As we consider at the Dorchester Company, it is essential to have a timeline with which to look at the details. Then, we would need a good understanding of current events and culture. By the time of the Cape Ann venture, there had already been several attempts at establishing a colony. Those successful in the North were at Jamestown, Newfoundland and at Cape Cod (Plymouth, of course - more happenstance than not).
John Cabot was roaming the North American coast very early on, under the auspices of Henry VII. His exploration started not long after Columbus' discovery. About twenty years later, fifty ships were fishing along the coast of Newfoundland yearly from several countries (Portugal, Spain, France, England). During the 16th century, there were many attempts at forming a colony. And, the fishing continued. By 1578, there were three hundred plus ships in the area due to the plentiful fish.
But, by the time that Cuper's Cove (1610) was established, there had been no permanent settlement in the north. Humphrey Gilbert wanted try in 1583, but he was lost at sea before he could get things going.
We all know about Jamestown further south. Then, we had Plymouth with its early problems. Yet, it was example enough for Rev. John White. At the same time of Jamestown, we had a successful effort in Maine (Popham). But, there was talk of an attempt in the Cape Code area back in 1602, when Capt. Gosnold was poking around.
With all of those years of effort came a lot of experience. Ships would head out in spring with provisions and equipment. Part of the equipment were disassembled boats that would be put together at the fishing area and used during the summer. The return trip in autumn, hopefully, would be with a fully-loaded ship. The sale of that horde would pay nicely for the ship's master and the crew.
But, then, the thing would re-iterate in the next spring. That was one motivation for Rev. John, namely profit. He wasn't after a religious experience (did Puritans even have such?). The foreshortened time allowed Thomas and John to be successful speaks of something (other than pure short-sighted-ness). Well, there are stories of manna (free food) in the Bible. Other types of grand, un-managed expectations are not unknown to the observant (even to this day).
The change of Gardner to Conant was purely political, from what I can see so far. Conant's brothers were there with Rev. John.
Details about Gardner? Anyone know? Our take, somewhat. ... Pulling together the abundance of details that are of the period will help us build a picture; such a view would help identify where to look, perhaps; as well, it could allow reasonable conjectures about the guy.
See Vol. III, No. 3 of Gardner's Beacon for a look at events around Thomas' time of arrival.
References: see Sources (Current Issue)
Remarks: Modified: 01/19/2015
11/06/2013 -- Reading Staloff's work will be interesting. It both grates and intrigues. The former comes from being a doer (versus a navel ponderer), somewhat by force (not born into the leisure class such that I could go astray as have the best and brightest - ah, the perdition the smart arses get us into). Any bit of progress comes from effective people (know how, can do, etc.). Granted, some have to be in leadership positions. Take the military, for example. Washington was out with his troops, albeit he had a tent and Martha to comfort him on occasion - he had shoes, to boot. Nowadays? We have a commander who shoots off lethal items from remote locations (via drones) without, seemingly, any regard for the human aspects. ... So, who would you want to be on a deserted island with (keep it clean)? An intellectual? ... Say, given Maslow's work, intellectuals, many of them, do not even know how to meet the needs of lower order. Now, for the latter, part, the intriguement (urban use, okay?). The book is partly readable on-line, enough material available to gestalt with. What a lot of ado (about nothing?). I wonder how many of this American thinking class contributed to the ugly American reality. ... We don't have any writings from Thomas, but we do know that he was effective in many ways. One of our tasks will be to describe the ways. However, he married a Quaker. That says a lot. Too, he seems to have steered clear of too much church involvement (ahead of his time, so to speak). He seems to have gotten along with Endicott. I wonder what his relationship was with Conant. He went to the General Court a couple of times. Most likely, that grated. I don't know how Thomas would have gotten along with Winthrop and his ilk. By the way, was Rev. John really related? ... So, who was this guy, Thomas? That is our quest, to answer that and other questions.
01/19/2015 -- Maine History Online: Popham, Gorges, Gosnold, et al.