Sunday, June 30, 2013

Adultery - 1639-1678 in the Plymouth Colony Court Records


September 3, 1639 Mary, the wyfe of Robert Mendame, of Duxborrow, for using dallyance diuers tymes with Tinsin, an Indian, & after committing the act of vncleanesse with him, as by his owne confession by seuerall interpreters is made apparent, the Bench doth therefore censure the said Mary to be whipt at a carts tayle through the townes streets, & to weare a badge vpon her left sleeue during her aboad within this gouerment; & if shee shalbe found without it abroad, then to be burned in the face with a hott iron; & the said Tinsin, the Indian, to be well whipt with a halter about his neck at the post, because it arose through the allurement [&] inticement of the said Mary, that hee was drawne therevnto.

December 7, 1641 Forasmuch, as Thomas Bray, of Yarmouth, a single person, & Anne, the wyfe of Francis Linceford, haue committed the act of adultery & vncleanesse, & haue diuers tymes layne in one bed together in the absence of her husband, which hath beene confessed by both parties in the publike Court, the Court doth censure them as followeth: That they be both seuerely whipt immediately at the publik post, [&] that they shall weare (whilst they remayne in the gouernment) two letters, namely, an AD, for Adulterers, daily, vpon the outside of their vppermost garment, in a most emenent place thereof; & if they shalbe found at any tyme in any towne or place within the gouerment without them so worne vpon their vppermost garment as aforesaid, that then the constable of the towne or place shall take them, or wither of them, omitting so to weare the said two letters, & shall forthwith whip them for their negligence, & shall cause them to be immediately put on againe, & so worne by them & either of them; & also that they shalbe both whipt at Yarmouth, publikly, where the offence was committed, in such fitt season as shalbe thought meete by Mr. Edmond Freeman [&] such others as are authorized for the keepeing of the Courts in these partes.

February 3, 1656 Att this Court, the cunstable of Tauton brought a certaine Scote, a single man, & an Irish woman named Katheren Aimes, whome hee had apprehended vpon suspision of commiting adultery each with other; but the Court, haueing examined them, could not proceed to punish them for want of clearer euidence; but haueing intelligence that sundry in Tauton could giue euidence in the case, whoe were not present, the Court commited the said man & woman to the custidy of the marshals vntill the next Court, & summoned in the wittnesses to appeer att the said Court, namely, Alexander Aines, John Muckclay, Daniell Muckeney, Scotsmen, & a certaine Irish woman named Elizabeth; her other name non present doe know.

Husband punished for leaving family & exposing his wife to such temptations

March 5, 1656 Att this Court, William Paule, Scotchman, for his vnclean & filthy behauiour with the wife of Alexander Aines, is centanced by the Court to bee forthwith Publickly whipt, & to paye the officers the charges of his imprisonment & punishment, which accordingly was performed.

Att this Cour, Katheren Aines, for her vnclean & laciuiouse behauior with the abouesaid William Paule, & for the blasphemos words that shee hath spoken, is centanced by the Court to bee forthwith publickly whipt heer att Plymouth, & afterwards att Taunton, on a publicke training day, & to were a Roman B cutt out of ridd cloth & sowed to her vper garment on her right arme; & if shee shalbee euer found without it soe worne whil shee is in the gouernment, to bee forthwith publickly whipt.

Alexander Anis, for his leaueing his family, & exposing his wife to such temtations, & being as baud to her therin, is centanced by the Court for the present to sitt in the stockes the time the said Paule & Katheren Ainis are whipt, which was performed; & the said Alexander Anis is to pay the charges of his wifes imprisonment & punishment, which said charge, in regard the said Anis is very poor, is to pay it by twelue pence per weeke vntill it is all payed; & James Walker, of Taunton, is appointed to recieue it in the countreyes behalfe.

December 7, 1641 Forasmuch, as Thomas Bray, of Yarmouth, a single person, & Anne, the wyfe of Francis Linceford, haue committed the act of adultery & vncleanesse, & haue diuers tymes layne in one bed together in the absence of her husband, which hath beene confessed by both parties in the publike Court, the Court doth censure them as followeth: That they be both seuerely whipt immediately at the publik post, [&] that they shall weare (whilst they remayne in the gouernment) two letters, namely, an AD, for Adulterers, daily, vpon the outside of their vppermost garment, in a most emenent place thereof; & if they shalbe found at any tyme in any towne or place within the gouerment without them so worne vpon their vppermost garment as aforesaid, that then the constable of the towne or place shall take them, or wither of them, omitting so to weare the said two letters, & shall forthwith whip them for their negligence, & shall cause them to be immediately put on againe, & so worne by them & either of them; & also that they shalbe both whipt at Yarmouth, publikly, where the offence was committed, in such fitt season as shalbe thought meete by Mr. Edmond Freeman [&] such others as are authorized for the keepeing of the Courts in these partes.

June 10, 1662 Att this Court, Thomas Bird, for committing of seuerall adulterouse practices & attempts, soe farr as strength of nature would permitt, with Hannah Bumpas, as hee himselfe did acknowlidge, was sentanced by the Court to bee whipt two seuerall times, namely, the first time att the present Court, & the second time betwixt this & the fifteenth day of July next. [Thomas Bird was whipt the first time att this Court.]

March 1, 1669/1670 Furthermore, in answare vnto the earnest request of the said Samuell Hallowey to be diuorced from his said wife, shee haueing not onely most horribly abused him, as is manifested by the testimonies to the abouesaid presentment, & att other times, as is aboue hinted, but alsoe confessed that shee hath committed adultery with diuers persons; yett notwithstanding, the Court, being not very cleare to such a proceeding att present, refered the full answare thervnto vntill the next June Court, being willing to take mature advice & deliberation about it, as is beehoofull to soe waighty a matter.

June 7, 1670 Att this Court, Samuell Hallowey, of Taunton, importuned the Court for a divorce from his wife, Jane Hallowey, expressing himselfe much agreiued with her continued approbrious & audacious asserting & affeirming that shee had committed adultery with Jonathan Briggs; in consideration wherof the Court passed an order to William Harvey & James Walker, of Taunton aforsaid, authoriseing them to examine her as soon as she can conveniently after her being vp out of child bed, to know of her whether shee will yet stand to & maintaine her said assertion; which if incase shee doe, & that the said Hollowey doe appeer att the Court of his magestie to be holden att Plymouth aforsaid the last Tusday in October next, & produce sufficient testimony, vnder the hand of the said William Harvey & James Walker, that shee still affeirmes that shee hath committed the said acte, the Court will then see cause to graunt him a bill of diuorse.

July 4, 1673 Wheras it doth appeer to this Court by diuers testimonies that Sarah, the wife of John Williams, of Barnstable, hath violated her marriage bond by committing actuall adultery with another man, & hath a child by him, this Court therfore sees cause & doe heerby declare, that the said John Williams is legally cleare from his couenant of marriage formerly plighted & made with the said Sarah, his late wife, & doe heerby free him from those duties relateing thervnto, & that the said Sarah hath by her breach of wedlocke cutt off her selfe from any right henceforth to the person or estate of the said John Williams, her late husband, & doe heerby likewise alow him libertie further to dispose of himselfe in marriage if hee shall see cause for the future soe to doe.

March 5, 1677/1678 In reference to the complaint of Robert Badston against Charles Wills, that hee had lyen w/ his wife, the Court, haueing examined the euidences respecting the case, did not find him guilty of that fact, & therfore cleared him therof, & from keeping the child, & the rather because the said Robert Badston hath frequently companied with his said wife by beding with her, both before & after the child was borne.


Bradford, William.  Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Knopf (1952).

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, [and] Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1995).

Demos, John.  A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. London: Oxford University Press (1970).

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. London: Oxford University Press (1989).

PCR.  Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York: AMS Press. 12 v. in 6.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  Plymouth Colony: Its History [and] People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing (1986).

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher.  Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books (1980).

Friday, June 28, 2013

Rape - 1677 & 1682 in the Plymouth Colony Court Records


October 30, 1677  Att this Court, Ambrose Fish was inditied by the name of Ambrose Fish, for that hee, haueing not the feare of God before his eyes, did wickedly, and contrary to the order of nature, on the tweluth day of July last past before the date heerof, in his owne house in Sandwich, in this collonie of New Plymouth, by force carnally know and rauish Lydia Fish, the daughter of Mr Nathaniell Fish, of Sandwich aforsaid, and against her will, shee being then in the peace of God and of the Kinge.

The grand jury found billa vera. The verdict of the jury of life and death was as followeth: Namely, if one euidence with concurring cercomstances be good in law, wee find him guilty. But if one euidence, with conccurring cercomstances, be not hood in law, wee find him not quilty.

Vpon consideration of the verdict, the Court centance him, the said Ambrose Fish, to suffer corporall punishment by being publickly whipt att the post, which accordingly was inflicted, and the prisoner released.

October 31, 1682 Sam, the Indian, soe called, for his rape committed vpon an English gerle, being found quilty by the jury, who found him guilty by his owne confession, in wickedly abusing the body of Sarah Freeman by laying her downe vpon her backe, and entering her body with his, although in an ordinary consideration hee deseued death, yett considering hee was but an Indian, and therfore in an incapasity to know the horiblenes of the wickednes of this abominable act, with other cercomstances considered, hee was centanced by the Court to be seuerly whipt att the post and sent out of country.


Bradford, William.  Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Knopf (1952).

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, [and] Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1995).

Demos, John.  A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. London: Oxford University Press (1970).

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. London: Oxford University Press (1989).

PCR.  Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York: AMS Press. 12 v. in 6.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  Plymouth Colony: Its History [and] People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing (1986).

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher.  Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books (1980).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making hay while the sun shines...

Is this an example of making hay while the sun shines?  (Not the two workers, but the two at the back of the picture enjoying each other & the shade of the haystack.) The expression dates back many centuries, and has changed little in form.

Meaning - Make the most of one's opportunities while you have the chance.

Origin - This proverb is first recorded in John Heywood's "All the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue"  1546:

Whan the sunne shinth make hay. Whiche is to say.
Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.

Many proverbs exist in other languages, but this one doesn't, and it's a reasonable surmise that the phrase is of English Tudor origin.

Monday, June 24, 2013

1609 - John Smyth 1570-1612) English beginnings of the Baptist Church

Immersion baptism in Pennsylvania's Schuylkill River Woodcut from Morgan Edwards, Materials Towards A History of the American Baptists.

John Smyth (c. 1570-1612) was an early Baptist (Puritan, Separatist, Mennonite) minister from England and a defender of the principle of religious liberty. Some historians consider John Smyth as a founder of the Baptist denomination.  Smyth was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1594 in England. Soon after his ordination, he broke with the Church of England & left for Holland where he with a small congregation began to study the Bible ardently.

Smyth insisted that true worship was from the heart & that any form of reading from a book in worship was an invention of sinful man.  Prayer, singing & preaching had to be completely spontaneous.  He introduced a twofold church leadership, that of pastor and deacon. This was in contrast to the Catholic/Anglican hierarchy of bishop, priest.  He thought that believers baptised as infants would have to be re-baptized. He briefly returned to England, but died in Holland.  By the time of his death, Smyth moved away from his Baptist views & began trying to bring his flock into the Mennonite church. Although he died before this happened, most of his congregation did join with the Mennonite church after his death.

Richard Day, A Booke of Christian Prayers 1581 - Infant Baptism woodcut

John Smyth / John Smith - Often referred to as the father of the Baptist groups as they grew in the USA.


(1) That there is one God, the best, the highest, and most glorious Creator and Preserver of all; who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

(2) That God has created and redeemed the human race to his own image, and has ordained all men (no one being reprobated) to life.

(3) That God imposes no necessity of sinning on any one; but man freely, by Satanic instigation, departs from God.

(4) That the law of life was originally placed by God in the keeping of the law; then, by reason of the weakness of the flesh, was, by the good pleasure of God, through the redemption of Christ, changed into justification of faith; on which account, no one ought justly blame God, but rather, with his inmost heart, to revere, adore, and praise his mercy, that God should have rendered that possible to man, by his grace, which before, since man had fallen, was impossible by nature.

(5) That there is no original sin (lit;, no sin of origin or descent), but all sin is actual and voluntary, viz., a word, a deed, or a design against the law of God; and therefore, infants are without sin.

(6) That Jesus Christ is true God and true man; viz., the Son of God taking to himself, in addition, the true and pure nature of a man, out of a true rational soul, and existing in a true human body.

(7) That Jesus Christ, as pertaining to the flesh, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, afterwards was born, circumcised, baptized, tempted; also that he hungered, thirsted, ate, drank, increased both in stature and in knowledge; he was wearied, he slept, at last was crucified, dead buried, he rose again, ascended into heaven; and that to himself as only King, Priest, and Prophet of the church, all power both in Heaven and earth is given.

(8) That the grace of God, through the finished redemption of Christ, was to be prepared and offered to all without distinction, and that not feignedly but in good faith, partly by things made, which declare the invisible things of God, and partly by the preaching of the Gospel.

(9) That men, of the grace of God through the redemption of Christ, are able (the Holy Spirit, by grace, being before unto them grace prevement) to repent, to believe, to turn to God, and to attain to eternal life; so on the other hand, they are able themselves to resist the Holy Spirit, to depart from God, and to perish for ever.

(10) That the justification of man before the Divine tribunal (which is both the throne of justice and of mercy), consists partly of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ apprehended by faith, and partly of inherent righteousness, in the holy themselves, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, which is called regeneration or sanctification. since any one is righteous, who doeth righteousness.

(11) That faith, destitute of good works, is vain; but true and living faith is distinguished by good works.

(12) That the church of Christ is a company of the faithful; baptized after confession of sin and of faith, endowed with the power of Christ.

(13) That the church of Christ has power delegated to themselves of announcing the word, administering the sacraments, appointing ministers, disclaiming them, and also excommunicating; but the last appeal is to the brethren of body of the church.

(14) That baptism is the external sign of the remission of sins, of dying and of being made alive, and therefore does not belong to infants.

(15) That the Lord’s Supper is the external sign of the communion of Christ, and of the faithful amongst themselves by faith and love.

(16) That the ministers of the church are, not only bishops (“Episcopos”), to whom the power is given of dispensing both the word and the sacraments, but also deacons, men and widows, who attend to the affairs of the poor and sick brethren.

(17) That brethren who persevere in sins known to themselves, after the third admonition, are to be excluded from the fellowship of the saints by excommunication.

(18) That those who are excommunicated are not to be avoided in what pertains to worldly business (civile commercium).

(19) That the dead (the living being instantly changed) will rise again with the same bodies; not the substance but the qualities being changed.

(20) That after the resurrection, all will be borne to the tribunal of Christ, the Judge, to be judged according to their works; the pious, after sentence of absolution, will enjoy eternal life with Christ in heaven; the wicked, condemned, will be punished with eternal torments in hell with the devil and his angels.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Augustine Herrman 1605-1686 - From Enemy Mapmaker to Commited Colonist

Article from The Salisbury Times (now called The Delmarva Times), Salisbury, Maryland from the Delmarva Heritage Series, by Dr. William H. Wroten, Jr.

Augustine Herrman (1605-1686) Artist Unknown c. 1800-1900 Maryland Historical Society

Augustine Herrman, son of a wealthy and important merchant of Prague (in present day Czechoslovakia) was able to speak at least six languages and in addition was an artist, surveyor, and mapmaker. As a soldier of fortune he fought in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) under the famous (or infamous) Wallenstein at the Battle of Lutzen, where King Gustavus Adolphus was killed in 1632.

The next year, 1633, Herrman became interested in the work of the Dutch West India Company and sailed to America where he was active in the Dutch purchase from the Indians of lands on the Schuykill River. His rise to a position of importance in this Dutch Colony was rapid for he was soon a wealthy and prosperous merchant, banker, lawyer, sponsor of privateering, and influential in governmental circles. On occasions Governor Peter Stuyvesant chose him as an ambassador to Maryland, Virginia and sections of New England. Later, however Herrman fell from the good graces of the Governor when he opposed him in the Council, and for this Herrman was imprisoned.

In the meantime (1654-1655) the Dutch had taken over the Swedish settlement along the Delaware and thus they ran into conflict over boundary lines and land possession with Lord Baltimore's family. On September 30, 1659, two Dutch ambassadors, accompanied by some guides, mostly Indians, and conveyed by a few soldiers, left New Amsterdam for Maryland. On Oct. 16, this Dutch commission delivered a "declaration and manifesto" to the Council of Maryland which was meeting at Patuxent. It was suggested by the Dutch that in order to prevent further trouble, three delegates from each colony be appointed to meet "about the middle of between the Bay of Chesapeake and the aforesaid South river or Delaware Bay, at the hill lying to the head of Sassafras River and another river coming from our river almost meet together," with full power to settle the boundary and limits of the two provinces. After hours of debate, the Council on Oct. 19 announced to the Dutch, by way of the ambassadors, Augustine Herrman and Resolved Waldron, that the land settled and claimed by them in the vicinity of the 40th degree north latitude belonged to Lord Baltimore and the King of England and that such authority must be recognized. The Council made it clear, although using diplomatic language, that force would be used against the Dutch if necessary.

With this reply, Waldron returned to New Amsterdam, while Herrman journeyed on to Virginia to see how the Governor of that Colony felt about the matter and also if possible to create seeds of dissention between the two English settlements. The Dutch mission was unsuccessful but the disputed territory continued to be troublesome for Maryland and Delaware even after the Dutch had been removed from the area.

Augustine Herman, First Lord of Bohemia Manor (Czech Augustin HeĊ™man, c. 1621 – September 1686)

However, during Herrman's visit to Maryland in 1659, Gov. Philip Calvert, recognizing this foreigner as a man of ability, took a liking to him. At the same time Herrman was quite pleased with the northern region of the Eastern Shore. Soon a deal was made between the two, whereby Herrman would make a map of the Province of Maryland, for which a large grant of land was to be given him at the head of the Chesapeake Bay. This estate was named Bohemia Manor, in honor of his native land. In 1666 he was made a naturalized citizen of Maryland, probably the first foreigner so honored.

The map was finally completed and published in London in the 1670's, being inscribed by Herrman as "Virginia and Maryland as it is now planted and inhabited this present year of 1670, surveyed and exactly drawn by the only labors and endeavors of Augustine Herrman, Behemiensis." This original map is supposed to be still in the British Museum, in four folio sheets, with a self portrait of the artist.

Southeast portion of Augustine Herrman Map showing the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland

Friday, June 21, 2013

Voyage to America 1649

Article from The Salisbury Times (now called The Delmarva Times), Salisbury, Maryland - October 28, 1964 from the Delmarva Heritage Series, by Dr. William H. Wroten, Jr.

According to pre-arranged plans, Col. Henry Norwood met with friends in Great Britain for a voyage to Virginia. In September, with about 330 on board, paying six pounds per head for themselves and servants, they sailed on "The Virginia Merchant," a vessel of 300 ton, carrying 30 guns or more.

 1657-65 Amsterdam for “Historiae Naturalis...” by John Jonston. Illustrated by Caspar and Matthias Merian

Some 20 years later, Norwood wrote the story of the crossing, the abandoned party, their experiences with the Indians and finally their arrival at Jamestown. The first third of the 50-page essay is a detailed description of their very exciting and fearsome trials from England to hte West Indies, and then on to the present coast of Assateague Island, where they were deserted by the crew, after they had gone ashore in search of food and water.

Of course, not all voyagers from Europe experienced the hardships of the colonel and his friends, but his voyage, although the extreme, gives an insight into the experiences of our ancestors in settling this land.  Today's article will deal primarily with the voyage as far as Assategue Island.

Except for the fact that they almost ran out of fresh water before reaching the West Indies, their journey of about three weeks, Sept. 23 to Oct. 14, 1649 was rather pleasant. They stayed in the West Indies for about two weeks, enjoying great hospitality. On one occasion, Col. Norwood dined with the captain of another ship, who had on board a lady of note and her family. Seemingly, the lady was of Portuguese nobility on her way from Brazil to Lisbon.

If Norwood and his friends enjoyed themselves with royalty, then the crew, while loading water on the ship, found pleasure elsewhere. Norwood reported: "Whls't we were caress'd in this manner on shipboard, the seamen on shore continued in their debauchery, with very little advance of our dispatch; the greeting water was so tedious in itself for lack of our boat, and so full delays by drunken contests of ours with the islanders, and with themselves, that, after some days stay upon the island, when our captain resolved to sail away, he found the ship in worse condition for liquors, than when we came on shore; for if we got a new supply of water, the proportion was hardly enough to balance the expense of beer that was spent in the time we got it."

About Oct. 22, they left the West Indies and with favorable trade winds reached the Bermudas in about 24 hours. It was here that Norwood repurted some geographical facts known to most of us today:

"In that latitude it is the general observation of seamen, that the seas are rough, and the weather stormy. It was my fortune to have a curiosity to look out, when the officer on the watch showed me a more than oridinary agitation of the sea in one particular place above the rest; which was the effect of what they called a spout, a raging in the bowels of the sea, (like a violent birth) striving to break out, and at last springs up like a mine at land, with weight and force enough to have hoised our ship out of her proper element, into the air (had the helm been for it) and to have made her do the supersalt; but God's providence secured us from that danger."

Although they did not stop at the Bermudas, they were happy to sight them for now they knew the true distance to Cape Hatteras, which meant that they would soon be ashore at Jamestown and rid of a "hungry pester'd ship and company." Their joy and fair weather came to an end on Nov. 8, when the weather and winds changed and the ship was endangered by hitting several "beaches" off of Caper Hatteras. Before they were finally clear of this dangerous cape they were blown rather far out to sea.

Now, before they had a chance to recover from the experience, they were caught up in a fresh gale. This new northwest storm, which developed into a violent gale, drove them many leagues out to sea until they were lost for many days. Norwood's description of this storm-the ocean, the ship, the people-is a literary gem.

The storm, and some others which seemingly follow immediately, ripped teh sails, tore loose the stays, and shrouds and the masts, as well as making a great hole in the forecastle (which fortunately some "land-carpenter" on board patched up).

Norwood wrote: "Abandon'd in this manner to the fury of the raging sea, tossed up and down without any rigging to keep the ship steady, our seamen frequently fell overboard, without any one regarding the loss of another, every man expectiong the same fate, tho' in a different manner. The ceiling of this hulk (for it was no better) were for the same cause so uneasy, that, in many tumbles, the deck would touch the sea, and there stand still as if she would never make another... In this posture did we pass the 10th and 11th days of November, the 12th morning we saw an English merchant, who shewed his ensign, but would not speak with us, tho' the storm was abated and the season more fit for communication. We imagined the reason was, because he would not be compelled to be civil to us: he thought our condition desperate, and we had more guns than he could resist, which might enable us to take what he would not sell or give. he shot a to leeward, stood his course, and turn'd his poop upon us... The passengers overcharged with excessive fears, had no appetite to eat; and (which was worst of all) both seasmen and passengers were in a deplorable state as the remaining victuals, all like to fall under extreme want: for the storm, by taking away teh forecastle, having thrown much water into the hold, our stock of bread (staff of life) was greatly damnified; and there remained no way to dress our meat, now that the cook-room was gone; the incessant tumbling of the ship (as has been observ'd) made all such cookery wholly impracticable. The only expedient to make fire betwixt decks, was, by sawing a cash in the middle, and filling it with ballast, which made a hearth to parch pease, and broil salt beef; nor could this be done but with great attendance, which was many times frustrated by being thrown topsy-turvy in spite of all circumspection, to the great defeat of empty stomachs."

Although there were periods when the gale winds abatedm the general weather conditions were extrememly bad for ocean sailing-fog, stormy seas, unfavorable strong winds, etc. " I would be too great a trial of the reader' patience to be entertain'd with every circumstance of our sufferings in the remaining part of this voyage, which continued in great extremity for at least 40 days from the time we left the land, our miseries increasing every hour: I shall therefore omit the greatest number of our ill encounters, which were frequently repeated on us, and remember only what has in my thoughts been most remarkable, and have made the deepest impression in my memory."

One of the deepest impressions was what Norwood referred as "A Famine." "Whilst this determination was agreed and put in practice, the famine grew sharp upon us. Women and children made dismal cries and grievous complaints. The infinite number of rats that all the voyage had been our plague, we now were glad to make our prey to feed don; and as they were insnared and taken, a well grown rat was sold for 16 shillings as a market rate. Nay, before the voyage did end (as I was credibly inform'd) a woman great with child offered 20 shillings for a rat, which the proprietor refusing the died...My greatest impatience was of thirst, and of dreams, were all of cellars, and taps running down my throat, which made my waking much the worse by what tantalizing fancy. Some relief I found very real by the captain's favor in allowing me a share of some butts of small claret he had concealed in a private cellar for a dead lift. It wanted mixture of water for qualifying it to quench thirst; however, it was a present remedy, and a great refreshment to me."

On the night of Jan. 3, 1650 they approached shore, although they were still about seven miles away. At the time they had no idea of their location, but judging from Norwood's later descriptions and the use of present day maps it must have been the northern portion of Assateague Island.

After much argument the captain permitted Mr. Putts, the mate, to go ashore with "12 sickly passengers, who fancied the shore would cure them." They were to search for both fresh water and a creek which would harbor the ship.

The report that the mate brought back was so favorable that the captain and Norwood decided to go ashore and join those of the first group who had stayed. So that night, the fires of the shore-group serving as their beacons, they rowed to the island.

Col. Henry Norwood described his first moments on land, after he and the ship's captain joined some of the other passengers on Assateague Island, as follows:

"As soon as I had set my foot on land, and had rendered thanks to almighty God for opening this door of deliverance to us, after so many rescues even from the jaws of death at sea, Major Morrison (a friend of Norwood's) was pleased to oblige me beyond all requita;, in conducting me to the running stream of water, where, without any limitation of short allowance, I might drink by fill. I was glad of so great liberty, and made use of it accordingly, by prostrating myself on my belly, and setting my mouth against the stream, that it might run into my thirsty stomach without stop. The rest of the company were at liberty to use their own methods to quench their thirst; but this I thought the greatest pleasure I ever enjoyed on earth."

Shortly thereafter, by the light of the mon, the captain was able to bring down a duck, and thus along with some oysters they had a joyful feast. Here we might mention that Norwood on several occasions wrote that the cook's fee for preparing fowl was the bones, head, legs, and innards.

These joyful hours were to disappear with the rising sun. At daybreak the next morning, they noticed teh ship under way to the south (but the captain and mate, who had already started twoard the ship in their little boat were able to catch it). Norwood expressed the feeling of this abandonment:

"In this amazement the confusion of mind that no words can express, did our miserable distress'd party condole with each other our being so cruelly abandon'd and left to the last despairs of human help, or indeed of ever seeing more the face of man. We entered into a sad consultation what course to take; and having, in the first place, by united prayers, implored the protection of Almighty God, and recommended our miserable estate to the same providence which, in so many instance of mercy, had been propitious to us at sea; the whole party desired me to be as it were the father of this distressed family, to advise and conduct them in all things I thought might most tend to our preservation."

Norwood tried to organize and govern this handful of men and women for survival. His young cousin, Francis Cary, was sent to discover if there were Indians on the island. Cary reported that he could find none. Other members of the party were given fowling-pieces to hunt ducks and geese. Seemingly there was cold weather for a few days, and during the period great flights of fowl frequented the area. The caught fowl were roasted on sticks and ll was eaten but the feathers. "But as the wind veered to the southward, we had greater warmth and fewer fowl, for they would then be gone to colder climates. In their absence we were confined to oyster banks, and a sort of week four inches long, as thick as house leek, and the only green (except pines) that the island afforded. It was very insipid on the palate; but being boiled with a little pepper (of which one had brought on shore) and helped with five or six oysters, it became a regale for every one in turn."

Norwood went on to report: "In quartering our family we did observe the decencey of distinguishing sexes; we made a small hut for the poor weak women to be by themselves; our cabin for men was of the same fashion, but much more spacious, as our numbers were.

Great was the toil that lay on my hands (as the strongest to labour) to get fuel together sufficient for our preservation. In the first place I divested myself of my great gown, which I spread at large, and extended against the wind in nature of a screen having first shifted my quarters to the most calm commodious place that could be found to keep us, as much as possible, from the inclemency of that prodigous storm. It was all they could do to gather wood for the necessary fires, being they were rather weak from the lack of food and shelter."

The changeing winds drove the fowl away, the tides made it difficult to harvest oysters and "thus we wish'd every day to be last of our lives (if God had so pleased) so hopeless and desperate was our condition, all expectation of human succour being vanished and gone."

Probably the lowest point of existence was reached when they felt it necessary to feed on their dead companions. "Of the three weak women before-mentioned, one had the envied happiness to die about this time; and it was my advice to the survivors, ho were following her apace, to endeavour their own preservation by converting her dead carcass into food, as they did to good effect. The same counsel was embrac'd by those of our sex: the living fed upon the dead; four of our company having the happiness to end their miserable lives on Sunday night the-day of January. Their chief distemper, 'tis ture, was hunger; but it pleased God to hasten their exit by an immoderate access of cold, caused by a most terrible storm of ahil and snow at northwest, on the Sunday aforesaid, which did not only dispatch those four to their long homes, but did sorely threaten all that remained alive, to perish by the same fate."

As their position looked hopeless, Norwood decided to swim the "creek" (Sinepuxent Bay?), which was not over 100 yards to roast. But when we came to the place of execution , my goose was gone all but the head, the body stollen by wolves, which the Indians told us afyer, do abound greatly in that island.

The loss of this goose, which my empty stomach look'd for with no small hopes of satisfaction, did vex me heartily, I wish'd I could have taken the thief of my goose to have serv'd him in the same kind, and to have taken revenge inthe law of retailiation. but that which troubled me more, was a apprehension that came into my mind, that this loss had been the effect of divine justice on me, for designing this loss had been the effect of divine justice on me, for designing to deal unequally with the rest of my fellow-suffers; which I thought, at first blush, look's like a breach of trust; but then again when I consider'd the equity of the thing, that I did it merely to enable myself to attain their preservation, and which otherwise could not have done, I found I could absolve myself from any guilt of that kind. Whatever I suffer'd in this disappointment, the cook lost not his fees; the head and neck remained for him on the tree. .

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fashion Police - Massachusettes 1651

Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, 1651

Sumptuary Laws - Regarding What One May or May Not Wear

ALTHOUGH SEVERAL DECLARATIONs and orders have been made by this Court against excess in apparell, both of men and women, which have not taken that effect as were to be desired, but on the contrary, we cannot but to our grief take notice that intolerable excess and bravery have crept in upon us, and especially among people of mean condition, to the dishonor of God, the scandal of our profession, the consumption of estates, and altogether unsuitable to our poverty.

And, although we acknowledge it to be a matter of much difficulty, in regard of the blindness of men's minds and the stubbornness of their wills, to set down exact rules to confine all sorts of persons, yet we cannot but account it our duty to commend unto all sorts of persons the sober and moderate use of those blessings which, beyond expectation, the Lord has been pleased to afford unto us in this wilderness.

And also to declare our utter detestation and dislike that men and women of mean condition should take upon them the garb gentlemen by wearing gold or silver lace, or buttons, or points at their knees, or to walk in great boots; or women of the same ran to wear silk or tiffany hoods, or scarves which, though allowable to persons of greater estates or more liberal education, we cannot but judge it intolerable. . . .

It is therefore ordered by this Court, and authority thereof, that no person within the jurisdiction, nor any of their relations depending upon them, whose visible estates, real and personal, shall not exceed the true and indifferent value of £200, shall wear any gold or silver lace, or gold and silver buttons, or any bone lace above 2s. per yard, or silk hoods, or scarves, upon the penalty of 10s. for every such offense and every such delinquent to be presented to the grand jury.

And forasmuch as distinct and particular rules in this case suitable to the estate or quality of each perrson cannot easily be given: It is further ordered by the authority aforesaid, that the selectmen of every town, or the major part of them, are hereby enabled and required, from time to time to have regard and take notice of the apparel of the inhabitants of their several towns respectively; and whosoever they shall judge to exceed their ranks and abilities in the costliness or fashion of their apparel in any respect, especially in the wearing of ribbons or great boots (leather being so scarce a commodity in this country) lace, points, etc., silk hoods, or scarves, the select men aforesaid shall have power to assess such persons, so offending in any of the particulars above mentioned, in the country rates, at £200 estates, according to that proportion that such men use to pay to whom such apparel is suitable and allowed; provided this law shall not extend to the restraint of any magistrate or public officer of this jurisdiction, their wives and children, who are left to their discretion in wearing of apparel, or any settled militia officer or soldier in the time of military service, or any other whose education and employment have been above the ordinary degree, or whose estate have been considerable, though now decayed.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1692 Massachusetts Cotton Mather (1663-1728) on Parental Duties & Children's Behavior

The Duties of Parents To Their Children by Cotton Mather

Gen. 18:19 I know him, That he will command his Children And his Household after him, And they shall keep the way of the Lord.

As the Great God, who at the Beginning said, Let Us make man after our Image, hath made man a Sociable creature, so it is evident, That Families are the Nurseries of all Societies; and the First combinations of mankind. Well-ordered Families naturally produce a Good Order in other Societies. When Families are under an ill Discipline, all other Societies being therefore ill Disciplined, will feel that Error in the First Concoction.

To Serve the Families of our Neighborhood, will be a Service to all our Interests. Every serious Christian is concerned, That he may be Serviceable in the World; And many a serious Christian is concerned, because he sees himself to be furnished with no more Opportunities to be Serviceable.

But art thou not a Member of some Family? If that Family may by thy means, O Christian, become a Well-regulated Family, in that point thou wilt become Serviceable; I had almost said, Incomprehensibly Serviceable.

They that have the Government of some Family, do make up no Little part of this Great Assembly. And, Sirs, are there any of you, that would forfeit that Honorable Title, of all the Faithful, The Children of Abraham? Give your Attention, ye Children of Abraham, while I set before you, the Example of your Father for your imitation.

Our Glorious Lord-Messiah, is here going to Communicate unto Abraham some of His Heavenly Counsels. And we have a Text before us, that assigns a Reason for that gracious Communication. The Reason is, the care which this Good man, would thereupon take to bring up his Family in the Fear of God.

In this Text there are some Remarkable Things; and things that some Wise men have often remarked. There was an Excellent man, sometimes a Preacher of the Lord Jesus Christ, in this very place; whose custom it was, not only to Read a portion of the Scripture before his Prayers with his Family, but also to Infer and Apply brief Notes out of what he Read. He professed, That he found none of all his weary Studies in Divinity, so profitable to him, as this one Exercise, for the Rare and Rich Thoughts, which he therein found himself supplied withal, And he Declared, "that he looked on it as an accomplishment of this very word; Shall I hide from Abraham, the thing which I do? I know him, that he will command his Children, and his Household.

Moreover, You may here Observe a most comfortable Connection, between, He will, and They Shall. Say's the Lord, He will Command his Children, and They shall keep the way of the Lord. It seems, If every one that is Owner of a Family, would faithfully Command, and manage those that belong unto him, through the Blessing of God, they would generally Keep His Way, and His Law.

I find a famous Writer in the Church, therefore thus expressing himself; "If Parents did their Duties as they ought, the Word Publically Preached would not be the ordinary means of Regeneration in the Church, but only without the Church, among Infidels: God would so pour out His Grace upon the Children of His people, and Hear Prayers for them, and bless Endeavours for their Holy Education, that we should see the Promises made Good unto our Seed."

We will now Dismiss these Reflections; and Repair to that Grand Case, which hence offers itself unto us.

The Case What May Be Done by Pious Parents, to Promote the Piety and Salvation of Their Children?

The Case Inquires, What may be done? You will take it for granted, that the Answer to it will tell you, What Should be done? For you will readily grant, that in such an Important Case as this, All that May be done, Should be done!

In the Case We Inquire after what is to be done, by Pious Parents. Other Parents will take no due Notice, of the Injunctions that God has Laid upon them concerning their Children.

Parents, If you don't first become yourselves Pious, you will do nothing to purpose to make your Children so.

Except you do yourselves walk in the Way of the Lord, you will be very careless about bringing your Children to such a Walk.

It is not a Cain, or a Cham, or any Enemy of God; that will do anything to make his Children become the Children of God. The Psalmist in Psal. 34:1,4,11, could first say I will bless the Lord and I sought the Lord, and then he says, Come ye Children, and I will teach you the Fear of the Lord.

O Parents, In the Name of God, Look after your own miserable Souls; How should those wretched people do anything for the Souls of their Children, that never did anything for their own?

In the Case, we Inquire, after what is to be done by Parents for their Children. But let it be Remembered, That our Servants [others in our home] are in some sort likewise our Children. Our whole Household, as well as the Children that are our Offspring, are to be taught the Way of the Lord. An Abraham will have his Trained Servants. We read concerning a certain Person of Quality, in 2 Ki. 5:13. His servants came near and spake unto him, and said, My Father.

Let not those of my Hearers, that are without such Invaluable Blessings of God, as Children, count themselves unconcerned in our Discourse, if they have any Servants under them. A considerable part of what is to be done for our Children, I pray, Masters, think, as we go along; Think, without our particular inculcation, whether nothing. This may be done for your Servants: and, God make Eliezers of them for you!

Attend Now To The Counsils of God

I. Parents, Consider the Condition of your Children; and the loud cry of their Condition unto you, to Endeavour their Salvation! What an Army of powerful Thoughts, do at once now show themselves, to beseige your Hearts, and subdue them unto a just care for the Salvation of your Children!

Know you not, that your Children have precious and Immortal Souls within them? They are not all Flesh. You that are the Parents of their Flesh, must know, That your Children have Spirits also, whereof you are told, in Heb. 12:9. God is the Father of them; and in Eccles. 12:7. God is the Giver of them.

The Souls of your Children, must survive their Bodies, and are transcendently Better and Higher & Nobler Things than their Bodies. Are you sollicitous that their Bodies may be Fed? You should be more sollicitous that their Souls may not be Starved, or go without the Bread of Life.

Are you sollicitious that their Bodies may be Cloath'd: you should be more sollicitious that their Souls may not be Naked, or go without the Garments of Righteousness.

Are you Loath to have their Bodies Labouring under Infimities, or Deformaties? You should be much more Loath to have their Souls pining away in their Iniquities.

Man, Are thy Children, but the Children of Swine? If thou art Regardless of their Souls, truly thou dost call them so!

One of the Ancients, namely Cyprian, has a pungent comparison for this matter; Pray, Consider; (said that Great man) He that minds his Childs Body more than his Soul, is like, one, that if his Child and his Dog were like to be drowned, should be sollicitous to save his Dog, but let the Child perish in the water.

How deaf art thou, that thou dost not hear a loud cry from the Souls of thy Children in thine Ears, Oh, my Father, my Mother, look after me!

But more than so; Don't you know, That your Children, are the Children of Death, and the Children of Hell, and the Children of Wrath, by Nature: And that from you, this Nature is derived and conveyed unto them!

You must know, Parents, that your Children are by your means Born under the dreadful Wrath of God: And if they are not New-Born before they die, it had been Good for them, that they never had been Born at all.

The law of equity was in Exodus 21:19 If one man wound another, he shalt cause him to be throughly healed. Your Children are born with deadly wounds of Sin upon their Souls; and they may Thank you for those wounds: Unjust men, will you now do nothing for their Healing?

Man, thy Children are dying of an horrid poison, in their Bowels; and it was thou that poison'd them. What! Wilt thou do nothing for the succour [help]! Thy Children are thrown into a Devouring Fire; and it is from thee that the Fiery Vengeance of God has taken Hold of them. What! Wilt thou do nothing to Help them out!

There is a Corrupt Nature in thy children, which is a Fountain of all Wickedness and Confusion. The very Pagans were not insensible of this Corrupt Nature; they styled it our Congenite [congenital] Sin, and our Domestick Evil, and cried out, with Tully, "Simul ac Editi sumus in Lucem, ac suscepti, in omni continue pravitate versamur.

The Jews have been yet more Sensible of this Corrupt Nature; they have Stil'd it, our Evil Frame and the poison of the old Serpent; and This they understand by The Enemy, so often mentioned in the Scripture; And, The Heart of Stone and, the Wicked that watches the Righteous.

Will not you that are Christians, then show your Christianity, by Sensibly doing what you can, that your Children may have a Better Nature infused into them?

What shall I Say? I may say, The Time would fail me to mention a thousanth part of what might be said. But, in short: Is it not a sad Thing to be the Father of a fool?

Alas, man, till thy Children become Regenerate, thou art the Father of a Fool; Thy Children are but the Wild Asses Colt! I add; would it not Break thy Heart, if thy Children, were in Slavery to Turks, or Moors, or Indians?

Devils are worse than Indians, and Infidels: till thy Children are brought home to God, they are the slaves of Devils.

In a word; Can thy Heart Endure, that thy Children, should be Banished from the Lord Jesus Christ, and Languishing under the Torments of Sin among Devils, in outer Darkness throughout Eternal Ages?

Don't call thyself a Parent; Thou art an Ostrich [they care not for their offspring]. Call not these, the Children of thy Bowels; thou hast no Bowels! I will not say, that Zipporah call'd her Husband, A Bloody Husband. But all the Angels in Heaven call thee, A Bloody Father, and A Bloody Mother; and are astonished at the Adamantine Hardness of that Bloody Heart of thine; and those Heartstrings that are Sinewes of Iron!

II. Improve the Baptism of your children, as an obligation, and an encouragement unto you, parents, to endeavour the salvation of your Baptised little ones.

Of your children, you may say, with Jacob, in Gen. 33:5 These are the children that God hath graciously given to me. Now, will not you heartily give back those children to God again: their Baptism is to be the sign and seal of your doing so.

You generally bring your infant children unto the Baptism of the Lord: I suppose, it is because you are satisfied, that the children of believers were in the Covenant with God, in the days of the Old Testament; and, that the children of believers then had a right unto the initial seal of the Covenant, and, that in the days of the New Testament they have not lost this priviledge.

Well, but when you bring your children to the Sacred Baptism, what is it for? Oh, let it not be done, as an empty formality; as if the Baptism of your children were for nothing, but only a formal and a pompous putting of a name upon them.

No, but let the serious language of your souls, in this action, be that of Hannah, in I Sam 1:28: I have given this child unto the Lord, as long as he lives, he shall be given unto the Lord.

I find in the private writings of an holy man, who died in this place, not much above a year ago; That the day before one of his children was to be Baptised, he spent the time in giving up himself and his child unto the Lord, and in taking hold of the Covenant for both of them, and in praying that he might on the morrow, be able in much faith and love and Covenant obedience, to do it, at the Baptism of the Lord. Oh, which he writes it is not easy, though common, to offer a child unto God in Baptism.

Sirs, when you have done this for your Children, you have a singular advantage to plead for the fulfillment of that word upon them in Is. 44:3 I will pour my Spirit upon thy Soul, and my blessing upon thy offspring. You may go before the Lord, and plead, Lord, Was not the Baptismal water poured by thy command upon my children! Oh, do thou now pour upon them the heavenly grace, which that Baptismal water signified.

And now, no sooner let those Children become able to understand it, than you shall make them understand what the design of their Baptism was. Parents, I am to tell you, that if you let your Children grow up, without ever telling them, that, and, why, they were Baptised into the Name of the Lord, you are fearfully guilty of taking the name of the Lord in vain.

It was the manner of an excellent minister, upon the Baptising of a child, solemnly to deliver the child into the hands of the Parents, with such words as those, here, take this child now, and bring it up for the Lord Jesus Christ, I charge you.

God from Heaven speaks the like words to you, O Parents, upon all your Baptised Children. And that you may bring up your Children for the Lord Jesus Christ, you must as soon as you can, let them know, that in Baptism, they were dedicated unto Him.

Show them that when they were Baptised, they were listed among the servants and soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that if they live in rebellion against Him, Woe unto them!

Show them, from Matthew 28:19 &20. That since they are Baptised into the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, they must observe all things, whatsoever the Lord Jesus Christ, has commanded them.

Show them from Romans 6:4, that since they are Baptised, they are Buried with Christ in baptism, and must live no longer in sin, but be Dead unto all the Vanities of the World.

Show them from Galatians 3:27, that since they are Baptised, they have put on Christ, and must follow His Example, and be as He was in the World.

Show them from I Peter 3:21, that being Baptised, they must now make the Answer of a good conscience, to all the proposals of the New-Covenant: and God propounding to them, shall my Christ be thine, and wilt thou be His? They must conscientiously answer, Lord, with all my heart!

Put this very solemnly unto your children; My child, shall God the Father, be thy Father? Shall God the Son, be thy Saviour! Shall God the Spirit, be thy Sanctifier; and are thou willing to be the servant of that one God, who is, Father, Son, and Spirit?

Leave them not, until their little hearts are conquered unto that for which they have been Baptised. It has been the judgment of some Judicious men; that If infant baptism were more improved, it would be less disputed. Oh, that it were thus Improved.

III. Instruct your children in the great matters of Salvation; Oh, Parents, do not let them die without instruction.

There is indeed, an Instruction in Civil Matters which we owe unto our Children. It is very pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ, that our Children be well formed with, and well informed in the rules of Civility, and not be left a Clownish, and Sottish, and Ill Bred sort of Creatures. An Unmannerly Brood is a Dishonour to Religion.

And, there are many points of a Good Education that we should bestow upon our Children; they should Read, and Write, and Cyphar [arithmetic], and be put unto some Agreeable Callings; and not only our Sons, but our Daughters also should be taught such things, as will afterwards make them useful in their places. There is a little Foundation of Religion laid in such an Education. But besides, and beyond all this, there is an Instruction in Divine Matters, which our Children are to be made partakers of.

Parents, Instruct your Children, in the Articles of Religion; and acquaint them with God, and Christ, and the Mysteries of the Gospel, and the Doctrines and Methods of the Great Salvation.

It was Required, in Psalm 78:5 He commanded our Fathers, to make known to their Children, that the Generation to come might know, who should arise and declare them to their children, that they might set their Hope in God, and keep His commandments.

It was required in Eph. 6:4 Fathers, bring up your children in the Nurture and Admonitions of the Lord. Would you have your Children to be Wise and Good? I know not why you should expect it, unless you take abundance of pains, by your Instruction to make them so.

There was a Wise and Good son, who gave that account how he became what he was; in Prov 4:3,4. I was my Fathers son, and he taught me. O Begin betimes, to Tell your Children who is their Maker, and who is their Saviour, and what they are Themselves, and what is like to become of them; and by no means let them want [lack] that Advantage in 2 Tim 3:15 From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation.

Cause them to look often into their Bibles, and here and there Single out some special Sentences from those Oracles of Heaven for them to get into their Memories. And for the better management of their Instruction there are especially two Handles, to be laid hold upon; the one is, a Proper Catechism, the other is the Public Ministry.

Be sure that they learn their Catachism very perfectly; but then content not yourselves with hearing them say by Rote the Answers in their Catachism; Question them very distincly over again about every clause in the Answer and bring all to it so plain before them, that by their saying only, Yes, or No, you may perceive that the sense of the Truth is entered into their souls.

And then, what they hear in the Evangelical Ministry, do you Apply it unto them after their coming Home; Confer with them familiarly about the Things that have been handled in the [proper and true] Ministry of the Word: go over one Thing after another, with them, till you see they have got clear Ideas of it; Then put it unto them, Are not you now to Avoid such a thing; or perform such a thing! And must not you now make such and such a prayer unto God? Bid them then, go do accordingly.

Hence also, 'twere very desireable, that you should watch all opportunities, to be instilling your Instructions into the souls of your little Folks. They are narrow-mouthed Vessles, and things must be drop after drop instilled into them. It was required in Deut. 6:6,7 The words which I command thee, Thou shalt teach them Diligently unto thy Children, and shalt Talk of them, when thou sittest in thine House, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou sittest down and when thou riseth up.

How often in a week, are we Diverting ourselves, with our Children in our Houses? There thy stand before us; There is nothing to hinder our saying some very profitable thing for them to think upon; well, can you let fall Nothing upon them, that it will be worth their while, for them to think upon?

What, Nothing of God, and Christ, and of another World, and of their own Souls, and of the Sins that may Endanger them, and of the Ways which they may take to be Happy? Doubtless, you may say something.

And who can tell? It may be after you are gone to behold the Face of the Lord Jesus Christ in Glory, these your Children will Remember Hundreds of profitable Instructions, that you have given them; and Live upon them when you that gave them, are Dead.

With Two Strokes I will clench this advice. The one is that in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a Child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not Depart from it. The other is that in Prov 17:25. A Foolish Son is a grief to his Father, and a bitterness to her that bare him.

IV. Parents, with a Sweet Authority over your Children, Rebuke them for, and Refrain them from, everything that may prove prejudicial unto their Salvation.

Sirs, You can do little for the Welfare of your Children, if once you have lost your Authority over them. Would you bring your Children to the Fear of God? Your character then must be that in I Tim 3:4 One that ruleth well his own House, having his Children in subjection, with all gravity.

Don't by your Lightness and Weakness and Folly, suffer them to Trample upon you; but keep up so much Authority, that your Word may be a Law unto them. Nevertheless,

Let not your Authority be strained with such Harshness and Fierceness, as may discourage your Children. To treat our Children like Slaves, and with such Rigour, that they shall always Tremble and Abhor to come into our presence, This will be very unlike to our Heavenly Father.

Our Authority should be so Tempered with Kindness, and Meekness, and Loving Tenderness, that our Children may Fear us with Delight, and see that we Love them, with as much Delight.

Now, Let our Authority, effectually keep in our Children, from all their unruly Exorbitancies and Extravagancies. If we let our Young Folks grow Head-Strong, and if we grow Afraid of compelling them to the Wholesome Orders of our Families, we have even given them up to Ruin. God brought that Son to an Untimely and a Terrible End, of whom its reported in I Kings 1:6 His Father had not Displeased him at any time, in saying, Why hast thou done so?

I beseech you, Parents, Interpose your Authority to stop and check the Carrier of your Children, when they will be running into the paths of the Destroyer.

Gratify them with Rewards of Well doing, when they Do well; but let them not be gratified with every Ungodly Vanity, that their Vain Minds may be set upon.

Wherefore keep a strict Inspection upon their Conversations; Examine, How they spend their Time; Examine, What Company they keep? Examine, Whether they take no Bad Courses.

Be not such Foolish Enemies to yourselves, and your Children as to count them your Enemies, that shall friendily advise you of their Miscarriages. That wretched Folly, is a very Frequent One!

When you Find out their Miscarriages, effectually Rebuke them, and Restrain them. Incurr not the Indignation of Heaven, once Incurred by a Fond Father, in I Sam 3:13; I will Judge his House forever, for the Iniquity which he knoweth; because his Sons made themselves vile, and he Restrained them not.

Ah, Thou Indulgent Parent; if you canst not Cross thy Children, when they are disposed unto that which is for the Dishonour of God, God will make thy Children to become Crosses unto thee.

Sirs, When your Children do amiss, call them Aside; set before them the Precepts of God which they have broken, and the Threatenings of God, which they provoked. Demand of them, to profess their sorrow for their fault, and Resolve that they will be no more so Faulty.

Yes, there may be occasion for you, to consider that Word of God in Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his Rod, hateth his son, but he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes; and that Word in Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is Hope, and let not thy soul spare for his Crying; and that word, in Proverbs 23:13,14. Withold not Correction from the Child; for if thou beatest him with the Rod, he shall not Die; Thou shalt beat him with the Rod, and shalt deliver his Soul from Hell.

But if it must be so, Remember this Counsel; Never give a Blow in a passion. Stay till your passion is over; and let the Offenders plainly see, that you deal thus with them, out of a pure Obedience unto God, and for their true Repentance.

One of the ancients, has this Ingenious gloss In the tabernacle, Aarons Rod, and the Pot of Manna, were together; so (says he) when the Rod is used, the sweetness and goodness of the Manna must accompany it: and Mercy be joined with Severity. Let me leave that premonition with you, in Proverbs 29:15 A child left unto himself, bringeth his Mother to shame.

V. Lay your Charges upon your Children; Parents, Charge them to Work about their own Salvation.

The Charges of Parents have a great Efficacy upon many Children; To Charge them vehemently, is to Charm them wonderfully. Command your Children, and it may be they will Obey. Let Gods commands be your commands, and it may be your Children will obey them.

Lay upon your Children, the Charges of God, as David once upon his, in I Chron 28:9 My Son, know thou the God of thy Father, and serve Him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind; if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee, but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off forever.

Now, Sirs, You will do well, to single out some singular Charges of God, and calling your Children one by one before you, Lay those Charges upon them, in the Name of the God that made them, and obtain from them, if you can, a promise that they will observe those Charges, with the Help of that God. I will set before you, three or four of those Charges.

Let one of your Charges upon your Children, be that in I John 3:23 This is His commandment, that we should believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ.

Charge them to carry their poor, guilty, ignorant and polluted and Enslaved souls unto the Lord Jesus Christ, that He may Save them from their Sins, and Save them from the Wrath to come.

Charge them, to mind how the Lord Jesus Christ Executes the Office of a Prophet, and a Priest, and a King, and Cry to Him, that He would Save them in the Execution of all those Blessed Offices.

Let another of your Charges be that in Hag 1:5,7 Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Consider Your Ways. Charge them to set apart a few minutes now and then, for Consideration; and in those minutes,

Charge them to Consider, what they have been doing, and what they should have been doing, ever since they came into the World, and if they should immediately go out of the World, what will become of them throughout Eternal Ages.

I have read of a Dying Parent, who laid this Charge upon his wild Son, That he would allow one quarter of an Hour every Day to Consider on something or other, any Thing, as his Fancy led him. The Young men having for some while done so, at last began to consider, why his Dying Parent should lay such a Charge upon him. This brought on so many Devout Thoughts, that before long, in the Conversion of the Young man, the Desire of the Dying Parent was accomplished.

Oh! If you could Engage your Children to Think Upon Their Ways, there would be Hopes of their Turning to God.

But, Let a Third of your Charges, be that in Matthew 6:6 Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father that sees in secret.

Charge them to retire for Secret Prayer, every Day that comes over their Heads, Talk with them, till you see, that they can tell, what they should Pray for: and then, often Charge them to Pray every day; yea, sometimes Ask them, Do you Remember the charge I Laid upon you?

Ah, Parent, thy children will do well, while it can be said, Behold, They Pray. And thy House filled with thy Childrens Prayers, would be better accommodated , than if it were filled, with all the Riches of the Indies.

Let a Fourth of your Charges be That, in Proberbs 9:6, Forsake the Foolish and Live.

Charge them to avoid the snares of Evil Company; Terrify them with Warnings of those Deadly Snares.

Often Repeat this Charge unto them, That if there be any Vicious Company, they shun them, as they would the Plague or the Devil.

Often say, My son, if Sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Often say, My child, walk with the Wise, and thou shalt be wise, but a Companion of Fools shall be destroyed.

Oh, Do Not let the Beasts of prey, carry away thy Children alive.

Shall I add; it is here intimated, That an Abraham, is to Command his Children, very particularly, about, The Way of the Lord. The Way of the Lord, is the Way of his Right, Pure, Instituted Worship. Well, then, Command your Children, that they do not Forsake the Holy Institutions of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Embrace a Vain Worship, consisting of things that He never Instituted.

There are some clauses in the Second Commandment, which intimate, That if Parents would see the Mercies of God upon their Children, they must Charge them, to Worship God, only in those Ways of Worship that God hath appointed.

Thus keep Charging of your Children, while you Live. And if you are capable so to Do, Do it once more with all possible Solemnity, when you come to Die. The words of a Dying Parent, will probably be Living Words, and Lively Ones.

When our Excellent Mitchel was a Dying, he let fall such a Speech as This, unto a Young Gentleman, that Lodged in his House, My Friend, as a Dying man, I now charge you, that you don't meet me out of Christ in the Day of Christ. This one Speech, brought into Christ, the soul of that Young Gentleman! Truly, if your Dying Lips, may utter such Dying Words unto your Children, who can tell, but they may then be brought into Christ, if they were never so before!

But, lest you should have no opportunity to Speak in a Dying Hour, why should you not Write such things, as you would have them to Think upon, when you shall be Dead and Gone? An unknown deal of Good, may your Children reap, from the Admonitions, that a Dying Parent may Leave unto them.

VI. Parents, be Exemplary:

Your Example may do much towards the Salvation of your Children, your Works will more Work upon your Children, than your Words; your Patterns will do more than your Precepts; your Copies than your Counsels.

What was then said unto Pastors, may very fitly be said unto Parents, in Titus 2:2, In all Things show thyself a pattern of good works; and in Timothy 4:12 Be thou an Example in Word, in Conversation, in Charity, in Spirit, in Faith, in Purity.

It will be impossible for you to infuse any Good into your Children, if you appear void of that Good yourselves. If the Old Crab go backward, it is to no purpose, for the Young One to be directed to go forward: Sirs, Young Ones, will Crawl after the Old Ones.

Would you have your Children, well principled with the Fear and Faith of God? Mind that passage, in Acts 10:2, Cornelius was a devout man, and one that Feared God, with all his House.

Mind that passage in Acts 18:8 Crispus Believed on the Lord, with all his House. It seems, the whole House, is like to do, as the Parents do. It is as Austin [Augustine] expresses it, the ususal cry, Nolumus esse meliores quam patres, We will be no Better than our Parents, If the Parents will make their Cakes to the Queen of Heaven, the Children will kindle their Fires for them.

Justin Martyr somewhere Inquires why the Prophet Elisha imprecated the Revenges of Heaven upon the Children that mocked him, when they hardly understood what they did? and he answers, The Children Learned their wicked Language from their Parents, and now God punished both of them together.

Parents, let your Children see nothing by you, but what shall be commendable and imitable. Be able to say unto your Children, My child, follow me, as you have seen me follow Christ.

Let them from your Seriousness, and your Prayerfulness, and your Watchfulness, and your Sanctification of the Lord's Day, be taught, how they should walk and please God. You "Bid" them well; "Show" them How!

VII. Prayer, Prayer, must be the Crown of all:

Parents, is it your Hearts Desire? Let it be also your Prayer, for your Children, that they may be Saved.

Prayer for the Salvation of any Sinners, availith much. How much may it avail for the Salvation of our Sinful Children? Much availed that Prayer of David in I Chron. 29:19, Lord, Give unto my Son a perfect Heart, to keep thy Commandments.

Parents, Make such a prayer for your Children, Lord, Give unto my Child, a New Heart, and a Clean Heart, and a Soft Heart; and an Heart after thy own Heart.

We have been told, that Children once were brought unto our Lord Jesus Christ, for Him to Put His hands upon them; and He Put His hands upon them, and blessed them. Oh! Thrice, and Four Times Blessed Children! Well, Parent, Bring your Children unto the Lord Jesus Christ; it may be, He will put His Blessing, and Healing, and Saving Hands upon them: Then, they are Blessed, and shall be Blessed for evermore! If Abraham cry to God, O that my son Ishmael may live in thy sight! God will say to Abraham, concerning Ishmael, I have heard thee!

Pray for the Salvation of thy Children, and carry the Names of every one of them, every day before the Lord, with Prayers, the Cries whereof shall pierce the very Heavens. Holy Job did so! Job 1:5 He offered according to the number of all his Children; Thus did Job continually.

Address Heaven with daily Prayers, That God would make thy Children the Temples of His Spirit, the Vessels of His Glory; and the Care of His Holy Angels.

Address the Lord Jesus Christ, with Prayers, like them of old, That all the Maladies upon the Souls of thy Children may be cured and that the Evil One may have no possession of them.

Yea, when thou do cast thine Eyes upon the Little Folks, often in a day dart up an Ejaculatory Prayer to Heaven for them; Lord, let this child be thy servant for ever.

If your Prayers are not presently answered, be not Disheartened: Remember the Word of the Lord, in Luke 18:1, That men ought always to pray, and not to faint.

Redouble your Importunity, until thou speed for thy child, as the poor Woman of Canaan did.

Join Fasting to thy Prayer; it may be, the evil in the soul of your child, will not go out, without such a Remedy. David sets himself to Fasting, as well as Prayer, for the Life of his Child. Oh, Do as much for the Soul of thy Child!

Wrestle with the Lord. Receive no Denial. Earnestly protest, Lord, I will not let thee go, except thou Bless this poor Child of mine, and make it thy own! Do this, until, if it may be, thy Heart is Raised by a Touch of Heaven, to a particular Faith; that God has blessed this child, and it shall be Blessed and Saved Forever.

But is this all that is to be done? There is more. Parents, Pray with your Children, as well as for them.

Family prayer must be maintained by all those Parents, that would not have their Children miss of Salvation, and that would not have the Damnation of their Children horribly fall upon themselves. Man, thy Family is a Pagan Family, if it be a Prayerless Family: And the Children going down to the place of Dragons from this thy Family, will pour out their Execrations upon thee, in the Bottom of Hell, until the very Heavens be no more.

But, besides your Family Prayers, Oh, parents, why should you not now and then, take one capable Child after another, alone before the Lord? Carry the Child with you, into your Secret Chambers; make the Child kneel down by you, while you present it unto the Lord, and Implore His Blessing upon it.

Let the Child, hear the Groans, and See the Tears, and be a witness of the Agonies, wherewith you are Travailing for the Salvation of it. The Children will never Forget what you do; it will have a marvelous Force upon them.

Thus, Oh, Parents, You have been told, what you have to do, for the Salvation of your Children; and certainly, their Salvation is worth all of this!

Your Zeal about the Salvation of your Children, will be a symptom of your own Sincerity. A total want of Zeal, will be a Spot upon you, that is not a Spot of the Children of God.

God will Reward the Zeal. It is very probable, That the Children thus cared for, will be the Saved of the Lord. Your Glad Hearts will one day see it, if they are so: it will augment your Heaven, through all eternity, to have These in Heaven with you.

And let it be Remembered, That the Fathers, are not the only Parents obliged thus to pursue the Salvation of their Children: You that are Mothers, have not a little to do for the Souls of your Children, and you have Opportunity to do more than a Little.

Bathsheba the Mother of Solomon, and Eunice the Mother of Timothy, did greately Contribute unto the Salvation of their famous and worthy Sons.

God has Commanded Children, Forsake not the Law of thy Mother. Then, a Mother must give the Law of God unto them.

It is said of the Virtuous Woman, She looks well to the ways of her Household; Then a Virtuous Mother looks well to the Ways of her Children.

Your Children may say, In sin did my Mother Conceive me. Oh, Then let Mothers do what they can, to Save their Children out of Sin!

And especially, Mothers, do you Travail for your Children over again, with your Earnest Prayers for their Salvation, until it may be said unto you, as it was unto Monica the Mother of Austin, concerning him; Tis impossible, that thy Child should perish, after thou hast Employed so many Prayers and Tears for the Salvation of it.

Now God give a Good Success to these Poor Endeavours!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Women in the 17th-century Chesapeake

In the 17th century, most women came to the Chesapeake as indentured servants. To pay for their passage, women usually worked seven years as bound laborers.  In the early 1600s most Chesapeake southern colonists were poor and men outnumbered women three to one. Mortality rates were higher in the south because of greater disease risks.  Mosquitoes, a far more constant threat in the south, carried many of these diseases. On average, men lived to be 40 and women did not live past their late 30s. One quarter of all children born died in infancy & half died before they reached adulthood.

During the early colonial period, when manpower was scarce, most women worked in the fields during planting and harvest seasons, especially in Virginia and Maryland, where tobacco was money. As slave importation increased, fewer women toiled in the earth from sunrise to sundown.

Initially many Chesapeake women died of malaria, dysentery, and epidemics during their first six months of "seasoning." By mid century, more servant girls were surviving their indentures.

Once indenture contracts had been worked off, women usually married and worked on small plantations. Wives were in great demand in the Chesapeake, where the ratio of men to women during most of the 17th century was at least three to one.

Because women usually could not marry during their indentures, Chesapeake brides were older than those in New England. More than one third of women were pregnant before they married.

A new bride would move into the house of her groom which was usually about 25 by 18 feet with one open living space including some extra storage and sleeping space up under the eaves above. Chesapeake wives did not begin to replace the population by natural increase until the 18th century. Few, if any, portraits of women from the 17th century Chesapeake exist.  Most Southern colonials lived in remote areas in relative isolation on farms or plantations with their families, extended relatives, friends, and slaves.

Monday, June 17, 2013

1698 Pregnant Women & Destructive Lawyers & Physicians - New Jersey, & Pennsylvania

Gabriel Thomas, An Account of 1698 Jersey & Pennsylvania

Gabriel Thomas was a colonist in West Jersey in the late 17th century. The following is his description of the colonies of West Jersey and Pennsylvania. Of particular interest is his description of women in Pennsylania, and running a close 2nd is his opinion of lawyers and doctors.

West Jersey:

West Jersey lies between the Latitude of Forty, and Forty two Degrees; having the Main Sea on the South, East Jersey on the North, Hudson's Bay on the East, and Pensilvania on the West.

The first Inhabitants of this Countrey were the Indians, being supposed to be part of the Ten dispersed Tribes of Israel; for indeed they are very like the Jews in their Persons, and something in their Practices and Worship...

The Dutch and Sweeds inform us that they are greatly decreased in number to what they were when they came first into this Country: And the Indians themselves say, that two of them die to every one Christian that comes in here...

The next who came there were the Dutch - which was between Forty and Fifty Years ago, though they made but very little Improvement, only built Two or Three Houses, upon an Island (called since by the English) Stacies-Island; and it remained so, till about the Year 1675. in which King Charles the Second (or the Duke of York, his Brother) gave the Countrey to Edward Billing, in whose time, one Major Fenwick went thither, with some others, and built a pretty Town, and call'd it Salam ; and in a few Years after a Ship from London, and another from Hull, sail'd thither with more People, who went higher up into the Countrey, and built there a Town, and called it Burlington, which is now the chiefest Town in that Countrey, though Salam is the ancientest; and a fine Market-Town it is, having several Fairs kept yearly in it; likewise well furnished with good store of most Necessaries for humane Support, as Bread, Beer, Beef, and Pork; as also Butter and Cheese, of which they freight several Vessels, and send them to Barbadoes, and other Islands.

There are very many fine stately Brick-Houses built, and a commodious Dock for Vessels to come in...

A Ship of Four Hundred Tuns may Sail up to this Town in the River Delaware ; for I my self have been on Board a Ship of that Burthen there : And several fine Ships and Vessels (besides Governour Cox's own great Ship) have been built there.

There are also two handsom Bridges to come in and out of the Town, called London and York-Bridges. The Town stands in an Island, the Tide flowing quite round about it. There are Water-Men who constantly Ply their Wherry [Ferry] Boats from that Town to the City of Philadelphia in Pensilvania, and to other places. . . .

There are several Meetings of Worship in this Country, viz. the Presbyterians, Quakers, and Anabaplists: Their Privilege as to Matter of Law, is the same both for Plaintiff and Defendant, as in England.

The Air is very Clear, Sweet and Wholesome; in the depth of Winter it is something colder, but as much hotter in the heighth of Summer than in England...

The Countrey inhabited by the Christians is divided into four Parts or Counties, tho' the Tenth part of it is not yet peopled; 'Tis far cheaper living there for Eatables than here in England; and either Men or Women that have a Trade, or are Labourers, can, if industrious, get near three times the Wages they commonly earn in EngIand.


... I must needs say, even the present Encouragements are very great and inviting, for Poor People (both Men and Women) of all kinds, can here get three times the Wages for their Labour they can in England or Wales.

I shall instance a few, which may serve... The first was a Black-Smith (my next Neighbour), who himself and one Negro Man he had, got Fifty Shillings in one Day, by working up a Hundred Pound Weight of Iron, which at Six Pence per Pound (and that is the common Price in that Countrey) amounts to that Summ.

And for Carpenters, both House and Ship, Brick-layers, Masons, either of these Trades-Men, will get between Five and Six Shillings every Day constantly.

As to Journey-Men Shoe-Makers, they have Two Shillings per Pair both for Men and Womens Shoes: And Journey-Men Taylors have Twelve Shillings per Week and their Diet. . .

The Rule for the Coopers I have almost forgot; but this I can affirm of some who went from Bristol (as their Neighbours report), that could hardly get their Livelihoods there, are now reckon'd in Pensilvania by a modest Comptation to be worth some Hundreds (if not thousands) of Pounds...

Of Lawyers and Physicians I shall say nothing, because this Countrey is very Peaceable and Healthy; long may it so continue and never have occasion for the Tongue of the one, nor the Pen of the other, both equally destructive to Mens Estates and Lives; besides forsooth, they, Hang-Man like, have a License to Murder and make Mischief.

Labouring-Men have commonly here, between 14 and 15 Pounds a Year, and their Meat, Drink, Washing and Lodging; and by the Day their Wages is generally between Eighteen Pence and a Half a Crown, and Diet also; But in Harvest they have usually between Three and Four Shillings each Day, and Diet.

The Maid Servants Wages is commonly betwixt Six and Ten Pounds per Annum, with very good Accommodation. And for the Women who get their Livelihood by their own Industry, their Labour is very dear...

Corn and Flesh, and what else serves Man for Drink, Food and Rayment, is much cheaper here than in England, or elsewhere; but the chief reason why Wages of Servants of all sorts is much higher here than there, arises from the great Fertility and Produce of the Place; besides, if these large Stipends were refused them, they would quickly set up for themselves, for they can have Provision very cheap, and Land for a very small matter, or next to nothing in comparison of the Purchase of Lands in England; and the Farmers there, can better afford to give that great Wages than the Farmers in England can, for several Reasons very obvious.

As First, their Land costs them (as I said but just now) little or nothing in comparison, of which the Farmers commonly will get twice the encrease of Corn for every Bushel they sow, that the Farmers in England can from the richest Land they have.

In the Second place, they have constantly good price for their Corn, by reason of the great and quick vent [trade] into Barbadoes and other Islands; through which means Silver is become more plentiful than here in England, considering the Number of People, and that causes a quick Trade for both Corn and Cattle; and that is the reason that Corn differs now from the Price formerly, else it would be at half the Price it was at then; for a Brother of mine (to my own particular knowledge) sold within the compass of one Week, about One Hundred and Twenty fat Beasts, most of them good handsom large Oxen.

Thirdly, They pay no Tithes, and their Taxes are inconsiderable; the Place is free for all Persuasions, in a Sober and Civil way; for the Church of England and the Quakers bear equal Share in the Government. They live Friendly and Well together; there is no Persecution for Religion, nor ever like to be; 'tis this that knocks all Commerce on the Head, together with high Imposts, strict Laws, and cramping Orders. Before I end this Paragraph, I shall add another Reason why Womens Wages are so exorbitant; they are not yet very numerous, which makes them stand upon high Terms for their several Services...

Reader, what I have here written, is not a Fiction, Flam, Whim, or any sinister Design, either to impose upon the Ignorant, or Credulous, or to curry Favour with the Rich and Mighty, but in meer Pity and pure Compassion to the Numbers of Poor Labouring Men, Women, and Children in England, half starv'd, visible in their meagre looks, that are continually wandering up and down looking for Employment without finding any, who here need not lie idle a moment, nor want due Encouragement or Reward for their Work, much less Vagabond or Drone it about.

Here are no Beggars to be seen (it is a Shame and Disgrace to the State that there are so many in England) nor indeed have any here the least Occasion or Temptation to take up that Scandalous Lazy Life.

Jealousie among Men is here very rare, and Barrenness among Women hardly to be heard of, nor are old Maids to be met with; for all commonly Marry before they are Twenty Years of Age, and seldom any young Married Women but hath a Child in her Belly, or one upon her Lap.

See: Gabriel Thomas, An Historical Description of the Province and Country of West-New-Jersey in America. London, 1698

N.B. I have to assume that since all of the women are pregnant, most of the men are, indeed, happy.