From Of Plimouth Plantation (1630-1650), From BOOK TWO, CHAPTER 34 (1644 – Considering a Move to Nauset)



  1. EDWARD WINSLOW was chosen Govr this year.

Many having left this place (as is before noted) by reason of ye straightnes & barrennes of ye same, and their finding of better accommodations elsewher, more sutable to their ends & minds; and sundrie others still upon every occasion desiring their dismissions, the church begane seriously to thinke whether it were not better joyntly to remove to some other place, then to be thus weakened, and as it were insensibly dissolved.  Many meetings and much consultation was held hearaboute, and diverse were mens minds and opinions. Some were still for staying togeather in this place, aledging men might hear live, if they would be contente with their condition; and yt it was not for wante or necessitie so much yt they removed, as for ye enriching of them selves.  Others were resolute upon removall, and so signified yt hear yey could not stay; but if ye church did not remove, they must; insomuch as many were swayed, rather then ther should be a dissolution, to condescend to a removall, if a fitt place could be found, that might more conveniently and comfortablie receive ye whole, with such accession of others as might come to them, for their better strength & subsistence; and some such like cautions and limitations.  So as, with ye afforesaide provissos, ye greater parte consented to a removall to a place called Nawsett, which had been superficially veiwed and ye good will of ye purchassers (to whom it belonged) obtained, with some addition thertoo from ye Courte.  But now they begane to see their errour, that they had given away already the best & most comodious places to others, and now wanted them selves; for this place was about 50. myles from hence, and at an outside of ye countrie, remote from all society; also, that it would prove so straite, as it would not be competente to receive ye whole body, much less be capable of any addition or increase; so as (at least in a shorte time) they should be worse ther then they are now hear. The which, with sundery other like considerations and inconveniences, made them chaing their resolutions; but such as were before resolved upon removall tooke advantage of this agreemente, & wente on notwithstanding, neither could ye rest hinder them, they haveing made some begining.  And thus was this poore church left, like an anciente mother, growne olde, and forsaken of her children, (though not in their affections,) yett in regarde of their bodily presence and personall helpfullness.  Her anciente members being most of them worne away by death; and these of later time being like children translated into other families, and she like a widow left only to trust in God.  Thus she that had made many rich became her selfe poore.


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