Miles Standish and the
Puritans were getting settled into their New World home when some
neighbors arrived in the summer of 1622 and set up shop near Boston
William Bradford wrote home to England
new arrivals claiming they had "made havoc of their
provisions" and were stealing corn from the Indians.
It comes as no surprise that
some of the MacThoys for various reasons
found themselves sold into indentured servitude and were shipped
overseas to labor in the New World.
This particular expedition
was led by Captain Wollaston who brought a
good number of servants with him, intent on make a fortune in this new
territory. He quickly discovered it wasn't going to be as simple as he
made a trip from there to Virginia
where he sold several of his servants. Delighted at having at last
found something that would turn a profit, he sent word to the colony for more servants to
One of Wollaston's companions
on the trip was Thomas Morton. It was he who
suggested to the servants that they
ignore Wollaston's request, get rid of his man in charge and set up shop
as free men. The MacThoys thought
this a good idea and took him at his word.
reports that Morton announced that they would "entertaine any,
how vile soever, and all ye scume of ye countrie or any discontents
would flock to him from all places." (Three that responded
MacThoy, his wife, Wanda, and Ebenezer
Pikkleson from the original Plymouth Rock
The colony was renamed Merry
Mount. Morton's own writings from New
Canaan describes the celebration:
in a solemn manner with
Revels, & merriment after the old English custorne: prepared to
sett up a Maypole upon the festivall day of Philip and Jacob: &
therefore brewed a barrell of excellent beer, & provided a case of
bottles to be spent, with other good cheer, for all comers of that
day. . .And upon Mayday they brought the May pole to the place
appointed, with drums, guns, pistols, and other fitting instruments
for that purpose. . .
Their neighbors weren't quite
as delighted with this freewheeling colony. Their displeasure is
elegantly described by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Not far from Merry Mount was a settlement of
Puritans, most dismal wretches, who said their prayers before
daylight, and then wrought in the forest or the cornfield till evening
made it prayer time again.. . .The selectman nodded to the constable;
and there sat the light-heeled reprobate in the stocks; or if he
danced, it was round the whipping-post, which might be termed the
Continues. . .