborhood children ran down the boat as children will, asking questions, snd having to be shooed away by the young men.”We're going down to the Apaxtuct” William impatiently told them. “But what of the canoe?” one brite eyed pushy youngster asked. “Portage”, Allen impatiently scolded. “You dont really think we could portage a shallop, do you?” Laughter from the boys as they were chased off.. “Now maybe we can get some supper” William thought. A few minutes later he had a small fire going, and was heating up some porriage when he saw the elder returning...

    “I'm going to spend the night by the church,” he stated. “You lads stay here to watch our cargo.”\With that, with no further word, turned on his heel and walked back up the beach... “Nice fall evening” William thought later. No sign of rain, but I had better snuggle under a tarp anyway. The lads spent a fitful night. The next morning, after a sparse breakfast of bread and fish, the elder appeared looking well fed and rested. The tide had come in so they got the boat off the beach easily. In no time were on their way South. “Only a few miles, lads” he said. “Then we follow the beach around to the East and we should find the Scusset by afternoon.” True to his word, and with a brisk wind from the shore filling the sail they made really good time. By afternoon they all of a sudden spotted the river ahead... the water at the sandbar shoal at the river mouth was shallow now, but the bumped across , only bottoming briefly..

    Then, they were in the river... As they could not sail very far upriver, soon the lowered the sail and 24 resorted to oars... An hour later the saw the portage trail off to the South from the bank...“Guess we will be here for the night”, elder Jacobs decided. “Dark will be soon, and no point in not being able to finish the portage before then.” So, after getting the canoe ready for portage, they made supper an hour or so before dark... This time all three snuggled down in the boat on top of the soft bundles of furs under the sail and tarp.... Sleep cam occasionally and fitfully for William. Even though they were well armed, He was somewhat anxious about natives prowling the darkness...First light saw them breakfast, pick up the partially loaded canoe and trapse it the three miles for the Manomet... Them back to the shallop for the remaining furs.. Turned out that took another two trips for everything... The Elder decided that Allen should stay with the shallop, so William paddled the canoe down the river while the elder followed along the bank, and Allen dejectly walked back to the shallop... Turns out it only took a couple hours to paddle down river to the trading post. As William arrived, some shaggy natives looked on couriously, while a self officious trader came down to ask William who he was and where he had come from. William smiled pleasantly at this, and merely related that his elder would be down the river shortly... With this, the trader scowled upriver where a figure could be seen slowly approaching, then walked back up to the trading post...

    Once elder Jacobs arrived, he went up to the trading post, and shortly returned .. “The trader said to Bring our goods up there,” the elder said. So after a few minutes, they had their cargo on the long table outside the door. With that the trader came back out and started untying the bundles and carefully going through them, smelling the back of the pelts for freshness. He had little to say. Then offered a far too low price so they bickered back and forth for seemed to William an hour before silver changed hands... After that William wanted to go see the large bay at the month of the river... After a few minutes walk a beautiful sight displayed itself before them to the South...They called it the Manomet Bay. A few miles wide and they said it stretched beyond the several barrier islands South the ocean... William saw immediately how the large island on the East side of the bay would make a splendid anchorage between it and the shore... He could see that Manomet Beach would be a great place for a thriving settlement some day... He might even be one of the first to settle there... A much more protected anchorage than the the Manomet5river mouth... The the elder broke his daydream. “Time to head back, lad” he said, and they headed back to the trading post. Shortly, after a couple purchases for his wife, they both paddled easily upstream .on the incoming tide... Portaging across between rivers took only over an hour, then with the wind filling her sail from astern, the shallop was shortly out of the river and headed back North... By evening they were abrest of Plymouth, Being tired, the elder required they stay the evening- in a comfortable feather bed William wirily said to himself... Later, after supper, the lads slept on the sand next to the boat.                                                                                                   

    The next day, by noon, they ghosted back into Scituate harbor...Has anyone seen my daughter?”, Ann's mother asked the group of girls gathered together in the back of the church as evening services were about to start. She got nothing but surprised and blank looks in reply. After a few moments Sherry spoke up. “She was with us when we were berry picking,” Sherry said... “for a while, anyway. Then I did not see her, but we had to go father than usual, so I thought she was with some of the other girls. Anyone see her as we came back?” Sherry asked... No one spoke up.

'I guess no one noticed she wasn't here” Sherry said in a half whisper. Ann's mother, getting really concerned now loudly asked everyone “Has anyone seen my daughter?” Faces turned, shocked that someone might be missing.. Especially a young girt of only fourteen.. And it was already getting dark. Marie stated, “She said she was going to have supper with us”meaning her family “but she never came and I thought she had changed her mind.” A questioning look on her face... By now Ann's mother was visibly agitated, too much so to speak. It was already getting dark, but three of the elders told Marie and Sherry, “Come show us where you last saw her” They grabbed several torches lit them, then 12 men ran over to the edge of the field after the two girls. Just as it was getting too bark to see, someone cried “Over here, come over here” all rushed over... “Her berry bowl, I think, one said. Then another a ways of also looking around also found a shoe... “They've taken her, I think”, he said, holding up the shoe.“Who?” William asked, not understanding 'Who would?” then realization struck home... The 26natives had snached the girl... And no one had heard a thing “We can do nothing tonight,” Elder Adams said in an angry voice... “Tomorrow, we go to the tribes and tell them we want our girl back”It was a really solemn group that trudged back to the church... When the got back,

    Elder Adams Stood before her parents and said “we think you daughter has been abducted by the natives. We will go see the chiefs tomorrow morning to demand her release,” Ann's mother Joan collapsed, sobbing..“Sometimes the natives steal a child from another tribe to replace one of their own” he said reassuring the grieving mother. “I'm sure we will find her. its unlikely she has been harmed” With that Pastor Lothrop called everyone to prayer for her safe return. They prayed for two hours... Then, Church being dismissed, Joan was supported back to their tent by her husband and one of the elders... Both grimly determined they would search out the natives responsible... A Runner would be sent to Plymouth at first light for their assistance as well...

As the first pre dawn light lit the sky in the East faded the sliver of the moon, the young runner was sent out with the message for the Plymouth elders... He should be there is several hours. Help should be on the way by afternoon... Additionally, another message was being sent by sea. But a South wind would make it a longer passage... By early morning the trackers had determined the direction the kidnappers had likely come from... Word was sent back to Scituate, and the group of 12 armed men, their matchlocks fuses well lit, trudged along the ancient trail South  West. Three hours later, as they entered the first village, a row of impassive warriors stood across the trail... The colonists stopped and blew in their firelocks matches. Elder Adams approached the natives leader... “Do you speak English” he asked. Another native broke their silence. “I do, a little” he said. “One of our young women has been taken”Bro Adams stated evenly. “Her abductors came this way” The young man translated for his chief. The chief became visibly upset. “I know not of this”, the chief said through his translator..The tracks of her abductors lead here” Elder Adams politely retorted. “Even now many friends from Plymouth are on there way here”... The chief grew more upset at this... “I will see, he replied and called to his brethrin if anyone knew anything... The Plymouth brethren had a serious no nonsense 2reputation in the colony... The natives wanted no trouble with the Leader of the Massachusetts federation who had a mutual treaty with Plymouth... Anyway, shortly, native messengers were sent out. The chief returned.“Wait, we will see” he said. So they all stood waiting... Then two hours later, a large native appeared carrying a girl. Not too gently he dumped her on the ground. She jumped up and rad into the arms of her father, tears of joy on his face... “We sad this happened. We have peace?” the chief asked. “yes peace”, elder Adams replied. The Scuitate company then melted back into the forest...Seemed that from then on, the girls could not go into the forest without armed men accompanying them. Bad news for William and Alice though. It made it so much harder to slip away together. And yes, Ann was still short one shoe... Now berry picking was limited to Sundays... And fall now set in, not much being left to pick anyway...

    It was just a couple weeks after Thanksgiving the first dusting of snow fell, all the settlers snug in their shelters... Five additional houses had been built along with the church, so there was enough room for everyone as well as much of the stores... Sheds had also been built for the animals. They snuggled together as well... The first blizzard was not for another three weeks... The good thing about the blizzard was that not everyone had to be there listen to pastor Lothrops nightly sermons William whispered to Alice one night. She giggled.

The boys and young men had to go out and down to the beach to brush the snow off the overturned boats, canvas covers and all... The elders though this wise and so it was done... Bringing in firewood, water for washing the women heated in pots over the fire between meals... The streams were frozen over, so the lads had to break the ice to fill their buckets with water... Someone tried bringing in snow to melt, but gave up as it took lots of snow to make just a little water... and you had better be careful you did not put the fire out dropping snow in the hearth!

One thing making William cold was that it was considered effeminate for young men to have a warm winter coat! So he had to work harder outside in freezing weather...He was glad it was the girls job to take the chamber pots outside and clean them... At lease the snow made this easier... His job was to make sure the cow and oxen sheds did not get so covered with snow that they collapsed... And to see 28the animals had something to eat...The young men also had to see the snow was removed from over and around the lean-tos the cut wood was stacked within...The snow and cold seemed to last forever... Often the snow banks were up to the roofs of the houses on the North side, and it was necessary to open the door in the morning and literally dig your way out. It was also necessary to shovel the snow off the roof after each storm to avoid the roof collapsing under the weight of the snow...

    Spring. 1635

Finally, the snow gradually left. By mid March the ground was bare again, and everyone looked forward to the planting... Except William... He wasnt a farmer and dreaded digging those hundreds of holes... But maybe this year they could use the available oxen to plow at least some of the meadows...Right now, William was tasked with making their four boats ready for the fishing season... Already some fish had been caught from shore... Fresh fish sure was so much better than dried any day...Obviously, the winters snow, ice rain had not done the bottom of the boat any good. Somehow next winter he was going to have to find a way to keep the boats dry... Much of the paint had come off, the wood was still soaked. At least a week of hot sun would be needed before he could do any painting.Maybe instead of just covering the boats with the canvas so the water soaked through, he should build a frame over the boat and cover the frame with the canvas. Anyway.... At that moment Alice appeared at his elbow. “I done see any work getting done” she impishly said. William smiled back.“No,” he admitted. “be awhile before I can paint. But these plank seems need re-caulking, and the old paint can be scraped off.” “Want to help?” he teased. Alice laughed “That's men’s work. We girls came down to see about some seaweed for the fire pit.” “Fresh roasted fish and corn?” William asked, delighted. “Yes,” Alice replied. “The natives say that Bundling them together wrapped in seaweed top of hot glowing coats really works well.. some boys are going to be down to dig a hole on the beach presently. By late afternoon, everything should be done.” “Just don't forget where the hole is 29” William replied with a smirk. “No silly” she replied. “I'll make sure we'll Know. We'll put rocks to mark the spot” Then she had to help the other girls gather up the seaweed. The boys arrived and started digging a deep fire pit. After a few minutes, the holes were about four feet deep and across. The boys then threw in kindling, and brought over some smoldering wood to start the fire. In almost no time the fire was going good. By that time, the girls had the fish, corn, squash and other things wrapped. When the fire was down to a large heap of glowing embers they laid the wrapped items on top of the coals, the boys dumped in more seaweed as it started really steaming... then shoveled a couple feet of sand on top of everything... By evening everything should be well baked..Meantime, William was busy scraping the bottom of the first boat. He had uncovered all the boats to dry in the warm morning sun.. And so that the canvas might dry as well . An elder appeared, and William told him about keeping the boats dry over winter. The elder frowned, thought a minute then nodded and left. William got back to work. It took till evening to well scrape two of the boats. He was covering them all back up as the women came down the beach to inspect the firepit cooked food. William obliged Alice's mother by picking up a shovel and digging out the sand down to the now dried seaweed. As he did so the delicious smell of the daylong simmering pleasantly filled the air. William wrapped his hands in a towel so he could pick up the still hot bundles which the women put in a cart and the boys pulled back up to the church where the communal tables were already waiting for the feast.         Finally, everyone was there. Pastor Lothrop prayed over the bounty, and all found God's gift wonderful.

William and the other young men had been busy much of the winter making fish hooks out of fish bone as the natives did and some of the women had used their spinning wheels to spin fishing line... Unlike the First year Pilgrims, the Codfish was their main staple of food. The irony was that the first settlers almost starved to death when in the ocean the fish were so abundant that, as the first explorers noted, it seemed you could walk across the bay on the backs of the codfish, Which is how Cape Cod got its name. Lobster, clams, also made up a portion of their diet nowadays... One funny story William later repeated was that people grew so sick of lobster that they refused to eat it, Causing a fuss and then trading crab and shellfish

to the natives for corn.. Of course they got sick of corn too, but that is  another story ! They wanted Bread! They had to plow land for wheat to get bread. And cleared land was in short supply. Which is why, William guessed the natives dug holes for corn, squash......... William  wondered about cornbread. The day he was painting the last boat, sitting leaning up against it at lunch time, Alice came down to the beach to sit next to him. “Got room?” she asked with a smile. “For you always” William replied.“I was thinking about cornbread” William said. . “We need more cornbread?” “I will ask mother” Alice replied...

“You have the boats about ready for fishing?” Alice asked.“Tomorrow” William assured, “Tomorrow we catch fresh fish.” Alice smiled. “Well, you be careful” she admonished. “Don’t worry, my love, I will” he reassured her with a hug. And a kiss on the cheek, She blushed a little, and they sat in silence.

    Later, as William stood up after finishing the last few brush strokes, he saw several pieces of flotsam ont in the harbor seemingly tied together at intervals. Curious, he looked more closely. Must be weed or something, but then saw it was maybe old rope, perhaps lost from some long ago ship.. yes maybe a sunken ship. Anyway, maybe it would later wash up on the beach. Then he got back to cleaning his paint brush and gathering up his tools. It wasn’t until he got almost back to the church;s tool shed that he had an idea. A series of buoys maybe. A fishing line to each one. And strung together with a line. The boats anchor then several buoys with fishing lines, then the boat. That way you have several fishing lines in the water not just two! It was worth a try! Well, it was two days later... March... nice sunny almost warm morning. Out of the sun a bit cold, The tide was about high, so William had little trouble getting the boat mostly in the water. Hopping aboard the 13 foot cat rigged shallop and moving to the stern, he had enough weight to lift the bow up just enough to be able to use the oar to push the boat the rest of the way off the beach... then both oars in the water, turn her around to begin to row out to the harbor enterance . Once outside, he rowed a little South about 200 paces offshore where the sandbar dropped off into deeper water. William could 31 see some fish swimming around below him, chasing around a school of tiny silvery fish.. Carefully, he let down the anchor, so as not to spook the fish. He then went to the bow and lowered the ganyon of 15 bated hooks down to the bottom... and repeated the process on the other end of the boat. And waited. Really soon, the fish started tugging the lines trying to get away.. However, after a couple more minutes, William pulled up first one gannion of hooks with three annoyed flapping fish. Two fairly large. The other ganyon had five on it. Not a bad start for the day. After throwing the fish into the tub in the stern, He re-baited the hooks with 3 inch long strips of fish skin resembling the bait fish, and dropped them back over the side. By now his hands were COLD. That Water was really freezing his fingers pulling in that line and handing those cold slimy fish. William used a rag to grab onto the fish while unhooking them, however the rag was soon soaked with icy cold slimy water as well. William stick both hands inside his clothes, trying to warm them back up. This was not going to be easy day fishing. Maybe Alice could make him some wool mittens or something... That cold water was too much. Hope he did not fall overboard. They said one false step could freeze you to death in minutes... Which was why you put the fish in a tub... So you didn't step on them slip and fall... Half an hour later and another dry rag, he started pulling the lines up again. Before he got all the fish off the first line his hands were numb he couldn't barely feel them. After warming his hands up again, he coiled the line and hooks back up. Then, warming his hands again, quickly pulled the second line up, dumping hooks line and fish in the basket and shivering... Half an hour later, he managed to get the anchor up and putting the oars out managed to row the boat back inside the cove to the beach. A couple girls met him at the beach.

    “Have a dry rag?” he asked May. She pulled out one gave it to him and he used it to hold the remaining fish on the hooks before putting the tub of about 20 fish on the beach...Then gave the rag back to her, she looking distastefully at it, holding it with two fingers before dropping it in the basket with one of those looks that could kill... Anyway, William smiled back and the girls strutted off... “Glad I'm not sweet on either of of them” he thought. With a sigh, he stuck his hands back indise his clothes to try to get some feeling back into them... He would drag the load of fish back to the church later he concluded as he trudged off to find a fire... To warm his hands.. 32As William was warming his hands at elder Adams house, he came in and his eyebrows went up.“Why back so soon?” Adams asked. “The water is so cold pulling in the fishing lines, it freeze my hands,” William explained. “You want me fishing, I'm going to have to find some oilskin wool mittens to protect my hands,” William added. Elder Adams frowned, but said nothing. A few minutes later, Williams hands had recovered somewhat, and a bit later he went back out and Picked up the tub of fish off the beach to the workshop shed, made a fire, the cleaned the fish. As he was finishing, Alice came in. “They said you were back with some fish{ she said. “Who sad?” William asked. “May and Margret” Alise replied. “These are ready for cooking” William pointed. Alice said “Thanks” with a smile, picking up the basket of cleaned fish and leaving for the cookhouse...A few minutes later, William followed Alice over to the cookhouse adjoining the church. As he entered, Alice looked up. “The rest of the fish” William said. Alice mother looked over at it. “These will do nicely along with our potatoes” she said smiling. William replied “Mam, I need some woolen oilskin mittens for fishing. That icy cold water is freezing my fingers.” “I will see what I can do” she replied.I think we have some oiled skin fabric somewhere.” And with that the women got back to work and so William left... It was a nice afternoon. Elder Adams saw him and waved him over. Since you cant fish now, go help the lads tilling the ground.” “Yes, elder,” William respectfully replied. “Your misses said she might have some oilskin fabric” he added, as they parted. Adams looked at him, then turned and continued on his way...

    Later on, William heard his name mentioned while the older men were talking. Which caught his attention. Then one of them replied that he had pulled in his lobster trap the other day and almost freeze his hands off. So someone else noted that wool oilskin gloves might be a good idea and no one objected. Elder Adams said his wife would see about it as fresh fish was really needed about now... Then his friends distracted him back to their own discussion, and William obliged them. After about four more days, Alice bumped into him and giggled, then stuck out her tiny hand holding a pair of wool lined oilskin mittens. “Father says go back fishing” she smirked. “Yes love” William  replied as he stole a kiss on her cheek. “Wonder how many times I'm going to be saying that?” William asked. Puzzled a moment then being rewarded with a smile.”Forever” she shyly replied, then was back to her woman's work. That afternoon, William went fishing. He even devised a way he could use the pulley block on the mast to pull up sections of the line at a time and to pull up the ten foot long sections of fish laden hooks. It was not physically easier, but his hands did stay dryer—and warmer. It was bearable anyway.

The next morning, William rigged a pulley block halfway up the mast on the bow and anchoring the boat by the left side of the stern, could pull up the line and sections  of hooks over the stern. As well as the boats anchor..Much easier and safer. He used the 18 foot long boat this time with Allen, whose mother had given him similar Oilskin woolen mittens.\, as well oilskin trousers and vest. And William had finally gotten a warmer coat, did not care what anyone thought. After all, “real men” provided for family and society. If it took mittens and a heavy coat to do it, so be it! If anyone called him effeminate for wearing a warm coat, they could settle that out behind the new cow barn !!! No one did. To his face, anyway!

April was here before they knew it, everyone was better fed, and new life was emerging all around them. Several Pilgrim mothers were fair bursting with child, newborns of oxen and cattle soon to or arrived already as well.. The second week of April, Alice's mother was a bit past due. William and Alice went out for a picknick down on the beach, just out of sight of the settlement one Sunday afternoon. Finally, the topic of where to build a life together came up. “Where can we find gpod land for a house, meadow for fields?” Alice asked, concerned. “All the good land is already taken!”“Seems nothing is left but the forest. Every few paces another big tree.” William quietly nodded.“Yes, I know. Already some are complaining of not enough grazing land for the cattle. I don’t see how that is going to get any better. And now even more people arriving from both Plymouth and Boston this spring...” William's thoughts wandered off.

    “Maybe I should talk to your father about my  finding land this Summer, before it really is all gone” “Yes>” Was Alice's only answer. William put his arm around her and drew her to him and said“I thought that was supposed to be “Yes my love” William teased. 34 Alice blushed a little then whispered it softly.. An hour later, Alice's sister came running in search of her. “ Mothers in labor,” she panted. Alice sprang up and, skirts hiked up, ran after her sister. William looked at them run off. “Such cute shapely ankles” he found himself thinking. Later, William found out that the midwife had already been called, and so was there all evening. It was not until the early morning hours that Alice's mother was delivered of another fine healthy girl. Mother was also fine.

That same Sunday, however, William fetched his musket, bag and some dried fish, and set out South along the beach while the women were attending Alice's mother. It took him over an hour and a half to reach the spot he remembered. Then, a couple hundred paces or maybe a bit more, he came to a couple small clearings amidst the primal forest ancient growth trees. Actually, the clearings did go here and there for a ways., due perhaps to lightening strikes...About in the middle of them, almost a mile from the shore William shouted. “This is my land, -- Alice’s land,” with only an echo for reply. All that afternoon, William drug fallen timber to the spot between the two larger clearings and built a sort of square shelter / cabin to claim the land. He would make it official later. Make up a note with the elders. But as far as he was concerned, this now belonged to Him and to Alice...

    The next day, Monday, there was a meeting as usual of the elder at lunch time. William and Allen were just back from fishing when William saw the elders outside the church about to leave. He boldly walked over to them, and asked Elder Adams and a couple others to talk to them, being important. They gave him attention. “The good land here is taken, he flatly said, with none left for young men like me.I went to some acreage I know of a ways,-several miles- off and built a shelter there claiming it yesterday and I would like to make my claim official. And would like Saturdays off to build a propper house.”        They looked at him in silence. “There is no land here for my generation, Elder Adams” William politely repeated, looking directly at Mr Adams. “True enough, Lad,” one of them stated. “Already we cant find enough room here for the people we have without clearing lots of tall timber. And few really want to do that... at least not quite yet.”After several really long momenrt, Elder Adams, who held William's indenture, frowned, said “ I see your point lad. You have been a good worker. Justly, I think before God, that you have paid off your 35loan by winter. And that you want to marry your lass by Spring. If her father agrees, that is” He actually smiled a bit at that. “I supposed so,” Alice's father replied. “They do love each other.” With that William's heart lept and he could not wait to tell Alice. Thanking them and Excusing himself, he wondered where to find her.

Then he saw her carrying water up from the creek. He ran over to her gathered her up in hi arms, the water going everywhere, and said “Your father says I can marry you” loudly so the whole world would know. He picked her off the ground and swung her around several times as she melted into his arms...

The other girls whooping and cheering, and tears coursing down Alice's cheeks, She was So happy. Digging your own holes is different... Somehow, anyway. William doug several holes in each of the six meadows he claimed for Alice and himself... Several of the other young people came over the next Sunday and helped. A little anyway... Alice was delighted with everything... A dozen trees the right size were felled and trimmed the next weekend, drug to where the house was going to be and eager young hands notched the ends of the twenty foot long sections so they would fit closer together. By the end of the 2nd weekend, the walls of the twenty by twenty foot cabin were three feet high... Another couple feet and they could put the roof beams up. A couple elders came over and were a bit put out that people were working on the Sabbath, but said nothing. And the young people cheerfully ignored them anyway.

It was planting time, so five days a week William and Allen or sometimes Charles would be fishing all day to have enough fish to put one fish in each hole for the corn to feed on... The few fields that were plowed (Few oxen as yet) the fish were cut up in smaller pieces and spaced a foot apart down the row with a seed or two on top of each chunk of fish... Then the children buried then. The dug furrows were shallow, so it was easier to do... “Only a little dirt on top, only a little” they were constantly told. After planting, the children and dogs took turns being up all night to chase away the forest creatures who just wanted a fishy meal. s the children and girls were chinking the gap between the cabins logs, Alice asked William as he passed by “how long will I have a dirt floor?”

    William shook his head, then on the way back stopped to talk. “It will be a while, Alice.” he said. “The adze men have pleanty to do making roof beams for 36 several homes right now. It will be next spring before we get them ... So, dirt floors will have to do for now.” Planks for the floor will have to se some time after that.”Alice pouted a little at that. But then it would be months, maybe late next spring before they could get married anyway,

Sprinkling, Dunking or drowning..... Baptisms...... One issue divided the religious groups perhaps more than any other was over baptisms... Indeed, Christians have spilled the blood of more other Christians over baptisms than any other issue... Even in Massachusetts Bay, this was a divisive thing. Basically there were three types... Sprinkling, dunking and drowning... not only that, but to complicate matters further, how old should a person be before being baptized? And if a person moves to another church, do they have to get baptized again?... William silently shook his head over all this. What even bothered him was that some, like the Plymouth Brethren, intended to create a “New Israel” here in the wilderness, strictly following the old testament Law... Strictly enforcing it too! Anyone breaking that law-or not attending all worship services could be and often were whipped, or put out on public display in the stocks... Men Or Women, it didn't matter to them... The Puritans in Boston weren't much better about it... At least here in Scituate, things weren't that bad. Mostly because many of the residents were actually refugees from both Boston and Plymouth... As was said, Sprinkling, dunking or even drowning!

The Romam's sprinkled infants as did the English church... as did even some Puritans... Others insisted on dunking, as the Bible seemed to clearly show John the Baptist dunking people...And most insisted it was heretical to baptize infants as they had no idea what was happening to them. Now, things got somewhat extreme with Pastor Lothrop... William had found that out the hard way the first summer when the church elders decided that anyone not already baptized into Their church must be baptized. William quietly submitted to this, not wanting to cause a fuss... And realizing if he did, it could be unpleasant for him... These were people who took their faith seriously. Well, the great day arrived, and seven souls “needed” to be baptized... It was August, so the ocean wasn't too cold. Especially this afternoon the tide had come in and the hot sand had warmed the water somewhat. William was first. So, when he was beckoned, he hesitantly went to the pastor standing almost waist deep in the bay. The pastor Said a few words of scripture, then dunked him under water, and held him 37under while he began to pray... and pray... William thought he was going to drown. Then Finally as His breath started to bubble up, the pastor let him back up sputtering, gasping. No one had told him that pastor Lothrop was not a dunker but a drowner! Everyone on shore were laughing. William was not happy, but he bit his tongue and trudged ashore. Alice, giggling, lent a towel, asked” get all your sins washed away, William?” William dried his face and head. Just looked back there and said nothing. but just stood there watching the others get baptized. The last one was an older man than William. When his turn came, and the pastor dunked him. The brother reached up, twisted and pulled the pastor off his feet, got on top of him deciding to hold him under water a while, just like the pastor had just done to his daughter.... The other elders rushed out into the water. And rescued pastor Lothrop just before he really turned blue... William couldn't stop laughing, despite the annoyed looks of some older people.Alice and the rest of the younger people did think it really funny as well, so that was that. They could not punish everyone. The man and his family did leave the settlement shortly however, . The while thing, however, seemed somewhat irrelevant to William. It looked like the Bible said nothing about baptism being necessary for being a Christian. The book of Romans even said that if you believed in Jesus with all your heart, and that he rose from the dead, you were going to heaven when you died...


    A week later, The young people were to have a gathering in the church Saturday morning. William had woke up to wind and some occasional rain. Just after breakfast, the rain let up a bit, so William made a dash for Alice's house. He just made it there as the rain started coming down again. He and Alice stood together at the window looking out at the storm. They did this a long time. Finally, in mid morning, all of a sudden, the rain stopped. Alice said “quickly, lets get to the church” grabbed her woolen shawl, William followed her as her mother fussed after them as they ran for the church, almost doubled over against the wind. All of a sudden, a higher gust of wind blew Alice backward into William's strong arms. He caught her and they together made it the few yards to the back door of the church out of the wind. Helpful arms reached out and helped them inside. Alice sure felt good wrapped in William's arms. Reluctantly, she let go of him and all had a good laugh about it. In a few minutes, however, the wind was shaking the whole building. William looked up at the tall roof, wondering if it would really hold together. Alice had snuggled up against him again on the bench. “I'm frightened” 38

she whispered into his ear. “It's all right, we will be fine” William replied. Stroking her hand, hoping he was right. The building had been built really well out of heavy logs. However, the roof was another matter. He had no idea how much the tall roof made of frames and bundles of river reed could really take. Someone looking out the crack in the front door shouted out, maybe it was Steve, William thought, “The sea is rising” at that everyone rushed to the narrow East end of the Church at the front door. The wind was howling around the door into the church, the mud clinking long since washed away in the horizontal driving rain. “Look, the water is really coming up this way” someone else said, and they watched the waves march towards them. Soon, the water had reached the foundation of the church and the waves were beating up against that floor. Then it seemed to stop rising, and after what seemed forever, went back down a foot or so, no longer quite reaching the church. The roof, however leaning this way and that, but somehow stayed in place. Not all the homes were as fortunate, and two homes being on slightly lower ground were flooded, and their roofs suddenly flew away as large birds, leaving the family huddle together behind the Eastern wall of their homes. Finally, after six all too long hours, the wind shifted more back towards the South as the storm passed. The storm water receded slowly, and as evening arrived, the wind abated somewhat. Enough, anyway, for the poor now homeless and frightened souls to make their way to the church to dry out and find comfort in the welcoming arms of their brethren... Thankfully, but only a few minor injuries were suffered here. Most of the settlement had been just high enough above high tide line to avoid flooding, and most were at least somewhat protected from the full force of the wind by rows of trees.... Everyone was so thankful, and the prayers were lifted up to God for a long time...

    The fuss created by man over religion could be really serious and really sad. However, William loved Alice and did not want to lose her. So he held his peace... Once again, that evening he reread Romans chapter ten... That was what it said, alright. And William did believe in the saving power of Jesus...Sighing, he closed the book, and went to evening church with everyone else.What was obvious to everyone, however, was that things were changing. More ships were arriving in Massachusetts Bay, and some of the people were from the church of England's beliefs and that did 39not sit well with the elders. William did, in a lighthearted moment, mention to one of the elders that the church needed a dunker, not a drowner, suggesting that there was no Biblical reason an elder could not baptize... And was met with a wiry smile and sort of a nod of acceptance... Yes things are changing, William thought to himself. In Boston, many non-conformist were talking of removing themselves as a group from the colony, perhaps to the far South.In a couple days, four new families showed up looking for land... And were shortly told there was nothing here for them. If they wanted land, they had better go several miles away and start clearing forest. Not something they wanted to hear, but true none the less... Of course they weren't part of “us” anyway, some said...

FALL was finally coming and some had built cages of wood to try to catch lobster, Some had tried nets, but the canny creatures had a nack for really scooting off the baited net as it was being raised. William went out with the builder of some of these traps, helping to set them over rock piles a ways offshore. They had soaked the traps for a couple weeks before putting them out. Baiting with fish heads, after a couple days, they pulled the pots back up... Even so, they did loose several lobsters.. They were still not smarter than those wiley creatures...What Fall Did mean, however, was harvest and everyone was busy with that harvest... Scores of furrows and hundreds of holes to dig up for potatoes,. Thankfully, the corn, squash and others were much easier to harvest... Now some grain had been grown this season and it was also brought in...As soon as the main harvest was in, William was allowed to harvest his crop on his land, with the help of several children.....Once that was done it was time to bring in as many fish as possible for winter... A small salt works had been built by someone, to salt some of their catch at least... William and Allen were chosen to do much of that fishing... Being late in the season, it was decided to make this years final voyage and trek South to the trading post on the Cape Cod at Apatuxet. As was done earlier in the year, several were sent South to the Cape, up the Scusset, and portageing to the Monomet and down to the trading post... Now, there several other trading posts to the North. However, Only Apatuxet traded with the merchants of 40 New Amsterdam on the Hudson river..

    One bit of interesting news was that much of the Cape had vast meadows, especially on the North side of the Cape. This certainly interested the elders. One place for a new town. The elders decided to send a party out to look next spring after the planting time... William certainly wanted to go along on this expedition... He asked immediately, and was told it was likely he could go... They needed good sailors to man the large shallops for the trek.

November came with fury, and a vessel was cast ashore in the great Manomet Bay stretching South from the Apatuctet Trading Post on the Manomet river. The castaways, Connecticut settlers, separatists from Massachusetts Bay, spent several dreadful days trudging through deep snow to finally reach Plymouth. Many of them were intending to settle around the Rhode Island to get as far as they could from the Plymouth and Boston churches... Some preachers said this was the judgment of GOD on such Heresy !!

Winter......... So, yes, winter finally came, with its cold and icy driving rain followed by abundant

snow. The boats had been hauled up the beach on planks and rollers, then overturned and covered. This time William made a small lean-to for each boat to keep the snow and most of the rain off them... He did not want to encourage rot setting in in the timbers. Being in Salt water did not hurt the boats, but being soaked constantly in fresh water certainly would.

    William wondered when, how soon he should broach the subject of the end of his indenture with elder Adams. However, before he had decided to do so, the New Year had come. As they were holding their church service giving thanks for a prosperous old year and celebrating the new, elder Adams stood up between two of the hymns of praise and said “Brethren, William Crocker came to us in distress a year and a half ago. “ “He has proven himself a hard worker and good Christian man. After talking with the other elders, we have decided that his passage debt has been paid, his indenture is now over and he is a free man.” Cheers and tears erupted across the church. Alice put her arms around Williams neck, holding him tight. Teats coursing down her cheeks. “William, oh William I am so happy” she said. “Me too” William Whispered. “Now we can get married in the spring.” At that she started crying, holding him even tighter. And her mother's eyes were wet too. 41

1636......While the snow was good for the children, it was hard work for the young men...Banking was the process of shoveling more snow against the walls of a house so that the snow reached the eves of the roof. This helped keep in the heat. Burning less wood. Every once in a while, when the snow would be almost gone for the moment,, William and Alice would go see their small house and light the fire iin the hearth, gradually taking the chill off and sitting on the bench that William had made before the fire..How soon? was the question in both of their minds...How soon could their wedding be? William mentioned March,as soon as the snow was gone and it warmed up a bit., But Alice said her mother wanted it to be in June... “Well, you're the bride,” William teased. “Really we can have it anytime you / we want.” It was custom for every family to give a newly married couple some of what they needed to start out. Alice had been training her family's heifer born last spring to pull loads so she could be used

for plowing as well as milking. It seemed to be working quite .well. She was going to be one wedding gift to them from her family...

Late February came and the snow was gone. William found himself inspecting his roof. It seemed to have come through the winter quite well. The bundles of river reed thatch they had used had been lashed together well, so only minor repairs were necessary. Now that Spring was almost here, William found himself at the edge of the clearings bordering his collection of meadows cutting back the smaller trees.for firewood. He also spent some time cutting down the trees that had been split by lightening sometime back... Indeed it looked like his meadows had be created by such lightening storms...

He certainly hoped the lightening wasn't coming back!


    March... It was also time to get the boats ready for fishing. William, Allen, Steven and a couple children spent two weeks getting the boats ready. A coupple rainy days had hindered them, but the second week in March they were out fishing. As his previous pair of fishing mittens had worn out by now, Alice had made him new ones. It was also now time for plowing getting ready to plant. William spent Friday and Saturdays three weeks to get his land plowed. The yearling heifer was slow, but they did not to have to plow very deep. Alice would lead her and William put his weight on the small 42

plow. The plow being little more than a fair sized hoe blade attached to a horizontal timber drug along the ground ...William holding on with the timbers handles. The week He finished his plowing, Alice and her mother decided on the second Sunday in April for their wedding...

Two shallops arrived that Spring from the Cape with cargos of Corn To help the colony until harvest. This possibly annoying Plymouth who had wanted to control the natives corn trade themselves. While fishing had been difficult winters, still, shellfish had been dug all year long to help feed the colony. William had spent altogether too many cold winter days on the beach at low tide moving around the sea ice driven ashore so he could dig for clams. And , after storms some of the bays other shellfish driven onshore by the surf. Once boiled until the shells opened, and especially with melted butter were quite good.

People fairly lusted after Read Bread made with Real Grain, not yet possible in the colony. So the colonists traded various sundries to the natives for Corn. It was noticed by all that the Cape had produced much more food than the mainland, so that the elders were, as previously mentioned interested in the one good harbor on the North side of the Cape. With that in their possession, they could possibly bypass the Plymouth corn trade entirely. It was also noticed that the Cape Indians were much more peaceable than those on the mainland. The natives had rescued passengers of two ships driven ashore on the Cape's offshore reefs, and kindly treated them saving many lives...

    William and Alice were sitting on the bench high above the beach. Their first small meadow a ways behind them. It was Sunday afternoon. In a few hours they would be married. “Alice,” William said “I love you.” With that she laid her head on his shoulder and whispered “I love you too. “ after a bit she added “I've seem marriages that end up with two people saying bad things to each other. Promise, promise me that will not happen to us.” “I promise, I really do” William replied, hugging her even closer.

“It's forever.” Finally, Steven found them.”William WILLIAM” he exclaimed,even louder. The womenfolk are looking for Alice, to get her ready, and you too,” he grinned. “I thought you might be here, guess I was right!” With that, they all laughed. “Yes, my love, I have to get ready for you,” Alice

said to William. And so they strolled down the beach back to the settlement. Three hours later, 42 William was standing at the front of the church, the Church was singing, and Alice and her father

walked down the isle. The whole thing was a blur to William. He somehow said the right thing in the right place, he thought. Then out of nowhere, it seemed pastor Lothrop had just said “and you may kiss your bride” William hesitated a moment, then turned, raised her veil and saw this radiant beautiful creature looking up at him with an impish smile. So he drew her close, and kissed her for the first time, and she melted in his arms... Then, when they were done, and it seemed just forever, they were surrounded by the crowd of well wishers. William was still a bit in a daze, but with his bride, no his wife on his arm, he knew it would be all right...

    There was much to do. Moving everything to what was now home seemed to take forever. One of the brethren used his wagon to help... And the celebration continued to dark, Finally, everyone left..Later, after awhile they took each others clothes off, and nature took its course in the darkness...

Two weeks later, all the planting done, lots of fish drying on the racks, the elders held a meeting after evening church. Elder Adas put it bluntly. “We must have access to the Capes corn that does not come through the extortionist merchants of Plymouth... To do this, we need to set up our own trading post with two or three families at Barnstable harbor... Also, do to the constant bickering of the churches, it is even possible that our church might even want to move there as a body in the near future. There are already three churches now in this town, and I see nothing but strife, division..Unless some sort of common law is established. As it is now, the word of each pastor is the law... This is not well” With that, he sat down, amid much resultant “discussion” among the members and onlookers...Many questions were asked, the main one being the value of their homes and land, as well as the recurring complaint of insufficient grazing land for their cattle. Another elder spoke up, said “The Cape has plenty of good grazing land” which caused even greater discussion. Finally Pastor Lothrop spoke up “ So, elders, you think it good to send our two large shallops to that Cape harbor next week?” After more discussion, and it was obvious they had already decided this, it was decided to do so. William was delighted to be one of the crew as he was by now a proficient sailor...


    That evening, once home, William broached the subject to Alice. Who ashed him, her face pouting, 44 “Why you, William? And what about me? I dont want to be left here alone!” It had never occurred to William that their land being three or so miles from the settlement could be a problem... So he thought for a few moments. “You can always stay with your parents when I am away.” he replied. “What about when I'm out fishing? Thats almost the same thing?” he gently replied. Alice teared up “I did not think I would feel this either,” she said. “Well, you know how I sometimes imagine things... And the footprints we have seen across our fields, and I have no one to feel safe with when you are gone.”They sat together in the darkness for a good long while before going to bed..

    Well, it was eight days later when a strong land breeze, out of the West offered itself just before sunset. The two large shallops had been carefully loaded with furs and sundries for this occasion.

William was on his way home when Steven caught up to him. “Wait up, William!” Stephen called out. When they were together, Steven blurted out “Its tonight, we leave tonight.” With that, William said “I will be there directly soon as I get some clothes.” With that, he took off at a trot the last mile to the cabin. Alice was surprised to see him running to her. Before she could say anything, however, William said “Its tonite, My Love, we leave for The Cape tonight. We have a good land breeze we must not waste.” With that, he turned and threw open the large chest and brought out his coat and a change of clothes stuffing them in a sack, added, “grab some of your things if you want to stay in the village while I'm gone.” Alice, pouting, quietly did as she was asked. Very shortly, the left together at a quick walk. An hour later, People were waiting for them. Elder Adams exclaimed “There you are, lad, Wind and tide's awasting, get aboard.” So William hugged Alice tightly, giving her a long kiss, then said “I love you” then tossed his bag into the boat and helped Alan to push her off as was done by the other boat crew. Alice with some tears on the beach. After watching the boats disappear around the point, South, she saw her friend Mary. “May I stay with you for a few days,” she asked? “Yes, of course” Mary replied. “I just dont want to be alone” Alice stated. So they quietly left for Mary's house. Her husband was out hunting or something, and would not be back for a while. Alice did not want to go to her parents for fear of too many questions.

Meanwhile the sliver of a moon had been rising in the East, showing them more of less the way. Mr Adams told the lads, “one person an the rudder each two ours all night. Dont wake the others when 45 you change helmsmen.” keep a mile offshore and near the other boat. We are sailing well past Plymouth tonite, and should be almost by Scusset river by mid -morning. We will possibly stop there. Or not” he added, before getting comfortable on the furs under a tarp. In an hour William was asleep, it seemed only a moment before Steven told it was past time for him to steer the boat. As he got up, He could see the other boat half a mile ahead of them, and the moonlight showing the coast a little ways off. The wind was good, giving them a good four knots.

It had been about two hours, and William was about to rouse Allen for his watch, he saw a light, and then a harbor entrance half a mil he supposed away. William watched the harbor entrance pass by, the woke Alan. “your turn” William quietly said as Allen took the tiller. Four hours to Plymouth. Not bad at all! The sunlight was waking him, it seemed, before Steven woke him four hours later. “Your Watch” Steven said as he turned in for a couple more hours rest... The breeze from the west fitfully died, finally, then the Southerly trade wing took over. However, they were far enough around the bend in the Cape's beach to the East that they merely hauled in the boom and carried on with the South wind easily on their right hand bow... In an hour, they were abreast of Scussett river. However a loud conversation between boats was decided to press on for Barnstable Bay. They should be there in two or three hours at the most. An hour later, William gave the helm to Alan. Two hours later or st, a harbor appeared, and the other boat pronounced it Barnstable Harbor... It took several tacks through the wind to sail upwind into the bay and onto the beach. Everyone jumped ashore and pulled the shallops ashore and tied them fast. All to the astonishment of three native fishermen whe were casting nets in the large marsh to the West. None of them were armed, William noted with relief. However, when on the beach, they kept their matchlock muskets nearby with a slow match burning in case they needed to light the muskets fuses quickly... The natives came over in a few minutes, then stopped a hundred feet away. Elder Adams then picked up a pouch of corn, a fur pelt, hung a few trinkets around his neck and aproached the natives. Stopping six feet away, gestured with the corn and fur that he wanted to trade. The natives readily understood, and quickly left. “Well, now we wait” Steven said.. And they waited all day. That night they set three as guards, four hours on,and off. Two took the first watch. Just before dawn, they all aroused, waiting. However, nothing. They mused, hoping they would not have to go searching for 46 those pesky natives. Finally, they were relaxing around the boat when the natives started appearing with sacks of corn kernels... Not the ears but the kernals of corn. The elders took over the bartering, and both side tried some hard battering. Finally a deal was struck of the corn and trinkets. The natives wanted them to stay a while, but the number of natives was getting too large, so the moment the last sack was in the boat, they turned, pushed off the boat, raised sail and departed. Someone was careless and their firelock fuse set a bag on fire, though quickly stomped out the fire set off the musket which went off startling everyone, especially the natives on the beach... However, then then sailed away. With a good wind, they reached Scusset Bay before sunset. Being exhausted, they anchored out in the bay for the night, only needing one lookout. Very early in the pre dawn first light, they set out for home. They passed Plymouth three miles offshore about four hours later with a good South breeze pushing them on, and by early afternoon rounded up into the Scituate bay. Dogs barked, children ran, and everyone was very happy with the result.

    William saw Alice running down to the shore, lifter her her off the ground up to him, and they kissed quietly, without a word, for a long time.Finally, Alice whispered his ear “I'm SO glad you are home... I promise I will try to be brave... I have gone to our house in the morning every day with my brother and we worked a bit before coming back. Since Melinda won't have her first calf before spring, she doesn’t yet need us every morning” After a moment, she added “And Susan told me shes going to marry Alan.” “Does Alan know that yet?” William asked and she smiled. “If not, he soon will,” Alice replied. “When did you decide?” William asked. “Oh, I've wanted to be in your arms for SO long” she softly replied, snuggling closer.“Hey William, come help us here” Alan called out. “you can do that later.” Everyone laughted. They did have two boats to unload.

    The elders later told the congregation that they had bartered for the corn for half the price they had had to pay for the Cape corn from those hard nosed merchants at Plymouth. Also, that a trading post must be established at Barnstable harbor before Plymouth did so. Therefore, a small party would be sent as soon as the harvest was in. It was likely they would bring some of their harvest with them 47 and buy more corn as needed. Only one building, quickly erected, would be needed... though not really necessary, the assembly in Boston would be informed after the fact, and stated that several families may move there. Stating of course the unfairness of the Plimouth  monopoly on the Capes corn.

William later mentioned to Elder Adams that he could not go back to Barnstable this fall as he had land and a wife to keep happy. At that, brother Adams face cracked as he smiled, nodded, , distantly remembering young love. William also said That he still would be doing day fishing as farming permitted. At least half the week. “Your a good lad William, a good hard working lad. Much appreciated by everyone,” patting him opn the shoulder. “We'll do fine.” With that Adams went about his business...


   September came, the corn grew, the pigs grew fatter, and the winds, driving rain came suddenly once more. The people concerned that another great storm was upon them. Suddenly, almost low tide became high tide, and people watched, fascinated as the waves broke over the harbor entrance point and marched to their shore, as the men risked lives to save their boats. Soaked through in a few minutes, William wrestled mightily to pull the smallest shallop out of reach of the angry surf. Thankfully, however, as the tide finally turned and started to come back in, the storm surge lessened somewhat, the ground up beyond the beach only occasionally being somewhat occasionally awash. At least this time the wind while strong, might not blow a man over as he struggled to secure property. Once back inside the Church, the tall thatched roof seemed to be holding together quite well. All of a sudden, William had a pang of anxiety.. His Corn! Was it still standing, or had it git blown flat? He looked out where the chinking had been blown away between the churchs timbers at the nearby fields. Most of that was lay way over in the wind gusts. His meadows were higher up than here and surrounded by forest. Thankfully, Alice was here with the others and not home alone. But their cow and pigs, who knew. Catching a runaway cow wasn't to hard, but he did not even want to think of catching a pig- or three!!!

   Finally, though, before datk, the rain let up, and the waves reseeded down to the beach, seemed the storm was about over. Right then no one wanted to consider what it would have been if the storm surge had come in at high tide. Everything would have been flooded. So GOD was praised right then, and in the later Sunday service that week. Thankfully, Alice and William found lots of bent over corn few had been

badly broken. The pigs were hiding under the collapsed roof of their shelter, and the cow was placidly chewing her cud when they got back that evening.

All in all, an eventful but safe day for everyone. . After putting his farm back in order the next day William 48 made his way back to the settlement to find the children rebuilding the fish drying rack, a bit further from the beach this time. Several men were moving the boats back to the beach using planks and rollers, the boats seemed no real worse for wear than before. The almost finished twenty eight foot ketch would be a little harder to launch when it was done. But that was maybe next Springs work. With everyone’s help, things went fairly quickly. None of the fishing gear was missing, so William could go fishing maybe tomorrow. The ketch, was a priority, now that they had decided to send people to Barnstable. There was no need for cattle there for another year after, maybe in 1638. Even then the cattle needed would have to be driven overland, as no one wanted to even try to sail a cow- or two- up the bay!!

The harvest came, potatoes first. William decided he would gig them up gradually, so as not to kill himself this year. They would have enough for him and Alice for sure. Which was enough. He had already been bringing in hay for the cow. What was her name, now? William could not remember. It didnt matter to him anyway. A cow was well a cow. Alice seemed to care … Even talked to it... Anyway, the corn had somewhat removed from the September storm. As it ripened, Alice went around picking it, them William would lug the full sacks back to the house. They had decided to shuck the corn there and shell the corn of the cobs to sack it... Both the pigs and the cow would eat corn husks in the winter.


   Winter...November. Winds from the North brought news... Up until now, the elders in the churches had decided whatever law was necessary, ignoring the Crown and English law... In its place, they had decided probems using Moses law instead. However this had caused quite some resentment... Finally, in November, a declaration thinking to end the constant bickering, and thinking to set up a more uniform and civil code .

“We, the associates of New Plymouth, coming hither as freeborn subjects of the State of England and endowed with all the singular privileges belonging to such, being assembled, do ordane that no act , imposition, or ordinance be made or imposed on us, at the present or to come, but shall be made by consent of the body of associates, or their representatives legally assembled—which is according to the liberties of England.”

Denying, in fact the right of the English parliament to impose laws on the colony..In fact a declaration of independence. !, William clearly saw..-This act established elections for Governor and his assistants 49 June first every year.. And, oh yes, the Constable as well. Of course. They even went as far as to fine and person chosen to governor if he refused to serve, William noticed with a smile. Not that few would refuse such an “honor”Also noticed that religious purity was essential... Whoever decides that? William rumored to himself. However he wisely kept that thought to himself. A person could not be too careful. One of the most onerous parts of the new civil code was that it gave total power over who could live and where in the colony... All dissenters would obviously be banished South to Rhode Island, or have to go hide in the forest with the natives. All the more reason to say nothing that might annoy the church.

   Alarming to some in Scituate, however was the fact that this new government had granted permission for several families to move to Sandwich near the Scussett river in 1637, so that they had best obtain similar privilege, the government having declared its sole rights to allow settlement.. Therefore, entireties were made by deligation to said government. As of 1636, only three towns existed in Massachusetts Bay were Plymouth, Duxbury (Boston) and Scituate . Indeed the note worthies of the Plymouth colony were to be sent to Sandwich, the upper Cape, to survey out acreage to favored persons. No one yet knew if this included the Barnstable harbor land some 15 miles or so along the coast to the East... The Scussett river / Sandwich controlled all the North / South trade in the region. Hense, the Plymouth government was eager to retain control it for themselves. The other towns likely feeling as unwanted stepchildren...

Anyway, the snow came as usual in December. The carpenters had built a shelter over the new sloop or was it going to be a ketch? When the sun warmed things up a bit, whoever with talent and tools helped on the new boat. It was much better to be doing something rather than nothing other than daily chores. Alice felt safer now, and being only 3 months pregnant, could still do most things While William helped build the interior of the new boat. Later he would cut and stitch the sails.. When the sea ice wasn't too thick on the shore, at low tide, people could bee seen on the mud flats digging for calms, to trying with long rakes to pull ashore coahogs and scollops. William really liked scallop. Fried in cornbread batter. It was heavenly to him. Another way to keep warm was to go fell trees then with one quick deft stroke of an ax trim the branches of... But carefully. Story was that one settler had practically cut his foot off when he or his ax slipped .. 50

Spring 1637 arrived in an ordinary sort of way, and William had been making sails for the new ketch for a month now. It had been decided in January that his talents were better served doing that. So, sew sew and sew some more. Aliced tried to help. But was limited in what she could do. Reginald, the Dawson's boy, had wanted to help, and so helped William hold the layers of fabric together as William sewed. It was tedious, tiresome work. However it needed to be done by the last part of April. The boat would be too big to row at twenty eight feet and almost nine foot wide. It could hold easily twice as much as their twenty foot shallop.


   The last day of March, along with his other chores, William started sewing up the Ketch jigger sail. The purpose of this sail was to help balance the boat when sailing, making her easier to steer, as well as helping keep the bow into the wind while drifting, making the footing in the boat safer and easier while raising a string of lobster traps or fishing ganyons, for example. The last day of April, as they were ready to launch the boat, William delivered the sails, Alice proudly beaming at his side, and big as a house as well. She was about due. Six oxen were detailed to pull the boat forward to the beach, while two men with a rope checked around a tree kept the boat from rolling too fast on the rollers on top of the wide planks. When the boat reached the point where the beach started down to the water, another check line and several more men were added. The oxen then being loosed, the weight of the boat gradually let her down the beach, as the lines were gradually payed out. Suddenly, she floated! Only a few small leaks, and the boys could bail her occasionally until her seams swelled up enough to stop her leaking. Her width and short masts meant she would need little ballast to sail well. She was a true copy of the double ended North Sea boat.

    While William was out fishing, Alice's time came. She was at her mothers, and the women were ready to help deliver the child. By the time William came back, the baby was about to come... As he pulled the boat up the shore, one of the girls came running down the beach and told him. William ran up to the beach to the curtained window as the birth proceeded, encouraging Alice through the curtain. Finally, and it seemed forever, he heard a baby cry and almost collapsed in relief. Alice told him she was all right, then one of the woman came out and said he had a beautiful baby boy. They had decided to 51 name their first boy John. One of the men offered him a sip of his private stock. It burned all the way down, but made him feel better. It was another forever seeming hour before the women would let him in to see his wife. She was radiant, and the child fussing on her breasts was So beyond wonderful.

So,yes, the new government allowed four families from Scituate to move to Barnstable harbor that Spring, seeing as the need was apparent for grazing land and to make room for more young families on the way. William had not been happy with the way unknown people had been skulking around his land when he and Alice were away even for a day. And booted white men likely at that. Even, it had apeared that some of their crop had been taken last fall, and they had been forced to keep their shelled corn inside their house, guarded by their two dogs when they were away. So, it became aparent that he and Alice might go to Barnstable as well should 

much of the Church get permission to move there. While yes, homes were going up around the central part of Scituate, Some of those people were opposed to the beliefs of pastor Lothrops church. Situate was becoming where malcontents from other towns came,. William could see the likelihood of problems coming... Maybe even soon.

    The Ketch being as ready as it would be, was loaded with most of the possessions of the first two families moving to Barnstable, the cattle being driven there dragging the rest. Several men also set sail in the 18foot shallop as well. It was hoped to have the first house raised soon. William would not be going with them as both he had promised Alice and with so many men gone, there was more than enough work for him to do. The expedition should take a month. The Ketch would be back for the property of the second two families in a week or so, while their cattle and men made their way South...

William was tasked with not only weeding his own acreage, but with two boys fourteen and sixteen to take care of the fields of the four families that had just left for the Cape. The fishing this Summer would be left to the older children, who certainly liked doing mid summer fishing rather than backbreaking farm work! William certainly did not blame them, however, as he would rather be out fishing himself. So, his job day after day was to follow an ox dragging a shallow ploy through the fields digging up weeds as a twelve or fourteen fourteen year old led the ox. You did what you had to do, As a reward, William and the boy's families would take home about one third of the harvest cone late September.

    The rest of the harvest would be sent to the four families now established in Barnstable, to get them 52 through the winter and until next years harvest. William's brother John finally joined the community,and William hoped this would be good for both of them. The first afternoon John arrived, Alice made a special welcome dinner. As they were eating sitting on the bench overlooking William's beach, John asked him directly” William, are you and Alice going to Barnstable? I tried to fit in up North, but just couldn't. So I fund myself here --among the outcasts from Puritan society>” John added with a wiry smile. Alice said “We may go to Barnstable, but whereever we do go, we cannot be disagreeable with the Church. As William has said, and yes often” She smiled at William “Your father cautioned you two to be quiet about your opinions to get along with the group. “Yes, John,” William added. “Father and Alice are right. Whether its in England or in Plymouth colony or out on the Cape, each church chooses who is allowed to live there. No father examines a prospective son in law more closely than each church does for those it chooses to live in its midst!”We will tell you what you are suspposed to say to get admitted here. Just be sure you say the right thing. Otherwise you will cause us trouble as well.” They sat in silence for a while. “Its baptism that divides most churches, John,” William added. “forget the church of England. Here you must agree with immersion baptism. They are really strict about that.” “Yes, Pastor does baptism by drowning” Alice laughed with a big smile. Almost drowned My poor William.” She added impishly. John's eyebrows went up in surprise. “Yes, John, the pastor held me under praying so long I thought I would need gills. Even the fish were laughing.” At that point they all laughed. “Yes, John, its serious. We All have to fit in. Otherwise you get driven out and have to abandon everything and go South and live in Rhode Island.” The law strictly enforced was that no one could be thought of and have the station as a fee man unless he was accepted by an approved church in membership..

As there was a shortage of money in the towns, the men and women traded favors bartering to buy what they could not produce themselves. Every ship arriving in the towns from England brought with them the tools, trinkets for trade with the natives, and other essentials of life to be paid for with the surplus the colonists could produce. William had always been very industrious, and especially this 53year would have a large surpluses to barter for what he wanted... One thing he certainly wanted was a flintlock mechanism for his musket. The old fashioned firelock using a lit fuse to fire the weapon was unsure and dangerous...And the fuses cost money or time to produce.

    A few days later the ketch and shallop arrived together. They had skirted the coast on the way back instead of sailing directly across Cape Cod Bay. It was a bit safer. The word was that the first house was well started, and as the men driving the cattle South had arrived, few were  needed there. The Ketch was soon loaded and set out alone the next day for Barnstable harbor...

It was three weeks returning with concern that it had been lost. However, it was soon told that the second house had needed extra hands, and so they finished both houses and stockpiled them for the winter. It would be Spring before the two other houses would be built. By that time, It was quite possible that more families would be allowed to move there... That request was still under advisement by the Governor and his aides.

Harvest time was here. Finally. The time William hated the most, especially the potatoes, However, William had a system. He planted the potatoes closest to the cabin. He dug up the potatoes as he needed them that fall. Then, before the freeze, he would offer the boys a job. They get to take home one out of three potatoes they dig up. He always had some help... Some potatoes he left in the ground, well marked, for the spring! William's brother John proved to be a hard worker, and coached by William and Alice, after being examined by the church elders, was given permission, provisionally to join the Church. As William and Alice certainly did not have room for someone else to live with them, a spare place was made for him in one of the cabins abandoned that year by those who had moved to Barnstable.


    Spring 1638 Came with a howl, storm after storm until the snow drifts were several feet high. Thankfully lots of firewood had been cut, however you had to go outside, dig into the firewood leantos then carry it inside and dry it out before you could use it. William had built a small barn onto the fireplace end of the cabin so that the heat of the back side of the stone fireplace would help the cow 54 and pigs survive the cold. The other two pigs had been preserved for the winter, and were an occasional tasty treat. Otherwise meals were milk, potatoes, cornbread, berries, fish, and some well dried deer meat pemmican. The two dogs helped keep them warm. It was too cold for fleas, though William had regularly brushed them...

Alice removed some rags out of the chinking between the logs to look outside. The window had been boarded up for the winter long since. “Still too cold to take John to church this morning” she said, stuffing the rags back in the hole. “You had better go, though. Since we missed the Wednsday meeting.” “Yes, precious,” William replied, sitting down to their table. Alice ladeled out some stew onto his plate next to yesterdays cornbread muffins, then her own. Little John was fussing a little from his crib next to the fireplace. “I heard from Brother Thomas that our Church may indeed get our license this Spring to move. We will see” “I haven't seen any of the church ladies for almost a month” Alice said.” even Bro Thomas's wife. They only live a mile or so away.” “Hope they don’t think us pagans” William replied. “I'm sure they must realize we cant take a baby out in that aweful cold” silence for several minutes then Alice remarked “Why is it so much colder here than in England?” A sailor told my friend Joan that We are a lot further South than England. You would think it would be warmer.”  “I don't know, precious,” William replied. Maybe because England is an island and we are on a continent” he asked with a smile. A bit later Alice asked “how is brother John? Is he doing well?” “I saw him last week,” William replied. All he complained about was the snow and cold. Seems they have him outside a lot shoveling snow.” “What about the mittens I made for him?” Alice asked. “He's really grateful for those oilskin mittens,” William replied. “And, by the way, mine need repairing this evening” he added. “Yes my love” Alice replied. As William got up from the table and put on his winter coat. Alice hugged and kissed him, and he opened then quickly shut the door letting a blast of cold air inside their house. Alice quickly added wood to the fire...

The service was two hours long as usual, what with seemingly endless announcements, question at the end. Finally Brother Lothrop spoke. “With the beginning of this year, the new parliament will be in place in Plymouth Town. We

will have a representative there most of the year at the regular meetings 55 of the Governors council, instead of having to respond to whatever ruling they decide to make... All the towns will have one representative. Very soon now, there will be several towns on the Cape. Maybe within two years,” Lothrop added. Various people responded with a rush of questions, Bro Lothrop put up his hand for silence. “All this will be decided when and if it comes up. As our people lease, that creates more grazing for the cattle for those left behind. And no you cant sell your land to non believers, people not approved by the Church elders. I hope that is understood?” Brother Lothrop concluded...

    Still more questions, but Pastor said the prayer and dismissed the church. John and William went out together. “How is your cabin, mates?” William asked. “Fine, except for snoring” John replied with a smile. “With another month, most of the snow should be gone,” William replied. Then you can dig dig dig for spring planting. “I hate farming” John replied. When we go to the Cape, I'm going to set up a tavern. Give men somewhere else to meet than the church.” “Dont say that to anyone else, John,”William cautioned. John grinned. “yes I know, he replied. “However this rule by the Law of Moses cant last forever.” With that a couple other people came over to them and they had to change the subject.William also became 24 years old February eleventh. They had a special supper at the Church.


    Spring Finally came, bright and sunny. William found himself raking a winters of deposits from the cow and pigs leanto next to the house. If they didn't leave by Fall, he vowed to build another structure just for them...Spring also brought the re-election of Elder Thomas Prince as governor as well as the representatives of the towns. Representatives of the people wanting to move to Sandwich, Yarmouth and Pastor Lothrops church wanting to move to Barnstable were also present. After much discussion, it was decided to allow these requests, provided that only good Godly men, well reputed by their Church, would be allowed to settle in these new towns. For the first time this brought some division in the Church as some were reluctant to leave their homes and property. The thing was, however that there were several different religious groups in the Scituate area by now, and that might, even will cause problems for those choosing to stay behind.

    Soon after this loud discussion was held in Church, Alice and William were walking home. Alice 56 pouting a bit. “I don't want to leave,” she said tearfully-”but I dont want to leave my family either.” Her mother and father were likely going, as to what her father had said at the meeting. “I know my love, my precious,” William replied. “Thing is if we stay, we will be dis-fellowshiped by the Church, and be alone here. The skulkers by night will steal out crops without the Church's protection,” William added, with his arm around her. She wept on his shoulder. William stopped, and let her cry on his chest. After a while, she stopped, and they walked the rest of the way in silence. That night, as they snuggled together,

William spoke quietly. “After planting, lots of men will be trekking overland to build homes and a Church in Barnstable.” He stated. “I need to spend some time there to help with the building. Much of the Summer. However, while we will gain our home site and land, our new home may or may not be ready for winter. Likely not too much privacy that winter for anyone. You remember our first winter here?” William added. Finally after several more minutes, Alice replied “Yes... we can stay one more winter here.” “Most will be leaving after this fall's harvest, I imagine” William replied. With that, they fell asleep/

Spring 1638 also brought to the ears of the towns a tale of theft, assault and murder, greatly increasing the unease of the remote settlements... Seems rumor was that a native had be assaulted by some settlers, and wounded... This caused great anxiety from the towns lest the entire horde of the Massachusetts confederacy come down upon them, while they were widely scattered and few in nuber... The General Court had taken the issue under advisement... Several elders were sent out from Plymouth to investigate the matter, even though it had supposedly happened in the Rhode Island area... After some travail, three suspects were found and after much threatening of both man and eternal judgment confessed to the deed... The native was rumored dead... However the natives were reluctant to appear before the General Court for fear of their own lives... Finally, they were induced to come and gave their testimony that the native was indeed dead, and that the colonists had wanted to steal his wampum. Such was both the wrath and fear of the court of native reprisal that all three were found guilty and hung to death... Therefore bringing to an end this sordid chapter, and preserving the safety of the

colonists, at least a while longer... It was obvious to all, however that the natives no longer welcomed 57 them, and some had become hostile to the English... The great chiefs, however, valued the colonists and their firepower as valueable allies against other tribes... And so, for now, tribal politics saved the colonists fron extinction... This mess, however, gave fresh urgency for Pastor Lothrops Church to leave Scituate for the Cape, where the natives were much fewer in number and still welcoming of Englishmen...

    Planting progressed as usual. Some in the Church thought to leave for the Cape. after this fall's harvest Others wanted to stay here... The last part of May had arrived, and William had several days caulking to do under the newest boat of their fleet, a twenty four foot Yawl for offshore fishing. Decked, wide and sturday A couple men could make a good living with her. The first tuesday in June began in the usual way, but with William under the boat, all of a sudden the ground started shaking, with tremendous roaring like a lion, the boat started rocking, and William scurried as fast as he could out from under it! Trying to get to his feet, the ground actually started pitching back and forth so he just could not get up. Women's screams and men’s oaths filled the air within earshot, the very ground violently quivering as a wet dog for a couple minutes before suddenly – Silence, it stopped... Everywhere, panicking people. Where were Alice and His child, right now? At their cabin, he remembered, so William took off as fast as he could run down the beach, it only took a few minutes to get home. As he called out “Alice Alice,” he was met by an answer from the field behind the house “Over here, William, we're all right” and then he saw them, collapsed to his knees before them, and held them both for several long minutes, before laying down beside them in exhaustion... “Praise God we're all right, “ William whispered up into the clouds. “Thank you Jesus.”.. They lay and sat together a long time. Finally, William said “we have got to see about our neighbors” Alice said nothing, but motioned for him to go. William quickly went.

    It was late afternoon when William returned, to find Alice using the outside oven to heat her cook pot. “The chimney needs rebuilding” she informed William. He took the ladder and looked inside, and could tell that most of the clay mortar had crumbled off the wooden frame. So he got some tools and started taking the chimney apart, piling the clay mortar in a corner. Tomorrow he would soften the clay mortar and reapply it to the inside of their chimney as needed. The fireplace bricks looked all right, but  he would patch them as needed. William had it almost torn down when supper was ready. 58 Thankfully, the rest of the house looked passably fine. The roof would need some retying before winter, but God be praised, little other damage. The neighbors with all brick chimneys, however, had to start over , Lots more work than he had to do...

    About Noon the next day, William was busy with rebuilding their chimney when a lad of nine trotted up. “The elders want to know where are you?” he asked. “Building my wife's fireplace,” William said with a grin, his arms covered with mortar. “Oh” the lad mouthed, then turned to trot off. “Tell them I should be able to help tomorrow.” William called after him. The lad waved back in reply.

Yes, quite a mess, some of the houses, William noted with a sigh. Quite indeed. All the bricks of Bro Thomas chimney would have to be broken apart before it could be put together again. The better built homes had more damage. If they could not bend, move with the quake, they simply broke..

    One sermon Brother Lothrop preached, noted that the quake was as great as the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, King of Judah, mentioned in the Book of Kings.

    So everyone set to building. William and one of the carpenters, however, were to get the yawl done for the summer fishing and trade.

Many housewives would have to cook outside this summer.. Things slowly got back to normal. Two weeks later, the Yawl was launched. Unlike the Ketch, she had a square Pinky stern, so looked at first glance the same size . But however though a bit smaller could hold about the samr cargo. It was a week later, the last week of June, before some of the church's men boarded the Ketch and made way for Barnstable. Several more homes needed to be ready for winter. William was left behind to weed the fields, a chore he despised, while the lads took the two smaller shallops fishing... William was, however, acquiring some silver here, some silver there, and carefully saving it. He was also part owner of the Yawl, so would make money every time she sailed. Even though he was only twenty four, was highly regarded in the church. It was even whispered that he would be asked soon to take up more responsibility there... Two of the elders had died that spring. One just dropped dead in his field, and the other apparently fell overboard while fishing. The shallop was found up on the beach several

miles to the North of Scituite.


   Come mid August William's partner in the Yawl approached him after Church. “William, I'm going North to Boston Harbor in the morning, and I have no one to go with me. The latest arrivals there are in need of things. We have several young swine , corn meal, syrup, liquor for them. I'f you come, you get half share, you bring the meal.” William thought. “Fine, William answered. I do have plenty. And I could bring some of last years potatoes as well.” “Done, then” friend Allen replied. Alice was not too amused by this, but she resigned herself that men's work need be done.

For William, it was a relief to be away from the farms and their weeding.. Even though he was paid for some of it... He used their ox/, foal of their cow to pull the bags down to the harbor. When the bags were loaded, Alice would lead the ox back home the tree some miles. Soon enough everything was ready, the several small pigs tied to the prow of the vessel by the wire loops through their noses. Much to their displeasure, William could hear. Which was why the law stated all pigs need the ring or loop through their nose so they could be easily controlled.

Sometimes I feel like the pigs, William quietly mused.. Gentle Alice certainly has a ring through my nose as well ! The Yawl pointed out the bay, then bore North under her gray white sails. Sails William had made. She moved pretty well in the South breeze. Be different coming back, though, William knew.. Going upwind all the way. The pigs were finally quiet, having found a way to lay down to avoid the constant tugging of the wire ring on their tender noses... Maybe three hundred yards off the beach most all the way. The Islands had been obvious for a while, and several hours later bore around the final headland to enter the Charles River. The latest Puritan ships were still at anchor. Allen sailed up alongside the closest ship and called to the final new colonists leaving the ship in her boats. When in talking distance, he called out “Friends” getting their attention,”Corn meal, swine and potatoes for sale.” At once, interest was expressed, and so Allen brought the yawl around and headed to the beach.

Thirty yards off, Allen brought her up into the wind, and William dropped the anchor. Soon, they were haggling over the price. The swine were quickly sold, and an hour later silver exchanged hands for the rest of the cargo. William heard that the ship had some wheat grains, so bought a large bag, as well as


some tools for resale. He did not forget to buy a couple trinkets for Alice. Their business done, 60 they raised sail, pulled up anchor, and found a more sheltered spot to anchor for the night. The land breeze came up around three in the morning. William noticed it and got Allen up with the words “Winds up, Allen. We had better make as much Southing as we can before that South wing comes up.” So, they drug up the anchor, and managed to get underway. past the snores of the ships crew out in the bay. They ghosted out of the bay and several miles South along the coast when, an hour or so after dawn, the Westerly land breeze died and William had to point the yawl's bow away from the shore with the South wind on their starboard bow. Four hours later, the tacked the boat back toward the shore. It was late afternoon when they barely made the harbor entrance on a long Port tack. People were waiting on the beach to see what they had brought back. A couple hours later, William had a pocket full of silver coin.


   September came, and with it Wind and rain. Quite a bit of it that they feared another great storm. However, the storm surge did not top the beach, the wind, while gusting violently at times, merely brought sheets of driving rain. By the end, it was obvious no great damage had been done. A day after the rain had ended, their Ketch rounded the bay entrance and drew up to the beach...a still wet and miserable group disembarked, muttering how they had been forced to make for the Scusset River; Sandwich, when the storm broke and had spent two really miserable nights under a tarp in the boat. Some swearing they were Never Ever Sailing Anywhere Ever in a boat Again. To the smiles and humor of all present. Everyone was gratefull they were fine. Warm dry clothes and hot buttered rum lifted the voyagers spirits and embellished their seafaring tale...

   The other news was that only three new cabins had been built, as the people already at Barnstable had their own work to do. It was decided, then, that no one would be leaving Situate until after next years harvest... They had, however, laid out every families claims. William's claim had been to the East side of the new settlement. Over 20 acres, and some marshland as well... He had the silver to pay for it. And much more. The harvest arrived shortly, and it looked to be a good one.. William was happy with his crop. They would have no want this winter. He had also doubled the size of the house, making room and enough for the harvest. A house cat had shown up one day and stayed around, who was good at ridding them of rats and mice.

After the corn harvest, the back breaking potato harvest had begun. This time, however, William 61 had been a little smarter than the potatoes. He had covered the mounds of potatoes with straw, so most of the potatoes could be raked up rather than doug up with a shovel! At the end of the season, William got the older boys to help out by his usual ploy of giving them one potato out of three they dug up! The potato season was also good because he had left some corn cobs with some corn still on them at the edge of his field. Waiting nearby well after dark several nights in a row finally rewarded him with several deer lit up with the moonlight. A true shot knocked one down. Then it struggled back up and ran off. Alice brought the dogs at the gunshot, tracking the deer to where it finally collapsed. The mighty hunter got a big long kiss from Alice. A week later, William snared some smaller game at the same spot. It took a lot of work to preserve all that meat, but it was done. They would have plenty of meat for the winter, and to spare.. Winter …..Food in the forest being scarce for the creatures because of the snow, the traplines the colonists put out did occasionally yeld a good pelt, and fresh meat. By the end of the fall, William had a nice collection of furs that would be valuable come trading time in the Spring.

News was that some of the newly arrived Puritan colonists in the Boston bay area had come too late in the year as had the first settlers, and come Spring would be in dire want... Few of them had expected the fury of the winter with its driving ice and snow...Here in Scituite, however, larders were full, with pleanty until the next harvest.

.   The fishing done, their boats pulled up beyond the reach of the ice choked bay. William and the others had made sure they were all well covered. The larger vessels had to be covered upright, so a tent of river reed was used to do it. William also spent some of the winter fixing old fishing gear and new alike. Another vessel was now being built in the construction shed out of the weather, so William showed up

there three days a week to lend a hand in its construction. As with the Yall, he worked for a share in the vessel. He was becoming a decent carpenter. In a couple months, William would be making the sails for this vessel as well. She would also be about twenty five feet long for ease of use and repair...

Also during Winter, William repaired the sails and rigging of the other vessels, making handsome silver in return. Alice spun some of the cordage needed for the vessel.

    William's father had taught him well. No one in the town could put fabric, leather together as well 62 as William. Every winter he had some new leatherwork to do, so he was seldom idle, and so well provided for his family.

Spring 1639 The best news cam in the last of February. One night, nestling together before sleep, Alice whispered “would you like another child, William?”\ William, confused, said nothing. “Well, do you?” Alice insisted. William kissed her in reply. “I'm late,” Alice said. “Rather late, so maybe by September.” her words trailed off. All of a sudden William understood, drew her to him closely, and their kissing and fondling lasted a long time...

March came like a lion, blustery winds made walking to Church difficult Sunday morning. However, William and Alice made it with William carrying John. Once inside, they saw the service had started. A few minutes later, there were announcements. At the end of those William spoke up. “We are building this summer in Barnstable” William stated. “We need a meeting about that, and I know what I want to do. I would like to discuss it.” With that, Elder Johnson replied. “Yes, we can do that” after a few moments, he added” After church for a few minutes?” William and a few others quietly agreed. That done, Pastor Lothrop got up and did his usual long winded sermon. Once again, William was glad when it was over. The service being over, the women gathered on one side and the interested men on the other. William spoke. “When I built my cabin, I made provision for firing ports high up on all four walls so I could shoot out in case the natives attacked. When I build my home in Barnstable, since We will be a ways out to the East, I am going to spend extra silver to build it somewhat larger, with firing ports about eight feet above the ground, so that the natives cannot shoot back in should they sneek up on us. I have plans drawn up. I also think that in the center of the settlement we need to have four buildings , homes, built on the corners of a square, say 80 feet large, with a palisade connecting them, so we can drive our cattle inside should we come under threat. And also, we need a well inside the stockade. Just building a strong house or fort will not shelter our livestock should out neighbors be hostile.” There was some discussion after this, and in a few minutes, was decided the ideas were of merit. Elder Adams put Williams name up to fill one of the now vacant Deacon positions in the church, saying “we need young thoughtful and able men in leadership.” All present agreed, and it would be voted on in the next Church meeting.  Shortly, the digging and plowing for spring planting began. This would be the last time William would be plowing these fields, he realized, almost sadly, as he followed thec rear end of the young ox back and forth across the lower pasture, with the small cabin in the distance. Already, a couple newcomers to the colony had inquired as to what he would sell his land for. William quoted a fair price each time. However when told that he would be leaving at the end of the season, and taking his harvest with him, saw downcast faces in reply.

    One day, five natives appeared out of the forest as Alice was sitting outside the cabin, doing her womens work, with little John at her side. William had left for the colony's trading post a couple hours before. John noticed them first. Alice was a bit startled, but after a moment decided not to move. After all it was her cabin and her land. The natives stopped five paces away, and she ignored them. After a couple minutes, one of then said, “we want land back.” In reply, Alice merely looked up, then back to her work. “My husband is not here right new.” she answered quietly. The natives stood and waited. Finally, One of them stepped closer, Alice defiantly looked up, said “GO“ n a loud voice, and pointed to the forest. Not knowing quite what to make of this little woman defyantly telling them to go, they talked a few moments in their own language. The spokesman then said “We come back.” Then they turned and walked away. Alice was shaking inside, but had done her best not to show it. When William returned, he was both furious and so proud of her resolve. They hugged a long time. William was so glad they were safe. “Next time, go in the cabin and both the door.” William told her. “I want you safe.”

Early June and the planting was done. William was down on the beach of Scituate harbor in the pre dawn darkness holding Alice tightly in his arms. “I have to go, Alice” he comforted her. “I should be back late July for a week or two, then we will see if I'm needed back in Barnstable . Possibly not, as all the men have to help building homes there. I have to help lay out home sites and start the building. Some men need to be here.” Alice still clung to him. She replied “I'm due in September, and I want you here.” “I know my love, I know” William replied softly. “And I will be back in pleanty of time.” “Your sister will be over most every day, and young Thomas will stay with you and weed the fields until I get back. He's a good strong

lad, and will protect you.” Finally, The Ketch Marie and Yawl Patience was ready to leave. So 64 William kissed Alice good bye. She let him go, and stoically stood with the other women watching their men leave in the two vessels. It would be a long lonely two months for them. Some of their men would not be back until the September harvest .. It was still dark, the scene lit only occasionally by a pale sliver of moon setting in the West as the women trudged back to the church to await daylight. First light came slowly, and then dawn. The land breeze died off and the gentle Southerly taking its place. All hoped their men would have a pleasant sail South. The weather had been good, with no reason to change.

Despite being away from Alice, William felt good. This would be far better than weeding ever single solitary day. He smiled to himself. At least he had part ownership in two productive yawls that brought him several silver coins-at least on every trading voyage. That was certainly well worth working all Winter building them. The other Yawl, the Ann, was on a voyage North to the Kennebec river trading post, both bringing them supplies from England, and hoping to bring a valuable cargo back to Plymouth for shipment to England. After bringing the men to Barnstable, both vessels would be hard at work trading and fishing all summer.

    Well before lunch time, the two vessels were abreast of Plymouth, a ways off shore. Then, tacking and putting the wind on the Port,left bow, bore Southwest back toward the coast , making good distance upwind toward the Cape. Two hours later. The came about again, and might possibly-or not- make Barnstable on this heading. However several hours later they saw it was not going to happen, so they had to tack the boat back South West toward the Cape. It was not until it was getting dark that they finally saw Barnstable harbor in the distance. They made it to the harbor enterance just as they lost the wind for the night. Putting out the sweep oars they rowed their way the last two miles into the bay for the beach. Everyone was sure glad to be here. Few of the men had any desire to be sailors. They were farmers, and wanted to get their new homes started as soon as possible. It was far quicker to have a crew of men building houses than just one or two. So everyone worked on each persons house in turn. If there wasn't enough houses built before the time for harvest, the families might well have to double up for the winter...

   The First day, William led one group out to start a house to the South and Brother Samuels led 65 another group just up the beach always to lay the foundations of the Church and meeting house. This was going to be a fairly large structure that would also be used as a sanctuary in case the natives wanted to make war on them... The house William was going to build much further inland likewise would be a bit larger and sturdier than the normal house, with firing ports for three or four muskets a side. Quite high up, as he has suggested, so that no native could shoot into the building through them... It was only a matter of time before renegade whites sold guns and powder to the natives, so the settlers needed to take this into account. Both of these structures had to have solid wood walls and roofs, not just river cane as most colony houses had, this meant more skilled work by the carpenters. Building the walls with notched logs could be done fairly quickly. The solid wood walls would stop musket balls while thatched wattle ans mortar walls  would not.The roofs would take longer as beams and planks would have to be sawed  by real carpenters.

    The first couple days there was a meeting of all the workers. Those who were already in residence were encouraged to come as well, Loudly encouraged, in one case. They were told, in no uncertain terms, that a large group of settlers had helped them build their houses, so it was now their turn to return the favor. It was the only way things could work. Some young men were just arriving from Scituate with some of the oxen on the second day. Some of the trees already cut and trimmed were then drug to the building site by the oxen, cut into pieces, notched, then several men needed to lift them into place. By the end of the first week, The walls of Williams smaller house were set up eight feet high. Those last two foot were the hard ones. The bottom half of the top logs were notched out a foot every several feet so a musket could be poked out for fireing. By the end of that week, the walls of the other building were not even half done, as it was a much larger building... The carpenters started work making the roof beams for William's first house that day. The next day, Williams team started work on another smaller one family house that could be more quickly built, being only about twelve by thirty feet. The walls of that one only took several days. The roof would be finished in the fall. The next two weeks William's team built three more small houses, while the carpenters were working on the meeting house's roof. It was looking like several families would have to spend the winter there just as in the first winter at Scituate...Starting August, both teams built small houses, and the walls of nine more homes were built by the end of August... William and six others had gone back to Scituate the second week in 66 August as eight men had taken their place. It was decided the last week of August that it was time to put roofs on the houses they had built, so They spent the next three weeks fevarously doing that. William sailed back to Barnstable the first week of September just after Alice had her second child, to make sure that His new house had a storm tight roof of river, marsh reeds. It took him and a couple lads a week to do it. While it wasn't as grand as he had hoped, it would do for the winter. The next summer he was going to build the house larger and put on a shingled roof as he had promised himself that spring. Quickly, then, it was harvest time and all the workers sailed back to Scituate in their vessels to a good family reunion followed the next day with the back breaking chore of harvest... Thankfully, that Indian summer was warm and good to work in. By October, William was sailing cargoes of their harvest to Barnstable. Several of the men and their wives were driving their cattle South to the Cape. As Alice did not want to walk and as their two ox were already in Barnstable, she and their children would go with William on his cargo run taking everything of theirs as well as more corn and potatoes. The last week at home was difficult for Alice. In the late evenings just before dark, William and Alice would sit on the bench overlooking the beach in front of their property and talk about the past and what they could expect in the future. William said “your new house is not as grand as I wanted, my love, but it is adiquate for the winter. Come Summer, I will enlarge it, put on a proper shingled roof, and other things. It will work.” Alice said very little, other than to kiss him on the cheek and lay her head on his shoulder. The final evening came, a long sleepless night. They got up early, and packed their few remaining things and made off tor the harbor. As they left the clearing, Alice turned back, and tears coursing down her cheeks, burried her face in William's chest, crying for a couple long minutes. Then his arm around her, they walked through the forest leading the borrowed ox dragging they\ last of their possessions. A couple hours later, they were loading their things in the Yawl. Finally, by mid morning, they were ready to leave. It was afmost dark before they made Scussett river, where they spent the night. A few hours after dawn, they made Barnstable harbor The end of the first week in October. Alice made her way to the area where their oxen were, then led them both down to the Yawl where William and John were unloading their things. William's brother John would be taking the yawl back

    to Scituate with a lad for another cargo as soon as the boat was unloaded. In almost no time it was, 67 William pushed the yawl off the beach and then they both loaded the cart and oxen with their things, before making their way East to their cabin. It was, Alice noticed, about the same size as what they had left behind in Scituate. It took all afternoon to get the oxen and cart unloaded, and for William to go back to the beach for the remaining bags of corn and potatoes. By the time William returned, Alice was busy making the cabin into a home.

Most of the food was stored in the meeting house until it could be claimed by the families.. While the houses were more or less done, out buildings were also needed, firewood needed to be cut and all sorts of things... So several families would, as was expected, double up or live in the meeting house and the other larger strong house for the winter. William and Alice were determined to live in their house that winter, so did what they must to do. The day after arrival, William was busy dragging tree limbs to the cabin to make a winter leanto for the cow and ox, and the two surviving pigs. The other four pigs had been turned in sausage and bacon … Making quite a few silver coin. They ate and kept some well smoked, preserved for the winter.

The natives seemed somewhat amused by all the bussle. However, they needed to make their own winter preparations, as the late November snows would come much too soon. By mid November, Scituate was only a ghost of its former self. Its land and homes for sale to any reasonable taker. One church family had been induced to stay behind to watch over the now vacant properties until Spring when they could likely be sold to new arrivals from England. For the new Barnstable town, they were so very very glad to escape the constant religious strife in Scituate . There native neighbors seemed to be far more friendly here as well.. Having only one church group in town brought everyone more closely together. It was them and only the wilderness. The few people in Sandwich were miles and miles away, as were those beginning to settle Yarmouth. So for now, it was just US! November, William finally led the animals into their winter shelter and secured them there. At first they may not have been too happy, but the cold blast from the Northwest brought freezing rain and they huddled together for warmth. William had put some old canvas in the shelters roof so they were dry. The shelter leaned up against the South side of the house as well, so daily sun warmed then at least 68

a bit. And they were sheltered from the cold North wind. When the snow came, he would snow bank the house and shelter , William had also built shelters for their firewood and farm impliments like their plow. William, Alice, and their two children, and their two dogs were reasonably warm inside. Brother John was living in the meeting house with four families. He had his eye on a girl that he might marry in the Spring.

What William had noticed in the summer was that there were several lakes within an hour or twos walking distance. He had observed the natives catching fish in the lakes, so made a note of that. Some natives had also kept canoes at the lakes for fishing. William realized that once ocean fishing was no longer possible, lake fishing just might be possible. Also noted was that the South shore of the Cape was no more than ten miles South of Barnstable harbor. One warm, well almost warm Sunday afternoon, the sun was up in a cloudless sky, and William decided to walk about three miles to a large pond. When he got there, to his astonishment, several natives were out on the ice, fishing through holes in the ice. As he watched, a large fish was pulled from the lake to join several others already on the ice. He looked at the natives, they looked back at him. After a few minutes, William walked off back towards the settlement...Ice fishing! He would have to bring Brother John, an ax, and a couple poles next Sunday! …..


    Spring 1640 … .There was one boat building shed/ leanto that had been constructed on the beach in the late fall by William and three others who had wanted to build a boat. This one would not be as large as the Yawls, only some twenty feet. As the carpenters were busy working on their own projects, William brought out his adze and shaped the planks to build the boat. Shaping, framing also took awhile. However, by March the last planks were being pegged in place. It was realized by all that sailing and fishing along the North side of the Cape would be far easier than fishing off Scituate harbor. Their boats would not be battered by the waves tossed up by the wind across twenty five miles or so of open bay. Also, The entrance to Scussett river was only a few miles to the West, an easy sail with the prevailing wind on the beam of the boat. This made the Apatuxet trading post on Manumet bay a lot easier to sail to   for the Southern Dutch trade than it had been from Scituate. All together, most were pleased with their new situation. The new settlers in Yarmouth, several miles to the South East, also seemed friendly, and had similar religious beliefs, which was good as well....

April brought out the plows, and everyone had lots to do. His ox was well enough trained that it did 69 not need to be led. Their cow would drop her calf any moment now. Her milk was extra sweet this spring William had chosen this 25 acres because much of it was already meadow. Only some of the trees had had to be felled for their home. He had also purchased access to several acres of the salt marsh in the Western part of the bay. The soil was fairly good for farming. One day a week William would go out fishing so as to feed his corn. Fish heads were also gotten cheaply enough where fish were already being dried on racks near to the shore. It had been decided that no one owned the harbor shore, that it was a public commons for use as needed by everyone.

There continued, however lamentable fuss in nearby towns that the inhabitants of Barnstable prayerfully hoped would not assault them. In the town of Sandwich, nearby to the west of them on the banks of the Scusset river. Various men, families “not fit for church society” to the opinion of the General Court, had settled there, The  committee of Sandwich were summoned to appear before the Committie chaired by Thomas Prince and Miles Standish to account for their selling land to “unworthy and unfit persons” and thence ordered “to cease forthwith refund moneys received from these persons and banish them” hopefully South to those unfit elements residing in Rhode Island.

For the town of Yarmouth, the General court of the colonies ordered a set of stocks and pound be set up in Yarmouth for the humiliation of anyone derelict in their Christian duty to forsware sins such as cursing, lying, theft. and all manner of crimes. Some to be punished with severity or jail time. The later settlers were often rather different that the first settlers, not wanting to conform to their rules society and laws. So much so that the law was given out by the general court that “no more inhabitants shall be received (into the towns ) without a certificate from the places they came from signed by approved men” In early 1740 it was decreed by the general court that swearing, lies idleness or such be punished by hours in the stocks, several shillings fine. Theft of boats, gunpowder and ships stores was a felony requiring prison time. All these things could result in banishment from the towns and their lands siezed with or without compensation before banishment. Thankfully, little such cause for complaint was found in Barnstable town, as no one unfit for church socity that did not adhere to their strict moral code was admitted to settlement in the town.

William could scarcely believe that their little daughter was already six months old and his son 70 almost three! Where many couples had constant issues, he and Alice seldom argued. He was a good provider and she a hard worker. William had been elected a deacon of the church and when questions came up, his was the voice of quiet reason that usually prevailed.

    April brought Spring plowing , and since William could use a little help, he hired one of the big strong fifteen year olds to help him. The cow could by now be used as an ox, so he and the lad both plowed the fields. Both the lad and his father were happy that the lad was employed. They had had a meager winter and needed the money. The neighbors other brothers plowed their own field while their father worked on their house. So, the plowing was soon done, and the planting began. William hired several children to help him with the planting which also took much less time.

This all done, William was free to take the large shallop he had built that winter East. He had trapped a few pelts for trade, and with two of the young men Jessie and Ralph, and one younger lad with their pelts and other goods, set off East on a late May morning for Scussett river. The wind was brisk that day, so that in less than three hours they reached the Scussett. Far better time and ease than they had ever had coming South from Scituate.

There were two Sandwich boats out that day fishing with nets, and William noticed they were catching some salmon as well as the usual cod. Something he would have to remember. They sailed past, and up into the river. The wind now being contrary, got the oars out and rowed, then poled the boat upstreem to the portage.. Coming ashore there, they tied the boat to the shore, pulled the canoe they had been towing ashore as well. In a few minutes, the three men had disappeared down the trail with canoe and pelts leaving the twelve year old lad to watch the boat. Two hours later, William returned alone. The two young men would trek to the trading post with their pelts, and be back by dark. They were true to their word. In the morning, William Made off with Jessie and his pelts on the portage. Reaching the river, William chose to paddle the canoe while Jessie carried a heavy pack. It took quite a while to go the several miles. Finally, William saw the great bay before him and the trading post high up on the left riverbank.

He had drug half the cargo up to the trading post by the time Jessie arrived. It was a different

trader this time, and no friendlier than the last one. They haggled a long time. Finally they reached a deal, and William walked away fairly happy with a pocketful of silver. He also remembered to get a couple things for Alice. Both of them were back to the shallop well before dark. Since it was obvious to anyone that they must be carrying silver, and that Sandwich had a questionable reputation, they did not spend the night. They set sail immediately. Sailed out of the river and back along the coast in the gathering darkness. Thankfully, the wind did not entirely die out, and they reached the harbor late in the evening. All were really happy to be home.

    That night Alice asked “what about my roof?” William smiled.... her roof... but he said, “Yes, my dear. Its far cheaper for me to pay a couple boys to weed our fields than pay carpenters to build a proper roof. However, we cannot have no roof this summer since it will rain. So, I will saw and hew the beams boards and shingles. When I have them all made, then we get a couple men to help me tear down our roof and put up the new one. So, yes, my precious,” he kissed her cheek, “you will get YOUR” he grinned “roof”. With that Alice put her arms around his neck, said “You're SUCH a tease, William” and Kissed him a long time.

    So, it was hack, saw, split, adze and saw some more. It took him almost two months to get everything made. However by mid August, William hired a carpenter and helper, and they tore down the thatch roof and put up the new roof in a week. A bit of pitching here and there, finally made it as water and air tight as could be made... And seems just in time, for a few days later, another storm did blow through. Alice found out that her new roof leaked more than the thatch one had. So,, she sent William back up (or thought she did) to fix Her leaks... Such is married life. In the end, however, Her new roof was a lot sturdier than the old one had been. William also added twenty feet on to the house, and built a proper barn like shelter for their animals and their feed. The corn and potatoes stayed inside the house for safekeeping, however, because those were life...

William liked his twenty foot yawl/ shallop the best, so he kept it in the harbor for his local fishing. She actually sailed really well with just the mainsail, However, the small sail mounted on the port side of the stern would keep the bow about forty five degrees off the wind drift fishing with the mainsail down and its boom pushed all the way over to the port side.

     Saturday afternoons, even when he had been working hard all week, he could often be found 72 drifting or sometimes anchored just outside the bay relaxing in his chair with just a line with several kooks on it, and maybe his son John in the bow fishing. The quiet was so loud there. He especially liked to catch the blackfish the natives called Tuttog. Their delicate white meat was so wonderfully tasty, not at all like the bland Codfish. The small and sometimes not so small flatfish were delightful as well . But he was not out there to catch fish, really, just to soak up some sun and relax. Since he was such an industrious hard worker the rest of the week, no one said a word about his taking two days off a week. No one was allowed 

to fish or work on the Sabbath/ It was Williams private joke to himself that the Church called Sunday the Sabbath! So in his thoughts he was honoring both the Hebrew Sabbath and the Church Sabbath day as well! One of those thoughts that he only quietly mentioned to Alice. Even though he was a respected Deacon of the Church, such talk was still “Heresy” and he should not break that taboo. When he was not out fishing himself, he hired two young men to go out fishing on shares, with the traditional 40/40/20 split/ %40 to the fishermen, %40 to William and %20 to the boat for maintenance.

Finally, the harvest came, and William hired two teenage boys to help him bring in his corn. Everyone had such a large harvest that they could make money selling the surplus to Boston. So, that fall their Ketch and Yawls were really busy trading across the bay to the other towns. After the corn harvest, William left his potatoes in the ground another month. He had more children than he could use want to to dig them up with his usual one for you and two for me system, which made them and William happy, as he really hated digging. He was well enough established now that he could afford to hire help. His shares in the two Yawls brought him silver every voyage weather he was with them or not.



    William continued the usual daily and seasonal routine with Alice at his side for many years. He was the towns representitive to the general court several years, and by constant industry ended his life a wealthy man. They had seven children, but only one girl, Elizabeth, their second child. William Crocker is the author's Mother’s ancestor.

The author's Fathers ancestor, Anthony Brackett, was a first settler in what is now Kittery Maine

in the 1640s. He and his wife were killed in a French and Indian attack some years later and their children were captive of the indians until ransomed sometime later.

My Mother's family is also related to English royalty through the Hanscom family. My Maternal Grandmother was a Hanscom...

Since William and all his siblings were baptized in the Church of England, we think that he indeed came here as an indentured Servant to one of Pastor Lothrop's church members.

My other books are on Amazon Kindle :

“The English voyaged West before Columbus”

“The Gospel letter to Athens”

“King Solomon's ships”

My complete genealogies and short stories are on my web site www .Lewishb.TV

Enjoy, Lewis Brackett...... Late Febauary, 2018 :)

Sources: “The history of Cape Cod” by Freeman

“New England historical and genealgical register”

“Mayflower” by Plilbrick ,

“Of Plymouth Plantation” by Bradford

The genealogy research by my Aunts Kay Crocker and Hilda Stockley, and my researcher in England.

Www. lewishb.TV & On Amazon Kindle

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