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From an original drawing by Warren Rockwell. 






Editor in Chief 




\'OLl>fI. ONE 

The Publishing Society of Connecticut 



Two Copies Received 

APR 14 1904 

Copyright Entry 

CLASS ou xxo. No. 


Copyright, 1904, By 
The Publishing Society of Connecticut 

A// Rights Reserved 






CONNECTICUT is a small English industrial 
colony less than three centuries old, for more 
than half that period merged in a vast federa- 
tion covering half a continent. It never had a 
war of its own except one brief campaign 
against the savages on its own soil, which practically exter- 
minated them. The great war which formed the federation 
only grazed its borders: thanks to the blood of the Ironsides, 
no memorable battlefields or sieges draw pilgrims to it, no 
hostile force ever slept a night on its soil. The very spirit of 
its defenders has robbed its memories of glow. None of the 
later wars of the United States have come near it. Its oppres- 
sions were potential rather than heavily actual ; its one tyrant 
was a dutiful and humane English gentleman who menaced 
no one's life or limb, nor to any alarming extent his property, 
and out of whom to extract materials for a sufficiency of 
patriotic abhorrence demands the obedient imagination of 
childhood. It furnishes neither the throb of dramatic 
achievement nor that of romantic suffering, neither of the 
story of Napoleon nor the story of Ossian. The history of 
such a body cannot have the picturesqueness, the brilliancy, 
the charm that clings about an aged state whose roots are lost 
in antiquity, whose early progress must be guessed out of 
legend, whose existence is the prize of centuries of buffeting 
on the world's chief stage, whose soil has been trodden by 
scores of armies and drenched with the blood of fighters and 
martyrs age after age. 

None the less, it has an interest, a value, and an individu- 
ality all its own. It is not a mere profitless record of the gath- 
ering and material progress of a chance collection of human 



beings, nowise different from other such collections, with no 
common soul and no special problem. Every one who has 
studied the history of American commonwealths is aware that 
each has a moral physiognomy and a definite personality, as 
recognizable as that of single human faces and human char- 
acters; traceable in all its common actions, calculable in 
almost every contingency. That of Connecticut will appear 
in the following pages ; and it will require little perspicacity 
to note the lineaments which differentiate it not alone from 
New York or Pennsylvania, but almost more sharply from its 
Puritan brethren in the rest of New England. The causes of 
this unlikeness, as Sir Thomas Browne says of the Sirens' 
songs and Achilles' pseudonym, though difficult, are not per- 
haps impossible to trace; but they would need a history writ- 
ten with that sole object steadily in view, and all the details 
marshaled and subordinated thereto. This history cannot be 
such a monograph; but it may furnish some materials for 
one, and a word may be given to it here. 

What the distinctive merits and influence of Connecticut 
have been, the most acute intellect which has yet illuminated 
American history has set forth with unsurpassable clearness. 
Alexander Johnston has called attention to its thorough devel- 
opment of democracy, not only in its general government 
but its local independence, and its happy union of popular 
control and municipal federation ; to the wonderful elasticity 
of its system, which not only enabled it to expand into a con- 
tinental one, but to form an ideal framework for orderly 
civilized colonization; and to the energetic personal initia- 
tive bred by its form of life and polity. But this is not quite 
all. Its circumstances hav^e molded the action and feeling of 
its leaders. It is not probable that its founders or their suc- 
cessors were radically different from other Puritans: their 



peculiarities must be largely due to the silent influences of 
environment and policy. The cool, shrewd, and politic states- 
manship, always avoiding a ciil de sac when possible, and 
showing almost miraculous genius in evading it; rarely allow- 
ing itself to be driven into a corner, watching its chance with 
tireless patience to choose its own battle-ground, and then 
striking with full force and in general victoriously ; never 
acknowledging defeat and never boasting of victory, hating 
self-advertisement above all things because enjoying more 
rights unnoticed than might have been permitted on deliber- 
ation ; giving even submission to law the aspect of submission 
to force, in order at the first opportunity to deny any decision 
of law; leaving the victor to claim such victory as he would, 
but silently reaping the fruits itself; not often Quixotic, just 
as little abject; practicing the wily diplomacy of the ''under 
dog," but not safe to trample on, and ready in the last resort 
to die for its rights; — these were no special creation or special 
seelction, but the result of necessity and circumstances acting 
on a sensible, stubborn, educable race. Virginians in Con- 
necticut would have become Connecticut men; it is of course 
patent that many of them never would have come to Connec- 

The above may be thought a rhetorical extravaganza. 
Those will hardly take that view who recall how the men of 
Connecticut, under a monarch whose councillors thought 
democracy the one evil from which all others arise, exchanged 
a worthless quitclaim based on a non-existent grant for a char- 
ter of utter democracy, with another colony thrown in for 
good measure; how, having beyond expectation led his mar- 
tinet successor to drop the suit for vacating it, they balked 
the king's agent from canceling it, and thus, leaving the 
whole business hanging in air, waited firmly intrenched till 



the storm blew over; how they saw their whole property 
system legally overturned and feudalism introduced, kept the 
latter from gaining a foot of ground by settling all cases 
out of court for a generation, and finally secured its repeal ; 
how they managed the navigation laws with the most 
anxiously careful and candid explanations why their solicitude 
to obey produced no fruits; — on the other hand, how they 
forbade the landing of Andros' soldiers at Saybrook, and 
took their representatives to task for not resisting more 
sternly ; how they cowed Fletcher into giving up the attempt 
to make the king's commission effective ; how they colonized 
their charter lands hundreds of miles away in the teeth of 
powerful claimants close at hand, lost their hold only by a 
frightful Indian massacre and scattering of the colonists, and 
even then made a substantial salvage from the wreck; how 
they acted under the Stamp Act, in the Revolution, in the 
Civil War. Their stage was small, the stake was not life or 
death, their minor size gave them good cards in the game as 
well as weak ones; but they played the hand with consum- 
mate skill to turn their very weakness into strength, their 
stake was the future growth and individual career which is 
the most jealously prized possession of each, they set the stage 
so perfectly that the properties proved fit for a continent, and 
the qualities they displayed were not dwarfed into meanness 
on the larger field. 

Other elements are less explicable, and some of them it 
shares at least with its New England fellows. Connecticut 
can claim no monopoly of mechanical ingenuity or mercantile 
capacity. Yet contemporaries are the best judges of those 
traits which do not appear in statistics; and it is not likely 
that his neighbors made the "Connecticut Yankee" the 
synonym for manual dexterity and inventiveness even among 



a dexterous and Inventive people, and for crafty playing upon 
human weakness and vanity to gain a business advantage, 
without some colorable reason for the choice. The latter, 
indeed, has a not remote affinity to Connecticut colonial poli- 
tics which forbids us to term it a libel without versimilitude. 
But it is well to remember that while a caricature presupposes 
a likeness in feature or expression, it also presupposes a gross 
exaggeration. If it is not blind invention, neither is it a por- 
trait. As to the further insinuation — perpetuated in the 
jovial acceptance by Connecticut men themselves of the lum- 
bering witticisms concerning wooden nutmegs and their like — 
that their wares were worthless if not fraudulent, this is not 
even a tradition, but the half-envious fling of men cajoled 
into unmeant purchases, and has been kept alive by the sub- 
jects and not the makers. Great businesses are not built up on 
small tricks; and people did not buy Connecticut wares one 
year because their friends had found them unserviceable or 
counterfeit the year before. That these wares have spread 
all over the world, that little villages with a few hundred 
or few score of people monopolized the product of important 
articles for half the globe, that other manufactures have built 
up sections crowded with considerable industrial cities, is evi- 
dence of persistent quality which outweighs any number of 
clumsy jests; jests which would have died with their makers 
had not the victims been too conscious of their absurdity even 
to be annoyed. It is not the first nor perhaps the hundredth 
time in history that a nickname of opprobrium has been 
accepted either as a badge of honor, or of genial derision for 
a futile dart; and the American's readiness to appreciate and 
adopt a joke upon himself is based upon a serene confidence in 
his own net worth and capacity. 

It would be even more fatuous to claim precedence for 



•Connecticut in the moral elements of society, which furnish 
after all the largest satisfactions, the solidest hopes, the most 
enduring guaranties, not less for societies than for their com- 
ponents. The moral compensation-balance of the world 
leaves less room for arrogance than many suppose; and one's 
underestimate of his own deficiencies will not lack at least 
sufficient correction from others' overestimate of them. But 
the permanent acceptance of the title "Land of Steady Hab- 
its," as a fair characterization, implies a moral as well as 
intellectual estimate which must be acknowledged as just, and 
\vhich has its admirable as well as deprecable side. Con- 
necticut has certainly not been an emotional community; not 
easy to sweep off its feet by new doctrines, nor to enlist in new 
social or political experiments; slow to give up ways which 
at least enable it to do its work with the least possible waste 
of time in studying the machinery. But conservatism of life 
may imply conservatism of mind or the exact reverse. In 
societies as in men, tenacious personal habits often accompany 
the most alert intellectual receptivity, because they are the 
conditions of having time for it. The body travels in a rut 
that the mind may not travel in a rut; the spirit searching 
for truth, and ready to welcome each new avatar, is glad to 
have its fashions of material life fixed with the minimum of 
fluctuation, to be quit of their importunity. In this regard, 
Connecticut need not be ashamed of comparisons. Not alone 
has it been among the foremost in hospitality to new prac- 
tical inventions, and aptness at devising them, but it has been 
as ready to give open hearing and just weighing to new ideas 
in science, sociology, or theology. If its pulpit has broken 
away less utterly than some others from the ancient moorings, 
it is partly because that Puritan pulpit itself has left little 
need of secession to preserve intellectual veracity, has 



broadened and liberalized under great leaders till the rank 
and file have felt small desire to seek strange gods. Connec- 
ticut has produced noble and influential philanthropists; it 
has had great literary offspring, has borrowed others and 
given them opportunity, and has furnished other States with 
its own. The steadiest of all its habits has been that of produc- 
ing or developing men and women whose fame belongs to the 
nation or the world. F. M. 





Vikings of the North — Vineland — Edict of Pope Alexander 
VI — Explorations of the Cabots — Discoveries of Verrazzani 
and Cartier — Gosnold's Arrival on the Massachusetts Coast 
— Hudson Sails into New York Bay — Martin Pring and Cap- 
tain \Vaymouth Despatched to verify Gosnold's Descrip- 
tions — Second Colony of Virginia — Settlement at Sagada- 
hock River — Captain John Smith's Arrival on the New Eng- 
land Coast — Naming of the Country — Dutch East India 
Company claims Manhattan Island — Remonstrances of the 
English — Pilgrims decide to Emigrate to the New World — 
Sailing of the Mayflower and Speedwell — Arrival on the 
Coast of Massachusetts — Colony of New Plymouth — James I 
grants a patent to the Grand Council of Plymouth — Arrival 
of the Puritans — Incorporation of the Governor and Com- 
pany of Massachusetts Bay — Influences on Connecticut Set- 



Origin of the American Indians — Members of the Algon- 
kian family — Adrian Block sails up the Connecticut River — 
Tributes paid by resident Indians to the Iroquois Nation — 
Population of the Indians — Nipmucks— Western Nehantics 
— Hammonassetts — Guilford Indians — Quinnipiacs — Paugus- 
setts and Wepawagus — Potatucks — Unkowas — Sepores or 
Tunxis Indians — Podunks and Poquonocs — Sicaoggs — 
Naiogs and Hoccanums — Pequots — Manners and Customs of 
the Indians — Hunting and Agricultural Pursuits — Garments 
and Currency — Dwelling places of the Red Men — Amuse- 
ments — Language — Criminal Punishments — Social Distinc- 
tions — Civil Government — Preparations for War — Religion 
and Marriages — Sterility of their Women — Funeral Cere- 
monies — Moral and General Character of the Connecticut 
Indians — Discussion of their Dispossession from the Soil. 




The Second Patent to Connecticut Territory— Membership 
of the Council of Plymouth— President Robert Rich, Earl 
of Warwick— Feoffment Deed to Lord Say and Seele. Lord 
Brook and others— Text of the Warwick Patent— Legality of 
the Document— No Rights of Government, or Power to 
Create a Corporation conveyed— Original Grantees— Arrival 
from England of Emigrants to Settle the Territory— Ap- 
pointment of Winthrop as Governor of the Connecticut Riv- 
er— His Arrival at Boston— Erection of a Fort at the Mouth 
<,f the River— Dutch Ship appears before the Fort— Lion 
Gardener engaged as Engineer— Arrival of George Fen- 
wick with a party of English Gentlemen— Duke of Hamil- 
ton's claim— House of Hamilton— Power of Attorney given 
to Edward Randolph— Claim barred by the Statute of Lim- 



Causes for the Settlement of New Netherlands by the Dutch 
—Formation of the New Netherlands Company— Its Succes- 
sor the Dutch West India Company— Peter Minuit ap- 
pointed Director General— Attempts of the Pilgrims to Ob- 
tain a Share of the Trade with the Indians— Visit of the Di- 
rector General's Secretary to Plymouth— Van Twiller Ap- 
pointed to succeed Minuit— Purchases of Connecticut Ter- 
ritory by the Dutch — House of Good Hope— Arrival of Wil- 
liam Holmes and Company — Evacuation of the Territory 
demanded by the Dutch Authorities— Unsuccessful Hostile 
Campaign— Transfer of Land Purchases to the Massachu- 
setts Bay Company, by the Plymouth Colony— Encroach- 
ments of the English on Dutch Territory— Hugh Peters ap- 
pointed Agent to the States-General— His Mission Unsuc- 
cessful—His Dutch Excellency Kieft succeeded by Peter 
Stuyvesant— Seizure of a Vessel in New Haven Harbor — 
Stuyvesant's Visit to Hartford — Commissioners appointed 
to Settle Boundary Lines — New Haven Colony attempts to 
make Settlements on Delaware Bay— Opposition by the 
Dutch — Stuyvesant accused of Inciting Indians to Exterm- 
inate the English— He Demands an Investigation— War 
Threatened between the English and Dutch Colonists — 
Cessation of Hostilities — Declaration of Peace between 
England and Holland — Dutch Land and Properties in Con- 
necticut, sold under an Act of Sequestration. 




Wah-qui-ma-cut's visit to the Massachusetts Colonies — Ed- 
ward Winslow views the Connecticut Valley — John Oldham 
and Companions among the Early Pioneers — Dissolution of 
the Council of Plymouth — Great increase in the Population 
of Massachusetts Colonies — Arrival of Nonconformist Di- 
vines and their Congregations — Thomas Hooker, John 
Haynes and others join the Massachusetts Bay Colony — 
The Patriarch of New England — Hooker's endeavors to Re- 
move to the Connecticut Valley — Deadlock on the Petition 
in the General Court — Settlement of Wethersfield by Parties 
from Watertown, Massachusetts — Settlement at Agawam — 
Severe Winter of 1635-6 — Arrival of Mr. Hooker and Com- 
pany — Colonists of the English Farming Class. 



Indians' distrust of the Early English Navigators — Conspir- 
acy of 1630 — Dissensions between Sassacus and Uncas — 
Locations of the Pequots — Rebellion of Uncas — Sassacus' 
distrust of the Whites — Murder of Captain Stone and his 
Crew — Sassacus' Overtures to the English — English demand 
the Surrender of Stone's Murderers — Treaty consummated by 
the English between the Pequots and Narragansetts — Mur- 
der of John Oldham — Captain Gallop's Revenge — Massa- 
chusetts despatches Expedition under John Endicott — They 
land upon Block Island — Endicott Arrives at Saybrook — 
Reinforced by Soldiers under Gardener — Expedition an- 
chors at the Mouth of the Thames River — Both Banks of the 
River ravaged by Endicott's Army — Pequots attempt to 
Strengthen their Alliance with Neighboring Indians — Roger 
Williams forms a League between Narragansetts and Eng- 
lish — Depredations by the Pequots at Saybrook and Weth- 
ersfield — Connecticut General Court raises Ninety Men — 
Captain John Mason in Command — Sailing of the Expedi- 
tion — Arrival at Saybrook — Action taken by Massachusetts 
Bay and Plymouth Colonies — Connecticut Troops set Sail 
for NarragansettBay — Attack on thePequot's Fort — Mason's 
Command Victorious — Return Home of the Little Army — 
Flight of the Pequots — Massachusett's Army of Extermina- 
tion — Their Arrival in the Pequot's Country — Massacre at 
the Swamp — Stoughton joined by Captain Mason with Forty 
Men — Pequots surrounded in a Swamp — Sassacus' Flight to 
the Mohawks — Pequots entirely Annihilated — Beheading of 
Sassacus — Division of the Spoils of War — Justification of the 



DERS 139-155 

Establishment by Law of the Church of England — The Sep- 
aratists — English Reformers called Puritans — Disciples of 
these beliefs Emigrate to America — Political Privileges of 
the first Connecticut Settlers derived from Massachusetts — 
Their Allegiance to Massachusetts Bay Colony renounced — 
First General Court of the River Plantations — Agawam rep- 
resented—Change in Name of the Three Settlements — The 
defection of Agawam — Fundamental Orders adopted — Sev- 
erance of Church and State — Authorship of the Orders at- 
tributed to Roger Ludlow — First Constitution of Connecti- 



Governor Haynes the First Governor — His Birthplace — The 
Second Governor — George Wyllys the Third Governor — 
First Election of Thomas Welles to fill the Office — His Suc- 
cessor John Webster — John Winthrop's first Term — The 
Fundamental Orders Amended — Purchase of the Saybrook 
Fort by the Colony — Attempts of Connecticut to extend 
her Limits. 



Quinnipiac — The Red Hills — Arrival of John Davenport 
with his congregation at Boston — Massachusetts Colony 
attempt to Retain the Emigrants — Explorations of Theo- 
philus Eaton and Members of the Party, of the Connecticut 
Coast — Winter spent at Quinnipiac — Arrival of John Daven- 
port with balance of Congregation — The First Sunday — Pre- 
liminary Agreement Adopted— Purchases of Lands from the 
Indians — Arrival of Yorkshire Emigrants — Settlement of 
Milford and Guilford — Preliminary Work of laying the 
foundation of Church and State — The House of Wisdom — 
Settlement of Stamford — Southold comes under the Juris- 
diction of New Haven — Formation of an Embryo Repub- 
lic — General Assembly to consist of Two Branches — Con- 
currence of both Branches required to Make an Act Public 
Law — Court of Magistracy — Settlement of Branford — Com- 
mercial Enterprises of the Colony — Governors and Deputy 
Governors — The Regicides — Their Arrival at New Haven 
— Providence Hill — Their Removal to Massachusetts — Trou- 
ble in Greenwich. 




Object of Consolidation — Population of the Colonies — Fran- 
chise extended to the Freemen — The Union agitated in 1638 
— Constitution of New Netherlands taken as a Model — 
Massachusetts' Objections — First Meeting of Delegates — 
Rhode Island not recognized as an Independent Colony — Pre- 
amble adopted — Twelve Articles of Agreements ratified — 
Representation from each Colony — The Law of Extradition 
exemplified — New England Congress possessed no Execu- 
tive Power — First Regular Meeting — Claim for Precedence 
made by the Massachusetts Representatives — Establishment 
of American National Highways — Calling of Extra Sessions 
— John Winthrop, Jr., with other Petition to be placed under 
the Jurisdiction of Massachusetts — Massachusetts Complains 
of Equal Representation in the Body — The Commissioners 
visited by Ambassadors from the French Governor — Debate 
on the Consolidation of the Connecticut Colonies — Last An- 
nual Meeting held at Hartford— Advisability of Re-organiza- 
tion considered — The Adoption of New Articles of. Agree- 
ment — Continuous Session of Ten Weeks — Death of John 
Winthrop — Last Meeting held at Hartford — Robert Treat 
presiding Officer. 



Number of Lives taken — Twenty-eight Persons indicted in 
Connecticut and New Haven — Judge instead of Jury Trials 
in New Haven — Treatment of the Quakers — Citations from 
the Mosaic Code — The Connecticut Law of 1642 — The New 
Haven Statue of 1655 — The First Capital Case — Statement 
from Winthrop's Journal — First Execution — Uncas' Peti- 
tion — Indictment found against John Carrington and Wife — 
Their Execution — Goodwives Basset and Knapp — Ludlow 
accuses Mrs. Staples of Witchcraft — Defamation Suit 
brought against Ludlow — The Case brought in New Haven 
General Court — Witch Tests — The Case of Elizabeth God- 
man — Nicholas Bayly and Wife apprehended — William 
Meaker charged with Bewitching Pigs — Governor Win- 
throp's decision on Goodwife Garlicke's Case — Witchcraft 
Cases at Saybrook — Cases of 1662 — Ann Cole the Religious 
Melancholiac — Mrs. Seager indicted Three Times — Her 
removal to Rhode Island — Nathaniel Greensmith and his 
Wife Rebecca — The Indictment of the Hartford Particular 
Court — Execution of the Greenmans — Mary Barnes found 
Guilty and Executed — Accusations against Catharine Har- 
rison — Salem Craze of 1692 — Special Court held in Fairfield 
— Indictment of Mercy Disborough. Elizabeth Clawson, 
Mrs. Staples and Goody Miller — ?ilercy Disborough found 
Guilty — Pardoned by the Governor — Witchcraft Case at 
Wallingford — A Case as late as 1724 — Comparisons drawn 
between England and New England. 



INDIAN TROUBLES FROM 1640 to 1675 231-244 

Troubles between the Sowhea^ and Wethersfield Planters— 
Pequots build a Village on Paucatuck River— Expedition 
under Captain jchn Mason drives them from the Territory— 
Uncas ferments Continual Warfare— Alliance between Un- 
cas and the English— Sequassen, the Rival of Uncas— Un- 
cas invades Sequassen's Territory— Narragansetts declare 
War against the Mohegans— Battles at Great Plain— Capture 
of Miantonomo— Uncas delivers him to the Authorities at 
Hartford— Miantonomo's Death Sentence— His Death— In- 
dian Warfare at New Netherlands— Dutch Governor Kieft's 
dastardly Massacre of Indians— Confederacy formed by Hud- 
son River Indians— Death of Anne Hutchinson— Captain 
John Underbill in command of the Dutch Forces— The War 
ended— Hostilities again Break out between the Narragan- 
setts and Mohegans— War declared against the Narragan- 
setts by the United Colonies of New England— New Treaty 
of Peace signed— Plot of Sequassen to Murder the Execu- 
tives of Connecticut— Termination of the Indian Warfare — 
Code of Laws for Pequot Indians. 



The General Assembly of?er Allegiance to Charles II— Gov- 
ernor Winthrop's appointment as Agent — New Haven Pro- 
claims her Allegiance to the King— Winthrop's Arrival in 
England— His Instructions— Winthrop Obtains a Charter — 
The Royal Charter— Names of the Patentees— The Charter 
Recognized as a Continuation of the Government already 
Established— Arrival of the First Copy of the Charter in 
America — Custodians appointed. 



Dissensions in New Haven Colony — The Inhabitants tender 
their Persons and Estates to the Colony of Connecticut- 
Amicable Union of the Colonies suggested — Violently op- 
posed by Leading Citizens of the New Haven Colony — Pro- 
ceedings suspended until the Return of Winthrop — Petition 
to the King prepared by New Haven — Winthrop assures 
their Messenger that the Colony shall Suffer no Annoyance 
— Decree of New England Congress — The New Haven Case 
Stated — New Haven Finally unites with Connecticut — The 
Last General Court of New- Haven. 




Death of Massasoit — The Wampanoags' Territory — The Old 
Chieftain succeeded by Alexander — His Death — English ac- 
cused of Poisoning Him — Alexander's successor Philip — 
Murder of John Sausaman — Connecticut's Red Men im- 
pressed by Former Lessons — Mistakes of the Massachusetts 
Authorities — Treat's Expedition — Engagement at Bloody 
Brook — Dissatisfaction amongst the Colonies — The Deser- 
tion of the Springfield Indians — Massacre of the Whites pre- 
vented by Treat's Command — Measures taken by the Gen- 
eral Assembly — Narragansetts become Allies of the Wam- 
panoags — The New England Congress raises an army — 
Indian Fight in the Swamp — Connecticut's losses — Capture 
of the Chief of the Narragansetts — Treat elected Deputy 
Governor — Major Talcott appointed Chief Commander — The 
Wabaquesset County raided — Battle at Stockbridge — Death 
of King Philip — Connecticut's disbursements. 



Territory purchased from the Aboriginees — Indian grants of 
Early Settled Towns — Laws for the Purchase and Occupan- 
cy of Lands — Land Transactions in Southern part of the Col- 
ony — Purchases made of the Tunxis Indians — Also in the 
Housatonic and Naugatuck Valleys — Other Purchases — 
Agreement with Uncas — Major John Mason as Guardian of 
the Indians — Uncas' grants in 1661-5 — Death of Attawanhood 
— Death of Uncas — Mason's Deed to the Mohegans — The 
Sequestered Lands — Mohegan's claims to Territory — Owen- 
eco succeeds Uncas — Mohegan's Memorial presented to 
Queen Anne — Royal Commission appointed — Connecticut 
refuses to Present her Claims — Conveyances of Ben Uncas 
and others — Caesar succeeds Oweneco — His Death — Major 
Ben Uncas selected as his Successor — Holding of second 
Royal Commission — Withdrawal of the New York Commis- 
sioners — Commission re-organized — Decision rendered fav- 
orable to Connecticut — Appeal taken by Mohegans to the 
King's Privy Council — Commission of 1743 — In session Sev- 
enteen Days — Decision rendered Revoking Decree of 1705 — 
An Appeal taken — The Lord Commissioners decide in fav- 
or of Connecticut — The Indian Census of 1900. 




The Town a unit of Civil Organization— Connecticut's Pop- 
ulation in 1637— The Town Tribunals— A System of Town 
Records established— Settlements at Stratford, Fairfield. 
Guilford and Milford— Farmington settled— Stamford settled 
in 1641— Naming of Greenwich— Mr. Pierson's Congregation 
form a Settlement at Branford — Founding of New London — 
Naming of Middletown and Norwalk — Settlement of Nor- 
wich and Stonington— The First Organization of Counties- 
Towns incorporated along the Connecticut River — VValling- 
ford, Simsbury and Woodbury made Towns— Derby and 
Waterbury — Incorporation of Glastenbury and Windham — 
Preston and Lebanon organized — Connecticut at the open- 
ing of i8th Century— Plainfield and Canterbury — Danbury 
receives Town Privileges — Colchester. Groton and Mansfield 
created— Hebron named for a Palestine City — Killingly and 
Durham — Ridgefield and Coventry incorporated — Newtown 
and New Milford become Towns — Pomfret, Ashford, Tolland 
iind Voluntown — Litchfield named for an Episcopal City — 
Bolton becomes a Town— Formation of Windham Count}^ — 
Wellington and East Haddam — New Towns created in the 
Northwestern part of the Colony — Boundary troubles with 
Massachusetts — Formation of Litchfield County — Stafford 
represented in General Assembly — Norfolk and Hartland — 
Chatham named — Redding and Winchester — Connecticut 
divided into Seventy-two Towns — Population. 



NEW YORK 313-325 

New England Congress establishes Mystic River as a 
Boundary line between Massachusetts and Connecticut — 
This disregarded by Connecticut — Rhode Island's Charter — 
Decision of the Royal Commission — Rhode Island's offer to 
leave Boundary disputes to Legal Tribunal — Her Appeal to 
the King^ — Sir Edmund Andros as a political Factor — Earl 
of Bellomont appointed Referee — Agreement of 1703— De- 
cision of the Privy Council in 1727 — Boundary disputes be- 
tween Connecticut and New YorE — The Duke of York Title 
— English take possession of New Netherlands — Connecti- 
cut extends Greetings to His Majesty's Honorable Commis- 
sion — Southold and Southampton pass from the Control of 
the Colony — Lovelace Visits Hartford — A Monthly Mail in- 
stituted — Dutch Fleet enters New York Harbor — English 
again in Possession — Major Andros appointed Provisional 
Governor — His appearance at Saybrook — Captain Bull's defi- 
ance — New York Claims to Rye, Greenwich and Stamford — 



Appointment of a Commission — Ridgeville Angle — Equiva- 
lent Lands — The Rebellion of Rye and Bedford — Death of 
Governor Winthrop — William Leete his Successor — Robert 
Treat as Governor. 



The Lords of the Committee of Trade and Plantations — 
"Duke's Laws" — Appointees of James II — The King's Policy 
— Randolph's Methods— Connecticut's Enemies — Donegan's 
Letter to the Duke — Death of Charles II — Connecticut Ac- 
knowledges James II — James' attempt to Vacate the Royal 
Charter — Instructions to Randolph — Writs of Quo War- 
ranto — Randolph advises the Surrender of the Charter- — Un- 
appropriated Lands divided among the Towns — Randolph 
serves the Writs — Divisions in Connecticut — William Whit- 
ing appointed the Colony's Agent at London — Andros de- 
mands the Charter — Treat's Diplomacy — Andros sends Two 
Commissioners to Connecticut — Andros appears at Hartford 
— Disappearance of the Charter — Connecticut annexed to 
Andros' Government — Appointment of Officials — Griev- 
ances under Andros' Government — TheFIight of James II 
to France — Connecticut joyfully proclaims the Sovereign- 
ty of William and Mary. 



War declared between England and France — New York 
Governor appeals to Connecticut for Assistance — Captain 
Bull's Company dispatched to Albany — Massacre at Schnec- 
tady — Montreal Expedition — Fitz John Winthrop in Com- 
mand — Winthrop's Arrest and Escape — Connecticut's re- 
sponses for Troops — Her Disbursements — Fitz John Win- 
throp elected Governor — Changes made in Formation of 
General Assembly — War of Spanish Succession — Dudley and 
Cornbury as Royal Governors — Their Attempts to dismem- 
ber Connecticut — Queen's Council sustains the Royal Char- 
ter — Saltonstall succeeds Winthrop as Governor — Troops 
raised at the Request of Queen Anne — Unsuccessful Expe- 
dition against Montreal — Finances of the Colony — Capture 
of Port Royal— Hovenden Walker's luckless Expedition — 
Treaty of Utrecht — Thirty Years of Peace — Expenditures of 
Connecticut — Joseph Talcott becomes Governor. 



"The War of Jenkins' Ear"— Formation of the Colony's Mi- 
litia—Connecticut raises looo Men for the Jamaica Cam- 
paign—New Tenors— Arrival of the English Armament- 
Cartagena— Jonathan Law as Governor— French attempt to 
Re-capture Port Royal— New England Expedition against 
Louisbourg— Surrender of that Fortress— Connecticut's 
fresh Issue of New Tenors— Peace Treaty signed at Aix-la- 
Chapelle — Roger Wolcott elected Governor — Commission- 
ers from each Colony meet at Albany — The Royal Gover- 
nors favor a Union of the Colonies— Franklin's Plan— Oppo- 
sition of Connecticut's Delegates— The Crown's disapproval 
of the Plan — Wolcott succeeded by Thomas Fitch as Gover- 
nor—Fitch takes an Oath to enforce the Stamp Act— This 
results in his Defeat for a Thirteenth Term. 



Final Struggle between France and England for Suprema- 
cy — Population of Canada compared to the English Settle- 
ments—Campaign of 1755— Dieskau attacks the English at 
Lake George— Defeated by Gen. Lyman— Earl of Loudon as 
Viceroy— The English Army rendezvous at Albany — Wash- 
ington's first visit to Connecticut — Montcalm attacks Fort 
William Henry — Atrocities Committed — The inactivity of 
General Webb— Campaign of 1758 — General Abercrombie as 
Commander-in-Chief — Connecticut responds to Pitt's call 
for Troops— New Bills of Credit issued— English Ministry 
plan three Campaigns — Death of Lord Howe — Unsuccess 
ful Attempt on Ticonderoga — Mrs. Nabbycombe— Putnam 
taken Prisoner — Amherst in command of the Army — Con- 
necticut raises her Quota of Troops — The Bloodless Vic- 
tories of Ticonderoga and Crown Point — The Army's inac- 
tivity — Subjugation of Canada decided upon — Campaign of 
1760 — Putnam assists Amherst to enter Canada — West In- 
dies Expedition — The Emission of Bills of Credit — Standard 
of Values established — The Treaty of Paris ratified. 


THE BLUE LAWS 395-421 

The phrase applied to Legal Code of New Haven — Gener- 
al History of Connecticut — Its Author — A Study of Peters — 
Scholars believed that They were invented — Large- 



ly taken from Neal's History of New England — The 
Blue Laws forty-five in Number — A Digest of these Laws — 
They should not be called Forgeries — Kissing upon Charles 
River and Trolley Parties in Philadelphia subject to Local 
Ordinances — Daily Life little disturbed by Criminal Codes — 
New Haven Colony overthrown by Internal Discontent. 



The Settlers of New England largely University Gradu- 
ates — Attempt to establish a College at New Haven — Gov- 
ernor Hopkins' bequests — School System established in Con- 
necticut in 1644 — Maintenance of the Schools — Subdivisions 
— The School of the Church established — First Meeting of 
the Trustees — Rev. Noadiah Russell appointed Librarian — 
A Charter obtained — Rev. Abraham Pierson chosen Rec- 
tor — First Student — First Commencement — Removal to New 
Haven — College named Yale — A Resident Rector appointed 
— Troubles in regard to Episcopacy — Rev. Elisha Williams 
choosen Rector — Gifts from Dean Berkeley — Rev. Thomas 
Clap becomes Rector — Adoption of a Code of Laws — So- 
cial Distinctions Maintained in College Catalogues — A New 
Charter Obtained — Connecticut Hall erected — Theological 
Chair established — Additional Buildings — Professorship of 
Mathematics and Natural Philosophy established — Rev. Ezra 
Stiles elected President — Various Donations — State Offi- 
cials become Members of the Corporation — The Erection of 
Union Hall — Death of President Stiles. 



Bancroft's Estimate of Population — The Desire for Emigra- 
tion — Wyoming and New Hampshire Grants — The Connect- 
icut Susquehanna Company — Lands purchased from the 
Iroquois — The Delaware Company — The Protest of the 
Pennsylvania Proprietors — Settlement made at Cushatunk — 
Settlers take up lands in the Wyoming Valley — The death of 
Tedeuscung — Whites accused of his Murder by the Dela- 
wares— Indian Massacre — The Pennamite Wars — Arrival of 
Captains Butler, Durkee and Ransom — Pennsylvania ap- 
points a Chief Executive Directory — Connecticut Settlers 
arrested — The Journey to Easton — Capture of Fort Durkee — 
Arrival of Fresh Settlers from Connecticut — Wilkesbarre 
named — Pennsylvanians build Fort Wyoming — End of the 
First Pennamite War — Connecticut Settlers victorious — Pop- 
ulation increased to Two Thousand — Territory Erected in- 
ty — Second Pennamite War. 

to the Town of Westmoreland — Annexed to Litchfield Coun- 
ty-Second Pennamite War. 




Opposition to the Established Church in England — Puritans 
and Independents — The Parish Way — The Church Way — 
Differences between the Fundamental Orders and the First 
Compact of New Haven — A fully organized Church — Dif- 
ferences among Religious Trustees — Controversies on Bap- 
tism — The Half Way Covenant — The Westminster Confes- 
sion — The Saybrook Platform — Strict Congregationalists or 
Separatists — "Standing Order" — The Ecclesiastical Taxes 
allowed to "Sober Dissenters" — Establishment of the Church 
of England — Religious Differences at Yale College — The 
Great Awakening — Jonathan Edwards — George Whitefield 
and James Davenport — The Old and New Lights — Indian 
Revivals — Jonathan Barber's Missionary Work — Samson 
Occum — The Lebanon School — Dartmouth College estab- 



Indian Name of the Colony — Its Orthography — The General 
Court — The Particular afterwards the Quarter Court — The 
Inferior Judicial Bodies — General Court becomes the Gen- 
eral Assembly — Laws of Marriage and Divorce — First Meet- 
ing place of the General Assembly — Erection of the First 
Assembly House — The Court of Assistants — Formation of 
County Courts — The Superior Court organized — Primog- 
eniture cast out from New England — The Public Seal — Its 
Motto — Armorial Bearings of Connecticut. 


ONY 501-S14 

New England Colonists engage in Slave Traffic — Shipment 
of Pequot Captives to the West Indies — The African Corner 
— Value of Slaves — Agitation at New London — Mineral De- 
posits — Governor Winthrop's Grant — Copper found at Sims- 
bury and Wallingford — Granby Coppers — Simsbury Mines 
as a Prison — Iron Mines opened at Salisbury — Bog Ore in 
Tolland and Windham Counties — Magnetite along the Coast 
— Early Development of Manufacturing — Home Gov- 
ernment Protective Laws — Iron Works established at 
New Hai'en — Silk Culture — Connecticut's Commercial Trade 



—The Merchant Marine Fleets of the Colony— Ei-ht 
Shipping Ports in 1/53— Shipbuilding— Increase of the Shlp- 
P'.ng Interests— The Last Report made to the Board of Trade 
and Plantations— Transportation throughout the Colony— 
The Monthly Mail— The Introduction of Stage Coache''^— 
\\'!lham Pitkin Elected Governor. 



Hooker, Thomas Frontispiece 

Andros, Sir Edmund Facing p. 336 

Davenport, John Facing p. 168 

Johnson, D. D., Samuel Facing p. 482 

Peters, Hugh Facing p. 88 

Philip, King Facing p. 268 

Saltonstall, Gurdon Facing p. 356 

Saltonstall, Sir Richard Facing p. 72 

Smith, J ohn Facing p. 38 

Stiles, Ezra Facing p. 440 

Stuyvesant, Peter Facing p. 194 

The Emigration to Connecticut Facing p. 108 

The Pequot War Facing p. 130 

Winslow, Edward Facing p. 102 

Winthrop, Fitz John Facing p. 350 

Winthrop, John, of Connecticut Facing p. 160 

Winthrop, John, of Massachusetts Facing p. 240 

Yale, Eiihu Facing p. 432 




Forerunners of Civilization 

WHILE it is not within the scope of a work 
of this character to give the historical 
events preceding the settlement of Con- 
necticut, they are too important a factor 
in its history — being indeed the founda- 
tion of American civilization and the direct cause of the 
birth of the state — to be entirely ignored. 

The Vikings of the North, even if they ever saw New Eng- 
land, never set foot within the present confines of Connecti- 
cut nor visited her seacoast; and the only connection that 
the state claims in those much-disputed discoveries of Amer- 
ica is that her chartered borders reached one side of Nar- 
ragansett Bay, and Vineland may possibly have been not far 
from the other. 

The discovery of America nearly five centuries after these 
events, and the edicts of Pope Alexander VI. in 1493, divid- 
ing the unexplored portions of the globe between Spain and 
Portugal, while they were met with contempt in Eng- 
land and France, had the effect of stimulating these nations 
to further exploration and discoveries in the Western World. 
Henry VIII., the reigning monarch of England, deciding 
to compete for those rich prizes ready to the hand of the 
venturesome, accepted the offer of John Cabot, a Venetian 
merchant residing in England, to fit out several ships for 
explorations; and issued a patent in the spring of 1496 au- 
thorizing Cabot and his three sons "to sail to all parts, coun- 
trys and seas of the East, of the West, and of the North" 
under the banners of England. It was one of those curi- 
ous commissions so common in those days, when the sov- 
ereign allowed private adventurers to use their own money 
on condition of sharing the profits with the Crown ; but more 
one-sided than they seem, however, as the Crown had to pay 



for the wars which invariably resulted. Cabot's son Sebas- 
tian, a native of England, made three voyages to North 
America. Though engaged in warfare with the Emperor of 
Spain, Francis I. of France fully realized the importance of 
these discoveries and settlements in the New World; and 
in 1524 he engaged Jean Verrazzani, a Florentine, to ex- 
plore the unknown West. With but a single vessel, Verraz- 
zani coasted the shore of America, and entered what are 
now the harbors of New York and Newport. Verrazzani 
was followed ten years later by Jacques Cartier, who made 
explorations and discoveries in the interest of the same 
French monarch.\ During the last year of the reign of Eliza- 
beth, Bartholomew Gosnold, in attempting to find a more 
direct course to Virginia, reached the Massachusetts coast, 
and, landing on a promontory, named it Cape Cod. This 
is the first spot in New England ever trod by Englishmen. 
Gosnold afterwards settled on the island of Cuttyhunk, in 
what is now Buzard's Bay, and built a fort; but owing to 
lack of provisions and hostility of the Indians, was obliged 
after a residence of four months to return to England. 

The New England coast was next visited by Henry Hud- 
son, an Englishman sailing in the interest of the Dutch East 
India Company. Hudson discovered the present New 
York Bay, and sailed up the river that bears his name. 
Thus we see that at the beginning of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, the territory now comprising New England was claimed 
by three different nations. England based her rights of pos- 
session on the discoveries of Cabot and the settlement of 
Gosnold; France on the explorations made by Verrazzani 
and Cartier; and Holland on Hudson's discoveries and on 
purchases made of the Indians. 

The death of Queen Elizabeth and the accession of James 



I. was followed by a declaration of peace between England 
and Spain. As a result of this, many hardy men hitherto en- 
gaged in warfare sought new fields of enterprise and adven- 
ture in the New World. Others engaged in mercantile pur- 
suits, as well as artisans and followers of the plow, became 
interested in the new continent through the glowing descrip- 
tions of Gosnold and his companions; expeditions under 
Martin Pring and Captain Waymouth despatched to verify 
these statements returned with even more favorable reports. 
The King was petitioned by a body of wealthy and power- 
ful subjects, to sanction by his authority an attempt to make 
a permanent settlement. James listened favorably to these 
applicants, but deemed a grant of such a vast region as the 
American continent to one body of men an act of unwise pro- 
fusion. He therefore divided the territory between the 
thirty-fourth and the forty-fifth degrees of north latitude 
into two nearly equal districts. The one between the thirty- 
eighth and forty-fifth degrees, or between Delaware Bay 
and Halifax, he granted by charter to residents of the west 
of England, under the title of "The Second Colony of Vir- 
ginia," which afterwards became more famiharly known as 
"The North Virginia" or "Plymouth" company. The su- 
preme government was invested in a council of thirteen men, 
who were to be residents of England, and appointed by the 
King; while the subordinate jurisdiction was committed to 
resident council in America nominated by the King, and 
who were to act in compliance with his instructions. By the 
charter, the emigrants were secured in all those rights of 
citizenship they would have retained had they remained in 
their native land. All export duties for sustenance or com- 
merce in the new colonies were abolished for the space of 
seven years, and liberty of trade granted with all nations. 



Permission to coin money, repel enemies, and detain 
ships trading illegally, was also granted. It will be 
seen by this that while the right of choosing their own gov- 
erning power was denied the colonists, they received remark- 
able concessions to facilitate commerce. 

The first attempt of the North Virginia Company to make 
a permanent settlement was in 1606, when a vessel fitted out 
under Captain Henry Challons was captured by a Span- 
ish fleet, and the emigrants carried to Spain as prisoners. 
The next year the company fitted out two ships and placed 
Admiral Raleigh Gilbert in command; who sailed with one 
hundred planters, landing in August near the mouth of the 
Sagadahock or Kennebec River. The severity of the winter 
caused over one-half of the company to return to England in 
December. The Sagadahock colony suffered incredible hard- 
ships, including the loss by fire of their storehouse and pro- 
visions. The death of their president, the return of his suc- 
cessor to England, together with the death of Lord Chief 
Justice John Popham, who made every exertion to keep the 
colony alive by repeatedly sending it supplies, so disheart- 
ened the colonists that the remainder returned in a body to 
England the following year. The unfavorable reports of 
these early colonists prevented any further attempts to settle 
North Virginia for several years. 

In 1 614 Captain John Smith, who had been connected 
with the early settlement of Virginia, with two ships under 
his command made a voyage to what is now the New Eng- 
land coast, to catch whales and hunt for gold mines, or in 
default of this, to fish and trade for furs with the Indians. 
In the summer he explored the sea shore between the mouth 
of the Penobscot and Cape Cod, drawing a map from point 
to point, isle to isle, and harbor to harbor, specifying sound- 




ings, shoals, rocks, and landmarks; naming the rivers, is- 
lands, and hills. He called the country New England; the 
whole north continent had previously been called Nova Al- 
bion and Nova Britannia, and the New England region Nor- 
umbega, — one of those queer dreamland names which in the 
Middle Ages start up from nowhere, like that of California, 
and suddenly attach themselves to certain regions with the 
grip of fate. Smith returned to England in July, leaving 
Captain Thomas Hunt with one vessel to equip himself for a 
voyage to Spain. Hunt enticed twenty Indians on board, and 
afterward sold them as slaves at the island of Malaga. The 
ethical standard of the aborigines would not have condemned 
this in the least, but their practical one furnished an intense 
reluctance toward being the subjects of it, and dread of the 
race who practiced it; and for many years they were wary 
of all intercourse, and ready to kill on the least suspicion. 
The act at the lowest estimate was reckless folly if any trade 
relations were to be expected, and was typical of the ill- 
starred introduction of whites to Indians. On Smith's re- 
turn to England, his map of the country and descriptions of 
the land captivated the future King of England, Charles I.; 
but that prince, then fifteen, disliked Smith's barbarous In- 
dian names, and changed about thirty of them to English 
ones. Some of these, as Cape Ann [a] and Cape Elizabeth, 
Charles River and Plymouth, have remained in situ or 
nearly so; some, as Boston, Hull, and Ipswich, have been 
transferred to other spots; many have been dropped for oth- 
ers, as Smith Islands for Isles of Shoals, Cape James for 
Cape Cod, Cheviot Hills for Blue Hills, Snowdon for 
Agamenticus, etc. 

The Dutch East India Company claimed the right to the 
lands discovered by Hudson, their agent; erected trading 



houses on Manhattan Island, which they subsequently pur- 
chased; and commenced barter with the Indians. This col- 
ony was composed of a mixed population, among which 
were escaped servants from Virginia, and rich and poor alike 
from Holland; being more of the character of a commercial 
institution than a permanent settlement, for it was fully a 
score of years after Hudson's discovery that the States Gen- 
eral approved of a plan for colonization. The English re- 
monstrated against the Dutch occupancy of the country, a 
protest being heard from Virginia as early as 1613, and from 
the Plymouth Colony in 1627 ; but it was the secret belief of 
the Dutch, that while the English had secured only the two 
shells, they were in possession of the oyster. They based 
this statement on the belief that they were within the limits 
of the one hundred miles which were to separate the two Vir- 
ginia colonies, according to the restrictions of the charters 
granted by James I, Thus the territory that now comprises 
Connecticut was claimed under their charter by the Plymouth 
Company, while the Dutch contended it was under their juris- 
diction, and maintained a trade with the Indians within its 

Such was the state of affairs previous to any permanent set- 
tlement in New England. After their disastrous experiences, 
the glowing descriptions given by Captain Smith of the 
lands beyond the seas did not stimulate or induce the Eng- 
lish people to leave their luxurious homes to attempt a set- 
tlement in the new country. The severity of the climate and 
the hardships to be encountered were too great obstacles to be 
overcome; but what the spirit of enterprise and patriotism 
would not undertake, was finally accomplished by religious 
enthusiasm, seeking a home for self-government and free- 
dom of thought. 



About 1608 a body of reformers separating from the 
Church of England left their mother country for Holland, 
and in 1620 numbered about one thousand souls. These 
religious proselytes lived in harmony in their adopted coun- 
try and proved obedient to its laws; but the revival of war 
between Spain and Holland, and the natural desire that their 
children should retain their mother tongue, furthered by the 
craving to advance the Gospel of Christ in remote parts of 
the earth, inspired their leaders to make an attempt to col- 
onize the New World. They petitioned the Dutch govern- 
ment to allow them to emigrate to New Netherland; but 
failing in their application, had decided upon Virginia, when 
they learned that public confession of adherence to the 
Church of England was required of all settlers in that colony. 
Although every effort was made by the Virginia Company to 
secure the abolishment of their restrictions, even to the extent 
of using the personal influence of the stockholders, with the 
heads of the Church and State, they were unable to bring 
about the desired result. The Pilgrims, as they now become 
known, then sent an agent to England to confer with the 
Plymouth Company; which granted them land accompanied 
by a license, to have the seal of the Crown, giving them per- 
mission to settle in America, there to adopt any form of wor- 
ship which their conscience might approve. The King, 
James I., refused to sign this license, but encouraged the 
contemplated settlement. This deterred the Pilgrims from 
undertaking the project; but their residence in Holland be- 
coming more and more distasteful, it finally caused them to 
accept the grant without the desired privileges. 

One hundred of their younger and stronger men and wom- 
en were selected for the American settlement, and embarked 
at Delft Haven in two vessels, the Mayflower and the 



Speedwell; but the mendacious captain and crew of the lat- 
ter falsely pronounced her unseaworthy, to break their con- 
tracts to stay a year with the colonists, and the Mayflower 
proceeded on her way alone. It was the intention of the 
Pilgrims to land in the new country on the coast contiguous 
to New Netherlands, but Captain Jones and the crew op- 
posed going on to seek it. Half a century later, the very 
improbable story was started that the captain had been bribed 
by the Dutch not to land the company near the Hudson. 
The fact that the crew of the storm-beaten vessel were 
anxious to rest where they might, is explanation enough. The 
future quarrels of the Dutch with the English were not with 
the Massachusetts but the Connecticut colonists; and their 
rival claims to the territory account amply for that. 

The obstacles and hardships overcome by the Pilgrims, 
the severe winter passed on the bleak coast of Massachusetts, 
the diseases which depopulated their original numbers more 
than one half, are a part of universal history. The Pil- 
grims, having landed in a section of the country beyond the 
prescribed limits of their patent, felt that they had the right 
to adopt a form of government more in conformity with their 
desires; and naming themselves "The Colony of New 
Plymouth," formulated a system of government and elected 
executive officers. 

During the voyage of the Pilgrims across the ocean, James 
I. had dissolved the Plymouth Company, ostensibly because 
they had made no determined effort to improve the condi- 
tion of the territory conveyed to them; and a new patent, 
comprising "all the territory between the fortieth and the 
forty-eighth degrees N. L. and in length of and within all 
the breadth aforesaid throughout the mainland from sea to 
sea," was granted a new company styled "The Grand Coun- 



cil of Plymouth for Planting and Governing New Eng- 
land." The Plymouth Colonists were the founders of New 
England in one sense; as, but for their final good fortune, 
the other New England colonies might not have been found- 
ed till the Dutch had fastened a secure hold upon the land. 
The latter at the time formed only a trading post, but it 
would have become a state in a generation more. The colony 
grew slowly but strong, and seven years after their settle- 
ment purchased the interests of the English merchants, 
abandoned the joint-stock principle upon which the colony 
had been formed, and allotted land to each colonist. 

James I., in granting the patent to the Grand Council of 
Plymouth, incorporated a restriction to prevent any adher- 
ents to the Puritan creed from becoming occupants of the 
country. The company also had the prerogative rights to 
monopolize the trade and fisheries of that part of America 
included in their grant; but when complaints were made 
by the traders and merchants of England, and these provi- 
sions of their patent were censured by Parliament, the rights 
were relinquished by the company, which then abandoned 
all further attempts to colonize the New World. 

The Puritans of England, attracted by the success of 
the Plymouth Colony, and seeing that they were removed 
from the cruelties of religious persecutions, determined to 
seek an asylum on the same shores. They made several inef- 
fectual attempts to secure a charter; but it was not until the 
failure of the second company to effect settlements, that their 
application received any attention. Soon after the acces- 
sion of Charles I. to the throne, an association of Puritans 
received a grant of territory in New England, secured a 
liberal patent from the King, and was incorporated under 
the name of "The Governor and Company of the Massa- 



chusetts Bay in New England." The first settlement under 
this patent was made in September 1628 at Naumkeag (now 
Salem), and the following year they were joined by a large 
party and became known as the Massachusetts Bay Colony. 

The history of these two parent colonies has been thus 
briefly sketched, to show the reasons why the first settlers of 
Connecticut were of the English-speaking race, and were 
imbued with the same religious and governmental principles 
which always caused the Commonwealth to be an active mem- 
ber of the New England family. The rapid growth in 
population of the Massachusetts colonies, brought about by 
emigration from England of adherents to the same religious 
belief, and the inborn spirit of adventure ready to conquer 
the native wilderness, and make it blossom into life and activ- 
ity; the determination of devotees of the Congregational 
principle not to endure a semi-aristocratic church govern- 
ment in Massachusetts after coming to the wilderness ex- 
pressly to be rid of it, these, with the underlying princi- 
ple of extending Christianity, were the primary causes of the 
settlement of Connecticut. 



The Connecticut Indians 

THE origin of the American Indians cannot be 
certainly demonstrated, without far more eth- 
nological and perhaps biological facts than 
we yet possess ; but we are not quite so help- 
less scientifically as a generation ago. The 
fantastic guesses about the "lost tribes," never with any in- 
tellectual standing, are now recognized even by the unschol- 
arly as merely ridiculous; and the scarcely less futile, though 
less childish, speculations about Asiatic migrants via Bering 
Strait may be relegated to the limbo of dreams. It is certain 
that the American Indian, from Hudson's Bay to TIerra del 
Fuego, belongs to one family, differentiated as far back as 
any distinct race on the globe; and that the differences be- 
tween Araucanians or Caribs and Iroquois or Thlinkeets are 
slight compared with those between either and Mongol or 
Malay. Quite as significantly, the nearer races to the north 
are as radically different from each other as those in the 
depths of the continents. Manchurians are no more like 
Athapascans than Tatars are like Cherokees. Of the great 
stocks into which this race was divided, the one which con- 
cerns our history is the Algonkian, stretching from Labrador 
to North Carolina. 

Six years prior to the settlement of Plymouth, the Dutch 
navigator Adrian Block, without doubt the first white man to 
voyage up the Connecticut, which he named the Freshwater 
(as distinguished from the salt or brackish tidal rivers at 
New York), found various tribes of Indians on its banks be- 
tween what is now Hartford and the Sound. These were 
members of the above Algonkian family; which, as it lay 
in the immediate path of the Atlantic coast settlements, bore 
and retaliated the first brunt of white aggression, and was 



gradually pushed westward, — somewhat thinned in numbers, 
though much less than is often assumed. 

The villages of those Indians located on the shore of Long 
Island Sound, and in the valley of the Connecticut River, 
were devastated year after year by the Mohawks, a tribe of 
Indians that occupied the eastern part of New York. The 
Iroquois nation, of which the Mohawks were members, an- 
nually sent representatives to the river and seashore tribes of 
Connecticut, to whom a tribute was paid and who promul- 
gated orders from the great council at Onondaga. The Pe- 
quots, a tribe located in the southeastern part of the fu- 
ture colony, were never visited by these emissaries of the Five 
Nations, but on the contrary they themselves demanded ad- 
ditional tribute ; so that with enemies on both sides, the In- 
dians of western Connecticut were cruelly oppressed, and 
gladly joined forces with, or cowered under the aegis of, the 
whites when they came. 

Various estimates have been made by different historians 
of the population of the Connecticut Indian tribes previous to 
the settlement of the Colony, and by a process of computa- 
tion which allowed five members as the family of each war- 
rior, the maximum (arrived at by statisticians largely from 
losses sustained by the Indians in warfare with the whites) 
places the total at twenty thousand, while the minimum has 
fallen as low as six thousand. As the whole western part of 
the Colony was mostly uninhabited, the country at this time 
being an unbroken forest save for a narrow strip on the 
coast ; and as- the Pequots, who could muster as many war- 
riors as all the other tribes combined, never had a war 
strength of more than five or six hundred, — there is no 
doubt but that when the first white man set foot within the 



boundaries of Connecticut, the total Indian population could 
not have exceeded six thousand. 

The Indians in locating their villages followed the seacoast 
or the river courses. The southeastern part, now New Lon- 
don County, was the home of the powerful tribe of Pe- 
quots. They reached back from the sea-shore to a distance 
of twelve miles; and the northern most community, which 
afterwards seceded under Uncas, became known as the Mo- 

To the north of these warlike and aggressive Indians, the 
territory now Windham and Tolland Counties was sparingly 
inhabited by the Nipmucks or Nipnets; the former name, 
meaning from or away from the river, was applied to all 
northern tribes of Indians. The Connecticut Nipmucks had 
no Grand Sachem of their own, and their principal seat of 
government was located in southern Massachusetts. 

At the mouth of the Connecticut River lived the Western 
Nehantics, who were related to a tribe of the same name 
in Rhode Island. Along the seacoast to the westward of the 
Nehantics' wigwams, wherever there was a sheltered bay or 
a good fishing place, an Indian village was generally located. 
The first of these was the Hammonassetts, who were few 
in number. Next came the Guilford Indians, who, though at 
one time considered a distinct tribe, really belonged to the 
Quinnipiacs, who lived on the seacoast, east of what is now 
New Haven Bay. The Quinnipiacs were of a peaceful dis- 
position, spending their time in fishing or hunting, and never 
were very strong in numbers. 

On the banks of the Housatonic River dwelt the Paugus- 
setts and Wepawagus, who undoubtedly belonged to the 
same tribe. Northwest of these Indians a small tribe of 
Potatucks, of whom but little is known, lived within the lim- 



its of the present towns of Newtown, Southbury, and Wood- 
bury; their insignificance is manifested by the fact that all 
historians treat them with silence, leaving them to fade into 
unmarked oblivion. 

The original name of Fairfield was Unkoway, and a small 
clan of Indians called Unkowas lived in that locality. From 
this point to what is now the New York line, the seacoast at 
the time of the first settlement of the whites was uninhabited; 
but in 1643 there existed in this territory a large population 
of Indians who fled from their own homes on Long Island 
and the Hudson River, to escape the vicinity of the hostile 

Eight or ten miles west of the Connecticut River, on the 
banks of the Farmington River, were the hunting grounds 
of the Sepores or Tiinxis Indians ; these numbered about four 
hundred, and formed a part of that confederacy which had 
as its principal seat of government the valley of the Connec- 
ticut. The Podunks and Poquonocs, who lived on opposite 
banks of the Connecticut, occupied the territory now the 
towns of South and East Windsor, Windsor proper, and 
East Hartford, and were closely connected through their 
kindred and government. 

Journeying south twenty-five miles, still following the 
course of the river, there were numerous small tribes of 
Indians governed by different Sachems, but living in close 
connection with each other, being united by natural alli- 
ances. Among these were the Sicaoggs, Naiogs, Hoccanums, 
and a small tribe noted for its peculiar religious super- 
stitions, who lived near Mt. Tom in the present township of 
East Haddam. In the country between what is now Middle- 
town and the home of the Western Nehantics lived the 



Wangunks, who were settled on both banks of the river 
and known as a distinct tribe. 

The Pequots came about the beginning of the seventeenth 
century from the vicinity of the Hudson, leaving the over- 
peopled forests of that region to find easier sustenance else- 
where; after journeying through southern Massachusetts, 
they finally located on the Connecticut seacoast. The other 
clans of Connecticut Indians were tribal branches of the 
Nehantics, or Narragansetts; this in a degree accounts for 
the deep feeling of abhorrence for the Pequots, and the un- 
willing subjugation of the Indian tribes of Connecticut to 
their supremacy. 

The manners and customs of the Indians of Connecticut 
were similar to the other aboriginal tribes of North America. 
They belonged to the Ganowanian or Bow and Arrow fam- 
ily of men, being devoted to the chase, and caring but little 
for agricultural pursuits. The leading trait of the Red Men 
was force independence, and intolerance of any control that 
restrained their passions. In personal appearance they were 
of tawny color inclining to the red, with prominent cheek 
bones, widely separated eyes, a broad nose, and ordinarily a 
cast of coarse and mobile features. The males were tall, 
straight, and well proportioned, had great powers of endur- 
ance, and were rarely corpulent or deformed; the females 
were short and clumsy, all feminine grace and beauty being 
obliterated by hard labor. 

They depended for their subsistence on hunting and fish- 
ing; their agricultural pursuits being limited to the raising 
of beans and corn, which were cultivated by the women and 
children. The tobacco crop received the attention of the 
men, It alone being considered as worthy of their labor. The 
implements used in tilling the soil were few and crude; a 



large part of the field work was performed with their fingers, 
although spades constructed from wood and large shells were 
commonly used. 

The Indian generally hunted alone, but grand hunts were 
sometimes organized. The forests teemed with pigeons, quail, 
turkeys, and partridges; while along the shore, and on the 
rivers, ponds, and marshes, dwelt geese, cranes, and ducks. 
The otter and beaver, while highly prized for their fur, were 
also eaten. The forest likewise yielded racoons, rabbits, 
squirrels, and such larger game as the common deer, moose, 
and bear. Carnivorous animals like the wild-cat, wolf, and 
fox were never used as food, but were slain for their furs. 
The fish of the seacoast was much more plentiful than at the 
present day; and besides obtaining all of the smaller sea 
food, even sturgeon, porpoise, and whale were caught in 
abundant quantities. 

The garments of the Indians were trophies of the hunt. 
The skins of the slain animals were cured, thereby making 
them soft and pliable, and were sometimes painted or worked 
with beads made from shells Mantles were made from the 
feathers of wild game, and decked with fantastic ornaments. 
A woman's wardrobe was limited to two articles, a leather 
shirt coming well below the thighs, and a skirt reach- 
ing nearly to her feet; while cases have been known of 
her lord and master's gambling away her petticoat, the shirt 
was never parted with unless another was provided. The 
male children until the age of twelve were nude, but the girls 
wore a short apron. The hair of the women was arranged 
in a heavy braid ornamented at times with wampum; the 
men went bareheaded, — one having his hair long on one 
side and shaved on the other, another having his scalp en- 
tirely bare, and a third with a strip of hair two or three inches 



wide, commencing at the forehead and running to his neck 
like a coxcomb. The women to improve their complexion 
used paint, but this artificial adornment was resorted to by 
the males only when preparing themselves for warfare. 
Sachems and the principal men wore caps, aprons, and belts 
embroidered with different colored beads. 

For currency the Indian was dependent upon wampum; 
this consisted of black and white beads about a quarter of an 
inch long, the black being made of mussel shells, and passing 
for twice the value of the white, which came from the inside 
of the conch shell; both varieties were perforated and strung 
upon threads. 

The dwelling places of the Red Men were primitive, poles 
being set firmly in the ground, bent together and fastened at 
the top ; the sides were covered with matted boughs, and the 
roofs thatched with reeds and rushes, although sometimes 
a covering of bark was used. The Indians were by no means 
permanent residents; they migrated from place to place, 
spending their summers upon the seashore, and their winters 
in the depths of the forest. In the case of death of one of the 
family they generally deserted the house, probably to escape 
the wrath of the spirit supposed to have a" grudge against 
the place. The Sachems lived in fortified villages with a 
large number of their tribe; these aggregations of huts, 
forming their primitive towns, were located on prominent 
elevations, and were about two or three acres in area. Their 
wigwams were arranged around an open space, which was 
used for the gathering of war and hunting parties, for re- 
ligious and fantastic dances, and for the transaction of public 
business. In his home life the Indian practiced no sanitary 
laws; he did not believe in cleanliness or purity, his do- 
mesticated animals occupied his dwelling place, and their 



offal was never disturbed; in preparing fish the entrails were 
never removed. The effect was less than in civilized life, 
but undoubtedly had a share in keeping the numbers sta- 

The Red Men confined their amusements to various kinds 
of dances, and like all barbarians were inveterate gamblers. 
They played with rushes a game resembling cards, and man- 
ufactured dice from pebbles by painting the sides. On these 
games they staked and lost all, and in many instances single 
braves hazarded their own person; thereby, if losers, becom- 
ing slaves. 

While the languages of the New England Indians bore a 
general resemblance in construction, they differed in individ- 
ual words; but members of various tribes readily understood 
one another through the similarity of tongues, and a natural 
faculty for communicating by the universal language of signs. 
Their syntax condensed a sentence into a composite word, and 
fully half their utterances were composed of these agglomer- 
ated expressions. 

Criminal punishments were inflicted personally by the 
Sachems, or councillors deputized by them. The penalty for 
murder was a life for a life; theft if a first offence received 
a public reprimand, a second like misdemeanor secured a 
beating, and the culprit thrice guilty had his nostrils slit to 
warn the public of his character. 

In social distinctions, according to Cotton Mather, the 
aborigines were divided into three classes. The highest were 
the nobles, descended from the blood of chiefs and invested 
with authority by the Sachem. The second class were yeo- 
men or Sannops, who constituted the larger portion of the 
tribe; these possessed rights in the lands, and attended the 
Sachem on his excursions. The third class were strangers 



and descendants of foreigners who had no rights in the land, 
who were allowed in attendance only by permission of the 
Sachem, and were subjects of the yeoman class; Mather 
designates them by the name of serfs. 

The civil government of the Indians was invested in an 
hereditary chief called a Sachem, and in default of a male 
heir this office descended to the female. The Sachem was 
assisted by a body of men who acted as councillors and ad- 
visors, and maintained his authority only by his own ability 
to exercise a despotic sway; he must be brave, eloquent, 
and cunning, careful to move in accord with the wishes of his 
people; and all matters of great importance were publicly 
discussed. Under the Sachems were inferior chieftains 
called Sagamores, each of whom collected around him a band 
of followers whose allegiance was not compulsory, and whose 
numerical strength depended on the ability and courage of 
their chief. 

The Mugwump seems to have been head of a subtribal 
band, and the name has always been familiar in Connecti- 
cut as "the boss'' or head man of a concern. 

The office of Sachem entitled the holder to a revenue which 
consisted of agricultural products, presents of the results of 
hunting and fishing excursions, and of war, — especially wom- 
en, — and the ornaments of the defeated chieftain. The 
Sachem had prerogative rights over all the waters in his do- 
mains, and therefore claimed all wrecks and whales, and the 
skins of all animals there killed. He was called upon to en- 
tertain all travellers, strangers, and ambassadors. 

The great delight of the Indians was war, although nomi- 
nally it was never undertaken for conquest, but always for 
redress of a grievance. This was always obtainable; and as 
the revenge for one always left a heavy score to be settled 



by the other side, they could fight any other tribe at will. 
Before starting on the war-path, a dance was performed in 
which the braves boasted of exploits already accomplished, 
and feats to be performed in the future. Their plan of war- 
fare was of the secret and strategic order; but at times they 
engaged in open battle, which was rarely attended by very 
bloody results, as it was one of their principles that no success 
was worth risking many lives. The Iroquois-Erie war of 
1655-56 is perhaps the only case where Indians engaged 
in a white man's battle, reckless of sacrifice. The offensive 
weapons were bows and arrows, wooden clubs, and stone 
hatchets; the defensive ones targets made of bark. The 
forest trees served in place of a shield; and when they had 
slain an enemy, to obtain his scalp as a trophy was to them 
a glorious triumph. They were incited by their leader, on 
the departure of a war expedition, by oratory in which he 
spoke disparagingly of their enemies, and extolled their own 
courage, beseeching them to fight bravely to avenge past in- 
juries. The prisoners of war, if not adopted into a family 
of their captors, were subjected to all the tortures that a 
ferocious ingenuity could inflict. 

The Indian religion is very dubious, because it is uncertain 
how far our accounts represent genuine aborigin ideas, and 
how far the half-caught Christianity taught them by the mis- 
sionaries, or questions they answered as they knew the mis- 
sionaries wished to have them. They were said to have 
believed there was a Good Spirit who concerned himself but 
little with the affairs of men in this temporal life, but stood 
ready to forgive their mistakes when they reached the happy 
hunting grounds, and furnish them rest and happiness in life 
eternal. They held in more reverence their spirit of evil 
called Hobbamocke, and many dances and sacrifices were per- 



formed in his honor; they feared his power and malignant 
disposition, deeming him the author of all human plagues 
and calamities. The second half is much more probable than 
the first, and even that seems colored by Christianity. The 
medicine men or prophets made revelations from the spirit 
world, gaining their occult knowledge through the morti- 
fication of fasting and prayer. 

The Indian lover commenced his courtship by presents to 
his intended, and her acceptance of them was a pledge of 
their betrothal. This by no means necessitated marriage, as 
she often went from lover to lover — husbands in all but 
permanency — to obtain more presents, till she settled down. 
The consent of the Sachem formed the marriage tie. While 
polygamy was allowed, it was seldom practiced, unless by a 
Sachem or one of abundant means. Marriages were dis- 
solved if the wife proved unfaithful, though divorces oc- 
curred for other causes besides adultery. In his family re- 
lations the Indian was an affectionate and indulgent parent, 
and was apparently no believer in that maxim, "Spare the 
Rod and Spoil the Child," as he never chastised his off- 
spring. They made a distinction between boys and girls, 
the former being encouraged to be bold and independent, 
while the latter were taught subjection. 

The maladies of the Indians were few but severe, being 
caused by their exposure, hardships, evil, vice, and irregu- 
lar manner of living, and were largely of the pulmonary and 
rheumatic class of diseases. Their curatives were sweating, 
and purging the system with herbs; and they also used 
supernatural means, their medicine men acting as the spiritual 

There were various reasons why the Indians did not multi- 
ply : the attendance of the women in their parties of war and 



hunting made child-bearing inconvenient; and being poorly 
fed, like wild animals, each succeeding generation became 
less active and less productive. The women's hard work also 
helped to sterilize them. When we first meet them, no In- 
dian tribe seems to be increasing; it is not quite clear how 
they ever attained their then present numbers. 

On the death of a relative, visits of condolence were paid. 
The funeral ceremonies were conducted by a respectable 
member of the tribe; the corpse was adorned with such 
ornaments as his relatives could afford; his body was swathed 
in coverings of mats and skins; a shallow grave was dug, 
the bottom lined with sticks, and the dead body was placed 
either in a sitting or reclining position, and by his side were 
left food and implements of war. The relatives of the de- 
ceased blackened their faces as evidence of their mourning, 
and made an exhibition of their grief by tears, howls, and 

The general character of the Connecticut Indians com- 
pared favorably with that of any barbarians; and, relatively 
to their nature and situation, with that of white men. 
They told as few lies, and perhaps committed as few mur- 
ders; there could be no theft where there was nothing to 
steal; they were not lazy in gross, but like all savages, alter- 
nated spells of intense activity with others of quiescence, and 
anyway there was no reward for industry. They were glut- 
tonous, and became intemperate; but they had to eat when 
they had food, which was not always, food would not keep, 
and drunkenness was their one luxury. They were loose 
enough sexually, but then there were no barriers but those of 
permission ; their licentiousness was hardly more in evidence 
than that of the civilized race that has succeeded them, and 
Thersites' summary of the permanent elements of society 



is by no means obsolete. In a word, their virtues and vices 
were dictated by their stage of culture and their environment, 
plus racial character — which is all that can be said of any 

In discussing the question of their dispossession from the 
soil, there are two phases to be considered : one general to all 
Indians, one special to the Connecticut Indians. As to the 
former, they had no title to the soil themselves but occu- 
pancy, they recognized none in other tribes but the law of the 
strongest, and their occupancy itself had no boundary except 
the risk of being scalped by another and stronger tribe for 
intrusion. The whites had the same right to use the soil for 
purposes of a livelihood as the reds; it was the misfortune 
of the latter that the uses of the former excluded a joint 
roaming tenancy, and made it needful for them to adopt 
the same means of livelihood or have no place to gain it. 
The Indian was not morally to blame for being an Indian; 
but to use the fact, as is so often done, as the major premise 
of an argument that the white man must therefore be blama- 
ble for being civilized, is wholly irrational. Again, there 
was no such entity as "the Indians," or "the Red Men," or 
"the Aborigines," with common rights and common interests 
as against white men: if the same class of reasoning were 
used about the Europeans or the Asiatics as a whole, its ab- 
surdity would be perceived. There were red tribes, inde- 
pendent of and hostile to all other red tribes; but what su- 
perior moral claim does the possession of a certain color of 
skin give them to possession, either by occupation or con- 
quest, above that of whites? The question must be indi- 
vidual, not general; and we must carefully discriminate be- 
tween the Aborigines of America as an ethnological fact, and 
the Aborigines of any particular section, which is a question 



often impossible to determine, and when determined often 
leads to results the very opposite of those intended. There 
was no more solidarity of rights among Indians as a whole 
than between Indians and whites, and even less solidarity 
of interests; and the Indians themselves were the foremost 
to recognize the fact. A sterile wonder is often expressed 
that Indians did not stand together against the whites: why 
should they? It meant simply being scalped by other tribes. 
There was no result to stand together for; no common "In- 
dian" civilization or mode of society to be preserved by driv- 
ing off the whites, whom indeed they generally valued as 
their best protection against each other. The whites saved 
more Indians from being destroyed by other Indians than 
they ever destroyed themselves. What interest had one 
tribe of Indians in assisting another tribe to slaughter 
whites, when victory simply meant that it would be slaugh- 
tered in turn ? Was the privilege of being roasted by other 
savages so precious a boon, above being slowly dispossessed 
of land, that they should shed their blood for it? In a word, 
"Indians," as such, had no future — could have none; It was 
because they had none that they were forced to give way to a 
social system that had one. It is absurd to suppose that the 
Creator has left his higher civilization no legitimate means 
of occupying the earth; and if it is equally wicked to dis- 
possess savages by violence, to buy their land from them 
(they being ignorant of its value, unfit to have the money, 
and unable to make any use of it), and to occupy tracts they 
do not cultivate, we land in the absurd impasse that after a 
few roaming savages have once spread over a continent, no 
method but crime is left for better societies to take their 

As to the local question, it is much simpler. The Pequots 



were as much intruders pure and simple on the rights of the 
original occupants as the whites themselves; they were in- 
deed much more so, for they were mere invaders by violence, 
who had dispossessed part and cowed the rest of the Narra- 
gansett tribes here before them, while the whites were occu- 
pants by permission. Whether the Narragansetts were 
themselves invaders or no, we cannot tell, nor does it matter; 
for our purpose we grant them such. Then what title had 
this band of ferocious freebooters, the Pequots, who had 
been here very little longer than the whites, to set up the 
claim (they never did, it is true, — that was left for modern 
sentimentalists) to prescriptive right of occupancy? It is to 
be noted that the real occupants, the Narragansett tribes, 
were friends of the whites, helped them exterminate the Pe- 
quots, and considered them protectors against their fierce 
conquerors. Does the mere fact that the Pequots were red, 
and that some sort of red men were on the continent earlier 
than the whites, confer such a moral sanctity on even bar- 
barous conquest that it has a right to murder and torture 
peaceful cultivators? The logic is not obvious. This is not 
slaying a man of straw. The sentimental view persistently 
confounds the question of red men vs. white men, which we 
have just shown does not exist, with the question of a given 
band of white settlers vs. a given tribe of savages, which is 
the question our forefathers had to settle, and their settlement 
of which gives us a peaceful community in which to decry 
them and their work. What rights the Connecticut settlers 
had against a non-existent abstraction called "the Indian" 
would seem too foolish an exercise even for schoolboys, were 
it not constantly declaimed by older people; what rights they 
had against a tribe of ferocious brigands who had preceded 
them into the territory a few years, and who were committing 



unprovoked atrocities on them to drive them out, and dispos- 
sess the original occupants besides, will appear in the course 
of this work. 


The Warwick Patent 

THE second patent to the territory included with- 
in the limits of what is now Connecticut is sur- 
rounded with mystery. 
The Council of Plymouth was the mother 
of all land grants in New England, that cor- 
poration having been delegated this authority by Charles 
I. The Council was composed of members of the nobility 
and merchants of the west of England ; and its records were 
very loosely kept and irregular. As early as 1623 a map di- 
viding New England into twenty parts, but making no men- 
tion of Connecticut, was presented to Prince Charles for his 

The president of the Council of Plymouth was Robert 
Rich, Earl of Warwick, whose whole family were doubly in- 
terested in colonization. There appears in the extant rec- 
ords of the Council of Plymouth, in the year 1622, a resolu- 
tion granting a patent to the Earl of Warwick and his as- 
sociates; but all further proceedings of the corporation until 
1 63 1 are completely obliterated. Through the medium of 
correspondence, there has been established the fact that 
John Humphrey, writing in 1630 to a friend at Charlestown, 
Massachusetts, stated that my Lord of Warwick was to take 
a grant of the territory brought to his notice by the receiver 
of the latter; and in a subsequent communication, it evi- 
dently appears that these lands were located in the southern 
part of New England. 

Documentary evidence, however, does in no way substanti- 
ate the execution of any patent to the Earl of Warwick, and 
so far as known, no such patent was conferred by Charles 
I. It was mainly through the representations of Sir Richard 
Saltonstall, who visited New England in 1631, that the seri- 




ous attention of the Earl of Warwick became directed to the 
fertility of the Connecticut valley. 

During the seventh year of the reign of that unhappy 
King Charles I., the Earl of Warwick conveyed to Lord Say 
and Sele, Lord Brook, and nine others, by feoffment deed, 
the territory commencing at the Narragansett [Providence] 
River, and running forty leagues to the southwest on the sea- 
coast towards Virginia, and north and south of this line, all 
the lands in latitude and breadth, as in longitude and length, 
from the Western Ocean to the South Sea. As can be readily 
seen, the boundaries of this patent were very obscure and in- 
definite, which was mainly due to the ignorance by the 
English of the geography of the New World. In fact, it is 
space of one dimension to be interpreted in terms of two, 
and was interpreted in three different ways by different par- 
ties. It seems fairly evident, however, — recollecting the 
vague ideas of American geography, — that what was meant 
was forty leagues down the coast and then straight over to 
the Pacific, and on the north a straight line from the head of 
Providence River to the Pacific. 

The following is the text of the Warwick patent, a copy 
of the original having been read by Mr. George Fenwick, the 
agent of the patentees, to the people of Connecticut on his ar- 
rival from England. This copy, or a copy of it, was after- 
wards found by Governor Winthrop among Governor Hop- 
kins' papers in London in 1661, and is now in the State 
archives of Connecticut. The document bears the follow- 
ing indorsement, "The copy of the patent for Connecticut 
being ye copy of that copy which was shewed to ye people 
there by Mr. George Fenwick found amongst Mr. Hopkins' 
papers," and reads: 



l^o all people vnto whom this present writeing shall come, 
Robert, Earle of Warwick sendeth greeting, in our Lord 
God everlasting: Know ye, that the sayd Robert, Earl of 
Warwick, for divers Good causes & considerations him there- 
vnto moueing, Hath giuen, grant. Bargain Seld enfeoffed, 
Aliened & confirmed, & by these presents doth giue, 
grant. Bargain, Sell, enfeoffe, Alien & confirm vnto the 
Right Honourable William, Viscount Say & Scale, the 
Right Honourable Rob't, Lord Brooke, 'J'he right Honour- 
able, Lord Rich, & the Honourable Charles Fines Esq'r, 
Sr. Nathaniel Rich, Knight, Sr. Richard Saltonstall, Knight, 
Richard Knightly, Esq'r, John Pim, EsqV, John Hamden, 
Esq'r, John Humphrey, Esq'r & Herbert Pelham, Esq'r theire 
heires & assignes & their Associates forever, All that part of 
New England in Americah, which lyes & extends it selfe 
from a Riuer there called Narrogancett River, the space of 
Forty Leagues vpon a Straight Lyne neere the Sea Shore 
towards the Sowth west West, and by vSowth or West, as the 
Coast lyeth, towards Virginia, accounting Three English 
Miles to the League; & allso all & singuler the Lands & 
hereditaments what soeuer lyeing & being with in the 
Lands afoarsayd. North & South in Lattitude & Bredth & 
in Length & Longitude of & with in all the Bredth afoare- 
sayd, through out the Maine Lands there, from the Westerne 
Oscian to the South Sea; & all Lands & Grounds, place & 
places, Soyle, Wood & Woods, Grounds, Hauens, portes, 
creeks & Rivers, Waters, Fishings & hereditaments what 
soever, lying with in the sayd space & every part & parcell 
thereof; & allso all Islands lying in Americah afoarsayd, 
in the sayd Seas or either of them, on the Western or East- 
ern Coasts or parts of the sayd Tracts of Lands by these 
p'sents Mentioned to be giuen, granted, Bargained sold, 



enfeoffed, aliened, & confirmed, & allso all Mines, Miner- 
alls, — as well Royall Mines of Gold & Siluer as other Mines 
& Mineralls what soeuer in the sayd Lands & premises, or 
any part thereof; & allso the several Riuers With in the 
sayd limits, by what Name or Names Soeuer called or 
Known; & all Jurisdictions, rights. Royalties, liberties, free- 
domes. Immunities, powers, priuiledges, Franchizes, prehem- 
inences & commodities what soeuer, which the said Rob't 
Earle of Warwick, now hath or had, or might vse, exercise or 
injoy, in or within the said Lands and premises or within any 
part or parcell thereof, excepting & reseruing to his Ma'tie, 
his heirs and Successors, the Fifth part of all Gold & Silver 
oare that shall be found with in the sayd premises or any part 
or parcell thereof: To have & To hold the sayd part of New 
England in Americah which lyes & Extends & is abutted as 
afoarsayd. And the sayd severall Riuers, & euery part & par- 
cell thereof, & all the sayd Islands, Riuers, portes, Hauens, 
Waters, Fishings, Mines, Mineralls, Jurisdictions, powers, 
Franchizes, Royalties, liberties, priviledges, Comodities, here- 
ditaments, & premises whatsoeuer, with the appurtenances, 
vnto the said William, Viscount Say & Scale, Robert, Lord 
Brooke, Robert, Lord Rich, Charles Fines, Sr. Nathaniel 
Rich, Sr. Richard Saltonstall, Richard Knightly, John Pim, 
John Hamden, John Humphrey & Herbert Pellam, their 
heirs & assignes & their Associates, to the onely proper & 
absolute vse & behoofe of them the sayd William, Viscount 
Say & Seale, Robert, Lord Brook, Robert, Lord Rich, 
Charles Fines, Sr. Nathaniel Rich, Sr. Richard Saltonstall, 
Richard Knightly, John Pim, John Hamden, John Humph- 
rey, and Herbert Pelham their heirs and assignes and their 
Associates for euermore, In Witness whereof, the sayd Rob- 
ert Earle of Warwick hath herevnto set his hand & Seale, 



the Nineteenth day of March, in the Seuenth yeare of the 
Reigne of ovr Soueraigne Lord Charles, by the Grace of 
God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, De- 
fender of the fayth &c. Anno Dom 1631. 

Robert Warwicke. [L. S.] 

Signed, Sealed and delivered in the presence of 
Walter Williams, 
Thomas Howson, 

Hartford, August 6 1679. 

vera copia John AUyn, Secr'y, 

That this patent had any standing in law cannot be main- 
tained. Only sovereigns, as Irving long ago remarked, can 
give away what does not belong to them; and if Warwick 
had ever received his grant from the sovereign, or from the 
council to whom the sovereign had granted it, his lawyer 
most unaccountably forgot to record that fact in the patent. 
Warwick in this document merely gives all that he himself 
possesses, but does not state what that is, nor from whom he 
had it. At the same time, it is a long step from this to saying 
that the patent was a pure fraud, or that Warwick thought 
he was giving or the patentees thought they were receiving 
a mere blank paper. Both suppositions are so improbable 
that any reasonable explanation must be preferred. Both 
parties must have believed that it secured them from prob- 
able order or suit of ejectment. But if it was an impudent 
figment, a quitclaim to property known to be at others' dis- 
posal, why should it afford any such security? On the other 
hand, the argument sometimes made, that he might have been 
empowered to execute it by vote of the council as its presi- 
dent, without formal grant, is open to the same objection as 
above, that he would have stated that fact and that official 



authority in the deed, as the solid basis of the grant. With- 
out pretending to cut this Gordian knot, the best probability 
seems to be, that this grant had been actually promised him, 
in the discussions of the council, and only awaited formal 
confirmation; that ev^ents were hurrying forward, and he 
wished to get his patentees in de facto possession as soon as 
possible, relying on the formal validation coming early 
enough to prevent any trouble, as a fresh guaranty could be 
attached; that meantime he knew that no one else expected 
it or claimed it besides him.self, and that his position was 
powerful enough to make his promissory note pass for coin; 
— but that the quarrel with the council, which shortly caused 
his removal, supervened and prevented the consummation of 
the grant. We are not unaware of the difficulties in the way 
of this theory, — chief of which is that the rough-draft of a 
grant to be made to Warwick by the council specifies a less 
territory with somewhat different boundaries; but it is not a 
mere guess, the confirmatory points being significant. 
And the difficulties are not nearly so formidable as 
on the one hand supposing that the grantor granted nothing 
when he had power to grant all, and that the patentees 
accepted that nothing when they could have obtained all, as 
the defenders of the patent assume; or on the other, 
that both parties dealt thus with a leaden counter, without 
strong warrant that it would answer as gold and shortly be 
replaced by gold. 

At any rate, the patent conveyed no rights of government, 
or even the power to create a corporation. The grantees 
were simply joint tenants; though the prospect of the Earl of 
Warwick's receiving any monetary remuneration in lieu of 
rent was not very encouraging, as it was distinctly stated that 



one-fifth of all gold and silver mined within the territory was 
to reimburse him for his interests. 

The original patentees had a consociation of business in- 
terests, in other land grants in the New World. Lord Say 
and Sele and Lord Brook were associated with the Earl 
of Warwick, Lord Rich, and John Pym, in affairs pertaining 
to the Bahamas; Sir Richard Saltonstall and John Humph- 
rey were among the original patentees of Massachusetts ; and 
Lord Say and Sele and Lord Brook were interested in the 
original patent of New Hampshire. 

The grantees were all men of prominence and affairs in 
England. John Pym was a famous leader in the House of 
Commons during the reigns of James L and Charles L; a 
lawyer by profession, fearless, eloquent, and an unequalled 
parliamentarian. Identified with the popular interest against 
the Crown, he was prominently identified with the impeach- 
ments of Buckingham and Strafford; he and Hampden were 
the leaders of the Long Parliament; and on the outbreak 
of hostilities he remained in London, rendering executive ser- 
vices of more value and assistance than a general in the field. 
He was one of the five members whose attempted seizure by 
the King on the floor of Parliament, for dealings with the 
Scotch rebels, made the Civil War inevitable. He died sud- 
denly early in the war, at fifty-nine. 

John Hampden was a cousin of Oliver Cromwell, and of 
the foremost influence as a leader in the patriot party; con- 
sidered by them as "pater patriae," and denounced by Claren- 
don as the fountain of all mischief. His endurance of im- 
prisonment rather than pay his small assessment of "ship- 
money," a levy intended to make the Crown independent of 
popular control, had made him a recognized champion, 
which his great judgment, pithy speech, and acute states- 



manship, confirmed. He was another of the Five Members. 
He was a member of the Committee of Safety at the out- 
break of the war, became a colonel, and was mortally 
wounded at Chalgrove, fighting against Rupert, in its sec- 
ond year. 

Sir Richard Saltonstall was a nephew of Sir Richard, 
Lord Mayor of London in the latter part of the sixteenth 
century, and was one of the fathers of the Massachusetts Bay 
Colony; being its assistant gov^ernor in 1630, in which year 
he was identified with the first settlement of Watertown, 
Mass. He returned to England in 1631, and was ever af- 
terwards a warm friend of the American colonies. 

William Fiennes, Lord Say and Sele, was a member of Par- 
liament, a firm exponent of the abolishment of Episcopacy^ 
and was one of the leading advocates of Presbyterianism ; 
but upon the creation of the Protectorate, he withdrew from 
public life. With many another good patriot, he welcomed 
and assisted in the restoration of Charles IL, who made him 
Lord Privy Seal. 

Robert, Lord Brook, was also a member of Parliament, a 
colleague of Lord Say and Sele, and associated with him in 
his advocacy of religious freedom; his peasantry during the 
civil war were attached to the Parliamentary Army, but he 
died before the Restoration. 

Robert, Lord Rich, was the eldest son of the Earl of War- 
wick; the Honorable Charles "Fines" [Fiennes] was of the 
family of Lord Say and Sele. John Humphreys was one 
of the original patentees of Massachusetts; Sir Nathaniel 
Rich (of the Warwick connection) and Richard Knightly 
died a few years after the granting of the Connecticut pat- 
ent; Herbert Pelham was of the family afterward Dukes 
of Newcastle. 


From the Rembrandt Print. 



The original grantees of Connecticut were Puritans, there- 
fore differing from the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth. This 
had a tendency to people Connecticut with Nonconformists, 
who, while they believed in the Church of England, were op- 
posed to what they regarded as its corrupt and unauthorized 
practices. The unsettled state of civil affairs in England 
caused a delay of several years on the part of the Connecticut 
patentees, in making a permanent settlement on their grant. 

In the summer of 1635 there arrived at Boston twenty ser- 
vants of Sir Richard Saltonstall, under the superintendency 
of Francis Stiles, with instructions to locate two thousand 
acres in Windsor. This territory had been preoccupied by 
settlers from Massachusetts, who were in position to main- 
tain their rights, on the principle that possession was nine 
points of the law. This discouraging outlook disgusted 
Stiles, and after a couple of months' stay in Boston he re- 
turned to England. 

Another company, under the charge of Barnabas Davis, 
arrived in Massachusetts empowered to locate four hundred 
acres; but learning of the non-success of Stiles, they like- 
wise returned to their native land without accomplishing the 
object of their visit. On receipt of tidings from their depu- 
ties acquainting them with these unsuccessful attempts, the 
grantees entered into negotiations with John Winthrop, Jr., 
at that time sojourning in England. 

Winthrop was then about thirty years of age, a gradu- 
ate of Trinity College, Dublin ; he had made the grand tour 
of Europe, had visited Massachusetts in 1631, and been 
chosen a magistrate of that colony. The patentees appointed 
him governor of Connecticut River for one year, his term 
of office to commence at the time of his arrival on the terri- 
tory. While designating no specific time, Winthrop prom- 



ised as soon as possible to provide himself with fifty men, and 
build a fort at the mouth of the Connecticut River, to re- 
serve from one thousand to fifteen hundred acres of the ad- 
joining lands, and to erect thereon habitations suitable for 
himself and other gentlemen of quality. He was furnished 
with £2,000, and was to account for all expenses entered 
into for the benefit of the patentees. 

On Winthrop's arrival at Boston, it was rumored that the 
Dutch were trying to forestall him in the erection of a fort 
at the mouth of the Connecticut; hence not waiting to recruit 
his full complement, he embarked twenty men on board a ves- 
sel, with instructions to take possession of the designated 
point, erect embankments, and plant their cannons. The 
fortifications were hardly completed when the hostile sail was 
sighted; but when they saw a new fortress flying the Eng- 
lish colors, the Dutch withdrew with no further manifesta- 
tions. The patentees having arranged with Lieutenant Lion 
Gardener, an engineer in the employ of the Prince of Orange, 
he was sent to the new settlement to draw plans and su- 
perintend the erection of a fort and other necessary buildings. 
Gardener arrived at Boston in the latter part of 1635, and 
proceeded to join Winthrop in the Connecticut territory. 

In the agreement made with Winthrop and Gardener, the 
patentees acted only as joint tenants, as is evidenced by the 
attachment of their private seals to the documents, and the 
non-use of any corporation or colony seal; making Governor 
Winthrop limit his jurisdiction to the fort and the adjacent 
territory that had been reserved for its maintenance, with 
no attempt to exercise any authority over the settlements 
higher up on the river. An oft'er was made by the patentees 
to reimburse the pioneers of the river settlements, or pro- 
vide other locations for them, but their proposals were disre- 



garded. Winthrop and Gardener were only employees of 
the patentees, and the former's stay at the fort was short; 
the winter of 1635-36 was very severe, the Connecticut Riv- 
er being frozen over by the middle of November, causing 
great suffering amongst the garrison. In the midsummer of 
1639 George Fenwick, one of the patentees, accompanied by 
his wife and household, and several gentlemen with their ser- 
vants, arrived in two ships from England. On the arrival 
of these settlers the fort ceased to be a mere military post, 
and a form of civil government was adopted, Fenwick as 
agent for the patentees assuming the chief executive power. 
Mention has been made of the Duke of Hamilton's claim 
to territory in Connecticut. One of the last acts of the Coun- 
cil of Plymouth was to grant, on April 20, 1635, to James, 
Marquis of Hamilton, a tract of land commencing at the 
mouth of the Connecticut River, to run on the seacoast sixty 
miles east of Narragansett River and north sixty miles, fol- 
lowing the west bank of that river, and then sixty miles west 
and then southerly to the starting point. In the same year the 
Council of Plymouth made two other grants: one to the 
Duke of Lenox, the other to the Earl of Carlisle, from the 
Hudson River to New Haven on the seacoast and extending 
into the interior; following the line of the coast from New 
Haven to the mouth of the Connecticut River. These pat- 
ents regranted lands in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Mas- 
sachusetts; and this was done by the Council of Plymouth, 
then going into liquidation, to strengthen grants already 
made, thereby rendering it impossible that any of the terri- 
tory covered by their original patent from the King should 
ever revert to the Crown. The Marquis of Hamilton was a 
descendant of the great historical Scotch family of that name. 
He was created a Duke by Charles I. for services rendered in 



suppressing the Scottish Covenanters. During the Civil War 
he led a Scottish army into England, to support the King, 
but was defeated at Preston by Cromwell, and being after- 
wards captured, was beheaded in March 1649. The title re- 
verted to his brother William, who died two years later of 
wounds received at the battle of Worcester, leaving no male 
issue. The Duchy of Hamilton, by its patent of creation, de- 
volved upon an aunt of these two heads of the House of 
Hamilton, who was married to the Earl of Selkirk; the 
latter in 1660 was created Duke of Hamilton for life. The 
eldest son of the couple was James, Earl of Arran, who, 
upon the death of his father in 1694 (the titles being re- 
signed by his mother), became the Duke of Hamilton. These 
were the heirs of the Marquis of Hamilton who attempted 
to establish their claim to lands in Connecticut, and in 1683 
executed a power of attorney to Edward Randolph to sue 
and to receive their rights of interests in lands, islands, 
houses, and tenements in New England. The case was 
brought before the courts to sustain their claim, and Con- 
necticut in defense introduced as evidence the prior grant to 
the Earl of Warwick; but at the plaintiff's request that docu- 
ments be produced to establish this grant, it was admitted 
that, owing to the dissolution of the Council of Plymouth 
fifty years previous, it was impossible to furnish the rec- 

Randolph was the common enemy of New England, and in 
every way attempted to legalize the claim of the Hamiltons 
to the property; but the courts decided they had no title, — 
basing their decision upon the fact that neither the Duke 
of Hamilton nor his heirs had ever taken possession of, or 
made any attempt to claim, lands under their patent for for- 
ty-eight years after the date of the conveyance, Connecticut 



thus triumphed over her enemies at home and abroad; if 
the legality of the Warwick patent was not established, at 
least any contestant was barred by the Statute of Limita- 
tions; her land titles were protected against all other en- 
croachments and demands of the future. The other dwellers 
had the indefeasible claim of right, that they had opened up 
the land and risked their own liv^es to make it habitable for 


Dutch and English 

THE Initial cause for the settlement of New 
Netherlands by the Dutch, was the claim of 
the Dutch East India Company that the ter- 
ritory between the Hudson and Delaware 
Rivers was theirs by right of the discoveries 
of navigators in their employ; these two rivers were named 
by them the Great North and South Rivers. 

There was formed In Holland, in 1614, a new company 
known as the New Netherlands Company, to which all the 
rights and privileges of the Dutch East India Company were 
transferred. The States General also granted them a char- 
ter, giving them the control of all the coast country In the 
New World, between the fortieth and forty-fifth degree of 
north latitude, which the Dutch described as the country 
lying between New France on the north and Virginia on 
the south. This Interfered with the grants of James I. to the 
Virginia companies, but did not deter the Dutch from keep- 
ing or occupying what they claimed was rightly theirs by 

Before the organization of the New Netherlands Com- 
pany a group of huts had been built on Manhattan Island, 
trading posts established on the rivers, and agents of the 
company had explored the coast on both sides of what Is now 
Long Island Sound, ascending the Fresh [Connecticut] Riv- 
er. The New Netherlands Company was succeeded by the 
Dutch West India Company; which, as Motley ('Rise of 
the Dutch Republic') says, "had a roving commission to 
trade, to fight, and to govern for twenty-four years." This 
company's main object was to despoil the Portuguese and 
Spanish of their territory and possessions, and incidentally 
to encourage settlement on the Great North [Hudson] and 
South [Delaware] Rivers. 



Before this great company could formulate a systematic 
plan to encourage emigration to the New World, the territory 
to their north was occupied by the Plymouth settlement; and 
their neighbors, instead of being the French of New France, 
became the English of New England. The rich prizes to be 
obtained from the Portuguese and Spanish so occupied the 
attention of the West India Company, to the detriment of 
their North American interests, that it was not until 1625 — 
in which year the treaty was executed between England and 
Holland — that the company took any active steps to encour- 
age colonization. Peter Minuit, an energetic Walloon, was 
appointed Director-General in the latter part of this year; 
and setting sail for New Netherlands, gave the first real evi- 
dence of commercial activity by exporting great quantities 
of timber and furs to the mother country in the two years fol- 

The Pilgrims of New England viewed these transactions 
with longing; and Governor Bradford attempted to secure 
at least a share of them by establishing an Indian trading 
post on Buzzard's Bay. The English, however, found them- 
selves at a disadvantage through the fact that the Dutch con- 
trolled certain territory, situated in what is now Long Island, 
where were obtained in great quantity those shells from which 
was made the wampum of their Indian customers. This 
caused some correspondence between the governors of the 
rival colonies, in the course of which the Plymouth executive 
called the attention of the Dutch magistrate to the fact that 
his people were settled within the limits of the English grants 
to the Virginia Company. The Dutch governor replied as 
follows : "As the English claim authority under the King 
of England, so we derive ours from the States of Holland, 
and will defend it." 



Deeming it advisable to preserve peace, the Director-Gen- 
eral of New Netherlands sent his secretary, in 1627, to 
visit Plymouth; in the guise of good-will and courtesy, but 
more than likely to judge of the strength of the Plymouth 
colony, and its ability to defend its possessions. The mes- 
senger was received by the Pilgrims with a hearty welcome. 
They expressed pleasure in the memories of their treatment in 
his native country, and a wish to live in harmony with their 
neighbors in their new home. These amenities were in- 
terrupted by Dutch encroachments on Connecticut ter- 
ritory, which they claimed to the west bank of the river, 
and developed into animosities between the Pilgrims and the 
representatives of that country which had furnished them 
with home and succor in their destitution. These difficulties 
were relegated to the home governments for adjustment; 
but Charles I., being involved in his parliamentary troubles, 
had no desire to enter the controversy. 

The Dutch West India Company sought to have a com- 
mission created to establish the boundary line between New 
Netherlands and New Kngland. Expecting to accomplish 
this undertaking, they instructed Governor Van Twiller, who 
had succeeded Minuit at New Netherlands, to strengthen 
their claim to the territory by the right of their discovery of 
the Connecticut River, and purchase without delay from 
the Indians, large tracts of land in the Connecticut valley. 

This territory had been visited annually by the Dutch trad- 
ers, and as early as 1623 they had projected the building 
of a fort. This, however, had been delayed by the action of 
the commanders of one of their trading companies, who 
seized an Indian chieftain named Seguin or Sequin, and 
demanded one hundred fathoms of wampum for his ransom. 
The traders of all European countries alike were on fire with 



a greed that cared nothing for a future they might not 

Governor Van Twiller, obeying the instructions of the 
directors of the West India Company, dispatched Hans 
Eenchuys to the mouth of the Connecticut River, where he 
purchased a point of land from the Indians, and affixed to a 
tree the arms of the States General. He called the pur- 
chase Kieviet's Hoeck, on account of the cry of a large num- 
ber of species of that bird known to us as peweet, but called 
by the Dutch kieviet. The purchase of this land was for the 
purpose of controlling the trade of the river, and exacting 
an impost on all trading vessels. The following year Jacob 
Van Curler, under orders from Van Twiller, bought from 
the Pequots (who claimed the territory by right of conquest) 
land located on the west bank of the Connecticut, about fifty 
miles from its mouth, extending over one Dutch mile in 
length and a third of a mile into the interior. This land is a 
portion of the present city of Hartford. A small trading 
post was erected, equipped with two cannons, and named the 
House of Good Hope ; the territory was made free to all In- 
dians for the purpose of trading; the jurisdiction was to be 
founded strictly on peace, although this last provision was 
soon broken by the Pequots, causing an estrangement be- 
tween them and the Dutch. This was the extent of the pur- 
chases made by the governor acting under instructions of the 
Dutch West India Company. 

Other tribes, disputing the right of the Pequots to the ter- 
ritory sold to the Dutch, solicited the English to settle the 
country; and they, stimulated by avarice, and wishing to 
obtain control of the hemp and fur trade of the district, 
looked with favor on the proposition. The Plymouth Col- 
ony made overtures to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to 



form an expedition for the purpose of establishing a trading 
post in Connecticut; but Governor Winthrop of Massachu- 
setts refused to cooperate, assigning as his reason that the 
territory was inhabited by tribes of warlike Indians, and that 
it was difficult to navigate the river owing to the shoals at 
its mouth and the violence of the current. This, however, 
did not discourage the Plymouth colonists, who in 1633 sent 
William Holmes, with a company of men and a portable 
frame house, to effect a settlement in the disputed territory. 
The bold Plymouth leader and his soldiers met with no re- 
sistance at the mouth of the Connecticut, but arriving before 
the fort located at Dutch Point (now Hartford, but the ex- 
act spot probably in the middle of the Connecticut), the gar- 
rison threatened them with expulsion from the country. 

Holmes paid no attention to these threats, and landing 
below the junction of the Farmington and Connecticut Riv- 
ers, now within the confines of Windsor, set up his sectional 
house; the first frame building erected in Connecticut. To 
strengthen their title, the Plymouth authorities purchased the 
land from the original Sachems, who had returned with 
Holmes to their native land, from which they had been driv- 
en by the Pequots. 

The Dutch governor, when informed of Holmes' exploit, 
was astonished at his presumption; and addressed a formal 
protest to him, followed by a body of troops with instructions 
to drive the English traders from the district. This com- 
pany, joined by the garrison at Good Hope, numbered fully 
seventy armed men; and appearing before the palisades of 
Holmes' fort, demanded its evacuation by the English. Lieu- 
tenant Holmes, who was endowed with Saxon pluck, with ut- 
ter annihilation of his command staring him in the face, stood 
on the defensive; and the invading Dutch, seeing they could 



not accomplish their mission without bloodshed, retreated af- 
ter a short parley. 

The retirement of the Dutch without resorting to force of 
arms to assert their rights to the territory, must not be attrib- 
uted to any lack of courage. They were In a difficult position : 
their orders from Van Twiller were simply to make a display 
of their force, and not to engage in any warfare that might 
compromise the Dutch West India Company. They were 
servants of that corporation, the purchases and settlement in 
Connecticut had been made in their name, and not by Hol- 
land of which country they were subjects. The English set- 
tlements, on the contrary, were under the control of the gov- 
ernment of England, now at peace with Holland; and it had 
been expressly stipulated in the charter given to the West 
India Company by the States General, that under no cir- 
cumstances should It cause bloodshed among the subjects of 
any country with which Holland had articles of peace. 

Thus two belligerent garrisons continued to occupy their 
fortified trading posts within a few miles of each other. The 
inclement winter and disease caused great sufferings amongst 
Holmes' company; but the Influx of settlers from the Mas- 
sachusetts Bay Colony, which occupied the adjoining terri- 
tory, strengthened the position of the English. 

The land purchased of the Indians near the junction of the 
Farmlngton and Connecticut was transferred by the 
Plymouth Colony to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, for the 
reason that the majority of the settlers were from this col- 
ony and amenable to its laws. The Dutch regarded with 
envious eyes the flourishing English settlements, on territory 
which they regarded as their own by the threefold reason of 
original discovery, constant visitation, and purchase from 
the aboriginal owners. 



The English were adopting every means to dispossess the 
Dutch of the fertile region of the Connecticut Valley, gradu- 
ally encroaching on that territory between the Connecticut 
and Hudson Rivers. To fortify their position, the Dutch 
made extensive purchases of lands from the Red Men as far 
east as the inlet at Norwalk, and on Long Island, where 
the English had already obtained a foothold in the east. 
In 1640, Fort Good Llope was occupied by a Dutch com- 
missary with a garrison of about fifteen soldiers. 

The English at their first coming had recognized the 
Dutch rights to the strip of land purchased by them of the 
Indians; but increasing numbers made them bolder, and 
without more ado they occupied that territory for agricultural 
purposes. This led to open resistance on the part of the 
Dutch, who appealed to the English governor. The latter, 
however, justified the act, on the ground that it would be a 
sin to allow good land to go uncultivated when it could pro- 
duce such excellent corn. 

The following year the English, ever bolder in their de- 
mands, claimed that the Dutch had no right to any land 
surrounding their fort. The old protestations of the Dutch, 
that they held the property by right of discovery, of pur- 
chase, and of settlement, were ignored by the English, who, 
to substantiate their claims, had a son of that Sachem who 
was the aboriginal owner of the disputed territory testify in 
open court that there had never been any lands sold to the 
Dutch, and that his people were never conquered by the Pe- 
quots. It was such performances as this that led the Eng- 
lish government in Andros' time to throw all Indian titles 
into the waste-basket and bar them from court. Any number 
of such titles to the same ground could be obtained ad libitum, 
as William Eaton, the hero of Derne, afterw^ards put it, for 



"a bottle of whiskey and a rifle." Still more ludicrous was 
the acceptance of Indian "conquest" and "suzerainty" as con- 
ferring valid titles to land not even hunted over by them. 

The Connecticut settlers appealed for sympathy and sup- 
port to the Massachusetts colonies; but they rebuked the 
cupidity of the English, advising them to grant the Dutch 
more lands. Receiving no support or assistance from the 
iiiother colonies, the Connecticut authorities decided to send a 
representative to Holland to lay their grievance before the 
officials of the Dutch West India Company. They se- 
lected Hugh Peters (or Peter), who had a personal ac- 
quaintanceship with the directors of that corporation. Pe- 
ters was a conspicuous and much hated Non-conformist di- 
vine, related by marriage to Governor WInthrop; afterwards 
he became a noted Parliamentary preacher and Cromwellian, 
and after the Restoration was executed with the regicides. 

On Peters' arrival in England he found, owing to the un- 
settled state of affairs caused by the difficulties between 
Charles I. and his Parliament, that England's position had 
been weakened with her foreign allies; therefore he was 
unable to obtain from the Dutch West India Company any 
favorable concessions for the Connecticut settlers. 

The English minister at The Hague advised the prepara- 
tion of a memorial, to receive the sanction of the English 
Parliament, and to be presented to the Holland government, 
recommending the cessation of hostilities. Through the so- 
licitation of Peters, several persons of quality interested 
themselves in Connecticut affairs, and a petition was drawn 
up and presented to the representative of the States-General 
at London. 

The most active among the English partisans of Connecti- 
cut was Lord Say and Sele, who alleged that there were 


mmn FETEiRs, 

Arch Intendant of Knglct'id. 
(Born 1599: executed 1660.) 


more than two thousand English and only about a dozen 
Dutch residing on the disputed territory; that the English 
were to be commended for having taken no violent action 
against the Dutch; that the ownership of the Pequots was 
not valid, their rights to the land being only a usurped title; 
and that the Dutch claim was weak, they themselves prac- 
tically confessed — for while the English had repeatedly of- 
fered to arbitrate their differences, the Dutch governor had 
always refused such a settlement. Lord Say and Sele also 
claimed that it was a financial loss for the Dutch to main- 
tain a fort on the Connecticut, and that its residents lived in 
an ungodly way, nowise in accordance with the Gospel of 
Christ; he threatened to eradicate the Dutch from the val- 
ley before the close of the year. Although the Dutch ambas- 
sador transmitted these petitions for the consideration of the 
States General, they were entirely disregarded at The Hague, 
and the mission of Peters proved unsuccessful. 

During the pendency of the mission to England, the Con- 
necticut authorities had made overtures to the Dutch Gover- 
nor Kieft to purchase the Good Hope lands; and while he 
refused to sell, he offered to lease, accepting as rent one-tenth 
of what the land produced. This proposition the General 
Court of Connecticut refused to sanction; and the settlers 
still plowed the fields and drove their cattle to graze on the 
disputed territory. The Massachusetts authorities had been 
carrying on a correspondence with Governor Kieft, in which 
they advised a more liberal policy on the part of Connecticut 
than was consistent with her position, and created In the 
minds of the inhabitants distrust of the Massachusetts of- 

The West India Company, deciding to push their claims in 
the Connecticut Valley, ordered Kieft to strengthen the 



garrison at Fort Good Hope. The Dutch Governor had a 
company of fifty men ready to proceed to Connecticut, when 
the outbreak of the Indian wars and the encroachments of the 
Swedes on his southern boundaries changed his plans. The 
English still continued to purchase lands of the Indians west 
of the Connecticut Riv^er, notwithstanding Kieft's protes- 
tations against their encroachments on the possessions of the 
West India Company. 

The meeting of the Congress of United Colonies held at 
New Haven, in 1646, was enlivened by the submission of the 
correspondence between Governor Eaton of the New Haven 
Colony and Governor Kieft, in which the former agreed to 
arbitrate the disputed differences. Connecticut presented to 
the same Congress a complaint against the Dutch Commis- 
sary at Good Hope for having willfully detained an Indian 
woman, a fugitiv^e from justice, and servant of one of the 
English colonists, from her rightful owners. 

The Commissioners addressed a letter to the punctilious 
Governor of New Netherlands, advocating the settlement of 
the claims of the two colonies, and censuring his behavior in 
no gentle terms ; and, while the communication was devoid 
of diplomacy, its meaning could not be misconstrued. They 
also complained that there were arrears of revenues due from 
the Dutch traders to the English, and claimed that the Gov- 
ernor aided his subjects in withholding payment. 

In replying to this correspondence, Kieft made a flat denial 
of all the enumerated charges; reiterated that the English 
had no right to any part of the coast of Connecticut; and 
threatened, if he did not receive better treatment, to avenge 
himself by an appeal to arms. He refused to submit the 
differences to any arbitrators either in Europe or America, 
and demanded by what right the Congress of the United 



Colonies held their meeting within the limits of New Neth- 
erlands. To these communications the Commissioners re- 
turned a curt answer that all transactions between the colonies 
and his Dutch Excellency Kleft were closed. 

In 1647 Kleft was succeeded by the doughty Peter Stuy- 
vesant. In a congratulatory letter from the Commissioners of 
the United Colonies, upon his assuming the duties of his of- 
fice, they entreated him to suppress the selling of firearms and 
ammunition by the Dutch traders to the Indians, complained 
of the Impost of the Dutch which Interfered with free trade, 
and also of the seizures of English vessels and goods. To 
these wishes Stuyvesant gave little heed; In 1648, he delib- 
erately seized a vessel In New Haven harbor, belonging to a 
Dutch merchant and planter of that colony. The owner's 
grievances were laid before the Commissioners of the United 
Colonies, who espoused his cause, and demanded a meeting to 
settle In full all the misunderstandings existing between the 
two governments; and until such differences were adjusted, 
they refused ail maritime privileges to Dutch ships and sail- 
ors, and threatened that If his Excellency did not see the 
error of his ways. It would become necessary for him to vin- 
dicate them by right of arms. 

The last of the Dutch magistrates of New Netherlands 
still maintained his arrogant and Imperious manner towards 
the confederacy of New England; and enacted excessive 
revenue laws regulating the commerce of the ports of New 
Netherlands, which, as they were strictly enforced, caused 
the Dutch skippers to prefer New England harbors for the 
disposal of their European goods and the purchase of furs. 
This came to the knowledge of Stuyvesant; and learning that 
an Amsterdam ship had been trading at New Haven without 
the requisite license from the West India Company, he de- 



cided to seize the vessel for this infringement of the Com- 
pany's charter. Assuming New Haven as under the juris- 
diction of New Netherlands, he dispatched soldiers who 
seized the vessel in the harbor and proceeded with her to 
New Amsterdam, before the surprised residents had time 
to interfere. This act was a bold assertion of territorial 
rights, involving a question of international law; and deter- 
red the masters of vessels from coming to New Amsterdam, 
thereby entailing a financial loss on its inhabitants. 

The Commissioners of the United Colonies met in Septem- 
ber 1650, and with a view to arriving at some arrangement 
for adjusting the differences of commerce and jurisdiction be- 
tween the two neighboring colonies, extended an invitation to 
Governor Stuyvesant to visit Hartford. He arrived Septem- 
ber 1 1, 1650, in a style befitting his rank, but refused to at- 
tend the meetings of the Commissioners, preferring to trans- 
act all business by correspondence. This, while objected to 
at first, was finally conceded, and the Dutch Governor in his 
communication repeated all his past grievances, but unfortun- 
ately headed his epistle "New Netherlands." This so aroused 
the indignation of the Commissioners that it widened the 
breach between the antagonistic parties. The Dutch governor 
was obliged to compromise and change the heading of his 
communication, for conceding that was abandoning their 
whole case. After several days spent in the interchange of cor- 
respondence, it was agreed to leave the settlement of their dif- 
ferences, and the establishment of the dividing boundaries, to 
a board of arbitration, to whom was given full power in the 

The Commissioners chose Simon Bradstreet and Thomas 
Prince, while Stuyvesant was represented by Thomas Wil- 
let and George Baxter. At a meeting of the arbitrators, held 



Sept. 19, it was decided that as the greater number of the 
differences happened during the administration of Governor 
Kieft, the present incumbent of the office should be allowed 
time to prepare his answer. The seizure of the vessel in 
New Haven harbor was attributed to a mistake on the part 
of the Governor's secretary, and therefore the Colony of 
New Haven received no allowance for damages. 

The boundary question, which was responsible for all the 
difficulties, was disposed of in the following manner: "I. 
That upon Long Island, a line run from the Westermost part 
of Oyster Bay, and so a straight and direct line to the sea, 
shall be bound betwixt the English and Dutch there; the 
Easterl) cO belong to the English, and the Westermost to the 
Dutch." "II. The bounds upon the main to begin at the 
west side of Greenwich Bay, being about four miles from 
Stamford, and so to run, a northerly line twenty miles up 
into the country, and after as it shall be agreed, by the two 
governments of the Dutch and New Haven, provided the 
said line comes not within ten miles of Hudson's River. And 
it is agreed that the Dutch shall not at any time hereafter 
build any house or habitation within six miles of the said 
line; the inhabitants of Greenwich to remain (till further 
consideration thereof be had) under the government of the 
Dutch." "III. The Dutch shall hold and enjoy all the lands 
in Hartford that they are actually possessed of, known and 
set out by certain marks and bounds; and all the remainder 
of the said land, on both sides of Connecticut River, to be and 
to remain to the English there. And it is agreed that the 
aforesaid bounds and limits, both upon the island and main, 
shall be observed and kept inviolable, both by the English 
of the United Colonies, and all the Dutch nation, without 
any encroachment or molestation, until a full and final de- 



termination be agreed upon in Europe, by the mutual con- 
sent of the two states of England and Holland." 

The coast boundary above agreed on is recognizable still in 
the curious southwestern prong of Connecticut, toward New 

The proceedings of the arbitrators preserved harmony and 
peace during the winter of 1650-51; but the action of the 
New Haven Colony the following spring, in attempting to 
make a settlement on Delaware Bay, again aroused the in- 
dignation of Governor Stuyvesant. Messengers bearing let- 
ters from the governors of Massachusetts and New Haven 
colonies visited New Amsterdam to notify his Excellency 
that they intended to settle on their own lands on the Dela- 
ware, and that they would not encroach on the rights of the 
Dutch. These letters enraged the governor to such a de- 
gree that he seized the messengers, obtained the commission 
of the company, and made them solemnly agree not to pur- 
sue their voyage; threatening further that if found making 
any settlement on the Delaware, he would confiscate their 
property and send them prisoners to Holland. 

The Commissioners, at their meeting in 1651, after hear- 
ing the complaints of those colonists who had attempted to 
make settlements in Delaware, charged Governor Stuyvesant 
with breaking the compact agreed to at Hartford the preced- 
ing year. They notified him that the New England colonies 
had as much right to Manhattan as the Dutch had to Dela- 
ware lands. The Commissioners also resolved that if the 
planters of New Haven should make another attempt, within 
twelve months, to colonize Delaware, they would defend 
them from all opposition. As a fact, however, the Swedish 
Colony on the Delaware ousted the New Haven men the 
next year, 



While the authorities of New England and New Nether- 
lands were attempting to settle their differences, — petty on the 
surface but with mighty issues, — great changes had occurred 
in England: Charles I. had been dethroned and executed, 
Cromwell had been appointed Lord High Protector, and 
war had been declared between England and Holland. 

In June 1652 the General Court of Connecticut adopted 
measures to defend the colony against the Dutch; the action 
being caused by rumors that Stuyvesant was inciting the In- 
dians to exterminate the English in all of the colonies. This 
accusation was based on the alleged testimony of Indians. 
Stuyvesant was enraged that so infamous a charge should be 
credited on such worthless evidence (we may share his indig- 
nation without' sharing his belief that it was credited), and 
demanded an investigation. A committee appointed by the 
Congress of the United Colonies journeyed to New Amster- 
dam, but were unable to obtain any satisfaction from the in- 
censed Governor; who, in a fit of excitement, asserted his old 
claim of jurisdiction over the two Connecticut colonies. 

The Congress of the United Colonies, after hearing the 
report of the Committee, resolved on war, Massachusetts 
alone dissenting; and this would have resulted In a dissolu- 
tion of the Colonial union, if Cromwell had not Interfered. 
The Lord Protector, solicited for aid by New Haven and 
Connecticut, took their part; compelling Massachusetts to 
yield, and despatching ships for the purpose of humbling the 
pride of the governor of New Netherlands. 

The Dutch and Indian Wars still agitated the colonies; 
and on the arrival of Cromwell's fleet at Boston, the com- 
manders of the forces entered into negotiations with New 
Haven and Connecticut for the commencement of active hos- 
tilities. Massachusetts was still opposed to any aggressive 



war, but granted the privilege to the officers of the fleet to 
enroll five hundred volunteers if they could obtain them. 
The Commissioners decided to raise an army of eight hun- 
dred men, of which Cromwell's fleet was to furnish two hun- 
dred, three hundred were if possible to be raised in Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut was to send two hundred, and New 
Haven one hundred and thirty-three. These warlike prep- 
arations were suddenly nullified by a declaration of peace be- 
tween England and Holland. This cessation of hostilities 
was a great disappointment to New Haven and Connecticut; 
both hoped to avenge by war the wrongs and insults they 
had suftered, in their opinion, for more than a score of years 
from their Dutch neighbors, and not impossibly to gain all 
Long Island at least. 

The primary cause of all difterences, the maintenance of 
the fort at Dutch Point, was finally removed in 1654, by an 
act of the English Parliament declaring the Hollanders ene- 
mies of the Commonwealth. The General Court of Connec- 
ticut passed an act of sequestration, declaring that all Dutch 
lands and properties at Hartford should be sold for the 
benefit of the colony. The Dutch continued to govern New 
Netherlands until 1664, when they were despoiled of all pos- 
sessions in North America; and the grant of a patent by 
Charles IL to his brother the Duke of York, who took pos- 
session of the territory for the English nation, gave it the 
name of New York. 

That the Dutch title to some lands in Connecticut was 
good, on the grounds then admitted by all civilized nations, is 
beyond dispute. The English claim only rested on the dis- 
coveries of Sebastian Cabot, who never saw or discovered 
any part of the seacoast of Connecticut; the first white ex- 
plorers were undoubtedly the Dutch, and though they were 



only servants of a commercial company, they were by Inter- 
national law the prior claimants. But how much land? 
Where were its boundaries? Just so far as they could hold 
by war. Therein lay the final decision in all these cases. The 
claims by purchase made of the aboriginal owners, while in a 
degree strengthening the land titles, were invalid, the condi- 
tion of the sales never having been fulfilled. The Red Men 
in disposing of their properties, in addition to all collateral 
consideration, were to receive protection. But to protect one 
section of the ostensible Indian owners was to be at deadly 
warfare with another. Furthermore, neither side ever ad- 
mitted Indian titles except on their own side, for reasons 
above, noted, and because Indian occupancy, having no set- 
tlement, had itself no boundaries to grant. 


First Settlements 


THE contention as to which town constituted the 
first white settlement in Connecticut comes 
solely within the province of the local his- 
torian. It is claimed by Windsor, on account 
of the Plymouth expedition under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant Holmes; by Wethersfield, for the pio- 
neer settlement of John Oldham and his companions, and 
the erection of huts in that township in the winter of 1634; 
by Hartford, for the original Dutch occupation and dispos- 
session. To which should be adjudged the honor, is of but 
trifling importance in the history of the Commonwealth as a 

The Indian Sachem Wah-qui-ma-cut, when he visited the 
Massachusetts colonies in 1631, extolling the beauty and fer- 
tility of the Connecticut valley, and inviting the white man 
to settle the territory, was received courteously by Governor 
John Winthrop, although he declined to entertain the prop- 
osition. William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Col- 
ony, while he was interested in the description of the country, 
took no active measures in the matter. His successor, Ed- 
ward Winslow, had been a longer resident of the New 
World than his brother executive of the Massachusetts Col- 
ony; he was one of the Mayflower's passengers, and had a 
more extended acquaintance with the Indians and the coun- 
try than Governor Winthrop, who had arrived from Eng- 
land only the year previous to the Sachem's visit. 

The glowing description of the country by the Indian sup- 
plicants so aroused Winslow, that he determined to make a 
personal investigation ; and after accomplishing the journey 
by land, he viewed the Connecticut Valley in all its vir- 
gin grandeur. He named himself the discoverer of the river 
and valley; but while without doubt he was first of the 



English nation to plant his foot on the soil of Connecticut, 
he was almost a score of years behind the Dutch explorers. 
Governor Winslow on his return attempted to interest Gov- 
ernor Winthrop in establishing a settlement in Connecticut; 
but the latter, though he assigned other reasons, was loth to 
co-operate, wishing to avoid difficulties with the Dutch who 
claimed rights over the territory. 

Here v,-e see a reversal of situations : the Pilgrims, who 
on their banishment from England sought a home and pro- 
tection among the Dutch in the Old World, stood ready 
to rifle the nominal possessions of their former benefac- 
tors; while the Puritans., who had asked no succor, stood 
aloof from encroaching upon Dutch territory or disturbing 
in any way existent harmonious relations. The reason was 
obvious: the men of Massachusetts wanted only contiguous 
territory to strengthen their own system; the Pilgrims want- 
ed to get out of reach of Massachusetts, and a fertile valley 
not in fact occupied, but only with a sign warning off tres- 
passers, could be no deterrent and should not have been. 
The valley was no part of the Dutch possessions, only of the 
lands out of which they hoped to keep the English. It was 
a dog-in-the-manger policy, and we need feel no sympathy 
for the defeat. The situation was precisely similar to that 
of the northern Penn lands and the Wyoming settlement, 
minus the question of legal right. 

The Plymouth Colony, with a desire to come into closer 
commercial relations with the Indians, organized an expedi- 
tion to establish a trading post on the Connecticut River. 
The result of that expedition we have already related; but 
a short time previous to the building of the trading post, pio- 
neers from the Massachusetts colony had tracked their way 
through the dense forests that bounded them on the west, 


■ i^<:: 




and had viewed the many gifts showered by generous na- 
ture upon the valley of the Connecticut. These English 
pioneers were John Oldham, Samuel Hall, and two com- 
panions from Dorchester, Massachusetts. Oldham was a 
roving character who later met an untimely death in the In- 
dian outbreak. During his wanderings among the settlers 
of Massachusetts he enthusiastically described the lands he 
had seen, telling of the open-handed hospitality of its abo- 
riginal inhabitants; reporting that the rivers were stocked 
with sturgeon, bass, shad, and salmon, that the woods teemed 
with game, and that hemp and corn were cultivated in large 
quantities by the Indians. 

Several years previous to these preliminary endeavors to 
found an English settlement in Connecticut, an event of vast 
importance to the struggling colonies of Massachusetts took 
place in England. 

The directors of the Council of Plymouth, yielding to the 
voice of a number of the wealthy and important residents of 
the old country who desired to emigrate, voted to transfer 
its rights under its charter, and its government, to New Eng- 
land. Thus the Council of Plymouth transformed itself into 
an American institution, and the King, glad to get rid of 
his troublesome Puritan subjects, made no complaint. This 
change was of vast benefit to Massachusetts : she immediately 
formed a General Court, her freemen elected her executive 
officers, and an impetus was given to emigration; ship after 
ship loaded with English subjects arriving at Boston. 

This great increase of population was in a large measure 
due to the conduct of the King, who, after accepting the Pe- 
tition of Right, dissolved Parliament and governed with even 
more despotic sway than before the signing of the document. 
These acts of Charles caused a number of the gentry and 



the peasantry to seek a refuge for the enjoyment of their lib- 
erty and rehgion. Nonconformist divines, with the greater 
part of their congregations, seeking foreign homes, were 
naturally attracted to the Puritan Colony of New England. 
This exodus showed such marvelous increase that in 1633 
nearly half a score of churches were established in the Mas- 
sachusetts Colony; Charles and his upholders were alarmed, 
and the King issued an order prohibiting further emigration. 
While this had the effect of retarding to some extent the 
influx of emigrants, many evaded the decree; among those 
reaching Massachusetts in that year, who were to become 
instrumental in shaping the destinies of Connecticut, was 
Thomas Hooker, accompanied by a party of two hundred set- 

This noted divine was a graduate of Cambridge, and 
commenced preaching in London, but was silenced for non- 
conformity at Chelmsford, England, three years previous to 
his arrival in New England; and although forty-seven con- 
forming clergymen vouched for his purity and soundness of 
doctrine, he was obliged to relinquish preaching to become 
a teacher. Further prosecution by the spiritual court caused 
him to flee to Holland in an endeavor to escape punishment; 
whence, after serving in the ministry in that country, he 
came to America. Hooker was a powerful extemporaneous 
orator, an eloquent expounder of the Bible; scholars, noble- 
men, and other prominent men yielded to the fascination of 
the beauty, power, and appropriateness of his language. 
Many of his English parishioners had settled at Newtown 
(now Cambridge), as had also personal friends and admirers 
of his genius, and on their solicitation he was ordained their 

Among Hooker's fellow passengers were John Haynes, to 



become the first governor of Connecticut, Samuel Stone, 
Hooker's assistant, and John Cotton. The latter was a grad- 
uate of Cambridge, and had been for twenty years Vicar 
of St. Botolph's Church at Boston, but was obliged to flee 
from England to escape trial as a nonconformist. Upon Cot- 
ton's arrival in Massachusetts he became pastor of the First 
Church in Boston; and though possessed of a highly finished 
education, was noted for the simplicity and plainness of his 
pulpit discourses. He has been called the "Patriarch of New 

Massachusetts by this time had become numerically strong, 
and conflicting opinions had arisen. Division of opin- 
ion had caused the emigration; still further division caused 
still further separation. The minority alleged that the country 
was becoming too crowded ! The excuse was decorous, but 
grotesque. The truth was, they too wanted a place for their 
own doctrines. The beauties of the Connecticut valley had 
been pictured to them; and Mr. Hooker, after a year's resi- 
dence at Newtown, decided to become one of the party peti- 
tioning the General Court to found a colony In that portion of 
the wilderness. This emigration was bitterly opposed by 
John Cotton and the other ministers of the colony. 

Hooker, as the advocate of his party, argued that It was 
necessary for the colony to expand; that too many towns 
were crowded Into a small space; that the people were thus 
kept poor for want of tillage and pasturage lands, rendering 
them unable to support their own pastors, or to be charitable 
to new-comers from England. The advantages of the coun- 
try to which they proposed to migrate were most eloquently 
presented to the General Court, and the Importance of the 
control of the Connecticut River politically, as well as from 
a military point of view, was forcibly argued. The trade 



intercourse with the natives already established by the Dutch, 
the rich furs to be obtained, and the commercial value of this 
navigable river with its tributaries, all demanded immediate 
possession. The side of the opposition was ably handled by 
Cotton, who urged that Massachusetts was most in need of 
men to subdue the surrounding wilderness, and to protect it 
against the savages that lurked in the forest's solitudes; he 
further stated that the petitioners had given their solemn 
oath to promote the interests of the colony, and that in de- 
serting it in its infancy they rendered it liable to utter destruc- 
tion, and at best, a hard struggle for existence. He pic- 
tured to these seekers of a new country, that they committed 
a suicidal act in exposing themselves to wars with the Dutch 
and Indians; and urged that it would not be an act of ty- 
ranny, but rather of benevolence, for the General Court to 
prevent such a calamity. We may sympathize with Hooker 
and yet find Cotton's facts the best. Massachusetts overpopu- 
lated in 1634 is a humorous conception. 

The General Court came to a dead-lock on the petition; for 
while the representatives were in favor of allowing the privi- 
lege of removal, the assistants voted against the application. 
This gave a temporary check to Hooker and his co laborers; 
but setting at defiance the edicts of the General Court, a num- 
ber of the inhabitants of Watertown, in the fall of 1634, 
travelled overland to the Connecticut. Captivated by the 
meadow-lands, the natural scenery, and the commanding 
ridges, suitable for dwellings and cultivation, of the present 
Wethersfield, they founded there a settlement, which was 
reinforced the following spring by about twenty persons 
from the same town. The determination of Elooker and his 
congregation to create a new settlement was not quenched 
by their first failure. In the spring of 1635 the General 



Court was again petitioned; and though they yielded reluc- 
tantly, they finally granted the permission, with the premise 
that the emigrants still continued under the "jurisdiction of 

Active preparations were commenced by the planters at 
Newtown to enable them to migrate in the spring of 1636. 
Other Massachusetts towns caught the western fever; and 
several of the congregation of John Wareham of Dorches- 
ter, in the summer of 1635, moved to a point on the Connecti- 
cut River near the Plymouth trading-house, and laid the foun- 
dation for a permanent settlement in the town of Windsor. 
During the year 1635 the Watertown families, in twos and 
threes, began taking up land in Wethersfield. The founder 
of Springfield, William Pynchon, having selected a location 
the previous year, in 1635 sent parties to build a house on the 
west bank of the river. In the spring of 1636, he with his 
associates from Roxbury effected a settlement which they 
named Agawam. This plantation was united In joint com- 
mission with the Connecticut settlements until Feb. 14, 1638, 
when, becoming convinced that they were within the limits 
of the Massachusetts patent, the settlers acted thereafter with 
that colony. 

In the middle of October 1635, sixty persons, including 
women and children, left the settlement at Newtown and 
began their wearisome journey through the forests, to their 
new home in the western wilds of Connecticut. Their pro- 
gress was delayed, encumbered as they were with such mov- 
able property as horses, cows, and swine; the winter season 
was pressing hard upon them when they reached the banks of 
the Connecticut. Most of the party settled upon the site 
where Hartford now stands, giving It the name of Newtown. 

In the fall of this year the fort at the mouth of the Con- 



necticut Riv^er had been established. The winter of 1635- 
6 began early, the Connecticut was frozen in the middle of 
November; the planters had arrived late in the fall, and had 
not had time to prepare themselves for the inclement weath- 
er; provisions became scarce, and destitution and starvation 
faced the pioneers. Driven to desperation by the pangs of 
famine, they fled back to the Massachusetts settlements in 
small parties, regardless of all other dangers. Some waded 
through the snow; others descended the river to the fort, 
looking for ships containing their household goods, and find- 
ing they had been delayed, seized a vessel and returned with 
difficulty to Boston. Those who stayed subsisted on the wild 
game of the forests, or dug acorns and ground nuts from 
beneath the snow. The settlers feared that the Indians, al- 
though hospitable, might at any time become vindictive; to 
them the vast wilderness was a familiar home, to the white 
man it was frowning with bewilderment. 

These early settlers of Connecticut were patient and God- 
fearing, and their Puritanic faith in the Deity upheld them 
through all their trials. April came; as harbingers of spring, 
the birds sang again, nature donned her green vestments, and 
tight-bound buds burst into blossom. Those driven from the 
plantations by the severity of winter returned, and brought 
others with them, throughout the month of May. 

In the early part of June Mr. Hooker and his assistant 
Mr. Stone, with a company of about one hundred men, wom- 
en, and children began a two-weeks' journey through the 
swamps, vales, and forests, they must traverse to reach their 
future home. The coming of this party assured the perma- 
nent settlement of Connecticut by the English. The priva- 
tions and hardships contingent upon all pioneering had been 
met and vanquished. And with Mr. Hooker came a union 



iA ^ 
* -U^- 

i V 


■"^ t' 

•^ X 

■^^J^^' ■■^- 

From an old print. 



of firm belief in democratic society, and of sagacity in choos- 
ing the means for its beneficial embodiment, which has made 
Connecticut what it is. 

As it was in the genesis of Connecticut, so was to be her 
future: ministers were to lead their chosen flocks into new 
pastures; and on lofty elevations, and in fertile valleys, 
churches were erected, while, clustered about them, sprang 
up the habitations of their members. The three river 
plantations formed the nucleus of settlements reaching to 
the limits of her boundaries. Her colonists were largely of 
the well-to-do English farming class, who left their native 
country at the time when Puritanism was strong and militant, 
and waxing ready to assert itself in civil warfare. There 
were no convicted felons amongst her emigrants, negro sla- 
very was confined to a few cases of domestic service, and 
there were only a few Indentured white servants known as 
"redemptloners." The Colonists were homogeneous In blood, 
and eminent statisticians have estimated that ninety-eight per 
cent, of the original settlers of New England could trace 
their origin to the mother country. In the words of William 
Stoughton, "God sifted a whole nation that He might send 
choice grains Into the wilderness." 


The Pequot War 

THE early English navigators to the New Eng- 
land coast had created in the minds of the 
Indians, by their violence, greed, and duplic- 
ity, a distrust of the white man as a very 
formidable animal of their own stripe; but 
this was largely counteracted by the prudent and upright 
conduct of the members of the Plymouth Colony towards 
Massasoit and other neighboring Sachems, resulting in a 
friendship and alliance that was of mutual benefit. As the 
emigration of the whites Increased, the Indians became dis- 
satisfied, as they saw the effect of Inclosure In driving away 
the game. 

In the spring of 1630 a great conspiracy to exterminate the 
English was formed among the Indians, the leaders being the 
tribe of Narragansetts. This plot failed through Its dis- 
closure by a friendly Indian; but It warned the settlers of 
Massachusetts of the dangers encompassing them, and was 
the cause of the erection of forts, and the maintenance of 
guards to protect them from fatal sacrifices In the future. 

Of the tribes located in Connecticut the Pequots were the 
strongest, the most aggressive, and the most unfriendly to- 
wards the whites. The death of their Grand Sachem, soon 
after the first settlements by the English, caused dissensions 
between Sassacus, his son, and Uncas, a Sagamore of the 
Mohegans, who asserted his right to the succession, on the 
grounds of his own "royal" descent and that of his squaw. 
These claims were successfully opposed by Sassacus; and the 
dispute breaking Into open rebellion, Uncas was defeated and 
forced to seek refuge among the Narragansetts. 

Sassacus was a representative type of the New England 
Indians ; he was intractable and proud, noted for his prowess 
In war and wisdom In council; and as he was opposed to the 



settlement of the country by the whites, he early began to de- 
vise means for their destruction. He was at one time in su- 
preme command of twenty-six Sachems, his headquarters be- 
ing in the present towns of Groton and New London. The 
members of his tribes lived on the coast, occupying the ter- 
ritory for thirty miles into the interior. Sassacus had com- 
mand of the harbors at the mouth of the Mystic and Pequot 
(now Thames) Rivers, and his two principal forts were lo- 
cated upon elevations, a few miles apart, in the country be- 
tween these two streams. The largest of these was so situ- 
ated that it commanded a view of the indented shore of the 
Atlantic; here was the home of Sassacus, who with regal 
authority administered justice, punished rebels, and sent his 
ambassadors scores of miles demanding tribute; in the ex- 
pressive language of those that feared him, he was "all one 

About the time of the difficulties between the Dutch and the 
Pequots to which we have already referred, the Narragan- 
setts, becoming more independent, resisted those demands of 
the Pequots to which they had hitherto acceded; the Ne- 
hantics wrested from them the sovereignty of Block Island, 
and the Indians of the upper valley of the Connecticut, en- 
couraged no doubt by Dutch and English traders, no longer 
yielded to their authority. These difficulties, with the rebel- 
lion of Uncas and the war with the Dutch, which cost them 
the lives of a number of their warriors, together with the in- 
terruption of their trade, were the forerunners of their sub- 
sequent defeat and extermination. 

Sassacus viewed with a distrustful eye the incoming of the 
white settlers; and as their log cabins appeared in the wil- 
derness, indicating the permanency of their occupation, he 
sought means of retaliation against these intruders, at first 



looked upon with disdain as tillers of the soil fit only to as- 
sociate with his own female drudges. The summer of 1633 
saw their first open hostility towards the English. Captain 
Stone, a dissolute and intemperate man, lately arrived from 
Virginia in some disgrace, left Boston in a small trading ves- 
sel, accompanied by Captain Norton and a crew of seven 
men, for the Connecticut River. On his arrival at the 
mouth of the river, trade was opened with the Indians, and 
Stone sent three of his men ashore to procure wild game. 
The Indians appeared friendly, and came aboard the vessel, 
where they were allowed to loiter at their ease. This over- 
confidence on the part of Captain Stone, doubtless caused by 
a too liberal supply of fire-water, proved his undoing; for 
retiring to his cabin he fell asleep, and was promptly mur- 
dered by the Sachem at the head of the party. The three 
hunters were likewise killed, and an attempt was made to 
slay the rest of the crew; but the Indians, frightened by their 
firearms, leaped overboard. In the confusion a quantity of 
powder was ignited, and the vessel almost wholly demol- 
ished; whereupon the Indians returned to the wreck, slaugh- 
tered those found alive, and rifled the cargo. The savages 
engaged in this depredation belonged to the Pequots, al- 
though it may have been possible that some of their number 
came from the Western Nehantics. 

The following year, the Pequots being still engaged In war 
with the Dutch, Sassacus made overtures to the English, desir- 
ing to obtain for his people the advantage of trade. A repre- 
sentative was sent to the Massachusetts Colony, to promise 
skins and wampum in exchange for a league between his peo- 
ple and the paleface. The oflicials of Massachusetts Bay de- 
clined to treat with his messenger, as he was not of the "blood 
royal," — the early settlers transferred their own customs to 



the savages, every Sachem was a "King," his squaws 
"queens," and his naked pappooses "princes" and "prin- 
cesses" — and the sending of an ambassador of such low rank 
was considered a discourtesy to the English. On the return of 
his courier, Sassacus sent two Pequot Sagamores, who con- 
tained enough of the blue blood of "royalty" to overcome the 
objections of the Massachusetts authorities, and negotiations 
were opened. While the English desired peace, they would 
consent to no treaty that did not provide for the surrender 
of the murderers of Captain Stone, and the payment of dam- 
ages for the destruction of his vessel. The Indians denied 
any participation in the murder, and claimed that it had been 
provoked by Captain Stone's holding two Indians as unwil- 
ling captives; that the Sachem in command of the rescue 
party had been subsequently killed by the Dutch, and that all 
other participants in the tragedy had died of small-pox, save 
two who would be surrendered to the English If found 
guilty. On the strength of these promises a treaty was made, 
by which it was agreed that the English were to have all the 
lands they needed, provided they settled the same, and that 
they were to receive all possible assistance from the Pequots. 
The English, in addition to the two guilty Indians, were to 
receive forty beaver skins, thirty otter skins, and four hun- 
dred fathoms of wampum ; they were to have all the trade 
of the Red Men, being allowed to send vessels into their 
territory for the purpose of barter only. 

The wampum to be paid to the English by Sassacus was 
for the purpose of procuring a treaty with the Narragan- 
setts as he was too proud to deal directly with his hereditary 
foes. The Narragansetts were not averse to peace; and the 
English, by promising to pay some wampum, concluded a 
treaty between the two tribes which lasted about two years. 



Now while the English, in thus creating an alliance between 
two powerful tribes, may have erected a barrier to their own 
advancement, it must be remembered that they were numer- 
ically weak and that peace was to be obtained at all hazards, 
that emigration might be encouraged, and thus an influx of 
money and settlers place them in a position to resist those 
Indian outbreaks which to a far-seeing mind were inevitable. 

The treaty between the Massachusetts colony and the Pe- 
quots was fulfilled on neither side, save that the English 
made some settlements which received no opposition from 
the Indians; Sassacus never paid the wampum called for, nor 
surrendered the murderers of Captain Stone; and no vessels 
were sent from the colony to trade with the Pequots. There 
was no change of affairs for two years, when an event took 
place that aroused the colonists to a consideration of the ob- 
ligations of their putative allies. 

John Oldham, one of the first pioneers of Connecticut, 
with a crew of two boys and two Narragansett Indians, sailed 
from Massachusetts in compliance with the Pequot treaty; 
Oldham finished his trading in peace, but on his return was 
murdered at Block Island. The crime was discovered and its 
perpetrators punished by another trader, John Gallop by 
name, who, with a crew consisting of only three men and two 
boys, killed more than a dozen Indians. The Massachusetts 
colony after this massacre was visited by three Narragansett 
Indians, two of whom had been with Oldham ; they came as 
messengers from Canonicus, their head Sachem, denying all 
participation in the crime by any of the members of his tribe. 
The Indians who had not been with Oldham confessed to the 
authorities that the Narragansett Sachems, excepting Cano- 
nicus and Miantonimo, were cognizant of the murder, and 
that his two companions were accomplices in the crime. The 


coNNEC ricu r as colony and state 

authorities allowed the messengers to return, but demanded 
that the two boys who were with Oldham should be surren- 
dered, and that punishment be inflicted upon the guilty island- 
ers; The boys were returned to Boston, and the government 
then accused the Pequots of harboring the murderers of Old- 
ham, and of being guilty of participation in the crime. The 
only reason seems to have been that they had harbored other 
murderers. The Massachusetts Colony, collecting a com- 
pany of ninety men, placed John Endicott in command, and 
instructed him, first to land on Block Island, and after put- 
ting all the men to the sword, to proceed to the Pequot coun- 
try, obtain the murderers, and demand one thousand fathoms 
of wampum; to guarantee the faithful performance of these 
conditions, Endicott was to return with the children of the 
Indians as hostages. 

To execute these instructions Endicott set sail from Bos- 
ton, arriving on the shores of Block Island at the close of 
day. The island appeared to be deserted, but the first at- 
tempt of the English to effect a landing wms answered by a 
volley from fifty warriors. In spite of this, Endicott and 
his company spent two days in exploring; but so effectually 
had the Indians secreted themselves that only a small number 
of them were even seen ; although to those familiar with the 
Block Island of today, it would seem impossible for a com- 
pany of ninety soldiers to spend forty-eight hours in pur- 
suit of any foes, without at least catching more than a momen- 
tary glimpse of them. However, one Indian was killed, two 
villages of about sixty wigwams were destroyed by fire, sev-- 
eral dogs were shot, and two hundred acres of corn laid 

After completing his work of devastation, Endicott re- 
embarked his small army, and set sail for the fort at the 



mouth of the Connecticut. They were delayed four days 
at Saybrook on account of bad weather; and after being re- 
inforced by Lieutenant Gardener, the commander of the fort, 
— who disapproved of the expedition but could not refuse 
help to his own, — with twenty men, they glided along the 
coast towards the Pequots' country and anchored in the 
Thames, The next morning the expedition was visited by a 
Pequot Sagamore asking the object of their visit. Endicott in 
replying demanded the surrender of Captain Stone's murder- 
ers, the payment of one thousand fathoms of wampum, and as 
hostage for the fulfillment of these stipulations, twenty of the 
children of their chieftains. The Sagamore, after presenting 
his side of the question, was permitted to return to communi- 
cate further with his people. His request that the English 
should not land until further conferences had been taken was 
ignored by Endicott, who speedily disembarked his troops 
and formed them in military order on the shore. The same 
Sagamore requested them not to advance further into the 
country, but this was likewise disregarded through fear of an 
ambuscade; and a position was taken on a summit over- 
looking the surrounding territory. 

Here three hundred Indians surrounded them, nearly all 
being unarmed; and some, recognizing certain of the troops 
from Saybrook, entered into conversation with them. The 
English were informed that owing to the absence of Sassacus 
at that time on Long Island, they could conduct no national 
business. Endicott threatened that if some Sachem did not 
appear to arbitrate their differences, he would begin hostili- 
ties at once. The Indians still made excuses, but commenced 
the removal of their non-combatants and chattels to a place 
of safety. Endicott's patience finally becoming exhausted, 
he brought the parley to an end, saying to the Pequots sur- 



rounding him : — "Begone, begone, you have dared the Eng- 
Hsh to fight you, and now we are ready." At these words 
the Indians retreated, and Endicott marched in pursuit, for- 
bidding his soldiers to fire upon the enemy. The Indians, 
laughing scornfully, discharged a few arrows at the whites, 
who retaliated with a volley that resulted in the death of one 
of their opponents. 

Endicott ravaged both banks of the Thames, burning wig- 
wams, wasting corn, destroying canoes, and, in fact, doing 
all in his power to exasperate the Pequots. After having 
accomplished nothing he was instructed to perform by the 
colonial government, except the destruction of the property 
of the Indians, Endicott re-embarked his army for Narra- 
gansett Bay, and arrived at Boston without the loss of a 
single man. The Saybrook contingent, having secured bags, 
remained to fill them with corn ; but while they were en- 
gaged in this occupation the original owners returned and 
gave battle, and although the whites finally effected their es- 
cape, they carried away only a portion of their plunder. 

This expedition is perhaps not too severely judged by 
some historians as criminal folly. It was criminal because 
it was managed with such incompetence. The one thing 
which could have excused it was success, or rather an energy 
and skill which reasonably merited success; bungling it 
was the unpardonable sin. The punitive expedition in itself, 
though so far as the Pequots were concerned it had no in- 
stant provocation, was quite in accordance with their point 
of view, and it would not have been possible to make them 
understand the moral objections to it raised by their enemies' 
descendants; nor, had it struck hard, would it have left them 
with any feeling of injustice, or any other one worse than 
anxiety to placate such redoubtable foes. But the men of 



Massachusetts had no business (as Lion Gardener told them) 
to rouse this hornets' nest, of which the Connecticut brethren 
would feel the chief stings, without being morally sure of 
quelling it. To strike weakly or awkwardly was to incur 
both the opposite evils, the wrath of a powerful enemy and 
the contempt of a ferocious one. It should have been the 
policy of John Mason or that of Roger Williams, unmixed. 
Mason would have cowed them with a crushing blow; Wil- 
liams might possibly have kept them in bounds for a few 
years, till their lands were too much hemmed in. But to be as 
fierce as Mason in attempt and as innocuous as Williams in 
action could have but one outcome, — the Pequots were irri- 
tated to vengeance and heartened out of any hesitation. Ma- 
son's war of extermination was made necessary by this fumb- 
ling bravado, and better lives than the Pequots' were sacri- 
ficed by it. At the same time, something is to be allowed 
in excuse of Massachusetts for ignorance of how to deal with 
Indians. Winthrop says the only object was to "bring the 
Pequots to a parley" — that is, alarm them into willingness to 
make a treaty, like the Narragansetts. With a civilized race, 
a mere show of force like this might have been effective — 
though so gingerly a treatment as Endlcott's could hardly 
have frightened any people of spirit, and it is not credita- 
ble to the Massachusetts officials' intelligence that they were 
so ignorant of what people all around them knew that with 
Indians nothing but proved and crushing force would an- 
swer. The Massachusetts men had not learned this lesson, 
which Philip of Pokanoket was to teach them later. 

The first move of the Pequots was to strengthen their po- 
sition by forming an alliance with their neighbors the Narra- 
gansetts; and Sassacus despatched two Sachems to induce 
that tribe to bury their past differences, and to unite in tak- 



ing up the tomahawk against the Enghsh. This embassy 
coming to the knowledge of the Massachusetts officials, they 
besought the intercession of Roger Williams to counteract the 
influence of the Pequot messengers. Williams at the risk of 
his life accomplished the mission assigned to him, and was 
enabled to form a league between the Narragansetts and the 
English colonies. By this, firm and perpetual peace was es- 
tablished; no compact was to be made with the Pequots 
without the consent of both parties to the agreement; the 
Narragansetts were to surrender fugitive servants and mur- 
derers to the English, and to be notified of the commencement 
of hostilities, when they were to furnish guides for the ex- 
pedition. This treaty was to continue in force for an in- 
definite period, the fulfillment of its condition descending to 
prosperity. But although the Pequots were thus left entirely 
to their own resources, deserted by all of their race, and ham- 
pered by the rebellion of Uncas and his followers, Sassacus 
would listen to no proposals of peace. He had gauged, as 
he thought, their measure, and was willing to fight any num- 
ber of Endicotts single-handed. Surely 600 Pequot warriors 
could stalk any probable force of whites. Sassacus was not 
a' mere reckless child; he knew the superiority of English 
arms, but he knew that faint hearts can make no use of any 
arms, and his Indians had their dark untrodden forests for 
intrenchments. Ihe Pequots had always been successful in 
past wars, owing to their superior force and bravery — quite 
probably in origin they were a picked band of warriors who 
thought their main tribe too sedentary; the English were a 
new and untried foe, widely scattered, apparently unable to 
place in the field a force more than a small fraction of that of 
the Pequots, and seemingly inferior enough in courage to off- 
set any superiority in arms. 



The Pequots began hostilities by attacking the English 
stragglers from the Saybrook fort. They captured two of 
the garrison while on a hunting expedition, and tortured them 
to death; another captive was roasted alive. The winter of 
1636-7 was passed by the occupants of the fort in a state of 
siege; outhouses and stacks of hay were burned by the In- 
dians, cattle were killed, and a trading captain and one of his 
crew savagely murdered. The captain was flayed alive and 
burning coals stuck in his raw flesh, as part of the torments 
under which he slowly expired. It is not claimed that any of 
the white men's wrongs to the Indians had included these 
amenities, and not easy to see which ones had justified them. 
Early in the spring of 1637 the Pequots drew the English 
into an ambuscade, where they killed two soldiers and se- 
verely wounded two others. 

Until this time the Pequots had confined operations to the 
neighborhood of Saybrook; but Wethersfield became drawn 
into conflict in the following manner. The original settlers 
of this town had purchased from a Sachem named Sequin 
or Sowheag a large tract of land, with the proviso that he 
might still live upon the land, under their protection. The 
white settlers, however, subsequently quarreled with the chief 
and drove him from their neighborhood. Sequin made a suc- 
cessful appeal to the Pequots to avenge his wrongs; that 
tribe promptly organized a war party in April 1637, sur- 
prised the settlers of Wethersfield, killing three women and 
six men, carried away two females into captivity, and slaugh- 
tered twenty cows, besides doing an immense amount of other 
damage. The news of this disaster became known at Say- 
brook two days after its occurrence, and the successful war- 
riors with their captives were seen on their return trip; no 



resistance, however, was made to their progress save the 
harmless firing of a cannon. 

The settlers of the Connecticut Valley, as a whole, had 
taken no action to repress these Indian atrocities until two 
months previous to the Wethersfield massacre; when a court 
was convened at Newtown, which addressed letters to the 
governor of Massachusetts, deprecating the evil results of 
Endicott's expedition, and calling for men and ammunition 
to prosecute a vigorous war against the Pequots. The up- 
per river plantations soon after this sent Captain John Ma- 
son — a resident of Windsor, who had been bred to arms in 
the Netherlands — with twenty men to reinforce the garrison 
at Saybrook. This force remained at the fort until the arrival 
from Massachusetts of a company of nineteen soldiers, un- 
der the command of Captain John Underbill who had 
served with Endicott; whereupon Mason and his followers 
proceeded up the river. 

The Connecticut setttlements had a population of possibly 
five or six hundred souls, not including the garrison at 
Saybrook, which numbered about thirty. The sending of 
Captain Underbill and his company were the only steps taken 
at the time by the Bay Colony to quell the uprising of the 
Pequots, although they alone were directly responsible for it. 
Undaunted by the small number of available men, in com- 
parison with the war strength of their enemy, the Connecti- 
cut General Court, at an extra session held at Hartford May 
I, 1637, consisting of six magistrates and nine committee 
men from the three plantations, voted to carry on a defensive 
war; and raised an army of ninety men, provided with the 
requisite munitions and supplies. Of this number Hartford 
supplied forty-two men, Windsor thirty, and Wethersfield 
eighteen. This was towards half, in all probability, of the 



total number of adult males in the settlements; but writers 
who are lavish of pathos over the doom of the tribe of fero- 
cious freebooters who had driven their forerunners out of 
Eastern Connecticut, can find no thrill in the heroism of this 
band of farmers, who risked not only their lives but the wip- 
ing out of their settlement in fire and blood and the torture 
of their loved ones, marching against seven or eight times 
their number of fierce savages intrenched in their own forests. 
The expedition which set off from the foot of the now State 
Street, at the present steamer landing, on that loth of May, 
was the first organized military expedition, so far as recorded, 
among the English settlers on the American continent. That 
the settlers were better armed, and conscious of it, is only 
to say that they were not committing deliberate suicide, and 
were not fools for staying in Connecticut at all. It does not 
change the fact that the expedition was one brave almost to 
desperation; for if surrounded, firearms and all, the Indians 
could tomahawk the whole with little loss of their own. 

The chief command was given to Captain John Mason, 
with Samuel Stone as his chaplain and spiritual guide. Nine 
days after the little army embarked on transports, in com- 
pany with seventy Indian allies under the command of Uncas; 
the waters of the Connecticut being low, the voyage of fifty 
miles down the river consumed five days, and the Indians, 
becoming impatient, were put on shore to finish the journey 
to Saybrook by land. On their march they encountered a 
band of thirty or forty hostile Indians, of whom they killed 
seven and took one prisoner. On the arrival of the expe- 
dition at Saybrook, the colonists were delighted at this ex- 
ploit of Uncas, deeming it a proof of his fidelity; but Lieu- 
tenant Gardener, knowing the Indian character, remained un- 
satisfied, and demanded that Uncas should capture some In- 



dians he knew to be located on Bass River, before he ac- 
companied Mason's troops into the Pequot country. This 
task Uncas performed, killing four of the enemy and captur- 
ing one who proved to be a spy. Uncas demanded and re- 
ceived permission to torture this last; whereupon the pris- 
oner's leg w^as tied to a post, and twenty warriors, seizing his 
other leg, pulled him partially asunder. The revolting spec- 
tacle was ended by Captain Underbill, who shot the misera- 
ble wretch through the head. 

Aroused by the actions of the Connecticut General Court, 
the Massachusetts Bay Colony voted to raise two hundred 
men, and the Plymouth Colony fifty men, to assist her small 
but fearless sister colony. Captain Daniel Patrick, with 
forty of the Massachusetts soldiers, was despatched overland 
to join the Narragansetts; there to obtain canoes in which to 
visit Block Island, where it was rumored the Pequots had 
placed their women and children for safety. After the con- 
quest of the Island, Patrick was ordered to return to the 
mainland, and co-operate with the Connecticut troops in their 
campaign against the principal body of Pequots. 

This was the state of affairs: Mason and the Connecticut 
troops were at Saybrook with instructions from the General 
Court to land at Pequot Harbor, the Massachusetts colonies 
had voted to raise soldiers, and the Bay Colony had already 
sent a company of forty men to assist the Connecticut pha- 
lanx. The Plymouth colony never furnished the company 
voted by them. Winthrop says they refused on the ground 
that the men killed in Connecticut were none of their own, 
and records his indignant answer to such selfish and short- 
sighted meanness. The Massachusetts colony raised one 
hundred and sixty men, which with those under Patrick com- 
pleted their quota; but recalled their marching orders on the 




report, which seemed to come straight, that the war was over. 
Neal tells a story which Robertson exaggerates and distorts 
into flat absurdity, about the stoppage of the expedition from 
a quarrel among the officers ov^er the "inner light." With- 
out arguing the point here, it is enough to say that it is self- 
contradictory as told, and the contemporary accounts make it 
unlikely altogether. 

The Connecticut troops were to battle alone with the more 
dangerous Pequots ; not from Massachusetts' slackness, 
but because speed was thought preferable to reinforcements. 
Mason was averse from following his instructions to land at 
Pequot Harbor; for the enemy, through various delays, had 
become fully cognizant of the expedition and were within 
easy access of the projected seat of war. He recommended 
sailing for the Narragansett country, to attack the Pequots 
in the rear; but this was bitterly opposed by his officers and 
men. It was decided to settle their differences by requesting 
Mr. Samuel Stone to beseech in prayer for guidance as to 
the best course; and this good divine, after a night spent in 
devotion, favored Mason's plan, which was then universally 
adopted. Captain Underbill with his company decided to 
join the expedition, whereupon Mason sent twenty of his 
men to assist in defending the up-river settlements. 

All differences being thus satisfactorily settled, it was on 
Friday, May 29, 1637, that the troops set sail for Narragan- 
sett Bay, where on the eve of the following day they dropped 
anchor near the present location of Wickford, Rhode Island. 
The next day, being the Sabbath, was spent aboard of their 
vessels; and it was not until sunset of the following Tuesday, 
owing to the threatened destruction of their fleet by violent 
northwest winds, that a landing was effected. Captain Ma- 
son requested of the Narragansett Indians the privilege of a 



free passage through their country, and this was granted; 
but they informed him that his force was too small to com- 
bat successfully so warlike and aggressive a tribe as the Pe- 
quots. On the same evening an Indian runner arrived at 
the colonial camp from Providence, Rhode Island, with a 
letter from Captain Patrick urging Mason to await the ar- 
rival of his command. Though so large a reinforcement was 
deemed of the utmost importance for the success of the cam- 
paign, the delay was strongly opposed by the members of 
Captain Mason's command, as they had already been from 
their homes a fortnight, and they were anxious to return to 
their families and farms. It was also considered unwise to 
delay operations any longer, through the fact that there was 
intercourse between the Narragansetts and the Pequots, and 
the English were especially desirous of keeping their move- 
ments as secret as possible. 

The following day the vessels, in charge ol thirteen men 
and a few Indians, were ordered to sail for the mouth of the 
Pequot River, while the land forces, consisting of seventy- 
seven Englishmen and sixty warriors under Uncas, com- 
menced their journey westward. The country was a perfect 
wilderness, intersected by forest paths, and at nightfall they 
had accomplished only about twenty miles, arriving at a fort 
occupied by the Nehantic Indians, a subsidiary tribe of the 
Narragansetts. These saxages were suspicious, and would 
not allow the English to enter their fort; which aroused Ma- 
son's indignation, and as he also feared they might communi- 
cate with the Pequots, he posted sentinels and kept the In- 
dians penned up until morning. Confidence was restored, 
however, when the Connecticut troops, augmented by at least 
five hundred Indian allies from the tribes of both Narragan* 
setts and Nehantics, proceeded on their march, reaching at 



noon the Pawcatuck River situated on the outskirts of the 
Pequot country. The native alHes, who the evening previous 
had held a war dance during which they boasted of their 
courage, and protested that they would destroy the Pequots 
without any aid from the whites, found propinquity hardly 
to their liking; and forgetful of their vainglorious utter- 
ances, desertions began before a single foe appeared. After 
the mid-day meal Mason had proceeded about three miles 
further, when he was told for the first time, by his Indian 
guides, that the Pequots were located in two forts; the one 
under the command of Sassacus was so far distant that It 
would be impossible to reach it before midnight. This 
caused Mason to change his plans, and decide to attack the 
smaller body near the Mystic River. An hour after sunset, 
thinking they were near the fort, the English pitched their 
camp, and Mason deployed his sentinels to a great distance 
to guard against any surprise; while the tired soldiers, with 
no shelter save the sky, laid themselves down to sleep. It 
was a moonlight night, and the sentinels on their round could 
hear through the stillness surrounding them the songs of the 
enemy, filled with joy and exultation at the supposed flight of 
Mason's army; which, as they had seen his ships sail to the 
eastward, they concluded dared not face in battle the terri- 
ble Pequot. \ 
The English arose two hours before daybreak, and after 
commending their enterprise to God's care, proceeded two 
miles, arriving at the foot of an elevation. Unable to find the 
fort. Mason summoned Uncas and a Nehantic Sagamore 
named Wequash, who had acted as guide to the expedition. 
They informed him that the fort was on top of the hill, and 
that his Indian allies were trembling with fear. Mason or- 
dered them to form a reserve force in the rear of the Eng- 



lish, and dividing his forces, assigned Underbill to attack 
the foe at the western entrance, while he led the onslaught at 
the northeastern extremity. Advancing to within forty feet 
of the fort, the bark of a dog aroused the sleeping Indians; 
and Mason, hastily giving the word to charge, dashed 
through the entrance follov/ed by Lieutenant Seeley and six- 
teen of his men. 

It had been the intention to dispatch the Indians with the 
sword only, in order to save the corn and other valuables 
stored in the wigwams; and this order was at first main- 
tained. The Red Men, owing to their amazement, offered 
but weak resistance. Many were stupified with sleep, and 
sought places of concealment under mats and skins; and 
others were driven by Mason to the western entrance, where 
Underbill had already succeeded in obtaining control. Sev- 
eral Indians were killed at this point; but the work did not 
progress sufficiently fast with the sword, and as there was 
momentary danger that the main body might rally and break 
through, taking their assailants in the rear, orders were given 
to apply the torch. This was contrary to the instructions, but 
Mason himself seized a firebrand and ignited the mats cov- 
ering the rude habitations. Some of the Pequots in dismay 
took refuge in the conflagration, and perished in the flames; 
while others who tried to scale the high palisades were shot 
by the English. Seventy wigwams and their contents were 
destroyed, women and children burned alive, and those 
braves who tried to tomahawk their assailants were slain with 
the sword. The few that broke through the English ranks 
were massacred by their Indian allies; and of the five hun- 
dred souls who but the night before were wrapped in peace- 
ful slumber, seven captives only were taken, and the same 
number escaped. 

130 . 


The English loss was two killed and about twenty 
wounded; but their situation was anything but enviable. 
Their surgeon had remained with the fleet, their provisions 
were exhausted, their ships were far away, there was a scar- 
city of ammunition, and they were in a strange country, men- 
aced by Sassacus with hundreds of his fierce braves, who had 
come down from the fort in haste. Mason, while debating 
the matter of future movements, was overjoyed at the sight 
of his ships entering Pequot Harbor. He immediately called 
his troops together and beat a hasty retreat, harassed on all 
sides by Sassacus and his followers, who, however, dared not 
come too close to the muskets. For six miles the pursuing 
Pequots shot futile arrows at the English, and suffered con- 
siderable loss, while not an Englishman was injured. The 
English regained their vessels, where they found Captain 
Patrick and his company. Being unwilling to leave their 
Indian allies in an enemy's country, they embarked the 
wounded and thirty-five of their men; while the balance 
with Patrick's command proceeded overland to Saybrook, 
where they were welcomed with salvoes of cannon from the 
little fort. Mason's company proceeded up the river to their 
homes, having been absent only about three weeks, were 
received amid congratulations, and were then disbanded. 

The Pequots after the departure of Mason's soldiers re- 
turned to their remaining fort. Heretofore they had always 
played the part of conquerors, and their terrible reverses cast 
them into disheartened gloom. The following day, at a coun- 
cil of the nation, three propositions were submitted: to fly 
the country, to attack the English, or to make war on the 
Narragansetts. The voice of Sassacus was still for war; 
he opposed forever the abandonment of the country to their 
enemies He was overruled by his more prudent warriors 



who, viewing with awe the devastations of the English, 
feared to remain in their vicinity. 

The Pequots avenged themselves on Uncas by killing all 
his kindred save seven, who escaped by flight to the English; 
then, applying the torch to their fort and wigwams, they di- 
vided into several parties, and the land they had conquered 
from less organized and yielded to better organized foes 
knew them no more. A large body, consisting of several 
hundred braves, women, and children, under the joint lead 
of Sassacus and Mononotto, proceeded west, selecting a 
route along the seacoast that they might have an ever avail- 
able source of food. Before reaching the Connecticut, a 
body of about thirty-five warriors, with their women and chil- 
dren, left the main body and sought seclusion in a near by 

Mason's destruction of half the Pequots was received with 
joy and thankskiving by the New England colonists; and it 
was resolved that while the Indians were retreating, they 
should be harassed until their power as a nation was com- 
pletely broken up. Massachusetts now began active meas- 
ures to equip an expedition of one hundred and twenty men. 
The command of the troops was placed in the hands of Cap- 
tain Israel Stoughton, with instructions to carry out the work 
of extermination. 

On a beautiful day in the latter part of June, this body 
landed at the mouth of the Pequot River. Here they were 
met by Narragansett warriors, who informed them of the 
little band of fugitives hidden in the swamp. Stoughton, 
marshalling his troops, traveled twelve miles to surround the 
swamp, and slaughtered the warriors there. Of the eighty 
women captured, thirty were given to the Narragansetts to 



reward their Information, while the balance were sent as 
slaves to the Bay Colony. 

The determination of the Massachusetts authorities to con- 
tinue the war against the Pequots led Connecticut, at the 
meeting of its General Court in June, to authorize the rais- 
ing of forty men, of whom Captain John Mason was given 
command. This force joined Stoughton at the mouth of the 
Pequot River, and after a council of war, it was determined 
to continue the work. It is true that from a third to a half 
of the "nation" had been wiped out, and that there was no 
longer an immediate danger of their doing that good turn 
to the English settlements. But who could tell what the still 
surviving hundreds of warriors might do in alliance with 
other Indians? The Narragansetts might change their mind 
— a notorious Indian characteristic; there were other tribes 
to join with; to leave such a band of desperate savages on 
their borders was madness. It was worse than if they had 
remained in their old cantonments : that might have left them 
cowed and peaceful; this might indicate that, all hope gone, 
they were wild for revenge. At least it was certain they 
would murder and torture every white being that fell into 
their hands. Within a few months before, thirty innocent 
white persons, largely women and children, had been mur- 
dered, many of them tortured to death, by these same Pe- 
quots. Was no settler or settler's wife or child to dare go 
out-doors for fear of some skulking fiend waylaying them? 
The blood of every victim would be on the heads of the mag- 
istrates who refused to take measures for protecting them. 
Thus they reasoned, and created for us a peaceful common- 
wealth in which to criticise them and their work from our 
unterrified firesides. 

The Colonial army marched to the fort at the mouth of 



the Connecticut, and embarking a large part of their forces, 
proceeded to pursue the Pequots by water. A land con- 
tingent, consisting of Uncas and his tribe with a few white 
soldiers, easily traced the retreating foe by their camp fires 
and captured stragglers. The fleet coasted along the shore, 
and in three days reached what is now New Hav^en Bay. As 
they dropped anchor, smoke was seen rising from the depths 
of the forests, and the New Englanders, still in the heat of 
conflict, hurriedly landed; but they were destined to disap- 
pointment, for the smoke of the supposed enemy proved to 
be from the camp fires of friendly Indians. 

The army rested at this point for several days, and en- 
deavored to secure information as to the Indian camp be- 
fore assailing. This could only be done by spies, and they 
bribed a captured Pequot, by granting him his life, to go 
into their hiding-place and return with a description of it. 
Modern writers say that he was to kill Sassacus if possible; 
but none of the actors or contemporaries mentions it. The 
spy returned to the English camp, and reported the number 
and condition of the fugitives. Acting on this information 
the army marched westward, and within a distance of twenty 
miles sighted a number of Indians. The whites gave prompt 
pursuit, and the Indians fled into a large swamp situated 
within the original limits of Fairfield. 

Here the Pequots were to make their last stand. At the 
rapidly convened council of war, there was considerable con- 
troversy among the oflicers as to the most feasible method for 
the annihilation of the 'foes.' The plan of plunging into the 
swamp and meeting them single-handed was at once voted 
foolhardy; suggestions to cut down the swamp and to sur- 
round it with palisades were deemed too arduous; and it was 
finally decided to drive the Pequots into one of the natural 



divisions of the swamp, around which sentinels were placed. 
This cordon was so formed that the enemy could be starved 
into a surrender, or shot one by one as they attempted to 
fly. But the settlers were far more humane than their 
modern critics assume; they had no wish to perpetrate a gen- 
eral massacre of everything red, as the Indians would of 
everything white. Two centuries later, in Black Hawk's 
War, an American officer shot the Indian children scrambling 
away from him up the opposite bank of a stream, and re- 
plied to the humane remonstrances of a soldier, "Nits make 
lice." The Connecticut people had more human feeling, or 
perhaps two centuries less experience to exasperate them into 
copying the Indians. At any rate, they offered to spare the 
lives of all not actually red-handed from the murder of 
whites; especially desiring to save the local Indians who had 
fled into the swamp in terror of white vengeance, and the 
women and children of the Pequots. Some two hundred 
availed themselves of the privilege, all indeed but the Pe- 
quot males; even they could have escaped with decimation, 
some sort of inquest being held as to the actual criminals. 
But they scorned the thought and preferred to fight to the 
death. We may appreciate their constancy without malign- 
ing their foes. 

Nature fought for the Red Man, for instead of a bright 
sun, the morning brought forth a dense fog, shrouding every- 
thing in darkness. The Indians, taking advantage of the 
mist, fell upon the English, but were repulsed; and in the 
hand-to-hand fight which followed, about sixty Pequot war- 
riors escaped, many of whom were killed the following day, 
and twenty braves were found dead on the field of battle. 
The English captured one hundred and eighty prisoners, to- 
gether with a large quantity of wampum and Indian utensils. 



Sassacus was not present at the swamp fight; for, learning 
of the spy's attempt, and deserted by his people, who accused 
him of being the author of all their misfortunes, he fled 
westward to the country of the Mohawks, accompanied by a 
small number of his warriors. That tribe hated the Pequots 
as heartily as did the English, as was usually the case with 
any two Indian tribes, and were glad to see them annihilated; 
and in the following August, to conciliate such formidable 
warriors as the English, and please themselves besides, be- 
headed Sassacus, his brother, and five Sachems, sending their 
scalps to Connecticut. 

Sassacus was perhaps fortunate in dying thus : to live like 
Uncas, degraded into a squalid and drunken dependent of 
the whites, was no fortune to covet. He had gained a great In- 
dian position as a fearless and dogged fighter, and he never 
declined from that height. He needs no pity, and may have 
the respect due to courage and constancy, which are the bases 
of all human advance, and are not dependent on race. 

After the contest in the swamp, Uncas and Miantonomo, 
head chief of the Narragansetts, met the Connecticut magis- 
trates at Hartford, to divide their spoils. Two hundred cap- 
tives were divided among the Indians, one hundred being al- 
lotted to the Mohegans, eighty to the Narragansetts, and 
twenty to the Nehantics; those remaining, together with 
other avails, were distributed between Massachusetts and 
Connecticut. A treaty between the English and the Mohegans 
and Narragansetts established perpetual peace between the 
two tribes of Indians and the English; the latter were to act 
as arbitrators should a member of one tribe be wronged by 
those of the other, and the Indian Sachems released all 
claims to the lands of the Pequots, which were to be consid- 
ered as the absolute property of Connecticut. A large num- 



ber of these captives secured by the colonies were shipped to 
the West Indies by their slave merchants; those given to 
their Indian allies were tortured and slain, and their heads 
and hands gleefully exhibited at the English settlements. 

The justification of the war has been made apparent 
enough in the progress of the narrative. Connecticut had no 
responsibility for stirring it up ; she was embroiled against 
her will by the ill judgment and incapacity of the Massachu- 
setts government; she did not enter into it till some dozens 
of her inhabitants had met hideous deaths at the hands of 
savages with no better claim to the soil than they, to whom 
torture of helpless things was part of their training for life. 
This might go on indefinitely, or till they had abandoned the 
lands they occupied with the consent of earlier occupants 
than the Pequots, and for which they had paid those occu- 
pants; no man's wife, baby, or self would be safe from 
stealthily prowling foes whose actions were those of devils. 
The whites were doing no wrong, not even encroaching on 
lands occupied with any shadow of title by any one else. If 
there is any right of self-defense in the world, they had it. 
Had there been any possibility of establishing a modus 
Vivendi with the Indians, of sharing the soil with them, of 
assimilating them, even of creating a peaceable protectorate 
— an Indian Territory relation — over them and leaving them 
to grow into the capacity of civilization, righteousness would 
have demanded that it should be done; but no such 
choice was possible to them. By the Pequots' nature and pref- 
erence, one or the other must die. 


Civil Government and the Fundamental Orders 

THE transference of the church headship in Eng- 
land from the Pope to the Sovereign under 
Henry VIII., the reversal by Queen Mary, 
and the final victory by the "Act of Suprem- 
acy" under Elizabeth, are universally known. 
It is equally familiar that Elizabeth, like her father, was as 
strongly opposed to every worshiper being his own Pope or 
settling his own ritual as to their accepting the Roman. Like 
Laud afterward, she could not believe there could be civil or- 
der "if conformity stopped at the church door"; and by the 
"Act of Conformity" all worship was to be conducted accord- 
ing to state forms and in parish churches only. The adoption 
of the "Articles of Religion" in 1562 completed the estab- 
lishment by law of the Church of England. 

From this date we can trace the beginnings of that body, to 
become known as Separatists, which protested against the 
errors the Reformation in England had failed to remove, and 
which was opposed to the assumption of any power other 
than Christ as the head of the Church; they insisted upon 
worshipping God as their conscience might dictate and 
in conformity with their interpretation of His holy 
word. This sect at that period was undivided on the subject 
of baptism, and other questions that afterwards gave rise 
to various creeds. To the Separatists the Church was a spir- 
itual association, and therefore distinct from the world and 
its rulers, and in government followed the laws of Christ as 
chronicled in the New Testament. They claimed the right 
to form their own churches, to regulate their own affairs, and 
to choose their own ministers. These avowals of principles 
created enemies in the clergy of the established church, and 
also gave offense to those temporal rulers whose spiritual au- 
thority they ignored; this necessitated the holding of their 



meetings In secret, and subjected them to endless persecu- 

At this period the Separatists and the Roman Catholics 
were the only objectors to the Church established by law in 
England; but there were opponents to its ritual and its gov- 
ernment even within its own fold. This internal party of dis- 
senters were English reformers called Puritans, who returned 
to their native country after having been driven into exile by 
the persecutions of Mary and her Roman Catholic advisers. 
The Puritans were dissatisfied that the principles of the Ref- 
ormation had not been carried out in the constitution of the 
Church of England; although the majority quickly accept- 
ed the change from Catholicism, and hoped for further re- 
forms that were never instituted. 

Thus the foundation of the Church of England created 
two other entirely distinct religious parties; the Puritans 
within the established church seeking Its purification, and the 
Separatists or Pilgrims without Its fold acknowledging only 
the supreme authority of God. This distinction is important : 
the Pilgrim contended for freedom of conscience and the dis- 
solution of Church and State; while on the other hand, the 
Puritans wished to change certain customs of the Established 
Church, which they considered should be directly under the 
control of their temporal rulers. The disciples of these two 
sects of the same nationality, to avoid persecutions and to 
find an asylum where they could worship God as their con- 
science dictated, were to become pioneers of a new country, 
and to lay the foundation of a civil constitution, the fun- 
damental principles of which were to be accepted as the gov- 
erning powers of a nation. None of these sweeping results 
were in their minds, however; they merely intended to create 
English municipalities of their desired type, where they could 



work out their system free from interference. This fact is 
answer enough to the dreary conventional fling that they 
claimed liberty and denied it to others; it would be as sensi- 
ble to blame a club for blackballing members whose avowed 
intention was to turn the older members out of doors. If 
people of different beliefs from theirs wished to live on this 
continent, and to have the sort of towns they preferred, let 
them settle and build where they would; surely there was 
room enough there any time in the seventeenth century. The 
men who came to the Puritan towns for no purpose but to 
break up a system contrary to that of the old country were 
not pioneers of liberty, but apostles of tyranny, actuated — 
on a milder scale — by precisely the same motives which led 
Louis XV. to refuse the Huguenots permission to emigrate to 
America; and if the Quaker invasion must be classed differ- 
ently, it is difficult to class it much more favorably. To take 
advantage of the first emigrants' sacrifices and blood, come 
into the comfort and shelter of their foundations, and claim 
the right to destroy all that had made it worth while to erect 
them, the founders felt to be an outrage; and the very ag- 
nostic may find means of sympathizing with them. We are 
giving their view simply; there is another clamorously in evi- 
dence, but the first is by no means out of court. To say that 
the Puritans' claim was untenable is far from saying that it 
was either unnatural or unrighteous. Communities cannot, 
it is true, maintain themselves as private or sectarian clubs; 
dwellers drawn in by trade or industry or otherwise have a 
right to use their influence in all legal ways to modify institu- 
tions they dislike. But this is different from a purposed im- 
migration to overthrow them ; and the older members have 
at least the same right of resistance as the new ones of at- 



The English emigrants, on their arrival in the infant set- 
tlements of New England, took an oath of allegiance by 
which they bound themselves not to leave the country if by 
so doing they weakened the resources of the colony. When 
the early settlers of the Connecticut Valley wished to remove 
to their new location, therefore, it was necessary to obtain 
the consent of the General Court of Massachusetts; and their 
request was granted only on the condition that they remain 
under the jurisdiction of that colony. There was no very des- 
perate tyranny in this, for the first few years of a small settle- 
ment on the edge of a wilderness of savagery. The Connec- 
ticut settlement was beyond the limits of the charter of the 
Massachusetts Bay Colony, which granted it a commission, 
investing for the term of one year certain individuals with 
judicial authority to administer corporal punishment, and im- 
prisonment for offences committed against the public good. 

Thus were the political privileges of the first Connecti- 
cut settlers derived from Massachusetts, which government 
exacted a direct oath of allegiance to the Crown; but of 
course all rights were understood as subrogated to those of 
the Crown. These measures created among the settlers of 
Connecticut a desire to exercise similar political power; al- 
though their own experiences generated a much larger free-^ 
dom for the individual. They soon renounced their al- 
legiance to the Massachusetts Bay Colony; and forming an 
organization, the settlers established a government absolutely 
exempt from outside control. It is the first instance in Amer- 
ican history of the formation of a constitutional government 
on a purely independent basis. 

The first General Court of the River Plantations was held 
April 26, 1636, at Newtown (soon after named Hartford) ; 
though no business of importance was transacted except a 



cautionary resolution forbidding the inhabitants to sell arms 
and ammunition to the Indians. At a second meeting in No- 
vember of the same year, Agawam was represented; that 
plantation being so far from the Massachusetts seat of gov- 
ernment that she was instructed to unite in joint commis- 
sion with the Connecticut plantations. The last General 
Court under the Massachusetts commission was held on 
Feb. 2 1, 1637, when the famous resolution was passed dep- 
recating the action of Massachusetts in ordering Endicott's 
expedition against the Pequots, and asking her for assistance 
to subdue the evils arising from this ill-advised campaign. 
The boundaries of the plantations were established and the 
present names of the towns adopted. Previous to this time, 
Hartford was known as Newtown, Windsor as Dorchester, 
and Wethersfield as Watertown. 

The Massachusetts commission had provided that all free- 
men, in transplanting themselves to Connecticut, were to 
be considered an integral part of that town from which they 
emigrated, and in which they were to retain all the cor- 
poration rights granted them under the acts of the Massachu- 
setts General Court. The settlers had carried on separate 
town governments and exercised corporate powers ; although 
at the termination of the Massachusetts commission which 
was the first organic law of Connecticut, the mother towns 
still retained their prerogative rights. 

Representatives to the first independent assembly held in 
Connecticut were elected under the Massachusetts statutes, 
for the reason that there was no Connecticut law authorizing 
the election. This was the special session held at Hartford, 
May I, 1637, at which positive action was taken to prose- 
cute the Pequot War, and levy the necessary troops; and the 
promptness displayed is ample evidence of the independent 



spirit of its governing body, acting on no higher authority. 
That the yoke of Massachusetts had been completely thrown 
off, can have no better illustration than in comparing the 
resolutions passed by the last General Court operating under 
her commission, asking for assistance to prosecute the war, 
and the spirit evinced by the new body, in declaring war and 
making independent arrangements to carry it to a successful 
issue. Thus Connecticut in her infancy, a republic of but 
three hundred souls, displayed the traits of her maturity. 

By the decree of the General Court, Agawam was obliged 
to furnish a quota of seven men for the Pequot war and pay 
her portion of the expenses; but there is no official record 
that she ever performed either of these obligations. Among 
the causes showing the necessity for a firmer union between 
the plantations was the defection of Agawam, which ad- 
dressed a petition to the Massachusetts Bay Colony asking 
permission to come under its jurisdiction. The settlers of the 
river towns realized that a constitution should be adopted to 
prevent secession from their number, and to bring their sep- 
arate governments under one independent confederation with 
an executive head. 

At the General Court held April 5, 1638, eleven articles, 
known as the "Fundamental Orders," were adopted. Of the 
six magistrates forming a part of this Court, Hartford sent 
John Haynes and Thomas Welles ; Windsor, Roger Ludlow 
and William Phelps; Wethersfield, John Plum and Matthew 
Mitchell. Of the eleven committeemen, George Hull, Cap- 
tain John Mason, Thomas Ford, and Thomas Marshall, 
were from Windsor; John Webster, John Talcott, John 
Steele, and Edward Hopkins, from Hartford; Andrew 
Ward, Thurston Raynor, and George Hubbard from Weth- 
ersfield. This was the first written constitution to be promul- 



gated in America, but there is no evidence that it was ever 
adopted by a direct vote of the people. 

With a forecasting statesmanship excessively rare at the 
time, and the more remarkable among a people dominated 
by religious sentiment and headed by a clergyman, State and 
Church were severed; each was to exercise its own mission, 
and with it the fundamental power emanating directly from 
the people. The striking features of this remarkable docu- 
ment were, that there should be no taxation without repre- 
sentation ; that towns should be recognized as primary centers 
of government, though they relinquished part of their power 
to the General Court, as a guarantee for the future preserva- 
tion of the rest. The only supreme power mentioned is the 
Commonwealth, the existence of the King being totally ig- 
nored by the law-makers of Connecticut. Such was the oldest 
of American constitutions; it was to be the guide in the for- 
mation of those of her sister States, as well as a foundation 
for the system of representation, of the American Republic. 
To whose fertile brain, ready pen, and legal ability must we 
credit the production of this instrument, which has but lately 
received its full due? In that assemblage of seventeen men, 
there was but one equipped by nature and education to per- 
form this task. 

Roger Ludlow was an English lawyer of excellent family, 
kin to the democrat and regicide Edmund Ludlow. In the 
Massachusetts Bay Colony, he was made an Assistant, and re- 
tained the office four years. But he was not democratic in 
his personal sentiments : he bitterly opposed transferring the 
election of governor from the magistrates to the freemen, and 
declared that in that case "we should have no government" 
— which reminds one strikingly of the Duke of Wellington's 
question "how the King's government was to be carried on" 



if the Reform Bill were passed. Still, others thought and 
said the same thing, and the freemen were used to this 
sentiment. Ludlow's abilities were respected, and he was 
made deputy-governor In 1635. He hoped to be governor 
the next year; but John Haynes was preferred to him. He 
was incensed at the evidences of a "slate" having been pre- 
pared, and with his usual uncalculating hot temper, de- 
nounced the election as void. The freemen punished this 
outbreak by dropping him from the magistracy; but the Gen- 
eral Court tried to soothe him by appointing him one of its 
military committee, practically the military dictators of the 
colony — a position of honor. He was out of temper, how- 
ever, removed to Windsor the same year — doubtless for high- 
er position, — and was the first lawyer of the river towns. 
His name heads the roll of the five who held the first court 
of Connecticut, before It had a constitution of Its own, and 
he may be called the first acting governor. At the first elec- 
tion held under the "Fundamental Orders," he was elected 
deputy-governor; but his former opponent Haynes had fol- 
lowed the colony from Massachusetts, had been eagerly wel- 
comed and his name placed above Ludlow's on the roll of 
magistrates, and he w^as chosen governor. If Ludlow was 
disappointed, as is probable enough, he had learned discre- 
tion, and made no sign. He remained in Connecticut, and 
did it a service of the first value when in 1646 he prepared 
a digest or codification of her crude laws, which was re- 
corded in each town. As a result of later events, probably 
feeling fretted by the parish politics of the little colony, and 
glad to return to the main stream of events, he left Connecti- 
cut and passed his latter years in Holyhead, Wales; though 
there is a tradition that he returned to Virginia to take 
charge of his brother's property as trustee. 



We append a copy of the constitution under which Connec- 
ticut was governed for nearly two hundred years. 


THE "fundamental ORDERS"; 1638-9. 

Forasmuch as it hath pleased the Almighty God by the 
wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dis- 
pose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of 
Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield are now^ cohabiting 
and dwelling in and upon the River of Conectecotte and the 
lands thereunto adjoining; and well knowing where a people 
are gathered together the word of God requires that to main- 
tain the peace and union of such a people there should be an 
orderly and decent Government established according to 
God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all 
seasons as occasion shall require ; do therefore associate and 
conjoin ourselves to be as one Public State or Common- 
wealth ; and do for ourselves and our Successors and such as 
shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter into Com- 
bination and Confederation together, to maintain and pre- 
serve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus 
which we now profess, as also the discipline of the Churches, 
which according to the truth of the said Gospel is now prac- 
ticed amongst us; as also in our Civil Affairs to be guided 
and governed according to such Laws, Rules, Orders, and 
Decrees as shall be made, ordered, and decreed, as fol- 
loweth : — 

I. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that there shall 
be yearly two General Assemblies or Courts, the one the sec- 
ond Thursday in April, the other the second Thursday in 



September following; the first shall be called the Court of 
Election, wherein shall be yearly chosen from time to time 
so many Magistrates and other public Officers as shall be 
found requisite : Whereof one to be chosen Governor for the 
year ensuing and until another be chosen, and no other Mag- 
istrate to be chosen for more than one year; provided always, 
there be six chosen besides the Governor, which being chosen 
and sworn according to an Oath recorded for that purpose, 
shall have power to administer justice according to the Laws 
here established, and for want thereof, according to the rule 
of the Word of God; which choice shall be made by all that 
are admitted freemen and have taken the Oath of Fidelity, 
and do cohabit within this Jurisdiction (having been admit- 
ted Inhabitants by the major part of the Town wherein they 
live) * or the major part of such as shall be then present. 

2. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the Election 
of the aforesaid Magistrates shall be on this manner: every 
person present and qualified for choice shall bring in (to the 
persons deputed to receive them) one single paper with the 
name of him written in it whom he desires to have Governor, 
and he that hath the greatest number of papers shall be Gov- 
ernor for that year. And the rest of the Magistrates or pub- 
lic Officers to be chosen in this manner: the Secretary for the 
time being shall first read the names of all that are to be put 
to choice and then shall severally nominate them distinctly, 
and every one that would have the person nominated to be 
chosen shall bring in one single paper written upon, and he 
that would not have him chosen shall bring in a blank: and 
every one that hath more written papers than blanks shall be 
a Magistrate for that year; which papers shall be received 

• This clause was interlined in a different handwriting, and is of a later date. It 
was adopted by the General Court of November, 1643. 



and told by one or more that shall be then chosen by the court 
and sworn to be faithful therein ; but in case there should 
not be six chosen as aforesaid, besides the Governor, out of 
those which are nominated, then he or they which have the 
most written papers shall be a Magistrate or Magistrates for 
the ensuing year, to make up the aforesaid number. 

3. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the Secre- 
tary shall not nominate any person, nor shall any person be 
chosen newly into the Magistracy, which was not propound- 
ed in some General Court before, to be nominated the next 
Election ; and to that end it shall be lawful for each of the 
Towns aforesaid by their deputies to nominate any two whom 
they conceive fit to be put to election; and the Court may add 
so many more as they judge requisite. 

4. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that no person 
be chosen Governor above once in two years, and that the 
Governor be always a member of some approved congrega- 
tion, and formerly of the Magistracy within this Jurisdiction; 
and all the Magistrates, Freemen of this Commonwealth: 
and that no Magistrate or other public officer shall execute 
any part of his or their office before they are severally sworn, 
which shall be done in the face of the court if they be present, 
and in case of absence by some deputed for that purpose. 

5. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that to the afore- 
said Court of Election the several Towns shall send their 
deputies, and when the Elections are ended they may pro- 
ceed in any public service as at other Courts. Also the other 
General Court in September shall be for making of laws, and 
any other public occasion, which concerns the good of the 

6. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the Gover- 
nor shall, either by himself or by the secretary, send out sum- 



mons to the constables of every Town for the calling of these 
two standing Courts, one month at least before their several 
times : And also if the Governor and the greatest part of the 
Magistrates see cause upon any special occasion to call a 
General Court, they may give order to the Secretary so to 
do within fourteen days' warning: and if urgent necessity so 
require, upon a shorter notice, giving sufficient grounds for it 
to the deputies when they meet, or else be questioned for the 
same; and if the Governor and major part of Magistrates 
shall either neglect or refuse to call the two General standing 
Courts or either of them, as also at other times when the 
occasions of the Commonwealth require, the Freemen there- 
of, or the major part of them, shall petition to them so to do; 
if then it be either denied or neglected, the said Freemen, 
or the major part of them, shall have power to give order to 
the Constables of the several Towns to do the same, and so 
may meet together, and choose to themselves a Moderator, 
and may proceed to do any act of power which any other 
General Court may. 

7. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that after there 
are warrants given out for any of the said General Courts, 
the Constable or Constables of each Town shall forthwith 
give notice distinctly to the inhabitants of the same, in some 
public assembly or by going or sending from house to house, 
that at a place and time by him or them limited and set, they 
meet and assemble themselves together to elect and choose 
certain deputies to be at the General Court then following to 
agitate the affairs of the Commonwealth; which said depu- 
ties shall be chosen by all that are admitted Inhabitants in the 
several Towns and have taken the oath of fidelity; provided 
that none be chosen a Deputy for any General Court which 
is not a Freeman of this Commonwealth, 



The aforesaid deputies shall be chosen in manner follow- 
ing: every person that is present and quaiitied as before ex- 
pressed, shall bring the names of such, written in several pa- 
pers, as they desire to hav^e chosen for that employment, and 
these three or four, more or less, being the number agreed 
on to be chosen for that time, that have greatest number of 
papers written for them shall be deputies for that Court; 
whose names shall be endorsed on the back side of the war- 
rant and returned into the Court, with the constable or con- 
stables' hand unto the same. 

8. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that Windsor, 
Hartford, and Wetherslield shall have power, each Town, to 
send four of their Freemen as their deputies to every General 
Court ; and whatsoever other Towns shall be hereafter added 
to this Jurisdiction, they shall send so many deputies as the 
Court shall judge meet, a reasonable proportion to the num- 
ber of Freemen that are in the said Towns being to be at- 
tended therein; which deputies shall have the power of the 
whole Town to give their votes and allowance to all such 
laws and orders as may be for the public good, and unto 
which the said towns are to be bound. 

9. It is Ordered and decreed, that the deputies thus chosen 
shall have power and liberty to appoint a time and a place 
of meeting together before any General Court, to advise and 
consult of all such things as may concern the good of the pub- 
lic, as also to examine their own Elections, whether accord- 
ing to the order, and if they or the greatest part of them 
find any election to be illegal they may seclude such for pres- 
ent from their meeting, and return the same and their rea- 
sons to the Court; and if it prove true, the Court may fine 
the party or parties so intruding, and the Town, If they see 
cause, and give out a warrant to go to a new election in a 



legal wav, either in part or in whole. Also the said deputies 
shall have power to fine any that shall be disorderly at their 
meetings, or for not coming in due time or place according 
to appointment; and they may return the said fines into the 
Court if it be refused to be paid, and the Treasurer to take 
notice of it, and to eshceat or levy the same as he doth other 

lo. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that every Gen- 
eral Court, except such as through neglect of the Governor 
and the greatest part of Magistrates the Freemen themselves 
do call, shall consist of the Governor, or some one chosen 
to moderate the Court, and four other Magistrates at least, 
with the major part of the deputies of the several Towns 
legally chosen; and in case the Freemen, or major part of 
them, through neglect or refusal of the Governor and major 
part of the magistrates, shall call a Court, it shall consist of 
the major part of Freeman that are present or their deputies, 
with a Moderator chosen by them : In which said General 
Courts shall consist the supreme power of the Common- 
wealth, and they only shall have power to make laws or re- 
peal them to grant levies, to admit of Freemen, dispose of 
lands undisposed of, to several Towns or persons, and also 
shall have power to call either court or Magistrate or any 
other person whatsoever into question for any misdemeanor, 
and may for just causes displace or deal otherwise according 
to the nature of the offence; and also may deal in any other 
matter that concerns the good of this Commonwealth, except 
election of Magistrates, which shall be done by the whole 
body of Freemen. 

In which Court the Governor or Moderator shall have 
power to order the Court, to give liberty of speech, and si- 
lence unseasonable and disorderly speakings, to put all things 



to vote, and in case the vote be equal to have the casting 
voice. But none of these Courts shall be adjourned or dis- 
solved without the consent of the major part of the Court. 

II. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that when any 
General Court upon the occasions of the Commonwealth 
have agreed upon any sum or sums of money to be levied 
upon the several Towns within this Jurisdiction, that a com- 
mittee be chosen to set out and appoint what shall be the pro- 
portion of every Town to pay of the said levy, provided the 
committees be made up of an equal number out of each Town. 

14th January, 1638 [N. S., 24th January, 1639], the 11 
Orders abovesaid are voted. 


Early Connecticut Governors 

IN accordance with the "Fundamenta! Orders," the 
colonists exercised their right of franchise; and at a 
general election in April 1639, John Haynes was 
chosen governor, continuing to be elected to this of- 
fice every alternate year until his death, serving for 
eight terms. Governor Haynes, who was a descendant of an 
old and wealthy English family, was born in the county of 
Hertford in 1594. His removal from the Bay Colony, of 
which he was once governor, as we have already stated, has 
been attributed to a jealousy of Governor Winthrop; but it 
was most likely due to a wish to continue his intimacy with 
Mr. Hooker. Governor Haynes was to the civil life of the 
new settlement what Mr. Hooker was to the religious. A 
wise and careful legislator, endowed with moderate wealth 
and generous disposition, he was an ideal example of the re- 
publicanism of the period. 

The second governor of Connecticut was Edward Hop- 
kins, who was first elected in 1640 and chosen to his second 
term in 1644, being thereafter re-elected every alternate 
year, until he had served seven terms. Hopkins was born in 
Shrewsbury, England, at the beginning of the seventeenth 
century, and in his early manhood was identified with the 
mercantile interests of London; his business gradually ex- 
tended to foreign countries, and in due course he became a 
wealthy English landholder. Hopkins was a communicant 
of St. Stephen's parish, where Mr. John Davenport preach- 
ed, and married a daughter of Theophilus Eaton, a mem- 
ber of that congregation. In 1637 the three decided to 
emigrate to ^America ; on landing at Boston, Hopkins pro- 
ceeded to Hartford, which he made his future home. Gov- 
ernor Hopkins engaged in trade in the New World, and es- 
tablished posts on the upper Connecticut River. By the death 



of a brother, he was recalled to England in 1653, and in- 
herited the position of Keeper of the Fleet Prison, afterwards 
becoming a lord of the admiralty and member of Parlia- 
ment. His death occurred in 1657, he having been for many 
years a constant sufferer from ill health. 

The third occupant of the Governor's chair was George 
Wyllys, who was elected to the position in the spring of 1642 
and held the office one year. He was born in England, coun- 
ty of Warwick, about 1570, and was a man of means and 
rank. He was an ardent Puritan, and although of advanced 
age, he decided to emigrate to America, for the purpose of 
mingling with congenial spirits. In 1636 he sent to New 
England his steward, with twenty men, to purchase an es- 
tate and erect a dwelling-house. The steward selected a 
square, now near the center of the city of Hartford, on 
which was located the famous Charter Oak, and prepared a 
home for his employer. Wyllys arrived in 1638 and took an 
active part in the early politics of the colony, until his retire- 
ment from the office of governor. He died in 1645; ^^^ 
though not a great man, his public character was spotless, and 
his private life of marked calmness and purity. There was a 
new aspirant for gubernatorial honors in 1655, and Thomas 
Welles was elected to office. There is but little known of his 
early life; but in 1635, accompanied by his wife, he left 
Northamptonshire on the charge of nonconformity, and came 
to America the following year, in the service of Lord Say 
and Sele, settling at Saybrook. In the same year, with others 
of the Saybrook settlers, he came to Hartford. He was the 
first treasurer of the Colony, which office he held till 1651, 
when he asked to be relieved of his duties. He was governor 
two years, and died at Wethersfield on Jan. 14, 1660, in his 
sixty-second year. 


(^^T^ \0>!^/^^ 


Governor Welles was succeeded after his first term of of- 
fice by John Webster, who tradition says was a native of 
Warwick. But little is known of Governor Webster; he was 
one of the original proprietors of Hartford, and one of the 
magistrates of the colony from 1639 to 1655. After his re- 
tirement as executive officer of the colony, he removed to 
Hadley, Mass., where he died in 1661. 

The successor of Governor Webster was John Winthrop, 
known in history as the younger, to distinguish him from his 
father, who was gov-ernor of Massachusetts and founder of 
the famous Winthrop family in America. It is conceded that 
the younger Winthrop was the most distinguished and schol- 
arly of the early governors of the colony. He had passed the 
half-century mark when first elected governor, but he had 
been so closely identified with the colony that his personal 
biography is to a certain extent a history of that portion of 
New England. He was re-elected in 1659; and being 
anxious to retain him in the position, the freemen of the col- 
ony abolished the restriction incorporated in the "Funda- 
mental Orders," that no man was to be chosen to the office of 
governor two years in succession. His career as governor 
was continuous from this time until his death in 1676, and in 
length of service exceeded that of any other occupant of the 
position. Governor Winthrop is acknowledged to have 
been one of the most distinguished characters in New Eng- 
land. While his Puritanism was of the finest type, his eulo- 
gists embraced the members of every denomination in both 
worlds. The beautiful testimony of his father expresses his 
worth in a single sentence : "God gave him favor in the eyes 
of all with whom he had to do." 

One of the most important events that took place during 
the administration of these early governors was the arrival 



of George Fenwick (already mentioned), who landed at the 
mouth of the Connecticut River. There had been no civil 
government established when the fort at this point was 
erected, only a garrison having been maintained. Mr. Fen- 
wick on his arrival made a permanent settlement, which was 
named Saybrook in honor of two of its original patentees, 
Lord Say and Sele and Lord Brook. A body politic was 
formed by Mr. Fenwick and administered by him, indepen- 
dent of and owing no allegiance to Connecticut. This settle- 
ment continued its independent existence till December 5, 
1644, when the General Court of Connecticut purchased Say- 
brook Fort with its appurtenances, and all lands in the col- 
ony claimed by those proprietors interested in the Warwick 
patent; with the stipulation that Mr. Fenwick was to have 
possession of all buildings belonging to the fort for a period 
of ten years, and receive for a like term a duty on all corn, 
biscuits, bacon, and cattle exported from the mouth of the 
river. The General Court ratified this agreement in Febru- 
ary 1645, thereby creating the first tariff ever sanctioned by 
the people of Connecticut. The duties were as follows : 

"ist. Each bushel of corn of all sorts, or meal that shall 
pass out of the river's mouth, shall pay two pence per bushel. 

"2nd. Every hundred biscuit that shall in like manner pass 
out of the river's mouth shall pay six pence. 

"3rd. Each milch cow and mare, of three years or up- 
wards, within any of the towns or farms upon the river, shall 
pay twelve pence per annum during the aforesaid term. 

"4th. Each hog or sow, that is killed by any particular 
person within the limits of the river and the jurisdiction 
aforesaid, to be improved either for his own particular use 
or to make market of, shall in like manner, pay twelve pence 
per annum. 



"5th. Each hogshead of beaver traded within the limits of 
the river, shall pay two pence. Only it is provided that in 
case the general trade with the Indians now in agitation pro- 
ceed, the tax upon beaver mentioned in this and the foregoing 
articles shall fail." 

The colony levied a tax of £200 to place the fortification 
in good repair; Mr. Fenwick was appointed colonial agent, 
and on his return to England was to secure an enlargement 
of the patent and other advantages for the colony. It has 
been estimated that the duties thus levied aggregated £1,600, 
which would represent the purchase money paid. 

In 1640 Connecticut attempted to extend her limits by 
purchasing of the Indians a tract of land west of Springfield, 
Massachusetts, called Woronoco (Westfield), on which she 
settled, maintaining control of the purchase till 1644, when 
the United Colonies of New England decreed that it should 
be placed under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. Territory 
was also purchased on Long Island, which was eagerly occu- 
pied, but no permanent holding was effected for the colony. 


The New Haven Colony 

THE site of what is now the city of New Haven 
was known to its Indian occupants as Quinni- 
piac (or Quillipiac) ; which name continued 
in use until changed, in September 1640, by 
the General Court of the English Colony 
which settled there in 1638. Several years before the arrival 
of the English adventurers, the Dutch had a knowledge of 
the territory, known to them as Rodenberg (Red Hill), 
doubtless from the predominating color of the East and West 
Rocks, still plainly visible to mariners approaching the har- 

The original inhabitants of Quinipeocke (as the name, 
which is said to mean "Long Water Place," is spelled in their 
deeds) long ago became extinct. During the summer they 
dwelt along the shore, and in the winter retired to the protec- 
tion of the forests. On account of the heavy tribute im- 
posed on them by their enemies, the Pequots and Mohawks, 
their numbers gradually decreased, until at the arrival of the 
English the tribe contained about forty male adults. 

It was in July 1637 that John Davenport, a noted divine 
of London, landed at Boston. He was accompanied by 
Samuel and Theophilus Eaton (whose father had been Da- 
venport's teacher and guide), Edward Hopkins, and about 
fifty families from his congregation. This company was 
composed of men above the average in ability and position 
among them large land owners and London merchants. 
Therefore it is not surprising that the people of Massachu- 
setts colony were desirous of retaining them as members of 
their own body. Many advanatgeous proposals were made 
to them to remain; all of which were declined, by reason of 
their love of independence, and a desire to establish a sepa- 
rate commonwealth, beyond the reach of a general governor 



of the New England Colonies, an officer the Crown had 
proposed appointing; this act was looked upon with fear, and 
met with opposition from all the plantations. 

During the Pequot war the English had become acquainted 
with the coast line of Connecticut, and recognized its value 
for navigation and commerce, as well as the fruitful appear- 
ance of its soil. The attention of the new-comers was thus 
attracted towards that section of the country; and in the fall 
of 1637, Theophilus Eaton and other members of the party 
made a journey to explore the coast and harbors of Connecti- 
cut. New London harbor was superb, but the agricultural 
traits of the region were not so attractive. It was finally 
decided to settle at Quinnipiac, on account of its commercial 
and agricultural advantages; and they erected a hut in which 
seven of the party spent the winter. The other plantations 
of Connecticut having given their consent to the settlement, 
the company sailed in the spring of 1638 from Boston, and 
were about two weeks on the journey. The first Sunday in 
their new homes was devoted to the praise of God; the ser- 
vice, conducted by Mr. John Davenport, being held beneath a 
spreading oak. 

The New Haven settlers formed the wealthiest band that 
at this time had ever come to New England; and they 
designed to establish a model colony. Soon after their ar- 
rival they entered into an agreement with each other, in 
which they solemnly bound themselves, "That as in matters 
that concern the gathering and ordering of the church, so 
also in all public offices which concern civil orders, as the 
choice of magistrates and officers, making and repealing laws, 
dividing allotments of inheritance, and all things of like na- 
ture, they would all of them be ordered by the rules which 
the Scriptures held forth to them." This was the prelimi- 


J^^^^^-V-^rx. U a/l/t^(f(X^., 


nary agreement adopted by the people; it was to hold In 
force until they became better acquainted with each other's 
religious views, sentiments, and moral conduct, and was to 
prepare the way for complete union of Church and State as 
a theocracy. 

The settlers early turned their attention to purchasing 
lands from the Indians and making amicable treaties with 
them. In November and December of 1638, the Quinnl- 
piacs and other tribes transferred all their rights and titles 
in large tracts of lands, and received in payment English 
cloth and garments, spoons and hatchets, hoes, knives, and 
various other kinds of merchandise, and a guarantee of pro- 
tection from their enemies. This conveyance included all 
the land now occupied by the towns of New Haven, East 
Haven, Branford, North Branford, North Haven, Walling- 
ford, Cheshire, Hamden, and a part of Woodbridge and 

The English planters' first year of residence was marked 
by no important historical event. The success of the settle- 
ment at Quinnlpiac becoming known in the mother country, 
the attention of members of the same religious convictions 
In Yorkshire was attracted towards the plantation, and ne- 
gotiations were begun for effecting a permanent settlement in 
the territory. Mr. Ezekiel Rogers, their pastor, made cer- 
tain stipulations with Davenport and Eaton as representa- 
tives of the plantation; but on his arrival in Massachusetts 
he was lead to believe that this arrangement would not be 
fulfilled, and he decided to remain in that colony. A ship- 
load of his followers had already reached Qunnipiac; and 
on receiving notice of their pastor's determination to remain 
In the Massachusetts Colony, some of them refused to re- 



turn and became permanently incorporated in the new com- 

In the mean time Rev. Peter Prudden, who came to Quin- 
nipiac with the original settlers, and was waiting for the peo- 
ple of his congregation to form a permanent settlement, had 
been preaching at Wethersfield. Contemporaneously with 
the excitement of the return of the Yorkshire people, the 
members of Mr. Prudden's congregation, with part of the 
planters of Wethersfield, purchased land from the Indians 
and settled the town of Milford. In the formation of this 
plantation, Mr. Prudden recognized that he would stand 
alone in the eldership of a separate church, which he pre- 
ferred to becoming a colleague of Mr. Davenport. The fol- 
lowing vear Mr. Henry Whitefield, with a large number of 
the members of his congregation, who were of the gentleman 
and yeoman class, and had been engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits in Kent and Surrey, came to the Quinnipiac settlement. 
They bought lands from the Indians and settled the town of 
Guilford, erecting for their pastor a stone house, to be used 
as a fort in case of an attack; it was probably the first house 
of the kind built in New England. Milford and Guilford 
were organized on the same plan, principle, and government 
as the Quinnipiac plantation. 

The opening of the year 1639 found the civil and eccle- 
siastical organization of Quinnipiac the same as on the first 
day of the landing of the settlers; public property was man- 
aged by officers of the joint-stock association, civil govern- 
ment acknowledged no authority but God, and the only con- 
stitution was that set forth in the Scriptures. Public wor- 
ship was regularly held, but no church had been instituted 
and no sacraments celebrated. The indecision of the York- 
shire settlers, and the agitation caused by the removal of 



the Hereford men to Milford, were important reasons for 
this procrastination; as the leading men preferred to stay 
their decision rather than form a permanent organization 
without such a desirable addition. Another cause was 
the difference of opinion as to the preliminary work of laying 
the foundation of Church and State. Some of the settlers 
had been nonconforming members of the Church of Eng- 
land, while others had separated from the national church 
before leaving the old country. 

But after a residence together of over a year, the planters 
of the Quinnipiac settlement assembled in a formal man- 
ner and proceeded to lay the foundation of their civil and re- 
ligious polity. The business was introduced by Mr. John 
Davenport, who preached from the text : "Wisdom hath 
builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars." 
The Separatists, under the leadership of Samuel Eaton, de- 
sired to lay the foundation of the church on the princi- 
ple that church membership was not an essential quali- 
fication for free burgesses; but Mr. Davenport contended 
successfully that the power of choosing magistrates, of mak- 
ing and repealing laws, of dividing inheritances, and of de- 
ciding differences, should be vested in church members. 
Twelve members of the body were selected, who from their 
number were to choose seven, the latter to be empowered 
to pass on the qualification of members to form a church. 
This agreement was signed by one hundred and eleven per- 
sons; and Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport, Robert New- 
man, Matthew Gilbert, Thomas Fugill, John Punderson, and 
Jeremiah Dixon were elected the seven pillars of the church. 

This court, consisting of the above-named persons, con- 
vened in the following October, and first declared all former 
trusts for managing the public affairs of the plantation abro- 



gated. After taking an oath of fidelity, all those who had 
been chosen by the seven pillars and members of other ap- 
proved churches proceeded to exercise their right of fran- 
chise, by electing executive officers of the plantation for the 
ensuing year. Theophilus Eaton was chosen Governor; and 
he, with four magistrates, a secretary, and a marshal, con- 
stituted the board of officers. This was the original gov- 
ernment of New Haven, which has been called the "House 
of Wisdom." The civil government was vested in the church 
which elected the civil officers, and the word of God was 
the only rule ordering the affairs of the plantation. The 
lands were held in trust by the principal men who purchased 
them ; and every planter, after paying his proportion of the 
expenses, drew land in ratio with his investment. 

Quinnipiac surpassed her sister plantations both in the ar- 
rangement of the settlement and the construction of its homes. 
It was laid out in nine equal squares, with streets crossing at 
right angles and a large centre space for a market. The 
houses were large and stately ; conspicuous among them be- 
ing Governor Eaton's, built in the shape of the letter E, 
and John Davenport's in the form of a cross. The so- 
cial and aristocratic distinctions of the old country were pre- 
served by these builders of a republican form of government, 
as indeed was found necessary by all other colonial towns 
sooner or later; in church seating, the most prominent people 
were assigned the front pews ; in matters of personal apparel 
no certain regulations were enforced, as the plantation was 
considered too rich to admit of dress distinctions. Marriages 
notices were posted fourteen days in advance, and were 
solemnized by a magistrate. To labor was deemed reputable, 
and idleness created suspicion. They were punctilious in re- 
gard to titles; the term "Esquire" signified one who pos- 



sessed estates, "Mr." Implied gentlemen, to be recorded as 
"Master" denoted good birth and education, and "Good- 
man" an advanced yeoman of good character and own- 
er of a small estate. Military titles were always used, 
ranging from Captain to Corporal; and a clergyman 
addressed as Mr, Pastor, the term Reverend not being used 
until 1670. The rates of wages, price of and profit on mer- 
chandise, were regulated by industrial laws. Threepence 
profit on the shilling was allowed on importations; a day's 
work in summer was ten hours, for which the wage was two 
shillings; in winter the time was two hours less, and twenty 
pence was paid. 

Land was purchased from the Indians west of the New 
Haven plantations, and was sold to parties residing in VVeth- 
ersfield, which they settled in 1641, under the name of Stam- 
ford; agreeing to adopt a form of government similar to 
New Haven. Southold on Long Island being under the jur- 
isdiction of New Haven, it became necessary to form a gen- 
eral government; and this was done in the summer of 1643, 
under the name of the Colony of New Haven. The planta- 
tion of Guilford joined the colony in September 1643, ^^^ 
about a month later Milford was admitted. The latter plan- 
tation having granted the right of franchise to six members 
not in church fellowship, it was obliged to agree that these 
six should never be chosen deputies or occupy any position of 
public trust, and should not be entitled to vote for magis- 
trates, either personally or by proxy ; and in future the plan- 
tation agreed to elect only church members as free burgesses. 

The formation of this embryo republic, and the framing 
of its laws, was conceived by the concurrent wisdom of Gov^- 
ernor Eaton, Stephen Goodyear, Francis Newman, William 
Leete, Samuel Desborough, and the three pastors, Daven- 



port, Whitefield, and Prudden. These worthy gentlemen, 
after amicable consultations, devised a system of government 
possessing the requisite qualifications for governing the lar- 
gest republics. By this constitution a general assembly or 
court of general jurisdiction, consisting of two branches, was 
formed for the common Interests of the colony. The Gover- 
nor, Deputy-Governor, and three magistrates (ministers be- 
ing debarred), all elected at large, were members of the up- 
per body; and two deputies from each town, elected Inde- 
pendently, constituted the lower house. The concurrence of 
these two branches made any public act a law. The civil and 
military administration of the law was In the hands of the 
Governor and Deputy-Governor. The supreme judiciary 
was vested in a Court of Magistracy, consisting of the two 
executive officials and three or more magistrates; and to this 
legal body the whole colony was amenable. It was a court 
of original as well as appellate jurisdiction, founded accord- 
ing to the principle and spirit of the laws of England. It had 
charge of probating all wills, and settling all intestate estates. 
It differed from the general assembly, styled the General 
Court, it being executive and judicial in its functions instead 
of legislative and governmental. The other colonial officers 
were treasurer, secretary, and marshal. The towns were en- 
tirely independent In all local matters, their government con- 
sisting of four deputies or judges, who sat in their respective 
districts and acted on civil matters and lower felonies. These 
judges were approved by the General Court who empowered 
them, and thus became judiciary officers of the law, invested 
with civil authority and legal jurisdiction. There was also 
In each town a marshal, and a military company commanded 
by a lieutenant who served under the Governor. There were 
two important features of this constitution which differed 



from those in most other colonies; the unchangeable law 
that only church members could be voters, and the disuse of 
juries, — the judges deciding all questions of facts as well as 
of law, and inflicting discretionary punishments. 

In 1644 Branford, which had been sold to parties from 
Wetherslield, became a member of the confederacy. Its pas- 
tor was Mr. Abraham Pierson, who had been a resident 
of Southampton, Long Island. I'his town placed itself un- 
der the jurisdiction of the Colony of Connecticut; and Mr. 
Pierson, with a minority of his people, preferring the theo- 
cratical constitution of the New Haven Colony, removed to 
Branford and united with the settlers from Wethersfield. 

The leading citizens of the colony, having been engaged 
in commerce in the old country, early turned their attention 
to making New Haven a commercial town. Trade was soon 
established with Boston; furs and other merchandise were 
sent there for transportation to England, and brought in re- 
turn many English goods to the colony ; to New Netherlands 
their vessels likewise carried tobacco from Virginia ; the 
West Indies gave sugar, molasses, and rum, in exchange for 
wheat, biscuits, beef, pork, hides, and furs. This spirit of 
commerce led to a desire to locate colonies, and in 1 640-1 
purchases were made by the colonists of plantations along 
Delaware Bay, which the General Court voted to settle; 
these settlements however were opposed by the Dutch and 
the Swedes, who claimed the territory. The Swedes destroyed 
the English trading-houses, and took a number of English 
planters prisoners. Another unsuccessful attempt was made 
in 165 I ; and three years later it was again agitated, and sev- 
eral meetings were held to promote emigration to the dis- 
puted territory. Captain John Mason was invited by the 
New Haven Colony to become the leader of a permanent set- 



dement; but though he favored the proposition, the General 
Court of Connecticut would not consent to his acceptance. 
This appears to have frustrated the design, as the project 
was not put into execution. 

A commercial enterprise undertaken by the colonists, to 
compensate them for their unsuccessful scheme of coloniza- 
tion, was the building of a ship of one hundred and fifty tons 
burden. She was laden with furs and corn, which consti- 
tuted the greater part of their merchandise, and with sev- 
enty souls on board set sail for England. The voyage was 
begun in January, and the ship was obliged to be cut 
through the ice for three miles; Mr. Davenport invoked a 
prayer for a successful journey, in which he said, "Lord, if it 
be Thy pleasure to bury these our friends, in the bottom of 
the sea, they are thine, — save them!" Nothing more re- 
mains to be said, save that the vessel never reached her des- 
tination. Some two years and a half later, in a mirage, or 
by prophetic vision, a ship bearing a resemblance to the lost 
one was seen approaching the harbor of New Haven, but be- 
fore reaching the shore vanished in a cloud of smoke. 

During his term of office as Lord Protector of England, 
Cromwell at different times became desirous for the settlers 
of New Haven to colonize various parts of the world; he 
extended them special invitation to settle in Ireland and Ja- 
maica, holding out the inducement that their so doing would 
tend to the destruction of the "Man of Sin." These propo- 
sitions were the occasion of long and serious debates by the 
General Court, in which they resolved that while they ac- 
knowledged the love, care, and respect of the Lord Protector, 
yet, for divers reasons, they concluded that God did not call 
upon them to make any change at present. 

The first Governor and Deputy Governor of the colony 



were Theophilus Eaton and Stephen Goodyear, who were 
annually re-elected until 1657, in which year Governor 
Eaton died at New Haven ; the death of Deputy Governor 
Goodyear occurred the following year, while he was on a 
visit to London. At the spring election held in 1658, Fran- 
cis Newman was chosen Governor and William Leete Depu- 
ty Governor. Both these gentlemen had served as magis- 
trates since the establishment of the colony. The death of 
Governor Newman occurring in 1660, at the next election 
William Leete and Matthew Gilbert were elected to the 
highest offices in the gift of the people. At the same time 
five magistrates were chosen instead of three. The code of 
laws of the colony was printed and distributed to the free- 
men in 1656. New Haven continued to prosper, and the af- 
fairs of the mother country in no way interfered with the 
progress or serenity of the colony. 

The death of Cromwell and the restoration of Charles IL 
had a tendency to unsettle the public affairs of New England, 
which was increased by the arrival at Boston of Generals 
Whalley and Gofife, regicide judges of Charles L Of the 
one hundred and thirty judges originally appointed by the 
House of Parliament, seventy-four sat, and sixty-seven of 
these were present at the session that unanimously passed the 
death sentence. Of the fifty-nine signing the warrant of ex- 
ecution, twenty-four were dead when Charles IL came to the 
throne; of the remainder, some were pardoned, others exe- 
cuted, and sixteen fled the country; three of these last, Ma- 
jor-General Edward Whalley, Major-General William 
Goffe, and Colonel John Dixwell, secreted themselves in 
New England until their death. 

Edward Whalley, who was a cousin of the Lord Pro- 
tector, had been brought up as a merchant; at the time of the 



contest between Charles I. and Parliament, being then in 
middle age, his religious opinions early caused him to take 
arms against the King. He distinguished himself at the bat- 
tles of Naseby and Banbury. The city of Worcester surren- 
dered to him, he commanded the foot soldiers at the battle of 
Dunbar, and afterwards was Commissary-General of Scot- 
land. When Cromwell became Lord Protector, he was 
wholly Intrusted with the government of several counties. 
William Goffe, the son of a Puritan divine, and son-in-law of 
General Whalley, had been apprenticed to trade; but upon 
the opening of the Parliamentary War, joined the army, and 
was subsequently appointed General. General Goffe ren- 
dered Cromwell important services, by which he gained more 
fame than by his military record. 

The regicide judges arrived at Boston In the summer of 
1660, and made no attempt to conceal their identity; they 
presented themselves to Governor Endicott, who was at 
that time in the gubernatorial chair of the colony. They 
took up their residence at Cambridge, appeared at public 
meetings and gatherings, and by their devout and serious 
appearance commanded universal respect. The vessel on 
which they sailed left England before Charles IL was pro- 
claimed King; but they were among those seven judges 
who by the "Act of Indemnity" were refused pardon. The 
government officials of Massachusetts on receipt of this news 
became alarmed, and the governor summoned his Court of 
Assistants to consult upon the advisability of securing their 
persons. This official act was interpreted as being dangerous 
to their liberty; and deeming Cambridge unsafe, they left 
that town in the latter part of February, and arrived in 
New Haven March 7, 1661. The day following, a warrant 
for their arrest was Issued by Governor Endicott, but they 



were beyond his jurisdiction. The officials of New Haven 
Colony were heartily in sympathy with them. Whalley 
and Goffe therefore rested in fancied security for about two 
weeks; then, learning of the King's proclamation, they fled 
to Milford; but the same night returned secretly to New 
Haven, and according to tradition, for more than a month 
were concealed in the home of Mr. John Davenport. 

Finally after hiding in various places, a cave was prepared 
in the side of a hill named by them "Providence Hill," but 
which is known today as West Rock. This they are said to 
have made their home for over six months, during which time 
the colony was scoured by the King's messengers with war- 
rants for their arrest, offering large rewards for any infor- 
mation concerning them. The officials and people of New 
Haven, owing to their great lov^e for independence and their 
hatred for the royal government, were loyal to their trust, 
and did everything in their power to harass the King's of- 
ficers in their attempt to capture the Regicides, Fearing that 
they were placing their friends In jeopardy, Whalley and 
Goffe offered to surrender, to relieve the country and keep 
from further trouble those who had befriended them; but 
this offer was strongly opposed by Governor Leete and the 
citizens of New Haven. The search was finally abandoned; 
and leaving their place of concealment they became resi- 
dents of Milford, where for two years they confined them- 
selves strictly to their dwelling-place. Growing confident 
and deeming themselves safe from further prosecution, they 
made their Identity known to several persons, and enjoyed 
more liberties; but on the arrival of the King's Commission- 
ers at Boston in 1664, they retired to their former place of 
concealment. Thence after ten days they removed to Had- 
ley, Massachusetts, where they spent the remainder of their 



lives in cautious obscurity ; supported by remittances received 
from relatives in England, and donations from sympathetic 
friends in this country. During their residence at Hadlev 
they were joined by Colonel John Dixwell, another Reg- 
icide who had escaped from England and been secreted 
in the Colonies. After remaining at Hadley for some time, 
he removed to New Haven, where he married and lived un- 
der the name of James David; his identity, though not pro- 
fessed, was doubtless known to his friends. 

New Haven Colony was not only agitated by the presence 
of the Regicides, but she had also to contend with internal 
dissensions; some of her settlers, desirous of enjoying more 
privileges, demanded that other than church members should 
have the right of franchise. Numerous complaints had been 
received by the General Court that the inhabitants of Green- 
wich (which was a part of Stamford) were addicted to 
drunkenness, and were incapable of performing the duties 
of local government, thereby causing damage to themselves 
and adjoining towns. They were disturbers of the public 
peace, and furnished refuge for unruly children and guilty 
servants; some of them unlawfully joined people in wed- 
lock, and they were charged with other grave misdemean- 
ors. After an investigation of the charges, it was ordered 
that the inhabitants submit to the jurisdiction of the court, 
which they resisted in open revolt; refusing to subject them- 
selves to the colony unless compelled to do so by the Eng- 
lish Parliament. The ringleaders of the insurrection were 
arrested, and their estates and persons surrendered to the gov- 



The United Colonies of New England 

THE object of the confederation of the New 
England colonies was to render their power 
more effective by consolidation, and also to 
unite sympathizing associates. Previous to 
this union, the young and enterprising col- 
onies of Connecticut and New Haven had attracted from 
Plymouth and Massachusetts some of their most active, 
progressive, and honored members. Their wise and prudent 
counsels had been missed from their transitory home In the 
New World, and by a concord they would again engage 
their minds and energies for the benefit of the English-speak- 
ing inhabitants of New England. By a community of inter- 
ests, the church could receive more assistance and encourage- 
ment, and religious precepts would become more firmly es- 
tablished and better guided. 

At this time the four colonies consisted of forty-nine towns, 
thirty of which were located in Massachusetts and eight in 
Plymouth; Connecticut had six, including the independent 
town of Saybrook, and New Haven five. The population 
aggregated upward of 23,000; Massachusetts claiming 15,- 
000; Connecticut 3,000; Plymouth 3,000, and New Haven 
2,500. In no colony was there universal suffrage. The vot- 
ing power of Massachusetts was lodged in a minority of her 
male population, and in 1640 the number reached only 1,708. 
In democratic Connecticut and Pilgrim Plymouth, franchise 
was extended to those freemen who were vouched for by 
those that enjoyed the privilege. In the Puritan colonies of 
Massachusetts and New Haven, none but church members 
were eligible as candidates for these rights; and though 
in the other colonies this was not absolutely essential, still 
it was the strongest recommendation that the applicant could 



The status of the colonies was, that Connecticut and New 
Haven were without any charter, deriving their titles from 
the Indians and from occupancy of the lands, their govern- 
ment from voluntary agreement. Plymouth acquired her 
rights to her lands from a grant Issued by a company In 
England, which conferred no jurisdiction. Massachusetts 
also received her titles from an English company; but she 
had no authority to execute treaties of peace, declare war, 
or organize leagues, having only the right to defend herself 
by force of arms when her territory was invaded. 

This colonial federation was agitated as early as 1638. 
Many of the settlers during their residence in the Low Coun- 
tries having witnessed the strength given by union, the con- 
stitution of Netherlands was accepted as a model on which 
to build their own articles of confederation. This alliance 
had been discussed In the General Courts, and had been 
pressed with great earnestness in Connecticut, which for sev- 
eral years had appointed delegates to visit Massachusetts to 
urge the adoption of measures forwarding this project, 
deemed of vital Importance to the weaker colonies. Massa- 
chusetts, on account of her large population, representing as 
she did almost three-fifths of the aggregate, and realizing that 
in a formation of a league she would only be entitled to equal 
representation with her sister colonies, evinced a spirit of 
indifference. There were other reasons why she was opposed 
to a union: she was in no danger of foreign Invasion; she 
demanded a part of the Pequot country by right of conquest, 
and also jurisdiction over Springfield and Westfield, towns 
which Connecticut claimed were under her legal authority. 
Massachusetts, knowing that In a confederacy these claims 
would have to be adjudicated by higher tribunal of law, 
was dilatory in acquiescing In Connecticut's request, thinking 



that by such a course she would force her weaker sister 
to admit the disputed claims. Connecticut, though weak 
In numbers, was strong In maintaining her rights; until 
difficulties with the Indians, and the encroachments of her 
Dutch neighbors In 1641 and 1642, led her General Court 
In the latter year to refer the matter to a committee. John 
Haynes and Edward Hopkins were appointed delegates to 
meet at Boston, to confer with John Winthrop, Thomas 
Dudley, Simon Bradstreet, Captain Edward Gibbons, Wil- 
liam Tyng, and William Hawthorne, who had been desig- 
nated by the Massachusetts General Court then in session, as 
representatives to attend a conference to discuss the feasi- 
bility of forming a confederation; delegates from Plymouth 
and New Haven Colonies were also present. The unsettled 
state of affairs in the mother country, the troubles of Charles 
I. with his parliament, and the prospect of a civil war in Eng- 
land, must have influenced the authorities of Massachusetts 
to look with more favor on the contemplated union. 

It was on May 6, 1643, ^^^^ ^^e delegates of the four col- 
onies assembled at Boston. Massachusetts was represented 
by John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley, Plymouth by Ed- 
ward Winslow and William Collier, Connecticut by Edward 
Hopkins and John Haynes, and New Haven by Theophllus 
Eaton and Thomas Gregson. These delegates represented 
all the Independent colonies of New England, except Rhode 
Island, which was not Invited to send representatives, being 
considered by her neighbors as an Intruder, and also as an 
Alsatia for all the disorderly elements of New England. 
Roger Williams, the founder of the colony, was an extreme 
Separatist, and had made himself obnoxious to the civil and 
clerical authorities of Massachusetts by ideas and deliver- 
ances Incompatible with their system, which had caused his 



exile from that jurisdiction. The form of government 
adopted by the Rhode Island Colony was purely democratic 
— ov'Crmuch so, for Williams himself had to curtail it and 
establish a property qualification a few years later; and it 
allowed no interference with the rights of conscience. Be- 
sides, all the Narragansett territory was claimed by Massa- 
chusetts and Connecticut; so that on the formation of the 
confederacy, Rhode Island's application for admission was re- 
fused unless she would acknowledge allegiance to the Col- 
ony of Plymouth. This Rhode Island refused, and applied 
to the mother country for a charter, which was granted in 
1644; in spite of this, however, she bore her share in the 
defence of the New England provinces. 

The first American Congress expressed in their preamble, 
that they recognized they were called to the New World for 
the same end and aim — the advancement of the Kingdom of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and the enjoyment of the liberty of 
the Gospel in purity and peace; that they were further sep- 
arated than first intended, and were not able to communicate 
in one government and jurisdiction. They were surrounded 
by foreign nations, who had insulted and outraged the sev- 
eral English plantations. All this might prove of disadvant- 
age to their prosperity. England was in an unsettled condi- 
tion, and her affairs in a state of chaos. For these and va- 
rious other causes it was deemed expedient, as they were of 
the same nation and religion, that they create for mutual pro- 
tection a league for their own safety and welfare. After 
several meetings, twelve articles of an agreement were rati- 
fied and signed by delegates of Massachusetts, Connecticut, 
and New Haven, who had received from their respective 
General Courts full powers to act. The Plymouth delegates 
were granted permission to confer with their General Court 



for instructions, before subscribing to the articles of agree- 

The articles of confederation stated that they were to be 
called the "United Colonies of New England," and the body 
was to consist of two Commissioners from each colony. The 
first Thursday in September was designated as the legal day 
of the annual meetings, the first of which was to be held at 
Boston, the second at Hartford, the third at New Haven, 
and the fourth at New Plymouth, which order was to be 
repeated. Any measure to become a law required the vote 
of six Commissioners, except in case of emergency, when 
upon the summons of the magistrates of any jurisdiction, war 
could be declared by the vote of four Commissioners. If any 
measure received a majority of the votes and it was less than 
six, it was to be referred to the General Court of each colony, 
to become binding if unanimously ratified. The sovereign 
rights of each colony suffered no interference, and the matter 
of taxation was left to each separately. The colonies 
agreed not to form a union with each other, and that no other 
colony was to be received into the confederacy without the 
consent of the whole. They were to unite in case of war; and 
if any one of the colonies was invaded, the league was to fur- 
nish soldiers to repel the enemy. The law of extradition was 
here first exemplified in the case of runaway servants and 
criminals; on the production of a certificate, properly signed 
by the judicial authorities, the magistrates of any colony 
were required to issue warrants and deliver the accused into 
the hands of the officials of the colony where the crime had 
been committed. In their articles of agreement the delegates 
recognized no terrestrial authority, it being the first assump- 
tion in America of State Sovereignty. 

The duties of the Congress were to consider and recom- 



mend measures for the public good to be acted upon by the 
different colonies. It possessed no executive power nor su- 
preme legislative authority; but Indian affairs and foreign 
relations were especially consigned to it. The judgments of 
the courts of law and the probate of wills in each colony were 
to have full faith and credit in all others; extra sessions of 
the Congress could be called at any time. 

At the first regular meeting of the Commissioners held at 
Boston in September 1643, Connecticut yielded the place of 
one of her delegates to George Fenwick, who had been an 
early advocate of the union of the colonies; he succeeded 
John Haynes, and also represented his fellow patentees under 
the Warwick patent. At this meeting the representatives from 
Plymouth Colony presented an order from their General 
Court, approving of the articles of confederation. It was 
voted that every male between the age of sixteen and sixty 
years was to serve in the militia of his colony; a ratio for 
raising troops was established on the basis of one hundred 
and fifty from Massachusetts, thirty from Connecticut, 
thirty from Plymouth, and twenty-five from New Haven. 
The expense of conducting an offensive or defensive 
warfare, in which was involved the interests of the whole or 
any one of the allied powers, was to be borne in the same 
proportion as the levy made for troops. Each man of the 
requisite age was to provide himself with a gun and a sword, 
together with one pound of powder and four pounds of 
shot, and was to be inspected four times a year. Each juris- 
diction was to establish a public arsenal, to contain one hun- 
dred pounds of powder and four times as much shot. The 
holding of public trainings six times a year in each colony 
was recommended. The emigration schemes of the New 
Haven Colony, and the Indian troubles engaged the at- 



tention of the body; and the President was authorized to 
correspond with the Dutch and Swede authorities, demanding 
redress for outrages committed upon English settlers. 

The second meeting was held at Hartford in September 
1644, and Edward Hopkins was elected President. The 
Massachusetts representatives claimed the right of her Com- 
missioners to sign all the acts of the Congress after the pre- 
siding officer, stating that they expressed the wishes of their 
General Court. This claim for precedence was demurred 
to by the Commissioners, who contended that no such privi- 
leges had been granted at the former meeting, but it was con- 
ceded as an act of courtesy. They wished to impress upon 
the minds of the gentlemen from Massachusetts that 
they were above the dictations of any General Court, yet 
owing to their great respect for that Commonwealth they 
would establish an order to be followed in signing the acts 
and laws of the confederation : Massachusetts first, Plymouth 
second, Connecticut third, and New Haven fourth. The 
claim of Massachusetts to the Pequot country and to West- 
field was urged by her representatives, and it was decreed that 
the latter should be placed under the jurisdiction of Massa- 
chusetts until it was proved to which colony the plantation 
belonged. The colonists were prohibited from selling am- 
munition to the French, Dutch, or Indians. A compulsory 
tax for the support of ministers was advocated; and where 
a citizen did not contribute voluntarily he was to be rated by 
the authorities, and on his refusal to pay the claim, this was 
to be collected by law. The United Colonies of New Eng- 
land, in recommending the repairs of the road from Massa- 
chusetts Bay to Connecticut, took the first action looking 
to the establishment of American national highways. 

Governor Winthrop, becoming alarmed at the hostile ac- 



tions of the Indians, called a special session of the United 
Colonies of New England, June 28, 1645. There had been 
no change in the Commissioners from the Connecticut colonies 
since the formation of the confederation. At this session Ste- 
phen Goodyear was sent from New Hav^en Colony in place of 
Thomas Gregson; the latter had set sail for England the 
previous winter to procure a patent for the Colony, on that 
ill-fated ship commissioned by the New Haven Colony of 
which no tidings were ever received. The special business 
for which the Congress was convened was legislated upon, 
and has been fully dealt with in a preceding chapter in this 

The annual meeting of 1646 was held at New Haven, and 
elected Theophilus Eaton President. There was a change in 
the Connecticut commissioners, caused by the return of 
George Fenwick to England; and the vacancy was filled by 
the election of John Haynes, one of the original delegates. 
The transgressions of the Dutch and the Indians were the 
important topics of the meeting. Massachusetts again as- 
serted her claims to disputed territories; she still pressed 
her rights to the Pequot country and demanded jurisdiction 
over New London, stating that by the treaty of 1638 the 
Pequot River was established as a boundary line. Connecti- 
cut urged in defense of her rights for jurisdiction, that at 
the time of making the treaty of 1638, Fenwick, the agent 
of the original patentees, was not present, and therefore did 
not sanction the boundary line agreed upon; that since that 
time she had acquired a title to the lands in question by a 
deed of conveyance from Uncas, and furthermore the settle- 
ment was on the west bank of the river. The claims of Mas- 
sachusetts to the territory were ignored by the Commissioners 
until she could produce better titles of ownership; and the 



settlement was placed under the jurisdiction of Connecticut. 

In the revenue raised for the maintenance of the acts of the 
United Colonies of New England, which was based on the 
population of the different colonies, it was found that Con- 
necticut and New Haven had furnished more than their pro- 
portion; and the colonies of Massachusetts and Plymouth 
being delinquent, it was ordered that Massachusetts should 
pay Connecticut the sum of £136-95-1 id and New Haven 
.fyi-Ss-yd, and Plymouth was to pay New Haven £25-45. 
The Commissioners established the following weekly pay for 
military services : a soldier was to receive six shillings, a cor- 
poral eight, a sergeant ten, an ensign fifteen, a lieutenant 
twenty, and a captain thirty. 

Religious questions cannot be ignored in any New Eng- 
land proceedings. The Commissioners ordered that as the 
confederacy had been formed for the purpose of preserving 
the truth and liberties of the Gospel, baptism should be re- 
stricted to members and their posterity, and all opposition to 
the established form of worship should be suppressed. But 
the Commissioners from Plymouth, whose people and their 
followers had suffered for nearly a century from the disciples 
of an Established Church, and who had divorced Church and 
State until their ministers were not prominent in civil affairs, 
would not concur in the resolution until they had submitted 
it to their General Court for approval. 

An extra session of the United Colonies of New England 
was called to meet at Boston in July 1647, to take action 
against the Narragansetts for violating their treaty; at 
which Captain John Mason was one of the Commissioners 
from Connecticut in place of John Haynes. It was voted 
that the regular meeting day of the convention should be 
abandoned; that while sessions must be held annually, it was 



left to the Congress to designate the time for holding ses- 
sions; and six Commissioners were to constitute a quorum 
for the transaction of business. 

Connecticut had levied a duty of twopence on each bushel 
of corn, and twenty shillings on each hogshead of beaver 
skins, that were exported down the Connecticut River, for the 
maintenance of the fort at Saybrook. Springfield had re- 
fused to pay the import, and she brought it before the Com- 
missioners for adjustment. A committee appointed at a pre- 
ceding session had reported against Connecticut's claim; but, 
her case being ably defended by one of her Commissioners, 
Edward Hopkins, it was decided by the concurrent vote of 
the representatives from New Haven and Plymouth, that she 
had a legal right to collect this revenue. 

The majority of the settlers of New London, represented 
by John Winthrop, Jr., stated that they were dissatisfied with 
the government of Connecticut, and wished to be placed un- 
der the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. The Commissioners 
decided that as Connecticut had purchased the original pat- 
ent to the territory, the desire of the settlers of New Lon- 
don could not be granted. Winthrop also complained of 
Uncas' depredations among the Indians, and claimed a large 
tract of land that had been deeded and presented to him by 
the Indians before the Pequot war. Winthrop produced no 
written instrument to substantiate his claim, but submitted 
the testimony of Indians. Connecticut ably defended her 
rights; and after deliberation, the Commissioners decided 
that they had no grounds or power to determine the title in 

At the session held at New Plymouth in August 1648, 
Connecticut was represented by Edward Hopkins and Roger 
Ludlow, and New Haven by Theophilus Eaton and John 



Astwood. The outrages perpetrated by the Dutch, and 
troubles with the Indians, were the important topics of the 
session. Amendments to the original articles of confedera- 
tion were submitted by the Commissioners from Massachu- 
setts, who were authorized by their General Court. The 
most important of these were, that in the event of a resolution 
not receiving the vote of six Commissioners, it could be refer- 
red to the General Courts, and if adopted by three of these 
bodies, it was to become a law. Triennial sessions of the 
United Colonies of New England were advocated. An 
amendment was offered so that the articles pertaining to 
unity in case of war were not binding, if pestilence or famine 
should devastate any one of the colonies. The equal repre- 
sentation which constituted the Congress was not satisfactory 
to iMassachusetts; she claimed that the fact that her size and 
importance, and the large excess of her contributions to the 
general fund over those of the other members of the confed- 
eration, entitled her to three representatives; she did how- 
ever make the proviso, that any other colony willing to sus- 
tain an equal amount of the expenses should be entitled to the 
same number of Commissioners. Springfield again appeared 
as an objector to the payment of the impost; but the Com- 
missioners decided that Connecticut had a legal as well as 
a moral right to collect the tax. 

In July 1649 the United Colonies of New England met at 
Boston. The Commissioners from the Connecticut colonies 
were the same as at the last session, with the exception of 
Thomas Welles in the place of Roger Ludlow. The selling 
of ammunition by the Dutch and French to the Indians was 
condemned, and the inhabitants of the colonies were empow- 
ered to confiscate the merchandise and arrest the offenders. 
Springfield refused to obey the mandates of the Commlsslon- 



ers, and had appealed to the General Court of Massachusetts 
for redress. The legislature had denied the right of Connec- 
ticut to impose the tax, as Springfield had no representation 
in her General Court; and her Commissioners demanded the 
production of the Warwick patent to establish the boundary 
lines between the two jurisdictions. In retaliation, Massa- 
chusetts had imposed a tax on all imports from her sister 
colonies, and had decreed that if the customs were not paid 
the merchandise was to be forfeited. This was an act of 
injustice towards New Haven and Plymouth colonies, whose 
representatives had acted in conformity with the articles of 
agreement of the league. The Commissioners from Con- 
necticut equivocated, knowing that the patent could not be 
produced; and suggested that the matter should be referred 
to the General Court of Massachusetts, as their action in es- 
tablishing an importation duty was not in harmony with the 
love expressed, and the tenor of the articles of confederation. 
Connecticut decided to abandon the fort at Saybrook and dis- 
continue the collection of the dues; which placated Massa- 
chusetts, and her legislature in 1650 repealed the act taxing 
imported merchandise. 

At the meeting held at Hartford in September 1650, Ed- 
ward Hopkins was elected President. In the Connecticut 
delegation, John Haynes succeeded Thomas Welles; and 
there was also a change in the New Haven representatives, 
Stephen Goodyear having been chosen in place of John Ast- 
wood. The session was made memorable by the visit of 
Governor Peter Stuyvesant and troubles with the Narragan- 
setts. Permission was given to Connecticut to take East- 
hampton, Long Island, under her jurisdiction. In Septem- 
ber of the following year the Congress convened at New 
Haven ; Theophilus Eaton was chosen President, and Roger 



Ludlow again took the seat made vacant by the retirement 
of John Haynes. 7 he trouble with the Dutch formed the 
most important business before the body. The Commis- 
sioners were visited by ambassadors from the French gover- 
nor of Canada, to induce them to declare war against the 
Five Nations; they proposed that if the colonies would be- 
come their allies, they would encourage the establishment of 
free trade between the French and English provinces. The 
Commissioners with becoming courtesy declined to add to 
their present troubles the horrors of a new warfare. 

At a meeting held at New Plymouth, in September 1652, 
there was no quorum present; and a special session met at 
Boston in the following March. The representatives from 
Connecticut were Roger Ludlow and Captain John Cullick, 
and New Haven was represented by Theophilus Eaton and 
John Astwood. The Dutch and Indian War was the im- 
portant topic, and precautionary measures were adopted to 
protect the colonies. 

At the meeting at Boston in Sepetmber of the same year, 
the three smaller jurisdictions voted in favor of declaring 
war against the Dutch. The Massachusetts Commissioners 
were in opposition to the adopted measure, claiming that the 
articles of confederation discriminated between offensive and 
defensive warfare, and that they could not satisfy their 
consciences that God called for the war and the attendant 
blood of their constituents. The other Commissioners could 
not deny the ethics of Massachusetts, that there was no higher 
appeal than God's authority; but they were immovable in 
their determination to declare war. The action taken by the 
Massachusetts representatives led to a serious debate, in 
which was threatened the destruction of the confederacy ; but 
harmony wa§ again restored by her Commissioners receding 



from their position, being authorized to this action by decrees 
of her General Court. 

The sessions of the United Colonies of New England for 
the next decade were held in the month of September of 
each year, and the regular routine of business was transacted. 
In 1654 Hartford was the place of meeting, and Theophilus 
Eaton was chosen President; he and Francis Newman were 
the New Haven delegates, while Major John Mason and 
John Webster represented Connecticut. The following year 
the session was held at New Haven, and Theophilus Eaton 
was again elected President. There w'ere changes in the dele- 
gations from the Connecticut colonies. Captain John CuUick 
w^as appointed in place of John Webster, and William Leete 
succeeded Francis Newman. New Plymouth was the meet- 
ing place in 1656, and Boston in 1657; and the only change 
in representation of the Connecticut colonies was, that John 
Talcott was elected to succeed Captain John Cullick. At 
the session held at Boston in 1658, the Connecticut com- 
missioners were John Winthrop and John Talcott, and Fran- 
cis Newman was elected from New Haven to fill the vacancy 
caused by the death of Governor Eaton, who had been a 
member since the organization of the Congress. 

At the Hartford meeting held the following year, John 
Winthrop was elected President; and the only change in the 
Connecticut delegation was that Thomas Welles was elected 
in place of John Talcott. Massachusetts, at the last two ses- 
sions of the New England Congress, had presented her claim 
to the Pequot country, which was strongly combated by the 
Connecticut representatives. In 1660 at New Haven, Fran- 
cis Newman was elected President; and the vacancy in Con- 
necticut's delegation caused by the death of Thomas Welles 
was filled bv the election of Matthew Allin. 



In the meeting of 1661, convened at New Plymouth, Con- 
necticut was represented by Major John Mason and Samuel 
Willis, and New Haven by William Leete and Benjamin 
Fenn. 1 he sessions of 1662 and 1663 were held at Boston, 
and the only changes in the delegations from the Connecticut 
colonies were in the former the substitution of John Talcott 
for Major John Mason, and in the latter of John Winthrop 
for Samuel Willis. The convention of 1663 was enlivened 
by business pertaining to Connecticut, and arguments were 
heard for and against the union of her colonies. Winthrop's 
earnest oratory in favor of the consolidation was combated 
by the courtly and cautious debate of William Leete, and the 
blunt and bold objections of Benjamin Fenn. Massachusetts 
lent her aid to the New Haven representatives, which could 
result only in the Congress deciding that New Haven should 
still continue her distinct colonial existence; perhaps jealousy 
and sense of equity were not wholly disassociated. Governor 
Stuyvesant also appeared before the body as a complainant 
against the grasping ambition of Connecticut. She had at- 
tempted to extend her jurisdiction over Westchester and ad- 
joining towns, and the Dutch governor demanded satisfac- 
tion for encroachments on his territory. This matter at the 
request of the Commissioners from Connecticut was referred 
to the next meeting of the Congress. 

In pressing her demands to the Pequot country, the repre- 
sentatives from Massachusetts asserted that her General 
Court had been appealed to by the inhabitants of the disputed 
territory for protection ; but the Commissioners again de- 
cided that she had no right of action. This seems to have 
settled forever Massachusetts' attempt to hold a territory to 
which she could not plead the rights either of purchase, con- 
quest, or settlement. 



The last annual meeting of the New England Congress 
was held at Hartford in 1664. The Commissioners from 
Connecticut were Matthew Allin and Samuel Willis, and 
from New Haven William Leete and William Jones; they 
were the last from New Haven Colony, about to be ab- 
sorbed in Connecticut, and the latter protested against their 
admission. The position taken by Connecticut in the union 
of the colonies, and her persistency in pressing her claims 
against the wishes of the prominent men of the New Haven 
Colony, backed by the authority of the King, had cre- 
ated in Massachusetts a feeling of indifference for the con- 
federation of the New England Colonies. Connecticut her- 
self realized that in a triplicate agreement, her Commission- 
ers would hold only one-third of the power; and having by 
her Royal Charter at last received a substantial form of 
government indorsed by the King, she hesitated for fear that 
in the formation of an allied league she might endanger the 
royal favor, which she had obtained at such trouble and ex- 
pense. The surrender of New Amsterdam to the Duke of 
York had relieved Connecticut of her Dutch neighbors, and 
the Indians within her borders were friendly, preventing the 
danger of a hostile outbreak. The Massachusetts colonies 
had lost their Indian friend, the chieftain Massasoit, but 
as yet the Indians within her territory were not very turbu- 
lent. The colonies had all acknowledged the authority of 
Charles II.; and therefore any union against the mother 
country was deemed unnecessary. 

Still there was a kindly feeling existing among the colon- 
ies, a mutual confidence and kinship that encouraged a con- 
federation. For the purpose of considering the advisability 
of a reorganization of the Congress, a meeting was called at 
Hartford on September 5, 1667. The Connecticut repre- 



sentatives were William Teete (formerly of New Haven) 
and Samuel Willis; the former was elected to preside over 
the body. The Plymouth Commissioners brought authority 
from their General Court to act only on Indian affairs, and to 
submit to them for final decision all matters pertaining to a re- 
establishment of the confederacy. They were not zealous for 
a renewal of the league, as they had been strongly opposed 
to Connecticut's actions against New Haven, and being the 
smallest jurisdiction in population, they feared that their in- 
terests would suffer at the hands of their sister colonies. The 
Plymouth Commissioners urged that all measures and acts 
should receive a unanimous vote, for if they were decided 
by a majority there was danger of their being a hopeless 
minority. The meeting adjourned with no formal steps be- 
ing taken to form an alliance. 

The next convention was held at Boston in June 1670. The 
representatives from Connecticut were Samuel Willis and 
John Talcott. New articles of confederation were adopted, 
not differing materially from the old covenant; but the ar- 
ticle on declaring offensive warfare, which had been such a 
stumbling block In the old organization, was modified, the 
power being delegated to the several General Courts. The 
question of the apportionment of the military forces and sup- 
plies was the subject of a fierce debate. Connecticut insisted 
on the adoption of the ancient quota, to which Massachusetts 
objected, and the matter was left in abeyance. Triennial 
meetings were to be held ; one In every five sessions at New 
Plymouth, the other four to be divided equally between 
Boston and Hartford. WHUe the Commissioners from Con- 
necticut and Plymouth accepted the articles without demur- 
ring, the representatives Irom Massachusetts were not ex- 
actly satisfied. It was nearly two years before the quota to 



be furnished by each colony in case of war was decided. A 
committee from Connecticut consisting of John Allyn and 
Wait Winthrop met Simon Bradstreet and Thomas Dan- 
forth on behalf of Massachusetts, at Boston ; and an agree- 
ment was made for fifteen years. Troops and money were to 
be contributed by the several jurisdictions in the following 
ratio: Massachusetts one hundred men, Connecticut sixty, 
and Plymouth forty. 

At a meeting held at New Plymouth in September 1672, 
John Winthrop and John Richards represented Connecticut. 
A special session of the New England Congress was called 
at Hartford in August 1673 ; the Connecticut representatives 
were William Leete and John Talcott, and the former was 
chosen president. The business before the convention was 
the occupancy of New York by the Dutch. A communica- 
tion was addressed to the Dutch commanders asking their 
future designs, but this did not receive a satisfactory answer. 
A resolution was passed declaring that any damage done to 
one of the colonies should be considered as an injury to the 
confederacy. It was suggested that active measures should 
be taken to secure ammunition, men, and means of defense. 
It Vr-as plain to see that the original Congress of the four 
colonies had a substitute, but not a successor. 

The United Colonies of New England held at Boston a 
continuous session of ten weeks from Sept. 9 to Nov. 19, 
1675. The Connecticut delegation were John and Wait 
Winthrop. The directing and management of the cam- 
paign of King Philip's War was the important business of the 
session. An army of 1,000 men was ordered to be enlisted, 
of which Massachusetts was to furnish 527, Connecticut 315, 
and Plymouth 1^8. The Connecticut troops were to rendez- 
vous at Norvv'ich, Stonington, and New London. At a spe- 



cial session held in the spring of 1676, at Boston, occurred 
the death of John Winthrop, who was struck down while at- 
tending to those civil duties in the performance of which he 
had spent the greater part of his life. 

There were two sessions in 1678: one in May at New 
Plymouth, and the other at Boston in September. The Con- 
necticut Commissioners were William Leete and Captain 
John Allyn. At these and the subsequent sessions of the 
New England Congress, there was transacted no important 
business pertaining to Connecticut affairs. She joined with 
her sister colonies in extending her congratulations to Sir 
Edmund Andros on his appointment as Royal Governor to 
the Colony of New York; which was courteously responded 
to by his Excellency. At a session held at Boston in August 
1679, Connecticut was represented by Captain John Allyn 
and James Richards; at the meeting in September 1681, the 
latter was succeeded by Robert Treat. The last meeting of 
the New England Congress was held at Hartford in Septem- 
ber 1684, and Robert Treat was elected as presiding officer. 

Thus adjourned sine die the first American Congress. 
Nearly a century was to roll away before another American 
confederation was to make a permanent and vitalized organ- 
ization of all the great English societies on the continent. 
In the formation of the first confederacy it was not deemed 
necessary to obtain the ratification of the King, but its suc- 
cessor was a revolt against the King. The two Congresses 
were both created for mutual protection and to combine their 
strength to battle against common foes. The younger, how- 
ever, did not follow the doctrines of the elder, but separated 
Church from State as ultimately all societies will do. 



Witchcraft in Connecticut 

THA r there are materials for such a chapter is 
simply restating the fact that the settlers were 
seventeenth-century English. That the mate- 
rials are so scanty, relative to those for Eng- 
land at the same period, evinces that they 
were much superior to the mass of English. That their being 
products of their time, with the same stock of information and 
beliefs and the same practical inferences from both, should be 
matter of denunciation or Pharisaical sarcasm, is discreditable 
to human rationality. With equal justice might we revile the 
society of the fourteenth century for eating with their fingers 
or believing in the divinity of the Holy Roman Empire. All 
that could be asked, and more than could be hoped, would be 
superior readiness to make social outcome the test of religious 
theory ; and such they had. They would be entitled to lenient 
judgment had they been something less ready in place of 
more; for while all Christians accepted the Bible as it stood, 
their own society was built up on the Bible — on its fervent ac- 
ceptance, its studious interpretation, its upholding against tra- 
dition or custom or authority, the attempt to bring their social 
life into general accordance with its precepts. As teaching 
and as literature it filled their lives; for many years they lit- 
erally had nothing else. It is creditable to their common- 
sense that they fell into so little barbarity or absurdity in at- 
tempting to apply obsolete systems of thought and practice 
to their own lives. 

Regarding their action, it is to be observed that as in other 
communities, the extirpation of witchcraft confined itself 
mainly to local nuisances or suspects, Ishmaelites or indepen- 
dent thinkers, — those out of favor with the respectability or 
inertia of the community, in short : when members of the 
latter were involved, though the theory was not for the mo- 



ment discredited, the evidence began to be scrutinized with 
great care, and the canons made so severe that practical re- 
sults failed. This must never be forgotten in discussing the 
intellectual status of communities. They made witch-hunt- 
ing a branch of their social police, and desire for social 
solidarity. That this was wrong and mischievous is granted; 
but it is ordinary human conduct now as then. It was a most 
illogical, capricious, and dangerous form of enforcing pun- 
ishment, abating nuisances, and shutting out disagreeable 
truths; fertile in injustice, oppression, the shedding of inno- 
cent blood, and the extinguishing of light. No one can jus- 
tify it, or plead beneficial results from it which could not have 
been secured with far less evil in other ways. But it was 
natural that, believing the crime to exist, they should use 
the belief to strike down offenders or annoyances out of reach 
of any other legal means. They did not invent the crime for 
the purpose, nor did they invent the death penalty for this 
crime. We impute a cruelty to them which has no basis, be- 
cause we shrink from the infliction of the death penalty as 
that age did not. They saw no more cruelty in putting this 
particular sort of criminal to death than any other. 

One other general remark is called out by the non-recog- 
nition of it in most writing on witchcraft. The skeptics — 
who were never such as to the abstract existence of witchcraft, 
but only as to its existence in their own community, or the 
adequacy of the explanation in individual cases — formed but 
a small part of the whole body of suspects. The majority 
were as firm believers in the black art as their accusers; they 
believed that though personally innocent, they were surround- 
ed with those not so, that very likely those indicted as accom- 
plices had really committed sorcery, and not only so, but the 
actual piece of sorcery charged. That this had been in fact 



committed, they no more thought of doubting than a man 
wrongfully accused of murder doubts that the murder has 
taken place. Not to admit this is to suppose that the 
social riffraff had an invariable monopoly of advanced 
intelligence and clarity of mind. There is nothing to 
justify such an idea; yet it is tacitly assumed that the al- 
leged witches and wizards in all cases were the only ones in 
the community free from the delusion, and were not merely 
protesting against the sacrifice of their own lives unjustly, but 
against what they believed to be in its own nature falsehood 
and perjury. If we disabuse ourselves of this notion, and re- 
member that they probably thought merely that suspicion for 
a real crime had fallen on the wrong person, we shall under- 
stand better how they could confess in their crazed anguish 
to the commission of the crimes of which they had heard all 
their lives, and could involve others in the same doom. 

The number of lives taken for this cause in colonial Con- 
necticut seems to have been nine, all in the years 1647-62 ; but 
the 1647 case is dubious, and the number may not be above 
eight. After 1662 no more blood was shed here on this 
ground ; some reasons are suggested later. In the exact half- 
century (1647-97) between the first indictment and the last, 
allowing the doubtful case, twenty-eight persons in all were 
accused of the crime before the courts of Connecticut and 
New Haven colonies, — seven of them, or one-fourth, in a 
single "flurry," that of 1662; three were in New Haven, 
1653-7. Three other convictions of guilty were found be- 
sides those followed by executions ; but as the courts either set 
aside the verdicts or released the convicted, they belong to the 
credit side. Communities are judged by the final action of 
their superior elements, not by the intentions of their lower. 
New Haven apparently escaped all share of the bloodshed by 



having judge instead of jury trial, — there was no difference in 
belief or law, and certainly no superior personal humanity, 
witness the much harsher treatment of the Quakers, — and 
that judge the governor, Theophilus Eaton, a gentleman of 
exemplary sense and moderation. Men of superior station 
were not always exempt from the frenzy of the mass, — wit- 
ness the Salem craze; but in general their experience would 
undermine the bigoted self-confidence of the more ignorant, 
and their station exempted them from either annoyance or 
ridicule by the social pariahs, of whose dread the lesser good- 
men and goodies rid themselves by sending them to the gal- 
lows. We shall see reason to surmise that this acted on the 
Connecticut as well as the New Haven magistrates. 

The foundation of the witchcraft laws was the Mosaic 
code, on which the Puritan colonies based their catalogue of 
capital crimes; both New Haven and Connecticut make the 
same citations, Ex. xxii:i8, Lev. xx:27, and Deut. xviii:io, as 
authority. The first, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," 
was evidently regarded as binding as any other command- 
ment; why not the second, commanding the witch to be 
stoned to death, is one of the distinctions drawn by every 
age in theological matters as related to practice, for the med- 
itation of the outsider. But as their legislation was not to 
conflict with the English, there was a more direct precedent 
in the British statute of 1603, passed immediately after the 
accession of James L, and as a graceful compliment to his 
'Demonology.' The Connecticut law of 1642 reads, "If any 
Man or Woman bee a Witch, that is, hath or consulteth with 
a F'amiliar Spirritt, they shall bee put to Death." The New 
Haven statute of 1655 is, ''It any person be a Witch, he or 
she shall be put to death, according to" the list of Scripture 
texts above. 



The first capital case in Connecticut is always assigned to 
(March) 1646-7, on the clear statement of Winthrop's Jour- 
nal of that year: "A Person of Windsor was put to Death 
on the Charge of Witchcraft at Hartford." This is, how- 
ever, a very perplexing matter. There is no entry of any 
such case on the records of the Hartford Particular Court, 
where all the witchcraft cases for the neighboring towns 
were tried, and where every other case is set down, nor in the 
local annals of Windsor or Hartford, though as the first case 
it must have been a great sensation in those little towns, and 
the next one was carefully written up. Nor is it at all cer- 
tain that the entry was made at that time: it is in a large 
blank space at the end of the year 1646, and may have 
been later information written in and misdated, especially as 
Winthrop seems not to have been told the victim's sex. On 
the other hand, he did not invent it outright, and if a mis- 
take it must be a confusion with some one else; but it can 
in that case be no one but Mary Johnson following, and to 
suppose that on hearing of the execution of a witch from 
Wethersfield a few weeks before his death (and there is a 
good probability she was not executed till long after it), 
he turned back the leaves of his diary and miscopied it into a 
place two years earlier as one from Windsor, is so extra- 
ordinary an improbability that it would seem much easier to 
believe that the records are wrong. Yet though this seems 
a simple explanation, it is in this case so difficult to support 
that we are left in a blind alley. Local records may yet 
turn up and throw light on this case. 

The first certain execution was that of Mary Johnson 
("Jonson") of Wethersfield, at Hartford, in 1649 or 1650. 
On Dec. 7, 1648, a "Bill of Inditement" was framed against 
her, "that by her owne Confession, shee is guilty of Famil- 



iarity with the Deuill." She appears to have been an un- 
chaste and hght-fingered servant-girl, who two years before 
had been whipped for "Theuery" (if it was the same Mary 
Johnson). Whom she had bewitched, or how, we have no 
statement (all we know is from Mather's 'Magnalia') ; but 
finding she was to be hanged in any event, she furnished a 
very satisfactory "confession," which if the "Deuill" is 
omitted is probable enough. She was discontented with her 
work, and perpetually wishing the Devil to take certain 
things, especially disagreeable household duties; one was 
cleaning out the ashes, and many thousands in the time of the 
great old-fashioned fireplace have probably echoed her as- 
piration. Satan obligingly complied with her wish, and on 
one occasion drove the hogs out of the yard when they had 
broken in. She also confessed that she had "committed un- 
cleanness both with men and with Devils," and murdered a 
child (quite likely her own) . She was said to be "very Pen- 
itent." Servant-girls were more plentiful then than now, or 
the community would not have spared her, even for the lux- 
ury of an auto-da-fe. She was probably not hanged till the 
spring of 1650. 

The petition of Uncas to the United Colonies of New 
England, in the winter of 1649-50, to protect him from the 
sorceries of other Indians, is hardly relev^ant to our subject. 
Connecticut was asked to appoint a committee to look into 
it, but seems not to have acted; and would have had a divert- 
ing time examining Indian deponents and passing sentence on 
Indian culprits, in re the question what was normal and what 
was abnormal in an Indian. 

On Feb. 20, 1650-1, an indictment was found against a 
Wethersfield carpenter named John Carrington, and his wife 
"Joane," in common form, for having "Intertained ffamiliar- 



ity with Sathan, the Great Enemye of God and Mankinde," 
and accomplished wonderful works past human power by his 
aid. We note again that though convicted, they were not 
hanged till March 19, 1653. These long imprisonments 
suggest that the Connecticut magistrates were trying to do in- 
directly what the New Haven ones could do directly, and 
release the prisoners after public excitement had cooled 
down. Unfortunately they had not the same power. There 
is a reasonable possibility that they would have escaped, how- 
ever, but for the Bassett and Knapp cases, and that all four 
were hanged together in 1653, in a sudden exacerbation of 

The next two cases seem to have been closely connected; 
the connection should be emphasized, because neglect of it 
has been made the basis of some virulent detraction of an 
important man. The earlier was of Goodwife Bassett, at 
Stratford, in 1651; the later of Goodwife Knapp, at Fair- 
field, in 1653. These two towns had a Particular Court in 
common, with joint magistrates sitting alternately in the two; 
that of Fairfield was its founder Roger Ludlow, one of the 
leading founders of Connecticut. All we know of Goody 
Bassett is that Governor Haynes and two Magistrates went 
down to "keepe Courte uppon her Tryall for her Life," after 
May 15, 1 65 I. She was hanged; we cannot tell when, per- 
haps not till 1653. One of the efforts of the prosecutors and 
promoters of the prosecution at each trial was to have the 
witch name her fellow witches, so that all might be rooted 
out; and the frantic victims, out of mental break-down or 
honest belief in the crime having been committed, vengeful- 
ness or mischief, would often involve others, so that it is re- 
markable this ninepin system had not brought on a holo- 
caust of murders long before the Salem times. It would seem 



that Goody Bassett had hinted at some one in Fairfield, 
without giving names, and suspicion vacillated between 
Goody Knapp and the young wife of one Thomas Staplies; 
at last it fixed or first fixed on the former, who was tried, 
convicted, and hanged — almost certainly early in 1653. Her 
case is the most painful in the entire Connecticut list, for she 
impresses one as the best woman : how the just and high- 
minded old lady had excited hate or suspicion, we cannot 

The loss of the court record (carried off by Ludlow) de- 
prives us of any direct account of her indictment; the whole 
matter was brought out in a libel suit which followed. While 
Mrs. Knapp was in prison she was beset as usual, by the gos- 
sips of the town, to name her accomplices. They were espe- 
cially insistent with her to name Mrs. Staplies; their un- 
scrupulous pertinacity, according to their own testimony, was 
enough to have worn out the constancy and broken down the 
fibre of any one living, but was powerless, for a while at 
least, against her upright firmness and honor. They were 
especially insistent with her to name Mrs. Staplies, but she 
refused again and again, bearing her tormentors' nagging 
with Christian meekness and patience. She said she would not 
add to her condemnation by accusing another falsely; that 
even if Mrs. Staplies had wronged her in her testimony 
(probably a mistake), she would not render evil for evil; and 
at last burst into tears and asked her persecutor to pray for 
her, for never was any one so tempted as she had been — 
which did not soften the set narrow women around her by a 
shade. It is true, others swore that she wavered and incrimi- 
nated Mrs. Staplies next day; but if true, that would only 
show that she was breaking down under the torture, with a 
horde of women warning her to "take heede that the Deuill 



perswaded her not to sow malicious seed to doe hurt when she 
was dead." And let us bear in mind that she too believed 
in witchcraft, and on the appeals to her conscience, perhaps 
felt doubts if she were not doing wrong to hide anything she 
knew, as Mrs. Staplies might really be a witch. 

At all events, unless Ludlow was a barefaced liar (which 
is a theory out of court), Mrs. Knapp had been beset and 
perplexed into telling him at the gallows (he having taken 
his own turn in harrying her on the way thither) that Mrs. 
Staplies was the one hinted at by Mrs. Bassett. He was on 
exceedingly bad terms with Mrs. Staplies ; made a practice 
of accusing her of falsehood, and once told her to her face 
she "went on in a tract of lying." This could have been left 
as a matter of opinion ; but shortly afterward, Mr. and Mrs. 
Davenport of New Haven (the Rev. John) spread abroad a 
private conversation of Ludlow with them at their home 
(defending themselves by saying they had not been asked to 
keep it secret, which Ludlow denied), in which he told them 
of this confession of Mrs. Knapp, and said Mrs. Staplies had 
laid herself under suspicion of being a witch by her skepti- 
cism of Mrs. Knapp being one. They professed to think the 
story mere malice on Mrs. Knapp's part (they did not know 
her), and accused Ludlow of trying to spread gossip; a 
rather impudent charge, as it was they and not he who were 
spreading the gossip that might bring to the gallows the 
very woman they professed to be defending. They stated 
in excuse that Ludlow told them Mrs. Knapp had been over- 
heard, and he was afraid others would spread it; but then 
they might not, and it was obvious Ludlow did not intend to. 
In fact, he said nothing worse than that she w^as a foolish 
woman for bringing suspicion on herself — in which her best 
friends might concur, though we respect her sense and out- 



spokenness. She seems from the record to have been an 
inquisitive and long-tongued but good-hearted and rational 
woman, with a sense of humor her townswomen sadly lacked, 
and which helps to account for their acrid hostility to her. It 
is not safe to laugh at people who can hang you. But the 
danger was too great for quiescence; and her husband 
brought suit for defamation — not against the Davenports 
who had circulated the defamation, but against Ludlow who 
had kept the worst part of it quiet. The counts were three, 
— the statement of the confession, statements as to her in- 
credulity of Goody Knapp being a witch, and calling her a 

Ludlow had for some weeks been preparing to leave Amer- 
ica for good (he spent his last years in Holyhead, Wales), 
had his ship engaged, and must have received the process 
but a few days before he went; he therefore left funds with 
his attorney. Ensign Alexander Bryan of Milford (New 
Haven colony), to satisfy any judgment, with directions to 
collect evidence and defend the case. Bryan collected an 
overwhelming mass to show that Ludlow only told matter of 
universal notoriety ; then he went into court with it May 29 
— but curiously, this suit of one Connecticut citizen against 
another was not brought in the Fairfield court, but before 
the New Haven General Court, which had no jurisdiction 
over Fairfield and would not have been allowed to meddle 
of its own motion. The only explanation yet attempted is 
worse than worthless, being a false statement — that Ludlow 
was a "refugee" in New Haven. I can suggest but one ex- 
planation : that Ludlow, having expressly or virtually re- 
signed his Connecticut citizenship, was a citizen of nowhere 
but England in general when the process was served; that 
there was therefore free choice of jurisdiction between the 



parties, and that the two agreed on New Haven as being 
fairer for the plaintiff than the Fairfield Particular Court, of 
which Ludlow had just left the judgeship, or the Hartford, 
Ludlow having been so prominent a magistrate. In a word, 
it was chosen on the basis of an umpire. That court, how- 
ever, took the question to be not whether Ludlow told the 
truth, but whether Mrs. Staplies had been brought into un- 
fair danger; and on the latter ground fined Ludlow in ab- 
sence £io for defamation on the first two counts, besides £5 
for costs of court, and the next term fined him another £10 
for accusing her of lying, which was not related to the Da- 
venport story. 

Part of the testimony brought out, in addition to what has 
been stated, throws an interesting light on the public state of 
mind. It seems Mrs. Staplies made an opportunity to strip 
and examine the old woman's body after her execution, to 
look for the "witch teats" which were one pretext for such 
killings, and by which the Devil was supposed to suck his fa- 
miliars. Having done so, she contemptuously told the others 
there were no teats other than she herself or any other wom- 
an had, and if those were witch marks she was one herself; 
and that if the accusing gossips would search their persons 
they would find the same — a remark which greatly incensed 
her auditors. The highly feminine reply of one woman, that 
it made no difference,— she had teats anyway, and confessed 
she was a witch, — would be delicious if it were not so grim 
a specimen of the reasoning on which a human life could 
hang in those days. 

This recital shows the gross unfairness of the charges 
brought against Ludlow in connection with the case. There 
is no evidence that he bore any part in fastening the charge 
on Mrs. Knapp; it was the crowd of female gossips around 



Goody Bassett who must have done that. Nor is there any 
that he was trying to punish Mrs. Staplies for skepticism over 
the case : his all-powerful word would have haled her to the 
same court and quite likely the same gallows as Goody 
Knapp, but he withheld it, and it was her alleged friends who 
came near doing her that service instead. We do not even 
know that his quarrel with her was related to the Knapp case. 
There is equally little basis for the assumption that the New 
Haven court was acting out of spite to Ludlow : he must have 
chosen or agreed to that court himself, and it distinctly stated 
that it refrained from severe judgment in his absence. 

Five persons, and perhaps six, had lost their lives for 
witchcraft in six years at most, and it may be four of them 
close together. Possibly people began to have a revulsion 
of feeling at the deaths coming so quickly, and to scan the 
evidence more closely. At any rate, no further executions 
took place for nine years ; then there was a frenzy of suspi- 
cion and several deaths, the last known in Connecticut. Mean- 
time there are cases which show that common-sense was not 
wholly dead, and whose grotesqueness we can freely enjoy. 

In 1653, immediately after the Knapp-Staplies affairs, — 
and very likely as part of the same ferment, — an old woman 
named Elizabeth Godman, then living in the family of 
Deputy-Governor Stephen Goodyear of New Haven, was 
currently charged Vk^ith being a witch. She was a peppery 
person with an active tongue, and aggressive in her 
self-defenses; the other women hated and dreaded her; 
she muttered a good deal to herself; and she was much too 
ready with rational explanations of the evil eye and other 
sorceries. Moreover, she told Rev. Mr. Hooke, teacher of 
the church and afterwards Cromwell's chaplain, that witches 
should be converted instead of provoked; that gentleman 



thereafter lent ear to the most extraordinary mass of rubbish 
concerning her actions, to which in due time he deposed in 
court. Finally the wife of the colonial treasurer, Joshua 
Atwater, was much disturbed at Mrs. Godman's supernat- 
ural scent for some figs in her pocket; and when a neigh- 
bor's girl, after watching her "cutt a sopp" at Mrs. Atwa- 
ter's house, had chills and fever and laid it to Mrs. God- 
man's sorceries, the latter was forbidden the Atwater house. 
Mrs. Godman saw the bolt coming, and with admirable 
nerve summoned Mrs. Atwater, Hooke and his wife, the 
Goodyears, the wife of Bishop the colonial secretary, and 
others, to answer for having hinted at her being a witch. 
The case was first heard May 21, 1653, but continued many 
weeks with hearings and depositions, new discoveries of her 
sorceries, and (more alarming still) her jeers at the witch- 
craft solution of all sorts of personal and social evils. She 
had suggested that Hooke's sick boy had done too much slid- 
ing, and accounted for the fits and stillbirths of a Goodyear 
bride (whose husband she was suspected of wanting herself, 
old as she was) by heredity. Two girls had "peeked" at her 
in bed and seen the Devil there, they were sure, but had been 
scared away by the old woman before they had a good look 
at him: and one of them had the ague some days after. 
Goody Thorpe had a chicken die and others "drope" after 
refusing to sell them to Mrs. Godman. Finally, on August 
4 the court gave judgment that the defendants had a right to 
suspect her, and that she was reputed a great liar; that she 
must not go about to other houses "in a rayling manner," as 
heretofore, but "keepe her place and medle with her own 
business," otherwise she would come before them again and 
all this evidence would count. Unluckily, she did not heed 
this admonition, and two years later she was up again. She 



certainly had the art of making herself well hated, and New 
Haven felt that it had too much of her. Mr. Goodyear had 
turned her out, the prayer meeting had barred her out, and 
the neighbors had had deplorable experiences with their pro- 
ducts and animals, all laid on her head. She was sent to pris- 
on in August, to be capitally tried in October; her health be- 
ing bad, however, she was released with a warning in Sep- 
tember. Then there was more unaccountable work of the 
Evil One, Mr. Hooke being the chief sufferer; it seems for- 
tunate this person was in New Haven and not Connecticut, 
or Salem might have been outdone in the tale of slaughter. 
The court in October decided, however, that though she was 
"full of lying," and it was a pretty clear case so far as suspi- 
cion went, there was not evidence enough yet to put her to 
death, and she was let off with the old warning not to go 
about making enemies for herself. She gave £50 security for 
good behavior, and disappears till her death in 1660. 

Just before her second committal, on July 3, 1655, Nicho- 
las Bayly and his wife were apprehended on suspicion, but 
were told that they would not be proceeded against just now; 
after several examinations they were advised to leave the 
colony on account of the wife's "lying malice and filthy 
speeches," she acting as if "possessed with the verey Devill." 

In 1657 New Haven had another equally plain case. This 
was a charge by Thomas Moulenor that William Meaker 
had bewitched his pigs, several of which had sickened and 
died; he discovered Meaker's agency by putting first the sev- 
ered tail and ear of a sick pig into the fire, and then the re- 
mainder "till it was dead." Meaker brought suit for defa- 
mation; it is significant of the confidence felt in the justice 
and moderation of the magistrates, that in New Haven the 
accused took the aggressive. Moulenorwas a "tough subject." 



drunken, quarrelsome, litigious, and insubordinate; he had 
been under £ioo bonds for good behavior the last twelve 
years, and the court called his attention to this and informed 
him that the colony would be better off without than with 
him. He withdrew his charge. 

In 1657-8 a case came to Connecticut from beyond its re- 
cent Long Island possessions : at Easthampton, where Lion 
Gardener lived. One of his servants accused another, Good- 
wife Garlicke, of killing her baby by sorcery; Gardener testi- 
fied that the accuser had taken an Indian baby to nurse, and 
to gain the money had let her own baby starve. The magis- 
trates, however, seem to have been rather proud of their 
first sorcery case, and felt it incumbent on them to treat de- 
monology with more respect; and not being competent 
judges, deputed two men to take Mrs. Garlicke to "Keniti- 
cut," deliver her up to the authorities for trial, and ask to 
have Easthampton annexed to Connecticut. The May term 
1658 acquitted her, and sent her back with a letter from Gov- 
ernor Winthrop to the town, admonishing them to treat Jos. 
Garlicke and his wife "neighbourly and peaceably," if they 
expected like treatment from them. Nevertheless, by some 
abstruse reasoning they made her husband pay the cost of her 
transportation and lodging. 

From 1659 to 1663 Saybrook took its turn, but there is 
little to learn about the case. In the former year Samuel 
Wyllys and John Mason were deputed to go there and ex- 
amine the "suspitions about witchery"; but no further rec- 
ord appears till Sept. 5, 1661, when Nicholas and Margaret 
Jennings were indicted for "having caused the death of sev- 
eral." This is much the worst indictment drawn against any 
Connecticut witches, and would naturally have given them 
short shrift; especially if (as pretty certain) they are the 



"Nicholas Gennings" and "Margarett Poore, alias Bed- 
forde," who were brought before the New Haven General 
Court in 1643 ^^ runaway servants, guilty of lewdness, theft, 
and other misdemeanors, and were sentenced to be whipped 
and married. But perhaps the very atrocity of the charge 
made the jury skeptical; anyway, on Oct. 9 it disagreed. 
The case would seem to have been sharply debated outside 
the record; for on March 1 1, 1663, the Connecticut General 
Court disallowed the Saybrook constables' charges for wit- 
nesses in the case, and announced that they would pay no 
such charges in the future. 

The cases of 1662 were Connecticut's nearest approach to 
the Salem cases of thirty years later, and originated in much 
the same fashion : here there were two different and possibly 
unconnected cases of hysterical suggestion, but not falling on 
ground quite so well prepared, nor stimulated by such en- 
couragements to falsehood, so that it did not approach the 
magnitude of that terrible devastation. Seven persons were 
indicted, of whom two were certainly executed and probably 
a third. The fire and tow respectively were nervous people 
fed upon tales of witchcraft and the knowledge of the 
executions for it at their own doors, and social pariahs a sub- 
ject of mingled dislike and apprehension to their neigh- 
bors. It began with the eight-year-old girl of John Kelly, 
who in the delirium of sickness, in the spring of 1662, cried 
out against Mrs. William Ayres (whom she had of course 
been taught to shun) for afflicting her; she died, and an au- 
topsy was held to see if her interior gave any token of illegiti- 
mate causes. Goody Avres foreboded it as a death-warrant 
(which was made extra ground of suspicion), and effecting 
her escape, fled with her husband, leaving behind a son, who 
was apprenticed by the General Court. It is probable that the 



water ordeal had previously been tried on them — tying hand 
and foot and throwing them in to swim ; it certainly had on 
one couple. Increase Mather says that a bystander (who had 
the instincts of a man of science) asserted that floating was 
no proof, because any one would float in that condition; and 
offered himself for an experiment, but sank when thrown in. 
In the flurry of suspicion, others were apprehended also: 
among them Judith, wife of Caspar Varleth and sister-in-law 
of Peter Stuyvesant, who wrote a letter in her favor and 
probably secured her release, and one James Walkley, who 
fled to Rhode Island. On June 13, Mary the wife of An- 
drew San ford was indicted after the usual formula, for hav- 
ing done acts and learned secrets beyond the ordinary course 
of nature by Satan's help. She was convicted, but nothing 
more is known of her. 

The next step in the tragedy is very like the Salem per- 
formances also. Ann Cole was a religious melancholiac, tor- 
mented with doubts about her religious welfare; and in 1662 
began to take fits in which she maundered for some hours 
about a company of evil spirits taking counsel how to ruin 
her (with supernatural witlessness, in the hearing of their 
victim), and concluding to "confound her language that she 
may tell no more tales." They did it so clumsily that she 
merely talked in a Dutch brogue: she was not intimate with 
the only Dutch family there, and her hearers (she always had 
her fits before hearers) were convinced that only supernatural 
means could have given her so good a Dutch accent. The fits 
were contagious, and she and two other women had them in 
church several times, doubtless without consciousness that 
they were the most interesting objects there. A special day 
of prayer was held for them, and they rose to the occasion so 
vigorously that one of the company fainted at the sight; and 



Ann Cole denounced Elizabeth, wife of Richard Seager, as 
a witch. Mrs. Seager characterized It as a "hodge-podge," 
as no doubt It was; but barely escaped with her life, being In- 
dicted three times, — Jan. 6, 1662-3, July 2, 1663 (accused 
of witchcraft, adultery, and blasphemy, but convicted only 
of adultery), and July 16, 1665. The last time she was 
found guilty and lodged In prison, but after about a year was 
released (May 18, 1666), and removed to the Alsatia of the 
oppressed, Rhode Island. As the victims were unjustly ac- 
cused, we praise the government which sheltered them; but 
as they were usually undesirable citizens of their old resi- 
dence, the false charge hardly made them desirable acquisi- 
tions to the new one. 

Among the other disesteemed citizens of Hartford at this 
time were Nathaniel Greensmlth and his wife Rebecca, of 
whom he was the third husband. He was a well-to-farmer, 
€very now and then convicted of petty thievery, assault and 
battery, or lying. She is described by Rev. John Whiting as 
a "lewd. Ignorant, and considerably aged woman," with two 
daughters by her first marriage. Almost every country town 
has such families (granting the accuracy of the details), — 
low-caste, of bad example, a thorn in the side of the respecta- 
ble Inhabitants, and of whom no one Is quite sure what they 
will do some time. The interesting feature of the witchcraft 
cases isj that so often these parties have accumulated consid- 
erable property. Greensmlth's estate Inventoried about £182, 
equal in relative rank to fully $5,000 now, and that in a coun- 
try town. From his wife's "confession," one may suspect 
that there were local doubts of Its being all honestly acquired. 
The Greensmlths lived next door to the Coles, the first lot on 
the present Wethersfield Avenue. As a result of these va- 
rious excitements and suggestions, Rebecca was arrested and 



lodged In prison. She had probably the repute of a witch al- 
ready, as her husband at that very time had an action pend- 
ing against William i\yres for slandering her, most likely 
with charges of sorcery, perhaps to relieve his own wife. The 
result is one of those surprising things we frequently meet in 
these cases, and which justified the witch-hunters to them- 
selves and every one else then, and makes it hard to blame 
them now. How should they doubt the truth when the ac- 
cused themselves owned to it all, and more? Mrs. Green- 
smith not only confessed everything charged against her, but 
invented a luxuriant confession of all sorts of things derived 
from the stock witch-tales on which she had been fed; and 
every time a new person asked her questions, she had a fresh 
confession ready to oblige them. Why? — who can tell? 
Probably her weak old brain was full of delusions, and had 
given way under the strain. She said that she had resolved 
at first to deny it all, but it was as though the flesh were 
pulled off her bones, and she must tell the truth. That the 
questioners asked if the Devil had had sexual intercourse with 
her, and she admitted that he frequently had, are matters of 
course. Perhaps Rev. Mr. Whiting's charge that she was 
*'lewd" means only this, as the "considerably aged" wife of 
a prosperous third husband should have the presumption of 
decent conduct. 

On Dec. 30, 1662, the Hartford Particular Court indicted 
the couple for familiarity with Satan and its usual results. 
The husband refused to make a confession, but his wife re- 
confessed enough for both, her statement probably shot with 
threads of irrelevant but fatally confirmatory truth. On 
Jan. 8, 1662-3, she fairly outdid herself. The first Item 
of the confession was probably true : "My husband . . . 
told me that now thou hast confest against thyself, let me 



alone and say nothing of me and I will be good unto thy 
children." This reasonable request was thrown away: con- 
trary to the kindly and honorable Goody Knapp, she accused 
everybody within reach, her husband first of all, and mainly 
following the beaten track of local suspicions, — Goodies 
Seager, Sanford, and Ayres, James Walkley, and Judith 
Varleth. These others were either out of reach or the court 
discredited the charge; but her husband and herself were 
found guilty and shortly executed. Ann Cole at once re- 
covered, and ten years later married a widower with eight 
children (Andrew Benton) , who a couple of years before had 
bought Greensmith's confiscated estate, where she spent the 
remainder of her days. Her nerves must have recovered to 
an enviable equipose, or it would seem she might have pre- 
ferred some other residence; but sentiment was not mor- 
bidly insistent in those times, especially with a passee spinster 
who had an offer of marriage. 

Two days before the last confession of Goody Green- 
smith, Mary Barnes of Farmington was indicted for witch- 
craft and found guilty by the jury. What relation, if any, 
her case had to the Greensmiths', is not known, but prob- 
ably it was part of the same outbreak. The only further 
note of her fate is a bill for "keep" in prison; and as this 
was for about the same length of time as the Greensmiths, she 
was probably executed like them. 

Connecticut's debauch was over for many years. What 
produced the change, is matter of inference. Probably the 
very extent and fury of the craze, as with the Salem cases, 
showed the community the possible abyss under its feet, and 
bred secret doubts. Its close, too, is nicely coincident with 
the new charter, the absorption of New Haven, and the ex- 
pansion of horizon due to this great enlargement of political 



interests, with the overturn in New York. Nor is it altogether 
unlikely that the new spirit introduced by the Restoration, the 
violent reaction against Puritanism in the old country, gave 
courage to the more liberal element in the new to hold up its 
head. Something certainly strengthened the hands of the 
Connecticut magistrates. 

In May 1669 occurred the most remarkable case in the 
colony, in one respect. One of the richest persons in Weth- 
ersfield was indicted for witchcraft: Catherine Harrison, 
widow of a former town surveyor and crier, who had died 
three years before worth by appraisal £610 — equivalent cer- 
tainly to fifteen or twenty thousand dollars now, and in a 
rural village. She had three daughters, the eldest sixteen. A 
jury of the Court of Assistants convicted her; she appealed 
to the General Court, May Term 1670, which heard the 
case without a jury and acquitted her, but compelled her to 
pay the costs, and advised her to leave the town for her own 
safety and the neighbors' content. As the court knew the lo- 
cal circumstances, we may infer that it thought she had her- 
self to thank for much of the trouble, in what way we can- 
not guess. She went to Westchester, N. Y., but its inhab- 
itants attempted to send her back; after three years' harry- 
ing, however, an accusation before the new Dutch governor 
(Colve) failed ignominously, and she was thereafter left 

In 1683 the house of Nicholas Desborough in Hartford 
was pelted with stones and clods by invisible hands, and a 
fire set without much harm, till Desborough returned some 
goods belonging to a neighbor, when the supernatural man- 
ifestations ceased. 

When the Salem craze spread over New England in 1692, 
one spot in Connecticut shared it deeply; that actual blood- 



shed was averted testifies to the general broadening which 
upheld the magistrates in not carrying out sentences. That 
spot was Fairfield, an instance of the persistent localization 
of feeling which shows that each community has its separate 
moral physiognomy. Perhaps it shows too that the feuds of 
forty years before were still smoldering; for we find our old 
friend Mrs. Staplies, who must by this time have become 
an expert (there can hardly have been two witches of the 
name, unless she had trained a daughter-in-law In her own 
craft), among the accused and imprisoned. The Connecticut 
General Court ordered a special court held in Fairfield, 
which assembled in September (14 or 19), composed of the 
leading men of the colony — including Governor Treat, Depu- 
ty-Governor William Jones (Eaton's son-in-law), and Secre- 
tary John Allyn — and a grand and petty jury. To be fully 
prepared with evidence, the townspeople had put two sus- 
pects, Mercy Disborough and Elizabeth Clawson, to the wa- 
ter ordeal; both "swam like a cork," we are required to be- 
lieve, though the crowd tried to push at least Mrs. Dis- 
borough under. The two, with Mrs. Staplies and one Goody 
Miller, were indicted, and some two hundred witnesses ex- 
amined. The jury disagreed, and the court met again on 
Oct. 28 for final decision. More evidence was taken. Includ- 
ing the examination of the prisoners' bodies for witch-marks 
by a committee of women. Their report Is not quotable with 
decency : evidently none of the committee had grown old and 
flabby, or would admit the fact if so; each should have been 
at least seventy. The jury were required to find a verdict; 
they evidently attached no weight to the ordeal or the "witch- 
marks," for they found all but Mercy Disborough not guilty, 
and convicted her. They were sent out to reconsider the ver- 
dict, but repeated It. The Governor, for the judges, then 



pronounced the death sentence; but (probably at the sugges- 
tion of the members of the court) a memorial to the General 
Assembly for her pardon was drawn up. Although there is 
no record of formal action, she was doubtless quietly re- 
leased, as she (or her double) was alive fifteen years later. 

An unexplained sporadic case occurred in Fairfield short- 
ly after this: on Nov. 15 one Hugh Crosher ("Crocia") was 
indicted for witchcraft; but on May 8, 1693, the grand jury 
threw it out, indorsing "Ignoramus" (we know nothing of 
it) on the bill. 

One more indictment, in 1697, probably closes the list of 
Connecticut's witchcraft prosecutions, though it was not the 
last appearance of the crime for the courts' cognizance. This 
was in Wallingford, where "Winnifrett Denham Sr." and 
the same Jr. (a girl of twelve or thirteen) were indicted for 
the old common-form acts, and for "misteriously hurting the 
Bodies and Goods of . . . Jno. Moss, Jr., Joseph Roys, 
and Ebenezer Clark, with divers others." They were searched 
for witch-teats, subjected to the water-ordeal, and excom- 
municated by the ministers; what happened to them is un- 
certain, except that they saved their lives. Fowler's 'His- 
tory of Salem Witchcraft' (1765 ) says they were bound over 
to the Superior Court at Hartford, acquitted at the August 
Term 1697, again complained of, and fled to New York. Un- 
fortunately, the Superior Court records from 1697 to 1701 
are lost. Davis' 'History of Wallingford and Meriden' says 
the grand jury indorsed on the bill "Ignoramus"; but this 
may be a confusion with the case of Hugh Crosher. 

From 1665 on, all the convictions had been virtually 
quashed by the court; it has been intimated that the court's 
will to do so earlier was probably as good as that of the New 
Haven body. There is no further evidence of any active 



measures to suppress witchcraft in Connecticut, or I believe 
in New England: the so-called Age of Queen Anne, indeed, 
was already at hand in England, and its spirit probably felt 
even in New England, and it was not a spirit of zeal. But 
one more case brought the general merits of the witchcraft 
theory before the courts, as late as 1724. One Sarah Spen- 
cer had removed from East Haddam to Colchester, carrying 
with her the repute of a witch. She suffered so much annoy- 
ance from it that her minister, Rev. John Bulkley, gave her 
a certificate for "good religion and virtue." But on revisiting 
Haddam, one Elizabeth Ackley cried out on Mrs. Spencer 
for "pinching and riding" her, and the husband James Ack- 
ley threatened her if she came that way again. Mrs. Spen- 
cer sued them for £500 damages in the County Court, and 
received £5 with costs; the defendants appealed to the Supe- 
rior Court, which gave the case to a jury, who awarded Mrs. 
Spencer one shilling damages, and said they found the de- 
fendants not insane — wherefore we may infer that they were 
a poor old half-crazy couple not thought capable of harm- 
ing any one. 

In other American colonies considering themselves entitled 
to throw stones at the Puritans, and liberally availing them- 
selves of the privilege, the superstition as an active force 
survived much later than in New England: the water ordeal 
was practiced in Virginia in 171 2. And what Hutchinson 
said late in the eighteenth century has never been contra- 
dicted, — that "more have been put to death in a single coun- 
ty in England, in a short space of time, than have suffered 
in all New England from the first settlement to this time." 
The chief distinction of New England from Old England in 
this matter, in fact, is that its rural population were so soon, 
so far, and so universally emancipated from the sway of the 



superstition; that its own historians have so unflinchingly 
dragged the facts to light; and that the revolt of its sons 
against the system of their ancestors has led them to welcome 
and themselves exaggerate every charge against the latter, 
to deny them the commonest justice of pleading, and to judge 
them by a standard imposed on no other people in history. 
Furthermore, the history of an English county is only ranked 
as local antiquities, sunk out of sight in the larger issues of 
English history; while the Puritan American common- 
wealths are independent entities, set on a hill for all to scru- 
tinize, their every detail of social action enveloped in a glare 
of light, and usually hostile light. If there are other Amer- 
ican foundations seemingly freer from this particular delu- 
sion than New England, it will be found on examination that 
it was only on the surface; that the differences were not in 
beliefs, which were no more advanced or rational than those 
of the Puritans, but in the power of effective action under 
them; that while the New England commonwealths were 
relatively homogeneous, in others there were different ele- 
ments neither of which had power to persecute the rest, nor 
was inclined to persecute itself in the presence of the others. 

F. M. 



Indian Troubles from 1640 to 1675 

THE colony of Connecticut was not to be en- 
tirely relieved of her Indian troubles by the 
termination of the Pequot war. The planters 
of Wethersfield demanded the punishment of 
the perpetrators of the massacre which oc- 
curred in their plantation In 1637, and accused Sowheag the 
Indian Sachem of instigating the outrage and of concealing 
the murderers. Sowheag had removed to Mattabesett (now 
MIddletown), and lived in a fort situated on high ground, 
three-quarters of a mile northwest of the present court-house. 
His tribe consisted of from three to four hundred warriors, 
thickly located on the banks of the Connecticut River. His 
authority extended over the Wethersfield Indians, and one 
of his sons was a Sagamore of that tribe from which the New 
Haven colonists made their original purchase. Sowheag 
paid no attention to the English demands for the surrender of 
the murderers, and the colonists decided to follow their re- 
quests by recourse to arms. It was determined to raise a 
company of one hundred men, and notification was given to 
the New Haven settlers that hostilities were to begin. The 
cautious executive of the New Haven colony remonstrated 
with the Connecticut authorities, urging that the colonists 
needed their men and means to develop the country. Connec- 
ticut acceded to this voice of reason, and matters were ami- 
cably arranged between Sowheag and the Wethersfield plant- 

A stray band of Pequots had built a village on the banks 
of the Pawcatuck River, and were again hunting over their 
old haunts and tilling their old fields. This aroused the 
wrath of the Connecticut settlers ; the very name of Pequot 
was enough to inflame them to vindictive measures, and as 
long as any were there, a conflict with the other Indians was 



always liable to draw in the colony. The General Court of 
Connecticut raised a company of forty soldiers, and this was 
reinforced by a hundred of their Indian allies under the lead- 
ership of Uncas. The command of the expedition was given 
to Captain John Mason, and the instructions of the Court 
were to proceed against the Pequots, "drive them off, burn 
their wigwams, and bring away their corn." At the ap- 
proach of Mason's party the Indians fled; their wigwams 
were burned, their corn harvest and their utensils were car- 
ried aboard Mason's bark; fifty canoes were filled, thirty 
having been seized from the enemy. 

The Indians throughout southern New England were kept 
in a state of continual warfare by Uncas, the sagacious and 
wily ally of the colonists. The extinction of the Pequot na- 
tion gave Uncas the opportunity of again asserting his rights, 
as a member of the "royal" family, to the office of Chief 
Sachem of the Mohegans. This tribe had been augmented 
by the one hundred Pequot warriors allowed by the treaty of 
1638, and by many refugees from that nation, beside wan- 
derers from other tribes. The alliance between Uncas and 
the English was of mutual benefit; it added to the chieftain's 
tribe those who desired protection, or wished to shine by the 
reflected glory of such a brilliant and politic leader; to the 
colonies Uncas was useful in war, and in peace was a spy on 
his brother Sachems. The rival of Uncas was Sequassen, 
Sachem of the river tribes, who hoped on the overthrow of 
Sassacus that he might regain his ancient influence, and the 
leadership of the Connecticut Indians. He was a kinsman 
and ally of the Narragansetts, who still retained their hatred 
of the Pequots, of which tribe they considered the Mohegans 
a part. Uncas promulgated rumors that Sequassen had con- 
spired with Miantonomo, chief of the Narragansetts, to 



make the latter Grand Sachem of all the New England 
Indians, and to declare war on the whites. The suspicions of 
the colonial magistrates were aroused by these rumors, and 
the Narragansett chief was summoned to Boston to answer 
the charges against him. He was acquitted of all suspicions 
of conspiracy; these accusations, however, increased the 
hatred of Miantonomo for Uncas, and he instigated Se- 
quassen to open deeds of violence. As a result of this, a lead- 
ing Mohegan was assassinated, and attempts were made on 
Uncas' life. The latter complained to the Connecticut au- 
thorities; the governor summoned both Sachems to appear 
before him, and a reconciliation was effected by Sequassen 
agreeing to surrender one of his tribe for the murdered Mo- 
hegan. Sequassen afterwards refused to comply with this 
agreement, basing his decision on the support of his Narra- 
gansett allies. In retaliation Uncas invaded Sequassen's 
country, killed and wounded about twenty braves, burned 
their wigwams, and carried away large quantities of plun- 
der. This coming to the knowledge of Miantonomo, he 
notified the executives of the Massachusetts and Connecticut 
colonies that he proposed to engage in war with the Mo- 
hegans, and asked if they would be offended. Governor 
Haynes replied that the English did not uphold Uncas in his 
depredations, and Governor Winthrop answered that he 
would leave him to choose his own course. Thus did Mian- 
tonomo comply with the conditions of the treaty of 1638, by 
submitting his complaints to the English before proceeding to 
war upon the Mohegans. 

The Narragansett chieftain collected a large body of war- 
riors; notification of which reached Uncas at his fort about 
five miles below the present site of Norwich. Hastily gath- 
ering his braves, Uncas with about three hundred followers 



marched to a spot situated in the present town of Nor- 
wich, known as the Great Plain. The Narragansetts 
numbered twice as many as their adversaries; and on 
the approach of Miantonomo's army, TJncas sent forward 
a courier to request an intervnew. The Narragansett chief 
acceded to this request, and the Sachems met in a narrow 
space between the armies. Uncas, with sagacious cunning, 
proposed to Miantonomo to settle their differences by per- 
sonal combat, and thereby save the lives of their followers. 
Confident in the superiority of his men, Miantonomo rejected 
the offer, as Uncas had expected. The time had now arrived 
for the preconcerted strategem : Uncas threw himself flat 
on the ground, which was the signal for his braves to shower 
arrows upon the astonished and unsuspecting Narragansetts. 
After the volley, Uncas sprung from the ground and led his 
army to a hand-to-hand fight with the tomahawk. The Nar- 
ragansetts, stricken with panic, fled from the field in disorder, 
madly pursued by the Mohegans. 

The flight of Miantonomo being retarded by an English 
corselet, he was finally captured by Uncas, and no effort was 
made by his affrighted followers to rescue their Sachem. 
The captive chieftain was treated with kindness and respect 
by his captors; and the Narragansetts forwarded to him at 
different times various fathoms of wampum, which Mianto- 
nomo presented to Uncas and his counsellors. The Narra- 
gansetts claimed these presents to be a ransom for their 
chief; but Uncas contended they were only to assure his 
courteous treatment, and that his fate should be decided by 
the English. Miantonomo, by his friendship and his hon- 
orable actions, had made a number of friends among the 
English settlers of Rhode Island, and these demanded his 
release from Uncas. Afraid to murder his captive, and 



fearing that an attempt might be made to rescue him, he de- 
ported Miantonomo to Hartford, where he asked the ad- 
vice of the governor and council as to the disposition of his 
prisoner. That body thought it not prudent for them to 
interfere, as there was no open warfare between the colony 
and the Narragansetts, and referred their supplicant to the 
first meeting of the United Colonies of New England. Mi- 
antonomo at his own request was left in the custody of the 
English magistrates, though still a prisoner of Uncas. 

At the session of the United Colonies of New England, 
held at Boston in September 1643, ^^^ Commissioners were 
predisposed in favor of Uncas on account of his submission 
to the English; and they were fearful of Miantonomo's 
growing power and independence of spirit. Their judgment 
wavered. They deemed it unsafe to give the captive liberty, 
yet could not find sufficient cause for his death. In this state of 
hesitation, they referred the decision, as many others had 
been done, to a body more directly advised from heaven, or 
better instructed in its mandates. There was at this time a 
convocation of fifty New England clergymen at Boston, and 
the Commissioners referred the case to five of them for final 
decision; they ordered the prisoner handed over to Uncas. 
The decree was kept secret until it was known that the Con- 
necticut and New Haven Commissioners had reached their 
homes in safety, as they had been threatened with capture 
by the Narragansetts to be held as hostages. On their ar- 
rival, Uncas was notified to appear at Hartford. His 
brother Wawequa, and a selected band of Mohegans, ac- 
companied Uncas to the plantation, where he received the 
decision of the Commissioners and his prisoner; two of the 
colonists being deputized to witness the execution. The cap- 
tured Sachem was taken to the plain where he had suffered 



defeat; and while walking unsuspiciously, at a signal from 
Uncas his brother raised his tomahawk, and sunk it in the 
head of the unfortunate prisoner. Uncas cut a large piece 
from the shoulder of his slain foe, and ate it with exultation, 
remarking, "It is the sweetest meat I ever ate, it makes my 
heart strong." Miantonomo was buried on the spot. Gov- 
ernor Winthrop, in accordance with the resolutions passed by 
the Commissioners, despatched messengers to the Narragan- 
setts justifying Uncas in the execution of their edict, and of- 
fered them peace with the English and their allies, which the 
Indians were obliged to accept. 

The Dutch settlement at New Netherlands was in 1643 to 
become actively engaged in Indian warfare; the primary 
cause was misconduct of the whites. Some Dutch traders, 
making an Indian drunk, robbed him of his valuable dress 
of beaver-skins; in retaliation, the victim of this theft killed 
two white men and fled to a distant tribe. The following 
winter, two of the Hudson River tribes of Indians were sur- 
prised by the Mohawks, and having suffered defeat, several 
hundred of them fled to the vicinity of Manhattan for pro- 
tection. The Dutch Governor Kieft furnished them with 
rations; but in an evil moment, he sought to avenge the in- 
sult that had been offered the colony in not delivering to 
them the Indian murderer. Kieft, with the concurrence of 
his counsellors, dispatched in the night a body of soldiers 
who massacred more than one hundred of the Indians while 
they slept. No more foolish, wanton, and dastardly crime 
was ever perpetrated on the continent by white men or red; 
and the writers who are perpetually glorifying the Dutch at 
the expense of the Puritans may be challenged to find any- 
thing in all New England history that even resembles it in 
unprovoked atrocity. The English settlers killed foes at 



war, who received what they were intending to give; they 
nev^er massacred guests who had sought refuge with them, — 
the only case ever cited against them is where one refugee 
Pequot was executed by the New Haven Colony for mur- 
der of a family. There was no pretense even that these 
Indians had been or were likely to be a danger to the Dutch. 
Unfortunately the perpetrators and their master were not the 
ones who received what they had earned. A confederacy was 
formed by the Hudson River Indians and the tribes of Long 
Island, to avenge this outrageous deed; they attacked the 
Dutch settlements, and a fierce war raged on Long Island, in 
New Netherlands, and in Connecticut as far east as Stam- 
ford. English as well as Dutch settlers lost their life in this 
conflict, among others being the famous Anne Hutchinson, 
whose "inner light" doctrines had rent the Massachusetts 
Bay Colony in twain, disordered the very military service, 
and (according to Neal) delayed the Pequot expedition. Ban- 
ished from the colony, an asylum was offered her In Rhode 
Island by the Narragansett Indians, where she established 
a community and resided till her husband's death; she then 
removed to a refuge in the heart of the dense forests between 
New Haven and Manhattan. Here this mother of a new 
school of religion, being beyond the jurisdiction of the Eng- 
lish by whom she had been proscribed, tried to cultivate the 
friendship of the Indians. In her unprotected situation she 
was attacked by those with whom she had attempted to live 
in harmony and peace, and with her neighbors and family, 
excepting only one daughter, was slaughtered by the In- 
dians, who did not allow trifles like helpless innocence to 
stand in the way of butchery. 

The Dutch governor now sought the services of Captain 
John Underbill, the redoubtable Indian fighter who had been 



second in command in Mason's Pequot expedition, and was- 
then living at Greenwich. He was placed at the head of a 
small force and did good service on Long Island; on return- 
ing to Manhattan he obtained information in regard to hos- 
tile Indians at Stamford. An army of one hundred and thirty 
men was raised, and Underhill was given chief command. 
This expedition landed at Stamford, and made a long and 
fatiguing march into the interior of the country; and soon 
after ten o'clock, with a full moon illuminating the snow- 
clad earth, sighted an Indian village, at the foot of an ele- 
vation. I he Indians were on guard, wherefore the Dutch 
surrounded the village and attempted to break through the 
line. They were repulsed with heavy loss, and after a conflict 
of an hour the Indians retreated to their wigwams, leaving 
one hundred and eighty bodies stretched on the crimson snow. 
Lnderhill applied the torch to the wigwams, as he would 
have breached a fort; the Indians, forced to come out, were 
annihilated by the sabres and musketry of the Dutch. Out 
of five hundred souls but eight escaped to tell the tale; this 
slaughter virtually ended the war. The Dutch settlers at 
Manhattan gave public thanksgiving to their Maker for their 
victory, — they are not stated to have held a season of fasting 
and repentance for the act that provoked the war, — and con- 
sidered it an act of Providence that the Lord had gathered in 
one village so many of their enemies. Two months after 
this, the Indians begged Captain Underhill to intervene with 
the Dutch in their behalf, and articles of peace were agreed 

rhe Narragansetts, seeking revenge for the loss of their 
Sachem, were continually harassing the Mohegans. Alatters 
finally became so troublesome that in 1644 they were sum- 
moned to appear before the Commissioners. The Narragan- 


From Vandyke's painting 



setts, in presenting their case, claimed that the wampum sent 
to Miantonomo while a prisoner was a portion of a sum 
agreed upon for his ransom ; this w as flatly denied by Uncas. 
The Commissioners, naturally siding with Uncas, decided 
that the Narragansetts had not substantiated their charges; 
and cautioned them that they and the Nehantics must not at- 
tack the Mohegans, as they were allies of the English, who 
would protect them against their Indian enemies. The depu- 
ties of the Narragansetts agreed to give the governor of Mas- 
sachusetts thirty days' notice before commencing hostilities 
against Uncas, and a treaty to that effect was executed. But 
the Narragansetts did not consider themselves bound by the 
acts of their deputies, for hostilities against the Mohegans 
were recommenced in the spring of 1645; ^"^ without the 
promised notice, a large force of warriors under Pessacus in- 
vaded the Mohegans' country. They devastated the country 
and besieged Uncas in one of his forts, where he was re- 
lieved by supplies and reinforcements from the English gar- 
rison at Saybrook. 

The repeated attempts of the Narragansetts to subjugate 
Uncas aroused indignation amongst the colonists, who felt in 
honor bound to protect him. Governor Winthrop in alarm 
convened an extra session of the United Colonies of New 
England, and despatched couriers to the contending Indians 
to invite their Sachems to visit Boston, there to settle all con- 
flicting differences. The Narragansett chiefs insulted the 
messengers, and claimed they would not be satisfied without 
the head of Uncas. Roger Williams, the apologist of the 
Narragansetts, notified the Commissioners that war was 
impending. The Commissioners then formally declared war, 
and a levy of three hundred men was ordered, the command 
of the forces being placed in the hands of Major Edward 



Gibbons; the Connecticut and New Haven troops were 
placed In charge of Captain John Mason. These demonstra- 
tions had the desired effect, and tidings were received that 
Pessacus and his chiefs would come to Boston and negotiate 
peace. The Indians, Impelled by fear, executed a new treaty 
in which they agreed to pay a stipulated sum of wampum to 
indemnify the colonies for expenses, to restore to Uncas all 
captives and canoes seized by them, to maintain perpetual 
peace with the English and their allies, and to give hostages 
for the faithful performance of these conditions. 

During the year 1646 the Connecticut River Indians be- 
came turbulent, and a plot was instigated by Sequassen to 
murder the executives of the colony of Connecticut; but this 
was discovered and prevented. The Indian Sachem was 
cited to appear before the Commissioners; but he fled to the 
Mohawks, where he remained a number of years through 
fear of Uncas and the colonists. In the same year a party 
of invading Mohawks was defeated by English settlers In 
Mllford. It Is not apparent what provocation the settlers 
had given. 

The eastern Indians were kept in a continual turmoil of 
strife by Uncas, who needed a wider field of action. In the 
summer of 1648 an alliance was consummated between the 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut Indians, who 
were to have the powerful assistance of the Mohawks, for 
the purpose of making war on Uncas; this league was dis- 
solved from the Mohawks becoming engaged In war with 
Indian allies of the French, and through active measures 
taken by the colony of Connecticut. The Mohegans were 
weakened by the dissatisfaction of those of the Pequot race 
who complained of the treatment they received, and who 
preferred to live with their ancient enemies the Narragan- 



setts and Nehantics, or as an unrecognized body, rather 
than to submit any longer to the arbitrary measures of Uncas. 

Ninigret, the Sachem of the Nehantics, had been carrying 
on a desultory war with the Long Island Indians, which was 
the cause of much trouble to the colonies. They finally de- 
clared war against him, and an armed force was dispatched 
to devastate his country, Ninigret fled and took refuge in a 
swamp ; his canoes were destroyed, and the colonies of Con- 
necticut and New Haven maintained an armed vessel to 
patrol the coast, effectually preventing his expeditions to 
Long Island. The war was not prosecuted with much en- 
ergy, and Ninigret's power was not totally broken; but he 
escaped only by making a humiliating peace. In 1657 and 
1658 the Narragansetts and Nehantics, assisted by Massa- 
chusetts Indians, again invaded the Mohegans' country, and 
besieged Uncas; but this cunning Sachem seems to have 
again defeated the best laid plans of his enemies. This ter- 
minated a tedious and unrelenting warfare which had ex- 
tended over a period of fifteen years. 

The Commissioners of the United Colonies of New Eng- 
land, at their session held in September 1655, granted a peti- 
tion of the remnants of the Pequot nation to allot them 
a reservation, appointed a governor, and provided them with 
a code of laws. They were divided into two settlements, 
one located on the Pawcatuck River, the other on the Mys- 
tic, with the privilege of hunting over the wild forest lands 
their tribe had ever occupied by force. 

The code of laws consisted of eight sections, as follows : 

I. They shall not blaspheme the name of God, the Creator 
of Heaven and Earth, nor profane the Sabbath Day. 

II. They shall not commit wilful murder, nor practice 
witchcraft, under pain of death. 



III. They shall not commit adultery, upon pain of severe 

IV. Whosoever is drunk shall pay ten shillings; but if he 
have not the wherewithal to pay, he shall be punished with 
ten stripes, and further receive due punishment for other 
miscarriages by such means committed. 

V. Whosoever stealeth the goods of another shall, upon 
proof, pay at least double the worth. 

VI. Whosoever shall plot mischief against the English 
shall suffer death, or such other punishment as the case may 

VII. They shall neither make war, nor join in war, with 
any other Indians, or people of any other nation (unless in 
their own just defense), without express leave of the Com- 

VIII. They shall duly submit to such Indian governors as 
the Commissioners shall yearly appoint, and to them shall 
yearly pay the tribute due to the English. 

Herewith the Pequots vanish from Connecticut history. 
The remnant gradually died out, from drink and consump- 


The Royal Charter 

THE elevation of Charles II. to his hereditary 
dynasty was an auspicious moment for Con- 
necticut. Winthrop was governor of the 
struggling colony; and though she had pur- 
chased of the patentees the original grant, 
this conveyed no right of government. To add to its dis- 
comfiture, the colony was unable to produce the original 
document when demanded by the Hamiltons. Therefore the 
news of the occupancy of London by "Old Cieorge" created 
an agitation in Connecticut; and to protect her existence as a 
colony, she Vv-as willing to offer that homage to the son which 
had been refused to his father. The General Assembly there- 
fore, on March 14, 1661, acknowledged their allegiance to 
Charles II., and at the same time requested of him a charter; 
and advocated the preparation of an address to embody a re- 
quest for "the continuance and confirmation of such privi- 
leges and liberties as are necessary for the comfortable and 
peaceable settlement of this colony." At the next general 
election a committee was appointed to revise a draft of an 
address submitted by Governor Winthrop. This and the 
accompanying petition were formally approved at a session 
of June 7, and Governor Winthrop's appointment as agent 
"to procure us a patent" Vv'as confirmed; and he was author- 
ized to draw on the treasurer for £500 to pay the expenses of 
the application. Thus were energetic steps taken to procure 
an authentic document to strengthen what had already been 
done by popular authority. 

The vessel that brought to Boston the news of the Restora- 
tion, had among its passengers two of the judges of the ill- 
fated Charles, fleeing from the vengeance of his son. The 
following year intelligence was received of the issue of a royal 
warrant for the arrest of these fugitives, whereupon they fled 



to New Haven. Both Connecticut colonies were anxious that 
no harm should come to the Regicides, but they assumed an 
entirely different attitude toward the King's messengers. 
When they were not within the jurisdiction of Connecticut, 
her authorities evinced the utmost zeal for their apprehen- 
sion; while the New Haven authorities, under like circum- 
stances, were openly energetic in circumventing the efforts of 
the King's officials. These two systems of diplomacy, which 
were faithfully reported to the mother country, had a strong 
influence in the struggle for recognition by the rival colonies. 

Winthrop sailed on his quest in August 1661; and just 
as he was embarking for England, New Haven proclaimed 
her allegiance to the King, more than a year after news had 
been received of his accession. This step was not taken until 
she was warned by friends at court of the evil impression 
created by her continued silence. There was no fulsomeness 
in the form adopted. It is as follows : 

"Although we have not received any form of proclamation, 
by order from His Majesty or Council of State, for proclaim- 
ing His Majesty in this colony, yet the Court, taking en- 
couragement from what has been done in the rest of the 
United Colonies, hath thought fit to declare publicly and 
proclaim that we do acknowledge His Royal Highness 
Charles the Second, King of England, Scotland, France, and 
Ireland, to be our sovereign Lord and King, and that we do 
acknowledge ourselves, the inhabitants of this colony, to be 
his Majesty's loyal and faithful subjects." 

Winthrop, with instructions from the colony and letters 
to Lord Say and Sele and other prominent Puritans, arrived 
in London with the address and petition to present to the 
King. His instructions were, to consult with the original 



patentees, and if possible obtain a copy of the Warwick pat- 
ent; which, even such as it was, the colony had never had. 

He was to have this confirmed to the colony, with such 
amendments as he could obtain. If this confirmation could 
not be procured, he was to apply for a new charter, claiming 
boundaries extending eastward to the Plymouth line, north- 
ward to the limits of the Massachusetts colony, westward to 
the Bay of Delaware. The southern boundary was stated 
only as a recommendation to include adjacent islands. To 
save his Majesty trouble, and too minute a care in drawing 
up the items, Winthrop took with him a draft of the new 
patent they would like. 

The address was in the florid language of the day. 
It first regretted that they were separated by so vast a 
distance from the influence and splendor of so great a mon- 
arch, and excused themselves for their dilatory actions in 
not prostrating themselves at the feet of so gracious a prince. 
It lamented the wars that had deluged England with blood, 
and which they had bewailed with sighs and tears. It told 
how they had waited as a people in sackcloth and ashes, 
relying upon the Divine Providence for protection rather 
than acknowledge or accept aid of any illegitimate govern- 
ment. His Majesty was implored, as their hearts had al- 
ways been loyal to his interests, "to accept the colony, your 
own colony, a little branch of your mighty empire." It stated 
that while they had generous inclinations, their poverty was 
such they could offer only their hearts and affections to his 
Majesty. Winthrop, however, had £500 to offer to his 
Majesty's councillors, which was much more to the purpose. 

Connecticut was fortunate in the choice of an ambassador 
whose diplomacy and engaging manner lent aid and strength 
to her petition ; he was probably too well used to bombastic 



addresses to see the humorous side as we do, and too anxious 
about the result. The petition was a straightforward busi- 
ness document, in which they asked for a patent on the same 
terms as the one granted by the Earl of Warwick to Lord 
Say and Sele and others. They wished to be relieved from 
customs duties, that they might retrieve by commerce their 

losses in the Pequot war. 

Winthrop on his arrival in London had taken lodgings in 
Coleman street, near St. Stephen's Church, and devoted his 
time to the performance of those duties he had been specially 
deputized to consummate. His fine physique, his scholarly 
bearing, with his university education and former acquaint- 
ance with Lord Say and Sele and others, were of the utmost 
value in accomplishing his undertaking. Life was not simple 
or cheap at the court of Charles IL, and those who would 
keep up their pace and preserve their chances for favor must 
have an abundant supply of money; and it is fair to pre- 
sume that Winthrop, who was never required to give any ac- 
counting to his economical commonwealth of the expenditure 
of the £500, used it for purposes too obvious to state. 

Whether it was due to the engaging personality of her am- 
bassador, to the fabled presentation to his Majesty of a ring 
given to the first Charles by his grandfather, or to the 
venal use of money, it is certain that Winthrop succeeded in 
obtaining for Connecticut a charter more democratic than 
was ever before given by a King. 

The governmental power derived from it lasted Connec- 
ticut for a century and a half, and it has been a model for 
the constitutions of her sister States. This second constitution 
of Connecticut, better known as the Royal Charter, was 
signed by the King April 23, 1662. It contained all the 
specifications asked for by the colonists, and confirmed the 



patentees in the boundaries established by the Warwick pat- 
ent, and the holding of the lands in fee simple to them and 
their successors forever. The patentees' names were : John 
Winthrop, John Mason, Samuel Wyllys, Henry Clarke, Mat- 
thew Allin, John Topping, Nathan Gold, Richard Treat, 
Richard Lord, Henry Wolcott, John Talcott, Daniel Clarke, 
John Ogden, Thomas Welles, Obadiah Bruen, John Clarke, 
Anthony Hawkins, John Deming, Matthew Canfield, with all 
the other freemen of Connecticut then existing, and those 
who might afterwards be admitted electors or freemen, to 
the end of time; to these were given the irrevocable privi- 
leges of being "one body corporate and politic in fact and 
name, by the name of the Governor and Company of the 
English Colony of Connecticut in New England in America, 
and that by the same name they and their successors should 
have perpetual succession." 

They were granted the same legal rights as the King's 
subjects and corporations in England, and were to hold two 
sessions of the General Assembly in each year, to consist of 
the governor, deputy-governor, and twelve assistants, with 
two deputies from every town or city. They were to choose 
a common seal, establish courts of justice, make freemen, ap- 
point officers, enact laws, impose fines, prepare and assemble 
the inhabitants for common defense, and exercise martial 
laws. The first patentee was named as governor, the second 
deputy-governor, and the other patentees to be the first mag- 
istrates. These appointees were to hold office until their 
successors were elected by the people. The charter allowed 
the free transportation of colonists and merchandise from 
England. The astonishing feature of the Royal Charter 
was, that Charles IL should have granted to a Puritan com- 
monwealth the powers of its assembly to enact laws, without 



any right of revision either by himself or his royal courts of 
justice. Nor was there any obligation imposed on them to 
account for their acts to any earthly authority. 

The charter was recognized as a continuation of a gov- 
ernment already established, a guarantee of the title to the 
soil, and a safeguard against the aggressions of neighboring 
colonies and the encroachments of the Crown. It was an ad- 
mission of the colony's independence from the home govern- 
ment, but it in no way affected the relations already estab- 
lished between the people and their chosen rulers. The boun- 
daries as defined included New Haven Colony and a part of 
Rhode Island, and were resisted by these two colonies; the 
boundary line between Rhode Island and Connecticut being 
a matter of dispute for sixty years. Two copies of the char- 
ter were engrossed, — one on two and the other on three 
skins of parchment; they were finally decorated in India 
ink by the eminent painter Samuel Cooper, whose portrait of 
Charles II. is a work of art. The first, on the two skins of 
parchment, was enclosed in a mahogany box, and entrusted 
by Winthrop to Simon Bradstreet and Mr. John Norton. 
These gentlemen had been in London as agents for the Mas- 
sachusetts colony, and were about to return in the ship So- 
ciety, which had been built in Boston. The vessel arrived 
at her destination on Sept. 3, 1662, a day before the opening 
of the session of the United Colonies of New England. The 
Connecticut representatives were Samuel Wyllys and John 
Talcott, both of whom were named in the charter. The in- 
strument was exhibited to the members of the New England 
Congress, and was the first information to the colonists of 
New Haven that the King had legislated them out of exis- 
tence as a legal corporation. The precious document was 
intrusted by Winthrop's messengers to the representatives 



from Connecticutj and at the next meeting of the General 
Court they, with Lieutenant John Allyn, were named as cus- 
todians of the charter; Oct. 29, 1662, was appointed a day 
of thanksgiving, to be observed by the colonists in celebra- 
tion of the successful termination of Winthrop's mission. 
The second copy was to have been received in the fall of 
1662 and placed in the hands of the custodians; the sending 
of the two copies by different ships was a precautionary 
measure taken by Winthrop to insure its safe arrival. 
The second copy, hov/ever, for some reason was never 
sent, but left by Winthrop in London. The obtaining 
of the charter made the General Assembly of Connecticut 
more confident in asserting its claims: and notice was given 
to the inhabitants of New Haven, Westchester, Mystic, and 
Pawcatuck, that they were embraced within the limits of their 
jurisdiction. The liberal terms of the charter, thus placing 
Connecticut beyond the grasp of royal prerogative, defining 
the rights of the colony and entitling its inhabitants to all 
the privileges of Englishmen, attracted the border towns, and 
deputations besieged the General Assembly asking and pray- 
ing to be admitted as citizens. 

Connecticut was to rest peacefully under her Royal Char- 
ter for a quarter of a century, accumulating strength, popu- 
lation, and wealth, which were later to be employed in re- 
sisting attem.pts to dismember her territory, and despoil her 
of that priceless boon which Winthrop had won. 

The Union of Connecticut and New Haven 

THE obtaining of the Royal Charter by Gover- 
nor Winthrop was the cause of dissensions 
among the New Haven colonists ; and it was 
only by the diplomacy of Governor Leete that 
the colony did not incur the displeasure of the 
King, and that peace was maintained. Though the colonists 
had done as little as possible consistent with loyalty, in con- 
forming to his Majesty's orders, the majority of them had 
done more than was pleasing to their independent spirit. 

Becoming dissatisfied with the government of New Haven 
Colony, a large number of the inhabitants of Southold, with 
several of the people of Guilford, Stamford, and Green- 
wich, tendered their persons and estates to the Colony of 
Connecticut. After mature deliberation on the part of the 
Connecticut colony, they were accepted and promised free- 
dom and protection. During the year 1662 Commissioners 
were appointed by the General Assembly of Connecticut to 
visit New Haven, and to confer with its inhabitants for an 
amicable union of the colonies under the Royal Charter. 
This was bitterly opposed by Rev. John Davenport and oth- 
ers, who insisted that New Haven had been recognized as 
a distinct and separate government by her sister colonies, as 
well as by the Protector and Charles II. ; that she had never 
been heard on the subject of confederation with Connecticut, 
and that if there had been any wish to unite the colonies, some 
of the New Haven representatives would have at least been 
named In the patent with the other patentees; while their ab- 
sence was conclusive evidence that his Majesty did not in- 
clude them within the limits of the charter. It was also 
argued that it would be a violation of their oath, to consent 
to a union and to maintain a commonwealth with all the priv- 
ileges allowed by the Royal Charter. The matter was finally 



left to the freemen; and after fully debating the subject 
they voted that to accept the union would be contrary to 
righteousness, amity, and peace, and that all proceedings 
should be suspended until Governor Winthrop returned to 
Connecticut. A committee was appointed to draw up an 
answer to the Connecticut Assembly, which they embodied 
in a long letter reiterating their objections and grievances, 
and requesting the adoption of effectual measures to repair 
the breach made, and to restore them to their former state 
as a confederate and sister colony. Connecticut's reply to 
this letter was the appointment of a committee, which in 
1663 again visited New Haven; but their endeavors to con- 
summate a union met with no better results than the pre- 
vious attempt, owing partly to the fact that the inhabitants 
were prejudiced by the hasty action of the Connecticut As- 
sembly in admitting as citizens of their colony, dissatisfied 
members of several towns under the jurisdiction of the colony 
of New Haven. 

The committee appointed by the freemen of New Haven 
was also empowered to prepare an address to his Majesty, 
asking his assistance and relief from the encroachments and 
demands of the patentees under the Royal Charter. A mes- 
senger was appointed to convey this petition to London ; and 
on his arrival in that city. Governor Winthrop, still being in 
England, explained to him the state of affairs between the 
two colonies. Winthrop immediately became surety for the 
Connecticut Colony that New Haven should suffer no further 
annoyance ; he immediately notified the deputy governor and 
Assembly of Connecticut to take no further action towards 
the union until his return, when he hoped to arrange matters 
to bring about the desired result by amicable adjustment. He 
further stated that before he made application for the char- 



ter, he had assured the people of New Haven that in no way 
would their interests be compromised by the step Connecticut 
was taking. Relying on these promises made by Governor 
Winthrop, New Haven's messenger did not present the pe- 
tition to the King. Totally disregarding the wishes and in- 
structions of Governor Winthrop, the chartered colony ap- 
pointed a new committee to treat not only with New Haven, 
but with Milford, Guilford, and Branford, upon terms of 
union; and they were instructed, if amicable arrangements 
could not be made, to read the charter publicly, proclaiming 
to the people that Connecticut resented their attempted main- 
tenance of a separate government within her borders, and 
called upon them to surrender themselves to her jurisdic- 

At the Congress of the United Colonies of New England 
held at Boston in September 1663, the New Haven Commis- 
sioners were received and seated, as acknowledged representa- 
tives of an Independent colony. The colony of New Haven 
through its accredited deputies presented a complaint against 
Connecticut, ably defending Its case through Governor Leete 
and Benjamin Fenn; a decree was passed that the distinct 
colonial existence of New Haven should remain Inviolate, 
that no encroachments should be made upon her jurisdictions, 
and that her power should continue unimpaired as one of the 
confederates, until such time as the Congress should will it 
otherwise. This decree was obtained through the jealousy 
of Massachusetts, aided by the appearance of Governor 
Stuyvesant at Boston, Indignant at Connecticut's trying to ex- 
tend her jurisdiction over Westchester and adjacent towns. 

Decree or no decree, there was no stopping the demands of 
Connecticut. At her General Assembly, held a month after 
the adjournment of the Congress of United Colonies at Bos- 



ton, a committee was appointed to treat with inhabitants of 
New Haven, Milford, Guilford, Stamford, and Branford, 
who still persisted in maintaining a distinct government not 
authorized by the Royal Charter. The General Court of 
New Haven, in the same month, resolved to petition the 
King for a bill of exemption from the government of Con- 
necticut; and to carry out this object, levied a tax of £300, 
and issued warrants on the personal estates of those who re- 
fused to pay this tax. The moment the taxgatherers tried to 
enforce this decree of the General Court, and attached the 
property of those who refused to pay the expenses of the gov- 
ernment, the recreants fled to Connecticut for protection and 
were received with open arms. The collection of the tax 
threatened civil war; and thus, deprived of the accustomed 
revenue, the government became so short of funds that the 
ordinary expenses could not be met. 

A Special Court was convened by Governor Leete at New 
Haven, Jan. 4, 1664, at which he stated the trouble that had 
grown out of the order distraining taxes, and the earnestness 
of the magistrates of Connecticut in calling upon the gov- 
ernment of New Haven to refrain from the exercise of this 
authority, which was in violation of the right of the citi- 
zens of Connecticut. A new statement of the grievances of 
New Haven was prepared by a committee consisting of Mr. 
Davenport and Mr. Street. This paper, which was called 
"The New Haven Case Stated," was written in Davenport's 
best manner; but it failed to make any impression upon or 
effect any change in the policy pursued by Connecticut. But 
what arguments, petitions, speeches, and resolutions could 
not accomplish, was finally brought about by a patent granted 
by Charles II. to the Duke of York, which included the en- 
tire territory of New Haven, besides a large part of Con- 



necticut. The arrival of an armed force at Boston, and a call 
upon New England for troops to reduce New Netherlands, 
together with the threatened danger to all the colonies by this 
British invasion, led the people of New Haven to unite with 
Connecticut, to assist her in defending the liberties and boun- 
daries named in the Royal Charter, 

At a session of the General Court, held Aug. ii, 1664, it 
was agreed that if Connecticut would in his Majesty's name 
assert their claims to New Haven, and secure to them full im- 
munities, they would make a united exertion for their char- 
tered rights, and submit to the jurisdiction of Connecticut un- 
til the next meeeting of the Commissioners of the United 

The principal citizens of New Haven realized that it 
was to their advantage to become incorporated with Con- 
necticut; but the movement was strongly opposed by the 
general public. At the assembling of the Court of Commis- 
sioners of the United Colonies of New England, in spite of 
the opposition of Connecticut, the New Haven representa- 
tives were given their seats. The question of the union of the 
colonies was considered; and the Congress decreed that 
while they did not approve of Connecticut's manner of pre- 
cedure, they recommended the amicable union of the two col- 
onies, declaring that divine honor and the welfare of all the 
colonists were greatly concerned in the event. 

In compliance with this advice. Governor Leete convened a 
general Court at New Haven, Sept. 14, 1664, and urged that 
the union be consummated; stating as a reason that they 
would be in better position to vindicate their liberty, and se- 
cure their just rights, under a Royal Charter than in their 
present circumstances. But he did not express the opinions 
of a majority of the freemen. Many asserted "that to stand 



as God had kept them to that time was their best way"; 
others held contrary opinions; and after the fullest discus- 
sion no vote for a union could be obtained. This state of af- 
fairs alarmed the General Assembly of Connecticut, not only 
for her jurisdiction over New Haven Colony, but for her 
original patent. The Duke of York threatened, notwith- 
standing her loyalty, to dismember her territory; and the 
Duke and Duchess of Hamilton were likewise prosecuting 
their claims. In a spirit of generosity they voted the King's 
Commissioners five hundred bushels of corn, and referred the 
whole matter to them for adjustment. A committee was al- 
so appointed to settle the disputed boundary lines between the 
colony and the Duke of York, but was charged to relinquish 
no lands included in their charter. The Commissioners on 
Nov. 30, 1664, declared and ordered that hereafter the 
southern boundary was the Sea, and also established the 
other boundaries between New York, Massachsetts, and 
Rhode Island. By this agreement Connecticut relinquished 
all rights to lands in New York, Long Island, and Delaware. 
The decision of the Commissioners put an end to the strug- 
gle between the two colonies; and on Dec. 13, 1664, the free- 
men of New Haven held their last General Court, and 
adopted resolutions dissolving the colony of that name. 

This act closes the history of New Haven Colony, which 
tried during Its quarter-century of life, under as favorable 
circumstances as are ever likely to be found, the experiment 
of a purely religious commonwealth governed by the Word 
of God and founded on pure aristocracy. It Is not perhaps 
quite correct to say that it failed as an Internal government 
within the original municipality: the majority of citizens of 
New Haven were not less loyal or less satisfied than those of 
Hartford. But it was entirely unfit to weld together scat- 



tered towns into a state, and It had no elements of growth; 
by its nature Its very progress was through the growth of the 
elements of distlntegration. If the lesser towns had not joined 
Connecticut, they would ultimately have joined New York, 
or broken away and set up for themselves. And even in New 
Haven, another generation would have seen the overthrow 
of the system : the excluded were too little below the level 
of the Included — often not at all below — to remain thus in 
content, and the town flourished only at the expense of its 


King Philip's War 

ITH the danger from New York removed, 
with the various communities in its bounds 
united in one vigorous body, and with no 
Indian problem of any magnitude to 
trouble it, Connecticut grew and pros- 
pered. Her vrilderness blossomed Avith the homes of her set- 
tlers; and though religious differences disturbed her serenity, 
no eventful question arose till Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island were forced to solve their Indian problem in the 
same way in which Connecticut had settled hers, and called on 
her for aid. 

Massasoit, Sachem of the Wampanoags, and faithful ally 
of the Massachusetts colonies, died in 1662. The tribe orig- 
inally inhabited the country between Cape Cod and the home 
of the Narragansetts, comprising the southwestern part of 
Massachusetts and the eastern portion of Rhode Island. By 
gifts and sales to the whites, this extensive country had been 
reduced to a small tract of land in the present town of Bristol, 
Rhode Island. 7 he old chieftain was succeeded by his son 
Alexander, who, seeing the Indian hunting grounds rapidly 
depleted by the pioneer's axe, tried to form a combination 
with the Narragansetts to resist the encroachments. The 
Plymouth Colony authorities, hearing of this Intended league, 
summoned Alexander to appear before them to answer 
charges for instigating hostile designs against the whites. On 
his journey to Plymouth, Alexander was taken suddenly ill 
and died in a few hours. It is alleged that his sickness was 
caused by a fever brought on by rage and mortification; but 
his squaw WItamo, who accompanied him, circulated the re- 
port that he was poisoned by the English. This suspicion 
soured the mind of his brother Metacom (called by the Eng- 
lish Philip), who succeeded him; and It was one of the Indi- 



rect causes of the later Indian war. Philip continued plotting 
against the whites, though he professed friendship and re- 
newed treaties. 

The execution of three of Philip's Indians by the Plymouth 
Colony In June 1675, for the murder of John Sausaman, a 
converted Indian Apostle whom Philip condemned as a 
traitor, precipitated the war. It was the Intention of PhlUp 
to combine all the Indian nations of New England In war- 
fare against the whites ; and the preparations were not to be 
perfected before 1676. The Inhabitants of New England 
amounted to one hundred and twenty thousand whites, of 
whom sixteen thousand were able to bear arms. It Is esti- 
mated that the war strength of the Indians was ten thousand 
warriors. Connecticut's prompt action In her own Indian 
troubles had impressed upon her Red Men a lesson well re- 
membered by the few remaining, and by outside tribes; and 
while the war storm raged around her northern and eastern 
boundaries, her territory was not Invaded. The authorities 
of Massachusetts committed a fatal mistake In the early part 
of the war, by selling into slavery the first Indian captives; 
and this act deterred many of the savages from laying down 
their arms. 

At the first outbreak of the war, Connecticut nobly went to 
the rescue of her sister colonies. Major Robert Treat with 
one hundred men was despatched to western Massachusetts, 
and was Instrumental In relieving the garrison and inhab- 
itants at Northfield. Troops were ordered to her eastern 
frontier, to protect the colony from invasion ; and In the con- 
flict Connecticut received the assistance of her Mohegan and 
Pequot allies, who remained loyal to the whites, and had at 
least more to hope from them than from other Indians. The 
savior of western Massachusetts was Major Treat, who with 




his Connecticut contingent saved a portion of the Massachu- 
setts troops from massacre at Bloody Brook, and turned a 
defeat into victory, by his timely arrival with one hundred 
Englishmen and seventy Mohegans. Of the army of one 
thousand soldiers ordered raised by the New England Con- 
gress, the Connecticut quota was three hundred and fifteen, 
and Major Treat was placed second in command of the en- 
tire army. 

Dissatisfaction arose in Connecticut, In the winter of 1675- 
6, because the Plymouth colony had failed to raise her pro- 
portion of the troops. This was most severely felt, as the 
total number was in any event inadequate and insufficient 
to carry on the operations of the war successfully. The di- 
rection of the military manoeuvres was vested in the Com- 
missioners of the United Colonies, though Major Treat was 
recognized as the chief commander of the forces in western 
Massachusetts. The Commissioners seem to have exercised 
such a degree of authority, that there was little if any inde- 
pendent action by the commanding officers. 

The success of the Indians at Northfield and Deerfield, 
together with the solicitations of Philip, caused the Spring- 
field Indians to desert their English allies, with whom they 
had kept faith for forty years. They admitted three hun- 
dred of Philip's warriors into their fort at Springfield; these 
burned and destroyed the town, and massacre of its people 
was only prevented by the arrival of Major Treat, who was 
stationed with his army at Westfield. The General Assembly 
of Connecticut, in recognition of this gallant service of Ma- 
jor Treat, gave him a public expression of thanks, and ap- 
pointed him commander-in-chief of all the troops to be raised 
by the colony. He was summoned by the assembly to pro- 
ceed to Norwich, it having been reported that a large body of 



Indians was approaching that town. This order was coun- 
termanded, with the fortunate result that he and his forces 
became instrumental in relieving Northampton and Hadley, 
which, but for this aid, would have been sacrificed to the 

Active measures had been taken by the General Assembly 
in 1675 ^o protect her border towns; and with this end in 
view, each county was required to raise sixty dragoons, well 
mounted, equipped, and provisioned, ready at any moment 
to be called to the aid and defense of the colony. Troops 
under Captains James Avery and John Mason, with Mo- 
hegan and Pequot allies, were stationed on the eastern bor- 
ders, as the persuasions of Philip had at last won the consent 
of Nanuntenoo, the chief of the Narragansetts, to become 
his confederate. The New England Congress raised an army 
of one thousand men to combat this alliance, of which Con- 
necticut furnished three hundred Englishmen and one hun- 
dred and fifty Mohegans and Pequots as her quota; these 
formed five companies under Captains Nathaniel Seeley, John 
Gallop, John Mason, Jr., Thomas Watts, and Samuel Mar- 
shall, the corps being commanded by Major Robert Treat. 

On Dec. 18, 1675, Treat joined his forces with those from 
Massachusetts and Plymouth, and the following day the 
march was begun against the Narrangansetts, the Con- 
necticut troops protecting the rear of the column. The In- 
dians were intrenched In a swamp, in the rear of which was a 
blockhouse defended by marksmen. The Connecticut troops 
were repeatedly driven back with heavy losses In their at- 
tempts to assault the fort. Captains Gallop, Seeley, and Mar- 
shall were killed at the head of their companies, and Captain 
Mason received a mortal wound. The Indians, after being 
subjected to a cross-fire, were defeated; three hundred war- 



riors were slain, and about the same number were taken pris- 
oners, with three hundred women and children. The village 
with all Its provisions, supplies, and stores was burned to the 
ground. Of the army of one thousand whites, four hundred 
were unfit for duty. Connecticut's troops suffered the great- 
est percentage of the loss, as eighty of her soldiers were 
killed or wounded; and Major Treat deemed it advisable 
to return home to recruit his troops. 

A large number of Connecticut volunteers, principally 
from New London, Norwich, and Stonlngton, were formed 
Into companies under Major Edward Palmer, Captains 
George Denison, James Avery, and John Stanton, to prose- 
cute the war against the Narragansetts. This was In the lat- 
ter part of the winter of 1676; this force succeeded In cap- 
turing Nanuntenoo, who was tried and sentenced to be shot. 
The power of the Narragansetts was broken, the remnant of 
the tribe was scattered and ceased to be a menace to the 
peace of the whites. 

At the election held In 1676, Robert Treat was elected 
Deputy Governor. The next General Assembly voted to 
raise a standing army of three hundred and fifty men ; Major 
John Talcott was appointed chief commander of the forces. 
King Philip, after the destruction of his Narragansett allies, 
made overtures to the Mohawks for assistance; but to this 
proposition they would not listen. The Connecticut troops 
were assembled at Norwich, and at the commencement of 
the summer season raided the Wabaquesset country, but the 
enemy had fled. A march was then taken for the Connecti- 
cut Valley In Massachusetts, and Talcott and his force ar- 
rived just in time to save Hadley from being destroyed by 
Philip's Indians. After spending three weeks In this section 
of the country, Talcott marched his command through the 



Narragansett country, capturing and killing the remnants of 
that tribe. Recruiting his men, he stationed his army at 
Westfield, Mass., and fought a successful battle in what is 
now the town of Stockbridge, on the western bank of the 
Housatonic River. The death of King Philip on Aug. 12, 
1676, put an end to the active prosecution of the war by the 
Indians, though peace was not finally concluded until two 
years later. 

Connecticut, although kept in constant alarm during King 
Philip's war, suffered no disastrous effects; but she gave 
freely of her troops and resources to protect her sister col- 
onies. Her disbursements amounted to over £22,000, and 
she suffered the loss of a number of her citizens in the differ- 
ent engagements. The devastation in Massachusetts and 
Plymouth colonies was appalling. Twelve of their towns 
were utterly destroyed, and more than half the remainder 
had been laid waste by the torch and tomahawk. Six hun- 
dred buildings, mostly dwellings, had been burned, and 
about the same number of men killed, in addition to scores 
of women and children. 

King Philip, the last great New England Sachem, and the 
last hero of the New England aborigines in their struggle 
against the whites, has had a full meed of justice and 
appreciation from his conquerors. His name is still a house- 
hold word in New England, and his dogged courage and 
leadership have given him a white man's position in our 
memory. The dramatic crisis he forced on has gained him 
immortality : if he looms larger in retrospect than his real 
magnitude, less worthy men have had the same fortune. 


Indian Titles and Mohegan Land Troubles 

THE early colonists of Connecticut deemed it 
important to strengthen their land titles by 
purchasing the territory from the aborigines, 
which however with some writers seems not 
to strengthen their equitable title. Before 
1639 this was done by the proprietors, but after that time 
all unoccupied lands became public domain, subject to the 
control of the colony. Part of the land thus acquired was 
given as pensions to those taking part in the war, the total 
grant being some 2,500 acres. In thirty years the colony 
gratuitously deeded 13,000 acres, in lots of forty to 1,500 
acres, to its leading men; who, we may add, were not back- 
ward in petitioning for these concessions. By the conquests 
of the Pequots, the colony acquired all the lands belonging 
to that nation, and reaped this additional benefit, that the ter- 
ritory controlled by other tribes was opened to them by their 
native owners, who were completely cowed by the English, 
but also deeply grateful for their deliverance from the domi- 
nation of the Pequots. 

The sums paid to the Indians were small; but it must be 
remembered that the country was wild and totally unim- 
proved, and that in granting it for a mere pittance of that 
merchandise which usually formed the purchase money, the 
Red Man thought he was taking advantage of his white 
brother. The natives parted with what was to them without 
value, and acquired that which not only pleased their vanity 
and catered to their desires, but enormously increased their 
own capacities. It is claimed that there is not a single inch of 
land within the limits of the Commonwealth, save the terri- 
tory wrested from the Pequots, that was not bought of the 
native proprietors. These purchases began with the first set- 
tlements, and continued till about 1708. 



The territory comprised within the limits of Saybrook, Old 
Saybrook, Essex, and Chester was granted in an Indian 
treaty made in 1636. The early records show no Indian con- 
veyances of lands in Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield, 
except the following: — The records of Windsor state that 
Nassecowen was "so taken in love with the coming of the 
English" that for some small matters, he gave them all his 
possessions on the eastern side of the river. There is also un- 
der date of April 25, 1636, a deed conveying to the English 
a tract on the east side of the Connecticut, lying between Po- 
dunk and Scantic rivers, and extending a day's march into 
the country; the consideration named was twenty cloth coats 
and fifteen fathoms of wampum. The earliest colonial rec- 
ords have a brief notice, to the effect that the settlers of 
Wethersfield made a satisfactory purchase of a tract six miles 
in width and nine miles in length from the Sachem Sowheag. 
The supposition is that the deed for Suckiug, which was the 
Indian name for Hartford, was given to Samuel Stone and 
William Goodwin, in behalf of the settlers, by the Indian 
chief Sequassen, and included lands west to the Mohawk 
country. The New Haven colonists purchased at different 
times from the Red Men, the land that now comprises the 
present area of that county. 

Among the early laws of the colony was one prohibiting 
the purchase of lands from the Indians without the sanction 
of the General Court. This law, which was often violated, 
was not promulgated for the purpose of protecting the In- 
dians, but to establish the claim of the colony to all unbought 
and unoccupied lands. Private sales and gifts were not un- 
known at this period, but they were not as numerous as at 
a later date. 

In 1647 th^ Indians were forbidden to hire lands of the 



English; and in 1663 it was enacted that private individuals 
were to be indicted if they purchased lands of the Red Men. 
These laws were necessary to protect the Indians from dis- 
honest and rapacious whites; and indeed it was from unscru- 
pulous private transactions that the complaint arises that the 
Indians have been unfairly deprived of their lands. 

In the year 1639 several land purchases were made by the 
colonists. A company from Massachusetts, with a few set- 
tlers from Wethersfield, secured in various transactions the 
land now comprising the towns of Stratford, Bridgeport, 
Trumbull, Huntington, and Monroe. Roger Ludlow, who 
had become acquainted with the southern part of Connecticut 
while officiating as one of the magistrates accompanying 
Mason's troops during the Pequot War, interested others in 
the territory, and bought of the Norwalk Indians a large 
tract of land now forming the towns of Fairfield, Weston, 
Easton, the greater part of Redding, and Westport. 

In the following year Captain David Patrick, a veteran of 
the Pequot War, purchased two islands at the mouth of the 
Norwalk River, and a tract of land to the west of that 
stream, which now comprises the towns of Norwalk, New 
Canaan, Wilton, and a part of Westport. 

Planters from New Haven had purchased lands in Mil- 
ford, and what are now Stamford and Darien, while the 
Dutch were in possession of Greenwich. The territory be- 
tween the Hammonassett and East Rivers was bought of 
Uncas, being the marriage portion of one of his wives. Thus 
within a decade of their coming to Connecticut, the white set- 
tlers had secured the control of its entire sea-coast, either by 
purchase, conquest, or treaty. 

In 1640, eighty-four enterprising planters of Hartford 
bought of the Tunxis Indians a large tract of land to the west 



of that settlement. A final agreement was made some ten 
years later, In which mention Is made of the purchase In 
1640, and also a former one In 1636. In the last article, the 
Indians acknowledged that on account of the protection and 
trade of the English, they were better off than when the 
whole country was at their disposal; that they could hire 
land of the white man, and obtain better results than when 
they formerly occupied it free. This tract Included the 
southwestern part of the present county of Hartford. 

From 1656 to 1701, various purchases were made In the 
Housatonic and Naugatuck valleys; the latter purchases 
from the natives were in the western part of the Common- 
wealth, a tract being bought In what Is now Danbury In 1684, 
and another In RIdgefield in 1708. 

Along the Connecticut River, numerous purchases were 
made. A committee appointed by the General Court re- 
ported In 1650, that the lands In the present northern part of 
Middlesex County were capable of supporting fifteen fam- 
ilies; but though a settlement was effected, there is no rec- 
ord of any purchase, save that a portion of the territory had 
been deeded as a gift to Governor Haynes from Sowheag. 
A Poquonnoc Sachem in 1666 sold to the town of Windsor 
about 28,000 acres; a few years later, this same chief In 
connection with others disposed of a tract six miles east of 
the river, and as far west as the General Assembly had estab- 
lished the boundaries of the town of MIddletown. This 
formed the remainder of the lands owned by the natives in 
the present towns of Chatham, MIddletown, Cromwell, and 
Portland. In 1662, titles were obtained from the Indians for 
land forming the site of Chester, Haddam, and East Had- 
dam; and In 1673 the Wethersfield settlers obtained a deed 
of about thirty square miles on the opposite bank of the river. 



After the overthrow of the Pequots, Uncas claimed what 
is now the northern part of New London and southern part 
of Tolland and Windham Counties. In 1659 he deeded to a 
company of thirty-five proprietors the famous Norwich tract, 
to obtain the necessary funds to equip his followers with the 
sinews of war against his enemy the Narragansetts. This 
deed covered nine square miles, and Governor Winthrop in 
the same year, with the permission of the General Court, pur- 
chased of the native proprietors lands at Quinebaug. 

In October 1640, an agreement was drawn up and signed 
between Uncas and the colony of Connecticut. While it was 
ambiguous, it stated that Uncas parted with his whole coun- 
try, excepting the planting grounds of the Mohegans, for a 
consideration of five yards of cloth and a few pair of stock- 
ings. The sale of the Norwich tract was made with the con- 
sent of Major John Mason, who was the Mohegans' chief 
adviser. The same year Uncas and his brother Wawequa, in 
the presence of witnesses, deeded the rest of the lands to 
Mason, his heirs and assigns forever. Mason was at this 
time a Magistrate; the following year he became Deputy 
Governor, and surrendered all jurisdiction over the lands to 
the colony, reserving for himself the right to sufficient land 
for a farm, and to lay out the settlements to be made on the 
tract. L^ncas during this time was selling and granting lands 
with a prodigal hand. The New London and Norwich rec- 
ords abound with deeds conveying large tracts to various 
individuals, many of them without monetary consideration, 
but naming as acknowledgments love and affection ; the same 
property was deeded over and over again to different parties. 
That Mason was considered the guardian of the Indians, by 
themselves and by the colonial authorities, is amply illus- 



In 1 66 1, and also in 1665, Uncas and his sons Oweneco 
and Attawanhood confirmed the grant originally made by 
Uncas and his brother in 1659. The death of Attawanhood 
occurred in 1676; his bequest to white settlers included whole 
townships in Windham County, and he directed his followers 
to leave the territory. The death of Uncas occurred in 
either 1682 or 1683, and during his life the English never 
urged their claim. 

The colonial authorities affirmed that Uncas's agreement 
of 1640 was a true deed of purchase and sale; while the 
Indians and their supporters declared that it was a mere right 
of pre-emption, by which Uncas agreed to part with no land 
other than to the colony or its settlers. In the disputes that 
arose. Mason's transfer was claimed to be only a trustee- 
ship to protect the Indians from the unscrupulous extortion 
of their property for an insignificant compensation. This was 
the opinion sustained by Mason's descendants; Connecticut 
on the other hand maintained that Mason was a commis- 
sioned agent of the colony, and that the object of obtaining 
the deed was to eliminate whatever remaining titles to the 
lands might be possessed by the Mohegans. 

A year prior to Mason's death, he executed a deed making 
over to the Mohegans a large tract of land, to be inalienably 
entailed from grant or sale. If Mason held the property 
by a trusteeship, by what right could he deed back only a part 
of the trust? while if he was an agent for the colony, he had 
no power to execute such a transfer. These lands became 
known as the "Sequestered Lands," and after Mason's death 
became subject to encroachment by the whites; until Uncas 
became alarmed and applied to the General Assembly to es- 
tablish the boundaries between the Mohegans' possessions 
and the town of Norwich, that they might be recorded. 



This the General Assembly directed the people of New 
London County to do, after exacting an agreement from 
Uncas. By this compact he promised to make amends for 
any injuries done by his people, and to dispose of no lands 
without the consent of the colonial authorities; confirmed all 
previous grants; and gave the General Assembly the right 
to redivide and regrant all lands, and to take such com- 
pensation therefore as they deemed adequate. He promised 
to do no evil against the colonies, and to be advised by the 
General Assembly in making peace or war, and in contract- 
ing alliances and leagues; he bound himself to be a faithful 
^lly of the colony, and furnish warriors to fight its battles. 
On their part, the Assembly promised to protect his people 
then and forever, and if they faithfully kept their agreement, 
satisfaction was to be granted for any wrong done by the 
English; the Mohegans were to have a just price for all 
lands taken, and were allowed sufficient on which to obtain a 
livelihood; in case of war they were to receive advice and 
ammunition from the colonists. In this agreement there was 
no mention of Mason's entailment by either party. The land 
•claimed by the Mohegans was a tract of thirty-two square 
miles on which they resided, between New London and Nor- 
wich; another district of about eighteen square miles 
stretched along the northern boundary of Lyme to the Con- 
necticut River; the third was known as the Mohegan Hunt- 
ing Grounds, lying to the west of Norwich and Lebanon; 
besides these were other small tracts of considerable extent, 
chiefly in Windham County. 

Uncas was succeeded by his eldest son Oweneco, who 
trusteed the lands to several parties, but in 1689 made a con- 
firmation of the trust to Daniel Mason, son of Major John. 
Oweneco at various times disposed of land by grants and 



sales; and while In a state of intoxication, sold nearly all" 
of the Mohegan Hunting Grounds, now Colchester, for the 
paltry sum of five or six shillings. For redress against these 
land transactions, the Mohegans petitioned the General As- 
sembly without success, and a memorial citing their wrongs 
was presented to Queen Anne. For the trial of the case a 
royal commission composed of twelve members was appoint- 
ed by her IMajesty, at the head of which was Joseph Dudley, 
Governor of Massachusetts. The Commissioners were em- 
powered to restore the lands to the Mohegans if they had 
been unjustly taken by the colony, but from their decision an 
appeal could be taken to the Crown. The court was held at 
Stonington; and the authorities of Connecticut, being sum- 
moned, refused to appear if the court's decision was to be 
final, as it was contrary to their charter. The subjects of the 
colony were forbidden to appear before the court or to ac- 
knowledge its authority ; thus, no defendants appearing, the 
plaintiffs had the pleading all to themselves. 

A survey had been taken which showed that the northern 
two-thirds of New London County, and the southern two- 
thirds of Windham and Tolland Counties, aggregating about 
eight hundred square miles, was the extent of the original 
Mohegan country. A comparison was made with the small 
allowance now remaining in possession of the tribe. There 
was no claim that the original tract should be restored, but 
only that portion which remained when the last treaty was 
made in 1680, between Uncas and the colony. In a little 
over a score of years the Mohegans had been deprived of 
about forty square miles of country, without receiving a dol- 
lar of compensation. Grants to their territory had been 
made by Oweneco and by the colony, but none had received 
the concurrence of Daniel Mason, the Mohegan's legal trus- 



tee. The decision of the royal commission was that the col- 
ony of Connecticut should replace the Mohegans in posses- 
sion of all the lands they had at the time of Uncas' death: 
this embraced three tracts, one lying between New London 
and Norwich, one in the northern bounds of Lyme, and one 
comprising the entire town of Colchester. In reference to 
other claims, including territory in Windham County, the 
commissioners prohibited English subjects from entering on 
or improving it until a further hearing and decision should 
be made. At the request of Oweneco, John Mason, a grand- 
son of Major John Mason, was appointed guardian of the 
Mohegans to manage all their affairs. The costs of the com- 
mission, amounting to £573 12s. 8d. were filed against the 
Colony of Connecticut; from this decision Connecticut took 
an appeal, and on Feb. 15, 1706, the Queen granted a com- 
mission of review. 

The guardian of the Mohegans, owing to several years' 
illness, was unable to attend to business; and the government 
of Connecticut having little interest in prosecuting the affair, 
the commission never sat. The Assembly appointed a com- 
mittee to treat with Oweneco, but his demands were so un- 
reasonable that they were rejected by the governor. Mason 
became involved in difficulties — partly by Oweneco deeding 
lands without compensation or authority, and by his own 
carelessness in selling the same tract to different parties — and 
resigned his guardianship in 171 1 to William Pitkin and 
five others. The colony granted lands valued at £1,000 to 
these new trustees to settle with the different claimants. 

The liberal distribution of land by Oweneco raised oppo- 
sition amongst his own people; in May 17 14 Ben Uncas, an 
illegitimate son of Uncas, and fifty-four Mohegans, conveyed 



the remaining lands to Gurdon Saltonstall, John Mason, 
Joseph Stanton, William Whiting, and John Elliott. 

Oweneco's death occurred in 1715, and he was succeeded 
by his son Caesar; and as the land disputes still continued, the 
General Assembly appointed a committee, consisting of 
James Wadsworth and John Hall, to settle the complaints of 
the Indians and to remove all persons from lands held by no 
legal title. This committee met at Mohegan in the same 
year, and nearly all of the English claims were allowed; Col- 
chester was assigned the Hunting Grounds, and the Indian 
deeds for the tract in Lyme and three-quarters of the "Se- 
questered Lands" were declared legal. The remainder, con- 
sisting of four or five thousand acres, was entailed to the Mo- 
hegans as long as one existed. This action of the commit- 
tee was ratified by the authorities of Connecticut. 

The death of Caesar occurred in 1723 ; and instead of be- 
ing succeeded by Mahomet, the rightful heir, according to 
English notions, the grand council of the nation selected Ma- 
jor Ben Uncas as Sachem, which choice was confirmed by an 
act of the Assembly. The old controversy regarding the 
Mohegan lands, which was supposed to have been settled in 
1721, was revived; Mason became responsible for a large 
portion of the cost of the royal commission in the belief that 
their decision was final, and that the Mohegans would be 
restored to their lands. The colony refused to reimburse 
him, but consented to his residing with the Indians, as they 
had already chosen him and his heirs their perpetual guar- 
dians. Mason petitioned the General Assembly in 1725 for 
a settlement, and a committee was appointed ; they objected 
to the bill of costs, and claimed the colony had made ample 
restitution in the past. 

The old Sachem died in 1726, and his son, also named Ben 



Uncas, was selected to succeed him. His election was sanc- 
tioned by the Assembly, who appointed John Hall and James 
Wadsworth guardians of the Mohegans. 

It was on the 4th of June, 1738, that another royal com- 
mission of review convened at Norwich by the authority of 
George 11. There had been factions generated amongst the 
Mohegans; the minority of the tribe were in favor of Ben 
Uncas as Sachem, who was steadfast in his loyalty to Con- 
necticut; while the majority favored a cousin of Ben, named 
John Uncas, and wished to continue under the guardianship 
of John and Samuel Mason, sons of Captain John Mason 
who had died in England, basing their claims on the deed 
making the office perpetual to their fatherand his descendants. 
The commissioners were Gov. John Wanton, John Chlpman, 
Peter Bours, William Anthony, James Arnold, Philip Ar- 
nold, and Rowso Helme of Rhode Island, and Philip Cort- 
landt and Daniel Horsmanden of New York. On the or- 
ganization of the commission, Philip Cortlandt was elected 
president. The first important question that came before the 
board was to decide who was the legal Sachem of the Mo- 
hegans. The Mason party had retained able counsel, but the 
governor and counsel of Connecticut was determined to up- 
hold the claim of Ben Uncas; the Rhode Island Commis- 
sioners were inclined to favor their sister colony, and when 
the attorneys representing Mason's interests proposed that 
all the Mohegans should testify as to their legal chief, a ma- 
jority of the commissioners decided against it. From this 
decision Horsmanden openly dissented. The following day 
Mason's attorneys moved that the Mohegan testimony be 
taken first for Ben Uncas, and afterwards for John Uncas; 
this the Rhode Island commissioners refused, and Hors- 
manden again dissented. The commissioners decided Ben 



Uncas to be the rightful Sachem of the Mohegans; and 
Horsmanden, still dissenting, was joined by his colleague 
from New York. TKe case now developed into a singular 
position : Ben Uncas, the legal acknowledged Sachem, had 
no cause of action against the colony, and therefore as plain- 
tiff dismissed Mason's attorneys, and chose three Connecticut 
lawyers as his advocates. The motion was made that Sam- 
uel Mason be recognized as guardian of the tribe; this was 
met with refusal on the part of the commissioners, and again 
Horsmanden registered his dissent. As a last attempt for 
recognition, Mason's attorneys suggested that the Mohegans 
be allowed to choose their own advocates; the commissioners 
overruled this motion, and the attorneys retired from the 
case. The New York Commissioners recorded their disap- 
proval of this act and withdrew from the commission, claim- 
ing the defense of Connecticut to be unfair and collusive. 

The commission reorganized with Governor John Wanton 
as president, and after hearing the testimony of the defen- 
dants, repealed the decisions of the royal commission of 
1705; they based their decree on the Uncas deed of 1640, 
the terms of the Royal Charter, the quitclaims and conveyance 
obtained from the Mohegan Sachems by individual proprie- 
tors, the fact that the Mohegans were still in possession of a 
fertile tract of four or five thousand acres, and the general 
releases to the colony freeing it from all charges, signed in 
1737-38 by Ben Uncas and a number of the Mohegans. A 
majority of the Mohegans, being dissatisfied with the de- 
cision of the commissioners, petitioned John and Samuel Ma- 
son to present an appeal to the Crown. A memorial was 
drawn up stating their grievances; and, accompanied by a 
report from Cortlandt and Horsmanden of the Irregular pro- 
ceedings of the commission, was forwarded to England. The 



Lord Justice set aside the verdict and granted a new com- 
mission, from which there could be an appeal to the King's 
Privy Council, which was to be final. 

On July 1743, commissioners from New York and New 
Jersey held their first meeting at Norwich. The New York 
members were Philip Cortlandt, Daniel Horsmanden, and 
Cadwallader Colden ; and those from New Jersey were 
Lewis Morris and John Rodman. There were four parties 
interested in the case: the Mohegans who recognized John 
Uncas as Sachem, those that favored Ben Uncas, the colony 
of Connecticut, and the holders of the disputed territory. 
The sheriff was authorized to poll the Mohegans individu- 
ally, and ascertain whom they considered their rightful 
Sachem ; he questioned ninety-nine of the tribe, and seventy- 
seven declared for John Uncas. The counsel for the colony, 
in presenting the case, stated that the Mohegans were not an 
independent people, as the English had rescued them from 
the domination of the Pequots; that they had no territory, 
as all claim to such was abolished by the Uncas deed of 1640; 
that this grant was strengthened by the conveyance in 1659 
to Mason, who was an official of, and acted as agent for, the 
colony; that the lands had been twice bought by the colony, 
and that the Indians had been satisfied until they were incited 
to enforce claims by selfish and designing men ; that the 
disputed territory had been held by its present possessors 
many years, and ejecting them would cause suffering to over 
five hundred persons. The colony protested against John 
and Samuel Mason as guardians of the Mohegans, and de- 
nied the authority of the commissioners to extend any further 
the lands reserved by the Sachems. 

The counsel for the plaintiffs denied that the Mohegans 
had ever sold the lands, claiming they had only executed a 



deed of trust to Major John Mason to protect themselves 
from the colony; that Mason had reconveyed the greater 
part to the tribe, and transferred his guardianship to his 
descendants. The commission was in session seventeen days, 
and Colden, Rodman, and Cortlandt delivered a decision in 
favor of the colony, on the belief that if the colonial gov- 
ernment had not interfered, the Indians would have had 
no territory left, while they now had about five thousand 
acres, with which they should be content. Morris differed 
in his opinion, as he considered Lncas' deed merely a pre- 
emption right to the lands, to exclude other English and 
the Dutch, and that the surrender of the territory by Mason 
to the colony was to enable it to exercise its powers of juris- 
diction. The implacable foe of Connecticut, Horsmanden, 
pronounced the deed of Uncas to be a forgery; and that 
even if if genuine, subsequent transactions rendered it null 
and void. The commission adjourned to meet again Nov. 
5, 1743 ; on the appointed day the three commissioners, con- 
stituting a majority, confirmed their original decision and re- 
voked the decree of the Commission of 1705, except that the 
"Sequestered Lands" were reserved for the Mohegans. 

An appeal was taken to the King's Privy Council by the 
attorney on behalf of the Mohegans, and the cause was tried 
and settled in England by the Lords Commissioners, who 
decided in fav^or of the colony. 

The litigation over the Mohegan lands, a scource of con- 
tention for almost a century, was thus finally settled; and 
Connecticut was sustained in possession of the territory, of 
which enemies within and without her borders had attempted 
to despoil her, to their own enrichment. Other reservations 
were allotted to the Indians at different times by the State; 
but the Red Men gradually became extinct, sav-e for some 



offspring of white intermixture, until there is not at the 
present time a pure-blooded Indian within its boundaries, al- 
though the United States census of Connecticut for 1900 
gives one hundred and forty-three Indians. 


The Organization of Towns and Counties 

IN Connecticut the town was the unit of civil organiza- 
tions, legally speaking; this was a quasi-corporation, 
and since the primitive English "tuns" there had 
been no such examples of self-government. The au- 
tocratic constable was the preserver of public peace, 
the collector of taxes, and, as notifier of the meetings of the 
General Court, was the connecting link between the Common- 
wealth and the towns. Religion was the vital part of exis- 
tence to the Connecticut settlers, and it permeated their daily 
life. This is evidenced by the fact that every division or 
dispute on religion gave rise to the settlement of a new 

The migrations of the planters to the river settlements 
were a continuance of three fully organized Massachusetts 
towns, thus differing from New Haven, which was estab- 
lished on an original basis. The Commonwealth became 
the product of its town system ; but by the obtainment of the 
Royal Charter, Connecticut acquired an independent and 
legal status superior to the towns. This is noticed in her 
acts addressed to the towns previous to obtaining the Royal 
Charter; these were formally put in the nature of recom- 
mendations, but afterwards there was an evident assumption 
of power, and an assertion of the interests of the Common- 

During the decade between 1629 and 1639, about 20,000 
Puritans had left the old country for New England; but the 
tide of emigration to Connecticut after the formation of the 
parent settlements almost ceased. The reason for this was 
that reports, emanating from Massachusetts, were scattered 
broadcast, to the effect that the settlers' cattle were dying 
from starvation because the uplands would produce no corn; 
and that Mr. Thomas Hooker was dubious over the perma- 



nency of the settlements. Despite the jealousy of her sister 
colony, Connecticut, owing to the fertility of her meadows 
and the democracy of her government, maintained a sub- 
stantial growth, and in 1637 she numbered from six to eight 
hundred souls. 

The General Court in 1639, by a general act, incorporated 
all the plantations as towns, authorizing them to manage 
their internal affairs. While this was only a recognition of 
existing rights, it was highly important, as It established a lo- 
cal tribunal and defined the limits of the towns' jurisdiction. 
The town tribunal was to consist of not less than three or 
more than seven members, elected by the people. These were 
called "principal men," and afterwards became known as 
"selectmen" ; their presiding officer received the title of Mod- 
erator, and was only to have a casting vote. The body was 
to constitute a municipal court, and to hold session once In 
two months. There was also established a system of town rec- 
ords; and real-estate owners were required, under heavy 
penalties, to lodge a description of their properties for regis- 
tration, and all Incumbrances on the same were of no legal 
value unless recorded. There were adopted measures in ref- 
erence to probating wills, and appraising and administering 
the estates of the deceased. 

The year 1639 was propitious for the settlement of new 
towns. About ten families under the leadership of Thomas 
Fairfield came from Roxbury and Concord, Massachusetts, 
and settled at a place called by the Indians Cupheag, which 
means literally "a place shut In"; the English gave It the 
name of Stratford, In honor of the thriving town of that 
name situated a few miles from London. The plantation of 
Fairfield, whose Indian name was Unoquwa, or Uncoway, — 
"beyond" the Pequonnoc — was settled by eight or ten fam- 



llles from Windsor, joined by parties from Watertown and 
Concord, Massachusetts; it received its present name in 
1645. About forty planters from New Haven Colony re- 
moved to Menunkatuck, which in the Indian language was 
the name of a white fish used for fertilizing; the plantation 
in 1643 was named Guilford, for a town of the same name on 
the border of Sussex and Kent counties in England, from 
which one of the pillars of their church had emigrated. 

Some two hundred English emigrants from Essex, Here- 
ford, and York counties, with settlers from Wethersfield, es- 
tablished a plantation at Wepowage ("crossing place"), 
which they purchased of the New Haven Colony. It was 
an independent settlement for the first few years of its ex- 
istence, and was renamed Milford on account of the first 
mill being erected near a ford. 

Citizens of Hartford were attracted to the alluvial 
meadows on the banks of the Tunxis (now Farmington Riv- 
er), and as early as 1640 commenced a settlement about ten 
miles west of that town, which was incorporated in 1645 
under the name of Farmington, as representing outlying 

The settlers of Wethersfield were from the first involved 
in civil and ecclesiastical difficulties. In 1641 the advice of 
Mr. Davenport and other gentlemen from New Haven was 
sought, to regulate church troubles; they induced about 
twenty planters and their families to place themselves under 
the jurisdiction of New Haven Colony. The party settled 
on the Rippowam tract, which had been purchased by the 
New Haven Colony from the Indians; its present name of 
Stamford was given it in 1641, from an ancient market and 
parliamentary borough on the Welland River in Lincoln- 



The territory west of Stamford had been purchased In the 
interest of the New Haven Colony, and was first settled in 
1640; but the purchasers violated their agreement and 
placed themselves under the government of New Nether- 
lands. They continued under this jurisdiction till 1662, when 
they became a part of the Commonwealth of Connecticut; 
the plantation was named Greenwich after the pleasure re- 
sort near London, now the seat of the famous Observatory. 

Wethersfield, on account of the various migrations caused 
by dissatisfied spirits and want of congeniality amongst her 
early settlers, has been called the mother of towns. The 
New Haven Colony had purchased east of its boundaries an 
Indian tract named Totoket, denoting meadows on a great 
tidal river; it had been conveyed in 1640 to Samuel Eaton, 
who failed to comply with the stipulations of the grant; and 
a party of settlers from Wethersfield, in connection with a 
portion of Mr. Abraham Plerson's congregation from South 
Hampton, Long Island, effected in 1644 a settlement on the 
territory, and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the 
New Haven Colony. It was called Branford, the current 
pronunciation of the London suburb Brentford, situated on 
both sides of the Brent River at its confluence with the 

The founding of New London by John Winthrop, Jr., and 
others, was begun In the spring of 1646, under the auspices 
of the General Court of Massachusetts. Winthrop in 
the government of the settlement was associated with Mr. 
Thomas Peters, a brother of the celebrated Hugh Peters. 
This gentleman embarked for England In the fall of 1646, 
and never returned to America. The Winthrop brothers, 
John and Dean, passed the winter of that year on Fisher's 
Island; but In the spring of 1647 John Winthrop built a 



house on the mainland, and removed his family from Boston 
to the settlement. By a decision of the New England Con- 
gress the territory was placed under the jurisdiction of Con- 
necticut, and the General Court commissioned Winthrop to 
administer justice according to the laws of that colony. The 
Indian name of the settlement was Nameaug or Namlock, 
"fishing place"; the General Court recommended that the 
name of Fair Hav^en be given to the settlement; but Win- 
throp and his associates, realizing that while many of the 
cities and towns of England had been commemorated by ap- 
plying their names to locations in the New World, the me- 
tropolis had been neglected, decided that the infant prototype 
should be called New London, and to maintain the similitude 
the river was renamed the Thames. 

It having been decreed by the General Court that a settle- 
ment should be made at Mattabesett, which in the Indian 
language denoted a place at a great rivulet or brook, a num- 
ber of planters from Hartford and Wethersfield, who were 
afterwards joined by parties from England and Massachu- 
setts, settled on the tract in 1646. It was incorporated in 
165 I, and two years afterwards its name was changed to 

x\s early as 1640 purchases had been made from the In- 
dians of territory west of Fairfield, but in 1649 there were 
only a few scattering settlers, amounting to about twenty 
families. The settlement was given town privileges in 165 i, 
and was named Norwalk. 

A company of thirty-five planters was formed at Say- 
brook, and in the winter of 1659 temporary huts were erected 
on a tract of land they had purchased at the head waters of 
the Thames River; it was incorporated under the name of 
Norwich, in honor of the shire town of the county of Nor- 



folk in England. The country lying between the Mystic 
and Pawcatuck Rivers had been settled as early as 1649; in 
1658 the commissioners of the United Colonies of New Eng- 
land had placed the territory under the jurisdiction of Mas- 
sachusetts, and a town by the name of Southerton had been 
organized by that colony; it came under the government of 
Connecticut under the Royal Charter, and its name was 
changed to Stonington. 

In May 1666 the General Assembly, to simplify the civic 
organization of the Commonwealth, erected the territory 
within its boundaries into four counties. The towns on the 
Connecticut River from Windsor on the north to the Thirty 
Mile Island, together v/ith Farmington, were to be included 
in what v/as known as Hartford County. The lands from 
the east bounds of Guilford unto the west bounds of Milford 
were named New Haven County. The country from the east- 
ern limits of Stratford to the western boundary of the colony 
received the name of Fairfield County ; and the tract between 
the Pawcatuck and Hammonassett Rivers, with Norwich, 
was to constitute a county to be called New London. In the 
establishment of these counties the general government gave 
them, each for the support of a grammar school, six hun- 
dred acres of land. 

In 1663 twelve families who had emigrated from Hart- 
ford, Windsor, and Guilford, located on the Indian tract 
called Hammonassett. These were joined by sixteen other 
families, and the General Assembly in 1667 named the town 
they had incorporated Killingworth, a variant of the his- 
torical name of Kenilworth, the birthplace of one of the early 
proprietors of the town. The fertile valley of the Connecti- 
cut River between Middletown and Saybrook had also at- 
tracted the eyes of settlers; and a settlement known as East 



Saybrook had been made on the river opposite to Saybrook 
in 1664. Three years later it was granted the privileges of 
a town under the name of Lyme, from a small seaport in 

Settlers from the upper river towns, in 1662, removed to 
lands on both banks at the point known as Thirty Mile 
Island, being that distance from the mouth of the river. The 
plantation grew rapidly, and became a town in 1667 under 
the name of Haddam, presum.ably from Great Hadham in 
England, where was the family estate of Governor John 

In 1670 there were two additions to the towns of Con- 
necticut; New Haven village was incorporated and given the 
name of Wallingford, from a small parliamentary borough 
in Berkshire; a portion of Windsor was created a township 
named Simsbury. Ecclesiastical dispute was again in the 
history of Connecticut to cause the migration of a portion of 
her people through the trackless wilderness, to establish a 
settlement in her uninhabited confines. The General Assem- 
bly had for half a score of years been agitated by religious 
divisions in Stratford ; to these people came Governor Win- 
throp as a peacemaker, who, to terminate the differences, pro- 
posed that one of the contending parties should seek an 
asylum elsewhere, and promised his influence to procure a 
grant of land, and the privileges of an incorporated town. 
In the spring of 1673, fifteen planters with their families 
travelled north from Stratford, and after many days of mis- 
haps purchased from the Indians an extensive tract fifteen 
miles in width, now comprising Woodbury, Washington, 
Bethlehem, Roxbury, and a part of Oxford and Middlebury. 
These lands were incorporated in 1674 under the name of 



There had been several attempts to estabhsh a town on the 
banks of the Naugatuck River; these had been bitterly op- 
posed by the people of Milford, but in 1675 there were 
twelve families residing on the territory. They were ex- 
pecting additional parties to join them, and had provided a 
permanent house of worship; at their request the General 
Assembly made them into a township to be called Derby, 
from the shire town of Derbyshire. A number of citizens of 
Farmington recommended to the General Assembly that the 
territory to the west of them was fertile enough to maintain 
a plantation; the legislature appointed a committee, who 
reported in 1674 that Mattatuck, which in the Indian 
language meant "badly wooded," could accommodate thirty 
families. The original number of proprietors was less than 
thirty, and in 1686 they were invested with corporate privi- 
leges; the aboriginal name being changed to Waterbury. 
The portion of Wethersfield east of the Connecticut River 
was in 1690 created a separate township under the name of 
Glastonbury, from a small market-town in the county of 
Somerset. Two years afterwards Windham was incorpo- 
rated; among its early settlers were descendants of the Ripley 
family, whose forefathers had emigrated from Hingham, 
England, and located in the town of the same name in Mas- 
sachusetts Bay Colony. The largest place in the vicinity of 
Hingham, England, was Wymondham on the eastern coast; 
from this the town derived its name. 

The settlement of the region east of Norwich was re- 
tarded by King Philip's War; but in 1686 the General As- 
sembly granted parties the privilege of forming a plantation, 
which the following year was named Preston, from an im- 
portant manufacturing town in Lancashire. The colonial 
records do not show the date of its organization as a town, 



but it was first represented in the General Assembly in 1693. 
The organization of the town of Lebanon took place in 
1700, and it was the first township in Connecticut to receive 
a Biblical name. 

Connecticut at the opening of the eighteenth century 
showed its vitality, despite its poverty, by the steady increase 
of its towns. Its political divisions consisted of four coun- 
ties and thirty towns; settlements had diverged to every 
point of the compass, from her primitive centers to the very 
limits of her confines. The population of the Commonwealth 
was estimated to be about fifteen thousand souls, and her set- 
tlers had deserted the log cabins of their ancestors for sub- 
stantial dwellings of wood, stone, and brick. The property 
of the colony was estimated for taxing purposes at nearly 
£200,000 sterling; the number of males over sixteen years 
of age was approximately 3,800. The increase in organized 
towns was due to speculators and land companies, who with 
the consent of the General Assembly purchased the territory 
of the Indians and subdivided it into smaller allotments. 

A tract of land had been purchased on both sides of the 
Quinebaug (Long Pond) River by Governor Winthrop, 
which was sparsely settled at the time of his death. The 
original tracts were of great extent, and when outlying dis- 
tricts came to be settled, the distance from the church required 
another division and thereby established a new town. A 
number of farmers of Massachusetts purchased from his 
heirs the northern portions of the grant, and began to plant 
and build upon It. The settlement gradually increased In 
population, and In 1699 an attempt was made to organize a 
town; the next year It was named Plainfield, from the pe- 
culiarities of Its landscape. The organization of the town 
was delayed, owing to land and religious difficulties, but In 



1706 all troubles were finally settled. Two years later Plain- 
field was represented in the General Assembly. Three years 
previous to this, the country on the west bank of the Quine- 
baug was formed into a township and named Canterbury, in 
honor of the cathedral city in southern England. 

On the western boundaries of the Commonwealth, a num- 
ber of planters from Norwalk had settled on a tract known 
to the Indians as Paquiage, which denoted open land; this 
tract was surveyed eight years afterwards, received town 
privileges in 1702, and was named Danbury from an Eng- 
lish village situated a few miles from the shire town of Essex 

In 1698 the General Assembly enacted that a new planta- 
tion be established at Jeremy's Farm; settlement commenced 
soon afterwards, and five years later the planters were con- 
firmed in their patent; the town was named Colchester. That 
part of New London lying on the east bank of the Thames 
River was in 1705 created a township, and given the name 
of Groton. The selection of the names for these two towns 
may be attributed to the fact that they were organized dur- 
ing the administration of Fitz John Winthrop as governor; 
Groton, England, was the birthplace of the elder Winthrop, 
and the nearest important town to it was Colchester. The In- 
dian tract Nawbcstuck ("pond-land"), which had been a 
part of Windham, was incorporated under the name of Mans- 
field, in honor of Major Moses Mansfield, one of its early 
settlers. Planters from Windsor, Saybrook, Long Island, 
and Northampton (Massachusetts), had settled in the region 
east of Cjlastonbury, and in 1707 the General Assembly en- 
acted that it be given town privileges and be called Hebron, 
the name being derived from one of the oldest cities of 



Ever since the beginning of the century settlements had 
been made on the eastern borders of the colony. In 1708 a 
township was erected and named Killingly, from a Yorkshire 
manor of that appellation owned by the Saltonstall family. 
The country north of Guilford known to the Indians 
as Coginchaug ("Long Swamp") was supposed to be 
the property of the adjoining towns; surveys developed the 
fact that it v/as unassigned territory, and in 1708 it was en- 
dowed v/ith town privileges under the name of Durham, 
from the ancient episcopal city in the northern part of Eng- 
land, the original home of the Wadsworth family, whose de- 
scendants were prominently identified with the early history 
of Connecticut. 

The citizens of Norwalk in 1708 purchased land on the 
western border of the colony, and the following year it was 
incorporated under the name of Ridgefield, on account of its 
physical features. A tract of land lying north of Lebanon 
and west of Mansfield, granted to legatees by a Sachem of 
the Mohegans, had been settled by planters from Hartford 
and Northampton; at the October session of the General As- 
sembly in 17 1 1 it was incorporated as a town, under the name 
of Coventry. Warwickshire, its namesake of historic fame, 
is situated on a gentle eminence in a valley, with a ridge of 
hills at the south, and the similarity of the landscape may 
have suggested the name to the early proprietors. The same 
session of the legislature incorporated the town of Newtown. 
The following year planters from Milford purchased of the 
colony a tract of land called Weantlnoge, denoting "Indians' 
home." This tract was located on the Housatonic River, and 
it was enacted by the General Assembly in 17 12 that it should 
be organized as a township under the name of New Milford. 

Wabbaquassett, literally "covering," but originally the 



name of a locality in the northeastern part of the colony, was 
purchased by Major James Fitch and others as early as 
1684. Two years later a permanent settlement was effected, 
and in 17 13 a town was organized and called Pomfret; the 
name was derived from Pontefract (commonly pronounced 
Pumfret), a market and municipal borough of Yorkshire, 
in which was situated the ancestral manor-house of the chief 
executive of the colony at the time of the incorporation of the 
town. About 1704 a few pioneers had settled on lands north 
of Mansfield; two years later it was surveyed by the General 
Assembly, and incorporated under the name of Ashford In 
17 14. The following year the General Assembly granted 
town privileges to Tolland, north of Coventry. 

The colony had granted land on her eastern borders as 
pensions to volunteers in the Narragansett war; settlements 
had been made on this tract in 1696, and in 1708 it was 
named Voluntown, the first two syllables of the word volun- 
teer being used; it was incorporated as a town in 1719. 

The northwestern part of the colony, still in its native wil- 
derness, was designated as the western lands. In 171 8 a tract 
of land known to the Indians as Bantam was sold to a com- 
pany by the colony; it was incorporated the following year 
under the name of Litchfield, after the ancient episcopal city 
of Lichfield in Staffordshire. 

This settlement was to germinate others, peopling the 
hunting-grounds of the aborigines with tillers of the soil and 
builders of towns. The next year Bolton, which had been 
settled since 17 16 by planters from the Connecticut River 
towns, was granted town privileges; it derived its name from 
the important English manufacturing town in south Lanca- 
shire. The General Assembly in 1726 took parts of Hart- 
ford and New London Counties, and created a new county, 



giving it the name of Windham ; it comprised the towns of 
Windham, Lebanon, Plainfield, Canterbury, Mansfield, Cov- 
entry, Pomfret, Killingly, Ashford, Voluntown, and Mort- 
lake, the last being the name of a grant of lands that af- 
terwards became a part of the town of Brooklyn. 

The colony in 1720 had sold, for £510 sterling, a tract of 
land to Roger Wolcott and his associates; a few families 
had settled in that region prior to the sale, and in 1727 it 
was incorporated under the name of Willington. The coun- 
try on the east side of the Connecticut River, in the town of 
Haddam, was created a new township in 1734 and named 
East Haddam. The same year Union was incorporated; but 
it was not represented in the Assembly, nor was any state tax 
levied on it till 1780. 

I'he northwestern section of Connecticut was a wild, and 
at this period strenuous exertions were put forward by 
the colony to encourage settlements in that region. Citi- 
zens from Hartford, Windsor, and Farmington were granted 
territory on which settlements were made in 1731; town 
privileges were extended in 1739, and the name of Harwin- 
ton adopted, the first syllables of Hartford and Windsor and 
the last of Farmington being taken to make the name of the 
town. The General Assembly had granted to residents of 
Hartford a tract of land on which the first settlements had 
been made in 1733 ; five years later it was incorporated under 
the name of New Hartford. 

The banner year for creating new towns was 1739, when 
Goshen, Canaan, Kent, and Sharon were invested with town 
privileges; the cause of this was due to public auctions held 
by the colony to dispose of the territory. The land compris- 
ing the town of Goshen was sold at New Haven in 1737, 
those of Canaan at New London, and those of Kent at Wind- 



ham in the following year. The region comprising Sharon 
was surveyed in 1732, and settled by parties from Lebanon 
and Colchester. 

The General Assembly in 1707 granted to a number of in- 
habitants of Fairfield a tract of land on the western borders; 
settlements had been made upon it in 1730, but owing to dit- 
ficulties in reference to the boundary lines between New York 
and the colony, it was not incorporated till 1740, when it was 
named New Fairfield. There had been allotted to Windsor 
parties a tract of land which in 1732 was named Torrington; 
it was surveyed two years later, and settled in 1737 by emi- 
grants from Windsor and Durham. At the session of the 
General Assembly held in 1740 it received town privileges. 

The territory comprising Cornwall was surveyed in 1738, 
and divided into fifty-three allotments, which were sold at 
Fairfield for £50 each; the principal settlers were from Plain- 
field, and it was created a township in 1740. The extreme 
northwestern corner of the colony was known to the govern- 
ment as wild and unlocated lands, although as early as 1720 
there were settlers within its limits. It was surveyed in 1732, 
sold by the colony in 1737, and incorporated as a town under 
the name of Salisbury in 1741. This was the name of one 
of its earliest settlers, who, it is said, was the cause of the 
death of an unruly servant-girl, for which he was sentenced 
by New York authorities to be hanged when he was one hun- 
dred years of age ; it is said that the offender lived to pass the 
century mark, and it became necessary to grant him a re- 

Some of the northern border towns of the Commomvealth 
were originally included in the grant made by the Massachu- 
setts Bay Colony to the Springfield patentees ; this was a 
source of complaint from Connecticut as early as 1642, in 



which year iMassachusetts employed two surveyors, who ran 
the southern boundaries many miles south of the true line. 
The extreme southern part of this tract was incorporated into 
a township by the Bay Colony, in 1674, under the name of 
Suffield. The territory on the east bank of the Connecti- 
cut River, opposite Suffield, was granted town privileges in 
1683 and called Enfield; this town was divided in 1726, and 
the eastern part was created a town and named East En- 
Held, changed eight years afterwards to Somers. Settlers 
from Roxbury, Massachusetts, had in 1686 emigrated to a 
point east of Somers on the border line, which they gave the 
name of New Roxbury; the General Assembly of Massachu- 
setts in 1690 incorporated the region under the name of 
Woodstock. Thus before 1700 there were three fully organ- 
ized towns on Connecticut's soil that paid taxes and were sub- 
servient to the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. This caused 
dissatisfaction in Connecticut, and in 1694 a committee was 
appointed to run the boundary line; they reported that the 
former survey was erroneous, and that the inhabitants of Suf- 
field and Enfield were encroaching on the neighboring towns 
of Simsbury and Windsor. 

In 1700 Connecticut again attempted to obtain an amica- 
ble settlement of the difficulties, and two years later appointed 
commissioners, who by actual surveys ascertained that the 
line should be a considerable distance north of the former 
limits. The Bay Colony dissented from this report, and in 
1708 Connecticut appointed commissioners with full powers 
to establish the boundaries, and if Massachusetts would not 
unite to complete the transaction, an appeal to the Crown was 
threatened. By dilatory actions Massachusetts delayed the 
matter five years; but finally commissioners were appointed 
by both colonies, who decided that the line was north of 



Enfield, Suffield, and Woodstock, and that these towns were 
in the limits of Connecticut. The two colonies then entered 
into the famous agreement of 17 13, in which Massachusetts 
was to have jurisdiction over the border towns, though they 
were south of that colony's boundaries. To compensate Con- 
necticut for these privileges, Massachusetts was to give the 
same amount of territory in her western confines, and to sell 
her more distant lands at a cheap price. These unimproved 
lands were called "Equivalent Lands," and were sold by Con- 
necticut in 1716, realizing $2,274, which was donated to 
Yale College. These lands aggregated about 107,000 acres; 
and one-half of them, while they were supposed to be in Mas- 
sachusetts, were really in the district to be known as Ver- 
mont. The lands were sold to private purchasers, and in 
1729 the pioneers left their native state to settle their new 

This was the status of affairs when, in 1724, Enfield and 
Suffield petitioned the General Assembly of Connecticut to 
be placed under their jurisdiction, claiming that they 
were within the charter limits of the colony. The inhabitants 
of Woodstock, while satisfied with the government at Bos- 
ton, thought they could secure greater privileges under Con- 
necticut; and as they were dissatisfied with their apportion- 
ment of the war taxes, levied to carry on the French and In- 
dian wars, they were ready to join their sister towns in seced- 
ing from Massachusetts. The towns were persistent, and Con- 
necticut being willing, the General Assembly in 1749 voted to 
receive them. Notification was sent to the Massachusetts 
authorities of Connecticut's action; to which they sarcas- 
tically replied that it was contrary to the royal will, and they 
must suffer the consequences. The agreement of 17 13 had 
never been confirmed by the King, and Connecticut author- 



ized her agent in the old country to prevent the royal consent, 
knowing that Massachusetts would use her utmost exertion to 
obtain it. England was at this period engaged in the Seven 
Years' War, and there is no evidence that the controversy 
was ever brought before the Crown ; neither complainant 
being anxious to have the home government meddling with 
its priv^ate affairs. Commissioners were appointed by Con- 
necticut in 1752, who reported that Massachusetts held ter- 
ritory that did not rightfully belong to her. 

This settled the matter for the time being, though as late 
as 1768 the towns were warned by Massachusetts not to pay 
any tax to Connecticut; an attempt was made by Massachu- 
setts to enforce her claims in 1804, but she finally abandoned 
the dispute, and the present line was established in 1822-26. 
There was left, however, the indentation in the present town 
of Granby, which remains as a memorial to those enterpris- 
ing mathematicians, Woodward and Saffrey, who ran the line 
in 1642 by taking a ship around Cape Cod and up the Con- 
necticut River; they tried to establish a point in a direct line 
from three miles south of the Charles River in the eastern 
portion of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and got it eight miles 
too far south. 

The twelve towns in the northwestern part of the colony 
had a population of about ten thousand, and the General 
Assembly in 175 i incorporated them into a county by the 
name of Litchfield. The territory comprising the town of 
Stafford was ordered to be laid out by the assembly in 1718 ; 
the following year it was named, and a committee was ap- 
pointed to sell the lands and place the purchase money in the 
county's treasury. From this time there are several men- 
tions of the town in the colonial records, and the census taken 
in 1756 gives it a population of one thousand, but there is no 



record of its Incorporation. The General Assembly in 1755 
ordered that a tax report should be made of the town, and 
in the list submitted to that body in October 1756, the asses- 
ment appears for the first time. The town was not repre- 
sented in the General Assembly till the session held in May 


A tract of land on the northern borders was sold at public 

vendue by the colony in 1742; settlement began on the terri- 
tory two years later; it was granted town privileges in 1758 
under the name of Norfolk. Residents of Hartford and 
Windsor in 1733 purchased of the colony the region west of 
Suffield; the locality was first settled in 1753 and was incor- 
porated as a town in 1761 by the name of Hartland. 

By 1762 all the soil of the colony had been di- 
vided into towns, and in the formation of new civic divisions 
it became necessary to carve them out of existing townships. 
In 1767 a part of Middletown was erected into a town un- 
der the name of Chatham, from the Earl of Chatham, the 
popular idol at this period, owing to his espousing the Ameri- 
can cause against the right of Parliament to tax the colonies. 
The same year Redding was taken from Fairfield and in- 
vested with town privileges; the town was originally spelt 
Reading, like its English prototype, but was later phonetic- 
ally changed into its present orthography. That portion 
of the town of Windsor on the east bank of Connecticut 
River was formed into a township in 1768, and called East 
Windsor, Hartford patentees of a grant in the northern part 
of Litchfield County were given the right by the General 
Assembly to incorporate Into a township in 1771, under the 
name of Winchester; the town was not represented in the 
legislature until 1781; In which year it paid Its first State 



Connecticut was now divided into seventy-two towns; she 
had passed the days of being sparsely settled. Her popula- 
tion, which in 1774 amounted to nearly 200,000, was cen- 
tralizing, partially due to the swarming of her people to the 
industrial centres, that even before the Revolution had shown 
manifestations of future growth. New Haven was first in 
the number of her people, Norwich being in the second place. 
We have evidence that agriculture was the important occu- 
pation of the colonists, as Farmington held the third place. 
The other larger towns were New London fourth, Stratford 
fifth, Stonington sixth, Woodbury seventh, and Hartford 
eighth. The time had arrived when more momentous events 
than the formation of towns were to interest the colonists of 
Connecticut. The rumble of war was heard in the distance, 
and Connecticut was to take her place shoulder to shoulder 
with her sister colonies, in a war for independence. She was 
to throw off her mantle of colonyship, to be afterwards in- 
vested with the more dignified rank of State, and to perform 
her part in the creation of a new nation. 



Boundary Troubles with Rhode Island and New 


CONNECTICUT, secure in her rights of govern- 
ment under her Royal Charter, turned her at- 
tention to the permanent establishment of her 
boundary lines. The difficulties of the settle- 
ment with Massachusetts Colony as to her 
northern boundary have already been explained. Her neigh- 
bor on the east, while smaller in area than Massachusetts, 
was fully as energetic and pugnacious in maintaining her 
rights; the disputed territory lay between the Mystic River 
and Narragansett Bay: Connecticut based her claims on her 
conquest of the Pequots and her charter, and Massachusetts 
on her assistance in subduing the Pequots. The New Eng- 
land Congress, ignoring all rights of Rhode Island, had de- 
cided that the Mystic River should be the boundary line be- 
tween Massachusetts and Connecticut. The constant dispute 
as to jurisdiction deterred settlers from locating on the tract, 
as it was considered the equivalent of buying a lawsuit. 

On receipt of her charter, Connecticut disregarded the 
decision of the New England Congress; and also the agree- 
ment made in London by Governor John Winthrop, her 
agent, with Dr. John Clark, the agent of Rhode Island, 
which was, that all difficulties were to be settled by arbitration 
in that city, and that theTawcatuck River should constitute 
the boundary line betv/een the two colonies. (The "Narra- 
gansett River" of the old patent undoubtedly meant Provi- 
dence River; but as this would nearly annihilate Rhode 
Island, it was agreed that whenever the name occurred it 
should be taken to mean Pawcatuck.) The charter received 
from the King by the Rhode Island Colony, fifteen months 
after the granting of the Connecticut charter, embraced the 
Narragansett country. Connecticut repudiated the agree- 
ment of Winthrop, claiming that he had exceeded his in- 



structions and authority. In 1663 the General Assembly 
granted privileges to planters of settling on the disputed 
tract, appointed officers to administer the laws, and named it 
Wickford. This section Rhode Island stigmatized as "legal- 
ized robbery," and in March of the following year proposed 
fixing a line between the two colonies ; later in the year Con- 
necticut appointed commissioners, but they failed to agree, 
and nothing was accomplished. 

In 1665 the Royal Commission, at whose head was the 
offensive Edward Randolph, without being petitioned, and in 
their despotic way without the hearing of any testimony, de- 
creed that neither colony had any claim to the territory; they 
erected it into a separate province, to which they gave the 
name of King's Province, and decided that it belonged solely 
to his Majesty. To this decision Connecticut entered no pro- 
test, but ignored it, and it faded into oblivion. 

For several years the boundary question was left in abey- 
ance, but in 1669 Rhode Island offered to leave the matter to 
a legal tribunal. Three commissioners were appointed from 
each colony; they met at New London the following year, 
but after two days' session no amicable arrangements were 
effected; this caused petty contentions on the disputed terri- 
tory to break forth afresh, but the commencement of King 
Philip's war turned the attention of Connecticut to more 
weighty and important matters. At the close of this war, in 
which Rhode Island had taken no active part, she again ob- 
jected to Connecticut's jurisdiction over what she claimed to 
be her territory. The latter advocated new claims to the dis- 
puted lands, based on her troops accomplishing the expulsion 
of the Narragansetts, and complacently offered to compro- 
mise by accepting what is now East Greenwich as her eastern 
boundary. This Rhode Island indignantly refused to con- 



sider; and in the summer of 1677 a court assembled at Paw- 
tucket, and rendered a verdict favoring Connecticut's occu- 
pancy of the lands. Rhode Island then appealed to the King; 
a commission was appointed, and on her refusal to allow 
them to sit at Wickford they adjourned to Boston. This 
commission decided that the government of the Narragansett 
country should be in the hands of Connecticut, which decision 
was forwarded to England but was never confirmed by the 
Privy Council, and therefore never considered binding by 
Rhode Island. The advent of Sir Edmund Andros into New 
England politics reversed all former decisions; he suspended 
Rhode Island's charter, changed the names of her towns, and 
caused confusion to reign in the Narragansett country, repu- 
diated Connecticut's claim to the territory, and guaranteed 
Rhode Island's jurisdiction. She continued to hold it despite 
the decision of the Attorney-General of England, in 1696, in 
favor of Connecticut. 

This stubborn resistance on the part of Rhode Island, and 
Connecticut's own unwillingness to have her claim adjudicated 
by the mother country, had its effect in modifying the posi- 
tion of the latter. At the close of the seventeenth century, 
the Board of Trade and Plantations, to whom the matter 
had been referred, requested the Earl of Bellomont, the Roy- 
al Governor of New York and Massachusetts, to act as arbi- 
trator in accomplishing a friendly settlement of all differ- 
ences. His efforts were unsuccessful, and he suggested that 
the matter be referred to the home government for a final 
adjustment; this hastened Connecticut's action, as her op- 
ponent was fighting for very existence. Should Rhode Island 
lose the disputed territory, it would so greatly curtail her area 
that she would have but little left to live for. Connecticut 
had larger and greater interests at stake, and at her sugges- 



tion commissioners were again appointed by the colonies. 
They agreed in May 1703 that the middle channel of the 
Pawcatuck River, from salt water to the mouth of the branch 
called the Ashway, and thence in a straight line through a 
point twenty miles due west of the extremity of Warwick 
Neck, in Narragansett Bay, due north to Massachusetts line, 
should constitute the bounds between the two colonies. There 
was no actual survey made at the time, but it was the boun- 
dary line for which Rhode Island had always contended. It 
was almost a score of years before commissioners were again 
appointed to complete the arrangements, but as usual they 

The sturdy little colony of Rhode Island again appealed 
to the King for life and justice, and her opponent put for- 
ward her old claim for the whole territory. The Board of 
Trade and Plantations, after hearing the testimony, decided 
that v.hile Rhode Island did not seem to have any legal right, 
morally she was the true possessor of the lands in question; 
and recommended that the charters of both colonies be taken 
away from them and they be annexed to the colony of New 
Hampshire. This recommendation created the greatest 
alarm in Connecticut, and she took hasty action to appoint 
commissioners with full powers to settle the differences with 
her small but determined opponent; this commission fol- 
lowed in the footsteps of its predecessors, and no definite ar- 
rangements were consummated. 

The Privy Council in 1727 recommended that the agree- 
ment of 1703 should stand; it was so settled between the 
two colonies, and in the following year the line was surveyed, 
and excepting a slight straightening in 1840 it is now the 
present boundary between the States, which it took sixty-five 
years of quarreling to establish. 



The boundary disputes between Connecticut and New 
York were very long, very tedious, and very bitter. The 
Duke of York's title to New Netherlands was derived from 
the purchase of all the grants that Lord Sterling had received 
from the extinct Council of Plymouth; which he strengthened 
by a charter from his royal brother, under date of March 
12, 1664, in which the eastern boundary was the west bank 
of the Connecticut River. As before stated, the western 
boundary of Connecticut, in accordance with the charter, was 
the shore of the South Seas, that is to say, the Pacific Ocean. 

An expedition was dispatched from England with six hun- 
dred soldiers and four commissioners — viz.. Colonel Rich- 
ard Nicholls, Colonel George Cartwright, Sir Robert Carr, 
and Samuel Maverick — to seize upon New Netherlands for 
the Duke of York. The territory was surrendered by the 
Dutch without bloodshed, and Colonel Richard Nicholls be- 
came Royal Governor of New Netherlands, which was re- 
named New York. Connecticut assumed a more pliant and 
diplomatic course in dealing with the brother of the King 
than when negotiating with her sister colonies; that she ulti- 
mately preserved her present boundaries was largely due to 
the sagacity and policy of Governor Winthrop, and the spirit 
of justice and friendship exhibited by the first English gover- 
nor of the province of New York. 

The news of the English supremacy at New Netherlands 
caused alarm to spread throughout New England. At 
the next session of the Connecticut General Assembly, com- 
missioners were appointed to convey to his Majesty's 
Honorable Commission their congratulations on the successful 
termination of their expedition, and request that measures 
should be taken to establish the boundaries between the col- 
ony and the Duke's patent. The Commonwealth at this time 



claimed jurisdiction over New Haven Colony, Stamford, and 
the eastern end of Long Island, and in fact had laid out an ex- 
tensive province. The commission made but little progress; 
and while an arrangement was drawn up that the boundary 
line should run parallel with and twenty miles east of the 
Hudson River, it was never executed. The Mamaroneck 
river, which was about thirteen miles east of Westchester, 
was agreed upon as the eastern point from which a line was 
to be run north-northwest to the line of Massachusetts, and 
was to constitute the boundary between the two colonies. No 
survey was ever made, though Connecticut often requested 
to have the line run. She surrendered her jurisdiction over 
Long Island, and also relinquished to New York Fisher's 
Island, which had been granted in 1641 to Winthrop. 

The towns of Southold and Southampton on Long Island 
— against the wishes of their inhabitants, who resented the 
transfer — passed from the control of the colony. Southold's 
connection had been of short duration, having been annexed 
with the New Haven Colony. Southampton had been under 
the jurisdiction of Connecticut since 1644, though taxes had 
been levied on the township only since the obtaining of the 
Royal Charter. The boundary agreement of 1664 was never 
confirmed by the King, who dissolved the commission, and 
therefore New York refused to abide by it. 

Colonel Nicholls was succeeded by the Right Honorable 
Francis Lovelace, Esq. In the summer of 1668 these gentle- 
men paid a visit to Governor Winthrop, and through their 
united exertions a post-road was established in 1763 between 
New York and Boston, and a monthly mail was instituted. 
This was the germ of the postal service of the United States, 
and was supplemented in 1727 by Ebenezer Hurd riding as 
courier between Saybrook and New York; he ended his 



forty-eight years of service by bringing news of the battle 
of Lexington to the New York, authorities. 

The war between England and Holland broke out afresh 
in 1672 ; a Dutch fleet entered New York Harbor the follow- 
ing year and recaptured the province. A new regime was 
instituted in New York by the retrocession from the Dutch in 
1674, and the granting of a new patent to the Duke of 
York in the same year, preserving to the utmost the limits of 
the former charter. This change of affairs introduced into 
the history of Connecticut a gentleman who was to play an 
important part in her future annals. Major Edmund An- 
dros was appointed provisional governor of New York; he 
was at this time in the prime of life, being about thirty-seven 
years of age, and but lately married. He had early chosen 
the profession of arms, and was a favorite with the King and 
his brother; while of imperious disposition and high 
temper, he was a public officer of ability, and noted for his 
spotless integrity and purity of life. One of the first acts of 
the new government was to forward to Connecticut a copy 
of the Duke of York's patent, demanding their submission to 
its boundaries; this was accompanied by a threat that if 
Connecticut refused to allow the west bank of the Connecticut 
River as a boundary line, Andros would invade her terri- 
tory. This aroused a state of rebellion in the colony; and 
though King Philip's war was then in progress, the govern- 
ment prepared to resist such an attack. 

Andros sailed from New York, and on receipt of this news, 
the authorities dispatched troops to garrison Saybrook and 
New London; the commandant at the former fortification 
was Captain Thomas Bull. On the ninth of June 1675 an 
armed fleet was seen approaching the fort; the command- 
ing officer, by instructions from the colonial authorities, 



was to advise Major Andros that Connecticut, while she ap- 
preciated his assistance, needed no aid in vanquishing her In- 
dian foes. Captain Bull was ordered to keep the British flag 
flying, and to resist the landing of Andros' force ; to avoid 
striking the first blow, but to act on the defensive. 

It was on the morning of the twelfth of July that Major 
Andros requested permission to land, which was acceded to 
by Captain Bull if for the purpose of negotiating a treaty, 
for such was his instruction from the governor and council. 
This proposal was haughtily rejected by Andros, who at- 
tempted to read the Duke of York's patent and the Duke's 
commissix>n to himself, which gave him his pretended au- 
thority. To the reading of these documents Bull objected in 
a strenuous manner; and so persistent were his efforts that 
Andros, seeing it would be idle to attempt to overawe the in- 
habitants, departed, with the sarcastic remark to the noble 
commander of the fort that "it was a pity that his horns were 
not tipped with silver." 

Universal alarm was created throughout the colony by 
these acts; and the Assembly hastened to send representatives 
to England to lay their complaints before the Crown. An- 
dros refused to recognize the boundary agreement of 1664, 
claiming that, ev^en if it had been confirmed, it was abro- 
gated by the new patent. Warrants for arrest were issued by 
New York authorities against the inhabitants of Rye, Green- 
wich, and Stamford. The former town had been settled by 
the English, but in 1650 was placed under the jurisdiction 
of the Dutch; after obtaining her Royal Charter, Connecti- 
cut claimed the territory; it was created a plantation in 1665, 
and some years later Bedford accepted the jurisdiction of the 

These troubles led to correspondence between the gover- 



nors, which resulted in the appointment in 1683 of commis- 
sioners to adjust the boundaries. The New York authorities 
contended that the line should be twenty miles east of the 
Hudson River; and threatened, if this was not allowed, that 
they would claim the territory to the west bank, of the Con- 
necticut River. It was agreed by the commission, of which 
the Connecticut representatives were Robert Treat, Nathan 
Gold, John Allyn, and William Pitkin, on the 28th of No- 
vember, 1683, "that the starting point of the line should be 
Lyon's Point at the mouth of Byram Brook, following this 
stream to a wading place that was crossed by a public road; 
thence eight miles north-northwest into the country; thence 
easterly to a line parallel to the first, beginning twelve miles 
east of Lyon's Point as the Sound runs, and to a place in that 
line eight miles from the Sound; thence along this north- 
northwest line to a point twenty miles from the Hudson; 
thence northerly to the Massachusetts border by a line paral- 
lel to Hudson River in every point." If the quadrilateral 
formed at the southwest corner of Connecticut, including the 
present towns of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Da- 
rien, and parts of Wilton and Norwalk, came to any point 
nearer than twenty miles to the Hudson, the other northerly 
lines were to be run far enough to the eastward to give to 
New York an equivalent tract of land. This was the cause 
of the formation on Connecticut's western boundary of an in- 
denture known as the "Ridgefield Angle," and the fact that 
the boundary line as it runs inclines to the east. 

The strip of territory assigned to New York was one and 
three-quarters miles in width, was called the "Oblong" or 
"Equivalent Lands," and comprised about 61,440 acres. 
"Equivalent Lands" was a misnomer for the quitclaim New 
York gave to the towns bordering on Long Island Sound; 



Connecticut settled them, they were within her charter limits, 
and if they came within twenty miles of the Hudson it did not 
lessen her right of government. New York had obtained 
the line she contended for, the jurisdiction over the towns of 
Rye and Bedford, and also a large tract of land to which she 
had no moral or legal right. The line was surveyed as far as 
the "Ridgefield Angle" ; but owing to the troublesome times 
in England, it was not confirmed till 1700. 

The towns of Rye and Bedford were not loyal to New 
York, and in 1697 they rebelled; and until the confirmation 
of the boundary line were represented in and acted with the 
Connecticut government. An attempt was made to survey 
the whole line in 1725; but a dispute arose, and it was not till 
six years later that it was established. It was resurveyed by 
New York in i860, agreed upon by both States in 1878-79, 
and ratified by Congress in 1880-81. 

The death of Governor Winthrop occurred in the midst 
of Connecticut's boundary disputes. He was succeeded by 
William Leete, who had been Deputy Governor since 1669. 
Governor Leete was born in Dodington, England, in 16 12 or 
1 6 13, and was a descendant of an ancient family who appear 
in the public records as landowners as early as the thirteenth 
century. Educated as a lawyer, he became a clerk at the Bish- 
op's Court at Cambridge ; his sympathies were so aroused by 
the cruelties imposed on the Puritans that he was led to 
espouse their cause. He was Governor of New Haven at 
the time of the union of the Colonies; on his election in 1677 
he removed to Hartford, where he resided during his occu- 
pancy of the executive chair, to which he was re-elected for six 
consecutive terms. Governor Leete was noted for his integ- 
rity, and was a very popular official; his death occurred in 



The third governor of Connecticut under the charter was 
Robert Treat; he was born in England in 1622, and came 
with his father to America at an early age. He became a res- 
ident of Milford when he was nineteen years old, and upon 
the consolidation of the two colonies he removed to New Jer- 
sey and became one of the founders of Newark. He returned 
to Connecticut in 1672, took an active part in King Philip's 
War, and was elected governor in 1683, and by re-election 
held the office fifteen years, when he declined to be again a 
candidate. During his gubernatorial career there was a 
hiatus of about eighteen months, when the affairs of the col- 
ony were administered by Sir Edmund Andros. Governor 
Treat lived to reach nearly fourscore years and ten. He was 
the beau-ideal of a gentleman; a planter whose hospitality 
was proverbial, a courageous and sagacious military leader, 
a conservative and able executive officer, noted for his piety, 
and for his domestic and social qualities. 


The Royal Governor 

THE nominal headship of the colonies lay with 
the Crown of England. The actual manage- 
ment after the Restoration lay with the two 
councils afterwards consolidated as the Lords 
of the Committee of Trade and Plantations, 
the Colonial Office of the time ; and the controlling superior 
of that board was the Duke of York, afterwards James II., 
who gave constant attention to colonial matters, and was as 
active and purposeful as his brother Charles was idle and 
indifferent. It is perhaps hard for Americans to be quite just 
either to the policy or the character of the king who tried to 
re-establish Roman Catholic supremacy in the old England, 
and erect an arbitrary government in the new ; we certainly 
are unfair to his purpose if we judge of his action from 
our own standpoint alone. It may have been a mistake for 
him to desire a given thing when we desired the opposite, but 
it is not necessarily an indication of unrighteous intent. Be- 
fore deciding that to term him a dull bigot and tyrant is to 
say the last word on his traits and work, it is fair to recall that 
he established for his province the excellent and tolerant 
*'Duke's Laws," which had all merits except freedom, the 
one quality it was not in any Stuart to appreciate ; and that 
the colonial officials he sent over were no profligate or needy 
favorites to whom the colonies were flung as spoil, but among 
the ablest and most upright of all their class in America. 
Whatever their limitations, Nicholls, Andros, Nicholson, 
and Dongan were neither corrupt, rapacious, cruel, nor even 
self-indulgent. It is true that Percy Kirke must be charged 
to his account, as an intention, but a glance at the list will 
show Kirke's credentials. All James' appointees were sol- 
diers first; he loved stiff soldiers too well, and took their ad- 
ministrative capacity too much on trust. It is creditable to 



his judgment, not usually considered his distinguishing trait, 
that he was misled so little. As to Edward Randolph, wheth- 
er James selected him or let the committee do it (as is most 
likely), he was merely a small sharp jack-in-office, whose 
prime function was to pick the desired quarrel with the col- 
onies. All governments use such tools for such work, and 
pay them out of the victims' pockets when possible. 

James' policy was probably injurious, and certainly of- 
fensive; but it was certainly not intended as the first, and 
probably not specifically as the second. His methods were 
characteristic of his hard narrow unpliable temper, and of 
the dislike of popular power bred in the Stuarts by the expe- 
rience of centuries, and not mitigated by that of the previous 
generation ; but his scheme was neither ill-meant nor unstates- 
manlike. To convert a set of small scattered "plantations," 
half encircled by dangerous Indians backed by a formidable 
colonial foe, into a strong colony under an able commander, 
cannot be thought a discreditable plan; and it was intended 
to benefit them as well as England. Most of the other meas- 
ures were considered necessary means to this end, or to over- 
come resistance; they are to be judged by the merits or de- 
merits of that end, not their own. If the objects were justifi- 
able, the means were so ; if not, their obnoxiousness is so much 
the more to be debited against it. They involved more rev- 
enue; but the taxation to produce this was not to enrich the 
royal exchequer (which even so would not have been crim- 
inal, for it was much embarrassed), but to provide for the 
colonial system. The enforcement of the navigation laws 
would have been a blight on New England commerce, as al- 
ways; but down to the Revolution, that section never ques- 
tioned the necessity of this policy for any home government, 
or its abstract rightfulness, and merely refused to endure it 



as applied to itself. The press censorship (which however 
merely transferred the English system to the colonies), the 
restriction of town meetings, the refusal to let any one to go 
to England (/. e. to make complaints) without a license, were 
probably Andros' own devices, but James must have sympa- 
thized with them : both had the true martinet intellect, and 
thought the proper method of shutting off steam was to sit 
on the safety-valve. The adhesive fingers of Randolph and 
other instruments or favorites were not indispensable, it is 
true; but they were inevitable. Fees and perquisites in 
place of salaries were the almost universal means of paying 
the civil officials of the day, in England as well as the colo- 
nies; and perhaps excited more wrath in the latter only be- 
cause they were less accustomed to being fleeced. At any 
rate, New England suffered much less than the South, which 
was actually driven into insurrection by them once, if not 
twice. The extortions of the Virginia ring around Berkeley 
most probably helped to bring on Bacon's rebellion; and a 
century later, the North Carolina Regulators placed this 
matter of fees in the forefront of their grievances. 

It is not necessary to detail the steps by which Massachu- 
setts lost her charter in 1684. It was the policy of the later 
Stuarts to abolish municipal corporations: London, the Ber- 
mudas, and some dozens of other places lost their franchises 
under Charles. The Lords of Trade believed that the same 
process could be advantageously applied here; and it sent 
over Randolph to confirm the idea. Randolph had his for- 
tune to make out of the country, first by pleasing his masters 
and reporting what they wished (which doubtless fell in with 
his own pleasure as a devoted Churchman), and next by liv- 
ing on it; and he put his heart into both tasks. Massachu- 
setts ineptly co-operated with him, by ungraciousness and 



open contumacy ; but as the richer colony, it might have suf- 
fered in any event. Connecticut was far too shrewd to in- 
vite an open conflict, which obviously could have but one 
ending; and if gracious words and even fulsome expressions 
of loyalty, doing with eager alacrity what it had no objection 
to doing, and professing eager alacrity to do what was out of 
its power, could answer any purpose, would not grudge such 
inexpensive sacrifices. The memory of Winthrop's winning 
nature, and the friends he had made at the English court, 
doubtless played their part. They were needed, for Connec- 
ticut had plenty of evil-wishers besides Randolph. Massachu- 
setts wanted one-half its territory, New York the other half. 
The rulers of the latter were in a chronic quarrel with it; 
they wished to round out their scattered and straggling col- 
ony, and Connecticut was not a neighbor with whom to leave 
fences down. Governor Dongan wrote to the Duke, "Con- 
necticut was always grasping, tenacious, and prosperous at 
her neighbor's expense, of evil influence over the New York 
towns of Long Island, whose refractory people would carry 
their oil to Boston and their whalebone to Perth, rather 
than to their own capital." 

Charles died on Feb. 6, 1684-5, ^"<^ the Duke of York ac- 
ceded. New England received a proclamation of the fact 
in the middle of April, and the Governor and Magistrates 
of Connecticut at once had James II. proclaimed in its towns, 
and sent on an address of condolence and congratulations, 
praying for "the benign shines of his favor on his poor col- 
ony." The General Court approved this on its session May 
5, and sent another address expressing gratitude for his prom- 
ise of toleration. That they had no very ardent hopes for 
themselves, however, and had relied on Charles' personal 
good-will, is evident from the immediate pains they took to 



protect their grantees before the fate of Massachusetts be- 
fell them. A corporation, by English law, could only make 
valid grants under its common seal. Massachusetts had not 
done so, and when the charter became null the grants became 
so too. Connecticut had done the same; but, warned in time, 
ordered all townships which had received grants to take out 
new ones under the seal of the colony. This done while the 
charter was in force, even its revocation would not disturb 
the titles. 

James had evidently made up his mind to revoke the re- 
maining charters as soon as he came to the throne; that he 
waited till then is fair evidence that Charles' personal feel- 
ings toward the beneficiaries of his liberal patents were kind- 
ly, and were decisive. Randolph was ordered to prepare Ar- 
ticles of High Misdemeanor against Rhode Island and Con- 
necticut, and sent them to the Lords of Trade in July. Con- 
necticut was charged with making laws contrary to those of 
England; imposing fines on its inhabitants; enforcing an 
oath of fidelity to itself, and not enforcing the oaths of su- 
premacy and allegiance; prohibiting the worship of the 
Church of England; refusing justice in its courts; and ex- 
cluding men of loyalty from its government and keeping the 
latter in the hands of Independents. Doubtless it had tech- 
nically committed all these offenses: some from ignorance, 
some from necessity, some from the nature of Connecticut's 
raison d' etre. None of them excites any horror now ; whether 
they warranted forfeiture of its charter then would depend on 
whether the government wished to exact the forfeiture. 

The attorney-general prepared two writs of quo warranto 
against the colonies, both dated July 8 ; but one returnable 
Nov. 19, the other April 19 of the next year, to cover 
delays. Randolph was to serve them; but he only 



left England nine months later, arrived in Boston May 14, 
and set up a new government for Massachusetts with himself 
in it, and Joseph Dudley president of the council. Two Con- 
necticut men, Fitz John and Wait Still Winthrop, sons of 
the ex-Governor, were appointed on the latter, pretty cer- 
tainly by direction from England. The Lords of Trade 
were not intending an unrepresentative despotism. On the 
27th Randolph sent a grossly insolent and bullying letter to 
the officials of Connecticut, which furnished them much more 
accurate information concerning himself than concerning his 
writs, as he abstained from calling attention to the latter 
having run out. He told them there was nothing left for 
them to do but resign their charter humbly and dutifully, 
since if they undertook to defend it at law they would have 
all western Connecticut annexed to New York at once, be- 
sides other posible evils. He expected they would not 
put him to the trouble of coming there "as a herald to de- 
nounce war," as his "friendship" for them made him wish an 
accommodation. They were to come to him at Boston, and 
they need not think of gaining any advantage by "spinning 
out time by delay," as the writs would keep as fresh as when 
landed — which was true. This was an excellent self-por- 
traiture of the petty criminal lawyer turned diplomat; but 
the gentlemen Magistrates of Connecticut were not Old 
Bailey criminals. They probably knew already that writs 
were on the way; and a fortnight before Randolph wrote 
the letter, they had divided up all the unappropriated lands 
of the colony among the towns to keep them out of the hands 
of new royal grantees. Hartford and Windsor at this time 
obtained most of the present Litchfield County, and had to be 
bought off when the General Assembly attempted to resume 
the lands later. The Magistrates now held a special session, 



and sent another address to the King, beseeching him to sus- 
pend proceedings against the charter, and averring that the 
light of his countenance was life, and his favor as the cloud of 
the latter rain. Randolph had seemingly the true Briton's con- 
tempt for colonial intellects or legal knowledge : on July 20 
he came on and served his waste-paper writs himself, calling 
the secretary (John AUyn) and another keeper of the char- 
ter (John Talcott) from bed at midnight for the purpose. 
This was of course in order to impress them with his fierce 
resolution, and the danger of opposing such invincible deter- 
mination on the King's part. Probably their remembrance of 
the Bloody Assizes the year before had a much stronger 

Meantime Dudley had written a confidential letter urging 
annexation to Massachusetts rather than New York, and 
promising to send two of his council (including Wait Still 
Winthrop) to confer on the matter. Environed with friends 
each anxious to administer on its estate for its own good, and 
ordered by irresistible power to surrender at discretion (for 
new writs would certainly be issued), there were divided 
counsels in the colony. We are used to speak of "Connecti- 
cut's" action, but no political body was ever unanimous, and 
there were two Connecticuts : one advocating prompt surren- 
der for fear the King, if provoked, might make Randolph's 
threat good and partition the colony among its neighbors ; the 
other resolved not to be openly contumacious, but to give up 
nothing until it was wrenched away. The former included 
the official heads, Treat and Allyn, and other chief men of 
the colony, as Fitz John Winthrop, afterwards governor. In 
fact, the chosen leaders of Connecticut thought and said that 
this mulishness was not shrewd politics, but asked for harder 
terms than otherwise, and loss of all share in the new govern- 



ment. And this was quite true. Chance proved "the fools 
in the right;" but they had no business to expect it, and by 
all principles of reasoning from fact the leaders were correct. 
That the people continued to elect both sections, at logger- 
heads on the supreme question of the day, indicates this divi- 
sion among themselves, the undeveloped state of parties, and 
probably a wholesome confidence that instructed men of af- 
fairs would work out a better solution than the mass. The 
numerical majority was against surrender, and appointed 
William Whiting, a London merchant, son of an old Hart- 
ford resident, as agent to represent the colony; with power 
to submit to the King's will if compelled, but meanwhile to 
employ counsel to defend the cases, and in any case to beg 
for separate existence and not partition. He did all there 
was to do : the usual statement that he did no more because he 
was not supplied with money Is very Improbable. James was 
not a man to let a bribed courtier or a hired lawyer turn aside 
a purpose fixed for many years. 

A new writ was made out on Oct. 23, returnable at the 
early date of Feb. 9, 1686-7, as It was to be sent on at once. 
It was forwarded by Sir Edmund Andros, who arrived on 
Dec. 20 commissioned to assume the government of New 
England. Two days afterward he sent an express messenger 
to Governor Treat, empowered to receive the charter; by the 
same conveyance Randolph sent another of his courteous 
epistles, telling the officials It would be best for them to com- 
ply at once. Treat convoked the General Court, which voted 
to leave the matter with the Governor and Council. Finally 
they outlined a reply to Andros, stating that they were very 
well satisfied to remain as they were, and they did not send 
on the charter ; and a letter to the English secretary of state, 
saying they would be glad to remain as they were if the 


From an original print. 


King were willing, but they must submit to his will, and if he 
chose to join them to Andros' government as a separate 
province, they should like it better than to be annexed to any 
other province. This unsurpassed model of a letter which 
yielded everything on its face and nothing in law had an ef- 
fect much greater than the writers can have expected: the 
government chose to take it as a legal surrender of their 
rights into the King's hands, dropped the proceedings under 
the writ, but not letting the Connecticut agent know the fact, 
and keeping him on tenter-hooks till fall, (with daily expecta- 
tion of a summons to trial), and on June i8 wrote Andros to 
assume the power to which the Colony had agreed. 

Treat privately wrote to Andros to placate him over the 
Assembly's holding back; the preceding year he had been 
anxiously and gratuitously placating Dongan; nevertheless 
he wished to play the role of Dudley in Massachusetts, and 
remain on top whatever befell, and so did his fellow magis- 
trates. None the less they undoubtedly believed they were 
doing his best for the colony, and we may believe it likewise. 
Andros replied, remonstrating against the delay, as "hazard- 
ing the advantages that might be to the colony," and making 
him incapable of serving it as he would. Andros was a gen- 
tleman, which Randolph was not, and did no bullying; he 
was also a much larger minded man, and meant what he 
said. This correspondence went on all summer, with entire 
civility of language and unchanging pertinacity of purpose. 
On March 30 Allyn and Talcott (two of the three keepers 
of the charter) and the latter's brother wrote to the As- 
sembly strongly declaring against "all further prosecutions 
or lawsuits in opposition to his Majesty's known pleasure for 
our submission." But the majority was not to be shaken, and 
after several sessions elected officers in the fall as usual. On 



June 1 5 a curious scene took place at a special session. On 
motion, the secretary brought in the charter, and was or- 
dered to take it out of the box and show it, then put it back 
and leave the box there with the key in it; the court then ad- 
journed without further direction. Who now kept it, we do 
not know; nor what the court had in mind. If the majority 
feared that Allyn might surrender it behind their backs. 
Treat and Talcott were in the same faction with him. 

In May, Andros had sent two commissioners. Palmer and 
Graham, to Connecticut to work for his interest; they re- 
ported that the official heads were for them, but the local 
men would do nothing but wait his Majesty's pleasure. They 
wrote to Dongan, however, that the Assembly had the sort 
of consent Andros desired drawn up and signed, when 
the clergy persuaded them to withdraw it; that is, full liberty 
of belief in this point. It probably contains that much truth, 
that the clergy to a man were opposed to the surrender, of 
which they were to be and were the first sacrifices. 

On Oct. 17 the English order of June 18 arrived at Bos- 
ton; on the 22d Andros' council met at Boston to take ac- 
tion upon it, and resolved that Andros should go or send "to 
take the said place under his government" the next week, 
giving notice to Treat and Allyn first. He sent the notice, 
stating that he had orders from the King for Connecticut, 
"annexed to this government," thus treating it as an accom- 
plished fact. He set out accordingly, with several of his 
Massachusetts council, and about sixty regular soldiers; 
passed the night of Oct. 30 at Norwich, and started the next 
day for Hartford, some thirty-eight miles. As it is a physical 
impossibility, over the wretched roads and ferryless streams 
of that time, that this cortege can have reached Hartford 
before the early sunset (4.35, it being Nov. 10 new style), 



the account of an afternoon session prolonged till after can- 
dle light is a mistake, or if not, Andros was not at the earlier 
part of it. He was there when, as Roger Wolcott says, "the 
Assembly met and sat late at night," in the meeting-house, 
with his retinue left outside. After (it would seem) elabo- 
rate arguments from the Council which they knew Andros 
had no power even to consider, and a long speech from 
Treat, to no conceivable purpose except to convince the ma- 
jority he was doing his best for them, the charter was brought 
in; suddenly the candles were extinguished, and when re- 
lighted the charter had disappeared. (It has been proved 
that there was only one copy in Connecticut at the time, not 
two: the mention of the "duplicate" means merely that there 
was another copy in England.) Officially it made no differ- 
ence: if Andros had no charter to take up, the colony had 
none to fall back on; Allyn wrote on the records that An- 
dros had taken into his hands the government of Connecti- 
cut, annexed by his Majesty to the "other colonies under his 
Excellency's government," and closed the book with "Finis." 
Connecticut ceased to exist — even the Assembly must have 
supposed permanently. Still, the opponents of the surrender 
had perhaps further views than merely the boast that they 
had never actually surrendered the charter. So long as the 
colony's legal rights had not been legally abrogated, some- 
thing might happen for which the charter would be very 
handy. The writ of quo warranto had not been decided 
against them; their charter had not been taken up: they 
were merely absorbed by a royal proclamation which might 
be rescinded by that King or another, in which case their 
rights would revert to the old status. 

As to what became of the charter, and who took it, the 
question involves an antiquarian study for which this is no 



place. Recent discoveries have made it apparently insoluble. 
Roger Wolcott, himself in the Council a generation later, and 
in a position to obtain first-hand information from the actors, 
says two copies were brought in and each taken away by a 
different person; yet there certainly was but one present. 
Captain Joseph Wadsworth was given in 17 15 a public ac- 
knowledgment (so small as to be almost a burlesque) for 
saving the charter at a critical juncture; but Wolcott, one of 
the committee who recommended the grant, says Talcott and 
Nathaniel Stanley took it, and makes no mention of Wads- 
worth. The latter was certainly not present at the meeting, 
and could not have taken the charter from the table; most 
likely it was passed to him outside. He certainly had posses- 
sion of it for many years after, up to this public acknowl- 
edgment ; but by this time the other copy had come over, and 
it had in fact been obtainable at any time if wanted, — a fact 
which makes the actual achievement of securing the duplicate 
less momentous, though it does not change the character of 
the action. Talcott and Stanley were dead at the time of the 
grant to Wadsworth, or he might not have obtained it. With 
the remark that very possibly Andros was rather relieved by 
the disappearance, and that the friends and foes of the sur- 
render were in a most curious alliance in its abstrac- 
tion, we leave this branch of the subject. The place 
of its hiding is even more uncertain : probably there was 
more than one. There is no reason to discredit the Charter 
Oak; but it cannot have remained there, and may well have 
gone into Joseph Wadsworth's house, and not impossibly 
later to that of Andrew Leete in Guilford for a while, as 
more secure than Hartford. 

The next day Andros called a Council, proclaimed his com- 
mission, and (by command from England) appointed Treat 



and Allyn councillors; thence he went on to New Haven, 
Fairfield, and New London, appointing new courts and sher- 
iffs, and commissioning as justices of the peace all the former 
Assistants, besides making Allyn a judge. None refused to 
take the oath : it would have been senseless, and we must not 
exaggerate the bitterness of the Connecticut people in being 
absorbed. None of them had any such feeling of outrage 
and slavery as we are apt to accredit to them : some of them 
liked it as being more dignified, to be part of a great colony 
with a powerful head, than to make part of the self-managed 
parish politics of a small unvalued district ; the New Haven 
Colony people had been absorbed once in the generation, and 
probably felt that a second absorption could be endured, 
though they preferred independence. Most people disliked 
the change, and liked it less and less as time went on ; but 
they did not bear all the evils prospectively, and after all they 
felt as free Englishmen under their home government. 

The actual grievances under the Andros government prob- 
ably seemed heavier to them than to us now ; but we can see 
that they were very annoying, and some of them burdensome. 
Andros extended the thirteen laws already passed by him and 
his council to include Connecticut; and three or four more 
were passed later. Most of these were administrative regu- 
lations, which could arouse no feeling; nor could the laws 
against piracy, or the bounty on wolves, or the valuation of 
coins. The objection centered on five of them, two of which 
were parts of the same; four were practical and one senti- 
mental — by which is not meant unreal or to be contemned. 

( 1 ) The added expenses were provided for by an impost 
on foreign wines and liquors, and an excise on the domestic 
trade in wines, beer, and cider, etc. 

(2) A second act increased these for more revenue. This 



probably resulted, not In larger prices for the same quantities 
of drink, but in the same prices for smaller quantities, as now; 
but it vexed people, and is said to have slackened trade. 

(3) No land could be purchased from the Indians except 
under license from the Governor, and of course fees, we do 
not know how large. By Itself, the law could be well justi- 
fied: there had been conflict enough over these grants, of 
which, to use William Eaton's phrase about the Cherokees, 
one could buy any number for the same land from the same 
Indian for "a bottle of whisky and a rifle"; but Connecticut 
preferred to fight this out herself. 

(4) All wills must be probated at Boston; this meant 
fees, but not a journey as usually stated, as they could be pro- 
bated at the county courts and then sent on to Boston. Still, 
as the Boston probate was the conclusive one, administrators 
(usually widows) were always liable to be called thither to 
defend the will. 

It may be added that by orders of the Council, though not 
among these laws, all the colonial records were removed to 
Boston, which involved a visit there — and fees — to consult 
them; and that all deeds, mortgages, and wills must be regis- 
tered there — for a fee. This was a product of Randolph's 
alert genius for enriching himself, he being registrar; but as 
he liked the profit of It much more than the work, he farmed 
out the office to John West for £150 a year. It is pleasant 
to know that he enjoyed only two years. West made his profit, 
according to Massachusetts magnates, by charging exorbitant 
fees; which might be inferred a priori. In fact, there is a 
charge In Massachusetts after Andros' fall, that his New 
York favorites, who came on to be with him, levied ex- 
tortionate fees at will on all occasions and without rule : this 
is probably exaggerated, but probably not invented— they 



had their living to make, and fees were the only way. In 
our day we should pay them salaries, and include the amount 
in the general taxes: the result would be one grumble once 
a year, but not a fresh gall at every fee. These fees were 
probably felt more than any one other business grievance : 
Connecticut was not rich, it was very economical, and it had 
not been used to even a small and moderate body of leeches. 

(5) A more rankling because more humiliating law was 
the order that town meetings should be held only once a 
year, "on any pretence or color," and then to elect officers 
to assess taxes, etc., strictly under orders of the justices ap- 
pointed by Andros. This denial of local self-government af- 
ter being wonted to it was worse than any exaction of money, 
and would have been bought back for much more than An- 
dros actually got from the colony, had it been possible. 

The militia was of course made part of the new system. 
The act prohibiting peddlers was probably urged on him by 
the town tradesmen, and was part of the chronic warfare 
waged even to our own times by stationary against itiner- 
ant dealers; it Is doubtful whether it extended to Connecticut. 
The law forbidding any one to leave the colony by sea 
without a license from the Governor may not have been so 
either: It was not passed In New England, owing to Massa- 
chusetts' opposition, but in New York, toward the last of 
Andros' period, and its effect Is doubtful. The laws were no 
longer printed, which was an offense: probably it was 
thought a waste of money needed for the embarrassed ad- 
ministration. The rule forcing witnesses and jurors to kiss 
the Bible instead of taking oath, outraging Puritan feeling 
and getting no better justice, was an instance of martinet rea- 
soning: to achieve the maximum of exasperation with the 
minimum of utility seems the aim of some administrators. 



Many refused to serve on such grounds. Andros aimed a 
blow at the Congregational system by relieving all from legal 
obligation to pay rates for it, which angered not only the 
clergy but the freemen, who had established the system they 
liked and wished to keep it. It was reported that he had 
threatened to punish any one who "gave twopence to a dis- 
senting minister"; which only shows what an angry people 
will believe, like the stories of his inciting Indian outrages. 

When all discounts are made, — and a great many must 
be made from the "mailed tyrant" of common tradition, — 
Andros' government was a costlier and not more efficient one 
than the old, full of vexations, and one which took the heart 
out of the freemen. They rebelled against it in feeling, so 
plainly that, according to Roger Wolcott, Andros told Rev. 
Mr. Hooker they must have kept many days of prayer and 
fasting on his account; to which the minister replied, "Very 
probable, this kind goeth not out otherwise." There were 
stories of active plots to overthrow the government; there 
were letters from England denouncing them as "a com- 
pany of hens" if they did not. But they were not madmen; 
and not many months after Andros' accession, the roar of the 
coming storm in England had reached ears much less acutely 
anti-papal than theirs. They could wait. 

Late in 1688 James fled to France; early in 1689 Wil- 
liam and Mary were proclaimed in England. At news of the 
Revolution the Bostonians threw Andros into jail; but their 
charter was gone irrevocably. Connecticut's was not; and 
without waiting for leave (which was wise, as William much 
preferred to leave New England as it was, and Andros over 
it), the old officials produced the document, probably as 
their warrant, and called town delegates together. These 
were asked to vote as to whether they would consent to let 



the officers Andros found in power resume their functions, 
would continue as they were, or would have a committee of 
safety. A partisan of Andros asserts that the leaders at first 
were against an election, fearing they might not get back 
their old places, and only consented when they had made a 
plan to keep them ; very likely there is some truth in this, but 
if so their plan was a most skillful one. The second propo- 
sition was what they were met to be rid of, the third was a 
novelty no one knew how to handle; the first was accepted 
at once, and the old government resumed its functions with- 
out noise. There were dissidents; but they cannot have 
been very numerous. The colony joyfully proclaimed Wil- 
liam and Mary, and sent over a petition to William not to 
molest the charter further. William would have been glad 
to carry out James' plan; but the best lawyers pronounced 
the charter valid, having never been legally revoked, and 
William had no mind to enter into a legal squabble with one 
of his colonies at this juncture. The unreasoning obstinacy 
of the Connecticut deputies, aided by the perhaps equally 
unreasoning hot blood of others, had saved the charter, and 
with it the possibility of the unique career of the later Con- 
necticut. Historical events do not happen in order to en- 
able historical writers to draw morals. F. M. 


First and Second Intercolonial Wars 

THE occupancy of the English throne by Wil- 
liam was immediately followed by a declara- 
tion of war between England and France. 
Louis XIV. offered to maintain neutrality be- 
tween their respective colonies; but this the 
King of England rejected, relying on the strength of his 
northern colonies to successfully combat their French neigh- 
bors. War was no sooner declared than the French gover- 
nor urged the Eastern Indians to hostilities. The New York 
governor, Jacob Leisler, a senior captain of the citizen militia 
who had served the government, appealed to Connecticut 
for assistance to protect his northern borders from invasion. 
The assembly appointed a committee to confer with him; 
and in accordance with their decision, the governor and coun- 
cil despatched to Albany the redoubtable hero of the Say- 
brook affair, Captain Bull, with a company of soldiers. Bull 
was instructed not only to defend the country, but to nego- 
tiate a friendly treaty with the Iroquois. The colony also 
sent another force to protect the fort and city of New York, 
but they were recalled by the Assembly in the following Oc- 

In the early part of 1690 occurred the massacre at Sche- 
nectady, in which Captain Bull's company suffered the loss 
of five men killed, and the same number were taken prison- 
ers. Depredations by the French and Indians in the northern 
part of New England, were the occasion of Massachusetts 
asking for men to protect the upper Connecticut River towns ; 
reinforcements were solicited from New York and Albany; 
and Connecticut, ever willing to respond to call for help, 
despatched two hundred men to the relief of Albany, and 
another detachment to aid the Massachusetts settlers upon 
the Connecticut River. The Commonwealth, to protect her 



borders and towns, organized her available inhabitants into a 
military force, none being exempt except assistants, minis- 
ters, the aged and infirm ; and these were obliged to furnish 
substitutes if financially able. 

A conference of the colonies was held in May 1690, and 
plans for aggressive warfare were determined upon; nine 
hundred soldiers were to be raised in New York, and Con- 
necticut to undertake the subjugation of Montreal, while a 
fleet and army were to sail from Boston to attempt the cap- 
ture of Quebec. The Montreal expedition was to proceed 
by land, and Fitz John Winthrop was placed in command of 
the invading army. The Five Nations were to be allies of 
the English; but on arriving at the rendezvous the Indians 
failed to put in their appearance. Winthrop, deserted by the 
Indians, with no means of transportation and a lack of com- 
missary supplies for his army, was obliged to retreat to Al- 
bany. The failure of the campaign was in no way due to any 
fault of Connecticut, who had liberally supplied men and 

An Indignity was perpetrated upon the colony by the quasi 
governor of New York, in arresting the commanding officer 
of the expedition and for several days holding him a prison- 
er. The attempted court-martial, and its probably fatal re- 
sults to Winthrop, however, were circumvented by the timely 
interference of a party of Mohawk Indians, who liberated 
the captive In triumph. It is needless to say that the Con- 
necticut Assembly fully exonerated Winthrop from any 
blame for the disastrous results of the expedition, and ex- 
pressed full confidence in his fidelity and ability to command 
any future undertakings. 

Connecticut during the duration of the war had responded 
nobly to her neighbors' calls for troops: In February 1693 


From the original painting in State Capitol. 



one hundred and fifty soldiers, under Captain John Miles, 
were placed at the disposal of the governor of New York. 
The following month, to relieve the necessities of Massachu- 
setts, sixty Englishmen and forty Indians under Captain Wil- 
liam Whiting were forwarded to her assistance. In response 
to a requisition from the King for the defense of Albany in 
1694, a tax of one penny on a pound was levied, and £500 
collected and forwarded to Governor Fletcher. Warrants 
were also issued for fifty bushels of wheat in each county, to 
be made into biscuits to supply the soldiers in cases of emer- 
gency. Peace was finally established in 1697 by the signing 
of a treaty at Ryswick in the Netherlands, between France 
and the allied powers, thus closing the first intercolonial war. 

The war had been very burdensome for Connecticut : her 
disbursements had amounted to £12,000, which had been 
mainly spent in defending the borders of her sister colonies. 
Her expenditures amounted to about one-tenth of her grand 
list, and in many cases were caused by Governor Fletcher's 
unnecessary demands, which were acts of retaliation for the 
treatment he had received on his visit to Hartford. 

The venerable Governor Treat was over seventy-five years 
of age when in 1698 he refused any further candidacy for 
the office; Fitz John Winthrop was elected his successor. 
The latter was son of the father of the Royal Charter, and 
was a native of Ipswich, Massachusetts, where he was born 
March 19, 1639. His collegiate course at Hartford was in- 
terrupted by his departure for England to accept a commis- 
sion in the Parliamentary army; he was engaged in the mili- 
tary campaigns in Scotland, and entered London with Gen- 
eral Monk when he made his famous march. After the Res- 
toration, Winthrop returned to Connecticut, with which col- 
ony he was identified until his death in 1707; this occurred 



while on a visit to his brother Wait Still Winthrop at Bos- 
ton. While an incumbent of the gubernatorial chair, Gov- 
ernor Winthrop was a resident of New London, and was 
noted for his unbounded hospitality; he lacked the qualities 
of statesmanship with which his grandfather was endowed, 
and also the scholarship of his father, but he was an able ad- 
ministrator of public affairs, and enjoyed the confidence and 
absolute trust of his constituency. During his entire occu- 
pancy of the governor's chair he had the advice and experi- 
ence of his predecessor in office, who filled the position of 
Deputy Governor. 

In 1698 a radical change was made in the formation of 
the General Assembly, when two distinct legislative bodies 
were instituted. The Governor, the Deputy Governor, and 
the magistrates were to constitute the upper house, while the 
deputies, who were the immediate representatives of the peo- 
ple, were called the lower house. While the action of the 
two houses was to be independent, no new law could be en- 
acted and no former law could be repealed or altered without 
separate action and the consent of both houses. The new 
organization went into effect at the session held in May 1699, 
where John Chester of Wethersfield was chosen Speaker, and 
Captain William Whiting Clerk, of the lower house. 

A second intercolonial war was precipitated by the War 
of the Spanish Succession. The primary grievance was the 
acceptance by Louis XIV. of the Crown of Spain for his 
grandson Philip, despite a solemn renunciation. The im- 
mediate occasion was his acknowledgment of the "Old Pre- 
tender" as King of England, which aroused the English to 
fury, and enabled William III. to form a great European 
coalition, to wrest Spain from Philip and prevent France 



from being mistress of Europe. Of course the colonies fol- 
lowed the lead of the home parties. 

The Connecticut Assembly, at its October session in 1703, 
in response to a request of Governor Dudley of Massachu- 
setts, forwarded one hundred men to aid in a warfare against 
the eastern Indians. The frontier and border towns of the 
Commonwealth were ordered to prepare themselves to resist 
any invasions. 

The inveterate enemy of Connecticut's charter, Joseph 
Dudley, had in 1702 been appointed Royal Governor of 
Massachusetts ; in the same year Edward Hyde, Lord Corn- 
bury, had been made chief executive officer of the province of 
New York. The demands for financial aid by these two 
royal governors almost emptied the colonial treasury; and 
this, together with the same desire on the part of Cornbury 
which had been held by Andros and others, to annex Connec- 
ticut to the province of New York, caused the people of the 
colony annoyance and trouble. Connecticut was increasing 
in wealth and population; but her readiness to use her re- 
sources to help her neighbors in their difficulties created an 
impression that she was more opulent than really was the 

The ambition of the Governor of Massachusetts was to 
attach the exchequer of Connecticut to his treasury, and de- 
prive her of her charter, which she had maintained against 
every assault. Previous to the change of sovereignty in 
England, Dudley had presented a bill to Parliament for abol- 
ishing the charters of all the American colonies, claiming 
that they were injurious to trade and encouraged piracy; all 
powers and rights derived from the charters were to be re- 
invested in his Majesty, his heirs, and successors to the 
Crown of England. This bill was mainly aimed at Connec- 



ticut; but her cause was so ably defended before the House 
of Lords by Sir Henry Ashurst, the agent of the colony, that 
Dudley's bill was ingloriously defeated. Failing in this 
scheme, Dudley became a purveyor to the ambition of Corn- 
bury, promising his aid to bring Connecticut and the south- 
ern colonies under the dominion of New York. 

Cornbury, an ambitious though weak man, son of the 
famous Clarendon, was a cousin-german to Queen Anne, and 
allied by blood with a large number of her Majesty's cour- 
tiers. These detractors of Connecticut's fame, assisted by a 
number of resident malcontents, in connection with the publi- 
cation of an anonymous work entitled "Will and Doom," 
which professed to narrate grievances and irregularities in 
the province of Connecticut, made accusations against the col- 
ony. The avowed enemies of Connecticut filed a complaint, 
accompanied by false affidavits and witnesses, accusing her 
officials of maladministration, the carrying on of contraband 
trade, and other like offences. Further accusations were 
made that the colony was a place of refuge for fugitives from 
justice from other colonies, that protection was given to those 
who evaded taxes, and that the colony had refused to fur- 
nish troops to aid New York and Massachusetts to repulse 
the French and Indians. These complaints, accompanied by 
a copy of the "Will and Doom," certified to by its supposed 
author, Rev. Gershom Bulkley, Edward Palmes (a son-in- 
law of the late Governor Winthrop), and William Rosewell, 
together with a petition purporting to be in behalf of the 
Mohegan Indians, alleging that the colony had abused that 
tribe and driven them from their planting grounds, were pre- 
sented to the Queen. The last of the evidence against the 
colony reached England on Feb. 12, 1705, and the trial of 



Connecticut for her charter was begun before the Queen 
in Council. 

The complainants had prepared their case with great ad- 
dress, industry, and spite; but Connecticut's interests were 
again ably defended by Sir Henry Ashurst, assisted by the in- 
fluence of his brother-in-law Lord Paget, and supported by 
able counselors. The advocates placed before the Council 
the injustice that would be done to the colony in depriving 
her citizens of their political life, without giving them the op- 
portunity to file a rejoinder to the accusers' complaint. The 
avarice, ambition, and corrupt patronage of the accusing of- 
ficials were vividly portrayed, and a striking contrast made 
between Dudley and Cornbury on the one hand, and Treat 
and Winthrop on the other. So eloquently was the cause 
pleaded, that the counselors' prayer that a copy of the com- 
plaint be sent to the Governor and Council of Connecticut, so 
they might prepare an answer to defend the corporation at 
some future time, was complied with by the Queen's Coun- 
cil. This was a death-blow to the artificers of the scheme, 
whose success depended on a snap-judgment, and they never 
prosecuted their complaints. 

The General Assembly in their answer were able to prove 
that instead of neglecting Massachusetts and New York, they 
had during the last two years kept 600 troops in service, two- 
thirds of that number having been engaged in protecting 
those provinces. The currency of the colony for the last 
three years had been limited to £2,000; but she had ex- 
pended a much greater sum than this in defending 
the neighboring provinces, for which services they had Dud- 
ley's written acknowledgment. 1 hese facts were sufficient 
to prove the loyalty and honor of Connecticut; and on their 
presentation to the Queen's Council the legal opinion was 



founded, that under her charter the colony was subject only 
to requisitions emanating from the Crown, and that her peo- 
ple alone had the right to dispose of her funds and militia. 

When Dudley again requested troops for his assistance, 
in 1707, he met with a flat refusal. The colony in the early 
part of that year was alarmed by a threatened invasion of the 
French and Indians, and it was rumored that the Indian 
tribes residing within her boundaries were to become allies of 
the French ; this would expose her western frontiers to great 
dangers. The border towns were fortified; the Indians were 
removed to where they could be watched by the English, and 
their chiefs were held as hostages. Though requested by 
Governor Dudley, the Assembly refused to furnish troops to 
take part in an expedition that Massachusetts was organizing 
against Acadia. 

The death of Governor Winthrop occurred during these 
troublesome times, and at a special session of the legislature 
held at New Haven, Rev. Gurdon Saltonstall was elected 
to fill the unexpired term. At the regular election held the 
following May, this choice was confirmed by the people. 
Governor Saltonstall before-named held the position till 
his death, aggregating seventeen consecutive terms. Gurdon 
Saltonstall was three generations removed from his ancestor 
Sir Richard Saltonstall, one of the original patentees of Con- 
necticut. He was born March 27, 1666, at Haverhill, Massa- 
chusetts, graduating from Harvard eighteen years later; 
studied theology, and was ordained in 1691 as minister at 
New London, where he afterwards resided. He was a per- 
sonal friend of his predecessor in office, and his chief adviser 
during his illness; and was therefore thoroughly informed 
in the routine business of the executive office. Though widely 
censured for resigning a spiritual charge for a temporal of- 


From the painting by Wright in State Ca]iitol. 



fice, he did more for the establishment of an ecclesiastical 
discipline in the colony than any of his predecessors. He 
was a polished scholar, a thorough student of men and af- 
fairs, of majestic bearing, and noted for his loyalty to the 
American colonies. His sudden death of apoplexy, on Sept. 
26, 1724, robbed Connecticut of one of the most striking 
personalities of the eighteenth century. 

The American colonies were desirous of the subjugation of 
Canada, although the expedition of 1707 had been aban- 
doned by Governor Dudley on Connecticut's refusal to fur- 
nish her quota of troops. In the spring of 1709 a communica- 
tion was received from Queen Anne, in which the colony was 
requested to raise 350 men and provision them for three 
months, to co-operate with an armament to be sent from the 
old country to attack Quebec; requisitions were also made 
for 400 men, to constitute a part of a land force to make a 
simultaneous assault on Montreal. The colony's quota was 
obtained and placed in command of Colonel William Whit- 
ing. On receipt of the news that the provincial armament 
was ready to put to sea, the army intended for the reduction 
of Montreal was ordered to rendezvous at Wood's Creek, in 
the province of New York, and there await the coming of the 
fleet from England. The mother country failed to fulfill her 
promises, and the English fleet never materialized. The 
colonies had been so enthusiastic for war, that they had all 
raised volunteer companies in excess of their quotas, and fur- 
nished one hundred bateaux and a number of birch canoes, 
besides building forts and several blockhouses and store- 
houses on the frontiers. These expenses were useless; and 
disease so depleted the ranks of the army of invasion that in 
the fall a retreat was ordered to Albany. The loss of life in 
this expedition was as disastrous as though it had been en- 



gaged in mortal combat with the enemy; fully one-quarter of 
the command were buried in the New York wilderness, Con- 
necticut alone losing ninety men. 

The colony had passed through various phases of a cir- 
culating medium common to all newly discovered and settled 
countries. The use of the Indian wampum, and of bullets, 
and of corn and other cereals, as legal tender for trade, 
had been followed by the coinage in Massachusetts of the so- 
called pine, oak, and willow tree shillings, and likewise coin 
of smaller denominations. Connecticut was among the first 
of the colonies to issue paper or fiat money. The first 
emission was made in 1709; previous to that year she had 
liquidated her obligations by direct tax levied upon the peo- 
ple. The taxes had risen to seven or eight pence on the 
pound, and this to struggling agricultural communities was 
ruinous. The need of a circulating medium, and the extra 
war expenditures, obliged the colony in June 1709 to issue 
£8,000 in paper currency; the notes were not legal tender, 
but were received at premium for payment of taxes, and for 
their redemption a special tax was levied of ten pence on the 
pound, payable in two annual installments. The same year 
an additional issue of £1 1,000 was made, to be paid in six an- 
nual payments. 

The colonists were still alarmed by the threatening attacks 
of the Indians, who remained faithful to their French allies. 
The waning affections of the Five Nations made but a slight 
bulwark between the English colonists and their enemies. In 
the latter part of 1709 a conference of the colonial governors 
was held, to adopt a uniform plan of operation and' solicit 
aid from the mother country. This resulted in the expedition 
against Port Royal, to which army Connecticut furnished 
three hundred men in obedience to the Queen's request, and 



in four weeks they completed their quota and reported in 
transports at Boston. 

This expedition's success in capturing Port Royal stimu- 
lated the mother country in the following year to forward 
a fleet to assist the colonies in subjugating Canada. This was 
the nucleus of the luckless Plovenden Walker's armament. 
By a disagreement of the pilots, eight transports with 885 
English soldiers were wrecked near the mouth of the St. 
Lawrence River; this loss so disheartened the commander 
that after holding a council of war, the British fleet weighed 
anchor for England. 

A land force was organized in connection with this water 
campaign to make a simultaneous onslaught on Montreal. 
This army consisted of troops from Connecticut, New York, 
and New Jersey; the Connecticut contingent being under the 
command of Colonel William Whiting. The invading army 
began its march for Montreal on the same day that Ad- 
miral Walker's fleet sailed from Boston, but was obliged to 
abandon its project on receiving the news of the disaster to 
the latter expedition. This was the third fruitless attempt of 
the American colonies to subdue Canada, and the treaty of 
Utrecht suspended all open hostilities between the rival col- 
onies. The cessation of warfare was to be the harbinger of 
almost thirty years of peace; though the growth of settle- 
ment in the English colonies, and the hounding on of the In- 
dians by the French Jesuits to murderous raids, were to lead 
to many Indian depredations, none of which, however, were 
within the confines of Connecticut. The colony of Massachu- 
setts became involved in war with the eastern Indians, and a 
demand from her governor for soldiers in aid was refused 
by the General Assembly. The colony placed her frontiers 
in a condition of defense, and aided the new county of Hamp- 



shire in Massachusetts by sending a detachment of fifty men 
to defend her borders. 

These constant warfares on the part of her sister colonies 
were the cause of several thousand pounds' expense to the 
colony, though not a life was sacrificed; the expenditures 
led to various issues of paper currency; and though pro- 
visions were made by special taxation to redeem these obliga- 
tions, the evil consequences could not be entirely avoided. 
The notes were made legal tender in 171 8, but the frequency 
of the issues and the alarming extent of counterfeiting de- 
moralized business. This system of fiat money had brought 
the once conservative colony into a deplorable condition finan- 
cially; it was augmented in 1733 by the issue of £30,000, di- 
vided into loans among the counties. As paper money was is- 
sued, silver steadily increased in value; in 1708 it was worth 
eight shillings an ounce, in 1732 the price was eighteen shil- 
lings, and 1744 it reached thirty-two shillings. The price 
of commodities had advanced in proportion, and wages 
had not kept pace therewith. The colonial authorities seemed 
to have lost all caution, and the colony's accounts were kept 
so carelessly and in such a puzzling manner that it became 
practically impossible to arrive at a correct financial balance. 
There had been issued in paper money previous to 1740, 
£156,000, all of which had been redeemed, excepting £6,000; 
there was outstanding indebtedness to counties £33,000, mak- 
ing £39,000 unliquidated. 

In the midst of Connecticut's financial troubles occurred 
the death of Governor Saltonstall; he was succeeded by Jo- 
seph Talcott, who had filled the office of Deputy Governor 
during the last year of Governor Saltonstall's adminis- 
tration. Governor Talcott was first elected by the people in 
1725, and held the office for every consecutive term till his 



death in 1741; he was the first native citizen elected Gov- 
ernor. Governor Talcott was born in Hartford on the nth 
or 1 6th day of November, 1669, and was the son of Colonel 
John Talcott, who gained military renown in King Philip's 
war. From the age of twenty-three until his death, he was 
identified with the political life of the colony; while not a 
brilliant man, he was possessed of good common-sense, was a 
faithful servant to his public trusts, not an extremist in any 
direction, and displayed excellent judgment in managing pub- 
lic affairs, somewhat to the prejudice of his private interests. 



Third Intercolonial War 

THE next war Into which the European en- 
tanglements dragged the colonies was due to 
the conflict of English and Spanish commer- 
cial interests, principally the slave-trading 
rights granted to England by the Treaty of 
Utrecht. Spanish revenue vessels captured English trading 
ships accused of smuggling, and were accused of barbarously 
misusing the masters and crews; one captain had an ear cut 
off, and the resultant war was nicknamed by its opponents 
"The War of Jenkins' Ear." 

At the session of the Connecticut General Assembly held 
in the fall of 1739, forecasting this war, measures were 
taken to place the colony in a defensible position. The coast 
defenses were strengthened; and the militia was formed into 
thirteen regiments with a full roster of line officers, the Gov- 
ernor being made commander-in-chief with the rank of 
Captain-General. The Spanish-American colonies were to 
be the object of attack by the English, and an overwhelming 
armament was organized to capture their strongholds; the 
expedition was commanded by Admiral Edward Vernon, the 
head of a successful campaign against Porto Bello In 1739. 

The New England colonies were called upon by the home 
government to furnish four provincial regiments, and every 
effort was made by the authorities of the colony to obtain 
their quota of one thousand men, to join the English at Ja- 
maica. The volunteers were given the privilege of electing 
their own officers, and every able-bodied male was urged to 

A new Issue of paper money amounting to £45,000 was 
voted, £8,000 of which was to be used for the redemption of 
outstanding Issues known as "old tenor" ; £23,000 was to be 
loaned, the interest on which was to create a sinking fund for 



the liquidation of the "New Tenor" or new issue. The legal- 
tender clause was abolished in obedience to the demands of 
the Board of Trade and Plantations. 

Energy was infused into the preparations by the old ques- 
tion of Catholic vs. Protestant. In the fall of 1740 the ar- 
mada, consisting of twenty-five ships of the line, with a cor- 
responding number of auxiliary vessels, sailed from England; 
the commander was Lord George Cathcart, whose death en 
route deprived it of a capable leader who had won distinction 
in Continental wars. The command devolved upon Briga- 
dier-General Wentworth, who was practically unknown in 
army and naval circles. The union of this force with Vice- 
Admiral Vernon at Jamaica aggregated twenty-nine ships of 
the line and as many frigates, with 15,000 seamen, besides 
12,000 soldiers. The tropical climate of the West Indies 
proved dangerous to the northern soldiers, and their ranks 
were soon diminished by sickness. 

A council of war was held on Jan. 10, 1741, and the Eng- 
lish commanders deemed it wise to ascertain the intentions of 
a large fleet of French war vessels before attempting the con- 
templated attack on Cartagena. The French fleet having 
sailed for Europe, the English forces on March 4 sighted 
the beacons of Cartagena; this strongly entrenched Span- 
ish seaport was situated on the Caribbean Sea, and had bla- 
zoned on Its portals "Defiance to the World." The 
procrastination of the English had allowed the Spanish to re- 
inforce Its garrison until It numbered about 4,000 men; and 
nature, helped by the science of fortification, had made it 
nearly impregnable. The English force, while it had suf- 
fered from disease, was at least five times the number of the 

The colonial contingent were subjected to Insults by the 



English officers; menial duties were assigned them, they 
were placed with the Jamaica negroes to construct trenches, 
and on bombarding expeditions were required to carry scaling 
ladders and grenades for the English grenadiers. Although 
the Spanish outposts were captured one by one, the city still 
resisted the siege, which was partially due to the antagonism 
between the commanders of the naval and land forces of the 
English. The last fatal English assault was made by the 
army, unsupported by the navy, on the fortress San Lazaro ; 
of the five thousand English that took part in the engage- 
ment, more than one-fifth were left dead on the field of battle. 

Rumor was circulated that the city was saved by paying a 
ransom of nine million pounds sterling. On the fifteenth of 
April the siege was raised, and in the early part of the fol- 
lowing month the English fleet set sail for Jamaica ; it after- 
wards engaged in attacks upon points on the Island of Cuba, 
but disease again invaded their ranks, the loss reaching a 
thousand men a day; of the Connecticut quota to this unfor- 
tunate campaign, only one-tenth returned to the colony. 

The death of Joseph Talcott occurred in the latter part of 
1 74 1, and Jonathan Law, who was Deputy Governor at the 
time, officiated as acting Governor during the interim ; he 
was elected Governor in the spring of 1742, and was re- 
elected each succeeding term till his death in 1751. Gover- 
nor Law was born at Milford, Aug. 6, 1674, graduated 
from Harvard College at the age of twenty-one, and for a 
number of years was a member of the judicial bench of Con- 
necticut. He was a strong conservative in his religious opin- 
ions, and a steady opponent of the revivalists of the day. Na- 
ture had endowed him with high talents and accomplish- 
ments, which, with his acquaintance with civil and ecclesi- 



astical subjects, placed him among the foremost men of the 

The war with Spain gradually widened into a general 
European contest. France, though at first pretending to 
maintain neutrality, openly declared war against England on 
the fourth of March, 1744. Before the news reached New 
England, a French officer took possession of Canso, Nova 
Scotia, and attempted to capture Port Royal, but was re- 
pulsed by the provincial garrison. Louisbourg, on Cape 
Breton, was one of the strongest fortified seaports on the At- 
lantic coast and was a rendezvous for French privateers, who 
preyed upon the trading and fishing vessels of New England. 
Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, having been informed by 
returning prisoners of war that it was protected only by a 
small and dissatisfied garrison, conceived a scheme for its cap- 
ture. The design was to dispatch an army of five thousand 
troops to Canso, which was to assault the fortress in connec- 
tion with a naval flotilla. The governor sought aid from 
England; but the project was abandoned on account of the 
heavy expenses, and also because in the event of its success, 
the enterprise would redound to the glory of the mother 
country rather than to the colonies. The waning of com- 
merce and the destruction of the fishing and coasting busi- 
ness caused the matter to be again agitated; but the colonies 
outside of New England refused to take part in the enter- 
prise. The Connecticut legislature agreed to furnish five 
hundred men for the service, offering them a bounty of ten 
pounds, and requiring them to furnish themselves with arms, 
knapsacks, and blankets; these troops were divided into eight 
companies and ordered to embark at New London, under the 
protection of the colonial sloop of war "Defense." The 
popularity of Sir William Pepperrell, the commander-in- 



chief of the army, and of Deputy Governor Roger Wolcott, 
second in command, led many of the best citizens of Mas- 
sachusetts and Connecticut to enlist in the expedition. The 
naval forces of the New England colonies consisted of twelve 
vessels, — three snows, two sloops-of-war, two ships, one 
brig, one brigantine and three small sloops; the naval com- 
mander was Captain Ting; the entire armament, excepting 
ten eighteen-pounders which were loaned by the province of 
New York, was furnished by New England. 

On the point of embarkation of the expedition, Governor 
Shirley received intelligence that the English commodore 
stationed at the West Indies, owing to the disablement of his 
ships, would not co-operate with the flotilla. This did not 
deter the governor from forwarding the campaign ; and dur- 
ing the month of April the troops rendezvoused at Canso, 
where, much to their surprise, they were joined by Commo- 
dore Warren, with four ships of the line. He had been or- 
dered by the home government to give all possible aid to the 
success of the enterprise. After a consultation between the 
military and naval commanders, it was decided to sail for 
Louisbourg harbor, where the fleet arrived on the thirteenth 
of April; the beleaguered fortress stood a siege of forty- 
nine days, and capitulated on the seventeenth day of June, 
1745, to the impoverished provincial army, which was great- 
ly reduced from hardships and lack of ammunition. General 
Pepperrell had already asked for recruits and fresh sup- 
plies of ammunition, and Connecticut had responded by vot- 
ing to raise 300 additional troops, offering the same induce- 
ments as were given to those that first enlisted. The news of 
the surrender of Louisbourg reached Boston on the third 
of July, and was the occasion of much rejoicing among the 
colonists, who by their combined efforts had inflicted on 



France the first serious blow in the New World. The fort 
was garrisoned by New England volunteers for eleven 
months after its surrender, and more than 5,000 troops 
shared in the capture and garrisoning of the fortress, of 
which number Connecticut furnished about ijioo. To meet 
the expenses incurred by the Louisbourg expedition, Con- 
necticut made fresh issues of "new tenor" amounting to £80,- 
000, which brought her whole emission for the war to the 
enormous sum of £131,000 on a total tax valuation in 1743 
of £900,000; these bills soon began to depreciate in value, 
though one of the "new tenor" was equal to three and one 
half of the "old tenor." 

The success of the Louisbourg expedition stimulated the 
desire of the English to subjugate Canada; while France, to 
avenge her defeat, determined to devastate the entire At- 
lantic coast of the English provinces. A colonial army of 
7,200 troops was raised, of which New England furnished 
5,300 men, 1,000 being from Connecticut; the General As- 
sembly voted a bounty of £30 to each soldier, and if food 
supplies could not be obtained, these were to be impressed. 
The active arrangements to invade Canada were suspended 
on receipt of news that a large French fleet was organized 
to lay waste the seacoast; 6,000 of the New England militia 
were brought to Boston to help defend the town, and 
anxiously was the ocean scanned for the appearance of an 
English fleet. Disasters attended the French squadron : losses 
at sea, delay in the arrival of expected reinforcements, the 
death (probably by suicide) of the two commanding of- 
ficers, and the interception of false dispatches of the sailing 
of the English fleet, caused them to return to France without 
attempting to strike a blow. 

The capture of Louisbourg and the unsuccessful attempt 



upon the British colonies had prepared the way for peace; 
a treaty was signed at Aix-la-Chapelle Oct. i8, 1748, which 
for a time terminated the struggle between the French and 
English in America. The English Parliament agreed to re- 
imburse the colonies for the expenses incurred in their efforts 
to subdue the F rench, and returned to the latter the fortress 
of Louisbourg. 

The Deputy Governor's position had been held during 
Governor Law's administration by Roger Wolcott, a member 
of the bench of Connecticut for over ten years, where he held 
the office of Chief Justice of the Superior Court. Roger 
Wolcott was born in Windsor, Jan. 4, 1679, and tradition 
says that he did not attend a common school one day in his 
life; in his youth he learned the trade of weaver, and on his 
arrival at maturity he engaged in that business for himself, 
and by great industry acquired a comfortable competency. 
His first election as Governor occurred in the Spring of 175 1. 
The predecessors of Wolcott under the Royal Charter — ex- 
cepting Governor Treat, who had declined a re-election — 
held the office from their first election until their death. Gov- 
ernor Wolcott was elected for three terms; but owing to a 
difficulty for which the colony was blamed, and which bore 
the stigma of being due to official negligence, he lost his 
third re-election. The trouble grew out of the fact that a 
Spanish ship in distress put into the harbor of New Lon- 
don, where she was robbed of half of her cargo ; the Crown, 
on complaint of the Spanish ambassador, attempted to hold 
the colony responsible for the loss, and blame for the wrong 
conditions fell upon the chief executive. After his retire- 
ment from political life, Governor Wolcott devoted his time 
to literary pursuits, and lived to see his eighty-eighth birth- 



In response to letters from the Board of Trade and Plan- 
tations, a meeting of commissioners from each colony met at 
Albany in June 1754, to devise a general plan of union, to 
prepare for defense against a common enemy, and to nego- 
tiate leagues with the Indians in the King's name. The Con- 
necticut commissioners were William Pitkin, Roger Wolcott, 
Jr., and Elisha Williams. They were instructed to urge the 
defenseless state of the provincial governments in America, 
in view of the encroachments of the French and the waning 
allegiance of the Indians; to beseech the King for protec- 
tion and care, and to submit a statement of the great expenset 
the colony had incurred during the late wars, which were far 
in excess of those of the southern provinces, who had also 
reaped a substantial benefit in the increase of their Indian 
trade. The Commissioners were cautioned not to establish a 
precedent by pledging the colony to any portion of future ex- 
penses; they were to make the Indians no presents unless it 
was sanctioned by the other provinces, and were to oppose 
any measures of that character. Their influence was to be 
used, in the event of raising troops, to see that the Connecti- 
cut contingent should be attached to the eastern rather than 
the western wing of the army; all their actions were subject 
to the approval of the Assembly. 

The royal governors were all in favor of a union of the 
colonies; Benjamin Franklin visited Boston to confer with 
Governor Shirley, who was favorably inclined towards the 
plan, but differed with Franklin as to how it should be ef- 
fected. Shirley desired it to be accomplished by a fiat of 
the British government, and stated that he should immedi- 
ately propose a scheme of union to the Ministry and Parlia- 
ment, advocating a tax on the colonists. Franklin would 



not consent to this method of forming a colonial union; he 
wished the source of power to be with the people. 

The Congress at Albany was attended by committees 
from the assemblies of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, 
and the New England colonies. The principal object for as- 
sembling the convention was the renewal of the treaty with 
the Six Nations; but though this was accomplished, the In- 
dians were not more than half satisfied, fearing that, for want 
of unanimity among the colonies, they would be left to con- 
tend alone against the P rench. The confederation and union 
of the colonies for mutual defense was taken under considera- 
tion, and a plan was introduced by Franklin. 

The important features of this were that the general gov- 
ernment of the colonies should be invested in a President- 
General appointed and supported by the Crown, and a Gen- 
eral Council elected for three years by the colonial assemblies, 
to consist of not less than two nor more than seven members 
from each province; these were to receive ten shillings per 
diem for the session, and mileage at the rate of one day's 
pay for every twenty miles traveled. The number of repre- 
sentatives was to be governed by the contributions of each 
province to the general treasury. The General Council was 
to meet annually, the first meeting to be held at Philadel- 
phia, and the length of the session was not to exceed six 
weeks. A quorum was to consist of twenty-five members, 
though each colony was to be represented. The President- 
General's assent was required to all acts, and it was his duty 
to see that they were executed. The General Council was to 
have charge and direction of all matters pertaining to In- 
dians, and to have the control over new settlements until they 
were organized by the Crown; they were to raise soldiers, 
and to commission officers on land and sea : but were not to 



have the power of impressment, of building fortifications or 
coast defenses, or of levying direct taxes or customs. The 
laws passed by the General Council were to receive the sanc- 
tion of the King in Council before being effective. These reso- 
lutions, which contained the germ of the Articles of Confed- 
eration and the Constitution of the United States, were 
adopted ; the delegates from Connecticut being the only ones 

The opposition of the Connecticut delegates represented 
the general colonial feeling more accurately than the assent 
of others. The colonies dreaded consolidation and the loss 
of their cherished independence much worse than the French 
and the Indians together; they objected to the veto of the 
President-General as a little pinchbeck royalty, giving them 
two kings instead of one, and the second likely to be much 
the more unbearable; and most of all they resented the with- 
drawal of the power to appoint and commission their own 
military and naval officers — a patronage claim which nearly 
wrecked the Revolution afterwards. Connecticut, in particu- 
lar, having had a pure democracy, except for eighteen 
months of a royal governor whom they regarded as legally 
a mere usurper, would not endure the change. The 
colonial orators assailed it without mercy, and the colony in- 
structed its agent to use every means of defeating it before 
the Council. The latter body spared them the pains, how- 
ever, regarding it on their part as a long step towards a 
colonial union which would annihilate their authority, and 
disallowing the whole scheme. Thus the Crown thought the 
President-General would be an agent of the colonies, the col- 
onies that he would be an agent of the Crown. 

An act of Parliament in 175 i forbade the issues of paper 
currency except for taxes for the current year, or to be se- 



cured by taxes payable In five years; and Connecticut by buy- 
ing up Its outstanding "old tenor" obligations at eleven per 
cent, of their face value, the enforcement of taxes, and the as- 
sistance of £29,000 in coin from the English Parliament, 
which she received In 1756 to reimburse her for her share of 
expenses incurred during the late war, nearly liquidated the 
£340,000 of her paper issue outstanding In 1751. 

The successor of Governor Wolcott was Thomas Fitch, 
who occupied the position of Deputy Governor during Wol- 
cott's administrations. He was born in Norwalk in 1700, 
and graduated from Yale College at 21. He became a li- 
censed preacher; but studied law and began practice. He 
became one of Connecticut's foremost lawyers, and when 
a member of the Assembly was appointed on a committee 
with Roger Wolcott, Jonathan Trumbull, and John Bulk- 
ley to revise the statutes. The task fell entirely upon him, 
and he devoted six years to the revision; it was published 
in 1750, and its thoroughness received unlimited praise both 
in America and England. He had been Chief Justice of the 
Superior Court, and In the spring of 1754 was elected Gover- 
nor, his subsequent re-elections covering twelve terms. Gov- 
ernor Fitch was a candidate for a thirteenth term, but owing 
to his apparent vacillation in reference to the Stamp Act was 
defeated. Though strenuously opposed to the law, he took in 
October 1765 an oath to enforce it, arousing an indignation 
throughout the colony that resulted in his overwhelming de- 
feat. This closed his public life, and he lived in retirement till 
his death at 73, just before the Revolution. 


Fourth Intercolonial War 

IT is not necessary to detail the causes of the final strug- 
gle between France and England for the possession of 
the "hinterland" of the Northern Coast Settlements. 
Neither nation at the outset had any idea of 
ousting the other from its original basis; but France 
was determined that the English settlements should not 
spread west of the Alleghanies and colonize the Great Lake 
region and the Mississippi basin. Having, therefore, planted a 
chain of posts with admirable judgment at the vital points — 
straits, carries and commanding stations in the heart of the 
territory — she began a second line several miles east, to hem 
the English settlements closely in. This meant war to a finish 
as soon as the next great European struggle began ; and the 
signal was given by Frederick the Great attempting to prey 
on the chaotic Austrian F^mpire. All Europe flocked into 
the field, England and France of course on opposite sides; 
America was their stake. It seemed an even match, per- 
haps with the advantage on the side of the French. It is easy 
now to see that there could be but one result. French America 
had no population to speak of — perhaps 65,000 in Canada 
and half as much more elsewhere; it was only a set of forts, 
and when one of them was captured there was an end to 
French dominion in the district. Most of the French would 
not emigrate, and the one class which would — the Hugue- 
nots — were refused permission by the government. The Eng- 
lish colonies, on the other hand, numbered over a million, 
in solid ranks of communities, impossible to dispossess, and 
sending out a steadily rolling tide of youths who must have 
farms, be it French or Indians, wild beasts or devils, who 
stood in the way. The French had the alliance in general of 
the Indians, for the very reason which made the strength of 
the English — that the English settlements crowded out the 



Indians, and the French trading posts did not; but if the In- 
dian alliance had been any real strength, the Indians could 
not have been thus crowded out, the entire Indian problem 
would have been altogether different, and the United States 
might be another Mexico or another India. In the first cam- 
paign of 1755, Edward Braddock was made commander-in- 
chief of the forces in America, and a number of colonial gov- 
ernors met him at Alexandria to frame a plan of campaign. 
Unluckily the colonies would not carry out the arrangements 
made. The northern colonies displayed more zeal than the 
southern in furnishing levies of troops and forwarding the 
war preparations. 

The conference organized three separate expeditions: one 
against Fort Duquesne at the headwaters of the Ohio, anoth- 
er to proceed against Niagara, and the third to attempt the 
capture of Crown Point. The first met with a disastrous de- 
feat in which Braddock was killed; the second, on hearing of 
the disaster to the first, retreated without making an effort 
to accomplish the undertaking to which it was assigned. 

The Connecticut Assembly for contingent expenses issued 
bills of credit amounting to £7,500, and raised a quota of 
1,000 soldiers; this, according to her ratio of population, 
was largely in excess of her sister colonies. She also recruited 
for reserve service 500 additional volunteers; to equip and 
pay these troops a new issue of bills of credit for £12,000, 
at five per cent, interest, was emitted. 

The first regiment of Connecticut troops was under Gen- 
eral Phineas Lyman, and the second was commanded by 
Elizur Goodrich; these regiments were assigned to the ex- 
pedition to capture Crown Point, and General Lyman was 
placed second in command, his senior officer being General 
William Johnson of New York. The Connecticut troops ar- 



rived at Albany at the end of June, when an advance was 
made northwards; six weeks were spent on the Hudson and 
a redoubt was erected at Fort Edward. 

The army then proceeded to the southern part of Lake 
George, where a commodious encampment was laid out; but 
while the artillery and stores were promptly forwarded, no 
attempt was made to fortify the camp. While engaged in 
these labors, news was brought that the French contemplated 
an attack on Fort Edward. A force of i,ooo men, under 
Colonel Williams of Massachusetts, with Colonel Whiting of 
Connecticut second in command, and two hundred Mohawk 
allies, were ordered to intercept the enemy. The English 
force was ambushed by the French and slaughtered, with the 
loss of their commander; but Colonel Whiting rallied the 
troops and made a successful retreat to Lake George. 

The noise of the battle was heard at the camp, and Gen- 
eral Johnson made preparations for a general engagement; 
temporary breastworks were erected. Early in the conflict 
Johnson received a slight wound and left the field, the com- 
mand devolving on General Lyman. For five hours the bat- 
tle raged incessantly; the FVench regulars were nearly an- 
nihilated, and their commander, Ludwig August von Dies- 
kau, received a wound which shortened his life. This was 
one of the fiercest conflicts then recorded in colonial history. 
The victory stimulated the colonies to fresh exertions and on 
Johnson's request for reinforcements, Connecticut in ten days 
raised, mustered, and equipped two regiments of 750 men 
each, commanded by Samuel Talcott and Elihu Chauncey. 
One of Talcott's second lieutenants was Israel Putnam. Now 
for the first time in the field Connecticut had in active 
service 2,300 men. Made wise by the battle, a substantial 
fort was erected on the site of the camp and named William 



Henry. After heavily garrisoning both forts, military op- 
erations were abandoned for the winter and the balance of 
the army returned home. 

The operations of the Crown Point expedition had been 
conducted wholly by the provincial army; and while not a 
single French fort had been subjugated, the army had pene- 
trated into a virgin wilderness, built two forts, constructed 
boats, bateaux, and military roads. They gained a complete 
victory over the enemy, for which, though he had performed 
but a small part In the engagement, Johnson was knighted. 
The real victor of the battle was disregarded by the home 
government, and has hardly been recognized by historians. 
The man who for five hours commanded the provincial rank 
and file, that battled against the French regulars and their 
Indian allies, was Phineas Lyman, a native of Connecticut 
and a lawyer by profession; not bred to a military life, but 
during the engagement in the thickest of the fight, and in 
front of the breastworks Issuing his orders with wisdom and 
coolness. He engaged in other military expeditions that 
redounded to his credit; but his later life was shrouded in 
darkness and gloom, and he became broken In spirit and 

After the death of Braddock, the chief command of the 
English forces In America was given to Governor Shirley, 
who met the colonial governors at New York in December 
1755, and military movements were planned for the follow- 
ing year. An expedition was to proceed against Quebec and 
French lake fortresses, cutting off the communications of 
the western outposts and compelling their surrender; these 
plans, however, were overturned by the English Parliament, 
which decided to consolidate all the military forces in America 
under one authority, and appointed John Campbell Earl of 



Loudon commander-in-chief, with powers of a Viceroyship. 
General James Abercrombie was placed second in command; 
forty British and German officers were commissioned to dis- 
cipline and organize the colonial army, which was augmented 
by British regulars. This was followed by an open declara- 
tion of war on the part of Great Britain, on May 17, 1756; 
and similar action was taken by France. 

The attempt to capture Crown Point was to be renewed, 
and the army rendezvoused at Albany. When General Aber- 
crombie arrived with his British regulars, the military force 
amounted to ten thousand troops, of which Connecticut had 
furnished 2,500, double her quota. The intermingling of the 
provincial regiments with the British regulars agitated the 
vexed question of colonial troops being placed under the com- 
mand of British officers ; this was finally settled by the Amer- 
icans agreeing to proceed with the capture of Crown Point, 
while the regulars were to be left behind to garrison the forts. 
So bitter was the Connecticut contingent at the removal of 
their officers that if this compromise had not been reached, a 
large number would have deserted their colors and quit the 
service; this arrangement was vetoed on the arrival of the 
Earl of Loudon, who granted the request of the New Eng- 
land troops to retain their officers on their agreeing to co- 
operate with the British soldiers. 

Loudon, with an army capable of subjugating Canada in 
one season, remained inactive at Albany, passing the time in 
slandering the provincial troops and threatening attacks on 
the French, until the summer and fall passed away. At the 
commencement of winter, after strengthening Forts Edward 
and William Henry and garrisoning them with regulars, the 
provincials returned home for the cold season. Throughout 
Connecticut the people were indignant at the bad policy and 



mismanagement of the campaign, which had started out so 

It was In 1756, according to the following extract, that 
the Father of his Country first placed his foot on Connecti- 
cut's soil. Joshua Hempstead, a resident of New London, 
in his diary which dates from Sept. 8, 171 1, to Nov. 3, 1758, 
and which was published by the New London County His- 
torical Society In 1901, says under date 1756: "Colin Wash- 
ington Is Returned from Boston & gone to Long Island Pow- 
er's sloop & 2 Boats to carry 6 horses & his Retnue all bound 
to Virginia he hath been to advise or be Directed by Gover- 
nor Shirley who Is Chief General of the American forces." 
This visit of Washington was to obtain a decision from Gen- 
eral Shirley, to establish a precedent of rank between himself 
and a Maryland captain; the journey was undertaken with a 
brother officer and an aide-de-camp, on horseback, attended 
by black servants in livery. While Governor Shirley decided 
that Washington was the senior officer, the latter was disap- 
pointed in not obtaining a royal military commission; his 
visit was extended to ten days in Boston, where he visited the 
Massachusetts legislature and heard the plans for military 
operations discussed. 

The British Parliament made great preparations to prose- 
cute the war In the spring of 1757, and Connecticut brought 
forth her full complement of soldiers for field duty. The 
British Viceroy, instead of following up the Crown Point ex- 
pedition, decided to attack Loulsbourg, and sailed from New 
York for Halifax with an army of 6,000 troops, of which 
Connecticut's apportionment was 1,400; he was joined at 
Halifax by a formidable English fleet, but like all of Lou- 
don's previous efforts, this inept expedition returned to New 
York without striking a blow against the enemy. 



In the meanwhile the French had been active under the in- 
trepid Louis Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm de St. Veran,who 
withdrew his forces from Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and ad- 
joining stations, and rallying his Indian allies descended on 
Fort William Henry with 8,000 troops. General Webb was 
in command of the English forces, and under the escort of 
Major Israel Putnam with 200 men, made a journey of in- 
spection from Fort Edward to Fort William Henry, On ar- 
riving at the latter place, Putnam with eighteen volunteers 
patrolled the lake, and observing a hostile army approaching, 
reported to General Webb, expressing the opinion that an 
assault was intended on Fort William Henry. To the sur- 
prise of Putnam, he received orders from his commanding of- 
ficer to return to Fort Edward without delay; this inex- 
plicable action of General Webb, resting with 4,000 men at 
Fort Edward, extending to Colonel Monro no assistance dur- 
ing the siege of Fort William Henry, is unparalleled in 
American history. The final capitulation of the fort, with 
honorable terms granted to its brave defenders, its destruc- 
tion by fire and the horrible massacre — which it is claimed 
was beyond the control of Montcalm, but which decent care 
and prevision of his would have prevented — are assignable 
to the mismanagement of English officers, who owed their po- 
sition to family or court influence. The victory of Montcalm 
left the northern frontier unprotected, and there were fears 
that Albany would be attacked; reinforcements were asked 
for, and Connecticut furnished an additional 5,000 soldiers. 
The army, though It now consisted of 20,000 men, passed the 
balance of the year in inactivity; the disastrous failure had 
caused discouragement in England. 

The campaign of 1758 was opened by a convention at 
Hartford of colonial governors of New England and New 



York, to meet the Earl of Loudon. The commander-in- 
chief's overtures for troops for a new campaign were re- 
ceived coldly by the colonial officials, and they replied that 
before troops and supplies could be promised, they would 
be obliged to consult their respective legislatures; this appar- 
ent subterfuge angered the Earl, but he was soon in receipt 
of news that owing to a change in the E'nglish ministry, he 
had been superseded by General James Abercrombie. At the 
head of the new English ministry was William Pitt, the 
"Great Commoner," who, in correspondence with the pro- 
vincial assemblies, urged a co-operation to retrieve the dis- 
astrous losses of the previous year; he stated that his Ma- 
jesty would send a fleet and an army to defend the rights of 
his American subjects, and while not making any arbitrary 
demands, requested that a force of 20,000 men should be 
raised by the colonies. 

The wisdom of Pitt was exhibited, not so much by for- 
warding British soldiers as by furnishing them with able com- 
manders, in place of those who had in the past shown neither 
capacity nor spirit in conducting the warfare. General Aber- 
crombie was to have the assistance of the brave and amiable 
Lord George Augustus Howe, who, by his fraternization 
with the colonists, was to endear himself to the American 
people. Among the other English officers sent to this coun- 
try were the able and valiant Jeffrey Amherst and James 
Wolfe, who were to lead divisions. The Scottish general 
John Forbes was to have an important command ; and a reg- 
iment was led by the Irish colonel Richard Montgomery, 
whose brave death at the assault on Quebec in 1775, during 
the Revolutionary War, has been made the subject of one of 
the masterpieces of Connecticut's greatest artist. 

At a session of the General Assembly held the previous 



year, Ebenezer Silliman, Jonathan Trumbull, and William 
Wolcott were appointed a committee to confer with a like 
representation from other colonies, to devise means for closer 
union amongst the provinces in this crisis. The Governor 
was instructed to inform the English commander-in-chief that 
the colony was prepared for an early and successful cam- 
paign; Connecticut with her usual promptness responded to 
the Prime Minister's request for a provincial army of 20,000 
men, by raising four regiments of twelve companies each, ag- 
gregating five thousand troops. The volunteers were paid, 
in addition to their wages, a bounty of £4, and were obliged 
to equip themselves for the field. The regimental command- 
ing officers were Phineas Lyman, Nathan Whiting, Eliphalet 
Dyer, and John Reed. A colonel's pay was £15 per month, 
and he was allowed £40 for supplying his table and support- 
ing a chaplain. 

The disasters of the past two years had depopulated the 
colony of able-bodied men, and oppressed the people with an 
accumulation of taxes. New bills of credit were issued for 
£30,000 at five per cent, interest; a sinking fund was cre- 
ated for their redemption, by levying a tax of eight pence on 
the pound, and an additional tax of nine pence was ordered, to 
pay the soldiers on their return from the war. The Assembly 
also appointed a committee to borrow £25,000, to be paid in 
two years, and a tax was levied of five pence on the pound 
for its liquidation. 

The English ministry planned three campaigns: General 
Amherst, in conjunction with a fleet, was to capture Louis- 
bourg; Lord Howe, under the direction of the commander- 
in-chief, was again to attempt the subjugation of Ticon- 
deroga and Crown Point, while General Forbes was to re- 



cover the Ohio Valley. The Louisbourg army consisted of 
16,000 men, of whom 9,000 were colonial troops. 

It was on the morning of July 6 that the march upon Ti- 
conderoga was begun. The advance guard of the French 
was soon reached and engaged, and Lord Howe, marching 
in front, inquired of Major Putnam the cause of the firing; 
the Connecticut ranger answered, "I know not, but with your 
Lordship's leave I will see." The nobleman insisted on ac- 
companying them, and Putnam with one hundred of his men 
marched in the direction of the enemy; the French were soon 
met, and at the first fire his Lordship fell dead. Putnam and 
his little party, assisted by other small companies, engaged in 
a general combat which resulted in the enemy's retreat, with 
great loss of life and leaving many captives in the hands of 
the victors; but the death of Lord Howe cast such a gloom 
over the army that the intended attack was abandoned. 

A second attempt was made on Ticonderoga on July 8 ; 
this also was ill managed, and the generalship displayed was 
so very poor that though the British regulars charged in solid 
phalanx time after time, they were repulsed with heavy losses. 
The platoon formation of the regulars caused them to be 
mowed down like wheat before the scythe; while if the pro- 
vincials had been placed at the front of the line of attack, 
their knowledge of woodcraft and Indian fighting might 
have changed the result. They were in the rear of the regu- 
lars, and becoming excited and maddened by the shock of 
the battle, in their hurry and excitement began firing on their 
British comrades, doing considerable execution before they 
could be made aware of their mistake; Putnam, who acted 
as aide, was a great help in checking the impetuosity of the 
colonials and restoring order. The carnage among the in- 
vading army was frightful, and the losses sustained by the 



Connecticut troops v^ery severe. There were various weak 
points in the enemy's extended front, which Putnam and other 
colonial officers urged Abercrombie to attack. The fort 
could have been overcome by a siege, but the commander-in- 
chief, with the same conceit and stubbornness which had 
ruined Braddock, would listen to no advice, and sounded the 
alarm for retreat; his management of the conflict gave him in 
the army the sobriquet of "Mrs. Nabbycombe." How many 
of the Connecticut troops were engaged in this action it would 
be hard to state ; the commands of Lyman, Fitch, and Woos- 
ter were in that vicinity, Putnam belonged to the third regi- 
ment, and it may be inferred that three or four of the Con- 
necticut regiments were under fire. 

A reconnaissance before Ticonderoga, made by a detailed 
force under Majors Rogers and Putnam, fell into an ambus- 
cade in which the English were defeated, Putnam being taken 
to Montreal as prisoner; the campaign of 1758 ended with 
the English still outside the walls of Ticonderoga. Their 
other expeditions had met with success ; the fortress of Louis- 
bourg had surrendered to General Amherst, while by the 
capture of Fort Duquesne the French power had been broken 
in the west; the capture of these two strategic points paved 
the way to the impregnable fortress of Quebec, the key to the 
successful termination of the war. 

At the opening of the following year, the British ministry, 
having the seacoast and the southern frontier already won, 
were prepared to invade Canada. Amherst superseded Aber- 
crombie in command of the army, and took charge of the 
Eastern forces, with orders to drive the enemy from Ticon- 
deroga and Crown Point, and to effect a junction with Gen- 
eral Wolfe, who was to lay siege to Quebec; a third expedi- 
tion was to attack Fort Niagara, and then proceed by way 



of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to capture 

The English premier called upon the colonies to raise 
another army of 20,000. The Connecticut Assembly, while 
it received Pitt's communication with enthusiasm, felt that 
the colony had been so depleted of moneys and men by the 
former campaigns as to be in no condition to raise and equip 
5,000 more. After a long debate it was decided that 3,600 
men should be raised for the service; this was increased 400 
by the zeal of Governor Fitch, and on General Amherst's 
requesting additional troops another thousand was raised, 
thereby completing the complement requested by the prime 
minister. A bounty of £7 was given to each volunteer; and 
if they were veterans, pay was allowed from the preceding 
December. The troops were mustered into four regiments, 
and Phineas Lyman, Nathan Whiting, David Wooster, and 
Eleazer Fitch were made colonels; Israel Putnam had been 
exchanged after a captivity of three months, and was com- 
missioned lieutenant-colonel in the fourth regiment. 

The colonial treasury being exhausted, bills of credit for 
£50,000, bearing five per cent, interest, were emitted, and to 
liquidate them a tax of ten pence on a pound was levied. The 
energy of the colonies was aroused, and they vied with each 
other to lend every assistance to Amherst. 

The English army advanced in good order, and on the 22d 
of July appeared before Ticonderoga ; the French after a lit- 
tle resistance blew up their magazine and retreated to Crown 
Point. The latter was evacuated Aug. i, and the French 
troops took refuge in a fort at the northern extremity of 
Lake Champlain. These bloodless victories, at points which 
on former unsuccessful expeditions had proved occasions for 
the expenditure of blood and money, showed Amherst that 



the French were concentrating nothward ; and he moved cau- 
tiously. Instead of following up his hitherto successful cam- 
paign, he stopped to rehabilitate the fortresses at Ticonder- 
oga and Crown Point, and to construct a fleet to operate on 
Lake Champlain; the hardships endured by the Connecticut 
troops during the summer months spent on the lake are in- 

The western wing of the army had been successful in cap- 
turing Fort Niagara; the net was rapidly closing around 
the French. The final struggle took place on the plains of 
Abraham, putting Quebec in the hands of the English. Vari- 
ous attempts were m.ade by the French to recapture this 
stronghold; but the timely arrival of an English fleet in the 
spring of 1760 ended the struggle. Even had the French 
regained Quebec they could not have held it. 

The victories of the past year had stimulated the English 
ministry, and they were determined to complete the subjuga- 
tion of Canada. The colonies were also ambitious to extin- 
guish French rule in America ; for over half a century 
they had planned expeditions for the capture of Quebec and 
Montreal, and now that the former was in the hands of the 
English, the resources of the colonies were to be utilized in 
driving the hated popish rival from her possessions in the 
New World. Connecticut responded bravely to the call of 
the English ministry for troops, and the legislature voted to 
raise four regiments of twelve companies, 5,000 in all; these 
were to be paid and clothed from the treasury of the colony, 
and the same commanding officers were reappointed, Phineas 
Lyman receiving the rank of Major-General. 

Amherst opened the campaign of 1760 by marching over- 
land to Oswego, where he embarked his army for the attack 
upon Montreal. On arriving at Oswegatchie, where the 



river channel is narrow, two armed v^essels were sighted, 
obstructing the passage; and the English, being in open 
boats, were exposed to their fire. Amherst was nonplussed; 
and soliciting the assistance of Putnam, the latter undertook, 
with i,ooo men in fifty bateaux, to board the ships. Strip- 
ping his men to the waist, Putnam began the attack; the 
enemy was dazed by this mode of warfare, and one ship was 
run aground, while the other struck her colors. A fort situ- 
ated on the island was still an impediment to the army's pro- 
gress, and Amherst again requested Putnam's assistance; the 
doughty hero by the aid of fascines and temporary bridges 
effected a landing on the island, when the enemy capitulated 
without firing a gun. Thus, through the bravery and wisdom 
of a provincial officer, a bloodless entrance into Canada was 
effected. Early in September, Amherst arrived at Montreal; 
a union was effected with the other divisions of the army, and 
all the French possessions in Canada passed under the domi- 
nation of the British Crown. 

The conquest of Canada did not close the war, and in the 
spring of 1761 another requisition for troops was made on 
the colonies. The prime minister asked for two-thirds of 
the number of former levies; and the Connecticut Assembly 
immediately raised 2,300 men, whom they equipped and 
placed in two regiments under the command of Phineas Ly- 
man and Nathan Whiting. These recruits were used in plac- 
ing in a state of perfect defense all the forts and posts that 
had fallen into the hands of the English; they built new forti- 
fications, repaired old roads, built new ones from fort to fort 
and from settlement to settlement, erected houses and bar- 
racks for the garrisons, and in a word fixed a firm military 
and civil order on the conquests. The labors thus performed 



by Connecticut troops are as worthy of commemoration as 
the part taken in former campaigns by their predecessors. 

At the close of the year's campaign a body of provincials, 
with British regulars, assisted in the reduction of the French 
possessions in the West Indies. The assembly had ordered in 
1 76 1 an emission of £45,000 in bills of credit, bearing the 
usual rate of interest, and had created a sinking fund by a 
tax of five pence on the pound; they also levied an extra tax 
of the same amount to pay the troops. 

Though the war in America had eventually closed favora- 
bly for England, her campaigns on the European continent 
had proved unsatisfactory: Spain had become the ally of 
France, the Kingdom of Hanover was in the hands of the 
enemy, and Great Britain was engaged either directly or in- 
directly in war with all the great Continental powers of Eu- 
rope. England's position was such, notwithstanding her suc- 
cess in America, that if France and her allies should be vic- 
torious in Europe, the expenses and exertions of the colonies 
would amount to naught. In this exigency the mother coun- 
try was obliged to call upon the provinces for assistance. A 
division of troops was recruited in 1762, consisting of 500 
from New York, 800 from New Jersey, and 1,000 from 
Connecticut; the chief command was given to Major-Generai 
Phineas Lyman, and the troops were ordered to proceed to 
Havana. Lieutenant-Colonel Putnam, who was in command 
of General Lyman's regiment, with 500 of his men were 
wrecked upon the rocky shores of Cuba ; but they were res- 
cued and conveyed in safety to Havana. Of the 1,000 troops 
that left their Connecticut homes, sickness so thinned their 
ranks that but a handful ever returned. 

The colony, to equip the West Indies expedition, issued 
£65,000 in bills of credit payable in five years. The dis- 



bursements for the fourth intercolonial war had caused the 
emission of £350,000 in bills of credit, all of which seem to 
have been paid at maturity; there was no legal-tender clause 
in connection with the issue, and the payment was based on 
lawful money. The standard of values had been established 
in England, for that country and her provinces, in the early 
part of the eighteenth century, by a table of values of the 
current foreign coins, and was known as "proclamation 
money" ; this created a coin redemption, which preserved the 
equilibrium of indebtedness on a special basis throughout 
the monetary world. 

Towards the close of the year 1762, preliminaries of peace 
were signed at Fontainebleau, and on the 3d of February of 
the following year, the Treaty of Paris was publicly ratified 
by the contending powers; by the provisions of this treaty, 
all the French possessions in North America were ceded to 
either England or Spain, 



The Blue Laws 

THIS phrase, applied to the supposed legal code 
of New Haven Colony during its brief ex- 
istence, has its chief currency (though not, as 
generally supposed, its origin) from an 
anonymous "General History of Connecti- 
cut," published at London in 178 1, before the close of the 
Revolution. The author was Samuel Peters, a native of 
Hebron in this State, grandnephew of the famous Hugh 
Peters, a graduate of Yale, who took orders in England in 
1760. On his return to America, he was put in charge of 
the Church of England parish in Hebron. His position 
naturally placed him in antagonism to the Congregational 
establishment, to which he was outspoken in dislike; as 
a Loyalist, he could not escape the harrying which befell his 
class from the nationalists, but he aggravated it by political 
letters to parties in New York and England. He was warned 
to abstain from his course, but sturdily maintained his ground 
till he was personally assaulted by the "Sons of Liberty," and 
forced to fly to England in fear of worse treatment. There 
he wrote his "History," as by "A Gentleman of the Prov- 
ince"; with few sources of material except a very inaccurate 
memory and almost equally inaccurate notes, and neither de- 
sire nor capacity to employ better ones; largely a mass of 
credulous gossip, blundered copying, and occasional mis- 
chievous invention. The volume would now be a mere for- 
gotten antiquarian curio, but for its alleged abstract of New 
Haven Colony legislation, which has given it a vigorous and 
acrid immortality. In 1829, when a new generation had be- 
gun to swing wide from the Puritan moorings, and to wel- 
come rather than reprobate discreditable portraiture of their 
ancestors, a reprint was issued; and in 1877, when original 
copies were bringing enormous sums, one of the authors' 



descendants published another, ostensibly and oddly "to de- 
fend his ancestor from the calumny heaped upon him by the 
historians of Connecticut." 

No other work ever published has had so curious a fate. 
It seems to have had three objects, none of which, even if 
some are not especially clerical, need be judged too harshly: 
in the main, to excite commiseration and regard for himself 
as a martyr to his loyalty, and obtain a better Church living; 
secondly, to retaliate on his political persecutors and religious 
tormentors; thirdly, to hoax the English, who like their de- 
scendants accepted uncritically anything concerning America. 
Only this last explanation accounts for the remarkable story 
about the Connecticut River "Narrows" at Bellows Falls 
("two hundred miles from the Sound," he says, which of 
course is not a Connecticut location), where the river runs 
so violently through a gorge that you cannot force a crowbar 
into it; and those amazing members of the Connecticut 
fauna, the whappernocker (i. e. "whopper-thumper," or huge 
lie — we can imagine his keen delight in a story whose name 
embodied the information that it was a hoax, yet would not 
be unriddled) , and the cuba. As these were of no service for 
self-interest or spite, we are shut down to the theory that he 
wished to test English credulity; and this must have been a 
considerable factor even in his sarcastic inventions or dis- 
tortions of colonial laws. To consider him, as is often done, 
a revengeful renegade, deliberately slandering his native 
land, is not only unjust but ungraphic, and indicates a de- 
ficient sense of humor: it would be much nearer the truth to 
call him a very American practical joker, trying to combine 
amusement with business. The first object (bettering his 
condition) failed. But the other two succeeded, to a de- 
gree that would have astounded himself : that the very chil- 



dren of the people he was libeling (for though the "laws" 
were of the older New England, and only one long extinct 
colony of that, he distinctly says that similar laws still prevail 
throughout the newer) should accept his most imaginative 
statements as literal truth, would make his spirit beam with 
sardonic enjoyment. The reason is the swift emancipation of 
the present century alike from the beliefs and the social needs 
of their forefathers; the consequent exaggeration of the one 
and its social outcome into a gloom and forbiddingness much 
worse than the reality, and hence a credulity concerning sto- 
ries of their "blueness" which more than matches the Eng- 
lish; and a blank ignorance of the other which issues in a 
glib contempt for them not intellectually respectable. The 
word "children" above is used advisedly: the writer was in- 
structed in the worst of the "Blue Laws" as accurate state- 
ments of fact, when a child, by a grandmother born only a 
few years after Peters' book appeared, and of an imme- 
morially New England family. 

But it must be stated here that the nature of the "Blue 
Laws" cited by Peters is much misunderstood; indeed, it is 
very doubtful if one in a hundred of those who either ac- 
cept or denounce them have ever read them. Most of their 
use in current arguments, either as missiles or in rebuttal, 
is confined to two or three items. They are supposed in gen- 
eral to be almost entirely discreditable to the colony, and by 
the minority to have been invented as such. The fact is that 
the greater number are true (though not always of New 
Haven), and perfectly reasonable and natural. A few of 
them are apparently the private prejudices of extremists, cited 
as actual statutes. Some of them are the common legisla- 
tion of all civilized communities, and it is impossible to dis- 
cover any point whatever in Peters' citation, as a means of 



discrediting his foes. Others are the results of attempts at 
social censorship or sumptuary legislation which is now ad- 
mitted to be unwise, but which every advanced society on 
earth has tried again and again. Many are made to seem 
examples of fanaticism or folly in various ways: sometimes 
by inventing trivial or ludicrous applications of reasonable 
laws, which might be made by fussy bigots — as barbarous 
and silly a "blue code" as one could wish might be made out 
of the present statute book by the same process ; sometimes by 
parading laws universal in Independent states as disloyal 
usurpations In a colony; sometimes by distortion and misap- 
plication ; and as a whole, by asserting that the most savage 
punishments were inflicted for the lightest offenses. In detail, 
to be sure, he does not generally misstate the penalties ; but 
his statement that the "vast multitude . . . were all 
sanctified with excommunication, confiscation, fines, banish- 
ments, whippings, cutting off the ears, burning the tongue, 
and death," conveyed an Impression of far greater severity 
than was the fact, and remained In the minds of those who 
did not examine them itemwise. The curious defense is 
made for him that such punishments were actually on the 
New Haven code. So they were on all other English codes ; 
but would Peters have stated — as he might with more truth 
— that they were the common penalties In England for petty 
offenses ? We need not suppose that this was deliberate false- 
hood, however: as will be noted later, he accepted a tra- 
dition which he had no means of verifying, though it Is prob- 
ably doing him no Injustice to say that he would have ap- 
plied no critical methods to it had he possessed the power. 

It was long supposed by scholars that the bulk of the list 
was Invented outright by Peters; but the whole controversy 
has been placed on a different footing within a few years by 



Rev. Walter F. Prince, who has proved that Peters took 
most of them from Neal's "History of New England," — a 
well-reputed work, though sometimes accepting stories 
against the Puritans with too little analysis. The choice of 
details, however, was obviously made for purposes of detrac- 
tion; and the further grievance remains that he should 
have loaded them all on a colony whose actual code was 
milder than most of the others, whose actual practice shows 
less bloodshed if more social and meddlesomeness, and to 
which a good half of the alleged enactments did not pertain. 
It is certain, however, that New Haven had that reputation 
long before Peters' time, and that he did not even invent the 
phrase "Blue Laws" (which in fact he misunderstood, as 
he defines it "Bloody Laws," instead of "Over-strict Social 
Laws"), nor probably its application to New Haven. This 
is not so wonderful when we remember that the irksome daily 
interference with private liberty, which affected all, would 
strike those used to a freer system much more keenly than an 
occasional severe sentence, which was consistent with the feel- 
ings of the time; and would create an impression of uniform 
harshness in all departments. New Haven certainly at- 
tempted as did no other colony to put the Mosaic code into 
practical effect; and its discordance with modern society 
drove the magistrates into severity which struck even out- 
siders in full sympathy with their purpose. 

The "Blue Laws," in Peters' version, are forty-five in 
number, as follows : 

I. "The Governor and Magistrates convened in General 
Assembly are the supreme power under God of this independ- 
ent Dominion." True : the New Haven Colony was founded 
and managed purely as "under God" (through His revealed 
word), without acknowledgment of the English Crown; and 



lost its independence partly for that reason. The charge 
was expected to horrify English readers, but need not dis- 
turb Americans. 

2. "From the determination of the Assembly no appeal 
shall be made." True of all New England; and again, a 
much graver offense in English eyes than ours, which can see 
that many powerful offenders would have gone unpunished 
if they could have systematically taken their cases over to 
England. The English government wished to establish a 
regular appeal to the King in Council; the colonies would 
not allow it, and heavily fined any one who attempted it; 
nor ought they to have allowed it, as it would have made 
colonial justice and order nugatory to a large extent. This 
was merely one branch of the general fact that the home gov- 
ernment knew too little of the colonies' affairs to have any 
right to manage them. 

3. "The Governor is amenable to the voice of the people." 
Of course, in a democracy. Peters seems to be aiming at 
exciting English horror of levelers. 

4. "The Governor shall have only a single vote in de- 
termining any question, except a casting vote when the As- 
sembly may be equally divided." Most likely true, though 
not quite demonstrably. Peters' point is that in this leveling 
democracy, the chief magistrate has no veto and is at the 
mercy of the rabble. 

5. "The Assembly of the People shall not be dismissed by 
the Governor, but shall dismiss itself." How else, in a dem- 
ocratic representative system where the governor is only an 
elected representative like the rest? To give him power of 
prorogation would be giving a petty tyrant the power from 
which, even In a king, the English people revolted. 

6. "Conspiracy against this Dominion shall be punished 



with death." True of New Haven and Massachusetts, the 
latter shrewdly defining it as equivalent to conspiracy against 
the Crown. All independent communities have the same law, 
from the obvious right of self-defense. Peters wishes to 
imply that it was uusurpation of the Crown's sole right, and 
an assertion of independence. 

7. "Whoever says there is a power and jurisdiction above 
and over this Dominion shall suffer death and loss of prop- 
erty." Apparently pure fiction; either an extravagant cor- 
ollary from the punishments imposed on the appellants 
from colonial jurisdiction (see No. 2), and his consistent as- 
sumption that any punishment was imposed on any offense at 
will, or more probably a transference from Revolutionary 
mob-law to the early statute-books. Peters had seen and ex- 
perienced so much personal violence and confiscation for up- 
holding English supremacy, that he perhaps thought it a 
venial invention to make it substantive colonial law from the 

8. "The judges shall determine controversies without a 
j-ury." With the long and bitter English fight for jury trial, 
this was well calculated to incense them against colonial law- 
lessness and tyranny. It was true of New Haven, and a per- 
fectly legitimate experiment, though open to grave abuses 
and doomed to failure. Judged by its fruits, there is no evi- 
dence that life and liberty were less safe in New Haven 
than the other New England colonies; and in the witchcraft 
matter it certainly seems to have saved much innocent blood, 
cultivated magistrates being on the whole less liable to panic 
superstition than the masses. As a fact, meddlesomeness 
and prurience seem to have been more characteristic of the 
New Haven jurisdiction than excessive severity, despite its 
early reputation. Probably the system changed the distribu- 



tion of injustice rather than its volume. This generation is 
not so infatuated with jury trials that it cannot afford to be 
fair to others who were even less so. 

9. "Whoever attempts to change or overturn this Do- 
minion shall suffer death." This is merely No. 6 in another 
shape. We shall meet with a number of these repetitions, to 
increase the apparent sum of iniquity. 

10. "No one shall be a freeman or give a vote unless he 
be converted, and a member in full communion of one of 
the churches allowed in this Dominion." True of New Haven 
and early Massachusetts, and the very foundation of a theoc- 
racy. This age is out of sympathy with such a system, and 
we can see now that it was foredoomed to failure; but the 
experiment was worth trying. It is true that states cannot 
be operated on moral canons; but the fact is nothing to 
rejoice over, nor opprobrious to those who hoped they could. 

1 1. "No man shall hold office who is not found [sound?] 
in the faith and faithful to this Dominion ; and whoever 
gives a vote to such a person shall pay a fine of £1 ; for a 
second offense he shall be disfranchised." Not New Haven 
law, but Massachusetts, and more severe, being five pounds 
instead of one; but the disfranchisement was not statutory, 
being in the discretion of the magistrates. The first clause is 
only a corollary a fortiori from No. 10: to forbid dissenters 
to vote and allow them to hold office would be grotesque. 
The others are only means of enforcing the first. 

12. "Each freeman to swear by the blessed God to bear 
true allegiance to this Dominion, and that Jesus is the only 
King." The first clause is true and proper (though Peters 
instances it as a proof of colonial disloyalty and usurpation), 
the second pure fiction. It is alleged in Peters' defense that 
as the New Haven code professed to be founded on the law 



of God, and expressly acknowledged Jesus as the only medi- 
ator, the oath amounted in substance to the declaration above. 
One shudders to think of the statutes which might be evolved 
from any code by such constructive logic, plus a lively imag- 

13. "No Quaker or dissenter from the established wor- 
ship of this Dominion shall be allowed to give a vote for the 
election of magistrates or any other office." This is No. 10 
restated. The end involves the means, toward theocracy as 
other things; but it will be noted that these means are cut 
into bits and each made a separate grievance. 

14. "No food or lodging shall be afforded to a Quaker, 
Adamite, or other heretic." True of several New England 
colonies. Their justification has been dealt with elsewhere. 
Those colonies were intended as great private clubs, — com- 
munities based on acceptance of a certain ideal. It is now 
agreed to have been an impossible scheme, — it is part of the 
weakness of a religious state that heresy is treason; but that 
does not make it less unreasonable to blame them for at- 
tempting it, and therefore excluding avowed foes not even 
seeking admission on business grounds, but purely to over- 
throw their hosts. Nor did the sectaries confine them- 
selves to quiet disbelief: they were aggressive and even in- 
decent assailants of the constituted order. 

15. "If any person turns Quaker, he shall be banished and 
not suffered to return on pain of death." This is a heroic 
muddle of Massachusetts laws, enacted after it was can- 
kered with hate and terror; one banishing foreign Quakers 
on pain of death if they returned, another banishing Quaker 
converts and then if they returned treating them as foreign 
Quakers. New Haven imposed no death penalty on them. 

16. "No priest shall abide in this Dominion; he shall be 



banished, and suffer death on his return. Priests may be 
seized by any one without a warrant." No Roman Catholic 
priest, of course. This was in substance the Massachusetts 
law of 1700. Remembering the stream of Huguenot refugees 
from the Dragonnades coming into Massachusetts, the late 
career of James II., and the English enactments of the times 
for the security of Ireland, it is not necessary to excuse them 
for precautions. Their knowledge, fears, and reasoning 
were of their age, not ours; and England shared them. 

17. "No one to cross a river but with an authorized fer- 
ryman." That is, not with an ////authorized one. They might 
cross with their own boats on business, but not on pleasure 
parties or for hire. We need not defend a sparse community 
for giving a monopoly of a needful business for a time to its 
licensees; but for this, many places could have had no ferries, 
and the greed of a few would have been the common harm 
of all. 

18. "No one shall run on the Sabbath day, or walk in his 
garden or elsewhere except reverently to and from meeting." 
This is a good example of Peters' "inferential" statutes, and 
distorted ones. Both for religious reasons and social ones, 
the overwhelming mass of New Englanders wished to keep 
the Sabbath a reverently observed and quiet day; and as it 
offended and annoyed them to see it desecrated, and as a few 
noisy people could disturb the quiet of a whole community, 
they passed laws for its quiet, of which if nagging they would 
be the chief and almost only victims. It seems to be the cur- 
rent opinion that they passed these laws solely to torment 
other people, — the other people whom they are reproached 
for making laws to shut out if possible, — without affecting 
themselves. They were in fact the whole community, were 
making laws to bind themselves, and should have been the 



best judges whether the laws were oppressive. When they 
became so, they swiftly lost their edge. As to the statutes 
above, the first clause illustrates what was said in the prefa- 
tory remarks. "Running" was only one of a series of speci- 
fications of noisy and disorderly acts, — screaming, horn- 
blowing, etc., — which if performed near a meeting-house and 
disturbing worship, could be complained of. Exactly the 
same thing is indictable as a nuisance today: quiet people 
do not disturb noisy ones, but noisy people do disturb quiet 
ones. Why should it be assumed that the Puritans had no 
common-sense and no respectable motives? Peters in this 
was at least no worse than a large class of writers and readers 
at present. The unavowed postulate of all is that the 
colonists were foolish bigots to have any Sunday laws. 
As to the second clause, for the reasons above, the law for- 
bade "unnecessary walking in the streets or fields," that is, 
general pleasuring. It never forbade any one to walk about 
his house-yard, nor is there any reason to suppose that even 
under the elastic discretion of the magistrates any one was 
ever punished for it. They were New England farmers, and 
walked about their own. 

19. "No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep 
house, cut hair, or shave, on the Sabbath day." This is a 
flagrant example of what we noted above, — drawing out all 
the frivolous or ludicrous possibilities of a rational law, and 
asserting it to be part of the statute. It would be no diffi- 
cult matter to burlesque the United States General Statutes 
of 1902 almost as effectively. The extreme forms in v/hich 
many things in all codes are enacted are to use in case of need. 
To keep the Sabbath quiet and respected was the intent; to 
harry decent people was not so, though a fanatical meddler 
might so use it occasionally, and the popular notion of what 



was desirable continually changed. Most families, indeed, 
enforced these restrictions from private religious reasons, not 
from obedience to law; it was precisely because they did so 
that they enacted the law. As to the terms of the above 
bogus statute, it is divisible into two parts. The first clause, 
though stated too unqualifiedly, — unnecessary travel being 
prohibited, — may be allowed to pass. Most travel certainly 
was prohibited, and the law is on the statute book still; nor 
have the people ever been willing wholly to surrender this 
bludgeon over the heads of disorderly crowds or greedy cor- 
porations. A few years ago the farmers in the suburbs of 
New Haven tried to enforce it, to prevent city swarms from 
plundering and breaking down their fruit trees; and re- 
ceived much vicious abuse for their "blue-law fanaticism," 
from people who took no pains to discover the facts. The 
other items are merely burlesque fantasias on the theme of 
"unnecessary work" forbidden on the Sabbath. A law might 
just as well have been added for the election of magistrates 
to hide under the beds or behind the doors of each house, to 
ascertain what was done inside the four walls. The "unneces- 
sary work" would be indictable today, and in some places is 
specifically forbidden: if a cobbler set up his equipment in 
his front yard on Sundays, he would not be allowed to work 
there long. In a word, people must not make their work a 
nuisance to those who wish to observe the Sabbath. The 
classes of work noted by Peters were always — except shaving, 
perhaps — considered unnecessary by New England families : 
cold food injured no one, and gave the overworked women 
a breath; the beds could be made after six o'clock; sweep- 
ing need not be done at all for one day, and again favored 
the women ; and cutting hair never was indispensable for any 
one on any day. But the abstinence was of people's own mo- 



tion, not statutory. It will be time to suppose that even fussy 
church officials, desirous of magnifying themselves, disci- 
plined offenders for these things, or indicted them civilly, 
when some record is found of such discipline or trial. 

20. "No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or 
fasting day." The grave defense for Peters is made, re- 
garding this outrageous "whappernocker," that Dr. Burnaby 
says in his "Travels" that Boston people "of credit" told him 
that an English naval captain was arrested and whipped for 
publicly kissing his wife on Sunday after returning from a 
cruise. It is not the first time that English travelers have 
been hoaxed by Americans, and swallowed the information 
whole, without exercising any reasoning faculty upon it; but 
an American scholar should hardly seem to imply — what of 
course he does not mean — that the story may possibly be true. 
His American sense of humor should be a guaranty against 
that. It is also adduced that a New London couple were 
Indicted in 1670 for sitting together under a tree in an or- 
chard on Sunday. Before accepting the parallel, it would be 
necessary to be sure what the couple were doing under the 
tree ; but possibly the New London recorders were restrained 
by delicacies not felt by the New Haven clerks. It seems to 
be a postulate that our ancestors cannot have done anything 
which was not ridiculous. And Peters was not an English- 
man ; nor does he even say that the woman must not kiss the 
child publicly. Again, what magistrates were deputed to 
watch the cradle? It is simply impossible to believe that 
Peters believed this piece of rubbish himself. He was, in 
street phrase, "kidding" the English. 

21. "The Sabbath shall begin at sunset on Saturday." 
There does not seem anything very atrocious in this, which 
was a mere convenience for farm work, and observed where 



there was no law. If a Sabbath was to be kept at all, it was 
no heinous offense against liberty to define its limits, follow- 
ing old Biblical and ecclesiastical custom. As before said, 
the Sabbath itself is the real grievance. 

2 2. "To pick an ear of corn growing in a neighbor's gar- 
dent shall be deemed theft." "Rob any orchard or garden" 
are the words of the statute. It would be a remarkable 
statute which specified that robbing orchards or gardens 
should not be legally theft. Peters, as before, takes the ex- 
tremest case of petty annoyance which a malicious curmud- 
geon could inflict on a boy, and makes it into an entire statu- 
tory provision by itself. Many fruit and vegetable growers 
even today are longing for a public sentiment which will en- 
able them to enforce the statute more severely against youth- 
ful plunderers; and at a time when these products constituted 
a large part of most men's income, what was there "blue" in 
passing laws against robbery of them? 

23. "A person accused of trespass in the night shall be 
judged guilty unless he clear himself by oath." A person ac- 
cused of burglary who refused to swear that he did not com- 
mit it, or one found in a neighbor's poultry yard who refused 
to swear that he was not there after chickens, would deserve 
any punishment on the statute books. To require a man un- 
der reasonable suspicion to deny his guilt does not seem on 
its face a very intolerable oppression. The avoidance of 
penalty is within the compass of the meanest. 

24. "When it appears that an accused has confederates 
and he refuses to discover them, he may be racked." He 
might be, in Massachusetts, but there is not a particle of evi- 
dence that he ever was; while in England torture warrants 
were issued till just before the Civil War (the last in 1641). 
There is nothing of the sort on the New Haven code. Pe- 



ters was unaware that he was deliv^ering a harder blow at old 
England that at New. 

25. "No one shall buy or sell lands without permission of 
the selectmen." True in New Haven and Massachusetts, 
and entirely natural and useful. AH private club-communi- 
ties, so to speak, many watering-places and beaches, have the 
same rules in essence, and for the same reason, — to make 
sure of the society, that the need or greed of a few may not 
make a bad neighborhood for all. Like other restrictions, 
it was found impossible to enforce, but it probably kept up a 
better standard of society while it lasted. A thoroughly occu- 
pied land like England merely had no occasion for it. Most 
real estate in England was entailed, and could not be sold at 

26. "A drunkard shall have a master appointed by the 
selectmen, who are to debar him from the liberty of buying 
and selling." All communities have similar provisions, to 
put conservators over those who are unfit to care for them- 
selves, in the interest alike of humanity and social order, and 
to prevent the unfit person from becoming a charge on the 
community. It needs no defense, and why Peters thought it 
did Is beyond guessing. 

27. "Whoever publishes a lie to the prejudice of his neigh- 
bor shall sit in the stocks or be whipped 15 stripes." This is 
near enough to the truth, and there is nothing to be said 
against punishment for libel. We have disused the forms 
of punishment, but they were used in England too; and so 
long as they were, the assignment of them for false witness 
was not excessive. We have also transferred like actions 
from the criminal to the civil category ; perhaps not with the 
best judgment. 

28. "No Minister shall keep a school." The motive for 



this was doubtless the same as that for protecting ferrymen 
in their business: it was of the utmost importance to have 
schoolmasters, and in the thinly settled towns they could not 
make a living if the ministers were allowed to undercut them, 
which they could do as needing the pupils only to add to 
their income, while the schoolmaster had nothing else to live 
on. It was a Massachusetts law, not a New Haven one. 

29. "Every ratable person who refuses to pay his propor- 
tion to the support of the Minister of the town or parish shall 
be fined by the Court 2 /. and 4 /. every quarter until he or 
she pay the rate to the Minister." That is, two pounds the 
first time and four pounds a quarter thereafter. This was a 
blunder of Peters' authority: the real statute was that the 
ratable inhabitants of a town were to meet and elect a min- 
ister, and in default of it, the selectmen were to be fined as 
above. In other words, a town was not to be allowed to lapse 
into heathenism from stinginess. 

30. "Man-stealers shall suffer death." This was certainly 
not too severe a punishment for kidnapping on its deserts, 
though it may have been ill-judged; and the Rhode Island 
law which made it five years' imprisonment, with "satisfac- 
tion" to the parents, — whatever that may mean, — was far 
too lenient. 

31. "Whoever wears clothes trimmed with gold, silver, or 
bone lace, above two shillings by the yard, shall be presented 
by the grand jurors, and the selectmen shall tax the offender 
at 300 /. estate." New Haven gave her magistrates discre- 
tion about prosecuting for improper wearing apparel. Mas- 
sachusetts specified many different things. Any one who sup- 
poses that New England has had a monopoly of, or been 
a rarity in, sumptuary legislation, has escaped much affliction 
by an enviable ignorance of history. It was a little later than 



its parent, because Its economic condition was less developed 
in the seventeenth century. 

32. "A debtor in prison swearing he has no estate, shall be 
let out and sold to make satisfaction." Not to be sold out of 
the United Colonies of New England, however. It does not 
appear that this was worse than leaving them to starve to 
death unless the public threw them pennies, as in England. 
Men who could not pay their debts otherwise were not 
thought badly treated in being required to work them out, 

33. "Whoever sets a fire in the woods, and it burns a 
house, shall suffer death, and persons suspected of this crime 
shall be imprisoned without benefit of bail." This is a slov- 
enly blunder in attempting to condense a longer statement. 
The actual penalty was to pay the damage, and half as much 
to the county, provided his fire hurt corn between two speci- 
fied dates ; the death penalty for deliberate arson was not ex- 
cessive, and is judged by many the proper one still. No 
death penalty was affixed in any New England colony except 
for such wanton arson. 

34. "Whoever brings cards or dice into this Dominion 
shall pay a fine of 5 I." True of iMassachusetts. We need 
not grieve over the long past ennui of the early Massachu- 
setts citizens, or their compulsion to make bone dice in order 
to gamble away their possessions. If the statute saved one 
per cent, of the evil it was intended to prevent, it was justi- 
fied. The founders were quite right to keep a gambling 
craze from starting in the new settlements. Dice and devils 
at once were too much to combat. 

35. "No one shall read Common Prayer, keep Christmas 
or Saints' days, make minced pies, dance, play cards, or play 
on any instrument of music except the drum, trumpet, and 
jews' harp." The object of this huge jumble of fair truth 



and ridiculous falsehood is obvious from the connection of 
ideas. These were the "blue" laws par excellence; they were 
to prove that the Connecticut or New Haven Yankees were 
the legitimate brethren of the Covenanters and the Common- 
wealth's men, — sour, canting, boorish ascetics, who hated 
everything in the way of enjoyment, whether it were good 
food, good music, good literature, or jolly holidays. The 
disallowance of Common Prayer — not by statute but by in- 
direct methods — and of Christmas and saints' days (even 
so, forbidden only in Massachusetts), was part of the funda- 
mental attempt to maintain their own system, and prevent 
being undermined by the old one, or give their English ad- 
ministrative enemies a hold; it is wearisome to meet the 
disjecta membra of the same one fact at every turn, as new 
Items of wrong or folly. Dancing was certainly banned, and 
has been in other societies since ; possibly the old New Eng- 
landers knew their own young people better than we do. It 
would be easy to bring up evidence that the Puritans, of Old 
and New England alike, in their warfare for social decency, 
had better grounds than we are willing to admit. The times 
were not sentimental, passion was exceedingly primitive, and 
manners were decidedly coarse; perhaps mothers did not 
keep any stricter watch on their daughters than facts de- 
manded. Cards have been mentioned : they were only one of 
a number of gambling devices specifically forbidden. Pos- 
sibly the fun which the young men had was not less in quan- 
tity and wholesomer in quality. That cards are harmless now 
is not in point: they have ceased to be much used for gam- 
bling, and other amusements are plentier. Where Peters got 
his mince pies from is a mystery; but it is likely enough that 
some tradition may really have come down, of stiff Puritans 
who would not use articles closely associated with "papistic" 



festivals. It would be very characteristic of Peters to turn 
this into a statute. Every local or private prejudice of the 
dominant party was set down as a "Puritan law." This is 
apparently how the imaginary restriction of musical instru- 
ments finds its v/ay into his imaginary New Haven statute 
book. The early settlers certainly were suspicious of the in- 
fluences of music, probably from the integral part it bore in 
the old Church services; and in the country districts, it had 
a long and stubborn resistance to overcome. That this was 
one of the greatest of their mistakes, and that the humaniz- 
ing influences of music would have been of immense value to 
them, while its inspiring ones would have helped and not 
hindered their spiritual life, seems certain. It is only another 
instance of how the wreckages of good things and evil go 
down together. 

37. "When parents refuse their children convenient [suit- 
able] marriages, the Magistrates shall determine the point." 
This was Massachusetts law. Peters must have meant Eng- 
lish parents to be horrified at the government interfering be- 
tween parents and children. Nothing is more significant of 
his rather reckless carping than that in No. 43 he makes a 
reproach of the very fact which this law was intended to 
mitigate, — the overweening parental authority which might 
spoil a daughter's life from unjust prejudice. 

38. "The selectmen, on finding children ignorant, may 
take them away from their parents, and put them into better 
hands, at the expense of their parents." An excellent law: 
in substance, all the best modern communities have it. A 
drunken or lazy or brutal parent has no rights over his chil- 
dren that entitle him to keep them ignorant and untrained. If 
Peters thought otherwise, he was far below the level of his 



Puritan neighbors; if he did not, he would seem to have 
been playing on English prejudices for his own ends. 

39. "Fornication shall be punished by compelling mar- 
riage, or as the court may think proper." That old societies 
have to give up in despair the regulation of the social evil, 
so long as it does not openly violate public decency, does not 
prove that newer ones may not check it somewhat. At any 
rate, as the offense could not be punished until it was known, 
it was evidently punishable as such infraction of good order 
if at all. And the punishment does not seem unfair; espe- 
cially as the court had discretion as to whether it was 
righteous to enforce it in any given case. 

40. "Adultery shall be punished with death." This was 
general among all Puritan societies : the Long Parliament en- 
acted it in England. It is universally agreed now that the at- 
tempt to amend social morals by severe legislation is a fail- 
ure; but there was a vast amount of obtrusive criminality 
then which made the effort intelligible. 

41. "A man that strikes his wife shall pay a fine of 10 /.; 
a woman that strikes her husband shall be punished as the 
court directs." Sufficiently near the truth: in fact, the statute 
(Massachusetts) gives the court discretion in either case, but 
the fine not to exceed £10. There is nothing to reprobate in 
efforts to make brawling couples keep the peace. 

42. "A wife shall be deemed good evidence against her 
husband." There was no such statute, and it lay in the dis- 
cretion of the jury to accept the evidence as good or other- 
wise. There are arguments on both sides; Peters, however, 
apparently thought it mischievous, or expected the English 
to think it so. 

43. "No man shall court a maid in person or by letter with- 
out first obtaining consent of her parents; 5 /. penalty for 



the first offense, lo /. for the second, Imprisonment for the 
third till released by the county court." This was true of 
New Haven, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The only rea- 
son it was not law in England also was because the unwritten 
law was so binding that no one dared disregard it; and any 
one who did, exposed himself to chastisement from the girl's 
entire family, if not worse. The law was believed to be in 
the interest of the girls as much as of their families, to pre- 
vent their deception by persons whom they had neither means 
nor capacity to estimate as justly as their parents. "Clarissa 
Harlowe" was written nearly a century after the Massachu- 
setts laws, and there a young lady's marriage is assumed as 
being entirely in the hands of her family. Much more than 
a century after that again, an English squire of good posi- 
tion entered his niece's bedroom one morning in his hunting 
gear, forced her to rise, and flogged her with his hunting 
whip, in her nightgown, for daring to receive the addresses 
of a man he disapproved. Peters must have been ignorant 
of English society to suppose this would strike them unfavor- 

44. "Married persons must live together or be impris- 
oned." This was not statutory, but at the discretion of the 
courts; which in all civilized countries have given decrees 
for the restitution of marital rights, or in other words, to 
make a married woman occupy the same house with htr hus- 
band, — of course enforceable by some penalty. It was no 
specialty of New England. It Is needless to say that the de- 
cree did not follow the couple beyond the front door. 

45. "Every male shall have his hair cut round according 
to a cap." We know the Puritan dislike to long hair, as the 
badge of the gay young Cavaliers ; and the bread bowl or a 
half pumpkin-shell was used often enough, but never by 



statute, and it is not likely Peters supposed it was. It is 
another phase of his purpose in No. 35. 

In a word, many of the alleged enactments are unobjec- 
tionable in any community or age ; many of the rest were rea- 
sonable in that age and under those circumstances; many 
were either inevitable incidents or sequents of the form of 
society attempted, or rational experiments in social order; 
some of them were in self-protection, to which they were 
driven by what they regarded as wanton aggression from out- 
siders; and several are grotesque travesties of the real laws, 
or extreme cases invented for ridicule. It is not too severe 
to call this "forgery," even although a concurrence of a fool 
for prosecutor, fools for a jury, and a fool for judge, might 
turn it into fact; but it would certainly be too harsh a judg- 
ment to call Peters a forger. He wrote in a spirit of jocular 
mischief quite as much as of malice, and cannot have sus- 
pected that he was writing for an earthly eternity. 

Another remark is called for, but ought not to be called 
for. The social order of every time and place is constantly 
requiring local and temporary police regulations, explicable 
only by the local conditions and experiences, and justifiable 
by them; but which, if criticised without knowledge, seem 
examples of the silliest and sourest meddlesomeness. Many 
such rules and enforcements of our own day, if found on the 
Puritan statute-books (be it remembered, largely the police 
codes of small undeveloped communities) or records, would 
be hailed as proof positive of their hatred of innocent enjoy- 
ment, even of the affections. Only a few months ago, a 
couple were arrested and reprimanded for public kissing on 
a boat in Charles River, near Boston : will it be maintained 
that present-day Boston magistrates are averse to kissing? 
On some beaches, men are prohibited from lying at full 



length; and one group of girls were intensely mortified at 
having a young masculine friend, who had flung himself on 
his elbow to talk to them, ordered by a policeman to sit up. 
A still more pertinent example is from Philadelphia, not re- 
puted fussy in these matters. When electric cars were first 
introduced, "trolley parties" were the craze for a time, and 
young people rode on them till all hours of the night, sing- 
ing or ostensibly singing at the top of their voices, and mak- 
ing night dismal for those who wished to sleep. A local or- 
dinance was finally passed to forbid this sort of pulmonary 
calisthenics. But imagine the comments of all classes if a 
law against public singing were found in the Connecticut or 
Massachusetts code ! 

Nor can the writer concur with the judgment that these 
things fairly represent the general spirit of New England 
life. They represent rather — a very different affair — the im- 
pression which would be produced on us of the twentieth cen- 
tury if we were compelled to return and live in the New Eng- 
land of the seventeenth. But in any section even of the 
English-speaking world of that age, we should probably be 
sickened with disgust or paralyzed with horror at the daily 
life around us; and how modern nerves could endure the 
Thirty Years' War and live, is not easy to conceive. For- 
tunately, each people is born into its own age and inured to 
the life of that age, as well as section ; and the sympathy cur- 
rently lavished on the early New Englanders for having to 
live in early New England is largely wasted. That the young 
fretted at the social order imposed by the old is not peculiar 
to Puritan society; and the most significant fact is that when 
their turn came to mold the new generation and its ways, they 
molded it not on the basis of revolt from their fathers' dull- 
ness, but on that of appreciation for their fathers' essentially 



sound and satisfying system, with the mitigations that new 
conditions made judicious. The boredom of childhood was 
not so vital an influence as to color their mature lives very 
deeply. As to the ultimate outcome of the system, it is not 
apparent that it was inferior to those which we should call 
more liberal; the roll of New England's children and its 
accomplished work would not gain largely by being ex- 
changed for that of any middle or southern colony. 

For the daily life itself, it was very little disturbed by the 
criminal codes. Most people, then as now, did their work 
and enjoyed themselves as they could and chose, without 
stumbling over legal enactments; for those enactments repre- 
sented pretty much the way they liked to live, and were 
made by their own representatives for the very reason that 
such was the way they liked to live. It was their own ideal 
of a social system framed into law ; and its penal enactments 
were to prevent that ideal being interfered with, not to pre- 
vent their leading it. Where it was over-strict, and annoyed 
a considerable part of the respectable population, as it doubt- 
less did in New Haven, it soon passed away with their own 
good-will : New Haven was overthrown as much by internal 
discontent as by outside force; probably indeed Connecticut 
never would have thought of attempting to extinguish it but 
for secret encouragement from within. As to the intimacies 
of private life, it does not seem that many girls remained un- 
married on account of their parents' contumacy, nor even 
were compelled to marry men they disliked, — in which they 
had the advantage over girls in England ; and kisses or other 
endearments were not usually reserved for the market square 
and the frown of the constable. Very few remained on the 
wrong side of a river or went uneducated by reason of the 
ferry trust or the school trust ; the muscles of the youth were 




not relaxed, nor their lungs tuberculous, because they could 
not have running races or blow horns outside a meeting- 
house when the minister was praying; no one was impover- 
ished because of prohibition from logging or haying on Sun- 
days; the Sunday continued to be mostly twenty-four hours 
long; and night prowlers had themselves to thank if their 
refusal to declare their innocent intentions landed them in 
jail. In short, the well-behaved were not much molested, and 
the ill-behaved suffered less, on the average, than in most 
other communities. It is doubtful whether the rank and file 
would have gained by exchanging their life for that of the 
ordinary English community. F. M. 


Education and Yale College 

THE settlers of New England were not peasants, 
but for the most part intelligent middle-class 
people, and often university graduates; hence 
they could not contemplate having their chil- 
dren in this country sink into uneducated rus- 
tics, and they knew that it would not always be possible to 
send them to England for higher education. Furthermore, 
their system being founded on understanding of the Bible, 
they must educate men who could understand and expound 
it. The foundation of Harvard College stimulated New 
Haven in its infancy to attempt a like institution. Mr. Da- 
venport was deputized to ascertain the amount of money that 
would be necessary for the foundation of a "free school," 
and to draw up rules to govern the institution. This was five 
years after the organization of Harvard. The restraining 
hand of the Bay Colony was in opposition to this laudable 
enterprise ; her people remonstrated, claiming that the whole 
population of New England was scarcely sufficient to sup- 
port one college, and that the institution of a second would 
sacrifice them both. The weaker bowed to the mightier 
power, and for a decade no action was taken ; at the end of 
this period the matter was again agitated, but at a General 
Court held at Guilford, June 28, 1652, it was decided that 
New Haven Colony would not establish a college unless Con- 
necticut would bear its just proportion of the expense. There 
had been, previous to this, lands donated by the New Haven 
Colony as the site of a college, which were called "College 

Two years rolled away, and through the indefatigable exer- 
tions of Mr. Davenport the matter was again brought be- 
fore the General Court. The following year New Haven 
donated £300 and Milford £100 to promote the undertak- 



ing. From England also came a bequest; Governor Hop- 
kins' death occurring in his native land, he left his estate in 
New England to be divided equally between the towns of 
New Haven and Hartford for grammar-school purposes, 
thereby becoming the first public benefactor of the educa- 
tional system of Connecticut. The General Court of New 
Haven, in accepting the donation, ordered that a grammar- 
school and college should be established at New Haven, and 
appropriated £40 annually as a salary for the preceptor or 
rector in charge of the college, and £100 towards the com- 
mencement of a library. The college was for the teaching of 
Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and literature, to fit youths for public 
service in the Church and Commonwealth. The first rector 
was Mr. Davenport, who after serving several years was suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Peck. The union of the two colonies, 
the want of proper support, and the removal of Mr. Daven- 
port to Boston, led to the abandonment of the college; the 
public school, now known as the Hopkins Grammar School, 
became heir to the endowment and the "College Lands." 

Nor was the colony of Connecticut backward in the mat- 
ter of free education. The General Court in 1644 estab- 
lished a school system ; a prominent reason for so doing was 
that "one chief project of that old deluder Satan was 
to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures." 
The selectmen as well as the parents and masters were cau- 
tioned that as a fundamental principle of education, children 
should be taught weekly "some short orthodox catechism." 
Every town in Connecticut of fifty families was obliged by 
law to maintain a school in which reading and writing should 
be taught, and in every county town a grammar school was 
instituted; in 1678 the law was modified to read thirty in- 
stead of fifty families. A complete revision of the laws per- 



taining to public education was made at the beginning 
of the eighteenth century. The time of holding school, 
which had been reduced to six months, was increased to 
eleven months, and a tax of forty shillings on every £i,ooo 
assessment was levied for their maintenance; this was re- 
duced in 1754 to ten shillings, but after being raised to twenty 
shillings, was reduced to the original amount in 1767. Pre- 
vious to 17 1 2 the towns established, provided, and regulated 
schools, but in that year it was enacted that every parish 
should maintain a school; in 1750 the parishes were recog- 
nized as subdivisions or school districts, and after that date 
until 1798 they were practically equal with the towns in the 
conduct of school affairs. In the early days the popular way 
of maintaining schools was by tuition fees, collected of the 
parents or guardians of the scholars. There were exceptions 
to this : in New Haven the school was supported wholly by 
taxation; in Hartford the salary of the master was guar- 
anteed by the town; but this was amended in 1677 so that all 
the towns provided for the support of the teacher. While 
there were school committees previous to 1750, it was not 
until that year that a law was enacted providing for their 

Destiny rules the world, and it seemed to be a decree of 
foreordination that a college should be established at New 
Haven ; it was not, however, until the end of the seventeenth 
century that another attempt was inaugurated. The general 
synod of churches held in 1698 devised a plan to establish a 
college; "they were to nominate the first president and in- 
spectors, and to exercise an influence over all elections as far 
as should be necessary to preserve orthodoxy in the gover- 
nors." The college was to be called "The School of the 
Church," and to be supported by the churches. This plan was 



not successful, but in the following year ten of the most 
prominent ministers of the colony were nominated, with the 
consent of the clergy and laity, to formulate a plan and be- 
come trustees of a college to be located in the colony of Con- 
necticut. The persons named were James Noyes of Stoning- 
ton, Israel Chauncey of Stratford, Thomas Buckingham of 
Saybrook, Abraham Pierson of Killingworth, Samuel Math- 
er of Windsor, Samuel Andrews of Milford, Timothy 
Woodbridge of Hartford, James Pierpont of New Haven, 
Noadiah Russell of Middletown, and Joseph Webb of Fair- 
field. These gentlemen were all graduates of Harvard ex- 
cepting Mr. Buckingham; Pierpont, Andrew, and Russell 
were the most active in formulating the work, and it was due 
to their indefatigable labors that the plan was finally brought 
to a successful termination. 

The first meeting of the ti'ustees was held in New Haven 
during the year 1700, and a society was formed, consisting of 
eleven members, for the foundation of a college. At a subse- 
quent meeting held in the same year at Branford it is said that 
each of the trustees brought a number of books, and with the 
words, "I give these books for the founding of a college in 
this colony," presented them to the association. The con- 
tribution amounted to forty folio volumes pertaining to the- 
ology, and not a single volume of classical literature or the 
sciences; they were estimated to be worth thirty pounds 
sterling. In the following year Sir John Davie of Groton, 
while on a visit to England, sent to the college one hundred 
and sixty or seventy volumes, most of which were collected 
among the nonconformist ministers in Devonshire. The 
Rev. Noadiah Russell was appointed librarian, and the 
volumes remained three years in his possession. The act 
of depositing the books has been considered the beginning of 



the college; but as a matter of fact It did not have a corpo- 
rate existence until a year from that time. The trustees, de- 
siring to make the institution legal, in order that it might 
encourage public donations and become a real-estate owner, 
applied to the General Assembly for a charter. At their so- 
licitation, Judge Samuel Sewall and Isaac Addington of Bos- 
ton had prepared the draft of a charter; and at the session 
of the colonial legislature held at New Haven In October 
1 70 1, a petition signed by a number of the clergy and laity 
was presented to that body. 

The first private donor to the seminary, other than the 
original organizers was Hon. James Fitch of Norwich, who 
gave 637 acres of land in Killingly, and the necessary glass 
and nails to erect a college and hall. Mr. Fitch had been 
a member of the council of the colony for several years. 
While the value of the donation is not known, there is no 
doubt but that the glass and nails constituted the most desira- 
ble part of the gift; the land was afterwards exchanged for 
the same quantity in Salisbury. This benefaction had an in- 
fluence on the action of the Assembly ; a charter was granted 
Oct. 9, 1 70 1, varying but slightly from the original draft, 
and the legislature voted sixty pounds sterling annually to- 
wards the support of the institution. In the charter the sem- 
inary was not designated as a college, but as a collegiate 
school, with no fixed place of habitation ; the trustees being 
empowered to hold school at any convenient place or places 
they might select, and for the encouragement of the students 
to grant degrees or licenses. 

On receipt of the charter the trustees met at Saybrook on 
Nov. II, 1 70 1, and after the refusal of Rev. Isaac Chaun- 
cey of Stratford, Rev. Abraham Plerson of Klllingworth was 
elected to the office of rector. Rev. Samuel Russell was 



chosen trustee to complete the number, and Saybrook was de- 
termined upon as the place to establish the seminary. The 
newly elected rector was asked to remove to Saybrook; but 
to this proposition his congregation objected, and permission 
was granted for the students to be instructed at Killingworth. 

There was no plan of studies adopted by the trustees, and 
the probability is that the same course of instruction was 
pursued as at Harvard. The first student was Jacob Hem- 
ingway, a youth of eighteen, who begun his studies in 
March 1702 and continued alone till the following Septem- 
ber; he journeyed several miles to reach the parsonage of 
Rev. Abraham Pierson at Killingworth (now Clinton). 
The studies were more on the principle of tutorship than a 
collegiate course. The school was not founded merely as a 
theological seminary, but rather for the necessary instruction 
in arts and sciences, to fit the student for public employment 
both in Church and State ; yet in those days the laity were sup- 
posed to need a solid grounding in divinity. The first com- 
mencement was held privately at Saybrook, Sept. 13, 1702, 
and* honorary degrees were conferred on four Harvard 
graduates, however. The following year a general contri- 
bution to build a college house was solicited throughout the 
colony; the students had been increased to eight, and Rev. 
Daniel Hooker was chosen tutor; the course till 17 10 was 
three years, and the classes were named Senior Sophisters, 
Sophomores, and Freshmen. 

The death of the Rev. Mr. Pierson in 1707 retarded the 

*Some authorities claim that there was no proper gradu- 
ating class until 1703; when the Triennial Catalogue makes 
the following record : 


Johannes Hart, A. M. Tutor, 1731. 



progress of the college; the Senior class was at Milford un- 
der the care of Mr. Andrew, the rector pro tempore, and the 
other classes at Saybrook under the charge of two tutors. 
There had been dissatisfaction e\er since the inauguration of 
the college, in regard to a site for a permanent home. This 
disagreement caused a division of opinion among the trustees, 
and the scholars became disorderly and discontented; some 
of the students went to Wethersfield and placed them- 
selves under the tuition of Rev. Elisha Williams. A large 
contribution of books, amounting to eight hundred volumes 
and valued at £260 sterling, was received in 17 14 from 
friends in England, through the efforts of Jeremiah Dummer 
of Boston, who was located at that time in London. When 
the trustees met at the commencement in 17 16, it was found 
that divided instructions and government, aided by the strug- 
gles of towns to obtain the final location of the college, had 
so crippled the institution that there was danger of its ex- 

Several towns had subscribed different amounts towards 
the erection of a permanent building; New Haven had do- 
nated £700, Saybrook £400, and considerable sums had been 
pledged by Hartford and Wethersfield. On Oct. 17, 17 16, 
the trustees voted to establish the college at New Haven, and 
continued Mr. Andrew as rector pro tempore. The location of 
the college became an important feature in colonial politics, 
but in 1 7 17 the General Assembly endorsed the removal to 
New Haven, and voted a grant to aid in the erection of the 

The inhabitants of Saybrook forcibly resisted the removal 
of the library to New Haven; and it was judged necessary 
for the governor and council to be present, when the sheriff 
executed the orders of the General Assembly. The Saybrook 



people destroyed the carts furnished for the transportation 
of the books, the bridges between the town and New Haven 
were broken down, and many valuable papers and books were 
lost. At the next gubernatorial election, Governor Salton- 
stall barely escaped defeat, a political intrigue having been 
formed to supersede him by those opposed to the selection of 
New Haven as a permanent location for the college. 

The first commencement held at New Haven was in 1717 ; 
the number of students was thirty-one, and four were ad- 
mitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Part of the stu- 
dents continued at Wethersfield, the northern part of the col- 
ony being still opposed to New Haven as a permanent site 
for the college. The commencement held Sept. 12, 17 18, at 
New Haven, was the first one to which the public were in- 
vited; it was attended by the principal laymen and clergymen 
of the colony. An edifice of wood 1 70 feet long, 22 feet wide, 
and three stories in height, containing about fifty rooms for 
students, besides a hall, library, and kitchen, was completed 
in that year at a cost of about £1000; it was torn down in the 
fall of 1782. 

The institution had received several donations from indi- 
vidual residents of the colony and country; Jahaliel Brenton 
of Newport, Rhode Island, and Governor Saltonstall, each 
had subscribed fifty pounds. The largest benefactor was 
Elihu Yale, a native of New Haven, who at the age of ten 
years was taken to England, and on attaining manhood went 
to the East Indies; eventually returning to London, he be- 
came Governor of the East India Company. He was a man 
of generous disposition, and having amassed a large fortune, 
his attention had been drawn to the struggling college in 
his native town; he was one of the principal donors of the 
books collected by Dummer in England for the institution; 



From tlie original paiiilinj; in the (lallery of Vale College. 



and In the years 1718-21 Governor Yale donated goods 
valued at £400 sterling, and books estimated to be worth 
£100, to the college. As an acknowledgment of these deeds 
of beneficence, at the commencement held in 17 18 the new 
building, which at that time constituted the college, was 
named Yale. 

Never was so prominent a distinction given to an unknown 
cognomen, or a more perpetual monument to one's memory 
created, for so insignificant an expenditure. 

In 17 1 8 a commencement was held on the same day at 
Wethersfield, for the dissatisfied students who had pur- 
sued their studies in that town. The differences between the 
factions were finally healed by moderate and conciliatory acts 
of the legislature, and the appointment of Rev. Timothy 
Woodbridge as rector pro tempore; the members of the 
class of 17 1 8, absent from the commencement services at 
New Haven, received their diplomas. 

The college being now fixed permanently at New Haven, 
it was deemed advisable to have a resident rector; the trus- 
tees, after considering the points of the different can- 
didates, decided in March 17 19 to appoint Rev. Timothy 
Cutler of Stratford to the office. Mr. Cutler was a graduate 
of Harvard, and was ordained in 17 10 over the church in 
Stratford, in accordance with the constitution of the churches 
in Connecticut. He was an excellent linguist, a great Hebrew, 
Oriental, and Arabic scholar, also a good logician, geogra- 
pher, and rhetorician; master of philosophy, metaphysics, 
and ethics; his pronunciation of Latin was accounted per- 
fect, and he spoke the language with fluency and dignity. 
He was extensive reader in academic sciences, divinity, and 
ecclesiastical history. In personal appearance he was of com- 
manding presence, of lofty and imperious mien, and made an 



imposing figure at the head of the college. In 1722 a house 
was built for the rector, and continued to be used till the 
summer of 1834, when it was demolished. 

The college was now enjoying the most flourishing con- 
dition in its history; the students' dormitory was well filled, 
the number of instructors was increased, and valuable addi- 
tions had been made to the library, principally by dona- 
tions from England. At the commencement held in 
1722, a paper was presented by seven ministers of the col- 
ony to the assembled "fathers and brothers," which disclosed 
the astonishing fact that they had become imbued with the 
doctrine of Episcopacy. At this time there was not an Epis- 
copal Church or clergyman in Connecticut, although there 
were a few adherents of that doctrine residing at Stratford, 
the former home of Rev. Mr. Cutler. The position taken 
was like a firebrand to the people of Connecticut; they feared 
that with the introduction of the Episcopal form of worship, 
the home government would exercise a dangerous influence 
in their affairs, and that it would lead to an abridgment of 
their religious and civil liberty, which were the great objects 
of their settlement of New England. 

At a meeting held in the college library on the day after the 
Commencement, at which Gov. Saltonstall presided, the sub- 
ject was warmly debated; Rector Cutler and Rev. Samuel 
Johnson were the chief speakers on the invalidity of Presby- 
terian ordinances. At the close of the debate, the trustees 
voted to excuse both Rector Cutler and Tutor Brown, the 
only two officers of instruction in the college, from all further 
services. The following resolutions were also passed: "That 
all such persons as shall hereafter be elected to the office of 
rector or tutor in this college shall, before they are accepted 
therein, before the trustees, declare their assent to the confes- 



sion of faith owned and consented to by the elders and mes- 
sengers of the churches in the colony of Connecticut, assem- 
bled by delegation at Saybrook Sept. 9, 1708, and confirmed 
by the acts of the General Assembly; and shall particularly 
give satisfaction to them of the soundness of their faith, in 
opposition to Arminian and prelatical corruptions, or any 
other dangerous consequences to the purity and peace of 
the churches." 

On the retirement of Rector Cutler from the college, Mr. 
Andrew of Milford was again appointed rector pro tempore; 
the position of rector was refused by several gentlemen, as 
it was considered a station of peculiar difficulty, after the agi- 
tations arising from the late declaration for Episcopacy. In 
1726 the Rev. Elisha Williams was chosen rector, and ac- 
cepted the position; his government of the college was more 
from personal influence than in accordance with any estab- 
lished laws. 

The General Assembly of Connecticut in 1732 granted 
the college three hundred acres in each of the new towns of 
Norfolk, Canaan, Goshen, Cornwall, and Kent. The same 
year they were the recipient of a donation from Dr. 
George Berkeley, then Dean of Derry in Ireland, afterwards 
Bishop of Cloyne. This amiable divine had visited America 
intending to found a college, and had purchased a country 
seat of nearly one hundred acres at Newport, Rhode Island; 
relinquishing his design of establishing a college, Berkeley 
returned to England. During his residence in America he 
became acquainted with several trustees of Yale College, and 
deeded his real estate in Newport to the infant university. 
This donation, at the suggestion of the Dean, was made into 
a fund, the proceeds of which were to maintain at college for 
three years after graduation the three best scholars in Latin 



and Greek languages; if there was any surplus It was to be 
expended In Greek and Latin books, to be distributed as 
premiums to undergraduates who made the best compositions 
or declamations in the Latin language. The first examina- 
tion for the Dean's bounty was held In May 1733; and the 
Rev. Eleazer Wheelock, who afterwards became the first 
president of Dartmouth College, and Benjamin Pomeroy of 
Hebroen became the first scholars so honored. In the next 
half-century, many students who afterwards became prom- 
inently identified with the educational and political affairs of 
the country were the recipients of the Dean's generosity; 
among whom may be mentioned Aaron Burr, William Samuel 
Johnson, Naphtall Daggett, Nehemlah Strong, James A. 
Hillhouse, Silas Deane, Stephen M. Mitchell, John Trum- 
bull, John Davenport, Samuel W. Dana, Abraham Baldwin, 
and many others. 

While a resident of Newport, Dean Berkeley presented 
his books to the college library, and on his return to the Old 
World he made an additional donation of nearly one thou- 
sand volumes, which were estimated to have cost over £400 
sterling ; these books were Greek and Latin classics, a nearly 
complete set of the Christian Fathers, and the most approved 
works In theology, history, the sciences, and general litera- 
ture. Rector Williams, owing to ill health, was obliged to 
resign his position In 1739, having filled the chair with great 
usefulness and honor; he was a good classical scholar, spoke 
Latin freely, and was well versed in logic, metaphysics, ethics, 
rhetoric, and oratory. On the day that his resignation was 
accepted, Rev. Thomas Clap was elected to fill his vacancy. 

The new rector was a graduate of Harvard, and for four- 
teen years had been connected with the church at Windham ; 
he possessed the talent of acquiring great knowledge with lit- 



tie time spent in reading, owing to a quick, comprehension 
and retentive memory. While he was not eminent as a 
classical scholar, he had complete knowledge of three learned 
languages; he was an authority on mathematics and natural 
philosophy, and conversant with English common law; he 
was a practical business man, and instituted a number of re- 
forms in the college of great benefit to its organization. Rec- 
tor Clap was inaugurated April 2, 1740, and at the sugges- 
tion of the trustees began to compile a new set of laws 
for the university; they were founded on the old laws and 
statutes of the college, the laws of Harvard College and the 
University of Oxford, and on completion contained several 
new additions. These laws were adopted by the board of 
trustees in 1745, translated into Latin and published in 1748 ; 
being the first book printed in New Haven. This code ol 
laws punished various transgressions of the students with 
fines; but the practice fell into disuse at the close of the 
eighteenth century. At the time of compiling the new code, 
Rector Clap prepared a large volume which was called the 
customs of the college ; this book was never printed, but was 
read publicly and explained to the students. There is no 
copy of the book extant, but it contained minute laws respect- 
ing the subordination of classes, and the deportment of the 
students towards each other and the government of the 
college, and limited corporal punishments to the Freshman 
class. These consisted in the rector's boxing the culprit's 
ears; the last of these customs, so far as they had the force 
of laws, was abolished in 1804. 

The social distinctions of the times were illustrated in the 
college catalogues, which until 1767 were arranged not al- 
phabetically but in order of rank; first appeared the sons of 
the executive officers of the colony, then of clergymen, law- 



yers, artisans, and tradesmen. The students were called by 
their surnames unless they were the sons of a nobleman or a 
knight's eldest son. Laborious etiquette prevailed between 
the faculty and students, and conversations between under- 
graduates were carried on in Latin. The rector also rear- 
ranged in more convenient form the books in the library, enu- 
merated and numbered each volumCi and in 1743 printed a 
catalogue for the use of the students. The library consisted 
of about 2,600 volumes; this was increased in 1766 to about 
4,000, but in 1 79 1 there were only 2,700. This was occa- 
sioned by losses during the American Revolution, when the 
library was shipped to different points of the Commonwealth 
for the convenience of the students, who were scattered, or to 
save it from being captured by the incursions of the enemy. 

The college having outgrown its original charter. Rector 
Clap prepared a draft for a new one; and after its revision 
by Hon. Thomas Fitch, it received the approval of the board 
of trustees, and was sanctioned by the General Assembly in 
May 1745. The incorporated name was "The President and 
Fellows of Yale College in New Haven"; but the body In 
common language is called "the corporation". The charter 
was most liberal In its provisions, and granted every import- 
ant power and privilege which the college needed, or will 
need In the future; the government was Invested, the same as 
formerly, in ten clergymen. The Assembly voted for the use 
of the college £100 of silver money, to be paid semi-annually. 

The growth of the college necessitated the erection of new 
buildings to provide proper accommodations for the students. 
The foundation of a brick structure was laid In the spring 
of 1750, and completed in the fall of 1752, being named 
Connecticut Hall; It was one hundred feet long, forty feet 
wide, contained three stories, and an attic which was re- 



modeled In 1797 Into a fourth story; the building had thirty- 
two chambers and sixty-four smaller rooms. The expenses of 
the erection of the hall were defrayed partly from the pro- 
ceeds of a lottery, and partly from money arising from the 
sale of a French prize captured by a privateer of the colonial 

At this time the revivals of George Whitefield were caus- 
ing great religious commotions In New England; churches 
were becoming divided with violent controversies; and Presi- 
dent Clap Issued a declaration, signed by himself and mem- 
bers of the faculty, denouncing Whitefield's teaching, — thus 
causing the college to become an object of jealousy, giving 
offense to many and conciliating none. The faculty and stu- 
dents had attended public worship with the first ecclesiastical 
society of New Haven ; but the preaching of the minister not 
being in conformity with the orthodoxy of the college of- 
ficials, the president and fellows In 1746 determined to estab- 
lish a professor of divinity as soon as they could secure suf- 
ficient support. This was again agitated In 1752, and was 
sanctioned by the General Assembly, October 1753. The 
following November the president and fellows adopted reso- 
lutions, basing their government on the Assembly's catechism 
and the confession of faith which was part of the Saybrook 
platform. At the request of the corporation the president 
commenced preaching to the students In the college hall, 
pending the selection of a professor of divinity; this was the 
cause of loud complaints, as it was contended that the college 
was within the limits of the first ecclesiastical society of New 
Haven, and the formation of a religious society within the 
college walls was Irregular and Illegal. President Clap was 
equal to the occasion ; he issued a pamphlet in which he main- 
tained that the college had a legal right to the privileges of 



a religious society, in accordance with the views of the found- 
ers of this institution. Sufficient funds having been obtained 
in 1755, Rev. Naphtali Daggett was chosen to fill the new 
theological chair. For several months after his installation 
he preached half the time in the church of the first society of 
New Haven; but at the succeeding commencement the cor- 
poration refused to continue this arrangement, and the pro- 
fessor of divinity preached in the college hall until the erec- 
tion of a chapel. Thus a distinct religious society was formed 
within the college. A residence was finished for the profes- 
sor of divinity in 1758, at the cost of £285 sterling. 

The college was now on a sound basis, owing to the firm- 
ness and persev^erance of the president in filling the chair of 
divinity, and causing the corporation to pass the act endors- 
ing the Assembly's catechism and confession of faith. This 
had, however, created dissatisfaction among the clergy and 
laity throughout the colony, and the General Assembly was 
petitioned to establish a commission of visitation to inquire 
into all the affairs of the college. This was opposed by the 
president with vigorous arguments : he contended that the 
General Assembly had no more control over the college than 
over any other persons and estates in the colony; that while 
he acknowledged that the Assembly had been great bene- 
factors, they were in no sense of the common law to be con- 
sidered founders or visitors. The legislature refused to 
take any action In the matter, and it never has been a subject 
of public agitation since. 

Additional buildings were required at this time, owing to 
the increase of students, partially due to their wish of avoid- 
ing military Impressment during the French and Indian wars. 
The foundation of the chapel was laid In April 1761 ; It was 
to be a brick structure fifty feet long and forty feet wide, 



From the painting by R. Moulthrop. 



with a steeple and galleries. It was opened in June 1763, 
the third story being used as a library; the expense of the 
building was £715 sterling. The first president of Yale Col- 
lege, who had, by his talents and high reputation, advanced 
the institution to a distinguished rank, resigned his position 
at the commencement of 1766, owing to dissatisfaction in the 
faculty; he lived but a few months after his abdication. The 
corporation elected as President Clap's successor Rev. James 
Lockwood of Wethersfield; but he refused the position, and 
Professor Daggett was chosen president pro tempore. 

In September 1770 the professorship of mathematics and 
natural philosophy was established, and Rev. Nehemiah 
Strong became the first occupant of the chair, entering upon 
his official duties in December of that year. 

At the request of the General Assembly, the laws in 1772 
were published in the English language. The college also 
received from the State in 1776 an appropriation of £100 
towards the support of the tutors for one year. For eleven 
years President Daggett discharged the presidential duties in 
connection with those of professor of divinity; he resigned 
his executive office in April 1777, but continued the duties of 
his professorship until his death in 1780. 

The corporation, at a meeting held in September 1777, 
elected Rev. Ezra Stiles to the office of president. He had 
graduated at Yale in 1746, and three years later was ap- 
pointed to a tutorship, which oflice he retained six years. At 
the time of his election to the presidency of Yale College, Dr. 
Stiles was pastor of a congregation at Newport, Rhode Is- 
land. His people had become greatly attached to him, but 
the Revolution had scattered the members, and their min- 
ister had received an urgent call to settle at Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire. Stiles took plenty of time to consider this change 



in his affairs, and it was not until March of the foUowing^ 
year that he notified the corporation that he would accept the 
presidency. His formal inauguration took place July 8, 
1778, and the installation ceremonies were held in the college 
chapel; at the time the office of president was conferred on 
him he was likewise made professor of ecclesiastical history. 

The number of undergraduates in 1778 was 132. The 
faculty, besides the president, consisted of a professor of 
divinity, professor of mathematics and natural philosophy, 
and three tutors, (the latter positions discontinued in 178 1 for 
lack of funds) . The vacancy caused by the death of Profes- 
sor Daggett was filled by the choice of Rev. Samuel Wales of 
Milford; the professorship was never intended to be other 
than that of scientific theology, but at the installation of Dr. 
Wales the pastoral care and charge of the college church was 
committed to him. Hon. Philip Livingstone of New York 
in 1746 laid the foundation of a fund for the support of this 
professorship, which had been augmented by a donation 
from Mr. Gresham Clark of Lebanon. The bequest of £500 
by Dr. Daniel Lathrop of Norwich, in 1728, was the largest 
contribution up to this period that had been received from an 
individual donor. Rev. Richard Salter, in 1781, deeded ta 
the corporation a farm in Mansfield, which was sold for $2,- 
000, and the funds arising from its sale expended in promot- 
ing the study of Hebrew and other Oriental languages. An- 
other benefactor of Yale was Rev. Samuel Lockwood, who 
in 1739 donated £100 for an addition to the philosophical 
apparatus; this department of the college had but a limited 
supply of materials, consisting, at the commencement of the 
school at Saybrook, of a pair of globes and a few of the most 
common mathematical instruments. Subscriptions were ob- 
tained in 1734, and a reflecting telescope, a microscope, a 



barometer, and various other articles were purchased; a com- 
plete set of surveying instruments was presented about this 
time by Joseph Thompson of London, England; and a few 
years after, Isaac Watts donated a pair of globes. An elec- 
trical apparatus and an air pump had been in possession of 
the college since 1749, and President Clap bequeathed an as- 
tronomical quadrant. Dr. Lockwood's donation was increased 
by other contributors to £300, and a complete equipment for 
the department was purchased in London ; the reverend gen- 
tleman at his death bequeathed $1,100 to the library fund. 

It was not until 1780 that the corporation of the college 
consisted entirely of Yale graduates ; out of the whole num- 
ber of fifty-six rectors and trustees, there had been four rec- 
tors or presidents, and twenty-eight trustees or fellows, grad- 
uates of Harvard. Notwithstanding that the patronage of 
the college was not sufficient to guarantee its self-support, it 
was deemed necessary in 1782 to erect a brick hall, sixty feet 
in length and forty feet in width. 

President Stiles, who was well acquainted with the differ- 
ent controversies that had arisen respecting the constitution 
of the college, was favorably inclined, for the threefold rea- 
son of encouraging subscriptions, patronage, and assistance 
in counsel, that leading civilians of the State should be asso- 
ciated with the fellows in the management of the affairs of 
the college. Various plans were proposed, but they did not 
receive general approval, the difficulties arising from the fact 
that the legislature could not determine the compensation the 
State could afford the college for sharing in its internal gov- 

The General Assembly had given an annual grant, and at 
various times had made appropriations, amounting in all to 
about £250 a year. By their charter the corporation chose 



the fellows and their successors, which w^ere limited to minis- 
ters, thus creating a jealousy which embodied itself in legis- 
lation. In 1784 four petitions were represented to the Assem- 
bly, asking for legislative interference to alter the col- 
lege charter or to establish a new college under State patron- 
age. Continued appeals of the corporation to the Assembly 
for financial aid were regularly refused; it being urged by 
the opponents of the college that it was controlled by bigotry 
and opposed to all improvements in education, and hence un- 
deserving of public support. 

At the session of the General Assembly in October 1791, 
a committee was appointed to confer with the college officials 
in reference to its needs and financial condition; the com- 
mittee made a favorable report, and submitted a plan pre- 
pared by the treasurer of the college. The national gov- 
ernment having assumed the State debts, it was proposed 
that the amount outstanding from unpaid taxes should, as 
collected, be devoted to the improvement of the college; 
this did away with the most important objection of the oppon- 
ents of the college, as it did not require the levying of a 
new tax. The Governor, Deputy Governor, and the six 
senior Assistants in the council, were to become trustees 
or fellows, and with the presiding officer and present board 
were to constitute the corporation for the government of 
the college. This proposition passed the legislature with 
hardly any opposition, and was accepted by the corporation 
in June of the same year. By the increased income secured 
by legislation, — which, including an additional sum voted in 
1796, amounted to over $40,000, — the corporation was en- 
abled to re-establish the chair of mathematics and natural 
philosophy, and in October 1794 Joseph Meigs was elected 
to the professorship. 



Many of the students were obliged to lodge in the town 
for want of room in the college; which subjected them to 
unprofitable, idle, and vicious connections, having a ten- 
dency to introduce unsteady and disorderly conduct. The 
committee of the legislature had recommended the erection 
of another building, the foundation stone of which was laid 
April 15, 1793, and it was finished in July 1794; the struc- 
ture was one hundred and four feet long and thirty-six feet 
wide, and in commemoration of the union of civilians with 
the old board of fellows, it was named Union Hall. 

The death of President Stiles occurred May 12, 1795. 
Owing to the illness of the professor of divinity, and the va- 
cancy in the chair of mathematics and natural philosophy, his 
responsibility had been greatly increased. As a scholar Dr. 
Stiles was familiar with every department of learning: he 
had acquired great familiarity with the Latin language, and 
was a proficient in Hebrew and Oriental literature. He 
was also an able administrator, and under him the college 
flourished more than at any former period. The number of 
students increased ; the long controversies in reference to the 
constitution of the college were settled; it was the object of 
his constant solicitude, and to promote its interests he spared 
no effort. The college from its foundation had always been 
under the influence of Congregationalism ; the original trus- 
tees were ministers of that denomination, their successors con- 
tinued to be of the same persuasion. In the first century 
of its existence the president was always a clergyman, and 
out of one hundred and ten tutors but forty-nine were 
laymen. That theology was the fundamental study of the 
college Is shown by the fact that up to 1750, there were 
graduated 306 clergymen against 336 laymen. Up to this 
time, 2,372 followers of Hemingway's footsteps had entered 



the portals of the college, and of these over one-fourth were 
educated during the presidency of Dr. Stiles. The alumni of 
the first century of Yale College were largely confined to the 
natives of the State; but in the second century of her exist- 
ence she was to become more of a national than a local insti- 
tution in her influence and teachings. That by their individual 
achievements in the paths of education, the ministry, and 
national affairs, her graduates reflected glory upon their 
Alma Mater, is amply evidenced by the history of the pe- 



Connecticut Settlements in Pennsylvania 

BY the middle of the eighteenth century, Connec- 
ticut had begun to feel overpopulated. Ban- 
croft estimates its population at this time as 
133,000; in the absence of developed manufac- 
tures, this was a fairly close settlement at that 
period, for a district of 4,800 square miles, largely uncul- 
tivable. We need not accept too literally the politic report 
of the secretary of the colony to the home government in 
1680, when Connecticut had about 12,000 inhabitants, that 
in this "mountainous, rocky, and swampy" province most 
of the arable land was taken up, and the remainder was 
hardly worth the labor of tillage ; but certainly with eleven 
times that number there were few good farms to be had, and 
new lands were needed for the overspill. The eyes of Con- 
necticut men were turned in two directions: to the north, 
toward the New Hampshire Grants, where their settlements 
presently resulted in the Green Mountain Boys and the appli- 
cation of the Beech Seal to the New York surveyors, and 
ultimately in the State of Vermont; to the west, toward the 
unsettled lands granted in Connecticut's charter, extending 
between the forty-first and forty-second parallels to the Pa- 

Unfortunately, in the latter direction two other grants lay 
across its path : New York, which had settled its territory too 
far west to be disturbed; and Pennsylvania, whose limits ran 
to the 43d parallel or the head of Delaware River, but 
which had not settled the portion within the Connecticut lim- 
its at all, it being still unbroken wilderness roamed over by 
the Delawares. This grant was eighteen years subsequent to 
the Connecticut charter, dating from 168 1 : did it or not re- 
voke the prior grant to Connecticut of the same lands? The 
point was so far from coming under a clear principle of law 



that the best legal talent of England was divided: Pratt 
(later Lord Camden) for Pennsylvania being matched 
against Thurlow, Wedderburne, Dunning, and Jackson for 
Connecticut. It was agreed that had the district been occu- 
pied by effective Pennsylvania settlement, the prior Connec- 
ticut right could hardly have been pleaded; but not a white 
man had so much as a clearing or a cabin upon them, and it 
was held that the Crown could not re-grant the same territory 
so soon — that is, before the first grantees had had a reason- 
able time to effect occupancy. 

This legal problem was not the only one at issue, however : 
there were two others, a political and an equitable one. Po- 
litically, if a later Crown grant to territory covered by a prior 
one were invalid, nothing but an internecine civil war all 
over English America could decide the conflicting rights; if 
valid, no colony had any rights at all against the caprice of 
the Crown. In practice, neither of these extremes would be 
likely to occur, and common sense and compromise would set- 
tle all; but the case of the New Hampshire Grants 
as well as Wyoming makes it evident that this could not be 
securely depended on. On the ground of equity, how long 
might a proprietary keep a huge mass of territory unsettled 
waiting its own pleasure? The Penn heirs in nearly three- 
quarters of a century had not settled a man on this, had 
no present intention of doing so, did not wish it settled ex- 
cept as a future feudal estate; claimed nothing but a right 
of pre-emption, and preferred to keep it as an Indian game 
forest rather than have white men take it up in freehold. 
Connecticut wished to make it a civilized land and increase 
the strength of America at once. It is not necessary to up- 
braid the Penns for clinging to their alleged rights ; but Con- 



necticut had as good a case In law and In politics, and a 
better one In equity. 

Thus urged by need and fortified by law and a good con- 
science (law not yet Invoked, but fully assured), the Con- 
necticut people took vigorous steps to explore their lands and 
prepare an occupation that would bear down all antagonism. 
There was no attempt at stealth. In 1753 the Connecticut 
Susquehanna Company was organized, with 840 proprietors, 
subsequently increased to 1,200; "an unofficial movement 
of the whole colony," it has been styled. Advantage was 
taken of the Albany Congress of the colonies, called to frame 
a plan of union for defense; and there, on July 11, 1754, the 
representatives of the company made a treaty with some of 
the Iroquois chiefs for a tract of land on the east bank of the 
Susquehanna, for the sum of £2,000 New York currency, or 
$5,000. This was turning the Pennsylvania proprietors' 
guns against themselves, to their wild Indignation and alarm. 
Anything more worthless in law or equity than the Iroquois 
title to this tract cannot be imagined; but the Penns had 
estopped themselves thoroughly from disallowing it. An 
Indian title even to lands actually hunted over by the tribe 
was valueless, for reasons already cited; and the Iroquois 
had not even that vague claim to these lands, they having 
been occupied since our knowledge by the Delawares, whom 
the Iroquois had cowed Into an acknowledgment of liability 
to be scalped If they opposed the latter. To account this 
the same as a civilized suzerainty, — or rather above any civi- 
lized suzerainty, which gives no right to sell vassals' property 
above their heads, — conferring a power to dispose of weaker 
tribes' lands on savages who could not convey a title even 
to their own, — was an absurdity of which Connecticut's pre- 
vious history shows that it was free; though it had always 



recognized an Indian occupancy right, to be fairly bought 
out. But from Penn down, his family had obstinately main- 
tained exactly this, — that Indian ownership and the Iroquois 
"suzerainty" over the Delawares were in all respects on a 
footing with the correspondent civilized relations. This was 
probably a politic recognition of facts much more than any 
real difference of sentiment or judgment: they were forced to 
buy off the Iroquois, or expose the settlement to massacre by 
the most terrible Indian power in America; and of course 
were bound to maintain the validity of the title they had pur- 
chased. At any rate, they clung to the fiction, and as late as 
1736 made a treaty with the Iroquois by which the latter 
agreed not to sell any of their (including the Delawares') 
lands to any one but Pennsylvania. Now, eighteen years 
later (ominous period, the exact priority of the Connecticut 
to the Pennsylvania grant), the savages, as might have been 
expected, sold to the first substantial bidders what they 
wished. It adds the last touch to this bargain that while 
eighteen sachems (eighteen is the mystic number of Wyo- 
ming) concluded it and took their beaver-skin full of money, 
others, won over by the Pennsylvanians, declared that the 
former were drunk (which need not be doubted) and had 
no right to make the sale any^'ay (which of course under 
Indian law was true). This illustrates the value of Indian 
titles, which no one in the tribe was competent to grant, and 
which conveyed nothing that could be defined as against any 
other tribe. There seems no doubt, however, that so far as 
the heads of one tribe of savages had any right to convey 
title to the lands used by another tribe and owned by neither, 
the Connecticut company had bought the title ; assuredly they 
had bought under the sanctions upheld by Pennsylvania for 
over seventy years. Subsequently another corporation was 



formed in Connecticut, the Delaware Company, which 
bought with similar validity the title to the lands west from 
the Delaware to the east line of the Susquehanna Company's 
purchase. But it was always a minor appendage to the lat- 

The Pennsylvania proprietors were indignant at this in- 
vasion of their pre-emption rights ; and induced not only the 
Delawares to protest against their dispossession, contrary to 
the accepted Pennsylvania theory, but as above said, induced 
some of the Iroquois chiefs to deny the right of the others 
to sell. They also called in the services of the great William 
Johnson (later Sir William) to debar the Connecticut men 
from possession; with the famous interpreter Conrad Wei- 
ser, and others. Be it noted, however, that they still ex- 
pressed no purpose to settle the lands, but only to keep them 
for the Indians; and their Mohawk allies declared that they 
would not sell the lands to any one — they wished to preserve 
them for "their western Indians." But in May 1755 a com- 
mittee of the Susquehanna Company petitioned the Con- 
necticut Assembly for permission to apply to the Crown to be 
erected into "a new colony or plantation." Permission was 
given : it was evidently understood that the purpose was not 
to enrich Connecticut as a colony, but only to provide ulti- 
mately a new Connecticut where its citizens could feel at 
home and prosper. The outbreak of the French and Indian 
War prevented any actual settlement for a couple of years; 
but in 1757 the first was made on its lands by the Delaware 
Company, at Cushutunk on the Delaware, and within the 
next few years several hundred settlers gathered there. 
Meantime the Pennsylvania proprietary was in intense excite- 
ment, and the question of ejecting the invaders of its preserve 
became its burning one even above the war. Northampton 



County, the nearest organized jurisdiction, issued procla- 
mations and notices to the intruders to evacuate the lands; 
and the proprietors appealed to England, — on which Con- 
necticut countered by sending Col. Dyer, the eloquent pro- 
moter sought after by the Windham frogs, to plead its 
case. The Council was bewildered, and the Connecticut set- 
tlement struck its roots ever deeper. 

The real lines, however, for the long-drawn battle, prac- 
tically ended by the horrible Indian-Tory massacre of the 
Revolution, were laid in 1762. The agents of the Susque- 
hanna Company had selected for settlement the beautiful 
Wyoming Valley: a part of the Susquehanna Valley some 
twenty miles long by three or four broad, embracing rich 
bottoms a mile or even two back from the river, surrounded 
by ridge on ridge of mountains up to a thousand feet high. 
About two hundred male emigrants were sent on to lay the 
foundations of a colony, by making clearings, sowing grain, 
etc. They fixed on a spot near the river, below the present 
town of Wikesbarre ; and early the next spring returned with 
their families and household goods. The season was a good 
one, and the harvests abundant; but three enemies of over- 
whelming force were lying in wait for their destruction. The 
Pennsylvania militia had concerted plans to eject them and 
destroy their harvests; the Delawares were brooding over 
their dispossession, and resolved to massacre the settlers de- 
spite the Iroquois; and the Iroquois themselves, having spent 
the money, had no intention of allowing the settlers to occupy 
the lands for which they had paid it — not the only case of the 
kind. The blow of the first, however, was a little forestalled, 
from accident or design, by that of the second, precipitated 
by the third, who did not wish their agency to be apparent. 
The chief sachem of the Delawares, Tedeuscung, had become 



much too independent to please the Iroquois, who took care 
not to let their subordinates slip the leash too far; and they 
had a further grudge against him for killing an Iroquois 
chief. On April 19, 1763, their emissaries induced him and 
a number of others to take part in a grand carouse ; during 
his drunken sleep of the night they set fire to his cabin and 
twe^nty others, burning the inmates to death. The New Eng- 
landers had come into the valley shortly before, and the Iro- 
quois laid the murders to them. Whether the Delawares be- 
lieved it or not, it suited them and was safest to pretend so; 
and they prepared to revenge it Indian wise, after due wait- 
ing. On Oct. 1 5 they burst on the settlement and butchered 
some twenty men; the rest, men, women, and children, fled 
to the mountains and in helpless misery retraced the path to 
Connecticut, or settled in the lower towns of Pennsylvania. 
By a happy chance, the Pennsylvania militia were at hand, 
and destroyed the settlers' stores; which they had provi- 
dently forecast, a fortnight before the massacre, might be 
"left" by them. This Indian "reoccupation" turned the 
valley into wilderness again for half a dozen years. 

In 1768 the struggle was renewed on a greater scale, be- 
ginning the intermittent "Pennamite Wars" of several years' 
duration. The Susquehanna Company granted five town- 
ships, each five miles square, — Wilkesbarre, Hanover, Kings- 
ton, Plymouth, and Pittstown, — to forty settlers each, or four 
hundred acres apiece, on condition of their remaining on the 
ground to "man their rights." Forty were to set out at once, 
the remainder the next spring. Later, three other townships 
were granted, on the west branch of the Susquehanna. The 
leader of the expedition (though he did not go thither for a 
couple of years) was one of Connecticut's noblest sons, — 
Captain Zebulon Butler of Lyme, some thirty-eight years old. 



Ten years before, he had commanded a company at Ticon- 
deroga and Crown Point; and in 1762 he had distinguished 
himself at the capture of Havana. His mihtary talents and 
vigilance secured high respect,and his courteous and generous 
nature inspired enthusiastic affection. 

Two other veterans of the French and Indian War, Cap- 
tains Durkee and Ransom, were in the company; and the em- 
igration as a whole was of unusual ability and character. The 
proprietary met it not with counter-settlement, but mere vio- 
lence. Indeed, historically the Connecticut effort is largely 
justified on this ground alone: the entire colony rose up to 
send occupants to the lands, as an urgent public need ; while 
the Penns took possession of them only to keep them out of 
other white men's hands, and even then sent no effective col- 
onization. In 1768 (Nov. 5) they made a fresh treaty at 
Fort Stanwix with the Iroquois, who cheerfully sold them 
the same Wyoming Valley which they had previously sold 
to the Connecticut company, and still previously promised to 
sell only to Pennsylvania. The new title was as good as the 
old, and neither was worth anything at the bar of law or his- 
tory. This done, the proprietors executed a seven-years' 
lease of a hundred acres in the valley to three men, — Charles 
Stewart, a surveyor and militia officer, afterwards aide to 
Washington; Captain Amos Ogden, a capital soldier, with 
not too delicate a sense of honor; and John Jennings, high 
sheriff of Northampton County, — on condition of establish- 
ing a trading-house and defending the valley from encroach- 
ment, acting as Chief Executive Directory at Wyoming. 
Forty or fifty men were induced to purchase lands on the 
same condition as the Connecticut forties, "manning their 
rights"; and the Pennsylvania bands included several excel- 
lent officers. The relations between the two parties, however, 



were much like those between the English and French In the 
war of 1755-60 : it was a contest of bona fide colonists against 
mere political outworks. 

The three Directors with seven other men were on the 
ground first, in January 1769; occupied the deserted block- 
house of the Connecticut settlers and some of their huts, 
where Mill Creek joins the Susquehanna in northern Wilkes- 
barre; laid off two great manors for themselves as joint les- 
sees, one on each side of the river; and waited. On Feb. 8 
the Connecticut pioneers came on the scene, and finding Og- 
•den's force in the blockhouse, invested it closely and de- 
manded its surrender. Ogden, overmatched and sure to be 
starved out, invited a deputation to come into the fort and 
discuss the matter; three of the chief men did so, when the 
sheriff claimed them all as prisoners and deported them to 
Easton jail, sixty miles off, the other thirty-seven following. 
But the Connecticut settlers had active partisans and helpers 
all through Pennsylvania, even in Philadelphia. The dog- 
in-the-manger policy of the proprietors was mainly in their 
personal interest, they having surveyed off the richest up-river 
lands and reserved them to themselves; they did not wish 
freehold settlement, but huge manors with tenants paying 
them rent. White settlements would increase land values 
and trade for the Pennsylvanians, and they disliked the pro- 
prietary monopoly: hence the paralysis of the Pennsylvania 
government, and its almost grotesque inability to prevent the 
Connecticut occupation of its neighbor lands. It would be a 
very distorted idea to suppose that this was a contest either 
of government against government, or of the people of Con- 
necticut against the people of Pennsylvania : the Connecticut 
government cautiously abstained from giving it any official 
countenance, and the Pennsylvania people stolidly refused 



to be worked up over it. The real fight was between the 
people of Connecticut and the government of Pennsylvania. 

These friends, who were especially numerous along the 
Delaware, where the Connecticut flood would enrich the old 
settlers most, were sought out by the uncaptured band, and 
went bail for the prisoners; and the whole forty at once 
returned to Wyoming. Enraged at the fruitlessness of 
his stratagem, Jennings secured a warrant for the arrest of 
the entire party, called out the posse of Northampton Coun- 
ty, took several other magistrates with him, marched to the 
settlers' rough fort, and assaulted It. Overmatched in turn 
and unwilling to defy a legal process, about thirty surren- 
dered, and were again taken to Easton and lodged in jail; 
again liberated on bail by their Pennsylvania friends, they re- 
turned to the valley. It was now March : in less than two 
months the pioneers, besides their original travels, had 
walked two hundred and forty miles to and from jail, in the 
depths of winter and through the forest. But they were not 
of the metal to be discouraged by the first opposition of the 
Pennsylvanians; and within a month they were joined by 
overwhelming reinforcements, under Captain Durkee. The 
one hundred and sixty grantees of 1768, with seventy or 
eighty shareholders not included in the last assignment, made 
up nearly three hundred in all. But the best lands were far 
below Mill Creek; a settlement was fixed in the southern part 
of the present Wilkesbarre, and Fort Durkee built to defend 
it. On May 20 Ogden and Jennings, having raised a larger 
force, appeared in the vicinity once more; but the place was 
too strong to attack and they withdrew to Easton, Jennings 
reporting to the governor that there was not force enough in 
Northampton County to dislodge them. Thereupon Gover- 
nor John Penn sent a military company from Philadelphia 



under Col. Turbot Francis to expel the intruders; arriving 
about June 20, he found the fort too formidable, and retired 
to await reinforcements. 

Connecticut people were not only resolute to hold their 
rich western possession, but excited by the stories of the new 
Eden; and fresh pioneers were continually setting out for the 
valley. To give the settlement time to accumulate fighting 
strength, the Susquehanna Company sent commissioners to 
treat with Pennsylvania; they had no government cre- 
dentials, and the Pennsylvania government was not likely 
to negotiate with the agents of a private land company, but 
it might delay a fresh conflict. As a matter of fact, their 
proposal to submit the question to trial or arbitration was re- 
ceived, but promptly refused, and a fresh expedition hurried 
on to oust the settlers once for all. Jennings was made 
the head, to give it the aspect of an ejection by law; Ogden 
was the real commander; and it set out early in September 
with some two hundred men, and a four-pound cannon 
brought from Fort Augusta (now Sunbury) by Captain 
Alexander Patterson, Ogden's best officer. Ogden went 
ahead with fifty soldiers, and by a surprise captured Cap- 
tain Durkee, who was sent under irons not to Easton but to 
Philadelphia, and lodged in prison. Jennings and the posse 
then appeared before the fort and summoned it to surrender. 
The cannon made victory certain, and terms of capitulation 
were agreed on. Three or four Connecticut leaders were 
kept as hostages, seventeen men were allowed to remain and 
gather the harvest, the rest of the settlers were to leave the 
valley peremptorily. The private property was to be re- 
spected; but Ogden according to his nature broke the pledge 
at once, and sold all the property to Pennsylvanians. Three 



times expelled in one year, the Connecticut settlers made their 
way home. 

Confident that their task was accomplished for a finality, 
Ogden left ten men in the fort to maintain possession and 
warn off intruders, and he and Jennings returned to Phila- 
delphia to an easily imaginable ovation. During the fall 
and part of the winter, all remained quiet; but by Feb- 
ruary all was again lost to the Penns, this time from foes in 
their own household. A group of forty settlers from Han- 
over, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, had bought a town- 
ship from the Susquehanna Company, to be named from 
their own town ; and with Captain Lazarus Stewart at their 
head, started for the battle-ground of the valley. Accom- 
panied by one of the bands of Connecticut settlers who were 
quietly slipping back, ten or a dozen at a time, to avoid at- 
tracting notice, he surprised Fort Durkee, ousted Ogden's 
garrison, regained the cannon from the old blockhouse at 
Mill Creek, and armed Fort Durkee with it. Durkee him- 
self escaped from his Philadelphia jail by aid of the Connec- 
ticut partisans, and took command of the settlers. At the 
news, Ogden hurried back to the valley with fifty men, and 
reoccupied the Mill Creek fort, renaming it Fort Ogden; by 
strategy he decoyed a band of ten or a dozen Connecticut 
settlers inside, and retained them all as prisoners. By ap- 
pearance of ostentatious weakness, he also inveigled Durkee 
into an attack, when the deputy sheriff attempted to arrest 
Durkee's entire force; a battle ensued in which one of the 
Connecticut men was killed, the first blood shed in the 
Pennamite wars. Retreating, the Yankee forces trained the 
cannon on the fort from a hill, but were unable to hit it; 
they then invested it, and captured and burnt the connected 
storehouse with nearly all the Pennsylvanians' goods and 



ammunition. Meantime Ogden had sent to Governor Penn 
for reinforcements; the latter had his hands full, and ap- 
plied in turn to General Gage, the British commander at 
Boston, to suppress the Connecticut invasion of Pennsylvania 
territory; Gage replied sensibly that it was a quarrel over 
property, in which "it would be highly improper for the 
King's troops to interfere." Left without help, Ogden was 
forced to capitulate, on condition of retiring from the val- 
ley, only leaving six men behind in one of the houses to take 
care of his property, which was to be respected. The Yankee 
prisoners were found and released, after a month's confine- 
ment so close that the besiegers had not known of their cap- 
ture. Not much to his credit, Durkee retaliated Ogden's 
breach of faith the fall before by breaking his own, turned 
the six caretakers outdoors, and appropriated the property 
to the use of his forces. Thinking it senseless to leave the 
fort as a point of vantage to the Pennsylvanians, who if again 
in possession might be invincible, the Connecticut troops then 
burnt it and the surrounding cabins, entirely obliterating the 
settlement of 1762. 

All the summer new bands kept arriving from Connecti- 
cut, one headed by Captain Butler in person. New settle- 
ments were started; Wilkesbarre was surveyed, and named 
after a worthless scamp and a high-minded orator, oddly 
linked as protagonists of liberty; and old Forty Fort, fa- 
mous in the Revolution, was begun. The lost ground of the 
previous years was more than made up. The proprietors 
were in despair. Penn issued a proclamation denouncing 
the conduct of the Connecticut men, and offering a reward 
for the apprehension of the leaders, for whose arrest the 
Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued writs; Lazarus Stew- 
art was apprehended, but found the usual Pennsylvania 



friends, who beat the officer and allowed him to escape. 
Fresh proclamations forbade any one settling in the valley 
except under license from the proprietors or their lessees; 
and Ogden with a new sheriff was sent once more to oust 
the Yankees. So apathetic were the Pennsylvanians over 
their supposed wrongs that it took two months to raise a 
sufficient force; and it was late in September before Ogden 
arrived at the valley, with 140 men. Traveling by an un- 
usual path, he took it by surprise, and dividing his force 
into small bands, had each one seize a number of the labor- 
ers In the fields. A large part of the settlers were captured 
and sent to Easton jail; the rest took refuge in Fort Durkee. 
Ogden shortly carried it by assault, several men being killed 
and Butler severely wounded ; most of the captives were sent 
to Easton jail, the leaders to Philadelphia. The place was 
thoroughly plundered, and twenty men left in possession to 
hold it till the lessees came in spring to start their Indian 
trading post. 

Satisfied that the enemy were gone for good, Ogden re- 
tired, and the garrison thought it unnecessary even to post 
a sentinel. On the night of the i8th of December, Captain 
Lazarus Stewart and thirty men suddenly burst into and re- 
occupied the fort in the name of Connecticut. Six of the 
garrison escaped to the mountains in their scant sleeping- 
gear, the rest were hustled out; and Ogden was informed 
that after four expulsions, the Connecticut settlers held pos- 
session of the valley once more. 

The proprietary government gathered itself together for a 
fifth effort. Stewart was now the worst hated man (by the 
government) within the charter limits, as a renegade; and a 
still heavier reward was offered for his capture. Ogden, osten- 
sibly under the direction of a new sheriff, and accompanied 



ty his brother, was given the command of a new expedition 
of over a hundred men, which reached the valley by the 
middle of January. The Mill Creek fort being gone, Ogden 
began a new one which he called Fort Wyoming, only sixty 
rods above Fort Durkee; and the sheriff summoned Stewart's 
force to surrender. Stewart declined, and on Jan. 20 Og- 
den assailed the fort. Four of his men were shot down at the 
first volley, including his brother mortally wounded; and 
he withdrew to his own fortification. But Stewart was too 
far overmatched to hold out, and under the legal ban against 
him, capture was too heavy a risk; and with the worst com- 
promised of his party he fled in the night (having first hid- 
den the cannon). The government, on hearing of the en- 
gagement and young Ogden's death, increased the reward for 
Stewart to £300. Ogden occupied the fort next day, and as 
usual, sent the remaining garrison to jail with the sheriff; 
but himself this time remained, fortifying Fort Wyoming 
strongly. Early in April Stewart returned under Zebulon 
Butler (again out of jail), who with 150 men and the 
resurrected cannon laid siege to Fort Wyoming. The in- 
vestment was so close that no one could escape to carry word 
to Philadelphia for reinforcements; but Ogden, by an amaz- 
ing feat of skill and daring, swam down the river under wa- 
ter towing his clothes after him, they drawing the enemy's 
fire, and was in Philadelphia within three days. Butler soon 
discovered the escape, and knew that a company with sup- 
plies would soon follow; ambushed it, and with great skill 
contrived to let the company take refuge in the fort as a 
further drain on its provision, while he captured the pack- 
horses and their lading. Another company was slowly re- 
cruited by the government, only their immediate dependents 
having much interest in securing victory for them; but the 



Connecticut men, who had been trying to starve out the gar- 
rison, were apprehensive of its relief, and began a regular 
assault. Ogden was wounded, a lieutenant was killed, and 
several others were hurt; and the fort was compelled to sur- 
render, under articles of capitulation which this time were 
observed. The proprietary government, with regard to the 
lands almost at its doors, was vanquished by the Connecticut 
emigration; vanquished because its selfishness had left it 
without popular loyalty, and its subjects were not concerned 
for its pockets. The last reinforcements it had ordered to 
the valley were recalled, and the Susquehanna Company left 
the undisturbed possessors of the Wyoming Valley. Thus 
ended the First Pennamite War, extending from January 
1769 to September 1771. 

Relieved from fear and wars, settlement now sprang up 
apace. Within two years the Connecticut district, now 
spread far beyond the valley, numbered two thousand souls. 
Fort Ogden at Mill Creek was raised from its ashes, and 
other forts built, becoming the nuclei of villages; Wilkes- 
barre, surveyed in 1770, was laid out in 1773; Hanover, 
Plymouth, Pittston, Exeter, Providence, Lackaway, etc., be- 
came flourishing townships; the entire space between the 
Delaware and the Susquehanna, under its two companies, 
was rapidly laid off into townships and taken up in farms. 
Churches of course followed at once; taxes were laid to sup- 
port free schools; mills were built. New Connecticut was 
justifying the hopes of its founders, and was quite as use- 
ful to Pennsylvania as the wilderness had been. 

As before noted, all these acts had been under the pri- 
vate auspieces of the companies. The members of the Con- 
necticut government were all members of the companies also, 
or active sympathizers with them; but could aid them much 



better unofficially than officially, and so saved embarrassing 
complications. When the president of the Pennsylvania 
Council wrote to Governor Trumbull of Connecticut, just 
after the "war," to know whether his government counte- 
nanced or authorized "these violent and hostile measures," 
the latter replied that it would "never countenance any vio- 
lent, much less hostile measures, in vindicating the right 
which the Susquehanna Company suppose they have to the 
lands in that part of the country within the limits of the Char- 
ter of this colony." As late as June 1773, since the new col- 
ony must have a government and Connecticut was not ready 
to show its hand, the Susquehanna Company at Hartford 
adopted an instrument of gov-ernment for "certain lands 
purchased of the original natives, by and with 
the assent of the colony of Connecticut," also "claimed to be 
within the jurisdiction of the Province of Pennsylvania" ; and 
because Connecticut had applied to learned counsel in Eng- 
land for advice, but had not yet received it, this govern- 
ment was to continue till Connecticut should annex them to 
one of its counties, or make them a new county, or the King 
of England should give them a more permanent government. 
But at the October Session, the settlements having grown 
strong enough to defend themselves against any probable 
Pennsylvania force, and the latter government apparently 
having given up its claim in despair, Connecticut decided to 
assert jts full rights and open negotiations with Pennsyl- 
vania ; and a resolution to that effect was adopted. The 
method was skillfully chosen to put the Pennsylvania govern- 
ment in the wrong. First it was proposed to appoint mu- 
tual commissioners to run boundary lines and ascertain the 
extent of conflicting claims : this was rejected, it being de- 
nied that Connecticut had any right west of New York. The 



next proposition was to join application to the Crown to ap- 
point such commissioners : rejected, but it was suggested that 
Connecticut might make separate application to the Crown. 
Lastly, it was proposed that Pennsylvania continue as then 
to hold authority over the West Branch, while Connecticut 
extended her jurisdiction over all her settlements "not under 
the laws of Pennsylvania" till the dispute was compromised 
or a decision had from the King in Council: rejected per- 
emptorily. The Pennsylvania Assembly urged the proprie- 
tors to hasten the royal decision as above. But Connecticut 
had gained its point, and promptly passed an act (January 
1774) erecting all the territory "within its charter limits," 
from the Delaware to fifteen miles west of the Susquehanna, 
into the town of Westmoreland, as a part of Litchfield 
County. The Governor issued a proclamation forbidding all 
settlement there except under the authority of Connecticut; 
thus for the first time opposing the shield of legal right 
against the fulminations, warrants, and arrests of Pennsyl- 
vania authority. The Penn government of course retorted 
with another prohibiting settlement except under its own. 
The Connecticut government lost no time, however, in an- 
choring its abstract right by concrete action: justices of the 
peace were commissioned (Zebulon Butler being one), a 
town meeting called, and town officers chosen; the Susque- 
hanna Company's settlements were divided into seven dis- 
tricts, the Delaware Company's were made another. A full 
complement of town officers was chosen; a pound, stocks, 
and a whipping post set up ; representatives were sent to the 
Connecticut General Assembly; and a probate court was 

In 1774 the Pennsylvanians began a clever game to un- 
dermine the Connecticut authorities. They would buy town 



lots or farm rights under the Connecticut title, and then 
openly scout it as worthless, claiming their real one to be a 
previous Pennsylvania title bought from the proprietors' 
lessees. Pennsylvania surveyors plotted out tracts in West- 
moreland, and made preparations to sow discord in the Con- 
necticut household. Connecticut men were not likely to en- 
dure this: a town meeting was held, and a committee of nine 
appointed with power to expel any one taking lands under 
the Pennsylvania title. They did so, against the vociferous 
protest of Pennsylvania ; some of the expelled were men of 
ability, one of them the founder of Meadville. Pennsylvania 
retaliated by renewing the Pennamite wars. As early as 
1 77 1, the Susquehanna Company had bought and surveyed 
a tract on the West Branch of the river, at Muncy, twenty or 
thirty miles west of "Westmoreland"; and planted two set- 
tlements or townships there, Charleston and Judea. Just 
at this time the Revolutionary War was in full blast; and 
the Westmoreland people held a town meeting (Aug. i, 
1775) in which it was resolved to "make any accommoda- 
tions with the Pennsylvania party that shall conduce to the 
best good of the whole, . . . and come in common 
cause of liberty in the defense of America." The Pennsyl- 
vanians paid no manner of attention to it. In September 
1775 Col. Plunket with several hundred Northumberland 
County militia inv^aded them, killed one man and wounded 
several, burnt the buildings and confiscated the movables and 
stock, sent the men to Sunbury jail and the women and chil- 
dren to Wyoming. This ended all Connecticut attempts to 
settle west of Westmoreland. Connecticut on news of the 
imminent assault petitioned the new Continental Congress to 
prevent it; Congress resolved that the colonial assemblies 
should try to avert hostilities, and the Pennsylvania Assem- 



bly inquired what led Congress to suppose any hostilities 
were likely. 

Flushed with this easy victory, Pennsylvania, now its own 
mistress and inheritrix of the Penn feud against the Yankees, 
determined to raise an overwhelming force and expel the 
Westmoreland settlers in a body; although this extermina- 
tion of a white settlement now numbering several thousand 
people would have been as monstrous as the Acadian depor- 
tation. Such a force was given to Plunket as Ogden, a much 
superior officer, never dreamed of: seven hundred, a field 
piece, and a train of boats with ammunition and supplies. As 
before, a sheriff — of Northumberland County — accompanied 
him with a stock of writs. Wyoming trading boats down the 
river were confiscated, and Plunket began his march early 
in December. Westmoreland could muster only three hun- 
dred, including old men and boys; and a small number of 
these were the treacherous Pennsylvania settlers. There were 
not muskets enough to arm even this band. But the town 
collected its forces, and meantime sent appeals to Congress to 
interfere. The latter ordered hostilities suspended till it 
could adjudicate on the question ; but Plunket had already 
made his way through the gathering ice on the river and ap- 
peared at the head of the valley. Butler, in command, was 
anxious not to shed blood, and would not intrench himself in 
the advanced mountain passes, being determined only to act 
in strict defense of the settlement; but he constructed so for- 
midable a rampart with logs and a naturally strong position, 
that Plunkett's troops assaulted it in vain. The breastwork 
could not be carried; his flanking parties were discovered 
and foiled : and after having several men killed, on Christmas 
day he retreated down the river. Thus ended the Second 
Pennamite War. Militia seem to have been lukewarm, be- 



lieving that the dispute should be adjusted otherwise ; and in 
the heart of Revolutionary hostilities to expend such an army 
in civil war, with certainty from the past of a fierce and 
bloody resistance now that Wyoming was so much stronger, 
is only one of several curious side-lights on the fervor of op- 
position to Great Britain. Connecticut acted better, not wish- 
ing to weaken colonial unity : she prohibited any further 
settlement in Westmoreland except by special license from 
the Assembly; whereupon Congress recommended her not 
to allow any further settlement at all till the dispute was 

The further history of this colony must be left to another 
place. How the strength of the settlement was broken 
by the Indian and Tory massacre, enabling Pennsylvania to 
resume possession; how the legal proceedings dragged on 
till settled by a unanimous decision of arbitrators in favor 
of Pennsylvania, with accompaniments which make it evi- 
dent that an agreement had been reached beforehand, and 
leaving Connecticut and Pennsylvania in a significant state of 
mutual amity, — these will be duly set forth in a chapter on 
the Western Reserve in the Second Volume. Enough to say 
here that with the just fortune of far-sighted and well-plan- 
ned policies, Connecticut made a substantial salvage out of 
the wreck, and indeed gained what she had sought from the 
first, — not extension of administrative jurisdiction, but fresh 
lands for settlement, and a fair price for relinquishing what 
had been legally accorded her. F. M. 



Ecclesiastical Matters 

THE religious grounds of the Puritan and Inde- 
pendent or Pilgrims emigration have been 
set forth in Chapter VII. The opposition to 
the established church in England assumed 
two forms : one which did not object to the 
establishment as such or to its professed rule of faith or or- 
der, but claimed that it had not completed its work of refor- 
mation, and that it needed to be beneficial still further along 
the lines on which some progress had been made; the other 
which held that it was necessary to break away from the 
Church of England, as that church had already broken away 
from its obedience to Rome, and to set up a new organization 
in which each congregation of professing Christians should 
be an independent church, with the power of determining its 
own creed and choosing its own officers. The Puritans, as 
their name implies, did not consider themselves outside of 
the Church of England, but as the only members of that 
church who had the right view of its position and duties; 
the Independents withdrew from their former relations to 
a State Church, and held that they must form a new church 
for each body of Christian men habitually worshipping to- 
gether, determining its own polity and faith, and united to 
others only on the principles of comity. The Massachusetts 
Bay colony was led by Puritans ; Plymouth colony was a com- 
pany of Independents. It will be readily seen that the for- 
mer was aristocratic in its political tendencies, while the latter 
was more inclined to democracy; yet on the other hand the 
Puritans kept more nearly to v/hat was called the ''parish 
way," looking upon all who lived within the limits of a 
clergyman's care as his parishioners, and as entitled to the 
privileges of the church's ordinances at his hands, while the 
Independents followed the "church way," and regarded those 



only as really members of the church who had confessed their 
faith and been formally admitted by a vote of the brethren. 
The Connecticut colony was made up of members of the 
Massachusetts colony who sympathized more or less with 
the Plymouth settlers, the democratic wing of an aristocratic 
community; the settlers of New Haven were aristocrats as- 
sociated together on the Independent principle of equality. 
It may be said here, by way of anticipation, that when the 
colonists felt that they were really second from England, 
these two classes tended to draw together, so that their dif- 
ferences became rather theoretical than practical; there was 
no real attempt to continue in New England the church as it 
was by law established in England. 

But, to return to the times of the first settlements, we can 
easily see the difference of which we have been speaking in 
the documents which record the first legislative acts of the 
two settlements. The "Fundamental Orders" of Connecticut 
show plainly that they are the work of a mind (or of minds) 
trained to legal methods and in legal phraseology ; and in the 
fact that they require no ecclesiastical test for membership in 
the body politic, they show that both clergy and laity were 
content with the old "parish way." The first compact of the 
New Haven colony, the influence of which was soon extended 
to other settlements affiliated with it, was evidently inspired 
by the theocratic views of its founder, who was its leader in 
matters ecclesiastical, and therefore in matters civil; no one 
was a citizen then who was not first a member of the church. 

For these, as for other reasons, it is not strange that the 
colony at the mouth of the Quinnipiach proved weaker po- 
litically than that on the banks of the Connecticut. After the 
union, which meant the failure of the principles which he had 
maintained, Mr. Davenport removed to Boston, when he be- 



came minister of the first church and died in 1670. Mr, 
Hooker of Hartford, died many years before the union, but 
he left a form of government destined to have great and 
lasting influence. He and pastors who followed him had of- 
ficially no legislative or judicial power; but their influence 
as men and as Christian ministers was constantly, and almost 
always beneficially felt. 

Except in the case in which an already organized church 
formed an essential part, and in fact the chief part, of the 
migration, it was one of the first and most imperative duties 
of a New England settlement that a church should be organ- 
ized in it. The organization was always on the same general 
plan, commonly called Puritan, but more strictly Indepen- 
dent. The adult members of the community who were ac- 
knowledged as having had that experience which warranted 
them in becoming "professing Christians," covenanted to- 
gether and made a covenant with God to hold the faith, to 
obey the divine law, and to observe the ordinances. They 
chose — or sometimes, as it would appear, simply recognized 
— some suitable person to be their pastor. In the first gene- 
ration this was almost always a man who had served as an 
ordained clergyman in the Church of England, but had left 
or been removed from his benefice — not deposed from his 
oflSce — on account of non-conformity, that is to say, because 
he had adopted and was teaching the distinction tenets of 
Puritanism or Independency. Some of the clergy and peo- 
ple held that a minister should be ordained anew when he un- 
dertook the charge of a new flock; some held that an ordi- 
nation once accepted was sufficient for the whole work of the 
ministry; but of these latter, some preferred that there 
should be a laying-on of hands by way of recognition, though 
not by way of giving authority, when a minister entered 



upon a new pastorate. Again, at ordinations some churches, 
holding views which were really those of the Presbyterians, 
called upon the pastors of other churches to lay hands upon 
the men whom they had chosen and set them apart to the 
ministry; and others, following out the principles of strict 
Congregationalism, appointed certain lay-brethren of their 
own number to ordain the candidate to the pastorate. 

It appears that Mr. Hooker of Hartford and Mr. Dav- 
enport of New Haven both received a new ordination be- 
fore entering upon pastoral duties over their flocks in this 
new land; while Rev. Henry Whitefield of Guilford con- 
sidered himself as continuing his English ministry, and was 
not again ordained; and the first pastors at Saybrook and 
Milford, Mr. James Fitch and Mr. Peter Prudden, were or- 
dained by lay-members of their own churches. But in no case 
was a man qualified to minister the sacraments, or acknowl- 
edged to be the rightful head of a congregation, until he had 
received a formal ordination. 

A fully organized church was held to need, not only a 
pastor, but also a teacher, a ruling elder, and at least tsvo 
deacons. Both the pastor and the teacher were ordained, 
and both were preachers — the former being considered to be 
specially concerned with the conduct of the flock, and the 
latter with their knowledge of divine truth; the ruling elder 
was moderator of the church meetings, and in general its 
executive officer; and the deacons cared especially for the 
temporalities. But the source of all authority, under the one 
Divine Head of all churches, our Lord Jesus Christ, was the 
local church, and it was, at least in theory, the final court of 
appeal. It seems certain that some of the churches never 
had teachers or ruling elders, as distinct from pastors, one 
man discharging all ministerial functions with such assist- 



ance as the deacons were qualified to give; certainly nearly 
all after the first generation, and all after the second, were 
content with the pastorate and the diaconate. The deacons, 
it should be said, held office for life and were formally or- 

In religious societies organized as were those of Connec- 
ticut in its early days, there would almost certainly arise di- 
versity of opinions, at least, in regard to usages and the de- 
tails of church government. The settlement of Stamford in 
1 64 1 was due to dissension in Wethersfield, the seven church 
members being divided three against four; finally the min- 
ister, Mr. Denton, with the minority of the people and the 
church, sought a new home. A greater contention was that 
which for some years (1653 to 1659) disturbed the peace 
of the church in Hartford. Mr. Hooker had died in 1647, 
and Mr. Stone, his colleague with the title of teacher, has 
succeeded him as pastor; and a controversy sprang up be- 
tween him and the ruling elder, Mr. Goodwin, "the true 
original" of which, to use Cotton Mather's words, was "al- 
most as obscure as the rise of Connecticut River." A large 
minority withdrew from the communion of the church; and 
the advice of councils within the two colonies here, that of 
the ministers in Boston and its neighborhood, and even the 
authority of the General Assembly of the Colony, were in- 
voked in vain. Finally the ruling elder and his adherents 
removed to Hadley, and the great quarrel was ended. Oth- 
er churches had a somewhat similar experience. 

But the most important topic of controversy, based on 
theological principles and having far-reaching results, was 
that as to the proper subjects for baptism. The strict theory 
of the New England churches was that their membership 
should be restricted to "visible saints," who could give proof 



of their "regeneration" or conversion; and that only such 
persons and their children might rightly be baptized. But 
there were some in the community, as has been already said, 
who were more inclined to follow the "parish-way" of the 
Church of England; they were disposed to admit all persons 
of good moral character, even if they had not had a definite 
religious "experience," to church membership, and to give 
their children the seal of the covenant in baptism. The chil- 
dren of the first colonists were baptized in consequence of 
their parents' church-membership; but few of them as they 
grew up could satisfy the conditions for membership, and as 
a consequence their children could not be presented for bap- 
tism and received under the "watch and care" of the church. 
The consequence was that there soon were many men and 
women of blameless lives and religious habits for whom 
there was no place in the churches, and that their children 
were growing up without any connection with the coven- 
ant or any acknowledged relation to the great Head of the 
Church. It became a serious question whether the denial of 
baptism to the children of parents themselves baptized but 
not admitted to the Lord's Supper, which was demanded 
by the strict Congregational theory, could be justified either 
on principles or by its practical results in life. To meet this, 
the so-called Half-way Covenant was devised, whereby bap- 
tized adults of upright life, solemnly owning the Christian 
covenant and putting themselves under the care of the 
church, although they did not venture to ask communicant 
privileges for themselves, might secure baptismal privileges 
for their children. It was approved by an assembly of eld- 
ers of New England meeting in Boston in 1657, but was 
opposed by a strong minority of good men and learned theo- 
logians, who felt it to be an abandonment of one of the chief 



principles on which they had separated from the Church of 
England. In 1666, Mr. Haynes, the younger of the two 
pastors of the church in Hartford, undertook to put the 
Half-way Covenant into practice, and Mr. Whiting, his 
senior colleague, forbade him to proceed with the service. 
Then followed a controversy of three years and a half, when 
finally the General Court gave permission to Mr. Whiting 
and thirty-one members of the church to organize for a 
"distinct walking in Congregational order." It really pro- 
vided for an anomaly, in allowing two churches or parishes 
of the same territorial limits, differing in details of doctrine 
or order, or both. The new or second church intended to 
keep to strict Congregationalism; the first followed more 
closely, as it would seem, in the spirit of its founders, even 
if it failed to carry out all their teachings. But strange as 
it may appear, before the controversy was well ended the 
reason for it was forgotten, and the new organization at 
once began the usage of the Half-way Covenant. It stood 
therefore but for a short time as a protest against the "par- 
ish-way," or what may be called the Presbyterianizing ten- 
dency in Connecticut ecclesiastical matters. But in New Ha- 
ven and elsewhere the protest was still made and maintained. 
The articles of faith accepted and taught in Connecticut 
in the early days were those which were held by the Pro- 
testant reformers of Europe. The Westminster Confession, 
so long recognized as a standard, was set forth by the As- 
sembly of Divines in 1646; and two years later a council 
which met at Cambridge in Massachusetts, and at which rep- 
resentatives from Connecticut and New Haven were present, 
accepted it in all matters of faith. A council at the Savoy 
in London prepared such modifications of the Westminster 
confession, in matters relating to church gov^ernment, as 



would state the position held by the Congregationalists ; and 
these also were accepted in 1680 by a council of New Eng- 
land churches sitting in Boston. On the Congregational or 
Independent theory, as has been said, each body of Christian 
men and women, in covenant with Christ and each other, 
was a complete church, with full powers of administration 
and discipline. The churches, indeed, ought to be in com- 
munion with each other; but the purpose of this communion 
was mutual aid and encouragement, consultation, and if need 
be admonition; the final responsibility was with the local 
church, and the ecclesiastical unit was the church-member. 
But this theory was not fully accepted by all. even in the early 
days of our colony. There were some here, as then in 
England, to whom the form of church organization and 
government embodied in the Presbyterian confessions seemed 
more in accord with the teaching of the New Testament, 
and better suited for the needs of Christianity and of indi- 
vidual Christians. And as, with the growth of the colony 
both before and after the union, there was greater need for 
co-operation and greater danger from dissension, there ap- 
peared to be a demand for some closer organization in the 
interests of harmony and unity. Voluntary conferences had 
been held, and appeals had been made to the General Court 
as having a sort of supreme authority; but neither course 
of action had proved entirely satisfactory. As early as 1668 
the General Court had desired four eminent ministers, one 
from each county, to meet at Saybrook and devise a plan of 
union for the churches of Connecticut; and again in 1703 
an assembly was called, which gave consent to the doctrinal 
confessions already named, and drew up rules for unity in 
discipline. But the famous council which framed the Say- 
brook Platform did not meet till 1708. It was summoned 



by the General Court, and was composed of twelve ministers 
and four lay delegates elected to represent the forty-one 
churches of the congregational order in Connecticut. (In 
fact, these were all the ecclesiastical organizations in the col- 
ony, except one Episcopal parish in Stratford and one Bap- 
tist society in Groton, both organized the year before.) This 
council took no action in matters of doctrine, except to ex- 
press its approval of the assent which had been given to the 
Westminster Confession as modified by that of the Savoy, 
declaring also that it accepted the doctrinal part of those 
commonly called the Articles of the Church of England. 
What was peculiar to it, and belongs distinctively to the Say- 
brook Platform and to Connecticut ecclesiastical history, was 
an organization of the churches for purposes of conference 
and discipline. It was provided that the ministers in each 
county should meet at least twice a year in Associations, to 
consult on matters of common interest, to examine candidates 
for the ministry and recommend suitable ministers for "be- 
reaved churches," to provide for taking action in case any of 
their members were accused of scandalous life or erroneous 
teaching, and to act as a general board of appeal. There was 
also to be a General Association of delegates from the Coun- 
ty Associations, to which no legislative power was given, but 
which was to serve for consultation on matters of general in- 

The action of the council was reported to the General 
Court (or Legislature), which immediately passed an act 
accepting it and declaring that the churches united under 
this agreement or platform should be henceforth estab- 
lished by law ; adding, however, a proviso that no society al- 
lowed by law which should "soberly differ or dissent" there- 
fore should be hindered "from exercising worship and 



discipline in their own way." The general effect of the 
Saybrook Platform was to bring together the Congre- 
gational and the Presbyterian elements in the Colony, 
and to give to the body thus formed or united a strength 
which could not have been otherwise secured. In spite of se- 
rious opposition from some individuals and churches, it was 
generally accepted and its authority recognized. There 
were, however, some "strict Congregationalists," as they 
called themselves, or "Separates" as they were usually de- 
nominated, who declined to accede to the change, which they 
thought to be in the direction of Presbyterianism, prelacy, 
and popery. They, with Presbyterians who refused to con- 
sociate, were not reckoned as dissenting "soberly," and were 
treated with a good deal of severity; and, on their part, they 
charged the established church with lack of fidelity to princi- 
ple, and called its adherents Latitudinarians and Arminians. 
The first church in Norwich renounced the Saybrook plat- 
form in 17 1 7, but it does not seem to have been reckoned 
among the "Separates." The act of establishment was 
repealed in 1784. 

For many years the financial support of the church in each 
town was regarded as the duty of the whole community, and 
the charges, like other public charges, were included in the 
general taxation of the inhabitants. In the early days this 
was not felt to be a burden ; but as time went on there were 
some who from lack of interest in religious matters, and oth- 
ers who on account of preferring some other ecclesiastical or- 
ganization to that of the "Standing Order," as it was called, 
felt the burden of a forced contribution to that for which 
they did not care, or of which they did not approve. No re- 
lief was given to the unbeliever, the indifferent, or the Sepa- 
rate; but when "sober dissenters" appeared in sufficient num- 




bers to maintain services of their own, they were allowed, 
under not unreasonable restrictions, to turn their ecclesiastical 
taxes to the support of their own services. This was granted 
to the Episcopalians in 1727, and to the Baptists and the 
Quakers in 1729. 

It has been already noted that a congregation of adherents 
of the Church of England had been organized in Stratford in 
1707 ; but it was somewhat closely connected with other par- 
ishes of that body in the province of New York, 
and attracted little attention from Connecticut people. 
But at the Commencement of Yale College in 1722, the 
community was startled at the announcement that the 
two officers of instruction in that institution, the Rec- 
tor and the Tutor, Mr. Timothy Cutler and Mr. Daniel 
Brown, together with Mr. Samuel Johnson, a graduate and 
former tutor, and another graduate, Mr. James Wetmore — 
all Congregational ministers — had "declared for Episco- 
pacy" and were about to sail for England to ask for ordi- 
nation at the hands of a bishop. The three first named un- 
dertook their voyage at once, and the fourth followed in the 
next year. Mr. Brown died in England of the small-pox; 
Dr. Cutler returned to become rector of a church in Bos- 
ton; and Dr. Johnson became practically the founder and 
really for a long time the maintainer of Episcopacy in Con- 
necticut. Mr. Wetmore also labored in the colony of his 
birth. About forty other Connecticut young men, all Col- 
lege graduates, crossed the ocean before the Revolution, seek- 
ing from bishops authority to preach the Word of God and 
minister the sacraments. They gathered a goodly number 
of adherents, and organized them into parishes throughout 
the colony. It was for the relief of these Episcopalians, 
when there were yet but few in number, that the act of 1727 



was passed. Under its provisions, those members of the 
Church of England who lived within a prescribed distance of 
a house of worship of their own, and actually attended wor- 
ship there, might have their ecclesiastical tax paid by the 
town collector to their own clergyman instead of the min- 
ister of the Standing Order. Those who lived at too great 
a distance from any church of their own still paid their quota 
to the common fund as before. This relief, extended to 
other bodies as they became strong enough to ask for it, did 
not touch the case of those who had no ecclesiastical connec- 
tion, or (as was said above) of Separate Congregational- 
ists. All who did not actually belong legally to some toler- 
ated ecclesiastical society were reckoned, for purposes of tax- 
ation, members of the societies connected with the established 
associated churches; and this condition of things lasted until 
the Constitution of Connecticut adopted in 1818 made it 
possible for a man to leave one ecclesiastical society without 
joining another. 

The religious life of the colony was roused in 1740 by the 
Great Awakening. There had been, it cannot be doubted, a 
great declension in religion, the revival from which is traced 
in its beginning to the preaching of the illustrious Jonathan 
Edwards, a native of East Windsor, then pastor at North- 
ampton in Massachusetts. His stern theology and power- 
ful preaching, not without a winsomeness of character, had 
a wonderful effect; and this was enhanced by the work of 
George Whitefield, a man whose zeal often needed to be 
tempered with judgment, and of the wildly fanatical James 
Davenport. Their work was welcomed by some of the min- 
isters; but presently the more sober among them, seeing the 
disorders which followed this preaching and feeling the in- 
justice of the denunciation of themselves and their teaching,, 



protested and labored strongly against it, having the assist- 
ance of the civil authority, which increased the penalties for 
unlicensed preaching. Theologically the Great Awakening 
was a recall to the Calvinism and the strict Congregation- 
alism of early times; as such, it was welcomed by some but 
opposed by most of the adherents of the Standing Order. It 
made a division between the Old Lights, the former dom- 
inant party, and the New Lights; the extremists among the 
latter went into separate organizations, some of which later 
affiliated with those from whom they had withdrawn, while 
others conformed to the doctrines and practices of the Bap- 
tists. A former controversy in Guilford, where the church 
had not accepted the Saybrook Patform, had turned on per- 
sonal rather than ecclesiastical preferences; but now the 
celebrated Wallingford case was a controversy both theo- 
logical and ecclesiastical, and was claimed as a victory for the 
New Lights on Old Light principles; as such It must have 
had some influence for unity in a time of division. But It was 
long before the evil effects of this time of excitement passed 
quite away. 

This revival had an influence on the Indians as well as the 
whites. There had been converts in the early days, the first 
being Wequash, a sagamore who had acted as guide to Ma- 
son's expedition against the Pequots; his conversion, It was 
said, was due to the result of the campaign, when he found 
the Englishmen's God stronger than the gods of their ene- 
mies. It was believed that he came to his death from poison 
given him by some of his own people who hated him as an 

About 1730 an effort was made, probably not for the first 
time, to educate some of the Indians, a school for that pur- 
pose being established at Farmlngton; and the General As- 



sembly imposed a fine on any one having Indian children in 
his family who failed to teach them the English language 
and instruct them in the Christian faith. In the fall of 1733 
a missionary named Jonathan Barber was sent to the Mo- 
hegans, and he probably was still with them at the time of 
the Great Awakening. The chief, Ben Uncas, became a 
Christian, and thirteen of the Indians were admitted mem- 
bers of the church in Lyme. From this tribe came the In- 
dian convert who holds the most honored place in our an- 
nals, Samson Occom. Inspired with a desire to become a 
preacher to his own people, he entered Rev. Eleazar Whee- 
lock's school at Lebanon in 1743, when he was towards 
twenty years of age, and became fluent in the English tongue, 
besides gaining a fair knowledge of Latin, Greek, and He- 
brew. For ten years he taught the Montauk Indians and 
preached to them as a licensed minister, and in 1759 he was 
ordained by the presbytery of Suffolk. Meanwhile Mr. 
Wheelock's school had became a missionary training-school 
for Indians; and as, owing to the stress of the times, it was 
difficult to obtain needed help for it, Occom was sent to 
England in 1766 with Rev. Nathaniel Wheeler, that he 
might be a living example of what Christianity could do for 
the American Indians. His appearance and his eloquent and 
forcible way of speaking and preaching attracted much at- 
tention; and he collected some £10,000 for Mr. Wheelock's 
project, among the contributors being King George III. and 
Lord Dartmouth. In the advancing years he removed with 
a band of Indians to Oneida County, New York, where he 
died in 1792. With the funds which he brought from 
Great Britain, a school for Indians was established in New 
Hampshire, from which sprang Dartmouth College. 

S. H. 


The Colonial Jurisprudence 

THE name of the colony is taken from that of 
the river, which is Indian, meaning "the long 
river." The discrepancy of the spelling from 
the pronunciation, which disturbs our Eng- 
lish cousins greatly, is the most natural thing 
in the world. Our ancestors had two things to do with the 
Indian name, — to write it and to spell it; and, like sensible 
and illogical Englishmen, did not allow one to interfere with 
the other. The nearest approach an English throat could 
make to the Indian sounds is probably about Kwon-egh- 
te-kut, the second syllable representing a very rough and 
harsh guttural sound has no counterpart in English. In 
speaking, it was simply dropped; in writing it was repre- 
sented by the English guttural available, the k sound. Nei- 
ther spelling nor pronunciation corresponds to the original; 
but of the two, the latter comes the nearer, as a total sup- 
pression of the sound has more similitude than the one of k. 
The first was often given its full phonetic equivalent "qu," 
rarely as "K," more usually "C." 

The colonial records and other sources furnish us Quin- 
niticut, Quinnihticut, Quinnehtukut, Quoneketacut, and Quo- 
nahtucut, — the latter seemingly the nearest to accuracy, — Ke- 
neticut, Conecticutt, Conecticot, Conecticotte, Conetcoit, and 
Connetticote ; the nearest to the present spelling is one with 
but one n in the first syllable. It is impossible to tell at what 
date the present spelling became uniform, as in many of the 
transcripts from the original records the modern orthography 
has been adopted. 

The legislative and judicial power of the colony was 
vested in the General Court, which had no check on its 
authority except the provision that its acts were not to be 
contrary to the laws of England. It had absolute power 



within these lines over life, liberty, and property; the real 
check being Its election and that of the magistrates by the 
body of freemen. 

On its formation its membership consisted of four depu- 
ties from each of the towns of Hartford, Windsor, and 
Wethersfield; and at Its last session before the union of the 
colonies of Connecticut and New Haven, there were present 
six magistrates and twenty-five deputies. 

Before the adoption of the Fundamental Orders, the Gen- 
eral Court organized what became known as a "Particular 
Court" for the trial of persons charged with misdemeanors; 
the personnel of this court is traditional, though It undoubt- 
edly consisted of a majority of the magistrates. Though no 
mention of Its existence appears In the Fundamental Orders, 
it continued holding Its session at Irregular times until May 
1642, when it was enacted that It should meet only once in 
three months, and thereafter was known as the "Quarter 
Court." The earliest record of the definite formation of this 
court Is in May 1647, when the General Court enacted that it 
should consist of the Governor, Deputy Governor, and two 
magistrates; and in the absence of the executive officers, three 
magistrates could hold court. The jurisdiction of this tri- 
bunal extended to all minor disputes. It was purely judicial 
in its construction, though Its functions included all subjects 
of legal controversy, both civil and criminal ; while it was a 
court of appeals for the inferior judicial tribunals, its de- 
cisions could be carried on appeal to the General Court. In 
civil cases, where the amounts involved exceeded forty shil- 
lings, the trial at the discretion of the magistrates could be 
submitted to a jury of six or twelve, and two-thirds of their 
number could render a legal verdict; if in the opinion of the 
magistrates the verdict was not in accordance with the testi- 



mony, they could require the jury to reconsider its decision, 
or they could impanel another. In suits for damages, if the 
magistrates deemed the sum allowed exorbitant or inade- 
quate, they had power to alter it. As early as 1643 pro- 
visions were made for a grand jury; and as the magistrates 
received only fees for their services, a statute was passed 
making it obligatory for persons to pay the costs of the pros- 
ecutions before leaving court, or suffer imprisonment. 

The inferior judicial bodies were limited in their jurisdic- 
tion to the boundaries of the township, and were designated 
as town courts; their members consisted of five or seven men, 
who were called principal men, afterwards known as select- 
men. These were elected annually, and one of their mem- 
bers was chosen Moderator, his presence being required to 
constitute a quorum. Their judicial powers were limited to 
claims of debt and trespass where the amount involved was 
less than forty shillings, and before execution was issued the 
case could be appealed. Sessions of the town courts were 
held once in two months, and in case of a tie the moderator 
was empowered to cast the deciding vote. These three 
courts, the Town, Quarter, and General, were the judicial 
tribunals of the colony before the granting of the charter. 

There were no radical changes made by the new charter, 
although the General Court became the General Assembly, 
which name It has since retained. The General Assembly 
enjoyed the same supreme power as Its predecessor, and the 
same formal style of an enacting clause was retained, as fol- 
lows: "Be it enacted by the Governor and Council and 
House of Representatives in General Court assembled." It 
had the sole power of dissolving itself; and by the revision 
of the statutes in 1672 it asumed the right of filling its own 
vacancies, also of granting reprieves, pardons, and jail suspen- 



sions. Monopolies and trusts were not allowed unless prof- 
itable to the country : a sufficiently large loophole. 

Marriage was considered as a civil contract, and divorces 
were the prerogative of the Assembly; separations were al- 
lowed, by the enactment of a law in 1677, for adultery, fraud- 
ulent consent willful desertion for three years with neglect 
of duty, and seven years' absence, certification of the facts 
being required. These were very liberal divorce laws, when 
it is remembered that most Christian countries barely toler- 
ated it, and that the Scriptures specify adultery as the only 

On ecclesiastical subjects the Assembly was the fountain- 
head of laws, their privilege extended even to choosing sites 
for meeting-houses. Their sessions were semi-annual, and 
on the consolidation of the two colonies it was proposed that 
they should be held alternately in Hartford and New Ha- 
ven; this did not receive the sanction of those interested in 
the latter city till 1701, and from that year the May As- 
sembly was held at Hartford, the October Assembly at New 
Haven. The dual capital was not abolished till 1876. 

The first meeting-place of the General Assembly was a 
square frame meeting-house, situated on the southeast cor- 
ner of the present City Hall Square at Hartford. In 17 19 
the first assembly house was built on the west side of the 
square, having one entrance on Main Street and another on 
Central Row; the appropriation for it was the result of an 
agreement between the rival capitals. The sales of un- 
granted lands had netted £1,500, and £650 was appropriated 
to build a colonial assembly-house at Hartford, and to ap- 
pease New Haven, £500 was donated to Yale College. This 
building continued to be occupied for legislative purposes till 



1795 ; the cupola was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1783, 
at the celebration following the peace with England. 

The old "Particular Court" or "Quarter Court," after the 
securing of the charter, became known as the Court of As- 
sistants, and consisted of the Governor or Deputy Gover- 
nor, who was the presiding officer, and at least six assistants. 
It had original cognizance over all crimes relating to life, 
limb, or banishment, and appellate jurisdiction over all 
cases; its powers were enlarged by assigning to it all di- 
vorce cases, and in 1681 it was invested with the duties of a 
Court of Admiralty. The court consisted of seven mem- 
bers, of whom five were a quorum; and it was so closely 
identified with the upper house of the Legislature, that its 
semi-annual session was held one week before the convening 
of the General Assembly. For the first thirty-five years of 
its existence the court terms were held at Hartford, but after 
1 70 1 they alternated between that town and New Haven. 
It v/as found inconvenient and expensive, however, to hold 
only two sessions a year at only two points; and in May 
171 1, by an act of the General Assembly its successor the 
Superior Court was created. 

By the organization of the Court of Assistants, only a 
small part of the business belonging to the Particular Court 
was provided for, and other judicial tribunals were needed. 
The colony was first divided into counties in 1665, and in the 
following year county courts were instituted; their personnel 
consisted of three assistants, or at least one assistant and two 
commissioners who later became known as justices of the 
peace. In 1698 it was enacted that four freemen should be 
justices, three of whom, with a presiding judge appointed 
by the General Assembly, should constitute a court; and in 
absence of the legislative appointees, three justices were em- 



powered to act. The jurisdiction of the county court was 
limited to granting letters of administration, probating wills, 
civil cases, — real, personal, or mixed, — and all criminal cases 
not pertaining to life, limb, banishment, adultery, or divorce; 
in 17 1 2 its duties were enlarged, and in association with the 
grand jurors it could levy taxes upon each town in the 

The duties of the county court were lightened in 17 16, 
and courts of probate were established in each county; to 
their jurisdiction were delegated all cases pertaining to the 
administration of estates and probating of wills; there was 
an appeal to the higher courts, from all the decisions ren- 
dered by these inferior courts. 

On the organization of the Superior Court it consisted of 
four judges, of whom three were a quorum, and two terms 
were to be held annually in each of the counties; its jurisdic- 
tion was similar to the Court of Assistants. It had cog- 
nizance of all pleas to the Crown, matters relating to the 
conserving of peace and the punishment of offenders, as well 
as civil cases brought before it by appeal, review, writs of 
error, or otherwise. The General Assembly having the pow- 
er by its rules to invest other judicial tribunals with its au- 
thority, as cases accumulated on its docket a channel was 
sought to relieve itself of its multiplicity of business. The 
superior court was the most convenient tribunal of justice, 
and in consequence, the General Assembly gradually enlarged 
its functions. On the court's organization its jurisdiction was 
limited to civil cases involving £100; this was soon increased 
to £450, in 1768 to £800, and in 1784 to £1,600. The county 
courts' jurisdiction in 1762 was increased from £20 to £100. 
Both the superior and county courts were granted the power 



of ordering new trials for mispleading, new evidence, and 
other reasonable causes. 

In the middle of the eighteenth century, a curious struggle 
took place between the established and essential democratic 
methods of inheritance, and an attempt to install feudalism 
in Connecticut. Primogeniture and democracy are obviously 
contradictions in terms : the latter rests on general equality 
of opportunities, though not of condition. Of course in- 
equalities could be constituted by will in New England, but 
the feeling was against them. But since, In the absence of 
specific law, the estates of intestates were settled on the Eng- 
lish principle, the eldest son taking all the real estate, Mas- 
sachusetts in 1692 and Connecticut in 1699 passed acts pro- 
viding for the equal distribution of such estates, save a double 
share to the eldest son. This was confirmed by an English 
Order in Council, permitting all colonial laws to remain in 
force till disallowed by the Crown. The Intestate Estates 
Act was respected till 1724, when John Winthrop of New 
London, son of General Wait Still and grandson of Gover- 
nor John Winthrop, contested it. He was administrator of 
the estate of his father, as well as that of his uncle Fitz John; 
his sister's husband, Thomas Lechmere of Boston, brought 
suit for the daughter's share. Winthrop took the ground 
that the Connecticut act was invalid as contrary to English 
law, under which real estate belonged to none but the heir- 
at-law, and administrators had no concern with it. The Con- 
necticut Superior Court made short work of this denial of 
its basis of existence, ousted him from the administratorship, 
and appointed Lechmere and his wife instead. Winthrop 
petitioned the General Assembly to cancel the decision and 
restore his rights, threatening an appeal to the King in Coun- 
cil; the Assembly dismissed the petition; Winthrop pro- 



tested, and was summoned before the Assembly for con- 
tempt. He Insulted that body like another Randolph, declar- 
ing himself its peer as standing under English law, and per- 
petually interrupting the Governor; was committed to the 
custody of the sherift, "escaped" that night, and was fined in 
absence. Making his way to England, he obtained from 
the Council, Feb. 15, 1727-8, a decree sustaining him and 
annulling the Intestate Estates Law. The colony, which had 
not been heard, instructed its agent to defend the case, and 
sent petitions to the home government to allow the act to 
continue, and at least to validate the acts of the probate 
courts previous to the decision. No help could be had, and 
the colony was in sore distress. Not only was a large quan- 
tity of property thrown into possible litigation, but the char- 
ter itself was merely waste paper; its existence was a farce 
If It had no power except to transfer English law and custom 
bodily to Connecticut. The colony, however, acted with Its 
characteristic resolution not to let the records show any more 
legal precedents against itself than It could help. WInthrop's 
case was beyond repair; but as far as possible intestate cases 
were settled out of court, and If not, the appeals from the 
Probate to the Superior Court were continued from term to 
term. Connecticut was waiting Its chance; a few years later 
it came. One Glllam Phillips of Boston appealed to the 
King in Council against the equal division of his property un- 
der the Massachusetts law; but the latter was sustained In 
Phillips vs. Savage. But the Massachusetts was the same as 
the Connecticut law, and the Connecticut charter gave it a 
far freer hand than the Massachusetts system : why the dif- 
ference? It would seem that the reasons alleged for Lech- 
mere's failure, a lawyer inexperienced In such cases and lack 
of court influence, were really to blame. In May 1742 a 



promising case arose In Milford, Clark vs. Tousey, the for- 
mer claimed to be heir-at-law as Winthrop had, and sued 
against an equal division. The Assembly voted Tousey £500 
to go to Great Britain and defend his case; the agent, Ell- 
akim Palmer, was instructed to employ solicitors and aid him 
in every way possible. This time the colony was successful: 
on July 18, 1745, Clark's suit was dismissed. Primogeni- 
ture was cast out from New England. 

The origin of the public seal of Connecticut is told in an 
unpublished paper written in 1759 by Roger Wolcott. From 
statements made to him by his stepfather Daniel Clark, sec- 
retary of the colony 1658-66, it Is there stated that the seal 
was a present from George Fenwick to the colony ; the oldest 
extant Impression is preserved in the State Library, on a com- 
mission of John Winthrop as magistrate of Namcock (New 
London), and bears the date of Oct. 27, 1647. The State 
archives contain three poor wax Impressions of this seal, 
which Is slightly oval In form, and has a beaded border; 
upon it is a vineyard of fifteen vines supported and bearing 
fruit; above them a hand issues from the clouds, holding 
a label with the motto "Sustlnet Qui Transtullt." 

There was no change in the seal made by the first General 
Assembly, and the first printed edition of the revision of the 
statutes of Connecticut, published at Cambridge, Massa- 
chusetts, In 1673, bears its impression on the title-page; all 
other editions of the statutes during the colonial existence of 
the colony bear the royal arms. It Is asserted In Bulkley's 
"Will and Doom," that on Sir Edmund Andros' assuming 
control of the government, the seal was delivered to him by 
John Allyn, secretary of the colony. This statement Is 
partly substantiated by the fact that on the resumption of the 
charter government, the Impression of the seal used varies 



considerably from the first one; being larger and not so well 
cut, the hand bent downwards, and in the first syllable of the 
last word of the motto the N is missing. It is more than 
probable that it was a temporary wooden substitute for the 
original seal. 

The General Assembly in 171 1 ordered a new seal, which 
was to be kept in the office of the secretary of the colony; it 
was considerably larger than its predecessor, measuring 2 1-8 
inches in length and i 3-4 inches in breadth. Instead of 
fifteen vines, there were only three; and there was a hand 
about midway, on the dexter side, pointing to them; the 
motto was on a label below the vines, and read "Qui Tran- 
stulit Sustinet," and around the circumference was the legend 
"Sigillum Coleniae Connecticensis." In making impressions, 
wax was generally used until about 1784, when a new seal 
was approved by the General Assembly; in this, which was 
larger by a quarter of an inch in length and an eighth of an 
inch in breadth than its predecessor, the hand was omitted, 
and the inscription around the circumference was abbrevi- 
ated to "Sigill. Reip. Connecticutensis." This seal was en- 
graved on a silver plate, which was presented to Yale Col- 

The present seal was ordered by the General Assembly in 
1842, and was engraved on brass; in comparison with its 
predecessors it is of superior workmanship. It has three 
clusters of grapes on each v^ine, the one preceding it having 
had four clusters on each of the upper v^ines and five on the 
lower. The legend around the circumference is spelled in 
full; the motto remains unchanged. 

The armorial bearings of Connecticut would be blazoned 
thus: argent, three vines supplanted and fruited proper, — 
that is, the field is white or silver, and the vines of their natu- 



ral color; the vines symbolize the colony brought over and 
planted here in the wilderness. Referring to the Bible, we 
find in the eightieth psalm the verse, "Thou hast brought a 
vine out of Egypt; thou hast cast out the heathen and plant- 
ed it." The translation of the motto is "He who transplant- 
ed still sustains." 


The Internal Developments of the Colony 

IN an age when the extension of cIvIHzation could pro- 
ceed only by dispossessing or assuming authority 
over barbarians, no question of the rightfulness of 
slavery was likely to arise. Aristotle says that it 
exists "by the law of nature," and such was the uni- 
versal assumption in the seventeenth century; not only so, 
but it was believed a providential institution for the elevation 
of the blacks themselves of course with occasional accidents 
and limitations. There was no reason why the New Eng- 
land colonists should invent a new doctrine of ethics, and 
they took their share in the traffic to Africa, and the holding 
of slaves for domestic servants; attempt was made to apply 
the system to Indian captives, but fortunately for New Eng- 
land they were found intractable and unteachable. The cler- 
gy and magistracy of Connecticut and New Haven were 
slave-owners, as evidenced by the inventories of their estates. 
It was in 1637 that Hugh Peters, in corresponding with 
John Winthrop, Jr., says that he "hears of a dividend of 
Indian women and children from the Pequot captives, and he 
would like a share." In the following year, Connecticut's 
Pilgrim pioneer, William Holmes, in conveying his real 
estate and other possessions to Matthew Allyn, mentions ser- 
vants as a salable commodity; this may mean slaves or in- 
dentured servants. The shipments of Pequot captives, and 
later those of other Indian nations, to the West Indies to be 
sold to the planters, will be remembered. There were a few 
instances in Connecticut where planters owned a number of 
slaves, but in most cases the holdings were small, ranging 
from two to ten in a family. The imported negroes were 
easily converted to their master's religious belief, and "the 
African Corner" was an established feature of the colonial 



In the early part of the eighteenth century, the price of 
slaves varied from 60s. to £25, but towards the middle of the 
century the value increased from £75 to £125 sterling. A 
negro maid in Hartford in 1650 was inventoried as being 
worth £25; and John Allyn, the secretary of the colony, 
thirty years later in reporting to the Board of Trade and 
Plantations, says there were very few servants in the colony, 
and about thirty slaves who had been imported from Barba- 
does, at £22 each. The slave trade was usually carried on 
clandestinely, not for moral reasons but for smuggling. 
The records show that Rev. Ezra Stiles sent a barrel of rum 
to the coast of Africa to be exchanged for a negro ; this was 
before he became president of Yale College. A Connecticut 
clergyman, while filling the executive chair of the colony, de- 
cided that the offspring of a negro bond-woman was born 
into servitude. A fugitive-slave law was enforced by the 
colony, by which a slave found without a pass from his mas- 
ter or the colonial authorities was prohibited from traveling, 
and any person assisting him in securing transportation, was 
subject to a fine of twenty shillings. The master was re- 
quired to provide for his slaves in old age, to prevent eman- 
cipating them and throwing them on the town. 

The town of New London in 1 7 1 7 became greatly agi- 
tated at the prospect of Robert Jacklen, a gentleman of color, 
becoming a bondholder in that township; at a town meet- 
ing, it was decided to petition the General Assembly to pass 
an act prohibiting negroes from purchasing land without 
first obtaining consent from the town. The gradual eman- 
cipation of the negro, his valiant services in the Revolution, 
with a narrative of the black governors, are topics that will 
be treated in a subsequent volume. 

That Connecticut was the site of valuable mineral deposits 



was an early belief of its exploiters; the reservation by the 
Earl of Warwick, in the original patent, of a tithe of the gold 
products, was only "common form" and safeguarding the 
future, but the obtaining by Governor Winthrop in 165 i of 
a license to prosecute mining is more to the point. In 1661 
Winthrop prospected in the neighborhood of Middletown. 
An argentiferous lead mine must have been worked in that 
locality by skilled miners; for some two centuries later, on 
reopening the mine about fifteen hundred feet of excavation, 
well timbered and in good preservation, were found. While 
Winthrop was governor he made frequent excursions to dif- 
ferent localities in search of minerals, especially to a moun- 
tain located in the northwest corner of the present town of 
East Haddam; he was generally accompanied by a servant, 
and is known to have spent three weeks at a time on these 
expeditions, although he never derived any special advantages 
from the mineral privileges granted him. 

The mining industries of Connecticut lay dormant for 
over half a century, when outcroppings of copper were dis- 
covered at Simsbury and Wallingford. The General Assem- 
bly in 1709 granted the first charter in America to a mining 
company; this organization was formed to work the mine at 
Simsbury. The product was of a vitreous and variegated 
copper with some malachite; it was found in beds, strings, 
and bunches, embedded in a red sandstone formation, in 
contact with the gneiss and granitic rocks. The proprietors 
of the mine sent to Germany for miners, and the ore was 
shipped to England; it assayed from fifteen to twenty per 
cent, of pure copper, intermixed with sprinklings of gold and 
silver; but it was refractory in the smelter, owing to an ex- 
cess of quartz, and though it was in great demand for alloy 
by jewellers, the cost of production bankrupted the specula- 



tors. The copper was coined into currency, known as Gran- 
by coppers, from the town where the mint was located. An 
attempt was made to work the Wallingford mines; but on 
the sinking of a shaft, they became so inundated with wa- 
ter that it was abandoned. 

In the middle of the eighteenth century the Simsbury mines 
were purchased by the colony and utilized as a prison; and 
though mining with convict labor was attempted, it proved 
unprofitable. It was used during the Revolution for the in- 
carceration of Tory prisoners; and though much has been 
written of the sufferings they endured while in captivity, they 
were not to be compared with the treatment of the Ameri- 
cans in the English prison hulks in New York harbor. 

Winthrop's explorations in natural science led him to all 
parts of the colony. All over its hilly sections quartz was 
found impregnated with iron ore, and attempts were vari- 
ously made to work it ; but the chief deposit was in the Berk- 
shires, the largest being at the northwestern corner of the 
colony. In 1730 mines were first opened at Salisbury, where 
was an abundance of rich ore, while the adjacent forests fur- 
nished the required charcoal. Mines were operated in 
Sharon and Kent; the ore, like that from Salisbury, was a 
brown hematite, a hard dark form of limonite. This ore 
differed from that found in the eastern part of the colony, 
which was known as bog ore, was found deposited through- 
out Tolland and Windham Counties, and was mined and 
smelted in the early colonial days, although it has long since 
become unprofitable. On the shores of Long Island Sound, 
between Stonington and New Haven, a quantity of magnetite 
was found ; but though it was smelted, the undertaking did 
not prove remunerative. The mine at Salisbury was an im- 
portant factor during the War of Independence; the iron 



ranked foremost in quality, and was utilized in the manufac- 
ture of cannon, heavy chains, gun-barrels, and other military 
equipments. While iron and copper were the important ores 
mined in the colony, lead, zinc, bismuth, arsenic, nickel, and 
cobalt, besides other rare and less useful metals, were dis- 

The cause of New England's early development of manu- 
facturing, besides its farming, probably resulted from a com- 
bination of factors. The early exhaustion of first-rate agri- 
cultural lands, the costliness of imported manufactures, the 
scarcity of hired service which developed the handiness of 
everybody and the invention of labor-saving appliances, the 
abundant water-power from mountain streams, and a picked 
colonization of resourceful men, doubtless all co-operated in 
stimulating domestic manufactures, and presently manufac- 
turers for export. The "protective" laws by which the home 
governmentcrippled them could not be endured as successfully 
as the corresponding commercial laws, or a manufacturing 
shop must remain in one place; but there was a considerable 
growth despite them. 

In 1732, Parliament in response to a petition forbade the 
exportation of hats manufactured in the colonies to any 
locality, even neighboring plantations. The production was 
also controlled by allowing a manufacturer only two appren- 
tices, who served seven years in learning their trade. The 
iron industries of the colonies were next assailed. The Eng- 
lish manufacturers were willing that the colonists should pro- 
duce pig and even bar iron, to provide them raw materials, 
but no developed products. In the middle of the eighteenth 
century Parliament passed a bill prohibiting the erection or 
continuance of any mill in the colonies for the slitting or 
rolling of iron or the making of steel, or of a plating forge to 



work with a tilt hammer, under a penalty of £200; the mills 
were declared a nuisance, and if not abolished in thirty days 
after the passage of the act, were to forfeit £500. 

One of Connecticut's first ventures was the establishment 
of iron works at New Haven. The assembly and towns 
remitted taxes to those who erected furnaces, and in 17 16 
a slitting mill was given by the legislature a legal monopoly 
of the business for a term of fifteen years. Ironmongery, 
however, was generally confined to people in the winter va- 
cations from farming, and evenings, and was practically 
all domestic, the chief surplus for exportation being nails. 

The home spinning and weaving of the colonists produced 
a plain homespun cloth and durable linens; though they were 
coarser, they were stronger in texture than the imported. 

In 1732 began that most enduring of bubbles, the attempt 
at silk culture, with which was connected what was not a bub- 
ble, the silk manufacture. One of the earliest planters of 
mulberry trees was Governor Jonathan Law; he introduced 
the raising of silkworms on his extensive farm at Cheshire, 
and appeared in public in 1747 in the first coat and stockings 
made of Connecticut silk. The following year Ezra Stiles, 
at the commencement at Yale College, was appareled in a 
gown of the same. The present foundation of the immense 
silk interest of Connecticut is due to Dr. Aspinwall of Mans- 
field, who permanently established the enterprise in that and 
the neighboring towns. 

The commerce of the American colonies was confined, by 
edicts of the mother country, to Great Britain and that part 
of the continent south of Cape Finisterre. It was in 1662 
that Charles II. 's colonial board directed that sugar, tobacco, 
cotton, wool, indigo, ginger, fustic, and other dyeing woods, 
should only be exported to the parent country or her prov- 



inces. Two years later It attempted to control the shipping 
of the colonial imports, by ordering that they must be sent 
direct from England, Wales, or Berwick-on-Tweed ; excep- 
tions being made of salt which could be shipped from any 
part of Europe, wines from Madeira and the Azores, and 
provisions from Scotland. The vessels engaged in the trade 
were to be of English bottom, and to be manned by a crew 
three-quarters of whom were to be of native birth. 

The trade between the colonies was subject to no restric- 
tion till 1672, when England placed a duty on white sugar 
of five shillings, on brown sugar of one shilling six pence per 
one hundred pounds, on tobacco and indigo one penny, on 
cotton and wool a halfpenny on the pound. At the same time 
molasses, tar, pitch, turpentine, hemp, mast-yards, bowsprits, 
copper, ore, rice, beaver-skins, and other furs, were added 
to the exportation act of 1662. The New England colonies 
were engaged in a lucrative commercial trade, in grain, fish, 
lumber, horses, mules, and cattle, with the French, Spanish, 
and Dutch West Indies; for these commodities they received 
in exchange, sugar, rum, and molasses. In response to a de- 
mand of the English sugar planters. Parliament increased 
the duties on these articles to a prohibitory degree. A set 
of drawbacks, however, carefully rectified this, and the col- 
onies rectified it still further by paying no attention to it. 

In the Connecticut colony's report to the Board of Trade 
and Plantations in 1730, in answer to their queries, we find 
that the merchant marine fleets of the colony consisted of 
forty-two ships, aggregating over thirteen hundred tonnage. 
The largest of these was sixty tons, the smallest twelve. The 
ownership was divided among seventeen towns: New Lon- 
don and New Haven owned five each; Hartford, Guilford, 
and Norwich, four each; Saybrook and Stratford, three 



each; Greenwich, KiUlngworth, Middletown, and Milford, 
two each; and Haddam, Branford, Norwalk, Wethersfield, 
Fairfield, and Lyme, one each. The foreign exportations 
were Hmited to a few voyages to Ireland with timber; a few 
ships and cargoes had been sold at Bristol, England, while 
a small trade had been carried on with the West Indies in ex- 
porting horses and lumber, which were exchanged for su- 
gar, salt, molasses, and rum. The surplus of provisions, tar, 
and turpentine, had been shipped to the neighboring colo- 
nies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. 

The French interfered more or less with the foreign trade 
which had been established by the colonists; but West India 
voyages and privateering partially made up for commerce. 
The importation of English merchandise consisted of 
all kinds of woolen cloths, silks, scythes, nails, glass, 
pewter, brass, firearms, and cutlery; and while a small por- 
tion of this was imported direct, the greater quantity was ob- 
tained by exchanging surplus food products with Boston and 
New York. The natural products of the colony were timber, 
English grass, Indian corn, flax, hemp, tobacco, horses, cat- 
tle, sheep, and swine. There were tradesmen, tanners, shoe- 
makers, sailors, joiners, smiths, and carpenters among the 

Connecticut in 1753 had eight convenient shipping ports, 
though all masters entered and cleared at New London, 
where there were large shipbuilding interests; smaller vessels 
were built at Saybrook, Killingworth, and New Haven. An 
estimate of the ocean trade of Connecticut can be arrived at 
by taking one year, 1749-50, as an illustration; there were 
cleared from the port of New London sixty-three brigantines, 
sloops, and schooners, while thirty-seven entered. 

In the next decade there was a gradual increase in the 



shipping interests: there were employed in the ocean car- 
rying trade seventy-four ships with over 3,100 tonnage; the 
v^essels were manned by 415 seamen, but one having a crew 
of ten, while five had eight, the balance being distributed 
among the merchant service in crews of from three to seven. 
The foreign trade was limited to the British Isles and West 
Indies, with a few cargoes of fish to Lisbon and the Medi- 
terranean. The value of the British manufactured goods 
consumed by the colonists was estimated at £50,000, and the 
natural products of the colony aggregated £130,000. The 
excellence of Connecticut beef and pork, created a ready de- 
mand in the neighboring colonies. 

Shipbuilding had become a fixed industry, and Great 
Britain had purchased a number of vessels from the colonists. 
The shipping interests of the colony steadily increased, and 
in 1761 there were 114 ships in commission; while the ex- 
ported products amounted to £150,000, and the mother 
country was assured that nothing had been done hurtful to 
her interests. This was true, though not in just the way 
England intended. Systematic evasion of her orders had 
built up a great trade, of which her share was much larger 
than the whole she intended to keep by preventing its growth. 
These answers of Connecticut are masterly in the art of ex- 
plaining how, with the most ardent loyalty and the most 
anxious solicitude to obey the home government's require- 
ments, it has somehow been impossible to comply. 

In the last report made by Connecticut to the Board of 
Trade and Plantations, just prior to the beginning of the 
Revolutionary hostilities, we find that the shipping interests 
showed a healthy increase, and the exporting trade of the 
colony had materially increased her wealth. The merchant 
marine service had increased to 180 vessels, with a tonnage 



exceeding 10,000, and employment was given to 1,200 sea- 
men; this showed an increase in the last decade of 66 vessels, 
or over 50 per cent., while the tonnage had doubled. The 
principal trade was in horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, food pro- 
ducts, and lumber, with the French and Dutch West Indies; 
to the north of Africa was shipped flour and lumber, while 
Gibraltar bought quantities of New England rum ; the ex- 
ports to these localities aggregated £55,00 annually. Eng- 
land was a customer for lumber and pot and pearl ashes to 
the amount of £10,000, while flaxseed was exported to Ire- 
land. The importation of articles of English manufacture 
amounted yearly to about £200,000; there were few direct 
importations, as the Boston and New York merchants were 
the principal wholesalers of the supplies for the colony. 
There was, besides the ships engaged in foreign trade, a 
fleet of twenty small coasting vessels, employing a crew of 
ninety seamen. The natural products of the colony were all 
kinds of timber, wheat, rye, Indian corn, beans, barley, oats, 
flax, pork, beef, pot and pearl ashes. 

Transportation throughout the colony had outgrown the 
canoe and pack-horse, but was still in a primitive state; the 
roads were mostly little more than bridle-paths, and had not 
arrived at the dignity of highways. The seacoast and several 
rivers of Connecticut formed an uninterrupted passageway 
for travel; this was one cause of its relatively dense popu- 
lation, and of immense value of its internal and external com- 
merce. Journeys of any distance were performed on horse- 
back; and though some of the colonists were owners of pairs 
of horses and private coaches, traveling vehicles of every 
description were the luxury of a few. 

The early postal facilities in the colonies were limited to 
personal accommodation ; a monthly mail was established in 



1672 between New York and Boston, which thirty years later 
was changed to a fortnightly one. The end of the seven- 
teenth century saw the appointment of Thomas Neale by the 
English government, to take charge of the colonial postal 
business; he evolved a system of a sort, but there was no per- 
ceptible improvement till 1704, when the British government 
reorganized the service and placed it under the control of a 
postmaster-general for America, with fixed rates of postage. 

The mail had been carried on horseback between Boston 
and New York, being on alternate fortnights; the relay 
stations being Hartford and Saybrook. The post roads were 
in bad condition, and the riders and postmasters had not the 
best reputations for honesty. In the first part of the eighteenth 
century, horseback riding and baggage wagons in England 
gave way to public traveling in stage coaches; these had 
been in limited use for over a century, but did not at once 
become popular. Their universal use in the parent country 
was speedily followed by their introduction into the New 
World. 7^-avel and the transportation of the mail demanded 
the establishment of a stage route between Boston, New 
York, and Philadelphia. Connecticut's seaboard inhab- 
itants had every intercourse with her sister colonies; 
but her internal population, until the establishment of 
these avenues of communication, was isolated. The open- 
ing of the Revolutionary War found the internal transport 
between the colonies still in a state of infancy, which was a 
bar to the prompt execution of the plans of the authorities. 

The v^enerable William Pitkin was the successful candidate 
for governor in the memorable political campaign of 1766, 
when Governor Fitch was punished for his conduct regard- 
ing the Stamp Act; so heavy was Fitch's defeat that it was 
currently reported the votes were not counted because Pit- 



kin's majority was too large to make it worth while. Gov- 
ernor Pitkin was born in what is now East Hartford, April 
20, 1694. Early in life he became identified with the po- 
litical affairs of the colony, both in legislative and judicial 
capacities. He was of a commanding personal appearance, 
very affable and pleasing in manner; an uncompromising 
advocate of the colonial cause and a zealous promoter of the 
welfare of Connecticut. Governor Pitkin was elected for 
three terms, and died Oct. i, 1769, before the completion of 
his last term of office. 

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