Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 663

Click on the image for a larger version suitable for printing.


Page 662 ...Page 664

Note: Ctrl and + increases the font size of the text below, Ctrl and - decreases it, and Ctrl and 0 resets it to default size.


fine historical painting, representing the landing
of the Pilgrims, designed and executed by the
late Henry Sargent, Esq., of Boston, and by him
presented to the Pilgrim Society, occupies a con-
spicuous position on the east end of the room.
It is on a canvas 13 feet by 16, and embraces, in
its interesting group of figures, all the most im-
portant personages of that memorable day, to-
gether with
Samoset, the Indian sagamore, who,
by artistic license, is made to be an astonished,
though not unfriendly observer of the scene. The
room contains a portrait of the first Governor
Winslow, and also of the second governor, his son,
copied from the originals, painted in London.
There are, besides these, many others of great
value, but none of those who came in the May-
flower, except that of Winslow.

Among a great variety of antiquarian relics are,
a chair of Governor Carver, the sword of Miles
Standish. the original letter of King Philip to
Governor Prince, and many utensils and articles
of furniture brought over in the Mayflower. There
is also here a library, composed of ancient and
appropriate books, to which, as well as to the
cabinet itself, additions are continually making.
The early records of the colony, with the original
signatures of the first men in authority, are kept
in the office of the Register of Probate, at the
court house, and are very politely exhibited by
him to all who are interested to call and exam-
ine them.

Burying Hill is the next interesting locality
which will attract the steps of the stranger in
Plymouth. This was originally called Port Hill,
because it was here that in 1622 the Pilgrims erect-
ed a building for defence against apprehended in-
vasions from the Indians, upon which their soli-
tary piece of ordnance was mounted. This build-
ing “ served them also for a meeting-house, and
was fitted accordingly for that use.'' A second
and more substantial fort was erected here on the
approach of Philip's war, in 1675. The site of
this ancient fort is distinctly marked, on the S.
E. part of the hill, overlooking the bay and the
surrounding country in even7 direction.

Governor Carver, and those of the Pilgrims who
died during the first year, were not buried in this
ground, but upon Cole's Hill, a lower elevation,
near the water's edge, just above where the high
terrace wall from Water Street now is, which was
in the close vicinity of the first enclosure made
for their habitations. These early graves were
carefully smoothed over, in order that the In-
dians might not perceive how greatly death had
reduced their numerical strength.

Burying Hill, however, soon after 1622, began
to be used as their place of sepulture; and here
the generations of the dead in Plymouth have been
gathered to their fathers for more than two cen-
turies and a quarter. Guides have been placed
along the paths, which have been tastefully laid
out through the ground, to direct the notice of
the visitor to some of the earliest and most hal-
lowed graves. No dates, however, are legible
upon these stones earlier than 1681. But a new
white marble monument has been placed over the
grave of Governor
Bradford ; who was chosen
governor after the death of Carver, in 1621, and
was elected to the same office every year until
his death, in 1657, excepting for five years,
when, as Winthrop says, he “ by importunity
got off.''

A position on Burying Hill is the one of all
others to be chosen for the purpose of bringing
under the eye at one view all the interesting
localities of Plymouth. Imagining, therefore,
that our readers stand with us

“ On the hill of hallowed brow,

Where the Filgrim sleepeth now,''

we shall, as rapidly as possible, complete our
survey of whatever is most intimately associated
here with the memory of the Pilgrim Fathers.

Lying before us on the E. are the harbor and
the bay. above which our point of observation is
elevated 165 feet. From this point the eye is
enabled, in a clear atmosphere, sometimes to
discern the white sand cliffs of Cape Cod, across
the bay, at a distance of 25 miles ; within which,
on the 11th of November, 1620, the Mayflower,
after a passage of 98 days, joyfully cast her
anchor, and where she remained until the coast
had been explored to find a place of settlement.
There, on that day, before taking the first step
in this urgent undertaking, the Pilgrims drew up
and signed their ever-memorable compact for a
free government: of which John Quincy Adams
has said, “ This is perhaps the only instance in
human history of that positive original social
compact which speculative philosophers have
imagined as the only legitimate source of gov-
ernment. Here,'' he adds, “was a unanimous
and personal assent, by all the individuals of the
community, to the association by which they
became a nation.''

Contracting now the scope of vision to the
entrance of the harbor, about 8 miles E. of the
Manomet Point is seen on the right or S.
side, which is the termination of Manomet Hill,
about 400 feet high; and on the left or N. side,
Gurnet, a promontory connected with Marsh-
field by a low beach, and forming a fine situation
for the beautiful double light which has been
placed upon it.

A tongue of land springing from the shore on
the S. side of the harbor, and extending N. 3
miles, directly in front of the town, from half a
mile to a mile distant from it, divides this lesser
bay into the outer and the inner harbors. On
the outward side of this natural barrier there is
the fine beach so well known as
Plymouth Beach,
which is commensurate with its whole extent.

From the Gurnet, along the N. side of the
outer harbor, and round the point of the beach,
lies the
Channel, through which, after careful
soundings had been made, the Mayflower, with
her precious freight, was finally brought up as
far as to an anchorage a little N. E. of the
Beach's Point, where she lay from the 16th of
December to the 5th of April following, a period
of 110 days.

Nearly in the same range beyond, and appar-
ently in conjunction with the Duxbury shore,
on the N. side of the harbor, is seen
memorable as the spot where the first
New England Sabbath was kept, by a portion of
the Pilgrims, while the Mayflower was yet lying
at Cape Cod. Being out in their shallop on an
.exploring tour, they were driven by a storm, om
the night of December 8, to take shelter under
the lee of this island, which is protected, in some
measure, from the violence of the ocean by a
projecting head land, a little to the S. E., called
Saquish. This was their first introduction into
Plymouth harbor, and is the true original of
Mrs. Hemans's graphic picture : —

A Gazetteer of the United States of America by John Hayward.

Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany and Company. 1853. Public domain image

This page is written in HTML using a program written in Python 3.2, and image-to-HTML-text by ABBYY FineReader 11 Professional Edition.