freemen which had just been made, and by which
the old members of the company had abdicated their controlling power in the court; but as it was in conflict with the charter, it could have no permanence.
During these events, sickness delayed the progress of the settlements, and death often withdrew the laborer from the fruit of his exertions.
Every hardship was encountered.
The emigrants, miserably lodged, beheld their friends ‘weekly, yea, almost daily, drop away before their eyes;’ in a country abounding in secret fountains they had pined for the want of good water.
Many of them had been accustomed to plenty and ease, the refinements and the conveniencies of luxury.
Woman was there to struggle against unforeseen hardships, unwonted sorrows; the men, who defied trials for themselves, were miserable at beholding those whom they cherished dismayed by the horrors which encompassed them.
The virtues of the lady Arbella Johnson
could not break through the gloom; and as she had been ill before her arrival, grief hurried her to the grave.
Her husband, a wise and holy man, in life ‘the greatest furtherer of the plantation,’ and by his bequests a large benefactor of the infant state, sank under disease and afflictions; but ‘he died willingly and in sweet peace,’ making a ‘most godly end.’
lost a son, who left a widow and children in England
A hundred or more, some of them of the board of assistants, men who had been trusted as the inseparable companions of the common misery or the common success, disheartened by the scenes of woe, and dreading famine and death, deserted Massachusetts
, and sailed for England
; while Winthrop
remained, ‘parent-like, to distribute his goods to brethren and neighbors.’
Before December, two hundred, at the least, had died.
Yet, as the