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commissioners of Boston were considered as culpable, in not properly encouraging Mr. Smith, who would have established himself here by his wise and prudent conduct, in case his employers had supported him.
The Hon. Thomas Hubbard, about this time being one of the commissioners, was sent by their board to visit these Indians, and observed their great need of an English minister; and as I was in the service of the commissioners, and a missionary to the western Indians, he spoke of this people to me.
I had no inclination to come this way. I had formed an unfavourable idea of this part of the country. After Deacon Hubbard made his report to the commissioners in Boston, the Rev. Mr. Green of Barnstable was desired by that board, to have the inspection of this people, and to preach a monthly lecture to them, which he faithfully discharged. This was not enough, for the distance between the centre of this district, and Mr. Green, was not less than twelve miles; and therefore he was too far off to answer the purpose of an instructor among a people similar to these Indians, who must have line upon line, and precept upon precept, and be taught in season and out of season, in the house and by the way.
After the war had broke out in the year 1755, although it was in the western parts, it did not affect the mission to the Iroquois or Six Nations, until the year 1756. I was in that country till the month of May, and in the beginning of June, 1756, arrived at Boston, and took a warrant to officiate in Col. Gridley's regiment as chaplain; and soon joined the army above Albany, going against Crown Point. After the campaign, I went about seventy miles beyond Albany in the way to my mission; but could not safely penetrate into the wilderness; my mission being nearly an hundred miles beyond any plantation of whites. Cherry Valley, the nearest settlement of whites, was four days journey from the seat of my mission. Before my arrival at this place, which was late in December, winter had set in with severity. I had therefore returned into New-England, and spent the winter at Houssatunnuck.
In the spring, by a letter from Sir William Johnson, which the Indians desired him to write me, I was invited back to my mission.
About the same time, by repeated letters from General Lyman, I was desired to be his chaplain the ensuing campaign. And not long after had a letter from Mr. Davies of Virginia, afterwards president of Nassau Hall, desiring me to take a mission to the Cherokee Indians, he having heard of the difficulties attending my mission to the Iroquois. However, after the receipt of my letter from Sir William, and as soon as I could get ready, I set out to go into the Indian country. I endeavoured to get a companion, or person to attend me; but could obtain none suitable for the service. I came to Green Bush, opposite to the city of Albany, and by a person who had had the small pox, sent for two gentlemen of my acquaintance, viz. Mr. Depoyster* and the
* Abraham Depoyster, esq. a wealthy merchant.
Rev. Mr. Frilinghensen * to come over the ferry and advise me ; who condescended to attend me upon the occasion. They informed me that the small pox was almost every where in my way, and that I should be in danger both from the enemy, and from the infection. I then rode back to Stockbridge, and as the Rev. Mr. Jona. than Edwards was † going to Boston, I went with him. Coming to that town, the commissioners ordered a meeting, and voted to send me upon a visit to the several Indian plantations below the town of Plymouth, and particularly to the Marshpee tribe, where I was empowered to fix a spot for a new meeting house for those Indians, and prepare them for the reception of an English minister, which had been in vain attempted at one time and another for a course of years. I was directed to visit the Herring Pond Indians and those at Portnumacut and Yarmouth. The Rev. Mr. Prince of Boston wrote a letter to his brother-in-law, the Hon. Ezra Bourne, esq. who married his sister, which was much in my favour. Deacon Hubbard wrote another of the same tenour, to his friend the Rev. Mr. Greene of Barnstable. I had great attention paid me; was popular, particularly at Marshpee ; and the more so, as I was a stranger, and did not come with a view to obtain a settlement here.
This part of the country did not strike me agreeably: The Indians appeared abject; and widely different from the Iroquois. They were clad according to the English mode; but a half naked savage was less disagreeable, than Indians, who had lost their independence. I will only observe that I executed my mission in a manner agreeable to all concerned, and at my return the Indians had an ample petition drafted by Mr. Joseph Bourne, addressed to the commissioners, soliciting my appointment to the charge of this mission.
After this a scene opens, which if properly related, might instruct and entertain the curious. I am, &c.
[N. B. It is wished that Mr. Hawley would continue this narrative.]
A LIST OF THE GOVERNOURS AND COMMANDERS IN CHIEF OF
MASSACHUSETTS AND PLYMOUTH.
Note...... The year begins in January.
KINGS of ENGLAND.
1603. James I.
1625. Charles I.
GOVERNOURS of MASSACHU-GOVERNOURS of PLY
SETTS, under the first Charter,
MOUTH, chosen annu
chosen annually by the People.
ally by the People.
16.0. John Carver. 16.1. Wm. Bradford. 633. Ed. Winslow. 1634. Tho. Prince.
635. Wm. Bradford. 1636. Ed Winslow.
1637. Wm. Bradford,
638 Tho. Prince.
Richard Bellingham (1639. Wm Bradford.
1644. Edw. Winslow.
645. W. Bradford,
1649. The Commonwealth.1649.
1654. Oliver Cromwell,
* Commander in Chief, upon the resignation of Gov. Hancock.
† Commander in Chief upon the death of Gov. Hancock.
A TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF TRURO, IN THE COUNTY OF
RURO is situated east south east from Boston; between 41° 57′,
longitude from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The length of the township, as the road runs, is about fourteen miles; but, in a straight line, about eleven miles. The breadth, in the widest part, is three miles; and, in the narrowest part, not more than half a mile. It is bounded on the north west by Province town; and on the south, by Wellfleet: the Atlantick ocean washes it on the north east and east ; and Barnstable bay and Cape Cod harbour, on the west. The distance of the meeting house from Boston, is fifty seven miles, in a straight line; but as the road runs, the distance is one hundred and twelve miles, and forty miles from the court house in Barnstable. As both the eastern and western shores are curved, and approach each other toward the northwest, the form of the township is very nearly a spherical triangle.
In the north part of the township, there is a small harbour, called East harbour, which is shoal and of little use. East of it is situated a body of salt marsh, which is continually diminished by the blowing in of the sand. A village not far from it, containing fourteen houses, is known by the same name.
Another village, cailed the Pond, consisting of forty houses, is situated about a mile south. It receives its name from a small pond which lies near it. The high and steep banks on the bay are here intersected by a valley, which runs directly from the shore, and soon divides itself into two branches. In this valley the houses stand, and are defended from the winds, whilst the entrance of it affords a convenient landing place. The bending of the land which forms Cape harbour, shelters this landing from some winds, but when the wind blows directly on shore, it comes across a bay nea: eight leagues wide. It has
been supposed by some, that a small harbour might easily be made here, by driving three rows of piles in the water parallel with the shore, and weaving branches between them, which would soon collect a pier or bank of sand. Others are of opinion, that a wharf of timber and stone, placed on the outer bar, would most effectually answer the purpose. It is conceived, that one six or seven feet in height, and about four hundred yards in length, would form a convenient harbour. At low ebbs there are three feet of water within the bar. There was an attempt many years ago to make a harbour here, and it has frequently been contemplated since; but though the work would contribute very much to the prosperity of this village, yet partly from a want of enterprise in the people, and partly from a deficiency of rich men, has never been seriously engaged in, or prosecuted with success.
A mile south of this village, the bank on the bay is intersected by another valley, called the Great Hollow. This valley and another near it, towards the south east, contain twenty eight houses.
This village is separated from the Pond by a high hill, which commands an extensive prospect of the ocean, Cape harbour, and the opposite shore, as far as Monument and the high lands of Marshfield. Upon this hill stands the meeting house, which is seen a great distance
Beyond the Great Hollow, a river or creek is forced into the land from the bay, and approaches within a few rods of the ocean. At the mouth of this river is a tide harbour. The river divides itself into three branches, on which are three bodies of salt marsh, viz. the Great Meadow, Hopkins's Meadow, and Eagle's Neck Meadow. These branches give a water communication to a great number of the inhabitants with boats, scows, &c. The situation of this harbour is such as justly claims attention; and if repaired, would be of publick utility. It lies nearly south-east from Cape Cod harbour, above three leagues distant, and a little to the northward of what is called the Shoal Ground, without Billingsgate Point: So that in heavy gales of wind at the north west, it would be a safe retreat for vessels, either driving from their anchors in Cape harbour, or drifting into Barnstable bay; and would prevent their running on Truro shore, which has been the fate of many who have endeavoured to avoid falling on the above mentioned shoal ground; and it might thus be the means of saving much property, and perhaps some lives. Pamet harbour is about a hundred yards wide at the mouth, but wider within. A wharf sixty yards in length, fourteen feet wide on the ground, and sharp on the top, and ten feet in height, would make a safe and good harbour, and by estimation, would cost, built with timber and filled up with stones, about eighteen hundred and fifty dollars. Though the top of the wharf would be covered with high water, yet it would break the sea in twelve or thirteen feet of water. There are several houses scattered near the river. The houses at the extremity of the marsh are known by the name of the Head of Pamet.