We set sail on a glorious morning from London. We had around 40 passengers, a load of sterling from the Bank of England, the payment for the most recent shipment of salt cod and rum which the Massachusetts Bay Company had transported. Business was good for the Company, and the chest of sterling was proof of that. It was guarded by several heavily armed merchant seamen who were becoming a security force of some renown. Edwin Carr was skilled as a captain, and young Jacob was becoming a first-rate pilot. Margaret and I were so proud of him!
We were no more than a few days out of London when Jacob spotted a vessel off our port side closing with some speed. England had no current enemies, but pirates were always a threat. The Queensgate was not a fighting ship, but she had two canons on board as a response to such threats. While no match for a fighting ship, it was somewhat of a deterrent for pirates who did not care for a fair fight when embarking on their despicable trade.
“Keep steady west”, said Edwin as he heard the report of a strange vessel approaching. “Aye Sir” said the helmsman. Jacob came to our quarters and sought out his mother. He wanted to assure her that all was well. Word had quickly spread that there was some excitement on the top deck. “Is all well?” Margaret asked. “Oh yes mother”, Jacob assured. “We do not know the business of that ship coming up on us, but it may be nothing to mention. Nonetheless, we are careful and we aim to protect this ship and all on board”, he reassured.
Shepherd and I had been in such dealings nearly 30 years ago. Shepherd came to me and inquired as to my well-being. “Joseph”, I said, “we have been in this situation before!” I smiled. Shepherd laughed. “Indeed we have”, he said. “Do you think these are pirates?” he asked. “I doubt it”, I said. “Well, we do have a nice chest of sterling on board, and there are people here who could be taken captive and sold into slavery”, he said.
“Yes”, I replied, “but the sterling on board is a secret that we know of only because of Edwin and Jacob telling us privily”, I said. “True”, he said, “but any ship is a target for pirates on the open sea. It is more a matter of opportunity than of target oftentimes”, he concluded.
The ship on our port side was making good gains on us. It was a smaller ship with a larger sail to size ratio equipped primarily for speed, not transport. As it gained, Jacob and Edwin became more concerned. They were becoming convinced that the vessel was up to no good, and that preparations were to be made to defend the Queensgate.
The two canon were wheeled into position and secured. The security force was in heavy action now. They had also placed a number of loaded muskets at their command near the canon. They had also brought up a brazier to heat up some of the cannon balls so that they could hurl at the enemy a red hot ball which could ignite a sail. Since the “enemy” vessel was loaded with sails, a lucky hit could indeed start a damaging fire.
It was getting late in the day now, and tensions were rising as the mystery vessel approached. Fighting at night was not unknown, but it was very unusual. The wind began to pick up and the Queensgate was picking up speed. The skillful hand of Edwin Carr became evident as he tacked masterfully into the wind and began to put distance between our ship and rogue vessel. Soon, all signs of the intruder were gone. Perhaps they had left the fray, or perhaps they were just testing us, but through the night, the Queensgate was putting distance between herself and possible danger. By morning, we could no longer see the intruder vessel. Perhaps it was an innocent encounter, or perhaps the intruders were simply shown the deft hand of a veteran captain. In any case, the Queensgate had escaped possible danger, and we were grateful.
The seas were calm and we were making good time for a westerly voyage. Gerry, Adams, Hancock, Shepherd and I became deeply involved in a discussion about the fate of America. Shepherd had much more experience with European sovereigns, and he talked of the unease they had with the American experience. “You all think differently than people in Spain, France, Sweden, Russia and Prussia”, he said. “You may not be aware anymore because you have had some twenty-five years of a kind of freedom unknown to most people in Europe”, he said. “You have begun to see the world in a light which is not even possible for most people on the Continent to even conceive of”, he said. “The serfs in Russia have no hope of ever having land of their own. People in Swabia, Prussia, France and many other lands are required to accept the religion of the ruler as their own or they are persecuted. In America, there is a way to follow one’s own beliefs without succumbing to the demands of the ruler. Do you understand the gift that you have?” asked Shepherd.
“I suppose one never really appreciates what he has until it is taken from him”, I ventured. “Human nature”, several muttered in agreement. “Yes, so true”, said Shepherd. I believe that America has a destiny, larger than any individual’s capacity to understand freedom. People seeking asylum in America, people such as me, are looking for our own interests. We need to find our larger mission in making an America which is a haven for people seeking safety, asylum, or escape from shackles and poverty. What a mission to serve!” he concluded.
We pondered on this as Shepherd spoke. Indeed, we came to America for our own needs for protection, freedom, independence from oppression- just a fresh start for many of us. Shepherd’s vision for an America, based upon such principles, made it rise to an almost divine mission. Our collective desires for a freedom in America could merge into a system whereby people could, for generations to come, find on American soil the freedoms which were so elusive in Europe. It could be that “beacon on a hill” that John Winthrop had written about several years prior.
Gerry, Hancock, and Adams were strong men with vision. Yet I do not think that they had been challenged beyond the need for personal freedoms and economic freedoms until Shepherd made the case for a system which might perpetuate such freedoms for generations to come. A new order was needed for such a system, and these men could be the ones to influence those future generations.
The rest of our voyage proceeded smoothly. We saw no further signs of the mysterious vessel which had shadowed us early in the voyage. We neared Boston harbor which seemed to have grown even in the short time we were away in England. A bustling fishing industry was growing as the market for cod grew.
Shepherd was stunned at what he saw. He became convinced that America would be in the forefront of new movements in commerce, religious freedom, and invention. He was anxious to see the home that Margaret and I shared, and I was excited to have him with me at my next lectures at Harvard. He was such a presence when he spoke that I was sure that the students would be fascinated by his views and his wisdom.
Within a week, we seemed to be almost back into a routine. Shepherd stayed with Margaret and me, and he met our grandson, John, now over 2 years old as Anna brought him to our home in welcoming our return. “Meet John Adams!” smiled Anna as she introduced her son to Joseph. “He is named for his father!” she beamed.
Shepherd smiled as he lifted little John into the air with a swing of his arms. John squealed with delight at this and Shepherd then grew serious. “This little boy will grow to be a man with a legacy”, he said. “His children and generations to come will be blessed by him”, he concluded.
I thanked Shepherd for his kind words, but Shepherd explained. “A strong feeling came over me as I lifted this child. It was as if I heard God say that this child will lift a nation as you have lifted him in the air”, he said. “Well, I hope that you are right about that”, I managed to say. However, all of us in the room later said that we were strangely moved by those words of Shepherd.
A few weeks later I returned to my duties at Harvard. Teaching students about the medical arts was a very enjoyable part of my life. In order to teach about medicine, I strongly believed that one needed to practice it every day as well. Shepherd joined me in my practice as physician, and it seemed like our old adventures together were simply renewed but had never ceased. Shepherd told me of the latest advances he had learned while on the Continent.
We discussed William Culpepper’s ideas about herbal medicine. Shepherd believed in the use of herbals, but disdained how Culpepper, and even Kepler, had attached any correlation or value with linking medicines to the zodiac signs. Shepherd discouraged me from using bloodletting as a cure for any illness, including fevers. Shepherd talked about the importance of dealing holistically with people, not separating physical, spiritual, and emotional health, but having our patients work toward health in all those areas. He reasoned that diet played an important part in maintaining good health and he would write out a plan for each of his patients what foods might be most healing- much like he had done for King James so many years ago.
One day a slave from one of the tobacco plantations in Virginia was brought to us. The slave known only as “Jupiter”, was a fairly young man who looked much older than his years. Rarely did we know the age of the slaves- even they themselves often did not know their own age- so we guessed him to be in his late twenties, based upon his recollections of his youth. His body was ravaged with scars- a sign of an independent spirit which had been tamed with lashes. He had run away from the tobacco plantation and had found his way north through the help of some churchmen he encountered along the way. Reverend Amos Willis brought him to us when he found Jupiter staggering along the road near his church. Jupiter had been showing signs of fever and he was seeing visions of angels and “hearing their beautiful voices”. Reverend Willis did not know how to help the poor man, but he was unwilling to let him go on his way without help. “I can do no less than the Good Samaritan”, Willis said as he brought the slave into our “hospital”, which was two small rooms added on to our home.
Shepherd began his examination by simply talking quietly to Jupiter. He asked the slave how long he had been travelling, what he had eaten lately, what kind of water he had been drinking, how much sleep he had in the past week, and whether he had any family. Jupiter, though burning with fever, seemed taken aback by Shepherd’s interest in him. “Son, how can I help you if I do not get to know more about you?” Shepherd replied.
Jupiter began to weep as he replied to Shepherd. “You is one of them angels I seen!” Jupiter said. Shepherd replied, “I am not one of those angels” Shepherd said softly, “but I do mean to help you”, he concluded. “Nobody ever ask me about my family”, Jupiter said. “I don’t know who my family is since I left my home on that devil ship”, said Jupiter. “I was a boy and I got took by these people and put on a ship. Most people like me died on that ship, but I lived. Got took to Charleston and sold to some evil men. Got took to a plantation somewhere and I had to plant and hoe tobacco. I worked hard, but I hated everybody around me. When I been there a while, they seen how big and strong I was. They start calling me “Jupiter” ‘cause I was big and strong. They told me I was “breedin’ stock” and they put me with women. Told me to “go have some fun” with them and make some babies for them.
“I done what they said, but they started beatin’ me more often. Somebody said those men was jealous of me getting to be with those women. They just beat me all the time. So I ran away, but they always caught me and beat me more. The last time I run, they do not catch me. I still be runnin’ but I got sick. Been sick for a week or more now…”
He trailed off at that point and passed out. We carried Jupiter to a bed and covered him with a blanket. These were, at the time, the only things we could do for the poor man’s benefit. I looked at Shepherd and said, “Is there anything we can do for him? I think he is near death”, I concluded. “He is surely very ill Luke”, said Shepherd. “I am not sure of what those “visions” are, but they could be the result of his fever. “Until we do a further examination, we can just try to keep him comfortable”, he said. “We will be lucky to keep him alive”, I countered.
Jupiter survived through the night. Shepherd and I took turns checking on him as he slept and we were exhausted the next day. In late morning, Jupiter stirred, then sat up with a start, screaming and covering his head as if to ward of blow of unseen attackers. He was drenched in sweat and it appeared that his fever had broken. We gave him water and he drank copiously. Calmer now, he was able to relate the dream that woke him up. “I was runnin’ from them masters that always beat me. But then I slipped and fell and they catch me and they start beaten on me worse than ever. Then one man he raise his hand and he got a gun- he gonna kill me I say to myself. He cock the hammer and he aim, and he say “Lord Kensington is gonna pay me a bounty for killing your sorry arse. You ran away for the last time!” Then I wake up- I think. Is I dead?”
I began to laugh out of exhaustion, relief, and the absurdity of the question. Shepherd smiled, “No Jupiter, you are not dead. Perhaps your life has really just begun!” he assured the slave. “Now tell us, what is your given name? Jupiter is the name the slavers gave to you. What is your true name?” asked Shepherd.
“My name,… my name is Chibuike” he said. He gave a faint smile which showed several missing teeth, and gums which looked red and painful. He still looked somewhat muscular, but he was very thin, having evidently lost weight on his run to freedom.
“We will harbor you here”, said Shepherd almost immediately. I was not nearly as certain about the idea as Shepherd was. There was a fair amount of danger in harboring a runaway slave, mostly from the owners. The slave was property of another person, therefore harboring a slave was considered to be stealing.
“Joseph”, I said, “I do not think it wise to harbor a slave under my roof. My family and my reputation are at stake. You too could suffer for this since we both know that it is stealing to harbor this man from his rightful owner”, I concluded. Shepherd looked at me with a withering stare, something that had never been directed toward me from him. “Luke, you worry about your reputation when a man’s life is at stake here. You would take in a stray dog who was wounded without question- indeed I have seen you do just that. But you question whether you should save the life of this man?” he concluded.
I could not respond to that. Shepherd refused to consider the consequences for himself for doing something that he believed was the right thing. Whether it was safe or legal were not the first considerations. Rather, the first consideration is ‘what is right’?
Chibuike heard our discussion and responded. “I don’t want no trouble for you two. You helped me now you can let me move on”, he said. “I do not know what Dr. Greene will do Chibuike”, said Shepherd, “but I will not allow a sick man go out to his demise. I will travel with you to find a more hospitable place if need be”, he finished.
Shepherd had managed to shame me and offend me at the same time. He seemed to have a talent for that. I replied, “Dr. Shepherd has not the means to help you Chibuike. It seems I to need to take care of both of you, so you will stay here while I consider what to do next”, I sniffed.
Shepherd smiled a smug little grin and I broke into laughter which overcame my anger at the time. “Shepherd, you always seem to get your way, why should this time be any different?” I said. Chibuike could not understand what just took place, so Shepherd finally said, “Chibuike, we are under the care of Dr. Greene now, so we must stay and be good patients for him”, he said smiling. Chibuike nodded and smiled. We now had another member of the household, at least for a while.
Sean Kelley and Chepi had heard that Shepherd was back in America. They were living outside of Boston on a small farm with Kimi, now 23 years old. Kimi was different after her encounter with the devilish Lehane. She was now quiet, reserved, and even timid around people. She feared to be with men and professed that she would never marry or want to have children. She tended to her chores, helped with the farm and showed unusual ability in understanding herbs, plants, flowers and trees as natural remedies for illnesses. Some thought her to be odd or eccentric in this talent. For example, she would deliberately have people with pain in their bone joints be exposed to bee stings in the area of the pain. After a while, those people brave (or foolish enough) to have allowed this odd treatment swore that they had less pain, and that they would allow Kimi to continue to do this in the future for them. Kimi seemed indifferent to the whispers about her being strange, even perhaps being a witch. Chepi took great offense to such talk, and no one dared offend Chepi. She too was considered a mysterious woman, especially because of her Algonquin heritage.
Kelley, Chepi and Kimi visited Joseph, Margaret and me and we asked them to stay for a few days. Shepherd had not seen Kimi since she was a baby, and he was delighted to see Kelley and Chepi. We talked for hours about life in England, life in America, and the future for all of us. Chepi, through her contacts in the Algonquin community had been hearing more disturbing news about white men who were stirring up trouble. The Algonquin people were being devastated by the changes that were happening because of the presence of both French and English settlers and adventurers. Diseases they had never seen were wiping out whole clusters of Algonquin, forcing them to change the lifestyles they had for generations. The presence of rum, more and more firearms, and the English practice of wiping out large swaths of trees for lumber were bewildering to them. “These people ravage the land!” said Kimi, “we must live with the land”, she said. We had heard such talk before, but Kimi proceeded to say, “We also hear more about treaties and promises from the French and the English. They want Algonquin, Seneca, Wampanoag, Iroquois and other peoples to align with them and fight the other side. I think they want tribes to fight their battles for them”, she concluded.
Later in the evening as the women were cleaning up after our supper, Kelley, Shepherd and I were reminiscing about our old times together. Then Kelley told us of his worries for Kimi. She was a bright and feisty young woman, and perhaps no man would, or would want to be, a match for her. Kelley feared that she would be a spinster growing colder in her old age. “She loves her mother and me”, said Kelley, “but we will not be around forever. What will become of her when we are gone? I do not think that she can return to her own people. She looks at the world through Algonquin eyes, but she is considered a white woman by the Algonquin, and Algonquin by whites. I fear for what will happen to her”, Kelley concluded. “She is a skilled and intelligent young woman”, said Shepherd, “I believe that she can make her way in the world without a husband”, he said. “Well, she will need to”, said Kelley. “I know she must find a life outside of her parents, but she is fearful of that despite her stern appearances to others”, he concluded.
I sensed that Kelley was asking us for something- an answer of some type- but I had no response to him. Shepherd however, did offer something for thought, saying “May I suggest that Kimi stay with us and help us as we provide medical care for the community? She is quite skilled at finding natural medicines, and she can be very valuable to us as we minister to the native population that we encounter who want our help”, he concluded.
Once again, Shepherd was volunteering me for something that I had not considered. Again, I was offended and angry about his presumptions upon me and our friendship. His talk about ministering to the native population was a surprise also. Yes, occasionally we would be asked to help with some Indians, but that was seldom, and certainly not worth adding on someone to help for just that. Not wanting to offend Kelley, I said that we would consider talking with Kimi, but made no promises of anything beyond that.
After the others retired for the evening, I asked to speak with Shepherd. “Joseph”, I began, “I have become weary of your arrogance that you may make plans for my future! First with Chibuike, now with Kimi. We cannot simply take in all the people in this country who have problems. Yes, God has blessed me with some resources to care well for my family, but it is not up to you to be volunteering them to others. You rely upon my friendship, and indeed it will always be there, but you cannot use it in order to simply make yourself feel better that you have alleviated suffering through your presumption of that friendship”, I concluded.
Shepherd looked straight ahead and said nothing for some time. He finally spoke. “You are correct in your assessment Luke. I have presumed upon our friendship to achieve what I would like to do, what I believe is right. I have no right to assume that you share those same ideas, nor do I have the right to speak with your voice in these matters”.
I had gotten myself into a self-righteous anger and I was spoiling for an argument to convince him of my position. I wanted him to feel uncomfortable and argue back. His response left me speechless. Nonetheless, I continued, “I cannot have you putting me in these positions. I have resented this in the past, but I ended up acceding to your wishes. I will no longer do this Joseph”, I concluded.
“Very well” he said, “I understand. Please forgive my behavior, I did not mean to hurt you Luke”. With that he left the room and retired for the evening. I was left with having the winning hand, but no joy in the victory.
At some point in the night, Joseph had left our house. The next morning we learned that he had walked down to the harbor and that he had been seen in the company of several men near Oldham’s Tavern. Such information usually did not bode well. Oldham’s Tavern was the site of veteran seamen who were looking for work on a ship. Edwin Carr never took men from there as he was trying to put together a crew. Other captains did secure seamen from there, often to regret it later when they found these men to be thieves and scoundrels. However, these men worked cheap, seldom asking for much in actual wages, and only wanted to be left alone about their past duties on ships. Past sins were not brought up by captain or crew. Only loyalty to the ship, and willingness to fight to defend the ship and its cargo were really required.
We also learned that just two weeks before, a ship had docked which was smallish in size, but had large sail capacity. It was built for speed but not much for large cargo. It looked like a raider ship, and it was registered to Lord Andrew Kensington’s London & Western Trading Company. It was the same ship that had badgered us on our return trip to America.
Kelley and I went down Oldham’s Tavern to talk with people there about having seen Dr. Shepherd. The owner, Horace Oldham was a large man with ruddy red complexion and a scruffy white beard. He had been a sailor at one time, but stories varied about his past. Perhaps he had been in His Majesty’s service, but perhaps he had simply been a brigand who claimed such service. He was advanced in years and he lived alone in a room in the back of the tavern.
“What do you fellas want?” he asked. “My friend and I came to buy a drink and to talk with you about some events of last evening”, I said. Surely I knew that I would get no information without overpaying for a drink of rum.
“What do you want to know?’ he said. “You know I don’t know nothin’ that goes on around here”, he pre-empted. “Let me buy my drinks, and then we can decide if you know anything or not”, I said. Oldham knew what I meant by that and he became a little more agreeable. How much for two rums?” I asked. “I reckon 3 shillings a glass is fair”, but 4 would be a might better” he winked. I handed him 10 shillings and he poured us the drinks. “There was a ship that came in a couple of weeks ago from the Western & London Trading Company”, I said. Did any of the crew come in here last night?” I asked. “I get a lot of sailors come in here”, he said, “and I never ask them what ship they serve on”, he said. “Was there any disturbance here last night? Anything that seemed unusual?” I asked. “Not in here”, he said, “but the Constable came by after I closed up the place and he was askin’ about some ruckus down at the harbor. I guess he thinks that whenever there is a ruckus, the men must have come from Oldham’s place!” he said laughing. “What did you tell him?” I asked. “Well, a nigger come by here with a wild story about some men who rough handling another fella, sayin’ they was gonna kill him. That sorta thing happens some down at the harbor, so I didn’t pay him much attention, but this nigger was upset and about to bust. Wanted someone to come and help. I guess he got to the Constable, but the Constable don’t listen much to slaves. The Constable got himself a drink and left. Never heard no more after that till you come in here”, he finished.
“Did the slave give any names of who was in trouble”, I asked. “Yes, now let me think a minute”, he paused. He looked at me in a way that I knew that such information would cost another drink. “While you are thinking, give my friend and me another drink”, I said. Kelley, however had had enough of this nonsense. “Oldham”, he said, I’ll take another drink, but you best remember that name or I will come over that counter and break you in half”, he said with very little emotion. Kelley, while up in years a bit, was still muscular from his daily farm work. Oldham took Kelley seriously, for he quickly remembered the name.
“Shepherd” he stammered, “Joseph Shepherd was that fella’s name.” “What else did he say?” I asked. That’s all- just that this fella Shepherd was bein’ roughed up a little. Niggers get excited about such things, don’t they?” he smiled, trying to ease the tension that Kelley had introduced.
“I can get kinda excited myself Oldham”, said Kelley. “I get excited when people don’t tell me the whole truth, you know, like if they know something else but don’t tell me? I can get very agitated, and you just never know what might happen”, he concluded. Oldham swore that he knew nothing more, that the slave had run to the Constable, and the Constable showed up at the tavern.
I left with a bad feeling that Shepherd had once again found trouble, or it had found him. “We must find Chibuike” I said to Kelley. “I would guess that he is scared out of his wits, and he may have run off himself”, I said. “We will go back and tell the women what has happened, and then we will try to find Chibuike.”
Upon returning to the house, I found Margaret crying as she and Chepi and Kimi were discussing what they had just heard. Chibuike did finally return to our house, finding the courage to show himself to other people. He naturally feared for his own life, and, in fact, told us that he had overheard that very thing- a threat upon his life. But it was much worse than that…
Chibuike was having trouble telling his story as he alternately wept and shuddered as he recalled what he had heard the night before. He had just begun telling of his encounter with the sailors from the London & Western Trading Company. The sailors had been drinking, and in their drunken ramblings, they revealed much information. Their ship, named the Cove, had indeed docked about 10 days earlier, and had unloaded a small cargo. That cargo was muskets, the finest French muskets that money could buy. They were headed, Chibuike understood, for French traders and hunters who could use them for weapons, or use them for trade with Indians. Chibuike had happened upon the group outside the Oldham Tavern, then quickly realized that he would not be safe if they saw him. He had hidden in a shed behind some bales of straw which were used to refresh the filthy floor of the tavern at irregular intervals. He then heard the men enter the shed, with a man whom they had captured and bound. He then peeked up just long enough to see that the victim was his protector, Joseph Shepherd.
Chibuike said he had scuttled behind the straw, fearful for his life. He heard the conversation now that the three men had with Shepherd and relayed it to us in fits and starts. “The one man say to Dr. Shepherd, ‘Lord Kensington asked us to bring you along with us. Now, you come with us or we kill you, and we don’t much care which one it is. But Lord Kensington thinks you may have some worth to us alive’, “is what he said”. Dr. Shepherd, he don’t say nothin’ back to them, so the other one says, ‘if you don’t come with us, we gonna kill you, and Dr. Greene and his family, and even that nigger and squaw he got at his house now. He say, ‘we seen them all there tonight. We was outside the house ready to burn it down. We decided that having Dr. Shepherd alive would be better since Lord Kensington tell us that we can get a ransom for him. He is a big man in England, and the people there want to talk with him about some things he done. Got some letters from all these people- kings and princes and such- that say he got to come there and work for them.’”
“Dr. Shepherd, he say to them, ‘I will go with you, but you must not harm Dr. Greene or anyone in his house.” “Then he say, ‘and do not try to extort money from them, or from anyone else, a ransom for me.’ “Then they say, ‘We gonna do what we want with you, you ain’t in charge here!’ “Then Dr. Shepherd, he say, ‘I am no good to you dead and we all know that. Promise me that Dr. Greene and his house are safe and I will go with you’. “Then they took him down to the wharf and I start to run back here. Nobody seen me. I’m good at runnin’ and hidin’, and he had a faint smile on his face.
“Horace Oldham said that you had told the Constable what happened and the Constable went to Oldham’s tavern to ask about anyone seeing the disturbance”, I said. Chibuike looked dazed. “Dr. Greene, I don’t go near the Constable, I am scared of that man. He might take me back to bein’ a slave. I don’t trust him or hardly anybody. Why would Mr. Oldham say that?” he asked. “I don’t know” I said, but there is more going on here than we think”, I concluded. I had suspected that Chibuike would stay as far away as possible from the Constable. This now confirmed my thinking.
The women were crying and Kelley and I were beyond fury. We were not going to allow Shepherd to be taken without a fight. Kelley and I gathered some men we trusted, and told them that we needed some help for Dr. Shepherd. Kelley and I were not young men any longer, but this outrage inspired us! We gathered a group of about 15 men in just a few hours, and we headed down to Oldham’s Tavern. Clearly, there had been some things that did not seem right, and Oldham’s story about Chibuike and the Constable was a good place to start. Kelley was glad to have another chance to confront Oldham, and I had to encourage him not to act too rashly too quickly. However, my heart was really not in that since I too wanted to bash that devil’s skull if he were really involved in some plot on Shepherd.
Kelley and I walked in to Oldham’s Tavern near dusk. Our little band of friends were waiting just outside the tavern, but out of view. As we walked in Oldham began his brash posturing. “You two ain’t had enough excitement?” he said as we walked in. “We just wanted to come in for another drink”, I said calmly, but Oldham knew that was certainly not the case. “I ain’t got any more information for you two, so a drink is all you’ll get from me”, he said. “I do not want any more of your information Oldham”, I said, “Because I would not trust it to be true”, I concluded. He squirmed a bit, but blustered and fumed, “You callin’ me a liar?” he said. Kelley could no longer constrain himself. “We all know that you are a liar Oldham, I just came for a piece of your hide”, concluded Kelley. Oldham’s eyes grew wide. A man who was in the shadows came out and lunged at Kelley with a knife. Kelley saw him at the last second and stepped aside as the man lunged. The man hit the bar in front of Oldham and Kelley drew his own knife and slashed the man’s arm almost to the bone. The attacker howled in pain and Kelley kicked the wounded man straight in his stomach. He dropped to the ground with no breath in him, and he was gasping for air. As soon as the men outside heard the ruckus in the tavern, they rushed in with knives, clubs and pistols drawn, ready to wreak havoc with anyone foolhardy enough to challenge them. Oldham was stunned and, for once, speechless. The attacker began to finally draw a breath, and one of our men grabbed him and bound him with a chain. He was bleeding badly from the knife wound, but I saw that there appeared to be no likelihood that this wound was mortal, so I decided that a bleeding man might act as a good deterrent to more violence. Indeed, Oldham quickly regained his voice then and blurted, “Are you fellows mad? What are you doing attacking my brother that way?” he said. “I really wanted to attack you”, said Kelley, but that bastard had to be first. But you’ll be next if you don’t start telling the truth”, said Kelley.
Oldham saw that he was seriously outnumbered, and that we had found that he was lying to us. I thought that Oldham was going to be forthcoming at this point, but Kelley, went over to him and grabbed him by the collar and shoved him into the wall. “I would cut your throat right here, but Dr. Greene would not have it. But I will beat the truth out of you right now”, said an enraged Kelley. Oldham was now in fear for his life it appeared, and he told Kelley, “I will tell you everything I know!” One of our men piped up “That should not take too long!”, and the laughter served to ease some of the tension that gripped the tavern.
Kelley backed away from Oldham a few paces, held up his knife and said, “Start telling the truth Oldham!” Oldham took a deep breath and began to talk. “Back last week, these men from Kensington’s company came to the tavern. They had just entered port a few days before and they said that they had a deal for me. They said that Lord Kensington had paid them to track down Joseph Shepherd and get him back to London. He had gotten ahold of letters from all over Europe about Shepherd and the things that he had done and some discoveries he had made. Oldham said that he knew of Shepherd, and he knew of me, and he told these men where they could find us. When Shepherd wandered into the Oldham’s Tavern after leaving my house, unable to sleep, Oldham thought that he had been delivered a treasure. He notified the sailors through his brother Sam (now the worse for wear thanks to Kelley), and the men tracked down Shepherd near the tavern. Chibuike, who happened to be night hunting for possum since he tried to remain scarce often during the daylight, stumbled upon the gathering on his hunt.
I found out later that Kensington had gotten hold of these letters which we had requested during the trial- the letters from Rene Descartes, Robert Boyle, the Queen of Sweden, King Christian of Denmark, Blaise Pascal, and many others. Kensington, however, was only interested in one letter. A letter from Robert Moray was about a new kind of gunpowder that did not produce a cloud of smoke when it exploded. Shepherd had found some way to make this powder, and nobody else could apparently do it. Robert Moray, in whose letter these things were discovered had given full credit to Shepherd for the discovery, even though he had written of the discovery of this new explosive powder in his notes.
“Where are Kensington’s friends now?” I demanded of Oldham. “I swear to you I don’t know!” said Oldham, fearful for his life. Kelley was not convinced of that and he landed a tremendous blow to Oldham’s stomach. Oldham fell to the floor and promptly vomited. He was in misery now and Kelley would not relent. “You tell me where Dr. Shepherd is or you will never get up from this floor!” Kelley roared. Oldham tried to regain his breath, and I intervened. “Sean, hold back just a bit and allow the man to breathe”, I said. Oldham was on his hands and knees and crawling through his own vomit trying to get to his feet. “All I know”, he said feebly, “is that those sailors were headed back to their ship. They were going to head back to England as soon as they could to get Shepherd back there to Kensington. That is all I know”, he sputtered. Oldham then fell on the slippery floor, grabbed at his chest in pain and cried out. Then he lay there motionless. I rushed over to him and saw a tinge of blue coming to his lips. “Dear God”, I muttered. I listened to his heart and I took his wrist to measure his pulse. Shepherd and I had learned this from Santorio at Padua during our brief trip there. We had found this skill very useful in our practices, and now I was desperately hoping to find a clear pulse. I could not.
The Constable had met with Kelley and me about the death of Horace Oldham. He had died on the floor of his own pub with Kelley, me, and a handful of our friends who had confronted him and then witnessed his death. Oldham’s brother, Elmer, had been seriously wounded in the fight with Kelley, and he had asked the Constable to charge Kelley with murder. I had attested to the fact that Oldham had died of natural causes. While no charges were brought on us, Elmer Oldham became a sworn enemy who vowed to avenge the death of his brother.
Our son Jacob had been seeing Jane Smith whose family had come over on the Mayflower in 1620. Jacob wanted to settle down and have children, much like his sister Anna. They were married in early winter soon after Shepherd was taken captive and whisked away from us. We loved Jane and her fiery spirit. She expected that Jacob would forego his sailing career if he were to be serious about having children with her.
Indeed, Jacob had been considering starting his own business, and he took in his brother-in-law, John Adams, as his partner. Adams was an astute businessman, schooled in the law. Jacob knew sailing and commerce from the Massachusetts Bay Company and together, they began a shipbuilding business with an eye toward capitalizing on the burgeoning cod industry. Jacob believed that the inexhaustible cod population around the Bay could feed the world. His technique for salting the cod to preserve it was something he learned from Chepi and Kimi. The amount of salt needed to be just right to correctly preserve the freshness and flavor of the fish, but not so much as to destroy the flaky flesh of the cod. Kimi and Chepi had kept this skill for themselves from their Algonquin heritage, but they shared it with Jacob because of their trust and affection for him.
Chibuike was learning a trade as Kelley took him in to help him to learn about hunting and farming. He was a very hard worker, and grateful for the opportunity which we had given to him. Kelley entrusted Chibuike with a musket for hunting. It was indeed rare for a former slave to be given access to a firearm, but Kelley had no real hesitation in allowing this. In fact, Chibuike became a rather skilled hunter, and he was able to bring in more game for our winter larder. Chibuike was helpful to not only Kelley and Chepi, but to Kimi who became fond of him. He was the first man that Kimi actually had trust for. Chibuike also talked with Kimi about his interest in healing roots and herbs, talking with her about his native plants in Africa which had medicinal qualities. I felt ashamed often when I thought about how I had resisted Shepherd in his compassionate efforts toward Chibuike and Kimi.
I was now 61 years old and while slowing down some, had retained a large degree of my physical health. Here again, I needed to credit Shepherd, who had ideas about the value of physical exercise. Most physicians and professors advocated rest as a way to preserve the body. Shepherd however, in his typical paradoxical ways, suggested that daily exercise was essential for good health, as well as a diet that included many green vegetables and less meat. He was routinely ridiculed for this type of thinking, but he seemed to have little regard for criticism when he was convinced that he was right about something. “One needs to live with oneself” he would say, “If you know who you are and what you believe, you will not become simply what others desire you to be”, he would conclude.
So with Shepherd in mind, I continued my daily exercise which usually was vigorous work in the garden, repairs on my house, and long walks to my work settings rather than riding my horse.
I was however considering my future generations in this new land. America was clearly now my home and I doubted that I would ever return to England. If indeed Shepherd was being taken back to England against his will, I would have been willing to take on the task of another trip back to help rescue him. More realistically, we would write to our friends in England who could be of more help in tracking him down, as well as the brigands who had captured him. People at the Massachusetts Bay Company in London would be my first contacts. Jacob Carr and John Adams could secure more help in London than I could at this time. Indeed, they had already begun to try contact people in London who could be of help when the next ship left Boston harbor.
I was unsure that I would ever see my friend Joseph Shepherd again.
I believed that it was important to chronicle family journeys for future generations. America, I believed, would be that “beacon on the hill”, and the story of those of us who came here from England should write out that story as it was unfolding. Much like Shepherd referenced the Bible as a chronicle of faith, so journals, diaries, personal reflections, and historical works should be passed through family generations.
I had this discussion with both Jacob and Anna. Both agreed that such writings would be great ways to preserve the history of our family, and also could be of value to people even outside of our family, even with the knowledge that our family history may not be of impact or interest outside of those who followed in future generations of the Greenes, Carrs, and Adamses.
So, with this in mind, Jacob and Anna promised to preserve family history by writing their family story, and also to make this a heritage and expectation of future generations. I was so pleased that they respected my wishes, and had even agreed so readily to this solemn pledge. I believed that our family story would persevere for generations to come.
The sailors of the Cove had bound Shepherd and had taken him down to the harbor under cover of darkness. They had a day’s head start on us in absconding with Shepherd. They likely planned to sail at night and be safely beyond sight of land before dawn. Shepherd, true to his word, offered no resistance to them in exchange for the promise that no harm would come to the Greene extended household.
Edwin and Jacob Carr were alerted about what had happened. We figured that we may need to pursue the Cove to try to save Joseph. Edwin and Jacob said that they had no access to a ship of the Massachusetts Bay Company for at least a week, perhaps two weeks, due to refitting. The type of ship needed would also need to be fast and able to fight if it were to come against the Cove. No such ship was available.
We decided to go down to the harbor in hopes of finding the Cove before she headed to England. Our little band of warriors was ready for action, and Kelley in particular. Despite his advancing years, and his bad leg from the old injury on the Intrepid, he was still a man of action and courage.
When we reached the harbor, we saw no ship that matched the description of the Cove. There were several fishing boats, and one ship from the Massachusetts Bay Company which was being refitted for service. A few fishermen told us that they had seen the ship we described a few days ago, but she had slipped away one night, and she was well onto the ocean by now. Once again, Shepherd was headed to England without me, but this time not of his own accord.
While out at sea, the Cove made good time. Clear but cold late December days were fine for sailing, but there was always risk of a winter storm. Sailors spent their time repairing the inevitable leaks, sewing torn sails, etc., but mostly, they were bored and they drank. Discipline on ships such as this were only as good as the Captain’s leadership and command. This was not an English ship of the line. It was more a combination raider/trader ship – a type that Kensington had practically invented.
The captain, Mr. Morley, was stern and weathered. Scarred from not only smallpox, but some facial wounds from a sword, he was somewhat unpleasant of appearance. He evidently tried to compensate for his ugly appearance with an ugly disposition. This, of course, seldom produces the desired effect, but Morley was a man not to be disputed with.
One day, Morley was bragging to the men about his way with women. He went on to talk about all the women around the world with whom he had shared a bed. One of the crew, Eli Spencer, began to laugh hysterically. Indeed, he had been drinking, and his loose tongue was to be his undoing. Spencer uttered between laughs, “You mean to say that some woman would actually would want to be in the same room with you, much less the same bed?” The rest of the men around Spencer heard the remark and started to laugh themselves.
Morley glared at Spencer, then drew his knife out of its sheath. He moved on Spencer with the knife. Spencer, with no weapon, turned away from the raging Morley, but Morley kept coming. No one moved to stop Morley and Morley lunged at Spencer with the knife. Stumbling out of the way now, Spencer ran out of room, and Morley stabbed Spencer in the back as he tried to escape. Morley pulled at the knife, but Spencer’s muscles had enclosed around it, and Morley could not easily withdraw the knife from the back of the wounded Spencer who now fell onto some rigging. Spencer lay wounded, the knife protruding from his back as a grisly reminder of Morley’s uncontrolled rage.
Spencer was seriously wounded as he lay in pain and shame, helpless to remove the knife, and unaided by the rest of the crew. Morley withdrew to his cabin, and only then did some men come to Spencer’s aid. The man who served as ship physician, Mr. Davies, was untrained and not particularly competent. He withdrew the knife from the bleeding wound with some effort. He then found a rag, placed it on the wound, and tied another larger cloth around Spencer’s torso to keep the bandage in place.
He sat Spencer up and gave him a draught of rum to calm him. Spencer was in a good deal of pain and he drank the rum greedily. Davies and one other man helped him to a bunk below deck and placed in the space that Shepherd occupied. More rum finally dulled the pain and allowed a fitful sleep for Spencer.
Shepherd was bound, and chained to a bulkhead as Mr. Davies moved Spencer below deck. Spencer awoke much later to see Shepherd hunched over him, trying to tend to Spencer’s wound. “How did you get out of those shackles?” questioned Spencer. Shepherd smiled, “I have been free from them the whole time”, he replied. I simply slip them back on when I hear someone coming here,” he replied. “You mean you are free whenever you want to be?” asked the puzzled Spencer. “Yes, you could say that”, replied Shepherd. “I am always as free as I want to be”, said Shepherd to the bewildered Spencer. “I slip those shackles back on to allow the crew to feel at ease with my confinement”, said Shepherd. “I am no risk of flight. I have given my word to Mr. Morley that I would go to England with this ship and I mean to keep my word. Unless God provides some other answer, we will all return to England together. However, it appears that you are in some trouble. What happened?” asked Shepherd.
Spencer related his story to Shepherd, but the pain was worsening and Spencer was drifting away from his narrative. Shepherd asked if he could be of help to Spencer and Spencer just nodded. Shepherd unwrapped the cloth from Spencer and found the area around his back to be filthy with clotted blood, dirt, and bits of cloth. Spencer looked to be turning pale, and Shepherd suspected that there may be some internal damage, not just a wound in the muscles of his back. Spencer then coughed heartily and blood dripped from his mouth.
Shepherd believed that there was some internal injury to Spencer, likely a punctured lung. Shepherd had seen this before and decided that he needed to take action to relieve Spencer’s suffering and perhaps save his life. Shepherd rummaged through his area and found that Mr. Davies had left his medical bag in the corner as he was moving Spencer. Shepherd saw in the bag an instrument that resembled an awl. He carefully cleaned the instrument and punctured Spencer’s side between his ribs. He then inserted a thin copper tube which he had found on a makeshift still the men used to make “sailor’s rum”. Upon inserting the tube, air from Spencer’s chest was released. Shepherd decided to leave the tube in for a little while to help relieve the painful pressure that Spencer was experiencing. Spencer had mercifully fallen unconscious and was now at some level of rest, albeit fitful at times.
Shepherd heard stirring as someone was coming below deck and he slipped his chains back on. Mr. Morley had come to check on his victim. Morley moved close to Spencer and saw the tube protruding from his side. “Good God in heaven, what is this!” screamed Morley. “Who did this to you!?” Morley asked. “Did Davies do this to you?” Spencer was still unconscious and unable to respond. Morley then looked at Shepherd. “Did you do this to him?’ he asked. Shepherd remained silent. Morley went over to Shepherd and kicked his leg. “Answer me man, I am talking to you!” screamed Morley.
Shepherd remained silent as Morley raged. “Are you trying to kill this man?” asked Morley. Shepherd had to restrain himself from commenting on the incredible irony of that statement, but he again remained silent.
Morley left to go above to ask Mr. Davies if he had put a copper tube in Spencer’s side. Upon reaching Davies, Morley screamed at him, “What are you doing to Spencer sticking a tube in his side?”
Davies was dumbstruck. “I did no such thing!” he proclaimed. “Well go below deck and see for yourself!” he said. Davies went below with Morley and saw Spencer lying on his side apparently asleep. He saw Shepherd shackled to the bulkhead with his head down, possibly also asleep. He then saw the thin tube of copper sticking in Spencer. “Mr. Morley, I tended to Spencer with utmost care, wrapping a bandage around his wound. I gave him rum and laid him below deck. I did nothing else”, he concluded.
Morley took Spencer by the arm to rouse him and Spencer began to stir. “Oddest dream I ever had”, he began groggily. “I seen Shepherd moving about freely, then he comes over to me and I dreamt he was the one that stabbed me again, this time in my side”, he said, almost laughing. “I felt some better after he stabbed me though, not like the first time in my back- that hurt like hell fire!” Spencer then allowed a little chuckle amidst his pain. “What is this in my side?!” he then shouted. “My God, he left the knife in me!”
Shepherd then finally spoke. Yes, I put that tube in Mr. Spencer in order to relieve his pain and help him. Indeed, I believe that it has”, he concluded. “Well take it out of him now” said Davies, “the poor devil is scared out of his mind!”
Shepherd reluctantly agreed and gently removed the tube. “I may need to reinsert this he told Spencer, but it will help you more than it hurts you”, he concluded. Davies scoffed and said, “You’ll have no more to do with this man. Heaven knows the harm you have already caused him!”
Morley was amazed at what he had just seen, but he was also enraged about Shepherd’s deception. “You removed your shackles even though you promised you wouldn’t cause trouble. Then you stab a copper tube into an injured man and you say nothing. You are an arrogant rogue, just like they said about you. You cause trouble wherever you go. Now you are going to get shackles you can’t break, and a taste of the lash as well!” concluded the raging Morley. “But that comes later Shepherd. That will be a public lashing tomorrow. Always good to have the crew see discipline at work on a ship”, he laughed. “Discipline at work!”
The next day, Morley assembled the crew of the Cove and chose Argus Hurst to be the man to wield the whip on Shepherd. Hurst was an especially cruel and possibly deranged man who relished inflicting pain on others. His reputation as a sailor included some battles with Moorish pirates off the Canary Islands. He had been dismissed from the King’s service after having beaten a pirate to death who had been captured in a sea battle. Hurst had gone into service with Kensington after escaping hanging for thievery outside pubs where he would find drunken patrons in the alley, rob them, then beat them savagely. Hurst wanted the opportunity to have free reign for meting out his cruelty on someone. Morley knew Hurst’s tendencies, and picked him to administer the lashes to Shepherd. The number of lashes determined by Morley was to be 20, administered to Shepherd’s back as he was tied to a mast.
Many of the crew were uneasy with this punishment, knowing that Shepherd had simply acted out of compassion toward Spencer. Morley wanted more compliance from his crew, and for Shepherd to be incapacitated for the rest of the voyage. When Shepherd had been secured to the mast, Morley told Hurst to begin the lashes. Hurst seemed to grin as he reared back for two fast, sharp blows from the lash to Shepherd’s back. Shepherd grimaced as blood splattered from his torn back. Hurst gave another hard blow to Shepherd’s back and more blood splattered. The crew raised no voice of approval as Morley had seen in some past commands. Some turned their head as Hurst struck again and again. Shepherd faltered and lost control of his legs, unable to stand. He was now just hanging by the leather straps which secured his hands to the mast.
The sky which had been somewhat overcast, now grew darker, and a sudden gust of wind whipped the sails tossing the Cove violently. Hurst lost his footing, fell hard on the deck and he cursed loudly. He rose to his feet only to fall again as wind whipped the sails and waves crashed the deck causing slippery footing. Morley was enraged that his show of discipline seemed to end so quickly. Morley was forced to dispatch his crew to stations to secure sails and equipment on the ship. He told Davies to untie Shepherd, tend to his wounds, and secure him below deck.
Shepherd was in a great deal of pain. Davies untied Shepherd from the mast and quickly took him below. The weather now was turning quite ugly. The skies, once leaden, now were almost black. Lightning lit the blackish backdrop in the sky and rain started falling in sheets. Winds were now sustained, not just gusting, and the crew was working feverishly to roll up sails so that they were not shredded, and to save the ship from being torn apart.
Chaos ruled the Cove as cursing sailors tried to secure tattered sails. Morley was screaming orders to sailors who could not hear anything over the howling wind and rain. Hurst, still trying to get a secure footing, crashed into a spar, and fell yet again. This time he landed unconscious on the deck. A sudden heave of the Cove sent him flying off the deck into the roiling ocean. He was quickly carried away from the reeling Cove and was never seen again.
Below deck, Davies tried to apply salve to Shepherd’s ugly wounds. The rolling ship did not allow for such treatment however and Shepherd thanked Davies for his efforts. “The conditions do not allow for such treatment now Mr. Davies”, said Shepherd. “Go help with the work to save the ship”, he concluded.
Davies agreed and left Shepherd unshackled below deck. Efforts above deck were not going well as the winds continued unabated. The Cove was in serious danger now. Drifting at the whim of the winds, she began to take on water. The Cove was breaking up from the stresses of nature. A terrific noise overcame even the howling wind as the small ship succumbed to the shearing winds. The Cove had split nearly in half!
Sailors now panicked as the ship was disintegrating beneath them. Several men fell from the masts into the raging sea. Most were crying out to God, screaming for their mother, or were cursing their fate until the end. Morley, screaming to no avail, was felled by a toppling mast and killed instantly. Ultimately, all above deck perished as the ship began to break apart. Below deck, Shepherd saw water rushing in and he scrambled up the ladder toward the top deck. As the ship heaved its near final groan above water, Shepherd spotted a small boat that was still lashed to the aft of the ship. It was used at times for sailors to venture out to fish for more provisions when food stocks were getting depleted.
Shepherd found a knife on the nearby body of Mr. Morley. He seized the knife and cut through the ropes holding the little vessel. Shepherd simply jumped into the little boat as the Cove broke completely apart. As the Cove spun about in the storm, the little boat fell into the sea with Shepherd clinging on the oars which remained lashed inside the boat. The storm, now losing strength as the evening approached, splashed salty water onto the torn back of Shepherd. It was both pain as well as relief to him now as he lay exhausted on the floor of the boat. Gradually, the storm gave way to calm and Shepherd could look up at the sun starting to appear as it was dipping below the horizon. The last bits of debris of the Cove were now outlined on the setting sun. Shepherd gave thanks for his miracle rescue as the sole survivor of a maritime tragedy. The skies began to clear as nighttime approached. Night fell on the sinking Cove, each half of the broken vessel sinking at its own pace. Shepherd finally had some peace, secure in his little boat. As it drifted lazily in the now calm waters, the small boat seemed to dance in the moonlight…
Anna Adams and Jacob (Greene) Carr were true to their word, and they kept lengthy and detailed journals, which were passed down through generations. Over the years, these journals were a source of delight for children, grandchildren, and even more generations that came.
Anna and John Adams’ children did indeed have an influence on future generations as Shepherd had predicted when he picked up little John Adams. Their lineage produced two presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, scholars, writers and historians. Through the distant influence of Dr. Greene, this lineage produced some of the best documentation of American history to date. Charles Francis Adams, descendant of John Adams became a great chronicler of American history- a history which depicts the strong love of country and dedication to faith that marked the early American landscape.
Jacob (Greene) Carr continued in his partnership with his brother-in-law, John Adams, and his “uncle” Edwin Carr. They became very successful in the shipping business, developing new contracts with Spain, Portugal, and Holland for salt cod and oysters, and beaver pelt. He had three sons and one daughter, Margaret Eliza Carr, who married John Madison. Margaret Eliza Carr’s great-great-grandson, James Madison, had a large hand in writing the American Constitution, and became the fourth President of the United States.
Anna wrote not just of her family, but of Kelley, Chepi, Kimi, and Chibuike. Sean Kelley died in 1665, having seen his beloved wife Chepi die at the hands of Elmer Oldham some two years after Kelley had inadvertently killed Elmer’s brother in the Oldham Tavern. Elmer Oldham died at the end of a hangman’s rope soon after he murdered Chepi. However, Elmer Oldham’s sworn revenge murder of Chepi seemed to take the heart out of Kelley. He later recovered somewhat after he moved in with Luke and Margaret Greene. He lived out the rest of his life in peace with the Greenes and continued to become a mentor for Chibuike.
Chibuike and Kimi married and were threatened with banishment from the community for miscegenation. It was only by the efforts of Kelley and Greene that they were allowed to continue to live at the Kelley farm in relative peace. They wanted no public attention and were content to live out their lives on the farm. While publicly shunned and shamed, and periodically threatened with being tried as witches, they also ministered their herbal remedies and medicines to people in very private, discreet, late night encounters. People who railed at them in public would come to their cabin in the dark of night seeking relief from various maladies, and they were never turned away.
Chibuike and Kimi had a daughter, “Little Kimi” who married “Prince” Attucks in 1688. They had a daughter, Nancy Attucks, who bore Crispus Attucks in 1723. Crispus Attucks became the first casualty of the American Revolution when he died in a hail of British musket fire at the Boston Massacre.
Herbert Wesley returned to England, but never forgot his time in America. He had returned to England to care for his ailing mother and he was never able to return to America. His progeny however would share that love for America, and later would help to shape and transform it. He and his wife had seven children, and two of his great grandchildren, John and Charles Wesley, founded a great spiritual movement which changed the Old and New Worlds with great revivals of faith.
Anne Kensington was in some despair when she heard nothing from those who were to bring Shepherd back to France to develop the smokeless gunpowder. Moray refused to work on the discovery out of deference to his promise to Shepherd not to work further on this dangerous substance. Smokeless powder would not be developed for warfare for another 150 years.
Anne was to try one more scheme to sustain herself in the French court. Anne had become involved with some of the disgruntled nobles engaged in what later became known as the Fronde of the Nobles. Her plan to give information and support to this group, which hoped to overturn the monarchy, became hopelessly entangled in the intrigues of the court. Those whom she trusted exposed Anne, and when Cardinal Mazarin found out, he had her jailed. Within a week, she was scheduled for the hangman’s noose. Seeing that her final scheme had failed, she decided to die by her own hand. She obtained arsenic from one of her court contacts and ingested it. She died rather slowly with acute stomach pain and intestinal bleeding. This “friend” had given her enough to kill her, but not enough to kill her quickly. Even to the end, Anne evidently made poor choices in friends.
Lord Andrew Kensington met a grisly end as well. Even though his health had been failing for years, he managed to stay around long enough to continue to wreak havoc among those with whom he did business. Martin Crane and Edward Elliot the old Intrepid shipmates, who had been cured of the plague, had been working for Kensington on one of his merchant ships. One day, as Kensington was overseeing a shipment of tobacco being unloaded on the docks, he ordered Edward Elliott to be beaten with a cane for stealing some of the product. Crane, a life-long friend of Elliott, defended him stating that Elliott was innocent. Kensington came forward toward Crane, and both then set upon the old man. A huge brawl then broke out among the seething dockworkers. In the melee, Crane stabbed Kensington repeatedly in the stomach. As Kensington lay helpless on the dock, the workers stopped to view the writhing old man breathe his last breath. Ironically, his death had a calming effect on the workers. They did not even give him the dignity of a burial, but threw his still warm body into the water where he floated briefly in view of gawkers who did not seem to mourn his passing.
Oliver Craft’s health had completely deteriorated after he had contacted Anne Kensington with the letters he had taken from Rainsborough (and Lord Kensington). He was found on the street near the Jacob Carr Mission coughing blood and shaking violently. He was taken in by Sister Clarice, who ministered to him that night. He lived just two weeks longer, his last days being comforted by the loving hands of people whose former Mission he had burned to the ground many years prior.
Dr. Luke Greene continued to do what he loved until the end of his life. He taught at Harvard College until he was nearly 80 years old. He incorporated many of the ideas he learned from Joseph Shepherd into his classes, but he lost status and credibility with the other professors and the educational community as he befriended and defended slaves and Indians. His staunch defense of Chibuike and Kimi drew much criticism, and his published works on medical advances such as inoculation, sterile field for surgery, anesthesia, and proper nutrition as part of health were largely discounted and forgotten in the years after his death at age 83.
Luke’s beloved Margaret died one year after Luke, having been cared for by her son Jacob after Luke’s death. Margaret wrote her own journals, as requested by her husband, and they have been passed on over the generations since her passing. She lived to see her grandchildren become successful and generally prosperous. She had the sorrow of burying her beloved friend Chepi, but also the joy in helping to raise “Little Kimi”, who was a prize to her.
Despite the unfortunate discounting of Joseph Shepherd’s influence and knowledge by virtue of Greene’s lost credibility, Shepherd’s influence was felt in many other ways. His ideas about inoculation were intriguing to Dr. Jenner who continued to discuss the ideas with his friend Harvey. At first skeptical, Jenner wrote of the ideas in his own journals, and his great-great grandson, Edward Jenner, finally popularized the concept which had been around in theory for hundreds of years in 1796.
Shepherd’s intuition and insight into the circulation of the blood in the human body influenced and encouraged William Harvey in his signal work De Motu Cordis. Shepherd’s understanding of surgery and anesthesia were passed on in literature which later revealed a lineage of knowledge that can be traced back to his influence and practices.
Shepherd’s work with Galileo and Kepler helped reinforce our understanding of heavenly bodies, the role of the moon on earth’s tidal actions, and even the idea of the vastness of the universe, completely unknown up to that time.
Finally, Shepherd’s ideas about freedom and self-government were realized through the efforts of William Bradford and the Mayflower Compact, and Adams, Gerry, and Hancock, whose progeny were instrumental in forming the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
Some of the editing of this journal you have just read was actually done by Joseph Shepherd himself. He affixed his name to many of the entries, clarified details, made annotations and observations, but never attributed dates to these writings. This book has been compiled over the years from many sources. While mostly from Dr. Greene’s first-hand accounts, many of the passages have been filled in by Joseph Shepherd, and others who knew the Greene family.
We do not know how or where Joseph Shepherd acquired access to this journal, nor do we know where he went after the shipwreck of the Cove. However, we are grateful for his assistance in compiling this record.
Final Editor unknown…
Joseph Shepherd is a historical novel. Some of the characters are easily recognizable as important philosophers, inventors, writers, and even geniuses (see Appendix). Care was given to be true to the events of the time period, and most events are essentially historically accurate. Interactions between the historical characters are part of the fiction, although many of these contemporaries did actually have a relationship and had correspondence or interacted with one another. Many of the characters are fictional, including Joseph Shepherd. I have endeavored to give a “back story” to some of the great thinkers and inventors, asking the reader to consider those people who may have played some hidden or untold part in the creative process of those whom we have identified as geniuses.
I used the words “scientist” and “science” through most of the book, recognizing that the name more typically used in the 17th century was “natural philosophy”. I have attempted, as one of the themes of this book, to portray Joseph Shepherd as a man of faith as well as a man of science. His insistence on the compatibility of the two disciplines is important to highlight, especially in a time where (in Shepherd’s time) the Church dominated thought and often disallowed scientific pursuit. In modern times, the opposite seems to have occurred, where science has dominated contemporary thought, and has discredited the role of faith in understanding a complex and interrelated world.
The character Joseph Shepherd is complex and enigmatic as well. My hope is that the reader will embrace him, consider his adventures and influences, and perhaps follow him on his next journey.