Thomas Morton of Merrymount

 

May Day is an opportune time to recall Thomas Morton, the sworn adversary of the Pilgrims and the Puritans.  A Devonshire man born in circa 1578, Morton was an attorney and a lover of plays and classical learning.  In 1624 he became involved in a trading venture to the Algonquian Indians in what is now Massachusetts.  In 1626 he founded the settlement of Merrymount.  Morton ran a free and easy settlement, with the English settlers mixing freely with the Indians and quite a good time apparently being had by all.  On May 1, 1627 Morton erected a Maypole with much frolicking going on around it.

The pilgrims were shocked.  Governor William Bradford of Plymouth wrote: (more…)

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Published in: on May 1, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Thomas Morton of Merrymount  
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