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INTRODUCTION.

It is with great diffidence that the following volume, the first of a series upon the history of Massachusetts, is submitted to the public. So deeply is the author impressed with the importance of the subject upon which he has essayed to write, and so fully is he aware that to do it justice requires talents of the highest order, he has trembled, at times, for the consequences of his own temerity in engaging in such an undertaking. It is believed, however, that a work like the present is very much needed, and, if authentic in its details, will prove acceptable. Massachusetts has a history of which she may well be proud ; and whoever shall succeed in perfectly delineating that history, will render a valuable service to the State. If this sketch falls short of what some other might furnish, no one will more sincerely rejoice than the author in the appearance of a better; but until such shall appear, it is hoped the present will not prove wholly unworthy of attention.

The historian, in our day, can lay little claim to originality in his labors. It is not his province to create facts, but to take those already furnished him, drawn from the best sources, printed and manuscript, contemporary with the events of which they treat. If, in these respects, the present work

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shall be found to contain such an abstract, faithful in its character and reliable in its details, the highest ambition of the anthor will be attained.

The acknowledgements of the author are due those gentlemet who have so kindly encouraged his labors, and to the societies which have granted him free access to their historical treasures. Particularly would he express his indebtedness to Messrs. Charles Deane, John Dean, Samuel G. Drake, Frederick Kidder, and J. Wingate Thornton, Esquires, for the loan of rare books and manuscripts relating to the early history of the State ; to the Faculty of Harvard College, the Massachusetts, and New England Historical Societies, and the Boston Athenæum, for access to their libraries and manuscripts; and to the Honorable Ephraim M. Wright, Secretary of State, and the Clerks of his office, for access to the Archives of the Commonwealth. Such as the work is, with all its imperfections, it is sent forth in the hope that it may fill a place in the literature of our Commonwealth which has been for some time vacant; and if the public derive that pleasure from its perusal which its preparation has afforded the author, he will feel amply repaid for his labor.

CONTENTS.

THE EMIGRATION TO AMERICA.

The Pilgrims resolve to leave Holland - Discussion of the question of
removal-Agents sent to England for a Patent – Negotiations with the Vir-

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Visit of Samoset—League with Massasoit-Settlement of the Government
of the Colony—Providence and the Pilgrims—Departure of the Mayflower-
Death of Gov. Carver— William Bradford chosen Governor—Embassay to
Massasoit—Trip to Nauset—Conspiracy of Corbitant–Trading Voyage to the
Massachusetts—First Harvest—Thanksgiving instituted— Arrival of the For-
tune—A new Patent obtained — Return of the Fortune - Distress of the
Colonists—Warlike attitude of the Narragansets—A fort built at Plymouth-
Second Voyage to the Massachusetts-Alarm of an Indian Conspiracy-Ar-
rival of Weston's Shallop-Sufferings of the Pilgrims-Weston's Colony-
Character of the men -Settlement at Wessagusset-Its miserable condition-
Satire of Hudibras—Illness of Massasoit-An embassy sent to him—Plot
agrinst Weston's Colony – Standish sent to Wessagusset - Overthrow of
Weston's Colony-Finale of Weston's Career. pp. 91–119.

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