Thomas isn't recorded as having any reservations. So, we need to discuss that. Endicott called him Mr. Gardner. Whether we're talking strength of character, being knowledgeable, pedigree, or some combination of those and other factors, I have found no bad mouthing of Thomas. Well, Anderson noted the thing of some grave conflict. But, that was son Samuel's doing. Thomas was dead at that point.
So, what is this all about? Well, a recent comment, in a blog, says that Roger found a mess when he appeared at Cape Ann. What? They were quite well and taking care of themselves. From notes for Gardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 6.
- That brings up a new view though. Thomas' crew put together a house their first year. Too, they did come prepared and were successful in establishing themselves. The only failure was not having sufficient output to send back to the capitalists in England. What White may have wanted was for them to send what they needed to sustain themselves, but reasonable folks do not do that without the threats of the taxman or strong arm (those who came here were not serfs, in other words).
When Conant showed up, he didn't find starving people. He found a boisterous group. The use of insubordinate shows White's failure (hey, some descendants of Thomas, such as Dr. Frank, have White on the tree more than once). The effort was not a military expedition. It was a plantation building effort.
Take Thomas Weston. Briefly, he is run up the mast several ways. The Maypole affair is associated with his group. But, this was a legit attempt at establishing a colony. We'll get back to this below.
First, there are several motivations, but I know of two that need to be re-addressed. Take Sir Christopher Gardiner. When I first read of him, I only saw the Winthrop-influenced take on the matter. Then, I ran into a re-write that is not generally used. And, found another. That is, the story that is told is not the right one. Propaganda?
Then, after I found out that Dr. Frank was a descendant of Nathaniel Eaton, I saw that he had not raised that to general awareness. Why would he? It's a mess, Harvard (and, we'll retell this story from the perspective of descendants). I have written several posts about this plus one summary overview of Nathaniel's life.
Okay, there had been several attempts prior to the Dorchester effort: Sagadahoc (1607-1608), Plymouth, and Wessagusset (1622-1624). Some minor ones will be added as we continue. And, we want to address these as well as other motivations. For instance, we have these notes for Gardner's Beacon, Vol. III. No. 3:
Every March small ships of between thirty and eight tons, manned by crews of twenty to forty men and boys ... carried salt, provisions, equipment. Brought material for their boats. Took two months to get here. Put their boats together and fished.
Split the work between fishing and salting. Fill the hold and return in autumn.
Crews were gathered yearly by the master. Principally young, fifteen to twenty-five years old. Many were trying to get money to get established in their home area.
At first, Newfoundland. Then, Gulf of Maine.
Remarks: Modified: 06/28/2019
06/28/2019 -- Added image so that we can index.