The Wessagussett Plantation

Facts about the Layout and Location of the Wessagussett Plantation

Gorges' Servants
1635 Settlers List
1642 Native Deed to Weymouth
Wessagussett Locations
Timeline of Wessagussett
Edward Winslow's Account
Translation of the name Wessagussett
Phineas Pratt's Narrative
Pratt Facts about Wessagussett
Thomas Morton's Account
Wessagussett Cast of Characters

Boiling down and muddling through Pratt's narrative reveals certain facts which can be used to help A) outline what physical architectural remains could be present at the archaeological site of Wessagussett and B) where the site was located

Based on Pratt's Narrative we know the following about the what and where of Wessagussett:
-The settlement had at least one building large enough to house the colony
-The settlement was surrounded by a pallisade
-The settlement was located near a great or long swamp
-After the English established themselves, the Natives moved just outside of the pallisade ("Then they (Indians), having intent to make war, removed some of their houses to the edge of a great swamp near to the pale (palisade) of our plantation")
-The English had dogs and hogs
-The town of Weymouth was established "near unto Wesaguscasit"  (Pratt's words)

 Phineas Pratt Narrative

"Perceived that on the south part of the bay (Massachusetts Bay)where fewest of the natives of the country dwelling there we thought best to begin our plantation, we being but 10 men thought it best to see those living at Plimoth"

"...made haste to Massachusetts Bay number being about 60"

"At this time, some of them, seeing some of our men upon our fort"

"Times I, having rounded our plantation until I had no longer strength, then going (at day’s end) back into our court of guard, I did see one man dead before me, and another at my right hand, and another at my left dead for want of food"

"Then we prepared to meet them there (at the Sachem’s house). One of our company said, "They have killed one of our hogs"

"They said, 'The savages will pursue after you and kill you, and we will never see you again.' Then I took a hoe and went to the Long Swamp near by their houses and dug on the edge thereof as if I had been looking for groundnuts, but seeing no man, I went in and ran through it."

"nine of our men were dead with famine, and one died on the ship before they came to the place where, at that time of the year, ships came to fish"

"Thus our plantation being deserted, there came into the country Capt. Robert Gore (Gorges) with six gentlemen attending him, and divers men to do his labor, and other men with their families. They took possession of our plantation, but their ship supply from England came too late. Thus was famine their final overthrow. Most of them that lived returned for England."

Added to this are a few facts from Winslow's account of the attack:

"Captain Standish took one half of his men, and one or two of Mr. Weston's, and Hobomok, still seeking to make spoil of them and theirs. At length they espied a file of Indians, which made towards them amain; and there being a small advantage in the ground, by reason of a hill near them, both companies strove for it...they fled into a swamp. (Winslow Good News from New England)

Winslow's report indicates a strategic hill with a swamp near the plantation - could this be Great (Smith) Hill?

Copyright 2008 PARP