The Mary and John, or, How We Got Dorchester

Maude Pinney Kuhns, “The Mary and John”

The Mary & John left Plymouth, England, in March of 1630 with 140 passengers aboard, recruited by the Rev. John White of Dorchester, Dorset. Nearly all came from the West Country counties of Somerset, Dorset, and Devon. The 400-ton ship had three decks for its passengers, livestock, and cargo, and it was her third trip ferrying emigrants to the New World. This voyage was bound for Charlestown. In May, after 70 days at sea, she arrived at Boston’s outer harbor.

But the ship’s captain, whose name was Squeb or Squibb, refused to sail up the Charles River as planned, because he feared running the ship aground in waters for which he had no charts. Instead he left the passengers stranded on Nantasket Point, near the current-day town of Hull, a desolate locale miles from their intended destination. The settlers were forced to transport 150,000 pounds of livestock, provisions, and equipment 20 miles overland to their final destination.[...] read more

Banned in Boston! William Pynchon

Iconoclast William Pynchon

William Pynchon (1590-1662), founder of Roxbury and Springfield, lay theologian, canny trader, friend to Indians, was for a time one of the wealthiest and most important men in Massachusetts. He also wrote the New World’s first banned book, The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, incensing the Puritans so greatly that they gathered every copy they could and burned them on Boston Common. They missed four. Scandalously, he argued against predestination and in favor of obedience to God as the path to salvation. Then, rather than recant or face ruin, he quietly transferred all his assets to his son and sailed back to England, where he continued to needle the Puritans by writing four more books.[...] read more