Chapter 13 Becoming an Inhabitant
Boston, Massachusetts March 25, 1639
I woke up this morning and touched Mary's swelling baby bump. She was six months along, and the babe was moving. She brought it to my attention just now. I was in complete awe at how there was a living being in her womb. He/She was kicking and moving around. In just three months we will meet the babe.
Today is the day we become inhabitants. I had to wait 6 months for this day. I had to be over 20 years old which I was. I was 26 years old. I had to be free of servant hood which I have been. I had to live in my temporary dwelling for 6 whole months. William also sent the government officials a letter notifying my freedom, and how I worked at becoming well known in the community as a tailor. Mary and I arrived at the allotted time to take the oath. I was instructed to read the oath with my hand raised. My other hand on the Bible. Mary held the oath paper for me.
I said, "I, John Hurde, do solemnly swear, and call God to witness, that now being an inhabitant within the limits of this jurisdiction of Massachusetts, I do acknowledge myself to be lawfully subject to the authority and government there established, and do accordingly submit my person, family and estate to be protected, ordered and governed by laws and constitutions thereof. I do faithfully promise to be from time to time obedient and conformable there unto the authority of the governor, magistrates and their successors, and to all laws, orders, sentences and decrees that are made now and the future. I will always endeavor (as I am duty bound) to advance the peace and welfare of the political body, and I will ( to the best of my power and means) seek to divert and prevent whatsoever happenings that may ruin or damage the governor, deputy governor, assistants or their successors. I will give immediate notice of any sedition, violence, treachery or any other hurt or evil which I shall know of , or suspect to be plotted against any government official or against the Commonwealth or established government. So help me God!
After this oath, the leaders marked the record books and told me to come back in July for a land grant. They noticed the Mary was with child and congratulated us. They wanted to make sure that we joined the church to make sure our babies could be baptized. I assured them that it would be our next step. We stayed and watched a few more men say their oaths, and then we went home. Mary made a quick lunch, and she took a nap. She was getting more tired and uncomfortable. She needed some help. We found out that Elizabeth was expecting again, and she was due in August. They visit each other often. I help Mary do heavy lifting when I can, but she seems to manage with all other tasks. I admire her strength and determination to live independently. Sometimes I worry she is doing too much, but she assures me that she is able to do her chores. She does need help with gardening since bending is getting difficult. She does accept help though. The more I admire her, the more in love I fall.
I have contacted a carpenter to make us a cradle in trade for some new pair of breeches and doublet. He assured me that it would be ready soon. As I worked on sewing these items, I made a plan to join the church.....
Hurde, Hord, Hurd, John, tailor, having served Mr. William Hutchinson for divers years was admitted inhabitant of Boston, March 25, 1639 with wife Mary.
Evans, C. (1921). Oaths of allegiance in Colonial New England. From: http://www.americanantiquarian.org.
(Oath written in day American English for this book).
I hope you all enjoy this story.
Next Chapter: Joining the Church
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