1640: As emigration ceased at this time, the provisions brought from England
were very cheap.
The fall of prices was remarkable; and Gov. Winthrop
says: “This evil was very notorious, that most men would buy as cheap as they could, and sell as dear.
Corn would bring nothing; a cow, which last year cost £ 20, might now be bought for four or five.”
Monuments of early times.
That there were many defences raised against the Indians and the wild beasts, by the early settlers of Massachusetts
, is most true; and that many of them were not needed is also true.
Not knowing at first how many Indians there were, nor what were their feelings towards the white men; not knowing what ferocious wild beasts there were, nor what their modes of attack; not knowing what the winters might be, nor the extent of the rainy seasons,--it was natural that an isolated, few, and defenceless people, thus situated, should take counsel of their fears, and erect more defences than were needful.
That such a course was anticipated, appears from the following provision by the Company
, passed Oct. 16, 1629: Ordered, “That, for the charge of fortifications, the Company
's joint stock to bear the one half, and the planters to defray the other; viz., for ordinance, munition, powder, &c. But, for laborers in building of forts, &c., all men to be employed in an equal proportion, according to the number of men upon the plantation, and so to continue until such fit and necessary works be finished.”
Any plantation, disposed to build a place of retreat and defence, was authorized by the above vote to do so, and to call upon the Company
to pay half the expense.
Undoubtedly, Mr. Cradock
's house was so built.
That forts were thought to be necessary appears from the following history of Charlestown
: “1631: It was concluded to build a fort on the hill at Moulton's Point, and mount the six guns left by the Company
last year upon the beach of this town, for defence, in case ships should come up on the back-side of Mistick River.
The project was abandoned.
By sounding the mouth of Mistick River, the channel lies so far off from Moulton's Point, towards Winnesemit side, that the erecting a fort on the hill will not reach that end.”