New England’s Memorial

New England’s Memorial

To the
Right Worshipful, Thomas Prince, Esq.
Governor of the Jurisdiction of New Plimouth
The Worshipful, The Magistrates
His Assistants in the said Government

N. M. wisheth Peace and Prosperity in this life, and Eternal Happiness in that which is to come.

Right Worshipful,

The consideration of the weight of duty that lieth upon us, to commemorize to future generations the memorable passages of God’s providence to us and our predecessors in the beginning of this plantation, hath wrought in me a restlessness of spirit, and earnest desire, that something might be achieved in that behalf, more (or at least otherwise) than as yet hath been done. Many discouragements I have met with, both from within and without myself; but reflecting upon the ends I have proposed to myself in setting out in this work, it hath afforded me some support, viz. the glory of God, and the good of present and future generations. Being also induced hereunto by the consideration that yourselves (especially some of you) are fully acquainted with many of the particulars, both concerning persons and things, inserted in the following narrative, and can, on your own knowledge, assert them for truth. Were it so, that any other had travelled in this kind, in such a way as might have conduced to a brief and satisfactory intelligence in particulars relating to the premises, I would have spared this labour, and have satisfied myself in perusal of their works, rather than to have set pen to paper about the same; but having never seen nor heard of any, especially respecting this our plantation of New Plimouth, which God hath honoured to be the first in this land, I have made bold to present your Worships with and to publish to the world, something of the very first beginnings of the great actions of God in New England, begun at New Plimouth: wherein, the greatest part of my intelligence hath been borrowed from my much honoured uncle, Mr. William Bradford, and such manuscripts as he left in his study, from the year 1620 unto 1646; whom had God continued in this world some longer time, and given him rest from his other more important affairs, we might probably have had these things from an abler pen, and better digested, than now you may expect. Certain diurnals of the honoured Mr. Edward Winslow have also afforded me good light and help: and what from them both, and otherwise I have obtained, that I judged suitable for the following discourse, I have with care and faithfulness related; and have therein more solicitously followed the truth of things (many of which I can also assert on my own knowledge) than I have studied quaintness in expressions.

I should gladly have spoken more particularly of the neighbouring united colonies, whose ends and aims in their transplanting of themselves and families, were the same with ours, viz. the glory of God, the propagation of the gospel, and enlargement of his Majesty’s dominions; but for want of intelligence, and that I may not prevent a better pen, I shall only make mention of some of their worthies that we have been most acquainted with.

I shall not insist upon the clime nor soil of the country, its commodities, or discommodities; nor at large on the natives, or their customs and manners, all of which have been already declared by Capt. Smith, Mr. Higginson, Mr. Williams, Mr. Wood, and others. What it is, and what my aims at God’s glory, and my good affection to the place and people of whom I treat, may make it, I present your Worships with, humbly craving your favourable aspect, and good acceptance of my poor endeavours; and that myself and it may find protection and shelter under the wings of your pious patronage, to defend us against such critical and censorious eyes and tongues, as may either carp at my expressions, or misconstrue my intentions. The ample experience I have had of your undeserved favour and respect to me, in my many years service of the public, and my observation in that time, that you have desired something of this nature might be done, hath encouraged me hereunto. Your good acceptance whereof, shall ever oblige me to answerable returning of gratitude, and administer to me further cause of thankfulness, that God hath given me an habitation under your just and prudent administrations; and wish for a succession

  By PanEris using Melati.

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