Thursday, February 12, 2015

From Samuel Cooper

[school writing assignment: step into the mindset of a (fictional) man named Samuel Cooper and write a letter to his family in Bristol, exploring what his life is like at Boston during the mid-1600s]

My dearest mother,

It pleases me to tell you that we have finally arrived in Boston. While I intended to write for you many letters while at sea, I am afraid that seasickness prevented me from doing so. I do not understand how James can walk on his own two legs as sure as though he were on land, but I cannot take a step without an intense feeling of nausea. However, I am fortunate that seasickness is the only thing that ailed me. Many people on the ship were far less fortunate than I in their ailments.
It has been four days since we made port and I am still looking for an apprenticeship. While I am looking to be a craftsman, it seems that most of the work here involves boarding a boat. This is fortunate for James, as he is already looking to be a trader. I suppose he was born to be a seafarer. Unfortunately for myself, there do not seem to be many craftsmen here, but I will continue searching.
I have seen many Indians here, interacting with the inhabitants of Boston. Though I myself am wary of them, they seem rather friendly. James has even made friends with some of them.
Natives aside, there is only one other thing I am wary of and that would be the Puritan church. Yes, they act open, and they are intent on keeping God's law, but just the other day I witnessed the hanging of a man whom the Puritans called a Quaker. As of yet, I do not know much about this branch of religion, but the Puritans are highly against them. For myself, whether they persecute this separate branch of Christianity remains to be seen, but I pray it is not so. I have not committed myself to any resident church, and though it pleases me to see that the Puritans wish to live on God's law, I do not wish to be a persecutor.
I do pray that you are faring well, mother. I am sorry that I forgot the box. I only realized half-way through the journey that it was missing, but for now I leave it in Cassandra's care. Perhaps you too may come to Boston, once myself and James have settled in, and bring the box with you.
To Cassandra, I tell you that the sky seems bluer in Boston. Where there are no towns, there are trees and fields, acres of them, farther than I care to navigate. Every morning I awake to the smell of salt and lumber, the air more refreshing than it ever was in Bristol. It is beautiful, Cassandra, very beautiful.
James wishes me to tell you that he is missing you and mother. I miss you too, Cassandra, you and mother. One day, I hope, you both may come to Boston. Give my love to Jonathan.

Respectfully, your son and brother,
Samuel Cooper

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