Many of these men and women were my ancestors.
Excerpts from Crotchets of Division by Alison Vannah, 1999 doctorate dissertation, Brandeis University.
At the Coming of the Ships
The English who ventured across the Atlantic to Massachusetts came with families and plows to turn the land from a wilderness to a settled community. Within three years of the arrival of the first ships in the fleet to New England, so many immigrants had arrived in Massachusetts Bay that Boston Neck could not hold them all, and they had spread out around Boston Bay. By the third winter of 1632/3, the colonial leadership, as it would do periodically for the next 130 years, perceived a threat from the French “to the eastward.”
As a sort of English and Protestant bulwark against these “papists,” John Winthrop, Jr., the colonel of the colonial militia, led about a dozen men out into the wilderness in the spring of 1633: Mr. John Winthrop Jr…
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