William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

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Bradford's Letterbook - 6


Loving and kind friend, I most heartily thank you; and would be right glad to
see you here, with many other of our old and dear friends, that we might
strengthen, and comfort one another, after our many troubles, travels, and
hardships. I long greatly for friends of Leyden, but I fear, I shall now scarce
ever see them, save in heaven; but the will of the Lord be done. We have rid
ourselves of the company of many of those, who have been so troublesome unto us;
though I fear we are not yet rid of the troubles themselves. I hear Culdom comes
himself into England; the which if he do, beware of him, for he is very
malicious, and much threatens you; thinking he hath some advantage by some words
you have spoken. Touching his factious doings here, and our proceedings with
him, I refer you for it, and many other things to the relations of Captain
Standish, whom we have thought most meet for sundry reasons, to send at this
time. I pray you be as helpful to him as you can; especially in making our
provisions, for therein he hath the least skill.

We have sent by this first ship, a good parcel of commodities, to wit: As much
beaver and other furs, as will-amount to upwards of 277, sterling, at the rates
they were sold the last year. In part of payment of those goods, they and you
sent to be sold to us. But except we may have things, both more serviceable, and
at better rates, we shall never be able to rub through; therefore if we could
have some ready money disbursed to buy things at the best hand, it would be
greatly in our way. Special care is to be had of procuring us good trucking
stuff, for without it we can do nothing; the reason why heretofore we have got
so little is, because we never had any that was good till Mr. Winslow brought
some over.

Our people will never agree, any way again to unite with the Company; who have
cast them off with such reproach and contempt; and also returned their bills,
and all debts upon their heads. But as for those our loving friends, who have,
and still do stick to us, and are deeply engaged for us, and are most careful of
our goods, for our parts we will ever be ready to do any thing, that shall be
thought equal and mete.

But I think it will be best to press, a clearance with the company; either by
coming to a dividend, or some other indifferent course or composition; for the
longer we hang and continue in this confused and lingering condition, the worse
it will be, for it takes away all heart and courage, from men, to do any thing.
For notwithstanding any persuasion to the contrary, many protest they will never
build houses, fence grounds, or plant fruits for those, who not only forsake
them, but use them as enemies, lading them with. reproach and contumely. Nay
they will rather ruin that, which is done, than they should possess it. Whereas
if they knew what they should trust to, the place would quickly grow and
flourish with plenty, for they never felt the sweetness of the country till this
year; and not only we but all planters in the land begin to do it. Let us be as
little engaged about fishing, or any other projects, as you can, to draw us away
from our own employments for they will be the most beneficial unto us. I suppose
to spend our own salt and to employ as many of our own boats as we can, will be
best for us. If we had but kept two a trading this year, it would have been
twice as good as our fishing; though I hope the ships will return with good
voyages.

Your son and all of us, are in good health, (blessed be God) he received the
things you sent him. I hope God will make him a good man. My wife remembers her
love unto you, and thanks you for her spice. Billington still rails against you,
and threatens to arrest you, I know not wherefore; he is a knave, and so will
live and die. Mr. John Pearce wrote he would make a parliamentary matter, about
our grand patent, I pray you wish our friends to look to it, for I mistrust him,
I perceive there passeth intelligence between Mr. Weston, and him, by means of
Mr. Hix. He is come again hither, and is not yet quiet about that 120. The Lord
hath so graciously disposed, that when our opposites thought, that many would
have followed their faction, they so distasted their palpable dishonest
dealings, that they stuck more firmly unto us, and joined themselves to the
Church. But time cuts me off, for other things; I refer you to my other more
general, and larger letters, and so with my renewed salutations, and best love
remembered unto you. I commend you and all our affairs, to the guidance of the
Most High, and so rest, your assured loving friend,

WILLIAM BRADFORD.
New Plymouth, June 9, 1625.
[Mr. Cushman died before this letter arrived.]

 

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