From Of Plimouth Plantation (1630-1650), From BOOK TWO, CHAPTER 32 (1642 – Trouble with the Next Generation)



And after ye time of ye writig of these things befell a very sadd accidents of the like foule nature in this govermente, this very year, which I shall now relate.  Ther was a youth whose name was Thomas Granger; he was servant to an honest man of Duxbery, being aboute 16. or 17. years of age.  (His father & mother lived at the same time at Sityate.)  He was this year detected of buggery (and indicted for ye same) with a mare, a cowe, tow goats, saw his lewd practise towards the mare.  (I forbear perticulers.)  Being upon it examined and comitted, in ye end he not only confest ye, fact with that beast at that time, but sundrie times before, and at severall times with all ye rest of ye forenamed in his indictmente; and this his free-confession was not only in private to ye magistrats, (though at first he strived to deney it,) but to sundrie, both ministers & others, and afterwards, upon his indictmente, to ye whole court & jury; and confirmed it at his execution.  And wheras some of ye sheep could not so well be knowne by his description of them, others with them were brought before him, and he declared which were  they, and which were not.  And accordingly he was cast by ye jury, and condemned, and after executed about ye 8. of Septr, 1642.  A very sade spectakle it was; for first the mare, and then ye cowe, and ye rest of ye lesser catle, were kild before his face, according to ye law, Levit: 20. 15. and then he him selfe was executed.  The catle were all cast into a great & large pitte that was digged of purposs for them, and no use made of any part of them.

Upon ye examenation of this person, and also of a former that had made some sodomiticall attempts upon another, it being demanded of them how they came first to ye knowledge and practice of such wickednes, the one confessed he had long used it in old England; and this youth last spoaken of said he was taught it by an other that had heard of such things from some in England when he was ther, and they kept catle togeather.  By which it appears how one wicked person may infecte many; and what care all ought to have what servants they bring into their families.

But it may be demanded how came it to pass that so many wicked persons and profane people should so quickly come over into this land, & mixe them selves amongst them?  seeing it was religious men yt begane ye work, and they came for religions sake.  I confess this may be marveilled at, at least in time to come, when the reasons therof should not be knowne; and ye more because here was so many hardships and wants mett withall.  I shall therfore indeavor to give some answer hereunto.  And first, according to yt in ye gospell, it is ever to be remembred that wher ye Lord begins to sow good seed, ther ye envious man will endeavore to sow tares.  2.  Men being to come over into a wildernes, in which much labour & servise was to be done aboute building & planting, &c., such as wanted help in yt respecte, when they could not have such as yey would, were glad to take such as they could; and so, many untoward servants, sundry of them proved, that were thus brought over, both men & women kind; who, when their times were expired, became families of them selves, which gave increase hereunto.  3. Another and a maine reason hearof was, that men, finding so many godly disposed persons willing to come into these parts, some begane to make a trade of it, to transeport passengers & their goods, and hired ships for that end; and then, to make up their fraight and advance their profite, cared not who ye persons were, so they had money to pay them.  And by this means the cuntrie became pestered with many unworthy persons, who, being come over, crept into one place or other.  4.  Againe, the Lords blesing usually following his people, as well in outward as spirituall things, (though afflictions be mixed withall,) doe make many to adhear to ye people of God, as many followed Christ, for ye loaves sake, Iohn 6. 26. and a mixed multitud came into ye willdernes with ye people of God out of Eagipte of old, Exod. 12. 38; so allso ther were sente by their freinds some under hope yt they would be made better; others that they might be eased of such burthens, and they kept from shame at home yt would necessarily follow their dissolute courses.  And thus, by one means or other, in 20. years time, it is a question whether ye greater part be not growne ye worser.



Icon for the Public Domain license

This work (The Renewable Anthology of Early American Literature by Jared Aragona) is free of known copyright restrictions.

Share This Book