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[396] imperfect shelter had been provided; cattle perished
Chap IX.}
in great numbers; and the men suffered such privations, that many of them, in the depth of winter, abandoned their newly-chosen homes, and waded through the snows to the sea-board.

Yet, in the opening of the next year, a government

1636. April 26.
was organized, and civil order established; and the budding of the trees and the springing of the grass were signals for a greater emigration to the Connecticut.
Some smaller parties had already made their way to the new Hesperia of Puritanism. In June, the principal caravan began its march, led by Thomas Hooker, ‘the light of the Western Churches.’ There were of the company about one hundred souls; many of them persons accustomed to affluence and the ease of European life. They drove before them numerous herds of cattle; and thus they traversed on foot the pathless forests of Massachusetts; advancing hardly ten miles a day through the tangled woods, across the swamps and numerous streams, and over the highlands that separated the several intervening valleys; subsisting, as they slowly wandered along, on the milk of the kine, which browsed on the fresh leaves and early shoots; having no guide, through the nearly un-trodden
wilderness, but the compass, and no pillow for their nightly rest but heaps of stones. How did the hills echo with the unwonted lowing of the herds! How were the forests enlivened by the loud and fervent piety of Hooker!1 Never again was there such a pilgrimage from the sea-side ‘to the delightful banks’ of the Connecticut. The emigrants had been gathered from among the most valued citizens, the earliest settlers, and the oldest churches of the Bay. John

1 Hooker was ‘a Son of Thunder.’ See Morton, 239 and 240.

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