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Full text of "Order of exercises, dedication of the Cole's Hill Memorial, Thursday, September 8, 1921, at the First Church, Plymouth, Mass"

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Cole's Hill Memorial 

Thursday, September 8, 1921 




Report of tke 

Committee on tke Tercentenary Celebration 

and Permanent Memorial 





Cole's Hill Memorial 






Former Governor General HOWLAND DAVIS, CWrrnan of tke 
Committee on tne Tercentenary Celebration 
and Permanent Memorial 












John Allerton 

Thomas English Ellen More and 

Edward Tilley and 

Mary, First Wife of 

Moses Fletcher a Brother (children) Ann His Wife 

Isaac Allerton 

Edward Fuller and William Mullins 

John Tilley and 

Richard Britteridge 

His Wife Alice His Wife and 

His Wife 

Robert Carter 

John Goodman Joseph Their Son 

Thomas Tinker 

John Carver and 

William Holbeck Solomon Prower 

His Wife and Son 

Katharine His Wife 

John Hooke John Rigdale and 

John Turner 

James Chilton's Wife John Langmore Alice His Wife 

and Two Sons 

Richard Clarke 

Edmund Margeson Thomas Rogers 

William White 

John Crakston Sr. 

Christopher Martin Rose, First Wife of 

Roger Wilder 

Sarah, First Wife of 

and His Wife Myles Standish 

Elizabeth, First Wife of 

Francis Eaton 

Degory Priest Elias Story 
Thomas Williams 

Edward Winslow 

By Professor Wilfred H. Munro, of the Rhode Island Society 






A. D. 1920 



*By Professor Wilfred H. Munro, of the Rhode Island Society 


Organ Selection — Fantasy in G minor . . . Bach 
Mr. Albert W. Snow 

Prayer by Elder General 

Rev. John Coleman Adams, D. D. 

God of our fathers, whose arm failed them not, 
neither has failed their children, we gather here with 
grateful hearts that Thou hast been a sun and a shield 
to them and to us, through all the years that are past. 
We come in reverence and loyalty to this shrine of the 
spirit to reconsecrate ourselves to the things here begun 
and the ideals here set up. We thank Thee for our 
lineage and for our inheritance. We thank Thee for 
the names we bear, which our fathers established in 
honor for all time; for the laws and covenants and 
constitutions which they handed down to us; for as 
much of their spirit as still survives in us and in the 
land they helped to found; for their imperishable vir- 
tues, their indomitable faith, their unfailing courage, 
their patience, fortitude, and loyalty to conscience. We 
thank Thee for the witness they bore to the truth of 
God and to the duty of man. We thank Thee for their 
brave persistence, through frost and famine, through 
peril and pestilence, through loneliness and bereave- 
ment, in treading the way of the Fore-runner and 
making straight a highway for Thee in the wilderness 
of a new land. Help us, God, renew their work in 
a day of trial and distress. 

Help us to trust in Thy guidance and care; to give 
ourselves to Thy service, to the upbuilding of Thy 
Kingdom, to obedience to Thy law, to prayerful lives, 
to unselfish sacrifice, to fervent and sincere worship. 


Save our land and all lands from the horror and the 
sacrilege of war. Promote the fellowship of the nations 
and the maintenance of universal peace. Make our 
land a leader in brotherhood and goodwill. And help 
us, who come here to consecrate a memorial to our 
fathers, to fashion one more enduring and worthy than 
this emblem of our reverence out of loyal, devout, self- 
sacrificing lives, entering into their rewards by sharing 
in their work. 

So make us to be fellow-citizens with the saints 
and fellow workmen with Thee, in the spirit of the 
Master Soul, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

Former Governor General Davis. 

Three years ago in this church the Eighth General 
Congress of the Society took the first step to formulate 
a plan for the preservation and marking of the Pilgrim 
Burying Ground on Cole's Hill. This work was even- 
tually undertaken as the most appropriate permanent 
contribution by it to the Tercentenary Celebration of 
the Landing of the Pilgrims. It was unquestionably 
the one which would appeal most keenly to the senti- 
ment and to the interest of all the descendants of the 
Pilgrims, one that is clear and definite in its purpose, 
and would stand apart by itself as a memorial by the 
Society of Mayflower Descendants. 

The meeting here to-day is held to mark the suc- 
cessful completion of this work so undertaken, and in 
reverent memory of those of the passengers of the 
Mayflower who died during the fatal first winter, and 
whose names are now inscribed on the monument which 
stands on the spot where they were buried. 

The exercises will now continue, and I shall call 
upon Deputy Governor General Asa P. French to make 
the first address. He needs no introduction to this 
audience I am very sure. 


Address by Deputy Governor General 

Hon. Asa P. French. 

Mr. Chairman, Descendants of the Pilgrims, Ladies 
and Gentlemen: It is uppermost in my thoughts that 
I must not encroach upon the time, nor invade the 
province, of the principal speaker of the day, my very 
dear friend and classmate, the Bishop of Maine. 

The task which I have undertaken is merely to say 
a few words in behalf of the General Society of May- 
flower Descendants which, owing to the regrettable and 
unavoidable absence of General Wood whose term of 
office as its Governor-General ended yesterday, I have 
the honor to represent. 

These exercises, as you have been told, are held 
under the auspices of that Society for the purpose of 
dedicating the monument erected by its members on 
Cole's Hill as their contribution to the permanent 
memorials which have marked the advent of the three 
hundredth anniversary of the landing of their first 
ancestors in America. 

Plymouth soil is dear, and will ever remain dear, 
to all true Americans; but to us, through the accident 
of birth, it is fertile with peculiarly tender associa- 
tions. Here, men and women from whom we are sprung 
have lived, toiled, suffered and died, and many have 
been laid to rest within its borders or in its neighbor- 
ing towns. To repeat what I said, a day or two 
ago, upon another occasion, we are attached to it by 
all that has gone before us and by all that shall come 
after us; by those who gave us life and those to whom 
we have transmitted it; by the past and by the future; 
by the immovability of graves and by the rocking of 

And so, upon the approach of this anniversary, 
when the State and the Nation have vied with one 
another in honoring the Pilgrims; when countless multi- 
tudes have paid pious visit to the spots rendered sa- 


cred by their lives and deeds, eager to testify their 
respect and gratitude, our anxious thought and desire 
has been to commemorate the event in a manner 
which, though in slight and inadequate measure, would 
serve as a token of our filial reverence and love. 

It will be remembered that of the one hundred and 
three passengers of the Mayflower who saw Cape Cod, 
two, Oceanus Hopkins and Peregrine White were in- 
fants in arms. Four, including James Chilton, one of 
the signers of the Compact, and Dorothy, wife of 
Governor Bradford, died before the arrival at Plymouth. 
An inscrutable Providence ordained that this little 
band should be divided into two groups equal in num- 
ber but unequal in fate; one destined to survive and 
prosper, and to see, in the alliance with the Massachu- 
setts Colony, the dawn of a great Commonwealth 
founded by them, — how great, their wildest prophecies 
could have but feebly portrayed; the other, over- 
whelmed and debilitated by the privations and hard- 
ships of a two months' voyage in a crowded ship upon 
a tempestuous sea and beneath inclement skies, doomed 
barely to prolong their existence until they reached 
their journey's end, and to give up their lives upon 
the threshold of their supreme undertaking. Insuf- 
ficiently supplied with remedies, and without effective 
medical care, there was little to combat the dread 
disease contracted on shipboard and aggravated by 
exposure to the rigors of an unaccustomed winter. 

What must have been their doubts and fears, as 
they felt the shadows of death closing about them, 
for the fate of their surviving companions and the 
success of the enterprise for which they had sacrificed 
their lives! 

How they were buried on Cole's Hill yonder in 
leveled and unmarked graves the location of which 
was revealed to posterity, more than a century later, 
only by the accident of a freshet which displaced 
parts of the hill and brought some of the bones to the 


surface; how a highway was constructed through and 
over the hallowed spot, subsequently marked by a 
simple and inconspicuous tablet at the roadside, — are 
all matters within the knowledge of every student of 
Pilgrim history and need not be recited here in detail. 

At one of the recent Congresses of this Society, 
the attention of the delegates having been called to 
this deplorable situation, unanimous action and prompt 
measures were taken to remedy it. A committee was 
appointed and a plan was outlined and ultimately 
carried into effect, to reclaim the spot from the high- 
way and to place there a monument which should be 
in some degree appropiate to commemorate the ap- 
palling tragedy of that first winter and spring, and to 
record for posterity the names, so far as known, of 
these martyrs in the cause of liberty and humanity. 
Truly, the ashes of those who have died for the world's 
advancement are precious seeds! 

It is that monument which, reared in loving grati- 
tude, we dedicate today. 

History records that no one was more active in 
ministering to the sick than Brewster, their ruling 
elder, and that it was he who conducted the simple 
and frequent services for the dead. 

Mr. Choate in an oration delivered before the New 
England Society of New York in 1843, with that 
wealth of imagery and beauty of diction of which he 
was a consummate master, has drawn a picture of the 
melancholy scene and of Brewster's part in it which 
is so vivid and so beautiful that it cannot be surpassed, 
and should not be forgotten on this day of dedication, 
for which it seems almost to have been expressly 

"In a late undesigned visit to Plymouth," he said, "I sought 
the spot where their earliest dead were buried. It was a bank, you 
remember, somewhat elevated, below the town and between it 
and the water, near and looking forth upon the waves, symbol of 
what life had been to them; ... On that spot have laid to rest 
together, the earth carefully smoothed down, that the Indian might 
not count the number, the true, the pious, the beautiful, and the 


brave, till the heavens be no more. There, certainly, was buried 
the first governor, 'with three volleys of shot fired over him;' and 
there was buried Rose, the wife of Miles Standish. . . . 

I can seem to see, on a day quite towards the close of their 
first month of March, a diminished procession of the Pilgrims, 
following another dearly beloved and newly dead to that brink 
of graves; and pausing sadly there before they shall turn away to 
see that face no more. In full view from that spot is the Mayflower, 
still riding at her anchor, but to sail in a few days more for England, 
leaving them alone, the living and the dead, to the weal or woe of 
their new home. I cannot say what was the entire emotion of that 
moment and that scene, but the tones of the venerated elder's 
voice, as they gathered round him, were full of cheerful trust; and 
they went to hearts as noble as his own! 'This spot', he might 
say, 'this line of shore, yea, this whole land grows dearer, daily, 
were it only for the precious dust which we have committed to 
its bosom. I would sleep here, when my own hour comes, rather 
than elsewhere, with those who have shared with us in our ex- 
ceeding labors, and whose burdens are now unloosed forever. I 
would be near them in the last day, and have a part in their resur- 
rection. And now,' he proceeded, 'let us go from the side of the 
grave, to work with all our might what we have to do. It is in 
my mind that our night of sorrow is well-nigh ended, and that 
the joy of our morning is at hand. The breath of the pleasant 
south-west is here, and the singing of birds. The sore sickness 
is stayed, somewhat more than half our number remain, and among 
them some of our best and wisest, though others have fallen asleep. 
Matter of joy and thanksgiving to God it is, that among you all, 
the living and the dead, I know not one, — even when disease had 
touched him, and sharp grief had made his heart as a little child's 
— who desired, yea, who could have been entreated to go back to 
England by yonder ship. Plainly it is his will that we stand or 
fall here. If he prospers us, we shall found a church, against which 
the gates of hell shall not prevail; and a colony, — a nation, — by 
which all the nations shall be healed, and shall be saved. Millions 
shall spring from our loins, and trace back, with lineal love, their 
blood to ours. Centuries hereafter, in great cities, the capitals of 
mighty states, and from the tribes of a common and happy Israel, 
shall come together, the good, the distinguished, the wise, to re- 
member our dark day of small things; yea, generations shall call 
us blessed.' 

Without a sign, calmly, with triumph, they turned away from 
the grave. They sent the Mayflower away, and went back, those 
stern, strong men, to their imperial labors." 

Could anything be more fitting than that a lineal 
descendant of the great elder, himself an eminent New 
England divine, should have been invited to deliver 
the principal address in 1921, in consecration of a 
monument to those who were committed to their 
graves by his ancestor in 1621, or could anything be 
more fortunate than that he has undertaken the task 
with the fullest realization of its significance? 


And as we consecrate this monument, shall we not 
cry out, across the infinite gulf to those whose graves 
it marks: 

little band of brave and steadfast Christians, 
first of the English race to be committed to New 
England earth, we, your descendants and successors, 
the beneficiaries of those blessings which have sprung 
from your ashes as from precious seeds, stand here 
to-day, with inexpressible gratitude, reverence, and love 
for your memories, which we pledge ourselves shall be 
transmitted from generation to generation, even unto 
the end of time! [Applause.] 

Organ Selection — Cantabile . . Cesar Franck 
Mr. Albert W. Snow 

Chairman Davis. — At the time of the celebration 
on the 21st of December of last year, under the aus- 
pices of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the 
Tercentenary Commission, one of the delightful events 
of that day was an original poem prepared by Dean 
LeBaron Russell Briggs. Dean Briggs has kindly con- 
sented to repeat the poem for us today. I know you 
will be especially grateful to him, as I am for his 
kindness to us to-day. I have therefore great pleasure 
in presenting to you Dean Briggs, a descendant of 
Governor Bradford. 



By LeBaron Russell Briggs 
Professor in Harvard University 

Before him rolls the dark, relentless ocean; 

Behind him stretch the cold and barren sands; 
Wrapt in the mantle of his deep devotion, 

The Pilgrim kneels, and clasps his lifted hands: 

"God of our fathers, who has safely brought us 
Through seas and sorrows, famine, fire, and sword; 

Who, in Thy mercies manifold hast taught us 
To trust in Thee, our leader and our Lord; 


"God, who has sent Thy truth to shine before us, 
A fiery pillar, beaconing on the sea; 

God, who hast spread Thy wings of mercy o'er us; 
God, who hast set our children's children free, 

"Freedom Thy new-born nation here shall cherish; 

Grant us Thy covenant, unchanging, sure: 
Earth shall decay; the firmament shall perish; 

Freedom and Truth, immortal shall endure." 

Face to the Indian arrows, 

Face to the Prussian guns, 
From then till now the Pilgrim's vow 

Has held the Pilgrim's sons. 

He braved the red man's ambush; 

He loosed the black man's chain; 
His spirit broke King George's yoke 

And the battleships of Spain. 

He crossed the seething ocean; 

He dared the death-strewn track; 
He charged in the hell of Saint Mihiel 

And hurled the tyrant back. 

For the voice of the lonely Pilgrim 

Who knelt upon the strand 
A people hears three hundred years 

In the conscience of the land. 

Daughter of Truth and mother of Courage, 

Conscience, all hail! 
Heart of New England, strength of the Pilgrim, 

Thou shalt prevail. 
Look how the empires rise and fall! 

Athens robed in her learning and beauty, 
Rome in her royal lust of power — 
Each has flourished her little hour, 
Risen and fallen and ceased to be. 
What of her by the western sea, 

Born and bred as the child of Duty, 
Sternest of them all? 
She it is, and she alone 
W T ho built on faith as her corner stone; 
Of all the nations none but she 
Knew that the truth shall make us free. 


Daughter of Courage, mother of Heroes, 

Freedom divine, 
Light of New England, star of the Pilgrim, 

Still shalt thou shine. 

Yet even as we in our pride rejoice, 
Hark to the prophet's warning voice: 
"The Pilgrim's thrift is vanished, 

And the Pilgrim's faith is dead, 
And the Pilgrim's God is banished, 

And Mammon reigns in his stead; 
And work is damned as an evil, 

And men and women cry, 
In their restless haste, 'Let us spend and waste, 

And live; for tomorrow we die.' 

"And law is trampled under; 

And the nations stand aghast, 
As they hear the distant thunder 

Of the storm that marches fast; 
And we, — whose ocean borders 

Shut off the sound and the sight, — 
We will wait for marching orders; 

The world has seen us fight; 
We have earned our days of revel; 

'On with the dance! we cry. 
'It is pain to think; we will eat and drink, 

And live — for tomorrow we die. 

" 'We have laughed in the eyes of danger; 

We have given our bravest and best; 
We have succored the starving stranger; 

Others shall heed the rest.' 
And the revel never ceases; 

And the nations hold their breath; 
And our laughter peals, and the mad world reels 

To a carnival of death. 

"Slaves of sloth and the senses, 

Clippers of Freedom's wings, 
Come back to the Pilgrim's army 

And fight for the King of Kings; 
Come back to the Pilgrim's conscience; 

Be born in the nation's birth; 
And strive again as simple men 

For the freedom of the earth. 


"Freedom a free-born nation still shall cherish; 

Be this our covenant, unchanging, sure: 
Earth shall decay; the firmament shall perish; 

Freedom and Truth immortal shall endure." 

Land of our fathers, when the tempest rages, 

When the wide earth is racked with war and crime, 

Founded forever on the Rock of Ages, 
Beaten in vain by surging seas of time, 

Even as the shallop on the breakers riding, 
Even as the Pilgrim kneeling on the shore, 

Firm in thy faith and fortitude abiding, 
Hold thou thy children free for ever more. 

And when we sail as Pilgrim's sons and daughers 
The spirit's Mayflower into seas unknown, 

Driving across the waste of wintry waters 
The voyage every soul shall make alone, 

The Pilgrim's faith, the Pilgrim's courage grant us; 

Still shines the truth that for the Pilgrim shone. 
We are his seed; nor life nor death shall daunt us. 

The port is Freedom! Pilgrim heart, sail on! 

[Applause. 1 

Address by 

Rt. Rev. Benjamin Brewster, Bishop of Maine. 

I. The monument we dedicate to-day commemorates 
one of those stories of sacrifice which mean to human 
society not loss but gain. 

As we honor those few hundred Greeks under Leon- 
idas, giving up their lives in the Pass at Thermopylae, 
if they might at least delay the advance of the mighty 
Persian host; as we glory in those Belgians of own our 
day who counted not their lives dear, in blocking the 
way of the overpowering violators of their little nation's 
neutrality; — So we do well to place this memorial here, 
for those "Mayflower" Pilgrims who, in that first win- 
ter faced their "rendezvous with death." 


Though we may know well the facts, yet the vivid 
story of William Bradford so graphically pictures the 
situation, that we may listen to his record once more: 

"That which was most sadd and lamentable was that in two 
or three months' time halfe of their company dyed, espetialy in 
January, and February, being the depth of winter, and wanting 
houses and other comforts; being infected with the scurvie and 
other diseases, when this long voyage and their inacomodate con- 
dition had brought upon them; so as ther dyed sometimes two 
three of a day, in the foresaid time; that of one hundred and odd 
persons, scarce fifty remained. And of these in the time of most 
distress, ther was but six or seven sound persons, who to their 
great commendations, be it spoken, spared no pains, night nor day, 
but with abundance of toyle and hazard of their owne health, 
fetched them woode, made them fires, drest them meat, made 
their beads, washed their lothsome cloaths, cloathed and uncloathed 
them." 1 

When Bradford wrote this, there was no reason to 
draw a veil over the fact that half of the passengers 
who had landed from the "Mayflower" laid down their 
lives so soon as martyrs in this high adventure. But 
in the earliest Journal, written in 1621, and published 
in England the following year (usually called "Mourt's 
Relations") a stern reticence is maintained, probably 
to avoid discouragement among the supporters of the 
enterprise in the homeland. 2 Yet even here a sugges- 
tion of the sore trials is given (though with no hint 
of unmanly complaining) when, in the entry of this 
Journal for December 28th, mention is made of the 
limited number of houses which the settlers undertook 
to build, and the contracted area of the allotments: 

"We thought this preparation was large enough at the first, 
for houses and gardens, to impale them round, considering the 
weakness of our people, many of them growing ill with colds, for 
our former Discoveries in the frost and storms, and the wading 
at Cape Cod, had brought much weakness amongst us, which 
increased so every day more and more, and after was the cause 
of many of their deaths." 3 

1- Wm. Bradford: "History of Plymouth Plantation." p. 108. 

2 See the remarks of Geo. B. Cheever, D. D. in Chapter XV 
of his "Historical and Local Illustrations," published in connection 
with the reprinting of "The Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth." 
(2d Ed. p. 260.) 

3 Journal (Cheever's reprint.) p. 50. 


One of the last of the victims of this devastating 
sickness was their first Governor, John Carver. Of his 
burial alone is particular mention made in the early 
chronicle, with the note that "Some vollies of shotte" 
were fired "by all that bore arms." But among the 
families of the most conspicuous leaders a heavy toll 
was taken. Even before the landing at Plymouth, 
while William Bradford was away exploring with a 
squad of picked men, his wife was drowned. And in 
the great sickness, the register kept by this careful 
chronicler early notes the deaths of Edward Winslow's 
wife, and of Isaac Allerton's wife. The entry in this 
register for January 29th, 1621,— "Rose, the wife of 
Captain Standish" — suggests to the imagination a part- 
ing, touched with memories of youthful love and 
pledged loyalty, such as make brave men still more 

We judge of the quality of these men and women 
by the dauntless demeanour of the survivors. What 
farewell words of comfort were breathed by these pil- 
grims to the life beyond we know not. For the records 
of that time of trial find no place for such things. 
But, that they departed not as defeated souls, but 
rather, "greeting the unseen with a cheer," we may 
believe not only from the general consideration of their 
faith, but from the brave spirit of those they left 

Undemonstrative indeed was this steady courage, 
affording room for precaution against unknown dan- 
gers, evinced in the tradition that lived among their 
descendants, that the graves on Cole's hill, after the 
great mortality in the first stage of the settlement, 
were levelled and sown over by the settlers to conceal 
the extent of their loss from the natives, "lest the 
Indians, counting the number of the dead, should know 
the weakness of the living." 1 

'Thatcher: "History of Plymouth," p. 28. 
Cheever, op. cit., p. 266. 


But their determination held them on this forbidding 
shore, of which Captain John Smith had declared that 
he was not so simple as to suppose that any motive 
other than riches would "ever erect there a common- 
wealth or draw company from their ease and humors 
at home to stay in New England." 2 

The early spring of 1621, when the fury of the 
epidemic was not yet spent, saw "The Mayflower" 
with its crew sail back to old England. But not one 
of the Pilgrims turned back. Nay even, as a recent 
writer has observed, "In March, in spite of the terrors 
which encompassed them, in spite of the graves of the 
dead which far outnumbered the homes of the living, 
Winslow could yet note that 'the birds sang in the 
woods most pleasantly.' " 3 

Truly these forefathers of ours "lived dangerously," 
in a very real and definite sense, quite beyond the 
spiritual horizon of the modern philosopher who coined 
the phrase! 

In concrete experience, they could live up to that 
proud claim in the letter from Holland, three years 
before, written to London by two of their leaders: "It 
is not with us as with other men, whom small things 
can discourage, or small discontentments cause to wish 
themselves home again." 4 

Whatever may have been the limitations of their 
theology, in their attitude towards the hard things that 
a soldier of Christ must learn to face with bravery, 
they have bequeathed to us a rich heritage, whereof 
we should strive to be worthy. 

II. This occasion, however, invites a consideration 
of their adventure in its relation to the broad currents 
of thought which affect powerfully the course of history. 

2 Fiske, "Beginnings of New Eng.," p. 79. 

3 J. Truslow Adams, in "The founding of New England," p. 100. 
^Letter from John Robinson and William Brewster, in Brad- 
ford's History, p. 55. 


That group of "Mayflower" Pilgrims belonged to 
the general movement which we call Puritanism, yet 
with a difference. The great revolution, known as the 
Protestant Reformation, was determined by intellec- 
tual, political and economic conditions, as well as by 
the revolt of great religious leaders against the ecclesi- 
astical institutions of the earlier age. Such things as 
the revival of classical learning, the discovery of new 
lands, and the rise of nationalism contributed their 
influence in varying measure, in different countries. 

In England, the new national consciousness strongly 
reacted upon the spirit of individualism which stands 
out as the distinctive feature of the Reformation era 
A congenial soil, indeed, had been prepared there for 
the growth of individualism by the hard-won achieve- 
ments of civil liberty and the experience of local self- 
government. A ready response was given, among our 
sturdy forefathers in the sea-girt isle, to the doctrines 
of Luther and Calvin stressing the responsibility of the 
individual soul, and English Puritanism, in one aspect 
of it, stands as the embodiment of this principle of 

But the newly awakened nationalism coinciding 
with the reigns of the Tudors, and fostered by the 
dominating personalities of that dynasty, made for the 
entrenchment of the Church as an institution, at once 
protected and exploited by the royal authority. We see 
this in the official statement of William Cecil, the first 
Lord Burghley, on the expelling of certain Puritan 
clergy from their livings: 

"For the religion which they profess, I reverence them and 
their calling; but for their unconformity, I acknowledge myself 
no way warranted to deal for them, because the course they take 
is no way safe in such a monarchy as this; where Mis Majesty 
aimeth at no other end than where there is but one true faith and 
doctrine preached, there to eatablish one form, so as a perpetual 
peace may be settled in the Church of God." 1 

*S. R. Gardiner, "History of England," I, p. 200. 


The historian, Gardiner's, comment on the above 
is suggestive: 

"The view thus taken was that of the man of business in all 
ages and in all parts of the world. To such natures the strength 
which freedom gives is entirely inconceivable." 2 

The problem for those whose hearts and consciences 
were especially responsive to the more individualistic 
manifestations of Protestantism was, how to be loyal 
as Englishmen to the nation of which they were justly 
proud, and yet not to surrender that "patriotism of 
the soul" (to borrow the phrase of James Russell 
Lowell in connection with a situation not dis- 
similar) by which they felt themselves "citizens of an 
invisible and holier fatherland" with a supreme "duty 
and privilege as liegemen of truth." 3 This, I think, is 
the key to the religious controversies in England, es- 
pecially throughout the reigns of Elizabeth and of 
James First. The difficulty was on the institutional side, 
as the statement just quoted from Lord Burghley shows. 
Law and Order had to be upheld. Men had yet to 
learn that diverse systems of ecclesiastical government, 
and varying forms of public worship could be tolerated 
in an orderly state. That way, they thought then, lay 
anarchy. The great mass of the Puritanical party were 
as firm supporters of the Church establishment as the 
most ardent lovers of the forms and settled institu- 
tions that emphasized the dignity and the reverence 
of outward worship. As Dr Leonard Bacon has written: 

"The Puritan was a Nationalist, believing that a 
Christian nation is a Christian Church." 

It was seen afterwards, in the parliamentary tri- 
umph in the Civil Wars, what rigorous use the Puritans 
could make of the power of repression when it was in 
their hands. 

'Ibid, p. 201. 

3 I borrow the phrases of James Russell Lowell in reference to 
a situation not dissimilar, confronting the New England descen- 
dants of these Puritans ("Bigelow Papers"). 


Men had strong convictions in those days. And, 
while one may lament the tragedy which arrayed the 
quest for personal rights so often against much that 
was hallowed and beautiful and true, and while we 
rightly blame the principle of Church establishment as 
contributing to this unhappy strife, it is hardly pro- 
fitable to condemn the intolerance of that time. It is 
better to inquire whether intolerance in other spheres 
has taken the place today of intolerance in religion. 
And it is but fair to take account of that devotion to 
principle, not confined to one party in the contest, 
which in the end worked out the measure of liberty 
and toleration which we now enjoy. 

III. But it is time to consider particularly that 
special offshoot of the great Puritan movement to 
which the travellers in "The Mayflower" belonged, — 
that rather obscure eddy, as it were, in the main 
current of the movement, which ultimately influenced 
so profoundly the stream of progress. It is necessary 
to make plain distinctions here. 

While the great body of the Puritan party believed 
in the establishment of Religion by the authority of 
the State, there were a few early witnesses for a 
different conception, some of whom sealed their devo- 
tion to the doctrine of Separatism or Independance on 
the gallows. Separatist congregations arose from time 
to time, often going to anarchical extremes, — as always 
will happen under a policy of indiscriminate repression. 1 

The accession of James I in 1603 and his disappoint- 
ing attitude provoked the rising spirit of liberty among 
men of more sober mind and more stable character. 
His familiarity with the Presbyterian polity in Scotland, 
it was hoped by the Puritans, would make him ready 
to receive their complaints against the bishops. But 
that familiarity seemed to work the other way, and 
cause him to welcome and cultivate episcopal sub- 

^ee J. Truslow Adams, "Founding of New England" pp. 67-68. 


serviency. Though at first giving hopes of some meas- 
ure of tolerance, he snubbed the Puritan divines with 
the famous dictum (so fraught with evil for the Church 
as well as the State): "No bishop no king;" 2 and 
dismissed them with the truculent threat, "I will make 
them conform or I will harry them out of the land." 

The rise of the Separatist congregation of Scrooby, 
which was the nucleus of the ultimate "Mayflower" 
company, dates from 1606, hardly two years after the 
Hampton Court Conference, at which the impolitic 
king so defiantly proclaimed his absolutist theory of 
rule, and cemented the ill-omened alliance between 
autocracy in the state and episcopacy in the Church. 
It is reasonable to assume a connection of cause and 
effect here. 

William Brewster, the tenant of Scrooby Manor, 
doubtless had imbibed Puritan principles through his 
connection with the Elizabethan statesman, William 
Davison, — though even so, his early sojourn in the 
Netherlands as a member of Davison's embassy had 
probably tempered the hardness of Puritan doctrine. 
But, holding as he did since 1587 the important ap- 
pointment of "Post," or master of the court mails and 
government messages, 1 he would have been constantly 
under observation, and any unlawful religious meetings 
in his house would have been known. It is only after 
the Hampton Court Conference that we begin to hear 
of these meetings at Scrooby Manor, and in 1607, 
Brewster ceased to hold office. 

For upwards of two years, however, the illegal 
religious assemblages gathered for their simple worship 
on Sunday afternoons at Scrooby Manor, imbibing the 
teaching and the spirit of a remarkable man, Rev. 
John Robinson. 

2 Frere, "Hist of Eng. Church in Reigns of Elizabeth and 
James I," p. 297. 

1 Morton Dexter, "The England and Holland of the Pilgrims," 
pp. 237; 320. 


IV. It was to Robinson, in the providence of God, 
that this Scrooby group owed much of its distinctive 
quality. His was no stationary mind. At this period, 
no doubt, the negative principle of independence was 
emphasized by him and his flock. They followed the 
logic of their individualistic creed to its conclusion. To 
their thinking, the Mother Church had become cor- 
rupted by worldly influences and human inventions. 
In this respect they held common ground with the 
other stout Calvinists known as Puritans. But in their 
endeavors to realize their ideal of a Church they were 
more single-minded than the bulk of the Puritan party. 
Convinced by hard experience that the ruling powers 
of the Church were bound to repress that "liberty of 
prophesying" to which they believed the Spirit of God 
was leading them, they resolutely — even if, as we may 
believe, reluctantly — sacrificed the lesser loyalty to 
authority to the higher loyalty to the Spirit, and 
separated from that Church, which they had come to 
think was hopelessly fettered by its connection with 
the State. This step of Separatism was repugnant, as 
has been said, to the Puritan party no less than to 
Anglicans in full sympathy with the ritual of the 
Prayer Book and the rule of Bishops. Compelled to 
choose between imprisonment and exile, they became 
Pilgrims, and the land of William the Silent gave them 

Not the first group of Separatists to take refuge in 
Holland were these Pilgrims from Scrooby. More than 
one congregation had already settled in Amsterdam, 
the port of their initial sojourn. And here soon comes 
to light the quality which distinguished the follwers 
of John Robinson from the other Separatists. For in 
Amsterdam there had already developed those objec- 
tionable tendencies which are the dangers of such a 
position — a narrow censoriousness, uncharitableness, 
petty divisions, what we today would call "crankiness" 
— in short the perils of individualism without the per- 


spective which the sense of wide corporate fellowship 
gives. This atmosphere of fractional strife was uncon- 
genial to Robinson and his flock, and therefore, after 
due negotiation with the truly liberal-minded burghers 
of Leyden, 1 that hospitable city became their abiding 
place for eleven years; and the university there, already 
famous though still young, welcomed Robinson, a 
Cambridge graduate, to its membership. 2 

Thrice a week, as Bradford tells us, this man of 
light and leading taught these simple but thoughtful 
English exiles in the old Dutch town. We have not 
his sermons. But from other writings of his we may 
infer the sort of teaching on which the future 
"Mayflower" voyagers were nourished. It was an era 
of religious controversy, and Robinson himself had 
positive convictions. But here is a characteristic pas- 
sage from one of his essays: 

"Disputations in religion are sometimes necessary, but always 
dangerous; drawing the best spirits into the head from the heart, 
and leaving it either empty of all, or too full of fleshly zeal and 
passion if extraordinary care be not taken still to supply and fill 
it anew with pious affections towards God and loving towards 
men." 3 

Again, we find him arguing for civil tolerance of 
alleged religious errors: "considering that neither God 
is pleased with unwilling worshippers, nor Christian 
Societies bettered, nor the persons themselves either 
. and being at first constrained to practice 
against conscience (many) lose all conscience after- 

x See "Leyden Documents Relating to the Pilgrim Fathers," 
pub. by Netherlands-American Institute, 1920, with preface by 
Dr. J. R. Harris, and Dr. I. J. Plooij. 

2 See art. by F. J. Powicke, "John Robinson and Pilgrim 
Movement," in Harv. Theol. Rev., July, 1920, pp. 269-280, a 
valuable correction to R. G. Usher. 

3 F. J. Powicke, "J. Robinson & Beginnings of the Pilgrim 
Movement." in Harv. Theol. Rev. for July, 1920, p. 270. 


wards. Bags and vessels overstrained break, and will 
never after hold anything." 1 

Now it is the simple truth, that in the temper of 
the Plymouth Colony — by contrast particularly with 
the strong neighboring colony of Massachusetts Bay — 
we see plainly the fruit of this "Christian Wisdom" of 
their pastor whom they had left behind. This distinc- 
tion has not always been recognized, and historical 
justice demands that we recognize it. And, though 
certain investigators have questioned the genuineness 
of the famous "Farewell Address" which Edward 
Winslow records, comparison with John Robinson's 
unquestioned writings, that reveal the forward move- 
ment of his mind, ever aspiring to regions of freedom 
and light, confirms belief in Winslow's fidelity to the 
spirit of his parting injunctions. "He charged us" — 
so runs the summary of the noble address — "before 
God and his blessed angels, to follow him no further 
than he followed Christ; and if God should reveal 
anything to us by any other Instrument of his, to be 
as ready to receive it, as ever we were to receive any 
truth by his Ministry. For he was very confident the 
Lord had more truth and light yet to break forth out 
of his Holy Word." 2 

The Pilgrims, then, were dedicated by their wise 
and godly teacher to the principle of progress in 
thought, held true by loyalty to Christ. And we honor 
them for their general fidelity to that principle. They 
had moved, in sympathy with the spirit of their open- 
minded pastor, from a position of negative revolt, to 
a positive stage, not of course tolerant of all religious 
vagaries, but giving room for a generous measure of 
inclusiveness. 1 

iPowicke, op. cit. "Harv. Theol. Rev.," p. 286. 

2 Wm. W. Fenn, "John Robinson's Farewell Address," in Harv. 
Theol. Rev., July, 1920. p. 236. 

J Cf. Powicke, op. cit. "Harv. Theol. Rev.," p. 280-1. Note 
also, an article in same no. of the "Review" by W. W. Fenn, on 


V. Moreover, no less noteworthy than this quality 
of forward-looking idealism, was the political sagacity 
of the Plymouth leaders. Witness the well-known 
"Compact" in the cabin of "The Mayflower," when 
confronted with the impending dangers of lawlessness 
on the part of certain fellow-adventurers who had 
joined them in England before their embarkation on 
their west-bound journey. 2 

Surely no unpractical, wild-eyed fanatics were these 
Pilgrim Fathers. Deeper than their Puritan eccentricity 
was their English sanity. They came of a stock imbued 
with principles of law-abidingness, trained for social 
action. Though first of all citizens of a heavenly coun- 
try, they never forgot that they were Englishmen; and 
to this was due their refusal of their Dutch hosts' 
invitation to plant a colony in the island of Zealand, 
or even to join with the settlers at New Amsterdam. 
They would remain English. And so New England was 
born of this marriage of spiritual devotion with racial 

The President of the United States, in the striking 
address given in this place this summer, sugges- 
tively pointed out how the ideals of English self 
government, which found expression in this Plymouth 
Settlement, are "the basis of social conduct, of com- 
munity relations, throughout the world." Indeed we 
touch but one element in the character and power of 
these Pilgrim Fathers, when we speak, of their indivi- 
dualism. That was the more superficial element, forced 
into temporary prominence by the political and religious 
ferment of their age. More fundemental was their 
innate social consciousness. And here, once more, John 
Robinson's wise interpretation of life is manifest, in a 
letter to the voyagers which Bradford has preserved: 

"John Robinson's Farewell Address," wherein Prof. Fenn as- 
cribes great influence in developing the Catholic spirit of the 
Pilgrims to Wm. Brewster, p, 250-1. 

Bradford "Hist, of Plymouth," p. 106. 


"A fourth thing there is carefully to be provided for, to witte, 
that with your commone employments you joyne commone affec- 
tions truly bent upon the generall good, avoyding as a deadly 
plague of your both commone and spetiall comfort all retirednes 
of mind for proper advantage, and all singularly affected any 
manner of way; let every man represse in him selfe and the whol 
body in each person, as so many rebels against the commone 
good, all private respects of mens selves, not sorting with the 
generall convenience." 1 

To such principles, applicable alike in religion and 
in the body politic, — yes, and in the relations of nations 
to one another, — our Pilgrim fathers gave their ad- 
herence. In such a spirit, rising far above a merely 
negative conception of liberty, those whom we com- 
memorate today, yeilded up their lives on this shore. 
To that spirit of fine idealism, looking beyond self- 
centered satisfaction, and tempered too with sane prac- 
ticality, may we be faithful, as we strive towards the 
consummation (devoutly to be wished) of genuine 
freedom, and peace among men! 

For, though the 16th century emphasis upon indi- 
vidualism was no doubt a necessary phase in the 
evolution of society, and though we derive from it 
valuable elements, not lightly to be abandoned, 
individualism is by no means the last word in human 

It is the value of interdependence, not mere inde- 
pendence, that our age is bringing home to us, — 
the truth that we are members one of another — the 
call to fellowship, and the sharing in a common 
life. In this our day, let us heed the divine voice, as 
our forefathers listened, and, at cost of exile, suffering 
and sacrifice of life itself faithfully, humbly, yet daunt- 
lessly obeyed. 

Organ Selection — Andante Religioso Horatio W. Parker 
Mr. Albert W. Snow 

Chairman Davis. I will now ask our new Elder 
General to pronounce the benediction. 

'Bradford, "Hist, of Plymouth Plantation"pp. 85-86. 


Rev. Harry St. Clair Hathaway, D. D. 

Elder General-Elect 

While we ask God's divine blessing upon our memo- 
rial and upon this gathering, let us be mindful of those 
whom we memorialize. 

Almighty and everliving God, we yield unto Thee 
most high praise and hearty thanks, for the wonderful 
grace and virtue declared in all thy saints, who have 
been the choice vessels of thy grace, and the lights of 
the world in their several generations; most humbly 
beseeching thee to give us grace so to follow the ex- 
ample of their stedfastness in thy faith, and obedience 
to thy holy commandments, that at the day of the 
general Resurrection, we, with all those who are of the 
mystical body of thy Son, may be set on his right 
hand, and hear that his most joyful voice: Come, ye 
blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared 
for you from the foundation of the world. 

Grant this, Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our 
only Mediator and Advocate. Amen. 

Unto God's gracious Mercy we commit ourselves. 
May the Lord bless us and keep us. May the Lord 
make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious to us. 
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and 
give us peace, both now and forevermore, Amen. 

Following the exercises at the First Church, the 
delegates and friends in attendance were marshaled 
under Acting General Murray and his aides, and 
marched to the Permanent Memorial on Cole's Hill, 
where the proceedings were resumed, as follows: 

Chairman Howland Davis: Ladies and gentle- 
men, and friends, it is now my duty as Chairman of 
the Committee entrusted with the work already ac- 
complished here, to announce that we have completed 
our labors and having so completed our labors, it is 


our duty and our pleasure to hand over to the repre- 
sentative of the Society, Deputy Governor and Acting 
Governor General French, the memorial which has 
been prepared and carried out by this Society. Mr. 
French, we turn over the monument to you. 

Acting Governor General French 

Mr. President [addressing President Arthur Lord, 
of the Pilgrim Society], in the name and behalf of the 
General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and in 
response to the generous and gracious offer of the 
Pilgrim Society, I now confide to that kindred organi- 
zation, through you as its head, the pious and perpetual 
care of this monument, erected by the General Society 
to commemorate those of the Mayflower passengers 
who died earliest in Plymouth. 

Hon. Arthur Lord, President of the Pilgrim Society. 

Mr. Governor General, in this grateful task of 
commemoration, the Commonwealth has joined with 
your Society, has turned aside the highway which for 
so many years passed over the line of graves, has 
enclosed and protected the original burial place of those 
of the Pilgrim company who died the first winter, and 
now all that is mortal which remains of those who 
were buried here has been placed beneath this stone, 
never again to be disturbed. 

In behalf of the Pilgrim Society and in compliance 
with your request, I accept the important trust and 
high responsibility which you have imposed. There is 
no spot, Sir, where the associations are more tender 
and inspiring and persuasive than this on which we 
stand today. Fitly there crowns it this beautiful sar- 
cophagus, a memorial at once simple and appro- 
priate, reverential and dignified, and here, Sir, may it 
stand forever. 


"So let it live unfading, 

The memory of the dead, 
Long as the pale anemone 

Springs where their tears were shed, 
Or raining in the summer's wind, 

In flakes of burning red, 
The wild rose sprinkles with its leaves 

The turf where once they bled!" 

Chairman Davis: This wreath has been placed on 
the monument by the General Society. An opportunity 
will now be given by the Captain General for the 
delegates and members to step up and deposit their 
individual flower on the monument as we resume the 

As the delegates and members marched past, each 
deposited a flower on the Memorial, after which the 
procession moved to the Plymouth Tavern, where a 
lunch was served. 


Former Governor General Howland Davis, New York, 

Deputy Governor General Asa P. French, Massa- 

Secretary General Addison P. Munroe, Rhode Island 

Former Governor General Thomas S. Hopkins, Dis- 
trict of Columbia 

Deputy Governor General Arthur H. Bennett,