The Colonial Image: Origins of American Culture

By John C. Miller | Go to book overview

Pirates in Plymouth

William Bradford

About the middle of May this year [ 1646] came in three ships into this harbor, in warlike order. They were found to be men of war. The captain's name was Cromwell, who had taken sundry prizes from the Spaniards in the West Indies; he had a commission from the Earl of Warwick. He had aboard his vessels about 80 lusty men, but very unruly, who after they came ashore, did so distemper themselves with drink as they became like madmen, and though some of them were punished and imprisoned, yet could they hardly be restrained. Yet in the end they became more moderate and orderly. They continued here about a month or six weeks, and then went to the Massachusetts, in which time they spent and scattered a great deal of money among the people, and yet more sin I fear than money, notwithstanding all the care and watchfulness that was used towards them to prevent what might be.

In which time one sad accident fell out. A desperate fellow of the company fell a-quarreling with some of his company. His captain commanded him to be quiet and surcease his quarreling, but he would not, but reviled his captain with base language and in the end half drew his rapier and intended to run at his captain; but he closed with him and wrested his rapier from him and gave him a box on the ear. But he would not give over, but still assaulted his captain; whereupon he took the same rapier as it was in the scabbard and gave him a blow with the hilt, but it lit on his head and the small end of the bar of the rapier hilt pierced his skull, and he died a few days after. But the captain was cleared by a council of war. This fellow was so desperate a quarreler, as the captain was fain many times to chain him under hatches from hurting his fellows, as the company did testify. And this was his end.

This Captain Thomas Cromwell set forth another voyage to the West Indies from the Bay of the Massachusetts, well manned and victualed, and was out three years, and took sundry prizes and returned rich unto the Massachusetts. And there died the same summer, having got a fall from his horse, in which fall he fell on his rapier hilt and so bruised his

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William Bradford: Of Plymouth Plantation. Edited by Samuel Eliot Morison.

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The Colonial Image: Origins of American Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 5
  • Contents 9
  • Introduction 15
  • Part I - Arrivals 41
  • The Plymouth Plantation 43
  • A Description of New England 66
  • The New English Canaan 76
  • Letters 77
  • The Crossing to Pennsylvania! 83
  • Part II - Daily Life 99
  • Pirates in Plymouth 101
  • Thomas Morton of Merrymount 103
  • The Merrymount Colony 108
  • Edifying Incidents 113
  • An Exemplary Christian 115
  • Inoculation for Smallpox 118
  • Courtship 132
  • Marriage 141
  • On Taking a Mistress 154
  • The Speech of Polly Baker 156
  • Riding through Virginia 159
  • Part III - God and the Devil 167
  • Religious Tolerance 169
  • In Defence of Intolerance 175
  • Witchcraft in Salem 179
  • Witchcraft in Salem 185
  • Witchcraft in Salem 190
  • The Devil in the Shape of a Woman 193
  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God 207
  • Personal Narrative 212
  • Part IV - The Indians 221
  • The Indians in Virginia 223
  • Pocahontas 231
  • The Pequot War 239
  • The Pequot War 244
  • Indian Customs and Manners 248
  • Captured by Indians 257
  • Part V - The South 291
  • Virginia 293
  • History of the Dividing Line 310
  • Part VI - Literature 351
  • Anne Bradstreet 353
  • Michael Wigglesworth 357
  • Edward Taylor 367
  • Bacon's Epitaph 370
  • Ebenezer Cook 372
  • Benjamin Franklin 377
  • Part VII - Four Colonial Views 387
  • Itinerarium Dr. Alexander Hamilton 389
  • Autobiography 419
  • Journal 437
  • Letters from an American Farmer 479
  • Bibliography 499
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