July, 1622- 1625

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 Bay.

William Bradford wrote home to England about the 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 originally thought.

Wollaston 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 sell.

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.

Bradford 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 were John MacThoy, his wife, Wanda, and Ebenezer Pikkleson from the original Plymouth Rock Colony.)

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 Puritan Maypole.

Merry Mount Continues. . .

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Created: May 9, 2001
Last modified: September 12, 2006