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PUNISHING THOMAS MORTON
WHAT happened there my father does not know; but
certain it is that when the Lyon came on her second
voyage, she brought among her passeners this same
 Thomas Morton, and from the moment he arrived
our people had trouble with him.
He brought considerable property in the way of
firearms, powder and shot, end, without asking
permission from the chief men of our town, set about
trading these goods with the Indians for furs, as he
had done at Merry Mount, which was not only a
menace to all the white people in this new country,
because of furnishing the savages with arms that might
be used to kill us, but directly against the law which
forbade trafficking with the Indians.
He must have been a wicked man indeed, for, not
content with doing that which our people had
forbidden, he cheated the savages by selling them black
sand for powder, and demanding more of furs than
was fair and just for such goods as he gave them.
Of course one may think that his crime against us
was lessened when he weighed out worthless sand,
instead of powder that might be used to our harm;
but the chief men of Boston claimed that the savages
must be dealt with fairly, otherwise would they look
upon us, who were willing to trade honestly, as rogues
Therefore it was that our people seized this Thomas
Morton, gave him fair trial before the court, and
sentenced him to four and twenty hours in the bilboes, after
which he was again to be sent as prisoner to England.
 It may be that some do not know what bilboes are,
and I can explain because of having seen them while
they were on Thomas Morton.
A bilboe is a long bar of iron, on which are two
heavy clamps, in shape not unlike bracelets which
ladies of quality wear upon their arms, fastened by a
ring to the bar in such manner that they may slide back
and forth. These
clamps, or clasps, are
placed upon the prisoner's ankles, and pushed
apart until his legs are
stretched wide. His
hands are tied behind
his back, and he is
forced to sit upon the
ground, unable to give
relief to his aching limbs, because of the bar's being
too weighty for him to move it.
All of Thomas Morton's goods were seized to pay the
charges of the trial, and also to make good to the
Indians what they had lost through his knavishness. The
house which he had built, and it was a fair one made
of heavy logs, was burned in the presence of the
prisoner and the court, as a sign that we of Boston would
not countenance dishonest tricks, even when they were
played upon the savages.