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American History
1.9 Fortification by the Pilgrims

Canonicus: There were some Indians on the shore "Narragansett" bay which is on the west of where Massasoit lived, now its called "Rhode Island".  The chief was Canonicus who was an ill-tempered, he did not show friendly gesture towards Massasoit either, or to the pilgrims.  He sent to the Governor Bradford a bundle of sharp new arrows tied round with rattle snake skin, that meant he was ready to fight against them.  The Governor threw away the arrows.  Then he filled the snakes skin up to the mouth with powder and ball when this was sent back to Canonicus he was afraid to touch it for he knew English bullets were mightier than his arrows.

However, English became suspicious of Canonicus and they thought of building a very high and strong fence called a "Palisade" around the town.  They also built a strong fort on one of the hills and used the lower part of the fort for a church.  Every Sunday all the pilgrims marched the meeting place with Captain Standish where a man stood on God outside.  Each pilgrim carried his gun and kept near him. The God's one ear to the preacher while the other listening as sharply for the cry Indians! Indians!.  But they never came.

By and by more emigrants came from England and settled about 25 miles away from Plymouth, which is now called "Weymouth", the Indians did not like the new settlers.  Therefore they came suddenly and murdered some of them. Governor Bradford sent Captain Standish with a few men to see how great the danger was. Indians challenged Captain Standish too and mocked him. Standish raged knew no boundary.  The very next morning Standish got a chance. He met some of the Indians in the large cabin. He pierced the heart of the Indian with the spear which was carried by the Indian.  A hand to hand fight followed between the white people and the Indian.  The pilgrims were victorious.  Thus, Standish timely and bravery helped to save the English settlements from destruction.  He also went to England bought various goods for the pilgrims and borrowed money to help them. He lived up to his old age.  He left among other things three well worn bibles and three good guns. Near Plymouth there is a high hill called "Captain's hill".  Even today we can see a granite monument of Standish over hundred feet high looking towards the sea. He was one of the makers of Modern America.



After ten years, under the leadership Governor John Wintrop English people landed at Plymouth.  They were "Puritans".  The wheel of fortune favored the pilgrims and was against the Puritans. They were seeking religious freedom in the old country.  They came to Plymouth in many vessels one of the vessels name was "May flower", it may be the same one which brought the pilgrims in 1620 to these shores.  The new settlers, "Puritans" named their settlement Boston.  The bay was called Massachusetts bay and colony.  After many years the old and new settlements were united and they became state of Massachusetts.

Directions: Answer the following questions on a sheet of paper:
  • Why did English fortify themselves?
  • Captain Standish was very helpful to the settlers of Plymouth - substantiate.
Answer the following multiple choice questions.

Q 1: Who led the Puritans to Plymouth?
Governor John Wintrop
Governor Carver
Captain Myles Standish

Q 2: What is the former name of Rhode Island?

Q 3: What did the cruel chief send to the English Governor
Flesh of animals
Arrows tied around with rat skin
A set of army men
He sent a bundle of new sharp arrows tied with rattle snake skins.

Q 4: Why did he send?
To show his friendly gesture
To invite the English to a party
To show his readiness to fight against them.

Question 5: This question is available to subscribers only!

Question 6: This question is available to subscribers only!

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