Extinguished by purchase.

 

Two more Weymouths books are complete. These are both text-based.

Observation

Volume 5 is an excerpt from The New English Canaan by Thomas Morton (b. 1578), first published in 1637. The “First Booke” details Morton’s observations at Wessagusset, the Native American territory that was replaced by Weymouth, “containing the original of the natives, their manners & customs, with their tractable nature and love towards the English.” I adapted the complete text of the first book into more normalized English for enhanced legibility and set it on 164 pages. It’s a 400-year-old first-hand account of the language, dress, food, living conditions and character of the people that the English settlers fought and killed.

Morton describes the Native Americans as noble and superior people, compared to the English, and believed that the New England settlers should take a more integrated, “multi-cultural” approach. The publication of The New English Canaan was considered heresy and Morton was eventually arrested as an agitator and banished to Maine, where he died in 1647.

Burial

Volume 6 is the haunting text of the 1642 deed that details the purchase of 26 acres of land by the English settlers from the Native Americans. It’s signed by the English and four Native Americans. In his 1884 Historical Sketch of the Town of Weymouth, Gilbert Nash introduces the text by saying that the “Indian title to the town was extinguished by purchase.”

 

2 Comments

  1. “…their secrets of nature…” – heresy, indeed … so fascinating … thanks for sharing, paul.

  2. Oh yeah, I read that a while ago but didn’t realize that’s the screenshot I posted here. “…and this they wear to hide their secrets of nature, which by no means they will suffer to be seen, so much modesty they use in that particular…”

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