Tuesday, October 28, 2014

1627 - The Maypole of Merrymount

January 13, 1627 - Council of Virginia decides to occupy the Chiskiak territory along the York River. This is primarily to dig into the Indian supremacy and insure the colony a refuge in case of Spanish assault.

The Chiskiaks had most probably already abandoned their territory, their last mention dating back to the spring, 1623, at the time of corn sowings.

"Plimoth Plantation"

March 1627 - William Bradford is reelected governor of the Plymouth colony for the 6th time.

He was a member of 8 contractors who insured the debt repayment of the colony to London investors. The risky management of their affaires by their agent in London Isaac Allerton, allowed to put an end to the regulation only in 1648.

April 1627 - Warned of an impending Indian attack, governor of Virginia Francis Wyatt takes further steps to protect the settlers.

The assembly ordered all the households to meet for prayer at least once a day and to provide a special worship place in every plantation. The settlers had no longer the right to waste powder by firing during celebrations and were not allowed to venture alone and unarmed. The military leaders were obliged to drill their men on every holiday. Many colonists however did not heed these constraints.

April 29, 1627 - Foundation of the Company of New France (or the Cent-Associés) by Cardinal Richelieu, including a hundred merchants and aristocrats determined to develop New France. It is a private company aiming to contribute to the  colonizing  efforts. It is granted a monopoly on fur trade throughout the North American continent from Florida to the Arctic.

May 22, 1627 - The government of Plymouth draws up the " Division of cattle ".
It is a complete list of the inhabitants of Plymouth (156) distributed in 12x13 people batches each assigned a cow or a calf and two goats. 

After buying their debt to the Plymouth Company, the settlers decided to share the cattle which consisted then of 22 goats and 17 cows. 

Revels at Merrymount
May, 1627 
-  Thomas Morton, leader of the disputed Merrymount (Ma-re Mount) colony raises a "Maypole" intended to mock the ascetic practices of the puritan Plymouth Plantation.

Located in the territory of present Quincy, called Pasonagessit by Indians, Thomas Morton who described himself as Lord of Misrule vowed to build a harmonious society mixed between Natives and settlers. It was a reason  for which he supplied firearms to the Indians in exchange for fur, promoting the idea that keeping with them friendly relation, these weapons will never be used otherwise than hunting. 
He was in stark contrast to the Separatists of Plymouth for whom he went to a pagan licenciousness. His settlement attracted all those who have had enough of the inflexible rules imposed by the Plymouth government. But setting up a Maypole, promoting revels to favor debauchery and drunkenness to wink at the Greek mythology, and fostering relationships between young Indian women Indian and bachelor settlers became unbearable in the Puritans eyes, making Merrymount, that they called Dagon Mount a den of Bacchanalians to be destroyed quickly.

July 4, 1627 - Governor George Yardley and the Council of Virginia decide, as they do regularly every year since 1623, to launch a series of attacks against Indians. They aim to take advantage of the summer to destroy crops. Men of various plantations are raised against the neighboring  tribes under the command of the officers of the colony.

Lt. Thomas Osborne had to attack Powhatans, Capt. Wiliam Pierce the Chickahominies, Capt. West the Tappahannas, Capt. Matthews the Warraskoyacks.

August, 1627 - in Virginia, the English settlers launch a series of attacks against the Powhatan tribes including Pamunkeys, Weyanocks, Chickahominies              Quiyoughcohannocks, Warraskoyacks, Nansemonds and Chesapeakes.

These attacks did not however get the expected results. The Indians retaliated and made prisoners on the English side. 

Plymouth in 1627
October 1627
 - Ambassador Isaac de Rasieres arrives at Plymouth, appointed by the Dutch colony of New Netherland for a diplomatic and trade mission. It is he who introduces the use of wampum (sacred belt made of beads) as a bargaining chip with the Indian tribes.

He signed with governor William Bradford an agreement for the supply of Dutch goods in exchange for furs.

1627 - A second group of African slaves is landed at Fort Amsterdam (renamed New Amsterdam). It includes in particular three women whose Dorothy Creole who will not delay marrying Paulo of Angola, arrived two years ago.

New Amsterdam was then a muddy village with just about thirty houses and hardly 200 inhabitants. At that time, all the slaves belonged to the Dutch West India Company. Bringing women in the colony aimed to provide wives for men and to allocate inexpensive labor to the toughest chores. 

October 1627 - 
Dutch Governor Isaac De Razieres visits Apatucxet trading post established a few months before by the Plymouth settlers.

The place which was ruled by Caunacum, sachem of Manamet had been spotted from 1621 by the colonists of Plymouth for the fertility of its soils.

1627 Sagamore John, the eldest son of Squaw Sachem who rules the Massachusetts tribes allows the English to settle in Charlestown (Mishawum) which is part of his territory.

Sagamore John (c. 1607 - 1633) real name Wonohaquaham, was the eldest son of the Massachusett leader Nanapashemit and his wife Squaw Sachem. He had two brothers, Mantowampate and Wenepykin who lived respectively at Saugus and Salem.

November 13, 1627 - Virginia Governor Sir George Yardley dies during his term. He is replaced by Sir Francis West.

To increase the number of settlers, the merchants of London, eager to recoup their investments in Virginia made kidnap about 1500 children, among whom some very young, who were sent without delay to the colony.

Francis West (October 28, 1586 - February, 1634) - Deputy governor of Virginia, he was the second son of Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr (1556-1602) from Wherwell Abbey in Hampshire, and Anne Knollys his wife.
It is as captain that he landed for the first time in Jamestown in July, 1608. He returned in 1610 aboard the Mary and Margaret.
He was from 1608 a member of the Governor Council. From 1612 to 1617, he served as commander of Jamestown and was elected representative to be in session in the first Legislative Assembly which took place from July 30 to August 4, 1619, known as the first House of Burgesses appointed by Governor Sir George Yardley.
From 1622, West was promoted Admiral for New England, then Deputy Governor of Virginia from 1627 to 1629 and finally Captain General of Virginia.
He owned lands in Elizabeth City, south of James Knott's plantations.
He died in February, 1634. His older brother Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr had been a governor of the Virginia Company in 1610 and 1611. He had also two younger brothers: John West (1590- c.1659) who was to be Governor of Virginia from 1635 to 1637 and Nathaniel West, Lt. Colonel of Virginia, dead in 1623 at the age of 30.

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