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The Second Book.

Containing a Description of the Beauty of the

with Her Natural Endowments both in the Land and Sea,

with the Great Lake of Erocoise.


The General Survey of the Country.

N the month of June Anno Salutis 1622 it was my chance to arrive in the parts of New England with 30 servants, and provision of all sorts fit for a plantation. And while our houses were building, I did endeavor to take a survey of the country. [150]

Anno Salutis Latin: poss. "in the year hailed as 1622"

1622 Arrival A claim also on Canaan 17, neither consistent with "10 years" claimed on the title page. Morton's actual record totals approx. 6 yrs/6 mos. (Spring 1624-Fall 1628, Spring 1629-Winter 1630) before Canaan. In a minor 1636 court petition (as he worked on the book) he better-estimated 1624 (document in Thomas Morton Ch. 4, hereafter TM): which fairly agrees with Bradford's History (hereafter, FBH) and Letter Book.

Contexts: The best evidences suggest that the ship Unity, bearing Morton and indentured servants, arrived in June 1624 at Cape Ann fishing station; disembarked him and others near "Mount Wollaston" (Quincy MA) by autumn, and in December sailed for Virginia and London. Holly details documents of voyage/personnel: study of other views, TM Ch 5. Compare John Smith's Description of New England (1616): "In the month of April 1614 with two Ships from London, of a few Merchants, I chanced to arrive in New England...." (in. Barbour I: 323)

The more I looked, the more I liked it. And when I had more seriously considered of the beauty of the place, with all her fair endowments, I did not think that in all the known world it could be paralleled. For so many goodly groves of trees, dainty fine round rising hillucks, delicate fair large plains; sweet crystal fountains and clear-running streams that twine in fine meanders through the meads, making so sweet a murmuring noise to hear as would even lull the senses with delight asleep, so pleasantly do they glide upon the pebble stones, jetting most jocundly where they do meet; and hand in hand run down to Neptune's Court, to pay the yearly tribute which they owe to him as sovereign Lord of all the springs. Contained within the volume of the land, fowls in abundance, fish in multitude, and discovered besides, millions of turtledoves on the green boughs; which sat pecking of the full ripe pleasant grapes that were supported by the lusty trees; whose fruitful load did cause the arms to bend. With which here and there dispersed you might see lilies, and of the Daphnean tree; which made the land to me seem paradise. For in mine eye, 'twas Nature's Masterpiece: Her chiefest Magazine of all, where lives Her store. If this land be not rich, then is the whole world poor. [151]

lilies... Daphnean tree... Since Daphne (Greek myth) became a laurel tree, Morton may have New England's Rosebay Rhododendron or "White Laurel" in mind: its huge and fragrant flowers bloom in late June (Connor 178: Emerson 2:442)

Paradise Poss. via Smith—"the Massachusetts" was "the Paradise of all those parts" (Arber 2: 719), filled with "great troupes of well proportioned people"; or Levett (1623: Levermore 2: 631), "the Massachusetts ...counted the Paradise of New England." Some read this passage as a "commonplace" or schoolboy topos (composition on a locus amoenus or "pleasant garden place"). Try it aloud outdoors.
marginal glosses: "A famous Country. Their fountains are as clear as crystal. Great store of fowls, fish and turtledoves"

What I had resolved on, I have really performed, and I have endeavored to use this abstract as an instrument to be the means to communicate the knowledge which I have gathered by my many years' residence in those parts, unto my Countrymen; to the end that they may the better perceive their error, who cannot imagine that there is any country in the universal world which may be compared unto our native soil. I will now discover unto them a country whose endowments are by learned men allowed to stand in a parallel with the Israelites' Canaan, which none will deny to be a land far more excellent than Old England in her proper nature.

This I consider I am bound in duty (as becometh a Christian man) to perform, for the glory of God, in the first place; next (according to Cicero) to acknowledge that Non nobis solum nati suntus, sed partim patria, partim parentes, partim amid vindicant. [152]

Non...vindicant Latin "commonplace" adapted from Cicero, On Duties (I, 4, 70: Poteat trans.): "...Nature, by this same power of reason, makes human society possible, through the common intercourse of speech and life; especially, she implants in man a most tender devotion to his progeny; likewise she stirs the desire to form groups and assemblies and to participate in their doings. As a result, man labors to provide all things necessary for body and mind, and not alone for himself [is a man born], but also for wife, children, and all others whom he loves and whom it is his duty to cherish; of this responsibility is born...courage to face the duties of life." Morton’s approximation reads: Not for ourselves alone are we born, but partly country, partly ancestors, partly loved ones lay claim"

For which cause I must approve of the endeavors of my countrymen that have been studious to enlarge the territories of his Majesty's empire by planting colonies in America.

And of all other I must applaud the judgment of those that have made choice of this part whereof I now treat; being of all other most absolute, as I will make it appear hereafter by way of parallel, among those that have settled themselves in New England. Some have gone for their consciences' sake (as they profess), and I wish that they may plant the Gospel of Jesus Christ: as becometh them, sincerely and without fatisme or faction, whatsoever their former or present practices are (which I intend not to justify). Howsoever, they have deserved (in mine opinion) some commend­ations, in that they have furnished the country so commodiously in so short a time, although it hath been but for their own profit. Yet posterity will taste the sweetness of it, and that very suddenly. [153]

fatisme neither this word nor "satisme" (replacing an "f" with "s") is known to the OED

And since my task in this part of mine abstract is to entreat of the natural endowments of the country, I will make a brief demonstration of them in order, severally, according to their several qualities; and show you what they are, and what profitable use may be made of them by industry.  




What Trees Are There and How Commodious.


Oaks are there of two sorts, white and red, excellent tymber for the building both of houses and shipping; and they are found to be a tymber that is more tough than the Oak of England. They are excellent for pipe-staves and such like vessels; and pipe-staves at the Canary Islands are a prime commodity. I have known them there at 35p. the 1000, and they will purchase a freight of wines there before any commodity in England, their only wood being pine, of which they are enforced also to build shipping. Of Oak there is great abundance in the parts of New England, and they may have a prime place in the Catalogue of commodities. [154]

Oak Paugautemisk (Williams Key Ch. 16). Wood (Prospect 39) notes 3 kinds of oak: in fact New England has at least 13, generally White (Quercus alba) and Red (q. rubra). Acorns, unmentioned here, were a Native staple, gathered esp. "every third year" (Wood 39). New Albion (1648: Force 2:7: 33) agrees with Adams’ edition of Canaan (hereafter, AC) 182 on only "20 pounds the thousand" price of staves. On New England trees in general, see both Connor and Freeman/Nasuti (1998). The quarterly Eastern Old Growth Notes (P.O. Box 131, Georgetown KY 40324) and Davis' Old Growth in the East treat conservation sites today. Many further works on Old Growth American forest and other natural history distributed through Sources.

Ash there is store and very good for staves, oars or pikes, and may have a place in the same Catalogue. [155]

Ash (Fraxinus americana)—AC 183 adds "two other species...common" in Mass., the Red and Black Ash (F. pubescens and sambusicolia). Strong and flexible for Native snowshoes, colonists' farm tools (Connor 126), boat-paddles for both (Quinn English New England Voyages, hereafter ENEV 223)

Elm: of this sort of trees there are some; but there hath not as yet been found any quantity to speak of. [156]

Elm (Ulmus americana), never a dominant New England species, though its bark was sown into mats for Native wetoos or houses (Russell 53). Inner bark steeped and drunk aided colds and severe coughs (Tantaquidgeon 31). Dutch Elm Disease killed 90% of American elms after 1930

Beech there is of two sorts, red and white; very excellent for trenchers or chairs, and also for oars; and may be accompted for a commodity. [157]

Beech the Common Beech (Fagus sylvatica) or American species of the Hornbeam (Carpinus americana). AC 183: "two forms species...distinguished by...color." A common fuel-wood, its nuts fed to swine (Connor 37)

Walnut, of this sort of wood there is infinite store and there are four sorts. It is an excellent wood for many uses approved. The younger trees are employed for hoops, and are the best for that employment of all other stuff whatsoever. The nuts serve when they fall to feed our swine, which makes them the delicatest bacon of all other food, and is therein a chief commodity. [158]

Walnut Wussoquat These trees include the Butternut or White Walnut (juglens cinera) and the Eastern Black (j. nigra). Several kinds of Hickory are often termed Walnut: Carya tomentosa, c. glabra, c. ovalis, c. cordiformis, c. ovata. Josselyn (Second Voyage, hereafter SV 50): "the toughest wood in the country." The wood of choice for Native bows and colonists' gun-stocks (Wilbur Indians 55)

Chestnut, of this sort there is very great plenty: the tymber whereof is excellent for building and is a very good commodity, especially in respect of the fruit, both for man and beast. [159]

Chestnut Wompimish The American Chestnut (castanea dentata), a water-resistant favorite for Native mishoons (dugout boats) and building exteriors (Crofton 109)

Pine, of this sort there is infinite store in some parts of the country. I have traveled 10 miles together where is little or no other wood growing. And of these may be made rosin, pitch, and tar, which are such useful commodities that if we had them not from other countries in amity with England, our Navigation would decline. Then how great the commodity of it will be to our nation to have it of our own, let any man judge. [160]

Pine Cowaw-esuch The Pitch Pine (pines rigida) and Jack Pine (p. banksiana) are Morton's likely sources of tar and turpentine from sap and wood: the White (p. strobus) grows tallest and straightest, substituted for Spruce for ship-masts. By 1715 Massachusetts wood-shortages resulted in laws against its unlicensed cutting (Connor 82)

Cedar, of this sort there is abundance; and this wood was such as Solomon used for the building of that glorious Temple at Hierusalem. And there are of these Cedars, fir trees, and other materials necessary for the building of many fair Temples; if there were any Solomons, to be at the cost of them. And if any man be desirous to find out in what part of the Country the best Cedars are, he must get into the bottom grounds, and in valleys that are wet at the spring of the year, where the moisture preserves them from the fire in spring time; and not in a woodden prospect. This wood cuts red, and is good for bedsteads, tables and chests, and may be placed in the Catalogue of commodities. [161]

Cedar Mishquawtuck New World Cedars are not true Cedars, but are of the Cypress family (Cupressaceae). Native and colonists’ “Swamp” or “Post” Cedars were likely the Atlantic White (Chamaecyparis thyoides) of wetland areas, favored for Native “ceremonial bowers” (Winslow News), and still in use thus. Wood 40: “much inferior” to the “Cedars of Lebanon,” but scented “sweet as juniper.

Cypress, of this there is great plenty, and vulgarly this tree hath been taken for another sort of Cedar; but workmen put a difference between this Cypress, and the Cedar, especially in the color; for this is white and that red white, and likewise in the fineness of the leaf and the smoothness of the bark. This wood is also sweeter than Cedar and (as it is in Garret's Herbal [162]) a more beautiful tree. It is of all other, to my mind, most beautiful, and cannot be denied to pass for a commodity. [163]

Garret's actually Gerard's Herbal or General History of Plants (London 1597, 1633)

Cypress of the family Cupressaceae. AC 185n1 suggests that Arbor Vitae (thuja occidentalis) is this "most beautiful" of Morton's trees. See Connor (Plate 17, and 73)

Spruce, of these there are infinite store, especially in the northern parts of the country; and they have been approved by workmen in England to be more tough than those that they have out of the East country; from whence we have them for masts and yards of ships.

The Spruce of this country are found to be 3 and 4 sadum about; and are reputed able, singly, to make masts for the biggest ship that sails on the main ocean, without peesing [164] , which is more than the East country can afford. And seeing that Navigation is the very sinews of a flourishing Commonwealth, it is fitting to allow the Spruce tree a principal place in the Catalogue of commodities. [165]

sadum/fadum poss. slang term for a unit of girth (not in OED)

Peesing poss. an obscure form of poise, "to add weight to" (though the sense remains unclear)

Spruce New England native varieties include Red (picea rubens), Black (p. inariana), and White (p. glauca), a.k.a. He-Balsam. Josselyn's Rarities (63) corroborates girths of "three fathom" or approx. 21 ft.

Alder, of this sort there is plenty by riversides good for turners. [166]

Alder Alnus serrulata, common alder; though Dame/Brooks (70) say the European Alder was introduced to America, and Morton may mean a different tree of the American waterside. Josselyn (TV 51): "An Indian bruising of his knee, chewed the bark of Alder fasting and laced it to [the bruise], which quickly helped him"

turners craftsmen using a wood-lathe

Birch, of this there is plenty in diverse parts of the country. Of the bark of these the Salvages of the northern parts make them delicate canoes, so light that two men will transport one of them over land where they list, and yet one of them will transport ten or twelve Salvages by water at a time. [167]

Birch Three species thrive best in New England: the Yellow (Betula alleghaniensis), Gray (B. populifolia), and Paper or Canoe Birch (B. papyrifera). See Wilbur Indians for superb illustrations of the birch-hark canoe-building process

Maple, of those trees there is great abundance, and these are very excellent for bowls. The Indians use of it to that purpose, and it is to be accompted a good commodity. [168]

Maple Most common are the Silver (Acer saccharinum), Red (A rubrum), and Sugar Maple (A. saccharum), whose "sugar" Native peoples tapped in March-April (Wilbur Indians 34). Mason questions whether this was originally Native or European practice: see also Densmore

Elder, there is plenty in that country. Of this the Salvages make their arrows, and it hath no strong unsavory scent like our Elder in England. [169]

Elder or Sambucus canadensis, brought like comment on its scent from Josselyn, who noted the "shrubbie" Dwarf Elder as well "by the Sea-side" (Lindholdt 51)

Hawthorn, of this there is two sorts, one of which bears a well-tasting berry as big as one's thumb, and looks like Little Queen apples. [170]

Hawthorn poss. 159 species of Crataegus, a recognized North American native. Emerson (2: 489) itemizes species bearing tiny "fruit" like the English apple

Vines, of this kind of trees there are that bear grapes of three colors, that is to say: white, black, and red. [171]

Vines Wenomesippaguash (Williams Key Ch 2), Wenomeneash ("grapes"). AC 186n4 inexplicably notes that "None of our native Grape vines bear White grapes," but "Mourt" (84) saw "white and red" ones here, Wood too (41). A variety of grape-bearing vines of the family Vitaceae are native, incl. the Summer Grape (Vitis aestivalis) and the less common (alba/white) Vitis labrusca or Fox Grape (Quinn ENEV 163n39)

The country is so apt for vines that, but for the fire at the spring of the year, the vines would so overspread the land that one should not be able to pass for them. The fruit of some is as big as a musket bullet, and is excellent in taste.

Plumtrees, of this kind there are many: some that bear fruit as big as our ordinary bullis: others there he that do bear fruit much bigger than pear plums, their color red, and their stones flat, very delicious in taste. [172]

bullis likely bullace, "a wild plum (prunis instititia) larger than the sloe" (OED).

Plumtrees In his annotations to the 1603 voyage of Martin Pring, Quinn (ENEV 23, 225n3) details New England species then unfamiliar to Englishmen and concludes that the Shad Bush/Service Berry (a.k.a. Sugar or Indian Pear), Amelanchier canadensis is meant: what Bristol mariners called "red Peare-plum," with "a berry the color of a plum but more the contour of a pear and possibly with…a ‘knop.’” New England also has the “almost white” Prunus maritima or Beach Plum, which AC 187n1 believed that Morton had in mind.

Cherry trees, there are abundance, but the fruit is as small as our sloes. But if any of them were replanted and grafted, in an orchard they would soon be raised by means of such and the like as fruits. [173]

Cherry Qussuckomineanug native species: Britain's wild cherry is prunus avium, and cultivated (p. cerasus or cerasus vulgaris). Wood 41: these are "yet as wild as the Indians."

Sloe bitter fruit of the Blackthorn (prunus spinosa)


There is great abundance of Muske Roses in diverse places: the water distilled excelleth our rosewater of England. [174]

Muske Roses possibly the native Wild Rose (Rosa virginiana): shrubs of the genus Rosa vary in their "defining term" prefix (for ex. the Alpine rose, Apple rose etc.), so the species meant here may be one noticed mostly for scent.

Rosewater perfume distilled from flower-petals.

There is abundance of Sassafrass and Sasperilla, growing in diverse places of the land; whose buds at the spring do perfume the air. [175]

Sassafrass Sasaunckapamuck To Europeans a.k.a. Sassafrass Laurel or Ague-Tree (Sassafras officinale), valued as anti-syphilitic, and for the oil derived from bark of its roots (Sassafras albidum). Once Spain's conquistadores made it known as medicinal, it was in such demand that (for ex.) Cartier's crewmen were "ready to kill one another" for its (or poss. white pine's) help against scurvy (1535: Burrage 76). The northern limit of its growth was "effectively the Massachusetts state line" (Quinn ENEV 218n1).

Sarsaparilla AC 187n3 suggests the "ginseng" (Aralia quinquefolia) or the "Wild Sarsaparilla"; but this climbing plant with grape-like berries (Smilax officinalis) is native only to South and Central America. Lindholdt (56) notes that Aralia nudicalis "yields a substitute," and Morton may mean the same.

Other trees there are not greatly material to be recited in this abstract, as gooseberries, raspberries, and other berries. [176]

Gooseberries (Ribes cynosbati) are of European origin (Quinn ENEV 148n12, 1641143). But there is also America's native Heterotrichum pateus or H. nivium, "an abundant and popular" plant with huge red/white blossoms "all over the countrie" till early 20th-c. blights (Josselyn SV 52).

Raspberries possibly Rubus strigosus—The genus Rubus also includes blackberries, dewberries, cloudberries and others. The Whortleberries eaten by bears in Chapter 5 below may be either blueberries or huckleberries (Gaylusaccia).

There is Hemp that naturally growth, finer than our Hemp of England. [177]

Hemp AC 187n4: "not native to New England or America"—although Wood (37) found plenty (different from Adams’ perhaps), and Winthrop (Journal edited by Hosmer, hereafter WJH 1: 108) saw "abundant" hemp "better than the English." Indian Hemp or Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) as well as A. sativa (Marijuana) were used in countless Native activities (exs. Wilbur Handcrafts 64), as were hemps derived from Wild Flax, Milkweed, Basswood and Swamp Ash. See also Morton’s Chapter 9 below for more on Hemp.



Pot-Herbs and other Herbs for Salads.

The country there naturally affordeth very good pot-herbs and salad herbs, and those of a more masculine virtue than any of the same species in England: as Potmarjoram, Thyme, Alexander, Angelica, Pursland, Violets, and Anis seeds, in very great abundance. And for the pot I gathered in summer, these I dried and crumbled into a bag to preserve for winter store. [178]

Josselyn’s Rarities and Two Voyages (51-58) offer far more detail and precise New England taxonomies: editor Lindholdt (xv) describes the "materia medica" or body of known natural curatives on which Morton and Josselyn draw. See his contemporary bibliography (43) including John Gerard's Herball or General History of Plants (1597/1633: referred to wrongly by Morton), and works by Thomas Johnson and John Parkinson. Russell and Tantaquidgeon detail Northeastern Native American herbs and uses.
Pot-marjoram poss. American pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides)
Thyme AC 188n1: "none of them the same species as in England," according to "Prof. Gray of Harvard." Thyme is in fact a native mint, Mentha borealis.
Balm possibly Wild Basil (Pycnanthemum) or Monarda (a.k.a. Balm).
Alexander Possibly a horse-parsley or culinary substitute for celery (Smyrnium olusatrum). The OED entry for 1580 mentions Alexander "for sallets and all times."
Angelica Of the Parsley family, its genus occurs in America, but not the officinal species; so Morton probably meant Wild Sarsaparilla.
Purslane Possibly Portulaca oleracea (an introduced species).
Violets A number of species of the genus Viola, most commonly V. odorata.
Anis-seeds Possibly Sweet Cicely (Osmorrhiza or Washingtonia), Honewort (Criptotaenia), or Wild Chervil (Deringa Canadensis). All share the scent and taste of licorice and are used to flavor cooking.
Honeysuckle AC mentions two species of Azalea still known by this name: also poss. Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) or Blackhaw (V. Prunifolium), both native to the Northeast.

Honeysuckles, Balm, and diverse other good herbs are there that grow without the industry of man, that are used when occasion serveth very commodiously.



Of Birds, and Feathered Fowls.

Now that I have briefly showed the Commodity of the trees, herbs, and fruits, I will show you a description of the fowls of the air, as most proper in ordinary course. [179]

179 course Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7 follow a loose "cosmological" order (in keeping with Canaan’s cosmographical beginning in Book I Ch. 1), by following a medieval taxonomy according to the "four elements" of Air (Birds), Earth (Beasts), Fire (Minerals) and Water (Fishes). Higginson's 1630 New England's Plantation (rpt. in Force 1, 12, 11) used this schema, both borrowed perhaps from Francis Bacon

And first of the Swan, because she is the biggest of all the fowls of that country. There are of them in Merrimac River and in other parts of the country, great store at the seasons of the year. [180]

Swan Wequash-shauog (Williams Key Ch. 15) New England species include the Whistling Swan (Olor columbianus), "now [1883] a rare visitor" as AC 189 relates; and the Trumpeter Swan (c. buccinator). The now-common Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) was introduced from Europe (Audubon, Bull et als eds., 173, 424)

The flesh is not much desired of the inhabitants, but the skins may be accompted a commodity, fit for diverse uses, both for feathers and quills.

There are Geese of three sorts, viz: Brant Geese, which are pied, and White Geese which are bigger; and Gray Geese, which are as big and bigger than the tame Geese of England; with black legs, black bills, heads, and necks black. The flesh is far more excellent than the Geese of England, wild or tame, yet the purity of the air is such that the biggest is accompted but an indifferent meal for a couple of men. [181]

Geese Honckock (goose), Wompatuck-quauog (geese) include the American Brant (Munnucks or Branta bernicla: Quinn ENEV 305n14); the Snow Goose (Anser hyperboreus), and the Canada Goose (Bernicla canadensis). See the hunt for "Boston Bay" brants by the inept “Master Bubble” in Canaan Book III, Chapter 10

There is of them great abundance. I have had often 1000 before the mouth of my gun. I never saw any in England for my part so fat as I have killed there in those parts. The feathers of them make a bed softer than any down bed that I have lain on; and is there a very good commodity. The feathers of the Geese that I have killed in a short time have paid for all the powder and shot I have spent in a year, and I have fed my dogs with as fat Geese there as I have ever fed upon myself in England.

Ducks there are of three kinds, Pied Ducks, Gray Ducks, and Black Ducks in great abundance: the most about my habitation were Black Ducks; and it was a noted custom at my house to have every man's Duck upon a trencher, and then you will think a man was not hardly used. They are bigger-bodied than the tame Ducks of England: very fat and dainty flesh. [182]

Ducks Pied or Labrador clucks (Camptoloemus Labradorius) Gray poss. the Pintail (Anas acuta) Black (Anas obscura), the North American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) or the Red-legged Black Duck (A. rubipres rubipres). See Quinn ENEV 305n13

The common dogs' fees were the giblets, unless they were boiled now and then for to make broth.

Teals there are of two sorts: Green-winged and Blue-winged. But a dainty bird, I have been much delighted with a roast of these for a second course: I had plenty in the rivers and ponds about my house. [183]

Teals Green-winged (Anas crecca; or Nettion carolinense, Quinn ENEV 162n18) Blue-winged (Querquedula discors), both noted for "delicacy" of their flesh (Desloges/Lafrance 39)

Widgens there are, and abundance of other waterfowl, some such as I have seen, and such as I have not seen elsewhere before I came into those parts, which are little regarded. [184]

Widgens Possibly the American Wigeon (Anas americana), or Baldpate (Anas americattus): Morton may place these with birds "not seen elsewhere" because these unfamiliar American species are called "duck-like" birds (Bull Audubon 99, 106, 414)

Simps there are like our Simps in all respects, with very little difference. I have shot at them only to see what difference I could find between them and those of my native country, and more I did not regard them. [185]

Simps No such word or bird in the OED, Audubon or Minot. AC 191 speculates only that "some species of web-footed bird" is meant

Sanderlings are a dainty bird, more full-bodied than a Snipe, and I was much delighted to feed on them because they were fat, and easy to come by, because I went but a step or two for them. And I have killed between four and five dozen at a shoot, which would load me home. [186]

Sanderlings Sometimes known as the Sandpiper (Calidris arenaria). On Morton's "pastime" see Fischer on English "blood sports."

Snipe Capella gallinago: Minot 426 reports April 10th-25th as the best season for hunting/shooting these birds

Their food is at ebbing water on the sands, of small seeds that grow on weeds there; and they are very good pastime in August.

Cranes, there are great store, that evermore came there at Saint David's Day, and not before: that day they never would miss. [187]

Cranes Possibly the Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis), "always more numerous than the larger Whooping Crane" (Grus americana: Bull Audubon 411). The latter bird performs spectacular mating-dances. With similar annual plumage-changes these birds might be confused, though the heron's neck is more crooked. The Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), and/or the Great Blue (Ardea herodias) were also "seen here in migration before driven west” (Quinn ENEV 162n15).

Saint David's Day March 1st (Vann ed. Lives 510)

These sometimes eat our corn, and do pay for their presumption well enough; and serveth there in powder with turnips to supply the place of powdered beef, and is a goodly bird in a dish, and no discommodity.

Turkeys there are, which diverse times in great flocks have sallied by our doors; and then a gun (being commonly in a readiness) salutes them with such a courtesy as makes them take a turn in the cook-room, they dance by the door so well.  [188]

Turkeys Nehom (Meleagris gallipavo americana) Already domesticated by the Inca of "Mexico" c.1618, originally called huexolotl for its gobbling-sound (OED), this "large gallinaceous bird" was confused with the African guinea-fowl that Portugal imported to northern Europe from its Turkish territories. In the 16th century this nickname for the African fowl was wrongly given to the American bird (OED): John Smith, who had fought wars in Turkey, used it in his Description of New England (1616). Wood (51) agrees on the "40 lbs." size: AC 192 cites copious sources, first dubbing the above "exaggeration" and then bearing it out

Of these there hath been killed that have weighed forty-eight pound apiece.

They are by many degrees sweeter than the tame Turkeys of England, feed them how you can.

I had a Salvage who hath taken out his boy in a morning, and they have brought home their loads about noon.

I have asked them what number they found in the woods, who have answered Neent Metawna, which is a thousand that day: the plenty of them is such in those parts. They are easily killed at roost because the one being killed, the other sit fast nevertheless, and this is no bad commodity. [189]

Neent AC 194: possible misprint for necut (Eliot) "one."

Metawna (Williams Key Ch. 4) Nquitte-mittannug, "thousand”

There are a kind of fowls which are commonly called Pheasants, but whether they be pheasants or no I will not take upon me to determine. They are in form like our pheasant hen of England. Both the male and the female are alike, but they are rough-footed and have staring-feathers about the head and neck. The body is as big as the pheasant hen of England, and they are excellent white flesh, and delicate white meat. Yet we seldom bestow a shoot at them. [190]

Pheasant Not today's widespread Ring-Necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus): though "larger than a chicken," it was introduced (Bull 274, 498). AC 194: "supposed by ornithologists to be the Prairie Hen or Pinnated Grouse (Cupidonia cupido)" which has "dark not 'white flesh.' Possibly, then, the staring feathers—plumage that "stands" to make the bird appear larger—denote the Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus: Bull 268, 630), an "esteemed game-bird”

Partridges, there are much, like our Partridges of England. They are of the same plumes, but bigger in body. They have not the sign of the horseshoe on the breast as the Partridges of England; nor are they colored about the heads as those are. They sit on the trees, for I have seen 40 in one tree at at time; yet at night they fall on the ground, and sit until morning so together; and are dainty flesh. [191]

Partridges AC 194n2 here sees the Ruffed Grouse. Possibly correct, since the Gray Partridge is not native, nor has it been successfully introduced (Minot Chapter 5)

There are Quails also, but bigger than the quails in England. They take to trees also: for I have numbered 60 upon a tree at a time. The cocks do call at the time of the year, but with a different note from the cock-quails of England. [192]

Quails Possibly the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)

The Larks there are like our Larks of England in all respects, saving that they do not use to sing at all. [193]

Larks AC 195 "Of doubtful application." Possibly the Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris), or Bobolink (Dolichonyn ovyzivorous), the "nearest American ally of the English skylark, but of different color"; the Titlark (Anthus ludovicianus); or the Eastern Meadow Lark (Sturnella magna)

There are Owls of diverse kinds; but I did never hear any of them whoop as ours do. [194]

Owls Kokokehom Possibly the Great Homed Owl (Bubo virginianus) or the Screech Owl (Otus asio): Josselyn offers more on the Little and Great Grey Owls, and the White (TV 69). Snowy Owls visit but do not nest in the region. Morton leaves unclear the differences between English and American owls' "whoops”

There are Crows, Kights and Rooks that do differ in some respects from those of England. The Crows (which I have much admired, what should be the cause) both smell and taste of musk in summer, but not in winter. [195]

Crows Kaukont-tuak Possibly the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos; ENEV 163n22). AC 195 lists the Raven (Corvus corax), Common Crow (Corvus americanus), and Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) mainly of "Middle and Southern" states. This last may at times exude the "musk" here mentioned.

Kights AC195 refers to the Swallow-Tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus), the only likely bird with the forked tail in Native American images of the Thunderbird. This is a Midwestern bird "extraordinary" in the Northeast, but in 1974 a dead one was recorded found here by Norman Smith, Boston's Trailside Museum Director (McWade)

Rooks Not listed in Bull’s Audubon or Minot: OED: a "black, raucous-voiced" bird, Corvus frugilegus, "nesting in colonies: one of the commonest of the crow-tribe”

There are Hawks in New England of five sorts, and these of all other feathered fowls I must not omit to speak of, nor need I to make any apology for myself concerning any trespass that I am like to make upon my judgment concerning the nature of them, having been bred in so genious a way that I had the common use of them in England. [196] And at my first arrival in those parts I practiced to take a Lannaret, which I reclaimed, trained, and made flying in a fortnight, the same being a passinger at Michaelmas. I found that these are of most excellent Mettell, rank-winged, well-conditioned, and not ticklish-footed; and having hoods, bells, lures and all things fitting, I was desirous to make experiment of that kind of Hawk before any other. [197]

genious Possible error for genial

Lannaret Possibly a general term for "the male lanner falcon," confused with a bird not native to North America but also referred to below. AC 195: "doubtless the male Duck Hawk (Falco peregrinus)" or, in a "better term" of McWade's, the Peregrine.

Passinger or passenger "a bird of the year caught in the autumn migration" (Evans 181), often via a "bow-trap" baited with a pigeon: an eyess is one taken from the nest.

Michaelmas September 29

Mettell constitution, temperament (Evans 40, "not slack-mettled or cowardly")

rank-winged likely misprint for rake-winged (McWade)

And I am persuaded that Nature hath ordained them to be of a far better kind than any that have been used in England. They have neither dorre, nor worm to feed upon them (as in other parts of the world), the country affording none; the use whereof in other parts makes the Lannars there more buzzardly than they be in New England. [198]

dorre AC 196n3 "the cockchafer" (a parasite with this result or "use"): Morton may have seen afflicted birds or mistook the Buzzard Hawk for such (family Buteo), including the Red-tailed and Broad- winged Hawks, relatively "slow and heavy" species

Lannars female to a Lannaret (as males are typically smaller)

There are likewise Falcons, and tassell gentles, admirable well-shaped birds; and they will tower up when they purpose to prey, and on a sudden, when they espy their game, they will make such a cancellere that one would admire to behold them. Some there are more black than any that have been used in England. [199]

Falcons, and tassell gentles In general, a hawk (or "tassell gentle") is the male and the falcon the female of these species. The terms alone denote little more than female and male birds. According to McWade and Fuertes (483), falcon may especially suggest the female Peregrine, and tassell gentles the "tiercel/tercel" or male Peregrine, so-named for its size, about 1/3 the female's. AC 196n6 here suggests the Male Goshawk (Astur palumbarius), listed below.

tower up to ring or spiral upward very vertically (Evans 187)

cancellere a sharp swerve during a stoop or dive. The kill is with "a single blow of a half-closed fist" (Fuertes 434; see also McElroy 49)

more black McWade: "Here, this must signify the Peregrine male”

The Tassell gent of the least size is an ornament for a person of estimation among the Indians to wear in the knot of his lock, with the train upright, the body dried and stretched out. They take a great pride in the wearing of such an ornament, and give (to one of us that shall kill them one for that purpose) so much beaver as is worth three pounds sterling, very willingly. [200]

ornament AC 197 suggests the "small and richly colored" American Sparrow Hawk (Falco sparverius): Josselyn (TV 69) mentions a "little black hawk highly prized by the Indians who wear them on their heads" in one's Wuchechepunnock or "great bunch of hair bound up behind" (Williams Key Chapter 7). McWade: this Sparrow Hawk is more likely the Kestrel

These do us but little trespass, because they prey on such birds as are by the seaside, and not on our chickens. [201]

prey These are the hunting habits of the male (tercel) Peregrine Falcon (McWade; also Grossman/Hamlet 389)

Goshawks there are, and Tassels. The Tassels are short-trussed buzzards; but the Goshawks are well-shaped, but they are small; some of white male, and some red male. I have seen one with eight bars in the train. These fall on our bigger poultry. The lesser chicken I think they scorn to make their prey of; for commonly the cock goes to wrack. Of these I have seen many, and if they come to trespass me, I lay the law to them with the gun, and take them damage fesant. [202]

Short-trussed of relatively small build in body. These very general sentences offer mostly confusion. Morton may here switch to "Goshawks" to mean the (usually larger) female bird, since Goshawks are distinguished by large size (Grossman/Hamlet 238). Yet, European Goshawks are bigger than New England's (210): Morton may mean various accipiters then, the white-breasted and red-thighed breeds of North America's Sharp-Shinned Hawk (A. striatus); or the juvenile (red) and adult (white) Goshawk (Evans 184). AC 197n2 lists 3 Goshawks (Buteo borealis, b. lineatus, b. pennsylvanicus) as native here. But McWade adds that most of these lack neck-ruff or bands; and that the Coopers Hawk (A. cooperii) has "hackles" but is not so small or slight in build. Photos in Bull’s Audubon 293-4.

bars...train stripes across tail-feathers (six may be average).

wrack Evans 40: "kept fat and tame, they look ragged and scared." Possibly the Marsh Hawk (Circus cyaneus hudsonius) does "scorn" such prey (as AC 197n3 suggests), but the Sharp-Shinned Hawk attacks Blackbirds as well (Fuertes 436)

Hawks Wushowunan As AC 195 points out, and as raptor-researcher/ naturalist Michael McWade (Trailside Museum, Blue Hills/Canton MA) agrees, Morton's "descriptions of these hawks are too vague to be of much use in determining species," and that Old World names are usually wrongly imposed upon similar but different New World birds. It cannot be determined what Morton calls a Sparhawk. While Cummins (91) treats falconry-terms in historical contexts (even their use to augment "social status" etc.), McWade points out that in fact there are six sorts in New England "by family," and by species, 15 (not including kites). See Grossman/Hamlet 388, 406; Evans 178; photos/charts in Freeman/Nasuti Eastern Massachusetts (44).

There are very many Marlins: some very small, and some so large as is the Barbary Tassell. [203]

Marlins AC 198n1 suggests the Merlin, or Pigeon Hawk (Falco columbarius), like Europe's falco regulus

I have often beheld these pretty birds, how they have scoured after the Blackbird, which is a small-sized Chosse that eateth the Indian maize. [204]

Blackbird Chogan Possibly the Redwinged Blackbird (Aegelaius phoeniceus)

Sparhawks there are also, the fairest and best-shaped birds that I have ever beheld of that kind. Those that are little, no use is made of any of them, neither are they regarded. I only tried conclusions with a Lannaret at first coming; and when I found what was in that bird, I turned him going. But for so much as I have observed of those birds, they may be a fit present for a prince; and for goodness be preferred before the Barbary, or any other used in Christendom, and especially the Lannars and Lannarets. [205]

This passage suggests that Morton's choice of New England bird may have been either socially ambitious or evidence of his skill. The New England hawk most like "the Barbary" or Middle Eastern Desert Falcon (Evans 41; Grossman/Hamlet 394) is the Peregrine or Northern Gyrfalcon, designated like the saber or shaheen as the bird fit for a king. (Eagles for Emperors only: see Fuertes 433.) Its power made it "unthinkable for a beginner" (Evans 41).
     In November 1635 several American hawks were presented to King Charles I by one "Captain Smart" via The Council for New England (AC 196): aficionado Morton was likely looking on.

There is a curious bird to see, too, called a hummingbird, no bigger than a great beetle; that out of question lives upon the bee, which he eateth and catcheth amongst flowers. For it is his custom to frequent those places. Flowers he cannot feed upon by reason of his sharp bill, which is like the point of a Spanish needle, but short. His feathers have a gloss like silk, and as he stirs, they show to be of a changeable color. He has been and is admired for shape, color, and size. [206]

Hummingbird Archilochus colubris (the "Ruby-throated") AC 198n4 offers a number of passages by Wood, Josselyn and others on this bird "peculiar to the New World." Josselyn's Rarities correctly states that the bird eats nectar "which they suck out of blossoms and flowers"


Of the Beasts of the Forest.

Now that I have made a rehearsal of the birds and feathered fowls, which participate most of air, I will give you a description of the beasts, and show you what beasts are bred in those parts, and what my experience hath gathered by observation of their kind, and nature. I begin with the most useful and most beneficial beast which is bred in those parts, which is the Deer.

There are in this country three kinds of Deer, of which there are great plenty, and those are very useful.

First therefore I will speak of the Elk, which the Salvages call a Moose: it is a very large deer, with a very fair head and a broad palm like the palm of a fallow deer's horn, but much bigger, and is six foot wide between the tips, which grow curving downwards. He is of the bigness of a great horse. [207]

Moose Moos-soog (Williams Key Chapter 17, a "great ox or red deer"), Alces Alces, virtually the same species as the Northern European Elk (Merrill 271: Whitaker 291, 656).
Palm Possibly the "spread" of a pair of antlers likened to fingers "spread" from the palm of the hand. Moose kneeling are not observed elsewhere but may appear so as they feed in swamps.
A handful high is approximately 4 inches

There have been of them seen that have been 18 handfuls high. He hath a bunch of hair under his jaws: he is not swift, but strong and large in body, and long-legged; insomuch that he doth use to kneel when he feedeth on grass.

He bringeth forth three fawns or young ones at a time; and being made tame, would be good for draught, and more useful (by reason of their strength) than the elk of Raushea. These are found very frequent in the northern parts of New England: their flesh is very good food, and much better than our red deer of England. [208]

AC 200n1 says that only one moose "fawn" (that is, calf) is born at a time, then cites Wood (43) who reports "three." Hamilton (406): "one to two." Merrill 83: one or two, "rarely three"; Whitaker 658, "1-2 calves”

Their hides are by the Salvages converted into very good leather, and dressed as white as milk.

Of this leather, the Salvages make the best shoes, and use to barter away the skins to other Salvages that have none of that kind of beasts in the parts where they live. Very good buffe [209] may be made of the hides: I have seen a hide as large as any horse-hide that can be found. There is such abundance of them that the Salvages, at hunting time, have killed of them so many that they have bestowed six or seven at a time upon one Englishman to whom they have borne affection.

buffe Possibly buff, something like modern suede

There is a second sort of Deer (less than the red deer of England, but much bigger than the English fallow deer): swift of foot, but of a more dark color; with some griseld hairs. When his coat is full-grown in the summer season, his horns grow curving with a crooked beam, resembling our red deer, not with a palm like the fallow deer. [210]

Deer Noonatch The English Red Deer was mostly hunted for sport or "removed" as "destructive" in England (Longrigg 48): the English Fallow Deer (Cervus dama), its name from its "sallow" pale color (Whitaker 652), was stocked in "parks" as a food-source. The American deer "less" than the Red and "much bigger" than the Fallow (as Morton says) is the White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus: Whitaker 654). It bears "commonly two" fawns per birth. Wood (94) reports three: Hammond (qtd. in Cronon 24) says "twins" is "the usual." Another poss. deer meant here is the Maccarib or Eastern Woodland Caribou (Rangifer terandus), now extinct in the region (Lindholdt 59n105). See below on Key Deer possibly seen by Morton in southern locales

These bring 3 fawns at a time, spotted like our fallow deer's fawns: the Salvages say, four. I speak of what I know to be true; for I have killed in February a doe with three fawns in her belly, all haired, and ready to fall; for these deer drop their fawns 2 months sooner than the fallow deer of England.

There is such abundance of them that an hundred have been found at the spring of the year within the compass of a mile.

The Salvages take these in traps made of their natural hemp, which they place in the earth where they fell a tree for browse. If he tread on the trap, he is horsed up by the leg by means of a pole that starts up and catcheth him. [211]

On animal traps see Wilbur Indians; Williams Key Chapter 27, and Mourt's Relation (8)

Their hides the Salvages use for clothing, and will give for one hide killed in season 2, 3, or 4 beaver skins, which will yield pounds apiece in that country: so much is the deer's hide prized with them above the heaver. I have made good merchandise of these, the flesh is far sweeter than the venison of England; and he feedeth fat and lean together as a swine, or mutton, whereas our deer of England feed fat on the outside. They do not croak at rutting time, nor spendle shafte, nor is their flesh discolored at rutting. [212]

fat and lean together Possibly "they are a source of meat even when thin themselves"—referring to culinary tastes (how the animal "eateth" rather than "feedeth" above). Desloges/La France cite sources in which "Venison is the fat of the red deer": "Red deer are in venison when they are fat...when they have three fingers thick of venison, that is three fingers thick of fat." Animals that "feed fat on the outside" possibly are lacking in "meat-value" when they look thin.

croak possibly, bellow during territorial or mating disputes

spendle shafte Possibly "grow spindle-shanked" (Major Diss. 192n2), "to grow thin." Scholar Phil Morton of Montana: "to urinate over their underbellies during rut”

He that will impale fitting ground may be brought once in the year where, with bats and men, he may take so many to put into that park as the hides will pay the charge of impaling. If all these things be well-considered, the Deer, as well as the Moose, may have a principal place in the Catalogue of commodities. [213]

that park... "Here, a private deer-hunting park [as some possessed in England would] pay for its own construction." Longrigg details how costly this was in terms of both money and ill-will created between genteel huntsmen and "peasants" of the land (50)

I for my part may he bold to tell you that my house was not without the flesh of this sort of deer winter nor summer. The humbles was ever my dog's fee, which by the wesell was hanged on the bar in the chimney, for his diet only: for he has brought to my stand a brace in a morning, one after the other, before sun's rising, which I have killed. [214]

wesell variant of weasand, "windpipe" or "throat"—hence, use of the deer's esophagus as a ligature in hanging its meat

There is likewise a third sort of deer, less than the other which are a kind of reindeer, to the southward of all the English plantations. They are excellent good flesh. And these also bring three fawns at a time, and in this particular the deer of those parts excel all the known Deer of the whole world. [215]

This "third sort" may be confused with the Maccarib or Eastern Woodland Caribou: but its range was never "south" of New England. On his 1630-31 southern Atlantic voyage (TM Chapter 9), Morton may have see the "dwarf" subspecies of White-tailed or Virginia Deer called the Key Deer (Whitaker 654), rarely larger than an average dog

On all these the Wolves do prey continually. The best means they have to escape the wolves is by swimming to island or necks of land, whereby they escape: for the wolf will not presume to follow them until they see them over a river. Then, being landed, they waiting on the shore undertake the water, and so follow with fresh suit. [216]

While the wolf’s hesitation seems doubtful, Wood agrees on the deer's refuge (43), and Young (Chronicles 405) says this gave Deer Island (Boston Harbor) its name

The next in mine opinion fit to be spoken of is the Beaver; which is a beast ordained for land and water both, and hath forefeet like a cunny, her hinder feet like a goose, mouthed like a cunny, but short-eared like a Serat. He feeds upon fish in summer, and wood in winter, which he conveys to his house built on the water, wherein he sits with his tail hanging in the water, which else would overheat and rot off. [217]

Beaver Noosup (Castor canadensis canadensis) A semiaquatic mammal with forefeet and mouth like a cunny's (rabbit's), hind-feet like a goose's (webbed). According to Desloges/LaFrance (42), only beaver was recognized as "gastronomically worthy as the bear and...moose": Captain Levett (1623: Levermore 623) said it "eats like lamb." Given demand for its fur and meat, by 1675 beaver was all but gone from Massachusetts Bay and inland along the Merrimac (Concord, Chelmsford, Lancaster)

Serat Possibly "sea-rat": not known to the OED

rot off Not reported elsewhere: see Sir Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica as a possible source of such beliefs. Nor do beavers behave as next described, although pairs of them do cut down trees together

He cuts the bodies of trees down with his foreteeth, which are so long as a boar's tusks. And with the help of other beavers which, held by each other's tails like a team of horses (the hindmost with the leg on his shoulder staid by one of his forefeet against his head), they draw the log to the habitation appointed, placing the logs in a square; and so by piling one upon another, they build up a house, which with boughs is covered very strongly, and placed in some pond to which they make a dam of brushwood like a hedge, so strong that I have gone on the top of it across the current of that pond.

The flesh of this beast is excellent food. The fleece is a very choice fur, which before the Salvages had commerce with Christians, they burned off the tail. This beast is of a masculine virtue for the advancement of Priapus; and is preserved for a dish for the Sachems, or Sagamores, who are the princes of the people but not Kings (as is fondly supposed). [218]

Priapus Latin, “sexual desire”

The skins are the best marchantable commodity that can be found to cause ready money to be brought into the land, now that they are raised to 10 shillings a pound.

A servant of mine in five years was thought to have L1000 in ready gold gotten by beaver when he died; whatsoever became of it. And this beast may challenge preheminence in the catalogue. [219]

The “servant” was likely former indentured youth Walter Bagnall or "Great Wat," who left Ma-Re Mount after Morton's second arrest (1630) and lived on Richmond Island in "Maine." Full details/citations in Thomas Morton 196-198. See also Note 244 below

The Otter of those parts, in winter season, bath a fur so black as jet, and is a fur of very high price; a good black skin is worth 3 or 4 Angels of gold. The flesh is eaten by the Salvages; but how good it is I cannot show, because it is not eaten by our nation. Yet is this a beast that ought to be placed in the number amongst the commodities of the country. [220]

Otter Nkeke (Lutra canadensis): this River Otter is smaller than the Pacific's Enhydra lutris, not found on Atlantic coasts.

Angels an English gold coin between 6s, 8p and 10s in value (Major Diss. 195n1)

The Luseran, or Luseret, is a beast like a Cat; but so big as a great hound, with a tail shorter than a Cat. His claws are like a Cat's. He will make a prey of the deer. His flesh is dainty meat, like a lamb: his hide is a choice fur, and accompted a good commodity. [221]

Luferan Pussough Possibly the once-common American Felis Lynx, Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis canadensis), or the more common Eastern Bobcat (Felis rufus). See Whitaker 268-9. Leland (Algonquian Legends 214) collected Native tales of the "Loup-Cervier, or Lusifee, who is a kind of wildcat, none being more obstinate"; a creature renowned like the Wolverine, with its "evil-minded jolly" nature including "every vice." "The hardest-hearted, toughest and most unconquerable, being ever the first to fight and the last to give in, which even then he did not, never having done it and never intending to; whence…he was greatly admired and made much of by all the blackguardly beasts" (170)

The Marten is a beast about the bigness of a Fox. His fur is chestnut-color, and of those there are great store in the northern parts of the country, and is a good commodity. [222]

Marten Possibly Martes americana americana, an arboreal weasel that feeds on Red Squirrel (Hamilton 125-8). Not to be confused (as in AC 206) with the Fisher (Martes pennanti), a fiercer hunter known to attack Martens (Hamilton 129-33)

The Raccoon is a beast as big, full out, as a Fox, with a bush-tail. His flesh excellent food: his oil precious for the Syattica; his fur, coarse, but the skins serve the Salvages for coats; and they are with those people of more esteem than a coat of beaver, because of the tails that (hanging round in their order) do adorn the garment, and it is therefore so much esteemed of them. His forefeet are like the feet of an ape; and by the print thereof, in the time of snow he is followed to his hole, which is commonly in a hollow tree, from whence he is fired out and so taken. [223]

Raccoon Ausup-pannog (Procyon lotor), five-fingered mammal which (in Curtin/Hewitt's Seneca Fiction, Legends and Myths) got its "stripes" when punished by a Sachem for stealing corn at night: "Rabbit" (below) got its "split lip" likewise, for stealing squash (qtd. in Gill/Sullivan 333)

The Foxes are of two colors: the one red, the other gray. These feed on fish and are good fur. They do not stink as the foxes of England, but their condition for their prey is as the foxes of England. [224]

Foxes of the Red (Mishquashim, orVulpus vulpus) and the Gray (Pequawus or Urocyon cinereoargenteus), Josselyn reports that the latter does lack this strong scent (Rarities 22). Naturalist McWade: "They have the same musk, and the Red Fox was an introduced species." See also Whitaker 544-548

Condition for possibly "the prey or the places where they hunt"

The Wolves are of diverse colors: some sandy-colored, some griselled, and some black. Their food is fish, which they catch when they pass up the rivers into the ponds to spawn at the springtime. The Deer are also their prey, and at summer when they have whelps the bitch will fetch a puppy dog from our doors to feed their whelps with. They are fearful curs, and will run away from a man (that meeteth them by chance at a bank-end) as fast as any fearful dog. These prey upon the Deer very much. The skins are used by the Salvages, especially the skin of the black wolf, which is esteemed a present for a prince there. [225]

Wolves Muckquashim-wock --the Gray or Timber Wolf (Canis lupus, of varying colors): distinct from the Red Wolf (Canis rufus) of the Southwest. New England's wolves were "never known yet" to attack people (Wood 45, c.1636). Young (129) writes that European wolves were much fiercer than American ones.

Black Wolf Moattoqus (Williams Key Chapter 17): “The Indians say they have black Foxes also, which they have often seen, but never could take any…they say they are Manittoes, that is, Gods, Spirits or Divine powers.” Josselyn (Rarities 51) reports such rare skins' use to help "old aches in old people, [when] worn as a Coat"

When there ariseth any difference between prince and prince, the prince that desires to be reconciled to his neighboring prince does endeavor to purchase it, by sending him a black wolf skin for a present; and the acceptance of such a present is an assurance of reconciliation between them. And the Salvages will willingly give 40 beaver-skins for the purchase of one of these black wolf skins; and although the beast himself be a discommodity which other countries of Christendom are subject unto, yet is the skin of the black wolf worthy the title of a commodity, in that respect that hath been declared.

If I should not speak something of the Bear, I might happily [226] leave a scruple in the minds of some effeminate persons who conceived of more danger in them than there is cause. Therefore to encourage them against all fear, and fortify their minds against needless danger, I will relate what experience hath taught me concerning them. They are beasts that do no harm in those parts: they feed upon Whortleberries, Nuts, and Fish, especially shellfish.

happily Possibly haply, "by accident”

The Bear is a tyrant at a Lobster, and at low water will down to the rocks and grope after them with great diligence.

He will run away from a man as fast as a little dog. If a couple of Salvages chance to espy him at his banquet, his running away will not serve his turn, for they will coate him, and chase him between them home to their houses, where they kill him to save a labor in carrying him far. His flesh is esteemed venison, and of a better taste than beef.

His hide is used by the Salvages for garments, and is more commodious than discommodious, and may pass (with some allowance) with the rest. [227]

Bear New England's only species is the Black Bear (Ursus americanus). Josselyn found it a "terrible Creature" when "he goes to mate," and Wood saw them fierce "in Strawberry time at which time they have young ones" (AC210). Winslow (565) agreed they easily "run away." Freeman/Nasuti's Massachusetts studies confirm these observations

The Muskewashe is a beast that frequenteth the ponds. What he eats I cannot find. He is but a small beast, less than a Cunny, and is indeed in those parts no other than a water rat; for I have seen the suckers of them digged out of a bank, and at that age, they neither differed in shape, color, nor size from one of our great Rats. When he is old, he is of the Beaver's color; and hath passed in weight with our chapmen for Beaver. [228]

Muskewashe or Muskrat (Ondatra zibethreus) eats aquatic vegetation, cattails, sedges, rushes, water lilies and weeds, some land-plants, some clams, crayfish. frogs and fish: and usually eats on a "feeding platform" kept clean and separate from its den (Whitaker 511)

cunny variant of Coney for rabbit or hare (below)

chapmen dealers or merchants

The male of them have stones which the Salvages, in uncasing of them, leave to the skin, which is a most delicate perfume, and may compare with any perfume that I know for goodness. Then may not this be excluded the catalogue.

This country, in the north parts thereof, hath many Porcupines, but I do not find the beast any way useful or hurtful. [229]

Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatwn) The Porcupine must be the actual American animal distinguished here, since no "true" Hedgehogs are native (AC 211, Major Diss. 198n1)

There are in those northern parts many Hedgehogs, of the like nature to our English Hedgehogs.

Here are great store of Coneys in those parts, of diverse colors: some white, some black, and some gray. Those towards the southern parts are very small, but those to the north are as big as the English Cony: their ears are very short. For meat the small rabbit is as good as any that I have eaten of elsewhere. [230]

Coneys Rabbits and/or Hares Wautuckques New England native species include the Marsh Rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris palustris), the Eastern Cottontail (S. floridanus hitchensi) and the New England Cottontail (S. transitionalis). AC 212 seems certain that the Small Gray Hare or Wood Rabbit (Lepus sylvaticus) is meant; though gray, white and black color variations are due more to seasonal camouflage than species. Quinn ENEV 163n37

There are Squirrels of three sorts, very different in shape and condition. One is gray, and he is as big as the lesser Coney, and keepeth the woods feeding upon nuts.

Another is red, and he haunts our houses, and will rob us of our corn; but the cat many times pays him the price of his presumption. The third is a little flying Squirrel, with bat-like wings, which he spreads when he jumps from tree to tree, and does no harm. [231]

Squirrels Mishanneke-quock Of the Gray (Sciurus carolinensis), Red or Chickaree (S. hudsonius), and the Flying Squirrel (Sciuropterus volucellus), Whitaker and Freemati/Nasuti (Eastern) dub the Red Squirrel "the usual thief" involved above

Now because I am upon a treaty of the beasts, I will place this creature the snake amongst the beasts, having my warrant from the holy Bible; who (though his posture in his passage be so different from all other, being of a more subtle and airy nature) can make his way without feet and lift himself above the superficies of the earth, as he glides along. Yet may he not be ranked with any but the beasts, notwithstanding he frequents the water as well as the land. [232]

In The Bible (Genesis 1:20) the first “creatures” named are birds, then “great serpents”

There are of Snakes diverse, and of several kinds, as he with us in England; but that country hath not so many, as in England have been known. The general Salvage name of them is Ascowke. [233]

Ascowke AC213 (Eliot) askook, (Williams Key Chapter 17) askug, "a snake." New England's snakes include the Worm, Brown, Ringneck, Smooth Green, Redbelly, Eastern Ribbon, Eastern Hognose, Common Garter, Milk, Northern Water, Northern Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, Black Racer and Black Rat Snake (Freeman/ Nasuti 53)

There is one creeping beast or long creeple (as the name is in Devonshire), that hath a rattle at his tail that does discover his age: for so many years as he hath lived, so many joints are in that rattle, which soundeth (when it is in motion) like peas in a bladder. And this beast is called a Rattlesnake; but the Salvages give him the name of Sesick; which some take to be the Adder and it may well be so; for the Salvages are significiant in their denomination of any thing, and it is no less hurtful than the Adder of England, nor no more. [234]

Compare Sesick with Williams (Key) sesek, or Wood’s (121) seasicke.

significiant Possibly meaning significant as "full of observation”

I have had my dog venomed with troubling one of these, and so swelled that I had thought it would have been his death. But with one saucer of salad oil poured clown his throat, he has recovered, and the swelling assuaged by the next day. The like experiment hath been made upon a boy that hath by chance trod upon one of these, and the boy never the worse. Therefore it is simplicity in anyone that shall tell a bugbear tale of horrible or terrible Serpents that are in that land.

Mice there are good store, and my Lady Woodbee's black gray malkin may have pastime enough there; but for Rats, the country by nature is troubled with none. [235]

Lady Woodbee According to Read’s New World, Known World (Chapter 4, Note 22), this alludes to Lady Would-Be, “the insufferably talkative wife of Sir Politic Would-Be in Ben Jonson’s play Volpone; she also makes a cameo appearance in his short poem ‘To Fine Lady Would-Be’ (Epigrammes 62), though at no point in the play or poem does she appear to own a cat”

Malkin domestic Cat (Felis catus), often descended from North African Felis sylvestris libyca

Mice Possibly the White-footed or Deer Mouse (Perormyscus maniculatis): the House Mouse (Mus musculus) is not New England-native. Nor is the Black Rat (Rattus rattus), introduced from Europe as early as 1609 (Lindholdt 86), and since "replaced" by the Norway Rat (Rattus novegicus) c. 1775

Lions there are none in New England: it is contrary to the nature of the beast to frequent places accustomed to snow; being like the Cat, that will hazard the burning of her tail rather than abide from the fire. [236]

Reverend Higginson (New England's Plantation, in Force 1, 12, 8) reported lions "seen" at Cape Anne c.1630: he also warned of deadly rattlesnakes (chided above)


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