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44 Anniversary of their landing celebrated
and many others sickened of grievous colds, of which they never recovered.
On the Lord's day, the thirty-first of December, they, for the first time, attended public* worship on shore, and named the place PlymOuth, partly because the harbour had been so named by Captain Smith, and partly from gratitude for the kind treatment they had received at Plymouth, the last port from which they sailed iiv England. The rock on which they first stepped has been divided, and one part of it placed in the centre of the town, where it is known by the name of " Forefather's Rock."
The anniversary of their landing has been observed by their immediate descendants at' Plymouth, as a religious festival. A discourse is delivered adapted to the occasion ; after' public worship, more forcibly to impress their-minds with the circumstances of their meritorious forefathers, clams, fish, ground nuts, and viSlims from, the forest, constitute a part of: their grateful repast. For a number of years th^ same anniversary has been celebrated in Boston by the descendants of the Plymouth pilgrims;.and others. Here too the festal board displays the: stile of other times; treasures which had been hid- den in the sand, and game from the woods mingle* with other provisions, of the table. It is a festival' rational, and happy in its tendency.. It reminds the guests of the virtues and sufferings of their fathers } fry a comparison of circumstances it ex
Roaring of lions supposed to be beard. 45
cites transports of gratitude, elevates the affeftions, and mends the heart.
On the 12th of Jan. John Goodman and Peter Brown walking into the woods " to gather thatch, lost themselves;" after wandering all the afternoon they were obliged, though "slenderly" clothed, to make the ground their bed; it snowed, and the cold was severe. Their distress in the night was increased by hearing, as they supposed, three lions roaring ; one of which they thought was very near them. In their terror they resolved to climb a tree, though an intolerably cold lodging place. They stood ready to ascend when the lions should come, and continued walking round the tree all nighty which probably saved their lives. In the afternoon, from a hill, they saw the islands in Plymouth harbour, and in the evening reached their friends, fainting with hunger and cold. Goodman's feet were so frozen that they were obliged to cut off his shoes.
Not only these, but many of the first settlers imagined they heard lions roar. The wolf is not known in England, and it is not strange they should mistake his howlings for the roaring of a' lion, which was also a creature unknown to them. Wood says, "I will not say that I ever saw lions1 myself, but some affirm they have seen a lion at Cape Ann, Some, likewise, being lost in the Woods, have heard such terrible roarings as have made them much aghast, which must be either 46 Militia organized.
lions or devils, there being no other creatures, which use to roar."
In February they had time to arrange their military concerns. Miles Standish was chosen Captain, and received " authority to command in mili tary affairs.'' The third of March they found that the winter was past, "the birds sang in the woods most pleasantly,5' it thundered, and there was a steady rain. For this climate, the winter providentially, had been remarkably mild. Still it was a dismal winter to them. Never did human beings suffer more, nor display greater fortitude and christian magnanimity.
Thewhole company that landed consisted of but 101 souls; their situation wras distressing, and their prospe£tstrulydismaland discouraging. Theirnearest neighbours, except the natives, were the Dutch, settlers at Albany and Bergen, a French settlements at Port Royal, and one of the English at Virginia; the nearest of these was 200 miles from them, and: utterly incapable of affording them any relief in a time of famine or danger. Wherever they turned their eyes, distress was before them. Persecuted for their religion in their native land; grieved for the profanation of the holy sabbath, and other licentiousness in Holland; fatigued by their long and boisterous voyage; disappointed, through the treachery of their commander, of their expected country; forced on a dangerous and inhospitable shore in the advance of a cold winter; surrounded with hostile barbarians, without any hope of hu
Sufferings of the Pilgrims. 47
man succour in case of an attack; denied the aid or favour of the court of England; without a patent; without a public promise of a peaceable enjoyment of their religious liberties; worn out with toil and sufferings, without convenient shelter from the rigour of the weather. Such was the situation and such the prospers of these pious, solitary, christians. And to add to their distresses, a general and very mortal sickness prevailed among them, which swept off forty-six of their number, before the opening of the next spring. Some part of the time two and three died in a day. At times there were not fivejpell enough to nurse the sick.
To support them linder these trials, they had need of all the aids and comforts which Christianity afford s, and these were sufficient. The free and unmolested enjoyment of their religion reconciled them to their humble and lonely situation. They bore their hardships with unexampled patience, and persevered in their pilgrimage of almost unparalleled trials, with such resignation and calmness, as gave proof of great piety, and unconquerable virtue.
Immediately after landing, they began to lay out the town into streets, and lots, and to erea buildings, for their accommodation. They first ereaed a store house with a thatched roof, in which they deposited, under a guard, their whole stock of ammunition and provisions. On the 14th of Jan. the thatched roof of the store house accidentally caught fire and was consumed ; but by the timely exertions of the people, the lower 48 Charter of King James.
part of the building with its contents, which were indispensable to the support of the infant colony, was pres erved.
- On the 3d of November 1620, King James, be. ng i nformed that an extensive country in America had lately been depopulated by a mortal sickness, and that no part of it was. then inhabited by the subjects of any christian prince, and being desirous to advance the christian religion, and extend the boundaries of his own dominions, signed a patent, incorporating the duke of Lenox, the marquisses of Buckingham and Hamilton, the earls of Arundel and Warwick, Sir Francis Gorges, with thirty-four others and their successors, stiling them, "The council established at Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering, and governing, of New England in America.5'
To this council he granted all that part of America which lies between the 40th and 48th degrees of north latitude. They were invested with powers ofjurisdi6lion over the country, and authorized to exclude all others from trading within their boundaries, and, from fishing in the neighbouring se#s. This charter was the great cfail basis of all the subsequent grants and patents, to the settlers of New England.
''This charter, (says the correal historian of Massachusetts) from the omissions of several powers necessary to the future situation of the colony, shows how inadequate the ideas of the parties