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Mayflower, Day by Day - Friday, 17 December 1621

17 Dec 2021 2:35 AM | Soule (Administrator)

Letter sent back to England

Bradford composed a letter to Thomas Weston in answer to his letter to Governor Carver, carried on the Fortune: “Sir: Your large letter written to Mr. Carver, and dated the 6. of July, 1621, I have received the 10. of November, wherein (after the apology made for your self) you lay many heavy imputations upon him and us all. Touching him, he is departed this life, and now is at rest in the Lord from all those troubles and encumbrances with which we are yet to strive. He needs not my apology; for his care and pains was so great for the common good, both ours and yours, as that therewith (it is thought) he oppressed himself and shortened his days; of whose loss we cannot sufficiently complain. At great charges in this adventure, I confess you have been, and many losses may sustain; but the loss of his and many other honest and industrious men’s lives, cannot be valued at any price.  Of the one, there may be hope of recovery, but the other no recompence can make good. But I will not insist in generall, but come more particularly to the things themselves. You greatly blame us for keeping the ship so long in the country, and then to send her away empty.  She lay 5. weeks at Cape-Codd, whilst with many a weary step (after a long journey) and the endurance of many a hard brunt, we sought out in the foul winter a place of habitation. Then we went in so tedious a time to make provision to shelter us and our goods, about which labour, many of our arms & legs can tell us to this day we were not negligent.  But it pleased God to visit us then with death daily, and with so generall a disease, that the living were scarce able to bury the dead; and the well not in any measure sufficient to tend the sick.  And now to be so greatly blamed, for not freighting the ship, doth indeed go near us, and much discourage us. But you say you know we will pretend weakness; and do you think we had not cause? Yes, you tell us you believe it, but it was more weakness of judgment, then of hands. Our weakness herein is great we confess, therefore we will bear this check patiently amongst the rest, till God send us wiser men. But they which told you we spent so much time in discoursing & consulting, &c., their hearts can tell their tongues, they lie.  They cared not, so they might salve their own sores, how they wounded others. Indeed, it is our calamity that we are (beyond expectation) yoked with some ill conditioned people, who will never do good, but corrupt and abuse others, &c.”

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