BRADFORD'S JOURNAL - "The Ship Fortune"

Excerpts
From William Bradford's Journal ---
on Mayflower Descendant Legacy
Yr 2000 edition


158    "Good Newes from New England"
[p. 1]    GOOD NEWES
FROM
New-England.

The Good Ship called the Fortune, which in the Moneth of Novemb. 1621 . (blessed be God) brought us a new supply of 35 persons, was not long departed our Coast, ere the Great people of Nanohigganset, which are reported to be many thousands strong, began to breath forth many threats against us, notwithstanding their desired and obtained peace with us in the foregoing summer. Insomuch as the common talke of our neighbour Indians on all sides was of the preparation they made to come against us. In reason a man would thinke they should have now more cause to feare us than before our supply came: but though none of them were present, yet understanding [p. 2] derstanding by others that they neither brought Armes nor other provisions with them, but wholly relied on us, it occasioned them to sleight and brave us with so many threats as they did. At length came one of them to us, who was sent by Conanacus their chiefe Sachim or King, accompanied with one Tokamahamo, a friendly Indian. This messenger inquired for Tisquantum (Squanto) our Interpreter, who not being at home seemed rather to be glad than sorry, and leaving for him a bundle of new arrowes lapped in a rattle Snakes skin, desired to depart with all expedition. But our Governours not knowing what to make of this strange cariage, and comparing it with that we had formerly heard, committed him to the custodie of Captaine Standish, hoping now to know some certaintie of that we so often heard, either by his owne relation to us, or to Tisquantum (Squanto) at his returne, desiring my selfe, having speciall familiaritie with the other fore-named Indian, to see if I could learne any thing from him, whose answer was sparingly to this effect; that he could not certainly tell, but thought they were enemies to us. That night Captaine Standish gave me and another charge of him, and gave us order to use him kindly, and that hee should not want any thing he desired, and to take all occasions to talke and inquire of the reasons of those reports we heard, and withall to signifie that upon his true relation he should be sure of his owne freedome. At first feare so possess him, that he could scarce say anything: but in the end became more familiar, and told Us that the messenger which his Master sent in Summer to treat of peace, at his returne perswaded him rather to warre; and to the end he might provoke him thereunto, . . . .  




On his way back from a meeting to repair damaged relations between the Wampanoag and Pilgrims, Tisquantum (Squanto) became sick with a fever. Some historians have speculated that he was poisoned by the Wampanoag because they believed he had been disloyal to the sachem. Tisquantum (Squanto) died a few days later in 1622/3 in Chatham, Massachusetts. He was buried in an unmarked grave, possibly in Plymouth's cemetery Burial Hill. Peace between the two groups lasted for another fifty years.

Governor William Bradford, in Bradford's History of the English Settlement, wrote regarding Tisquantum's (Squanto) death: Here in [ Manamoick Bay] Squanto fell ill of Indian fever, bleeding much at the nose, which the Indians take as a symptom of death, and within a few days he died. He begged the Governor to pray for him, that he might go to the Englishman's God in heaven, and bequeathed several of his things to his English friends, as remembrances. His death was a great loss.

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