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The ages of monotony had their use, for they trained men for ages 
>ben thef need not be monotonous 

BA.GEHOT, Physics and R>lV.ic% 




THE purpose and scope of this book have been explained 
in the preface to an earlier volume. I have however de 
viated from the plan there laid down, in that I have given 
two volumes to a portion of my subject which I hoped 
to dispose of in one. I shall probably make a still fur 
ther deviation, and instead of concluding my work with 
one more volume, give one to New York and the Quaker 
colonies, and one to the whole body of colonies while 
under the first and second Georges. In this I propose 
to deal chiefly with the relations which existed between 
the colonists and the English government. 

It may not be amiss to say a word as to the sources 
from which I have taken my materials. I have en 
deavored throughout to act on the sound legal principle 
of never adducing inferior testimony where better could 
be had, On that principle I have endeavored invariably 
to consult an original authority where such could be 
found. But where, as sometimes has been the case, wri 
ters who cannot claim to be original authorities have used 
materials which are now lost or inaccessible, I have not 
scrupled to rely upon them, if I could satisfy myself that 
they were to be trusted. A writer who does so no doubt 
runs the risk of being called a compiler. It appears to 
me that he is blameworthy only if he uses the work of 
other men to save his own trouble, not if he uses it as the 
only means of giving completeness to his work, without 


sacrificing accuracy. If a writer is fit to deal with a his 
torical subject, he is also fit to judge how far his prede 
cessors on that subject may be trusted. 

In the preface to ray earlier volume I acknowledged 
the debt of gratitude which I owed to Mr. NOEL SAINS- 
BURY. I can only now add that during the preparation 
of these volumes that debt has constantly increased. 

In referring to my earlier book I have called it "Vir 
ginia &c." 

Sept. 27, 1886. 







Organization of the Independents . . . . n 

Brownism ........ 14 

Voyages to New England . . . . , ,15 

The North Virginia Company ..... 16 

Sir Ferdinando Gorges ...... 16 

Voyages in 1606 . . . . . , 18 

The attempted settlement at Sagadahoc . . . .19 

Failure of the colony . . . . . .19 

-.John Smith explores New England . . . c 20 

Voyage sent out by Gorges ...... /I 

Smith s adventures in 1615 . . . 21 

Smith s pamphlets on New England .... 22 

Revival of the Plymouth Company .... 23 

New patent for New England , . . . 23 

Opposition in Parliament ...... 25 

The Independents in Eastern England .... 27 

Proposed Puritan emigration about 1590 .... 28 

Policy of Ji.mes I. and Bancroft . . 28 

vHolland a refuge for Nonconformists . . 29 

The Scrooby Church . . .... 50 

/John Robinson ....... 30 

/ William Brewster ....... 31 

I "William Bradford ....... 32 

Attempted flight in 1607 ...... 33 

Flight to Holland 33 

Puritans in Holland . .34 

Project for emigration . . . 35 

Relations with the Virginia Company . . . .36 

Doubts about the site for a colony . . 36 



The seven Leyden Articles ...... 37 

v Attitude of the King ...... 39 

Difficulties with the Virginia Company . . . 40 

Blackwell and the Amsterdam emigrants .... 40 

vThe Leyden Company ....... 41 

^Patent from the Virginia Company 43 

Proposed change of plans . . .... 43 

Scheme for settling on Dutch territory . ... 44 

Choice of the first emigrants . . ... 44 

Parting advice from Robinson .... 45 

Importance of the migration . . . . .46 

The voyage of the Mayflower ..... 47 

Arrival at Cape Cod . . .... 48 

The colonists join in an association . . .49 

Exploring party sent out ...... 50 

Choice of a site ....... 50 

Further explorations . . . . . .51 

Settlement at Plymouth . , ... 52 

Hardships of first winter . .... .52 

- Dealings with the savages ...... 53 

Bradford chosen Governor ...... 54 

Stability of the colony .... 55 

Its economical condition . . ... -55 

Difficulties with the London partners . . . .57 

Grant of allotments . . ... 59 

Further division of land ...... 59 

Private settlers ....... 60 

Difficulties of the new-comers ..... 60 

Dissolution of the Company . . . . .61 

Further division of land . . 63 

Distribution of live-stock . .... .63 

Allotment of meadow-land ...... 64 

General appearance of the settlement . . . .64 

Trade of the colony ...... 65 

Intercourse with New Netherlands . ... .66 

Friendship with Massasoit . . . , . 67 

Extension of the colony . . ... .68 

Growth of new towns ...... 69 

System of representation ...... 71 

The new patent ....... 72 

Weston s settlement ...... 74 

Indian conspiracy defeated ..... 75 

The Council for New England ..... 76 

Wollaston s settlement ...... 78 

Destruction of Merrymount. . .... 79 

Maverick s settlement . . , . . . 80 

William Blackstone . - 8r 





The Dorchester Adventurers ..... 83 

Fishing station at Cape Anne ..... 83 

John White of Dorchester ...... 85 

Purposes of the founders .*.... 86 

V^The first Massachusetts patent ...*.. 87 

Dispute with Mason and Gorges ..... 87 

The Patentees . ..... 88 

Endicott sent out ....... 88 

Trouble with Morton . < . . . . 89 

A royal charter obtained ...... 90 

Proceedings of the Company ..... 91 

System of land tenure ...... 92 

Ministers engaged ....... 92 

Endicott s institution ...... 93 

Enforcement of discipline ...... 95 

Ecclesiastical settlement ...... 95 

Expulsion of the Brownes ...... 96 

^Transfer of the charter to America . . ... 97 

--John Winthrop ....... 98 

His " Model of Christian Charity ". . . . 100 

Winihrop s associates . ..... 101 

Their departure ....... 101 

Sufferings of the colonists ...... IO2 

V Hired servants set free ...... 102 

Extension of the settlement ..... 103 

^Change in the constitution. ..... 103 

^Dispute about taxation ...... 105 

Dispute between Winthrop and Dudley . 106 

^Establishment of a House of Representatives . . .107 

Dudley chosen Governor ...... 109 

V^A. religious test for citizenship introduced .... 109 
Christopher Gardiner . . . . .in 

Treatment of other malcontents ... 112 



Three epochs in New England history .... 113 

./Roger Williams ....... 114 

His first sojourn in Massachusetts . . . . , 116 

He is for a while at Plymouth ..... 116 



His theories of Church government .... 117 

..Attacks on the colony in England . . . . .118 

Difficulty with Dudley . . . . . .119 

Appointment of Commissioners for New England . . 119 

Preparations for resistance ...... 120 

Winslow s mission to England . . . . .120 

Dangerous attitude of Williams . . . . .121 

Endicott defaces the flag . . . . . .122 

Banishment of Williams , . . . . .123 

Henry Vane and Massachusetts . . . . .126 

Winthrop s administration is attacked .... 127 

Theological disputes at Boston . . . . .129 

Vane threatens to leave ...... 130 

">- The colony divided into two religious parties . . .130 

The election of 1637 ...... 152 

Order for exclusion of heretics ..... 133 

Controversy between Winthrop and Vane .... 133 

Synod of divines at Newtown ..... 134 

Punishment of the heretics , . . . . .135 

Banishment of Wheelwright . . . . .136 

V Trial of Mrs. Hutchinson ...... 136 

Trial of Captain Underhill ...... 138 

Winthrop s dispute with the Church of Boston . . .139 

General view of the question ..... 159 

Scheme for an autocratic order ..... 141 

Dissolution of the Council for New England . . . 144 

Legal proceedings of Massachusetts .... 144 

Laud s hostility ...,.. 146 
Gorges and his schemes .... 146 
Their failure .*.. ... 147 



A new stage in colonization ..... 149 

Proposals of Plymouth for trade on the Connecticut . . 150 

Dutch fort on the river . . . . . .151 

Massachusetts remonstrates ..... 152 

Action of Plymouth . . . . . . .152 

Patent granted to Lord Say and Sele . . . .153 

(Emigration from Massachusetts . . . . .154 

Dispute with Plymouth . . . , . 155 

Dispute with Saltenstall . . . . . .156 

Severity of the winter . . . . . .156 

Foundation of Saybrook . . . . . 157 

. Renewed emigration from Massachusetts . . . .158 



Government of Connecticut . . . .159 

VConstitution formally constructed . . . . .159 

|/Towns governments ...... 160 

Relations to the natives ....... 160 

Stone killed by the Pequods . ... 161 

Negotiations for redress ...... 162 

Further outrages by the Pequods ..... 163 

The Narragansetts under Oldham ..... 163 

Endicott s attack on Block Island ..... 165 

* His dealings with the Pequods ..... 165 

Roger Williams mediates with the Narragansetts . . . 167 

Correspondence between Bradford and Winthrop . . . 168 

Outrages by the Pequods in the winter of 1636 . . , 168 

VMilitary system of New England ..... 169 

Want of united action ..... 170 

Mason s campaign ..... . 171 

Attack on the Mystic fort ..... 173 

Mason s return . . . . . . .175 

Further operations against the Pequods . . . ,176 

Treaty of Hartford . . . . . . .178 

Effect of the Pequod war . . . . . .178 



Settlements in Narragansett Bay . . . . .179 

v Roger Williams and his associates . . . . .180 

Purchase of land from the Indians . . . . . 181 

Constitution of the settlement ..... 181 

Affair of Verin ....... 182 

Formation of a Baptist church ..... 183 
A constitution formally established .... 183 

VEmigration to Aquednek . . . 184 

Constitution of the colony ...... 186 

Separation of the colony ... 186 
Constitution of Newport ...-. 187 
Proceedings at Pocasset ...... 188 

Reunion of Newport and Portsmouth . . . .188 

Constitution of the reunited colony .... 189 

yColonization of Newhaven . . . . . .190 

Eaton and Davenport land in Massachusetts . . .192 

Their choice of a site ...... 192 

Purchase from the Indians- . . . . . .193 

Condition of the colony during its first year . . . 193 

A constitution formed ...... 194 

Other settlements in the neighborhood of Newhaven . . 195 



Consolidation of the colony . ig6 

Necessary changes in the constitution . . . .197 

General condition of the colony . 108 

Effect of the settlement of Newhaven . , . i 



General character of the settlements north of the Piscataqua . 201 

Relations to New England ...... 202 

VGrant of lands by the Plymouth Council .... 202 

John Mason ....... 202 

Settlements on the Piscataqua ..... 204 

The Laconia Company ...... 204 

Dixy Bull ........ 205 

State of the settlement on the Piscataqua .... 206 

It becomes independent ...... 207 

Puritanism at Cocheco . ..... 207 

Religious disputes at Cocheco ..... 208 

Settlement at Exeter ...... 210 

Dealings of these colonies with Massachusetts . . . 211 
Settlement of Hampton . . . . . .212 

Union of the three townships with Massachusetts . . 213 

Disturbances in the Church of Exeter .... 214 

VEarly settlements in Maine ..... 215 

Gorges is created Proprietor of Maine .... 216 

Constitution of his colony ...... 217 

Scattered settlements in Maine ..... 218 

Settlement at Pejebscot ...... 218 

The Plough Patent . . . . . . .219 



Necessity for union . ... . 220 

Obstacles to union .... . 220 

The affray on the Kennebec ... .221 

Boundary disputes between Plymouth and Massachusetts . 222 

Disputes between Connecticut and Massachusetts . . 223 

Danger from the Indians ...... 223 

Encroachments on Dutch territory ..... 223 

English settlements towards the Hudson .... 224 

Encroachments on Long Island ..... 225 

Attempts to settle on the Delaware .... 225 

The Dutch at Hartford . 226 



The French settlements to the north .... 226 

Their hostilities with Plymouth ..... 227 

Materials for a confederation ..... 228 

First suggestion of confederation ..... 229 

Scheme proposed by Massachusetts .... 230 

Deliberations as to confederation ..... 230 

Exclusion of Maine .... ... 230 

Exclusion of the Narragansett settlements . . . 231 

Threatened trouble with the Narragansett Indians . . 231 

The Confederation formed ...... 233 

The Federal Constitution ...... 234 

VFirst meeting of the Federal Commissioners . . . 236 

Samuel Gorton ....... 236 

Proposed annexation of Patuxet by Massachusetts . . 238 

Resistance by Gorton ...... 238 

Settlement of Gorton at Shawomet .... 239 

The Indians appeal to Massachusetts .... 239 

Proceedings against Gorton ..... 240 

Defeat and death of Miantonomo ..... 241 

Attack upon Shawomet ...... 243 

Trial of Gorton and his followers ..... 244 

Dispute in New France between D Aulney and De la Tour . 247 

Negotiations between De la Tour and the English . . 247 

Discussions in Massachusetts ..... 248 

Expedition against D Aulney ..... 249 

Agreement between Plymouth and De la Tour . . . 250 

Massachusetts abandons De la Tour .... 250 

Remonstrance of the Federal Commissioners with Massachusetts 251 

Treaty between D Aulney and Massachusetts . . . 252 

VConstitutional changes in Massachusetts .... 253 

^Relations between the Assistants and the Deputies . . 255 

^Winthrop s statement of opinion . . . . 257 

His pamphlet on the veto ...... 257 

Claims of those who were not church-members . . . 259 

Disaffection in Essex ...... 259 

Disputes between Assistants and Deputies . . . 260 

Conference of the two Chambers ..... 262 

Winthrop s pamphlet on government .... 263 

Dispute about the Election Sermon .... 264 

Election of a train-band captain at Hingham . . . 264 

Inquiry into Winthrop s conduct ..... 265 

His speech ........ 265 





Effect of the overthrow of the monarchy in New England . 267 

The Narragansett colonies get a charter .... 267 

Return of Roger Williams ...... 269 

Dispute about Shawomet ...... 269 

The English government supports Gorton . . . 270 

Union of the Narragansett townships .... 271 

Constitution of the colony . . . . . .271 

Laws enacted ....... 272 

Peculiar system of legislation ..... 273 

Faint traces of a Royalist party in New England . . . 273 

Dispute about Captain Stagg ..... 275 

Further dispute about Richardson ..... 277 

Dispute about the religious qualification .... 277 

Petition of the unenfranchised inhabitants . . . 278 

Winslow sent to England as agent for Plymouth and Massachusetts 279 
Trial and punishment of the petitioners . . . .281 

Further proceedings against the petitioners . . . 282 

Vassall goes to England ...... 283 

Disputes with the Narragansett settlements . . . 284 

Dispute about Springfield ...... 285 

Boundary dispute between Connecticut and Massachusetts . 287 

Massachusetts imposes a retaliatory duty . . . 288 

Indian disputes ....... 289 

Expedition against the Narragansetts .... 290 

The Narragansetts submit . . 290 
They violate their agreement . . , .291 

Disputes with the Dutch ...... 292 

Further danger from the Narragansetts .... 293 

Death and character of John Winthrop .... 294 

Value of his history ....... 296 

Atherton s expedition against the Indians .... 296 

Negotiations at Hartford with the Dutch .... 296 

English encroachment on the Delaware .... 298 

Rumors of conspiracy between Dutch and Indians . . 298 

Dissensions within the Confederacy .... 299 

Riffby buys the Plough Patent ..... 302 

Disputes in Maine ....... 304 

State of affairs in Maine in 1649 ..... 305 

Annexation of Maine by Massachusetts .... 306 

Disunion among the Narragansett plantations . . . 308 

Providence incorporated by charter .... 309 

Disputes between Warwick and Massachusetts . . . 309 



Unsuccessful attempt at annexation by Massachusetts . .310 

The attempt renewed in 1651 . ... 310 

Punishment of Baptists in Massachusetts . . , .311 

Coddington s grant of Aquednek and Conanicat . . .314 

The Narragansett settlers resist . 315 

Coddington s grant revoked . 3 . . .315 

Further dispute . . . . . . 315 

Return of Williams . ...... 316 

Final pacification . . . . . . .31? 

Disputes concerning civil authority . . . .317 

Arrest of William Harris ...... 318 

Effect of the Restoration on Rhode Island . . .319 


Appendix A. Challoner s voyage of 1606, p. r8 . . . 321 

B. Grants and settlements to the north of the Merrimac, 

p. 22 . . . . .322 

INDEX ........ 327 


New England in 1650 . . . . to fhce title-page. 




In the history of the English colonies in America we earn trace 
the operation of two forces, which, to borrow the language of 
physics, may be called centrifugal and centripetal. The colonies 
were kept apart by variety of climate, and therefore of occupation 
and interest. At the same time community of origin and of 
political traditions, the need for mutual help, and still more for 
some uniform system of commercial administration, tended to 
draw the settlements together and to lay the foundation for 
national unity. So far we have been almost exclusively con 
cerned with the separate life and conflicting interests of the 
Southern plantations. Only here and there do we catch a faint 
glimpse of some half-conscious aspiration after unity. 1 But when 
we pass to the Northern settlements, we are at once brought face 
to face with those ideas and principles which at a later day served 
to weld the colonies into one commonwealth. Nor is that all. 
The scenes which are now coming before us actually display the 
tendency towards union at work. In the Federation of the New 
England colonies we see the germ and the foreshadowing of the 
United Republic. 

This difference between North and South is partly due to 
natural conditions of soil and climate. In the Southern colonies 
we see a sparse and wholly agricultural population, consisting 
mainly of slaves and slaveowners. In the North, slave labor is 
ineffectual; population is, for a newly-settled country, dense, 

l See Virginia, etc., pp. 272, 292. 


and agriculture is supplemented by trade and fishing. In the 
eighteenth century, and still more in the nineteenth, nearly all 
the features by which the North was marked off from the South 
were caused by these conditions. For the present we are rather 
concerned with differences due to the materials from which the 
colonies were originally formed, and to the motives which ac 
tuated the founders of them. 

We have already seen how the Southern colonies were con 
structed. So far as they reproduced English life, it was the free, 
unreflecting life of the country squire. Like his counterpart at 
home, the Southern planter might be self-indulgent if he would; 
if he labored, it was from energy of temper or public spirit, not 
in obedience to the pressure of circumstances or to the opinion 
of his neighbors. New England copied the sober life of the 
English yeoman and trader, a life lacking grace and brightness, 
but never forgetful of moral and religious discipline, nor of duty 
towards the household and the State. 

So too, we find that which has been hitherto wanting in the 
history of the American colonies, a vigorous political life. The 
records of the Southern plantations are not wholly free from dis 
putes and conflicts. But these almost always turn on matters 
of personal conduct or details of administration, scarcely ever on 
questions of principle. In New England we are brought face to 
face with those great problems of legislation and government 
which are common to all free and progressive communities. 

Thus, in studying the history of New England we are beset 
by two special dangers. One of these arises from the nature of 
our authorities, the other from the temper in which we approach 
our task. The material from which we have to reconstruct the 
life of New England is far more abundant than in the case of the 
Southern colonies, but it is also from its nature far more likely 
to lead us astray. 

In dealing with the Southern colonies we may misinterpret 
our authorities, but we are in little danger of being wilfully 
misled by them on important matters. Our knowledge of their 
political history is chiefly derived from those who wrote for some 
immediate practical purpose, and with no deliberate intention of 
telling a tale to posterity. The history of the Southern colonies 
is for the most part to be gleaned out of dispatches, entry books, 
and the like. When the Virginian or the Marylander did de 
liberately sit down to describe the world in which he lived, he 


had no self-conscious feeling that he was writing about the in 
fancy of a great nation. The wonders of external nature, the 
fertility of the soil, the abundance of strange beasts and birds, 
the adventurous life of the wilderness, the peculiar customs and 
fanciful mythology of the savage, all these absorbed the interest 
of the settler and excluded any speculation about the destinies 
of his little commonwealth. But with the New England Puritan 
it was different. He had an exaggerated and even a morbid 
sense of his responsibilities as a citizen, and an enthusiastic con- 
viction of the greatness which awaited his new country. Steeped 
in scriptural learning, he never ceased to regard himself as one 
of a peculiar people, the chosen and predestined heirs to the new 
Canaan. No event in his history seemed trivial to him, since 
each was a step in the chain by which God was working out the 
great destiny of the Puritan commonwealth. At the same time, 
that provincial spirit of exaggeration which is almost invariably 
found in a young community, led the Puritan colonist to see 
a Latimer or a Calvin in the occupant of every village pulpit. 
Thus, in gathering our information from the abundant supply 
of chronicles and biographies which the piety and the intellectual 
activity of New England have bequeathed to us, we are constantly 
at the mercy of self-deceiving enthusiasm. We are reading not 
a history but a hagiology. 

An equal or even greater danger lies in the nature of the sub 
ject and our mental attitude towards it. The men of the seven 
teenth century are so closely akin to ourselves in their political 
ideas and aspirations, we all of us have so direct an interest in 
the result of their contests, that it is scarcely possible to judge 
them with impartiality. And in the nature and spirit, though 
not always in the outer form of its political contests, New Eng 
land was but the counterpart of the mother country. The issues 
on which the political battles of Massachusetts were fought out, 
the limitations which the state may for its own protection impose 
on individual freedom of speech and action, the right of a major 
ity to define the conditions of citizenship, these were among the 
main problems which had to be solved by English statesmen in 
the seventeenth century; in a slightly altered form they have oc 
cupied every generation since, and occupy us still. 

Even more difficult is it wholly to avoid partisanship in deal 
ing with those theological disputes which are so strangely and 
inextricably blended with New England politics. The feelings 


and antecedents of every Englishman must in some measure 
incline him either to sympathize with the Puritan in his moral 
earnestness, his pitiless self-sacrifice, his boundless and unswerv 
ing confidence in the ever-present guidance and protection of 
God, or else to be repelled by his narrow aversion to all that lay 
beyond his own sphere of vision, the blind self-confidence with 
which he interpreted the divine decrees, and the ruthless severity 
with which he enforced them. 

Over and above the danger of being biassed by sympathy or 
antipathy in our estimate of Puritanism, there are other mislead 
ing influences against which we must guard ourselves. One of 
the chief evils against which the Puritan fought is so remote, 
and seems to us so impossible, that we are in danger of over 
looking the reality of it. We can scarcely place ourselves in the 
position of men who had to deal with Popery, not as an insidi 
ous enemy, now and again making a successful raid under the 
cloak of obscurity and weakness, but as an open foe, militant 
and aggressive. It is hard to bear in mind that what are now 
the stock phrases of triumphant bigotry were once a daring and 
much needed protest on behalf of spiritual freedom. 

As with the doctrinal aspect of Puritanism so is it with the 
moral. The reputation of a great movement often suffers by 
the completeness of its victory. To judge Puritanism aright 
we need to have before our eyes the evils against which it made 
war. We are apt to forget that a large portion of what was once 
the distinctive morality of Puritanism has been, so to speak, ab 
sorbed into the moral creed common to the whole nation. The 
chastity of woman, the sanctity of domestic life, "our pure reli 
gion breathing household laws," respect for these forms part of 
the moral code of every Englishman who has any such code at 
all. They were once the strongholds for which the Puritan did 
battle against the assaults of the courtier and the dramatist. 

In another way, too, we must beware lest we import the ideas 
of the nineteenth century into our judgment of the seventeenth. 
In all questions of toleration, whether we are dealing with 
Churchman or Puritan, with Laud or Endicott, we must remem 
ber that the whole standard of public morality is altered. To 
speak of the Puritan, whether in England or America, as the 
champion of spiritual freedom, is a proof of ignorance or worse. 
Toleration was abhorrent to him, even when he most needed it. 
He would have scorned those pleas of expediency which modern 


apologists have sometimes urged in his behalf. His creed on 
this matter was as simple as that of Saint Lewis or Torquemada. 
He had possession of the truth, and it was his bounden duty by 
whatever means to promote the extension of that truth, and to 
restrain and extirpate error. In this he in no wise fell short of 
the moral standard of his age. Here and there, indeed, might 
be found either a man of exceptional wisdom and liberality, 
such as L Hopital or Bacon, or a skeptical statesman like Henry 
of Navarre, or Baltimore, who seemed in some measure to antici 
pate the more enlightened doctrines of a later day. But it is no 
reproach to men that they neither rose above the wisdom of 
their own generation nor fell short of its enthusiasm, and that 
they were not among the few who could anticipate a moral 

The difficulties which thus beset the history of the Puritan 
colonies are not to be avoided by refusing to consider the relig 
ious aspect of the question. In New England we cannot even 
temporarily or in thought sever religion from the other elements 
of national life. The word of God, as revealed in the Bible and 
as taught by certain authorized interpreters, served as a standard 
by which every act of individual or national life must be meas 
ured. Whatever may be our judgment of the American Puritan, 
the pervading and ever-present character of his religious belief 
cannot be overrated. A New England writer did no more than 
justice to his commonwealth when he said, " If any make relig 
ion as twelve and the world as thirteen, such an one hath not 
the spirit of a true New England man. " l 

If, then, we would enter into the spirit of New England his 
tory, we must clearly understand what is implied in the name 

One use we may disregard. In England, during the sixteenth 
and in the earlier part of the seventeenth century, the Puritan 
was often marked off from the Separatist. Identical or nearly 
so in doctrine, in their views about ritual, and in their moral 
code, they differed in their attitude towards the established 
Church. The Separatist was hostile to the Church, not only as 
corrupt, but as being in principle at variance with the right 
order of things as laid down in Scripture. The conforming 
Puritan was willing to remain within the Church if it could be 

i Higginson s " Election Sermon, 1663," quoted in Belknap s History of New Hampshire, 
vol. i. p. 6t. 


purged from what he regarded as the abuses bequeathed to it 
by Rome. Each of these classes bore its part in the settlement 
of New England. 

In their new home, however, the distinction which had sep 
arated them disappears. In England, the conforming Puritan 
unwillingly accepted the forms of the Church, from the dislike 
of violent change common to Englishmen, from respect for his 
torical association, from hope of reform, and because Anglican 
and Puritan were divided from one another not by a gulf, but 
by a border-land in which the two sets of opinions insensibly 
blended. In America all this was changed. In England, ex 
ternal conditions had kept the Puritan in temporary union with 
a system to which in his heart he was hostile. In America he 
was set free from these conditions and accepted his emancipation. 
I, For our purposes then we may disregard these accidental dif 
ferences which existed in England. Time indeed brought other 
divisions. But for our present purpose we may look on the 
Puritans of New England as a compact and homogeneous body, 
bound together by a common morality, a common system of 
worship and ecclesiastical discipline, and Common theological 

The distinctive morality of the Puritan does not need to be 
formally set forth. As displayed in America it will naturally 
unfold itself in the course of our history. His system of worship 
had a positive and a negative side, and, as in most systems, the 
former was its strength, the latter its weakness. On the one 
hand it clearly asserted and upheld the great principle that no 
machinery can by itself make men righteous, and that all reli 
gious systems must be tested, not by their picturesqueness nor 
their historical associations, but by their influence, direct or in 
direct, on men s spiritual and moral nature. On the other hand, 
the Puritan showed a total inability to recognize the diversity of 
man s spiritual wants, and the corresponding variety of the ma 
chinery needed to stimulate and to satisfy those wants. He 
clearly saw that human life was a battle against the powers of 
evil, but in that battle he would use no weapon which had once 
been denied by the touch of Rome, and he thus left to his op 
ponents all those instruments which the experience of many cen 
turies had fashioned and elaborated. 

The theology of Puritanism was in one respect its most impor 
tant because its most characteristic feature. The Puritan might, 


under pressure of circumstances, diverge widely from any one 
fixed standard of Church government or ritual. His morality 
was not so much a definite or systematic code, as the loyal accept 
ance of certain principles and subjection to certain influences. 
His theological creed, on the other hand, was hard, unaccom 
modating Calvinism. 

The theology of the Puritan had a double effect. It deter 
mined all his views of human conduct and life, and it gave him 
a political creed. Setting aside its influence on the moral char 
acter of the individual, we may look on Calvinism as a system 
which at once predisposed the holder towards certain political 
principles and brought him in contact with certain political as 
sociations. From this point of view, then, the Calvinistic creed 
and the Calvinistic system of Church government may be dealt 
with together. Between them they make up what is for us the 
most important side of Puritanism, that which we may call its 
constructive and political aspect. 

The system of Church government which afterwards found its 
complete development in New England, was, indeed, in out 
ward form, other than that propounded and fashioned by Calvin. 
The conception of the congregation as the unit of ecclesiastical 
government seems to have been first definitely formulated as a 
system by Zwingle. "Hong and Kussnacht is a truer church 
than all the bishops and popes together," was the formal declara 
tion of his ecclesiastical theory. The age was not ripe for such 
teaching. The dread of anarchy and the need for compromise 
with the civil power, and for union in the face of the enemy, 
made any such system for the present impossible. But while 
the practical genius of Calvin overrode the theories of Zwingle, 
at the same time it insured their ultimate triumph. The ma 
chinery, half ecclesiastical, half political, which Calvin established, 
became the instrument for bringing into existence a system which 
embodied the theories of the earlier reformer. 

The Puritanism of New England did not merely derive its 
theological dogmas from Calvin; it owed to him the spirit which 
pervaded and quickened its ecclesiastical institutions. The creed 
taught by Calvin has been ever associated with self-government 
in civil and ecclesiastical matters partly through the circumstances 
of history, partly from the character of the Predestinarian the 
ology. The new doctrines found their first home among the 
free institutions of civic life, and the religious and political 


institutions of the Swiss cities naturally blended with one 

The same associations which surrounded Calvinism in the 
land of its birth followed it in the lands of its adoption. The 
reformers of Germany and England found allies and supporters 
among princes, and the purity of their principles at times suf 
fered by the necessity for compromise. The corruption of the 
French and Scotch courts gave the teachers of Calvinism scope 
for condemning the powers of this world, in the spirit of the 
Hebrew prophets. But apart from any conditions of origin or 
early training, it is the essential tendency of Calvinism to destroy 
all distinctions of rank and all claims to superiority which rest 
on wealth or political expediency. Beside the conception of an 
aristocracy divinely chosen on the most awful principles of exclu 
sion, all gradations are as nothing. The sovereignty of one 
supreme will annihilates all lesser power, save that which can 
clearly make good its claim to some delegated right. Thus, 
while Calvinism sweeps away all sovereignty resting on mundane 
claims, it does not leave man free to go his own way, but steps 
in and fills the vacant throne with its own peculiar authority. 
Theoretically indeed, the doctrine of necessity denies the need 
for any control, by denying the possibility of disobedience. 
Practically, there is no sovereignty more exacting and more irre 
sistible than that which professes to be simply carrying out the 
decrees of Omnipotence. In New England Calvinism had for 
the first time a free and open field for political action. There, 
accordingly, we see displayed to the utmost its special character 
istics; the unswerving assertion of its own sovereign power, the 
repudiation of all other authority. 

The Marian persecution brought the English reformers under 
the influence of the Calvinistic ideas alike in theology and 
Church government. On the latter side, at least, those ideas 
found a congenial soil in the minds of Englishmen. In adopt 
ing the system of congregational worship and discipline the 
English Protestant was but following the habits which the train 
ing of generations had made almost instinctive. The independ 
ence of Parliament might have been greatly lessened under 
Yorkist and Tudor rule, but the Englishman of the sixteenth 
century had other, and perhaps for the bulk of the community 
more cilectual, training in self-government. The usages of the 
free Teutonic commonwealth lived on, though in altered forms. 


The yeoman still took his part in the proceedings of the court 
baron; the townsman belonged to a trade guild and sat in his 
city corporation. The centralizing despotism of the Tudors 
may have narrowed the province and curtailed the forms of the 
old local institutions, but it hardly weakened their spirit. 

The habits which had been engendered by centuries of self- 
government gained greatly in strength by being transferred to 
a virgin soil. The power of shaping new institutions was stimu 
lated by the need for them. At the same time it was no 
longer fettered by the complex interests and restraints of an 
old-established community. 

Thus the ecclesiastical history of New England is not so 
much concerned with the extension and progress of theological 
doctrines as with the constitutional growth of religious com 
munities. Indeed, the spiritual aspect of Puritan life was some 
what overlaid and crushed by the minuteness of ecclesiastical 
organization. For this and other reasons Puritanism, in its later 
and more mature forms, is less attractive than in its early and 
struggling days. In this respect it follows the general course 
of religious movements. A party in its hour of infant weakness 
and persecution consists only of those who are really zealous 
for its objects and will make great sacrifices for them; it has 
nothing wherewith to bribe those who are accessible to meaner 
motives. Then the penalties of joining it grow less and the 
advantages more. Its followers are no longer braced up by the 
need of making converts; its opponents and its supporters have 
in some measure changed positions. The latter begin to rely 
upon established public opinion; the former feel the need of 
justifying their position by argument and of commending it by 
the example of their lives. As the movement becomes popular 
it also becomes secularized; something is yielded to expediency, 
and purity of doctrine and practice becomes tainted with com 
promise. In other ways, too, the character of Puritanism was 
altered by its transfer to America. The change was in some re 
spects for the better, in some for the worse. Relieved from the 
pressure of persecution, from the need of constantly assuming 
an attitude of watchful antagonism, Puritanism lost much of its 
harshness. For the first time the Puritan lived in a world that 
was friendly and full of hope; he had passed from the land of 
bondage to the land of promise. Yet this very change had its 
drawbacks. Freedom from opposition may sweeten the mural 


nature, but it is not conducive to mental activity. The arms 
which were no longer needed were suffered to rust, and the 
theology of New England became more and more a sterile and 
unreflecting repetition of fixed dogmas. Calvinism in America 
ever tend-ed to become more a system of ecclesiastical discipline, 
less a fountain of spiritual truth. 

To an Englishman the history of the Puritan colonies has a 
special attraction, as showing how the constitutional principles 
of his own country may be adapted and developed in altered 
conditions of life. Besides this, it has another peculiar interest. 
In New England we can see the unchecked working of a prin 
ciple whose operation in England was modified and balanced by 
other influences. The reformation of religion in England was 
not an isolated movement; it was but one of various forms in 
which a great national awakening showed itself. It had noth 
ing in common with some of those forms; with some it was 
actively at war. But though the English Puritan might abhor 
the Renaissance and its works, he could not wholly sever him 
self from them, any more than he could free himself from the 
religious and political associations which surrounded him from 
infancy. While the Puritan saw daily before him the relics of 
mediaeval piety, while his thirst for religious knowledge brought 
him under the spell of the new learning and its manifold cul 
ture, Calvinism could not wholly have dominion over him. 
The writings of Milton show how English Puritanism was 
forced to assume a width of view alien to its true nature. In 
America it was otherwise. Whatever praise, whatever blame 
attaches to New England in its early day must be set down to 
Puritanism. When it triumphed it triumphed of its own un 
aided strength; where it failed it failed from its own insuffi 
ciency and narrowness. 



As English history really opens amid the scenes and institutions 
described by Tacitus, before any English invader had set foot 
Organi- on the shores of Britain, so it is with the Puritan col- 
the ind e f - onies. The constitutional history of New England, 
pendents. j n t^u^ began when the first congregation of Eng 
lish Nonconformists came into being. The revolt from the 
Papacy had not gone far when the gulf between the moderate 

1 The authorities for this chapter naturally resolve themselves into two groups: (i) Those 
who deal with the attempts to settle to the north of Cape Cod, between i6ot and 1620, 
and with the restoration of the Plymouth Company; (2) those bearing on thv; history of 
the Puritan settlers. The authorities for the voyages between 1602 and 1607 have been 
already referred to (Virginia, etc., pp. 101-2). They are mostly published in Purchas, 
and are republished in the Massachusetts Historical Society s Collection, 3rd series, vol. 
viii. Of Popham s attempted colony we have a full account in Strachey s Tray ay le into 
Virginia Britannia. John Smith s explorations are described in two pamphlets written 
by him. The first, published in 1616, is entitled A Description of Neit, England; the 
second, called New England s Trials, was published in 1622. Both were originally 
printed in London, and are included in the second volume of Force s collection. They 
are also in the new and complete edition of Smith s works published by Mr. Arber in 1884. 
All my references to Smith in this volume are to that edition. Sir Ferdinando Gorges 
Description of NCT.V England is a valuable contemporary record of all the events of New 
England history in which the writer himself took part. Tjnfortimntely the style is often 
careless and obscure, and the chronology confused. It was originally published by the 
author s namesake and grandson in a collection entitled America Paintt-jl to the. Life. 
The description is republished in the Massachusetts Historical Collection, 3rd scries, 
vol. vi. The Plymouth Company two years after its revival published a tract called A 
Brief Relation of the Discovery and Plantation of New England, It is republished 
in the Massachusetts Historical Collection, 2nd series, vol. ix. 

Our knowledge of the Plymouth Puritans is derived mainly from the writings of Brad 
ford and Winslow. I have in my text spoken fully of both writers. Bradford s history 
remained in manuscript till the present century. It had been given up as lost, but was 
discovered by Mr. Young about 1840, and has been edited and published by Mr. Charles 
Dean, in 1856, as the third volume of the fourth series of the Massachusetts Historical 
Collection. In referring to it I have throughout quoted the original pagination. It served 
as the basis for Neiv England s Memorial, published by Nathaniel Morton in 1669. Indeed, 
the greater part of Morton s work is no more than an abridgment of Bradford s. 

Bradford s letter-book, published in the ist series of the Massachusetts Historical Col 
lection, vol. iii., contains much that is valuable. Except Bradford s history, almost every- 



and the thorough-going reformers showed itself. The revival of 
letters did much to brep-k down the boundaries of race and 

thing that bears on the early history of Plymouth has been published, either in the 
Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, by Alexander Young (Boston, 1844), or in the modern 
edition of New England s Memorial (Boston, 1855). One of the ablest and most highly 
educated men among the Plymouth settlers, Edward Winslow, has left three pamphlets 
containing much valuable material. The earliest in subject, though not in date of 
production, is a controversial work entitled Hypocrisy Unmasked, published in London 
in 1646. The main substance of this pamphlet is an attack upon one Samuel Gorton. 
This will come before us again. But to this is appended an account of the emigration 
from Leyden. Winslow also published A Relation or Journal of the Beginning and 
Proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth (London, 1622), and an 
other pamphlet, entitled Good News from New England, in 1624. These three pam 
phlets are all given by Mr. Young. My references to Winslow, unless otherwise 
expressed, are to this reprint. There is besides among the Colonial Papers a memorial 
from Winslow addressed to the Privy Council, containing some interesting information 
about his doings in New England. 

Prince s Chronological History of New England is a trustworthy compilation from 
early authorities. So much of the work as came down to 1630 was published in one 
^ volume in 1736. The rest appeared in a fragmentary form, and was republishcd in the 
! second series of the Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. vii. The whole of Prince s 
. work was edited by Mr. Drake, and published in 1852. My references are to this edition? 
V The Records of Plymouth have been published in a complete form in twelve volumes, 
| edited partly by Mr. N. B. Shurtleff, partly by Mr. D. Pulsifer. They extend from the 
foundation of the colony down to its incorporation with Massachusetts in 1692. The Rev. 
Joseph Hunter, in his Founders of New Plymouth, has collected all that can be learnt 
about the Independent church at Scrooby, its flight to Holland and sojourn there. An 
other very valuable authority has lately come to light. It is a document bought in 1875 
by the British Museum, and entitled A Description of New England. It bears neither date 
nor the name of the author, but it was evidently written in 1660 or 1661, since the writer 
refers to the execution of the three Quakers " last year." It may also be assumed, I think, as 
certain, as it is assumed by Mr. Dean, who has edited the pamphlet, that Maverick was 
the author. The writer speaks of himself as having, in 1625, "built and fortified the an- 
cientest house in the Massachusetts government." No settlement except Maverick s 
answers to that description. Hostility to Massachusetts runs through the whole pam 
phlet, yet, as far as we can test the writer s statements by comparison with other authorities 
they are accurate. Thus it has great value as the only contemporary account of New 
England from its earliest days, written from an anti-Puritan point of view. It preserves 
many details concerning the scattered settlements to the north of the Piscataqua. 

Another authority, in some measure of the same kind, is Thomas Lechford. He was a 
London attorney, who got into trouble in England by supporting Prynne. He either was 
banished or fled to escape punishment. He reached New England in 1638. He had de 
cided and peculiar views on Church government, and having quarreled with Episcopalians 
in England he quarreled with Nonconformists in America. He more than once incurred 
judicial censure for his attacks on the ecclesiastical system of Massachusetts. In 1642 he 
wrote a pamphlet called Plain Dealing in New England. It is a detailed account of the 
system of civil and ecclesiastical government in Massachusetts. It is clear that the writer 
was in sympathy with the general principles and aims of the colonists, but was a man 
given to exaggerate the importance of mere details and questions of procedure. 

Plain Dealing was republished in the third series of the Massachusetts Historical 
Collection, vol. iii. A later edition was published in 1867 with an introduction and notes, 
both very full and of great value, by J. H. Trumbull. Though Lechford mentions Ply 
mouth, his place is among Massachusetts writers. 

Morton s New English Canaan is likewise an anti-Puritan account of early New 
England history, but it has little authoritative value. I shall have occasion to speak of the 
author and his work in my text. The book has been admirably edited for the Prince 
Society by Mr. C. F. Adams. His preface is an exceedingly valuable monograph upon 
all the subjects on which Morion s history touches. 


country, and the persecuted English Protestant constantly had 
dealings with the reformed churches of Holland, Germany, and 
Switzerland. Congregations of foreign refugees in London and 
Norwich enjoyed by the special permission of the Crown their 
own discipline and worship, and must have served as a model 
and an encouragement to English Nonconformists. The first 
introduction of the congregational system in England is neces 
sarily obscure, inasmuch as the movement, if not unlawful, was 
so far opposed to the wishes of those in power as to make secrecy 
expedient In 1567 a small Independent congregation with a 
pastor and deacon of its own was set up in London. Two 
years later another and, as it would seem, a larger body, estab 
lished itself at Wandsworth. 1 

These were followed by other bodies of the same kind, styled 
conventicles. Side by side with these sprang up certain so- 
called Prophesyings, or organizations for moral and religious 
instructions, not, indeed, professedly opposed to the Church, 
but independent of it, and hostile to the spirit of Anglicanism. 
When the conventicles and prophesyings were suppressed by 
the authority of the Crown, an attempt was made to combine 
the objects of both in an organization which should be within 
the pale of civil and ecclesiastical law. This was to be effected 
by a system of discipline established in the eastern and midland 
counties. Assemblies of clergy were held, at which ecclesiastical 
matters were discussed and rules of practical discipline framed, 
independent of the authority of the Church of England, and 
sometimes in opposition to it. Afterwards meetings were held 
in London, with precautions for secrecy. There, under the 
direction of two eminent Nonconformist divines, Cartwright and 
Travers, a code was drawn up for the guidance of such parish 
clergymen as chose to adopt it. This has been described by a 
friendly writer as "an attempt to introduce a reformation into the 
Church without a separation," 2 by a hostile one as a scheme " for 
breeding up Presbytery under the wing of Episcopacy." 3 

This was to be done by instituting a voluntary discipline 
alongside that recognized by the Church, and, as far as might be, 

l Waddington s History of Congregational Government, 1869-80. This writer has worked 
out with great care the early history of the Nonconformist congregations in England. 

a Neal, History of the Puritans, ed. 1754, vol. i., p. 233. A full account of this organi- 
ration is given in a pamphlet written by Bancroft, the future Archbishop, in 1593, and 
entitled Dangerous Positions and Proceedings, 

3 Heylin, History of the Presbyterians, ed. 1670, p. 300. 


utilizing the established system. This discipline was to take 
cognizance of theological dogma, morality, and public worship. 
The ministers who accepted it were not to be content with epis 
copal ordination, but were also to obtain the approval of an as 
sembly. Patrons of livings were to be " dealt with earnestly," to 
persuade them to present fit incumbents. Neither the Common 
Prayer Book nor the ceremonies of the Church of England were 
tc be used. If an incumbent were threatened with deprivation for 
such omission, he might bring his case before an assembly. The 
lay officials, the collectors, and churchwardens were to be looked 
upon as elders and deacons. To enforce and administer this system 
local assemblies were to be formed, under the control of provincial 
synods; these in their turn were to give account to a national synod. 

The energy of the Queen and the Bishops prevented this sys 
tem from being carried out in its integrity. But the fact that it 
was devised and found many adherents shows how the Noncon 
formists of the sixteenth century were learning the lesson of 
organization and self-government. They were, in fact, on a 
small scale, much in the position of the Christians under the 
heathen Emperors. The nonconforming congregations had no 
acknowledged position in the eye of the law. But they had all 
the powers and machinery of self-government ready, and only 
needed recognition to stand out as autonomous bodies, capable 
of undertaking many of the functions of the civil authority. 

Meanwhile another movement was at work, different from 

that just described in its formal and avowed objects, but tending 

towards the same result. In 1582, Robert Browne 

13 ro wrusm. 

published a "Book which sheweth the Life and Man 
ners of all true Christians. " The writer was an ordained clergy 
man, whose character and conduct seem to have been such as to 
give no small advantage to his controversial opponents. What 
ever the man may have been, his work marks an epoch in English 
history. It is the first formal assertion of that doctrine which has 
ever since formed the quickening principle of English dissent. 
It definitely sets forth the claims of the congregation, bound 
together by common faith and worship, to be a self-govern 
ing body complete in itself. That is to say, it revived 
those doctrines of Zwingle which had been discredited by the 
outrages of the Anabaptists and crushed by the rigid organization 
of the Calvinistic system. To us, who see how readily English 
nonconformity adapted itself to the system set forth by Browne, 


it seems difficult to believe that his teaching met with bitter 
hostility from those who might be regarded as the recognized 
and authoritative exponents of Puritanism. 

The Puritan of tlje school of Cartwright was scarcely less wed- 
ded to the principle of a national church than the Anglican of the 
school of Hooker. Here, as often, the permanent influence of a 
p.irty was determined not by the profession with which it started, 
nor the formal distinctions which at the outset divided it from its 
opponents, but by the under-currents of thought which it kept 
alive. The reforming Puritan was at one with the Brownist in 
his estimate of man s spiritual nature and his earthly mission. 
His teaching was making clear the way for the institutions which 
he denounced. Moreover, the gulf between Presbyterianism and 
Independency might at any time be narrowed, till in practice 
they met. Presbyterianism need not leave the individual con 
gregation wholly without power of independent action; congre 
gational Independency, as interpreted by the next generation, left 
a wide margin for the exercise of authority by the whole body of 
churches confederated together. The ecclesiastical scheme laid 
down by Browne, and by those continental reformers whom he 
followed, treated each congregation as a distinct body, with 
certain rights of self-government in matters of faith and ritual. 

At the same time it did not necessarily make those rights com 
plete. The authority of the separate congregation must be lim 
ited by reference to the joint authority of the whole body of 
believers. In other words, the system might be that of a number 
of wholly independent communities or that of a federation. 
Moreover, the English Puritan, if he clung to Presbyterianism in 
theory, was almost compelled to adopt Congregationalism in 
practice. Indeed, it might be almost said that the policy of 
Whitgift made Presbyterians into Brownists against their will. 
Isolation was a needful consequence of secrecy and weakness. 
The so-called presbytery at Wandsworth must have been, for all 
practical purposes, an Independent congregation. 

Before dealing with the first Puritan settlers in America it is 

needful to say something of the land which they were to occupy, 

and of those who had already visited and endeavored 

V OVtXp r CS 

to New to inhabit it. Between 1602 and 1607 at least three 
English voyagers had touched upon the coast north 
of the Hudson, and explored the country with a view to 


I have already spoken of these voyages in connection with the 
history of Virginia. 1 They have a more direct bearing on the 
settlement of New England. Their result was to reveal the sea 
board from the Kennebec to Cape Cod, including the whole of 
what afterwards was the coast of Massachusetts. It was found to 
be a country in every way well fitted for habitation; the sea 
abounding in fish, and the land in timber and in beasts and birds 
good for food; the native peaceful, friendly, and ready to trade. 
The one drawback, the severity of the climate, necessarily escaped 
the notice of voyagers in the summer, and was only learnt by 
painful experience. 

It will be remembered that the original Virginia Company 
contained two branches, one having its headquarters at London, 

the other at Plymouth. 2 The fate of the former has 
Virginian been already told. The career of the latter, short and 

troubled as it was, formed a stage in the process by 
which New England was colonized. Like the Virginia Com 
pany the Northern branch drew its strength from that source 
which had contributed so largely to the colonial enterprise of the 
previous century, the gentry of Devonshire. Foremost among 
its supporters was Chief Justice Popham. His experience as a 
judge had probably impressed on his mind the necessity for 
colonization as a remedy for that over-population and lack of 
employment to which crime was so largely due. He had already 
turned his thoughts to such questions, if it be true that he had 
a large share in framing and supporting the severe acts against 
vagrancy framed in the later years of Elizabeth. 3 

Among Popham s associates was Raleigh Gilbert, the nephew 
of Sir Humphrey. The name of another connects the present 

scheme with earlier and later efforts in the same direc- 

Sir Ferdi- 

nando tion. Sir Ferdinando Gorges 4 figures constantly in the 

early years of New England history, and forms a curi 
ous link between the Puritan settlers and the more romantic efforts 
of the sixteenth century. Gorges seems to have begun his career 
as a follower of Essex. Any claim which that might have given 
him to the goodwill of the Puritans was forfeited when he forsook 

1 Virginia, etc., p. 105. 

2 The charter with the names of the council is in Stith, Appendix I. 

3 This is stated in Lloyd s State Worthies, a book of no special historical authority, 
published in 1766. It is in a measure confirmed by D Ewes, journal of Parliament, 
fol. 542. 

4 Our knowledge of Gorges is almost entirely derived from the State Papers. 


his patron in the hour of downfall. Henceforth Gorges attitude 
to the New England settlers was for the most part one of jeal 
ous rivalry. We have no contemporary biography of Gorges, 
but the frequent references to him in the State Papers enable us 
to construct a not inadequate sketch of his career. The earliest 
recorded event is his imprisonment in the Low Countries, where, 
like more than one of the pioneers of American colonization, 
he had served against Spain. In 1596, eight years later, we 
find him appointed to a post of responsibility, the command of 
the newly fortified seaport of Plymouth, while at the same time he 
kept his commission in the English contingent in the Netherlands. 
What is recorded of his conduct at Plymouth is of a piece with 
the temper and character which he afterwards showed in colonial 
affairs. Pie soon contrived to embroil himself with the civil 
authorities on a question of billeting. At the same time his dis 
patches, when there was a possibility of real danger, were vigorous 
and practical. lie was thought worthy chosen among those 
who served as a council of war before the Cadiz expedition, and 
we find his commander explaining in a dispatch}, that he had left 
Gorges at Plymouth, finding him "the only tayt>fthe country." 

From this time Gorges seems to have taken his placaaniong the 
chief followers and advisers of Essex. The pro^^MMftjOorges 
survived the downfall of his patron, but only^t Bof his 

good name. * He, according to popular belief, w^H HPT those 
who urged Essex to the most unscrupulous of his MRieeds, the 
seizure of the Lord Keeper and the Chief Justice. Having in 
volved his patron in an unpardonable crime, Gorges, with almost 
incredible baseness, secured his own retreat by giving, on the 
pretended authority of Essex, an order for the release of the 
prisoners. Plis treachery carried not only pardon but a speedy 
renewal of royal favor. In the first year of the new reign he was 
restored to his governorship of Plymouth, and for the rest of his 
career we find him figuring as a strenuous competitor in the 
servile race for court patronage. 

Gorges brief and discreditable connection with Essex was 
probably not without its influence on the history of New Eng 
land. Even if there had been no question of material interests, 
the betrayer of Essex would necessarily have been an object of 
suspicion and hatred to the Puritans. It is no doubt due, at 
least in part, to this cause that, while Gorges plays a prominent, 
part in the colonization of New England, we have but little. 



direct evidence as to his character. The Puritan chroniclers fur 
nish us with ample, if at times indiscriminating, accounts of their 
own heroes; but in dealing with the great enemy of New Eng 
land Puritanism they content themselves with vague denunciations 
and disparagement. Thus our knowledge of Gorges is mainly 
derived from the references in public documents and from his 
own writings, in which a style originally careless and void of lit 
erary skill has in all likelihood been made yet more confused by 
the errors of editors and printers. Yet even in its present state 
Gorges work gives us a clear and definite impression of the 
writer, as a man of resolute purpose and clear but narrow 
views, whose zeal for the public good was often blended with 
personal cupidity and ambition, but not wholly overlaid by them. 

Gorges position at Plymouth must have brought him into 
close contact with those who were interested in American dis 
covery, probably with many who had actually taken part in it. 
His own thoughts seem to have been first turned that way when 
Weymouth, on his return in the summer of 1605, brought with 
him five natives, three of whom Gorges summarily seized. l By 
good fortune, they were of the same tribe, but of different vil 
lages. Thus, while they could readily communicate with one 
another, they were also able after a while to give Gorges a com 
prehensive .description of their country. Their feeling towards 
their captors seems to have been, on the whole, friendly, and 
for the next fifteen years they served to keep open communication 
between the natives and successive English voyagers and explorers. 
The Plymouth, or North Virginia, Company was formally in 
corporated in April, 1606, and in the same summer two voyages 
Voyages were made. The first of these was a complete failure, 
in 1606. resulting in the loss of the vessel or vessels engaged 
and the capture of the crews, among them Gorges two natives. 2 

Another vessel sent out by Popham in the same year fared 
better. Pring, who was in command, was already in some degree 
acquainted with the coast, and now made a complete survey of 
it. 3 His -report decided the council of the company to undertake 
a colony. In June, 1607, a hundred and twenty settlers were 
sent out in two vessels, one commanded by Raleigh Gilbert, the 
other by George -Popham, a brother of the Chief Justice. Pop- 
ham was also appointed to the presidency of the colony. He 

l Gorges Description, p. 50. 2 For this voyage see Appendix A 

* Gorges, p. 53. 


was, as it would seem, hardly young or vigorous enough for such 
a task, though otherwise well fitted for his post 1 

The whole history of the colony is a curious comment on the 
seemingly small chances whereby the fate of young communities 
The at- ^ s determined. In every respect the composition of 
colonial ^6 c l n y seemed far better than that of the party 
Sagadahoc.2 w hich in the previous year had been sent to Virginia. 
Setting aside Popham s advanced age, the leaders seem to have 
been all well fitted for their posts. We read of no disputes nor mis 
takes; perfect harmony and perfect obedience seem to have pre 
vailed. In their dealings with the natives the English were both 
just and prudent, erring neither by severity nor over-confidence. 
It is clear that the settlers were industrious, since before the win 
ter fifty houses, an intrenched fort, a church, and a storehouse 
had been finished, and a pinnace of thirty tons built. As the 
colonists did not reach America till August it was too late to till 
the soil, and they had to depend for food on their trade with the 
natives and on the supplies sent from England. Accordingly, all 
the time that could be spared from building and fortifying their 
habitations was spent in exploring the coast and its inlets. 

But despite the good order of the colonists and the prudence 
shown by the leaders, the settlement was overthrown by a series 
Failure ^ unt:owar( ^ niishaps. Misfortune began with a winter 
of the of exceptional severity. The Thames was frozen over 


so hard that a fair was held and boats built upon it. 
In New England the weather was such that nothing could be 
done in the way of exploration or trade. Despite the cold, how 
ever, there was little sickness among the settlers, and only Pop- 
ham died, as much perhaps from the infirmity of age as from the 
climate. A worse blow to the colony was the loss of its principal 
supporter, the Chief Justice. Moreover, the same ship which 
brought tidings of his death also announced that of Sir John 
Gilbert. His brother Raleigh inherited the family estate. His 
uncle s spirit was not strong enough in him to make him reject 
the life of an English squire for that of an American colonist. 
His desertion, the loss of the two Pophams, the destruction of 
the fort by fire, and above all, the severity of the winter, so com 
pletely disheartened the settlers that with one accord they at once 

l Gorges, p. 55, says that Popham " was well stricken in years before he went, and had 
long be.en an infirni man." 

3 A full diary of the proceedings of the colonLsks is given by Strachey, pp. 163-180. 


resolved to forsake their new home. For seven years no attempt 
was made to revive the settlement or to form a fresh one. The 
Plymouth Company confined its efforts to voyages for trade and 
exploration, and left the task of colonization to their more vigor 
ous and fortunate rivals in London. 

Nevertheless Sir Francis Popham, the son of the Chief Justice, 
made some faint attempts to follow up his father s schemes, 1 
John while Gorges seems never to have abandoned his hopes 

piores i^ew f colonization. Before long they were joined by an 
England. a |j v b etter f ]tte( j probably than any other man who could 
have been found in that day to enlist influential support and to 
attract popular interest towards their designs. In 1609 Captain 
John Smith left Virginia, never to revisit it. His services in the 
cause of colonization were no longer rendered to that settlement 
with which tradition has justly associated his name, but were de 
voted to exploring the northern coast and advocating the advan 
tages to be obtained from it by plantation and fisheries. His first 
voyage thither was made in 1614, on behalf of four London mer 
chants with whom he was himself connected as a partner. The 
insufficiency of his charts withheld Smith from making a thorough 
survey of the country, and he had to content himself with a cargo 
of fish and furs worth nearly fifteen hundred pounds. 2 The voy 
age had one memorable result. Hitherto the land north of Cape 
Cod had been commonly known to Englishmen as North Virginia. 
That name Smith now changed to the more distinctive title of New 
England. 3 The fidelity with which the Puritan colonies repro 
duced many of the best phases of English thought and political 
life gave a significance to the name beyond what was dreamt of by 
the author. Another incident of the voyage deserves notice, as 
having had its effect on the future relations between the English 
and the Indians. During Smith s temporary absence Hunt, the 
master of one of the vessels, deceitfully captured thirty of the 
natives with the intention of selling them in some Spanish port. 4 

l A Brief Relation, p. 4. 2 New England s Trials, p. 240. 

3 Smith s General History, p. 699. "I had taken a draught of the coast and called it 
New England." Again (New England s Trials, p. 243) he says, " This Virgin s sister 
called New England, An. 1616, at my humble suit by our most gracious King Charles" 
(Cf. p. 937). Elsewhere Smith says, " New England is that part of America in the ocean 
sea opposite to Nova Albion, in the South Sea, discovered by the most memorable Sir 
Francis Drake in his voyage about the world, in regard whereof this is styled New Eng 
land, being in the same latitude" (Description of Neiv England, p. 188). And again 
p. 192), "That part we call New England is betwixt the degrees of 41 and 45." It is 
not unlikely that Smith gave currency to an existing though not generally accepted name 

4 Brief Relation, p. 6. Smith s Description, p. 219. 


Hitherto all the dealings of English voyagers with the natives of 
New England seem to have been just and their relations friendly. 
This one act created distrust and a desire for revenge which made 
themselves felt at the expense of later explorers. 

Meanwhile Gorges had succeeded in securing the help of Lord 

Southampton,^ who had, like himself, been among the friends 

and followers of Essex. Aided by other subscribers, 

V oyscfc 

sent out they furnished a ship and sent it out in June, 1614, 
under the command of a Captain Hobson. 2 

They appear to have set great store by the friendship and prom 
ised help of an Indian named Epenow, who sailed with them. 
He had been found in London by Captain Harley, one of those 
who shared Popham s failure. Epenow can hardly have been 
among the Indians kidnapped by Hunt, though Gorges seems to 
have been of that opinion. 3 But be that as it may, the recent 
outrage had made the natives suspicious and resentful. They 
communicated with Epenow and helped him to escape. A fight 
ensued, and though the voyagers suffered no serious injury, they 
were unable to achieve any useful result, either by trade or 

Next year Gorges renewed his attempt, aided by Smith. To 
whatever part of the world Smith betook himself, there romantic 
Smith s adventures seemed to await him, with captivity as one of 
adventures their leading episodes. In 1615 he sailed from Ply 
mouth with two ships fitted out by Gorges and other 
west country adventurers. 4 Soon after sailing, Smith s ship became 
unseaworthy, and was compelled to put back, leaving her con 
sort, under the command of Captain Dermer, to complete the 
voyage. Smith s second attempt after refitting was even more 
disastrous. His crew were mutinous, and off the coast of New 
England he was seized by a French man-of-war, under the pre 
tence that he was a pirate. He succeeded in allaying the suspi 
cions of his captors, but before he could return to his own vessel 

1 Gorges, p. 59. 

2 The voyage is described by Gorges, p. 60, and in the Brief Relation, p. 5, etc. Smitk 
alro mentions it. 

s Gorges says that he was one of twenty-nine who had be - n captured by a ship of London. 
This must refer to Hunt. On the other hand it seems impossible that one of Hunt s prisoners 
could have been brought to London, sold there, and returned to his own country, all in one 
summer. Smith and the authors of the Brief Relation both speak of Hunt s treachery as 
the cause of Epenow s hostility and of the failure of the voyage, but this does not require us 
to believe that Epenow was one of Hunt s captives. 

4 Thus voyage is fully described in Smith s r^rtt r i/ fion, pp. 221227. His account is con 
firmed oy the B -ief Description, p. 7. 


the crew had set sail for England, and Smith was left on board a 
foreign vessel without so much as his clothes. A captivity when 
Smith was himself the prisoner and the narrator was not likely to 
be wanting in romantic incidents. More than one English vessel 
communicated with the Frenchmen, and on one occasion an 
English officer came on board. Smith, however, was at these 
times strictly secluded, while in various encounters with Spanish 
vessels, the French brought him out "to manage their fights," 
though what precise form his service took does not appear. At 
length, off Rochelle, he contrived to get away in a small boat just 
in time to escape the shipwreck of the vessel. 

With this untoward voyage Smith s career as an explorer seems 
to have ended. But though he no longer bore an active part 
Smith s * n Discovery or colonization, his services to New Eng- 
pamphiets land were not over. In the year after his escape he 

on behalf J 

of New published a pamphlet urging the expediency of set- 

Erfiand. l ,. . , 

timg that region, and followed it up six years later by 
another to the same purpose. He especially dwells on the value 
of the New England fishery, and points out how from that unpre 
tending resource the Dutch had drawn more substantial gain than 
the Spaniards from their American mines. The style and sub 
stance of the two pamphlets are thoroughly characteristic of the 
writer. They are confused, egotistical, and at times petulant, yet 
the resolute energy and unselfish zeal of the writer break out 
everywhere. There is something of real eloquence in passages 
where he gives vent to his anger against the sloth and incredulity 
of his countrymen. " Who," he asks, " would live at home idly 
(or think himself any worth to live) only to eat, drink, and sleep, 
and so die? or by consuming that carelessly his friends got 
worthily ? or by using that miserably that maintained virtue hon 
estly ? or for being descended nobly pine with the vain vaunt of 
great kindred in penury ? or to maintain a silly share of bravery 
toyle out thy heart, soule, and time basely by shifts, tricks, cards, 
and dice ? or by relating news of others actions, shark here and 
there for a dinner or a supper ? deceive thy friends by fair prom 
ises and dissimulation in borrowing where thou never intended 
to pay; offend the laws, surfeit with excess, burden thy country, 
abuse thyself, despair in want and then cozen thy kindred, yea, 
even thine own brother, and wish thy parents death (I will not 
say damnation) to have their estates; though thou seest what 

l See the first note to this chapter. 


honors and rewards the world yet hath for them that will seek 
them and worthily deserve them ?" There is a true and unex 
pected touch of picturesqueness in his description of the fisherman 
crossing the sweet ayre from isle to isle over the silent streams 
of a calm sea, wherein the most curious may find pleasure, profit, 
and content." Nor is he more than just to himself when he 
claims that Virginia and New England have "been my wife, my 
hawks, my hounds, my cards, my dice, and, in total, my best 
content." With that passage, characteristic alike in its egotism 
and its vigorous simplicity, we may fitly take leave of the heroic 
figure, heroic despite many failings, to whom America owes 

so much. /*>/- 

For the next four years nothing was done towards advancing 
the colonization of New England. Gorges continued to send out 
Revival of voyages for exploration. J It is clear, too, that the New 
mouS*" England fisheries were growing in importance, since 
Company. t h e disorder and misconduct of the fishermen and the 
necessity for some authority over them were among the pleas 
urged for re-establishing the Plymouth Company with a new 

That proposal was made by Gorges and some of his associates 

about the year i6i8. 2 The Virginia Company had now a consti- 

tution differing from that given to it by the original 

for New patent. The two most important changes were the 

England. , . - , , , 

abrogation of double government by a resident and a 
non-resident council, and the substitution of an exact for an un 
defined boundary. The former change seemed equally applicable 
to the Plymouth Company, while the alteration of boundary in 
the case of Virginia made a similar limitation in the case of the 
northern colony needful as a precaution against confusion and 
disputes. Gorges scheme met with a certain amount of opposi 
tion from the Virginia Company. 3 Their hostility, however, was 
ineffectual, and in November, 1620, a fresh patent was granted. 4 

The document is an important one, for though little was done 
towards colonizing New England by the actual patentees, yet 
territorial rights conveyed to them by this charter were recognized 
by all settlers during the next fifteen years as the basis of their 

l Gorges, pp. 61, etc. 2 /., p. 70. Cf. the Brief Relation, p. 13. 

8 Brief Relation, p. 12. 

4 The original document is among the State Papers, Colonial Entry Book, lix. 128. It 
has been reprinted in Hazard s Collection, and as an appendix to Trumbull s History qf 
Conn cticut, vol. i. f App. xxvi. 


claims. The territory granted by the charter was that lying be 
tween forty and forty-eight degrees of latitude. The preamble 
stated with somewhat startling exaggeration that this district had 
been lately depopulated by a pestilence, and might therefore be 
regarded as unoccupied soil. l The name of New Englaid was 
formally confirmed. The basis of the new association was far nar 
rower than that of the Virginia Company. There the whole body 
of shareholders was constituted a corporation with certain legal 
rights, and controlled by a council which, though originally 
appointed by the Crown, tended to become purely representative. 
Here, however, the corporation and the council were identical, 
consisting of forty patentees. 

Any rights which further shareholders or associates might enjoy 
would be derived, not from the original instrument, but from 
special contract with the patentees. The practical result was that 
the new Company became simply a channel through which the 
territorial rights of the Crown were transferred to certain persons, 
not to be used on any connected or organic scheme, but as the 
individual thought fit. The most conspicuous names among the 
members of the Company were those of the two court favorites, 
Buckingham and Lenox, the Earl of Pembroke, and Sir Ferdi- 
nando Gorges; while the presence of Southampton, Sir Thomas 
Roe, and Sir Nathaniel Rich marked a certain community of in 
terest between the new corporation and the Virginia adventurers. 
The Company was to be established at Plymouth, and was ^to 
elect a president and to fill up vacancies in its own body. The 
most important privileges conferred on them were: i. The right 
of legislating, subject to the necessary and usual condition that 
these laws were not contrary to those of the realm. 2. The mo 
nopoly of trade within the limits of the patent. 3. Freedom from 
all customs beyond four per cent. 4. The right to expel all in 
truders from the territory of the company by force of arms if 
necessary, and, as a needful condition, the right to exercise mar 
tial law within that territory. The council had also power to 
impose the oaths of allegiance and supremacy if they thought fit ; 
but no conditions were imposed as to the religious belief or eccle 
siastical discipline of those who were to inhabit their lands. All 
details as to the system of government to be adopted in the colony 
itself were left to the discretion of the patentees. In one respect 
the constitution of the Company was unsound from the outset. 

l For the amount of truth contained in this statement ?-ee below, p. 53. 


It started without capital. No fixed sum was either subscribed 
or guaranteed by the members, but it was left to them to make 
such contributions as they might think fit. It was afterwards de 
cided that each member should invest a hundred pounds making 
up the meager capital of four thousand pounds in all. 1 

The patentees, indeed, contemplated forming a company after 
a kind. They circulated a proclamation in the seaports of the 
West of England, setting forth the nature of their monopoly and 
prohibiting all private trade. 

They expected by this means, in their own words, "to induce 
every reasonable man in and about them (these towns), affecting 
the public good or a regular proceeding in the business of trade, 
to embrace a uniformity, and to join in a community or joint- 
stock together. " 2 

A company which had no better assurance than this for its 
capital was little likely to carry out any schemes which involved 
much immediate outlay. As a natural consequence, the new cor 
poration never attempted to rival the enterprise of the Virginia 
Company and contented itself with the position of a large land 
holder whose income is derived from letting or selling his territory. 

The attempt to enforce their right of monopolizing trade at 
once brought down a storm of opposition upon the new corpo 
ration. Since Southampton was a patentee, one can 
h^pari^a- hardly suppose that the Virginia Company continued 
actively hostile to its younger rival. But the battle 
against monopolies was then at its height, and the choice of Buck 
ingham as the President of the Plymouth Company, and the 
presence of Mompesson, the great monopolist, among its mem 
bers, could not fail to quicken the popular feelings against the cor 
poration. During the session of 1621 a bill was brought in for 
preventing extortions and tithes on fishing. There is nothing to 
show that this was specially aimed at the New England Company, 
but it in some manner foreshadowed the great attack which followed. 
The bill apparently passed the Commons, but was thrown cut by 
the Lords. Later in the session a more definite bill was brought 
in to give freer liberty of fishing on the coast of America, with 

l Brief Relation, p. 13. 2 II,. 

3 The fact of these bills having been brought in, with some details of the discussions which 
followed, is preserved in the journals of the House of Commons. Gorges own appearance 
before Parliament is told by him in a rather confused manner (pp. 66-71). I do not feel 
quite certain whether his description refers to his appearance before the House in 1621 or to 
a second appearance three years later. 


special mention of Virginia and New England. The chief object of 
the bill was to make public the right of fishing on the American 
coast, and also to allow those who exercised that right to land and 
get firewood. The bill was opposed by Guy, a Bristol merchant, 
who had under a patent settled a colony in Newfoundland. The 
discussion which followed has been preserved, and is cf great in 
terest. On the one side the enemies of the Company, prominent 
among whom was Sir Edward Coke, urged the impropriety of 
allowing a great natural resource like the sea-fisheries to be made 
a monopoly. On the other side it was shown clearly and forcibly 
that the choice lay between colonization or free fishing, and that 
the two were incompatible. As regarded the immediate question, 
there was justice in each view. On the one hand it seemed 
monstrous that an undertaking of great public importance should 
be hindered by a few lawless and disorderly men. On the other 
hand it was obviously undesirable that a national industry like 
fishing should be at the mercy of a small and irresponsible body. 
During the course of the debate a question of considerable con 
stitutional interest was raised; the right, namely, of Parliament 
to legislate for a colony. It does not seem, however, that any 
definite opinion was expressed on this point or that any precedent 
was established. 

In November a more direct attack was made on the New Eng 
land patent. The committee for inquiring into and presenting 
grievances summoned Gorges, or, in his absence, his representa 
tives, to appear before them. Here, unfortunately, the extant 
Parliamentary records fail us and we are left to the confused and 
necessarily one-sided report of Gorges himself. He pointed out 
the importance of his colonial schemes and the impossibility of 
effecting anything while the fishermen were allowed to exasperate 
the natives by fraudulent dealings or to sell them arms. In spite 
of Gorges representations, the New England monopoly held a 
prominent place on the list of grievances presented to the King. l 
The patent, however, was saved by the adjournment of Parliament, 
and for the present Gorges and his associates were allowed to pur 
sue their schemes unmolested. In the meantime the Company 
seemed in more danger from its own inherent weakness than from 
the attacks of its enemies. Hunt s outrage had borne fruit. 
Dermer, who had been Smith s colleague in the voyage of 1615, 
and whose skill and knowledge of the country were highly valued 

l Gorges, p. 71. 


by the Company, had been wounded in an affray with the savages, 
and soon after died in Virginia. Another ship s captain whom 
the Company had sent out had fallen less creditably in a tavern 
brawl in the same colony. 2 

The new corporation failed to enlist any of that enthusiasm, 
whether in merchant, missionary, or soldier of fortune, which 
had seconded the efforts of the Virginia Company. Help, how- 
e-er, was at hand, though of a kind which men like Gorges dis- 
trusted and despised. At a later day, when events might have 
taught him otherwise, he wrote of New England that he did not 
"despair of means to make it appear that it would yield both 
profit and content to as many as aimed thereat, these being 
truly for the most part the motives that all men labor, 
howsoever otherwise adjoined (sic) with fair colors and goodly 
shadows." 3 In the same spirit Smith disclaimed the idea 
"that any other motive than wealth will ever erect there a 
commonwealth. " 4 

The shallowness of such prophecies was soon to be made 
manifest. We must go back to those little congregations of 
English Independents among which the seminal principles of 
self-government had been gaining the powers needed for a great 
task. That new congregational system which has 
p^nden^ 6 " been already described seems to have been confined to 
?ion?of a ~ *ke eastern an d east-midland counties, and had taken 

Eastern especially firm root in the border districts of Lincoln- 
England. r J 

shire and Nottinghamshire. Hitherto the colonizing 

energy of England had shown itself in the western counties. 
Henceforth, through the influence of Puritanism, they fell into 
the background. By a singular chance the name of the first 
Puritan settlement bears witness to the maritime importance of 
Devonshire, but there the connection of the West of England with 
the Northern colonies ended. The distinctive peculiarities of the 
New Englander are directly inherited from East Anglia, from 
a land, that is, where successive migrations of German and 
Scandinavian conquerers had wiped out all trace of the earlier 
Celtic occupant. In this the settlement of New England did but 
follow that law by which in almost every important movement 
the eastern half of this island has asserted its lasting supremacy. 
During the reign of Elizabeth the distressed nonconformist had 

l Gorges, p. 63. 2 Ib. p. 62. 

Ib. p. 57. 4 Smith s Description, p. 212. 


bethought him of the land beyond the Atlantic as a refuge. A 
petition is yet extant in which a congregation of Independents, 
Proposed "falsely called Brownists," asks leave from the Queen 
emigration to remove to a foreign and far country which lieth 
about 1590. t tn e west, and there remaining to be accounted 
her Majesty s faithful and loving subjects. " Their courage and 
loyalty were in advance of their geographical knowledge, since 
they mention as one of the advantages of the scheme that they 
may "settle in Canada and a reatly annoy the bloody and per 
secuting Spaniard in the Bay of Mexico." 1 It is possible 
that an order of the Privy Council, issued in 1597, may have 
referred to some of these petitioners. The order is an answer to 
the petition of certain ship-masters who were about to send two 
vessels to Newfoundland, one to winter in the country. They 
have asked leave to transport divers artificers and persons that 
are noted to be sectaries, whose minds are continually in an 
ecclesiastical ferment." Leave was given to take four of these 
persons. They were to bind themselves not to serve the King s 
enemies, and not to return to the realm till they should reform 
themselves, and live in obedience to the ecclesiastical laws. That 
they contemplated something of a permanent settlement is shown 
by the entry that they were to take "household stuff and imple 
ments." 2 The voyage made in the Chancewell and the Hopewell 
is fully recorded in Hakluyt s Collection. 3 The vessels separated. 
The Chancewell fell in with pirates, and fared so ill at their hands 
that the scheme of settlement was abandoned. Though nothing 
came of this scheme for Puritan colonization, it is not unlikely 
that the project lived on in the minds of some of its proposers, 
and had its share in bringing about the efforts of the next century. 
The persecuted Puritan had for the present to content himself 
with less ambitious schemes of emigration. If his prospects 
seemed for a moment to brighten with the accession of a king 
Dealings trained in Presbyterianism, the result of the Hampton 
and fian- 1 " Court Conference at once dispelled the illusion. James 
the^d? had once publicly fought the battle of Calvin against 
tans. Arminius; but he had no sympathy with those theories 

1 This petition is among the State Papers (Calendar of Domestic State Papers, 1591-4, 
p. 400). It is not dated. 

2 I owe my knowledge of this entry in the Privy Council Journal to Mr. Waddington (vol. 
ii. p. 114). He assumes, I think without evidence, that these four emigrants were among 
the above-mentioned petitioners. 

3 Vol. iii. p. 242. 


of Church government which were almost inseparably identified 
with the Calvinistic theology. " I will make them conform or I 
will harry them out of the land/ was the unkingly speech which 
proclaimed the ecclesiastical policy of James. 1 

In Bancroft he had a fellow-worker imbued with equal bitter 
ness, but gifted with far greater sagacity and strength of purpose. 
The existing enactments against nonconforming ministers and 
their congregations were at once put in force, and the Puritan 
whose principles led him as far as separation, had no choice left 
but imprisonment or exile. 

The Puritan in his distress at once turned towards the Nether 
lands as a refuge. Everything in the history of the last eighty 
Holland vears tended to make Holland the home of religious 
becomes a freedom. Nowhere could the Protestant find such 
Noncon- sufferings to evoke his sympathy or such heroic associa- 

ormists. t . ons to kmdle hjs pride> The fireg of Smithfi(i j d and 

Oxford sink into insignificance when compared with the agonies 
amid which the free commonwealth of the Netherlands had its 
birth. The English Puritan had more than once borne his part 
in the defeats and victories of the Dutch arms. He had seen 
Dutch fugitives in his own land enjoying that liberty of worship 
and of Church government which was denied to himself. The 
freedom which the Dutch reformers won for themselves was used 
with wise and liberal comprehensiveness for the benefit of their dis 
tressed brethren. Holland became, in the language of a Presby 
terian pamphleteer, "a cage for unclean birds/ 2 and a Puritan 
poet of the next generation described it in oddly worded praise, as 
the "staple of sects and mint of schism." 3 As early as 1593 an 
Independent English congregation, which had come into exist 
ence in London, had taken refuge in Amsterdam. 4 Soon after 
the Hampton Court Conference two of the East Anglian churches, 
those of Gainsborough and Scrooby, likewise sought shelter in the 
Netherlands. That of Gainsborough, in all probability the more 
numerous and wealthy body, was the first to emigrate, and, follow 
ing the example of the London church, it settled at Amsterdam. 

1 The original authority for this speech seems to be a pamphlet entitled Sum of the 
Conference at Hampton Court, by Dr. William Barlow, then dean of Chester and after 
wards bishop of London. The original edition appeared in 1604. It was republished in the 
first volume of the PJxrnix, a collection of ecclesiastical pamphlets, in 1707. The King s 
speech is recorded at p. 170. 

2 Baylie s Dissuasive from the Errors of the Times, 1645, p. 9. 

3 Marvell s Works, ed. 1776, vol. iii. p. 290. 

4 Waddington, vol. ii. p. 104. 


v The fugitives were unfortunate in their leader. Their pastor, 
John Smith, possessed to the full that factious and impracticable 
temper so common among his sect The Netherlands were a 
hotbed of theological disputes. The new-comers were at once 
drawn into the conflict, and disappear from history, leaving only 
vague traces of discord and failure. l 

Of the character and position of those who composed the two 
emigrant churches we know less than could be wished. For 
tunately, however, the leading members of the Scrooby 
Scrooby church have been vividly commemorated for posterity 
by the loving testimony of their friends and followers, 
a testimony which is amply confirmed by the silence, or even the 
grudging commendation, of enemies. Plainly, they were men 
strong in the peculiar virtues of Puritanism, yet comparatively 
free from its peculiar failings, men fitted not merely by their 
earnest zeal and faith in God, but by their tolerant wisdom 
and benignity of temper, to be the founders of a Christian 

Richard Clifton, the minister under whose guidance the little 
flock set forth, only accompanied them as far as their first stage. 
Being, as it would seem, unfitted for work by age and infirmity, 
he joined himself to those who had already found a home in 
Amsterdam. He was succeeded in his office by John Robinson. 
John To him probably, rather than to any other person, 

Robmson. b e i on g s the honor of having established that ecclesi 
astical and moral discipline of which New Plymouth was the 
embodiment. Our knowledge of him is derived from the testi 
mony of his followers and from his own writings. With the 
latter in their theological aspect we are not concerned. At a 
later stage we shall have to deal with those writers on divinity 
who played so important a part in the intellectual history of 
New England. But there was no special connection between 
Robinson and the theological school of Massachusetts save the 
common basis of a Calvinistic creed. That feature in the writings 
of the former which concerns us is their moral tone and general 
attitude of thought, since these were among the chief influences 
which determined the character and temper of the Plymouth 
settlers. Robinson stands almost alone among Nonconformist 
writers of that day in his dignified sobriety of language, his entire 
freedom from malice or self-righteousness, his manifest indiffer- 

1 For Smith and his congregation see Bradford, pp. 6-12. 


<-nce to mere controversial victory. That man rose far above his 
sect, far, indeed, above his age, who could bid his disciples in 
their hour of parting "follow him no further than he followed 
Christ," and warn them by showing how each successive sect 
among the reformers, Lutherans and Calvinists alike, had rested 
content with that portion of spiritual truth revealed to its founder. 
The impression which Robinson s writings leave is fully confirmed 
by his friend and follower Bradford. There is a reality and a 
definiteness about his testimony which clearly mark it off from the 
somewhat unctuous and conventional eulogies of Puritan biog 
raphers. Bradford bears witness to Robinson s practical sense 
which helped his flock to surmount the daily trials and difficulties 
of exile, and to that gentleness and toleration which could only 
be roused to severity by the sight of hypocrisy or by selfish in 
difference to the public good. 1 From another of his disciples, 
Edward Winslow, we learn that Robinson s attitude towards those 
from whom he differed became more tolerant and comprehensive 
with advancing years, and this statement is confirmed 5 by a less 
friendly writer. Higher praise could hardly be given to one who 
was the moral and political guide and the spiritual oracle of a little 
community. Plymouth, in its early years, stood out among the 
Puritan colonies conspicuous for the brotherly love and helpfulness 
of its citizens, for the scrupulous morality which marked their 
dealings, whether with Englishman or Indian, and still more for 
the absence of those theological disputes which form so mourn 
ful and discreditable a chapter in the history of Massachusetts. 
We cannot err in ascribing a large share of this to the influence 
of Robinson. 

Robinson had a worthy colleague in the ruling elder of his 
church, William Brewster. Both of them at the time of the 
William migration to Holland were men in the prime of life. 
Brewster.s j n ec j uca ti orij social position, and political experience, 
Brewster was a man of higher stamp than his fellow-emigrants. 
He had been at Cambridge, and had afterwards become secretary 
to William Davidson. The knowledge of the politics and of the 
social and economical life of the Netherlands which Brewster 

1 Bradford, p. 13, 

2 Winslow in Young, p. 387. Baylie, p. 17. Cotton bears testimony to the same effect 
in one of his controversies with Roger Williams (Narragansett Historical Society s Publica 
tions, vol. ii. p. 210). 

a Bradford in his chronicle for the year of Brewster s death, 1643, gives a very full sketch 
of his life and character, p. 253. 


acquired during his master s embassy there must have been of the 
greatest value to his brethren. The downfall of Davidson must 
have deeply impressed the mind of his follower with the lesson, 
"Put not your trust in princes." Brewster, however, did not 
share the ruin of his master. He obtained the appointment of 
postmaster at Austerfield, near Scrooby, a position of some impor 
tance in those days, since over and above the despatch of letters 
it involved the duty of furthering travelers, and at times of sup 
plying them with food and lodgings. This office Brewster held 
from 1594 or earlier to I6O7. 1 During that time he occupied a 
manor house belonging to the Archbishop of York. Here 
his position enabled him to use his house as a center for religious 
meetings, and to be a liberal benefactor to Puritan ministers out 
side his own congregation. Brewster does not seem ever to have 
published any writings, and we cannot, therefore, as in the case of 
Robinson, judge of him by his own testimony. All that we do 
know of him confirms what we learn from Bradford, that in sound 
judgment, meekness of temper, and sense of public duty, though not 
in theological learning, he was a worthy yokefellow for Robinson. 

The third figure, that of William Bradford, is perhaps the most 
interesting of all to the student of New England history. A lad 
William of seventeen at the time of the flight from Scrooby to 
Bradford. Holland, 2 Bradford was just entering on public life 
when New Plymouth became a settled community. In the second 
year of the colony s existence he was chosen governor, and out of 
the remaining thirty-four years of his life there were only five dur 
ing which he did not hold that office. His character as a public 
man may be best left to unfold itself in the history of the common 
wealth in which he played such a conspicuous part. For the 
present he comes before us in his other character of a historian. 
To him is due almost all that we know of the Plymouth settlers 
from the day when they left Lincolnshire till they became a firmly 
rooted and prosperous commonwealth in America. 

Gratitude is quickened when we compare the simple, vigorous, 
and picturesque chronicle set before us by Bradford with the 
tedious and pedantic writings from which so much of the later 
history of New England has to be extracted. There is nothing 
to show that Bradford was a widely-read man, nor is there in his 

1 Hunter, p. 66. 

1 Hunter (p. 198) refers to the parish register of Austerfield. William Bradford s birth is 
there entered under March 19, 1589. 


writings any striving after literary effect Yet his work is in the 
true sense scholarly. The language is like the language of 
Bunyan, that of a man who trained himself not merely to speak 
but to think in the words of Scripture. Every expression is 
simple and effective, never far-fetched, never mean nor common. 
The substance is worthy of the style. Faults no doubt there are. 
At times there is a disappointing lack of detail and precision. 
Occasionally we feel that in the aims and hopes which Bradford 
assigns to himself and his fellow-workers at the outset of their 
enterprise, he is unconsciously winning the easy success of a 
retrospective prophecy. Yet with these and it may be other 
defects, Bradford s writings still remain the worthy first-fruits of 
Puritan literature in its new home. They are the work of a wise 
and good man who tells with a right understanding the great 
things that he and his brethren have done. ] 

In 1607 the congregation at Scrooby made its first attempt to 
escape into Holland. They had actually found a ship and 
embarked at Boston, when through the treachery of 
e the master they were arrested and imprisoned. Ac 

cording to Bradford s own admission they were for the 
most part treated leniently, but the scheme of departure was for 
the present overthrown. 

The attempt was renewed in the following year. An entry in 
the-Exchequer returns of ecclesiastical fines throws some light on 
the proceedings which led to this flight. We find that in 1608 
three alleged "Brownists or Separatists" were summoned before 
two Ecclesiastical Commissioners at Southwell, and fined twenty 
pounds each for refusing to attend. 3 One of the offenders was 
Brewster, and we can hardly doubt that the attack upon him 
was accompanied by proceedings against his friends and fellow- 
worshippers. It is also to be noticed that he had ceased to hold 
the office of postmaster in the preceding autumn.* 

In 1608 the actual flight to Holland was made. The emi 
grants, doubtless out of caution and because they were too many 
for one- ship to carry, decided to go in detachments. 
The fate of the first party seemed to bode ill for the 

Flight to 


l It is evident from more than one passage in which Bradford refers to subsequent events 
that his history was not written from year to year in the form of a diary or chronicle. See, 
for example, p. 180. 2 Bradford, p. 8. 

3 Hunter, p. 131. 4 Il>. p. 68. 

5 The flight of the Pilgrims to Holland and their stay there is told in the second and third, 
chapters of Bradford 

v 1 1 fcj i \ cr r r : T v 


project. During the midst of their embarkation, when many of 
the men were on board, but while the women and all the clothes 
and furniture were yet on land, an alarm was raised that the 
officers of the law were coming with a great company to seize 
the fugitives. The master, through cowardice or indifference, 
weighed anchor, and the little band was thus miserably parted; 
the women deserted and unprotected, the men on board without 
any goods save the clothes they wore and ignorant of what might 
befall those whom they had left. To the sufferings which the 
fugitives had already undergone were added the perils of the 
sea. A fearful storm arose; the ship was driven to the coast 
of Norway, and only reached Amsterdam after fourteen days of 
terror, during half of which time neither sun, moon, nor stars 
could be seen. The wives and children who had been left 
behind, after being * hurried from one place to another and from 
one justice to another and thus turmoiled a good while," were at 
last set free through the very weariness of their persecutors, and, 
probably with other members of the Scrooby congregation, joined 
the first fugitives in Holland. 

The sojourn of the exiles in the Low Countries is described by 
Bradford with singular pathos and simplicity. He tells how they 
saw many goodly and fortified cities strongly walled 
tans in " and guarded with troops of armed men; how they 
Holland. ^ heard a strange language and beheld the different 
manners and customs of the people with their strange fashions 
and attires, all so far differing from that of their plain country 
villages wherein they were bred and had so long lived, as it 
seemed they had come into a new world." After staying a year 
in Amsterdam they removed to Leyden, "a fair and beautiful city 
ind of a sweet situation," and there "fell to such trades and 
employments as they best could, valuing peace and spiritual 
comfort above all riches whatsoever. And at length they came 
to raise a competent and comfortable living, but with hard and 
continual labor." Thus they "continued for many years in a 
comfortable condition, enjoying much sweet and delightful Society 
and spiritual comfort together." The little colony formed -a 
refuge for Nonconformists from various parts of England, till it 
became a great congregation. The honesty and industry of the 
exiles gained them employment, and so peaceful was their life 
that the magistrates held them up as an example to the turbulent 


One would gladly know something more of their ecclesiastical 
discipline and of the process by which their capacity for self- 
government was trained and perfected. We can easily see in 
how many ways the change of life must have tended to beget 
that spirit of enterprise and invention needful for the success of 
colonists. The man who had learnt to speak a strange tongue, 
to make his bargains in a strange currency, and to adapt his life 
and mode of work to the habits of a foreign country, was far 
better fitted for the career of an emigrant than one who had been 
confined to the common tasks of a farm laborer, a small yeoman, 
or a handicraftsman in a country village. Moreover the emigra 
tion to Holland must have acted as a process of selection, by 
which the most venturesome and those endowed with the most 
steadfast faith in their peculiar doctrines were chosen out as the 
seed of a new commonwealth. The men who in the cause of 
religion forsook their English homes for an unknown land, and 
who were again willing to abandon their new-won peace and 
prosperity for the terrors of the wilderness, were like the twice- 
chosen band of Gideon. 

In other ways their stay in Holland must have served to con 
firm and intensify those peculiar features of character which had 
come into existence in England and were further developed in 
America. Holland was then torn in pieces with theological 
conflict. As in the Eastern Empire during the great controversies 
of early Christendom, the whole community was marshaled in 
two dogmatic sects. The English Puritans could not fail to 
be drawn into the struggle. Indeed we know that Robinson, 
though unwilling to take up arms, did actually play a distin-^ 
guished part as a combatant. l Thus the tendency of the English 
Puritan to look at all questions, moral, metaphysical, and even 
political, from a theological point of view, was confirmed and/ 
increased. Moreover, the life of a small isolated community was 
fitted to beget the self-reliance and the strong sense of mutual 
dependence needed by colonists, and so fully manifested in the 
Puritan settlements of New England. 

Before they had dwelt many years in their new home the 
project of a fresh emigration presented itself to the Puritan exiles. 
Project for Holland gave them a refuge where they could enjoy 
emigration. re ijgj ou3 freedom and subsist by hard toil, but it offered 
nothing more. Many of the usages which they saw about them, 

l Bradford, p. 15. 


especially the lack of Sabbath observance, were repugnant to theii 
religious feelings. They found difficulties in giving their chil 
dren suitable training, and the future of their posterity seemed far 
from hopeful. They must either submit to a life of unremitting 
toil and hardship, or else become soldiers or sailors, or betake 
themselves to some other secular calling, whereby they would be 
swallowed up in the mass of the population. Some, too, retained 
love enough for their country to wish to recover their position as 
English citizens, if they might do so without forfeiting their 
freedom of worship, i 

Bradford, we may well believe, expressed the views of himself 
and his more ardent and far-sighted brethren, though scarcely 
those of the whole community, when he says that "they had a 
great hope and inward zeal of laying some good foundation, or 
at least to make some way thereunto, for the propagation and 
advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote 
parts of the world." 2 

There were other circumstances which may have specially 
inclined the Leyden congregation towards the idea of American 
Relations colonization. Despite the influence of Ferrars the 
Virginu? views of the more moderate Puritans were strongly 
Company, represented in the Virginia Company. Sandys was 
both by personal and hereditary sympathy connected with that 
party. Loyalty to the existing order of things did not necessarily 
imply a belief in Episcopacy as an ideal form of ecclesiastical 
government under all circumstances, and Churchmen who had 
no sympathy with the congregational system in England might 
consistently befriend Nonconformists in their attempts to establish 
themselves in a new country. Sandys father had been, as Arch 
bishop of York, moderate and tolerant in his dealings with 
Dissenters. An elder brother now held the manor of Scrooby.a 
and Sandys must have thus been personally acquainted with 
Brewster and other leading men in the Leyden church. The 
connection, if it did not help to suggest the scheme of colonization, 
at least showed the easiest and most direct way of carrying it out. 

Virginia was not the only country, probably not even the first, 
which the Puritans thought of for their new home. Some of them 
Doubts proposed to emigrate to Guiana, urging the fertility of 
site U fora. e the country "where vigorous nature brought forth all 
colony. things in abundance and plenty." We read that the 

l Winslow in Young, p. 381. 2 Bradford, p. 16. 3 Hunter, p. 22. 


advocates of this scheme were "none of the meanest/ l and it is 
not unlikely that a land where slave labor could be employed, and 
where capital could be invested in large plantations, had attractions 
for the richer members of the community. Others dwelt on the 
unhealthiness of Guiana and the neighborhood of the Spaniards. 
We may well believe, too, that a sounder judgment of the con 
ditions needful for natural prosperity led them to prefer a country 
whose soil and climate would in some measure enable Englishmen 
to follow their accustomed industry and mode of life. The latter 
opinion prevailed, and negotiations were opened with the Virginia 

To this end two influential members of the church, Robert 
Cushman and John Carver, were sent over to England. 2 It is 
clear that the Leyden church anticipated opposition to their scheme, 
if not from the Virginia Company, at least from the 
LeyderT en King and the High Church party. To meet this they 
Articles. drew U p geven Articles> sett i n g f ort h their attitude 

towards the civil power. These are of great interest, as showing 
how large a share of the wisdom of the serpent pertained to the 
founders of New Plymouth. The articles can be better understood 
by a simple reproduction than by any explanation or analysis. 3 
They were as follows : 

1. To the confession of faith published in the name of the Church 
of England, and to every article thereof, we do with the reformed 
churches where we live, and also elsewhere, assent wholly. 

2. As we do acknowledge the doctrine of faith there taught, so 
do we the fruits and effects of the same doctrine to the begetting 
of saving faith in thousands in the land (conformists and reformists 
as they are called), with whom also, as with our brethren, we do 
desire to keep spiritual communion in peace, and will practise in 
our parts all lawful things. 

3. The King s Majesty we acknowledge for supreme governor in 
his dominion in all causes and over all persons, and that none may 
decline or appeal from his authority or judgment in any cause 
whatsoever, but that in all things obedience is due unto him, either 
active, if the thing commanded be not against God s Word, or 
passive, if it be, except pardon can be obtained. 

4. We judge it lawful for his Majesty to appoint bishops, civil 

1 Bradford, p. 18. 

2 They are named in a letter from Sandys to Robinson and Brewster, Nov. 12, 1617. The 
letter is given by Bradford, p. 20. 

s These Articles are among the Colonial Papers, 1618. 


overseers, or officers in authority under him, in the several prov 
inces, dioceses, congregations or parishes, to oversee the churches 
and govern them civilly according to the laws of the land, unto 
whom they are in all things to give account, and by them to be 
ordered according to godliness. 

5. The authority of the present bishops in the land we do ac 
knowledge, so far forth as the same is indeed derived from his 
Majesty unto them and as they proceed in his name, whom we will 
also therein honor in all things and him in them. 

6. We believe that no synod, class, convocation, or assembly of 
ecclesiastical officers has any power or authority at all, but as the 
same by the magistrate given unto them. 

7. Lastly, we desire to give unto all superiors due honor, to 
preserve the unity of the Spirit with all that fear God, to have 
peace with all men what in us lieth, and wherein we are to be 
instructed by any. 

The Articles are signed by Robinson and Brewster. This was 
in all likelihood done merely in their official capacity as pastor and 
elder, nor is there any record as to the authorship of the document. 
Yet its character is so plainly written on the surface, and is in so 
many ways at variance with the special peculiarities of Puritanism, 
that we can hardly err in ascribing it to the conciliatory temper 
and undogmatic mind of Robinson. 

The Articles were manifestly framed to assure the Virginia Com 
pany that its new clients would not entangle it in any conflict 
with the civil power. On the surface they look like an uncon 
ditional acceptance of what by anticipation one may .call Eras- 
tianism. They seem to contain a definite acknowledgment that 
all ecclesiastical authority must proceed from the civil power and 
be responsible to it. A careful inspection, however, shows that 
the more important concessions are qualified by distinct, though 
cautiously expressed, reservations. In the first article the accep 
tance of the confession of faith published by the Church of England 
is limited by the introduction of the reformed churches of Holland 
as partners in that acceptance. So the promise of obedience to 
the King s authority is modified by the condition that the thing 
commanded be not against God s Word, a condition which might 
easily be so interpreted as to nullify the general admission. Yet 
even if we presume the most favorable interpretation of these 
Articles, the fourth contained an admission of the right of the State 
to control religion, which seems strangely at variance with the 
recognized doctrines of the Nonconformist. In truth, we must 


look on these seven Articles not so much as an exposition of faith 
but rather as conditions of agreement. The followers of Robinson 
might feel that, though kings hands are long, they could hardly 
reach an insignificant settlement across the Atlantic, and that when 
in America they might with safety assent to doctrines which it 
would have been not merely inconsistent but perilous to admit 
under the immediate authority of the King and the bishops. 

These concessions on the part of the would-be emigrants were 

met by the King in a like spirit of compromise. There was, in 

truth, nothing in his attitude towards religious ques- 

Attitude of ..... o M 

the King tions to make him hostile to the schemes of the Leyden 
the emi- Puritans. The saying, "No bishop, no king," ex 
pressed fairly enough the grounds of his ecclesiastical 
sympathies and antipathies. For James, unlike his son, the 
artistic and reverential associations of the English Church had no 
charm. Puritanism offended him on its political rather than its 
religious side, by its merits rather than its failings. His ideal of 
policy was despotism interpreted and administered by a doctrinaire, 
as the ideal of. Elizabeth had been despotism wielded by a far- 
sighted, ambitious, and unscrupulous diplomatist. The institu 
tions of the Puritan hindered the administrative details of such a 
system; the spirit of Puritanism made the system itself unpopular, 
and even impracticable. But from this point of view Noncon 
formity in America was widely different from Nonconformity in 
Lincolnshire. To a churchman of the school of Bancroft, dissent 
was schism, and as such was an evil to be resisted and extirpated 
everywhere. But by the death of that primate and the appoint 
ment of Abbott in his stead this view had lost the support of the 
chief ecclesiastical authority. The King s resolution to "harry 
them out of the land " was not so much a declaration of war 
against Nonconformity for its own sake as the determination of a 
schoolmaster to get rid of a boy whose presence is fatal to good 
discipline. The friendship of Sandys for the Leyden Puritans 
secured them a valuable advocate at Court in one of the Secretaries 
of State, Sir Robert Naunton. The King took the trouble to 
inquire into their schemes, and when told that their main support 
was to be derived from fishing, declared with approval that it was 
the Apostles own calling. He then suggested to Naunton that 
the emigrants should confer with the Archbishop of Canterbury 
and the Bishop of London. The Puritans however, feeling per 
haps that the scriptural precedent quoted by the King did not 


cover the whole question, avoided further inquiry and remained 
content with the royal approval. ! 

But though the King might connive at the scheme of Noncon 
formist emigration, he was not prepared openly and avowedly to 
acknowledge it. In answer to the petition for a charter the 
Puritans were told that they should not be molested so long as 
they behaved peaceably. At first the emigrants were discouraged. 
The wiser and more influential of them, however, judged that 
such tacit approval would be a guarantee against mischief. They 
shrewdly argued, too, that mere paper securities would be value 
less, since, as they expressed it, if afterwards there should be a 
purpose or desire to wrong them, though they had a seal as 
broad as the house-floor it would not serve the turn, for there 
would be means enough found to recall or reverse it. " 2 The 
fate of the Virginia Company was the best comment on that 

The possibility of the King s displeasure was not the only 
obstacle which stood in the way of emigration. It was necessary 
Difficulties tnat tne Virginia Company should assent to a scheme 
vir h inlk e widely at variance with the principles which it had 
Company, hitherto adopted. The policy of the Company through 
out had been to keep all the plantations as an organized com 
munity under one government. Not only their political but also 
their commercial system presupposed such unity. The presence 
of a single independent settler, claiming to be outside the juris 
diction of the Company, had been a cause of inconvenience. 3 It 
might prove a most perilous experiment to suffer in the midst of 
the colony the existence of a detached settlement, in religious 
matters firmly attached to its own peculiar usages and principles, 
and so extending the sphere of religion that few secular questions 
lay wholly beyond its province. 

There were further reasons which might disincline the Virginia 
Company from accepting the proposals of the Leyden Noncon- 
Biackweii formists. A somewhat similar experiment had been 
Amsterdam lately made, and the result was not such as to encour- 
emigrants.4 a g- e a se cond trial. Early in 1619, one Black well, an 
elder in the church of Amsterdam, had made arrangements with 
the Virginia Company for the emigration of a number of his 

l Wmslow, p. 383. 2 Bradford, p. 19. 3 Virginia, etc., p. 172. 

4 For Ijlackwell s proceedings see Bradford, pp. 24-5. The miseries of the emigrants 

w nom he sent out are described in a letter from Cushman to his friends in Holland, quoted 

b> Lirudford. 


brethren. Though the details of this affair are somewhat obscure, 
yet it is clear that the result was disastrous to all concerned and 
discreditable to the promoter. Before the voyage Blackwell and 
others were gathered together at a private meeting in London, 
seemingly for purposes of devotion. There they were appre 
hended and brought before an ecclesiastical tribunal. Blackwell 
contrived not only to exculpate himself by making a scapegoat 
of one of his associates, but even to obtain from the Archbishop 
an expression of good-will and a solemn blessing on the projected 
voyage. The rest of Black well s conduct seems to have been 
equally unworthy and less fortunate to himself. The unhappy 
emigrants, a hundred and eighty in number, found that a single 
vessel had been provided for them, in which they were to be 
"packed together like herrings." The streets of Gravesend, we 
are told, "rang of their extreme quarreling," each man blaming 
his neighbor for the strait into which he was brought. In ad 
dition to the lack of room the ship was ill supplied with water. 
Contrary winds drove her into a more southerly course than was 
intended. Sickness set in, and a hundred and thirty of the 
passengers, including Blackwell himself, died. Such was the first 
attempt at a Puritan migration to America, an introductory episode 
of which we do not hear much from the historians of New 

Further delay seems to have been caused by the divisions 
existing in the Virginia Company. On the side of the Puritans, 
too, there were hindrances to be overcome. To start a new 
The Le colony required money, and the emigrants could con- 
dca emi- tribute nothing beyond the labor of their hands. Ac- 

? rants ,. , 

arm a cordingly, it was necessary to associate with themselves 

a certain number of capitalists. To this end negotia 
tions were opened with some merchants and others. The scheme 
finally took the form of a partnership, in which the system adopted 
by the Virginia Company was imitated, and personal emigration 
was taken as an equivalent for pecuniary subscription. The terms 
arranged were as follows: All emigrants over sixteen years of 
age were entitled to a single share of ten pounds value; every 
emigrant who furnished his family with necessaries was entitled to 
a double share for each person so furnished, and every one who 
exported children between ten and sixteen years old to one share 
for every two children. Children below ten were to be entitled 
to fifty acres of unmanured land, but were to have no further 


interest in the Company. All settlers, except those provided for 
under the conditions above mentioned, were to receive their 
necessaries out of the common stock. For seven years there was 
to be no individual property or trade, but the labor of the colony 
was to be organized according to the different capacities of the set 
tlers. At the end of the seven years the Company was to be 
dissolved and the whole stock divided. l 

^ Two reservations were inserted, one entitling the settlers to 
separate plots of land about their houses, and the other allowing 
them two days in the week for the cultivation of such holdings. 
The London partners, however, refused to grant these concessions, 
and the agents of the emigrants withdrew them rather than give 
up the scheme. For so doing they were blamed by those for 
whom they acted. Stringent as the conditions enforced seemed, 
yet it must be remembered what were the relations between the 
emigrants themselves and the partners who found the capital. 
The latter had no interest in the success of the undertaking 
but a financial one. There is nothing to show that as a whole 
they had any sympathy with the peculiar views and objects 
of the colonists. Those views might well seem to make the 
Leyden Puritans undesirable associates in a commercial scheme. 
The colony was specially exposed to the risk of a collision 
with the authority of the Crown, and it was certain that the 
settlers would care more for the fulfillment of their own political 
and ecclesiastical schemes than for the financial success of the 

There is no exact record extant of the number of the partners 
or of the proportions which the two sections of the Company bore 
to one another. From Smith we learn that the subscribers in 
England were about seventy, and the whole capital seven thou 
sand pounds. 2 The actual number of emigrants was about a 
hundred and twenty. 3 It is most probable that the above-named 
sum included the shares of ten pounds granted to each emigrant. 
We may also assume that a certain number of these emigrants 
were furnished at the expense of their parents, husbands, or mas 
ters, who would therefore be entitled to a double share. Thus 
we arrive at the approximate conclusion that from a quarter to 
a fifth of the capital of the Company was invested in the actual 

1 The terms of the agreement are given by Bradford, pp. 28-9. 

2 Smith s General History, p. 783. 3 See below, p. 47. 


In the meantime an arrangement had been made with the 
Virginia Company, a result probably of the more businesslike 
Patent character which the enterprise had now assumed. In 
Virginia* the autumn of 1619 a patent was granted to the new 
Company, corporation, giving the emigrants the right to settle 
on a portion of the territory of Virginia. l 

The patent was made out in the name of John Wincob, prob 
ably one of the London shareholders. He was in the service of 
the Countess of Lincoln, whose family at a later day played a con 
spicuous part in the settlement of New England. The patent 
itself is, unfortunately, no longer extant. It was deprived of all 
legal value by the events which led the settlers to establish them 
selves beyond the bounds of the Virginia Company. Yet in its 
bearings on New England history it would have had something 
more than a merely antiquarian interest. It would probably have 
shown how far the Puritan settlers intended to remain a distinct 
and separate body, and how far they consented to be merged 
in the commonwealth of Virginia; in other words, how far the 
foundation of Plymouth was the result of design or of chance. 

Even now, when all hindrances seemed to have been sur 
mounted, the emigrants found themselves beset by fresh difficulties. 

seen > m l62O the Plymouth Com- 

Pro osed 

change of pany was revived. Its original promoters had intended 
/it as an ally to the Virginia Company. In its new form 
it was ra^er a rival. Some of the London merchants who were 
now assented with the Leyden Puritans thought, not unwisely, 
that New England with its fisheries would be a better field for 
their enterprise than Virginia. It is not unlikely that they were 
influenced by the notorious divisions prevailing in the Virginia 
Company and the court favor extended to the new corporation. 
Accordingly they proposed to abandon the patent they had just 
obtained, and to get fresh powers from the Plymouth Company. 
This seems to have reopened the whole question of a site for the 
new colony. The emigrants and their partners were divided into 
factions, one for Virginia, one for New England, one for Guiana, 
each threatening to withhold subscriptions unless its own scheme 
was adopted. 2 

At this juncture a project was set on foot which, if carried out, 
would wholly have changed the destiny of Plymouth, and it may 
be of New England. The Leyden Puritans, despairing, in all 

l Bradford, p. 26. 2 Ib., p. 28. 


likelihood, of any successful settlement on English territory, 
authorized Robinson to negotiate with the Dutch West India 
Scheme for Company. We may well believe that Bradford is but 
D e utch n recording his own wishes and those of many of his 
territory.i associates, when he tells us that one motive in the 
choice of a site was the wish to remain English citizens. Yet it 
is clear that the arrangements proposed by Robinson would have 
effectually frustrated any such purpose. He undertook that his 
own congregation should be recruited from England till the whole 
body of emigrants was brought up to four hundred families. 

The Company seemingly were favorable to the project; but 
the scheme was too important to be undertaken without a special 
reference to the States-General. After some discussion that body 
refused to countenance the application, thinking, in all likelihood, 
that such a scheme might bring about a dispute with England. 
The projects for emigrating to Guiana and to New England also 
fell through, and the Pilgrims returned to their original purpose 
of settling in Virginia. 

A further question had yet to be settled: should the whole 
body of emigrants go forth at once, or should a select party be 

choice of sent * n ac ^ vance - ? ^ tne latter scheme were adopted, 
the first how should the pioneers be chosen ? After a solemn 

emigrants. 2 . 

fast and public petition to God for guidance, it was 
agreed that those who wished to go should offer themselves, 
and that whichever party, whether that which stayed or that 
which went, was the greater, it should be placed under the 
guidance of Robinson, while the rest should be left to the care 
of Brewster. One motive for thus dividing the congregation was 
to keep a hold upon Holland as a refuge if the new venture should 
turn out ill. The division was nearly equal, but as those who 
decided to wait formed the larger body, Robinson stayed with 
them. The plan adopted gave rise to a report, more than once 
repeated by later writers, that the emigration was brought about 
by a secession or severance in the Leyden congregation. The 
clear and confirmatory statements of Bradford and Winslow wholly 
do away with any such view. The error involves something more 
than an injustice to the first Puritan colonists. It ignores one of 
the chief guiding principles, not merely in the establishment of 

1 These negotiations are fully told by Mr. Brodhead in his History of New York, ed. 1859, 
pp. 123-6. His knowledge of the transaction is derived from the Dutch archives. None of 
tlie New England chroniclers even refer to it. 

2 .Bradford, p. 27; Winslow, p. 383. 


New Plymouth, but in the colonization and extension of New 
England. That process was carried on throughout, not by the 
migration of individuals, but of corporate societies. Elsewhere a 
colony was a band of men brought together for the first time for 
a special purpose. In New England, on the other hand, all 
colonization started with a pre-existing organization and unity. 
Each corporation might be augmented by the influx of new 
members, and from time to time new corporations might be 
formed; but in almost every case the corporate union came first, 
the movement afterwards. Thus it was that New England pre 
served in so intense a form that civic spirit which was well-nigh 
lost in other colonies. Each little band of emigrants, whether it 
moved from Lincolnshire to the coast of New England, or from 
the Atlantic seaboard along the banks of the Mystic or the Con 
necticut, carried with it an unbroken chain of associations and an 
undying sense of brotherhood. 

In July the emigrants sailed from Delft harbor to Southampton. 
The parting counsels which Robinson bestowed on them are too 
Parting characteristic to be passed over. They were given in 
from C Ro- n ^ s f arewe ll sermon and in a letter which he sent to his 
binson. disciples during their short stay in England, as though 
not satisfied that he had said all that was in his heart. l 

The spirit which these breathe is widely different from that 
which we shall too often find in later Puritan writings. There is 
no trace of self-righteous exaltation, no contrast between the 
Jerusalem of the New World which lay before the emigrants and 
the Babylon of the Old which they were leaving, nor is there 
anything of the dogmatic ^nd combative temper which is the 
keynote in so much of the theological literature of that age. He 
warns his followers, indeed, with solemnity and deep feeling. 
But it is not against the dangers of speculative error nor against 
doctrinal and ceremonial backsliding that he cautions them. He 
beseeches them to cherish toleration and charity in their daily 
dealings, not "nourishing a touchy humor," and he bids them 
"with their common employments join common affections truly 
bent upon the general good, avoiding as a deadly plague all 
retiredness of mind for proper advantage." Above all, with 
signal liberality he exhorts them to be ready to receive new 
religious truth, since it was "not possible the Christian world 

1 The substance of Robinson s sermon is given by Winslow, pp. 385-8, and his letter by- 
Bradford, pp. 39-41. 


should come so lately out of such thick antichristian darkness 
and that full perfection of knowledge should break forth at once." 
In the same spirit of true catholicity he expresses a hope that in 
their new home his disciples may be allied with those brethren 
who, agreeing with them in religious creed though not in policy, 
had remained within the pale of the Church of England while 
protesting against many of its usages. Among the many virtues 
which New England may justly claim for her sons those which 
Robinson inculcated had no high place, yet there are not a few 
passages in the early life of Plymouth where we can trace the 
workings of his gentle and benign influence. 

New England patriotism has woven out of the voyage and first 
settlement of the so-called Pilgrims something like a sacred legend, 

in which every incident and personage is commemo- 
anc P e of the rated with loving fidelity. The history of the American 

colonies has been for the most part dealt with by those 
who have seen clearly, and even with something of exaggeration, 
the preponderant influence which the Northern colonies have 
exercised on the common destinies of the Confederation. The 
early history of New England is none too rich in picturesque and 
romantic incidents, and thus the voyage of the Mayflower and the 
fortunes of those whom she bore have assumed a prominence 
perhaps beyond their real importance, and certainly far beyond 
the place which they filled in the eyes of their own generation. 
If we judge by actual and substantial results, the settlement of 
Plymouth fell far short of the great movement ten years later. 
The origin of New England, as the living embodiment of certain 
political and religious principles, dates from the foundation of 
Massachusetts. The more vigorous life of the younger common 
wealth overshadowed, and in the long run swallowed up, that 
of her older but weaker yokefellow; nor can it be fairly urged 
, that Plymouth had either by example or otherwise much effect on 
y Massachusetts. If the Plymouth settlement had never been made, 
the political life of New England would in all probability have 
taken the same form and run the same course as it did. 

Yet it is no delusion which sees in the foundation of Plymouth 
a turning point in American history. A new force had been put 
in motion. The settlement of Plymouth may not have been the 
most effective application of that force nor a necessary condition 
A of its later working, but it was the first trial of it. The discoverer, 
the gold-seeker, the merchant, had all attempted the task of colo- 


nization with varying success. Now for the first time the religious 
enthusiast, strong in his sense of a divine mission and of a 
brotherhood whose foundation was in heaven, sailed out on that 
sea, strewn with the wrecks of so many heroic ventures and 
goodly hopes. 

This interest, however, is not of such a kind as to compel us 
to follow in detail the movements of the first settlers, save so far 
The as they illustrate the temper in which they approached 

voyage. their task, and the indomitable courage with which 
they battled against all difficulties. 

On the fifth of August, 1620, the emigrants set sail from South 
ampton. A few recruits had joined them in England, bringing 
their whole number up to a hundred and twenty. l They were 
embarked in two vessels, the Mayflower, of a hundred and eighty 
tons burden, and the Speedwell, of sixty. The latter vessel had 
carried the emigrants from Delft. Her present voyage was un 
lucky from the outset. She had scarcely set sail when she was 
found to leak, and with her consort had to put back into Dart 
mouth. A second time they sailed, but* after they had gone 
about a hundred leagues the Speedwell was again found to be 
unseaworthy. The emigrants put back, this time to Plymouth, 
and the Speedwell was condemned as unfit for the voyage. The 
emigrants themselves set down this mishap, not to any insufficiency 
in the vessel, but to the knavery of the master and crew, who had 
been hired to spend a year in the country and now repented of 
the undertaking. The failure of their ship was not the only hin 
drance which befell the voyagers. Before leaving Southampton a 
governor was appointed for each vessel, with two assistants under 
him. Martin, who was entrusted with the command of those in 
the Speedwell, proved unreasonable and arbitrary, and seems to 
have been especially obnoxious to Cushman, who was one of his 
assistants. 2 Provoked by his misconduct and disheartened by 
their repeated mishaps, some of the emigrants, among whom was 
Cushman, abandoned the voyage. 3 Others, too, were finally 
rejected as unfit for the venture, some from weakness, some as 

1 Smith (New England s Trials, p. 259) definitely says that a hundred and twenty sailed, 
and that after the first failure twenty gave up the attempt. This is partially confirmed by 
Bradford. He gives in an appendix a list of those who actually landed. They number one 
hundred and two. He does not state how many turned back. 

2 This is stated in a letter from Cushman to a friend, named Southworth, published in 
Bradford s history, p. 43. 

3 Bradford (p. 42) describes this reduction of the number of emigrants very fully. It is 
noteworthy that Morton wholly suppresses it, though he had Bradford s account before him. 


having many young children. Of those who had sailed at the 
first attempt about twenty were left behind. The remaining 
hundred re-embarked in the Mayflower, and set sail from Ply 
mouth on the sixth of September. The result of this double 
delay was to postpone the arrival of the emigrants in America by 
a full month, whereby the winter found them unprepared. Mat 
ters were made worse by a bad passage, so that it was not till 
more than thirteen weeks from their first departure that they 
sighted land. The point reached was Cape Cod, lying more 
than two hundred miles beyond the northern boundary of the 
territory granted to the Virginia Company. The emigrants then 
resolved to sail south-westward, with the intention of settling near 
the mouth of the river which had been explored in 1609 by Hud 
son, and which now bore his name. A contrary wind, however, 
drove them back. Forty years later their failure was ascribed 
to the treachery of Jones, the master of the Mayflower. He, it 
was said, had been bribed by the Dutch, who wished to keep 
the banks of the Hudson and the shores of Delaware Bay for 
themselves. l 

It is certain, from the friendly relations which the settlers 
maintained both with Jones and with their Dutch neighbors, 
that no such suspicion was entertained at the time. It is just 
possible that the English conquest of New Netherlands in 1664 
may have brought to light some documentary evidence of this 
treason. More probably, however, the idea was suggested by the 
rivalry of the Dutch at a later day. Moreover, the spirit in 
which the poet of the Trojan migration sang, "tantae molis erat 
Romanam condere gentem," was never wanting in the chroniclers 
of New England. It was ever their tendency to expand and 
emphasize those incidents in which the hand of God could be 
traced, guiding the destinies of the Puritan commonwealth, 
defying the schemes of its enemies and often overruling the 
counsels of its founders. 

Baffled in their attempt to sail southward, the emigrants an 
chored in Cape Cod harbor. They found themselves at the head 
Arrival at ^ a peninsula which turns northward and runs for 
Cape Cod. ra ther more than twenty miles parallel to the mainland. 
At its northern point it again turns westward, in the shape of a J , 

j 1 No trace of such a suspicion is to be found either in Bradford or Winslow. The view 
seems to have been first broached by Morton in his New England s Memorial, published 
in 1669. 


thus forming a land-locked basin, where, as it seemed to the 
passengers of the Mayflower, a thousand ships might find an 
chorage. The country promised to furnish the necessaries of life, 
and henceforth, though there may have been doubts as to the 
exact site, there se^rns to have been none as to the region in 
which the settlement \as to be placed. 

Before the colonists entered upon the search for a home, they 
took a definite and formal step towards declaring themselves a 
The body politic. One might have supposed that the cor- 

coionists porate character attaching to the Leyden church would 
formal as- have sufficed. There seem, however, to have been 

sociation. r ,. 

symptoms of discord, due not improbably to those 
who had joined the party during its short stay in England. 
Moreover, since the spot which the colonists had occupied lay 
outside the bounds of the Virginia Company, the patent granted 
by that body was valueless, and thus the colonists were left without 
any formal declaration of their corporate existence in their new 
home. Accordingly the whole body of emigrants signed a 
solemn covenant. ] This set forth as the objects of the colony the 
glory of God, the advancement of the Christian faith, and the 
honor of the King and the country of England. It went on to 
bind all those who signed it to submit to all such laws and ordin 
ances as the community should from time to time enact. There 
is no reservation of conformity with the laws of England, nor is 
anything said as to the mode of legislation. The instrument was, 
in fact, nothing more than a general acknowledgment of the 
authority of the whole community over each of its individual 
members. At the same time the settlers proceeded to the election 
of a Governor. Their choice fell on John Carver, a deacon in 
the church. Of him we know less than of almost any man who 
took a leading part in the foundation of Plymouth. We are told 
that he was a man of good estate, and that he was entrusted with 
a large share in the negotiations which preceded the departure 
from Holland. But his origin, occupation, and the length of 
his connection with the Leyden church are all unrecorded. No 
steps seemingly were taken towards defining Carver s duties and 
position, or towards the appointment of any executive. So far the 
smallness of the community made any constitutional machinery 

The colonists now betook themselves to a thorough exploration 

l It is given by Bradford, p. 54. 


of the country. Sixteen armed men were sent out under the 
command of Miles Standish, the John Smith of New England. 
He was of a good Lancashire family, had been a soldier 
parties 1 " 8 of fortune in the Low Countries, and though seem 
ingly not a member of Robinson s congregation, had 
enlisted himself among the emigrants. 2 For nearly forty years 
he was the leading spirit of the colony in every undertaking which 
needed courage and military skill. Pie and his party, among 
whom was Bradford, spent two days in exploring the spit of land 
which ends in Cape Cod. They found abundant springs of water 
and ground cleared by the natives, and they had evidence of the 
fertility of the soil in an Indian magazine of corn, from which they 
supplied themselves. They also discovered, as they thought, 
traces of European visitors, and they saw some of the natives, who 
fled from them. A second voyage of exploration discovered 
more stores of maize, and also two Indian wigwams. The in 
habitants however could not be found, and the explorers were 
unable to traffic for corn as they had wished. 

The colonists had now to decide whether they should settle for 
the winter in their present quarters at Cape Cod or search for a 
choice of s ^ e elsewhere. Those who were for remaining put 
a site. forward the good anchorage, the fertility of the soil, 
and the prospect of a profitable whale fishery. They furthermore 
urged the difficulty and danger of exploration in the winter, and 
pointed out how the hardships already undergone had unfitted the 
settlers for further wanderings. On the other hand, fresh water 
was hard of access, and was likely to fail altogether in summer, 
while it was said that there was good harborage and fishing 
ground at Agawam, sixty miles to the north. It was argued, 
too, that it would be unwise to settle till they were satisfied that 
the site was the best that could be found, since when once they 
were established a second migration would be difficult. 

The question was one of no small importance to the future of 
the colony. If the nucleus of the new community had been 
established at Cape Cod, on the point of a peninsula separated 
from the mainland by a long narrow strip of land or by twenty 
miles of sea, Plymouth could not have maintained, as it did, a 
regular, connected, and well-organized system of extension. 

1 In all that follows as to the doings of the Pilgrims for the first few years, I have relied 
almost wholly on Bradford and Winslow. 

2 Mr. Young has collected all that is to be known about Standish, p. 125. 


Finally the settlers decided not to venture so far as Agawam, 
but to make a more thorough survey of the bay. To this end 
the shallop was again sent out with eighteen explorers, 
including some of the chief men among the emigrants, 
Eight of the party stayed on board the shallop, while 
the rest investigated the land, keeping sight as far as might be of 
their comrades. In the early days of discovery European voyagers 
were almost sure of a friendly reception from the savages. Things 
had been changed by the misconduct of Hunt and the unruly 
fishermen who visited the coast of New England. On the third 
morning the land party were breakfasting by their bivouac, 
having just carried their armor down to the shore and left it by 
the shallop. The watchful savages had in all likelihood tracked 
the movements of the strangers, and were ready to avail themselves 
of this momentary carelessness. The settlers for the first time 
heard the dreaded war cry, and a shower of arrows was poured in 
upon each party. A few musket shots, however, served to rout 
the assailants, and by singular good fortune not one of the English 
was wounded. The whole party then embarked in the shallop, 
and sailed round the bottom of the bay, passed the opening after 
wards known as Barnstaple, till they reached a point nearly opposite 
Cape Cod. Here they found a spot fitted for their purpose, alike 
by its fertility, its supply of water, and its harborage. Some 
years before the Indian name of Accomac had been changed, 
either by Smith or his patron, Prince Charles, to Plymouth, a 
name which associated itself curiously with the last days of the 
colonists on English soil. l Two arms of land, separated by a 
narrow opening, ran out, the northern rather more, the southern 
less, than a mile long, enclosing a harbor of about a mile in 
width. Among the recommendations of this site was the prox 
imity of much cleared corn land, and of a high hill commanding 
a view over the whole bay. 

Having satisfied themselves of the fitness of the site, the explor 
ing party returned to the main body. For one of them the 
meeting was a sad one. The wife of Bradford had been drowned 
during his absence, and it is a significant instance of the impersonal 
character of his work that, although our knowledge of all these 

l Smith (Ge/i. Hist , p. 699) says that he submitted his map to Prince Charles, who re 
named several of the places. It will be remembered that there was also an Accomac in 
Virginia. Smith may, perhaps, have supposed identity of name where there was only 


events is mainly derived from him, we are left to learn this one 
incident from another source. l 

On the fifteenth of December the Mayflower, with the whole 
party on board, sailed across the bay. The decision of the ex 
ploring party still left the settlers certain room for 
settlers choice as to their new home. Two sites seemed to 
thernselves ^ er themselves as suitable; one on an island at the 
at Ply- mouth of the harbor, the other by a river which fell 

mouth. J 

into the middle of the bay. The security promised by 
the island was a strong argument in its favor, but the want of 
spring water there, and of cleared ground, finally decided the set 
tlers in favor of the mainland. 

The history of the first winter at New Plymouth is a noble 
justification of the boast made in the name of the settlers on 

the eve of departure that "it was not with them as 
of the first with other men, whom small things can discourage 

or small discontentments cause to wish themselves at 
home again." 2 

We are carried back in thought to the starving time at James 
town, or still earlier to the day when Hore and his followers well- 
nigh died of hunger on the coast of Newfoundland. The suc 
cessive delays in starting from England were the main cause of 
the troubles that followed. If the emigrants had carried out their 
original scheme, they would have been safely housed before winter. 
As it was, they were building their log huts at the very time when 
they most needed shelter. Moreover, in the process of unloading 
their vessel, and in exploring the coast, the settlers were often 
compelled to wade, and thus many of them were seized by colds 
and agues. The ailments thus engendered were made worse 
by lack of wholesome food. From the season of the year it was 
impossible for them either to hunt or to gather the fruits of the 
earth, and by a strange oversight the settlers had brought out no 
fishing tackle, whereby what should have been a most valuable 
resource was wasted. The ship s stores could only be eked out 
with shellfish, and the very process of gathering these must have 
aggravated the prevailing maladies. One unlooked-for chance 
saved the infant commonwealth from destruction. The settlers 
on the Kennebec, far better furnished with all external resources 

1 Prince, p. 165. The annalist may have learnt the fact from a pocket-book of Bradford s 
to which he had access. 

2 Letter from Robinson and Brewster in Bradford, p. 33. 


and appliances, had given way before the severity of the climate. 
The men of Plymouth, strong as they were in steadfastness of pur 
pose and in their sense of a divine mission, must have yielded 
if they had been exposed to the same trials. The stars in their 
courses fought for them, and they were spared the accustomed 
severity of a New England winter. Yet even so half their number 
died, and at one time there were but seven who were not stricken 
down with sickness. 

Happily the savages showed no wish to take advantage of this 
helplessness. This was in all likelihood partly due to an incident 
which had happened some few years earlier. The Indians in 
Massachusetts Bay had captured a French trading vessel, and had 
put to death all the crew save five, whom they kept as slaves. One 
of these survivors warned his captors that the God of 
wttVthe the white men would not suffer their wrongs to go 
unpunished. A fearful pestilence which soon after 
wards depopulated the shores of Massachusetts Bay seemed to 
fulfill the prophecy. l Not only were the forces of the savage tribes 
lessened, but the survivors were firmly persuaded that the plague 
was a weapon in the hands of the new-comers, which they kept 
treasured up in their camp, and could at any moment let loose 
upon their foes. At the outset, indeed, the attitude of the savages 
was suspicious and somewhat threatening. On the sixteenth of 
March, the settlers for the first time actually had speech of one of 
them. An Indian who had picked up a few English words 
among the fishermen near the Kennebec, boldly walked into the 
English village. The settlers received him kindly, though with a 
watchfulness which showed that they had no confidence in his 
expressions of good-will. He tarried for a whole night among 
them, and on the day after his departure came again, bringing 
with him five of his countrymen. The friendship which had thus 
begun was confirmed Ly the good offices of one Tisquantum, or 
Squanto, who had been among Hunt s prisoners. He had dwelt 
for some time in London with a merchant of Cornhill, and had 
returned with Dermer to his native country. Like Manteo, he 
showed unswerving fidelity to his new friends. 2 A week after the 
first meeting a formal alliance was made with Massasoit, the chief 

1 Morton s New England s Memorial, p. 44. Bradford (p. 60) mentions the shipwreck 
and the massacre of the French, but says nothing of the warning. The pestilence is men 
tioned by numerous writers; see Young, 183. One authority for it to whom he does not refe* 
is the author of the Considerations; see p. 113. 

S Winslow, p. 190 


of the district. l By this he undertook to notify all his native allies 
of the friendship which had been formed between him and the 
English. He also promised, if any of his subjects injured the 
settlers, to hand over the offender for punishment. Each side 
was to support the other if unjustly attacked, each was to come 
unarmed on the occasion of a visit, and Massasoit was to be 
esteemed the friend and ally of King James. Of all the 
alliances between the Indians and the English settlers in 
America, none was more steadfastly and more honorably 

The arrival of spring brought to the settlers the renewal of 

health and the promise of increased prosperity. In Bradford s 

words, "the sick and the lame recovered apace," and 

Bradford ... 

chosen " new life was put into them. When early in April 
the Mayflower, which had been detained through the 
winter by the illness of her men, set sail for England, none of the 
settlers, as it would seem, availed themselves of the chance of re 
turning. Just as the Mayflower departed the colony lost its 
Governor, Carver. He had lived through the hardships of the 
winter, but was seized with an attack, apparently of apoplexy, 
while busy with his fellows sowing the common field. 2 There 
could be little doubt as to the choice of a successor. Brewster 
held the post of ruling Elder, and there seems from the first to 
have been an understanding that the governorship could not be 
held in conjunction with that office. 3 With Brewster out of the 
field there could be no possible rival to Bradford. If we look 
upon the history of the early New England commonwealth as the 
prelude to the history of the great Federal Republic, there is a 
peculiar interest in this election. Bradford was in truth the first 
American citizen of English race who bore rule by the free choice 
of his brethren. Nay more, we may look on him as heading that 
bead-roll of worthies among whom the ruler whose untimely and 
tragic death his country yet laments is the latest, though assuredly 
not the last. From Bradford to Garfield America has never 
wanted men who with no early training in political life, and < 
lacking much that the Old World has deemed needful in 
her rulers, have yet, by inborn strength of mind and lofty 
public spirit, shown themselves in all things worthy of high 

1 Winslow, p. 193. 2 Bradford, p 62. 

8 Hutchmson s History of Massachusetts, vol. ii. p. 460. 


When the colony had surmounted the difficulties of the first 
winter, its existence might be looked on as secured. Only once 
afterwards, in a moment of peculiar trial and depression, 
of the 1 y was the thought of removal entertained. 1 The very 
sufferings which the settlers had undergone, though 
they weakened the colony materially, were yet not without their 
value. The good discipline, patience, and brotherly love of the 
settlers had been tried to the utmost, and the test had revealed no 
weakness. To those who could discern the qualities on which 
national success depends the ultimate prosperity of the little 
commonwealth must have seemed assured. 

In a young society, at least if it be a peaceful and progressive 
one, economical and commercial conditions play a larger part 
Economi- proportionately than they do in long established soci- 
t/on C of the et ^ es - Till a certain degree of prosperity has been 
colony. attained, mere physical wants exercise a paramount 
influence over the life of the community. Thus in the early his- J 
tory of Plymouth the commercial and industrial progress of the 
colony fills up the foreground; such political changes as came 
about were directly caused by economical considerations, while 
the relations of the settlers to these without their own community 
may be regarded as episodes in the main story. The industrial 
system with which the colony started was one of pure communism. 
The whole body of settlers was to work as an organized band 
under the orders of the Governor and Assistants. All produce 
was to be put into a common stock. Out of that the wants of 
the settlers were to be supplied, while the surplus was to form the 
profits of the Company, or, as Bradford usually calls it, "the 
general. " 

Some writers have imagined that a desire to copy the institu 
tions of the primitive Church led to the adoption of this system. 
There is not a word in any contemporary document to show 
that the Puritans of Plymouth or their brethren in England had 
even a speculative preference for such a scheme. If the theory 
needed refuting, it would be disposed of by the fact, already 
mentioned, that a stipulation for private holdings was urged by 
the settlers and refused by their commercial associates, who are 
little likely to have been guided by scriptural precedent. 2 

Later inquirers have, with more plausibility, seen in New Ply 
mouth and in the other New England townships which followed 

l Bradford, pp. 241, 261. 2 See above, p. 42. 


its model, the continuation of the old Teutonic village, with its 
mark, or common field, of which a portion is allotted in tempo 
rary holdings, to be tilled according to certain fixed rules. 1 The 
truth of this view depends on the extent to which the analogy is 
pressed. That there is a likeness between the earlier and later 
tenure cannot be questioned. But to prove identity in the case 
of institutions, not merely likeness but continuity is needed. It 
must never be foigotten that to speak of " institutions" is merely 
a convenient way of stating the fact that a body of men, in their 
corporate capacity, perform a certain class of acts. Two genera 
tions of the same race, widely separated in time, may perform 
the same acts; yet, unless the intermediate generations have also 
performed them, or unless the younger generation is consciously 
and deliberately copying the older one, it is hardly correct to 
speak of the institutions as identical. Here, then, we are at once 
met by two difficulties. If the New England system was the 
continuation of the mark, the English common field is needed as 
a link between them. But the identity of the mark with the 
English common field of later times, even the connection between 
them, must be looked on as in itself an open question. 2 And 
even if we allow that the common tenure, which has left such 
marked traces on the agriculture of later times, is but a continua 
tion of that system which obtained among the English in their 
continental home, it has yet to be shown that the New England 
system was a continuation of the latter. 

The manor may have been the continuation of the mark, or it 
may have been an alien system which only resembled it in some 
of its incidents. But it is certain that the manorial system had, 
in its turn, been largely superseded by that separate cultivation 
which has in our day become universal. Communal land tenure 
was not unknown to the Englishman of the seventeenth century, 
but it was not the form with which he was most familiar. The 
adoption of the system by the colonists was due to the necessity 
which forced them into unwilling partnership with a body of 
traders. Under these circumstances it is certainly safer, and 
probably more accurate, to say, not that the colonists carried on 

1 This view is set forth in a monograph by Mr. Herbert B. Adams, entitled The Germanic 
Origin of New England Towns. This forms part of a historical series published by the 
Johns Hopkins University. 

2 Less weight than this cannot, I think, be given to the views set forth by Mr. Seebohm ia 
his recent work on The English Village Community. At the same time it would be pre 
mature to treat them as forming more than a plausible hypothesis. 


the primitive Teutonic usage, but that the usage revived and 
recovered its strength under circumstances closely resembling 
those which had originally favored its growth. At the same 
time it must be admitted that the incidents of the new system 
often reproduce with startling fidelity those which patient inquiry 
has detected in the past. 

We have already seen in the case of Virginia how the objects of 
a commercial corporation are likely to conflict with the welfare 
Difficulties f a young community. The Virginia Company indeed 
London 6 ^ n i ts ^ ater days, guided by men of singularly lofty and 
partners. self-sacrificing spirit, postponed present gain to the 
enduring advantage of the community which it had founded. But 
the temper which animated Sandys and Ferrars found no counter 
part among the merchants who were associated with the Plymouth 
colonists. We are reminded of the remonstrances addressed by 
the Virginia Company to its first party of emigrants, 1 when we 
find Weston, one of the chief London partners, writing to upbraid 
Bradford with the slender results of the undertaking.* Later 
events make it likely that Weston did more than justice to the 
complaints of his associates in the hope of making mischief 
between them and the colonists, and thus securing for himself 
any profit that could be got out of the settlement. The difference 
between Smith s answer and that sent by Bradford is characteristic. 
Smith rebukes the Company for their folly in preferring immediate 
profit to the permanent welfare of the colony. Bradford s strain 
is of a higher mood. He reminds the partners that, if the Com 
pany had lost their profits, the settlers had suffered worse things 
in the loss of many honest and industrious men s lives. The 
alliance with a commercial company might be a needful stepping- 
stone for the Puritan refugees in their search for a new home : it 
could never as a lasting arrangement be acceptable to either side. 
The relations between tne settlers and the London partners were 
made yet more unsatisfactory by the want of unity which pre 
vailed among the latter. Weston s letter showed clearly that he 
had no sympathy with the peculiar aims and principles of the 
Plymouth settlers, and in his subsequent conduct he proved him 
self equally disloyal to his colleagues in England. He soon 
gave reason to suspect that he was endeavoring to alienate the 
settlers from their partners, and by thus wrecking the Company 

1 Virginia, etc. p. 124. 

2 Bradford publishes Weston s letter and his own answer in his history, pp. 66, 67. 


to get the trade of the colony into his own hands. This suspicion 
was confirmed by the fact that he was engaged in establishing a 
private plantation of his own. The fate of this abortive and dis 
creditable effort will be more fitly dealt with hereafter. 

Weston was not the only one of the partners who sought to 
make his own profit at the expense of the rest. Since the site 
occupied by the settlers formed no part of the Virginia Company s 
territory, it became necessary to obtain a patent from the grantees 
.of the soil, the recently established Council for New England. 
Accordingly, in May, 1621, a patent was issued making over to 
the adventurers the tract on which their emigrants had settled. 
This patent was granted by John Pierce, one of the partners, as 
agent or trustee for the whole body. What followed is some 
what obscure. Pierce, it is said, contrived in the next year to 
obtain from the Council a fresh patent, superseding the original 

This new instrument seemingly converted Pierce from the 
trustee of the Company into the actual recipient in his own right, 
and placed the partners in the position of his tenants. In the 
autumn of 1622 Pierce sailed for New England to put in force his 
fraudulently gotten claims. A storm, however, drove him back, 
and forced him to postpone his voyage till the next year. A 
second time he sailed, and a second time he was beaten back by 
contrary winds. In March, 1623, Pierce s partners summoned him 
before the Plymouth Council. After a long dispute Pierce aban 
doned his claim. On the face of the matter it would seem as if 
a barefaced attempt at fraud had failed, but if it be true that Pierce 
received five hundred pounds as compensation, there must have 
been circumstances in the case beyond those which have been 
recorded. 2 

It is scarcely a subject for wonder that the partners, thus beset 
by dissension among themselves, should have neglected the wel 
fare of the settlers. In the autumn of 1622 the colony was 
increased by the arrival of thirty-five fresh emigrants. But after 
the first migration no supply of food was sent from England. This 
was treated by the settlers as a grievance against their partners in 
England. Yet it seemed in no way unreasonable that the colony 

1 Bradford, p. 76. 

2 All that we know about Pierce s patent is derived from the Minutes of the Council for 
New England, in the Colonial Papers, and from Bradford. That he received five hundred 
pounds compensation is stated in a letter written by the London partners, and published by 
Bradford, p. 99. 


should have been expected henceforth to maintain itself by its 
own labor, l 

Their necessities compelled the settlers to make an important 
change in their economical arrangements. Communism had, in 
Grant of a ^ probability, only been tried as a -temporary experi- 
aiiotments. m ent, but even as such it had failed. The nature and 
causes of that failure are forcibly described by Bradford. The 
"aged and graver" men resented having to take their place as 
laborers in a common gang, while the young and vigorous felt it 
hard that their labor should be no better rewarded than that of 
the old and infirm. Husbands, too, disliked an arrangement 
which compelled their wives to act as public servants, and to wash 
and cook for any members of the community as the government 
might appoint. 

Accordingly, in the summer of 1623 the system of individual 
property was cautiously and tentatively introduced. A portion 
of land was to be annually allotted to each household for the 
cultivation of corn. Those whom we may call the unattached 
members of the community, young bachelors and boys not be 
longing to a family, were told off to work under the control of 
the different householders. 

The industrial prosperity of the community seems to have 
dated from this change. The authority of the Governor 
and Assistants was no longer needed to enforce industry, and 
those who under the former system had professed themselves 
unable to work now toiled zealously for the profit of their own 
families. 2 

Yet the system as thus amended was not wholly satisfactory. 

The industrious husbandman saw the plot of land which he had 

laboriously cleared and manured pass after the expira- 

Further . , _ . . _ 

division tion of a year into the hands of, it might be, an idle 
and improvident neighbor. Accordingly, in 1624, 
an application was made to the Governor for permanent holdings. 
The request was granted, and one acre was allotted in perpetuity 
to every freeman. The condition was imposed that it was to be 
near as might be to the town. 3 From this we may infer, what is 
fully confirmed by later proceedings, that the system of land 
tenure adopted by the settlers was in a great measure shaped by 

l Winslow, p. 280. 

a This change, its causes and its results, is very fully told by Bradford, p. 96. 

Ib. p. 116. 


their need for political and religious union, as well as by economi 
cal considerations. 

The change from communal to private ownership was probably 
furthered by an important, though somewhat obscurely recorded, 
Private event which took place at nearly the same time that 
settlers. t ke first allotments were granted. There came out in 
1623 a party of about sixty emigrants, who were to live upon the 
territory and be under the same general jurisdiction as the other 
settlers, but who were to have land of their own allotted to them, 
and to be altogether independent of the corporate trade and agri 
culture of the Company. Their presence was a source of difficulty 
from the outset. They themselves were afraid lest the supplies 
which they had brought with them should be cast into the com 
mon stock. On the other hand, the older settlers seem to have 
thought that the new-comers might unfairly enter into the fruit 
of their labors. An agreement however was made which seems 
to have satisfied both parties. The new-comers were to have lands 
allotted to them which they should till separately and in such 
manner as they chose. Half the produce, over and above what 
they needed for their own wants, was to be brought into the 
common stock, while out of the residue they were to pay a 
certain quantity of corn for the maintenance of government 
Beyond this no public burden was laid upon them save the duty of 
personal service in defence of the community. They were to 
have no share in the fur trade with the Indians, but it was to be 
reserved as a monopoly for the Company. 1 

Though this arrangement was accepted as for the time satisfac 
tory, it left ill-feeling between the two parties, which in the next 
year broke into open enmity. The only witness for 

Difficulties , . . _, , r . , 

of the new- this matter is .Bradford, whose account is somewhat 
obscure, and necessarily tinged with a suspicion of par 
tisanship. 2 The leaders in the matter were Oldham and Lyford. 
Oldham, in all likelihood, was one of the independent settlers 
whose accession to the colony has just been mentioned. He 
seems to have been an energetic, headstrong, contentious man, 
but not wanting either in honesty or public spirit. Lyford was a 
minister who had been brought out in 1624. He was apparently 
a man of that peculiar type of wickedness which an austere and 

1 Bradford, p. 100. 

2 The whole account of this dispute and the agreement by which it was settled is to bo 
found in Bradford s chronicle of the year 1624. 


exacting system of morals is apt to breed out of evil natures, sen 
sual and a hypocrite. These two were found to be secretly raising 
a faction against the government. Their plot was brought to 
naught by the energy of the Governor. Lyford had sent home a 
number of letters, which were thought to contain attacks upon the 
government of Plymouth. Just as the ship which was to take 
them had set sail, Bradford boarded her from a boat, and with 
the help of the master seized upon Lyford s letters and opened 
them, copying some and detaining others. This measure was 
justified by Ly ford s own conduct, since he had dealt in like 
fashion with letters to Robinson and Brewster. The papers which 
Bradford seized were found to contain complaints of the manner 
in which the independent settlers were treated, and revealed the 
existence of a party among the merchant adventurers who sought 
to change the civil and religious constitution of the colony. 

For a while the Governor and his advisers were content to watch 
the proceedings of the malcontents. But before long the con 
tumacious behavior of Oldham gave them an opportunity for 
striking a blow. The disaffected, if there were such, showed no 
readiness to support their leaders. Oldham was punished, and 
when in the next year he attempted to return and stir up a fresh 
faction, he was driven out in a peculiarly ignominious fashion, 
having to run the gauntlet of a guard of musketeers who beat him 
with the butts of their weapons. At a later day he seems to have 
become reconciled to the government of Plymouth, and played a 
prominent and discreditable part in New England history. Ly 
ford was more leniently dealt with, being suffered to remain in 
the colony on promise of repentance and amendment. But he 
was soon found to be renewing his malpractices, while at the same 
time the gross immorality of his private life was brought to light. 
He was banished from the colony, and died not long after in 

The whole course of events so far had tended to make the set 
tlers and the London partners dissatisfied with the existing state 
of affairs. Those of the adventurers who professedly 

Dissolution _ 1-11 i 

of the wished well to Plymouth complained that the religious 

exclusiveness of the colonists and their reputation, 
certainly ill-deserved, for idleness and neglect of business kept 
subscribers aloof. Bradford, indeed, himself admits that the 
colony had been injured by the indiscretion of those who "sent 

i On this Bradford is confirmed by Morton (N. E. Canaan, bk. iii. ch. viii.). 


out all the weakest and poorest, contrary to our minds and advice. M| 
On the other hand, the whole tone of his history clearly shows that 
the settlers felt themselves neglected by their associates. Another 
grievance complained of by the settlers was the expense caused 
by the "too much jollity" of their partners at their meetings in 
London, a charge admitted and faintly palliated by the adventurers. 5 

Thus all sense of a common interest uniting the settlers to their 
partners in England had disappeared. The capital contributed 
by the adventurers had been a necessary condition for establishing 
the colony, but beyond that the settlers had gained no help from 
their associates. Nay, more; the union was a hindrance to the 
religious and political designs of the colonists. They would fain 
have brought out at the cost of the Company those brethren who 
had remained behind at Leyden. The London partners not un 
naturally objected to an expenditure which held out no promise of 
commercial gain. 3 They must have seen, too, that the trade of a 
little community which was struggling for a bare existence left but 
a narrow margin for profit. 

Accordingly, in 1627 the partnership was dissolved by agree 
ment. The London merchants made over the whole of their 
stock and interest in the colony to the settlers for eighteen hundred 
pounds. 4 By a further arrangement the trade of the colony was 
vested for six years as a monopoly in a small private company, 
consisting of the Governor, Winslow, Standish, Brewster, and four 
others. In consideration of this they became responsible for the 
payment of the eighteen hundred pounds, and undertook over and 
above to free the colony from its corporate debts, amounting to six 
hundred pounds, and to make certain necessary advances of corn 
and implements. 5 The newly formed partnership found itself en 
tangled in many difficulties. Money had to be borrowed at thirty, 
in one case, indeed, it would seem, at forty-five, per cent." Mat 
ters were made worse by the speculative rashness, if not the actual 
dishonesty, of the agent in England, Allerton. There is, how 
ever, no need to follow the confused and tortuous thread of these 
disputes, since they had no effect on the gi D\vth or general well- 
being of the colony. 

1 Bradford s letter-book, p. 69. 

2 These complaints and recriminations are to be found in Bradford s letter-book, pp. 29-38 
8 Bradford, p. no. 

4 The agreement is given by Bradford, p. 143. 

This is also given by Bradford, p. 152. 

6 This is stated in a letter from Shirley to Bradfc rd (Bradford, p. 154). 


The dissolution of the Company was attended by another, and 
an even more important, economical change. Hitherto the set 
tlers had been hindered in their tillage by the want 
division of live stock, and the English grain which they endeav- 
lds> ored to grow did not thrive. 1 They had now learnt 
from their Indian friends the cultivation of maize, 2 and they had 
also imported some horned cattle. 3 Accordingly, in 1627 the 
settlers resolved to carry further the system of private allotments. 
The land along the banks of the stream to the south of the town 
was divided, by officers specially appointed, into patches of twenty 
acres each, with a river frontage of five acres. These were then 
assigned by lot to the different householders. At the same time the 
system of separate holdings did not entirely and at once supersede 
that of common tillage. Since it was beyond the power of a single 
householder to till twenty acres of ground at once, only those lots 
which lay near the town were to be taken in hand. Each land 
holder whose plot was brought under cultivation was to associate 
with him a certain number of his neighbors chosen by himself, or, 
in default, assigned to him by the Governor and Assistants. 
This arrangement was to last for four years. The owner was to 
reserve for his own use twice as much land as he would be able 
to reclaim within that time. Meanwhile his associates were to 
live on the rest, and at the end of the term to proceed to their 
own holdings. The owner of each plot was to have full rights 
over all timber which grew upon it, but he was to enjoy no 
monopoly of fowling or fishing, and he was bound to leave a 
footpath through his ground. 4 

At the same time, and no doubt as part of the same arrange 
ment, a distribution of live stock was made. A cow and two 
goats were allotted to every thirteen persons. The 
tion of live details of the division are recorded with quaint minute 
ness. 5 To compensate for varieties in the qualities of 
the animals, the recipients of the better ones were bound to return 
a certain proportion of the produce to the general stock. The 
arrangement was, no doubt, less complex in fact than would at 
first appear. Usually several of the joint owners were members 
of a single family, and we meet with more than one case where a 
comparatively rich man, such as Standish, at once bought out his 

1 Bradford, p. 61. 2 Ib. 8 Ib. pp. 109, 137. 

4 Ib. p. 140. Records, vi 1. xi. p. 5. 5 Ib. vol. xii. p. 9. 


The increased prosperity of the colony is clearly marked by an 
entry in the records for 1633, dealing for the first time with the 
public meadow land. Hitherto, no doubt, the rearing 
of meadow of cattle had been confined to one or two of the richest 
settlers, and there had been no need for any general 
arrangement as to haymaking. But now the growth of other 
settlements in the neighborhood enabled the colonists to drive a 
thriving export trade both in corn and cattle, and thus hay was 
needed both for rearing stock and feeding plow-oxen. 1 Ac 
cordingly, we find the community adopting the arrangement 
universal in the old Teutonic system, and allotting to each house 
hold a portion of the common pasture, to be kept up and mown, 
and then to revert to public use. 2 

By this arrangement the land system of the community was 
brought into almost exact conformity with that of a primitive 
village community, as described by those who have reconstructed 
it from tradition and surviving details. Each household had its 
own equal patch of arable land. The grass land beyond was 
divided into two portions; one the waste, where all freemen had 
equal rights of common pasturage; the other subject to temporary 
occupancy by individuals on a regular system for the one purpose 
of haymaking. But, as we have seen, this likeness cannot safely 
be set down as the result of continuous usage, nor is it likely 
that it was caused by conscious imitation. It was rather due to 
the combination of a similar political system with similar condi 
tions of soil and climate. 

It is not till a community has reached an artificial and self- 
conscious condition that it dwells on or commemorates the details 
General of its everyday life. Fortunately we have independent 
of the rance testimony from which we can form a clear idea of the 
settlement, outward appearance of the Puritan colony in its early 
I days. In 1627 Isaac De Rasieres, the Secretary of the Dutch 
colony at New Netherlands, visited Plymouth. The circum 
stances of that visit will come before us again. For the present 
we are only concerned with his detailed description of the P-ettle- 
ment, which evidently impressed him by its sober dignity and 
completeness. 3 His description, read in conjunction with extant 
records, brings the little town clearly before our eyes. It stood 
on rising ground separated from the sea by some twenty yards of 

.1 Bradford, p. 192. 2 Records, vol. i. p. 14. 

V * De Rasieres letter is printed in the Appendix to New England s Memorial, p. 455. 


sand. The buildings were laid out like a Roman city in minia 
ture. Two streets crossing one another formed the town. At 
their meeting stood the Governor s house. Before it was an open 
space, the forum as one may call it, guarded by four cannon, one 
to command each of the ways which met there. On an eminence 
behind the town, but within its precinct, stood the building which 
at once testified to the civil and religious unity of the little com 
monwealth and to the constant presence of an armed foe, the 
public store-house, place of worship, and fort in one, protected 
with battlements and six cannon. Each house was a substantial 
log hut, standing on its inclosed patch of ground. Round the 
whole ran a palisade, the tun, which, as a distinguishing feature, 
so often gave its name to the Teutonic settlements. Of the four 
entrances three were guarded by gates, the fourth being suffi 
ciently protected either by the fort or the sea. Along the 
stream to the south was the avible land, divided into small 
patches of corn. Beyond lay the common pasture, the mark, 
with its diversity of meadow, wood, and jungle. 

The sojourn of the colonists in Holland had familiarized them 
with trade, and had developed habits and capacities beyond those 
Trade of of the ordinary English yeoman. The partnership 
the colony. ^^ the LcT^cm merchants too, short and unsatisfac 
tory as it was, must have had its effect. Thus from the outset 
Plymouth was not merely an agricultural, but also a trading and 
seafaring community. In 1623 the settlers made their first com 
mercial venture. They built a pinnace, and sent it south to 
buy corn and beaver from the Narragansett Indians. They found 
however that the Dutch had already secured that market, and 
that the beads and knives which they offered were little esteemed 
in comparison with the cloth and other commodities of their 
rivals. 1 Next year the adventurers in England attempted, with 
the help of the settlers, to establish salt works at Plymouth, and 
a fishing station at the northern extremity of Massachusetts Bay, 
named by the filial piety of Charles the First Cape Ann. 2 Both 
these undertakings failed through the incornpetency and miscon 
duct of those who were in charge of them, and an attempt next 
year to transfer the salt works to Cape Ann fared no better. 3 In 

1 Bradford, p. 108. 

2 This is one of the names given by Prince Charles, and either suggested or adopted by 
Smith (see p. 43). Smith himself had called the cape Tragabizanda after a princess the- 
heroine of one of his romantic adventures in Eastern Europe. 

3 Bradford, p. 117. 


1625 the settlers made a more successful venture by sending a 
shallop laden with corn to sell to the Indians along the Kennebec. 
This attempt prospered, although those who undertook it knew 
nothing of the district and had no experience in seamanship. 1 

In 1627 the settlers took an important step in extending their 
trade southwards. By establishing a permanent station at the 
head of Buzzards Bay, and keeping a ship there, they were able 
to secure an overland passage and avoid the dangers of Cape 
Cod. 2 

Next year the trade on the Kennebec was definitely established 
by a grant of land there from the council for New England, an-d 
by the building of a factory. 3 The colonists soon pushed their 
enterprise yet further. The partners who had bought the trade 
of the company set up a factory at the mouth of the Penobscot, 4 
and some of them, apparently as a private venture, built what is 
described as a wigwam in Machias Bay. 5 These attempts were 
regarded by the French settlers in Canada as encroachments. In 
1631 they attacked and plundered the factory at Penobscot, 6 and 
soon after that at Machias shared the same fate. ^ Over and above 
these ventures to the north, the settlers were pushing the trade 
with the Indians southwards, in the direction of the Connecticut. 
These proceedings, however, in that quarter were so closely 
mixed up with the history of Massachusetts, that it will be best to 
deal with them later. 

The relations of the settlers to the Dutch in New Netherlands 
were in the early days of the colony uniformly friendly. In 1627 
intercourse the two governments exchanged letters, with promises 
Ne8ier- ew ^ mutua ^ gd offices and proposals for trade. 8 It is 
lands. noteworthy that Bradford in his letter dwells on the 

hostility of the Spaniard as a possible danger common in each 
colony. He also warns the Dutch Governor to beware of the 
jealousy of the English in Virginia, as shown by the dealings of 
Argall with the French. It is not unlikely that the settlers in 
New Netherlands looked on Plymouth rather as an independent 
community than as appertaining to England. This, coupled 
with the dread of a Spanish attack, would explain conduct so 

l Bradford, p. 138. 8 Ib. p. 149. 

3 Ib. p. 157. * Ib. p. 170. 

6 Ib. p. 189; Winthrop s History of New England, vol. L p. 117. Here and elsewhere I 
refer to the original pagination. 

6 Bradford, p. 189. ? Winthrop, as nbove. 

s Bradford, pp. 149-51. 


much at variance with the jealous and exclusive policy usually 
adopted by the Dutch. 

Soon after these letters had passed, the English settlers received 
a formal visit from De Rasieres, the Secretary of the Dutch colony. 
His solemn entry, preceded by trumpeters, must have been the 
nearest approach to a public pageant which the little Puritan vil 
lage had yet witnessed. He explained to the Plymouth settlers 
how profitable they would find it to barter wampum or shell- 
money with the Indians for furs, and encouraged them to push 
their trade to the north. 1 

We have already seen how the relations of the settlers to the 
Indians were favorably opened by an alliance with Massasoit. 
Two events soon occurred which served to strengthen 
with the this friendship. The settlers were able to help Massa 
soit against a disaffected sachem, named Corbitant, 
who had made himself specially obnoxious to the English by 
threatening the life of their friend and interpreter Squanto. 2 

A further opportunity for befriending Massasoit soon arose. In 
the spring of 1623 news came to Plymouth that he was near 
death. Accordingly Edward Winslow was sent to give help. 
Among the settlers he stood second only to Bradford, both 
in literary power and practical capacity. Bradford, as Governor, 
could not leave the settlement, and accordingly what one 
may call the diplomatic work of the little community, whether 
among the Indians or in England, was discharged by Winslow. 
He had already once visited Massasoit, and his clear and graphic 
account of his journey is among the most interesting of the 
records of native life left to us by the early settlers. 3 It brings 
out forcibly the wayward temper of the savage, his sudden changes 
from unreasoning suspicion to hearty friendship, and the mental 
quickness and eagerness for knowledge which were so strangely 
united with the ineradicable barbarism of his daily habits. 

The illness of Massasoit, though far beyond the skill of the 
Indian doctors, yielded readily to the treatment of Winslow. 
The chief at once showed his gratitude by revealing to his bene 
factor certain evil designs which his neighbors entertained against 
the English. 

In Virginia the English had to deal with a single native power, 

l De Rasieres visit is described by Bradford, p. 157. 

3 Winslow in Young, p. 219. a It is published in Young, ch. xi. 

4 For Winslow s second visit, see Young, ch. xx. 


whether as friend or foe. In New England it was otherwise. 
Besides the Pokanoket Indians under the rule of Massasoit, there 
were at least five other tribes between Plymouth Bay and the 
Connecticut. It is clear too that Massasoit s own authority was 
but lax, probably through that change in the system of chieftain 
ship of which I have spoken elsewhere. 1 This condition oi 
things made it difficult for the settlers wholly to avoid hostility 
with one tribe or another, while on the .other hand it lessened the 
danger of a united attack. The alliance with Massasoit was 
followed by the formal submission of nine sachems within his 
district. 2 The first sign of hostility to the settlers came from the 
Narragansetts, a tribe on the west side of the bay so named, 
facing the Pokanokets. In January, 1622, their chief, Canonicus, 
alarmed or exasperated by the alliance of the English with his 
enemy Massasoit, sent Bradford a symbolical warning, a bundle 
of arrows, wrapped in a rattlesnake s skin. The Governor, having 
learnt from his Indian friends that the message was meant to be 
hostile, replied in kind by sending back the skin stuffed with 
powder and ball. His prompt answer apparently awed Canoni 
cus. 3 Fortunately for the settlers of Plymouth, the territory of 
their friend Massasoit lay directly between them and the Narra- 
gansetts. Canonicus did not follow up nor repeat his threat, and 
in the next year his people were trading with the settlers for corn 
and furs. The men of Plymouth had other disputes with the 
Indians, but these rather concerned the outlying English settlers, 
and will be best dealt with in connection with that part of our subject. 
The increase of Plymouth in point of population was slow as 
compared with that of the southern colonies. In 1624 it only 

numbered a hundred and eighty inhabitants. 4 By 
?f x the sl 1626 it had increased to three hundred.* This paucity 

of population is explained by the economical and reli 
gious condition of the colony. In the south there were no limits 
upon territorial extension, and thus there was room for every one 
who had hands with which to till the ground. The large planter 
would gladly find implements, food, and a hut for every laborer 
that would work for him. But in New England the demand for 

1 Virginia, etc. pp. 13, 14, 398, 399. 

2 Prince, p. 196. Winslow and Bradford both mention the fact but without specifying 
the number. 

8 Winslow in Young, p. 281. 

4 Smith s General History, p. 247. 

5 This is expressly stated in the patent granted in 1629 (Hazard, vol. i. p. 300). 


hired labor was limited by the want of capital and the smallness of 
the farms. The mere field-drudge, the offscouring of a great city, 
could find work on a tobacco plantation, but there was no place for 
him in the economy of New England. The Plymouth emigrant, 
if he had not capital enough to become a yeoman-farmer, needed 
at least skill enough to become a craftsman or a plowman. The 
increase of New England was therefore necessarily slower than 
that of the southern plantations. 

Religious exclusiveness worked in the same direction. Though 
no formal test was required for citizenship, we may be sure that 
Plymouth was no place for those who were outside the pale of 
Puritanism. So long as the settlers were yoked with the London 
partners they could not be free in their choice of associates. We 
have already seen what trouble might arise from the accession of 
colonists who were wholly alien from the original emigrants, and 
there can be no doubt that a desire to escape from such enforced 
union hastened the dissolution of the partnership. One of the 
first results of that change was an addition of fresh emigrants from 
Leyden. Thirty-five came out in the May of 1629, followed by 
a smaller body soon after. 1 It is hardly likely that any persons 
would have wished to settle in Plymouth who would have been 
unacceptable to the Puritan inhabitants, but if any such danger 
existed it was guarded against by a law passed in 1639, requiring 
that all who became householders should first obtain the approval 
of the Governor and Council. 2 

One incident recorded by Bradford illustrates the restrictions 
which the exclusiveness of the existing settlers imposed on the 
increase of the colony. An emigrant ship bound for Virginia 
was driven ashore at Plymouth. A few that "carried themselves 
very orderly" were suffered to remain. The rest, "being unto 
ward people/ were compelled to seek their original destination. 
The means by which thdr exclusion was enforced is not specified, 
but may be filled in with no great eifort of imagination. 3 

In spite of these checks on extension the increase of trade and 

agriculture brought its natural result. About 1630 the settlers 

began to occupy the fertile pasture land, to the north 

of new of Plymouth. 4 Standish seemingly took a leading part 

in this movement, since the newly occupied ground 

1 Bradford, p. 165. He expressly states in a note in his letter-book (p. 7) that the second 
company was the smaller. 2 Records, vol. xi. p. 26. 

3 Bradford, pp. 146-8. 4 lb. p. 192. 


bore the name of Duxbury. in commemoration of his Lancashire 
birthplace. Many of the Plymouth settlers abandoned their 
allotments near the town, and it was found necessary to enact 
that all land so deserted should revert to the commonwealth and 
might be re-granted. l Bradford and those in authority looked 

\ with disfavor on this tendency to spread abroad. We shall find 
a like feeling in the neighboring colony of Massachusetts. It 

/ was natural enough that the first Plymouth settlers should feel 
peculiar affection for a home surrounded by such recollections 
and won at such a price. No doubt too, the jealous watchfulness 
of the New England government in this matter was a wholesome 
check upon those temptations to dispersion which a new country 
offers. Yet their dislike to what was only the natural and neces 
sary growth of the colony shows how little the founders of Ply 
mouth understood its future destiny. Besides tending to weaken 

\ the original settlement of Plymouth, the distance of the new 
j plantation made it difficult to meet for congregational worship. 

The Governor and Assistants proposed a compromise. They 
would gratify the desire for more extended holdings by allotting 
to some of the richer residents land at Green Harbor, a little to 
the north of Duxbury, to be farmed by hired servants. 2 This 
scheme would have dissociated the possession of land from the 
use and occupation of it, and thus, by its tendency to divide the 
community into large landed proprietors and hired laborers, 
would have changed the whole character of the settlement. The 
remedy soon proved worse than the evil. The occupants of the 
lands at Green Harbor ceased to have any political or religious 
connection with Plymouth. 3 Accordingly, the Governor and 
Assistants reluctantly gave way, and Duxbury was constituted a 
township with a church. 4 At the same time the supremacy of 
the old settlement was asserted by a resolution that the gov 
ernment should be " tied "to Plymouth, and that the Governor 
should be required to live there. 6 The old anxiety for union 
soon reappeared, and in 1636 a proposal was made to build a 
place of worship which should serve as a meeting-point for the ( 
two townships. 5 Besides the practical inconvenience of such a 
scheme, it could not have failed to be repugnant to the patriotism 

l Records, vol. xi. p. 18. 2 Bradford, p. 192. 3 Bradford, as above. 

4 The admission of Duxbury to the full rights of a township is recorded in 1637 (Records, 
vol. i. p. 62). But in the previous year a constable was appointed for Duxbury, so that it is 
clear that it possessed certain separate rights. 

5 Records, vol. i. p. 36. 6 Ifr. p. 41. 


of Plymouth, and, as might have been expected, it fell to the 
ground. The process of extension was soon carried further, and 
a third township came into being at Scituate, some ten miles 
beyond Duxbury. 1 It is worth notice that both these settlements 
were near to the coast, and both to the north of Plymouth. 
Thus the tendency of the colony to become a seafaring as well as 
an agricultural community was confirmed. At the same time it 
was brought into close connection with Massachusetts, and the 
need for some kind of union was increased. 

The growth of these new townships gave an impulse to the 
political life of the colony. So long as Plymouth was the only 

settlement, constitutional machinery of a simple kind 
represent sufficed. The power of making laws was vested in the 

whole Assembly of the freemen. The judicial and 
executive body, called the Court, consisted of the Governor and 
seven Assistants elected by the Assembly. This Court admitted 
freemen and granted land, and in conjunction with a jury tried 
civil and criminal cases. 2 The addition of Scituate and Duxbury 
made some system of delegation a necessity. Complete repre 
sentative government did not, however, come at once. In 1636 
eight Deputies met, four from Plymouth and two from each of 
the other colonies, and in conjunction with the Court revised and 
codified the laws. 3 These delegates, however, were only ap 
pointed for the special business in hand, and, as it would seem, 
without any definite intention of continuing the system of repre 
sentation. They confirmed the existing distribution of power 
between the Council and the General Assembly. The code 
which they produced was moderate and sensible in its tone, and 
showed no marked trace of Puritanism either in moral austerity, 
or in giving any special prominence to offences against religion. 
The selection of Deputies was only intended as a temporary 
measure for a special purpose. But in November, 1636, another 
step was taken in the direction of a representative system. The 
functions of the General Assembly were divided. The meetings 
for legislation were to be kept distinct from those for electing the 

1 The date at which Scituate was formally admitted to the rights of a township is not 
recorded. But it is described as a town in 1636 (Records, vol. i. p. 44), and it had a^constable 
at the same time as Duxbury. 

2 The constitutional powers of the Court are first formally declared in 1636 (Records, vol. 
xi. p. n). But there is every reason to believe that the arrangement described existed from 
the time of the first settlement 

Records, vol. xi. p. 6. 


Governor and Assistants. At the former the whole body of free 
men were to attend as before; at the latter proxies were to be 
allowed. l The need for this change was illustrated by the fact 
that two years later sixteen freemen were fined for absenting 
themselves from the Assembly. 5 

In 1638 the system of representation was definitely introduced, 
and the functions of the legislative Assembly of freemen were vir 
tually transferred to Deputies. Plymouth returned four, each of 
the other towns two. It would seem as if this change was accom 
panied by an extension of the franchise. Hitherto only freemen 
had been allowed to appear at the General Assembly. Hence 
forth it was enacted that, while the representatives themselves 
must be freemen, all the householders without qualifications 
should have a vote in their election. 3 Apparently the new system 
did not formally supersede the old. The primary Assembly still 
seems to have remained in theory the supreme legislative body. 4 
In practice, the advantages of representation asserted themselves, 
and the more cumbrous system fell into disuse. 

We may profitably compare this change with the like process in 
Maryland. There, too, a primary Assembly was superseded by a 
system of representation, and there was a period of transition 
during which the two were in the same measure combined. But 
the superior political intelligence and constructive power of the 
New Englander is manifest throughout the process. At Plymouth 
the change was effected easily, indeed, almost spontaneously, and 
completely, with none of those compromises which accompanied 
it in Maryland. 

The dissolution of the partnership left the settlers immediately 
dependent on the council for New England. It was doubtful 
The new now ^ ar trie Plymouth colonists could claim any rights 
patent. under the patent of 1621, and, except for that, they 
were mere squatters with no legal title to the territory which they 
occupied. In March, 1629, Bradford received an alarming letter 
from Shirley, one of the London adventurers, who still took an 
interest in the Company. It warned him that Gorges, though 
avowedly friendly to the colonists, wished in reality to withhold 

1 The clause allowing proxies is in the Records (vol. xi. p. 80). As nothing is said limiting 
or altering the powers of the general Court, we are, I think, justified in supposing that they 
were left intact. 

2 Records, vol. i. p. 104. 8 Ib. vol. xi p. 91. 

4 It is expressly ordered in the act which provided for Deputies that the gem-:) Court 
should reserve the power of re vising and repealing those proceedings. 


from them all security of tenure. 1 At least one agency was sent 
to England, but with no effect. 2 At length, in January, 1630, 
the desired instrument was obtained. 3 The patent granted by the 
New England Council gave to Bradford and his associates all the 
land bounded by the Cohasset river on the north, the Narragansett 
river in the south, and the territory of Pokanoket to the west. In 
addition to this the patent set forth that the colonists had no suit 
able place for trade and fishing, and to that end granted them a 
tract of land extending fifteen miles in breadth on each bank of 
the Kennebec. It also gave power of legislation, subject to the 
usual reservation in favor of the laws of England, and to a special 
limitation in favor of any form of government established by the 
Council. The latter condition greatly lessened the value of the 
grant, since Gorges might at any time carry out his scheme for 
establishing a general government over the whole of New Eng 
land, and thereby sweep away the constitution of Plymouth 
at one stroke. The patent also granted a monopoly of trade 
with the Indians within the limits assigned, and empowered 
the settlers to defend this and their other rights by force of arms. 
This patent gave the settlers secure possession of their land, 
but it did not go farther. It did not guard them against legisla 
tive interference by the Council or by the Crown. The latter was 
probably the more real danger. The King s proclamation, issued 
in May, 1625, referred specially to Virginia. 4 But it also set forth 
that New England formed part of the King s empire, and it might 
be supposed to foreshadow a comprehensive system of control by 
the Crown. 5 Dreading such danger, the settlers bestirred them 
selves to get a charter from the King. Like every form of court 
favor in that day, it could only be procured through venal officials, 
and the Plymouth settlers were but scantily supplied with the 
means of corruption. Nevertheless, the negotiation seemed for a 
while in a fair way to succeed. Difficulties, however, arose, 
partly from the dishonesty or incompetence of Allerton, partly, it 
was thought, from the unworthy jealousy felt by the newly formed 
Company of Massachusetts. No charter was obtained, and the 

1 Shirley to Bradford, Mass. Hist., ist series, vol. iii. p. 71. 

2 Bradford, p. 166. 

8 The instrument is in Hazard, vol. i. p. 298. 
4 Colonial Papers, 1625, May 13. 

6 Letter from White to Bradford in Bradford s letter-book, p. 43. 

6 Shirley to Bradford, letter-book, p. 72. In the same letter Shirley says that "many 
locks must be opened with the silver, nay, the golden key." 


legislative independence of Plymouth was left to depend on the 
precarious good-will of the sovereign. 

Meanwhile the task of colonization was being carried on along 
the shores of New England, feebly and imperfectly indeed, by 
Western s others besides those of Plymouth. One attempt was 
settlement. ma( ] e by that Thomas Weston who had played so base 
a part alike towards the settlers and towards his commercial part 
ners. In 1622 he severed his connection with the London mer 
chants, and sent out on his own account seventy men, who settled 
on the south side of Massachusetts Bay, some twenty-five miles by 
land from Plymouth. 1 Our knowledge of their doings is mainly 
derived from Bradford, who is necessarily an unfavorable witness. 
An independent settlement under a man like Weston could not 
but be a source of uneasiness to the Plymouth colonists. They 
might well dread alike either its success or its failure. In the 
former case it would be a dangerous commercial rival. In the 
latter it might entangle them in difficulties with the natives or 
might become a drain on the resources of the colony. Thus 
Bradford s account could hardly fail to be tinged with animosity. 
Yet we may safely acquit him of anything like calumnious inven 
tion. He draws a vivid picture of the thriftlessness and folly of 
Weston s settlers, in language which reminds us of the worst days 
of the colony at Jamestown. On their first arrival the new-comers 
were quartered at Plymouth, while their leaders were choosing a 
place for their settlement. At the very outset they showed their 
folly and dishonesty, lessening the scanty supply of food by plun 
dering the green corn in the night. Their departure to Wessa- 
gussett did not put a stop to their indolence and improvidence. 
Only the earnest remonstrances of the Plymouth government with 
held the overseer, Saunders, from robbing the natives of their grain, 
an act which would have exposed every English settler in the coun 
try to the risk of massacre. Restrained from this, Weston s settlers 
were brought to the most abject straits. Some pilfered from the 
Indians; some sold their clothes to them; others even made them 
selves over as slaves to the savages. There is indeed far more of 
contempt than pity in Bradford s tone, when he tells of one who 
was so weak that in searching for shellfish he stuck fast in the mud 
and died, while others, after gathering clams and ground nuts, 
could not guard their wretched stores from the natives. 

i For Weston s colony see Bradford, passim, pp. 77107. Something also may be learnt 
from Gorges. 


Weston s settlers, who are described as "lusty men," had at 
their first coming scoffed at the poverty and weakness of the Ply 
mouth settlers. They soon found themselves dependent for very 
life on the men whom they had despised. In the summer of 
1623 the settlers at Plymouth were able at once to befriend these 
evil neighbors and to be rid of them. A message came from 
Massasoit warning the government of Plymouth that a widespread 
conspiracy had been formed to cut off Weston s plantation, and 
that the danger would probably extend to all the English settlers. 
The tribes that were found for this purpose extended, we are told, 
from Agawam, in the north, to the island of Capawack, or, as it 
was called at a later day, Martha s Vineyard, in the south. l 

Such a preparation for the destruction of two small settlements, 
both weakened by poverty and sickness, shows how deeply the 
resources of the white man had struck terror into the savage. 
Standish was at once dispatched with a party of armed men to 
seize the ringleaders among the natives, especially one Wituwamat, 
who was thought to be at the bottom of the conspiracy. The 
language and demeanor of the Indians when Standish arrived 
justified his suspicions. But before they could proceed from in 
sults to actual attack Standish struck the first blow. Two of the 
savages were killed and the rest dispersed. When the news of 
this, the first encounter of the settlers with the natives, reached 
the brethren in Holland, the kindly temper of Robinson broke 
out in the pathetic lament, " How happy a thing had it been if 
you had converted some before you killed any I" 2 He might 
have been consoled by hearing that Standish, with humanity which 
unhappily was not always followed, was careful to do no hurt to 
the Indian women. 

Having relieved Weston s settlers from the threatened danger, 
Standish gave them a sufficient supply of corn to enable those 
who wished to sail northward and get a homeward passage in 
fishing vessels. A few followed their deliverer, and were suffered 
to join themselves to Plymouth. 8 

Scarcely had his colony been dispersed when Weston himself 
arrived in America. We may pardon the Puritan chronicler if he 
shows some satisfaction in telling how miserably Weston wandered 
about the country, and at length, after losing his goods by ship 
wreck, arrived at Plymouth in clothes borrowed from a charitable 

1 Winslow in Young, p, 323. 2 Bradford, p. 114. 

3 Standbh s expedition is told by Winslow; Young, pp. 330-342; Bradford, p. 94. 


squatter at Piscataqua. The forgiving kindness of the Plymouth 
settlers furnished Weston with a supply of beaver as a stock 
for trade. After this, we are told, he boasted with almost 
incredible baseness that the settlers had thereby put themselves 
in his power, since they had no right to dispose of the common 

While a small and obscure band of persecuted fugitives were 

thus laying the foundation of a prosperous commonwealth, the 

Council for New England, strong in court favor and 

The Coun- , 

ciiforNew in the support of rich noblemen, could hardly be 
quickened into any show of activity by all the persever 
ance and energy of Gorges. The records of the Council from 
May, 1662, are extant, and show that, while little actually was 
done, elaborate schemes of colonization were entertained. While 
extensive and often self-contradictory grants of land were made to 
private adventurers, a territory of forty square miles was reserved 
for a public plantation and a site chosen for a city. Some of the 
entries show that a scheme was entertained for a plantation not 
unlike that which afterwards came into being in Carolina, but 
wholly unfitted for the climate and natural conditions of New 
England. Save six merchants, none were to be admitted to the 
Company but " persons of honor or gentlemen of blood. "2 At 
the same time poor children "not yet tainted with any villany" 
were to be sent out. This was to be done by arrangement with 
the Lord Mayor, and it was also proposed that the Lords- 
Lieutenant of the various shires should assist in exporting needy 
persons as settlers. By these means a colony was to be formed, 
consisting of "gentlemen to bear arms and attend upon the 
Governor, husbandmen, and handicraftsmen/ 

Practically, however, the Council contented itself with main 
taining its monopoly of trade and fishing. In November, 1622, its 
authority in this matter was strengthened by a royal proclamation 
forbidding all persons to trade on the coast of New England or to 
have any dealings with the natives without license from the Coun 
cil. 3 At the same time Francis West, better known in connection 
with Virginia, was sent out with a commission as admiral, or, in 
plainer language, as agent for the Company, to enforce the mono 
poly against fishermen and independent traders. In a few months 

i Bradford, p. 95. 

All these proposals are recorded in the Minutes of the Council for New England, ia 
Colon i a 1 Papers, May 31, 1622. 
n Colonial Papers, 1622, Nov. 6. 


West returned, unable to cope with his lawless opponents. ] His 
place was filled in the autumn of 1623, by Gorges son Robert, 
who had just come back from serving the Venetian republic in 
its war with Austria. 2 He was sent out with a commission as 
Governor-general of the Company s territory. He was to be as 
sisted by two persons appointed by the Council in England, by 
any others that he himself chose to nominate, and by the Governor 
of Plymouth for the time being. 3 The latter clause is of con 
siderable importance, since it shows that the Council in England 
was willing to accept and recognize the Puritan settlement, and 
raises a presumption in their favor in those cases where they 
interfered with private and unauthorized traders. At the same time 
Robert Gorges held a patent for a territory of ten miles along the 
coast and thirty inland, granted in recompense for his father s 
exertions, to be held by a feudal tenure of armed service. 4 Thus 
Gorges was to be at once the territorial proprietor of a private 
plantation and the representative of the authority of the Council. 
The former part of the scheme came to nothing. As Governor 
his chief proceeding was to call Weston to account for his mis 
deeds. Besides his misconduct towards the Plymouth settlers, 
Weston had cheated the Council by obtaining a license to export 
cannon for purpose of defence and then selling them. 6 His 
offence was aggravated by his insolence to Gorges. 6 Weston 
would have been punished by the seizure and forfeiture of his 
ship but for the intercession of Bradford, who explained to Gorges 
that the loss would fall, not on Weston, but on those to whom he 
was responsible for the vessel, and whom, as it would seem, he 
had already defrauded. 7 

This assertion of authority by the Council was followed by the 
attack in the House of Commons, which so far succeeded as to 
have placed the patent on the list of grievances to be submitted 
to the Crown. 8 Although this came to nothing, and the formal 
authority of the Council was in no way curtailed, yet the practical 
result was to discourage subscribers, and damp the ardor of the 
leading men. Robert Gorges, disheartened by his want of success 
and by the news from England, left his plantation. 9 Among those 
who stayed behind was a scholarly clergyman, William Morrell, 
who embodied his recollections of the country in some fairly 

l Minutes of Council. Bradford, p. 100. 2 Gorges, p. 74. 

3 Bradford, p. 104. 4 Colonial Papers, Dec. 30, 1622. 

5 Bradford, p. 105. 6 Ib. 1 Ib. p. 106. 

8 See above, p. 58. 9 Bradford, p. 107; Gorges, p. 74. 


graceful, if commonplace verses, which by their smoothness con 
trast curiously with the harsh efforts of the Puritan muse. ] 

During the next five years several small independent settlements 
came into existence along the coast of New England. One of 
Woiiaston s these deserves more than a passing notice, since it 
settlements f urn i s hed the early history of New England with a 
singular and somewhat picturesque episode, and also incidentally 
throws light on the social condition of Virginia. In 1625 a Cap 
tain Wollaston, acting as head of a partnership, established a 
private plantation in Massachusetts Bay, a little to the north of 
the site occupied by Westo.n. The settlers seem to have been 
mainly indented servants. Wollaston quickly found that this 
system of industry was ill suited to the country. He broke up 
his plantation, transported the chief part of his servants to Vir 
ginia, and there sold them. The rest were left in charge of a 
deputy, who soon received orders from Wollaston to send some 
more of the servants to Virginia, and keep the rest on the plan- \ 
tation. Among Woiiaston s partners was one Thomas Morton, 
a London attorney by profession, and in character a quick-witted, 
profligate adventurer, with a smattering of classical learning. He 
now persuaded the laborers who still remained on the plantation 
that it would be better to stay with him as independent settlers \ 
than to be transported and sold in Virginia. Accordingly, they 
drove out Woiiaston s agent, renamed the plantation Merrymount, 
and changed it into a sort of trading station, where they dealt 
with the Indians, taught them to shoot game, and supported \ 
themselves in idle revelry on the proceeds. It is hardly needful \ 
to say that to the Plymouth Puritans the presence of such neigh 
bors was an intolerable abomination. Happily, our knowledge 
of Morton s misdeeds at this time and afterwards is not derived 
exclusively from his enemies. He himself published a full ac 
count of his own conduct, written with that pedantic humor and 
cumbrous display of learning into which the ornate and versatile 
scholarship of the Elizabethan age so easily passed. Morton 
bespatters his Puritan enemies with abuse, some, it may be, well 
deserved, but makes no attempt to clear himself of the charges 
brought against him. The contrast between the two types of 
character, the ready, unscrupulous, profligate adventurer, and 

1 Morrell wrote both a Latin and an English version of his poem. They are in the 
Massachusetts Historical Society s Publications, ist series, vol. i. p. 126. 

2 The whole of this business is told by Bradford, pp. 158-167. 


the Puritan in whom thrifty tastes and religious discipline worked 
together, is a familiar one in fiction. It never stood out more 
forcibly on the stage than it did here in the real life of New England. 

Just as the dealings of Weston with the Indians had made his 
plantation a serious source of danger, so was it now with Merry- 
Destruc- mount. Nor was this all. It also served as a refuge 
Merry- ^ or discontented servants. The evil was not confined 
mount. t o Plymouth. There were now various small settle 
ments, " scattering beginnings," as Bradford calls them, 1 along 
the coast of the bay. To them the Indians were even more 
formidable than to the compact and well-armed colony of Ply 
mouth. They may not have shared the abhorrence which the 
Puritans felt for a community which called itself Merrymount, 
where people frisked like fairies, or rather furies," round a 
maypole, and where ten pounds worth of strong liquor had been 
drunk in one morning. 2 But a settlement which served as a 
magazine and school of musketry for the Indians was a danger to 
every fisherman or trader in the bay. Accordingly, in the sum 
mer of 1628 Morton was warned to abandon his evil courses. 
He disregarded the warning, and thereupon an armed party, 
raised by the various plantations and headed by Standish, marched 
against Merrymount. 3 They found Morton ready with firearms 
and barred doors. He seems, however, to have confined himself 
to a show of resistance, and was seized, brought to Plymouth, 
and thence sent to England in the custody of Old ham, now, as 
it would seem, reconciled to the settlers. 4 The Council for New 
England, with a lenity which the Plymouth chronicler naturally 
condemns, soon suffered Morton to return. Standish, or those 
by whose orders he acted, cannot be charged with undue severity, 
since they contented themselves with removing Morton and suf 
fered his riotous followers to remain, and at a later day to become 
a fresh source of trouble 

The experience of the plantations attempted by Weston, Gorges, 
and Wollaston carried two lessons with it. It showed that the 
system of industry which was succeeding in Virginia was ill 
adapted to the soil and climate of New England. In the 
northern colony the husbandman could by hard labor wring from 
the soil subsistence for himself and his household. The profits 
of industry left no margin to support a class who enjoyed leisure. 

1 Bradford, p. 107. 2 Ib. p. 159. 

Bradford s letter-book, p. 62. 4 Bradford, p. 162. 


All beyond mere subsistence had to be got by some trade which 
required personal activity and intelligence. 

Such episodes as the misconduct of Weston s settlers and of 
Morton, also showed the necessity for some uniform and compre 
hensive system of control. Without it every plantation along the 
coast of New England might be placed at the mercy of the Indians 
by the folly or greed of one unscrupulous trader. Morton was 
not the only offender of this kind. Bradford complains that the 
English fishermen sold arms and ammunition to the natives, so 
that the sight of a gun was no longer, as it had once been, a terror 
to them. 1 The royal proclamation of 1622 against irregular trade 
may have been intended for the special benefit of Gorges and his 
associates, but Bradford equally welcomes it as a boon to Ply 
mouth. 2 It would even seem from his complaints that certain 
settlers at Pemaquid sold guns and powder to the French, which 
ultimately found their way to the natives. 3 

It might be urged, as it was by the opponents of the Plymouth 
Council in Parliament, that a great national industry like fishing 
ought not to be placed under the control of a small band of 
court favorites. But if there was an error it lay, not in the 
existence of the authority, but in the fact that it was misplaced 
and exercised with feeble purpose and for selfish aims. 

Meanwhile the settlements which afterwards grew into Maine 
and New Hampshire were being formed near the mouth of the 
MavericK s Piscataqua. These will be best dealt with as a separate 
settlement. p art o f our su bject. Moreover, a few scattered settlers 
had established themselves in Massachusetts Bay. Of these by far 
the most important was Samuel Maverick. A New England 
writer of a later day described him as "strong for the lordly prel- 
atical power," and when circumstances placed him under the 
dominion of the Massachusetts government his principles kept 
him outside the pale of citizenship, arid more than once brought 
him into conflict with public authority and opinion. But though 
Maverick can have had little sympathy with the inhabitants of 
Plymouth, his settlement was not without its value to them. He 
appears, from his own account, to have formed a private planta 
tion with his own dependents. 4 The site of it seems to have been 
a few miles due north of what was afterwards Charlestown. 
It was palisadoed and defended with cannon, and, if we may 

1 Bradford, p. 158. 2 Ib. s lb. p. 210. 

4 Maverick, Description of N&u England, p. 13. 


believe Maverick himself, the terror which it struck into the natives 

had a large share in keeping them from any attack on the English. 

Another settlement of the same kind was formed at the mouth 

of the Piscataqua, by a company of three Plymouth merchants. 

They, too, Maverick tells us, "were a terror to the 

Plantation _ . 

atPisca- Indians, who were at that time insulting over the poor, 
weak, and unfurnished planters at Plymouth. " 1 Besides 
checking the Indians the settlers at Piscataqua did good service to 
Plymouth in contributing to the cost of the expedition against 
Morton. 2 Bradford also tells us how the manager of the planta 
tion, David Thompson, formed a temporary partnership with the 
Plymouth settlers in the Indian trade. 3 Within five or six years 
of his settlement at Piscataqua Thompson left the service of his 
employers, and set up, as it would seem, a private settlement 
on an island in Massachusetts Bay. 

The list of those who bore a share in the overthrow of Merry- 
mount shows the existence of six other separate settlements. Of 
William these one, occupied by William Blackstone, was on 
Biackstone. fae s j te o f B os t O n, and was vacated by the owner in 
favor of the Massachusetts Company. Tradition ascribes to 
Blackstone the saying that, having come from England to escape 
the lord bishops, he would not submit to the lord brethren. 4 
Whether this story is true or not, it is at least significant of the po 
sition of these independent settlers. We may be sure that, if they 
had any sympathy with Puritanism, they would not have remained 
exposed to the risks and discomforts of isolation. As time went on, 
and as New England became a settled country, their position 
became untenable. Of the outlying plantations, those north of the 
Merrimac formed the germ of Maine and New Hampshire, those 
south were swallowed up by the Puritan colony of Massachusetts. 

1 Description of New England, p. 10. Christopher LeveU, in his Voyage to New England, 
says that he spent a month "at Fannaway, where one Mr. Tomson hath made a plantation." 
Mr. Deane, in the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society for 1876 (p. 69), sug 
gests that "Pannaway" may be a misprint for Piscataqua, or a clerical error made by 
Lcvett himself in copying his journal. The last theory seems to me to be a very probable 
one. Levett visited New England in 1623. His own doings there will come before us later, 
forming part of the early history of New Hampshire. Winslow, also writing in 1624, refers 
to Thompson s settlement at Piscataqua (Young, p. 350). 

2 See list of contributors in Bradford s letter-book, p. 63. 

3 Bradford, p. 141. 

1 This speech of Blackstone is quoted by Mr. Young (Chronicles of Massachusetts, 
p. 170), on the authority of Cotton Mather. I have not been able to find the original refer 
ence in that writer. I find the words ascribed to Blackstone in a tract entitled An Account 
if Providence published in the Massachusetts Historical Collection, 2nd series, vol. ix. p. 
166, and ascribed to Stephen Hopkins, governor of Rhode Island from 1757 to 1766. 




In the last chapter I spoke of various scattered plantations which 
sprang up in the neighborhood of Plymouth between 1620 and 

1 Nearly all the writings which bear on the early history of Massachusetts have been 
collected by Mr. Young in a volume called Chronicles of Massachusetts, a companion to 
that for Plymouth, to which I have already referred. The book consists of letters which 
passed between leading members of the Massachusetts Company, the records of the Com 
pany, so far as they are extant, one or two pamphlets, and a sort of chronicle entitled Records 
of Charlestown, taken in the year 1664 from the town archives. The records of the Com 
pany are also published in the third volume of the Arch&ologia Americana, with a very 
full introduction by Mr. Haven, containing biographical notices of all the members of the 
Company. The records of the colony down to 1680 have been collected and edited in a 
very complete form by Mr. Shurtleff. Of the chronicles and biographies from which our 
knowledge of New England history is so largely drawn I shall have occasion to speak in my 
text By far the most valuable of them is Winthrop s History of New England. It is cast 
into the form of a diary or chronicle. This work, like Bradford s History of Plymouth, 
remained in manuscript for many years. In 1790 it was printed at Hartford. A new 
edition, with very valuable biographical notes, was published by Mr. Savage in 1825. This 
was re-edited, with further additions, in 1853. It is to this edition that I refer. A life of 
Winthrop, by his descendant, Mr. Robert C. Winthrop, appeared in 1869. In addition to 
its literary merit and conspicuous accuracy it has value as containing several of Winthrop s 
letters and manuscripts hitherto unpublished. 

Of the early New England writers two deserve special notice. One is William Wood, the 
author of New England s Prospect, published in 1634. The writer was evidently an ardent 
believer in colonization and keenly interested in America. But it is also clear that he had 
no special sympathy with the founders of Massachusetts, either on religious or political 
grounds. His book cannot be better described than in the words of the title-page, A trite t 
lively, and experimental description of that part of America commonly called New Eng 
land, both as it stands to our new-come English planters and to the old native inhabitants, 
Mr. Young has embodied a part of the book in his collection. The whole has been repub- 
lished by the Prince Society, with a short preface by Mr. Charles Deane. 

The other is that singular work, The Wonder-working Providence of Sion s Saviour in 
Nev) England. This was published anonymously, but the authorship has been universally 
ascribed to Captain Edward Johnson, of Woburn, in Massachusetts. It was originally printed 
in London in 1654, with the second title of A History of New England from the English 
Planting in the yeere 1628 until the yeere 1652. Five years later it was shamelessly pinned 
and published without acknowledgment by Ferdinando Gorges, grandson of Sir Ferdinando. 
in a collection of pamphlets entitled America Painted to the Life. Since then it has been 
reprinted twice, firstly in the second series of the Massachusetts Historical Society s Collec 
tion, and then with a very careful and elaborate preface by Mr. W. F. Poole. Mr Poole 
has gone very fully into the questions arising out of the authorship of this book. I shall have 


1630. In addition to those mentioned, there was one destined 
to have a far more lasting influence, and to serve in some meas- 
The Dor- ure as the foundation on which the greatest of the 

:hester Ad- _. , . , .1 

venturers.! Puritan colonies was built. 

In 1623 a small private company of merchants, all or most ot 
diem inhabitants of Dorchester, who had been accustomed to 
send fishing vessels every year to the coast near the Kennebec, 
bethought them of establishing a permanent station to help them 
in loading their vessels and in getting supplies for the crews. 
There was something of a spiritual purpose in the undertaking 
at the outset, since one of the objects was to maintain a minister 
for the fishermen along the coast, who during their stay there were 
wholly without religious teaching. 

In 1623 the partners sent out a ship of fifty tons. By some 

mishap she was delayed in sailing, and did not reach the coast 

till six weeks after the opening of the regular fishing 

Fishing rr ,. .... 111 i 

station at season. I he master, thinking probably that it was too 
late to begin, turned southwards, and, finding the 
fishing in Massachusetts Bay good, landed fourteen men to form 
a settlement at. Cape Ann. 9. 

The territory thus occupied was subject to a complicated tenure. 
Originally granted by the Plymouth council to the Earl of Shef 
field, it had been by him assigned to some of the Plymouth 
adventurers, who in turn had admitted the Dorchester merchants, 
either as tenants or in some kind of partnership. 2 It is not easy to 

more to say of it when I come to deal with the literature of New England. Both Wood and 
Johnson are very fully criticised by Mr. Tyler in his History of American Literature. 

The fourth and fifth series of the Massachusetts Historical Society s Collection contain a 
number of letters written by or to leading men in New England during the seventeenth 
century. These are a mine of valuable information. 

Of later authorities the principal is Hutchinson s History of Massachusetts. The writer 
was Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts from 1758 to 1771, and Governor from 1771. In 
1774 he was virtually superseded by General Gage, and never after exercised any authority in 
the colony. In 1764 he published a history of the colony from its foundation. His work is 
clear and methodical, and he had access to valuable documents. Hubbard s History 
of Ne"JD England is seldom more than a reproduction of Winthrop and Morton. Here and 
there it preserves valuable scraps of information, probably derived from Conant, who was 
personally known to Hubbard. The book remained in manuscript till 1815, when it was 
printed as the fifth and sixth volumes of the second series of the Massachusetts Historical 

1 The doings of the Dorchester Adventurers are related in John White s Brief Relation 
cfthe Occasion of the Planting of this Colony (Young, M. C). 

2 The original grant of Cape Ann by Lord Sheffield to Cushman and Winslow, as repre* 
sentatives of the Plymouth colonists, is still extant, and has been printed in America with a 
preface by Mr. Wingate Thornton (Palfrey, vol. i. p. 222). Smith (Gen. Hist. p. 703) says, 
" At Cape Ann there is a plantation beginning by the Dorchester men which they hold 
of those of New Plymouth, who also by them have set up a fishing work." Bradford, 
pp. 160, 168. 


make out the exact relationship between the parties; but we can at 
least see that each had an interest in the fisheries at Cape Ann, and 
that the arrangement was unsatisfactory to the men of Plymouth. 
In 1625 a dispute arose over a fishing stage, built by the Ply 
mouth settlers, and used in their absence by a certain Hewes, 
who was acting for the Dorchester partners. Standish was sent 
in behalf of Plymouth to protest against this intrusion. The rival 
claimants would have come to blows if it had not been for the 
good offices of Roger Conant, an independent settler, who had 
at one time lived at Plymouth, but had withdrawn "out of dislike 
of their principles of rigid separation." He succeeded in arrang 
ing a compromise by inducing Hewes and his party to build a 
fresh stage. 1 About the same time Conant was appointed by the 
Dorchester partners as their manager. Lyford was associated 
with him as minister of the settlement, and Oldham was invited 
to join them as trading agent, but preferred to be independents 
The silence of the Plymouth chroniclers may be taken as evidence 
of the good character of Conant, but the presence of Lyford and 
and Oldham could not fail to beget unfriendly relations between 
Plymouth and the new settlement. 

In 1626, after three years trial, the Dorchester adventurers 
came to the conclusion that their settlement was an unprofitable 
undertaking. The partnership was dissolved, and the shipping 
and stock-in-trade sold. Most of the settlers returned, and Co 
nant was left with the cattle and with three servants whom he with 
difficulty persuaded to stay. Since the fishery was abandoned 
there was no motive for remaining on the exposed promontory of 
Cape Ann. Accordingly, Conant withdrew south to the safer 
harborage of Naumkeag, or, as it was soon afterwards named, 
Salem. 3 

The Dorchester adventurers had abandoned their undertaking 
as unprofitable. One of them, however, saw in the very failure 
the opportunity for a scheme of colonization far more important 

1 This is told by Hubhard (p. in). His point of view is peculiar. " Captain Standish, 7> 
he says, " had been a soldier in the Low Countries and had never entered the school of our 
Saviour Christ, or of John the Baptist, His harbinger, or, if he was ever there, had forgot 
his first lessons, to offer violence to no man, and to part with the cloak rather than needlessly 
contend for the coat, though taken away without order." Massachusetts showed but little 
respect for that " lesson " in her dealings with her neighbors, though she gave them ample 
opportunities for practising it themselves. 

2 Hubbard, p. 107. 

a Conant s proceedings are told by Hubbard, pp. 107, 108. For the naming of Salem, sea 
Voung, M. C, p. 23. 


than that which his partners had originally designed. The first 
project of the commonwealth of Massachusetts has been com- 

monly ascribed to John White, the Puritan rector of 
hu?" e^^t Dorchester. There is yet extant a pamphlet on the 

subject ascribed to him. From this, taken in conjunc- 
ir<to with two works of similar character written about the same 
time, we may form a clear idea of the schemes entertained by the 
founders of Massachusetts and of the hopes which they held out to 
their followers. One of them, a letter from one Sanders to Sec 
retary Coke, is preserved in manuscript among the public records. l 
Its character is somewhat commonplace, and there is no special 
appeal to Puritan principles, though there is a liberal use of Scrip 
tural language. The writer puts forward much the same argu 
ments as those which had been urged for the settlement of Virginia. 
He dwells on the importance of converting the heathen, and still 
more on the necessity for finding a vent for surplus population, 
and remedying the distress caused by those " depopulators and 
wasters" who had turned large tracts of tillage into pasture. Trie 
other pamphlets, which are both extant in print, are in every way/ 
more remarkable. One of them, The Planters Plea, published 
in 1630, is anonymous. The other, entitled General Considerations 
for Planting New England, was written in the previous year. 
The authorship of it has been ascribed to White and also to 
John Winthrop, the first Governor of Massachusetts. 2 Both these 
pamphlets repeat the economical arguments for colonization, but 
do not rely mainly on them. Both protest emphatically against 
the error of supposing that the refuse population is good enough 
material for emigration. " It seems to be a common and gross 
error that colonies ought to be emunctories or sinckes of states, 
to drayne away their filth. " 3 White, in the same spirit, and prob 
ably with a recollection of the unruly followers of Smith and 
Delaware, says that other plantations failed because " they used 
too unfit instruments, a multitude of rude ungovernable persons, 

1 Colonial Papers, 1630. 

2 Both these are given by Mr. Young. The Planters Plea is also in Force s Collection, 
vol. ii. More than one draft of the Considerations is extant. One copy is in the Record 
Office in manuscript, with the endorsement, "White of Dorchester, his instructions for the 
plantation of New England." The endorsement seems to be in the same handwriting as 
the document itself. Another was found by Winthrop s biographer among th? family 
papers. A third, differing in some details from both of these, is printed in the Hutchison 
Collection. The whole question of the authority is discussed by Mr. Winthrop in the Lije. 
I cannot regard his arguments for ascribing it to his ancestor as conclusive. 

s Planters Plea, p. 19. 


the very scum of the land." Both touch on the prospects of con 
version among the Indians, but somewhat formally and with little 
real enthusiasm. In one important respect they differ. The au 
thor of the Plea disclaims any project of constituting a community 
of Separatists, and dwells strongly on the distinction between those 
who seceded from the Church and those who still remained mem 
bers of it, although they refused to conform to all its usages. He 
is evidently anxious to allay any suspicion on this head, and pleads 
that the neglect of Church ordinances and the choice of Noncon 
formist ministers were due to the exigencies of colonial life. 
White, if White really be the author of the other pamphlet, is 
more clear-sighted or more outspoken. He begins by avowing 
that the purpose of those who are founding the new settlement is 
to raise a bulwark against the kingdom of Antichrist, which the 
Jesuits labor to rear up in all quarters of the world." But the 
most significant passage is one in which he warns his countrymen 
to learn wisdom from the woful spectacle of the ruin which befell 
the Protestants of the Palatinate and Rochelle, and " to avoid the 
plague while it is foreseen, and not to tarry as they did till it over 
took them." We may take in connection with this a somewhat 
remarkable passage in the writings of Gorges. He tells us that 
the Puritans had now lost all hope of reformation of Church 
government, and that consequently "some of the discreeter sort, 
to avoid what they found themselves subject unto, made use of 
their friends to procure from the council for the affairs of New 
England to settle a colony within their limits." No man was 
more keenly alive than Gorges to everything which bore on the 
colonization of New England, and we may accept him and White 
as trustworthy witnesses for the definite and well-considered pur 
pose which animated the founders of Massachusetts. In England 
the cause of Episcopacy seemed irresistibly triumphant; the last 
hope of the Puritan party lay in the establishment of a refuge 
beyond the Atlantic, and Plymouth furnished an encouraging 
example. What the humble fugitives from Scrooby had begun 
on a small scale, a community of wealthy merchants and gentry 
might carry out with far greater success. 

Nor were religious motives the only ones which might urge 
thoughtful men to look for a refuge beyond the ocean. In State 
as in Church the sky was black with the signs of coming evil. It 
was not merely that the liberties of Englishmen seemed in danger, 
and that assertions of the royal authority, which the nation had 


reluctantly forgiven to the necessities of the time and to the vigor 
of the Tudor monarchs, could not be brooked from weaker hands. 
The evil lay deeper. Not merely were the forms of political life 
broken through, but thoughtful men must have begun to feel 
that those forms, even if restored and observed, could not meet 
the wants of the nation. The political needs of the community 
seemed to have overthrown the machinery which had once satisfied 
them. The despair of Falkland was the despair, not of weakness, 
but of too clear a vision. If Strafford was willing to become the 
framer and defender of arbitrary government, it was because he 
saw more surely than others that the issue lay between despotism 
and revolution. When Winthrop and his followers sailed, the 
storm had not yet broken, but the first warning sounds were heard. 
Well might Englishmen long for a refuge where they might pre 
serve these constitutional forms whose day seemed in England to 
have passed away, and that political freedom which at home, if 
saved at all, could be saved only by the sword. 

The first step towards fulfilling these schemes was to procure a 
home for the new commonwealth. This was done by an agree- 
The first ment with the New England council, which transferred 
chusetts to s * x g ran tees all the territory from the Merrimac on 
patenu foe north to a point three miles south of the Charles 
river. The tract thus granted had a deeply indented seaboard of 
about forty-five miles in length, and, as usual, its extension inland 
was unlimited. Owing to the confused and reckless fashion in 
which the New England council dealt with its territory, there were 
already claims to it under previous grants. 

The general history of these will come before us again. For 
the present it is only necessary to consider them so far as they 
Disputes bore upon the Massachusetts patent. In August, 1622, 
Mason and Gorges and John Mason /obtained a grant of all the 
Gorges. } an( j between the rivers Kennebec and Merrimac. 2 
Later in the same year Robert Gorges obtained a grant of all 
that part of the mainland in New England commonly called 
Messachustack, situate on the north-east side of Messachusetts 
Bay. " 3 The grant to the Dorchester associates encroached on the 
former grant, and swallowed up the latter. The difficulty with 
Mason was got over, as it would seem, by a compromise, by which 
the land in dispute was divided, and the boundary fixed at the 

1 Colonial Papers, 1628, March 19. 58 Ib. 1622, Aug. 10. 

8 Colonial Papers, 1622, Dec. 30. 


Merrimac. If this were so, there must have been, between 1622 
and 1629, some partition of land not recorded between Gorges 
and Mason, since it is nowhere said that the former was a party 
to the arrangement with the Massachusetts Company. It is cer 
tain that Mason obtained in 1629 a grant for the land between 
the Piscataqua and the Merrimac, in all likelihood as a formal 
ratification of the compromise. 2 The claims of Robert Gorges 
caused more trouble. His death had vested his rights either in 
his brother John or in his father. 3 In either case we may be sure 
that the active support of the claims would fall to the share of Sir 
Ferdinando. According to his own account, he, as one of the 
council for New England, only sanctioned the grant to Cradock 
and his partners on the understanding that it should not interfere 
with the grant of 1623 to his son. 4 That limitation was never 
recognized by the Massachusetts Company, and the conflict of 
claims was in all likelihood the original cause of a feud which left 
abiding traces in colonial history. 

Of the six grantees two only, Humphrey and Endicott, play 
any part in later New England history. The former had already 
6een treasurer of the fishing company at Cape Ann, and he sub 
sequently held office under the Massachusetts Company both in 
England and in the colony itself. John Endicott at once took a 
The prominent place in the new undertaking, and to the 

patentees. en( j o f h{ s jjf e j^ s t O od in the foremost rank of New 
England statesmen, figuring at every stage as the embodiment of 
all that was narrowest and sternest in Puritanism. 

For the present this grant did no more than establish a private 
partnership. The partners might entertain and acknowledge 
Endicott among themselves political designs, but in the eyes of 
sent out. t h e world there was nothing to distinguish their scheme 
from those of Gorges or Weston. 

In the face of the grant to Robert Gorges it was clear that the 
title of the Company to its newly acquired lands might at any 

1 This is mentioned by Hubbard (p. 226). Apparently the original d<)cumentary authority 
for it is the report of the commissioners sent out by Charles the Second (Colonial Papers. 
1665, Dec. 14). Jocelyn is there given as the authority for it. Jocelyn, who will often come 
before us, was a leading man in Maine, and no friend to Massachusetts. 

2 Colonial Papers, 1629, Nov. 7. 

s This is stated by Mr. Adams in his preface to the New English Canaan, by Mr. Haven 
(Arch. Am. vol. iii. p. xliv.), and by Mr. Young (M. C., p. 170). None of them give an 
authority, and I cannot find one. Yet all three writers are so habitually trustworthy that 
I venture to accept the statement. 4 Gorges, p. 80. 

5 Mr. Haven in Arch. Am. voi iii p. 50. 


time be challenged. Measures were at once taken to meet this 
danger. Endicott was sent out with sixty men to make good his 
claim by occupation. The small station at Salem, which had 
been strengthened in the previous year by the exportation of 
twelve cattle, served as a nucleus for the new settlement, and 
Endicott was sent out with men enough to bring the total number 
up to sixty. 2 If any specific instructions were given to Endicott 
they are no longer extant, nor is there anything to show how far 
the little community was entrusted with the management of its 
own affairs. Later documents suggest that Endicott s chief mis 
sion was to make preparations for a further instalment of settlers, 
and to send home a sample of what the country could produce. 
He was to ship a freight of beaver skins and fish, or, failing 
those, of timber, with specimens of any herbs that might be 
useful as dyes or for medicine. 3 A very full inventory is 
extant of the goods with which he was supplied, and the entry of 
five hundred red caps makes one suppose that some trade with 
the natives was intended, though no undertaking of the kind is 
recorded. < 

The new-comers seem to have been at first ill received. This 
was in all likelihood due to the influence of Morton, who, through 
the leniency or unscrupulousness of Allerton, had now 
with returned to New England. 5 His own account of the 

matter is too confused and metaphorical to be of much 
value. He seems to have objected, firstly to Endicott s claim of 
civil authority, and then to his attempt to enforce a system of joint 
trade. On the latter point he apparently gained his way. He 
tells with satisfaction how he made "six, or seven for one," while 
the trade of the Company under " Captain Littleworth," as he calls 
Endicott, only brought loss. On this he founds an accusation of 
dishonesty against Endicott; but if Morton sold ammunition 
and spirits to the natives without scruple, the matter is easily 

The dispute with the old settlers was settled, we are expressly 
told, by the moderation and forbearance of Conant, who thus for 
the second time played the part of a peacemaker. 7 For the pres 
ent Morton himself escaped punishment. But Merrymount was 

l Planters Plea, p. 43. 2 Ib. 

3 Letter from Cradock to Endicott (Arch. Am. vol. iii. p. 8). 

# P. 6. 6 Bradford, p, 167. 

9 New English Canaan, bk. iii. ch. 21. 7 Hubbard, p. 109. 


no longer suffered to be a school of riot and debauchery. Mor 
ton s associates there had been guilty of that crowning outrage on 
Puritan decency, the setting up of a maypole. Endicott hewed 
down the infelix arbor, branded the seat of iniquity with the name 
of Mount Dagon, and solemnly admonished its occupants "to 
look that there should be better walking." 1 

Meanwhile the partners in England were taking steps to 

strengthen their legal position. The six original patentees admitted 

more persons into their partnership. This change was 

A royal . r / 

charter accompanied by one still more serious. 1 he promoters 
of the colony were no longer content to be a mere 
private company for trade. The authority of the Crown was to 
be called in to make good any flaw which might exist in their 
territorial title. In March, 1629, a royal charter was obtained, 
constituting a legal corporation, under the title of the Governor 
and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. 2 This 
corporation were to elect annually a Governor, Deputy Gov 
ernor, and eighteen Assistants, who were to hold monthly 

The appointment of eighteen Assistants shows that the Company 
was to be enlarged considerably beyond its present numbers. 
General meetings were to be held four times a year. The mem 
bers had power to elect necessary officers and to defend their own 
territory by force against invasion or attack. The Governor and 
Assistants might, if they thought fit, administer the oaths of al 
legiance and supremacy to members of the Company, It is not 
unlikely that this clause may have been inserted to meet the 
difficulty which had lately arisen in the case of Lord Baltimore, 
owing to the absence of any such provision in the Virginia 
charter. 3 

In anticipation of a future want the grantees resisted the in 
sertion of any condition which should fix the government of the 
Company in England. Winthrop explicitly states that the ad 
visers of the Crown had originally imposed such a condition, but 
that the patentees succeeded, not without difficulty, in freeing 
themselves from it. 4 That fact is a full answer to those who held 

1 Bradford, p. 160. 

2 The charter is in the Colonial Papers. It is also given in Hazard s Collection, vol. \, 
p. 239. 

a See Virginia, etc., p. 277. 

4 This is stated by Winthrop in a pamphlet written in 1644, and published in an appendix 
tc his life, vol. ii. p. 443. 


that in transferring the government to America the patentees 
broke faith with the Crown. l 

The records of this corporation supply us with ample informa 
tion as to the measures taken in establishing the new colony. 
The first Governor elected was Matthew Cradock, of 
ings of the whom little is known, save that he was a member of 
company. the Lon g p ar }j ament He does not appear to have 

even visited New England, and he soon steps aside to make way 
for more active, if not more zealous, promoters of the colony. 
Of the Assistants, the most important was Sir Richard Saltonstall. 
His stay in the colony only extended over one year, but during 
that time he seems to have taken a leading part in public affairs, 
and he became the founder of an important New England family. 2 
One of the first steps taken by the newly organized Company was 
to establish a government resident in the colony* This was to 
consist of a Governor, a Deputy-Governor, and twelve councilors, 
or, as they are usually called afterwards, Assistants. Of these, 
seven were to be named by the Company, three more chosen by 
these seven and the Governor, and the remaining three appointed 
by the "old planters/-* that is to say ; by those independent settlers 
whom Endicott had found already established on the territory of 
the Company under grants from the council of New England. 
The Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Council were empowered 
to appoint minor officers and to enact such laws as they might 
deem needful for the colony, with the customary reservation that 
they were not to be at variance with the laws of the realm,* It is 
worth noticing that the local government thus established is I 
formally styled an absolute government, and that no provision * / 
is made for any control to be exercised by the Company, either 
over legislation or over the appointment of officers. It would 
seem as though the functions of the Company were to be confined 
to managing the trade and the material welfare of the settlement. 
Indeed, one may believe that when these provisions were framed 

1 The most noteworthy upholder of this view is the late Mr. Oliver, in that remarkable 
book, The Puritan Commomvealth, published in 1856. Mr. Oliver was a Boston lawyer, 
and a zealous churchman. Provoked by the extravagant and unreasonable praise so often 
bestowed on the founders of Massachusetts, he has subjected their actions to a merciless 
scrutiny, always acute, and sometimes just, but more often carried out in the spirit of a 
party advocate. His work is of no small value to the student of New England history as 
the pleading of an advocatus diaboli, and as a set off against the too frequent adulations 
of American writers. 

2 Mr. Haven gives short biographical sketches of Cradock and Saltonstall (Arch. Am* 
vol. iii. pp. 56, 66). 

* Young, M, C., p. 192. 


some at least of the members must have contemplated the com 
ing change, whereb/ the Company ceased to exist as a separate 
corporation and became merged in the legislature of the colony. 
Land was allotted on a system like that adopted by the Vir 
ginia Company. Each shareholder was to have two hundred 

acres for every fifty pounds that he had invested. If 
of?anT he settled in the colony he was to have fifty more for 

himself and fifty for each member of his family. Emi 
grants who were not shareholders were to have an allotment of 
fifty acres, with the same quantity for each servant exported. The 
Governor and Council had also power to grant a further quantity 
to such emigrants according to their charge and quality." A 
proposal was made and favorably entertained that all land granted 
to those who were not shareholders should be burdened with 
certain hereditary services, but this scheme fell to the ground. 
At the same time provisions were made for the spiritual needs 
of the settlers. Early in 1629 three ministers were engaged. 
One of them, Francis Higginson, had been a beneficed clergy 
man of the Church of England, but had either resigned his 
Ministers living or been deprived for nonconformity. After 
engaged. fafe ^ e jj a( j fold O ne of those lectureships which the 
Puritan party maintained by voluntary contributions. He may 
be looked on as the earliest of those New England divines who 
were men of letters as well, and to whpse writings we owe a large 
share of our knowledge of the secular affairs of the colony. His 
accounts of his voyage and of the fertility and wholesomeness of 
his new abode are graphic and at times picturesque, and he was 
probably one of those who were charged with having sent home 
"too large commendations of the country," and thereby prepared 
the way for much disappointment. ~ Of the two other ministers en 
gaged, Bright and Skelton, we know less. They were both gradu 
ates of Cambridge, but there is nothing to show that they were in 
holy orders. The agreement with the three ministers is extant. 3 
Each was to be sent out free of cost, with the right of a passage 
back at the expiration of three years. A house and an hundred 
acres of freehold were to be given to each, with two cows, whose 

1 The scheme for tenures by service is proposed in the instructions to Endicott (Arch. 
Am. vol. iii. p. 104). 

2 Dudley, in his letter to the Countess of Lincoln (Young, M. C., p. 310), makes this com 
plaint. Higginson s journal of his voyage, aud a pamphlet by him entitled New England s 
Plantation, are in Young, M. C., pp. 213, 225. The latter is also published in Force, vol. i. 

Young, M. C., p. 205. 


produce was to be shared by rather a complicated arrangement 
between the ministers and the Company. In the event of their 
staying seven years another hundred acres was to be allotted to 
them. Higginson and Skelton each ended their days in Massa 
chusetts after a short sojourn there. Bright was one of those who 
turned back, disheartened, as it would seem, by the difficulties 
of colonial life. 1 A fourth minister, Ralph Smith, also went out, 
not apparently by agreement, but as a volunteer. He differed 
from the other three in that he was a Separatist, they only Non 
conformists. He soon became dissatisfied with the colony, and 
wandered about in great difficulty and want, till at length he 
found a flock more akin to him in opinions at Plymouth. 2 The 
fleet of ships which took out the ministers also carried out some 
three hundred and fifty emigrants, with a large supply of live 
stock, a matter in which the colony was well provided from the 
outset. 3 

At the same time the Company sent a letter to Endicott 4 with 

a copy of the charter, followed in the next month by further 

supplementary instructions. A considerable part of 

Endicott s . h 

instruc- these is occupied with advice about trade, and with 
provisions for carrying out the system of land tenure 
already described. Nothing is said about the conversion of the 
natives; indeed the instructions concerning them rather prohibit 
any attempts in that direction. "For avoiding the hurt that 
may follow through much familiarity with them," they are to be 
suffered to visit the colony only at certain specified times and 
places. All the settlers are to be trained in the use of arms, and 
regular musters are to be held. At the same time strict justice is 
to be observed in all dealings with the savages, and if their terri 
torial rights are infringed they are to receive compensation. They 
are also to be guarded against the evils resulting from the intro 
duction of spirits. Th3 credit due to the Company for this 
precaution is somewhat lessened when we read that "there is 
much strong waters sent for sale," and that the purchase of drink 

1 Dudley s letter, p. 316. 

2 Bradford, p. 172. The Company in their instructions to Endicott (p. 151) say, "J\ir. 
Ralph Smith, a minister, hath desired passage in our ships." 

a Smith distinctly says six ships and three hundred and fifty emigrants. See his Adver 
tisements for the Unexperienced, or the Pathway to erect a Plantation (Works, p. 949). 
This was his last published writing, and appeared in 1630. The Company s archives confirm 
this. Higginson, strangely enough, says five ships, and does not mention the number if 

4 Arch. Am. vol. iii. pp. 79, 96. 


by the savages is not to be forbidden, but only "so ordered as 
that the savages may not, for our lucre s sake, be reduced to the 
excessive use, or rather abuse, of it." 

One of the most important points dealt with in Endicott s 
instructions was his treatment of the old planters. It was but 
natural that they resented the suddenly imposed control of a 
body in whose constitution and administration they had no share. 
Endicott was instructed to conciliate them by giving them the 
freedom of the Company, with all rights of trade belonging 
thereto, confirming them in their holdings, and supplementing 
these with grants of land at his own discretion. Another diffi 
culty lay in the fact that these old planters had been in the habit 
of growing tobacco. The members of the Company had wholly 
set their faces against this form of industry, seeing, no doubt, 
that it was incompatible with those social and economical arrange 
ments at which they aimed. The old planters, however, were 
allowed to continue tobacco culture if they pleased. At the same 
time the Company did its best to dissuade them by pointing out 
the unprofitable nature of the crop, while all other settlers were 
forbidden either to grow, sell, or use it. 

In addition to the growth of tobacco the Company found it 
necessary to prohibit the sale of guns and ammunition to the 
Indians. This prohibition was probably aimed rather at traders 
and captains of fishing vessels than at permanent settlers. ] The 
conduct of Morton too, as reported by Endicott, may have helped 
to bring about this measure. In any case it illustrates the diffi 
culties of the Company in dealing with a country which was 
already in part settled. 

Setting aside Morton, the only one of the old planters who 
seems to have caused the Company any serious trouble was Old- 
ham. He had obtained rights over a portion of the soil as a sub 
tenant of Robert Gorges. 2 The archives of the Company contain 
several references to disputes with him, but do not give us suffi 
cient material for fully understanding them. 3 It is clear that the 
difficulty was due partly to the uncompromising tenacity with 
which Oldham upheld his rights, partly to his sanguine and 
speculative disposition. At one time he seems to have sought for 
employment as a factor or trading agent for the Company, for 

1 Dudley in his letter says that the factors employed in the beaver trade by merchants 
from Bristol and elsewhere were special offenders (Young, M. C., p. 309). 

2 For this grant see the Company s Records (Arch. AIM., vol. iii. p. 95). 
8 //;. pp. 15, 22, 31. 


which post he was, after much consideration, pronounced unfit 
Then he tried to establish a private partnership with a monopoly 
of the beaver trade. Endicott was instructed to prevent this, and 
also to establish a settlement in Massachusetts Bay, near the 
present site of Boston, by way of making good his footing there 
against Oldham. How Oldham s claims were disposed of does 
not appear, but his later relations to the government of Massa 
chusetts show that peace was established between them. 

The servants sent out at the Company s expense were subjected 

to a rigid system of discipline. They were to be divided into 

groups, or, as they were called, families. Every family 

cipiine was to be placed under a head, either a minister or a 

forced. } avmari) chosen for his moral and religious fitness and 
for knowledge of some trade. Each of these overseers was to 
keep a register of the work done by those under him, and these 
registers were to be sent in to the Governor and forwarded to the 
Company in England. Industry was to be enforced, not merely 
on the servants of the Company, but on all the settlers. 1 " No 
idle drone" is to be permitted to live in the settlement. 2 "For 
the better governing and ordering " of the settlers, and especially 
to check indolence, a house of correction is to be built. 3 

At the same time the ecclesiastical organization of the settlement 
was effected. The ease and rapidity with which this was carried 
out shows how slight was the difference between Puri- 
ticai settle- tanism within the Church and Congregationalism, and 
how readily the former passed into the latter when cir 
cumstances favored the change. The founders of the colony had 
not as yet avowed themselves hostile to the Church of England, 
and of the four ministers taken out, only one, as we have seen, was 
a Separatist. But the whole party, laymen and clergy alike, were 
bound to the Church only by expediency and not by any real 
loyalty. In their new home all motive for compromise was at 
end. If an example had been needed one was furnished by the 
neighboring colony of Plymouth. Before the ministers arrived 
one Fuller, a surgeon and an Elder in the Plymouth church, had 
visited Salem, and had given Endicott advice concerning the re 
ligious constitution of his settlement. Accordingly, as soon as the 
ministers landed, Higginson and Skelton were elected to the offices 
of pastor and teacher respectively. Each then in turn ordained 
the other by laying hands on him. A church covenant, that is, 

1 Arch. Ant. p. 99, 2 /#. vol. iii. p. 105. 3 Ib. p. 99. 


we may suppose, a system of faith and discipline, was then drawn 
up by Higginson, and accepted by thirty of the settlers. Elders 
were appointed, and the ceremony of ordination apparently re 
peated by them. Bradford and some of the chief men from 
Plymouth set forth to attend this ceremony, but from contrary 
winds arrived too late. 2 

The first effect of this step was to reveal rather than to create 
disunion in the colony. Two brothers, John and Samuel Browne, 
Expulsion mem bers of the Council and highly esteemed by the 
of the ^ leading men of the Company, were dissatisfied with the 
ministers for not using the Book of Common Prayer 
and for neglecting the ceremonies of the Church of England. 
Accordingly, they drew together a congregation of those who 
thought with them, and read the service from the Prayer Book. 
For this they were summoned before the Governor and Council. 
The Brownes then charged the ministers with being Separatists, 
and foretold that they would become Anabaptists. After some 
further dispute Endicott told them that New England was no fit 
place for such as they were, and sent them home. They de 
manded compensation from the Company, and the matter was 
referred to a committee, containing amongst its members four 
nominated by the Brownes themselves. Beyond that point we 
have no account of the dispute. 

The feature of the case least to the credit of the Company is an 
entry in the records to the effect that certain letters, written by the 
Brownes to their friends in England, were to be detained and read, 
and might be used against their authors if occasion offered. But 
the substantial justice of a measure is a different matter from the 
propriety of each detail. On the face of it, no doubt, there is 
something repulsive in the spectacle of those who had just been 
suffering from persecution, becoming, at least in outward appear 
ance, persecutors in turn. The later history of New England will 
furnish examples of ecclesiastical tyranny which leave no room for 
extenuation. But the banishment of the Brownes differed widely 
in detail if not in principle from the persecution of the Antino- 
mians and the Quakers. Again, expulsion from an old-established 

l The whole of this proceeding is described by Bradford (p. 173). 

3 This is stated by Morton (New England s Memorial, p. 99). 

a Endicott s dealings with the Brownes are told by Morton (p. 100). Bradford does not 
mention , it, nor does it appear whence Morton derives his account. We have also various 
entries ia the records, and a letter from the Assistants in England to the ministers on the 
subject. It is clear from this letter that the Assistants rather feared the indiscreet zeal of 
those in the colony. 


society and exclusion from a newly-formed one are two widely 
different things. In the latter case the penalty to the individual 
is far less, the need of the community for protection far greater. 
Endicott and his council might reasonably plead that the colony 
was a partnership formed for special objects, and that it would be 
folly to suffer men among them who were avowedly hostile to 
those objects. If there were a fault, it lay not so much in the 
expulsion of the Brownes as in the somewhat Jesuitical policy 
which up to that time had disguised the intentions of the Com 
pany. If the colony was to become what its promoters intended, 
unity, not merely of religious belief, but of ritual and of ecclesi 
astical discipline, was, at least for the present, a needful condition 
of existence. We must not condemn the banishment of the 
Brownes unless we are prepared to say that it would have been 
better for the world if the Puritan colony of Massachusetts had 
never existed. 

This measure showed that Massachusetts was to be an exclu 
sively Puritan settlement. The next step was a declaration that it 
Transfer was to De as ^ ar as possible an independent common- 
chart e erto wealth - On the twenty-eighth of July Cradock laid 
America.i before the Assistants a proposal for transferring the 
government of the plantation to those in America, instead of 
keeping it subordinate to the Company in England. No vote 
was then taken, but the members present were instructed to 
consider the matter " privately and secretly," and to report their 
views in writing at the next meeting. Before that meeting twelve 
of the more influential members bound themselves by a written 
agreement to emigrate with their families if the transfer of the 
government could be effected. 2 On the twenty-ninth of August 
the question was formally proposed and the measure carried. At 
Srst it was intended that this change should only apply to the 
government of the colony, and not to the commercial manage 
ment of the Company. As expressed in the minutes of the 
Company, the government of persons was to be held there, the 
government of trade and merchandises to be here. " The relations, 
in fact, between the two bodies were to be like those subsisting 
between the Virginia Company and the local legislature. But the 
example of Virginia was not encouraging, and the men who were 
about to settle in Massachusetts aimed at an amount of inde- 

1 The whole of these proceedings are recorded in the Archives, 
a This agreement is published by Air. Young, M. C., 279. 



pendence which they could never enjoy unless they were set 
wholly free from the control of a corporation in England. The 
matter was somewhat complicated by the fact that the Company 
was in debt to the amount of three thousand pounds, two-thirds 
of which debt was caused by unpaid subscriptions. Although 
this may have made the details of arrangement more difficult, yet 
in one way it furthered matters. The speculation looked so un 
promising that it was easy to arrange a compromise with those 
partners who regarded the undertaking solely or chiefly as one of 
business. Two committees were appointed, one to represent the 
interests of the shareholders, the other those of the planters who 
were going out. The encumbered state of the Company made it 
necessary, in modern commercial language, to propose a fresh 
issue of stock to the original shareholders. They, however, re 
fused this proposal. Finally it was arranged that the stock and 
liabilities of the Company should be transferred to ten persons. 
In consideration of their incurring this risk they were to enjoy a 
partial monopoly of the fur trade, an entire monopoly of salt- 
making, of the shipping of emigrants and goods, and of supplying 
the public magazines at fixed rates. The valuation made for this 
transfer showed that the present stock of the Company was only 
worth one-third of the sum subscribed. In compensation for this 
loss an additional portion of land was allotted to each shareholder, 
together with the right of investing a further sum for trade, such 
trade to be carried on for seven years under the control of the ten 
partners, and then to revert to the shareholders. Nothing seems 
to have come of this. The practical result of the transfer was to 
extinguish the old Company and to substitute a private firm of ten 
partners, all directly interested in the political and social future 
of the colony. Of their commercial doings we hear nothing, and 
there can be little doubt that these were subordinated to the 
general well-being of the settlement. 

The change of design necessarily brought with it a change of 
officials. It was needful that the more important ofiices of the 
John Company should be filled by men who intended to 

appointed emigrate. Cradock accordingly resigned. His place 
Governor. was filled by John Winthrop. He was now in his 
forty-third year; a Suffolk landholder, the representative of one of 
those houses of which so many rose during the fifteenth and six 
teenth centuries from burgess rank to a place among the country 
gentry. He was himself a member of the Inner Temple, and had 


held a small legal office. We may well believe that even those 
who knew him can have scarcely discerned the promise of a future 
career of greatness as a statesman. For his was one of those 
characters, essentially English, in which the seventeenth century 
was above all fruitful, men whom a careful discharge of small 
duties has trained for higher tasks, who when those tasks come 
accept them with no unworthy shrinking of self-abasement, with 
me dignity of consciousness of strength, but who, till that hour 
comes, care little what the world thinks of their powers. In such 
men there is no impatience nor haste, nor craving for the rewards 
or the excitement of the conflict, but a steadfast waiting for some 
clear call of duty. They may seem slothful to those who do not 
know the inner secret of their strength: they might be fatalists if 
it were not for their resolute purpose and creative power. Such 
were the men whom Puritanism found waiting their summons. 
A living coal from the altar of Calvin touched their lips. The 
English squire and trader was transformed into a statesman who 
could baffle princes in council, a soldier who could overthrow 
them on the battle-field. The training and temper of such men 
fitted them to take all that was best in their new creed. The gloom 
of Calvinistic theology, the atrocity of its logical conclusions, went 
for nothing with men who were indifferent to abstract speculation. 
They did not need to be transformed by the moral discipline of 
Puritanism; it was enough if they were imbued and inspired with 
higher aims. The culture of the Renaissance, its art hovering on 
the verge of frivolity, its humanism ever passing into sensuality, 
formed no part of their lives. The Englishman of the Elizabethan 
age did not turn his back on the world of art, but it had no real 
hold on his spirit. At most it was but the fringe of his life and 
did not enter into the substance of it. His very pastimes, like 
those of Englishmen in ail ages of healthy national vigor, had in 
them an element of discipline and self-restraint. His recreations 
were found in those "solemn and divine harmonies of music" 
which Milton deemed a needful part of manly training, or in 
those field-sports in which the strength, endurance, and intelli 
gence of man were still matched against the craft of wild beasts. 
If he gave up these pleasures at the bidding of religion, he did so, 
not so much in the spirit of the self-mortifying ascetic, as of the 
man who puts away childish things. Sometimes he was strong 
enough even to free himself from the need for such renunciation. 
The Comus is the immortal witness of a half-successful attempt to 


consecrate those arts which weaker men would have banished. 
Thus the Puritanism of men such as Hampden and Wmthrop 
was not like a sudden wave of religion sweeping over an enervated 
and sensual class. It did not transform life at the risk of a vio 
lent reaction; rather it braced up men s energies and impulses 
by Betting forth aims higher indeed than those held before, yet 
akin to them, bound to the associations and memories of the past, 
not severed from them by the shame of recantation or remorse. 
We have evidence from Winthrop s own pen that he well under 
stood the duties which were laid upon himself and his associaies, 
and the moral and social difficulties to which a young 

II ia "Model 

of Christian community is specially exposed. His views on these 
points are set forth in an address written during his 
voyage, and entitled "A Model of Christian Charity." It may 
be described as a short and clear statement of the principles on 
which Christian men should live together, and especially of those 
moral laws which should guide them in their use of private prop 
erty. As we might expect from the whole career of the writer, 
the work does not aim at any marked originality of thought; yet 
it is full of individual character, and wholly free from convention 
ality either of idea or expression. It is the work of a practical 
man writing for a practical end. From first to last there is noth 
ing sectarian nor controversial. Illustration is used where it is 
needed, but there is no display of learning, and the style, unlike 
much of the writing of that age, is neither ponderous nor fantastic. 
Winthrop s view of property is that of Aristotle. lie would have 
individual ownership combined with common use. 2 At the same 
time that community of enjoyment must not be based on any 
formal system, nor can it be provided for by exact rules. It must 
spring from the free spirit of Christian charity and brotherly love. 
Wmthrop aiso shows himself fully alive to the dangers which beset 
a young community, where the struggle of life is keener than in 
an old-established state. "We must," he says, "be willing to 
abridge ourselves of our superfluities for the supply of others 
necessities. Finally he appeals to his followers by reminding 
them how their failure will discredit the cause of God. If they 
should fail through their own selfishness they will shame the face 

i The Model of Christian Charity is printed in the Massachusetts Historical Collection, 
3rd series, vol. vii. 

2 3>avspdv Toivvr on fle X.riov Kivoa }.ii 
ds xpqtiei rtoielv Ho^vd<s. Politics, ii. 5, 8. 


of God s worthy servants. If they should succeed, then men 
would say of other plantations in later days, "The Lord make it 
like that of New England." 

More than one ofWinthrop s associates was, like himself, aban 
doning ease, wealth, and the possibility of a brilliant public career, 
winthrop s Such were the Deputy-Governor, John Humphrey, and 
associates. j saac Johnson. Slightly, if at all, lower in rank was 
Thomas Dudley, a stern Puritan who had served in the Hugue 
not army under Henry the Fourth. All these were connected 
with the Earl of Lincoln, the head of a great Protestant family, 
Humphrey and Johnson as his sons-in-law, Dudley as the steward 
of his household. 1 

In the spring of 1630 Winthrop and his party of emigrants 
sailed. Owing to delays in preparing the ships the whole body 
Their de- did not sail together, but in at least three detachments, 
parture. numbering in all about nine hundred emigrants. This, 
which we may regard as virtually the foundation of Massachusetts, 
was unquestionably the greatest effort of colonization which 
Englishmen had yet made. For the first time the projects of 
Raleigh and Gilbert found their fulfillment. England was at \ 
length sending out, not a band of traders nor of pauper laborers, 
but a worthily representative body of citizens, animated, like a 
Greek colony, with the desire to reproduce the political life of 
the country which they were leaving. In Virginia, indeed, so far 
as natural conditions allowed, the constitutional life of the mother 
country reappeared in no unworthy form. But the growth of 
Virginia had been imperceptible and, as it were, unconscious; 
there was no epoch in its history which answered to the great New 
England emigration of 1630. As far as the romance of its cir-, 
cumstances and the personal heroism of its leaders goes, the settle 
ment of Plymouth, beyond a doubt, must rank higher than that 
of Massachusetts. But it cannot claim the same importance as a 
deliberate and well-considered effort of colonization. It was not 
free choice but hostile pressure from without which drove the 
Plymouth settlers to forsake their English homes and to accustom 
themselves to an exile which lessened the effort of emigration. 
The founders of Massachusetts were many of them rich men fur 
nished with ability, dwelling peaceably in their habitations, who 
forsook the good things of the world to win for themselves and 
their children a home free from its corruptions. / The narrowness 

l Sketches of all these men are given in the Arch&ologia Americana, vol. iii. 


of their aims and measures must often forbid our sympathy or 
even awake our indignation; it should never blind us to the great 
ness of their undertaking. 

In June Winthrop landed in America. In spite of t>e weg .th 
and commercial ability of its founders, the infant settle.\iu- .t of 
Massachusetts did not escape those sufferings which so far seo;i.:xi 
to be the allotted portion of every colony in its early years. Of 
the settlers who had been sent out the year before more than 
eighty had died during the winter, and the survivors had but a 
fortnight s victuals left. The arrival of Winthrop and 

Sufferings . . 

of the his followers did not make matters better. Many of 

them were suffering from scurvy, and the ship which 
was to have brought stores with them was by mishap or misman 
agement kept back. Unhappily it was a season of dearth in 
England, and but little corn could be exported. Later writers 
tell us of the fortitude and resignation with which the settlers 
endured their hardships. Dudley and Winthrop seem to have 
been less impressed with the heroism of those who stayed than 
with the faint-hearted ness of those who fled. In the first year 
after Winthrop s landing more than a hundred settlers, some of 
them men of wealth, left the colony. The greater part, among 
them Bright, one of the four ministers lately sent out, returned to 
England, others joined the settlers on the Piscataqua. 2 

One consequence of the dearth was that the Company had no 

means of feeding its hired servants, who now numbered a hundred 

and eighty. Accordingly it was necessary to give them 

Hired ser 
vants set their freedom. As each of them had cost about twenty 

pounds to transport the loss was a heavy one. The 
natural condition of New England made it certain that servile 
industry could never play a prominent part in the economy of 
the colony, and that the land would be mainly tilled by small 
proprietors. Yet the check thus imposed on the employment of 
servants and the addition to the community of a large body of free 
laborers must have hastened and confirmed the working of a 
natural tendency. 

The poverty of the settlers had another important result. It 
led them to spread abroad over the land in search of fertile soil. 
From the outset they seem to have agreed by common consent 

1 The arrival of Winthrop s fleet and many of the chief incidents that follow are told in a 
letter from Dudley to the Countess of Lincoln, sent home on March 12, 1630. The letter is 
published in Young, M. C., pp. 303-340. 

3 Dudley, pp. 315, 316. 3 Ib. p. 312. 


that Salem would not be a fit center for the colony. A few of 

the settlers sent out the year before had already established 

themselves to the north of the Charles river, and had 

Extension . . . , _ ^ 

of the given their abode the name of Charlestown. Here 

settlement.! Wimhrop at firgt chose his home< But the brackish 

water made Charlestown an undesirable dwelling-place. One of 
the old planters, Blackstone, had occupied a site on the south side 
of the Charles river which possessed a valuable spring of fresh water. 
He now recommended this site to Winthrop. The Governor 
accordingly decided to leave his first resting-place, and the inhabi 
tants of Charlestown had the disappointment of seeing his new 
timber house carried across the river to a fresh site, which then 
received the name of Boston, 5 and which henceforth seems to 
have enjoyed, though in an unacknowledged and informal man 
ner, the position of the capital. Soon after Winthrop resolved 
upon a yet further migration to the inland site of Newtown. His 
house was for a second time actually transferred, but the urgent 
request of his neighbors at Boston prevailed, and the Governor 
stayed among them. 3 So rapid was the process of dispersal that 
within a year of Winthrop s arrival eight separate settlements were 
in existence, dotted along the shore of the bay from Salem to 
Dorchester. Inland, to the west, the furthest settlement was 
Watertown, lying on the north bank of the Charles river, some 
five miles from Charlestown. In all likelihood it was only the 
strong desire for congregational unity and for religious ministra 
tion which, coupled with the lack of clergy, kept this process 
from going yet further. 

The growth of fresh settlements brought with it an expansion 

in the constitutional machinery of the colony. Of all the colonies 

that have vet come before us, Virginia is the only one 

Change in . ., , . 

the consti- where a svstem or local representation came into exist 
ence at once in full working order. In every other 
case it was reached after a variety of contrivances and compro 
mises. The reason is plain. Every other colony enjoyed a 
certain amount of independence before it had grown large enough 

1 Our knowledge of the extension of the colony is derived partly from Winthrop, Dudley, 
and Wood, partly from two pamphlets published in Young, M. C. I have already men 
tioned one of these, the Records of Charlestown. The other is the Memoirs of Roger Clap, 
one of those also who came out with Winthrop. This was written apparently for the edifica 
tion of Clap s children, and was not printed till 1731. 

2 Charlestown Records, p. 381. 

3 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 82. In citing Winthrop I refer throughout to the old pagination, 
whirh is preserved by Mr. Savage in the margin. 


to make a local representation either needful or possible. Only 
in Virginia had the colony the needful materials for a representa 
tive assembly at the time when it first acquired the right of self- 
government. It might be thought that the rapid formation of 
separate plantations would have made Massachusetts a second 
exception. But, if it be not a paradox to say so, the constitution 
of Massachusetts was older than the existence of the colony. The 
legislature of the colony was simply the General Court of the 
Company transferred across the Atlantic. At the same time the 
dispersal of the settlers at once unfitted that body for the work of 
legislation. The remedy first applied to this difficulty was, not 
to substitute a representative assembly for a primary one, but to 
limit the functions of the Court. It is clear that there was an 
oligarchical temper at work among the leading men in Massa 
chusetts. The action of this was plainly shown by the transfer of 
all legislative rights from the Court of freemen to the Governor, 
Deputy-Governor, and Assistants. At the same time the election 
of the Governor was handed over from the freemen to the Assist 
ants. These measures were enacted in October, 1630. In the 
following March this change was carried yet further. Hitherto 
seven Assistants had been required to form a legal meeting. 
The return of several of the leading men to England made it 
difficult to secure the presence of a full court. Accordingly it 
was enacted that, if less than nine Assistants were in the colony, 
then a majority of them should constitute a meeting. 2 This 
system, if retained, might, and in all likelihood would, have 
thrown the supreme power into the hands of a small oligarchy 
resident at Boston. There is good reason to think that this was 
followed by a still further aggression upon the rights of the free 
men. In May, 1631, it was enacted at the General Court of 
Election "that it shall be lawful for the commons to propound 
any persons that they should desire to be chosen Assistant/ 3 
One leading authority on the history of Massachusetts has seen 
in this "a substitution of the invidious and difficult process of 
removal" for the right of election. 4 This must, perhaps, be 
regarded as a conjecture, but it is conjecture which approaches 
nearly to certainty. It is at least safe to assume that the change, 
even if it did not deprive the freemen of their right of election, 
encompassed the exercise of it with difficulties. 

1 Records, vol. i. p. 79. 2 Ib. p. 84. 3 Ib. p. 87. 

* Palfrey, History of New England, ed. 1882, vol. i. p. 349. 


True to English precedent, Massachusetts found the salvation 
of her constitutional liberties in a question of taxation. When 
the Governor had intended to change his abode to 
about e Newtown, the assembly resolved to fortify that settle- 
taxation.i ment at the public c h ar g e< Although Winthrop aban 
doned his purpose of leaving Boston, the fortification of Newtown 
still went on, probably with a view to guarding the frontier of the 
colony against the Indians. To meet the cost a rate was levied 
on each town by order of the Governor and Assistants. Against 
this the men of Watertown protested. Their objection seems to 
have rested, not on the ground that the Court had ceased to be a 
properly elected body, but on one less tenable, that the govern 
ment merely existed for administrative purposes, and that the 
power to tax or make laws was vested in the whole body of free 
men. Such a contention, by denying the validity of representa 
tion, really struck a blow at those popular rights which it pro 
posed to defend. Happily the refusal to pay the rate went 
for more than the grounds on which that refusal was based. 
We may be sure too that in fact the men of Watertown were 
contending against an oligarchical spirit, which was probably 
made all the more dangerous by the conspicuous personal 
merit of the man in whom it was embodied. The recusants 
were summoned to Boston, and after being admonished by 
the Governor withdrew their opposition. The tone in which 
Winthrop talks of the transaction shows, as is but natural, 
no sympathy with his opponents. Yet the temper in which 
the men of Watertown defended their local rights was the 
best assurance that the same spirit would not be wanting if 
the liberties of the whole colony were ever threatened by any 
higher power. 

Though the men of Watertown gave way on the main issue, 
their protest seems to have borne fruit. In the next year the 
powers of the Governor were formally defined by an act unhappily 
no longer extant. 2 It was also enacted by the General Court in 
the following May, that the whole body of freemen should choose 
the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants. 3 It is clear that 
a strong feeling on behalf of popular rights was abroad, since at 
the same time it was proposed that each train-band should choose 

1 Our knowledge of this dispute is derived from Winthrop (vol. i..p. 70). 

2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 72. The records of this very important court are evidently imperfect. 
* Ib. p. 75. 


its own officers. This proposal, however, was given up, in de 
ference to the remonstrances of Winthrop. J 

A further step towards self-government was taken in the reso 
lution that every town should appoint two representatives to 
advise the Governor and Assistants on the question of taxation. 2 
We can hardly err in supposing that this was the direct result of 
the protest made by the men of Watertown. 

This constitutional dispute was followed soon afterwards by a 

personal one. In 1632 Dudley, the Deputy Governor, brought 

certain charges of arbitrary administration asrainst the 


attacks Governor. Our knowledge of the dispute which en- 
Winthrop. sued ig derived entire i y f rom Winthrop himself, and 

the tone in which he tells of it bears witness to his fairness of mind 
and generosity of temper. 3 

The matter was laid before a court of arbitrators, most of them, 
it would seem, ministers. The first of the grievances was an act 
by which, as Dudley contended, he had been injured. According 
to him Winthrop had formally entered into an undertaking to 
change his abode from Boston to Newtown, and had thereby in 
duced Dudley and others to move. The Court decided that there 
were circumstances which extenuated Winthrop s breach of agree 
ment, but that he was in fault. The other charges against Win 
throp are of more interest, since they all bore on the constitutional 
question of the origin and extent of the Governor s power. The first 
contention which Dudley put forward was that the Governor had 
no power beyond that of an Assistant, except the right to summon 
the Court and to take formal precedence. Winthrop replied with 
the somewhat weak plea that the Court, in constituting him Gov 
ernor, gave him all the power which belonged to a Governor by 
common law or statute. Dudley then charged the Governor with 
a series of acts by which he had exceeded the limits of his power. 
The attack was, no doubt, made more galling by Dudley s assertion 
that he proceeded "in love, and not by way of accusation. " So 
bitter was the feeling on each side, that the arbitrators, instead of 
deciding on the general question, had to content themselves with 
keeping the peace between the disputants. The proceedings of 
which the Deputy Governor complained fell under two heads, 
executive and judicial. Winthrop, he said, had of his own re 
sponsibility moved the ordnance, fortified Boston, lent powder 
from the public store to the men of Plymouth, and permitted the 

1 Winthrop, p 76. 2 lb. 3 lb. p. 82-86. 


establishment of a trading station and a fishing weir. Dudley 
furthermore charged Winthrop with remitting and postponing 
penalties, and with having induced the Court, after it had decided 
on a case, to change its verdict. 

Winthrop does not seem to have met Dudley s charges in detail, 
but to havecontented himself with the general, and not unreason 
able, plea that some " slips" during three years of office ought 
to be overlooked. It was less worthy of his character to contrast 
hi o ov it i jerality towards the public with the parsimony of his 
; ; ptvv .- ;:. The arbitrators came to no forma 1 , decision, and Dud- 
Icy, is ii wr.i! . 1 seeiv. h-al to content himself with having called 
public a;t^ntion to the supposed infringements of the constitution. 

luoat uf the acts to which Dudley objected were no more than 
the needful use of executive power in contingencies for which the 
lav* 1 cannot provide, and \vliich must from their very nature be left 
to the discretion of one man. Nor is it easy to see how such 
power could be abused so long as the right of popular election 
was a reality. But we must not forget that the elective rights of 
the freemen seemed in danger of being impaired by partial disuse, 
if not actually lost. A jealous and apprehensive watchfulness of 
arbitrary power is the tenure by which a state holds its freedom. 
It is certain, too, that Winthrop looked on popular government 
with distrust. " The best part of a community is always the least, 
and of that least part the wiser are still less," was the maxim in 
which he embodied his views. l Dudley s accusation may have 
been factious in many of its details, and the spirit which prompted 
it may have been ungenerous. Yet it probably anticipated a real 
danger, a danger made all the greater because suspicion was dis 
armed by Winthrop s high mental gifts and blameless integrity. 

During 1633 no change in the constitution of Massachusetts is 
recorded. Yet it is difficult not to suppose that something was 
Establish done in that year, which connected the proceedings of 
mem ofa 1632 with those of 1634. In the latter year the free- 
Repr esen- men of each town elected three representatives. The 
whole body, twenty-four in number, presented itself at 
the General Court. 2 Sober and orderly though their proceedings 

1 This was said in a letter written to Hooker. The letter itself is no longer extant, but 
fortunately we have an abstract of it by Winthrop himself. It is to be found at the end of 
his history (vol. ii. p. 428). This saying is also quoted by Roger Williams in a letter written 
to Winthrop himself (Narragansett Club Publications, vol. vi. p. i). 

8 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 128. The whole proceedings of the court may be very clearly traced 
by a comparison of Winthrop with the records. 


were, yet it is clear that what they effected was little short of a 
revolution; if at least we may apply that name to the recovery of 
disused rights. The deputies demanded to see the patent, and 
reminded the Governor that by that instrument the power of 
making laws was vested in the whole body of freemen. The 
Governor pleaded that the fanners of the patent had never con 
templated such a number of freemen, and that the colony did not 
possess the necessary materials for a House of Deputies. As a 
compromise, he suggested that the Governor might annually 
summon representatives of the freemen, who should revise the 
laws, declare grievances to the Court, and sanction taxation and 
the granting of lands, but who should have no power of original 
legislation. Such a declaration was not so much a concession as 
an avowal of the intention of an oligarchy to maintain power in 
their own hands. The steps by which the representatives of 
the freemen won their victory cannot be traced. Only we know 
that before the Court broke up they had recovered the full power 
of election and legislation. Henceforth there were to be four 
Courts a year. At one the whole body of freemen were to elect 
officers, namely, the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants 
at the other three the representatives of the various towns were to 
legislate, grant land, and transact public business. The precise 
manner in which the Assistants were chosen seems somewhat 
doubtful. It would appear as if up to 1639 tne General Court 
claimed the right to nominate candidates, while in that year the 
right was transferred to the whole body of freemen. This much 
seems clear, that each candidate was finally submitted to all the 
electors to vote for or against him. 1 Thus it was necessary that 
each Assistant should be elected by an absolute majority of the 
voters. One result of this must have been that the freemen had 
it in their power at any time to paralyze government by refusing 
to appoint Assistants. As a matter of fact, while the charter 
provided for eighteen Assistants, up to the year 1640 not more 
than twelve ever held office together. The relations of the 
Assistants to the Deputies and the distribution of power between 
them were undefined. Both for the present sat in one chamber 
and deliberated together. In 1634 a dispute arose as to the legis 
lative powers of the two bodies. A project was brought forward, 
which will come before us more fully hereafter, for the settlement 
of Connecticut. Public opinion was much divided as to the 

l I infer this from the statement in Lechford, p. 25. 


expediency of the measure. When it came to the vote it was 
approved by a majority of five out of twenty-five Deputies, but 
negatived by the Assistants, of whom only two besides the Gov 
ernor supported it. The question then arose, was the consent 
of both bodies necessary ? The popular excitement which ensued 
was allayed, as was usual in such emergencies, by a fast, at which 
John Cotton, a divine just arrived from England with a high 
reputation for learning and eloquence, held forth on the true 
nature and objects of the constitution. His sermon, as briefly 
reported by Winthrop, seems to have wholly evaded the difficulty. 
We are told, however, that it "gave great satisfaction to the 
Company/ and that " the affairs of the Court went on cheerfully/ 
Next year the Assistants gave way to the views of the Deputies, 
and the question was for a while set at rest. 

After the manner in which Winthrop had dealt with the popu 
lar claims, it can hardly be wondered at that the electors should 
Dudie ^ ave lk e d elsewhere for a Governor. Their choice 

chosen fell on Dudley. The voting was for the first time 


instead of secret, a change which may have helped to embolden 

"Wintbrop. , r 

the freemen to take this step. 1 Something too may 
have been due to the indiscretion of Cotton. Unfamiliar though 
he was with the affairs of the colony, yet he ventured in a sermon 
to lay down the doctrine that such an office as the governorship 
should only be forfeited by misconduct. 2 In the excited state of 
public feeling such advocacy could have but one effect. It should 
be said, to Winthrop s honor, that his own account of these trans 
actions bears no tinge of rancor or disappointment. 

While an oligarchy of one kind was being overthrown, an 
oligarchy of a different sort was establishing itself. In 1631 a law 
A religious was passed, enacting that no man should be a freeman 
citizenship ^ tne co ^ on y unless he was a member of some church. 3 
introduced. i n other words, unless a man would profess his ad 
hesion to a detailed and complex theological creed, and conform 
to an exacting system of morality and worship, he was debarred 
from all share in government. The defects of such a system 
hardly need to be stated. There are but few principles of legisla 
tion in which experience is unanimous, but one at least among 
them is this; that no outward profession extorted by force or in- 

1 In the manuscript of Winthrop s history (vol. i. p. 132), at the notice of this election 
there is a marginal note, " Chosen by Papers." 

2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 132 8 Records, vo> p. 87 


duced by worldly motives can make men either honest believers 
or good citizens. One plea, and only one, may be put forward 
in defence of the measure. It may be said that it was necessary 
to insure loyalty to those common objects for which the colony 
existed, and that church-membership was the only available test 
of such loyalty. The need, it may be urged, was of the same 
kind which justified Elizabeth in treating Romanism as a political 
crime. If the purpose of the legislature had been absolutely to 
exclude from the colony all who did not share the religious views 
of the majority, this defence might be valid; yet even so, it is 
hard to see why Massachusetts should have needed a safeguard 
with which Plymouth and Connecticut both dispensed. The 
present case differed from that of the Brownes. There Puritanism 
was brought face to face with its natural enemy, and there could 
be no issue but internecine war. It may be at times necessary 
to banish the missionaries of a hostile faith; but to admit those 
who dissent from the recognized creed of the state, and then to 
harass them with penalties and restrictions, can never be necessary 
or even expedient. For in requiring a religious qualification 
from its citizens the government of Massachusetts made no at 
tempt at excluding from its territory all who were not members of 
a church. It not merely received them, but it even recognized 
their existence, and granted them certain civic rights. An oath 
of allegiance to the colony, differing but slightly from that im 
posed on the freemen, was required from them. 1 Only their 
citizenship must remain incomplete. Such a policy could not 
fail to secularize religion, to embitter ecclesiastical disputes, and 
to keep alive within the colony an element of discontent and pos 
sible disruption. The disability of those who stood outside the 
church did not end here. They were not merely excluded from 
any share in the government of the colony, but they were further 
more debarred from that local citizenship which formed so im 
portant an element in the life of Massachusetts. We have already 
seen how in Plymouth the old Teutonic community reproduced 
itself. There it was the territorial rather than the political aspect 
of the township which came before us. The records of Massa 
chusetts from the outset bear constant witness to the importance 
of the town as an administrative body. The limits of local gov 
ernment were for the first time formally defined by an act passed 
in March, 1636, which granted to the towns the right of dividing 

1 Records, vol. i. p. 115. 


their lands, electing constables and surveyors, and of enforcing 
their orders by a fine of twenty shillings. J In the previous au 
tumn an act of the Assembly made church-membership a necessary 
condition for voting at town meetings. 2 In May, 1636, a further 
measure was carried which is remarkable both as illustrating the 
length to which the principle of self-government was carried, and 
also the manner in which the disfranchised inhabitants were re 
garded. It was enacted that each township should elect the cap 
tain of its own train-band. The captains themselves were to be 
church-members, but all the inhabitants were to be electors. 3 

A community which openly and avowedly repressed liberty of 
thought was not likely to be lenient in dealing with liberty 
Chris ^ s P eecn - Puritanism emancipated and dominant was 

topher every whit as ruthless as those whom it denounced as 
the agents of Antichrist. No doubt such a community 
as Massachusetts was exposed to special dangers. It can hardly 
be taken as a proof of severity that Morton was arrested and sent to 
England. 4 At the same time his house was solemnly burnt in the 
sight of the Indians, as a punishment for the wrongs that he had 
done them. He was not the only adventurous profligate whose 
presence disconcerted the Puritan commonwealth. In 1631 a 
certain Gardiner, calling himself, with questionable right, Sir 
Christopher, appeared in the colony. It may be doubted whether 
his moral shortcomings as a bigamist or the suspicion which 
attached to him as a possible emissary and spy from Gorges told 
most against him. The authorities dealt with him on both counts. 
In addition to the two wives in Europe, he had rashly brought a 
mistress with him to New England, whom he endeavored to pass 
off as a kinswoman. He at first evaded a party sent to arrest him; 
his companion, however, was captured. When examined she 
made a singularly fj -judged attempt to benefit her protector by 
averring that he was a nephew of the persecutor, Bishop Gardiner. 
It was probably fortunate for the criminal that chronology proved 
the improbability of such unpropitious kinship. The woman 
being impenitent and close," "order was taken to send her to 
the two wives in Old England, to search her further; " a measure 
which no doubt served the joint purpose of examination and 
punishment. 6 Gardiner himself was soon afterwards arrested; 

1 Records, vol. i. p 172. 2 75. p. 161. 8 Ib. p. 188. 

t Winthrop, vol. i. p. 34, and note; Dudley in Young, M. C., p. 322. 

8 The arrest of Gardiner s mistress is told by Dudley in his letter to the Countess of Lin- 
coin. This was written just before the arrest of Gardiner himself. 


and his letters from Gorges seized. The details of the corres 
pondence are not recorded, but it was thought to forebode danger 
to the colony, and, like Morton, the writer was banished. 1 

If the punishment of such worthless profligates had stood by 
itself, it could not have done much harm to the colony in public 
Treatment opinion- But, unluckily, the government of Massa- 
maico| r chusetts was in other ways making for itself an evil 
tents. name. Not a year passed without some fresh tidings 

coming from the colony of men being punished for seditious or 
heretical speeches. In the summer of 1631 one RatclifTe was 
flogged, punished by cropping his ears, and banished for speaking 
evil of the government. 2 Soon after Henry Lynne was sentenced 
to a like punishment, save that he was to be spared personal 
mutilation. His offence was writing slanderous letters about the 
colony to those in England. 3 In his case, apparently, the penalty 
of banishment was remitted. 4 Next year Thomas Knower was 
set in the bilboes for threatening that if the Court punished him 
he would lodge an appeal in England. 5 The report of such 
proceedings could have but one effect. Men would say, some 
with complacency, others with disappointment, that the denoun 
cers of persecution had turned persecutors. Doubtless the Massa 
chusetts Puritans might urge, probably with more truth than 
plausibility, that England and America were different places, and 
that what was persecution in the one country was but self-defence 
in the other. But mankind generally take little heed of such 
pleas. To most men in England who had no special bias of 
creed or party, the Puritan was a man who had clamored for 
freedom as long as freedom was likely to serve his own ends, and 
who now imitated the practices which he had himself once de 
nounced. The generality of Englishmen probably thought with 
Blackstone, that an emigrant to Massachusetts only exchanged 
the tyranny of the bishops for the tyranny of the brethren. 

1 Williams, vol. i. pp. 54, 57. 

2 Records, vol. i. p. 86; Winthrop, vol. i. p. 56. 
& Records, vol. i. p. 91; Winthrop, vol. i. p. 6r. 

4 Mr. Savage shows by reference to the records that a Henry Lynne was living in the 
tolony in 1632 and in 1636 (Records, p. 102). 

5 Records, vol. i. p. 94. 



The history of New England during the seventeenth century 
resolves itself into three successive epochs. The first is that which 
Three wc ^ iave a l reac ty surveyed, and which we may call the 
epochs period of Puritan colonization. That came to an end 
England when Plymouth and Massachusetts took their place as 
securely established communities. The second was 
that during which the parent stock of Massachusetts threw out 
offshoots. These in turn developed constitutional systems of 

l Winthrop continues to be our chief authority. The writings of Roger Williams, includ 
ing his private letters, have been published with a prefatory memoir by Mr. R. A. Guild, 
by the Narragansett Historical Society. They form six volumes. From these we can form 
a very definite idea of Williams character and opinions. More than one life of Williams 
has been written. The best probably is that by Mr. R. Elton. A good sketch of Williams 
is given in a note to the Ecclesiastical History of Massachusetts, by John Elliot, published 
in the ninth and tenth volumes of Massachusetts Historical Society s Collections (first series). 
The whole history is clear, well arranged, and fair. Unfortunately none of the biographers 
of Williams had access to all his writings. Their fullness and autobiographical character 
make the absence of a thoroughly satisfactory life less to be regretted than it is in many 
cases. The history of the Antinomian controversy is very fully, and on the whole fairly, 
told by Winthrop. It was also the subject of a partisan pamphlet by Thomas Welde, min 
ister of Roxbury. It is entitled A short story of the rise, reign, and ruin of Antinomians, 
Familists, and Libertines that infected the Churches of New England (London, 1644). 
The style of the work may be guessed from the title. The peculiar and discreditable cir 
cumstances of its production are fully told by the editor of Winthrop (vol. i. p. 218, n). An 
answer to Welde was published under the title of the Mercurius Americanus. It has been 
ascribed to Wheelwright, but the authorship seems doubtful. Whoever may be the author, 
the production does him no credit. It is captious and petty, full of far-fetched sarcasms 
and cumbrous would-be pleasantries. It was republished, together with Wheelwright s 
fast-day sermon (p. 175), for the Prince Society, in Boston, in 1876, with a prefatory memoir 
by Mr. Charles H. Bell. At this stage of New England history we begin to derive great 
help from the numerous collections of original documents which exist, most of them pre 
served in the publications of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Some documents of 
value are preserved in Hutchinson s Collection of Original Papers relative to the History 
of Massachusetts (Boston, 1769). It was republished for the Prince Society in 1865. The 
original pagination is preserved. 

Another collection of great value for the early history of the colonies generally, and more 
especially for that of New England, is the Collection of Original Papers, published in 1792 
by Ebenezer Hazard. 

8 113 


their own, like that of the mother colony, yet not wholly iden 
tical. At the same time the internal character of Massachusetts 
was sensibly influenced by the series of events which led to this 
process of expansion, and also by the reaction of the newly formed 
communities on herself. This is the stage on which we have now 
to enter. There is yet a third and later stage, in which the vari 
ous members thus created were joined into one connected whole, 
bound together partly by the formal union of a federal constitu 
tion, but still more by identity of origin, principles, and interests, 
and by likeness of attitude towards the mother country. 

In the first stage, that which we have already traversed, religious 
influences have been all-important. They are scarcely less so in 
that on which we now enter. The settlement of Newhaven and 
that of the various colonies which were united to form Rhode 
Island were due wholly to spiritual motives. Secular objects had 
a larger share in the settlement of Connecticut, but they did not 
stand alone. The need for mutual help and support forced the 
New England colonies into union, but the limits and conditions 
of that union were in great part determined by the religious 
doctrines and practices of the various provinces. 

When the creed of a community is narrow and dogmatic, and 
at the same time is not merely accepted and acquiesced in, but 
Roger really held by many with the genuine fervor of convic- 
Wiiiiams. tjcm, while at the same time the atmosphere in which 
men live is fitted to stimulate theological speculation, then con 
flict is not far off. When, moreover, the sustained predominance 
of the popular creed is the condition by which a powerful and 
arrogant class holds sway, while the career of a successful heresi- 
arch offers irresistible temptations to an ambitious and generous 
spirit, then the contest cannot fail to be bitter and destructive. 
In Massachusetts the needful conditions of the drama were ready; 
all that was wanting was the appearance of the chief actor. It is, 
perhaps, from its striking contrast with the prevalent type of 
Puritanism, that the character of Roger Williams stands out more 
vividly than that of any of his New England contemporaries. In 
his quickness of thought and grace of expression, in his mixture 
of kindliness and pugnacity, in his egotism, and in his versatility 
alike of thought and action, Williams was a true Welshman. 
His life was one of almost unbroken and often passionate strife. 
Yet he was saved from the bitterness of a professed controversialist, 
partly by the sweetness of his moral nature, partly, it may be, by 


an inadequate perception of the real value of the objects for which 
he fought. It is impossible not to feel that he often wrote for 
dialectical victory rather than to lead men to any practical line 
of conduct. With all his logical subtlety his mind lacked com 
prehensiveness. He saw doctrines as abstract theories, but over 
looked the limitations by which those theories must be modified 
before they can become rules of conduct. He is to be seen at 
his best, not in his controversial or doctrinal writings, but in the 
letters which extend over a lifetime, and leave scarcely an aspect 
of colonial life untouched. There the discursiveness and the 
exuberance of illustration which often mar his serious writings are 
in place. The correspondence of the early New England worthies 
is for the most part marked by a certain monotony of thought 
and formality of tone. Williams letters are instinct with fresh 
ness and grace, with playfulness of expression which never 
becomes puerile or fantastic. 

In that age a young man gifted with a winning temper and 
showing high literary promise was not likely to want a patron. 
Williams was indebted for his Oxford training to one with whom 
he had little in common, Sir Edward Coke. 1 Williams was 
apparently not ordained, nor is there anything to show that he 
had ever officiated as a minister of religion among the Noncon 
formists before his arrival in America. In the spring of 1631 he 
landed at Massachusetts. 2 It was quickly seen how wide were 
the differences which separated him from those with whom he 
had associated himself. In his zeal for moral righteousness, and 
in his strong sense of the dependence of man upon God, Williams 
was at one with his Puritan neighbors, but there all ground of 
union ended. The New Englander, as we have seen, made 
community of religious belief a necessary condition of political 
union. According to the theories of Williams, there was to be no 
point of contact between the spheres of religion and of civil gov 
ernment. The church, as he wished to see it, was to be bound 
together by minute and exact identity of belief and practice, but 
the union was to be preserved by free choice. The civil governor 
was to deal solely with the persons and property of the citizens, 
and to exercise no control whatever over their belief or worship. 
Nothing but active hostility to the Church of England could beget 

1 Among the letters published by the Narragansett Society are some from Coke s daughter, 
Mrs. Saddler. She refers to her father s patronage of Williams. 
S Winthrop, vol. i. p. 41. 


even transient union between such discordant and opposite views. 
The hostility of the Puritan to the Church was temporary and 
conditional, that of Williams was rooted in the nature of the 
institution. To attribute to the founders of Massachusetts any 
antipathy to a state church as such is to confound the Puritan of 
the seventeenth century with those who now claim spiritual kin 
dred to him. Winthrop and his followers objected, not to sec 
ular control over the church, but to secular control exercised for 
what they deemed wrong ends. To Williams a state church was 
an abomination, however it might be administered, and whether 
it had its abode in Rome, in England, or in Massachusetts. 

The grounds on which Williams differed from his new associates 
made themselves manifest almost immediately upon his arrival. 
w .... , It would, indeed, have been foreign to his nature to 
first so- be long anywhere without discovering materials for con- 
iSassa" troversy. Hitherto the New England churches had 
c usetts. w j se iy abstained from any formal declaration of their 
attitude towards the Anglican Establishment. Williams now de 
clined to join the church at Boston unless the members would 
solemnly express their repentance for ever having had communion 
with the Church of England. In other words, he demanded from 
them a wholly uncalled-for declaration of war. He moreover 
denied the right of the civil magistrate to punish the breach of the 
Sabbaih or any other violation of the first table. This denial does 
not seem to have been made as a protest against any individual 
act, but as the spontaneous assertion of an abstract doctrine. In 
August, 1631, some six months after his arrival, the church at 
Salem chose Williams as its minister. In theory, every church 
was an independent community, with rights of self-government 
in spiritual matters. But, as we shall see, the rulers of Massa 
chusetts never scrupled to violate that theory when the safety of the 
state seemed to make the observance of it inexpedient. The Gen 
eral Court now addressed a remonstrance to Salem upon its choice 
of a minister. The remonstrance went unheeded, and for the 
present the government took no steps towards making it effective. 2 

Williams did not remain long at Salem. There is no record 
either of the exact date or the circumstances of his departure. 
But it is not uncharitable to suppose that the same 
peculiarities of thought and temper which had kept him 

ns * aloof from the church of Boston separated him from 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 52. 2 Ib. p. 52. 


that of Salem. We only know for certain that in the summer of 
1632 he was "prophesying," or in modern language preaching, 
at Plymouth, and acting there as assistant to another fugitive from 
Massachusetts, Ralph Smith. 1 From the outset Plymouth had 
been strangely unfortunate in its ministers. Lyford s successor, 
Rogers, went mad, 2 and neither Smith nor Williams was likely to 
bring the older colony into friendly relations with its neighbors. 
The people of Salem seem to have remembered more of Williams 
attractions and virtues than of $ie failings which had led to his 
departure. In 1634 he returned to Massachusetts at their invi 
tation. 3 At the same time it seems a little uncertain how far his 
departure from Plymouth was voluntary. His peculiarities had, 
we are told, alarmed some of the leading men, Brewster among 
them, who foresaw that he would deviate yet further from the ac 
cepted doctrines of the Puritan churches. 4 Yet he had among 
his congregation some adherents so loyal that they accompanied 
him on his return. 

The forebodings of Brewster were soon fulfilled. Almost imme 
diately upon his return to Salem Williams reasserted his doctrines 
His theo as to *^ e com P^ ete separation of church and state. The 
ries of civil magistrate, he declared, had no power save over 
govern- men s bodies, goods, and outward estates. No religious 
act, whether prayer or oath, ought to be enforced, since 
such an act depended, not on the outward form, but on the mind 
and temper of the agent. The ministrations of the Church of 
England were corrupt, and to have listened to them was a sin. 
Over and above these views he urged that the soil belonged .of 
right^to the natives, that the settlers could only acquire it from 
them by contract, and that the acceptance of a patent from the 
King was a sin requiring public repentance. 5 

Such teaching, it is clear, went to the very utmost limits of 
what any government could suffer without impairing its own au 
thority. But the danger of Williams theories reached yet further. 
He not only struck at the authority of the local government, but 
at that of the Crown. His attack upon the patent was almost 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 91. 2 Bradford, p. 162. 

3 Ib, p. 195. He was not formally appointed to any office till after his return to Salem 
(Winthrop, vol. i. p. 1:7). 

* Morton s Memorial, p. 102. 

6 The various charges against Williams may be all found in Winthrop, and are confirmed 
by Williams own statement (Nar rag an sett Hist. Coll., vol. i. p. 325). Cotton s answer 
(vol. ii. p. 30) practically confirms this, since he says that Williams was banished, not for 
holding these views, but for publicly teaching them. 


sure to be represented, not as a protest on behalf of the Indians, 
but as a protest against the supremacy of the King. The relations 
of the settlers towards the English government needed the greatest 
tact and caution. The colonists might at any time have to assert 
their rights on some essential point, and it was specially needful 
to avoid all strife about non-essentials. The founders of Massa 
chusetts could not suffer the fabric, which they had built up so 
laboriously and cautiously, to be imperiled by the indiscretion of 
a headstrong enthusiast. ^ 

The circumstances too of the time gave special importance to 
the danger. The severity of the Massachusetts government, some- 
Attacks times it may be needful, often probably excessive, had 
coionv in raised up enemies who were making their voices heard 
England. m England. Gardiner, Morton, and Ratcliffe had, it 
was said, stirred up Gorges, ever jealous of Puritan colonization, 
and his partner Mason, to lodge a petition against Massachusetts 
before the Privy Council. l The form of the attack gave peculiar 
significance to Williams conduct, since it was based on inter 
cepted letters in which some of the colonists had denounced the 
church government of the mother country. In January, 1633, 
the chief members of the Company then in England, Cradock, 
Humphrey, and Saltonstall, were summoned before a committee 
of the Privy Council. The report of the committee was that no 
such offence had been proved as would justify any present inter 
ference with the colony; that further inquiry should be made, and 
that if it should be found that the colony was administered as was 
professed when the patent was granted, the settlers should enjoy 
a continuance of the royal favor. 2 This judgment is important, 
since it shows that the advisers of the King recognized the exist 
ence of Massachusetts as a Nonconformist colony. Moreover, the 
silence of the committee as to the transfer of the government, 
which must by this time have been matter of notoriety, is a further 
argument, if such argument were needed, against those who would 
represent that transaction as fraudulent or surreptitious. 

The settlers did not leave the refutation of the charges against 
them to their friends in England. They drew up an answer to 
Gardiner, and strengthened their case by a manifesto from the old 
planters testifying to the good conduct of affairs. The circum- 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 100. This is confirmed by a letter from Captain Thomas Wiggin to 
Secretary Coke (Col. Papers, 1632, Nov. 19). 

2 Winthrop, vol. L p. 103. There is a copy of the order in Prince, p. 90. 


stances under which this answer was framed, showed how much 
reason Winthrop and men of his stamp had to fear the uncom 
promising policy of the more bigoted Puritans. Dudley 

Dispute . . . , /~i j- 

with took exception to three points in the answer. Gardiner 

Dudiey.i j^ use( the words "reverend bishops." Those who 
drafted the answer repeated the expression, it is needless to say 
without adopting or approving it. Furthermore they professed 
their acceptance of the Christian creed as received by the churches 
of England. Dudley found fault with this expression, on the 
ground that the churches of England and that of Massachusetts 
attached different meanings to the article in the creed stating the 
descent of Christ into hell. Finally he took exception to the title 
sacred majesty," albeit John Knox had applied it to the Queen 
of Scotland. The opinion of some of the leading men of Ply 
mouth was obtained; but though it was in favor of the three ex 
pressions questioned, the impracticable and impenetrable mind of 
the Deputy-Governor remained unconvinced. 

Though the danger of an attack from England was over for 
the present, it was not at an end. Next year Laud and other 
Appoint- members of the Privy Council began to see that 
ComrniB- Massachusetts was becoming a dangerous outpost of 
Ws5it8?- for disaffection. In February, 1634, ten ships bound for 
tions. New England were stopped, and only suffered to pro 

ceed after the emigrants had taken the oath of allegiance and 
promised conformity with the Prayer Book. 2 Two months later 
a royal commission was issued entrusting the administration of 
the colonies to twelve persons nominated by the Crown. 3 Their 
powers took in the whole body of colonies, and were in no way 
specially designed for New England. But the composition of the 
board made it certain that Laud would be, not merely the titular 
head, but the moving spirit. The powers of the commission 
included the right to punish ecclesiastical offences, to remove and 
appoint magistrates, to establish courts, and to revoke charters 
unduly obtained. Without stretching these powers beyond their 
legitimate interpretation, the Archbishop might by a stroke 
of his pen undo ail that Winthrop and his associates had 

1 The whole of this is told in Winthrop, vol. i. pp. 106-7. 

2 Mr. Sainsbury states this on the authority of the Council Register. See his epitome of a 
letter from Dod, a commissioner for Suffolk, to Laud, 1634, Feb. 3. 

3 Colonial Papers, 1634, April 28. Cf. Virginia, etc., p. 198. 


In England it was believed, not unreasonably, that this meas 
ure was specially directed against Massachusetts, and this was 
The coio- confirmed by a summons to Cradock ordering him to 
pa s re s to re " nan( i m tne patent. The order was sent on to the 
resist. Massachusetts government. They at first temporized 
by withholding their answer. Soon after a copy of the com 
mission reached the colony. With it came letters warning the 
colonists that a governor was about to be sent out, and that the 
discipline of the Church of England would be enforced. It be 
came known that the arch-enemy of New England Puritanism, 
Morton, had written an exultant letter, in which he foretold with 
triumph the impending overthrow of " King Winthrop " and his 
associates. 2 The measures adopted showed how real the settlers 
thought the danger. Three ports, Dorchester, Charlestown, and 
Castle Island, on the Bay, were to be fortified. A military com 
mission was appointed, with power to imprison and put to death, 
to appoint and remove military officers, and to make either offen 
sive or defensive war. 3 

At the same time the rulers of Massachusetts did not neglect 
more conciliator} 7 measures. The government of Plymouth was 
Wmsiow s at this time sending Winslow to England on commer- 

mission to ... . . . , _ , . 

England.* cial business, and also to make peace with Lord Say 
and his partners, with whom the settlers had quarreled. 5 It was 
arranged that Winslow should at the same time be entrusted with 
discretionary powers to advocate the cause of Massachusetts, and 
to explain to the Commissioners for Plantations the matters where 
with the settlers were charged. Winslow appeared before the 
Commissioners to answer the charges against Massachusetts, and 
was heard favorably. Emboldened, it would seem, by this, he 
addressed a petition to the Commissioners, setting forth the 
danger to which the New England settlements were exposed from 
the French to the north and the Dutch to the south, and asking, 
on behalf of the colonies, for authority to defend themselves 
against these foreign enemies. This application was condemned 
by Winthrop, as being an admission that the settlers needed 
special permission to act in self-defence. 6 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. pp. 135-137. 

Morton s letter is published in Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 190. 
8 Records, vol. i. pp. 117, 125, 146. 

4 The mission of Winslow to England is fully recorded in Bradford (pp. 204206). Win- 
throp makes more than one reference to it. 

6 For this quarrel see below, ch. viii. 8 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 172. 


Winslow s case seemed going favorably. Gorges however saw 
in the success of Winslow s mission the overthrow of his own 
hopes. Laud too knew that his own designs for bringing the 
colonies under ecclesiastical control could only be carried out in 
conjunction with the schemes of Gorges. Winslow, accordingly, 
was imprisoned on the charge of having broken the ecclesiastical 
law by celebrating marriages. A petition is extant, written by 
him from his prison. l In it he admits the charge brought against 
him of having celebrated marriages in New England, but pleads 
the exceptional nature of the circumstances. He sets forth in 
general terms the utility of the New England colonies, and dwells 
on the bad character of their enemies, such as Morton and Gar 
diner. He also renews his petition for a commission against the 
Dutch and French. Finally he dwells on the pecuniary damage 
which was being done to his own colony by his detention. 

His petition was so far successful that he was set free after an 
imprisonment of four months. There is no definite evidence to 
show that his representations produced any effect. But it is not 
unlikely that they may have had weight with fair-minded men, 
arid done something to neutralize the attacks which were being 
made on the New England colonies. 

A community which is brought face to face with an armed foe 
may be forgiven if it resorts to extreme measures to suppress dis 
union and disaffection within. The attitude of Roger 
attitude of Williams was doubly dangerous. It weakened the au- 

Williams. ,, . r , 

thonty or the government, and at the same time tended 
to discredit that government with the supreme authority in Eng 
land. He was fighting as a free lance at a time when discipline 
was all important. Nor was the conduct of Williams in other 
matters such as to conciliate wise men or to inspire them with 
any confidence in his judgment. True to his principle of carry 
ing out every theory which he accepted with logical consistency 
in all its details, he protested against meetings of ministers, as 
being at variance with the congregational system and a step 
towards Presbyterianism. 2 Then he entangled himself in a con- 

1 The petition is in the Colonial Papers. Mr. Sainsbury places it conjecturally in No 
vember, 1632, but there cannot, 1 think, be any doubt as to the dale. In it Winslow speaks 
of himself as writing from prison. Moreover Winslow landed in America in June, 1632 
(Winthrop, vol. i. p. 78). There is nothing to show whether the petition was addressed to 
the Privy Council, or to the Commissioners for Plantations, nor does Bradford tell us which 
of these two bodies gave the order for Winslow s imprisonment. 

3 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 117. 


troversy with Cotton as to the propriety of women wearing veils 
at church. 1 Finally he exhorted his own congregation to re 
nounce all communion with the other churches in the colony. 
Up to this time the church at Salem had been loyal to its favorite, 
even to its own hurt. In spite of the remonstrances of the Gen 
eral Court it had appointed him pastor. For this contumacy, 
and for its supposed complicity in Williams seditious courses, 
Salem was punished by being disfranchised till it made an 
apology. Such an incident oddly illustrates the manner in which 
civil and ecclesiastical affairs were blended. 3 But though the 
men of Salem were ready to defy public opinion on behalf of 
their pastor, they would not follow him to all extremities. His 
exhortation was neglected, and he thereupon punished his con 
gregation by wholly withdrawing from them, and even, it is said, 
extended this process of private excommunication to his own 
wife. 4 In short his whole conduct at this juncture justified the 
taunt of Cotton, that he was a " a haberdasher of small questions 
against the power. " 5 

Though the church of Salem incurred Williams displeasure by 
its disobedience, yet it was soon seen that his teaching had found 
an echo there. The train-band in each town marched under the 
royal colors, containing that red cross which from the earliest days 
Endicott of Christianity had been recognized as the symbol of St. 
Eng5sh the George. The Puritan regarded the most holy emblem 
flag.6 o f th e Christian faith with horror which would be ludi 

crous if it were not painful. That headstrong and narrow-minded 
man Endicott on his own authority defaced the flag at Salem by 
cutting out the cross. A New England historian of the next gen 
eration explains Endicott s act as being "too much inspired by the 
notions of Mr. Roger Williams." 6 Endicott probably needed no 
prompter to such an act, but the incident shows how the spirit of 
fanaticism which was at work at Salem might entangle the colony 
in difficulties. Unfortunately the strong hatred of the Puritans for 

1 All Williams vagaries at this time are set forth in a letter from one Waddington to 
George Fox, published by the latter in his New England s Firebrand Quenched. The 
letter was written in 1677, by which time the details may have become somewhat obscured. 
But the charges are in the main confirmed by Cotton and Winthrop, and by the silence of 
Williams himself. For the question of veils, cf. Winthrop, vol. i. p. 125, and Hubbard, p. 204. 

2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 166. 3 Ib. p. 164. 
4 Hubbard, p 207. 

6 This saying is attributed to Cotton in the above-mentioned letter from Waddington. 

6 Kubbard, p. 164. So, too, Hubbard assigns the advocacy of veils to Williams, where 
Winthrop attributes it to Endicott. On that point Hubbard s statement is borne out by the 
writer quoted in the Narragansett Publications. 


the supposed "relique of Antichrist" made them loth to condemn 
an act which few of them probably would have perpetrated. After 
some debate a dread of the displeasure which they might incur in 
England prevailed. In May, 1635, the matter was brought before 
a General Court. Thence it was referred to a committee, four 
men appointed by the Governors and Assistants, and one chosen 
by the inhabitants of each town. This tribunal found Endicott 
guilty of indiscretion in taking such a step without the authority 
of the Court, and of a want of charity both in limiting his reform 
to Salem and disregarding the other towns, and also in assuming 
that those who suffered the presence of the cross elsewhere were 
conniving at idolatry. On these grounds he was formally ad 
monished, and declared incapable of holding office for a year. 
Every page in the early history of New England bears witness to 
the patience, the firmness, the far-seeing wisdom of Winthrop. 
But to estimate these qualities as they deserve we must never 
forget what the men were with whom, and in some measure by 
whom, he worked. To guard the commonwealth against the 
attacks of courtiers, churchmen, and speculators was no small 
task. But it was an even greater achievement to keep imprac 
ticable fanatics like Dudley and Endicott within the bounds 
of reason, and to use for the preservation of the state these 
headstrong passions which at every turn threatened to rend it 

In the following October the case of Williams came before the 
court. As far as can be learnt from Winthrop s meager report 

of the proceedings, there seems to have been no lack 
ment of of fairness, nor does Williams himself find any fault 

with his opponents on that ground. He was offered a 
month to prepare his defence. He declined to avail himself of 
this leave. The case was tried at once, and Hooker, a divine 
of considerable note, who was already looked on as a rival to 
Cotton, acted as advocate against Williams. As the prisoner re 
fused to recede from any of the positions which he had taken up, 
he was sentenced to leave the colony within six weeks. 1 This 
order was afterwards relaxed in consideration of the season, and 
Williams was suffered to stay till the spring, but admonished that 
he must not use this time of grace for any attempts at conversion. 
In January it became known that he had broken through this 
condition, by gathering together a congregation of some twenty 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 170; Records, vol. i. p. 160. 


persons. These disciples proposed to follow their teacher into 
exile, and to form a new settlement on the fair and fertile shores 
of Narragansett Bay. Those whom New England has ever de 
nounced as persecutors were content with preserving their own 
territory from the infection of Nonconformity. The rulers of 
Massachusetts went further, and held that a heretical settlement 
was incompatible with the safety of their colony, even though it 
might be beyond its limits. The Court issued an order that 
Williams should be seized and sent to England. He contrived to 
escape, and made his way to Narragansett Bay, enduring hardships 
by the way with which we might, perhaps, sympathize more if we 
heard less of them from the sufferer himself. 2 

Williams success as the founder and in some sort the supreme 
magistrate of a prosperous community will come before us here 
after, since it forms no unimportant part of New England history. 
His con- One phase of his career however seems to form the 
w?th rsy natural sequel to his banishment from Massachusetts. 
Cotton.* N ot long afterwards he was engaged in a controversy 
with one who would certainly have claimed to be, and would 
probably have been acknowledged as, the champion of New 
England in all theological strife, John Cotton. A letter written 
by him, justifying the banishment of Williams, came some years 
later under the notice of the victim. He replied, and a literary 
duel followed, in which Williams discharged at least two bulky 
pamphlets, to which his opponent replied in a fashion scarcely 
less voluminous. The title of Williams first work, The Bloody 
Tenent of Persecution, gives a key to the subject of the con 
troversy. It is scarcely possible to set forth Cotton s doctrine 
plainly without appearing to misrepresent it. Practically it came 
to this: we may employ force, because we are in the right, but the 
followers of other religions must not, because they are in the wrong. 
To urge men against their conscience is indeed persecution. But 
no man s conscience can compel him to reject the truth, and 
therefore to force the truth upon him can be no violation of 
conscience. To do Cotton justice, he never resorts to those pleas 
of political expediency by which modem apologists have sought to 
gloss over the questionable doings of the dominant Puritans in 
New England. 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 175. 2 Ib. Cf. Williams letters. 

3 Cotton s, as well as Williams , share of this controversy is included in the Narragansett 
Society s Publications. 


To a skillful controversialist like Williams such an opponent 
was an easy prey. To bring out in detail all the grotesque and 
detestable consequences which Cotton s theory must lead to was 
a task which displayed his opponent s exuberant powers of illus 
tration to the full. Indeed, the manner in which Williams wastes 
his attacks on comparatively unimportant outposts is the only 
thing which at all mars the completeness of his victory. Yet 
if we look beyond the mere formal question at issue, we shall 
hardly consider Williams attitude so satisfactory. Cotton at least 
perceived that the civil power had certain definite obligations 
towards the individual citizens as spiritual beings. Clumsy, inef 
fective, hateful in its results as his solution is, yet it is perhaps 
better that the problem should be solved amiss than complacently 
ignored. It is hardly fanciful to see the different characters of two 
races asserting themselves in each of the combatants. In Williams 
we see the logical subtlety, the passion for theoretical complete 
ness, the lack of constructive power, which form the strength and 
weakness of the Celt. In Cotton there is the practical temper of 
the Englishman, tolerant of anomalies and imperfections, indiffer 
ent to ideal completeness, but never losing sight of the realities 
and necessities of life. The practical superiority of Cotton s posi 
tion comes out yet more strongly in a side issue which connected 
itself with the main dispute. Williams, as we have seen, made it 
a sin to have held communion with the corrupt churches of the 
Old World. Cotton treats the duty of secession as a question not 
of principle, but of degree. According to Williams, men should 
aim at no spiritual unity beyond that which is brought about by 
perfect identity of belief and worship. He would get rid of the 
abuses of ecclesiastical machinery by sweeping away such ma 
chinery altogether. His opponent saw that in ecclesiastical as in 
civil life there was need for compromise, and that imperfect union 
Was better than isolation and anarchy. A body may have cor 
rupt and noisome humors," they may even make it an unsound 
and corrupt body, yet it does not cease to be a body. The two 
conflicting theories might find their reconciliation in an ideal state 
of society. There all compulsion would be needless, since an in- 
"allible teacher would at once find acceptance with infallible 
disciples. At the same time the corporation of true believers, 
linked together by purely spiritual bonds, would include the whole 
civil community. But the subject of dispute was how to deal 
with man in his yet imperfect state, and that difficulty was no 


more solved by the visionary theories of Williams than by the too 
practicable remedies of Cotton. 

The banishment of Williams gave the colony but a short respite 
from ecclesiastical strife. Hitherto the rulers of the colony had 
Further on ^ r t> een called on to deal with the isolated attacks oi 
religious individuals who were virtually severed from the bulk 
of the community. Williams stood almost as much by 
himself in his thoroughgoing hostility to Erastianism as did the 
Brownes in their loyalty to the Church of England. The strife 
which was now impending was of a different and a far more 
serious kind. It was not an attack from without, but a schism 
within. It seemed to justify the prophecies of those who held 
that Puritanism might destroy, but could not bind together. 

The coming conflict was to be associated with the name of the 
most celebrated Englishman who yet had become an adopted 
Henr citizen of the New World. The brilliant powers and 

vane varied accomplishments of Vane, aided by high birth 

Massachu- and early training in public life, have won for their 
possessor a more dazzling reputation than has been 
granted to the lofty public spirit and statesmanlike foresight of 
Winthrop. The actors in the great drama of the seventeenth 
century, swayed by conflicting impulses and contradictory prin 
ciples, offer not a few problems hard to be solved, but none 
more complex than the character of Vane. Was his the failure of 
a keen mind and a susceptible conscience wandering amid diffi 
culties, which for men of coarser stuff had no being? Or was 
his inconsistency, and, as at times it even seemed, his dishonesty, 
the mere commonplace weakness of an irresolute and unstable 
temper, or the dissimulation which half dupes itself? Would 
Shakespeare have found him in the counterpart of Hamlet, of 
Proteus, or of Angelo ? If we cannot solve this problem, we 
may at least console ourselves by thinking that it equally baffled 
the men among whom Vane lived and moved. In the autumn 
of 1635 Vane arrived in Massachusetts. 1 Though only twenty- 
three years old he was already a practised diplomatist, at home in 
the atmosphere of court intrigues and state secrets. For the 
present he had cast these things behind him, and, in the words 
of Winthrop, "being called to the obedience of the gospel, for 
sook the honor and preferments of the court to enjoy the ordi 
nances of Christ in their purity." 2 To such an one as 

1 Winthrop, vol. L p. 170, 2 Ib. 


Vane life in New England must have been a continuous disenchant 
ment. The more cultivated men among the political reformers 
valued and sympathized with Puritanism. But they valued it in its 
moral and political aspects, as a means for the regeneration of the 
individual, as an ally against corrupt courtiers and arbitrary states 
men rather than a system of theological dogma. To them the Inde 
pendent system meant one under which self-constituted societies, 
freely brought together by common beliefs and aspirations, might 
work out the problems of spiritual life. In New England it meant 
the arbitrary rule of a tyrannical public opinion. Moreover, to 
men familiar with those theories of human rights which were now 
asserting themselves, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Massachusetts 
must have seemed a violation of all sound principles. If the 
ecclesiastical law of England was harsh, at least it dealt with fixed 
precepts and specified penalties. The rulers of New England re 
quired the acceptance of a complex series of metaphysical propo 
sitions, on whose interpretation they were not themselves agreed. 
The recusant was punished, not by fixed statute, but by the arbi 
trary sentence of a partial tribunal. 

As was so often the case in New England, the theological contro 
versy was closely blended with a civil strife. This seems to have 
Attack opened at the beginning of 1636 with a skirmish, whose 
up n , connection with the main contest it is not altogether 

Winthrop s 

easy to determine. At the expiration of Dudley s term 
of office John Haynes had been elected his successor. 
Yet it seems clear that in influence and public esteem Winthrop 
and Dudley were looked upon as the two chief men of the colony. 
They appear, indeed, to have been regarded as the heads of two 
political parties, separated, not so much by any difference of prin 
ciple, as by the temper which each carried into the task of admin 
istration. Dudley, whose view of the relation between the civil 
power and religion was summoned up in the distich 

" Let men of God in courts and churches watch 
O er such as do a toleration hatch," 1 

represented the narrow view of the ordinary Puritan. Winthrop, 
it is clear, had little real sympathy with the harsher and more 
bigoted aspects of the creed to which he assented. 

Among those who had come out with Vane was one widely 
different in mind and temper, though destined to the same fate, 

1 Morton s Memorial, p. 167. 


Hugh Peter. He had fled from Rotterdam, driven, it is said, to 
give up his ministry in the church of exiled Nonconformists by the 
attacks of the English ambassador. l Vane and Peter seem to have 
thought it their mission to settle the differences of a common 
wealth with whose political life they were as yet wholly unfamiliar. 2 
To this end they brought together the Governor, Bellingham who 
was now the Deputy-Governor, Winthrop, Dudley, and the three 
chief representatives of religion, Hooker, Cotton, and John Wil 
son, the pastor of Boston. Dudley disclaimed any such feeling 
towards Winthrop as could make a discussion or reconciliation 
necessary. The proceedings then took the shape of a formal ad 
monition from Haynes to Winthrop as to the leniency of his 
administration. Winthrop admitted the charge, but justified him 
self on the ground that "in the infancy of a plantation justice 
should be administered with more lenity than in a settled state, 
because people were then more apt to transgress, partly of ignor 
ance of new laws and orders, partly through oppression of business 
and other straits." At the same time Winthrop expressed himself 
open to conviction in the matter. The three ministers were then 
asked to consider the question and to report their opinion. This 
they did to the effect that strict discipline, both in criminal 
offences and martial matters, was more needed in plantations 
than in a settled state, as tending to the honor and safety of the 
gospel." Winthrop thereupon admitted "that he had failed in 
over much lenity and remissness," and promised to observe greater 
strictness in future. Finally the conference drew up certain 
general principles for administration and the conduct of business, 
wholesome enough in tone, but so general as to be practically of 
little value. Abstract resolutions pledging men "to express their 
difference in all modesty and due respect to the court," and "such 
as differ" to "be more familiar and open to each other" and to 
"avoid all jealousies and suspicions," are not likely to be of much 
practical use on the occasions when they are really needed. Prob 
ably the most important resolution in reality was the concluding 
one, that "the magistrates shall appear more solemnly in public, 
with attendance, apparel, and open notice of their entrance into 

The whole incident is illustrative of two noteworthy sides of 
New England history. It shows a perilous tendency, of which 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 169. 

3 I!>, p. 177-179, where the whole of the controversy b told. 


we shall see other instances, to confuse the spheres of morality 
and law, and to substitute general principles for definite precepts. 
Nor could any incident exemplify more strongly the ascen 
dency of the clergy. In no other community would a statesman 
who had worthily discharged the highest civil office, and who 
combined administrative experience with no mean share of learn 
ing, have at once abandoned his political convictions at the bidding 
of three men, whose reputation and influence would elsewhere 
have been bounded by the four walls of a chapel. 

The history of the next two years is a strange comment on the 
political eirenicon drawn up at this conference. At the election of 
1636 Vane, in spite of his youth and his inexperience of colonial 
life, was elected Governor, seemingly without opposition or dis 
pute. His year of office was one of trouble to the colony both at 
Theo- home and abroad. Of its two chief incidents, the war 

1< ut?at i *" w ^ ^ ie P e<: i uo d Indians, and the insurrection, as we 
Boston. ma y almost call it, and banishment of the Antinomian 
heretics, we are at present only concerned with the latter. The 
storm seems to have begun with the arrival at Boston of one 
Wheelwright, a clergyman who had been silenced by the 
ecclesiastical authorities in England. 1 With him came his sis 
ter, Mrs. Hutchinson, a clever, impetuous indiscreet woman. 
They brought over what are described by Winthrop as "two dan 
gerous errors," 2 which to a mind not trained in Calvinistic theology 
sound like two abstract and not very intelligible propositions. We 
may, indeed, doubt whether Winthrop s own condemnation of 
them does not rather reflect popular feeling and his irritation at 
what proved to be a source of unprofitable strife than his own 
judgment as a theologian. The newly imported heresies were 
deemed so important as to require a conference of ministers at 
Boston to inquire into them. That their pernicious nature was 
not visible on the surface may be assumed from the fact that Cot 
ton accepted and even advocated them, with certain limitations. 
The suspected heretics were not content with this partial success. 
Each of the Independent churches of New England had in addi 
tion to its pastor a teacher or teachers. That office was already- 
held in the church of Boston by Cotton. Wheelwright s followers 
were now anxious that he should be raised to the same position, 
In the controversy which ensued Winthrop took a leading part. 
His view was that of a thoughtful layman who stood wholly 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 201 a Ib. p. 200. 


outside the theological aspect of the case. He argued that, as 
they were well furnished with able ministers whom they did 
know, it was inexpedient to bring in one, however godly and able, 
whom they did not know, and who seemed " apt to raise doubtful 
disputations." At the same time, while professing his own unfit- 
ness for such disputes, he appealed to Wheelwright to "forbear, 
for the peace of the church, words and phrases which were of 
human invention, and tended to doubtful disputation rather than 
to edification, and had no footing in scripture, nor had been in 
use in the purest churches for three hundred years after Christ. " l 
Winthrop s arguments prevailed, and Wheelwright s followers 
consoled themselves with the hope of forming a new Church on 
the site of Wollaston s ill-fated settlement. 

In the following August an incident occurred which strikingly 
illustrated the character of the Governor who had been preferred 
Vane to Winthrop. Vane called together the Assistants and 

to r ieav e e n the Deputies, and told them that he must visit England 
coiony.2 on hj s own a ff a i rs . When one of the Assistants ex 
pressed sorrow at the prospect of losing the Governor at so critical 
a juncture, Vane burst into tears and declared that he would have 
foregone his own private business, but that he foresaw danger to 
the colony from the religious dissensions which prevailed and from 
the attacks which he had incurred by his sympathy with the ac 
cused. When the Court demurred to his departure on these 
grounds, he veered round and declared that he was really com 
pelled to leave by private business, and that the other plea "slipped 
him out of passion and not out of judgment." The Court there 
upon acquiesced, and arrangements were made for electing Vane s 
successor. But before the time of electing came Vane had yielded 
to the request of some of the Boston congregation, and declaring 
himself to be an obedient child to the church, had promised to 
stay. It is hard to resist the conclusion that the whole proceed 
ing was intended by Vane to test the strength of his position, if 
not to force a vote of confidence. 

It now seemed as if the supporters of Wheelwright and his sister, 
strengthened by the adhesion of the Governor and of Cotton, 
The colony would succeed in establishing themselves as the party 
into t G wo of orthodoxy and in crushing Wilson. The whole 
! 8 community was divided into two theological camps, 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 203. 

a This scene is fully described by Winthrop (vol. i. pp. 207-209). 


A sober-minded layman like Winthrop might well wonder 
at hearing men distinguished "by being under a covenant 
of grace or a covenant of works, as in other countries between 
Protestants and Papists," and believe that "no man could 
tell, except some few who knew the bottom of the matter, 
where any difference was." 1 As soon as the question came 
formally before the court, it was clear that whatever the church 
of Boston might hold, the majority of the community looked with 
no favor on the newly imported doctrines. One of its proceed 
ings was formally to approve of a speech which Wilson had made 
against his opponents. 2 One Greensmith had vented the calumny 
that all the ministers in the colony, save Cotton, Wheelwright, 
and perhaps Hooker, taught a covenant of works; for this he was 
fined forty pounds. Wheelwright, for bringing like charges in a 
sermon, was found guilty of sedition, and by an even more 
astounding interpretation, of contempt of the Court, since it had 
appointed a fast for the reconciliation of differences, and his ser 
mon tended to kindle them. Fortunately Wheelwright s sermon 
has been preserved, and we can therefore judge how far it justifies 
the accusation brought against it by his persecutors, and repeated 
in the present day by their apologists. It is true that he enjoins 
his hearers to be ready to fight. But in the same passage he 
warns them that the battle must be fought with spiritual and not 
with carnal weapons. He anticipates the charge of sapping the 
foundations of morality by a direct exhortation to his followers 
not to neglect the common duties of social and domestic life, 
lest they shall give occasion to their enemies to call them liber 
tines or Antinomians. The church of Boston stood firmly by its 
persecuted minister. Forty of the members, among whom was 
Vane, addressed to the Court a temperate remonstrance on 
Wheelwright s behalf. They challenged his accusers to specify 
any seditious act of which he had been guilty, and they reminded 
the Court that no preacher of unpopular doctrines had escaped 
the charge of sedition, not Elijah, nor Paul, nor One who spoke 
with more divine authority. 3 The remonstrance went unheeded, 
and only served at a later day to involve those who had made 
it in the punishment which fell upon their leader. Finally the 
Court voted that its next meeting should be at Newtown, instead 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 213. 2 Ib. p. 214. 

3 The remonstrance is in Welde, p. 21. We may safely assume that his version of it is in 
DO way too favorable to the petitioners. 


of Boston, intending not so much, it would seem, to punish the 
heretical community, as to hold its deliberations in a more 

In May63 7, the Court of Election met at Newtown. Proceed 
ings opened with a dispute. The Governor wished that a petition 

from Boston should be read before proceeding to 
tion of election. Winthrop, apparently with perfectly good 

reason, objected on the ground that the election was 
the business for which the Court was specially convened, and 
that it must take precedence of everything. It was urged, fairly 
enough, that many might have stayed away from a Court of 
Election who would have attended if they had known that other, 
and, as they might have considered it, more important business 
had to be done. Moreover, the whole body of freemen, having 
delegated their powers to the Deputies, could not suddenly 
resume them for a special purpose. 3 This view was affirmed by 
a majority of the Court. Vane at first refused to accept this 
decision. His resistance was overruled and the election pro 
ceeded. Winthrop was chosen Governor, and Dudley, with 
whom no suspected heretic could look for any mercy, was 
Deputy-Governor, while Vane was left out of the body of Assist 
ants. His fate was shared by two of Wheelwright s chief followers, 
Coddington and Dummer, both of whom had held office the year 
before. For this Boston retaliated by electing the three as its 
Deputies. A paltry and unfair attempt was made by the Court 
to annul this election on technical grounds, but Boston stood 
firm and its representatives were admitted. 

For a while it seemed as if the return of Winthrop to office 
might bring peace. Wheelwright apparently showed some incli 
nation to compromise, and Cotton preached a sermon which 
aimed at bridging over the differences. 4 In this he was supported 
by Shepherd, a newly-arrived divine, who has left his mark on 
the ecclesiastical history of New England, alike by his zeal for 
the converison of the Indians and by the exceptionally somber 
nature of his Calvinistic teaching. 

Unfortunately these efforts at reconciliation were counteracted 

I Records, vol. i. p. 191; Winthrop, vol. i. p. 216. 

3 This is fully told in Winthrop, vol. i. p. 219. 

8 This view is set forth in a pamphlet entitled Liberty and the, Pu-llic We&l Reconciled, 
published in the Hutchinson Collection (p. 63). I can find n clew to the authorship. 

4 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 221. Cotton, he says, " stated the differences in a very narrow 


by an order of the Court, avowedly designed to exclude from the 

colony any fresh adherents to what we may now call^i^ieretical 
party. It was enacted, under a penal^Bf forty 

exclude pounds, that no person should entertain^any new 
comers in his house for more than three weeks, nor 

supply them with a habitation or a plot of ground, save with the 

formal sanction of the Court. ] 

The measure gave rise to controversy between the leading 

champions of the opposed parties. Winthrop thought, not un- 

Contro- reasonably, that the measure needed a special apology. 
This took the form of a pamphlet, apparently unoffi- 

Winthrop cial. Like all Winthrop s productions it is clear and 

and Vane.2 Z. . . 

terse, it sets forth effectively enough the abstract 
right of the community to keep out those whose presence might 
bring danger. Winthrop shows that the whole fabric of political 
society in New England rested on the assumption that the state 
was a self-electing body, requiring from its members certain 
religious qualifications. Where he fails is in proving that the 
infliction of suffering and the interference with individual liberty 
were in the present instance necessary. If Winthrop s apology 
for the order showed an inadequate appreciation of the principles 
of religious freedom, Vane s answer to it did so equally. He 
neither takes the broad line of general toleration, nor the equally 
tenable line that toleration was in the present instance consistent 
with the safety of the state. He is content to rest on the far 
weaker argument of Wheelwright s doctrinal orthodoxy. He 
showed, too, how little he understood the community which he 
had joined, by putting forward the argument that the patent gave 
a right of settlement in New England to all persons whatsoever. 
Such a contention was wholly needless for controversial purposes, 
while the practical acceptance of it would have been fatal in the 
long run to the objects which Vane had in common with Winthrop. 
With this feeble and ineffective protest on behalf of his fellow- 
believers Vane departed from New England. The ills which his 
impetuous and unstable temper had brought upon Massachusetts 
were in a measure atoned for, by the zeal with which he afterwards 
used his influence on behalf of those Puritan colonies which most 
needed such help. 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 224; Records, vol. i. p. 299. 

2 Winthrop s defence, and Vane s reply are both published in the Hutchinson Collection 
(pp. 67, etc). 


In August, 1637, a synod of divines met at Newtown to discuss, 

and if i^might be to settle, the existing differences. The first 

^^Kcp taken boded ill for the result. The erroneous 

duSnes ataoctrines were drawn up under eighty heads, with a 

Newtown. 1 -\ c ,, i i 

supplemental category of nine "unwholesome expres 
sions." Henceforth orthodoxy in eighty-nine different articles 
was to be the needful condition of citizenship in Massachusetts. 
In truth, the attitude of the New England clergy ill fitted them 
to guide the civil power to wise courses at such a juncture. The 
pulpit in New England was the one influence which fashioned 
and guided public opinions, the one sphere besides that of a 
legislator or administrator in which a man might win for himself 
dignity and influence. The sermon was to the New Englander 
all that the newspaper, the magazine, the speech out of Parlia 
ment is to us. At the same time the preacher was strictly and 
jealously tied down to certain positive conclusions. His position 
was thus like that of a party writer or a professional politician of 
the present day. His utterances must offer a show of originality, 
yet they must never deviate from certain fixed modes of thought, 
nor fail to lead to certain fixed conclusions. Such a system will 
make ready advocates, effective rhetoricians, skillful manipulators 
of formulas; it is assuredly ill-fitted to train up vigorous, original, 
or even honest thinkers. How these influences operated was 
shown by the attitude of Cotton. Hitherto he had been recog 
nized as the ally of Wheelwright. His authority indeed had been 
the chief ground on which the orthodoxy of the new opinions 
was assumed by the public. " When they were questioned about 
these things, they carried it as if they held forth nothing but what 
they had received from Mr. Cotton. " 2 Cotton himself, it seems, 
had been up to this point satisfied of the soundness of the new 
doctrines. He now began to see, in his own words, that he had 
been "made a stalking-horse" by the teachers of heresy. 3 It was 
certainly unfortunate that this conversion should have occurred 
just when the tide of public feeling had turned. But no one 
can read Cotton s controversy with Roger Williams and fail to see 
that a capacity for abstract speculation found no place among his 
gifts. Probably in the present instance his inconsistency was due 
to a confused mind rather than a dishonest temper. Nor does it 
seem certain that the attitude of Wheelwright and his party was 

l The proceedings of this synod are fully related by Winthrop (vol. i. pp. 238-240). 
3 Hubbard, p. 281. s Winthrop, vol. i. p. 253. 


now precisely what it had been at. the outset. It is clear that 
both he and his sister were among those to whom strife was a 
delight. A combative temper, the need for satisfying that love 
of novelty which they had themselves done so much to create, 
and that spirit of aggressive opposition which even the semblance 
of persecution begets in original and self-reliant minds, all 
prompted them to extend their differences from the established 
creed. A year earlier it needed the minute vision of a practised 
controversialist to discover their deviation from orthodoxy. Now 
we are told they denied the resurrection of the body, and even 
the innate immortality of the soul, and also the duty of observing 
the Sabbath. 1 A Puritan heedless of theological subtleties, if 
such a one there were, would see in the first doctrine a denial of 
an important article of the Christian faith, and in the second a 
perilous deviation from the usage of all Protestant Churches. 

The result of the conference was, as we have seen, a general 
condemnation of the new doctrines, as unsafe and either blasphe 
mous or erroneous. Over and above this certain articles of peace 
were drawn up, to serve as a basis of agreement between Cotton 
and Wheelwright and their opponents. Wheelwright refused 
these; Cotton by accepting them may be considered to have defi 
nitely joined that party which now, perhaps, for the first time 
ranked in public opinion as orthodox. 2 

It only now remained for the civil power to apply the weapon 
which the clergy had forged for it. In November the Court met. 
It is fortunate that our knowledge of what followed 
mentofthe rests on no worse authority than that of Winthrop 
ICS himself. On any testimony less trustworthy we could 
hardly believe a procedure which in its shameless indifference to 
all principles of criminal jurisprudence rivaled the worst outrages 
under which English Nonconformists had ever suffered. In such 
a case it is well to adhere as closely as possible to the language 
of our authority. The Court, "finding upon consultation that 
two so opposite parties could not contain in the same body with 
out hazard of ruin to the whole, agreed to send away some of the 
principals; and for this a fair opportunity was offered by the re 
monstrance or petition which they had proposed to the Court. "3 
Eight months had elapsed since the alleged offence had been 
committed, yet no attempt had been made to deal with it as a 
crime, till a question of political expediency made it convenient 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 253. 2 Ib. p. 239. 8 Ib p. 245. 


to do so. Aspinwall, one of the Deputies for Boston who had 
signed the petition, was banished. His colleague, Coggeshall, 
who had only approved the petition without signing it, was 
disqualified from holding office and disfranchised. Seventy- 
one more persons, fifty-six of them inhabitants of Boston, 
were disarmed, a punishment which might perhaps be justi 
fied as a measure of police, rendered necessary by exceptional 
circumstances. l 

The two heads of the party, Wheelwright and Mrs. Hutchinson, 
might, as it would seem, have saved themselves by a recantation. 
Banish- Probably such a triumph of orthodoxy would have 
Wheel- been worth more than the mere infliction of punish- 
wright. ment. Wheelwright, however, persisted in holding to 
his opinions, and refused either to leave the colony or to give up 
preaching. He thereupon was banished, and took refuge on the 
banks of the Piscataqua, a journey of no small difficulty in a New 
England November. 2 

The trial of Mrs. Hutchinson is the one incident of the pro 
ceedings of which a detailed report remains. From it we may 

iud<re of the temper in which the whole affair was con- 
Trial of 
Mrs. Hut- ducted. It is impossible to read the report and not to 

see that Mrs. Hutchinson was no commonplace fanatic. 
Her attitude throughout is marked, not merely by controversial 
acuteness, but by a conspicuous union of self-reliance with digni 
fied sobriety and restraint. Worn by ill-health and harassed by 
repeated misstatements, she neither returned a railing accusation 
nor was betrayed into any indiscreet admission. After divers 
unsuccessful attempts to prove that her conduct in lecturing was 
opposed both to the letter of Scripture and to the practice of the 
colony, the Court had to fall back upon the argument of their 
authority. "We are your judges, and not you ours, and we 
must compel you to it." The Court then dealt with the charge 
of calumny, in that the prisoner had accused the clergy of preach 
ing a covenant of works. Six witnesses, all ministers, were 
called to prove this charge. There cannot be much doubt as to 
the value of hearsay evidence given by heated partisans about 
abstruse doctrinal propositions. Weak as their testimony was, it 
was still further discredited by the persistent refusal of the Court 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 245; Records, vol. i. pp. 205-212. 

2 Mercurius Ainericanus, p. 24. 

8 A very full report of this is published by Hutchinson in an Appendix (vol. ii. p. 482).. 


to administer an oath to them; a refusal of which two at least of 
the witnesses strongly approved. Worse was to come. When 
Mrs. Hutchinson called evidence to rebut this charge, her first 
witness was at once silenced with shameless brutality by Peter: 
"How dare you look into the Court to say such a word?" 
When asked how she knew that she was really under the guid 
ance of the Divine Spirit, " How/ she answered, did Abraham 
know that it was God that bid him offer his son ? " Her answer 
was more than a retort; it went to the root of the question. 
Either there must be some fixed external authority whose judg 
ment may not be questioned, or else the final appeal must be 
made to the conscience of the individual believer. The latter 
doctrine may place a perilous weapon in the hands of the fanatic, 
but without it would Puritans have ever been worshipping God 
after their own fashion on the shores of America ? Indeed one 
cannot read the proceedings without feeling that, if only the scene 
had been changed to an ecclesiastical court in England, the whole 
trial would have formed an edifying chapter in Puritan martyr- 
ology. Cotton, alone of all the Court, seems to have had some 
perception of this. "That she may have some special providence 
of God to help her is a thing that I cannot bear witness against." 
Endicott s rejoinder, "Do you bear witness for her or against 
her ? " showed how even a temporary deviation towards judicial 
impartiality was beyond the comprehension of the ordinary 

It mattered little what shape proceedings took. As we have 
seen from Winthrop s statement, the trial was but an idle formality 
whose end had been already settled at the bidding of a supposed 
political necessity. Sentence of banishment was passed. The 
execution of the punishment however was postponed, either from 
Mrs. Hut- some tenderness to the sex of the victim or from 
cxiom" hope of obtaining the triumph of a recantation. Mrs. 
municated. Hutchinson was imprisoned in the house of one of the 
ministers at Roxbury, and was thence twice brought to Boston to 
be confronted with a conference of the clergy. We cannot wonder 
that, like the Maid of Orleans, she should for a moment have 
wavered before the persistent attack of her tormentors. But her 
dauntless spirit triumphed over the momentary weakness. After 
she was excommunicated, her spirits, which had seemed somewhat 
dejected, revived again, and she gloried in her sufferings. 1 At 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 247. 


the end of February she and her family, with some of her disciples, 
departed. Instead of following Wheelwright to Piscataqua, they 
turned south, and, like Roger Williams, found a refuge in the 
Narragansett Bay. There, four years later, they were massacred 
by the Indians an incident in which, it is needless to say, the 
theologians of Massachusetts found a striking manifestation of 
God s judgment in support of their own verdict. 

The proceedings against Mrs. Hutchinson had shown how the 
rulers of New England could play fast and loose with the prin 
ciples of religious freedom. The trial of one of her 
Captain disciples showed that civil liberty fared little better with 
them. Among those who had signed the obnoxious 
petition was a Captain John Underbill. His character forms one 
of those incongruous patches which the irony of fate has woven 
into the sober fabric of New England history. He was a soldier 
of fortune, with some tincture of letters, having little in common 
with his Puritan neighbors beyond a familiarity with their lan 
guage and modes of thought. Antinomian views had in his case 
borne the fruits which were imputed to them, and at a later day 
he seemed disposed to play the part of a colonial John of Leyden, 
so far as the conditions of New England life allowed. His mili 
tary capacity and the service which he had just rendered against 
the Pequods made him a person of importance. Accordingly, he 
was called upon, with some five or six others, to justify his con 
duct in signing the petition. His defence seems to have proceeded 
on the theory that free speech was peculiarly a military privilege, 
since he cited as a precedent the remonstrance of Joab with David. 
The Court went with care into the constitutional aspect of the 
case, but ruled that it would not bear Underbill s interpretation. 
Joab s remonstrance was professional, and did not deal with the 
King s policy generally. So far as he went beyond that he was 
not to be excused or followed. Moreover, he admonished David 
privately and not publicly. Besides, the King had disapproved 
of him and displaced him. After this we need not wonder that 
the orthodox historian of the dispute winds up with an edifying 
homily on the dangers of anarchy and the duty of submission to 
the civil power. He reminds his readers how in Europe "con 
tentions began first with disputations and sermons, and when the 
minds of the people were set on fire by reproachful terms of 
incendiary spirits, they soon set to blows, and had always a 

i The proceedings in the case of LJnderhill are told by Welde (p. 41). 


tragical and bloody issue." " When brethren shall look one at 
another as enemies and persecutors, and when people shall look at 
their rulers and ministers as such, how, "he asks, "shall they join 
together in any public service, and what can more threaten the 
dissolution and ruin of Church and Commonwealth ? " 1 The 
so-called persecutors of Prynne and Bastwick might have asked for 
a more ingenious apologist; they could not have wanted a more 
thorough-going one. 

It is satisfactory to be able to pass to an episode more worthy of 
the political traditions of the men who founded Massachusetts, 
winthro s W mtnr P might be willing to accept the clergy as the 
dispute allies of the civil power, but they were not to become 
church of its masters. He sent to England a full report of the 

proceedings against the Antinomians, lest false rumors 
should get abroad and deter emigrants from coming out. For 
some reason not stated, this proceeding displeased many members 
of the church of Boston, and they pressed the Elders to call Win- 
throp to account. If a less far-sighted and resolute man had held 
office, a most perilous precedent might have been established. 
Winthrop met the attack half-way by clearly laying down the 
doctrine that the Church was subordinate to the civil power: " If 
a magistrate shall in a private way take away a man s goods or 
servants, the Church may call him to account for it; but if he doth 
this in pursuing a course of justice (though the thing be unjust), 
yet he is not accountable." 

It would be a fruitless task to estimate the real importance of 
the mass of theological subtleties which made up the so-called 

Antinomian heresy. Many of them, doubtless, were 

General . . . . . . . . 

view of the called into existence by that very opposition which the 
teachers of them met with, and by the morbid craving 
for theological novelties inherent in the peculiar conditions of New 
England life. But if we are not concerned with these, neither 
assuredly were the rulers of Massachusetts. The only question 
which they were bound to consider, and the only one in which we 
need enter, was the attitude of the Antinomians to the civil power. 
To deduce possible consequences of conduct from certain opin 
ions, and then to guard against those consequences by penal 
legislation, has been in every age the expedient of the persecutor. 
And assuredly the Calvinist could find no possibility of danger in 
the doctrines of the Antinomian, which the rest of the world could 

1 Welde, pp. 54, 58. 2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 249. 


not find in the doctrines of the Calvinist. The Antinomians did 
not, like Roger Williams, deny the claim of the civil authority to 
obedience. We are told, indeed, that the men of Boston were 
lukewarm in the Pequod war, l and that they brought the govern 
ment into discredit by saying that the members of it were under a 
covenant of works. 2 In plain language, Wheelwright s followers 
disliked the government, and did their best to make it unpopular. 
To use free speech for the purpose of discrediting the constituted 
authority has been often treated as a crime, but those who have 
so treated it have not generally been regarded with much favor 
by the apologists of Massachusetts. It has been urged that ban 
ishment from a new and struggling community is but a slight 
hardship. 3 If the main evil of persecution were the injury to the 
victim, such a defence might be valid. But it is a truism to say 
that a community which forcibly suppresses free speech cuts itself 
off from all hopes of intellectual progress. The spiritual growth 
of Massachusetts withered under the shadow of dominant ortho 
doxy; the colony was only saved from mental atrophy by its 
vigorous political life. 

No doubt the best plea that can be urged for the banishment 
of the Antinomians is that tersely stated by Winthrop: "They 
were so divided from the rest of the country in their judgment and 
practice as it could not stand with the public peace that they 
should continue amongst us." 4 Doubtless there are times when 
a community has only before it the sad choice of repressing free 
thought or running the risk of disruption. That choice lay be 
fore the rulers of Massachusetts, as in the same age it lay before 
the rulers of the Church of England. Each chose the same 
course; each must be judged with the same judgment. To say 
that it was persecution to silence Nonconformists in England, but 
not persecution to banish Antinomians in America, is simply to 
juggle with words. If we hold that the means of preservation can 
be justified by the worth of the object preserved, then the policy 
of Laud will bear the test at least as well as the policy of Winthrop. 

1 Welde, p. 25. 

2 This plea for the persecutors of the Antinomians Is pressed by that most thoroughgoing 
partisan, Mr. Palfrey (vol. i. p. 491). It is more surprising to find it used, though with far 
more moderation of tone, by Mr. Gardiner (Personal Government of Charles I., vol. ii. p. 283). 

8 Cotton, in his controversy with Williams, asks what hardship there could be in banish 
ment from a society which the victim himself looked upon as corrupt. Williams not unfairly 
retorts that Cotton probably felt his banishment from England to be a hardship. 

4 Winthrop, vol i. p. 250. He made this statement in the discussiou with the Boston 
Church described above, after the banishment of the heretics. 


The Church of England may have deviated into persecution, but 
freedom has been her natural ally. Her reception of new truths 
may have been slow and grudging, but it has been real. She has 
identified herself, tardily it may be, but effectually, with each 
successive phase of national life and thought. No such plea can 
be urged for the priesthood of Massachusetts. While the Church 
of England was casting off the trammels with which bigotry had 
fettered her, Puritanism in America was building gibbets for harm 
less fanatics and yielding itself a willing bondslave to an obsolete 
and cruel superstition. Her rule, so long as it endured, was a 
rule of terror, not of love; her ways were never ways of pleasant 
ness, her paths were never peace. 

While New England Puritanism was thus rent and tortured 
within itself, its attitude towards the home government was mate 
rially changed. The change was only part of a greater one which 
had come over the condition of religious parties. Puritanism 
was no longer what it had been when Bradford and his associates 
sought for a quiet refuge beyond the Atlantic. It had become 
Chan in poetical, aggressive, and practical. The Nonconformist 
the atti- W as no longer content to regard the Church with vague 
Puritan- antipathy. Thoroughgoing ecclesiastical reform was 
an accepted article in the creed of an important political 
party. The Church had to dread, not general denunciations, 
but detailed and well-digested schemes of attack. 

This change made itself felt to the full in the position of Massa 
chusetts and in the attitude of the Puritan party towards the 
question of colonization. The leaders of it were 

Scheme for H 

an aristo- throwing themselves eagerly into the work which 

cratic order , , . T . 

in Massa- Winthrop and his associates had begun. In the ad 
ministration of their colony at Providence a number 
of wealthy and influential Puritans were displaying as much zeal 
and liberality as Sandys and Ferrars had brought to bear on their 
greater undertaking. Indeed, the government of Massachusetts 
had been somewhat embarrassed by the anxiety of the richer 
and better-born Puritans to have a practical share in the 
work of colonization. Lord Brook, Lord Say and Sele, 
and others had obtained a grant of land from the Council 
of New England. 1 The territory is described, not very clearly, 
as "all that part of New England in America which lies 
and extends itself from a river there, called Narragansett 

i For a further account of this grant see below, p. 153. 


river, the space of forty leagues upon a straight line near the 
seashore. " 

This, as we shall hereafter see, was not without its influence on 
the history of Massachusetts and the neighboring colonies. Brook 
and others who thought with him furthermore entertained a scheme 
for associating themselves on special and peculiar terms with the 
settlers of Massachusetts. 1 There is nothing to show whether this 
was distinct from the project just mentioned, or whether the pat 
entees intended to place their territory under the jurisdiction of 
Massachusetts. While desirous to join the Massachusetts settlers, 
Brook and his associates were not prepared to forego their privi 
leges of rank. Moreover there was at least one important point 
in which the constitution of Massachusetts fell short of an ideal 
commonwealth, as imagined by the more enlightened members 
of the Puritan party. Like Winthrop and Cotton, they distrusted 
a democracy, but, unlike them, they equally distrusted a religious 
oligarchy. They believed that the existing constitution " would 
draw all things under the determination of the church." Accord 
ingly they submitted to the colonial legislature certain conditions 
of union. They proposed that the colony should consist of two 
orders, gentlemen and freeholders. The gentry were to form an 
upper chamber, the deputies of the freemen a lower. The Gov 
ernor was to be chosen always out of the gentry. The rights of 
both orders were to be hereditary. Each at the same time was to 
admit fresh members. Gentry were to be admitted with the con 
sent of both houses, while any rnan possessing a certain amount 
of personal estate was to become a freeman. Whether a property 
qualification was to be required for the retention of the rights of a 
freeman by one who inherited them does not appear. 

The sober and cautious answer made by the colonists to this 
proposal, if it be not the handiwork of Winthrop, at least reflects 
his temper and habits of thought. It represented that the scheme 
of government proposed was really in all important points that 
which the colony enjoyed. With one exception the differences 
are, the answer says, really unimportant. "The Governor 
always has been chosen from among the Assistants, or of approved 
known gentlemen/ If any of "these noble personages" should 
come over, "the colonists would receive them with honor and 

l Hutchinson gives in an Appendix (vol. i. p. 490) the proposals made to the Massachu 
setts government by Lord Say and Sele, Lord Brook, and others, together with the reply 
to them, and also a letter on the subject from Cotton to Lord Say and Sele. 


allow them pre-eminence and accommodations according to their 
condition." It is true that before they can hold office they must 
be members of a church, "which we doubt not religious gentle 
men would willingly desire." The principle of hereditary rank is 
combated, but not as though it were of much real importance. 

On one point, however, the colonists make no attempt to 
disguise or qualify their views. They hold steadfastly to the 
principle that civic rights can only be obtained by church- 
membership. They lay down the incontestable doctrine that, 
if power be committed to men, "not according to their godliness," 
danger to Church and commonwealth may ensue. They omit 
to prove that godliness can be safely inferred from the acceptance 
of any articles of faith or conformity to any religious usages. 
This reply was supplemented by a private letter from Cotton. 
From this we learn that, though the proposals fell through, yet 
the views which they embodied were not without their influence 
on the politics of Massachusetts. They brought about, or at 
least furthered, the appointment, in 1630, of a standing council 
whose members were to hold office quamdiu se bene gesserint. " i 
Winthrop, Dudley, and Endicott were nominated members. 
The fate of the attempt might have been foreseen. The council 
had neither of the conditions needful for vitality; it could neither 
be useful nor popular. The freemen had already shown their 
jealousy of every power which was not directly amenable to 
them. Moreover there was no place for the new body in the 
machinery of the commonwealth. The council was indeed in 
trusted with the control of the Indian trade. 2 But beyond that 
it was merely to be a standing committee acting at the bidding 
of the Court. Such an arrangement could serve no useful pur 
pose. It was assuredly not contemplated in the original constitu 
tion of the colony, nor did that constitution leave it in ordinary 
times any duties to discharge. Probably, however, this superflu 
ous member would have been allowed to exist unchallenged if it 
had not been for an indiscreet attempt to strengthen the position 
of the executive. In 1639 one of the Elders was misguided 
enough to broach a proposal that the Governor should hold office 
for life. The resentment of the freemen took the form of retalia 
tion. One of the Deputies proposed that no member of the 
council should have any authority as such unless he were also an 

1 Cotton in Hutchinson. vol. i. p. 501: Records, vol. i. p. 167. 

2 Records, vol. i. p. 179. 


elected Magistrate. The Assistants introduced some slight change 
in the form of the motion as a protest on behalf of their own 
order, but accepted the proposal in substance. 1 Henceforth the 
council ceased to exist for practical purposes, and the rank of 
councilor became a mere titular dignity. 

Though men like Vane and Brook might have but little real 
influence on the constitutional life of Massachusetts, their actual 
Dissoiu- or P oss ible adhesion to the colony could not but 
m ^ uence the English government. A colony of dis- 

for New affected Puritans supported by men of high birth and 
political influence was a very different thing from the 
same colony in the hands of traders and yeomen. Almost simul 
taneously with these changes which made Massachusetts an object 
of suspicion to the King and his advisers, came another which 
placed the colony more directly in their power. Gorges had 
wholly failed to infuse any of his own zeal into his associates in 
the Council for New England. It could do nothing either to 
stimulate or to guide the work of colonization. It might in some 
degree interfere with the control which the Crown would other 
wise exercise over the New England plantations. If the King 
had reason to wish for the extinction of the Council, the members 
of that body had no grounds for desiring a prolonged existence. 
In April, 1635, they surrendered their charter. Their last cor 
porate act illustrated the spirit in which they had worked and 
their utter incapacity to understand the real nature of the task 
which they had undertaken. We are reminded of Glendower 
and his associates, when we read of the Council portioning out 
the Atlantic seaboard from Newfoundland to the Hudson into 
twelve little principalities, to be distributed among twelve of the 
chief members. 

The field was now clear for a direct attack upon the colony 
which had expelled Churchmen and defaced the royal colors. 
Le ai ro ^ n ^ Q following September legal proceedings were 
ceedings taken by an action of quo warranto for depriving Massa- 
Massa- chusetts of such legislative/independence as it possessed, 
and placing it at the mercy of the Crown. The charges 
against the Company were set forth by the Attorney-General, Sir 
John Banks. Substantially they came to this: that the Company 

l Records, vol. i. p. 264. 

3 The whole of the proceedings connected with the dissolution are very fully told in the 
Minutes of the Ccuncil for New England. 

8 The legal proceedings are fully reported in a paper in the Hutchinson Collection, p. 101. 


had made enactments concerning the lands and goods of persons 
contrary to the laws and customs of England, and had levied 
duties and enforced the payment of them by fine; in other words, 
they had exercised legislative and judicial powers beyond those 
granted them by the charter. It may well be doubted whether, 
as a matter of law, the provisions of the charter would bear the 
construction which the founders of Massachusetts had placed 
upon them. It may have been unwise and ungenerous for the 
King s advisers to insist on the letter of the law, and to enforce 
the legal rights of the Crown against men who were doing a good 
work. It might well be held /hat the attitude already taken by 
the King was a tacit sanction of the proceedings of the colonists. 
Yet it must be remembered that the measures adopted on behalf 
of the Crown were only a demand that a legal right should be 
recognized, and were not even followed by any immediate attempt 
to put that right in force. In no case can it be matter either for 
blame or wonder that the judges found for the Crown, and that 
a formal decision put an end to the privileges granted by the 
Massachusetts charter. 

It is perhaps but a slight palliation of the proceedings against 
Massachusetts to say that they contrast favorably with the proceed 
ings of eleven years earlier against the Virginia Company, both 
in the objects aimed at and the means by which they were reached. 
The Virginia Company was punished for actions which had en 
titled it to the gratitude of every patriotic and right-minded 
Englishman. It was overthrown on pleas so transparently frivo 
lous that an arbitrary decree of the King or the Privy Council 
would have been a less shameless mode of attack. The case 
against the Massachusetts cnarcer may or may not have been a 
good one, but assuredly it was a case with which an honest 
advocate could go into court The purposes for which the char 
ter had been used might be in the main good; to many wise 
men they must have seemed full of danger. Each measure was 
characteristic of the source from which it sprang. James and his 
counselors destroyed the Virginia Company at the bidding cf 
disappointed speculators and intriguing diplomatists. Charles 
and Laud sought to sweep away the liberties of Massachusetts as 
hindrances to a policy, narrow it may be, but neither selfish nor 

This measure seems to have been received in Massachusetts 
with something strangely like apathy. The minute chronicle 


kept by Winthrop contains no direct statement of the occurrence. 
The settlers may have regarded it, not so much as a fresh sub 
stantive attack, but rather as the formal registration of a decree 
which had already been determined. The sword had been always 
hanging over them; it could little matter at what moment it fell. 
Moreover the enemies of the colony showed no immediate wish 
to act upon the altered state of affairs. They had stripped Massa 
chusetts of the means of defence, but they held their hands from 
any further attack. 

To the King and to his temporal counselors the independence 
of Massachusetts was probably a secondary matter, thrust aside for 
Laud s the present by more pressing questions. But the col- 
to > the ty On 7 na d two enemies. The one proposed to attack 
colony. h er ecclesiastical independence, the other her civil 
rights. The dangers which might result to the Church from the 
unimpeded growth of Massachusetts could not escape the ubi 
quitous watchfulness of Laud. Henceforth we find him, with 
characteristic love of detail, receiving and investigating the com 
plaints of malcontents, and drawing up minutes on matters of 
colonial administration. 

To Gorges the overthrow of the liberties of Massachusetts was a 
needful condition for the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition. He 
had been the chief agent for the court in the negotia- 
andMhls tions with the Council of New England for the surrender 
ies * of its charter. We now find him persistently urging 
the necessity of consolidating the New England colonies into a 
single province, pointing out his own fitness for the post of Gov 
ernor, and in his private letters dwelling eagerly on his prospects 
of success. 2 

His hopes and schemes were but those of a speculator and a 
place-hunter. Yet a halo of borrowed grandeur rests upon them. 
Before the generation which had just passed away had risen in 
vague majesty the vision of a great colonial empire, of England 
sitting as an island queen, replenished and made very glorious in 
the midst of the seas. The dream was to have its fulfillment in 
the future. For a while it vanished amid the romantic splendor 
of the age which gave it birth. The men who had striven to give 
form and reality to these hopes were the men among whom Gorges 

1 Colonial Papers, 1635, Dec.; 1637, Oct. 6; 1638, May z, Nov. 27. Winthrop, vol. L 
pp. 276, 298. 

2 Ib. 1634, May 12, June 6, Dec. 9; 1635, March 21. 


had lived and moved. In youth, through the stirring years of 
his manhood, he had breathed an air where every breeze from 
ocean seemed charged with the tale of their struggles and their 
triumphs. His is a dim copy of their ambition; a faint after-glow 
of their glory seems to light his career. He takes his place, 
unconsciously it may be, as the last figure in a mighty proces 
sion, and in that presence we can for a moment forget his own 

In the events which baffled the schemes of their enemies the 
Puritan emigrants might well see the hand of God stretched out 
Their f r their protection. In 1635, simultaneously with the 

Failure. dissolution of the Council, a declaration was issued by 
the King announcing his intention of placing the New England 
colonies under the government of Gorges. l This however does 
not seem to have been followed up by any sort of commission or 
transfer of authority. But a rumor reached the colony that a 
Governor had actually been appointed, and that his coining was 
only hindered by a mishap to the ship which had been specially 
built to bring him. 2 In the following winter the enemies to New 
England were weakened by the death of John Mason, the one 
man who seems to have entered with zeal and energy into the 
schemes of Gorges. It can hardly be regarded as a want of charity 
in Winthrop that he hailed this as a special intervention of God 
on behalf of the colony, though we may perhaps see some little 
credulity in his belief that Mason during his last sickness bewailed 
his enmity to New England, and promised if he recovered to 
be a friend to the colony. 3 In 1637 another declaration was 
issued, closely resembling that of 1635, but again the announce 
ment of the King s intention to appoint Gorges was not followed 
by any definite communication of authority. ! Temporary hin 
drances might delay the attack. The failure of an unseaworthy 
ship or the death of an individual might give Massachusetts a 
respite. But it would have gone hard with the liberties of the 
Puritan commonwealth if no more certain succor had been at 
hand. The outbreak of the Scotch rebellion was a turning point 
n English history. Its influence on the fortunes of America was 
more remote, but scarcely less real. We can hardly err in con 
necting the changed aspect of affairs in England with the attitude 
which the Commissioners took up towards the Puritan colony. 

1 Colonial Papers, 1635, April 26. 2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 161. 

i /;>. p. id;. < Colonial Papers, 1637, July 23. 


In 1638 a strict order came from the Commissioners requiring 
that the charter should be sent to England. The Court resolved to 
withhold it, and in its stead sent a letter of explanation, unhappily 
no longer extant. The answer of the Commissioners was prac 
tically a concession. According to Winthrop, they declared their 
intention of only asserting the authority of the Commission, and 
leaving the liberty of the colonists virtually untouched. They 
still demanded the charter, but promised that it should be replaced 
by a fresh one, and that the colonial government should have all 
the necessary powers given to it pending the grant of the new 
instrument. 1 There the attack ended, diverted, we can hardly 
err in thinking, by the increasing troubles at home. If so, the 
action of the Long Parliament did as much indirectly for Massa 
chusetts as it did directly for England. If the King and his ad 
visers had been left with their hands free, with power and leisure 
to work their will on Massachusetts, the colony must have either 
seen her nascent liberty destroyed or been prematurely hurried 
into rebellion. 

I Winthrop, vol. i. pp. 269, 299, 305. It is remarkable that there is no trace of this pro- 
oosding to be found among the State Papers. 



The settlement of Connecticut marks a new stage in colonial 
history. For the first time a colony becomes itself in turn the 
A new parent of a new community. The step was marked 
^Y tnose peculiar features which throughout distin- 

tion. guished the extension of the Puritan settlements of 

New England. When a few straggling Virginian explorers crossed 
their southern borders and formed the nucleus of North Carolina, 
they at once severed their connection with the parent colony. 
Connecticut at its foundation was an organized member of the 

1 For what one may call the Massachusetts side of early Connecticut history Winthrop is 
the main authority. The Records of Connecticut from the outset are published. The editor, 
Mr. J. Hammond Trumbull, began his labors in 1850. The twelfth volume, coming down 
to 1762, appeared in 1882. Mr. Trumbull has incorporated mnny valuable documents with 
the records. Trumbull s History of Connecticut, published in 1818, is a careful compilation 
of the chief authorities. The writer also had access to private documents of some value. 
Of the Pequod War we have no less than four contemporary accounts, three of them by 
those who actually took part in it. The most important is Mason s History of the Pi-quod 
War. It was first published by Increase Mather in his Relation of the Troubles (1677). 
See Mr. Tyler s History of American Literature, vol. i. p. 148. Mason s history was re- 
published by Prince with a preface in 1735. This edition was again published in the 
Massachusetts Historical Society* s Collection (and series, vol. viii.). In 1660 Lyon Gardiner, 
the commander of the fort at Saybrook, wrote for the satisfaction of his friends an account 
of his military experiences in America, including so much of the Pequod War as he had 
himself taken part in. This remained in manuscript till 1833, when it was published in the 
third series of the Massachusetts Historical Society s Collection (vol. iii.). The other two 
works are in the same series (vol. vi.). One is entitled Nevus front America, or a Neu< and- 
Experimental Discovery of New England, containing a true relation of their warlike 
proceedings these two years last, by Captain John Underbill. It fortunately supplements 
Gardiner s and Mason s accounts, since it deals mainly with that part of the war in which 
they had no share. The other is called A true Relation of the late Battle fought in N&v 
England between the English and the Pequod Savages. It is written by one Philip Vin 
cent, an English clergyman and a graduate of Cambridge. He also wrote a short account 
of the Thirty Years War, published in 1638 under the title Lamentations of Germany. The 
pictures which that work contains show that the Indians had much to learn in the art of 
torture from the soldiers of Tilly and Wallenstein. Ail that is known about Vincent is 
contained in a short memoir by Mr. Hunter in the fourth series of the Massachusetts His 
torical Collections (vol. i. p. 86). Mr. Hunter s information is derived from a manuscript in 
private hands. Underbill s pamphlet and Vincent s were both originally published in 
London in 1638. 



parent stem, closely resembling it in political character. Even 
when formally separated it never lost sight of its origin nor of the 
ties of common feeling and interest which bound it to the older 

The fertile valley of the Connecticut had been marked at an 
early date as a fit site for colonization. As we have seen, Plymouth 
Proposal not long after its settlement had friendly intercourse 
r with the Dutch settlers of New Netherlands. The 
n tatter, with a freedom from jealousy seldom shown in 
necticut. the colonial policy of their nation, had told the men 
of Plymouth of the Connecticut river and of its fitness as a site 
for trade and plantation. This was confirmed by some of the 
Mohicans, a scattered and broken tribe in that neighborhood. 
They had been driven from their territory on the upper waters of 
the Hudson by the Mohawks, and had then occupied the shores 
of the Connecticut. 2 Uncas, now the chief of the Mohicans, was 
an ambitious, capable, and, as many thought, unprincipled man. 
For some years he had been a dependent of the Pequods, the most 
warlike and one of the most populous of the savage races in the 
neighborhood of New England, and had striven to weaken them 
by fostering quarrels in the reigning family. The nephews of 
the Pequod head chief, encouraged by Uncas, rebelled. At 
length they and their supporters were banished, and the power of 
the Pequods for a while extended. Uncas now saw in the Eng 
lish alliance a means of reconstructing his schemes against the 
Pequods. From this time his endeavors to make the English 
his tools for building up the power of the Mohicans and making 
them supreme among the native tribes, form the chief factor in 
what one may call the Indian politics of New England. 3 

The Plymouth settlers, whose venturesome temper had already 
shown itself in their exploration of the Kennebec, now made a 
few trading voyages to the Connecticut. These were so far suc 
cessful as to satisfy them that it would be well to establish 
a permanent station on the river. 4 Meanwhile Wahginnacut, a 
sachem of the Mohicans, had been making overtures to the 
Massachusetts settlers to tempt them to establish a trade in his 

1 Bradford, p. 196. 

2 Brodhead s History of New York (ed. 1859), vol. i. p. 182. 

s The relations between Uncas and the Pequods before 1636 are very clearly set forth in 
the report of a committee appointed in 1663 by the Federal Commissioners to examine his 
title to the Pequod country. The report is in the Acts, vol. ii. p. 379. A letter by Roger 
Williams, undated, but seemingly written about 1637, confirms the report (Narr. Hist 
CoU. t vol. vi. p. 61). Bradford, p. 196. 


country. 1 His advice was taken. In the summer of 1633 a bark 
was sent on a trading voyage to Connecticut, and the adventurous 
Oldham with three companions made a land journey for the same 
end. He obtained some beaver from the Indian sachem, and 
came back with a good report of the fertility of the soil, of its pro 
ductiveness in hemp, and of the hospitality of the savages. 2 Next 
year Bradford and Winslow came to Boston to propose that the 
two colonies should enter into a partnership for the purpose of 
trading on the Connecticut. Winthrop pointed out divers ob 
jections: the ferocity and number of the Pequods, and the nature 
of the river, which, owing to a sand bar and to the severity of the 
weather, could only be navigated by small vessels and for seven 
months of the year. His objections prevailed, and the scheme 
was abandoned. 3 The settlement of Connecticut proved to be 
one of the chief conditions through which the New England set 
tlements attained unity. At the outset it seemed as if it was fated 
to call out every possible cause of discord and disruption. It 
formed a source of jealousy and dissension between the different 
colonies, it was the beginning of active hostility with the Dutch, 
and it caused the first serious war between the New Englanders 
and the Indians. 

These difficulties made themselves felt at once. The Dutch 

could not but see that the position and resources of Massachusetts 

made it a more dangerous neighbor than Plymouth. 

A Dutch , T i i i . i 

fort on the Moreover events had just occurred which might well 
make the settlers at New Netherlands jealous of English 
intrusion. In the spring of 1633 Jacob Eelkens, a discharged 
servant of the Dutch West India Company, had forced his way 
with an English vessel, the William, into the Hudson, refusing to 
recognize the rights of the Dutch and asserting that the English 
had a title to the river, since one of that nation had discovered it. 
The sloth and cowardice of the Dutch allowed Eelkens to sail 
past Fort Orange unchecked and to open a trade with the natives. 
A force was soon sent after him; he was stripped of his goods 
and driven from the river. Eelkens claim was obviously absurd, 
nor was the encroachment of much practical importance, but it 
marked the beginning of a chapter in the great struggle between 
the nations of Europe for the mastery of the New World. 4 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 52. 2 lb. p. in. 

3 lb. p. 105; Bradford, p. 196. 

4 The affair with Eelkens is told by Mr. Brodhead (vol. i. p. 239). There is a reference to 
the voyage of the William in Winthrop, vol. i. p. 101. 


The Dutch, as was but natural, took prompt measures to make 
good its territorial claims. In the next month the government of 
New Netherlands bought from the Pequods a tract of land on the 
Connecticut, and at once set up a small fort there, commanding 
the river. 1 To meet this new danger the Massachusetts settlers 
took a step which would otherwise have amounted to a breach of 
faith with their countrymen at Plymouth. 

As soon as the action of the Dutch became known in Massa 
chusetts, Winthrop sent out a small vessel, the Blessing, not only 
Remon- to trade along the Connecticut, but with instructions 
fro^Mas- to tne captain to sail on to New Netherlands and to 
sachusetts. warn lne Governor, Van Twiller, that the English laid 
claim to the territory about the Connecticut river under a royal 
grant. Luckily for the English, Van Twiller had little of the en 
terprise and courage which in that age distinguished most of his 
countrymen. He replied courteously that the Dutch had also a 
claim to the land under a grant from the States General, and 
requested the English settlers to take no further steps till the 
matter had been referred to the two home governments. 2 

The protest against the Dutch occupation was urged in a more 
practical fashion by the men of Plymouth. The government of 
Action of New Netherlands rested its claim, in part at least, on 
Plymouth. fa e purchase from the Pequods. To meet this the 
Plymouth settlers entered into alliance with the Mohicans, and 
undertook the restoration of their chief. This measure, if not ill- 
judged, was at least unfortunate, and involved the New England 
colonies in years of destruction and bloodshed. The procedure 
of the Plymouth settlers showed clearly that they meant rather to 
challenge than to avoid a conflict with the Dutch. A vessel was 
sent up the river under the command of one Holmes. On board 
was a wooden frame house. This was to be set up some fifteen 
miles above the Dutch fort, on the ground bought from the Mo 
hicans. When the vessel reached the fort the commander there 
bade the captain halt and strike. Holmes answered that he was 
commissioned by the governor of Plymouth, and that he meant 
to carry out his orders. The Dutch commander suffered him to 
pass, and reported the matter to the Governor at Manhattan. 
An armed force of seventy men was dispatched to expel the 
intruders. On their arrival they found the English securely forti- 

1 Bradford, p. 197; Hrodhead, vol. i. p. 234. 
8 Wmihrop, vol. i. pp. 112, 113. 


fied, and decided to leave them unmolested. If the. Plymouth 
government had been indiscreet in its alliance with the Mohicans, 
it had fully atoned for the error. By prompt and resolute action 
it had checked an aggression which might have been fatal to the 
future unity of New England. 1 

The territory in dispute formed part of the vast tract under the 
jurisdiction of the Council for New England. For the present, 
Patent however, neither the government of Plymouth nor that 
granted to of Massachusetts seem to have troubled themselves 

L/ord Say 

and Sele about any such claims. The government of Plymouth 

and others. , , ., r , .,, 

seem to nave treated the upper valley or the Connecticut 
as unoccupied soil, for which it was enough to acquire a title by 
purchase from the natives. The Massachusetts settlers had a 
claim to the upper waters of the Connecticut. Their southern 
boundary, a line drawn east and west, starting three miles south 
of the outlet of the Charles river, would intersect the Connecticut 
a few miles above the Plymouth factory. Meanwhile the lower 
waters of the river had passed into the hands of a new set of 
proprietors. In 1631 Lord Warwick, the President of the Council 
for New England, made over to a company of twelve, including 
Lord Brook and Lord Say and Sele, a tract of land a hundred and 
twenty miles in length, whose northern extremity on the coast was 
somewhat vaguely described as the Narragansett river, while its 
extension westward was unlimited. 2 This grant conformed to the 
principle, usually adopted up to this time, of mapping out the 
territory of North America in parallelograms along the seacoast. 
If the main rivers had run at right angles to the general line of the 
coast there would have been but little inconvenience in the 
arrangement. But this system took no account of a river which, 
like the Connecticut, for a part of its course ran nearly due north 
and south. In such a case the result would be that the mouth 
of the river might be in the hands of one colony, while the greater 
part of its course ran through the territory of another, perhaps of 
more than one. 

Such was the case here. The northern boundary of the tract 
assigned to Lord Brook and his partners crossed the Connecticut 

1 Bradford, p. 197; Trumbull, vol. i. p. 35. 

2 The grant from the Earl of Warwick to Lord Say and Sele and his associates does not 
appear to be extant among the State Papers. It is given by Trumbull in an Appendix (vol. 
i. p. 495). There is nothing, as far as I can discover, to show whether Warwick made this 
grant officially as President of the Council or whether it was a transfer of land of which he 
was himself the original grantee. 


some fifteen miles from the mouth. Above that the river passed 
through the tract claimed both by the Dutch and the Plymouth 
settlers, while still higher it ran through the yet unexplored back 
woods of Massachusetts. Such an arrangement could hardly fail 
to lead to dispute. 

The new patentees did not at once act upon their grant. Before 

they did so the process of emigration from Massachusetts to the 

unclaimed territory on the river to the south-west had 

Emigration . , . r _ _ _ 

from Mas- begun. As early as 1 634 the farmers of Massachusetts, 
straitened for fertile soil, began to look for homes in 
the Connecticut valley. In any of the Southern colonies a band 
of emigrants might have wandered off unhindered, and almost 
unheeded. That was impossible in the highly organized civic life 
of New England. It must be borne in mind that the proposal 
was not one for mere extension. If the emigrants from Massa 
chusetts occupied the valley of the Connecticut they would 
interpose a belt of wilderness between themselves and the home 
which they were leaving. This being so, it was but natural that 
the scheme should be opposed. It was regarded not merely as 
an emigration but a secession. The motives which had led the 
men of Plymouth to oppose the formation of new settlements at 
Duxbury and Scituate operated here with far greater force. The 
formation of a new settlement might weaken the authority of the 
Massachusetts legislature, it might unnecessarily bring the New 
England colonies under the notice of the English government, 
and it might embroil the English settlers both with the Indians 
and with the Dutch. Accordingly in 1634 the proposal was, as 
we have seen, rejected by the Assistants, although approved of by 
the Deputies. ] 

Next year the question was re-opened. The men of Watertown 
had already shown a spirit of exceptional independence. They 
Alleged were am o n g tne chief advocates of the scheme for emi- 
motives. gration. 2 It is said that, in spite of the disapproval 
of the legislature, in the autumn of 1634 they sent a small party 
to explore and occupy the shores of the Connecticut. 3 At the 
same time a party of explorers from Dorchester, either led or at 
least encouraged by Ludlow, an Assistant and a man of wealth, 
were making preparations for a settlement. 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. pp. 140, 141. 

lib. p. 1 60. 

This is mentioned as a tradition by Trumbull (vol. i. p. 59). 


Besides the need for fresh soil, it was thought that the personal 
ambition of Hooker, the pastor of Newtown, made him eager for 
greater freedom and authority than he could enjoy in Massachu 
setts. One New England chronicler indeed tells us that "two 
such eminent stars, such as were Mr. Cotton and Mr. Hooker, 
both of the first magnitude, though differing influence, could not 
well continue in one and the same orb." 1 The complacent 
reverence with which Massachusetts regarded her ecclesiastical 
heroes nearly reaches its height when these two worthy divines 
are represented as the Aristides and Themistocles for whom there 
was not room in one community. Whatever might be the objec 
tions to the emigration, it must have been clear to all sensible 
men that it was inexpedient to keep men within a state who 
wished peaceably to withdraw from it. In 1635, the legislature 
abandoned its opposition. At the same time it imposed the 
condition that the emigrants were to be still subject to the juris 
diction of Massachusetts, a condition which was sure to give way 
before the difficulties of communication. 2 It is also noteworthy 
that in the same autumn the legislature enacted that for the future 
the formation of new settlements should be especially under the 
control of the Magistrates, and that none should be permitted to 
emigrate without their leave. 3 

The men of Dorchester at once availed themselves of the per 
mission granted. It was but natural that the settlers from 
Plymouth should be indignant when Massachusetts 

Dispute , . .iii-i. 1-11 

with piy- undertook an enterprise single-handed in which she 
had refused to bear a part in conjunction with the sis 
ter colony. In July Bradford received a letter from Jonathan 
Brewster, who was at the head of the Plymouth settlers on the 
Connecticut, telling im of the intrusion. He would not appar 
ently have objected to the occupation of vacant territory by the 
new-comers. But they had specially set their affections on the 
very spot which the Plymouth government had bought from 
the Mohicans and had held so manfully against the Dutch. The 
difficulty, it is clear, was mainly caused by the emigrants from 
Dorchester. They had not merely gone as an agricultural 
settlement in need of fresh soil, but with Ludlow, one of the 
richest men in Massachusetts, at their head, they sought to set up 

1 Hubbard, p. 173. 

J Winthrop, vol. i. p. 160; Records, vol. L p. 146. 

3 Records, vol. i. o. 167. 


a station for trade. The emigrants from Plymouth protested in a 
temperate and dignified tone against the aggression. The in 
truders shamelessly replied that the territory was the Lord s 
waste, and that they had judged that present actions, such as 
theirs, were more important than uncertain possibilities. As was 
usual in the dealings of Massachusetts with the rest of New Eng 
land, the unscrupulous and domineering temper of the stronger 
colony was rewarded by success. 

The Plymouth emigrants, before they would treat, insisted on 
an acknowledgment of their claim to the soil. After that had 
been admitted they accepted a compromise. They were to retain 
their house with two parcels of land, making in all one-sixteenth 
of the tract purchased from the Indians. For the rest they were 
to be compensated by the new-comers. We may well believe 
with Bradford that, though this ended the controversy, the un- 
kindness was not so soon forgotten. At the same time the 
Plymouth historian carefully discriminates between the unjust 
greed of the Dorchester emigrants and the moderation of those 
from Newtown, who were content with leave to occupy ground 
which the original purchasers did not need for their settlement. l 

The emigrants from Dorchester showed their reckless indiffer 
ence to established rights in another quarter. During the summer 
of 1635 Sir Richard Saltonstall, one of the patentees, sent out a 
party of twenty men, seemingly as a private venture, 
wmTsai- to occupy a part of the territory granted by the Earl of 
a11 Warwick. According to their own story, when they 
had marked out a site for building and inclosed ground for 
pasturage they were attacked and insultingly driven out by the 
emigrants from Dorchester. Not only was Saltonstall s settlement 
thus frustrated, but his vessel was hindered on her voyage, 
whereby, according to his own claim, he lost a thousand pounds. 2 

As winter came on it seemed doubtful whether the settlers 
would be able to keep their hold on the territory which they had 
so unscrupulously won. In October a further party of 
of the y emigrants, seventy in number, set forth for their new 
home. 3 No explanation is given for the ill-chosen sea 
son of their migration. Though their own journey was made by 

1 Bradford, p. 214. 

2 Saltonstall s grievance is set forth in a letter written by him to the younger Winthrop iv 
February, and published in Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol. vi. p. 579. Saltonstall s at 
tempt is also briefly referred to by Winthrop (vol. i. p. 171). 

8 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 171. 


land, their furniture and their provisions for the winter were to be 
sent round by water. The river froze before its usual time, and 
the emigrants were left destitute. 1 In less than two months they 
had to leave their home and find their way along the banks of the 
river to meet their supplies. They embarked on board the first 
vessel which they met, made their way with some difficulty to the 
mouth of the river, and on the tenth of December reached Boston. 2 
Meanwhile Lord Say and Sele and his associates, stimulated in 
all probability by these intrusions, were at length taking steps to 
put in force their claims. At the same time their choice of an 
agent showed that the scheme would be carried out with due re 
gard to the rights and wishes of Massachusetts. The command of 

the settlement, or, as it should rather be called, the out- 
Lord Say 

and his post, was entrusted to John Winthrop, the eldest son 
form a of the Governor of Massachusetts. 3 He had followed 

settlement. , r1 ... JTJ 11 

his father to America in 1632, and had settled at 
Agawam. Within two years he lost his wife, and returned, 
disheartened it may be, to England. 4 Far inferior to his father in 
vigor of mind and statesmanlike wisdom, he possessed a versatility 
and a charm of manner which had been denied to the elder 
Winthrop, not so much by nature as by the exigencies of his 
career. He was now commissioned to construct a fort at the 
mouth of the Connecticut, to garrison it with fifty men, and to 
build houses suited for the better class of emigrants. The practi 
cal work of fortification was entrusted to a Scotch soldier, Lyon 
Gardiner. His military skill was of considerable service to New 
England, and he has left a record of his doings there, in which a 
lack of scholarly skill is more than atoned for by shrewdness and 
vigorous simplicity. Winthrop did not sail direct to the mouth 
of the Connecticut, but landed at Boston. Thence he sent a 
small party to occupy ttu mouth of the river and to make prepar 
ations for building. When they reached the site of their settle 
ment they found it in the hands of rival claimants. The Dutch 
had reasserted their right to the river by putting up the arms of 
the States General on a tree near the mouth. The English at 
once tore down the aggressive emblem. Just afterwards a Dutch 
vessel appeared, but the English, who had now got their ordnance 
on shore, refused to suffer the crew to land. 5 

l Wimhrop, vol. i. p. 173. 2 Ib. p. 175. 

8 Trumbull gives the commission in an Appendix, vol. i. p. 497. 

4 See the Life, vol. ii. pp. in, 123. 

8 Brodhead, vol, i. p. 260; Winthrop, vol, i. pp. 174-5. 


There is no positive evidence to show what amount of connection 
there was between these different attempts. It is no wise unlikely 
that the Dutch settlement may have been intended to check the 
English emigrants from Massachusetts, and that this in turn may 
have stirred up the patentees to send out Winthrop. Be that as it 
may, the importance of their action can hardly be overrated. 
Without it the English settlements on the upper waters of the river, 
those which afterwards grew into the colony of Connecticut, would 
have been effectually cut off from the rest of New England. As 
it was, the patentees did just enough to help the other settlers, 
and not enough to interfere in any way with them. It was of the 
utmost importance to the new settlements that the mouth of 
the river should be held by a friendly power strong enough to ex 
clude all rivals. At the same time Saybrook, as the fort was called 
after its two chief founders, remained a military outpost, and did 
not become the nucleus of a colony. As might have been fore 
seen, the divided ownership of the river led to disputes, but these 
never for a moment threatened the political independence or 
unity of Connecticut. 

The discouraging reports brought by the returned settlers had 
no effect in restraining the influx of emigrants into the new terri- 
Emi ra tor ^ ^ n ^ ie s P rm > f ^3 6, as soon as the river was 
tion from free from ice and the woodland meadows offered any 

setts in pasture, bands of emigrants were seen making their 

way by land with their herds of cattle, while their fur 
niture and supplies of food were sent round by water, i 

In one respect the migration thoroughly illustrated the pecu 
liarities of New England life. It might almost be said that it was 
I a movement, not of individuals, but of churches.. Thus Shepherd, 
who landed in New England in the autumn of 1635, writes that 
he found the congregation of Newtown on the point of removing 
to Hartford, and that he and his company thus had a vacant abode 
ready to their hand. 2 The temper in which the migration to 
Connecticut was conducted is strikingly illustrated by the fact, that 
the new settlements during the early years of their existence bore 
the names of the town in Massachusetts from which they came. 3 
The historical identity of the town was vested, so to speak, not in 
the place but in the inhabitants. Just as the English Dorchester 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 187; Trumbull, vol. i. p. 64. 

2 Shepherd s Memoir of his own life, in Young, p. 545. 

s Trumbull, vol. i. p. 64. This is confirmed by the very first entry in the Connecticut 


had given its name to a New England township, so now the mimic 
Pergamos of Massachusetts found a second copy in the valley of 
the Connecticut. 1 

By the end of 1636 there were, we are told, some eight hundred 
inhabitants in the new territory, divided among the three townships, 
Govern- which afterwards took the names of Hartford, Windsor, 
of the an ^ Weathersfield. 2 A fourth settlement, fifteen miles 

colony. higher up tho river, was marked off from the other 
three as lying within the bounds of Massachusetts. At a later day 
this took the name of Springfield. For the present it seems t ) 
have been called by the Indian name of Agawam, or after the 
township in Massachusetts from which it had its origin, Roxbury. 
The colony at first lived under what might be called a provisional 
constitution. The government was for the present entrusted to 
eight magistrates appointed by the Massachusetts legislature.* 
Their commission set forth that their power was only granted 
temporarily, pending any arrangements made by the patentees of 
the river. As might have been expected, the instincts and habits 
of self-government quickly asserted themselves. In 1636 the 
municipal independence of the three townships was recognized by 
the appointment of constables. 4 In the next year the colony took 
its first step towards representative government by a meeting of 
Deputies, or, as they were called, Committees, from the different 
townships. - 

In January, 1638, the three towns formally declared themselves a 
commonwealth with a constitution of its own. 6 The government 
A. con- of Massachusetts by allowing this may be considered to 
formal?? ;ave abandoned all claim to exercise sovereignty over 
constructed. j-[ ie new colony. The settlers on the Connecticut had 
not withdrawn out of any dissatisfaction or with any craving for 
political changes, and, as was natural, their constitution was a 
slightly modified copy of that under which they had lived. In one 
respect indeed they benefited by the experience of Massachusetts. 
A system of representation was adopted at once, instead of being 
slowly worked out through a series of expedients and compromises. 
The legislature was to consist of a Governor, six Assistants, and 

1 "Parvam Trojnm simtilataque magnis Pergarna." AZneid, iii. 349. 

2 This number is Trumbull s conjecture. 
8 Mass. Records, vol. i. p. 170. 

4 Connecticut Records, vol. i. p. i. 6 Ib. p. 29. 

6 The constitution is in the Records, vol. i. pp. 20-25. It is also given by Trumbull in an 
Appendix, vol. i. p. 498. 


Deputies. The Governor and Assistants were to be elected annu 
ally by the whole body of freemen, met in a General Court for that 
purpose. The Deputies were to be elected by the three existing 
towns, four from each. As fresh towns were formed their number 
of representatives were to be fixed by the government. The court 
was to meet once a year. In one important point the constitu 
tion was more liberal than that of Massachusetts. The Governor 
was the only person from whom church-membership was required. 
All freemen, that is, all persons who had taken an oath of fidelity 
to the commonwealth and been admitted by the majority of 
any township, had the right of voting, both for Deputies and at the 
General Court of Election. One point deserves special notice. 
The imposition of taxes was left to the whole legislature. But in 
the event of any tax being imposed, the adjustment of it among 
the various towns was left to deputies specially appointed for 
that end. 

In the next year the establishment of a constitution for the colony 
was supplemented by the confirmation and extension of the rights 
granted to the townships. Each town was empowered 
govern- to dispose of its own lands, to make by-laws, and to 
appoint local offices. It might furthermore nominate 
a local court of three, five, or seven members. Such courts were 
authorized to settle civil cases of less than two pounds value, with 
appeal to the General Court 2 The supreme judicial power was 
vested in the General Court, but in terms which seem to contem 
plate the appointment of subordinate courts. 

One effect of the new settlement was to bring the English for 

the first time into serious conflict with the natives. The Taren- 

tines indeed, a tribe bevond the northern frontier had 

Relations . , , , 

to the at least once terrified the settlers by an inroad. I he 

author of the Wonder-ivorking Providence describes the 
alarm with a characteristic mixture of vigorous language and hazi 
ness of detail. But it is clear from Winthrop s passing notice of the 
matter that it occupied little place in the minds of the colonists. 3 
The only tribes from whom danger was really to be feared lay to 
the south-west, and against them as yet the position of Massachu 
setts had been an effectual safeguard. On the south the colony 
was covered by Plymouth, while the security which the colonists 

i Connecticut Records, vd i. pp. 2025. 2 M - P- 36- 

3 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 59; Johnsoij. bk. i. ch. 25. I am not sure whether both refer to the 
Same affair. Winthrop describes an attack on Agawam, Johnson on Lynn. The latter was 
probably absent from New England, at this time (see Mr. Poole s preface, p. Ixx.). 


enjoyed on the northern and inland frontiers showed how complete 
had been the destruction which the plague had wrought among 
the savages. Moreover the country south and west of Massachu 
setts was yet further depopulated by small-pox not long after the 
establishment of the colony. 1 But while the older settlements 
were thus guarded, the new plantations on the Connecticut formed 
a sort of outpost projecting into the territory of a powerful and 
warlike tribe. The position made war almost inevitable. The 
action of the Plymouth settlers in recognizing the territorial claim 
of the defeated Mohicans was in itself an offence to the Pequods, 
and the ill-feeling thus engendered was confirmed in other ways. 
Fortunately for the English settlers, the country which lay between 
them and the Pequods was in comparatively friendly hands. Some 
portion of it was occupied by a remnant of the Mohicans; but the 
most numerous and powerful tribe that dwelt there was the Narra- 
gansetts. They, like the Mohicans, had suffered at the hands of 
the Pequods. 5 Their chief, Canonicus, had, as we have seen, 
sent a threatening message to Plymouth in the early days of the 
colony. But no actual hostility had followed, and in the summer 
of 1632 one of their chiefs, Miantonomo, with his wife and twelve 
of his followers, had been hospitably received at Boston. 3 

The unauthorized trader, to whom the peace and permanent 
well-being of the colony are matters of indifference, is more often 
stone than not the origin of hostilities between settlers and 

by 1 the savages, and so it was now. While a Virginian ship s 
Pequods. captain named Stone was cruising about the mouth of 
the Connecticut he was attacked by the Indians, he himself and 
seven of his men killed, and his ves.el burnt. As none of the 
English survived, the details of the quarrel could only be learnt 
from the savages. 4 According to them Stone had brought the at 
tack upon himself by having seized and bound two of the natives, 
whom he compelled to pilot him up the river. On the one hand 
Stone s previous character was so bad that there is no reason to 
disbelieve this, 5 while at the same time it is in some measure dis- 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. pp. 119-123; Bradford, p. 203. 

2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 148. " They were now in war with the Narragansctts, whom till 
this year they had kept under." 

8 Il>. p. 86. He was then called Mecumeh. 

4 The account of Stone s murder, as first reported from Plymouth to Boston, is given hy 
Winthrop (vol. i. p. 123), and by Bradford (p. 203). The explanation first given by tl.i 
Indians is in Winthrop, vol. i. p. 148. Their later explanations will come before us hereafter. 

5 Winthrop (vol. i. pp. 104, in) and Bradford (p. 203) bear full testimony to Stone s 


credited by the fact that the Indians at a later day gave a different 
and inconsistent excuse. Whether the offenders were, strictly 
speaking, Pequods seems doubtful, and indeed the relations be 
tween that race and the English were not a little complicated by 
remnants of other tribes inhabiting the Pequod territory, but in 
some measure independent. l 

The Massachusetts government seems to have contented itself 
with reporting the matter to the Governor of Virginia, and to have 

taken no direct steps to obtain redress. 2 For nearly a 
tio e nsfo*~ year the matter was allowed to rest. But in 1634 

the Pequods became entangled in a quarrel with the 
government of New Netherlands. 3 They could not afford to be 
on bad terms with both their civilized neighbors at once. Believ 
ing, as it would seem, that the English were either ignorant of 
the attack upon Stone or indifferent to it, the Pequods sent a mes 
senger to Boston to solicit the friendship of the settlers. 4 This 
seems to have been meant as an informal overture to Ludlow. 
He had already taken some part in the exploration of the Connect 
icut valley, 5 and it is not unlikely that he may thus have become 
known to the Indians. He now exchanged gifts with the messen 
ger, and told him that the Pequod chief must send a formal 
embassy to the Governor. Accordingly two Pequods were des 
patched with a present of wampum. They too thought it best to 
make their first application to Ludlow, who brought them to 
Boston. The matter was laid before the Assistants, aided, as was 
usual in serious affairs, by the counsel of some of the ministers. 
The terms accepted by the Pequods showed how anxious they 
were to secure the English as allies against the Narragansetts and 
the Dutch. The leader of the party who had attacked Stone had, 
they said, been killed by the settlers at New Netherlands, and of 
the rest all but two had died of the small-pox; they promised how 
ever to give up the survivors. Over and above they undertook to 
pay a large tribute of furs and wampum, and to befriend the Eng 
lish if they should settle on the Connecticut. 

News came to Boston next day which in some measure ex 
plained the anxiety of the Pequods for peace. A force of two or 
three hundred Narragansetts was reported to be on foot for the 

1 Mason, p. 131. 2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 123. 

8 Brodhend, vol. i. p. 242. 

4 This embassy and the proceedings that followed are related l>y Winthrop (voL L 
pp. I47-I49)- 

5 See Saltonstall s letter, mentioned above. 


purpose of cutting off the Pequod embassy. The English at 
once summoned the Narragansetts to appear before them. Two 
of the chiefs, with about twenty of their men, obeyed the sum 
mons. By the good offices of the English peace was preserved, 
and the representatives of the two tribes were sent home 

Nearly two years elapsed and the Pequods showed no intention 
of carrying out their promises. The murderers were not given 
The up, and the residue of the tribute was withheld on the 

Pequods plea that the elders of the tribe had not assented to 


further the payment, rresn outrages too had been committed 
on the outlying English settlements in the Connecticut 
valley and on a trading vessel from Plymouth. l The savages also 
tried to entrap the settlers at Saybrook by a pretended meeting 
for trade, but were baffled by the caution of Gardiner. 2 The 
Massachusetts settlers were only withheld from immediate action 
by his remonstrances. He pointed out that the probable result 
would be to leave him and his companions, with their settlement 
as yet unfortified and ill supplied with stores, at the mercy of the 
savages. 3 In July, 1636, the younger Winthrop. then acting for 
the patentees on the lower Connecticut, was instructed by the 
government of Massachusetts to make a formal demand for 
redress, and to warn the Pequods that if this was not offered war 
would follow. The moderation of these demands and the length 
of time during which the Massachusetts government had borne 
with the evasion of the enemy furnish in this instance a full 
answer to any charge of haste or injustice. 

Scarcely had these instructions been issued to Winthrop when 

a quarrel arose between the settlers and the Narragansetts. This 

too was caused bv an attack upon a solitarv trader. 


murdered That John Oldham, whose restless temper had at an 
Narra- earlier date given so much trouble both in Plymouth 
and Massachusetts, was now plying a trade in corn 
with the natives along the shore of Narragansett Bay. One day 
in August, 1635, John Gallop, the master of a small vessel, was 
cruising with a man and two boys near Block Island. He there 
saw a pinnace which he recognized as Oldham s. On ncaring 
her he found her filled with Indians. Trusting to the incapacity 

l These are set forth in the commission to the younger Winthrop, spoken of below, [r j 
published in the Massachusetts Historical Collection as a preface to Gardiner s Pcijuod Wart 
3 Gardiner, p. 139. 3 Ib, p. 138. 


of the savages to navigate the pinnace, Gallop repeatedly sailed 
round her and closed with her, pouring in each time a volley of 
duck-shot. Some of the Indians were hit, others leapt overboard 
and were drowned. When at length Gallop had reduced his 
enemies to four, he boarded the pinnace. There he found the 
mangled body of Oldham. 1 

The matter was at once taken up by the Massachusetts govern 
ment and brought home to some of the Narragansett Indians, 
who had resented Oldham s friendly dealings with the Pequods. 
Accordingly two envoys were sent by the Massachusetts gov 
ernment to demand satisfaction. Canonicus was now old and 
infirm, and his authority was in part delegated to his nephew, 
Miantonomo, oddly described by Williams as the marshall and 
executioner" of his uncle. 2 The English ambassadors were 
received with all courtesy and state, and were much impressed by 
the sober wisdom of Canonicus. His younger colleague was, we 
are told, of a more lofty spirit. It is clear that, whatever might 
be the inclination of the Narragansett chiefs, they felt that they 
were between two fires. They knew the power of the English 
and the value of their arms, and they had heard that the settlers 
were but the advanced guard of a mighty nation. Yet they could 
ill afford to incur the enmity of the Pequods. They were, as it 
would seem, better fighting men than the Narragansetts. Au 
thority had in all likelihood been somewhat weakened by the 
division between uncle and nephew, and the tribe seems to have 
been scattered under the command of a number of petty chiefs. 
Canonicus however succeeded in sending the English ambassadors 
back satisfied, and the verdict of the Massachusetts government 
acquitted him of any share in the murder of Oldharn. 3 The guilt 
of that act seems to have rested chiefly with the inhabitants of 
Block Island, who from their isolated position were but little 
amenable to the control of the chiefs on the mainland. 4 

Hitherto in their dealings with the Pequods the English had 
shown forbearance and moderation; that can hardly be said of 
their proceedings now. A force of ninety men, 5 under the 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. pp. 789, 190. 

2 Deposition of R. Williams, in Mass. Hist. Coll., 2nd series, vol. vii. p. 75. 

3 The embassy is described shortly by Winthrop (vol. i. p. 192), and more fully, though 
not very clearly, by Johnson (bk. ii. ch. 6). 

4 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 191. 

5 Winthrop (voJ. i. p. 192) says ninety. Underbill says a hundred, and Mason a hundred 
and twenty. 


command of Endicott, was despatched to Block Island. Their 

inductions were to extirpate the natives there, by killing all the 

men and capturing the women and children, and then 

, undicott x 

to take possession of the island. Thence they were 
slock to go ori to the mainland and to demand the murderers 

of Stone, with a thousand fathoms of wampum for 
damages, and some of the Indian children as hostages. 2 One 
would have thought that even the unswerving advocacy of a New 
England chronicler might have shrunk from defending this 
unjust and ferocious policy. No effort was made to obtain redress 
by peaceful means or to separate the innocent from the guilty. 
The whole community of Block Island was to be destroyed be 
cause it contained a band of murderers. Excuse may be made 
for those who for six years had lived in more or less constant 
dread of a watchful and unforgiving enemy. But there is one 
man for whom no such plea can be urged. Vane s associations 
and training should have raised him above colonial narrowness 
and prejudice. It would have been no hard task for him, still in 
the fullness of his untarnished popularity, to have raised his voice 
on behalf of justice and mercy. 3 

The expedition was carried out, as it had been planned, cruelly 
and unwisely. The English were delayed in landing on the 
His island by a heavy sea. W 7 hen on shore they found the 

ground almost impassable from brushwood. The na 
tives either escaped in their canoes or hid themselves in the 
thickets. The exploits of the invading force are summed up by 
Underbill. According to him, they "burnt the Indian houses, 
cut down their corn, and destroyed some of their dogs instead 
of men. " 4 

We are indebted to the same authority for an account of the man 
ner in which the expedition, after leaving Block Island, dealt with 
Endicott s tne Tcquods. On reaching the Pequod territory the 
with the English were received by multitudes of the natives, who 
Pequod:;. greeted them in a friendly fashion, not thinking they in 
tended war. Then, Underbill ingenuously tells us, " we, thinking 
it the best way, did forbear to answer them; first, that we might the 

1 Underbill gives a very full report of this expedition, in which he had a command. Gar 
diner tells us so much of it as came under his own observation at Saybrook. 

2 The instructions are given by Winthrop, vol. i. p. 193. 

8 Underbill (p. 4) specially says, " God stirred up the heart of the honored Governor, 
Mis er Henry Vane, and the rest of the magistrates." 

4 Underbill, p. 7. \ 



better be able to run through the work; secondly, that by delaying 
of them we might drive them into security, to the end we might 
have the more advantage of them." 1 But before the assailants 
could strike a blow the Pequods divined their intention, and sent 
a chief to confer with them. The English received him on board 
of one of their vessels, and renewed their demand that Stone s 
murderers should be given up. The Pequods ambassador ex 
cused the murder on the ground that a Dutch trader had 
kidnapped one of their chiefs, and then, having promised to 
deliver him up for ransom, had given up his dead body. For 
this they vowed revenge. Soon after Stone s vessel appeared on 
the river and made overtures for trade. The son of the murdered 
chief went on board, found Stone in a drunken sleep, and brained 
him with his tomahawk. The English might well look with sus 
picion on a defence wholly at variance with that which had been 
given two years before. They further argued with good reason, 
that the Pequods must be well able to distinguish between Dutch 
and English, and that to accept these explanations would be an 
encouragement of future attacks. Two courses lay open to Endi- 
cott. He might strike a blow decisive enough to cripple and 
terrify the Pequods. If his men were not enough in number for 
that, common sense would have led him to avoid exasperating 
the savages, and to wait till a larger and better furnished force 
could deal with them effectually. But the attack upon Block 
Island had already shown that Endicott was wholly ignorant of 
the strategy needed against the Indians. Gardiner, whose pro 
fessional contempt for citizen soldiers was in this case fully justi 
fied, urged the danger to which he and his fellow-settlers would be 
exposed. "You come hither," he said, "to raise these wasps 
about my ears; then you will take wing and flee away." 2 The 
details of Endicott s campaign cannot be told better than in the 
complacent language of Underhill : " Marching into a champaign 
field we displayed our colors; but none would come near us, but 
standing remotely off did laugh at us for our patience. We sud 
denly set upon our march and gave fire to as many as we could 
come near, firing their wigwams, spoiling their corn, and many 
other necessaries that they had buried in the ground we raked 
up, which the soldiers had for booty. Thus we spent the day 
burning and spoiling the country. Towards night we embarked 
ourselves. The next morning, landing on the Nahanticot shore, 

l Underbill, p. 7. 


where we were served in like nature; no Indians would come 
near us, but ran from us as the deer from the dogs. But having 
burned and spoiled what we could light on, we embarked our 
men and set sail for the Bay. Having ended this exploit we 
came off, leaving one man wounded in the leg, but certain 
numbers of theirs slain and many wounded. This was the 
substance of the first year s service. " 1 

Scarcely had Endicott returned when news reached Boston of 
a fresh source of danger. It was announced that the differences be- 
K crer tween the Pequods and the Narragansetts were made 
negotiates U P >2 ^ n a ^ ance between those tribes would have ex- 
with the tended the danger of invasion from the plantations on 


setts. the Connecticut to the whole line of settlements along 

t.he New England coast. Fortunately there was one man in New 
England who was both able and willing to cope with this difficulty. 
The kindly and sympathetic temper and the inquiring mind of 
Roger Williams had taught him to regard the savage as something 
more than a beast of prey to be avoided or destroyed, and his own 
wrongs had not made him indifferent to the danger of his perse 
cutors. He and his companions on the shores of Narragansett 
Bay were specially menaced by the threatened combination among 
the savages. Yet we may well believe that the principle which 
he laid clown, and to which he ever loyally adhered, "I know 
that every man, quatenus man, is his brother s keeper," 3 would 
have been motive enough. The ungenerous silence of every 
Massachusetts chronicler, Winthrop alone excepted, shows how 
deep a humiliation it must have been when the government had 
to confess that their hopes of safety lay in the man whose very 
presence in America was a defiance of their authority. At the ur 
gent request of the Governor and Council Williams embarked 
alone in a canoe ana made his way to the home of Canonicus 
and Miantonomo. 4 There he found the ambassadors of the Pe 
quods, whose hands and weapons, in his own words, "yet reeked 
with the blood of his countrymen." By what arguments he pre 
vailed we are not told, but when he left the Narragansetts after a 
three days sojourn in their wigwams, their friendship with the 
Pequods was at an end, and they were willing to negotiate an 
alliance with the English. They seem to have brought with them 

1 Underbill, pp. 10, \i. 2 Winthrop, vol.i.p. 196. 

8 This expression occurs in a letter to Winthrop, August, 1638 (Narr. Soc. Pub., vol. vi 
p. 114). 
4 Letter to Mason, June 22, 1670, published in Mass. Hist. Col!., ist series, vol. i. p. 175. 


the Mohicans, whose weakness and lack of numbers would have 
made it almost impossible for them to stand alone against the 
other tribes. Miantonomo was received at Boston, and an offen 
sive alliance against the Pequods formally drawn up and accepted, i 

Scarcely had this been completed when Winthrop, then Deputy- 
Governor, received a letter from the Governor of Plymouth, 
Correspon- protesting against the folly of the late expedition, as 
between having merely provoked without curbing the Pequods. 
and dt rd ^^ e unwonte d petulance and sophistry of Winthrop s 
Winthrop. answer betrays his consciousness of a weak cause. 
How, he asks, could soldiers in armor follow the savages in the 
forests? The government had not intended to make war, but 
merely to inflict punishment, and this it had done. It was likely 
too that the savages would have submitted "if God had not de 
prived them of common reason." In other words, the Massa 
chusetts government had sent out an expedition without troubling 
itself about the temper and resources of the enemy, and had 
courted failure in a case where failure might bring with it the 
massacre of hundreds of Englishmen. 2 

The remonstrances of the Plymouth government were but the 
echo of those urged by Gardiner, and both were fully justified. 
All the winter the settlers on the Connecticut were harassed by 
skirmishing parties of Pequods. The garrison at Saybrook was 
defied and insulted; the men could hardly venture out to gather 
Outrages forage and fuel, and in spite of all precautions Gar- 
diner was wounded by an Indian archer. 3 Further up 

during the the river more than twenty English settlers were killed 

winter of i i i 

1636. or taken prisoners, and the new settlements were cut 

off from all communication with the coast.* Meanwhile the 
rulers of Massachusetts were absorbed in other and, as they seem 
ingly deemed, in more important affairs. At Boston the one 
topic which excluded all other thoughts was whether the ministry 
preached a covenant of grace or a covenant of works. Not three 
days march off the very friends and brethren of the disputants la} 
down each night to sleep, not knowing whether by the morning 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 199. 

2 Winthrop mentions the substance of Bradford s letter shortly and gives that of his own 
answer in full (vol. i. p. 199). 

3 Gardiner, p. 145. 

4 Mason mentions nine killed at Weathersfield. According to Prince the whole number 
was fifteen killed and eight taken prisoners. Among the prisoners were two maids. They 
were ransomed by the Dutch, and returned, having suffered no wrong at the hands of theif 
captors (Winthrop, vol. i. p. 223) 


every man in their habitations might not be a captive in the hands 
of the torturer and every woman and child a mutilated corpse. 

The military system of the various colonies was ill-adapted for 
striking a single and decisive blow. In Massachusetts the town- 
The mill- ship was the basis of the military system. There each 
of f New Stem town had from the outset its own company, which met 
Engiand.i f or fa\\ once a wee k.s Monthly drill was soon after 
wards substituted. 3 A side-light is thrown on the social and in 
dustrial condition of the colony by an exemption from service 
which included magistrates, elders, deacons, shipwrights, millers, 
and fishermen. 4 In 1636, as the colony extended and as danger 
became more pressing, the legislature introduced a more complete 
organization into the system. The militia was divided into three 
regiments, each with its own district. One included Boston and 
five townships south-east of it along the coast. Another took in 
the inland towns, including the detached settlement of Dedham, 
while the third extended northward. There was as yet no central 
authority, but the officers were to be chosen by the council out of 
a list of candidates recommended by the townsmen. 6 

The early records of Plymouth throw no light on the military 
condition of the colony. We know that the force raised against 
the Pequods were volunteers. 6 We know, too, from more than 
one incident, that there was no lack of individual courage or sol 
dierly skill among the settlers. 

A militia organized according to local divisions is admirably 
fitted for a purely defensive war. Every soldier feels that there is 
an object at stake in which he as an individual is directly interested. 
Every man is bound to his comrades by the tie of neighborhood, 
often of friendship and kindred. But for purposes of attack, when 
complex movements have to be carried out, and when the end 
sought is not one of obvious and immediate necessity, then the 
weak points of the system are felt. The very strength of his in 
dividual passions and interests hinders the citizen soldier from 
taking his place as part of a complex machine. His civil pur 
suits offer a rival claim. He is loth to leave his farm and his 
merchandise till the protection of them becomes an actual neces 
sity. And though the war with the Pequods was in a certain sense 
a defensive war, yet it was not a war which could be carried on 

1 A very complete understanding of the military system of Massachusetts may be learnt 
from the records. Some details are furnished by Johnson. 

2 Mass. Records, vol. i. p. 85. 3 Ib. p. 102. 
4 Ib. pp. 210, 258. 5 Ib. p. 186. 6 Plymouth Records, vol. i. p. 6c. 



solely by defensive operations. It was not enough to guard the 
settlements on the river from isolated attacks; the enemy must be 
so dealt with as to make such attacks impossible, and to secure 
free and safe communication between Connecticut and the other 
New England colonies. 

Even before the military difficulty could arise there were political 

difficulties to be overcome. Each colony had an interest in the 

war, and it could hardly be carried on with success un- 

Want of . . . __ 

united less each co-operated. Yet the matter did not concern 
each colony alike. Early in 1637 Massachusetts made 
a trifling contribution to the help of her colony by sending twenty 
men under the command of Underbill to reinforce the garrison 
of Saybrook. J In May Winslow arrived at Boston to confer with 
the government there about a joint attack on the Pequods. 2 The 
spirit in which negotiations were carried on boded ill for the pro 
posed alliance. Winslow announced at the outset that no final 
decision could be given till the session of the General Court, a 
month later. He also thought it a fitting opportunity to bring 
up certain grievances, such as the refusal of Massachusetts to help 
Plymouth against the French in Canada, their interference with 
the trade on the Kennebec, and the alleged trespass on the 
Connecticut. Finally he pleaded that Massachusetts was strong 
enough to fight her own battles without help from a weak neighbor. 
In reply the Massachusetts government pointed out that it was 
no private quarrel of their own, but a danger common to all the 
colonies. The other charges they partly explained away, while in 
some measure admitting and regretting them. 

While Plymouth and Massachusetts were wrangling, the men of 
Connecticut were up and doing. Already in the first week in May 
a force of ninety men had been raised from the three townships of 
Windsor, Hartford, and Weathersfield. 3 Without wait- 
i n 8" f r anv promises of help from either of the other 
settlements, the little band set forth on its desperate 
enterprise. Its numerical weakness was more than 
made up for by the capacity of the commander, John Mason. 
New England historians, usually so lavish in eulogy, have meted 

1 Gardiner, p. 148. He calls them " twenty lusty men well armed." 

2 Full accounts of this negotiation are given by Winthrop vol. i. p. 2i9)andby Bradford 
(p. 220). 

8 Connecticut Records, vol. i. p. 9; Mason, p, 133. Mason now becomes an authority of 
the first importance. Underbill says a hundred men. It is clear that he is habitually in- 
accurate in his figures. Gardiner, on the other hand, says eighty. 


out praise with a sparing hand to one far worthier of it than many 
of the divines and legislators with whom they have dealt so boun 
tifully. Like nearly all the military heroes in the early days of the 
colonies, Mason had learnt soldiership in the Netherlands. It 
may seem no great exploit to conduct a short campaign against a 
horde of half-naked savages armed almost wholly with bows and 
arrows. Yet it gave Mason scope to show a comprehensiveness 
of view, a promptness of action, and a power of inspiring his fol 
lowers with his own enthusiasm and self-reliance, which elsewhere 
might have won him a high place in military history. The 
gratitude which he so largely earned from his own generation 
should also be felt by posterity, since he has left a chronicle of the 
campaign in which each of its successive incidents is told with 
method and with graphic simplicity. 

The task that lay before him was to clear the Pequods out of a 
tract of country between the Connecticut and the Mystic rivers, 
Plan of some thirty-five miles in width and stretching about 
campaign. s \ x iy inland, backed by dense forests in which escape 
would be easy. The main body of the savages was entrenched in 
two fortified villages, the chief one on the Mystic river, some four 
miles from the shore. It was clear that they had made ready for 
the worst, since the wives and children of their chief men were 
placed in safety at Long Island. 1 If the two colonies on the coast 
could have been trusted to co-operate efficiently, probably the best 
method of attack would have been a simultaneous invasion from 
the Connecticut plantations, from the north-east, and from the coast. 
But to secure the success of such a combination would probably 
have needed more skill and better organization than were at the 
command of the settlers, even if Plymouth and Massachusetts 
could have been trusted to co-operate loyally. For the Connecti 
cut force to attempt that line of attack alone would simply have 
brought them face to face with an enemy who could fight or 
disperse through the forest as they pleased. Accordingly it 
was settled by the authorities at Hartford that Mason was to pro 
ceed down the Connecticut and along the coast till he came to 
the mouth of the Pequod river. There he was to disembark and 
to march inland against the enemy. 2 By this plan he could pick 
up any assistance that might come from the other plantations, 

l Letter from Winslow to Winthrop, May 22, 1637, in Mass- Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol. 
vi. p. 164. 

9 Mason, p. 134. " Our commission limiting us to land our men in Pequod river." 


while even if they failed him wholly it would only weaken and not 
neutralize his attack. The English were accompanied by Uncas, 
at the head of eighty Mohican warriors, i 

At Saybrook Mason met with a discouraging reception from 
Gardiner, who might well be pardoned if he looked with little 
confidence on the military powers of the colonists. When he 
pointed out the incapacity of the men, Mason gave the somewhat 
desponding answer that the Connecticut magistrates either could 
not or would not send better. 2 At first Gardiner refused to let 
any of his men join them. At length however Mason prevailed 
on him to substitute twenty of his men for twenty of the weakest 
of the force from Connecticut. 3 During the passage down the 
river the Mohicans were successful in some trifling skirmishes 
against the enemy. The service rendered was small in itself, but 
reassuring to the English, who had hitherto doubted the good faith 
of their allies. 4 

On reaching the mouth of the river Mason saw how inadequate 
was the proposed scheme of campaign. If he simply marched 
straight inland on the Pequod village, the enemy would 
changes deal with him as they had dealt last year with Endicott. 
It would be madness for ninety heavy-armed men, laden 
with ammunition and provisions, to attempt to pursue a force of 
some hundred savages through the forest. In one way, and in 
one way only, could an effectual blow be struck. The English 
might land further up the coast in the friendly territory of the 
Narragansetts, and thence penetrate the Pequod country by a flank 
movement. By this means they might cut off the Pequods from 
the upper country, and if they failed to annihilate them, bring them 
to bay on the banks of the Connecticut. Moreover the Pequods 
were expecting an attack from the mouth of the river, where they 
had scouts posted, and the proposed change of plan might effect a 

Mason s subordinates opposed his new scheme. Impatience to 
end the campaign and return home, the bane of citizen armies 
from the days of Harold down to the days of Washington, made 
them shrink from the proposed delay. 6 Mason saw that he had 
to deal with men whom it was better to persuade than to coerce, 
and h j knew too that for that end the voice of the minister who 

1 Mason mentions Uncas, but does not specify the number of his men. Gardiner say* 
eighty. Underbill says " three score Mohiggeners." 

2 Gardiner, p. 149. 3 Mason, p. 135. 4 Ib. , Underbill, p. 16. 
6 Trumbull states this, but without giving his authority. 


jcompnnied the force would be the most efficient influence. In 
his own words, he "earnestly desired Mr. Stone that he would 
commend our condition to the Lord, to direct how and in what 
manner we should demean ourselves." 1 We may well believe 
that Mason s request was no calculated artifice; in the crisis of his 
country s fate the Puritan captain leant on a wisdom beyond his 
own. Stone spent the night in prayer, and not in vain, since in 
the morning he bade his countrymen trust to the guidance of their 
brave and far-sighted leader. On the twenty-third of May, nearly 
a fortnight after their departure from Hartford, the little army 
landed in the country of the Narragansetts. The Indians, though 
favorable to Mason s purpose, told him that his force was too small 
for the task before it. We must remember that the negotiations 
with the Narragansetts had been conducted by Massachusetts, and 
the savages might naturally distrust an undertaking in which that 
colony had no share. 

By this time Plymouth and Massachusetts had come to terms, 
and had voted, the former fifty men, 2 the latter two hundred. 3 

An advanced party of forty men under Cap-tain Patrick 
the Mystic was hurried forward to join Mason. 4 While among 

the Narragansetts Mason received a message announc 
ing Patrick s intended coming. He decided however that the 
increase of strength would not compensate for the delay. His 
men were impatient to end the war and return home, and every 
day that he waited lessened the chance of taking the Pequods by 
surprise. Moreover some immediate and brilliant success seemed 
needful to confirm the wavering allegiance of his Indian allies. 
Accordingly the day after his landing Mason advanced, with two 
hundred of the Narragansetts added to his original force. After 
a day s march he reached Nyantic, an important settlement of the 
Narragansetts on the borders of the Pequod country. There his 
distrust of his allies was strengthened by the refusal of the Indians 
to admit him within their village. Mason s original design was 
to divide his force and to make a simultaneous attack on the two 
Pequod villages. What he now learnt as to the strength and dis 
position of the enemy led him to concentrate his forces on the 

1 Mason, p. 154. 

2 Bradford (p. 223) says fifty, the Records (vol. i. p. 10) enumerate forty-three. 

3 Here, again, there is a slight discrepancy between the chronicle and the records. Win- 
throp (vol. i. p. 222) says two hundred. According to the Records (vol. i. p. 192) the 
number was originally a hundred and sixty, and fifty-one more were raised afterwards. 

4 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 222; Bradford, p. 223. 


principal village. This stood on the west bank of the Mystic, in 
a large enclosure surrounded by a palisade twelve feet high and 
an earthen rampart of three feet. 1 Before dawn on the twenty- 
sixth of May Mason made his onslaught. Many of the Narra- 
gansetts had already dropped away, and neither those that stayed 
nor the Mohicans showed any willingness to support the English. 
In justice it must be borne in mind that the attack was one for 
which neither their experience nor their arms in any way fitted 
them. Mason divided his troop in two. One party under him 
self attacked on the west, the other, led by Underbill, from the 
east. The English poured in a heavy volley, and Mason forced 
an entrance through the gateway, while Underbill s party after a 
struggle scaled the palisade. Though the Indian archery took 
but little effect through the headpieces and buff coats of the 
assailants, yet two were killed and twenty more disabled, while 
the shelter afforded by the wigwams enabled the savages to avoid 
the fire of their enemies. One dreadful resource remained. Ma 
son seized a firebrand from a wigwam and applied it to the light 
fabric. In an instant the huts of basket-work, covered with dry 
mats, were in a blaze. Underbill followed his example. In half 
an hour the two streams of fire met and the whole village was in 
ruins. Underbill s narrative rises into dignity and pathos as he 
tells us how "great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view 
of young soldiers that had never been in war, to see so many 
souls lie gasping on the ground, so thick in some places that you 
could hardly pass along." 2 We may feel too that he has summed 
up the merits of the case when he says, " Mercy they did deserve 
for their valor, could we have had opportunity to bestow it." 
A needless war against savages is just as great a crime as a need 
less war against a civilized nation. But if once the necessity arises, 
then it is impossible that such a war should be carried out on the 
principles which govern civilized nations. A civilized community 
is amenable to penalties and restraints which have no force against 
savages. It can be mulcted of a share of its territory; its com 
merce can be destroyed by a blockade. As life becomes more 
complex the need for direct penalties grows less. In primitive 
times an individual is rendered harmless by blinding or mutil 
ation. A community is bound over to keep the peace by giving 
hostages. To endeavor to restrain a fierce, proud, ;ind vindic- 

l Underbill (p. 23) and Vincent (p. 29) both describe the fort. The latter says it covered 
two acres, the former makes it only one. 2 Underbill, p. 25. 


5ive nation like the Pequods would have been striving to bind 
*he unicorn in the furrow. In such a case the grim maxim of 
Essex holds good: " Stone-dead hath no fellow. " That such a 
necessity exists is the best reason why a civilized power should 
Avoid war with savages. It is no reason for refusing to face facts 
when war becomes needful. 

More than six hundred Pequods had perished, and only two 
of the assailants. 1 But of the latter more than one in every four 
was wounded, and the task of bearing them to the vessels which 
were lying at the mouth of the Pequod river was a sore tax on 
Mason s tne exhausted troops. The surgeon, who was no sol- 
return. ( jj erj had fled to the ships, and the raw air of the early 
morning was telling on the sufferers. Fortunately, however, the 
Mohican and Narragansett allies, who had rendered no other ser 
vice, were able to help in carrying the wounded. As the little 
force was making its way to the sea a fresh party of the enemy, 
numbering over two hundred, came in sight. When they found 
the charred remains of the village, strewed with the corpses of 
their countrymen, they raised a howl of grief and rage arid rushed 
upon the retiring enemy. It was no part of Mason s scheme of 
campaign to turn upon this second force. He contented himself 
with keeping the foe in check till his troops had reached the shore. 
There they found a vessel with Patrick and his forty men from 
Massachusetts. Though too late to bear a hand in the campaign, 
he might now have been of service in transporting the English 
soldiers or the Indian allies by sea, and saving the exhausted force 
from the fatigue and danger of a land inarch. Bui Patrick s con 
tentious and impracticable temper made him utterly u.seiess, so 
that, in the words of Mason, "we did not desire or delight in 
his company, and so we plainly told him. " 2 

On Saturday, three days after the victory, the little army reached 

Saybrook. There it was "nobly entertained by Lieutenant 

Gardiner with many great pruns," and with courtesy 

Reception J J 

of the which must have contrasted pleasantly with the gloomy 

troops in 

Connect!- forebodings with which he had witnessed their depar 
ture. 3 Of their reception by their fellow -citizens Ma 
son is content to tell us that they "were entertained with great 
triumph and rejoicing and praising God for His goodness."-* We 

1 The estimates vary very widely; 1 have taken Mason s. 

2 Mason, p. 144. 

3 Il>. Gardiner himself (p. 149) says, "They returned with victory, to the glory or God 
and honor of our nation." 4 It>. 


learn from the records of the colony that the gratitude of the citi 
zens showed itself in act by a grant of five hundred acres of land 
to Mason and of the like amount to be distributed among his 
men. Well might Connecticut be triumphant and thankful at 
the return of her deliverers. They had saved her from destruc 
tion, from horrors which we may describe in words, but can 
hardly even shadow to our own minds. They had shown too 
that the little community of three villages, which had not yet 
fully taken the forms of civic existence, had within it the spirit by 
which commonwealths are kept alive. The safety of the state 
ha 1 been staked on the courage and good conduct of the citizens, 
atul tiiuy had borne the test. The daughter had shown that she 
could dispense with the tardy and grudging help which the parent 
o fierce! her. Her very success was a rebuke to that parent. The 
slur which had been cast on New England soldiership by the 
failure of Endicott, was wiped out by the skill and daring of Ma 
son and his followers. 

The victory by the Mystic had practically annihilated the 
power of the Pequods and decided their fate. The task of subju- 
Furth-r gation had yet to be carried out in detail. When the 
operations result of the campaign became known at Boston the 
Council resolved only to send half the number of men 
that had been originally voted. A deputation, headed 
by three ministers, waited on Winthrop and remonstrated with 
him. The arrogant claims of the priesthood to interfere in secu 
lar affairs met with less toleration from Winthrop than from any 
other of tiie statesmen of New England. A private remonstrance, 
he told them, might have been heard, but "to come ... in a 
public and popular way . . . would bring authority into con 
tempt." As a concession, however, a hundred and forty men 
were sent. J Though the Pequods had endeavored to strike a 
parting blow at Mason s force before it embarked, yet the defeat 
by the Mystic had utterly destroyed all unity and discipline 
among them. In their wrath they turned on their leader, Sasa- 
cus, and denounced him as one whose ambition had brought 
about the ruin of his nation. The chief, finding his life in dan 
ger, fled with seventy of his chosen followers to the country of 
the Mohawks. 2 With his flight all thought of resistance was at 
an end. The remnant of the natives broke up into scattered 
bands, which took refuge separately in the swampy recesses of 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 226. 2 Mason, p. 145; Winthrop, vol. i. p. 2^3. 


the forest. One of these, numbering eighty, was surrounded and 
captured by the force from Massachusetts. 1 The largest party 
escaped across the Connecticut and took refuge with some friendly 
Indians. At the end of June the force from Massachusetts was 
joined by forty men from Connecticut under the command of 
Mason. For a while it was impossible to ascertain where the 
main body of the surviving Pequods was. At length a deserter, 
who acted as spy for the English, told them that his countrymen 
were in a fortified village near the shore, forty miles beyond Say- 
brook. There the English surrounded them. The evils of a 
divided command were strikingly illustrated by the contrast be 
tween the vigorous and eilicient operations of the late campaign 
and the hesitation and delays now. Some were for cutting down 
the trees round the village to clear a space for an assault, others 
were for blockading it with a palisade. Some again wished to 
attack at once; others would wait till the next morning. At last 
it was decided to send an interpreter and demand a surrender. 
Old men, women, and children, two hundred in all, obeyed the 
summons and gave themselves up prisoners. Of the fighting men 
who stayed behind, seventy made a sortie, and were suffered to 
escape through the incompetence of Patrick. The remainder, a 
hundred and eighty in number, seemingly made no attempt at 
resistance and were led off as captives. 2 The Mohawks, to whom 
Sasacus had fled, killed him and sent his scalp-lock as an offering 
to Boston. 3 All that remained of the nation, lately so terrible, 
was a few scattered bands of fugitives, who were hunted down by 
the English and their savage allies. 

A difficulty now arose with the friendly Indians. The adop 
tion of a prisoner was a familiar usage among the savages. It is 
clear that the ties of political union and allegiance sat 


and Nan-a- lightly on them, and that where community of blood 

gansetts J 

both wish and speech existed, the members of one tribe were read- 
raY"the P ily absorbed into another. The Pequods who had been 
actually taken during the war were allowed to be the 
bondslaves of the English, though it would seem as if they were 
no very profitable acquisition. But those who were yet at large, 
nearly two hundred in number, were coveted as adoptive tribes- 

1 Mason, p. 145; Wmthrop, vol. i. p. 233. 

a-This last attack is described fully by Mason (pp. 146-148), and by Winthrop (vol. i. 
p. 233). Mason, oddly enough, does not mention the place. Winthrop describes it as 
within twenty or thirty miles of the Dutch. 

3 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 235. Gardiner, p. i5i. 


men both by the Mohicans and the Narragansetts. Uncas, it is 
clear, thought by acquiring this addition to build up the power 
of his tribe, to oust the Narragansetts from their position of supre 
macy, and possibly to undermine their alliance with the English. 
Roger Williams threw himself into this dispute with characteristic 
eagerness. 2 His kindly sympathy with the Indians never degen 
erated into irrational sentiment, nor blinded him to their vices. 
There is something of apology in the tone in which he assures 
Winthrop that he "observes in Miantonomo some sparks of true 
friendship. " 3 

In the autumn of 1638 the remnants of the Pequods, to the 
number of some two hundred warriors with their families, formally 
The treaty submitted to the English. On the twenty-first of Sep- 
of Hartford. tem b er a so i emn conference was held at Hartford, at 
which the Pequods were divided between the Mohicans and the 
Narragansetts. A hundred of them were allotted to Uncas, eighty 
to Miantonomo, and twenty to Ninigret, a chief ruling over those 
who dwelt at Nyantic, a Narragansett by blood but independent 
of Miantonomo. The Pequods were to discard their own name, 
and to be henceforth called Mohicans and Narragansetts. At the 
same time the memory of their separate nationality was, some 
what inconsistently, kept alive by the imposition of a tribute. < 

The overthrow of the Pequods meant even more for New 
England than the escape of Connecticut from massacre and 
Effect of destruction. By it the whole territorial relations be- 
thePequod tween the English and the Indians were reversed. 
Hitherto the settlements in the Connecticut had formed 
an isolated strip, an isthmus, as it were, thrust out from New 
England into the midst of the sea of barbarism. But now, by 
the annihilation of the Pequods and the secure establishment of 
the townships on the Connecticut, the remaining Indian tribes 
were in their turn detached and hemmed in. The new settle 
ments inland and the whole body of those along the coast, from 
the mouth of the Connecticut to Boston, were brought into direct 
communication. The political unity of New England was but a 
question of time. 

1 Gardiner, p. 151. 2 Williams letters are full of references to this. 

8 Letter to Winthrop, July, 1637 (Narr. Hist. Coll., vol. vi. p. 47). 

4 I can nowhere find any draft of this treaty. The substance of it is given by Williams in 
a letter published in Potter s History of Narragansctt (p. 77). This book forms the third 
volume of the Rhode Island Historical Society Collection. 



While Englishmen were thus making good their ground against 

all rivals in the valley of the Connecticut, a more tranquil process 

of extension was at work on the shores of Narra^ansett 


of settle- Bay. That colonization was in a large measure carried 
Narragan- out by men whom Massachusetts abhorred and would 
fain have hindered. Yet none the less was it an inte 
gral part of the work which Massachusetts had set herself to 
ichieve. Rhode Island was to New England what New England 
as a whole was to the mother country. In each case the emi 
grants were outcast children, whose work yet served the common 
end and redounded to the glory of the parent state. In another 
way the history of Rhode Island was a copy in miniature of the 
history of New England. In Rhode Island the process of union 
was reproduced on a small scale and in a primitive form. A 
group of petty communities found the necessary conditions for 
union in their common origin, in contiguity, and in the need 

1 Neither Newhaven nor Rhode Island had at their foundation any contemporary chron 
icler of their own. The early history of each colony must be learnt from the records, 
which are themselves in a somewhat mutilated state, from letters, and from incidental 
references in the Massachusetts historians. Winthrop becomes a secondary and, as we shall 
see, not always a trustworthy authority. Indeed, we must look with some suspicion on 
everything that the Massachusetts writers tell us about the heretical and anarchical settlers 
of Rhode Island. 

The records of Rhode Island, including those of the four separate townships before they 
were united, were published in 1856-1862. They form seven volumes, extending from 1636 
to 1776, and are edited by Mr. J. R. Bartlett. 

The records of Newhaven were published in 1857. They form two volumes, extending 
from the foundation of the colony down to its union with Connecticut. There is unfortun 
ately a gap in them from 1650 to 1652. They are edited by Mr. C. J. Hoadly. Mr. Samuel 
Greene Arnold, in his Histtrry of Rhode Island, has brought together all the extant materials. 
He brings out more clearly than any previous writer the distinct threads of the history of the 
various settlements. My references to Mr. Arnold s book are to the third edition, that of 
1878. The Plistory of New England, with particular reference to the denomination 
called Baptists, by Isaac Backus, 1777, contains much valuable information about Rhode 
Island. The author was minister of a Baptist Church at Middleborough, in Plymouth, and 
bis work contains many extracts from unpublished documents of great importance. 



for mutual support against the jealous hostility of the parent state. 
Rhode Island indeed furnished a striking illustration of the capa 
city of the New England Puritans for organized civil life. The 
men who successfully founded the settlements which grew into 
Rhode Island were assuredly not men of special enlightenment. 
They had for the most part broken with Massachusetts, not so 
much because she was narrow and dogmatic, as because the nar 
rowness and dogmatism of her divines was of a different pattern 
from their own. Yet out of this material was formed a vigorous 
and progressive commonwealth, whose political institutions were 
shaped in obedience to her actual wants, and bore no trace of any 
fanciful theory or exclusive temper. 

The isolated plantations which grew into Rhode Island differed 
but little at the outset from other small independent settlements 
Roger which were gradually absorbed into the greater New 
andh? 8 England colonie?. They were distinguished from 
associates, them, not so much by their origin and mode of life, 
as by their later history. That their destiny was different, that 
they were able to form and maintain an existence of their own, 
was due partly to the circumstances of their origin, partly to the 
personal ascendency of the man who was in some measure their 
founder, and throughout their chief guide and counselor, Roger 
Williams. That charm of character and that power over men 
which even Williams enemies recognized, and which indeed 
made him formidable to them, soon brought him companions and 
disciples in his banishment. Williams own wishes would have led 
him to prefer the career of a missionary, an English counterpart 
of Lallemand or Brebeuf, among those savages whose life interested 
him so deeply, and whose hearts he so well knew how to win. i 
Four wanderers, one a banished fugitive from Dorchester, asked 
leave to join him. Of the motives for that union, so fertile in re 
sults, we are told nothing. A sixth associate soon presented him 
self. The first choice of a site was at Seekonk. That, however, 
proved to be within the limits of the Plymouth patent. Winslow, 
then Governor, fearing that the reception of the fugitives might be 
distasteful to Massachusetts, asked Williams to go further, pointing 
out to him the merits of the country to the south, and promising 
that his own people should be friendly to the new settlement.^ 

1 Williams own words at a later day were, " My soul s desire was to do the natives good 
, . . . and therefore desired not to be troubled with English company." This was stated 
by Williams in evidence in a judicial inquiry in 1677 (Arnold, vol. i. p. 97). 

1 Williams to Mason (Mass. Hist. Coll., ist series, vol. i. p. 276). 


Williams scrupulous regard for the rights of the savages and 
the claims which he had already established to their good-will 
purchase made it at once needful and easy for him to gain their 
from n t d he consent to his settlement. By a formal grant Canon- 
indians.i i cus an( j Miantonomo made over to him the fertile 
territory between the Pawtucket and Patuxet rivers. The tract 
thus bounded is about ten miles in breadth along the coast, widen 
ing to nearly double that extent between the upper waters of the 
two rivers. Landward the plantation was separated from the 
older colonies by the country of the Pokanokets. For the pres 
ent any settlement in Narragansett Bay was an isolated outpost in 
one direction, just as Connecticut was in another. 

Williams soon found fresh associates in those who either, like 
himself, had been driven out, or had voluntarily seceded on 
Constitu religious grounds, from Massachusetts. 2 The spot 
tion of the chosen for their abode was a tongue of land between 

settlement. , ,^1011 i i i i r 

the mouth of the Seekonk and tue deep inlet formed 
by the union of three smaller rivers. The grant from Mianto- 
nomo vested the fee simple of the soil in Williams. He in turn 
sold it in small lots at thirty shillings each to his associates. It 
would seem however that this charge was only made till he had 
repaid himself for his original outlay, s It is also not unlikely that 
he thereby exercised some rights of excluding any inhabitants of 
whom he disapproved. The colony was called Providence. At 
first an informal meeting every second week sufficed for the simple 
affairs of the little commonwealth. 4 But during the summer of 
1636 need arose for some formal definition of citizenship. Small 
as the community was, yet it contained two orders. An instru 
ment is yet extant by which Williams transferred his territorial 
rights to twelve others, reserving for himself only an equal share 
with them. The proprietary association thus formed was to have 

1 If the original grant from the Indian chiefs was executed in writing, no copy of the con 
tract is found to exist. The Rhode Island records contain two very distinct memoranda of 
the transfer, one dating from 1638, the other from 1639 (vol. i. pp. 19, 22). It is also de 
scribed in a deposition made by Roger William* in 1682, published in the Mass. Hist. Coll. t 
2nd series, vol. vii. p. 75. 

2 This, I think, is clearly implied in a letter written by Williams to Winthrop soon after 

the establishment of the settlement at Pocasse 
throp was Deputy-Governor, namely, betwee 
erence to an intended attack on the Pequods, 
the letter must have been written in the au 

It has no date, bat was written while Win- 
May, 1636, and May, 1637. It contains a ref- 
orobably Endicott s expedition. If this be io, 
unm of 1636. The letter is published in the 
, vol. vi. p. 3. 

Narragansett Historical Society Publication 

s Williams says in the above letter, " The inhabitants paying thirty shillings apiece 
they came, until my charge i>-: out for the particular lots." 

4 The lettei above nientL.r.--d. 


a right of admitting fresh members, probably by a process of sub 
division. 1 Besides these proprietors and the members of their 
families there were unmarried young men, in all likelihood day 
laborers. This latter class now claimed to be admitted to an 
equal share in the management of affairs. 2 How far that claim 
was granted does not appear. All that we know certainly is that 
about the same time, and in all likelihood as a result of this 
demand, an agreement was signed by thirteen settlers, pledging 
them to yield active and passive obedience to the majority of 
the present inhabitants, being masters of families incorporated to 
gether in a town fellowship, and others whom they shall admit 
unto them." 3 That the thirteen who signed this were "young 
men" and not themselves householders is rendered almost certain 
by the fact that none of them figure in the list of twelve proprietors 
to whom Williams made over his territorial rights. Thus from 
these two documents we can in some measure infer the condition 
of the settlement at that date. It consisted apparently of thirteen 
proprietors, in whom the possession of the soil and the control of 
public affairs were vested, and thirteen others in a position of 
dependence. The coincidence of number may be accidental, but 
one is strongly tempted to see in it a community of farmers, each 
cultivating his allotment by the help of his own family and of one 
hired laborer. 

The settlement which offered a fertile soil and a refuge from the 
spiritual tyranny of Massachusetts was not likely to lack recruits, 
Affair of an< ^ m two years from its foundation the colony num- 
vedn. bered close upon sixty citizens. < The Massachusetts 
writers tell us nothing of the increasing prosperity of the new 
community. The one episode in the early life of Providence on 
which they dwelt with complacency was a dispute between the 
settlers and a certain Verin. He refused to let his wife attend the 
ministrations of Williams, not, as it would seem, from any objec 
tion to them in themselves, but on the ground that they were 
too frequent. Verin s conduct was treated as an infringement of 
freedom of conscience, and he was disfranchised. * Winthrop adds 
that some of the congregation at Providence would have gone 

l R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 22. 2 The letter above mentioned. 

3 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 14. 

4 In 1638 there were fifty-four persons holding lots of land at Providence, besides others 
at Patuxet (R. I. Records, vol. i. pp. 24, 27). 

6 The whole incident is told by Winthrop (vol. i. p. 283). Verin s disfranchisement is 
formally entered in the records (vol. i. p. 14). We have Williams account of the matter m 
a letter to Winthrop (4th series, Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. vii. p. 245). 


further, and wished to divorce Verin s wife and assign her to some 
other man who should use her better. 

The difficulty with Verin may have made the settlers feel the 
need of some definite ecclesiastical organization. About the end 
Forma- of 1638 there seems to have been an influx of Baptists 
Baptist* from Massachusetts to Providence. Prominent among 
Church. them were one Ezekiel Holyman and Mrs. Scott, a 
sister-in-law of Mrs. Hutchinson. They confirmed any leaning 
which Williams already had towards Baptist, or, as they were then 
called, Anabaptist tenets. He was formally baptized by Holyman, 
and then administered the same rite in turn to Holyman and ten 
others. 1 This has been generally looked on as the establishment 
of the first Baptist Church in America. 

Winthrop tells of these proceedings, not indeed with explicit 
condemnation, but with an undertone of contempt, and adds that 
Williams and those who thought with him would have no 
magistrates/ 2 His information as to the doings of the Providence 
settlers was not likely to be wholly free from hostile coloring, 
nor is it uncharitable to suppose that his account was uncon 
sciously tinged with ill-feeling. He was not the man to look with 
much sympathy or even toleration on the struggles of a little 
society of religious fanatics, possessed with a somewhat morbid 
craving for theological novelties. 

But even making allowance for the prejudices of a Massachu 
setts chronicler, we may believe that the condition of Providence 
A constitu- at this time was one of disturbance. In the summer 
maiiye~s- f ^40, it was found necessary to mark off Patuxet 
tabiished.s as a se p ar ate township. Later events showed that some 
at least of the settlers at Patuxet had no friendly feeling towards 
their neighbors at Providence. There is nothing to tell us how 
far the two bodies remained for the present under one government. 
At the same time that the separation was made something like a 
new constitution was framed, but it does not appear whether this 
constitution applied to the whole colony or only to those who 
stayed at Providence. In consideration of the differences existing 
in the colony four arbitrators were appointed. Besides settling 
the bounds of the plantation at Patuxet, they were to draw up a 
system of administration and of civil and criminal law and pro 
cedure. Five Select-men were to be appointed by the whole body 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 293. 2 lb. 

For these proceedings see R. I. Records, vol i. p. 27 


of freemen to dispose of the lands, to conduct public affairs, and 
to admit new members. In the last-named matter they were to 
notify the rest of the community of their intentions and to hear 
any objections. There were to be no special tribunals. In civil 
cases the parties interested were to appoint arbitrators; if they 
failed to do so, the duty of judging devolved on the Select-men. 
In criminal cases, apparently, the whole body of inhabitants was 
to sit in judgment, to interpret the law, and to enforce the penalty. 
The townsmen were to meet quarterly to hear the report of the 
Select-men, and when necessary to elect their successors. The 
term during which these Select-men were to hold office was not 
specified. Besides the quarterly meetings, any citizen who was 
aggrieved by the Select-men might summon a special meeting. 

The singularly crude system of jurisdiction thus established 
was far more likely to create differences than to heal them, and, 
as we shall hereafter see, there was some justification for those 
who spoke of Providence as a hotbed of anarchy. 

The intolerance of the Massachusetts government soon sent 
fresh settlers to the shores of Narragansett Bay. In the autumn 
of 1637, a party of those who shared the views of 
tion\o Wheelwright and Mrs. Hutchinson anticipated the sen 
tence of banishment, and left Massachusetts in quest 
of a new home. At their head was William Coddington, who 
had lately sat as a deputy for Boston, and John Clarke, a physi 
cian and a man of considerable ability, lately arrived from Eng 
land. The summer had been exceptionally hot, and the desire 
for a cooler site led the fugitives to turn northwards. But a win 
ter on the coast of Maine made them change their purpose, and 
they again set forth, with a vague project of settling near the 
mouth of the Hudson. They were arrested in their quest by the 
beauty and apparent fertility of Narragansett Bay, and halted at 
Providence. Williams entertained them kindly, and set out with 
them to act as their guide in their search for a home. Their first 
choice lit on a spot which proved to be within the Plymouth pat 
ent. By attaching themselves to any existing government they 

l The emigration to Aquednek is fully told in a pamphlet entitled III News from New 
England, written by Clarke, who at a later day was persecuted by the government of 
Massachusetts for preaching Baptist doctrines. It was published in London in 1652. It is 
republished in the fourth series of the Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. ii. The passage to which I re 
fer is at p. 24. The emigration is shortly, and somewhat contemptuously, noticed by Win- 
throp (vol. i. p. 265). The dealings of the emigrants with Plymouth are very fully related 
in a letter from Bradford to Wiathrop, April n, 1638, published in Mass, Hint. Coll., 4tb 
series, vol. vi. p. 151. 


would have forfeited the liberty for which they sought. The men 
of Plymouth however were anxious to have the new-comers as 
neighbors, and called their attention to Aquednek, not yet named 
Rhode Island. This formed part of the territory of the Narra- 
gansetts. Williams good offices were again successfully used 
with Canonicus and Miantonomo. According to Williams, his 
task was made easier by the friendship which the Indian sachems 
felt for Vane, and which they apparently extended to those who 
were in some sort Vane s followers. 1 The spot chosen was well 
suited for a small isolated settlement Eight years before Dudley 
had marked it, and had been told by the Indians of its freedom 
from frosts and of its fertility, a report which was confirmed by the 
abundant natural vineyards. They had added that for a small 
compensation the Indian inhabitants would vacate it. 2 This they 
now did on payment oftfcwenty- three coats and thirteen hoes, and 
the English settlers entered on exclusive and undisputed pos 
session of the territory. 3 The waters of the bay, sheltered by 
Aquednek and by two smaller islands to the south, promised as 
well for maritime commerce as did the fertile soil for agriculture. 
The emigrants, nineteen in number, now constituted themselves 
formally into a body politic. To us, living in old societies whose 
beginnings are hidden in a dim and uncertain past, there is some 
thing strange and even unreal, in the spectacle of a body of men 
coming together voluntarily and declaring themselves a common 
wealth. To the New England Puritan, resolved to assert his in 
dependence of the past, and yet keenly alive to the value of civic 
and social unity, such a declaration was no meaningless formality. 
His ecclesiastical institutions familiarized him with the principle 
of such association, and served to give a religious coloring to 
the form of it. In this case the declaration was as follows: " We 
do here solemnly, in the presence of Jehovah, incorporate our 
selves into a body politic, and as He shall help will submit our 
persons, lives, and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King 
ot kings and Lord of lords, and to all those perfect and most ab 
solute laws of His, given us in His holy words of truth, to be 
guided and judged thereby. " To the declaration was appended 
a reference to three texts in Scripture, where the Jewish nation, 

1 This is stated in a deposition drawn up by Roger Williams about 1658 (Backus, vol. 
i. p. 91): " Rhode Island was purchased by love, by the love and favour which that hon 
oured gentleman Sir Henry_Vane and myself had with that great sachem, Miantonomo " 
(Aug. 25, 1658). 8 Young, M. C. p. 323. 

3 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 49. 


at successive stages of its growth, solemnly recognized the Divine 
government, i 

The spot chosen for the settlement was at the northeastern cor-> 
ner of the island, separated from the mainland by a strait of less 

Constitu- than a mile wic * e> ^ or ^ ie P resent it: seems to have 
tion of the kept the Indian name of Pocasset. The constitution 


was even simpler than that of Providence. The whole 
body of freemen formed a self-elective corporation. 2 All public 
affairs were settled at town meetings. 3 Coddington was elected 
chief magistrate by the title of Judge, with a Secretary and a 
Clerk. Small executive offices were created as they were wanted. 
All male inhabitants between sixteen and fifty were to take part 
in military training. * 

By the beginning of 1639, tne colony had so increased as to 
make an extension of this machinery needful. Three Assistants, 
or, as they were called, Elders, were elected to act with the Judge 
in making laws and administering the affairs of the common 
wealth. 5 The government thus formed was to give an account 
of its proceedings at town meetings held every quarter, and these 
might revise or repeal its actions. Soon after steps were taken to 
preserve the peace by the appointment of a Constable and a Town 
Sergeant. 6 Two other entries in the public records would seem 
to show that these appointments were made in anticipation of 
some disturbance. Aspinwall, who had been appointed Secretary 
at the foundation of the colony, was suspected of seditious designs, 
and was on that ground forbidden to finish a boat which he was 
building. 7 Provisions were also made for a general muster of the 
inhabitants at Coddingtons house in case of any sudden alarm, a 

It has been thought, with some probability, that these precau 
tions were symptoms of disaffection, which a little later brought 
about a temporary disruption of the settlement. After 

Separation r *> i 

of the her banishment from Massachusetts Mrs. Hutchinson 

with her husband joined the settlers at Aquednek. Her 
masterful and contentious spirit soon brought her into conflict 
with authority. She found a supporter of somewhat kindred tem 
per, though of far inferior mind, in one Samuel Gorton, 8 who for 

i R. I. Records, p. 52. 2 II. p. 53. 

3 Each of these general meetings is recorded, with the names of those present. 

4 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 61. 6 Ib. p. 63. 
6 Ib. vol. i. p. 65. 7 Ib. pp. 64, 66. 8 Ib. p. 68. 

9 Gorton s name stands second in the list of those who drew up the civil compact after- 
wards (R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 70). 


the next twenty years or so played a leading part in New England 
history. He was, in the language of his contemporaries, " a proud 
and pestilent seducer/ 1 which may be looked on as the Puritan 
designation for one who would in these days be denounced or 
respected as a crotchet-monger and an agitator. His character 
and conduct, though overlaid by the denunciations of his oppo 
nents, are amply disclosed to us by his own writings. They 
represent him as a singularly puzzle-headed and illiterate man, full 
of courage and energy, and honest, so far as honesty is compatible 
with a morbid passion for the notoriety which is gained by the 
upholders of unpopular views. There is room for doubt as to the 
exact nature of the proceedings by which the colony was for a while 
sundered. Winthrop represents the affair as a tumultuary insur 
rection followed by the forcible deposition of Coddington. 2 We 
can seldom err in trusting his authority on any matter of fact. 
Yet the point was one about which he was in special danger of 
being misled. Any symptom of disunion among the banished 
Antinomians was sure to be made the most of at Boston, just as 
any symptom of disunion among the Massachusetts Puritans was 
made the most of in England. Coddington s own words would 
rather imply that he and his supporters withdrew quietly in the 
interests of peace. He clearly states too that many of those who 
at the outset took part with his opponents, soon repented and 
joined themselves to him. 3 

Before leaving Pocasset Coddington and seven of his chief 

supporters drew up a compact, whereby they bound themselves to 

establish a plantation in the midst of the island or else- 


tion of where at their joint cost, to be under the management 
of Coddington as Judge, and of the other seven as 
Elders. ^ The newly formed community soon found a home on 
the shores of that noble harbor from which it took the name of 
Newport. A line roughly drawn from north-east to south-west 
divided the island into two nearly equal parts, one of which was 
assigned to each of the two settlements. * Fifty-nine persons 
formed the new commonwealth at the outset, and during the 
summer of 1639 the number was swelled by fresh emigrants to 
over a hundred.* The constitution of the new community was 

l Morton, New F.ngland s Memorial, p. 135. 2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 296. 

8 Coddington s own account of the matter is to be found in a letter to Winthrop, Dec. 
1639 (Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol. vii. p. 278). His words are, " I am removed twelve 
miles further up into the island." 

4 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 87. 6 Ib. p. 108. 6 Ib. p. 91. 


fully as simple as that which had existed before the separation. 
The Judge and Elders were to sit as a judicial court once a month, 
while all public business was to be carried on at quarterly 
meetings, at which the Judge was allowed two votes. 1 One 
might have supposed that the position of the island and the de 
parture of its savage inhabitants would have made the military 
discipline of the colony unimportant. Yet every male was com 
pelled to drill, and no man was to be five miles from a town 
unarmed, or in that state to attend any public meeting. 2 The 
latter clause of this law was soon put in force against one of the 
chief Elders, Easton. 3 

Twenty-nine settlers had stayed at Pocasset. They too drew 
up a formal agreement, declaring themselves a body politic, and 
Proceed- a ^ so ^ orma ^7 accepting the authority of the King and 
mgs at his laws. Hutchinson, described by Winthrop as "a 
man of very mild temper and weak parts, and wholly 
guided by his wife," was elected Judge with seven Assistants. 4 
Their duties were to transact public business, to lay out lands, and 
to try small cases. Trial by jury was instituted, and the name of 
the settlement changed to Portsmouth. 5 ^ 

For rather more than a year the two settlements remained sep 
arate. In March, 1640, they were formally reunited. Of the 
Reunion circumstances of that union we know even less than we 
and^Ports- 1 * do f tne separation. Winthrop chronicles and Hub- 
mouth, bard copies the tale of how the heretical settlement was 
sundered, but no Massachusetts writer tells how it was again made 
one. Yet the short duration of the two separate governments and 
the completeness of their union shows that the breach, if there 
were one, cannot have been serious. It would seem from the 
records that the overtures for reunion came from the formerly 
discontented settlers at Portsmouth. It is noteworthy that among 
the names of those who apply to be readmitted that of Gorton does 
not appear. It is not unlikely that the departure of that firebrand, 
or possibly some feud between him and the other settlers at 
Portsmouth, may have removed the chief cause of separation. In 
March, at a court held at Newport, the two towns were incor- 

l R. I. Records, vol. i. pp. 87, 90. 2 //>. pp. 93, 94. 

3 I!/, p. 95. 4 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 296. 

c R. I. Records, vol. i. pp. 70, 71. Th; records of Portsmouth during the short time of 
separation are in a very mutilated ^ate. Mr. Savage adds a long but wholly erroneous 
note by Mr. S. Eddy, of Rhode I^iand. His error is very fully pointed out by Mr. Arnold 
(vol. i. p. 134). 


porated under one government 1 The forms, and to some extent 
the substance, of the constitution were altered. There were to be 
no Judges and Elders, but a Governor, a Deputy-Governor, and 
four Assistants. Equality of representation between the two towns 
was introduced. The Governor and two of the Assistants were to 
be chosen from one, the Deputy-Governor and the other two As 
sistants from the other. The courts were to sit alternately in each 
town. No formal superiority was conferred on Newport, but its 
harbor and the ease with which it could be approached soon made 
it the chief settlement on the island. No attempt was made to 
transfer the work of legislation to deputies, and the freemen of 
the two towns still met in the General Court of the settlement. 2 
In the following summer stringent measures were adopted for 
military discipline. The train-band of each town was to drill at 
intervals of six weeks, and the whole united force was to muster 
at each of the towns once in the year. 3 At the same time a formal 
treaty was made with the Narragansetts. The Indians were not 
to kill hogs, set traps, nor leave fires alight on the island. Com 
mon Indians might be punished for small offences by the English 
magistrates, but if the matter were important, or if the accused 
were a chief, notice was to be given to Miantonomo, that he might 
attend the trial. < 

In the next year it was thought well to define formally the civil 
and religious constitution of the colony. In March, 1641, the 
Constitu Assembly drew up a formal declaration in the following 
tion of the words : " It is ordered and unanimously agreed upon 
that the government which this body politic doth attend 
unto in this island and the jurisdiction thereof in favor of our 
Prince is a Democrat or Popular Government; that is to say, it is 
in the power of the body of freemen orderly assembled, or the 
part of them, to make or constitute just laws by which they will 
be regulated, and to depute from among themselves such minis 
ters as shall see them faithfully executed between man and man." s 
At the same time it was enacted that there should be a state seal, 
a sheaf of arrows bound together, with the motto, "Amor vincit 
omnia," the words and the device in combination signifying that 
unity of love which was to be the bond of the new common 
wealth. 6 It is noteworthy that in this enactment a colonial 

l R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 100. 

a The whole constitution is set forth in the Records (vol. i. pp. 100, 101). 

8 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 104. 4 Ib. vol. i. p. 107. 

6 This is given in full in the Records (vol. i. p. 112). 6 Ib. p. 115. 


legislature for the first time ventured to speak, not of a colony 
but of a state. 

At the same time a resolution was passed "that none be ac 
counted a delinquent for doctrine, provided it be not directly 
repugnant to the government or laws established." 1 Such a 
declaration could not pledge the legislature at any future time, 
and the painful experience of Massachusetts had shown that the 
reservation on behalf of civil order might easily be made a pretext 
for persecution. Yet such an enactment was not on that account 
without its value. It was a formal declaration and public recog 
nition of a general principle of policy. 

As might be expected, the liberal and enlightened policy of 
the Aquednek settlers earned them only contempt from their 
neighbors in Massachusetts. We read in Winthrop s chronicle 
how Mrs. Hutchinson broached new heresies every year, 2 and 
how the teaching of Nicholas Easton, "a tanner, a man very 
bold, though ignorant," brought the settlement into "such a 
heat of contention that it made a schism among them. "3 

With all Winthrop s wisdom he had not so far raised himself 
above the prejudices of his age as to see that heresy which pro 
claims itself aloud is usually far less dangerous than heresy which 
is suppressed by the arm of the law. As yet there was no pros 
pect of political union between the settlers at Aquednek and 
their neighbors at Providence. That was to be brought about at 
a later day by the vigorous will of him whom we may call the 
founder of the colony, Roger Williams, aided by events and 
influences which had not yet come into being. 

The colonization of Newhaven possesses an importance out of 

proportion to its direct and obvious results. The founders of that 

settlement carried out the principles on which New 

tion of England was settled in a more thoroughgoing and 


uncompromising form than any other set of colonists. 
Every one of the New England colonies, save the insignificant 
settlements to the north, set out with a strong respect for scrip 
tural precedent in secular politics. Nevertheless, constitutional 
traditions and those modes of thought and action which had 
become matters of instinct with Englishmen had at least as strong 
an influence on the lives of the colonists as the scriptural models 
which they professed to follow. The settlers of Newhaven carried 

l R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 113 

3 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 38. 3 Ib. p. 40. 


out the theory on which they started with more logical complete 
ness than their neighbors. They deliberately framed their con 
stitution in the closest possible adhesion to the literal text of the 
Bible. The other colonies too, while they adopted the theory 
that each church was independent, never scrupled to override 
that theory if the necessities of political or ecclesiastical adminis 
tration made the application of it inconvenient. Newhaven. at 
least at the outset, made all things else subservient to the inde 
pendence of the individual churches. 

The two founders of the colony, as they may not improperly 
be called, were Theophilus Eaton and John Davenport, the 
former a layman, the latter an ordained clergyman. Eaton was, 
in the words of Winthrop, a man of fair estate and of great 
esteem for religion and wisdom in outward affairs." 1 He had 
been a leading member of the Baltic Company, and had acted as 
their agent abroad. The experience thus acquired had earned 
him an appointment as ambassador at the Danish court. He 
had been among the original Assistants of the Massachusetts 
Company, but, perhaps owing to his absence from England, had 
taken no active part in its proceedings. Of Davenport we know 
but little, save the general outline of his earlier career, and what 
may be learnt from the eulogies of New England writers, 
eulogies too conventional and uniform in tone to be of much 
biographical value. 

There is nothing to show the exact number of those who came 
out with Davenport. They were mostly Londoners, many of 
them wealthy men, with schemes of trade more ambitious than 
those of the Boston settlers. 2 Their original design, it is said, 
was to settle within the bounds of Massachusetts. 3 That view 
seems hardly consisted with the peculiar form which their civil 
constitution afterwards took. To carry out the conception of a 
state based upon and identified with a congregational church, as it 
was carried out by the founders of Newhaven, needed a clear field, 
unencumbered with any pre-existing institutions. It is at all events 
evident that Davenport s followers came out as a distinct body, and 
kept that character during their sojourn at Boston. 4 Newhaven, 
in short, was settled not from, but merely through, Massachusetts. 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 226. 

a Winthrop tells us little about these emigrants. Hubbard for once supplements him, 
and gives a very full account of their position and schemes (pp. 317, 318). 
8 Hubbard, p. 317. 
4 Winthrop (vol. i. p. 237) mentions " Mr. Davenport s company." 


Eaton and Davenport landed in Massachusetts to find the 
colony in the very agony of the Antinomian contest, and not yet 

relieved from the terror of the Pequod war. To re- 
Eaton and 

Davenport main in Massachusetts would have been incompatible 
Massachu- with the special designs for which the emigrants had 
come out, and, despite the anxiety of the leading men 
there to retain them, they only regarded it as a halting place. 2 
They wisely devoted six or seven months to familiarizing them 
selves with the country and making careful search for a site. The 
campaign against the Pequods had disclosed to the men of Mas 
sachusetts the value of the territory along the shore south of 
Narragansett Bay, especially about the mouth of the Quinipiak. 
Stotighton, who commanded the Massachusetts contingent, wrote 
to Winthrop from the scene of the last victory, urging that if the 
colony wanted an addition of fertile territory, it should be looked 
for in that quarter, and not along the banks of the Connecticut. 3 
In the autumn of 1637 Eaton and some of his associates set 
forth to inspect the site thus recommended. < Davenport stayed 
Choice of for a while at Boston, where, no doubt, so able a re 
cruit was highly valued by the orthodox party. 6 Eaton s 
report of the country was satisfactory, and in the next spring 
he was followed by Davenport and his disciples, and by some 
of the Massachusetts settlers who cast in their lot with them. 6 
Though more than one of the Massachusetts churches would fain 
have enlisted the new-comers, yet it is clear that the scheme of 
colonization was looked on with approval by the civil authorities. 7 
This seems at first sight somewhat strangely at variance with the 
discountenance previously shown towards the emigrants to Con 
necticut. But we shall see that it became henceforth a settled 
principle with the Massachusetts government that the country 
south of Cape Cod should be, if not in political subjection to 
them, at least as far as possible in friendly hands. Moreover the 
colony at Quinipiak might be of use to support Connecticut, and 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 226. 

2 The overtures made to Davenport and Eaton by various townships in Massachusetts are 
described by Winthrop (vol. i. p. 259). The reasons for which they were declined arc set 
forth in a letter written to the Governor and Assistants by Davenport and Eaton in March, 
1638. This letter is given by Mr. Savage in an Appendix, vol. i. p. 484. 

3 Stoughton s letter is published by Mr. Savage in an Appendix, vol. i. p. 478. 

4 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 237. 

8 His name repeatedly occurs in the Antinomian disputes. 
6 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 259. 

1 Winthrop, in the passage just referred to, says, " We expected to see a good providence 
of God in it." 


to link it to the older settlements. The Massachusetts statesmen 
thought too, that by spreading their settlements over a wide ter 
ritory, they would make it more difficult for the authorities in 
England to bring them under a single government. 1 Nor had 
they the same reason to fear the disapproval of the home 
authorities as in the case of Connecticut. There they might 
well feel that the movement would be looked on as an intru 
sion by the Massachusetts government on territory to which the 
Crown had a claim. The settlement of Newhaven was a step for 
which the Massachusetts government could reasonably disclaim 
all responsibility. 

Like the settlers at Providence and Aquednek, the founders of 

the colony at Quinipiak sought for no territorial title beyond one 

obtained by contract with the Indians. In the winter 

Purchase - ... , , . 

from the following their arrival they made two successive pur- 
indians. c h ases o f i am j. The whole tract thus obtained ex 
tended eight miles northeast of the Quinipiak river, and five 
miles southwest of it, and ran ten miles inland. 

The settlers continued to act with the same deliberation which 
they had shown in their choice of a site. For more than a year 
Condition *key remained without any formal legislative or judicial 
of the machinery, content to wait till fuller experience should 


during its suggest the pattern of their new constitution. Their 
only bond of union over and above such ecclesiastical 
organization as they might already possess was a so-called "plan 
tation covenant " a declaration, that is, of their corporate civil 
existence, analogous to the church covenant which served as a 
basis of religious union and possibly suggested by it. This agree 
ment only pledged the settlers in general terms to accept the rule 
of Scripture, not merely ac a religious system, but also as a civil 
code. There is no definite record of any ecclesiastical organiza 
tion, but it is riot unlikely that many of the settlers were already 
members of a church under the ministry of Davenport. 3 Such 
union however, if it existed, was only regarded as temporary and 
provisional, since in the following year a church was formed 
afresh. Moreover some sort of civil authority must have been for 
the time vested in one or more of the leaders. Let the bond of 
spiritual brotherhood have been ever so strong, no community 

1 Wiuthrop, as above. 

2 Newhaven Records, vol. i. pp. i, 5. 

s It would not be safe to assume that when Winthrop spoke of " Mr. Davenport s Com 
pany " he meant a congregational church. 


would have trusted to that alone for the maintenance of law and 
order. We know too, that, when in the following year a civil 
constitution was established, all trusts for the management of pub 
lic affairs were formally abolished, i a clear proof that such existed, 
though unrecorded. 

In June, 1639, the whole body of settlers came together to frame 

a constitution. A tradition, seemingly well founded, says that 

the meeting was held in a large barn. According to 

A consti 
tution the same account, the purpose for which they had met 


and the principles on which they ought to proceed 
were set forth by Davenport in a sermon. Wisdom hath builded 
her house, she hath hewn out seven pillars, " was his text. There 
is an obvious connection between this and the subsequent choice 
of seven of the chief men to lay the foundation of the constitution. 
But it does not follow that the seven men were chosen in obedi 
ence to the letter of the text. The Puritan often justified rational 
measures by fanciful analogies, nor is it impossible that the text 
was chosen as appropriate to a policy already in the preacher s 
mind. Davenport set forth the general system on which the 
constitution ought to be framed. The two main principles which 
he laid down were, that Scripture is a perfect and sufficient rule 
for the conduct of civil affairs, and that church-membership must 
be a condition of citizenship. In this the colonists were but 
imitating the example of Massachusetts. Yet the cases were not 
identical. In Massachusetts, the majority of the legislature framed 
a test which must have actually disfranchised some who had 
hitherto enjoyed the rights of citizenship, and which divided the 
community into a privileged and a non-privileged order. The 
founders of Newhaven may not improbably have believed that 
the church and the commonwealth would be identical. In any 
case all who, not being church members, came in the face of the 
disqualification, joined the colony with the full knowledge of what 
lay before them. After the sermon five resolutions, formally in 
troducing Davenport s proposals, were carried. If a church already 
existed, it was not considered fit to form a basis for the state. 
Accordingly a fresh one was framed by a curiously complicated 

1 Newhaven Records, vol, i. p. 20. 

2 The proceedings of this meeting are described in a MS., apparently contemporary, pub 
lished in the Newhaven Records, vol. i. pp. 11-17. It is thought by the editor to be in the 
handwriting of Thomas Fugill. He was in that year appointed notary to the Court. Train- 
bull gives a few details not mentioned in this, such as the place of meeting and the text of 
i);ivenport s sermon. 


process. As a first step twelve men were elected. These twelve 
were instructed, after a due interval for consideration, to choose 
seven out of their own number, who should serve as a nucleus for 
the church. At the same time an oath was taken by the settlers, 
which may be looked on as a sort of preliminary and provisional 
test of citizenship, pledging- them to accept the principles laid down 
by Davenport. Sixty-three of the inhabitants took the oath, and 
their example was soon followed by fifty more. 

By October, four months after the original meeting, the seven 
formally established the new commonwealth. They granted the 
rights of a freeman to all who joined them, and who were recog 
nized members either of the church at Newhaven or of any other 
approved church. The freemen thus chosen entered into an 
agreement to the same effect as the oath already taken. They 
then elected a Governor and four Magistrates, or, as they were 
for the present called, a Magistrate and four Deputies. These 
officers were to be chosen yearly, but the claim of Eaton to the 
governorship was never disputed during the twenty years which 
passed before his death. The judicial system differed from that 
of the other New England colonies in that it rejected trial by jury, 
possibly because it could not be justified by any scriptural prece 
dent. A public Notary and a Marshal were appointed. The 
functions of the Governor and Magistrates were not defined. In 
deed, but one formal resolution was passed as to the constitution 
of the colony, namely, "that the Word of God shall be the only 
rule attended unto in ordering the affairs of government. " 

The principle on which the colony at Quinipiak was formed 
forbade any wide local extension. It was restricted by the same 
other limitations which the Greek philosopher recognized in 

his ideal state. The citizens must have opportunities 
f r acquiring familiarity one with the other. 2 The whole 
Newhaven. community was a single congregation, and from the 
preacher even less than from the herald could the voice of Stentor 
be required. 3 Thus the colony did not extend its own boundaries; 
it served as a model for other independent communities. In 1639 

l These proceedings are all entered in the Records (vol. i. p. 20). The appointment of a 
Governor and Magistrates is also shortly but clearly described in a letter from Codditigton 
to Winthrop, December 9, 1639 (Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol. vii. p. 278). 

2 "Avaynalov yvGopfcsiv dXltfaovS, rtoioz riveS ettft, rovS no- 
A/r? (Arist. Pol. b. vii. ch. iv. 13). 
;! 77? yap 6rpar^y6^ sdrai r 

/<. 11). 


two other parties of emigrants, each numbering about forty, 
and, like those who founded Newhaven, joined together as an 
independent church, formed settlements, one, afterwards Guild- 
ford, seventeen miles north, the other, afterwards Milford, eleven 
miles south, of Quinipiak. Both settlements were placed on lands 
purchased from the Indians. Though politically independent of 
the colony at Quinipiak, they apparently copied the constitution 
of it, since each appointed seven men as magistrates and legislators. 
In this respect for the number seven they were not only imitating 
the orthodox church at Newhaven, but, undesignedly, no doubt, 
the Antinomian communities in Aquednek. l Besides Guildford 
and Milford, other settlements soon came into existence in the 
neighborhood of Quinipiak, or, to give it the name which had now 
been formally conferred upon it, Newhaven. These were the 
plantations at Rippowams and Yennycock, afterwards known 
as Stamford and Southold. Stamford was on the mainland, 
Southold opposite, on the western shore of Long Island. This 
settlement was of no small importance as an encroachment on 
Dutch territory. As such it will come before us again. The 
records now in existence fail to explain the exact relations between 
these plantations and the government of Newhaven. But it is 
clear that their position was not like that of Milford and Guildford, 
one of complete independence. Thus, in 1642 we find in the 
Newhaven records reference to the deputies for Stamford, while at 
the same time the court of Newhaven formally substitutes that 
name for the Indian one of Rippowams. 2 So, too, the same 
Court, appoints a constable for Yennycock pending the appoint 
ment of a magistrate. 3 And we can hardly err in applying to 
Southold and Stamford an entry in the records that Courts should 
be held at Newhaven every April and October for the plantations 
in combination with this town. 4 

Whatever may have been the exact constitutional position of 

these settlements, it is at least clear that Newhaven had abandoned 

the principle on which she set out, that of making each 

Consolida- r r 

tionofthe church an independent community for civil purposes. 

colony. ; 

The principle or union once adopted was soon carried 

1 The Newhaven records tell us nothing of the settlement of Guildford and Milford. The 
process is fully described by Trumbull (vol. i. p. 107). His account is apparently taken from 
the records of the townships. There is in the Massachusetts Historical Collection (ist 
series, vol. i. pp. 182-8) an account of the first settlement of Guildford. It is taken from a 
manuscript by Thomas Ruggles, who was pastor of the church of Guildford from 1695 to 
1728. The account is in all likelihood taken from the town records. 

2 Records, vol. i. p. 69. 3 Ib. p. 70 4 Ib. 


further. In 1643 Guildford and Milford gave up the position of 
independence, and came within the jurisdiction of Newhaven. 
^One incident of this union illustrates the tenacity with which the 
colony held to the principle of a religious test for citizenship. 
The government of Milford had been less exacting, and had ad 
mitted six freemen who were not members of the church there. 
Were they to be accepted as citizens of Newhaven in their capacity 
of freemen or excluded as not being church-members ? The 
matter was settled by a compromise. Their local rights were to 
be preserved, and they were to vote for the representatives of their 
town. But they were not to vote for magistrates, either themselves 
or by proxy, nor to be eligible for office, and henceforth none but 
church-members were to be admitted as freemen of the various 
townships. The same limitation of political power is very clearly 
marked in an account which we have of Guildford, based, it would 
seem, on the town records. None but church-members were ad 
mitted as freemen. The magistrates of the town were chosen 
from among them, and they had the right of managing ail business 
that was "interesting or honorable." This, no doubt included 
the election of all state officials. It did not however include the 
division of the lands of the township or the passing of by-laws to 
regulate town matters. These were settled by the town meeting, 
composed not only of the freemen but of the whole body of planters 
that is, of adult male inhabitants who possessed a certain qualifi 
cation of property. The powers of this last body extended to the 
infliction of fines and corporal punishment. 

The admission of these new members made it necessary to 
revise the constitution of the colony. The supreme legislative 
power was to be vested in the General Court, consisting of the 
Governor, the Deputy-Governor, the magistrates, and the Depu 
ties, of whom each township was to return two. The Court was 
to sit twice a year, and unless there were some urgent reasons to 
Necessary the contrary, it was always to meet at Newhaven. 
thelSmst? Though, as it would seem, the Deputies and magistrates 
were to sit together, yet a majority of either body might 
veto a measure. The magistrates were to be elected by the whole 
body of freemen, voting either in person or by papers, and were 

1 The incorporation of Guildford is not stated in the records, but is referred to (p. nu). 
The case of Milford and the compromise as formally settled is recorded in the same pLice 
with a minuteness which shows that the admission of those who were not church-members 
was a matter of very grave deliberation. The record, indeed, expressly states that the 
matter was "seriously considered by the whole Court." 


to sit as the chief judicial court, and also to have local jurisdiction 
in the townships wherein they dwelt This jurisdiction was to 
extend to civil cases of not more than twenty shillings value. 
They had also power to inflict a fine of twenty shillings or the 
penalties of whipping and the stocks in criminal cases. Though 
the magistrates for each township were elected by the whole body 
of freemen, yet it would seem that if a township was left without a 
resident magistrate it had power to fill the vacancy for itself. 1 In 
the following year we find a special entry recording that the bur 
gesses of Guildford were empowered in the absence of a resident 
magistrate to elect four Deputies who should act as a local court. 2 
Doubtless the short career of these outlying plantations as inde 
pendent political bodies was not without its permanent influence. 
Their civic life was not lost; it reappeared in their municipal 

We may from the records and from other materials extant form 
a fairly complete idea of the condition of the colony. Two hun 
dred and ten inhabitants took the oath of fidelity as 

General J 

condition of freemen, a measure which may have been suggested by 
the troubled state of affairs in England. 3 The test of 
church-membership must have excluded a considerable number, 
if it be true that as early as 1639 there were three hundred houses 
at Newhaven. * A document is extant, showing us the number of 
landholders in 1643, w ith tne extent both of their holdings and 
their families. 6 The whole number of householders is a hundred 
and thirteen, and their collective families make up four hundred 
and twenty. The largest estate is three thousand acres, held by 
Eaton. This is followed by eight others of a thousand acres each. 
Of the whole number forty-seven, less that is than half, fall short 
of a hundred acres each. The whole question of wages and prices 
was made the subject of legislation in 1641. Special provisions 
are made for the hiring of teams and boats, for the payment of 
such workmen as plasterers and joiners, and for substantial timber 
fencing. 6 All these show that the colony had at this early date 
passed the stage when all its labor was needed for the necessaries 
of life. Indeed it is clear that the founders of Newhaven were, 

1 These constitutional arrangements were set forth in the Records (vol. i. p. 112). 

2 Newhaven Records, vol. i. p. 131. 8/J. p. 137. 

* This is stated by De Vries, a leading man among the Dutch settlers in New Netherlands. 
He made several voyages to America, and wrote an account of them, published in 1655. A 
translation of this work by Mr. Henry C. Murphy was privately published at New York in 
1853. The visit to Newhaven is briefly mentioned at page 125. 

6 Newhaven Records, vol. i. p. 91. 6 R>. p. 52- 


measured by the ordinary standard of New England, men of 
wealth, able to indulge, if not in luxury, at least in outward show. 
The Massachusetts writers who describe the colony dwell on its 
complete streets, its stately and costly houses, "laid out in very 
gallant form." 1 Yet we learn from the same source that the 
prosperity thus indicated was not maintained. Neither was the 
soil immediately about the town fertile nor the harbor commo 
dious. The distance, too, from Boston was a drawback to the 
trade of the settlement. An entry in the records shows us indeed 
that Newhaven traded with Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vir 
ginia. 2 But before many years some of the merchants who had 
begun the colony had forsaken it, others had turned farmers, and 
the outward aspect of the town told of its waning prosperity. 3 
The final blow seems to have come in 1644, from the loss of a 
ship in which, as a last speculation, the Newhaven merchants had 
embarked their remaining capital. She was launched in the dead 
of winter, was frozen up in Newhaven harbor, and only went out 
to perish unheard-of at sea. The vision of a ship which seemed 
to enter Newhaven harbor and then vanish, reflected, one may 
believe* by some strange atmospheric process, some three years 
later, was by a not unnatural superstition connected with this mis 
hap, and the prominence which the whole matter assumed in New 
England tradition showed that the loss was no common calamity. 4 
The settlement of Newhaven is marked by more than one note 
worthy feature. In the process by which the various separate 
Effect of townships grew into one commonwealth we see for the 
men^of 16 " nrst l ^ me enacted on a small scale, what was afterwards 
Newhaven. d one j n a larger field. Political, or rather ecclesias 
tical, theories suggested separation, bat the necessities of mutual 
support and defence commanded union. So it was with the New 
England Confederation, so it was with the American Republic. 
The settlement of Newhaven, too, was not merely an illustration 
of the necessity of union; it was itself an important element in the 
process by which the New England colonies were brought together. 
The extension of the English towards the Hudson, a process to 
which Connecticut was also contributing, necessarily brought with 

l Johnson, b. ii. ch. 8; Maverick, p. 23. 2 Newhaven Records, vol. i. p. 35. 

8 Maverick, p. 23; Hubbard, p. 321. 

4 Winthrop tells of the freezing up of the vessel in 1645, but not of its subsequent loss, and 
of the apparition of the vessel in 1648. But he does not connect the earlier incident with the 
later. Hubbard twice mentions the loss of the vessel, but says nothing of the apparition. 
Cotton Mather (Magnalifi, b. i. p. 25) was apparently the first writer who connected the 
two events. Probably in this he only followed popular tradition. 


it the risk of a collision with the Dutch, and increased the need 
for mutual defence. 

The settlement of Newhaven, too, not merely made union 
needful, but it helped to make it possible. The great obstacle to 
confederation was the superior strength and the overbearing tem 
per of Massachusetts. A federal alliance can never be satisfactory 
where one member towers over the rest. The weaker states must 
ever be in danger of sinking into a position of dependent alliance. 
In the case of the New England colonies that difficulty was never 
wholly overcome. But the settlement of Newhaven greatly les 
sened it. In all matters concerning the Dutch and the Indians, 
the interests of Newhaven and Connecticut were likely to be 
identical. Plymouth was sure to throw its lot in with them rather 
than with the colony which had ever shown itself a jealous and 
exacting, at times an unscrupulous, neighbor. Massachusetts was 
often strong enough to override the just claims of her confederates, 
but she could not wholly ignore them. 



MEANWHILE the territory to the north of Massachusetts was being 
colonized from motives and on principles widely different from 
General those which governed the settlement of New England. 
f thJset- ^ ne plantations which afterwards grew into Maine and 
north?f s the ^ ew Hampshire had an origin not unlike that of the 
Piscataqua. Southern colonies. An individual or a company ac 
quired a tract of unoccupied land. The actual settlers who emi 
grated and tilled the soil were, like the live stock and the capital 

l The early history of New Hampshire and Maine is beset with difficulties. Happily its 
importance is not equal to its intricacy. The archives of New Hampshire, including the 
records of the four separate townships which formed the germ of ftiat colony, were pub- 
lished in 1867-73, edited by Dr. Bouton. They extend down to 1776. The most important 
part of them for the period now before us is the correspondence between Mason and his 
agent Gibbons. Some of these letters are also given in the Appendix to Belknap s History 
of New Hampshire, published in 1812. Belknap s is a clear narrative, based mainly on the 
manuscript records of the various New Hampshire townships, those of Massachusetts, and 
on Winthrop s History. In some cases he refers to Winthrop, not directly, but through the 
somewhat untrustworthy medium of Hubbard. Belknap was not always severely critical 
in his examination of evidence, and there can be little doubt that he was more than once 
imposed on by forged documents. Mr. Farmer, who edited Belknap s History in 1831, has 
added some valuable matter in the form of notes. My references are to this edition. A 
document of great value for the early history of New Hampshire was brought to light in 1876. 
It is the agreement between David Thompson and three merchants of Plymouth. It is 
published with a very full explanatory monograph by Mr. Deane, in the Proceedings of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society for 1876. This, coupled with the evidence of Maverick s 
book, described at page 14 n, throws an entirely new light on Thompson s position and on 
the early history of the settlements on the Piscataqua. Maverick s evidence is of great 
value both for New Hampshire and Maine. The most important events in the history of 
the townships on the Piscataqua, their union with Massachusetts and the circumstances 
which led to it, are fully told by Winthrop. There is also much valuable material in the 
publications of the New Hampshire Historical Society. 

The materials for the history of Maine during this time are very scanty. The early 
records have never, so far as I can ascertain, been published in an authentic and connected 
form. Fragments of them have been preserved in Hazard, in the Massachusetts Historical 
Societrfs Collections, and in the Maine Historical Society s Collection. One or two details 
have been preserved by Winthrop. Hubbard appears to have enjoyed special opportunities 
for acquiring information about the northern settlements, and he often supplements the de 
ficiencies of our other authorities. The narrative of Gorges has necessarily some value, but 
it is at once prolix and incomplete. I have thought it best to deal with various points of 
controversy pertaining to this chapter in an Appendix. 



expended in husbandry, part of the machinery which the propri 
etors employed to make their grant profitable. Such a community 
did not, like the Puritan colonies, begin life with definite political 
principles or a preconceived system; its institutions were shaped 
by practical needs. 

There could be but little community of interest or sentiment 
between these settlers and their Puritan neighbors. Nevertheless, 
Relations Maine an ^ New Hampshire, as we may by anticipation 
to New call them, had an important influence on the history 
of New England. Neither Massachusetts nor that re 
public which owes so much of its peculiar character to Massachu 
setts has ever been indifferent to the motive which we call patriotism 
when we would approve, and lust of territory when we would 
condemn. The attitude of the colonies on the northern border 
of Massachusetts was one of the first influences which called out 
that passion and kept it alive. When a partial and imperfect in 
corporation was brought about it must have infused into Massachu 
setts an element alien from the dominant Puritanism, not indeed 
large, but yet strong enough to have an influence on the life of 
the state. Moreover it can hardly be too often said that the his 
tory of the United States is the history of a continuous process of 
union. Every step in that direction is important, since it lessened 
the number of separate members which had to be united, and 
also familiarized the community with the process and educated 
it for its final destiny. 

The recklessness, probably too the geographical ignorance, of 
the Plymouth Council showed itself in their distribution of the 
Grants of land north of the Merrimac. Individuals from time 
piynumth 6 to ^ me received grants, given on no connected system, 
Council. anc j often contradicting and encroaching on one an 
other. 1 If we knew the details of those grants we should not 
improbably find that in some instances the smaller grantees were 
tenants of the larger, and that in other cases land once assigned 
was left unoccupied, and thereby forfeited and regranted. 

Among the adventurers who employed themselves in settling to 
the north of the Merrimac two stand out prominent. These were 
John Gorges and John Mason. 2 The early career and the 

Mason. colonial schemes of the former have already been 
sketched. The fulfillment of those schemes, so far as they were 

1 For a list of these grants between 1621 and 1636 see Appendix B. 

2 it is scarcely needful to say that he is wholly distinct from the conqueror of the Pequods. 


fulfilled, will soon come before us. Mason, like his associate, 
has suffered in reputation, partly from the indifference, partly 
from the active hostility of the Puritan chroniclers, while the 
meager reports of unfriendly critics cannot in this case be sup 
plemented from his own writings, and but scantily from general 
history. Perhaps the best testimony to Mason s character is the 
absence of any specific charge of dishonesty or immorality. The 
fairest and most moderate of the Puritan chroniclers describes him 
as "the chief mover in all the attempts against us." 1 But this 
means no more than that he was unfriendly to Puritanism, and an 
energetic and aggressive rival to the New England traders, and 
that in consequence he was anxious to see the colonies brought 
under one central government. The records of his settlement 
show that he was sagacious in the management of it and liberal, 
indeed lavish, in his expenditure. In fact, of all those members 
of the Council who parceled out the land of New England be 
tween them, 2 only Mason and Gorges seem to have taken any 
interest in their territory or bestowed any care upon plantation. 
Events showed that the system which they adopted was unsuited to 
the conditions of the country. Personal supervision and manual 
labor were more needed than capital, and there was no place for 
the absentee landowner. But if New England could have been 
settled by the same process which answered in Virginia and 
Maryland, Mason was apparently well fitted to succeed. 

He seems to have begun his American career as Governor of 
Newfoundland under the company of proprietors, chiefly Bristol 
merchants, who held a patent for that colony. There is nothing 
to show the exact date of his appointment. We know that his 
predecessor, Guy. held office in 1611,3 that Mason himself was 
Governor in 1621, and his successor, Slaney, in i627. 4 That 
Mason was an active and capable man may be assumed from the 
position which he held in the public service, and from the man 
ner in which he was regarded by those under whom he served. 
We learn from the State Papers that he was Commissary-General 
for victualing the Cadiz expedition in i6z6. 5 We find him de 
scribed by Lord Wimbledon, who was in command of that expe 
dition, as a man deserving a better office, 6 and in the next year 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 187. 2 For this division see above (p. 144). 

There is a proclamation by Guy in the State Papers, dated August 13, 1611. It is calen 
dared under December, 1618. 

4 Colonial Papers, 1621, March 16; 1627, Nov. 2. 

6 Domestic Papers, 1626, May 25. 6 /. 


he was appointed Treasurer of the Army. 1 His own letters show 
him to us as an active, capable man, not afraid to tell his superiors 
unpalatable truths. 2 

There were at least two settlements on the territory which after 
wards formed New Hampshire earlier than those established by 
Mason. The first of these was that already mentioned, formed by 
David Thompson and three Plymouth merchants, Colmer, Sherwill, 
and Pomery. The historian of Plymouth tells us just enough to 
show the continued existence of this plantation. The site of it 
was in all likelihood the present township of Rye, a few miles 
south of the mouth of the Piscataqua. 3 Thompson himself left 
in 1626, and became an independent settler upon an island in 
what was afterwards Boston harbor. 4 What became of the set 
tlement after Thompson s departure is uncertain. But a list of the 
plantations which subscribed towards helping Plymouth in the 
expedition against Morton is still extant. Among the contribu 
tors was Pascataquack. " This, in all likelihood was the settle 
ment established by Thompson. Probably it was at some later 
day amalgamated with the neighboring settlement of Portsmouth, 
and the rights of the proprietors either lost by disuse or transferred 
by some agreement no longer extant. 

The other settlement was at Cocheco, afterwards called Dover, 
some fifteen miles up the river, on the western bank. It was 
founded by two brothers, Edward and William Hilton, sometime 
fishmongers in London. The same document which proves the 
existence of the settlement at "Pascataquack" in 1628, also 
mentions Hilton s settlement. Another document shows that in 
or before 1630, the Hiltons took as partners in their venture cer 
tain merchants from Bristol and Shrewsbury. 5 

Though Mason had taken out at least two patents for land in 
New England before 1629, he had made no attempt seemingly to 
turn them to account. But in that year he, Gorges, and seven 
others formed themselves into a partnership, entitled the Laconia 
Company. If this body was formally incorporated, no trace of 
the instrument remains. The territory which gave the name to 

1 Domestic Papers, 1627, May 16. 

2 See, for example, his letters to Edward Nicholas, clerk of the Council, remonstrating 
Against the delay in paying the troops and against other negligence in the public service 
{Domestic Papers, 1627, Jan. 19, May 7). 

3 Deane, in Proceedings, p. 368. * See above, p. 81. 

6 Belknap refers to a manuscript copy of this patent. It has never been printed, and, as 
far as I can learn, neither Mr. Bouton nor any other writer has seen it. It is more than 
once referred to in documents of about 1630. 


it was granted to Gorges and Mason, and was vaguely described 
as on the Iroquois lakes. 1 In 1630, a Captain Walter Neal was 
sent out by the partners as their agent. His instructions led him 
to undertake a voyage of discovery to the northwest, from which 
he returned without achieving any result. 2 

The chronicles of Massachusetts tell us two incidents of no 

great importance concerning Neal s sojourn at Piscataqua. In the 

autumn of 1632 the coast of New England was infested 

Dixy Bull. 

by a pirate named Dixy Bull. Only a few months earlier 
his name appeared among the partners of Gorges and Mason. 3 
He seems to have gone out as a trader, and then, having been 
attacked and plundered by a French vessel, to have himself turned 
pirate. His first victims were some independent settlers, who 
had set up a trading station at Pemaquid, north of the Kennebec. 
Neal, on receiving news of is, set out against Bull with two 
pinnaces and two shallops, and sent for help to Boston. The 
government decided to send a bark with twenty men. Bad 
weather however prevented them from sailing. Neal s expedition, 
though hindered by the same cause, succeeded in driving away 
the pirates. Of their after fate all that we know is that Bull 
returned to England, and there, according to a Puritan writer, 
"God destroyed the wretched man/ * not however before he had 
done some injury to New England by his defamations. 5 

It was Neal too who was employed to send to Gorges those 
letters from Sir Christopher Gardiner which brought such trouble 
on their author. 6 It is in all likelihood due to this that, when 
Neal visited Boston on his way back to England, his meeting 
with the authorities there was a somewhat unfriendly one. 7 

1 This grant is in the Colonial Tapers, 1629, Nov. 17. Though the document incorporat 
ing the Laconia Company does not appear, there are many contemporary references to the 
body by that name. 

2 Neal s arrival is mentioned by Winthrop (vol. i. p. 38). Our knowledge of this expedi 
tion is the one original piece of information contained in America Painted to the Life, a 
pretentious and for the most part pirated work by Ferdinando Gorges, grandson of Sir 
Ferdinando. He also says that Laconia was so called from the lakes in it. Hubbard (p. 137) 
also mentions Neal s journey. His account is probably only an adaptation of that given 
by Gorges. Belknap has blundered strangely in his account of Neal s exploration. He 
has attributed to him a journey of discovery described by Winthrop as having been made 
in 1642 by one of the settlers at Piscataqua, an Irishman named Darby Field. Field, by 
his own account, saw many wonders and heard of others. 

3 Colonial Papers, 1632, March 2. 

4 Roger Clap, in Young s Chronicles of Massachusetts, p. 362. The expedition against 
Bull is told by Winthrop in various entries under the year 1632. 

6 Edward Winslow, in his petition on behalf of the planters in New England, refers to 
their adversaries as Morton, Gardiner, and Dixy Bull, a pirate. 

6 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 56 7 /. p. 106. 


In 1631 the Company obtained from the Council for 
England a more definite grant, comprising the house and planta- 
s^ate of ^ on s ^ tuate at Piscataqua lately belonging to Captain 
the settle- Neal. He apparently was succeeded by one Ambrose 
piscata- Gibbons, and it is from the letters which passed between 
him and the partners that we know anything of the 
state of the settlement. There were three separate houses or 
trading stations, and tradition goes to show that one of these was 
the settlement originally formed by Thompson and the Plymouth 
merchants. 2 

The report which Neal brought back seems to have fired the 
minds of the partners with dreams of a northern Eldorado. We 
find them vexing the soul of their factor by their neglect of useful 
and practical measures and their exhortations to him to "find 
out some good mines. " We find Gibbons in his reply remon 
strating with the adventurers for their mismanagement. They 
have, he says, left him without the necessaries of life, and the 
vines which they have sent out, on which they largely rely for 
profit, are unsuited to the country. He must be provided, he 
says, with cattle and good hired hands. " Great looks and many 
words will not be a means to raise a plantation." 3 In 1635 a 
proposed division of stock between Mason and his partners made 
it necessary to take an inventory of the possessions. 4 This hardly 
Dears out Gibbons complaints, unless indeed they had stimulated 
Mason to greater activity during the interval. The whole live 
stock consisted of more than forty horses, over a hundred cattle, 
nearly two hundred sheep, and fifty-four goats. The other prop 
erty included twenty-two cannon and two hundred and fifty small 
arms, together with forty-eight boats, to be used, no doubt, for 
fishing. Nor can there have been any lack of labor, since there 
were fifty workmen, besides eight Danes who had been sent out 
to overlook the sawmills and to make potash. The plantation 
was plainly intended to be a permanent agricultural community, 
since there were twenty-two women among the settlers. Mason s 
enterprise is further illustrated by a well-authenticated tradition, 
telling how his agent brought to Boston a hundred Danish oxen, 
which were there sold for twenty-five pounds each. 5 

l Colonial Papers, 1631, Nov. 3. 2 For the evidence of this see Appendix B. 

3 ik lknap, p. 425. 4 It is given in the New Hampshire Records, vol. 1. p. 113. 

5 This is stated in the deposition of one Francis Small, made in 1685 (New Hampshire 
Records, vol. i. p. 45). Twenty-five pounds was not an exceptional price in New England 
at that time. Cf. Bradford, p. 229; Connecticut Records, vol. L p. 451. 


The same inventory throws light in another respect on the con 
dition of the colony, and thereby does something to explain its 
later history. Among the articles enumerated was a set of church 
furniture. This attention to the decorum of worship makes it 
likely that Mason was a zealous Anglican, and may explain the 
bitterness with which he was regarded by his Puritan rivals. In 
1634 Francis Williams was appointed agent or Governor of the 
plantation. 1 In the next year the division of the territory of New 
England gave the whole tract from Salem to the Piscataqua to 
Mason, and the land beyond it as far as the Kennebec to Gorges 
This only served as a formal confirmation of an arrangement 
which for practical purposes already existed. 

This division was followed a few months later by the death of 
Mason. 2 The other parties seem to have dropped out of the 
Piscata ua un dertaking, and the settlement was now left free to 
becomes shape its own course. The colonists either elected 

an mdepen- _ TT .,,. 

dent settle- Williams their Governor 3 or acquiesced in his continu 
ance in office. The first recorded act of the community 
dates from five years later. It set forth that Williams, the Gov 
ernor, Ambrose Gibbons, the Assistant, and eighteen others, 
inhabitants of Piscataqua, have built a chapel and parsonage 
house, and endowed them with fifty acres of glebe, that they have 
elected two churchwardens and an incumbent, and that, when 
the said incumbent dies " or his time agreed upon expires," they 
shall elect anew. 4 

The Anglicanism of Mason s settlement served to sever the colon 
ists there, not only from their neighbors of Massachusetts, but 
Puritanism also from the plantation of Cocheco. Whether the 
at Cocheco. jjil.tons an( j their associates were definitely of the same 
way of thinking as the settlers at Plymouth and at Boston does 
not appear. But it is rendered strongly probable by the friendly 
relations which they and their manager, Captain Thomas Wiggin, 
always kept up with their Puritan neighbors. 5 

In 1633 the Bristol merchants sold their share in the plantation 

1 1 think this may be inferred from Hubbard (p. 219), though his statement is not very 

2 The exact date of Mason s death is not, as far as I know, specified anywhere. Win- 
throp, writing in May, 1636, says " the last winter Captain Mason died " (vol. i. p. 187). 
Mason s will is given in Hazard, vol. i. p. 400. The probate of it is dated Dec. 22, 1635. A 
Mr. C. \V. Tuttle, writing in Notes and Queries (4th series, vol. vii. p. 265), says thar Ma 
son died between November 6 and December 22, 1635. 

3 Belknap (p. 28) states that this was done. 

4 This agreement is given in the New Hampshire Records, vol i. p. in. 

* There are several references in Winthrop to Captain Wiggin, of Pisr.ataqna. 


to Lord Say and Sele, Lord Brook, and two other partners. 1 Wig- 
gin remained Governor, and the transfer was followed by an influx 
of Puritan settlers and the establishment of a meeting-house. 

Thus a barrier of religious difference was set up between the two 
plantations on the Piscataqua, and Massachusetts gained a foot- 
Religious hold for a policy of aggression. Wiggin now brought 
disputes. ou j. one L ever idge as a minister.* Leveridge was dis 
appointed by the poverty of the colony, and withdrew to Sandwich 
in Plymouth, 3 leaving his flock to be the prey to a succession of 
adventurers and impostors. The first of these was one George 
Burdet, who seems in reality to have been acting as a spy for Laud 
in New England. 4 He adapted himself however to the temper of 
his Puritan associates so successfully as to succeed in ousting 
Wiggin and getting the government of the colony into his own 
hands. 5 Burdet s ascendency did not last long. After the perse 
cution of the Antinomians some of the victims took refuge at 
Cocheco. Among them was Underbill. His services against the 
Pequods might have wiped out the stain of heresy which rested 
on his character. But he soon revived the memory of his mis 
deeds by his violent language against the government while he 
was on a voyage from England, by grave suspicions of unchastity, 
and by the levity with which he spoke of the Divine mystery of 

Upon hearing of the reception of these fugitives, the Massachu 
setts government sent a letter to the settlers at Cocheco, expressing 
their resentment, and containing a warning that their title to their 
lands might be open to question. 7 To this Burdet, we are told, 
returned a scornful answer. 8 The Massachusetts government 
then sent to Cocheco information about Burdet s character. 9 The 
letter was intercepted by Burdet and his adherents, and probably 
had no effect beyond quickening the hostility with which he 
already regarded the government of Massachusetts. Meanwhile 
Burdet seems to have lost his hold over the people of Cocheco, 
since before Winthrop s letter arrived they had elected Underbill 

1 Winthrop (vol. i. p. 115) mentions this sale and its consequences. 

2 Winthrop as above. 

8 See Mr. Savage s note to the above passage. 

4 See a letter from Burdet to Laud. Colonial Papers, 1638, IMOV. 29. 

6 This is expressly stated by Winthrop (vol. i. p. 291). It is not however quite easy to 
see what were the relations between Wiggin and Burdet. Wintnrop s letter remonstrating 
against the reception of the Antinomians was addressed to " Burdet, Wiggin, and others of 
the plantation of Piscataqua" (Winthrop, vol. i. p. 276). 

6 Ib. p. 270. 1 1b. p. 276; Mass. Records, vol. i. p. 254. 

8 Winthrop, as aoove. 8 Ib. p. 277. 


as Governor. l Burdet must have left the settlement soon after, 
since he seems to have borne no part in the disturbances which 
followed, and in 1640 we hear of him at Agamenticus, where 
apparently he obtained much the same kind of popularity which 
he had for a while enjoyed at Cocheco. * His successor soon en 
tangled the colony in disputes with Massachusetts, while to make 
its case worse it was torn asunder by the rivalry of two claimants 
for spiritual office, Knollys and Larkham, both clever adventurers, 
unscrupulous in their public conduct, and, as it would seem, dis 
solute in their private lives. 3 Of these Knollys had been already 
driven out of Massachusetts as a follower of Mrs. Hutchinson. 
Larkham too, if not actually expelled from Massachusetts, was 
in disfavor there. The two banished Antinomians, Knollys and 
Underbill, at once made common cause. The Massachusetts 
government had not unnaturally been incensed by the appoint 
ment of Underbill, and their anger was now quickened by the 
discovery that Knollys in a letter sent home to England had 
described the authorities in Massachusetts as tyrannical and irre 
ligious. 4 Winthrop seemingly sent a private messenger to Knollys, 
telling him that his conduct was known. The culprit thereupon 
presented himself at Boston and made formal acknowledgment of 
his fault. Underbill at the same time did the like. Knollys 
apology was accepted. Underbill s was so mixed with excuses 
and vindications that it was voted unsatisfactory, and he was a 
second time excommunicated. 5 Underbill had already embroiled 
himself with the settlers at Cocheco by attempting an unauthorized 
interference with the jurisdiction of the neighboring settlement, 
and by sending a magistrate to prison who said that he would not 
sit with an adulterer as Underbill was. 6 The little community 
was now broken into two parties, with Knollys and Underbill at 
the head of one and Larkham of the other. Knollys excommu 
nicated his rival, while Larkham s followers in turn denounced 
Underbill as willing to hand over the plantation to Massachusetts. 
Knollys and Underbill resorted to force, whereupon the other side 
sent for help to Williams, the Governor of the lower colony. He 
came with an armed force, arrested Underbill and his followers, 
and then sat in judgment on them and banished them. The 
defeated party thereupon appealed for help to Boston. Three com- 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 326. 2 Ib. vol. ii. p. 10. 

3 Larkhams misdeeds do not seem to have been detected till after his departure from the 
colony, in 1642 (Winthrop. voi. ii. p. 92). 

l Winthrop vol. i. p. 307. 6 Ib. p. 326. 6 Ib. 


missioners, Bradstreet, Hugh Peter, and Dalton, came over and 
restored peace. 1 

The reconciliation thus effected was happily confirmed by 
the departure of two of the chief combatants. Knollys was 
immediately afterwards detected in an act of unchastity and 
banished. 2 Underhill returned to Boston and was reconciled to 
the church. His restless temper, however, soon made him a 
wanderer again. He went to New Netherlands, where he dis 
tinguished himself as a soldier in the service of the Dutch gov 
ernment, and lived, it is said, to see his adopted colony pass into 
the hands of his own countrymen. 3 It is somewhat singular that 
during the very heat of these disturbances the settlers at Cocheco, 
in imitation, it may be, of their neighbors at Exeter, drew up a 
formal agreement by which they constituted themselves a body 
politic. The contract was signed by forty-one of the settlers, with 
the name of Larkham at the head. It does not specify the form 
of government, but only pledges those who signed it to submit 
to the King s laws together with all such laws as should be con 
cluded by a major part of the freemen. As nothing was said as 
to the qualifications for citizenship, we must suppose that the 
freemen were a self-electing body. 4 

Meanwhile two other townships had come into existence 
within the territory claimed by Mason. Wheelwright, the ban- 
Settiement ished leader of the Antinomians, had established a 
at Exeter. sma }[ settlement about ten miles inland on the south 
ernmost tributary of the Piscataqua. 5 The claims of the Proprietor 
were apparently satisfied by agreement. Many years after evidence 
was adduced to show that Wheelwright had already obtained a 
right to the soil by purchase from the Indians in 1629. The 
document which is the only evidence for this sale is too full of 
anachronisms and improbabilities to be accepted as authentic, 
and there can be little doubt that those are right who regard it as 
the deliberately fraudulent production of some eighty years later. 6 

1 Our chief authority for these disturbances at Dover is Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 27-9). 
Lechford gives a short account of them. 

2 Knollys misconduct and banishment are recorded by Winthrop. 

3 Mr. Savage s note to Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 15). Winthrop himself tells of Underhill i 
reconciliation (p. 41) and his subsequent departure (p. 63). 

4 This combination is preserved by Hubbard (p. 222). 

5 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 290. 

6 Mr. Savage, the editor of Winthrop s journal, has gone into the question with great care 
in an Appendix. His arguments seem to me quite fatal to the authenticity of the deed. 
Dr. Bouton, the editor of the Now Hampshire Records, takes the same view, and points 
out other anachronisms besides th^se noticed by Mr. Savage. 


The new settlement was called Exeter. In 1639 tne inhabitants 
formally constituted themselves a township, and bound themselves 
together by a civil compact. 1 The whole number of these was 
thirty-five, of whom fourteen had to sign with a mark. The 
agreement resembled that adopted in the following year by the 
settlers at Cocheco, but was at once fuller and more guarded. 
The settlers professed themselves to be subject to the King, " ac 
cording to the liberty of the English colony of the Massachusetts." 
They further bound themselves to submit "to all such Christian 
laws as are established in the realm of England to their best 
knowledge, and to ail other laws which should upon good 
grounds be made and enacted among them." Here, as at Co 
checo, no provision was made, or at least expressed, either for 
the form of government or for admission to the rights of 

Each of the three townships had dealings of some kind with 
Massachusetts. In the case of Cocheco, or, to give it the name 
Dealings of wmch ^ formally assumed in 1639,2 Dover, these have 
these t & own-been already described. It was scarcely possible that 

ships with ,- -it*- i i i i i r ji 

Massachu- the government of Massachusetts could cherish friendly 
feelings towards the settlers at Exeter. Nevertheless, 
the church at Boston so far recognized them as to give Wheel 
wright and eight of his associates a formal dismissal, without 
which they could not have established a fresh church. 3 Between 
the Puritan government and the little Anglican community under 
Williams there soon sprang up a dispute. Richard Gibson, whom 
the settlers at Portsmouth had chosen for their parson, was accused 
of having written a letter to Larkham scandalizing the Massachu 
setts government. On this charge he was summoned to Boston, 
but was dismissed upon nis making submission and announcing 
his intention of leaving the colony. 4 In the course of this case a 
point arose which foreshadowed an impending dispute. It would 
seem from Winthrop s account that one of the charges against 
Gibson was, that he had married and baptized among the fisher 
men at the Isle of Shoals, off the mouth of the Merrimac, and 
had thereby encroached on the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. 
Passages in contemporary letters show that Gibson was not the 
only settler at Piscataqua who was charged with "scandalizing" 

1 New Hampshire Records, vol. i. p. 131. 

2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 326. 

3 Extract from the Boston church records, quoted by Belknap (p. 20). Winthrop (vol L 
p. 281) mentions the dismissal. < Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 66. 


the authorities in Massachusetts. If we may believe a letter from 
England written by Edward Howe, a very hot-headed admirer of 
New England Puritanism, to the younger John Winthrop, the 
Piscataqua settlers railed at Massachusetts as a country where 
there was no unity of religion and no ecclesiastical ordinances, 
and where men who kept hogs all the week preached on the 
Sabbath. l 

So far this interference with the townships on the Piscataqua 
was only what might be expected from a powerful neighbor. But 
Boundary in the meantime the Massachusetts government was 
with^Mas- asserting and endeavoring to make good a further 
sachusetts. c i a i m to jurisdiction over them. The dispute, like 
most of the disputes among the New England colonies, was 
caused, or at least made possible, by vagueness in the description 
of a boundary. The Massachusetts charter gave that colony for 
one boundary a line three miles north of the Merrimac river and 
of any and every part thereof. Did this mean that the boundary 
was to follow the course of the river, or that it was to start from a 
point three miles beyond the northernmost part of the river, and 
then run due east and west ? The grant to Mason made it almost 
certain that the former had been intended by the donors. But 
the aggressive and somewhat unscrupulous character of the Massa 
chusetts government made it equally certain that they would 
adopt the view more favorable to their own claims. The grant 
thus interpreted would bring all the townships on the Piscataqua 
within the boundary of Massachusetts. 

In 1636 the Massachusetts government took steps which cer 
tainly served, and were in all likelihood intended, as a direct 
^ assertion of their claim. By order of the Court a house 

Settlement J 

of Hamp- W as built upon a fertile salt marsh about half-way be 
tween the Piscataqua and the Merrimac. 2 Two years 
later a settlement was formed there, soon afterwards named 
Hampton. 3 The settlers at Exeter protested against this as be 
ing an intrusion on the lands which they had bought from the 
natives. Their remonstrance was unheeded, and a church with 
fifty-six members, mainly emigrants from Norfolk, was settled 
there. 4 

The attitude of affairs on the Piscataqua might almost be said 

1 Mass. Hist. Coll , 4th series, vol. vi. p. 486. 

2 Mass. Records, vol. i. p. 167; Winthrop, vol. i. p. 290. 
8 Mass. Records, vol. i. pp. 236-7. 

4 That they came from Norfolk is stated by Eelknap (p. 21). 


to invite Massachusetts to a policy of annexation. The Anglican 
settlement at Piscataqua and the Antinomian colony at Exeter 
could not fail to be objects of jealous watchfulness, 
the three Dover had called for the interference of Massachusetts 
witi" S Mas S - in a manner which was almost an admission of its juris- 
ietts diction, while by establishing a settlement at Hampton 
Massachusetts had, as it were, thrust an outpost into the coveteJ 
territory. Nor was there any likelihood of united opposition. 
No tie of common feeling or interest bound together the inhabi 
tants of the three separate plantations on the Piscataqua. Neither 
Mason s legal representatives nor his partners seemed to retain 
any concern in his colonial schemes, and though the energy of 
Gorges knew no abatement, he never troubled himself in the 
settlement established by Mason. As to the other Proprietors, 
they must have long seen that there was little to be made out of 
the settlements in the way of profit, while, if they entertained any 
religious or political designs, those would be best furthered by 
union with Massachusetts. 

In 1639, during the heat of their ecclesiastical disturbances, 
the settlers at Dover made overtures to Massachusetts for incor 
poration, i Two years later these were renewed, and the settlers 
at Piscataqua, or, as it was now called, Strawberry Bank, joined 
in them. The arrangement was carried out by two distinct agree 
ments. Massachusetts had to obtain a surrender of jurisdiction 
from the Proprietors and a personal submission from the inhabi 
tants. Neither was attended with any difficulty. The Proprietors 
surrendered all political claims, reserving their possessory rights 
of the whole territory of Strawberry Bank and one-third of Dover. 2 

Two commissioners, Symonds and Bradstreet, were sent to ne 
gotiate with the inhabitants. It seems to have been a matter of 
some doubt whether they should be adnrtted by agreement on 
special terms, and so retain a certain amount of self-government, 
or simply be treated as if they were occupying part of the Mas- 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 319. 

2 For these negotiations see Mass. Records, vol. i. pp. 270, 332, 342; Winthrop, vol. ii. 
pp. 38, 42; Belknap, p. 30. Winthrop s language seems to imply that the two patents, that 
of Dover and that of Strawberry Bank, were now in the hands of one set of proprietors. 
Belknap, who no doubt had original documents before him, seems to take the same view. 
If this were so there must have been some negotiation of which the traces have disappeared, 
by which Lords Say and Brook and their partners had acquired Strawberry Bank. 

It is also to be noticed that Williams, writing to Winthrop in 1643, refers to the danger of 
Strawberry Bank suffering by encroachments either from the Dover settlers or from the 
patentees of the great house. This looks as if the Laconia partners or Mason s heirs, 
still retained one of the trading stations. 


sic! usetts territory. Finally a compromise was adopted. The 
newly incorporated townships were to be jointly represented by 
two Deputies at the General Court. The growth of Massa 
chusetts had already made it necessary to supplement the central 
jurisdiction at Boston by three local courts, held respectively at 
Newtown, Salem, and Ipswich. This system was now carried 
somewhat further in the cases of Strawberry Bank and Dover. 
They were to be free from all taxes except local rates or imports 
by which they were in any way specially benefited, and they were 
to retain their rights of fishing and felling timber without reference 
to the General Court. Six magistrates were appointed, three from 
each of the two townships. 

In 1643 Exeter followed their example, and was upon petition 
of the inhabitants incorporated with Massachusetts. 1 This pro 
ceeding led to the departure of Wheelwright, who emigrated 
northward, within the jurisdiction of Gorges. 2 

The accession of the townships on the Piscataqua had one im 
portant effect on the constitution of Massachusetts. The govern 
ment was forced in their case to abandon the principle of requiring 
religious conformity as a condition of citizenship. 3 We here see 
how the gradual process of extension and incorporation served to 
temper the religious exclusiveness of Massachusetts. Nor can we 
doubt that the addition of these townships which had grown up 
as independent settlements contributed an element valuable to 
civil freedom. 

At the same time the affairs of Exeter illustrated the amount of 
Disturb- supervision which the government exercised over the 
church erf 16 different churches, and the strict limits which were im- 
Exeter.4 posed on the principle of congregational independence. 

After the departure of Wheelwright certain of the inhabitants of 
Exeter wished to choose as their minister one Stephen Batchelor. 
He had originally come out as pastor to a party of emigrants 
whom we shall meet with again under the title of the Plough 
patentees. After more than one change of cure, he had left 
Hampton under discreditable circumstances. His offence is 
perhaps best described in the words of Winthrop. He tells us 
how " Mr. Stephen Batchelor, the pastor of the church at Hamp 
ton, who had suffered much at the hands of the bishops in Eng- 

1 The petition is in the New Hampshire Records (vol. i. p. 170); cf. Mass. Records, vol. 
ii. p. 43. 

2 Winthrop. vol. ii. p. 162. 3 Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 29. 

4 For the whole of this matter see Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 44, 177, 211) and Mass. Records. 


land, being about eighty years of age and having a lusty, comely 
woman to his wife, did solicit the chastity of his neighbor s wife, 
who acquainted her husband therewith." The venerable victim 
of episcopal tyranny at first denied his offence, but soon after re 
pented and made full confession. "The church, being moved 
with his free confession and tears, silently forgave him and com 
municated with him ; but after finding how scandalous it was, 
they took advice of other elders, and after long debate and much 
pleading and standing upon the church s forgiving and being 
reconciled to him in communicating with him after he had con 
fessed it, they proceeded to cast him out." This sentence was 
not received with unanimous approval, and Batchelor still found 
disciples influential enough to support him for a while. At length 
his enemies prevailed. Thereupon some of those at Exeter were 
for receiving the outcast as their minister. This, however, was 
forbidden by an order from the General Court. It would be un 
fair to take such men as Underbill, Knollys, Larkham, and Batch 
elor for representatives of anything but an exceptional and morbid 
type of Puritanism. Yet the proximity of the four offenders in 
time and place almost forces one to believe that the disease was 
far more widely spread than would be supposed from the uniform 
and indiscriminating eulogies of New England writers. 

In all likelihood the first settlement within the territory of Maine 
was that established by Levitt in 1623, on an island in Casco 
Early Bay. 1 About the same time probably Gorges made 

settlements . . _ ... ..... 

in Maine, his first successful attempt at colonization in a planta 
tion at Saco, under the management of Richard Vines. 2 In 
1631, a company, with Gorges and Maverick among its members, 
made another venture. The site of the colony was on the coast 
ten miles north of the Piscataqua. The settlement was at first under 
the management of one of the partners, Colonel Norton, a fol 
lower of Gorges, who apparently had risen from the rank of a 
private soldier. He seems to have been superseded before long 
by William Gorges, a nephew of Sir Ferdinando. From the tone 
in which both Gorges and Maverick speak of the settlement, we 

1 That Levitt settled in 1623 is settled beyond a doubt by his own statement in \& Account 
of a Voyage to Neiv England (Mass. Hist. Coll., 3rd series, vol. viii. p. 171). This is con 
firmed by Bradford (p. 149). In the printed edition of Maverick s pamphlet Levitt s settle 
ment is dated 1632. This is plainly either a misprint or a clerical error. 

2 Gorges says (p. 79), " Richard Vines, a gentleman and servant of my own, who was 
settled there some years before, and had been interested in the discovery and seizure 
thereof for me, as formerly hath been related, by whose diligence and care these my affair 
had the better success." 


may infer that it was prosperous. The proprietors would have 
called it Bristol, but for the present it kept the Indian name of 

The division of 1635, vested the whole territory of Maine in 
Gorges. Two years later he granted a commission to six of the 
chief settlers in Massachusetts to govern the territory called New 
Somersetshire, a name which seems to be only used in this one 
instrument. The territory was defined as extending from Cape 
Elizabeth, a point a few miles north of Saco, to the Kennebec, or, 
as it is here called, the Sagadahoc. This did not take in either 
Saco or Agamenticus. If it had done so the commission might 
have had attractions for Massachusetts. As it was, it would simply 
have imposed the duty of controlling the scattered traders and the 
unruly fishermen along the coast. At the same time the Massa 
chusetts settlers were anxious not to offend Gorges. Fortunately 
they were able to decline on technical grounds, since Gorges had 
inserted in the commission the names of two who had left the col 
ony, nor did his own claim to jurisdiction seem clearly established. 2 

Two years later Gorges attained the fulfillment of his ambition, 
and became a colonial sovereign as far as any written conditions 
Gorges is could make him one. In April, 1639, a charter was 
prfet t or d o? r "g rante ^ b y tne King constituting Gorges Lord Propri- 
Maine. etor o f Maine. 3 The territory was bounded by the 
Sagadahoc or Kennebec on the north and the Piscataqua on the 
south, and was to extend a hundred and twenty miles inland. 
The political privileges of the Proprietor were to be identical with 
those enjoyed by the Bishop of Durham as Count Palatine. He 
was to legislate in conjunction with the freeholders of the pro 
vince, and with the usual reservation in favor of the laws of Eng 
land. His political rights were to be subject to the control of the 
commissioners for Plantations, but his territorial rights were to 
be independent and complete in themselves. He was also to en 
joy a monopoly of the trade of the colony. The only other 
points especially worth notice were a declaration that the religion 
of the colony was to be that of the Church of England, a reserv 
ation on behalf of all English subjects of the right of fishing with 
its necessary incidents, and the grant to the Proprietor of authority 
to create manors and manorial courts. 

i The patent for this settlement is in the minutes of the Council for New England (Colonial 
I apcrs, 1631, Dec. 2). The settlement itself is clearly described by Maverick (p. 9) and by 
I -orges (p. 79). 

i Winthrop, vol. i. p. 231. 3 The grant is in Colonial Entry Book, LIX. pp. 61-92. 


There is something painful in the spectacle of the once vig 
orous and enterprising soldier amusing his old age by playing at 
Constitu- kingship. In no little German court of the last cen- 
Go?ges tuI 7 could the forms of government and the realities 
coiony.i o f iif e h ave been more at variance. To conduct the 
business of two fishing villages Gorges called into existence a 
staff of officials which might have sufficed for the affairs of the 
Byzantine Empire. He even outdid the absurdities which the 
Proprietors of Carolina perpetrated thirty years later. They at 
least saw that their elaborate machinery of caciques and land 
graves was unfit for practical purposes, and they waived it in favor 
of a simple system which had sprung up in obedience to natural 
wants. But Gorges tells complacently and with a deliberate care, 
which contrasts with his usually hurried and slovenly style, how 
he parceled out his territory and nominated his officials. The 
province was to be divided into eight Bailiwicks or Counties, sub 
divided into Hundreds, and again into Parishes and Tithings. 
As Gorges never crossed the Atlantic the appointment of a Deputy- 
Governor was not an unmeaning form. With him were to be 
associated a Chancellor, a Treasurer, a Marshal, and an Admiral, 
each with a lieutenant to act as his judicial assessor, a master of 
the Ordnance and a Secretary. These were to be the standing 
Council, and with the Deputies elected by the freeholders were 
to form the chief legislative and judicial body. Justice was to 
be administered in each county by a Lieutenant and eight Magis 
trates, to be chosen by the Proprietor or his representative and 
approved by the Council. These in turn were to nominate Con 
stables and Tithing-men. No land was to be transferred without 
leave of the Council. 

The task of putting this cumbrous machinery into motion was 
entrusted by the Proprietor to his son, Thomas Gorges, as Deputy- 
Governor. On his way out he halted at Boston and propitiated 
the leading settlers there by consulting them as to the discharge 
of his duties. 2 His first task after appointing some officials was 
to banish that ubiquitous and discreditable adventurer, Burdet, 
who, having been driven out of Dover, had taken refuge at Aga- 
menticus. There, according to Winthrop, he "ruled all and 
had let loose the reins of liberty to his lusts, so that he grew very 
notorious for his pride and adultery." 3 Vines apparently be- 

1 The constitution of the colony is described by Gorges (p. 84). 

2 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 9. 3 /. 


friended him. Burdet s enemies welcomed the arrival of Gorges, 
and at once brought the offender before the Court. After some 
discussion he was fined. He then fled to England with the in 
tention of appealing, but soon got entangled in the troubles of 
the Civil War, and was imprisoned by the Parliamentary party. 
The Proprietor completed the organization of his state by con 
stituting Agamenticus a borough, and soon afterwards, by a fresh 
instrument, a city, with a territory of twenty-four square miles, 
and a staff of nearly forty officials. 1 At first the judicial proceed 
ings of the settlement were carried on at Saco. The obligation 
of attendance was found irksome by the more distant settlers, 
and they petitioned and obtained leave to have a local court 
at Agamenticus. 

Meanwhile several other settlements had come into existence 
within the boundary of Gorges patent. One was planted by 
Scattered Captain Thomas Cammock, a nephew to the Earl of 
settlements Warwick, under a grant given in 1630. This, known 
as Black Point, formed the nucleus of the township of 
Scarborough. Two partners, Aldsworth and Eldridge, had a set 
tlement at Pemaquid. These grants on the coast of Maine were, 
either through the ignorance of the grantors or the dishonesty of 
the grantees, a fruitful source of dispute. Thus, in 1632, the 
territory at the mouth of the Spurwink, now occupied by the town 
of Portland, was made subject of dispute between George Cleve 
and his partner, Tucker, on the one hand, and John Winton, the 
agent for Robert Trelawny, and Moses Goodyear on the other. 
Trelawny claimed it as having been directly conveyed to his em 
ployers by a grant in December, 1631, while his opponents had 
purchased the claim of John Bradshaw, whose grant dated from 
November in the same year. 

Two of these grants had an important influence on the future 

history of the colony. In June, 1632, George Way and Thomas 

,. Purchase obtained a grant of a tract two miles broad 


at Pejeb- along the river Bishopscote. " 3 This is apparently an 
odd corruption of the Pejebscot, better known as the 
Androscoggin. In 1639 Purchase formally made over this land 
to the Massachusetts government, thereby giving that colony its 
first hold on the land to the north of the Piscataqua. 4 

1 Hazard, vol. i. p 470. 

2 For these grants see Appendix B. 

3 Colonial Papers, 1632, June 16. 

4 Mass. Records, vol. i p. 272. The place is there called " Pagiscott." 


Another grant, which played a prominent part at a later day, 
was a somewhat mysterious document known as the "Plough 
The Plough patent." This instrument first came into notoriety in 
patent. a territorial dispute in 1643. The main facts of the 
case are told shortly but clearly by Winthrop. i According to him, 
in July, 1631, ten husbandmen came from England, in a ship 
named the Plough, with a patent for land at Sagadahoc. But 
as the place did not please them they settled in Massachusetts, 
and were seemingly dispersed in the religious troubles of 1636. 
This account is confirmed and supplemented by two letters written 
by the members of the Company in England, one to Winthrop, 
the other to their associates in America. 2 From the latter of these 
we see that there had been a dispute between Gorges and the pat 
entees as to the extent of the grant, and that the interpretation 
which the latter wished to put upon it would have taken in some 
settlements already in existence. At a later day the rights of the 
patentees were bought up, and were made a ground for ousting 
Gorges from a part of his territory. The contention of the pur 
chasers was that the grant conveyed a tract of land reaching forty 
miles inland, extending from Cape Porpoise to Cape Elizabeth, 
and so taking in Gorges settlement at Saco. Unfortunately the 
document itself is no longer extant, so that we cannot judge of 
the justice of this claim. But it is clear from the letter just referred 
to that this, or something very near this, was the claim of the 
original grantees. We may reasonably doubt whether that claim 
was ever valid, and we may be almost sure that it was not valid 
in the form in which it was revived at a later day. Gorges, what 
ever may have been his follies as a legislator, had no lack of 
shrewdness where his own territorial rights were concerned. We 
may be certain that he would never have dealt as he did with the 
land about Wells, while a dormant claim was hanging over him 
which he could have easily extinguished. As we have just seen, 
he knew the existence and the extent of the so-called Plough 
patent. In all likelihood he considered that, by the abandonment 
of the scheme, the territory had reverted to the condition of un 
occupied soil. 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 58. 

3 These two letters are published in a footnote in the Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol 
vii. p. 88. 



The process by which the New England colonies each came into 
being was now complete. Henceforth we have only to deal with 
Necessity such changes as came about by their growth and com- 
for union, bination. Experience had by this time made it clear 
that some sort of union between the various colonies was a 
necessity. Union indeed had been distasteful when it was likely 
to be enforced from without in a manner which would override 
local liberties and rights. But the state of affairs in England put 
an end to that danger, and the colonists were left free to enter 
upon a self-imposed union which should be consistent with local 
independence, and even helpful to it. 

At the same time the very causes which made confederation a 
necessity were hindrances to the successful institution of any such 
Obstacles system. To understand them we must go back a few 
years to survey what one may call the international pol 
itics of New England, the dealings of the colonies one with another 
and with the foreign neighbors upon their borders. 

We have already seen how the settlement of the Connecticut 
valley and the measures necessary against the Pequods introduced 
something of dissension between the colonies. These were not 
the only subjects of strife. The Plymouth settlers, it will be re 
membered, had established a trading station on the Kennebec, 

i The two main authorities for the history of the New England Confederation are 
Winthrop down to his death, which happened in April, 1649, and the Acts of the Federal 
Commissioners. Theso latter form the ninth and tenth volumes of the Plymouth Records. 
Several papers of value are contained in the Hutchinson Collection. For the Gorton con 
troversy we have Winslow s pamphlet, entitled Hypocrisy Unmasked, and Gorton s 
Simplicities Defence against Seven-headed Policy, both published in 1646. The latter is re 
printed in Force s Collection, vol. iv. It is to this that I refer. For all matters which 
touch on New Netherlands history, Mr. Brodhead s History of New York, published in 
1859, is of great value. It contains copious references to the Dutch archives and to other 
somewhat inaccessible materials. 


and had obtained from the Crown a patent giving them a mon 
opoly of trade on the river and the right of enforcing that 
The affray monopoly if needful by armed force. In defiance of 
iclnnebec.i this a certain Hocking, seemingly one of the settlers 
planted by Lord Say and Sele and his partners at Cocheco, forced 
his way in a bark up the river, intending to intercept the Indian 
trade above the Plymouth factory. Rowland, the manager, re 
monstrated and threatened to use force. Hocking, after bid 
ding him do his worst, went up the stream and came to anchor. 
Howland then sent an armed party with orders to cut Hocking s 
cable and let him drift down stream. This was done. Hocking 
fired on his assailants, and shot one Moses Talbot dead. There 
upon another of the party fired back and killed Hocking. 

The settlers at Cocheco at once wrote home to the Proprietors, 
giving them, Bradford says, a one-sided report of the affair. Soon 
after the Plymouth trading vessel went to Boston. Among those 
on board was John Alden, a leading man among the settlers. 
He had been at Kennebec, but had borne no part in the fray. 
Nor is it easy to see by what right the government of Massachu 
setts meddled in the business. Nevertheless they detained the 
bark for a while, and kept Alden as a prisoner. Standish was 
thereupon sent to treat for his release. This was granted, but 
not till Alden and Standish had both given security to appear and 
explain the matter. Dudley, then Governor, wrote at the same 
time to Bradford, acquitting the Plymouth settlers, though in a 
carefully guarded manner, of guilt. It is clear that the authorities 
at Massachusetts were really actuated by fear that New England 
would be discredited with the mother country. "It would give 
occasion to the King to send a general Governor over ; and be 
sides had brought us all end the gospel under a common reproach 
of cutting one another s throats for beaver. "* Finally it was de 
cided, by the advice of Winthrop, that a conference should be 
held by reprebentatives from Cocheco and Plymouth at some 
convenient place, at which some of the leading men from Massa 
chusetts might attend, and "the ministers of every plantation 
might be present to give their advice in point of conscience. ^ 

The government of Plymouth, feeling confidence in the good 
ness of their cause, adopted this proposal, though somewhat 

1 Bradford (pp. 199-202) and Winthrop (vol. i. pp. 131, 136, 139, 146) both describe this 
affair. Their accounts agree. 

2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 131. 
* Krcniford, p. 202. 


reluctantly. At the appointed time the representatives of Pisca 
taqua failed to appear. The arbitrators from Boston, apparently 
Winthrop, Cotton, and Wilson, thereupon considered the matter 
and absolved the men of Plymouth from all blame. Winslow, 
who was about to visit England on the embassy before described, 
was instructed to explain matters to Lord Say and Sele and his 
partners, while Winthrop and Dudley at the same time wrote them 
a letter exculpating the men of Plymouth. The Proprietors re 
ceived these explanations harshly and grudgingly, saying that 
they might have sent a man-of-war to beat down the house at 
Kennebec. They were content, however, to leave the matter in 
the hands of Wiggin, who was then agent at Cocheco, and of 
the Massachusetts government, and no more came of it. 

In 1639 a direct dispute arose between Plymouth and Massa 
chusetts. It might have been foreseen that as these colonies 
Boundary increased and extended, difficulties would arise about 
twSen e piy" tne boundaries. A fertile tract of meadow lay between 
MassacSTx?- Scituate, the northern-most township of Plymouth, and 
setts. Hingham, a settlement on the southern borders of 

Massachusetts, i The settlers at the latter place staked out the 
meadow as their own, whereupon the Plymouth settlers pulled 
up the stakes. Each government maintained its territorial claim. 
A conference was held at which each was represented by two 
commissioners, who failed to agree. The northern boundary of 
Plymouth was a rivulet called the Cohasset. This had been def 
initely fixed by the charter of 1629. The Massachusetts patent 
was more open to dispute. It took for the southern boundary 
a line three miles south of the Charles river. But what was the 
Charles river? According to the contention of the Plymouth 
commissioners it meant the main stream, while the representa 
tives of Massachusetts argued that it meant a small tributary to 
the south. After a dispute which lasted for about two years, a 
compromise was made by which the debatable land was divided 
between the two colonies. 

The settlement of Connecticut had been attended with ill-feeling 
between Massachusetts and Plymouth. It soon gave rise to a 
dispute between the parent and the new colony. Although 
Massachusetts had at first kept up some jurisdiction over the set 
tlements on the Connecticut, there could be no doubt that with 
one exception they lay outside her territorial limits, and accord- 

1 The only account of this affair is that given by Bradford (pp. 231-4). 


ingly no attempt was made to retain them permanently. But 
one township, Agawam, afterwards Springfield, unquestionably 
Dispute I a 7 within the boundaries of Massachusetts. A reso- 
Massachu- ^ u ^ on * s st ^ extant, dated February, 1639, by which 

setts and the inhabitants of Agawam, in consideration of the dis 


tut. tance from the center of government, and in default 

of other instructions, appoint William Pynchon as their Magis 
trate, with very full judicial and executive powers. At the same 
time, in consideration of the paucity of settlers, six was substi 
tuted for twelve as the number needed for a jury. l The existence 
of a settlement adjacent to one colony and identified with it by 
commercial interests, but under the jurisdiction of another, could 
hardly fail to be a cause of dispute. Saybrook too might at any 
time give rise to difficulties in another quarter. A post essential 
to the security of the colony and able to intercept its commerce 
was in the hands of proprietors whose attitude towards the New 
England colonies had often been arrogant and never cordially 

All these sources of dispute, actual or possible, showed the 
need for some common jurisdiction. An even stronger motive 

to union existed in the necessity for mutual support 
from the against the Indians, against the Dutch in New Nether 

lands, and, in a less degree, against the French to 
the north. The Pequods might be crushed. But the Narra- 
gansctts and the Mohicans were ruled by two ambitious chiefs, 
Miantonomo and Uncas. War might at any time break out, and 
it was scarcely possible for the English settlers to avoid being en 
tangled in it. 

The jealousy of the Dutch had, as we have already seen, been 
already excited in the struggle to possess the valley of the Connect- 
Encroach- icut. From that time onward the anxiety of the Eng- 
th^olitch lish settlers to spread towards the south was a constant 
territory. cause o f dispute and ill-feeling. This was no doubt 
due in some measure to a deliberate policy of aggression on the 
part of New England. The Dutch were no match for their rivals 
in numbers, and we can trace a settled determination on the part 
of the English so to use their superior resources as to establish a 
claim of occupation over the lands between Newhavcn and the 
Hudson. To put forward their plantations and crowd on, 
crowding the Dutch out of those places where they have occu- 

1 This document is printed in the Mass. Hist. Coll., 5th series, vol. i. p. 487. 


pied," was the advice given to the Governor of Connecticut by 
Sir William Boswell, the representative of England at the Hague, 1 
and to that policy his countryman held fast. The manner in 
which the territorial limits of New Netherlands were denned made 
it especially difficult to resist such aggression. The original char 
ter granted by the Dutch government in 1614 fixed the boundaries 
of the colony. 2 The territory was defined as that lying between 
New France and Virginia, with a seaboard extending from the 
fortieth to the forty-fifth degree of latitude in other words, from 
Passamaquoddy Bay in the North to a point about seventy miles 
south of Long Island. If this grant were to be accepted as valid, 
every settler in New England was an unauthorized intruder who 
owed allegiance to the Dutch government. Such a claim frus 
trated itself. The amicable relations between New Netherlands 
and Plymouth were tantamount to a condonation of the trespass 
and a withdrawal of the claim. But the failure of their theo 
retical frontier left the Dutch settlers without a frontier at all. 
The question simply came to this ; which could occupy most 
rapidly and hold its position most resolutely ? In such a struggle 
^here could be little doubt who would win. 

In bidding his countrymen "crowd the Dutch out/ Boswell 
was but urging them to carry on a policy on which they had 
English already entered. In 1639 a band of settlers from Con- 
toL e rs thl necticut > sti11 recognizing the jurisdiction of that colony, 
Hudson. established themselves at the mouth of the Housa- 
tonic, fourteen miles south of Newhaven. Stratford, as the new 
settlement was named, soon numbered fifty houses. In the same 
year that restless and somewhat unscrupulous man, Ludlow, ga 
thered together a band of settlers, not exclusively from Connecti 
cut, and settled at Uncoa. This proceeding was viewed by the 
government of Connecticut with some disfavor, and Ludlow was 
censured as having acted without due authority. The offence, 
however, was condoned, and the settlement was incorporated by 
the name of Fairfield. 

The tide of emigration soon flowed some twenty miles further 
down the coast, and two small settlements, as yet independent, 
sprang up at Norwalk and Stamford. 3 Simultaneously with the 

1 This is contained in a letter written by Boswell from the Hague, Jan. 22, 1642, and 
published in the Connecticut Records, vol. i. p. 565. 

a For the New Netherlands charter see Brodhead, vol. i. p. 62. 

3 For all these settlements see Brodhead, vol. i. p. 294; Connect. Records, vol. i. pp. 
35, 52, 86. 


settlement of Stratford, Patrick, who had played so discreditable a 
part in the Pequod war, settled himself with a few others at Green 
wich, within thirty miles of Manhattan. The government of New 
Netherlands insisted on an acknowledgment of its supremacy, 
and after holding out for two years Patrick gave way. 1 

A like process of encroachment was going forward on Long 
Island. When the Council for New England, preliminary to its 
Encroach- dissolution, portioned out its territory, Long Island 
Long 8 n fell to the share of the Earl of Stirling. 11/1640 his 
lsiand.2 agent, James Farrett, landed there, disposed of the 
claims of the natives to the soil by payment, and proceeded to 
make grants of land to settlers. 3 Farrett himself was speedily 
arrested by the Governor of New Netherlands. Undeterred by 
this, a party of emigrants from Massachusetts, acting under an 
instrument from Farrett. daringly settled at Schauts Bay, almost 
opposite Manhattan. A friendly Indian brought the tidings to 
New Netherlands. A force of twenty men was sent against the 
intruders, the settlement was broken up, and six of the emigrants 
were imprisoned, and only released upon their promise to quit 
the island. 

Elsewhere English emigrants had fared better. Lyon Gardiner 
had established himself on an island, to which he gave his name, 
off the northwest end of Long Island. His territorial claim was 
based on a purchase from the Indians, and was confirmed by 
Farrett. In 1640 a party of emigrants from Newhaven established 
themselves at Southold, nearly opposite Saybrook, and in a year 
later the very men whose settlement at Schauts Bay had been 
broken up were suffered to establish themselves at Southampton, 
on the eastern coast of the island. 

Another and a more venturesome attempt failed. In 1641 an 
agent was sent from Newhaven to form a settlement on the banks 
Attempts of the Delaware. The inevitable result of this would 
tne Se Dei e a n be to leave the Dutch hemmed in on each side by their 
ware. rivals. Accordingly, when a vessel sailed from New- 

haven for that end, Kieft, the successor of Van Twiller, remon 
strated. The captain gave a promise that he would not intrude 
on Dutch territory, and that if he failed to find any unappro 
priated land, he would either give up the attempt or place himself 
under the government of New Netherlands. 

1 Brodhead as above, and p. 296. 

J I have followed Mr. Brodhead in his account of these proceedings. 

8 See Colonial Papers, 1639, June 12 and August 30. 


The promise was disregarded in the spirit if not in the letter, 
and in the next year two settlements were formed on the Delaware 
by the authority and under the jurisdiction of Newhaven. l The 
attempt was but short-lived. In 1642, when the settlements had 
been in existence for a year, Kieft sent a force against them. 8 
The Dutch were not without help. Nine years before a Swedish 
West India Company had come into existence. 3 The objects for 
which it was created were trade and emigration. The charter was 
originally drawn up in 1626. It remained still unsigned when 
Sweden lost her King on the field of Lutzen, but the scheme re 
vived in the next year under the patronage of Oxenstiern. By a 
friendly arrangement with the States General of the Netherlands a 
colony was planted on the Delaware, and in spite of weakness 
became a prosperous community. The Swedes now made com 
mon cause with the Dutch; the intruders were driven out and 
their settlement destroyed. 4 

There was another cause of hostility in the state of affairs at 

Hartford. There an English town of a hundred houses was con- 

The Dutch ^ ronte ^ by a Dutch fort, both on the southern bank of 

at Hart- the river. 5 Such neighborhood could not but give rise 

to petty disputes and endless outbreaks of ill-feeling. 

The English were also in danger of collision with civilized 
neighbors on their northern frontier. After the restoration of 
The French Canada and Nova Scotia to the French in 1632, these 
teethe" 611 * 8 provinces were placed under the government of De 
north. Razilly. The administration of them was entrusted to 

two lieutenant-governors, D Aulney and De la Tour. 6 In addi 
tion to his official rights De la Tour had a somewhat curioi>s 
proprietary claim. In 1621 the court favorite, Sir William Alex 
ander, not yet raised to the earldom of Stirling, had obtained 
from James I. a grant of the province of Acadia, or, as the new 

1 The Newhaven Records (vol. i. p. 56) contain a minute of the proceedings of the Court 
in this matter. The Court, in August, 1641, formally gave its sanction to the attempt. 
Captain Turner is mentioned as taking a leading part in the attempt. 

2 This was made the substance of a formal complaint to the Federal Commissioners by 
the representatives of Newhaven in 1650 (Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 181). 

a All that is known of the Swedish colony is collected in Hazard s Annals of Penn 
sylvania from 1609/0 1682, published at Philadelphia in 1850. The chief authority upon 
the doings of the Swedes appears to be a work written in German, and published in 1633, 
under the title of Argonautica Gustaviana. I cannot find a copy of this either in the 
British Museum or the Bodleian Library, 

4 There is in the Newhaven Records (vol. i. p. 106) a very full account by one of the 
English sailors of the treatment of his captain, Lanberton, by the Swedes; cf. Winthrop, 
vol. ii. p. 140, and Plymouth Records as above. 6 Brodhead, vol. i. p. 294. 

6 Charlevoix, Histoire de la Nouvelle France, ed. 1744, vol. i. p. 410. 


proprietor called it, Nova Scotia. l This grant was confirmed by 
Charles I. in 1625.2 In 1630 Alexander by a private agreement 
made over his territorial rights to De la Tour. 3 Two years later 
the treaty of St. Germains brought the grant under the jurisdiction 
of the French crown. 4 

Both D Aulney and De la Tour had already embroiled them 
selves with their English neighbors. The enterprising settlers of 
Hostilities Plymouth had as we have seen established factories for 
Plymouth, the fur trade to the north of the Kennebec. In 1631, 
a French privateer, guided by one whom Bradford calls "a false 
Scot, " touched at Penobscot, professing to refit. Many French 
compliments they used and congees they made." The manager 
of the factory was absent, and it was left in the charge of three or 
four servants. The Frenchmen were received into the house. 
Then they began to examine and admire the guns which were 
hung upon the walls. The unwary English were disarmed, seized, 
and stripped of their goods; the French then sailed away, bidding 
their victims tell their master when he came that some of the Isle 
of Rhe gentlemen had been there. 3 

Not long after another trading house which some of the Ply 
mouth settlers had established at Machias was attacked by De la 
Tour, on the ground that it was an encroachment on French soil. 


Two of the occupants were killed, and all the goods carried off. 6 
The Plymouth traders, undeterred by these failures, again set 
up a factory at Penobscot. It was now attacked, not by a priva 
teer, but in a more formal and authoritative fashion. In 1635, 
D Aulney was commissioned by Raziliy to displace all English 
settlers north of Pemaquid. Having captured a shallop with 
some men from Penobscot in it, D Aulney made his prisoners 
pilot him into the harbor. He then took possession of the 
house and goods. The buildings he declared to be forfeited, 
since they were placed on the territory of others. For the goods 
he promised to pay a reasonable price if the English would send 

1 Alexander s original grant is given in Hazard (vol. i. pp. 134-145). 

2 Colonial Papers, 1627, May 3. 

3 The deed of transfer is in Hazard, vol. i. pp. 307-9. 

4 Strictly speaking the cessioii of Canada and Nova Scotia was the subject of a special 
treaty (Rymer, ed. 1743, vol. viii. pt. 3, p. 228). 

6 The whole of this incident is told by Bradford (p. 189); cf. Wintlvr-op, vol i. p. 79. 

6 The exact date of this affair is uncertain. Winthrop (vol. i. p. 117) says that the news 
came to Boston in November, 1633. Bradford tells of it under the year 1631. But he seems 
to mention it as the continuation of certain events which happened in that year. 

"> The capture of the factory by D Aulney and the attempt to recover it are very fully 
told by Bradford (pp. 207-9) anc ^ Winthrop (vol. i. pp. 166, 168). 


for it. On hearing the news the men of Plymouth fitted out an 
expedition to obtain redress. It consisted of the one ship which 
seems then to have formed the navy of the colony, and another 
which they hired for seven hundred pounds of beaver, worth then 
about two hundred pounds sterling, the payment to be conditional 
on success. The incompetency of her captain, Girling, led to 
the failure of the expedition. Bradford describes the attack with 
that graphic simplicity of which he was a master. Girling "had 
not patience to bring his ship where she might do execution, but 
began to shoot at distance like a madman, and did them no hurt 
at all." At last, pressed by the remonstrances of his allies, he 
"saw his own folly, and bestowed a few shot to good purpose. 
But now, when he was in a way to do some good, his powder 
was gone." 

After this failure the government of Plymouth made an appli 
cation for help to Massachusetts. The Court at Boston seemed 
at first favorable, and asked them to send representatives to treat 
about the matter. Accordingly they sent Prence, one of the chief 
colonists, and Standish, who had been in command of the un 
successful expedition. The Massachusetts government was will 
ing to give help, but on condition of being reimbursed for all 
outlay. Considering that the occasion was wholly due to a com 
mercial venture made by Plymouth, and that the latter colony 
alone would benefit by the expedition, such a stipulation was not 
unfair. The representatives of Plymouth, however, demurred to 
this condition, and the business fell through. Bradford adds, 
with not unjust resentment, that certain merchants from Massachu 
setts soon after traded with the enemy, and supplied them with 
arms and ammunition, and that the independent settlers on the 
coast of Maine kept up a good understanding with their French 
neighbors and gave them intelligence as to the doings of the 
English, i 

Such were the varied motives which urged the New England 
colonists to seek some form of federal union. There could be 
Materials no doubt as to their fitness for such an experiment. 

tor a con 
federation. The main principles which underlay the social and 

political life of each colony were identical. Each was formed of 
much the same material, each had been established from the same 
motives and with the same hopes, each started with the same po 
litical training and had carried on that training in the same direc- 

l Bradford, p. 210. This complaint is confirmed by Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 84). 


22 9 

tion. The fact that Massachusetts limited the rights of citizen 
ship to church-members was no serious ground of difference. 
We may be sure that the men of Plymouth and Connecticut 
disregarded that precaution because it seemed either needless or 
inexpedient, not because they were in the abstract opposed to it. 
I! the Puritanism of Massachusetts was narrower and more tyran 
nical than that of Plymouth, it was mainly because the larger 
population and greater activity of the younger colony had given 
more scope for diversity of opinion. 

The real hindrance to union was the inequality which could 
not fail to exist between the partners. In population, in wealth, 
in learning, in the security of her possessions, in the friendship of 
those who were now rising into power in England, Massachusetts 
towered over the other colonies. The actual number of the popu 
lation in the various colonies may be a matter of doubt. But 
their relative resources are made certain by the first levy under 
the Articles of Confederation. That levy was proportioned to the 
inhabitants of each colony fit to bear arms. Massachusetts con 
tributed a hundred and fifty men, Plymouth thirty, the other two 
confederates twenty-five each. In other words, the military re 
sources of Massachusetts were nearly double those of the other 
three colonies combined. Her superiority in other respects does 
not admit of such definite statistical proof, but it is written on 
every page of New England history. 

There was so little of personal and individual influence in New 
England politics that there is nothing to show in whose mind the 
First propo- scheme for confederation first took definite shape. The 
federation", sojourn of the Plymouth settlers in Holland, and the 
interest which all New Englanders must have felt in the affairs of 
that country, would no doubt have turned their thoughts to the 
subject. The unsatisfactory nature of the combined operations 
against the Pequods in all likelihood gave the first impulse. In 
the same passage in which Winthrop describes the final overthrow 
and dispersion of the enemy, he tells us that, as some of the 
magistrates and ministers of Connecticut were at Boston, a con 
ference, seemingly unpremeditated, was held to discuss a scheme 
for confederation. Notice of this was given to the government of 
Plymouth, but too late for them to take any part in the deliberations. 

The next we hear is that in 1638 a scheme of union was pro 
posed by Massachusetts and rejected by Connecticut. 2 The 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 237. 2 Ib. p. 284. 


question on which they differed was whether the vote of a ma 
jority of Federal Commissioners should have binding power on 
Scheme the whole Confederation. This was the scheme pro- 
by Massa- posed on behalf of Massachusetts. The representatives 
chusetts. o f Connecticut demurred to this. They proposed that the 
judgment of the Commissioners should be final only when it was 
unanimous, and that in any case of difference the matter should 
be referred back to the legislature of the various colonies. Such 
a scheme would have deprived the Confederation of all prompti 
tude of action, and destroyed its efficiency for those purposes of 
defence for which it was mainly needed. It is remarkable that in 
the actual working of the federal system Massachusetts was always 
the one colony which held fast to the right of independent action 
against the united wishes of her confederates. 

Of the part which Newhaven and Plymouth bore in these de 
liberations we hear nothing. When a hundred and fifty years 
Dehbera- later the principle of federation won its great triumph 
confedera- * n tne un i n of the thirteen colonies, we know every 
stage in the process, every dispute and difficulty as it 
arose, every argument by which opposition was sustained and 
overcome. All the New England chroniclers, save one, pass 
over the establishment of the first confederation with a mere 
formal reference. From Winthrop we learn a little more; yet 
even his account is but a bare and scanty summary. Nothing 
can better illustrate the temper of the New Englander than the 
minuteness with which every trivial detail of ecclesiastical history 
is recorded, and the contemptuous indifference with which the first 
great change in the constitutional life of the colonies is treated. 

In the next year the substitution of Kieft for the slothful and 
incompetent Van Twiller 1 served to alarm the settlers of Connect 
icut and to make them more anxious for the scheme of confed 
eration. Nevertheless the matter slept for three years. This was 
in all likelihood due to some difficulty with Plymouth, since 
Winthrop, in telling of the revival of the scheme in 1642, says 
that Plymouth was now willing" to come in. 2 

The attitude of the settlements north of the Piscataqua and of 
those in the Narragansett Bay towards the proposed union is not 
Exclusion described. Winthrop indeed tells us that the settlers 
in Maine "were not received nor called into the con 
federation because they ran a different course from us both in 

1 Brodhead, vol. i. p. 274. 2 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 85. 


their ministry and civil administration." He further adds in proof 
of their unfitness that the settlers at Agamenticus had lately made 
a tailor their mayor, and one Hull "an excommunicated person 
and very contentious " their minister. : 

It does not seem that the settlers in Narragansett Bay at present 
sought to be admitted to the confederacy. An incident tnree 
Exclusion years earlier might have shown them how any such 
?IgSJsXt r ~ overtures would be met. In October, 1640, the magis- 
settiements. trates of Connecticut, Newhaven, and Aquednek had 
addressed a joint letter to the Court of Massachusetts, proposing 
in very general terms some measures "for gaining the Indians by 
justice and kindness, and declaring dislike of such as would have 
them rooted out as being of the accursed race of Ham." The 
Court approved of the letter. But its answer was by special order 
directed only to the magistrates of Connecticut and Newhaven. 
The representatives of Aquednek were excluded as men "not to 
be capitulated withal either for themseives or the people of the isle 
where they inhabit/ 2 It is consolatory to those who reverence 
the memory of the great New England statesman that Dudley, 
and not Winthrop, was the Governor when this outburst of fan 
atical malignity was recorded. 

In spite of this rebuff, in 1644 the Narragansett settlers asked 
leave to join the Confederation, 3 and renewed the petition in 1648.-* 
Each time they were told in answer that they should be admitted 
if they would voluntarily annex themselves either to Plymouth or 
Massachusetts. Apart from all question of religion, sufficient 
grounds might have been found for excluding the Rhode Islanders 
in the unsettled polity of their settlements, and the readiness to 
disintegration which the few years of their history had already 
made manifest. 

During 1642 events took place which must have reminded the 
settlers in the various colonies of the need for some system of 
Threatened united action. As we have seen, it was the object of 
witflhe Uncas, the chief of the Mohicans, to build up the fallen 
Narragan- fortunes of his tribe, and if possible to win for them 
Indians. ^Q reversion of that supremacy which had belonged to 
the Pequods. They now had rivals in the Narragansetts. Uncas, 
it is clear, understood that the English were, at least for the pres 
ent, masters of the land, arid that the ascendency must fall to the 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 100. 

2 Ib. p. 21 ; Massachusetts Records, vol. i. p. 305. 

* Acts of Federal Commissioners, vol. i. p. 23. 4 Ib, p. no. 


tribe which could secure their friendship. No man among the 
settlers was so well fitted to form an opinion as to the character 
\}i the rival chiefs, Uncas and Miantonomo, as Roger Williams. 
Five years before he had written of the Narragansett : " If I mis 
take not, I observe in him some sparks of true friendship, could 
it be deeply imprinted into him that the English never intended 
to despoil him of the country." 1 It is clear, too, that Williams 
saw in Uncas an ambitious intriguer who was determined to use 
the English as his tools for the destruction of his rival.* In the 
summer of 1642 vague rumors began to float about the colonies 
of a meditated attack. It was said that in Connecticut an Indian 
who hud been accidentally run over by the cart of a settler had 
taken it as a warning from the God of the English, and had 
confessed the evil designs of his countrymen, and that this was 
confirmed by the independent testimony of two other savages. 3 
The government of Connecticut seems to have been panic-stricken, 
and ac once summoned Massachusetts to raise a hundred men, 
promising to join them with a like number. 4 Happily at Boston 
more sober counsels prevailed. The General Court met, and the 
application from Connecticut was laid before it. The members 
recollected for years past there had been like rumors of attack, 
and that those rumors had always been traced to the invention of 
rival factions among the savages. Winthrop sets forth the reasons 
which swayed the Court towards peace, in seeming unconscious 
ness of their strange incongruity. 5 The settlers, he says, were in 
ill case for war, and could not afford to forsake their farms and 
lose the Indian trade. Besides, if any lives should be lost on 
either side on a false report, "we might provoke God s displeasure 
and blemish our wisdom and integrity before the heathen." He 
then lays down those principles of Indian warfare which had been 
SO neglected six years earlier in Endicott s abortive campaign. 
"We might destroy some part of their corn and wigwams, and 
force them to fly into the woods, but the men would be still re 
maining to do us mischief, for they will never fight us in the 
open." Finally, they remembered that those who would be sent 
1 were for the most part godly," and could not be expected to 

1 Letter from Williams to Winthrop, July 15, 1637, in Jftiss. Hist. Coll. (4th series, vol. 
vi. p. 204), and in Narr, Club Publications (vol. vi. p. 47). 

2 I think we may safely infer this from the general tone ot Williams letters, especially 
those wr n from 1646 to 1650. 3 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 79. 

4 Ib. liie Connecticut Records contain an entry of the fact that tin s letter was written, 
and also of the appointment of a committee to make preparations against the Indians (vol. 
i. pp. 73, 74}. 5 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 80. 


light well unless they could be confident in the justice of their 
cause. No fault assuredly could be found with any of these 
grounds for inaction. Yet if there were doubts whether the war 
would be just, it was hardly needful to consider whether the sea 
son was convenient or the result likely to be successful. The 
decision of the Court was that Miantonomo should be summoned 
to Boston to clear himself, if he could, of the charges against him. 
He came, and after a conference of two days, in which he asked 
to be confronted with his accuser, Uncas, he satisfied the English 
of his innocence in the past and of his good intentions for the 
future. The only point of difficulty in the negotiations will hardly 
be thought to the discredit of the Indian. He refused at first to 
promise neutrality if the English attacked the Nyantics, since, as 
he said, repeated intermarriages between the tribes had made 
them his own flesh and blood. 

Meanwhile letters came from Connecticut clamoring for war, 
and announcing that if Massachusetts did not join, the sister 
colony would strike a blow single-handed. The Court of Massa 
chusetts sent back a remonstrance, urging the insufficiency of the 
grounds given and the injustice and impolicy of war. Connecticut 
accepted the decision, but unwillingly and with dissatisfaction. 1 

In May, 1643, the Commissioners from each of the three colonies, 
Connecticut, Newhaven, and Plymouth, met at Boston. Fenwick, 
The Con tOO> t ^ ie 8" ovemor f tne f rt at Saybrook, appeared on 
federation behalf of the Proprietors. Massachusetts was repre 
sented by the Governor, two Magistrates, and four 
Deputies. One would gladly know more of their deliberations 
than the meager record left to us by Winthrop. He tells us that 
the representatives "coming to consultation encountered some 
difficulties, but being all desirous of union and studious of peace, 
they readily yielded each to other in such things as tended to 
common utility." After two or three meetings the Articles of 
Confederation were agreed upon, and signed by all the Commis 
sioners save those from Plymouth. Their commission obliged 
them to refer the matter back to the Court of the colony, by 
whom the agreement was at once ratified. 

The Articles of Confederation were eleven in number. A pre 
amble sets forth the common objects for which the colonies of 
New England were founded, "namely, to advance the kingdom 

1 These proceedings are fully told by Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 80-83); cf. Massachusetts 
Records, vol. ii. pp. 23-27. 

% The whole of these proceedings are told by Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 99, 100). 


of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel 
in purity with peace," and the dangers by which they were beset, 
The encompassed by people of several nations and strange 

Confedera* languages." This being so, it is necessary that the 
colonies "should enter into a consociation for mu 
tual help and strength." The objects of the league are then 
more fully stated. It is to exist "for offence and defence, for 
mutual advice and succor," and "for preserving and propagating 
the truth and liberties of the gospel." The parties to the league 
are henceforth to be called the United Colonies of New England. 
The territorial jurisdiction of each colony is to be preserved intact. 
No two colonies are to unite under the same jurisdiction without 
the leave of their confederates, and no new confederates are to be 
admitted but by unanimous consent. All public charges are to 
be paid by contributions levied on the colonies, proportioned to 
the number of inhabitants in each colony between sixteen and 
sixty. Each colony is to raise its own contribution in any manner 
and on any principle which seems good to it, and to make such ex 
emptions as it may please, provided they do not affect the amount 
of the contribution. In case of any sudden invasion, if there 
should be no time for the Commissioners to meet, the colonies 
are to send help, Massachusetts a hundred men, each of the other 
colonies fifty-five. The affairs of the Confederation are to be 
managed by Commissioners, two from each colony. They are to 
elect a President from among themselves, whose powers shall be 
only those of a chairman. The vote of six commissioners shall 
be binding; if six do not agree on any disputed point it is to be 
referred back to the different colonial governments. The annual 
meetings are to be held in each of the colonies in rotation, 
Massachusetts having two turns in succession. The only matter 
specially mentioned as coming within the province of the Com 
missioners over and above measures of common defence was the 
extradition of runaway servants. 

Two weak points in this constitution are at once apparent. It 
failed to provide any machinery whereby the advantages which a 
character colony derived from the league should be proportioned 
?onsfitu- to the amount which it contributed. That difficulty 
tion can indeed only be overcome where there is a somewhat 

elaborate federal constitution. But though it might be an un- 

i The Articles are given by Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 101-6), by Bradford (pp. 257-60), and 
in the Acts of Commissioners (vol. i. pp. 3-13). 


avoidable defect, it was none the less a defect. If Massachusetts 
was often arrogant and overbearing to her confederates, and unjust 
in the pursuit of her own advantages, we must remember that she 
was perpetually galled by a sense of unfairness. 

It was perhaps a more serious defect that the machinery of the 
Confederation provided no means by which the federal government 
could act directly on the individual citizen. The^ Confederation 
was in fact rather a league of independent powers for certain special 
and limited purposes than a federal state. More than this was 
scarcely possible among states constituted as were those of New 
England. There was little in common between the Puritan col 
onist and the Greek of antiquity, but they were alike in the intensity 
of their local patriotism and in their vivid sense of a citizenship, 
which, if not limited to a single town, was at least bounded by 
rigid conditions of space. Thus in the New England Confedera 
tion as in the Achaean League the newer and wider claims never 
overrode the older allegiance. The New Englander remained a 
citizen of Massachusetts or Connecticut, as did the other of Sikyon 
or Megalopolis. 

For, in truth, an artificial construction such as a federal league 
can excite feelings of loyalty only when it comes into being under 
circumstances of peculiar interest and excitement. The Swiss 
Federation is but an apparent exception. That can hardly be 
looked on as a political construction at all, but rather as a growth, 
in some measure coeval with its individual members, and therefore 
vying with them in its claim on national sentiment. The Con 
federation of the United Provinces and the American Republic 
were each the firstfruits of the nation s freedom and needful con 
ditions of maintaining that freedom. The latter was peculiarly 
endeared to its subjects as the symbol of a national existence 
slowly and laboriously achieved. And thus it has enlisted in its 
behalf feelings whose strength and loftiness have been too often 
lost upon Englishmen, because those feelings have little in com 
mon with the familiar aspect of loyalty. 

The Confederation of the four New England colonies called out 
no such sentiments. It was looked on as a convenient piece of 
political machinery and no more. Yet even in this there were 
compensating advantages. It was well that the federal constitu 
tion was framed deliberately and, so to speak, in cold blood, not 
under the pressure of any special excitement. It was an advan 
tage too that it should have come into being while the individual 


colonies still kept the plasticity of youth. A confederation is a 
frame to which organized and articulated communities have to 
adapt themselves. The experiment is more likely to succeed if 
they have not yet acquired the fixity and rigidity of mature life. 

One aspect of the matter, all the more striking from the fact that 
it seems to have been almost unnoticed, was the absence of any 
The Con- reference to the home government. There is nothing 
framed 10 " to show that the framers of the Confederation ever enter- 
ference to 6 " tained a thought as to the manner in which their policy 
England. would be regarded in England. Yet this was un 
doubtedly the most important political step that any of the colonies 
had yet taken. The feeling of local independence, the spirit 
which made men look on themselves as citizens of Massachusetts 
and not as citizens of England, ebbed and flowed. Beyond a 
doubt it was stronger in 1640 than it was in 1700. Bat it never 
wholly perished, and the formation of the Confederacy was per 
haps the most striking manifestation of it. 

The indifference of the English government- is easily explained. 
Six years earlier, under the watchful eye of Laud, we may be sure 
that the Confederation would never have come into existence 
unnoticed and unresisted. But when the Federal Union was 
ratified, Laud was in prison and the gates of London were closed 
against the King. At that crisis neither of the parties in the state 
had leisure ;o watch the external politics of a distant dependency. 

In the September of the same year in which the Federal 
Constitution was drawn up the Commissioners met at Boston. 1 
Fir meet Their proceedings augured ill for the purposes to which 
iiigofthe the newly-framed league would be applied. At this 


Commis- time Massachusetts was striving to extend its jurisdiction 
over the Narragansett territory, and to that end was 
seeking to extirpate a harmless band of fanatics who had settled 
there. To understand the state of affairs we must go back a few 

It will be remembered that among those who brought about the 
temporary severance of Portsmouth and Newport was one Samuel 
Samuel Gorton. By 1640 he might almost be said to have 
Gorton. graduated as a disturber of the peace in every colony 
of New England. His career began in 163.8 at Plymouth. 2 There 

1 Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 14. 

2 The only explicit account of Gorton s conduct at Plymouth is in Hypocrisy Unmasked 
(p. 67). The date of it is given by various entries in the Records, mentioning his offence 
and the punishment inflicted (vol. i. pp. 105, 106, no). 


he hired a house from Smith, the minister, and soon turned it into 
a rival conventicle. Then he took up the cause of a woman who 
was punished, in all likelihood with unjust severity, for levity 
during worship. l The violence with which he supported her in 
volved him in a charge of sedition, and to escape trial he fled the 
colony and took refuge at Aquednek. One episode in his career 
there has already come before us. After the reunion of the two 
settlements on the island he embroiled himself with the govern 
ment. In a civil case, in which one of his own servants was con 
cerned, he used scurrilous language to the Court of Magistrates, 
and apparently tried for a second time to raise up a faction against 
Coddington. He indeed took up that attitude towards the civil 
power which the Massachusetts settlers falsely attributed to all the 
Antinomians. In his own words, he thought himself "as fit and 
able to govern himself and family, as any that were there upon 
Rhode Island." Happily for the settlement the government was 
at least able to flog and banish Gorton. 2 

We next hear of him, in the words of Williams, having abused 
high and low at Aquednek, bewitching and madding poor Provi 
dence." 3 His presence had consequences that reached furthei 
than mere temporary disorder. It gave Massachusetts a pretext 
for claiming jurisdiction over the territory of Narragansett Bay. 
We might almost go further, and say that it forced Massachusetts 
to interfere in the general interests of peace and goodtorder. The 
proceedings mentioned by Williams happened in the autumn of 
1640. About twelve months later we find Gorton and his friends 
refusing to submit to a distress ordered by the magistrates. There 
upon thirteen of the settlers presented a memorial to the govern 
ment of Massachusetts asking for assistance and advice. The 
answer was that, if the settlers wished for any such interference, 
they must submit to the jurisdiction of one of the older colonies. 4 
It was but natural and reasonable that Massachusetts should de 
cline the invidious, and indeed hopeless, task of exercising an 
undefined protectorate over an anarchical settlement. 

In the autumn of 1642 four of the settlers took the step sug 
gested by this answer, and offered to submit themselves and their 

l Winslow says (p. 67) that she was punished for " unworthy and offensive speeches and 
carnages." 2 Winslow gives very full details of these proceeding^. 

3 The letter is in Hypocrisy Unmasked {p. 55) It is dated 8, ist, 1640. It is given 
among Williams letters in the Narragansett Club Publications (vol. vi. p. 141). It is 
there dated 1646, probably by a misprint. 

i This application and the circumstances which led to it are told by Winthrop (vol. ii. 
PP- 58, 59)- 


lands to the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. The form in which 
this proposal has been handed down to us leaves it doubtful 
Proposed whether the act was merely intended to hold good for 

annexation ,. r , , 

cfpatuxet the four who made the transfer, or whether it was in 
ch usfetts?" tended by them and received by Massachusetts as an 
acknowledgment of submission on the part of the whole colony. * 

For Massachusetts to accept the offer was in the one case un 
wise, in the other manifestly unjust. Either the government was 
establishing a small alien jurisdiction within the limits of another 
colony, or it was using the pretext under which powerful and 
aggressive states have in all ages encroached on the territorial 
rights of their weaker neighbors, and accepting the decision of a 
party as the will of the whole community. 

Yet it cannot be denied that the temptations were great. The 
anarchy of the English settlements in Narragansett Bay might at 
any time invite an Indian war and make united resistance im 
possible. These motives prevailed, and the government of Mas 
sachusetts accepted the offer. It authorized William Arnold and 
the other three applicants to preserve the peace within their terri 
tory, and promised to support them in their legal rights against 
Gorton. 2 At the same time notice of this decision was sent to 
Gorton and the other inhabitants of the township, with a summons 
requiring them to appear at Boston in person or by deputy, to 
make good their claim to the land which they occupied. 

In answer to this demand a letter was sent to the Massachusetts 
government signed by Gorton and eleven others. 3 It is note- 
Resistance worthy that Gorton s name does not head the list, nor 
by Gorton. is faerc anything to show that he held a position of 
authority among the settlers at Patuxet. 4 Those who are familiar 
with the literature of the Gorton controversy will feel sure that 
the letter did all which could be done to discredit the cause which 
it advocated. In their sobriety of thought and in their manly 
simplicity and force of language, the works of Bradford and 
Winthrop stand out as noble exceptions to the literature of Puritan 
New England. Vagueness, prolixity, and violence were its con 
spicuous failings, failings from which even such men as Williams 
and Cotton were not free. But the letter in question, like the 

1 We only know of the offer by the record of its acceptance. 

2 The acceptance of the application made by Arnold and his associates and the commis 
sion to them is entered in the Mass. Records (vol. ii. pp. 26, 27); cf. Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 84. 

3 Hypocrisy Unmasked, p. 3. 

4 This letter is in Simplicities Defence (p. 24). It fills twenty octavo pages. 


writings of Gorton which have survived, sound to a modern reader 
as though they were a deliberate, though cumbrous, travesty of 
Puritan controversy. The plain legal aspect of the case might 
have been stated in two pages. That is left untouched, and ten 
times that space is employed in rambling and unintelligible vitu 
peration. The nearest approach to an argument is in calling Arnold 
"a felonious hog killer," and in denouncing, without specifying, 
the vicious lusts" and " diabolical practices " of him and his 

Fortunately in this instance Gorton and his associates confined 
their violence to words, and prudently withdrew from the terri- 
Settiement tory which Massachusetts claimed under the recent 
at Shaw" submission. They retreated southward beyond the 
omet. Patuxet to Shawomet, on the shore of what is now 

Greenwich Bay. Here they obtained a tract of land by purchase 
from Miantonomo. 1 

The transfer was made in January, 1643. The bargain brought 
evil alike to purchaser and seller. The whole question was 
The complicated by the unsettled condition of land tenure 

Indians and jurisdiction among the Indians. The transfer 
Massachu- made by Miantonomo was ratified by two lesser chiefs, 
Saconoco and Pomham, who had certain rights over the 
soil. But in the following summer these chiefs disavowed the 
sale, on the ground that they had been constrained by Mian 
tonomo, and sought redress from the Court of Massachusetts. 
The Court thereupon summoned Miantonomo and the two 
complainants before them. After hearing the testimony of each 
side, the Court decided to defend the claims of the two chiefs, pro 
vided they would place themselves under the jurisdiction of Mas 
sachusetts. Two Commissioners were sent to the Narragansett 
country to negotiate with the chiefs, and to explain to them the 
general principles of religion and morality. Their answers were 
considered satisfactory, they were received by the Governor at 
Boston, and their submission formally received and executed by 
a written deed. 2 

It would be rash at this distance of time, and without an exact 
knowledge of the whole details of the case, to pronounce judg 
ment upon the conduct of Massachusetts in this matter. It 

l The deed of sale, dated January 12, 16.42-3, is preserved in the Rhode Is.^nd Records 
(vol. i. p. 130). 

8 The whole of this proceeding is described by Winthrop (vol. li. pp. 120-123): Mass 
Records, vol. ii. pp. 38, 40. 


would not have been safe to treat the act of Gorton and his com 
panions as one in which Massachusetts had no part, and were in 
no way responsible. All experience showed that hostility with 
the Indians for the most part began in some petty wrong done by 
an isolated settler. Moreover, to a civilized nation girt in by 
warlike and watchful enemies the mere appearance of disunion 
was full of danger. At a later stage of the dispute we are told 
the natives were persuaded that the intruders were divided into 
two rival tribes, the Gortonoges and the Wattaconoges. ] On the 
the other hand, it may well be that Pomham and Saconoco were 
malcontents who sought to use the power of the English against 
a superior whom they feared. The whole affair illustrated the 
difficulties which beset all dealings between civilized men and 
savages. It pointed too to the necessity of some common juris 
diction more comprehensive and more efficient than that of the 
Confederacy. 2 

The next incident in the affair favors the supposition that the 
submission of the two chiefs was part of a preconcerted scheme 
Proceed- for the extirpation of Gorton and his followers. Al- 
agSnst though they had withdrawn from the neighborhood of 
Gorton. Patuxet, they still caused annoyance to Arnold and his 
associates. 3 The latter made common cause with the aggrieved 
chiefs, and lodged a complaint with the government of Massachu 
setts. The Court thereupon summoned Gorton and his company 
to appear at Boston and answer the charges brought against them. 
The summons only met with a contemptuous answer, containing 
what the Massachusetts chronicler calls, with characteristic arro 
gance, "blasphemy against the churches and magistracy."" The 
Court then decided to send three commissioners to Patuxet to 
hear what the accused could say for themselves. A letter was 
sent to Gorton announcing their intention, and setting forth the 
wish of the Massachusetts rulers "that their justice and modera 
tion might appear to all men."* It was a somewhat singular 
comment on this declaration that the commissioners were accom- 

1 Simplicities Defence, p. 88. Wattaconoges according to Williams meant coat-wearers. 
Key to Indian language. Mass. Hist. Coll. (ist series, vol. iii. p. 214). 

2 The whole of the proceedings against Gorton are related from the Massachusetts side 
by Winthrop, and from the opposite point of view in Simplicities Defence. The Massachu 
setts Records (vol. ii. pp. 41, 46, 50-52) confirm but do not enlarge the knowledge which we 
derive from Winthrop. 

3 Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 137) speaks " of the continual injuries offered them by Gorton and 
his company." 

4 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 137. 

6 Ib.\ Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 44. 


pan led by forty armed men, and that one of the three was that 
energetic champion of orthodoxy, Edward Johnson, the author 
of the Wonder-working Prcvid .nci." 1 

The conduct of the Massachusetts government was formally 
approved by the Federal Commissioners. They passed a resolu 
tion to the effect that if Gorton and his followers should stubbornly 
refuse to give satisfaction, the Magistrates of Massachusetts might 
proceed against them, and that the commissioners of the other 
colonies should be jointly responsible for anything done, as 
though they had been present when it was decided. At the same 
time a clause was inserted to the effect that this was not in any 
way to prejudice the territorial rights of Plymouth. = 

Meanwhile every hope which Gorton might have derived from 
the help of Miantonomo had been overthrown. The Narragan- 
Defeat and sett chief had fallen, in all likelihood, a victim to his 
Mmnto- union with the heretics. We have seen that ever since 
nomo.s ij-jg overthrow of the Pequods, Uncas had schemed for 
the destruction of Miantonomo, as a needful condition for his 
own supremacy. In all likelihood the recent proceedings at 
Boston encouraged the Mohican chief to strike a decisive blow. 
He began by an attack, not on Miantonomo himself, but on 
Sequasson, a chief in the neighborhood of Connecticut, of kin to 
the Narragansett leader. Miantonomo resented this and attacked 
Uncas. The Narragansetts numbered a thousand, their enemies 
only four hundred. The smaller body, however, prevailed, and 
Miantonomo fled. Aping the customs of the settlers, he had en 
cumbered himself with a corselet, and was easily overtaken. 4 His 
captors were two of his own followers, who thought to make their 
peace with the conqueror. Their fate was no better than that of 
the traitors who brought David the head of Ishbosheth. The 
chivalry of Uncas however expended itself in this cheap display 
of generosity. Gorton now, with characteristic arrogance and 
indiscretion, wrote a letter to Uncas, threatening him with the 
displeasure of the English if he detained their ally. 5 The inter 
ference was in all likelihood fatal to Miantonomo. Uncas natu 
rally enough turned to the English settlers at Connecticut, and 
took his captive to Hartford. Thence he was sent to Boston, 

I Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 137; Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 44. 
a Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 12. 

3 The main authority for the defeat and death of Miantonomo is Winthrop (vol. ii. pp.. 
131-134). Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. pp. 10-12. 

4 This is stated by Winslow Hypocrisy Unmasked, p. 72. 6 Winthrop, voL ii. p. 131. 


where the Federal Commissioners were assembled. They con 
sidered the case, but could come to no satisfactory decision. 
To set Miantonomo free was dangerous, yet there seemed no 
sufficient ground for putting him to death. In this strait the 
Commissioners called in five of the most "judicious" Elders. 1 
The rulers of the church swept away any remnant of merciful 
feeling which lingered among their lay brethren. The English 
would not indeed themselves shed the blood of the prisoner, 
lie was returned to Uncas, who was authorized, if not com 
manded, to put him to death. 2 The colonists were to send two 
representatives to witness the execution, and Uncas was to be 
allowed an English troop to guard him against any possible re 
prisals. If Uncas should refuse to undertake the execution, the 
prisoner was to be sent back to Boston and the case reconsidered. 
The Mohican accepted the task, and Miantonomo was put to 
death with what an Indian would have considered the doubtful 
advantage of immunity from torture. Human feeling is outraged 
by the spectacle of the captive chief thus surrendered helpless to 
the deliberate vengeance of his enemy. But the conduct of Mas 
sachusetts must be condemned on grounds in which mere 
sentiment has no place. To have suffered the law of Indian 
warfare to take its course would hardly have been deemed blame 
worthy, unless we judge by a standard seldom applied to the 
conduct of nations. The banished heretic, Roger Williams, 
holding that God had appointed every man to be his brother s 
keeper, would have shrunk with horror even from such tacit 
complicity, but in that age he would have found few of any creed 
to imitate him. Each of the rival chiefs staked his life, and 
Uncas was but exacting the forfeit due from the loser. But if 
the English were to meddle in the matter at all, it was their clear 
duty to enforce as far as might be the principles recognized by 
civilized men. When they accepted the appeal made by Uncas 
they shifted the responsibility from the Mohican chief to them 
selves. Nor can it be urged that the English were employing 
Uncas to carry out their own decree. If Miantonomo s crimes 
against the English deserved punishment, that should have been 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 132. 

2 Winthrop s words are, " Upon the return of the (Connecticut) Commissioners to Hart 
ford they should send for Onkas and tell him our determination that Miantonomo should be 
delivered to him again, and he should put him to death as soon as he came within his own 
jurisdiction" (vol. ii. p. 132). His statement is borne out by the formal record of the pro 
ceedings of the Commissioners. 


openly avowed, and the English should have stood accountable 
for his execution. He should have died as a criminal by 
the hand of an English executioner, not as the victim to the 
Indian law of warfare. But, in truth, the very pleas set 
forth by Winthrop show how impossible it was to justify Mian- 
tonomo s execution as an act of criminal justice. He had 
been proved, Winthrop says, to have stirred up a conspiracy 
among the Indians, and he had twice evaded justice, in killing 
a Pequod who could have given evidence as to his designs against 
Uncas, and in some petty wrong to one of Pomham s followers. 
But the real gist of the accusation lies in the count that he was 
" of a turbulent and proud spirit, and would never be at rest. " 
The plea is exactly of a piece with that which was urged for 
the banishment of the Antinomians. The rulers of Massachu 
setts regarded their criminal jurisdiction, not as a means 
for enforcing certain fixed and defined obligations, but as a 
weapon with which to strike at any one whose presence might in 
their judgment cause danger or inconvenience to the community. 
The same temper showed itself even more strongly in the deal 
ings of Massachusetts with Gorton and his followers. The force 
Attack sent against them found the heretics prepared for resist- 
sh^. ance. Their women and children had been sent away 
omet.i to tne W oods, and the men had fortified themselves in 
a log-house. Before the two parties could come to blows certain 
of the inhabitants of Providence stepped in and endeavored to 
mediate. 2 A parley was held, and the Gortonists offered to sub 
mit the question to arbitration. Thereupon a truce was made till 
the pleasure of the Court could be learnt. When the news of 
Miantonomo s death was received a committee was appointed to 
consider the matter, and was still sitting. 3 As usual some of the 
Elders were called into counsel, and as usual their voice was for 
sacrifice and not mercy. The blasphemous and reviling writings " 
of the Gortonists "were not matters fit to be compounded by ar 
bitrament, but to be purged away only by repentance and public 
satisfaction, or else by public punishment." 4 Nor was it consistent 
with the honor of Massachusetts to negotiate "with a few fugitives 

1 Our authorities for this affair are, as before, Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 137-140) and Gorton 
(Simplicities D< fence, pp. 57-60). 

2 The letter written by these good men to the Massachusetts government is preserved in 
Simplicities Defence (p. 53). The sobriety and charity which run through it form a pleas 
ing contrast to the attitude of Massachusetts. 

3 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 139. There is nothing to show for what object the committee was 
appointed. 4 Ib. p. 140. 


living without law or government. " l Such were the doctrines of 
forbearance, humanity, and meekness which the spiritual guides 
of Massachusetts impressed on their followers. The soldiers were 
in no way backward in carrying out their orders. They gave no 
tice that the time had expired, and warned the men of Providence 
to cease all dealings with the heretics. They then beset the log- 
house for some days. The occupants refused to surrender, and 
the besiegers thereupon proceeded to deal with them as Mason 
had dealt with the Pequods, and to set fire to their fort. 2 The 
besieged were off their guard, since it was Sunday, and they 
thought therefore that no attack would be made. But the Sabba 
tarianism of Massachusetts could be relaxed in favor of such a 
specially good work as burning heretics alive. Happily for the 
credit of the assailants the attempt failed. 

After a few days the unhappy Gortonists saw that it was im 
possible to hold out. A few of them escaped; the rest, to the 
number of nine, surrendered, and were marched into Boston, 
treated, according to their own account, with great brutality, a 
statement probable enough in itself. Part of their cattle were 
driven off, part handed over to Arnold and his associates at 
Patuxet. The reception of the returning force was a ludicrous 
illustration of the rancor with which the rulers of Massachusetts 
regarded these unhappy fanatics. If the soldiers had defeated an 
invading army and saved the colony from universal massacre they 
could hardly have been received with more enthusiasm. It is 
humiliating to read how Winthrop went along the ranks, blessing 
God for the success of the expedition, thanking each man for his 
services, and enrolling his name on a list, that the Court might 
remember their good deeds at some future day, or how the sol 
diers fired volleys in honor of the Governor, and were feasted at 
a public entertainment. 3 

The treatment of the prisoners assorted fitly with this reception 
of the captors. It is not altogether easy to follow the exact de- 
Trial of tails of the proceedings against them. Gorton s own 
his r f" and account of his trial is somewhat confused, though, to 
lowers.* do hjm justice, it is more coherent and temperate than 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 139. Winthrop s own words are, " not honourable for us to join 
with them in such a course." 

2 Winthrop mentions without comment and apparently with approval that the besiegers 
made two or three attempts to fire the house (vol. ii. p. 140). 

8 Winthrop himself describes this scene (vol. ii. p. 142). 
4 Ib. pp. 142-7 ; Simplicities Defence, pp. 62-67. 


most of his writings. On the other hand, Winthrop, who is our 
only authority on the Massachusetts side, does not set forth the 
successive phases of the inquiry with his wonted clearness. In 
truth, the proceedings themselves were of a confused nature, 
wholly without judicial discrimination or method. The aim of 
the Massachusetts Court was twofold : to convince the Gortonists 
of their heresies and extort from them a recantation, and to con 
demn them as civil offenders. On the first point the prisoners 
might fairly plead, as the Antinomians might have pleaded, that 
they had broken no fixed law. Those whom the Puritans de 
nounced as persecutors said clearly and plainly, "You shall not 
teach certain doctrines, you shall not practise certain acts of wor 
ship/ The rulers of Massachusetts extracted, confessedly with 
difficulty and after much inquiry, a certain meaning from obscure 
and vague propositions, and then declared that meaning to be 
heretical, and therefore criminal. In this case they could not 
even gloss over their proceedings by the pretence that the so-called 
heresy was dangerous to civil order. Roger Williams was un 
doubtedly a political agitator. Mrs. Hutchinson and Wheel 
wright were at least influential teachers, though it was a mere 
matter of inference that their doctrines were subversive of civil 
order. But there was not even that meager pretext for punishing 
the Gortonists. All that they asked was to remain peaceably 
outside the community. Here there could be no pretext of 
purging the state from a disturbing element, and the whole pro 
ceeding only shows how shallow and hypocritical a pretence that 
had been in the case of the Antinomians. In truth, the New 
England Puritan had indulged his desire to force his own pro 
fession of faith on his fellowmen till it had become a morbid and 
overwhelming passion. 

Looking at the question from the secular side, the conduct of 
the Massachusetts government deserves the same condemnation. 
Even if the claim to territorial jurisdiction were a valid one, 
there could be no justification for the manner in which it was 
enforced. Arnold and his companions at Patuxet had, it is 
true, invoked the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. But what would 
the men of Massachusetts have said if the English government 
had treated Morton and Ratcliffe as competent to surrender 
the political rights of the colony? Gorton and his companions 
had offered to submit their alleged rights to arbitration. The 
rulers of Massachusetts refused that arbitration; they invaded 


these rights by force, and they then treated resistance as a 

All attempts to extort any concession, either on the doctrinal 
points or the question of jurisdiction, failed. Before proceeding 
to judgment the Court consulted the Elders. Their voice was for 
sentence of death. That opinion was accepted by all the Assis 
tants save three. Happily the colony was saved from this atrocity 
by the comparative moderation of the elected representatives of 
the people. One would fain believe that this was the first symp 
tom of a revolt against the ascendency of an unjust and merciless 

Even the tender mercies of the Deputies were cruel, and the 
heretics suffered punishments which, if inflicted by a bishop, 
would have given the victim a high place among Puritan martyrs. 
They were to be dispersed as prisoners each in a different town 
ship, and there kept at work in irons during the pleasure of the 
Court. l Their stubborn obstinacy, however, prevailed over their 
opponents. Although the order of the Court strictly forbade 
their holding any conference except with the Elders or Assistants, 
yet they contrived to propagate their heresies, more especially 
among the women. Accordingly, at the next Court they were 
banished on pain of death. Their arms were taken from them 
and given to Saconoco and Pomham, and a levy made on their 
cattle to defray the cost of the expedition against them. The 
fugitives sought refuge in Aquednek. Gorton s previous dealings 
with the settlers there had been unfriendly, but this was now for 
gotten. To be a fugitive from Massachusetts for conscience sake 
was in itself a claim to the sympathy of the Rhode Islanders, and 
Gorton with his company were suffered to sojourn in peace among 
the island settlers. 

This dispute with Gorton was not the only one in which 
Massachusetts had contrived to entangle itself. In 1635 Razilly 
had died. 2 His province was now partitioned between his two 
lieutenants.* Disputes soon arose between the limits of their 

1 The sentence is given in the Mass. Records (vol. ii. p. 52). 

2 I can find no authority for the exact date of Razilly s death. But it is clear from the 
consensus of New England writers that it preceded and caused the dispute between 
D Aulney and De la Tour. 

s The partition apparently was made by the authority of the Company of New France. 
Chalmers (Political Annals of the United Colonies, pp. 186, 198) mentions it, and refers to 
documents at Paris in the DepSt de la Marine. Charlevoix (vol. i. p. 411) professes 
ignorance of the exact cause of quarrel. He suggests that " les deux gouverneurs fussent 
trop voisins pour demeurer lontems amis." 


jurisdiction. Each claimed to be governor over the whole 

province of Acadia, and the French colony was thrown into a 

state of civil war. The whole attitude of affairs is 

Dispute in . 

New a striking illustration of a peculiarity which distm- 

tween guished French from English colonization. The Eng- 
and Dela lish colonies often suffered from the ignorance, the folly, 
and the thriftlessness of those who undertook them, and 
from the neglect of those at home who should have befriended 
or controlled them. They never suffered from the personal am 
bition of their rulers. The satrap who would fain become an 
independent prince is a figure that meets us at every turn of French 
and Spanish colonial history. 

Neither of the claimants had dealt with the New England settlers 
in such a fashion as to have established much claim on their 
Negotia- good-will. De la Tour seems to have made his first 
tween b De overtures to Shurd, an influential settler at Pemaquid. 
thJlng- nd * n November, 1641, he sent a messenger, Rochet, de- 
lish. scribed as a Rocheller and a Protestant, to Boston with 

a letter of recommendation from Shurd. The envoy asked for 
free trade with Massachusetts and for help against D Aulney. 
The former part of the application was granted; the latter was re 
fused on the ground that Rochet had no formal commission. l 

In the following autumn De la Tour renewed his application, 
sending his lieutenant and thirteen men in a shallop. The French 
understood how to win the hearts of their Puritan neighbors. 
Papists though they were, they attended the church meeting, and 
accepted from one of the Elders a copy of the New Testament, 
with notes by a Huguenot divine. This friendly intercourse 
resulted in the dispatch of a pinnace by certain Boston mer 
chants to trade with De la Tour. On their return they met 
D Aulney, who sent to Boston a copy of an order by the govern 
ment in France for De la Tour s arrest, and a notice that any 
vessel trading with him would be liable to seizure. 2 Next year 
D A.ulney took vigorous measures against his rival. De la Tour s 
wife was on her way from Europe in a ship from Rochelle. On 
her arrival at De la Tour s station at St. John s Isle she found her 
husband blockaded by his rival with three ships. De la Tour 
himself however contrived to escape in a shallop and join his wife. 
They then sailed to Boston to ask for help. If their visit had no 
other good effect, it disclosed to the government of Massachusetts 

l Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 42. tb. pp. 88, 91. 


the undefended condition of their chief town, since De la Tour 
might, if so minded, have sailed in unhindered and seized the 
person of the Governor. l 

De la Tour now made a formal application for help, and pro 
duced his commission as Lieutenant-General of Acadia. Win- 
Discus- throp, who was now Governor, called what was by his 
Massachu- own admission an informal and incomplete meeting, 
setts.a consisting of such Magistrates as were at hand, and 
some of the Deputies. With their authority he told De la Tour 
that since the existence of the Confederation a single colony could 
not act independently in such a matter, but that they would not 
hinder him from hiring any ships by private agreement. This 
decision was not suffered to pass unchallenged. Endicott wrote 
to Winthrop pointing out the danger of "having anything to do 
with these idolatrous French. " Saltonstall, Bradstreet, and Sim- 
onds, with four influential Elders, addressed a remonstrance to 
the Governor, contending that the justice ofDe la Tour s cause 
was far from clear, and that interference might expose the colony 
to the hostility of France. 3 They also argued, reasonably enough, 
that by permitting men to volunteer in the service of De la Tour, 
the government was either approving of his cause or else admit 
ting that it was not strong enough to control its own subjects. 
Accordingly a second meeting was called. No respect for Win 
throp can make us doubt that he was wrong and his opponents 
right, and that his mistake was no small one. But the error of 
the statesman is more than redeemed by the integrity of the his 
torian. Not only is the whole debate set forth by Winthrop 
without a shade of partiality, but he frankly acknowledges that 
here as at other times he was "over-sudden in his resolutions." 
The discussion fell under two heads : firstly, the propriety of 
giving aid to a Papist ; secondly, the expediency of so doing in 
this particular case. On the first issue De la Tour s opponents 
relied mainly on scriptural precedents. In Jewish history an al 
liance with idolaters was invariably treated as a crime. The other 
side pointed out, not unfairly, that when the Kings of Judah were 
denounced for having dealings with their idolatrous neighbors, 
there had been personal intimacy, not, as in this case, a mere 
contract between them. Neither the Old Testament nor the New 

J. Winthrop, vol. i:.p. 107. 

2 The u iiole of this debate is very fully given by Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 107-115^. 

3 Endicott s letter is in Hutchinsou s Collection of papers (p. 115). The remonstrance of 
Y.utonstall, Bradstreet, and Simotids is iu the same Collection (pp. 115-119) 


wholly forbade all intercourse with idolaters. One would feel 
more respect for this somewhat unwonted liberality if De la Tour s 
promises of payment had offered a less direct temptation to the 
Boston shipmasters. 

The scriptural argument was the least cogent of those which 
were urged by De la Tour s opponents. They represented that 
the matter did not concern Massachusetts, and that it was unfair 
to condemn D Aulney unheard. This argument was met by 
citing D Aulney s acts of hostility to the colonists. There was, 
however, nothing to show that De la Tour, if securely established, 
would not be just as dangerous a neighbor. That the colony 
might entangle itself with one of the great nations of Europe 
without the consent or approval of England, and that the pro 
ceeding was a violation of the federal agreement in the spirit if 
not in the letter, were arguments which do not seem to have 
occurred to either party. Doubtless the code of international 
morality in that day was different from what it is now. It seemed 
no wise strange for the citizens of a state to take part in a quarrel 
from which their government stood wholly aloof. But it was one 
thing for Englishmen to fight in the Low Countries in the cause 
of civil and religious freedom, and another for New England 
Puritans to serve as hirelings for the personal ambition of a 
French adventurer. 

After staying in Boston for more than a month while his case 
was discussed, De la Tour set out with four hired ships and a 
The expe- pinnace. The Governor, advised by the Magistrates 
aga?nst an d Elders, sent with them a letter to D Aulney to be 
D Aulney. delivered before any hostilities were attempted. In 
this Winthrop set forth the nature of the help which had been 
given to De la Tour, adding that the bearers of the letter were 
instructed to effect a reconciliation if possible, and ending with 
the somewhat unmeaning assurance, that "if they did anything 
against the rules of justice and good neighborhood, they should 
be held accountable at their return." 

After an absence of two months the ships returned to Boston. 
Not a man had been lost, yet we can well believe Winthrop s 
statement that "the report of their actions was grievous and offen 
sive unto us." 2 The compact with the idolaters may not have 
been sinful, but it had certainly been unprofitable and discreditable 
in its results. Hawkins, who seems to have been in command 

1 The substance of this letter is given by Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 125). 2 lb. p. 134. 


of the English contingent, obeyed his instructions by landing and 
giving D Aulney the Governor s letter. D Aulney s answer appar 
ently satisfied Hawkins that he had engaged himself in an unjust 
quarrel. He refused to attack D Aulney, but at last, urged by 
De la Tour, gave his men leave to volunteer. Accordingly thirty 
of them joined in an attack which only succeeded in doing some 
trifling damage. The fleet then sailed off to De la Tour s station 
and completed its service by seizing and plundering a pinnace 
belonging to D Aulney, laden with furs. The assistance given 
did nothing towards re-establishing De la Tour or permanently 
weakening D Aulney. 

In spite of this failure, a scheme seems to have been entertained 

for renewing the attempt in the same year. This time it was not 

t to Massachusetts but Plymouth that De la Tour looked 


between for help. A document is extant, dated August, 1644, 
and r>e la by which Winslow, as Governor, made over the in 
terest of the colony in the settlement at Penubscot to 
John Winthrop, junior, Sergeant-Major Gibbms, and Captain 
Hawkins, they to recover possession out of the hands of 
D Aulney. i 

During the same year Vines, Shurd, and a disreputable adven 
turer named Wannerton, also from Maine, went on business to 
De la Tour, and on the way were apprehended by D Aulney. 
They were soon released, and went on their errand. De la Tour 
then persuaded Wannerton to make an attack on a settlement 
belonging to D Aulney. This disreputable raid ended in discom 
fiture to both sides, as the settlement was destroyed and Wanner- 
ton lost his life. 2 

In July, 1644, De la Tour came to Salem again to plead his own 
cause with the government of Massachusetts. The question was 
Massachu- argued on much the same grounds as before. De la 
donsDe Tour s idolatry had not become more malignant, but 
Tour. t jj e temptation to take his part had become less. Al 

though, according to Winthrop, most of the Magistrates were in 
favor of De la Tour, yet the Governor and Council issued an order 
commanding all citizens to observe neutrality unless attacked. 
They at the same time sent a letter to D Aulney with a copy of 
this order, a demand for restitution for damage done at Penobscot, 
and an offer of restitution for any injuries which he might have 

1 This document is printed by Mr. Savage in a note (vol. i. p. 180). 

2 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 177, with Mr. Savage s note. 


sustained at the hands of Massachusetts citizens. It is noteworthy 
that both in this case and on the occasion of De la Tour s first 
visit, the real business of deliberation seems to have been done by 
an informal meeting of Magistrates and Elders, whose decision 
was accepted by the Governor and Assistants acting as the 
Council, i 

In September the Federal Commissioners met at Hartford. It 
could not be doubted that Massachusetts by its dealings with De 
Remon- ^ ^our had encroached on the province of the federal 
strance of government. But, as we have just seen, Plymouth was 

the Federal b J J 

Commis- equally implicated in the offence. It would have been 
a daring measure for the three small colonies to pro 
test against the conduct of their powerful ally. For Connect 
icut and Newhaven, standing alone, such a line of conduct 
would have been hopeless. Nevertheless the Commissioners 
passed a resolution to the effect that "no jurisdiction within this 
Confederation shall permit any voluntaries to go forth in a war 
like way against any people whatsoever without order and direct- 
tion of the Commissioners of the other jurisdictions." It would 
have been impossible under the circumstances to have expressed 
a more emphatic condemnation of the expedition in the previous 
year. 2 

Next month an embassy from D Aulney appeared unexpectedly 

at Salem. Their spokesman was one Marie, who was thought to 

be a friar, but who had attired himself as a layman, 


from probably to avoid exciting the hostility of the Boston 

to Massa- Puritans. His demands for redress were satisfied by an 
:tts>s explanation that those who helped De la Tour had 
done so on their own responsibility, and by a general expression 
of regret. When he made overtures for an alliance or, failing 
that, for a declaration of neutrality, he was told that the govern 
ment could not take such action without the approval of the 
Federal Commissioners. Here, no doubt, we can see the effect 
of the resolution recently carried. Finally a provisional treaty 
was made, whereby each party pledged itself to abstain from hos 
tilities and to allow free trade between the two colonies. 

Next year D Aulney succeeded in capturing and destroying his 
rival s settlement. De la Tour s wife was taken prisoner and died 

1 These proceedings are told in Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 179. 
a Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 22. 
8 Winthrop, vol. ii. pp. 196-8. 


within three weeks. 1 D Aulney, discovering that she had come 
from Europe in an English vessel, wrote a somewhat violent let 
ter to Endicott, who was then Governor. An envoy 

Treaty J 

between \vas sent to explain that the transaction was purely a 

D Aulney 

and Massa-.pnvate one between the lad) and the shipmaster. 
D Aulney at first refused to be appeased. These nego 
tiations went on for more than a year, till in May, 1646, the Gen 
eral Court of Massachusetts appointed three commissioners to 
visit D Aulney and treat with him. This appears to have reassured 
D Aulney, who up to this time had doubted whether the English 
were in earnest. His confidence was no doubt confirmed by the 
fact that they had in the meantime wholly discarded De la Tour. 
Instead of receiving their embassy, D Aulney offered to send his 
own representatives to Massachusetts. This offer was accepted, 
and in November Marie with other of D Aulney s followers 
appeared at Boston. They began by making a demand for resti 
tution. The damage done to D Aulney by the English amounted, 
they said, to eight thousand pounds. They seem however to 
have had no hope of obtaining full restitution, and only to have 
wished for a definite acknowledgment of wrong-doing. After 
some negotiation this was granted. The concluding incident was 
a curious one. An English privateer had captured a Spanish ves 
sel in the West Indies. On board was a sedan chair, on its way 
from Mexico, a present from the Viceroy to his sister. Crom 
well, the captain of the English vessel, gave the chair to the 
Governor, who now sent it to D Aulney as a formal atonement 
and recognition of wrong. 

Henceforth the rival governors disappear from the field of New 

England history. A year earlier De la Tour had made his last 

ineffectual appeal for help in New England. Then 

Later his 
tory of we hear of him turning northward and preferring his 

and De la petition to Sir David Kirke, the Governor of New 
foundland, from whom he seems to have got fair prom 
ises, but no more.* Four years later a strange turn of fate came 
to the aid of the baffled adventurer. D Aulney died. De la Tour 
won, if not the love, at least the hand, of the widow, and suc- 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 238. 

2 For the negotiations see Mass. Records, vol. iii. pp. 44, 45, 74, and Winthrop, vol. ii. 
pp. 237, 259, 273. 

3 Winthrop mentions this (vol. ii. p. 238). A fuller account is given in that very laborious 
and, I believe, accurate book, Mr. Kirke s Conquest of Canada, published in 1871. Mr. 
Kirke has unfortunately lessened the value of this work by never giving references. 


ceeded peacefully to the portion for which he had schemed and 
fought to no purpose. 1 

While the Confederation was in course of making, constitu 
tional changes of some importance were at work in Massachu- 
Changes in setts. The general tendency of these changes was to 
n m stren g t | ien ^g hands of the freemen and their repre- 
" 1 sentatives and to curtail the authority of the lead- 


The system by which the Assistants were chosen underwent 
more than one change. These however affected the manner of 
Changes in the elections rather than the substantial distribution of 
of electing 1 power. In 1637 the system of voting by proxy was 
Assistants. f or ^g fi rst t j me allowed, a This was avowedly to ob 
viate the danger which might result from a large influx of voters 
into Boston. It may also have been in some measure suggested 
by the wish that the disaffected inhabitants of Boston should not 
profit unduly by their proximity to the voting place. Two years 
later a system was introduced which was thenceforth maintained 
in substance, though with various changes in detail. The object 
of this system was to spare the freemen the trouble of a journey 
to Boston, and at the same time to insure that the whole body of 
Assistants should represent the popular choice. This was to be 
done by a system of double election. Candidates were in the first 
instance to be chosen in the various townships, and the list 
thus framed was then to be submitted to the whole body of 

In 1640 it was enacted that the preliminary elections should be 
held in the different towns. The lists of votes were to be brought 
to Boston by the Deputies, and the candidates who stood highest 
in the list to the number required, were to be voted upon, for or 
against, by the whole body of freemen. Thus, if there were eight 
vacancies, those eight candidates who in the various local elec 
tions had most votes would be submitted to the whole body of 
freemen to be accepted or rejected. 4 

In 1641 the preliminary election was altered. Instead of the 
freemen in each township voting individually in the preliminary 
election, they were to be arranged in groups of ten, and each 

1 Charlevoix, vol. i. p. 412 

2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 302; Mass. Records, vol. i. p. 264. 

3 Winthrop (vol. i. p. 185) seems to say that this change was made in May, 1636. The 
Records (vol. i. p. 188) place it in March, 1637. 

4 Mass. Records, vol- i- p. 293. 


group was to choose an elector to act for it. His powers, how 
ever, did not extend to the final election. )(p 

In 1642 this was again altered. The system of tens, each with 
an elector, was abolished. Every town was to choose one or two 
representatives for this special purpose. These representatives 
were to meet and frame a list of candidates, from which the free 
men were to elect. 2 

Next year this was again changed and the system of 1640 re 
established, with, however, one important change. Under that 
system the initial right of proposing candidates had been vested 
in the Deputies themselves. Now it was transferred to the 
freemen. 3 

In 1644 a further change of detail was introduced. It relieved 
the freemen from the necessity of coming to Boston for the second 
election by making the voting local. The votes given in the va 
rious towns were to be sealed up and sent to Boston. This was 
an obvious and easy change, since at the second election the 
freemen did not choose candidates, but only confirmed or vetoed 
a choice already made.- 4 

During this time the system on which the Deputies were elected 
underwent no change. But in 1639 it was proposed that the 
changlln num b er should be reduced, and that whereas hitherto 
the dec- some townships had returned three, they should hence- 

tion of 

Deputies, forth be limited to two each. This was at first resented 
as an attempt on the part of the Assistants to curtail the power 
of the Deputies. The opposition, however, foiled, and the limit 
ation became law. * Five years later another change was proposed. 
In the previous year the colony had been divided into four coun 
ties. 6 The germ of such a system had before existed in the 
institution of the four quarterly courts and in the arrangement 
of the militia, since for both these purposes towns were grouped 
together according to local proximity. At first the new division 
seems to have affected only the military arrangements of the col 
ony. Each county was to have its own local force under the 
command of a Lieutenant and a Sergeant- Major, 7 

In 1644 it was proposed to substitute the county for the town 
as the basis of representation. Under this scheme Suffolk and 
Middlesex, the two southernmost counties, which included re- 

l Mass. Records, vol. i. p. 333. 2 Ib. vol. ii. p. 21 3 Ib. p. 37. 

4 III. vol. ii. p. 87. 

6 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 300; Mass. Records, vol. i. p. 254. 

Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 38. 7 Ib. p. 42. 


spectively the townships of Charlestown and Boston, were to have 
six members each, while the two northern counties were to re 
turn eight members between them. The votes were to be taken 
in the different townships. This representation was to be after 
wards limited in a somewhat complicated fashion. The twenty 
elected representatives were to present themselves at the General 
Court. The Assistants, as we have already seen, were a body 
that varied in number. The representatives were then to be 
reduced by cutting off those who had fewest votes till the number 
was only equal to that of the Assistants. In consideration of this 
the Assistants would forego their veto. The scheme was sub 
mitted to the freemen in their various townships, but was received 
with no favor and was abandoned. l 

Under this system the freemen may be said to have enjoyed a 
double representation. The Assistants were elected as the rep 
resentatives of the whole body, the Deputies as the 

Relations J 

between representatives of the several townships. Both were the 

the Assis- , ,, . . , , r 

tantsand chosen upholders of popular rights. But the former 
might be supposed to maintain the rights of the whole 
community, the latter more especially the local interests of each 

Up to 1643 the two bodies sat and voted together. Their mu 
tual relation and the precise limits of their respective power were 
questions not yet decided. We have seen how, in 1635, that 
question arose, and how the dispute was bridged over by a con 
cession which disposed of the practical question at issue, but left 
the constitutional difficulty still unsolved. In 1643 ^ ie dispute 
broke out afresh. This time it was raised, not by any political 
issue, but by a question which came before the legislature in its ca 
pacity as the supreme civ ; l court. A lawsuit fell out between a poor 
widow named Sherman, and a certain rich man, Captain Keayne, 
about a sow. 2 There seems to have been very little doubt that 
the widow s claim was ill-founded. She was, howevever, egged 
on by one George Story, a trader, who lived in her house, and 
who bore a private grudge against Keayne. Not only did Sher 
man lose her case, but Keayne brought an action against her and 
Story, and received twenty pounds damages. Unluckily for 
Keayne, he bore an ill name in the country for hard dealing with 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 214; Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 88. 

2 The whole history of this politico-porcine case may be learnt from Winthrop (vol. ii pp 
69-72 and 115-18), and from the Records. 


the poor. Public sympathy is sure to be more influenced by 
the social position and moral character of litigants than by the 
legal rights of a case. The feeling spread through the colony that 
a poor widow had been fined twenty pounds because she tried to 
get back her own from a rich extortioner. 

Urged on by Story, and no doubt supported by popular sym 
pathy, Sherman appealed to the Supreme Court. Their opinion 
was divided. Of the Assistants, two were for Sherman and seven 
for Keayne ; of the Deputies, fifteen for Sherman and eight for 
Keayne, the remaining seven Deputies standing aloof. In taking 
this attitude they acknowledged that they were carrying out the 
instructions of those who returned them. Nothing could show 
more clearly how ill-fitted an elective assembly is to act as a ju 
dicial tribunal. It shows too how that vicious habit of mind 
which the rulers of Massachusetts had encouraged for their own 
ends had eaten its way into the minds of the people. The public 
looked at this case just as Winthrop and the other leaders looked 
at the case of the Antinomians or of Gorton. The tribunals ex 
isted, not to apply certain fixed principles, but to carry out those 
measures which should at the time seem expedient and in con 
formity with popular opinion. By the unhappy system which 
vested the legislative and the judicial powers in the same body, 
this trumpery case had now grown into a grave political difficulty. 
If the Assistants and Deputies were regarded as forming one 
single body and all voting together, then Sherman would gain 
her cause by two votes. If the Assistants sat as a separate 
tribunal, then they had a right to veto, and Sherman would lose 
her case. 

Happily the bitterness of the issue was tempered by the fact 
that both Assistants and Deputies were alike the elected represen 
tatives of the people. The Assistants too maintained throughout 
an attitude of forbearance and moderation. Next year, when the 
heat of popular feeling had subsided, a compromise was arrived 
at, distinctly to the advantage of the Assistants. It was resolved 
that henceforth the two bodies should sit and vote as separate 
chambers, and that the consent of both should be needful for any 
legislative act. J Apparently the same principle applied to judicial 
proceedings. It speaks well for the good feeling of both parties 
that a judicial system so cumbrous and liable to disorder should 
seemingly henceforth have worked well. 

l Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 160; Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 58. 


One incident of the contest deserves notice. Winthrop wrote 

a statement of the case, vindicating the judgment of the Assistants. 

This apparently c^ave offence from the harshness of its 

Wmthrop s 

statement tone. The Governor, hearing this, volunteered in 

of opinion. *_ . 

open court an explanation, and in some sort an apol 
ogy, marked by a characteristic combination of dignity and hu 
mility. As to the substance of what he had written he stood firm. 
But in the language which he had used about his opponents "he 
did arrogate too much to himself, and ascribe too little to others." 
One expression, he admits, was " not becoming him, but a fruit 
of the pride of his own spirit." In conclusion, he expressed the 
hope that he might be "more wise and watchful hereafter." 2 

A pamphlet written by Winthrop on the question of the veto is 
yet extant, 3 and deserves to be studied. The argument of it falls 
Winthro s unc ^ er tnree heads. Firstly, Winthrop points out that 
pamphlet the constitution was originally so framed as to give the 

on the veto. A 

Assistants a veto. Secondly, he argues that to do away 
with that veto would destroy the only barrier which saved the 
commonwealth from becoming a democracy. Of that form of 
government Winthrop speaks with denunciation which could 
hardly have been surpassed by Clarendon or Hobbes. "Democ 
racy is among most civil nations accounted the meanest and worst 
of all forms of government . . . and histories record that it hath 
always been of least continuance and fullest of troubles." We 
may learn from this how little there was in common between the 
Puritan founders of New England and those who have entered 
into their inheritance. It carries with it too the cheering lesson 
that the fears of thoughtful and far-seeing statesmen may some 
times prove as unfounded as the Utopian dreams of reformers. 
Thirdly, Winthrop points out the unfitness of a body chosen, as 
were the Deputies, by popular election, for discharging judicial du 
ties. This last argument was the only one of the three to which 
much weight can be attached. Yet even this either proved too little 
or too much. If the Court was unfit to sit as a judicial tribunal, 
the mere retention of the veto by the Assistants was a very inade 
quate corrective. Each of the other arguments admits of an easy 

1 This is given in the Life (vol. ii. p. 284). It is a short summary of the evidence. The 
taste for scriptural analogy shows itself oddly. As Jacob was first convinced of his son s 
death by circumstantial evidence, and then of his safety by direct evidence, so should 
Mrs. Sherman have reasoned concerning her lost sow. 

2 Winthrop himself reproduces this speech in his History (vol. ii. p. 117). 

3 It is given in an Appendix to the Life (vol. ii. p. 427). 


answer. Those who opposed the retention of the veto would not 
have denied that the original constitution included it. They might 
well have refused to be bound by any appeal to a system which 
had been framed fifteen years before by men who could not have, 
and did not profess to have, practical knowledge of colonial life. 
The one place where it is most needful that institutions should 
be elastic and not bound down by precedent is in the ever ex 
panding life of a colony. 

It is strange too that a man of Winthrop s sagacity should not 
have recognized that the community already was a democracy. 
The whole machinery of the state Governor, Assistants, and 
Deputies was chosen by the people. No constitutional arrange 
ments could prevent such a government from being a democracy 
as far as the freemen were concerned, whatever it might be from 
the point of view of those excluded by the test of church- 
membership. At the same time it well might be, and in all like 
lihood was, expedient that the Assistants should retain their veto. 
That contrivance could not make the government other than a 
democracy, but it might diminish the danger of such a polity by 
introducing a means of delay between the formation of popular 
wishes and the execution of them, and by giving the more 
educated and thoughtful portion of the democracy time to make 
\ its influence felt. 

\ But the actual substance of such an appeal is less important 
than the fact of its having been made. Winthrop might denounce 
the democracy, but his appeal to them, based as it was on con 
stitutional grounds and enforced by sober argument, was an 
unconscious admission of the right of the commons to political 
power. His treatise was one of a class of documents which we 
more than once meet with in the earl} history of New England. 
It does not seem to have been customary among the statesmen 
of Massachusetts to rely for their influence on popular oratory. 
The arts of the demagogue were apparently left to the clergy. 
But it was not uncommon for the leading men to issue pamphlets, 
\ v hich in all likelihood were distributed in manuscript. Such 
were the appeals made by Vane and Winthrop respectively during 
the Antinomian contest. The character of these, so far as they 
have come down to us, is full of instruction. There is no rhetoric 
in them, no appeals to the hopes or fears of the readers, nor to 
any unworthy passions. There is no attempt to write down to 
the intelligence of the mob; the argument is often dry and tech- 


nical, never shallow or sophistical. Such writing is the best 
testimony to the political wisdom and integrity of those to whom 
it is addressed. The men for whom Winthrop wrote were the 
true progenitors of those sober, precedent-loving citizens who were 
appealed to by the authors of The Federalist. 

In the next year a new force made itself felt in the politics of 
the colony. A proposal was put forward in the Court to extend 
Claims of at ^ east some portion of the rights of freemen to those 
those who w ho were at present excluded as not being churcli- 

were not 

church- members. J The matter was passed by tor the pTesent, 
but from this time forth the disfranchised inhabitants 
are a factor to be taken into account in the politics of the colony. 
Another source of internal dissension had come into being. It 
is clear that the pre-eminence of Boston and the continuance of 
Opposition Winthrop in the highest office caused discontent. The 
mEssex.2 j n fl uence w hich the Boston merchants had been al 
lowed to exercise in the dealings with De la Tour gave ample 
ground for this feeling. Ipswich, the chief town in the county 
of Essex, seems to have been the stronghold of the aggrieved 
party. In the wealth and social position of its inhabitants Ips 
wich was little behind Boston, 3 and its minister, Nathaniel Ward, 
was one of the most vigorous and aggressive of those political 
divines who play so large a part in early New England history. 
One of the first symptoms of this dissatisfaction was the substitu 
tion of Endicott for Winthrop as Governor. At the same time 
Bradstreet and Hathorne, two of the leading men in Essex 
county, were elected as the two Federal Commissioners. Brad- 
street was among the three who had headed the opposition to Win 
throp in the matter of De la Tour. Hathorne had already made 
for himself a position as a popular leader. In 1641 Richard Bel- 
lingham had been elected Governor in the place of Dudley. 
Bellingham was a lawyer, a man of integrity and ability, but 
morose and self-willed. During his tenure of ofiice he incurred 
the displeasure both of the Assistants and the Deputies. His 
chief offence was arbitrarily changing the amount of a fine after 
judgment had been given and recorded. Eor so doing a formal 
admonition was addressed to him by the Deputies, with the ap 
proval of the Assistants. 4 On this occasion Hathorne seems to 

1 This is very briefly told by Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 160). 

2 I have relied entirely on Winthrop for my account of this year s proceedings, with 
such verification from the records as was possible. 

For the state of Ipswich see Johnson (bk. i. ch. 34). 4 Winthrop, vol. iu p. 51. 


have acted as spokesman. l Soon after he headed a movement in 
favor of a much needed reform, whereby the penalties for certain 
moral offences, such as swearing and lying, should be fixed instead 
of being left to the discretion of the Court. But the need for 
defmiteness in criminal jurisprudence was little understood by the 
rulers of Massachusetts, and the proposal bore no fruit. 2 Win- 
throp censures the election of Bradstreet and Hathorne on the 
ground of their youth, and also in that, being inhabitants of 
Essex, they veie furthest removed from the other colonies, and 
therefore ill-fitted to deal with them. 3 For once however we 
must feel that Winthrop wrote as a partisan. Bradstreet and Ha 
thorne evidently represented the general body of the freemen 
against the oligarchy at Boston, who had hitherto in a great 
measure monopolized office and power. The public services of 
each had shown that the office of Federal Commissioner was not 
beyond their deserts, and the only fault which could be found 
with their conduct while in office was that Bradstreet served the 
interests of Massachusetts too faithfully. Before the Court came 
together an informal meeting of Deputies was held in Essex. 
They there drew up a series of measures to be brought forward. < 
The exact details of these are not told us by Winthrop, but their 
general effect, according to him, was to increase the influence of 
Essex. Among other measures to this end the Court was to be 
brought there, and four representatives of the county were to 
be specially added to the list of Magistrates. The ability and 
influence of the Essex representatives enabled them to carry the 
Deputies with them. The Assistants, however, resisted, and after 
a conference between the two chambers the proposal fell through. 
The two bodies soon joined battle on another issue. The 
Deputies passed a measure providing for the establishment of an 
Dis utes executive council to act while the Court was not sitting, 
between This was to consist of seven Assistants, three Deputies, 

Assistants _ _ . , _ , 

and Depu- and Ward, lately the pastor of Ipswich. Inasmuch as 

the Assistants had hitherto discharged these duties, the 

practical effect of the measure was to substitute four nominees of 

the lower chamber for four of the Assistants. Moreover, even 

i I infer this from Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 52). He there says that the Deputies " sent up 
their speaker." A little later he says that Hathorne was " usually one of their speakers." 
As the Assistants and Deputies all sat in one chamber, the functions of the speaker to the 
latter body cannot have exactly corresponded to those of a Speaker in the English House 
of Commons. 2 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 56. 

s Ib. p. 172. 4 Ib. p. 167. 5 Ib. 


where the measure left the power of the Assistants intact, it altered 
the source from which that power was derived. Henceforth their 
executive authority would rest, not, as it now did, on the charter, 
but on the annual vote of the whole Court. On these grounds 
the Assistants resisted the change, pleading too, with good reason, 
that the Court would by this measure be encroaching on the 
rights of the freemen, by making the choice of an executive a 
matter of nomination and not of general election. The Deputies 
met this last argument by citing the cases where the Court had 
specially appointed a council of war. To this the Assistants 
answered that a council of war was appointed for a limited time 
and with special powers, whereas the present measure would per 
manently alter the position of the executive. 

The Deputies then proposed a compromise. The Court was to 
appoint a council of war, in which all the Assistants were to sit. 
The latter still stood firm, on the ground that they had already 
legal authority. An unprofitable discussion followed, which ended, 
according to Winthrop, in the declaration made by the Deputies 
through their speaker Hathorne, " You will not be obeyed." 1 

In the meantime it had been necessary to send out a small 
force to protect Pomham against the Narragansetts. 2 The com 
manding officer was required, under his commission, to receive 
his instructions from the Council of the commonwealth. The 
question then arose, Who were this Council ? The discussion led 
to a clear statement of the points at issue. These were to be set 
tled later. For the present a resolution was passed, to the effect 
that the Governor and Assistants should act as a Council, without 
prejudice to their claim of authority under the charter, a 

The feeling of hostility between the two bodies was quickened 
by disputes about the external policy of the colony. The Gov 
ernor of Plymouth petitioned for some powder, of which his colony 
was in great need. The Assistants voted him two barrels, but the 
vote was quashed by the Deputies. 4 Their illiberality indeed went 
so far as to refuse to let their confederates have any even on pay 
ment. A like application from Rhode Island was also refused, 
though, as Winthrop points out, the colony thereby ran the risk 
of letting the Narragansett country fall into the hands of the 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 169. 2 Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 72. 

3 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 170. 

4/3. p. 172. lb. p. 173. 


On another point the liberality of the Assistants contrasted with 
the narrow-minded jealousy of the local representatives. The 
former proposed that they should be authorized in case of an ap 
peal for help from any of the confederate colonies at once to raise 
the force required under the Articles of Confederation. The 
Deputies, ho\vever, insisted that no help should be sent till a 
General Court had been called together. l No confederation could 
possibly work effectively if the members held with such jealous 
tenacity to their individual freedom of action. On a question of 
internal policy too the Assistants were seemingly more liberal than 
their opponents. Winthrop expressly tells us that in this dispute 
the Assistants commanded the sympathy of the disfranchised in 
habitants who were not church-members. At the same time, so 
far from having any intention of remedying the grievance, the 
Assistants were kept in check by the fear that, if political strife 
arose, this question might become a cause of conflict. 2 

Later in the year the Court again met. It was agreed that 
there should be a conference between the two branches of the 
Confer- legislature, in which the Elders should act as arbitrators, 
the two The Deputies appear to have begun by an act of dis- 
chambers.s cour tesy t o the arbitrators in sending a committee of 
four to meet them instead of appearing all in person. The main 
question was whether the Assistants under the patent, and without 
further authority, constituted the standing Council. On this point 
the judgment of the Elders was in favor of their claims. Besides 
this, certain minor points of dispute were laid before the Elders 
and decided by them. They ruled that the freemen might ap 
point commissioners for special purposes, and that the same power 
might be exercised by the Court within somewhat narrower limits. 
At the same time they ruled that the authority granted to such 
commissioners must not absorb nor override that of the regular 
magistrates. They also gave a decided opinion in favor of allow 
ing the penalties for offences to be varied at the discretion of the 
magistrate. Finally they expounded the general division of 
powers under the constitution. All legislative power and the 
supreme judicial power were vested in the General Court, consist 
ing of the Governor, the Assistants, and the Deputies. Subject to 
that limitation the Governor and Assistants had judicial power as 

l Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 173. 2 Ib. p. 171. 

3 The proceedings of this conference are fully told by Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 204-9). 1^ 
answers of the Elders are given in full in the Records (vol. ii. pp, 90-6). 


magistrates. That power was not conferred by the vote of the 
freemen but by the patent. At the same time the freemen 
were to decide by their vote in whom that power was to be 

The propositions laid down by the Elders were formally voted 
upon and accepted. A few of the popular party demurred, nota 
bly Saltonstall and Bellingham, who though themselves among the 
Assistants had throughout sided with the Deputies. 1 This dis 
satisfaction however was not general, and for the present the 
dispute was set at rest. 

One incident oi this struggle deserves special notice. Winthrop 
put forward a second pamphlet, dealing with the immediate ques- 
wir.throp s tion, but at the same time going beyond it, and setting 
on Sovem- f rt h n ^ s views on general questions of policy. 2 His 
mem. main object is to show that the power of the Assistants 

could not properly be called arbitrary. It was easy to show that 
a government, every member of which was chosen by the whole 
community, could not be called arbitrary. In such a case the 
only questions that can arise are not questions of principle but 
of detail. The people must decide in what manner and with what 
restrictions they should delegate their power to their chosen rep 
resentatives. Winthrop s pamphlet is little more than an analysis 
of the constitution, showing in detail how each successive process 
in the work of administration is provided for by the charter, and 
is consistent with the rights of the people to self-government. He 
then deals with the question of so-called arbitrary punishments. 
He argues with copious illustration that greater equality of pun 
ishment is secured when the amount of penalty varies at the 
discretion of the judge. For, as he points out, that which is 
nominally the same offence becomes different as it is com 
mitted by a different person or under different circumstances. 3 
There is one point in this letter which has an interest beyond 
that of the immediate controversy. In describing the consti 
tution of the colony Winthrop emphatically states that the 
original members of the Company were specially careful that 
no condition should be inserted in the original patent, limiting- 
the government of the colony to any corporation living in 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 209- 

2 This also is given in an Appendix to the Life (vol. ii. p. 440). 

3 One is reminded of the doctrine, set forth both by Plato and Aristotle, that true equality 
was not in equal distribution, but in distribution proportionate to merit (Laws, 757; Politics, 
vol. i ). 


England.^ We mw regard this as an answer to the charge 
that the transfer was an act of bad faith, an answer too all the 
more effective because it arose incidentally out of a different 

Next year the contention between the two branches of the legis 
lature broke out afresh. A sermon was always preached on the 
Dispute ^ a y ot " ^ ie general election. The right to name a 
about the preacher was bv usaare vested in the Assistants. But 

Election * 

sermon. the Deputies had lately challenged this, and had so far 
prevailed that they had been twice allowed the choice. On this 
occasion each body made a separate appointment, in ignorance 
seemingly of what the other had done. Finally the Assistants 
gave way, though not unanimously. 2 

This was followed by another dispute, also arising out of a per 
sonal issue. It will be remembered that the train-band of each 
. township elected its own officers. The captaincy of the 

Election of J 

a train- Hinffham company was vacant; the lieutenant, Ernes by 

band J 

captain at name, was chosen to succeed; but before his appoint 
ment was complete, his fellow-townsmen took offence at 
him and preferred one Allen. The Assistants took up the ques 
tion, and when Allen was presented to the Court, it refused to 
confirm his appointment till the matter had been reconsidered. 
The band met for drill, without waiting for any summons or 
for the formal confirmation of their choice. A scene followed, 
described by Winthrop, gravely indeed, but with an underlying 
sense of its absurdity. After the men had met, the lieutenant 
appeared a.nd proposed to take the command. The men refused 
to accept him. He then pleaded the order of the Assistants. 
This was met with the statement that the Assistants had advised 
him to go home and lay down his commission honorably. A 
tumult followed. Some declared that the order of the Assistants 
was only made by a small minority, others that the Assistants had 
no power in the matte-, while one man even declared himself ready 
to support his right of election by the sword. Then the clerk of 
the band put it to the vote whether they should refuse Ernes and 
take Allen. The latter opinion prevailed, and thereupon Alien s 

1 Winthrop s words are: "For it being the manner for such as procured patents for 
Virginia, Bermudas, and the West Indies to keep the chief government in the hands of the 
Company residing in England (and so this was intended, and with much difficulty we got 
it abscinded)." 2 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 219. 

3 Ib. pp. 221-8. The proceedings of the Court on the matter are very fully told in the 
Records (vol. iii. p. 18-27). 


followers, to the number of two-thirds, followed him for three 
days training, while the rest stayed with Ernes. 

Ecclesiastical authority soon stepped in. Ernes had given the 
lie to those who said that the Assistants had ordered him to lay 
down his authority. For this he was brought before the church. 
Hobart, the pastor of Hingham, was the brother of three of Allen s 
principal supporters. He now excommunicated Ernes. The lat 
ter thereupon appealed for protection to four of the Boston Magis 
trates, including Winthrop, now Deputy-Governor. They issued 
a warrant summoning the three Hobarts and two others to appear 
at Boston. The pastor then presented himself, and remonstrated 
so disrespectfully that but for his office he would have shared the 
fate of his brethren. The five offenders were summoned to Bos 
ton, and required to give bail. This they refused to do, and 
were thereupon committed for trial. 

The Deputies now took up the matter. A petition was pre 
sented to them, signed by nearly a hundred of the inhabitants of 
inquiry Hingham, asking them to interfere. This they did by 
throp^ in " demanding an inquiry into Winthrop s conduct, on 
conduct. tne ground that the case was one of public impor 
tance. l The inquiry was granted. Indeed it would almost seem 
as if Winthrop thought by formally putting himself on his trial 
to impress the public with a feeling that the conduct of the Depu 
ties was factious and ungrateful. The matter, as might have been 
foreseen, resolved itself into a struggle between the Deputies and 
the Assistants, which seems to have been marked by a lack of 
decorum and forbearance on both sides. After much discussion 
the Assistants proposed to refer the matter to the arbitration of 
the Elders. The Deputies refused, believing that the sympathies 
of the Elders would be with the Assistants. At length a con 
ference of the two bodies was held. The views of the Assistants 
prevailed; fines of various amounts were inflicted on the offenders, 
and Winthrop was fully acquitted. 2 

The concluding scene had an interest beyond the immediate 
matter in debate. Winthrop used the opportunity to make 
Winthrop s wnat ne > witri his accustomed modesty, calls "a little 
speech. speech, " 3 which was in truth an exposition of the gen 
eral principles of government and of civil liberty. The speech 

1 Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 97. 

J The judgment of the Court is in the Records (vol. ii. pp. 113, 114). 

8 Winthrop himself gives a verbatim report of the speech (vol. ii. p. 228). 


is characteristic both of the place and the age. Like Winthrop s 
political pamphlets, it made no appeal to popular passion. Be 
yond a short reference to Winthrop s own attitude and the stigma 
inflicted on him by the trial, and to the position of the Assistants, 
the whole speech is impersonal, a statement of abstract principles. 
It is an exposition of the true nature of freedom. There are, 
Winthrop told his hearers, two kinds of liberty, natural and civil. 
Natural liberty is the mere absence of all external control, the 
freedom of a wild animal. Civil liberty is the subjection to 
reasonable moral control, the subjection of a wife to a husband, 
of the Church to her Divine Lord. 

The aggrieved Deputies might fairly have answered that what 
they disputed was not the general principle but the practical ap 
plication of it. Civil liberty, Winthrop says, is "liberty to that 
only which is goocl, just, and honest." But who is to interpret 
those terms? Winthrop s formula is only a statement of the dif 
ficulties of government, not a solution of them. 

Yet that very statement marks an advance in political thought. 
A political philosophy deduced from the maxims of experienced 
diplomatists was being superseded by one which strove to recognize 
the general principles of civil society. The teaching of Machiavelli 
and Bacon was giving way to the teaching of Hooker and Hobbes 
and Locke. 

There is another point worth notice in this speech, common 
also to all Winthrop s political writings. In his analysis of the 
various members of the constitution, all reference to the home 
government is omitted. Almost unconsciously the citizen of 
Massachusetts had learnt to regard himself as belonging to an 
independent commonwealth. 



In New England the overthrow of royalty was not marked, as it 
was in the two southern colonies of Virginia and Maryland, by any 
Effect cf disturbance of affairs or change of authority. Yet its 
thrVJv o? enrect was at least fully as important. It freed the colo- 
the monar- n j s t s f rom a ll dread of an interference which might be fa- 

chy on New 

England. tal to their political and ecclesiastical aims. It brought 
New England for the first time into direct contact with the literary 
and intellectual life of the mother country. In the struggle be 
tween Presbyterian and Independent the New England divines 
were compelled, as they had never been before, to take part in 
a controversy in which victory was not already assured to them by 
the approval of an unreasoning majority. 

The benefit of the altered state of affairs in England was first 

felt by the distracted group of townships on Narragansett Bay. 

Every year showed the settlers there the need for some 

The Narra 
gansett legal title strong enough to protect their territory from 


get a the aggressive policy of Massachusetts. 1 hey might 

now hope with reason that any such application would 
have the support of Vane and of those who thought with him. The 
first movement in this direction seems to have been made by the 
inhabitants of Newport. As early as 1639 it was resolved at the 
general meeting of the township that two of the chief citizens, 
Easton and Clarke, should petition Vane to use his influence 

i For most of this chapter there are no new authorities. During the course of it we lose 
the in valuable guidance of Winthrop. Some amends are made by the fullness of the Federal 
Records. For the affair of the Presbyterian malcontents \ve have on the one side Nezu 
England s Jonas cast up in London, by Major John Childe, brother to Dr. Childe, and 
on the other, NtW England s Salamander, by Edward Window. Both were written in 
1647. The former is published in Force s collection, vol. iv., the latter in the Massachusetts 
Historical Collection, 3rd series, vol. ii. Backus has preserved much that is of great value 
for the latter part of the chapter, and Clarke is an authority of the first order for those 
incidents in which he himself was concerned. 



with the King in obtaining a charter for the colony. By what 
steps the colonies of Portsmouth and Providence were induced to 
join in this application, or how negotiations were carried out, does 
not appear. But by the spring of 1643 the three townships had 
resolved to send a joint representative who should endeavor to 
obtain a formal confirmation of their right to the territory which 
they occupied. 2 There could be but little doubt as to the choice 
of an ambassador. The antecedents of Williams, his charm of 
manner and character, his power of speech and, if need should 
be, of controversy, all marked him out as fitted for the task. Early 
in 1643 ne was dispatched to England. Parliament in the fol 
lowing November placed the administration of the colonies in the 
hands of a Board of Commissioners, with the Earl of Warwick at 
their head. 3 The action which they took with reference to the 
Narragansett territory showed how urgent was the need for Wil 
liams mission. In December, 1643, the Commissioners granted 
to the Governor, Assistants, and freemen of Massachusetts the 
whole territory on the mainland of Narragansett Bay. 4 This in 
strument would not indeed, unless by a very partial interpreta 
tion, have interfered with any soil then occupied by Newport and 
Portsmouth. But it would have swallowed up Providence, it 
would have effectually isolated the two townships on the island, 
and it would have undoubtedly furnished Massachusetts with a 
standing ground for further encroachments. 

In the following March however the Commissioners issued a 
second instrument, which conflicted singularly with this grant. 
It incorporated the three townships of Providence, Portsmouth, 
and Newport, under the title of Providence Plantation, e The in 
habitants were empowered to form a government and to make 
laws, with the customary reservation that these should conform to 
the laws of England, and with a further provision in favor of any 
future arrangement which the Commissioners might make for the 
general administration of the plantations. It was clear that this 
instrument was in spirit incompatible with the recent grant to 
Massachusetts, and that for all practical purposes the later instru- 

1 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 94. 

2 Our knowledge of Roger Williams mission to England is curiously indirect. In 1643 
he published his Key into the Language of America in London. In the preface he refers 
to his voyage. Winthrop just mentions the fact of his voyage to England (vol. ii. p. 97). 
It is clear from the result of his mission that he was acting for the settlers on the island as 
well as those at Providence. 

3 Hazard, vol. i. p. 533. 4 Colonial Papers, 1643, Dec. 10. 
5 Ib. 1644, March 14. 


ment overrode the earlier. Yet since the first grant only gave 
territory and the second only gave jurisdiction, it could not be 
said that the one formally and legally abrogated the other. That 
the two should have been allowed to stand illustrates the singular 
heedlessness with which the English government granted away the 
soil of the New World. 

In the autumn of 1644 Roger Williams returned with the charter 
of his colony. With it he brought a letter addressed by twelve 
Return of leading members of the Parliamentary party to the 
Roger wn- Governor and Assistants of Massachusetts "and the 
rest of our worthy friends in the plantation of Massa 
chusetts Bay." 1 The authors of the letter reminded those to whom 
they wrote of all that Williams had suffered when in England in 
the cause of religion, and of his labors among the savages; they 
protested against the want of good feeling between men who had 
so much in common, and who " mutually gave good testimony 
of each other;" and they urged the necessity for union at a time 
when the common interests of Puritans in England and in America 
were in danger. Winthrop gives the letter without a word of 
comment. Hubbard adds that those to whom it was addressed 
saw no reason to condemn themselves for any former proceed 
ings against Mr. Williams," and that they resolved that as long as 
he and his followers held to " their dangerous principles of sepa 
ration," they would not grant them free passage, "lest any of 
their people should be drawn away with his erroneous opinions." 2 
By a strange chance all that we know of Williams reception in his 
own colony is derived from an unfriendly quarter. In a letter 
from one who when he wrote was Williams enemy, we may read 
how his fellow-citizens put forth with a little flotilla of fourteen 
canoes, and gave a triumphal welcome to him who had now a 
second time earned the title of their founder. 3 

Events now showed how much mischief might arise from the 
two conflicting grants made by the commissioners. We have seen 
Dispute how Gorton and his followers, turned adrift by the 
territory S of weariness and despair rather than released by the clem- 
Shawomet. encv O f fa e Massachusetts government, had gone back 

l Winthrop gives the letter (vol. ii. p. 193). 

3 Hubbard, p. 349. 

8 This is told in a letter from one Richard Scott, a Quaker, in the Appendix to Fox s 
pamphlet against Williams, New England Firebrand Quenched. Scott took part in the 
reception, and naturally, under the changed circumstances, wrote of it as an act of folly 
which he repented. 


to Shawomet. No sooner had they returned than, repeating the 
same policy which had ended so fatally for Miantonomo, they 
entered into negotiations with the natives. The Narragansetts, 
at the instigation of the Gortonists, made a formal submission 
and declaration of allegiance to the King of England. ! The gov 
ernment of Massachusetts at once took the same measures for 
asserting its territorial claim as it had done in the case of New 
Hampshire, and endeavored to plant a colony on the territory of 
Shawomet, under the title of an alleged purchase or cession from 
the Indian chief Pomham. 2 Help came to Gorton from an 
unlooked-for quarter. Brown, one of the Federal Commissioners 
for Plymouth, had a trading station in the neighborhood of Shaw 
omet. He now resisted the intrusion of the settlers from Massa 
chusetts, on the ground that the territory in question was within 
the Plymouth patent. His claim was afterwards overruled by the 
Federal Commissioners, but it served the purpose of checking 
the intended encroachment. Though Brown s action was of 
benefit to Gorton and his party, it is clear that it was intended 
only to guard the territory of his own colony, since at the very 
same time he was warning the people of Portsmouth and New 
port that their charter was invalid, as being an encroachment on 
the rights of Plymouth. 3 

Meanwhile Gorton had gone to England with two of his chief 
supporters to transmit the submission of the Narragansett Indians, 
Gorton and to obtain from the Commissioners for plantations 
! 6 tne same confirmation in their territory as had already 
h been & rante d to their neighbors. 4 In the latter attempt 
they were fully successful. In the Autumn of 1646, 
Holden, Gorton s right-hand man, landed at Boston with an order 
from the Commissioners addressed to the governor of Massachu 
setts. The Commissioners in this document declined to express 
an opinion as to the previous conduct of the Massachusetts govern 
ment towards Gorton, but ordered that for the present he and his 

1 This is published in Simplicities Defence (p. 91). 

2 Mass. Records, vol. iii. p. 49; Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 252. 

3 Simplicities Defence, p. 98. 

4 There is nothing to show the exact date of Gorton s visit to England. It is approxi 
mately fixed by two facts. Winslow states (Hypocrisy Unmasked, p. 83) that Gorton was in 
Rhode Island in November, 1644. Winslow s commission, dated December, 1646, sets forth 
that Gorton, Greene, and Holden had presented a petition to the Earl of Warwick. As 
we must deduct some time for the news to re:ich America and for the government of 
Massachusetts to take action upon it, this practically narrows the date of GorUu i viait ta 
1645 or the first half of 1646. 


followers should be allowed tc settle at Shawomet without inter 
ruption. This was not to preclude the Massachusetts government 
from reopening the case if it should be able to make good its 
title tj the land. The Commissioners also appended an order 
to tiie effect that Gorton, Hoiden, and Greene should be allowed 
to pass through the territory of Massachusetts unmolested, any 
previous sentence of expulsion or otherwise notwithstanding. 1 
The reception of this order at Boston will be more fitly considered 
in dealing with the whole question of the relations between the 
Massachusetts government and the Parliamentary authorities. 
For the present Gorton and his adherents settled peaceably on 
the lands at Shawomet, or, as it was now called in honor of him 
who had befriended them, Warwick. 2 

That conspicuous incapacity for civil union which had already 
shown itself in the Narragansett settlers still kept the various 
Union of townships asunder. For nearly three years the charter 
Smlett" ot ~ mcor P ra tion was a dead letter, save so far as it 
townships, protected them from any external attack. In May, 
1647, tne colony took its first step towards unity. To this end 
a meeting was held at Portsmouth. The constitution of that 
meeting is but imperfectly recorded. Ten delegates were sent 
from Providence. 3 There is nothing to show how the other three 
townships were represented. The functions of this convention 
were to define the constitution of the colony, to pass a code of 
laws, and to declare what henceforth should be the system of legis 
lation, judicature, and administration.* 

The fundamental principles of the constitution were declared 

in the preliminary articles to the code of laws. It was to be 

democratical, "that is held bv the free and voluntary 

tion of the consent of all or the greater part of the free inhabi 
tants/ The code drawn up was simple, based mainly 
on English statute law and containing scarcely a single reference 
to scriptural precedent. In two important points the code em 
bodied the views which had made the founder of the colony and 
so many of its members exiles from Massachusetts. It declared 
that an oath should not be necessary in courts of law, but that a 

1 This order is cited by Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 280). He also gives at p. 27^ a similar order, 
addressed apparently not only to Massachusetts but to all the colonial jurisdictions. 

S The first use of the name which I can find is it. the record of the proceedings at 
Portsmouth in May, 1647 (R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 14 s ). 

3 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 42. 

4 The whole proceedings of this are very full) Accorded (R. I. Records, vol. i. pp. 


declaration should be sufficient, and it formally secured religious 
freedom by an enactment that "all men may walk as their con 
science persuades them." To have been among the earliest 
upholders of religious freedom, a claim so often and so unscru 
pulously made on behalf of the founders of Massachusetts, a 
claim which they themselves would have repudiated with scorn 
and horror, is an honor which may with justice be given to the 
despised outcasts of Narragansett Bay. 

The government took that form into which the constitution of 
our colonies seemed spontaneously to fall. There was to be a 
President, a body of Assistants, and a General Assembly of all the 
freemen. Coggeshall, of whom we hear little else, was elected 
the first President. The Assistants were to be chosen in a fashion 
somewhat unintelligibly described in the records. Each town 
was to present two men, and "he which the vote by paper 
pitcheth upon was to be elected, "i For the present there was to 
be nothing which could really be called a representative system, 
though Commissioners, six from each town, were to be chosen 
for certain limited purposes. This body was entitled the General 
Court. The supreme judicial power was to be vested in the 
President and Assistants. The right of Portsmouth and Newport 
to hold local courts was confirmed, and there can be little doubt 
that the same right was enjoyed by Providence and Warwick. 

The enactments of. the Assembly throw light on more than one 
point in the social and economical condition of the colony. As 
Laws is usual in the struggling life of a young settlement, 

enacted. public office was deemed a burden rather than a prize. 
The officials received a stipend, and those who refused to serve 
were mulcted in the amount which would have been paid to 
them. The same need for enforcing public duties is shown by 
the provision, that at the General Assembly of freemen forty 
should be required to form a quorum. That there were inequal 
ities of wealth, and that the little community had begun faintly 
to feel the evils of older states, was shown by the enactment of a 
law for the relief of the poor. This is further illustrated by a 
peculiar provision in the law against burglary. If the criminal 
had been driven to the act by hunger it was only to be dealt with 
as larceny. The value which the settlers attached to their maritime 
commerce is shown by the institution of a special code applicable 

1 This means, I presume, that candidates were to be first nominated; then voted upon. 
But it does not show who were to elect. 


to seamen, based on that French custom known as the laws of 
Oleron. The provisions for military training were very full. 
There were to be eight trainings a year, at each of which all males 
between sixteen and sixty were to attend properly armed and 
equipped. Even in the case of herdsmen and others whose busi 
ness made it difficult to attend, exemption could only be obtained 
by a payment of two-and-sixpence a day. The legislature even 
went further, and met the chance of a lack of powder by ordering 
that every male under seventy should have a bow and arrows, that 
all children should be taught archery, and that for that end there 
should be butts set up in each town. Sale of arms or ammunition 
to the Indians was prohibited under a fine of five pounds, to be 
doubled at the second offence. 

No formal precedency was at present given to any of the four 

towns. For some years the Court met successively at each of 

them for legislative and judicial purposes, and this 

Peculiar _ _ 

system of arrangement was formally confirmed by enactment m 
legislation. ^_^ ^^ difficu]ty o f bringing together the freemen 

for the work of legislation was overcome by a device to which it 
would be hard to find any parallel in political history. Every 
new statute had to be proposed in the Assembly, and then trans 
mitted to each of the four towns. Every freeman might then 
within ten days send in his vote, and if a majority in any one 
town was opposed to the measure it was lost." This was in all 
likelihood designed as a compromise to avert separation. As 
such it was imperfectly successful. It was re-enacted three years 
later, 3 and it remained in force till 1664, when the whole con 
stitution of the colony was remodeled. 4 

Such a system was only fitted for a special stage of political devel 
opment. It could not work save in a community too large, but 
only ju-st too large, for a primary Assembly. With such conditions 
it was well fitted to keep alive a spirit of local independence, and to 
give every freeman a direct voice in the affairs of the community. 

The transfer of supreme power from the King to the Parlia 
ment had brouht nothin but ood to Rhode Island. To Mas- 

Faint traces SaC ^ USettS ^ WaS ^ af ^ m an unrm xc d o am - Warwick 

of a Royai- a nd his colleagues undoubtedly sympathized with the 

ist party in 

New Eng- government of Massachusetts in its mam objects and 
approved of the general outlines of its policy. But 

I R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 305. 2 //>. p. 145. 

3 ffr. p. 229. 4 ll>. vol. ii. p. 27 


they showed at the very outset that, like Laud, they had the will 
and, unlike him, the power and opportunity to make their au 
thority over the colonies a reality. On the other hand, fifteen 
years of virtual independence had taught the colonists to look 
with impatience on control, even when exercised in a moderate 
and not unfriendly spirit. 

This was, no doubt, in a large measure due to the very una 
nimity which existed in the colony. If there had been anything 
like a Royalist party in Massachusetts, or any serious danger to 
be feared from the neighboring colonies, then we may be sure 
that those in authority at Boston would have been more anxious 
to stand well with the new powers in England. There were in 
deed rumors of Royalist agents who were endeavoring to gather 
a party in Maine. l In Newhaven too there are faint traces of a 
party for the King, but it may be questioned whether they were 
not actuated simply by discontent with their own government. 2 
Though the Court of Massachusetts made it an offence to form a 
party for the King, this was in all likelihood but a measure of 
superfluous caution. At Boston seemingly all were united. 
Winthrop indeed tells how one Jennison, the captain of the 
train-band in the small town of Hull, had some doubts as to 
the lawfulness of the proceedings of Parliament, but these appear 
to have been easily allayed. 3 Morton too was misguided enough 
to come over to Boston in 1643, an d was put on his trial for 
having abused the government of Massachusetts in his New Eng 
lish Canaan, and in a letter to one Jeffries. Pamphlet and letter 
were both scurrilous enough to justify the indignation of those 
attacked. In the letter, written in 1634, he dwelt complacently 
on the impending overthrow of the Massachusetts government, 
and the probable cropping of "King Winthrop s " ears. But a 
letter written nine years before might well have been left in ob 
scurity, and Winthrop and his colleagues might have safely 
looked with contemptuous indifference on the cumbrous sar 
casm and pedantic scurrility of the New English Canaan. 
Morton s age and infirmity obtained him some mercy. After 
a year s imprisonment he was set free, under a fine which 

1 This is stated in a letter from Endicott to Winthrop, June, 1644 (Afass, Hist. Coll., 4th 
scries, vol. vi. p. 148). 

2 The Newhaven Records (vol. ii. p. 59) speak of a "malignant party " at Southold 
They thought that the overthrow of the royal authority would make it impossible for them 
to appeal against the colonial government, and resented the loss. 

3 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 176. 


was never paid, and ended his abject career soon afterwards at 
Agamenticus. l 

In the summer of 1644 a question arose as to the jurisdiction 

of the Parliament over Massachusetts. 2 The seizure of the fleet 

bv Parliament, so graphically told by Clarendon, had 

Dispute J 

about forced the King to make up a navy by commissioning 

merchantmen. These seem to have been mainly taken 
from the seaports of the West of England. Warwick had author 
ized one Stagg, the captain of a vessel carrying twenty-four guns, 
to make prize of such vessels from Bristol or any other port in 
the West as he might find in arms against the Parliament. Off 
Charlestown Stagg met a Bristol ship. Her present voyage seems 
to have been a harmless one, since she was carrying a cargo of 
fish to Bilboa. But one at least of her joint owners, a Bristol 
merchant, was, Winthrop tells us, "a very bold Malignant." He 
and some of his partners were on shore. Stagg disarmed suspi 
cion by landing his own cargo without any mention of his com 
mission, and then anchored abreast the Bristol ship, between her 
and the land, cutting her off from her owners. A crowd assembled 
on Windmill Hill, overlooking the harbor, to see the fight. The 
Bristol captain, however, disappointed them by surrendering, and 
the crew were sent as prisoners to Boston. Their friends on shore 
fared no better. They endeavored to raise a tumult, but were 
likewise seized and imprisoned. Stagg was now required to pro 
duce his commission, which he did. The question, like all 
public matters in New England, soon found its way into the pul 
pit. Some of the Elders made it the subject of their Sunday 
sermons, and declared that a Parliamentary commission could 
not override the jurisdiction created by the patent. We have 
seen how in the case of De la Tour commercial considerations 
outweighed what would naturally have been the religious and 
political sympathies of the colonists, and it is not unlikely that in 
this case the same influence was at work. The Court of Assist 
ants took the view of the Elders into consideration, but decided 
to accept Stagg s commission as valid, leaving the injured ship 
owners the remedy of a civil action. The grounds for this de 
cision are set forth very fully by Winthrop. They may be said to 
have fallen under two heads : reasons of policy and reasons of 

l The proceedings against Morton arc set forth in hill and the text of his letter given by 
Wimhrop (vol. ii. pp. 151, 189-92). 

l The whole of the dispute with Stagg is told by Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 180-3, iS6); Mass 
Records, vol. ii. pp. 113, 121. 


constitutional right. The King and his party were already un 
friendly. If the colonists now offended the Parliament they would 
be left wholly without support. If, too, it became known that 
the very men who had formally supported and advocated the cause 
of Parliament by public prayer and lasting were now resisting its 
authority, great encouragement would be given to the Malignants 
in Virginia and the West Indies. 

The constitutional aspect of the case, as stated by Winthrop, 
contained two pregnant admissions. Since the King had not 
absolute sovereignty independent of Parliament, he could not by 
his patent transfer such sovereignty to others. Moreover, under 
the patent the colonists held their land in the manor of East 
Greenwich. They were therefore represented by the members 
for the borough or county in which that manor was included, and 
so were subject to the jurisdiction of Parliament. This they could 
only escape by denying the validity of their patent, and basing 
their title to their land on purchase from the Indians, or occupa 
tion. But to renounce their patent under the existing conditions 
in England would be inexpedient. 

Winthrop adds a reservation which shows that he and those who 
thought with him understood the limits within which constitutional 
precedent is of value. If it should ever be necessary to renounce 
the authority of Parliament in the interests of the colony, then the 
supreme law, the safety of the commonwealth, would justify such 

Although the Massachusetts government accepted the authority 
of Parliament, it drew up a petition which was virtually a protest 
against any like exercise of power in the future. The document, 
addressed to the two Houses of Parliament, pointed out the wrong 
which had been done both to the Bristol merchants and to those 
who would have bought their goods, and prayed that henceforth 
no such measures should be allowed against any vessel belonging 
to a New England merchant or visiting a New England harbor, i 

Soon after another vessel acting for the Parliament arrived at 
Boston. 2 Her captain, Richardson, had not, like Stagg, a sealed 
commission from the Parliament, but only a written authority 
from Warwick as High Admiral. There was at this time in the 
harbor a ship from Dartmouth. Certain Boston merchants laid 

1 The petition is in the Massachusetts Records (vol. iii. p. 31). 

2 This case also is fully told by Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 194-6). There are two references 
to it in the Records (vol. ii. pp. 79-82). 


claim to her on the ground that a vessel of theirs had been seized 

by Royalists off the Welsh coast, and that they were entitled to 

reprisals. 1 The Court summoned the master, who 


dispute consented that they should take possession of his ship 
Richard- till the case should be tried. Meanwhile Richardson 
had made his preparations for seizing the ship, and 
the two parties boarded her simultaneously. The Governor then 
summoned Richardson to come ashore. He disobeyed, fearing, 
as he afterwards declared, that his men would figlit or pillage in 
his absence. The battery in the harbor then summarily opened 
fire on Richardson, and an armed force was sent to occupy the 
Dartmouth ship. Richardson then came on shore and excused 
himself. The Court ordered him to pay a barrel of powder as 
compensation, and forbade him to meddle with any vessel in the 
harbor, since it was not within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty. 
The matter between the Boston merchants and the master of the 
Dartmouth vessel was left to the judgment of the Court. 

These two disputes had turned on details of administration, and 
had only indirectly introduced general principles. An attack was 
Dispute now to be made on the system which confined the 
feHgious 6 rights of citizenship to church-members. As we have 
tion U for a ~ seen > the dread of exciting a conflict on that point had 
citizenship, helped to tie the hands of the Assistants in their con 
flict with the Deputies. A multitude of causes were at work, all 
tending to make men dissatisfied with the relations between the 
civil body and the churches. The overthrow of ecclesiastical 
authority in England had left a mass of sects struggling for su 
premacy. In their battle against Presbyterianism the Independents 
were almost inevitably forced into alliance with every anarchical 
and discredited body. Not only that, but even that section of the 
Independent party in England who in doctrine and church- 
government were at one with the American Puritans took a wider 
view of the attitude which the state shouldassume towards diversity 
of cults and creeds. 

There was, too, within the New England churches some dis 
satisfaction with the existing system, aiul a vague but growing 
wish to relax the conditions upon which church-membership 
might be granted. Thus while those who were excluded from 
the churches were beginning to clamor against the indirect conse- 

1 There is nothing in Winlhrop s account to show why the Dartmouth ship wa< specially 
selected for reprisals 


quences, a movement was going on which would practically tend 
to mitigate the hardship of disqualification. It is likely that there 
had been some agitation on the point beyond what is recorded, 
since in 1646 a measure of relief was in process of passing the 
legislature which would have given those who were not church- 
members full and equal rights in town affairs, and which would 
also apparently have made some change in the qualification re 
quired from a freeman. : Meanwhile a demand was made for a 
more thoroughgoing reform. Among those who had come out 
with Winthrop among the original settlers was one William Vassall. 
He was plainly a man of abundant and restless energy, somewhat 
at variance with his fellow-citizens, on points, not of doctrine, but 
of church-government. Like many others he turned back in the 
first year of the settlement. 2 Five years later he returned to New 
England, and settled beyond the border of Massachusetts at Scit- 
uate, in the jurisdiction of Plymouth. 3 He now headed a move 
ment against the existing order of things in Massachusetts. With 
him were associated Maverick, who had from the first stood aloof 
from the Nonconformity by which he was surrounded, and one 
Childe, a doctor of medicine, a learned man and a traveler, who 
seems to have been led to New England rather by curiosity than 
by any sympathy with the objects and principles of the colonists. 4 
In 1646 these men and others who thought with them drew up 
a petition to the General Court. They set forth the grievance 
Petition of of exclusion from civil rights, and also from the spir- 
fr^nchised itual privileges enjoyed by the members of the various 
inhabitants. j n( |ependent churches. They petitioned that their 
civil disabilities might be removed, and that they and all members 
of the Church of England and Scotland might be admitted to 
communion with the New England churches. 5 If this could not 
be granted they prayed to be released from all civil burdens. 
Should the Court refuse to entertain their complaint, they would 
be obliged to bring their case before Parliament. 6 No one but 

1 Winthrop s language is disappointingly indefinite. He says (vol. ii. p. 262), " A law 
was drawn up and ready to pass for allowing non-freemen equal power with the freemen 
in all town affairs, and to some freemen of such estate, etc., their votes in election of 

2 Dudley s letter in Young s Chronicles of Massachusetts (p. 316). 

s Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 261) says, " Mr. William Vassall, some time one of the Assistants 
of the Massachusetts, but now of Scituate, in Plymouth. 

< N. E. Salamander, p. 7. This account of Childe is confirmed by the declaration of the 
Court hereafter mentioned (Hutchinson Collection, p. 211). 

6 This, I presume, meant the Presbyterian Church. 

6 This petition is in the Hutchinson Collection (p. 188). 


an unswerving advocate of New England Puritanism could deny 
that the excluded inhabitants had a real grievance. But there is 
something almost grotesque in the demand that the government 
should guarantee spiritual communion with the existing congre 
gations, whether the members of those congregations wished it or 
no. The later conduct of the petitioners showed too that there 
they had something- more in view than the removal of an unjust 
restriction, and we may be sure that those further designs were 
understood by the government of Massachusetts. Johnson has 
aptly described the situation with an unwonted approach to 
epigram. Some, he says, were for a plebsbytery, some for a 
presbytery. The petitioners, like most religious reformers, 
sought, not freedom, but the substitution of one restriction for 
another. The circumstances of the time made such a movement 
specially dangerous. In England the battle between Presbyterian 
and Independent was at its height, and the issue hung in the 
balance. The Congregational clergy of New England were bear 
ing a prominent part in the struggle. Whatever may have been 
the merits of the dispute as regards England, there could be little 
doubt in the case of Massachusetts. Theoretically, all religious 
disabilities are equally to be condemned. Practically, the hard 
ship imposed on those whom the existing system disfranchised was 
as nothing compared with the hardship of imposing Presbyterian- 
ism on the colony. The one might cause occasional disaffection, 
the other would have been a signal for civil war. 

The measures taken by the government are the best proof of 
the position and influence of the petitioners. Gorton, it will be 
winsiow remembered, had carried his grievance to England, and 
sent to those in powe r had shown themselves not unfriendly 

England as J 

agent for to his claims. With attacks impending from two quar- 

Plymouth . r . , 

and Massa- ters, it seemed needful that the colonial government 
tts should have some special representative in England. 
Their choice fell on Edward Winsiow. Vassall s agitation ex 
tended to Plymouth as well as Massachusetts, and thus Winsiow 
had a direct interest in opposing the petitioners. His sufferings 
at the hands of Laud and his position as one of the earliest leaders 
of Puritan colonization would insure him a favorable hearing. 
A proposal was made to associate Winthrop with him. Unwilling 
though the Governor was to undertake an embassy of which he 
could ill afford the cost, and which his advanced age made irk- 

l Johnson, b. iii. ch. 3. 


some, yet he expressed himself ready to obey the will of his 
countrymen. But the need of his presence at such an emergency 
and the dread that he might be absorbed by public life in England 
prevailed. 1 Winslow s written commission merely empowered 
him to answer the things already alleged against the Massachusetts 
government by Gorton, or any other charges that might arise. 
Over and above this he was intrusted with discretionary powers 
to meet certain questions and complaints which might be put 
forward by the Commissioners themselves. The main points in 
these were the same which had been already embodied in the 
resolutions of the Assistants and the Elders. Winslow was to 
maintain that the charter gave a free donation of absolute govern 
ment, which would be violated either by appeals to England, by 
any claim to jurisdiction made by the Admiralty, or by the ap 
pointment of a General Governor. The exclusion of those who 
were not freemen was also defended on the ground that the 
privileges of that order were expressly conferred by the charter, 
and might therefore be given or withheld at the pleasure of the 
grantees. 2 

At the same time the Court took the somewhat perilous step 
of exactly denning the constitutional relations between the colony 
and the English government. To this end the Assistants and the 
Elders, each body separately, made a formal statement of their 
views. 3 These declarations are of great interest. Among the 
Assistants there was a division of opinion. Some held that 
Parliament had the right to overrule the Court. At the same 
time they wished to petition for more extended powers. Win- 
throp, in all likelihood, was among those who thought differently, 
if we may judge by the minuteness with which he sets forth their 
views. They held, in his words, that by our charter we have 
absolute power of government; for thereby we have power to 
make laws, to erect all sorts of magistracy, to correct, punish, 
pardon, govern, and rule the people absolutely." They admitted, 
at the same time, a certain claim which Parliament had to allegi 
ance, but they made no attempt to define that claim or specify its 
nature and extent. This view was confirmed by the opinion of 
the Elders. They added, furthermore that the colonial govern 
ment could not be called to account by Parliament, except on 

1 Winthrop, vol. if. p. 283. 

2 Win-low s commission is in the Records (vol. iii. p. 93) and in Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 
2-;,r)-3oi). NVinthrop appends the private instructions given to Winslow. 

3 These are very full} givun in V. mthrop (vol. ii. pp. 279-03). 


the ground that any of its proceedings were inconsistent with the 
formal provisions of the charter. 

The Court, having thus defined its constitutional position, pro 
ceeded to deal with the petition. That the petitioners really 
Trial and aimed at the introduction of Presbyterianism can hardly 
S^tofthe ke doubted in the face of their later conduct. We 
petitioners. ma y \^ Q sure too t na t their opponents understood that 
from the outset. But no such purpose was expressed or even 
implied in their petition. Accordingly the Court was precluded 
from even noticing what in all likelihood was the uppermost 
motive with many of its members. A series of charges, twelve 
in number, was drawn up against the petitioners. 1 Substantially 
the charges came to this : they had defamed the government of 
the colony, and thereby discredited it both with its own subjects 
and in England. One head of the accusation merits special 
notice. The petitioners sought so to interpret the charter that it 
entitled any Englishmen settled in Massachusetts to the privileges 
which it granted, instead of conferring those privileges on a cer 
tain limited body, with the right of self-extension. 

Each of these charges was met in detail by the petitioners, and 
the answers, together with the rejoinders of the Court, are fully 
given by Winthrop.- Most of these were little more than verbal 
fencing, and left the main points still in dispute. The really 
important questions were the exclusion of those who were not 
church-members from civil rights and the right of appeal to the 
government at home. In the latter were involved the whole 
relations between the colonies and the mother country. Accord 
ing to the petitioners, the Company was but a corporation like a 
merchants company in England. The Court contended that 
there was a difference between one corporation and another, and 
that the position of the colony necessarily emancipated it from 
obedience to the laws of England generally, and left it only 
amenable to such laws as specially applied to foreign plantations. 
This doctrine was stated twice, each time in emphatic words : 
" Our allegiance binds us not to the laws of England any longer 
than while we live in England, for the laws of the Parliament 
of England reach no further, nor do the Kings writs under 
the great seal go any further." "There is a difference between 
subjection to the laws in general, as all in England are, and 

i Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 286; Mass. Records, vol. iii. pp. 
S Winthrop, vol. ii. pp. 287-90. 


subjection to some laws of state proper to foreign plantations." 
It does not appear whether it is the formal judgment of the Court 
or the comment of Winthrop which finds a voice in these pro 
phetic words : "Among the Romans, Grecians, and other nations, 
colonies have been esteemed other than towns, yea, than many 
cities, for they have been the foundation of great commonwealths. 
And it was a fruit of much pride and folly in those petitioners to 
despise the day of small things." 

One other point is worth noticing, as illustrating a sophism 
which ran through much of the reasoning of New England 
politicians. The petitioners complained that the laws of the col 
ony were repugnant to the laws of England. To this the Court 
answer that this cannot be; "for no law of the realm can be con 
trary to the law of God and right reason," since, "if anything 
hath been otherwise established, it was an error, and not a law, 
being against the interest of the law-makers, however it may bear 
the form of a law. " The conclusion that a law of the colony may 
be contrary to the law of God and right reason serves as a reductio 
ad absurdum. Here we have exactly the same fallacy that under 
lies Winthrop s argument as to political liberty. No one would 
object to the exercise of authority, given an infallible ruler. 

The policy of the petitioners may have been fraught with real 
danger to the colony, but assuredly there was no justification for 
the severity of the punishment imposed on them. Childe was 
fined fifty pounds and Smith forty, on the ground that their offence 
was aggravated by their position as new-comers. The rest were 
fined thirty pounds, excepting Maverick. He had not as yet 
lodged an appeal to the English government, and his fine was 
therefore limited to ten pounds. l 

Childe now resolved to carry his case himself to England. 
On the eve of his intended departure the Court ordered that his 
Further papers should be searched. This was done, and two 
proceed- petitions were found, together with a list of queries, all 
against the addressed to the Commissioners for Plantations. The 
queries dealt with the validity of the patent and the 
possibility of its being forfeited. One of the petitions was signed 
by some twenty-five of those who were excluded from the rights 
of freemen, mostly, Winthrop tells us, young men of no estate 
lately arrived in the colony. 2 The other petition was a far more 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 291; Mass. Records, vol. iii. p. 94. 
3 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 294. 


important document. It was signed by the same seven who had 
presented the original petition to the Court. The petitioners 
asked, among other matters, for settled churches according to 
the reformation of England, for the banishment of arbitrary power, 
and that a General Governor or Commissioner should be ap 
pointed to settle affairs. To grant this would have been to estab 
lish Prcsbyterianism, and to place the civil and ecclesiastical rights 
of the colonists entirely at the mercy of the Commissioners. 
Legally, a discovery made after the sentence of the Court cannot 
excuse that sentence. But we may be sure that the views ex 
pressed in the petition were known to many, and had a large 
share in bringing about the verdict. For this second offence 
Childe and his associates were put on trial. Childe and Dand 
were fined two hundred pounds, Maverick a hundred and fifty, 
and two other offenders a hundred each. 1 

Though the government of Massachusetts was able to withhold 
Childe and his associates from stirring up an agitation in the 
Vassaii colony itself, they could not be kept from making their 
goes to grievance known in England. Vassall, as we have seen, 
lived at Scituate, within the boundary of Plymouth. 
He sailed to England, carrying with him copies of the two peti 
tions. 2 One incident of his voyage is too characteristic to be 
omitted. 3 Cotton was delivering a course of scriptural lectures to 
his congregation in Boston. His text for the day was, "Take ye 
the little foxes." According to his interpretation, the large and 
dangerous wild beasts had already been overcome. What the 
colony had now to dread was the fox-like craft of malcontents. 
He further went on to say that the petition was being sent to Eng 
land; that a voyage made for such an evil end might be hindered 
by the hand of God; and that, if storms arose, the enemies of the 
colony should take it as a call to repentance and cast their petition 
overboard. We must cast aside all modern notions as to the limi 
tations to be placed on the functions of the pulpit, and regard 
Cotton as a politician speaking on what he fairly believed to be a 
question of vital importance to the colony. His sermon, so 
looked at, may either have been a rhetorical but perfectly legiti 
mate appeal to the consciences of his hearers, or a warning that 
the presence of the petition would in a direct and mechanical 

1 Mass. Records, vol. iii. p. 113. We hear nothing further of Dand s share in the matter. 

2 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 321. 

The whole of this is told by Winslow in New England s Salamander. 


fashion bring with it the vengeance of God. It was at least cer 
tain that many of Cotton s hearers would take the latter view. 
The storm did arise, and a woman on board demanded that the 
petition should be thrown over. Fowle, an associate of Vassall, 
who was in charge of some of the papers, humored the woman by 
giving her a copy of the first petition. This was solemnly cut up 
and cast into the sea. The remedy apparently was incomplete, 
since the storm was not wholly allayed, but the ship was at least 
able to reach England. In the pamphlet warfare which followed 
it was disputed with no little vigor what the document really was 
which acted as a sedative to the tempest, and how far it could be 
fairly held to have operated. In the matter of the petitioners 
Winslow s embassy was successful. The dangers which he was 
sent to meet were in a great measure averted by the triumph of 
the Independent cause. The unenfranchised settlers failed to get 
any sort of encouragement or relief, and the government of Mas 
sachusetts received an assurance that the Commissioners "in 
tended not to encourage any appeals from your justice nor to 
restrain the bands of your jurisdiction to a narrower compass than 
is held forth by your letters patent, but to leave you with all that 
freedom and latitude that may in any respect be duly claimed 
by you. " l 

In the matter of Gorton Winslow was less successful. The 

Commissioners declined for the present to pass any judgment on 

the question of territorial claims. But they gave a rec- 


with the ommendation, which was virtually an order, that even 

Narragan- . _ . . , , .,.,..... ,, 

sett settle- if the land at Shawomet was within the jurisdiction of 
any of the other colonies, yet that, inasmuch as Gorton 
and his company had been at the cost of settling there, they should 
not be disturbed so long as they demeaned themselves peaceably, 
and did not endanger the colonies by their dealings with the In 
dians. Armed with this order and with letters of like import to 
the governments of Plymouth and Connecticut, Gorton landed at 
Boston. Some of the Assistants there were so hardened in their 
injustice and so reckless of consequences as to propose his arrest. 
This act of iniquity and folly was averted, though only by a 
majority of one. 2 

By this time the settlersat Shawomet had entered into political 
union with the other Narragansett settlements. Two representa- 

1 The answer of the Committee is given by Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 319). 

2 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 322. 


lives were sent to Boston by the General Court at Providence on 
behalf of Warwick. The exact object of the embassy does not 
appear. It is clear that they were not sent to make any surrender, 
nor is it easy to see how there could have been any need for 
making a claim or assertion of right. The Court had risen before 
their arrival, and there is nothing to show that any message was 
delivered. 1 But the protection of the authorities in England suf 
ficed, and henceforth Warwick had nothing to fear from its 
rapacious and unscrupulous neighbor. In another matter Wins- 
low met with deserved failure. He vainly endeavored to get the 
charter which had been lately granted to the Narragansett planta 
tions revoked. 2 The attempt was in all likelihood made in the 
joint interests of Massachusetts and Plymouth, but there can be 
little doubt which of the two colonies would have profited by its 

Meanwhile Massachusetts had become involved in a dispute 

with the other confederated colonies. The schemes of Lord Say 

and Sele and Lord Brook for planting had borne no 

Dispute r 

about fruit beyond the establishment of the fort which kept 

Springfield. .... 

their joint names. In 1644 renwick, the governor of 
Saybrook Fort, made it over to Connecticut. For this he received 
sixteen hundred pounds, together with the proceeds of an export 
duty to be imposed on corn, biscuit, beaver, and cattle for the 
space of ten years. Fen wick was also for ten years to have the use 
of the habitations attached to the fort. He in turn pledged him 
self to make over to Connecticut the lands included in the patent 
granted to Lord Say and Sele and his partners, if those ever came 
into his power. It is somewhat singular that this contract makes 
no reference to the Proprietors. That can only be explained by 
supposing that Fenwick s commission gave him full power to 
make such a transfer. 3 

Over and above the cost of the purchase two hundred pounds 
was needed to complete the fortifications. This was raised by a 
rate throughout the colony. The export duty on goods was levied 
by way of a toll, to be paid either at Hartford, Windsor, or 
Weathersfield. This was not limited to the subjects of the gov- 

1 The embassy is mentioned by Winthrop (vol. li. p. 323). He gives a letter which one 
of them wrote to him. The letter merely states the fact that the writer and his companion 
had been sent. The entry in the Rhode Island Records (vol. i. p. 209) only confirms this. 

2 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 321. 

3 The agreement between Fenwick and the government of Connecticut is given by Trum- 
bull (vol. L p. 140 V. Connecticut Records, vol. i. pp. 119-23. 


ernment which imposed it. It fell also on the inhabitants of 
Springfield, so far as they might use the river for navigation. 1 
They refused to acknowledge the authority of Connecticut in the 
matter, and would not pay the impost. The government of Con 
necticut thereupon brought the matter before the board of Federal 
Commissioners. At the same time the Massachusetts government 
took up the matter on behalf of Springfield, and drew up a pro 
test. 2 This set forth that the rate was really levied to enable Con 
necticut to purchase the fort, and that the inhabitants of another 
colony could not be asked to bear that charge, and, furthermore, 
that the fort was of no advantage to the inhabitants of Springfield. 
Moreover the Connecticut government had not attempted to 
enforce the duty on the Dutch settlers at Hartford, regarding them 
as subjects of another jurisdiction. The two representatives of 
Massachusetts contended that their colony was entitled to the 
same exemption. The Federal Commissioners heard the case, 
and decided that the grounds assigned for the impost were 
sufficient. At the same time they declared themselves willing to 
hear any further arguments that might be brought forward on be 
half of Springfield. 

One of the arguments used on behalf of Massachusetts may be 
easily met. The position of the Dutch settlers at Hartford was 
altogether exceptional. Any rights that the government of Con 
necticut had over them might fairly be waived in the interests of 
peace and public safety, without prejudice to the exercise of those 
rights in other cases. The general question of the impost was 
undoubtedly one in which the two opposite parties might legiti 
mately take differing views. On the one hand the security of the 
river was a direct benefit to Springfield. Against that it might 
fairly be urged that it was also a gain to Plymouth, and still more 
to Newhaven, and that it was hard that the traders of Springfield 
should either be wholly cut off from the use of the river or else 
should have to pay a tax which they had no share in originating or 
apportioning. The difficulty could never have arisen if the federal 
compact had been a more effective one. A more complete con- 
slitution would have provided for the matter, both as a question 
of common defence and also by some definite system of inter 
colonial duties. It may be said that the absence of any special 
clause in the Articles of Federation reduced the question to one 

l Trumbull, vol. i. p. 149; Connecticut Records, vol. i. pp. 119-23. 

3 Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. pp. 90-3; Mass. Records, vol. ii. pp. 182-3. 


of international right. Even if Massachusetts and Connecticut 
had been wholly independent of one another, and the question 
had therefore come under the code which governs international 
disputes, it may be doubted whether Massachusetts could justly 
have opposed the impost. Nor can it be denied that the federal 
compact, even if it created no legal bond, at least set up a moral 
obligation. The case was one which from its very nature could 
not become a precedent. The laxity of the federal tie was in 
itself a reason why any of the colonies should scrupulously forbear 
to act in a way which could imperil the union. The very supe 
riority of Massachusetts enabled it to be less tenacious of its rights 
without endangering them. Moreover the act of protesting before 
the Commissioners was almost an acknowledgment of their juris 
diction. To refuse to be bound by their verdict was perilously 
near a breach of faith, and could not fail to discredit the federal 

In 1648 the question was reopened. The Massachusetts Com 
missioners proposed a compromise, or perhaps one should rather 
say that they made the dispute a pretext for suggesting a complete 
rearrangement of the federal constitution. l After calling attention 
to the fact that their colony bore five times as much of the com 
mon burdens as any of the others, they proposed that Massachu 
setts should be allowed a third Commissioner, and that any of the 
other colonies might by increasing its contribution proportionately 
obtain the same advantage. They suggested at the same time that 
the meetings of the Federal Commissioners should for the future 
be triennial. They also proposed to weaken the authority of the 
Confederation by a special enactment that the power of the Com 
missioners should not extend to the government of Indians, nor 
to the appointment of any general officer of a civil nature to carry 
out the objects of the Confederation within any of the four colonies. 
The virtual result of this would have been to reduce the Confed 
eration to a lax alliance of colonies under the leadership of 

The matter was further embittered and complicated by a dis 
pute as to the boundaries of the two colonies. Owing to the 
Boundary peculiar circumstances under which Connecticut had 
dispute be- b een settled, the colony could not be proper! v said to 

tween Con- J l - 

necticut have anv fixed limits. The soil had been acquired by 

and Massa 
chusetts, occupation, by the conquest of the Pequods, and by 

i These proposals a: in rhe Acts of Commissioners (vol. i. p. 119). 


successive purchase of parcels of land from the natives. As we 
have seen, the colonial government had in a certain fashion ac 
quired the territorial rights of Lord Say and Sele and his partners 
by agreement with Fenwick. This transfer, however, did not fix 
the limits of the colony with any precision. It rested therefore 
with Massachusetts to claim a certain frontier, and with Connect 
icut, after investigating, and if needs were challenging, that claim, 
to accept the territory beyond it. The exact southern boundaiy 
of Massachusetts, like that to the north, was open to dispute, and 
the question remained for some years a matter of contention, 
breeding ill-feeling between the two colonies. l 

The Assembly of Massachusetts soon retaliated, not only on the 
colony whose claims had offended them, but against the confed 
erates who had given those claims their support. In 

Massachu- rr 

setts im- 1649 they passed an act imposing a duty on all goods 
retaliatory carried into or out of Boston harbor by inhabitants of 
any of the three confederated colonies. This was avow 
edly a measure of retaliation, since the preamble set forth the 
imposition of the duty by Connecticut, and declared that the gov 
ernment of Massachusetts had expended large sums in fortification. 
The act furthermore set forth that the works at Saybrook were of 
no use for defence. A color was given to this statement by the 
fact that the fort had been burnt down, and, as it seems, had not 
been fully rebuilt. 2 

If this measure was meant to awe the three weaker members of 
the Confederation into submission it failed. The Commissioners 
stood firm and met the aggressive policy of Massachusetts with 
a remonstrance. In temperate and dignified language they asked 
the government of Massachusetts how far its conduct agreed 
with "the law of love and the tenure and import of the Articles 
of Confederation." In conclusion, they "desired to be spared 
in all further agitation concerning Springfield. " 3 Next year the 
Massachusetts government voted the repeal of the duty, condition 
ally on Connecticut also withdrawing the toll at Saybrook. 4 
There unfortunately our knowledge of the dispute ends, as there 
is nothing in the records of either colony to show which 

1 For this boundary dispute see Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 264; Acts of Commissicner; r 
vol. i. p. 150; Connecticut Records, vol. i. p. 570. 

2 The order is in the Massachusetts Records (vol. iii. p. 152). 
J Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 158. 

Mass. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. n. 


The Confederacy was soon entangled in fresh difficulties with 
the natives. As might have been foreseen, the death of Mian- 
indian dis- tonomo brought trouble in its train. His followers 
putes. complained that Uncas had received ransom for his 

captive and hud then slain him, and for this they threatened ven 
geance. It was even rumored that they were seeking help from 
those dreaded neighbors, the Mohawks. 2 The Mohican chief 
turned to the English for protection. Accordingly the Federal 
Commissioners summoned Uncas and some of the leading chiefs 
among the Narragansetts to attend their meeting at Hartford in 
the autumn of 1644. The Commissioners examined the charges 
against Uncas and declared that there was no proof that ransom 
had been paid. After some discussion a truce was arranged 
between the hostile tribes, each pledging itself not to attack the 
other till after the next crop of corn was planted, and prom 
ising that the side which began the war should give the English 
due warning. The Narragansett chiefs furthermore undertook 
that if any of those Pequods who still remained in the Nyantic 
country attacked Uncas they should be seized and delivered up to 
the English. 3 The truce failed to restrain the Narragansetts, and 
in the spring Uncas came to his allies with fresh complaints. 4 
Thereupon the government of Massachusetts summoned a special 
meeting of the Federal Commissioners at Boston. 6 They came 
together, and sent messages to the Indian country requiring the 
two rival tribes to send representatives to Boston. The Narra- 
k ansett chiefs neglected the summons, and treated the messengers 
with contumely. The Commissioners then decided on war. A 
force of three hundred men was raised, a hundred and ninety 
from Massachusetts, forty each from Plymouth and Connecticut, 
and thirty from Newhaven. The troops from the two last named 
colonies strengthened by forty men from Massachusetts, were 
placed under the command of Mason and sent to the help of 

The circumstances under which the expedition was sent out 

1 Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 28. 

2 This rumor is mentioned in a letter from Benedict Arnold to Winthrop, and also in 
one from Mason to Winthrop (Jfass. Hist. Coll., 5th series, vol. i. p. 331, and 4th series, 
vol. vii. p. 41 1). 

3 The expression used is, "any of the Nyantic Fequods." The agreement with the 
Narragansetts is given in the Acts of Commissioners (vol. i. pp. 28-30). 

4 A skirmish between the Narragansetts and Mohicans at this time is very graphically 
described in a letter from one Thomas Peters to Winthrop (Winthrop, vol. ii. Appendix N). 

s The proceedings of their special meeting are fully recorded in the Acts of Commissioners. 
(vol. i. pp. 32-49); cf. Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 198. 


illustrated the weakness of the federal bond and the arrogant atti 
tude of Massachusetts towards the other members. The General 
Expedition Court of Massachusetts declared that a military expedi- 
JfiragVn 1 - 6 tion could not legally be sent out without their sanc 
tion. They did not apparently wish that the expedition 
should be hindered, but only that the commander should have a 
supplementary or confirmatory commission from themselves. The 
Federal Commissioners resisted this claim, on the ground that 
their own powers of making peace and war included all incidental 
and necessary acts. At last the Massachusetts government gave 
way, being appeased, as it would seem, by the appointment of 
one of their own citizens, Major Gibbons, as commander-in-chief 
of the expedition, i Gibbons instructions were moderate and 
humane. He was empowered to offer the Narragansetts terms of 
peace, exacting from them security not to molest Uncas and, if 
necessary, taking hostages. He might at the same time arrange 
that the Indians should buy the necessaries of life from the Eng 
lish, but not arms nor ammunition. If they fled to the woods 
he might occupy their country with one or more small forts. 

The news of these preparations seems to have struck terror into 
the Narragansetts. They sent messengers to Boston with a pres- 
Submission ent of wampum. Winthrop, on behalf of the colony, 
Narragan- re f use d to accept it. The messengers thereupon asked 
setts. t o leave the wampum at Boston, while they returned 

and consulted their chiefs. It was then determined that the pres 
ent should be formally sent back, as a decisive proof that the 
English were resolved to defend Uncas. At the same time the 
messengers who took back the wampum were to tell the Narra- 
gansett chiefs that if they would themselves come to Boston, and 
restrain their people from all attacks upon Uncas, they might yet 
obtain peace. The two envoys, Harding and Welborn, went even 
beyond the pacific purpose of their instructions, and incurred 
blame from their government by writing to Mason to stay his 
hand, as there were hopes of a peaceful issue. 

The show of firmness had produced the desired effect. The 
chief men of the Narragansetts came to Boston, accompanied by 
one of the Nyantics, to ask for peace or. behalf of both tribes. In 
August a formal treaty was signed. 2 The Narragansett chiefs un- 

1 For this dispute see the Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 36 

2 Gibbons instructions, the subsequent proceedings and ths treaty are all fully reported 
in the Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. pp. 38-48. 


dertook to submit their disputes with Uncas to the arbitration of 

the English, and to deliver up all fugitive slaves, together with 
all those who had done any injury to the settlers. They \vere 
also to pay a heavy tribute in wampum, and to give hostages for 
the execution of these articles, and for the future preservation of 
the peace. 

In spite of this settlement disputes again broke out next year. 

The tribute of wampum was not duly paid, and it was said that 

the chiefs who had promised to send their own children 

The Narra- 

gp.nsetts as hostages substituted others of lower rank. 1 More- 
their over, Sequasson, a kinsman and ally of Miantonomo, 

was charged with a scheme for murdering some of the 
leading settlers in Connecticut, and for shifting the blame of the 
attempt upon Uncas. 2 

The conduct of the settlers was just and forbearing. The 
Federal Commissioners summoned the two chiefs, Pessacus and 
Ninigret, who were held mainly responsible for the disturbances 
and for the non-payment of the tribute, to appear at Boston. 
Pessacus professed that he was sick and could not come, and in 
trusted the defence of his case to Ninigret. The latter freely 
confessed that his ally had failed to carry out the agreement. 
He at once induced his countrymen to pay a part of the arrears 
of their tribute, and promised to make them fulfill the rest of the 
treaty. The Commissioners professed themselves satisfied, and 
suffered Ninigret to return to his own country. 3 In 1648, fresh 
charges were brought against Ninigret and Sequasson. It was 
said that the wampum which should have been paid as tribute to 
the English had been sent to the Mohawks, to buy their help 
against Uncas, 4 and there was even a rumor that a small tribe, 
the Nancotics, in the neighborhood of Springfield, were dependent 
on the Mohawks, and had presumed on that alliance to harass 
the English. 5 

There is a tradition that the settlers had by singular good for 
tune won the friendship of the Mohawks. A small party of that 
tribe had made a raid on the natives near Newhaven. The Mo 
hawks were outnumbered and defeated. One of their chiefs was 

1 Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 75. These charges are also stated by Winslow (Hy- 
pocrisy Unmasked, p. 86). 

2 Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 66. 

* Ib. pp. 86-9. 4/6. p. 116. 

5 This is stated in a letter from William Pyncheon to Winthrop, written from Springfield, 
luly 5, 1648. The letter is given by Mr. Savage (vol. ii. Appendix P). 


taken prisoner, and exposed, bound and naked, in a swamp 
swarming with mosquitoes. The settlers mercifully rescued him, 
and it is not unlikely that the incident may have helped to lay 
the foundation of that lasting and invaluable friendship which 
united the Mohawks to the English. l 

The intrigues of the Nyantics and Narragansetts with the Mo 
hawks were reported to the Commissioners by Mason and Williams. 
They said that the two tribes had sent their women and children 
to places of safety, and were only waiting for a party from the 
Mohawks to fall upon Uncas. The Federal Commissioners at 
once sent a message of remonstrance. 2 Apparently the mere 
knowledge that the plot was discovered was sufficient to deter the 
Indians from going further. The Mohawk force was delayed by 
hostilities with the French and with their allies the Hurons, 3 and 
the Narragansetts and Nyantics seem thereupon to have aban 
doned their designs against the Mohicans. 

The dread of an Indian attack was now supplemented by dan 
ger from another quarter. In 1646, the continued encroachments 
of Newhaven called forth a remonstrance from the 


with the Dutch Governor. Certain Newhaven merchants bought 
a tract of land from the Indians near the mouth of the 
Housatonic, and set up a trading house on it. Ki-eft thereupon 
wrote to Eaton, threatening that if the trespassers did not withdraw 
they should be put out by force. The Court of Newhaven sent a 
somewhat quibbling answer, caviling at the local names used by 
Kieft, and proposing with shameless unfairness that the matter 
should be referred for arbitration to the King or Parliament of 
Great Britain. 4 

This was not the only ground of dispute. The English at 
Hartford now lodged various complaints against their Dutch neigh 
bors with the Federal Commissioners. A Dutchman was charged 
with having carried off an Indian woman, the slave of an English 
settler, to make her either his wife or his mistress. The Federal 
Commissioners wrote to Kieft, complaining of this and other petty 
misdeeds. 5 In the following year Kieft was replaced by a gover 
nor of a widely different stamp, Peter Stuyvesant, a bold and 
plain-spoken soldier. Scarcely had he been installed as Governor, 

1 The incident is told by Trumbull (vol. i. p. 160). 

2 Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. pp. 117-8. 
8 Charlevoix, vol. i. b. rii. 

4 The protest and answer are in the Newhaven Records (vol. i. p. 265). 
* Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. pp. 63-5. 


when in a formal letter to Winthrop he asserted the Dutch claim 
to all the land between the Connecticut and the Delaware, and 
proposed a conference at which the matter might be discussed. 
> Winthrop laid the letter before the Federal Commissioners, who 
expressed themselves willing to meet Stuyvesant. For the present, 
however, they abstained from entering on the question of terri 
torial rights. l 

Before any definite arrangements could be made for a conference 
fresh sources of dispute sprang up. Stuyvesant s officers seized a 
Dutch ship which was trading without a permit from the New 
Netherlands Company in Newhaven harbor. Soon after the 
government of Newhaven refused to give up certain runaway ser 
vants claimed by Stuyvesant. He therefore retaliated in kind. 
At the same time he wrote to the Governors of some of the other 
English colonies, explaining that he disapproved of such conduct 
on principle, but that he was driven to it in self-defence. An 
angry correspondence followed. 2 In one letter Stuyvesant some 
what petulantly asserts the territorial rights of his country, by 
addressing the Governor of "Newhaven, in New Netherlands." 
But with that exception his tone is sober and dignified, and con 
trasts favorably with that of his opponents. 

The prompt measures adopted by the settlers in 1648 had 
restrained the Narragansetts and Nyantics for the moment, but in 
Further the next year the danger revived. Ninigret still failed to 
the^farra P a 7 tne tribute required of him, and Uncas complained, 
gansetts. as before, that his life was endangered by the intrigues 
of his enemies. Ninigret was therefore summoned to Boston to 
attend before the Federal Commissioners. After his arrival the 
settlers were further alarmed by a rumor that his daughter was to 
be married to the representative of Sasacus, and that an attempt 
was to be made to restore the power of the Pequods. Ninigret 
seems to have given no satisfactory answer to the charges brought 
against him. He was dismissed with a caution, and the govern 
ments of the various colonies were warned to be on their guard 
against an attack, s 

Eavly in 1649, an event took place which must for a while 
have turned aside the thoughts of Massachusetts, and one may 
well believe of all the New England colonies, from their dis- 

1 Wimhrop, vol. h. p. 314. 

2 The letters are given in the Appendix to the Newhaven Records (vol. i.). The previous 
proceedings are fully told by Winthrop (vol. ii. pp. 314, 315). 

8 These proceedings are fully recorded in the Acts of Commissioners (vol. i. pp. 143-5). 


putes. On the twenty-sixth of March, John Winthrop died. 
He was but sixty-three, and neither in speech nor writing did 
Death and his later days show any traces of failing powers. The 
ofjoh C n er loss of such an one in the full strength of mind would 
Winthrop. at anv t j me j^g k een h eavv> ft was doubly heavy at a 

crisis which so peculiarly needed conciliatory wisdom. His 
career has already of necessity been told in telling the political 
history of Massachusetts. For Winthrop has no independent or 
personal greatness which stands detached from the life of the 
community. In this he is like the great Parliamentary leaders 
of the seventeenth century, like the founders of the American 
Republic. He is, on a narrower stage, the counterpart of Pym 
and Hampden, the forerunner of Washington and Madison. He 
was not a constructive statesman of the type of Wolsey or Strafford, 
with a definite policy to be enforced from without, sometimes 
reactionary, sometimes progressive to the verge of revolution. 
In his writings and in those political actions which are commem 
orated he clearly recognizes the doctrine that the life of a free and 
intelligent community must shape itself, that it cannot be forced 
into any moulds which the wisdom of a statesman may think 

Yet Winthrop was far more than a mere successful administrator. 
He was more than those whom it would be unfair to set down as 
merely effective administrators, those whose ideal of statesmanship 
is to interpret and give effect to the popular will. He is raised 
above such a statesman as Walpole, not more by the dignity and 
purity of his personal character than by the loftiness of his politi 
cal views. He never scrupled to face unpopularity and to tell 
unpalatable truths. His fearless independence goes far to redeem 
the worst side of his career, his harsh treatment of heretical leaders 
and unpopular beliefs. Undoubtedly he showed himself indiffer 
ent, at times unjustly and cruelly indifferent, to the rights of 
minorities. But we may be sure that he did so, not because he 
looked on the voice of the majority as infallible, but because the 
minorities with whom he had to deal represented to his mind the 
mere temporary result of crude and unreasoning fanaticism. 

We can see too that all Winthrop s personal sympathies were 
with order and discipline rather than individual effort and pro 
gress. In that he did but reflect a movement of which Puritanism 
was one phase, the reaction against the Renaissance, with its 
passion, its self-will, its absence of restraint. Winthrop was indeed 


Wootton s perfect man, "whose passions not his masters are." 
Nor can we doubt that he judged the peculiar needs of New Eng 
land rightly, though he ma} 7 have been willing to satisfy them at 
too great a cost. Those tendencies to disruption inherent in the 
life of a young community can only be kept in check by the rigid 
pressure of a uniform system. With Winthrop indeed, as with 
those by whom he was surrounded, the craving for uniformity 
led to measures by which individual opinion was stifled, and the 
mental growth of the community checked and stunted. But, 
over and above the peculiar necessities of New England life, two 
pleas may be fairly urged in extenuation of Winthrop s intoler 
ance. It can scarcely be said too often that in this matter the 
men of the seventeenth century must not be judged by the stan 
dard of the nineteenth. Even in the present day it may well be 
questioned how far toleration, apart from indifference, has taken 
any deep root. "Suffer the tares to grow," is a doctrine more 
often preached than loyally accepted and carried out. 

Moreover, while Winthrop appears to us stained with the guiit 
of persecution, in all likelihood his contemporaries regarded him 
as stained with the guilt of undue lenity. Tradition tells us that 
one of his last public acts was to refuse Dudley s request that he 
would sign an order for the banishment of a heretic, saying that 
he had done too much of that work already. 1 Whether that 
story rests on any basis of fact or not, it is certainly significant 
that the worst outburst of religious fury in New England, the 
cruel persecution of the Quakers, did not come about till the 
sobering and restraining influence of Winthrop had passed away, 
and the colony had come under the control of that cruel and 
narrow-minded man, John Endicott. 

We may well believe too that the influence of Winthrop would 
have been of peculiar value in the coming struggle between Mas 
sachusetts and the other colonies. Not merely his upright temper 
and statesmanlike mind, but his personal interest in Connecticut, 
in which his son was now one of the chief citizens, would have 
led him to look with sympathy on the claims of the weaker col 
onies. His whole temper and attitude of mind fitted him to play 
the part of an arbitrator and a peacemaker. The confederates 
would have felt confidence in his fairness; Massachusetts would 
have felt confidence in his patriotism. 

1 Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 151. The tradition is so unlike what a New Englander would 
have invented for the glorification of his countryman that I am inclined to believe it, ( 


If New England had reason to mourn for the statesman, as 
suredly the student of New England history has scarcely less 
Value of ground for regretting the writer. The value of Win- 
his history, throp s work is not fully felt till we endeavor to thread 
our way through the later annals of his country without its help. 
It would be difficult to name any work of which the substantial 
merit was so little indicated by the outer form. Not indeed that 
the book is cumbrous or obscure or unskillfully written. But it 
is professedly a diary or chronicle, composed without any appear 
ance of literary arrangement or grace. Yet one lays it down with 
the feeling that the whole internal life of Massachusetts has been 
disclosed. Nor, when the subject demands it, is there any lack 
of that weight and dignity of speech which comes from clearness 
and simplicity of mind. And in the whole field of history it 
would be hard to name any work, written by one who had taken 
a leading part in the events recorded, so free alike from egotism 
and from the conscious and ostentatious avoidance of egotism. 

In the year following Winthrop s death the Commissioners took 
further measures to enforce fulfillment of the terms to which Nini- 
Atherton s gret and Pessacus had assented. Atherton, a Massa- 
agafnsVthe chusetts soldier, was sent with twenty men to exact 
adians. tribute from Pessacus, and to warn Ninigret that his 
intrigues were known. Tradition tells how Atherton with his 
troop marched into the village where Pessacus dwelt, how he 
posted his men round the wigwam of the chief, and, boldly 
marching in, haled him out by his scalp-lock, and how the terri 
fied chief at once paid up the arrears of tribute. l Of Atherton s 
dealings with Ninigret we know nothing beyond the fact that he 
carried out the instructions of the Commissioners. 2 

Meanwhile Stuyvesant had shown his anxiety for peace by 
making a journey from New Netherlands to Hartford to meet the 
Ne otia Federal Commissioners. Though he had come in 
tions with person, he wisely proposed that the preliminary nego- 
at Hart- tiations at least should be carried on in writing. The 

ford. c 

proceedings began with a statement of grievances on 
the Dutch side. The chief of these were that the English had 
encroached on Dutch territory, that they had detained fugitives, 
interfered with the trade of Dutch vessels, and spoilt the Indian 

i Hutcl.inson, vol. i. p. 142 n. 

J The instructions are given in the Acts of Commissioners (vol. i. pp 168, 169). Ather 
ton s name does not appear, but a blank is left for the conua.uitier. 


fur market by paying extravagant prices. Stuyvesant furthermore 
complained that Staunton, who acted as interpreter for the Eng 
lish among the Indians, had slandered him. The complaint does 
not specify the calumny, but the answer made by the English 
representatives shows that it consisted in repeating what the Indians 
had said concerning Stuyvesant s encouragement of them against 
the English. Finally, he complained of injustice inflicted on 
one Lokman, who had been punished by the English for selling 
ammunition to the savages. l This letter was dated from New 
Netherlands. As it was written from Hartford, this was under 
stood to be meant as a territorial claim. The Commissioners 
refused to treat till this was altered, and Stuyvesant gave way. 
The English representatives then made a detailed answer to Stuy 
vesant s charges. On the territorial question they contented them 
selves by reaffirming their claim to the Connecticut river. They 
disclaimed an} wish to hinder the Dutch trade, except so far as 
any dealings with the Indians might be dangerous. Their answer 
on the third head is noteworthy, and shows how self-interest may 
quicken men s perceptions of economic truth. Stuyvesant s com 
plaint that the English merchants undersold the Dutch implied 
the propriety of some agreement for regulating trade, and reduc 
ing it to a monopoly. The Commissioners decline to inquire 
by what rules the traders, whether at Aurania Fort or Spring 
field, walk." "Trade is free, and merchants attend their own 
convenience, and will hardly continue a trade driven to lose; but 
laws to limit, if not well considered, will be soon repealed." To 
the charge brought against Staunton, the English answered that 
he simply reported what he had heard; but they make the admis 
sion, important in reference to later events, that the Indians are 
subtle, and may have their own ends. They defend the treatment 
of Lokman by the Court of Connecticut. He had been given a 
f:iir trial, and if he renews his malpractices he will meet with a like 
punishment again. Finally, the English Commissioners brought 
forward their own grievances; the various outrages committed by 
the Dutch settlers at Hartford, and the successive attacks made 
on the English when they had attempted to settle, or even to 
trade, south of the Hudson. 

At this stage of the dispute Stuyvesant proposed that matters 
should be referred to four arbitrators, two appointed by each side. 
He himself chose as his representatives two of the English settlers 

i For Lokman s offence see Connecticut Records (vol. i. p. 198). 


at New Netherlands, Willet and Baxter. The other side ap 
pointed Bradstreet, of Massachusetts, and Prence, of Plymouth. 
After discussion and a full hearing of both sides, a formal agree 
ment was drawn up and signed by the four representatives. A 
boundary line was fixed; Greenwich was restored to the jurisdic 
tion of Newhaven, and the Dutch at Hartford were secured in 
possession of their territory. With reference to the wrongs com 
plained of by each party, the arbitrators refused to express a de 
cided opinion, but referred the matter to the home governments 
of England and the United Provinces. At the same time they 
sought to smooth over matters by a declaration that most of the 
wrongs complained of by the English were committed before 
Stuyvesant had been appointed, and that Kieft was really responsi 
ble for them. l 

The disputes which should have been set at rest by this treaty 
soon broke out afresh. In 1651 a party of emigrants from Newha- 
En lish ven once more attempted to establish themselves on the 
encroach- territory by the Delaware. Stuyvesant apprehended 

nient on 111 -IT i . 

the Deia- them, and only released them upon their promising 
to abandon their attempt. The victims of the attack 
brought their grievance before the Federal Commissioners, and 
induced them to write a letter to Stuyvesant, protesting against 
his unjust and unneighborly courses. * 

Next year a rumor reached New England that a conspiracy was 

on foot between the Dutch and the Indians to cut off the English 

, settlers. Three Commissioners were sent to New 

Rumors of 

a conspi- Netherlands to inquire into the matter. Stuyvesant 
tween the seems to have behaved with perfect fairness and moder- 
the in- "" ation, and to have thrown no hindrance in the way of 
the Commissioners. He demanded reasonably enough 
that the inquiry should be conducted by a joint tribunal. 4 The 
English representatives demurred to this. Their system of inquiry 
seems to have been to hear and record, without scrutiny of any 
sort, every statement which made in favor of the charges against 
the Dutch. Yet it cannot be said that this credulity was wholly 
without excuse. The conduct now imputed to the Dutch was in 

1 The whole of these proceedings are in the Acts of Commissioners (vol. i. pp. 171-191); 
Brodhead, vol. i. p. 518. 

3 The petition and the letters are in the Acts of Commissioners (vol. i. pp. 210-5). 

> The report of the three Commissioners of Inquiry, and the proceedings of the Federal 
Commissioners and of the Dutch government in connection with it, are all given in ths 
Acts of Commissioners (vol. ii.), under the year 1653; cf. Brodhead. 

4 Acts of Commissioners, vol. ii. p. 37. 


no wise worse than the conduct of their countrymen twenty-seven 
years earlier in Japan. And when Stuyvesant complained that 
civilized men should rely upon the testimony of the savages, the 
English not unfairly retorted that at Amboyna the Dutch had tor 
tured Englishmen on charges unlikely in themselves, and resting 
on the unsupported testimony of the Japanese. Nor is it possible 
to read all the depositions on which the English acted, without 
feeling that they had some reasonable cause for alarm. There 
may have been nothing tc show that Stuyvesant had suborned the 
Indians to cut off the English. But there certainly was ground 
for thinking that he had spoken of the English to the Indians in 
a contemptuous and hostile spirit, and that he was not unwilling, 
in case war broke out, to secure the support of the savages. 

As might have been expected, the two southern colonies, Con 
necticut and Newhaven, were clamorous for war. Their zeal was 
quickened by the English who dwelt within the Dutch border. 
In 1644 a colony from Stamford had settled at Heemstede, on 
Long Island, not far from its south-west point. They now made 
overtures to the Federal government. 1 Underhill too was plot 
ting against his new masters. For endeavoring to stir up a 
rebellion on Long Island he was imprisoned. He was soon re 
leased, renewed his malpractices, and was banished. 2 He then 
fled to Rhode Island, where he was well received, and obtained 
from the government a commission to take all Dutch vessels that 
might come into his power, and generally to wage defensive war 
against the Dutch. 3 The aggressive policy of Newhaven and Con 
necticut may have been culpable, but it is at least intelligible. 
It is hard to understand what pretext Rhode Island could find for 
interfering in the quarrel. Meanwhile the Federal Commissioners 
had drawn up a report setting forth the injuries sustained from the 
Dutch during the last thirteen years. It is obvious that the treaty 
of Hartford should have been regarded as setting at rest all prior 
claims and disputes, and that if war was to be made it should have 
been avowedly made on the facts which had come to light since. 

The combative temper of Connecticut and Newhaven was para 
lyzed by the persistent determination of Massachusetts to keep the 
Dissen- peace, In 1653 seven of the eight Commissioners 
h^the^c on- votcc ^ f r declaring war, both against the Dutch and 
federacy. the Nyantics, while Bradstreet of Massachusetts alone 

1 Acts of Commissioners, vol. li. p. 51. 3 Ib. pp. 31, 52, 426. 

3 Rhode Island Records, vol. i. p. 266. 


stood fast on the other side. l The question was referred back for 
special consideration to the Deputies in Massachusetts and to the 
Elders. 2 Hathorne, Bradstreet s colleague, gave his voice for war, 3 
and Norris, the minister of Salem, invoked the curse of Meroz on 
his brother citizens. 4 A conference was held, at which three of the 
Commissioners, Hathorne among them, met the representatives 
of the Court of Massachusetts, but to no purpose. The Court as 
a whole supported Bradstreet, and voted that the Commissioners 
had no power to engage the Confederacy in an offensive war.* 

It seemed for a time as though the weaker colonies would make 
war on their own account. The three outlying settlements, Strat 
ford, Fairneld, and Stamford, were naturally the most eager for 
vigorous measures. The last named addressed a special petition 
to the Court of Newhaven, urging them to war, and asking leave 
to raise a volunteer force in the neighboring towns. The men of 
Fairneld went even further. They held a town meeting, at which 
it was decided to raise troops, to be placed under the command 
of Ludlow. The governments of Connecticut and Newhaven 
were more temperate. They decided that the season was too far 
advanced for operations. The leaders of the war party at Fairfield 
were punished, and bound over to keep the peace. 6 

Next year the dispute between the federated colonies was prac 
tically set at rest by the action of the home government. The 
short-lived war between England and Holland, ended by the 
peace of 1654, relieved the colonies of all responsibility, and gave 
the smaller settlements a guarantee that their safety would not be 
overlooked. The chief result of the war, as far as the colonies 
were concerned, was the permanent annexation of the Dutch terri 
tory at Hartford. 

The persistency of Massachusetts had in all likelihood saved the 
colonies from an unnecessary war. Yet it is difficult 10 see in it 
anything but the lucky result of a selfish and unscrupulous policy. 
Apologists of Massachusetts in modern times have repeated the 
plea which she then urged on her own behalf, that she did but 
violate the formal obligation to her confederates in obedience to 
the higher law which forbids an unjust war. It would be rash 
for us, judging, as we necessarily must, from imperfect eviderce, 
to pronounce dogmatically on the justice or injustice of the charges 

1 Acts of Commissioners, vol. ii. pp. 103-8. 2 Ib. p. 52. 

a I I/, p. 109. 4 Ib. p. 58. 

6 MPSS. Records, vol. iii. p. 311. 
Newhaven Records, vol. ii. pp. 47-57; Trumbull, vol. i. p. 214. 


urged against the Dutch. But let them have been ever so ground 
less, that cannot justify the conduct of Massachusetts. That col 
ony had deliberately and of free will made a contract. That 
contract clearly bound her in certain cases to subordinate her 
own wishes and her own judgment to those of her confederates. 
If, as was alleged, the obligations of that contract became 
intolerable, as conflicting with the higher obligations of morality, 
no doubt the government of Massachusetts was justified in freeing 
itself. But it was assuredly not justified in acting as it did, in re 
taining the ad vantages of confederation and repudiating obligations 
so imposed. To deal as Massachusetts dealt with the smaller 
members of the Confederation was simply to reduce them to the 
position of dependent allies. We must remember, too, that the 
Massachusetts government had by other actions deprived itself 
of a claim to the defence which is urged on its behalf. In judg 
ing the conduct of Massachusetts we cannot forget what had been 
her policy in the case of De la Tour and in the case of Springfield. 
In the former case she had been ready to entangle herself in a 
foreign quarrel for no higher object than the pecuniary advantage 
of the merchants of Boston. In the latter case she had run the 
risk of breaking up the Confederation on a question of tariff. It 
is open to us to believe that on the Dutch question the Massa 
chusetts government unwillingly violated their obligation to their 
allies in obedience to the higher obligation of morality. It is 
equally open to us to believe that they were selfishly indiffer 
ent to the danger of their neighbors. The case of De la Tour 
makes against the former view. The case of Springfield makes 
in favor of the latter. When the Federal Commissioners met in 
1654, a formal declaration was made by the two representatives of 
Massachusetts, withdraw ; ng the doctrine which they had asserted 
in the previous year, and acknowledging the right of the Com 
missioners to declare war in the name of the Confederation. ] The 
declaration was virtually an admission that Massachusetts had bro 
ken faith with her confederates. The claim of the right to nullify 
had served its purpose, and it was now withdrawn with almos: cyn 
ical indifference. That the withdrawal should have been accepted 
at all is the best proof how the just rights of the three weaker 
colonies were crushed by their powerful and arrogant associate. 

The foreign relations of the Confederacy soon offered a fresh 
cause for dispute, and again the pacific policy of Massachusetts 

l Acts of Commissioners, vol. ii. p. 114. 


prevailed. Ninigret had been harassing some of the Indians who 
were under the protection of the English, and was again in arrears 
with his tribute. The Commissioners summoned him to Hart 
ford to explain his conduct, i Ninigret replied that he had suffi 
cient grounds for his dealings with the other Indians, and that 
there was no need for him to appear. 2 The Commissioners there 
upon unanimously declared war against him. A force of forty 
horse and two hundred and seventy foot was raised. To this force 
Massachusetts contributed all the cavalry and more than half the 
infantry. Probably on that ground it was left to the Massachusetts 
government to choose the commander out of three names pro 
posed by the Commissioners. 3 Though the three named were all 
Massachusetts men, yet the Court passed them over in favor of 
Simon Willard. He was thought to be a man of less resolution 
and military capacity than any of the three proposed, and his ap 
pointment excited a not unnatural suspicion as to the zeal and 
good faith of Massachusetts. 4 

Before the invading force could reach the Nyantic country, 
Ninigret had fled to the forests. Willard thereupon withdrew his 
force, and returned without striking a blow, bringing with him 
over a hundred Pequods, who had voluntarily attached themselves 
to the English. 6 We can hardly wonder that the settlers in the 
three smaller colonies, smarting under their recent treatment, 
should have suspected Willard of thinking more of the wishes of 
his own government than of the instructions given him by the 
Federal Commissioners. 6 

The same masterful temper which had actuated the government 
of Massachusetts in their dealings with the Confederation had also 
Rigby buys been displayed towards their neighbors in the north. 
p?ough The ten "itory granted to Gorges as the province of 
Patent. Maine had passed through curious and somewhat com 
plicated changes. As we have seen, a small company had acquired 
a prior title to a portion of that land under a document called the 
Plough Patent. It might reasonably have been held that disuse 
had extinguished any claim which these patentees might have had 
against Gorges. Their title, however, was now revived to serve 

l Acts of Commissioners, vol. ii. p. 115. 2 Ib. p. 125. 3 Ib. p. 126. 

4 Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 187. The Massachusetts Records refer to Willard s appointment, 
but give no reason for it. 

5 The actual number seems to have been a hundred and ten. Willard s report of his 
proceedings is published in the Acts of Commissioners (vol. ii. pp. 144-7). 

6 Willard was formally censured by the Commissioners. Their letter to him is in the 
Acts (vol. iL p. 148). 


the ends of an unscrupulous land-speculator. The rights of the 
Plough patentees were bought up by Alexander Rigby, a promi 
nent member of the Long Parliament. He does not seem even 
to have acquired a good title, since apparently only two members 
of the defunct company executed the transfer. 2 In all likelihood 
he cared little about the legal validity of his claim, relying, as it 
would seem, on the favor of the authorities in England and on the 
help of the Massachusetts government. The territory to which he 
laid claim extended about forty miles along the coast. As we 
have seen, the original instrument from which he deduced his title 
is no longer extant. But it seems clear that the tract in question 
extended from Cape Porpoise on the south to a point not far 
short of the Kennebec, and thus took in the settlements of Saco 
and Cape Porpoise and the scattered plantations about Casco 
Bay. 3 Rigby at the outset injured his cause by his choice of 
agents. He seems to have given some position of trust to Mor 
ton. 4 Although that disreputable adventurer did not take any 
part in the affairs of Maine, yet it is clear that Rigby by his deal 
ings with him brought some discredit on himself. The other 
agent, George Cleves, seems to have been little better, though, 
unlike Morton, he stood well with the Puritans of Massachusetts. 
In 1637 he had been in Maine, acting for Gorges. It is clear 
that his conduct at that time was unsatisfactory to his employer. 5 
He was soon engaged in a dispute with Gorges agent, Richard 
Vines, and in a lawsuit with some of the settlers in Maine, while, 
at the same time, he refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of 
the Proprietor. It is noteworthy that in this difficulty Vines wrote 
to Winthrop for advice, 6 from which we may infer that no ill- 
feeling as yet existed between the followers of Gorges and the 
leading men in Massachusetts. 

1 Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 154. 2 Ib. p. 257. 

8 Mr. Palfrey thinks that the northern limit of the Plough Patent was Cape Elizabeth. 
If so, the Casco settlements would have been outside it. But in that case it is hard to s:e 
how Cleves held a court at Casco, and in fact made it his headquarters. That he did so 
appears from the documents quoted further on. 

4 Winslow, writing to Winthrop in January, 1644, says that Rigby has " good hap to 
light on two of the arrantest known knaves that ever trod on New English shore, to be his 
agents east and west, as Cleves and Morton." It is difficult to understand how Rigby, a 
Parliament man and a Puritan, became connected with Morton. But Winslow could 
hardly have been in error on such a point, and the context shows that he had no bias 
against Rigby. The letter is in Mass. Hist. Coll , 4th series, vol. vi. p. 174. A letter from 
Gorges to Winthrop, written in August, 1637, shows that Morton and Cleves had some 
sort of connection (Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol. vii. p. 329). 

6 This is clearly shown by Gorges letter, referred to above. 

The letter is in Mass. Hi^t. Coll., 4th series, vol. vii. p. 34^. 


In 1643 Cleves landed at Boston. He there endeavored to 
obtain a formal confirmation of his proceedings from the Massa- 
Dis ut chusetts government. This was refused, and he had to 
in Maine be content with a private letter of recommendation from 
cieves~and Winthrop. Cleves then went on to the seat of his new 
jurisdiction at Casco. Vines immediately contested his 
claim by summoning a court at Saco. Cleves, not content with 
asserting Rigby s claim to a portion of Maine, endeavored to 
discredit Gorges title altogether by suggesting that it was a for 
gery. 1 Soon after this a number of them at Casco, "an ignorant 
sort/ 2 as Vines calls them, and, according to him, instigated by 
Cleves, offered to refer the dispute to the arbitration of the Massa 
chusetts government. 3 Vines interfered by arresting their messen 
ger on his way to Boston and binding him over to keep the peace. 
Soon after Vines himself with a number of his supporters went 
to Boston, and there lodged a petition, probably on behalf of 
Gorges. 4 There is nothing extant to show what course the dis 
pute took during 1644. The two parties seem to have stood 
confronting one another, the one under Cleves claiming the terri 
tory north of the Sagadahock, the other under Vines asserting the 
authority of Gorges over the whole province. An extant letter or 
report from Cleves to the Massachusetts government shows that 
during 1645 ne was exercising criminal jurisdiction at Casco. 

The misfortunes of the Royalist party had in all likelihood 
distracted Gorges attention from his American possessions. In 
vines October, 1645, a general Court of the freemen assem- 

departs, bled at Saco, and, declaring that they had not lately 
dispute heard from the Proprietor, chose Vines as Deputy- 
Governor for the year. At the same time they resolved 
that this appointment of a Deputy-Governor should be made 
every year, and that if Vines should leave the colony during his 
year of office Joscelyn should succeed him. 6 

This contingency quickly arose. Joscelyn seems at once to 
have acted with more energy than his principal. Accompanied 
by two of the settlers from the territory claimed by Rigby, 

1 Vines to Winthrop (Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol. vii. p. 347). 

2 Ib. p. 351. 

3 At the same time they proposed to join the Confederacy, in all likelihood in the hope 
of propitiating Massachusetts. 

4 I have taken this account from Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 5) and from the letters of Vines and 
Cleves (Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol. vii.). 

6 Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, vol. vii. p. 366. 

York Records in Maine Historical Society s Ct^ciions, voL i. p. 273. 


Robinson and Markworth, of whom the latter had at first sub 
mitted willingly to Cleves, Joscelyn went from house to house, 
forming a party on behalf of Gorges. He succeeded in raising 
an armed force of a hundred men. With these he confronted 
Cleves at the General Court of the colony, and demanded that 
he should produce Rigby s title. When this had been done, 
Joscelyn and his adherents lodged a protest against Rigby s author 
ity, and charged Cleves to recognize them as the authorized repre 
sentatives of Gorges. According to the testimony of a witness 
whose sympathies were on the side of Cleves, the whole pro 
ceeding was orderly. ] 

Both parties now appealed to the government of Massachusetts. 
In the spring of 1646 the question was tried at Boston, by a special 
jury empaneled for the purpose by the General Court, 
tried at Cleves and Tucker appeared for Rigby, Joscelyn and 
Roberts for Gorges. Cleves failed to make good his case. 
It did not seem clear that the Plough Patent really took in the 
territory claimed. Moreover, the transfer was only executed by 
two out of the eight patentees. On the other hand, Joscelyn 
could only produce a copy of Gorges patent, which was not held 
to be legal evidence. The jury accordingly declared themselves 
unable to find a verdict. 2 

Rigby next brought the matter before the Parliamentary Com 
missioners for Plantations. Here he fared better. They not 
Decision of >mere ^y accepted his claim, but, if we may believe 
Pariia- Winthrop, they even extended his southern boundary 
Commis- twenty miles further than he would himself have placed 
it. 3 According to this decision, Weils, Casco, and 
Cape Porpoise formed one colony under the proprietorship of 
Rigby, while Gorges was left with Agamenticus, Saco, and Kittery. 

Practically, it made but little difference under what territorial 
jurisdiction the colony was placed. In 1647 the settlers in the 
s*ate of southern province heard of the death of Gorges. They 
affairs in thereupon wrote to his heirs for instructions. But the 
confused state of affairs in England prevented them 
from receiving an answer. Another application in the next year 

1 The whole of this proceeding is fully described in a letter written by Thomas Jenner, 
the Puritan minister at Saco, to Winthrop, May 6, 1646. It is in the Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th 
series, vol. vii. p. 359. 

2 These proceedings are fully told by Winthrop (vol. ii. p. 256). 
8 Ib. p. 320. 

4 I have taken my account of what follows from the extracts from the records of Maine : . 
published in the Mass. Hist. Coll. (ist series, Tol. i. p. 101). 


fared no better. Accordingly, in July, 1649, the settlers of the 
three townships met at Agamenticus, and formally declared them 
selves a body politic. A governor with a council of five were to 
be elected every year. Godfrey was chosen Governor, with, for 
the present, four Councilors, one from Agamenticus and three 
from Kittery. The same records which tell us of this contain 
entries which throw some light on the social life of the little com 
munity. They show us that religion and order were in no wise 
neglected. One Potum is prosecuted by a grand jury for leading 
"an idle, lazy life." Another offender of the like kind is sen 
tenced to receive twenty lashes. Adam Goodwin is presented for 
denying the morality of the fourth commandment, and the Select 
men of Kittery for neglecting to have the children of their town 
educated and taught the catechism. 

Hitherto Massachusetts had shown no anxiety to extend its 

possessions beyond the Piscataqua. But, looking at the dealings 

of the government with Mason s colony, and at their 

tion of later conduct towards Maine, we may be almost sure 

Maine by . , , , , 

Massachu- that they had been biding their time, in the well- 
founded hope that circumstances would throw the 
townships north of the Piscataqua into their hands. The process 
was almost an exact repetition of that by which New Hampshire 
had been absorbed. There was doubtless a sense of weakness 
and uncertainty which impelled many of the settlers to seek a 
union with their stronger neighbor. The Massachusetts govern 
ment again advanced the plea which had served them before, and 
urged that their northern boundary 7 was the extreme point to 
which any tributary stream of the Merrimac could be traced. 
The government of Maine met the demand of Massachusetts by 
a plea which could not fail to offend that colony. They con 
tended that the quo warranto issued in 1637 had overthrown the 
Massachusetts charter, and all the territorial rights which it carried 
with it. Against this the Massachusetts government pleaded that 
the surrender of the great Plymouth charter had nullified all 
grants that depended on it, that to Gorges among them. l 

In October, 1651, three commissioners from Boston, Bradstreet, 
Hathorne, and Denison. went to Kittery to assert the claims of 
the government and demand submission. 2 Those who remained 

1 This plea and counter-plea are set forth in a letter from Edward Rawson, secretary to 
the Court of Massachusetts, in answer to Godfrey. The letter is in Hazard (vol. i. p rfyX 
Mass. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 70. 


loyal to the heir of Gorges, or who were adverse to union with 
their Puritan neighbors, petitioned Parliament to resist this en 
croachment. l Winslow however was now in England to urge the 
claims of Massachusetts. Even without his advocacy it is unlikely 
that Parliament would have favored the adherents of the fallen 
royalist. For a year the dispute went on between Godfrey and 
the Massachusetts government. But to such a contest there could 
only be one end. The Massachusetts government went through 
the somewhat meaningless form of ordering a fresh survey of their 
northern boundary. 2 Upon receiving the surveyors report they 
again sent commissioners to Kittery. 3 The settlers there seem to 
have at once submitted. All grants of land were confirmed, the 
town was allowed two representatives, and all who would take the 
oath of a freeman were admitted to the franchise. The rights of 
the citizens were further guarded by a special stipulation that they 
should not be required to attend any military training beyond the 
limits of the township. * 

The Commissioners then went on to Agamenticus, and received 
the submission of the inhabitants, Godfrey among them, on like 
terms. 5 For the present no steps were taken towards incorpor 
ating Wells. But in the next year the Court of Massachusetts 
completed the process of annexation. If Massachusetts had a 
valid claim to Gorges province, she had an equally valid one to 
Rigby s. The line which she claimed as her northern boundary 
took in all the land occupied under the Plough Patent, just as 
much as it took in Kittery and Agamenticus. Rigby was now 
dead. " The settlers, therefore, had to choose between the gov 
ernment of Cleves and the government of Massachusetts. There 
could be little doubt that annexation on such equitable terms as 
had been granted to Agamenticus and Kittery was better than 
isolation under a greedy and unscrupulous adventurer. Never 
theless the union was delayed for nearly two years. During the 
summer of 1653 the three townships of Saco, Cape Porpoise, and 
Wells submitted, and were incorporated on the same terms as the 
two southern settlements. i Two years later a number of the in 
habitants, headed by Cleves, made an ineffectual attempt to over 
turn this settlement. They first lodged a claim with the Court 

1 This petition is published in Williamson s History of Maine, 1832 (vol. i. p. 334). 

\ Mass. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 98. 3 Ib. p. 109. 

4 This agreement is in the Mass. Records (vol. iv. pt. i. pp. 122-6). 

6 Ib. p. 129. Hazard, vol. i. p. 570. 

1 For this incorporation see Mass. Records, vol. iv. pt, i. p. 157-65. 


of Massachusetts. The Court refused to entertain this, urging 
the old plea as to the northern boundary. Thereupon Cleves or 
some of his partisans brought the matter before the authorities in 
England. At the same time the opposite party, to the number 
of seventy, petitioned the Protector against any severance from 
Massachusetts. 2 The paucity of those who signed in proportion 
to the whole population would lead one to think that there was a 
large number comparatively indifferent in the matter. The scat 
tered settlements about Casco remained independent till 1658. 
In that year a formal submission to the Massachusetts government 
was executed by twenty-eight settlers, of whom half signed with a 
mark. They were to be united on the same terms as the othe? 
northern towns, and, like them, were to retain their civil privi 
leges without any religious qualification. 3 

By this last incorporation the whole settled territory north of 
Plymouth came under the dominion of Massachusetts. The 
most noteworthy point about this process of expansion is the 
manner in which it broke down the system of religious disabili 
ties. Each successive incorporation brought in a body of citizens 
who were not church-members. This must have increased the 
dissatisfaction of the disfranchised inhabitants in the older settle 
ments, and accustomed the whole community to the separation 
of civil and religious privileges. 

In the meantime a curiously similar process had been going 
on in the Narragansett settlements. There too that which before 
Disunion and after formed a single province had been for a while 
among the divided in twa The sev erance of Rhode Island did 
f fan- ett not en d m tne annexation of the colony by Massachu- 
tations. settSj but such a result seemed at one time likely. 

The Narragansett settlers had shown no alacrity in using the 
opportunities of combination given them by their charter. When 
a union was effected, it was almost at once endangered by the 
incapacity of the different townships for political cohesion. The 
details of the dispute are obscure : this only is clear, that it turned 
throughout on the anxiety of the two island townships to separate 
themselves from Providence and Warwick. The quarrel seems to 

1 Mass. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 175. 

* The petition with the signatures is preserved in the Maine Historical Society s Collec 
tions (vol. i. p. 296). The petition itself is in the Hutchinson Collection (vol. ii. p. 30), but 
not the signatures. It speaks of " several addresses lately made unto your highness by 
some gentlemen of worth for restitution of their right of jurisdiction over us." 

s Mass. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. pp. 357-60. 


have begun in 1648. In that year we read of contentions between 
Portsmouth and the other three colonies, and we find Williams, 
true to his character of a peacemaker, proposing that the matter 
should be settled by a meeting of delegates, three on either side. * 
There is, however, nothing to show that this proposal was ever 
carried into effect. 

In the next year a concession of some weight was made to 
Providence. The General Assembly incorporated it by charter 
Providence as a body politic, with power to make and enforce 
rated P by ^ aws anci to appoint civil officers. At the same time 
charter. fa Q Assembly reserved to itself power to dispose the 
general government of that plantation as it stands in reference to 
the rest of the plantations." 2 

Danger now threatened Rhode Island from without as well as 
from within. During the last two years the confederate colonies 
Disputes kad more t ^ an once ta ^ en U P an attitude which men- 
between aced the independence of the Narragansett settlements, 
and Massa- When the men of Rhode Island would have joined the 
Confederacy they were refused on the plea that they 
were already within the limits of Plymouth patent. 3 Massachu 
setts too showed that she had not forgotten the feud with Gorton. 
In 1648 the settlers at Warwick had lodged a complaint with the 
Federal Commissioners against the neighboring Indians, who 
were under the control and protection of the Massachusetts gov 
ernment. The savages had killed the cattle, pilfered from the 
houses, and maltreated the servants of their English neighbors. 
This conduct was visited with a rebuke from the Commissioners, 
but the mildness of it contrasts curiously with the severity of their 
usual dealings with the Indians. 4 In the next year a petition from 
Holden to be allowed to visit Boston on private business was per 
emptorily refused by the Court of Massachusetts. 5 The men of 
Warwick then renewed their complaint against the Indians. This 
time the aggrieved settlers appealed to the order given by the 
Parliamentary Committee that they should receive protection and 
assistance. The reply of the Federal Commissioners was omi 
nous. They declined to redress the wrongs complained of, and 

1 Letter from Williams to the town of Providence, August 31, 1648 (Narr. Hist. Coll., 
vol. vi. p. 149). Williams refers further to these dissensions in a letter to Winthrop, appar 
etuly written about the same time (26. p. 166). 

2 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 214. 3 Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. no. 

4 The complaint and the rebuke are both given in the Acts of Commissioners (voL L 
p. in). 6 Mass. Records, vol. iii. p. 157. 


reminded the petitioners that the Commissioners had treated the 
claim to the territory of Warwick as an open question. They 
they said, they were now willing to investigate. l 

As before, Massachusetts had an ally in the enemy s camp. In 
1650 the settlers at Patuxet lodged a complaint with the govern 
ment of Massachusetts asainst that of Rhode Island. 

ful attempt The Court at Boston thereupon sent a letter to Rhode 

chusetts at Island, forbidding the government of that colony to 

annexation. . , , . c -. T , 

prosecute any suits against the subjects or Massachu 
setts. The Court also entered into negotiations with Plymouth 
for a transfer of such rights as that colony possessed over the terri 
tory of Rhode Island. Plymouth accepted the proposal, and 
made over its rights in the soil of Warwick and Patuxet. At the 
same time the Plymouth government loyally refused to break 
faith with Providence, and stipulated that the settlers there should 
enjoy their own lands unmolested. Massachusetts accepted this 
transfer, and at the next meeting of the Court Warwick and Pa 
tuxet were formally incorporated. 2 Rhode Island at once protested. 
The Federal Commissioners had assuredly no reason to wish for 
the territorial aggrandizement of Massachusetts. They interposed 
with a recommendation that the territory should be restored to Ply 
mouth, and Massachusetts with unwonted compliance gave way. 3 
Theoretically, the dismemberment of Rhode Island was the same 
in either case. Practically, it made no small difference whether 
that colony had to reckon with Plymouth or with Massachusetts. 
The condition of the distracted colony was now complicated by 
fresh issues, political and religious. Early in 1650 Coddington 
Further was * n England agitating successfully for the severance 
attempt of the island from the mainland settlements. 4 In May 
1651 the settlers at Patuxet had again petitioned the 
Massachusetts government to protect them against a tax levied 
by the Court of Rhode Island. The tone now adopted by Mas 
sachusetts was even more threatening than before. A formal letter 
was sent by the Court to Roger Williams, warning him that if the 
government of Rhode Island did not remit the tax they would 
seek redress in such manner as God should put into their hands.* 

l Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 150. 

* For the agreement and the incorporation see Mass. Records, vol. iii. p. 198-201. 

3 Acts of Commissioners, vol. i. p. 171; Mass. Records, vol. iii. p. 216. 

4 Coddington went to England in January 1650. This is stated by Williams in a letter to 
the younger John Winthrop (Narr. Hist. Coll., vol. vi. p. 168). 

ft The letter is in Mass. Records (vol. iii. p. 228). 


The events of eight years earlier left little doubt as to the meaning 
of the threat. 

If the Massachusetts government had adopted the same patient 
and conciliatory policy which guided them in their dealings with 
Punish- Maine, in all probability they would have been re- 
ment warded with like success. An act of intemperate bigot- 

in Massa- ry hardened and united the Rhode Islanders in their 
resistance. We have already seen in the case of Gor 
ton what a peculiar odium attached to the tenets of the so-called 
Anabaptist Other heresies might be spiritually dangerous; this 
was supposed necessarily to carry with it a repudiation of all moral 
laws. It might be safely assumed that the man who denied the 
validity of infant baptism was prepared to emulate all the enor 
mities of John of Leyden. Whatever might be the civil and po 
litical errors of the Rhode Islanders, it was at least clear that with 
them religious persecution had not borne its usual fruit, and that 
the emancipated victim had not used his freedom to become an 
oppressor. Religious liberty in Rhode Island was a reality,not a 
name. Among those who had taken a leading part in the in 
troduction of Baptist tenets into the colony was John Clarke. He 
was one of the original fugitives from Massachusetts who had 
settled at Aquednek, and he was now pastor of a Baptist church 
at Newport. The difference between Winthrop and the author 
of the Wonder-working Providence was not wider than the dif 
ference between Clarke and Gorton. Clarke s own account of 
his sufferings in New England, though somewhat prolix, is clear, 
free from extravagance and vituperation, and not wanting in dig 
nity of tone. Perhaps the highest testimony to his merits is the 
absence of any contemptuous or condemnatory reference on the 
part of the orthodox New England writers. 

In the summer of 1651 Clarke went to visit an aged Baptist 
living within the boundary of Massachusetts. A modern writer 
has suggested a theory which did not commend itself even to the 
malignity of contemporary partisans. According to him, Clarke 
put himself in the way of martyrdom in hopes of quickening the 
antipathy of his brother settlers against Massachusetts, and re 
minding them what they would have to dread from union or an 
nexation. The silence of contemporary writers is a sufficient 
answer to that far-fetched theory. 1 Clarke was accompanied 
by two others of his own creed, John Crandall, a member of his 

l Palfrey, vol. ii. p. 350. 


church, and Obadiah Holmes, who had just fled from Plymouth 
after an unsuccessful attempt to found a Baptist congregation 
at Seekonk. Intolerance and brutality were now enthroned at 
Boston, personified in the governor, John Endicott. Almost 
immediately on the arrival of the three Baptists within the bound 
aries of Massachusetts they were arrested. We have seen how, 
in the case of Mrs. Hutchinson, the Massachusetts government, 
not content with silencing the heretic, made a strenuous effort to 
convert her. The Baptists were now dealt with in like manner. 
After their arrest they were carried to church. Clarke, at the 
end of the service, sought to address the congregation, but was 
at once stopped. The prisoners were then brought before the 
Court on the charge of Anabaptism. No theological inquiry 
into the details of their teaching or belief was needed to estab 
lish the charge. A law passed in 1644 had definitely made it a 
crime, punishable with banishment, openly or secretly to preach 
Anabaptist doctrines, that is, to deny the validity of infant 
baptism or the necessity of a civil magistracy. l The first clause 
was undoubtedly applicable to Clarke and his companions. Ac 
cordingly they were fined, Clarke twenty pounds, Holmes thirty, 
and Crandall five, with flogging in default of payment. 2 In 
all likelihood Holmes previous conduct at Seekonk was the 
cause of his incurring the heavier penalty. All three refused to 
pay their fines, protesting that they were guilty of no crime. 
Clarke s fine was paid by some unknown friend, and Crandall 
was released on bail. In the case of Holmes the penalty of 
scourging was inflicted. The record of his sufferings as told by 
himself is a curious study. It is clear that he was a man of a 
highly conscientious and enthusiastic temper, with a somewhat 
morbid eagerness for martyrdom, yet distrustful of his own 
physical endurance. Offers were made to pay his fine, but he 
rejected them as temptations of the Evil One. Yet even then he 
was tortured by conscientious doubts. Was he really longing 
to suffer for the sake oftruth and not from any spirit of pride 
or self-will ? Then he remembered the weakness of the flesh 
to bear the strokes of a whip, and prayed earnestly to the Lord 
to give him a spirit of courage and boldness to speak for Him, 

1 Mass. Records, vol. ii. p. 85. 

2 Thes-j sentences are mentioned by the sufferers themselves (IU Nrws, p. 327, and the 
statement is confirmed by Roger Williams in a letter to the younger John Winthrop lWa.r~> 
Hist. Coll., vol. vi. p. 210). 


and strength of body to suffer for His sake, and not to shrink 
and yield to the strokes or shed tears, lest the adversaries of the 
truth should thereupon blaspheme and be hardened, and the 
weak and feeble-hearted discouraged." * When his friends urged 
him to fortify himself against the punishment with wine he re 
fused, lest his endurance should be attributed to drunkenness, 
or at least to fleshly means, rather than to spiritual strength. 
His self-distrust proved unfounded, and when he received thirty 
strokes with a three-corded scourge he turned to the magistrates 
with "joyfulness in his heart and cheerfulness in his counte 
nance," and told them that he had been " struck as with roses." 
It is impossible to say how far this was due to the mercy of the 
executioner or to the high-strung enthusiasm of the sufferer. 2 
Two of the bystanders turned to the criminal with words of pity 
and shook his hand. For this crime they were fined. 8 The 
most noticeable feature in this affair is not the persecuting cruelty 
of the rulers and Elders, but the undercurrent of toleration and 
sympathy which we can clearly trace. Wilson, the pastor of 
Boston, the former persecutor of Antinomians, the future per 
secutor of Quakers, than whom orthodoxy in New England had 
no champion more cruel and more ungenerous, might dishonor 
the judicial tribunal by cursing and smiting the prisoners. That 
wrong-headed and bad-hearted man who now held the highest 
office of state might insult the very laws which he had to ad 
minister by telling the prisoners that, though their penalty was 
but a fine, they justly deserved to die. But there were citizens 
of Boston who did not shrink from cheering the victims and 
lightening their sufferings. The priesthood and the rulers of 
Massachusetts had to make their yoke yet more hateful in the 
eyes of their countrymen ere it could be broken, but signs were 
not wanting to show that deliverance was drawing near. 

It is unlikely that Clarke s fellow-citizens took much heed of 

i III News, p. 48. a Ib. p. 51. 

8 Ib. Backus (vol. i. p. 237 .) quotes a manuscript, of about 1720, in which it is stated 
that Holmes was scourged with such severity that for days he could only rest on his 
elbows and knees. I can hardly think that Holmes, whose account is very full, could 
have omitted such a particular. One would fain hope that his difficulty in reposing was 
no more than that with which many public-school boys are familiar. It is characteristic of 
the sobriety of Backus and the soundness of his historical method that he merely gives the 
statement, with his authority, to be taken for what it is worth. Mr. Arnold is less cautious, 
and repeats it as a certain fact. He also says that Hazel, one of those who were fined for 
condoling with Holmes, " died before reaching home." This seems to imply that the sever 
ity helped to kill him, but as he was old and infirm, it is rash to assume that his death was 
even hastened by his punishment. 


so commonplace an incident as the cruel and ignominious ex 
pulsion of these heretics from Massachusetts. The secular 
Coddington politics of their colony gave them more serious sub- 
j ect f r thought. Coddington s journey to England 
na< ^ been, for his own ends, fully successful. In 
^ arcn T ^5 ne lodged a petition with the Committee 
of the Admiralty, praying for the territory of Aqued- 
nek and the small adjacent island of Conanicut, on the plea that 
he had discovered them, and purchased them from the natives. J 
It is not easy to see why the petition should have been lodged 
with a Committee of the Admiralty rather than the Commissioners 
for Plantations. Whatever legal justification there might be for 
Coddington s proceedings, it cannot be doubted that it was a 
breach of faith with his fellow-citizens. The only opposition, 
however, which was offered was not on behalf of those who 
occupied the soil, but to guard the alleged legal title of Plymouth. 2 
Winslow s influence with the Parliamentary leaders availed him 
nothing. In April 1651 a commission was made out appointing 
Coddington Governor of Aquednek and Conanicut. 3 He had 
power to administer the law and to raise forces for the defense of 
the colony. No specific provision was made for the form of 
government. But Coddington was authorized to appoint six 
Councilors, who were to be nominated by the freemen of Ports 
mouth and Newport. This seemingly meant that the freemen 
were to return representatives and the Governor to confirm the 
appointment. The effect of this would have been to undo all 
that Williams had done four years earlier towards the union of the 
four townships. To the two island colonies it meant a transfer of 
jurisdiction in which they were in no way consulted. It also, in 
all likelihood, meant annexation to the Confederacy. But to the 
two mainland townships, Warwick and Providence, it meant far 
worse. The two island settlements, even if they should be 
attached to the Confederacy, would always, by virtue of their 
wealth and their position, enjoy a certain amount of weight 
and independence. But the mainland settlements, isolated and 
hemmed in, would speedily be swallowed up by one of their 
larger neighbors. 

l Colonial Papers, 1650, March 20. 

a Ib. March 27, April 9, April n, April 17. 

8 Ib. 1651, April 


The tone of New England writers from Winthrop downwards 
has implied that the Narragansett settlers were a herd of anarchical 
fanatics. The sober and practical wisdom of their 
ragansett conduct in this is an ample refutation of that view. 
sutlers The two townships on the mainland and those on the 
island at once acted in concert, though to some ex 
tent with different aims. Each sent a representative to England. 
In the choice of one there could be little room for doubt. In 
every emergency where diplomatic tact and public spirit were 
needed the burden of public service was sure to fall on Roger 
Williams, to be loyally accepted and zealously and efficiently 
fulfilled. Both the island and mainland townships wished to 
employ William ., but the latter appeared to have either secured 
his services first or had a better claim to them. A worthy sub 
stitute was found in Clarke. l Williams present mission was to 
supplement and complete that which he had undertaken four years 
earlier, by obtaining a confirmation of the charter. Clarke was to 
protest against Coddington s grant in the name of the two settle 
ments whose rights were endangered. 

The agents relied much on the friendship of Vane, and they 
were not deceived. In April 1652 the petition was referred to 
Codding- the Committee for Foreign Affairs. 2 In the following 
revoked. September Coddington s commission was revoked by 
an order of Council, which at the same time directed the town 
ships to unite under the old charter. 3 

It seemed for a while as if the work of Williams would be 
frustrated by the perversity of the settlers. There were tvro 
Further parties in the mainland townships. Some were ready 
disputes. to j om w j t } 1 Newport and Portsmouth: others rather 
wished fora separate legislature, or could not agree upon terms of 
union. The result was that in May [653 two rival assemblies 
met, one at Newport, at which deputies from all four townships 
appeared; the other at Providence, claiming to act for the settlers 
on the mainland. 4 To complicate matters yet further, Codding- 
ton refused to accept the revocation of his charter as authentic, 6 

1 The formal entry is, " That a letter be sent to Mr. Williams to capitulate about his go 
ing to England, and if he refuse Mr. Baulston, Mr. Jo. Clarke, and Mr. Warner are nomi 
nated, for two of them may go"(R. I. Rec. vol. i. p. 231). 

2 Colonial Papers, 1652, April 8. 

8 This is stated by Backus (vol. i. p. 277). The order does not appear to be extant. 
4 My account of this dispute is taken from Backus, confirmed and supplemented by the 
Records. 5 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 365. 


while the inhabitants of Patuxet were again petitioning Massachu 
setts against the claim of their own government to levy taxes. * 
The breach between the two sections of the colony was, if not 
caused, at least widened, by a dispute about foreign policy, not 
unlike that which so nearly severed the Confederation of the Four 
Colonies. The wealthy and enterprising traders on the island 
were anxious for vigorous measures against the Dutch, partly no 
doubt to protect their commerce, partly allured by the probable 
gains of privateering. Volunteers were raised to act with the 
English on Long Island, a Court of Admiralty was established 
to pronounce judgment on prizes, and commissions were granted 
to three officers, one of them that restless adventurer Underbill, 
another, William Dyer, the Secretary of the colony. 2 At a later 
day the colonists, in an apology for these proceedings, ascribed 
them mainly to the personal cupidity of the Secretary. 3 Mean 
while the Council of State in England had issued orders to 
Rhode Island to stay Dutch vessels. 4 The assembly at Provi 
dence, while accepting this instruction, sought to weaken its 
effect. They directed that each plantation should prepare for 
defense, and that no provisions should be supplied to the Dutch. 
But at the same time they ordered that no seizure of Dutch 
property should be made in the name of the colony without direct 
authority from themselves, thus as far as in them lay neutralizing 
the action of the islanders. 5 

The return of Williams from England in the summer of 1654 
brought better things. He bore with him written proof of the 
Return of success of his mission. From Cromwell he had ob- 
Wiihams. ta me d a sa f e conduct through the territory of Mas 
sachusetts. 6 He had called into the field too an ally of old stand 
ing. If Vane failed his Antinomian friends in their hour of 
need, he did much to atone for that failure by later services. 
Years too, at least such years as Vane had spent, could hardly 
fail to bear fruit. The impetuous and unstable egotist had learnt 
sobriety of thought and speech. He now sent a letter by Wil 
liams urging unity upon the settlers of Rhode Island. 7 He 
reproved them for their divisions, for "headin-ess, tumults, dis- 

1 Mass. Records, vol. iv. pt. ii. p. 149. 

2 R. I. Records, vol. i. pp. 265-7. 

3 This is stated in a letter from the Assembly to Sir Henry Vane (R. I. Records, vol. i. 
pp. 287-9). 4 Colonial Papers, 1652, Oct i. 

5 R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 261. 6 It is in Hazard (vol. i.j>. 495). 

7 This is given in full by Backus (vol. i. p. 288). 


orders, injustice." Such evils, he says, indicate "dangerous 
disorders " and "incurable wounds." And we can scarcely doubt 
that there is an implied threat of absorption by Massachusetts 
when he tells them that the English government "gave them 
their freedom as supposing a better use would be made of it." 
Nor was Williams himself behindhand in pressing home these 
remonstrances. Respect for their advisers or dread of their en 
croaching neighbors prevailed with the settlers of Rhode Island. 
A conference was held, at which each town was represented by 
six commissioners. That conference decided that the rights of 
government and of legislation should henceforth be vested in a body 
composed like itself. At the same time the independence of each 
separate town and the direct control of the freemen over the laws 
was preserved by re-enacting that peculiar system of legislation 
originally introduced in 1647. l 

Two years later the last remaining sparks of the old strife were 
extinguished. Coddington by a formal act of submission resigned 
Final P ac- m s claims and accepted the new order of things. 2 In 
ification. 1658 the dispute as to Patuxet came to an end. Only 
four freemen remained there, and of those two had already accepted 
the authority of Rhode Island. The other two hesitated, avow 
edly from fear of offending Massachusetts. 3 That colony now 
resigned its claim. 4 The consolidation of Rhode Island was 
complete, and recurrence of the former disturbances was guarded 
against by a statute forbidding a citizen to place his land under 
any foreign jurisdiction, or to seek to introduce any foreign power. 4 

Yet the troubles of Rhode Island were not over. The dis 
union of conflicting townships was succeeded by the disunion of 
anarchical citizens. Tha<- the teaching of Roger Williams in- 
Disputes volved the denial of all civil restraint was the contention 
c?v n iit r u. ingr f Cotton and the other orthodox teachers of Mas- 
thority. sachusetts. The doctrine thus imputed to Williams 
was now definitely asserted by certain disaffected citizens. A dis 
turbance took place in Providence. The officers of the law 
interfered, and as a consequence a declaration was put out setting 
forth the doctrine that it was "blood guiltiness and against the 
rule of the gospel to execute judgment up6n transgressors." 

1 R. I. Records, vol. i. pp. 276-80. 3 Ib. p. 327. 

3 This is stated in a letter written by. Roger Williams to the General Court of Massachu 
setts, November 15. 1655, published in the R. I. Records (vol. i. p. 322). 

4 Mass. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 333. 6 R. I- Records, vol. i. p. 401. 


Loyalty to the state, eagerness to disclaim tenets which had been 
falsely imputed to him, and innate love of controversy, all urged 
Williams at once to take up the contest. All for which he con 
tended, he says, was absolute freedom in the one point of worship. 
He likens the commonwealth to a ship, whose crew is made up 
of many religious denominations. Let all worship in their own 
respective fashions, but still let the captain control the course of 
the vessel and enforce general discipline. Here, as before, 
Williams finds it easy to solve a difficulty of which he misses the 
practical importance. He overlooks the fact that religion is not 
a detached department of life, but an element which pervades and 
determines all civil and social relations. l 

But though his letter may be inadequate as a controversial 
statement of the question, it was effective enough as a practical an 
swer to those for whom it was meant. In Rhode Island there 
was assuredly no danger that the necessities of civil order would 
be made a plea for interfering with freedom of thought or 

Two years later the doctrines which Williams had resisted were 
again set forth in a form somewhat more difficult to answer. One 
Harris, a man of undoubted ability, destined for many years to 
Arrest of disturb the peace and endanger the unity of Rhode 

William , . . . . . 

Harris. Island, wrote a pamphlet arguing that, if a man con 
scientiously disbelieved in the right of any human authority, he 
ought not to be forced to obey it* It might have been possible 
for an astute controversialist to show that such a doctrine was im 
plied in the teaching of Williams. Williams, however, at once 
adopted weapons other than those of abstract controversy. He 
issued a warrant for the apprehension of Harris. The charge was 
with good judgment based, not on the implied disobedience to 
the colonial government, but on the denial of the authority of the 
Protector and Parliament. The writings on which the charge of 
sedition was founded were sent to England, and Harris himself 
was bound over to keep the peace pending the inquiry. 3 The 
Restoration put an end to the proceedings in England. At a 
later day Harris figured prominently in the history of the colony, 

l The disturbance is described in the letter of Williams published by Backus (vol. i 
p. 296). 

JThis, at least, is the formal statement of his teaching, as described in a resolution of the 
Assembly (R. I. Records, vol. i. p. 364). 

* The warrant itself is given by Mr. Arnold (vol. i. p. 263 *.); cf. the Records as above. 


not as a preacher of anarchical doctrines, but as the advocate of 
the territorial claims of Connecticut against Rhode Island. 

If the Restoration enabled Harris to escape, in other respects 
it brought an assurance of security to the troubled settlements in 
Effects of Karragansett Bay. The energies of Massachusetts were 
Jation C i S n" to fulty needed for defense to leave any room for ag- 
the colony. g ress i orij anc [ th e absorption of Newhaven by Connecti 
cut reduced the Confederation to a nullity. The future integrity 
of Rhode Island was secured. Her founder, he who had been 
her champion against cupidity without and anarchy within, now 
fitly falls into the background. In 1657 he for the last time held 
the office of Governor. Henceforth he only comes into promi 
nence when some special emergency of political strife or theolog 
ical controversy rails for him. The great constructive work of 
his life was done. He had founded a commonwealth where, in 
spite of the contemptuous forebodings of Massachusetts chroni 
clers and the persistent efforts of Massachusetts statesmen to make 
those forebodings true, religious freedom and civil order stood 


Challoner s Voyage of 1606, p. 18. 

THERE is a curious uncertainty about the details of this voyage. 
Three years later the English ambassador at Paris, in a memorial 
setting forth various grievances of English citizens, made this 
statement, that Popham, Gorges, and others had in 1606 sent out 
the Richard under the command of Captain Challoner to explore 
the coast of Virginia and obtain a footing there; that this vessel 
was seized by a ship belonging to two merchants of Bordeaux, and 
that the owners had been unable to obtain redress. This memorial 
is In the " Domestic Correspondence " for 1614. I have to thank 
Mr. Sainsbury for calling my attention to it. Gorges own tale is 
wholly at variance with this. According to him, Challoner, or, as 
he is here called, probably by a misprint, Challoung, fell ill. The 
vessel, taking too southerly a course, met the Spanish fleet coming 
from Havanna and was captured, and the captain and crew, includ 
ing Gorges two Indians, were carried prisoners to Spain. We can 
not explain the discrepancy by supposing Gorges memory to have 
failed him when he wrote his book. There is in the State Papers 
a letter from him to Salisbury telling how Challoner had just re 
turned from Spain, and giving many details of Spanish politics 
learnt from him. This letter is in the " Domestic Correspondence " 
for 1608, May 4. 

It is not impossible that Challoner might have made a short 
voyage which ended by his being taken by the French privateer, and 
then been sent out again and a second time been unfortunate. 
But it is assuredly strange that Gorges should have said nothing 
of this singular combination of misfortunes. Equally strange 
would it be if our ambassador brought a wholly unfounded charge 
dealing with events which happened only nine years before. The 
" Brief Relation " gives us no help; it only says of Challoner that,. 


" his misfortunes did expose him to the power of certain strangers, 
enemies to his proceedings, so that by "them his company were 
seized, the ship and goods confiscated, and that voyage wholly 

Grants and Settlements to tht North of the Merrimac, p. 202. 

1. March 9, 1622. Grant by the New England Council to Cap 
tain John Mason (" Colonial Entry Book," LIX. pp. 93-100). The 
territory is described as a great headland or cape lying in the north 
ernmost parts of the Massachusetts country, commonly known as 
Cape Trebizond or Cape Anne. The southern boundary is " the 
head of the great river supposed to be called Waumkeak " ; the 
northern boundary is more clearly fixed at the Merrimac. This grant, 
as we have seen, was afterwards extinguished by agreement with 
the Massachusetts Company (see p. 87). 

2. August 10, 1622. Grant to Gorges and Mason of all the land 
between the Merrimac and Sagadahoc(" Colonial EntryBook, LIX. 
pp. 101-108). This they intended with the approval of the Council 
to call the Province of Maine. Later instruments in favor of the 
same patentees deprived this instrument of all legal value. 

3. October 22, 1622. Grant made by the Plymouth Council to 
David Thomson of six thousand acres and an island, being the 
land settled by the three Plymouth merchants. The grant itself 
is not extant, but it is referred to in the contract between Thomson 
and the three partners. Deane (p. 359). I have described in my 
text what was done under this grant. There is nothing to show 
with certainty what became of the settlement. It is not unlikely, 
as I have said (p. 207), that it was amalgamated with Portsmouth. 
Mr. Deane (p. 370) quotes a deposition made in 1676 by an inhab 
itant who had come over in 1632. He remembered a tradition 
that the house in which Neal lived was built by some Plymouth 

4. 1626. Grant of land on the Kennebec to the Plymouth set 
tlers (mentioned by Bradford, p. 157). There is no proof that the 
original document or any authentic copy of it still exists. The grant 
was confirmed in 1630 (see above, p. 73). It was again confirmed 
and enlarged by the Council of State in 1652 (" Interregnum Entry 
Book," No.XCIV. p. 425). Holmes (" American Annals," vol. i. p. 
381) says that it was sold to a private company of four partners in 
1 66 1 for i,4oo/. 

5. November 7, 1629. Grant by the Council of Plymouth to 
Captain John Mason of all the land lying between the Merrimac 


and the Piscataqua rivers. This he intends with the approval of 
the Council to call New Hampshire. This was the basis of all the 
subsequent claims which were made by Mason s heirs. 

6. November 17, 1629. Grant to Gorges and Mason of lands on 
the rivers of the Iroquois which they intend naming Laconia 
(" Colonial Entry Book," LIX. pp. 115-121). It is to be noticed that 
the so-called Laconia Company set up its three factories, not on this 
territory, but on the tract No. 5 granted to Mason as New Hamp 
shire. The Laconia grant itself came to nothing. 

7. The Hilton Patent, described at p. 207, which resulted in the 
settlement of Dover. 

8. February 12, 1630. Grant to Oldham and Vines of a tract of 

four miles by eight on the west side of Saco river at its mouth 

This apparently is extant in the York Records. It is described by 
Mr. Willis in the first volume of the " Maine Historical Collection " 
(p. 40). 

9. A grant of the same date of a like tract of land on the other 
side of the river to Thomas Lewis and Richard Bonighton. The 
settlements made on these two tracts formed the township of Saco. 
In 1718 the name was changed to Biddeford. The portion which 
had originally formed the grant of Lewis and Bonighton was sep 
arated in 1772 under the name of Poppelborough. This was 
changed in the present century for the original name of Saco 
(Williamson s " History of Maine," vol. ii. p. 82). 

10. A portion of this grant was settled by one Foxwell in 1636, 
under the name of Blue Point. A very full account of this is given 
by Mr. Southwell ("Maine Historical Collection," vol. iii. pp. 17-21). 

11. March 2, 1630. Grant to John Beauchamp and Thomas 
Leverett often leagues square between Wiscongus and Penobscot 
Bay. This comprised the greater part of what was afterwards 
Lincoln and Waldo Counties. The grant is in Hazard (vol. i. p. 
304). According to Williamson, the patentees set up a factory, but 
the tract in question was not settled till many years later. 

12. In 1630 Cleve and a partner, Richard Tucker, formed a plan 
tation at the mouth of the Spurwink. They were ejected under 
a later grant (No. 18). In 1640 Cleve endeavored to recover pos 
session by process of law, and pleaded a purchase from one Brad- 
shaw. The record of Bradshaw s patent is extant (No. 16). Since 
it was executed in 1631 it is clear that, if Cleve had acquired it, he 
had done so after he had made his settlement. Mr. Willis goes 
very fully into the history of this occupation, quoting original 
documents from the records of York County. 

13. The Plough Patent, of which I have spoken fully in my text, 
was also granted in 1630. 

14. November 3, 1631. Grant of the house and plantations 


situate at Piscataqua, lately belonging to Captain Neale, io the 
Laconia Company. This brought their nominal and their actual 
territories into conformity. The grant is among the Colonial 

15. November 4, 1631. Grant to Thomas Cammock of 1,500 
acres on the east side of Black Point river. This is in the Minutes 
of the Council for New England. A settlement was formed on 
this grant called Black Point. 

1 6. A grant of 1,500 acres recorded at the same time to Richard 
Bradshaw. All that we know of this is that Cleve afterwards 
claimed to have acquired it (see above). 

17. December I, 1631. 2,000 acres on the south side of Cape 
Porpoise granted to John Stratton (Minutes of Council). A settle 
ment called Cape Porpoise was formed on this land. Stratton also 
occupied certain islands called after him. 

18. December 2, 1631. Lands between Casco Bay and Cam- 
mock s plantation granted to Robert Trelawny and Moses Good 
year (Minutes of Council). These patentees ejected Cleves and 
Tucker, and formed a plantation at the mouth of the Spurwink. 
This, Blue Point (No. 9), Black Point (No. 15), and Stratton s 
Islands (mentioned in connection with No. 17) were all annexed 
to Massachusetts in 1658, and consolidated into the township of 

19. December 2, 1631. Grant to Gorges and Norton and others, 
on which Agamenticus was settled (Minutes of Council). 

20. February 29, 1632. Grant to Robert Aldsworth and Giles 
Eldridge of 12,000 acres of land at Pemaquid. There is a very full 
account of this settlement in the fifth volume of the Maine Histor 
ical Society. It continued at times incorporated with Massachu 
setts, at times subject to the proprietorship of the Duke of York. 
It was converted into an outpost against the French and their 
Indian allies. 

21. June 16, 1632. Grant to Way and Purchase of land on the 
river Bishopscott. Afterwards sold by the patentees to Massachu 
setts (see p. 218). After the transfer Purchase continued to occupy 
the soil. Massachusetts, having secured other and more effectual 
hold over the land beyond the Merrimac, ceased to value this. In 
1652 Prence was sent by the Plymouth government to administer 
their territory on the Kennebec, and at the same time Purchase 
placed himself and his settlement under the jurisdiction of Ply 

Besides the plantations made under these grants three settle 
ments or groups of settlements were made under grants from 

i. When Cleves and Tucker were ejected by Goodyear and 


Trelawny they obtained from Gorges a grant of land on Casco 
Bay. This with other settlements near it became the township of 
Falmouth (Williamson, vol. i. p. 393; Willis, p. 22). 
> 2. When Massachusetts annexed Exeter, Wheelwright removed 
northward within the jurisdiction of Gorges, and formed the set 
tlement of Wells. The deed of grant from Thomas Gorges, act 
ing on behalf of the Proprietor, to Wheelwright and his associates 
is published in an Appendix to Sullivan s " History of Maine," 
p. 408. 

3. A number of scattered plantations on the north-east bank of 
the Piscataqua were in 1647 incorporated to form the township of 

No writer has, as far as I know, satisfactorily explained the 
origin of the name Maine. It has been said that the name was 
bestowed as a compliment to Henrietta Maria. I cannot find that 
she was in any way connected with Maine, save that she was a 
French princess. The name seems to be first used in the grant 
to Gorges and Mason, August 10, 1622. (No. 2 in the above list.) 

New Hampshire was the name given by Mason to his grant of 
November 7, 1629. The name was always used to describe the 
tract between the Merrimac and the Piscataqua claimed by Ma 
son s heirs, and containing the four townships of Dover, Exeter, 
Hampton, and Strawberry Bank. The name was only geograph 
ical, and had no political meaning till the territory was constituted 
a separate colony in 1679. 



ACADIA, 226. 
Agamenticus, settlement at, 
216, 218, 306, 324; Burdetat, 209; 
submits to Massachusetts, 307. 

Agawam, proposed settlement at, 
51. See Springfield. 

Alden, John, 221. 

Aldsworth, Robert, 218, 324. 

Alexander, Sir William, 226. 

Allen, Bozoun. of Hingham, 264. 

Allerton, Isaac, 89. 

Amsterdam, English refugees at, 
29; emigration from, 40. 

Anabaptist, see Baptist. 

Androscoggin river, grant of land 
on, 218. 

Anne, Cape, fishing station at, 65, 
83; grant of, to Gorges and 
Mason, 322. 

Antinornians, first appearance of, 
in New England, 129; banish 
ment of, 136; emigration to 
Aquednek, 184. 

Aquednek, settlement at, 184; as 
signed to Coddington, 314. 

Arnold, William, 238. 

Aspinwall, William, 136, 186. 

Assistants in Massachusetts, 91; 
position of, 104; disputes with 
the Deputies in 1634, 109; be 
come a separate chamber, 256; 
dispute with the Deputies in 
1644, 260; in 1645, 2 ^4- 

Atherton, Humphrey, 296. 

Aulney, D , 226, 227; dispute with 
De la Tour, 247; dealings with 
Massachusetts, 252; death of, 

BACKUS, Isaac, his history, 179, 
note, 267, note. 
Bancroft, Bishop, 29. 
Banks, Sir John, 144. 
Baptists, first church of, at Provi 
dence, 183; punishment of three, 
in Massachusetts, 312. 


Batchelor, Stephen, 214. 

Baxter, George, of New Nether 
lands, 298. 

Beauchamp, John, 323. 

Belknap, Dr., his history, 201. 

Bellingham, 128, 263; elected Gov 
ernor, 259. 

Bishopscott, see Pejebscot. 

Black Point, 218, 324. 

Blackstone, William, 81. 

Blackvvell, Francis, his emigration 
scheme, 40. 

Block Island, expedition against, 

Blue Point, 323. 

Bonighton, Richard, 323. 

Boston, settlement of, 103; pun 
ished by the Assembly in 1637, 


Bradford, William, 32; his writings, 
II, note, 33; his wife drowned, 
51; chosen Governor of Ply 
mouth, 54. 

Bradshaw, Richard, 218, 323. 

Bradstreet, Simon, a Commis 
sioner in New Hampshire, 210, 
213; a Federal Commissioner, 
259; arbitrates between New- 
England and New Netherlands, 
298; opposes his colleagues, 
299, a Commissioner in Maine, 

Brewster. William, of Plymouth, 

3i, 33, 54- 
Jonathan, 155. 
Bright, Francis, a minister, 92, IO2. 
Bristol, Maine, see Agamenticus. 
Brook, Lord, a colonial proprietor, 

141, 153, 208. 
Brown of Plymouth, a Federal 

Commissioner, 270. 
Browne, Robert, his book, 14. 
- John and Samuel, banished 

from Massachusetts, 96. 
Buckingham, Duke of, 24. 
Bull, Dixy, 205. 




Burdet, George, 208, 217. 
Buzzards Bay, trading station at, 

PAMMOCK, Thomas, 218, 324. 

\_j Canonicus, an Indian chief, 
challenges Plymouth, 68; deal 
ings with Massachusetts, 164; 
grant to Roger Williams, 181, 
sale of Rhode Island by, 185. 

Canada, condition of, 226. 

Cartwright, Thomas, a noncon 
formist divine, 13. 

Carver, John, 37- chosen Governor 
of Plymouth, 49; his death, 54. 

Casco, settlement at, 215, 303, 324; 
incorporated with Massachu 
setts, 308. 

Challoner, Captain, his voyage, 18, 

Chancewell, voyage of, 28. 

Charles, Prince, names New Eng 
land, 51. 

Charles River, dispute about, 222. 

Charlestown, settlement, 103; re 
cords of, 82. 

Childe, Dr., 267, 278; fined, 282, 

Major, 267. 

Church, membership of, required 
as a qualification for the franchise 
in Massachusetts, 109. 

Clarke, John, 267; emigrates to 
Pocasset, 184; in Massachusetts, 


Cleve, George, 218, 304, 323. 

Clifton, Richard, 30. 

Cocheco, settlement at, 204, 207; 
disputes at, 208; constitution of, 
210; quarrel with Plymouth, 221. 

Cod, Cape, proposed settlement at, 

Coddington, William, 132; emi 
grates to Pocasset, 184; appoint 
ed judge, 186; removes to New 
port, 187; his visit to England, 
310; charter for Aquednek and 
Conanicut, 314; it is revoked, 


Coggeshall, John, 136. 
Coke, Sir Edward, 26; patronizes 

Roger Williams, 115. 
Colmer, Abraham, 204. 
Conanicut granted to Coddington, 


G>nant, Roger, 84, 89. 
Confederation of the four New 

England colonies, proposals for, 

229, 230; exclusion of the out- 


lying colonies, 230; articles of, 
233: disputes within, 286, 290, 

Connecticut, disputes concerning 
the territory, 151; emigration to, 
154; settlement of, 159; dealings 
with Dutch, 223; disputes with 
Massachusetts, 286, 287; eager 
lor war with New Netherlands, 
299; records of, 149, note. 

Constitution of Plymouth, 71; of 
Massachusetts, 104, 253; of Con 
necticut, 159; of Rhode Island, 
186, 189, 271; of New Haven, 
195, 197; Federal, 233. 

Conventicles, system of, 13. 

Corbitant, an Indian, 67. 

Cotton, John, 109, 128, 222; his 
dispute with Williams, 121, 124; 
his sermon in 1647, 283. 

Cradock, Matthew, 91. 

Crandall, John, 311. 

Cromwell, a sea-captain, 252. 

Cushman, Robert, 37, 47. 

D ALTON, Samuel, a Commis 
sioner in New Hampshire, 

Dand, John, 283. 

Davenport, John, 191, 194. 

Delaware, English settlements on, 
225, 298. 

Denison, Daniel, a Commissioner 
in Maine, 306. 

Deputies, institution of, in Massa 
chusetts, 108. 

Dermer, Captain, 26. 

Dispute with Assistants in 1634, 
108 ; become a separate chamber, 
256; dispute with Assistants in 
1644, 260; in 1645, 264. 

Dorchester, in England, adven 
turers at, 83. 

in Massachusetts, emigration 
from to Connecticut, 154. 

Dover, 204. See Cocheco. 

Dudley, Thomas, 101, 222; elected 
Governor, 109. 

Dummer, Richard, 132. 

Dutch West India Company, deal 
ings with the Pilgrims, 43. See 
New Netherlands. 

Duxbury, settlement at, 69. 

Dyer, William, 316. 

E ASTON, Nicholas. 190. 
Eaton, Theophilus, 191. 
Eelkens, Jacob, 151. 
Eldridge, Robert, 218, 324. 





Elliot, John, his Ecclesiastical His 

tory, 113, note. 
Elton, Romeo, his Life of Roger 

Williams, 113, note. 
Ernes, Anthony, of Hingham, 264. 
Endicott, John, 88; defaces the 

flag, 122; attacks Block Island, 

165; Governor of Massachusetts, 


Epenow, an Indian, 21. 
Exeter, settlement at, 211. 

"CAIRFIELD, settlement at, 224, 

r 300. 

Falmouth, town of, 324. 

Farrett, James, 225. 

Fenwick, George, 233, 285. 

Field, Darby, 205, note. 

Foxwell of Maine, 323. 

French attack Penobscot and Ma- 
chias, 66; relations to New Eng 
land. 227. See Aulney, Canada, 
Razilly, Tour. 

Fuller, Samuel, 95. 

, Independ- 
V_J ent congregation at, 29. 
Gallop, John, 163. 
Gardiner, Christopher, in, 118. 

Lyon, 157, 168; his settlement 
on Long Island, 225; his book, 


Gerrnains, St., treaty of, 363. 
Gibbins, Sergeant-Major, 250. 
Gibbons, Ambrose, 206. 
Gibson, Richard, 211. 
Gilbert, Raleigh, 16, 18. 
Girling, Captain, 228. 
Godfrey, Edward, Governor of 

Maine, 306. 

Goodwin, Adam, of Maine, 306. 
Goodyear, Moses. 218, 324. 
Gorges, Sir Ferdinando, his book, 

ii, note; his early career, 16; 

takes up colonization, 17; sum 

moned before Parliament, 25, 

note; grants to, 87, 322, 324; 

Proprietor of Maine, 216. 

Ferdinando (the younger), his 
book, 82, 205, notes. 

Robert, 77, 88. 
William, 215. 

Gorton, Samuel, 186, 236, 238, 284; 

taken prisoner by Massachusetts, 


Green Harbor, settlement of, 70. 
Greensmith, Stephen, 131. 
Greenwich, N. Y., settlement at, 
. 225, 298. 

Guiana, proposed emigration to, 
3.6, 43- 

Guildford, settlement at, 196; in 
corporated with Newhaven, 197. 

HAMPTON, settlement of, 212. 
Harding of Massachusetts, 

Harley, Captain, 21. 

Harris, William, 318. 

Hartford, settlement of, 159; treaty 
of, 178; Dutch at, 226. 

Hathorne, William, a Federal Com 
missioner, 259, 300; a Commis 
sioner in Maine, 306. 

Hawkins, Captain, 249. 

Haynes, John, Governor of Massa 
chusetts, 127. 

Hazel of Rhode Island, 313. 

Heemstede, settlement at, 299. 

Hewes, his dispute with Plymouth, 

Higginson, Francis, 92. 

Hilton, Edward, 204, 323. 

William, 204, 323. 
Hingham, Massachusetts, 222; dis 
pute at, 264. 

Hobart, Peter, 265. 

Hobson, Captain, 21. 

Hocking, 221. 

Holden, Randal, 270, 309. 

Holland, Independents in, 34. 

Holmes, Obadiah, 312; flogged in 
Massachusetts, 313. 

Holyman, Ezekiel, 183. 

Hooker, Thomas, 123, 128. 

Hopewell, voyage of, 28. 

Housatonic River, settlement on, 

Howe, Edward, 212. 

Howland, John, 221. 

Hubbard, William, his book, 83, 

Hudson, the River, English en 
croachments on, 15. 

Hull, Benjamin, 231. 

Humphrey, John, 88, 101. 

Hunt, Thomas, 21. 

Hutchinson, Anne, 129; her trial, 
136; at Aquednek, 186; her death, 

William (husband of Anne), iS6; 
elected judge at Portsmouth, 188. 

Thomas, the historian, 83, not,-; 
his Collection, 113. 

INDEPENDENTS, petition In 
1 1597 to form a colony, 28; flee 
to Holland, 29. Ste Noncon 





Indians, five, brought to England 
by Weymouth, 18; dealings with 
Plymouth, 51-53. See Mohawks, 
Mohicans, Narragansetts, Nan- 
cotics, Pequods. 

Ipswich, Massachusetts, opposition 
to Boston at, 259. 

Iroquois lakes, 205. 

TAMES I., dealings with the Pil- 
J grims, 39. 

Jennison, atrain-band captain, 274. 
Johnson, Edward, author of "The 
Wonder-working Providence," 
82, note, 241. 

Isaac, 101. < 

"Jonas, New England s," 267, 


Jones, master^f the Mayflower, 48. 
Joscelyn, Her^ry, 88, note, 304. 

KEAYNE, Captain, 255. 
Kennebec, trading station on, 
66; grant of to Plymouth, 73. 
See Sagadahec. 

Kieft, Governor of New Nether 
lands, 225,230; his disputes with 
Newhaven in 1646, 292. 

Kirke, Sir David, 252. 

Kittery,3o6,325 ; submits to Massa 
chusetts, 307. 

Knollys, Hanserd, 209. 

Knower, Thomas, 112. 

T ACONIA, 204, 213, note, 323. 
JL/ Land, tenure of, in Plymouth, 

55. 59. 3; m Massachusetts, 92. 
Larkham, 209. 
Laud, Archbishop, dealings with 

New England. 119, 208. 
Lechford, Thomas, 12, note. 
Lenox, Duke of, 24. 
Leverett, Thomas, grant to, 323. 
Leveridge, William, 208. 
Levitt, Christopher, 215. 
Lewis, Thomas, 323. 
Leyden, Independents at, 34. 
Leyden Articles, 37. 
Lincoln, Countess of, 43. 

Earl of, 101. 

Long Island, settlements on, 225. 
Lyford, John, 60, 84. 
Lynne, Henry, 112. 

MACHIAS, trading station at, 
66; destroyed by French. 

Maine, character of settlement, 201; 
first settlements in, 215; consti 
tuted a proprietary colony for 

Gorges, 216; excluded from the 
Confederacy, 230; disputes in, 
304; incorporated with Massa 
chusetts, 306; origin of name, 

Marie, a friar, 251. 

Markworth of Maine, 305. 

Martin, master of the Speedwell, 

Mason, Captain John, of New 
Hampshire, grants to, 87, 206, 
322, 323; his character, 203; his 
colonial policy, 203; his death, 

of Connecticut, 170; his 

book, 149, note; his victory by 
the Mystic, 174. 

Massachusetts, charter for, 90; 
effect of settlement, 101; at 
tacked by the Crown, 119; char 
ter annulled, 145; dispute with 
Plymouth, 222; with the other 
confederate colonies, 285, 300; 
records of, 82, note. 

Massasoit, 53; his illness, 67. 

Maverick, Samuel, 80, 278; his 
pamphlet, 12, note. 

Mayflower, voyage of, 46. 

" Mercurius Americanus," 113, 

Merrymount, settlement of, 78, 79. 

Miantonomo, 164; his grant to 
Roger Williams, 181; sale of 
Rhode Island by, 185; at Bos 
ton, 161, 223, 233; defeated by 
Uncas, 241; his death, 242. 

Milford, settlement of, 196; incor 
porated with Newhaven, 197. 

Military system in New England, 

Mohawks, 289, 291; relations with 
the English, 292. 

Mohicans, 150, 161, 223, 289. 

Mompesson, Sir Giles, 25. 

Morrell, William, 77. 

Morton, Nathaniel, his book, n, 

Thomas, 78, 89, n-i, 118, 120, 
274; his book, 12, note. 

Mystic, fight by, 174. 

NANCOTICS, an Indian tribe, 

Narragansetts, an Indian tribe. 68, 
162, 223; treaty with Rhode 
Island, 189; expedition against, 

territory, Massachusetts patent 
for, 268. 





Naumkeag, see Salem. 

Naunton, Sir Robert, 39. 

Neal, Captain, 205, 323. 

New England, origin of name, 20; 
Council for, 76; dissolution of 
Council, 144. 

" New England s Memorial," 12, 

" New English Canaan," 12, note. 

New Hampshire, character of, 202; 
relations to Massachusetts, 213. 

Newhaven, character of, IQO; con 
stitution of, 194, 197; relations 
to New Netherlands, 225; op 
poses Massachusetts in 1653, 
299; records of, 179, note. 

New Netherlands, dealings with 
Plymouth, 66; with Connecticut, 
223; with Newhaven, 225; with 
the Confederation, 292, 296. 

Newport, settlement at, 187; con 
stitution of, 189; incorporated 
with the other towns of Rhode 
Island, 268. 

Newtown, settlement of, 103; elec 
tion at in 1637, 132; synod at, 


Ninigret, 178. 291, 293, 296; at 
tacked by Massachusetts, 302. 

Nonconformists, organization of, 
towards the end of the sixteenth 
century, 13-15; scheme of emi 
gration, 27; persecuted by James 
I. and Bancroft, 28; take refuge 
in Holland, 29. 

Norris, Edward, of Salem, 300. 

Northern colonies, how far differ 
ent from Southern, 2. 

Norton, Captain, 324. 

Nova Scotia, 226. 

OLDHAM, John, 60, 84, 95, 431; 
killed by Indians, 163. 
Oliver, Mr., his book, 91, note. 

PARLIAMENT, opposes the 

1 Council for New England, 25, 

121; relations of New England 

to, 276. 

Patrick, Captain, 173, 225. 
Patuxet, settlement at. 1 83; claimed 

by Massachusetts. 238, 310, 316; 

incorporated with Rhode Island, 


Pejebscot, grant of, 218. 
Penobscot, the French attack, 227; 

fight at, 228. 
Pessacus, 2()i, 296. 
Peter, Hugh. 128, 210. 

Pierce, John, 58. 

Piscataqua, colony at, 80, 206. 325; 
becomes an independent settle 
ment, 208; dealings with Massa 
chusetts, 21 1 ; named Strawberry 
Bank, 213; incorporated with 
Massachusetts, ib. 

"Planters Plea," 85. 

Plough Patent, 219, 302. 

Plymouth Company, 18, 23. 

New, effect of settlement, 44; 
choice of site, 51; appearance of 
town, 64; population, 68; con 
stitution of, 71; patent to. 73; 
boundary dispute with Massa 
chusetts, 222. 

Pocasset, settlement at, 186 ; 
named Portsmouth, 188; joins 
Newport, ib.; incorporated with 
the rest of Rhode Island, 268. 

Pomery, Leonard, 204. 

Pomham, 239, 246, 261, 270. 

Popham, Sir John, 16, 321; his 
death, 19. 

George, 18; his death, 19. 
Poppelborough, 323. 

Porpoise, Cape, settlement at, 303, 


Portsmouth, New Hampshire, see 

- R. I., see Pocasset. 

Prence, Thomas, 298. 324. 

Presbyterians in Massachusetts, 

Prince, Thomas, his " Chronologi 
cal History," 12, note. 

Pring, his voyage, 18. 

Providence, R. I., settlement of, 
181; united with the other Rhode 
Island townships, 268; incorpo 
rated as a town, 309. 

plantations, charter for, 269. 

Purchase, Thomas, 218, 324. 

Puritanism, its character, 4; mean 
ing of name, 5. See Noncon 

Pynchon, William, 223. 

QUINIPIAK, territory of, 192; 
settlement at, 193. 

RASIERES, Isaac de, at Ply 
mouth, 64, 67. 
Ratcliffe, Philip, 112, 118. 
Razilly, De, 227; his death, 246. 
Rhode Island, records of, 179, note; 
character of, 180; excluded from 
the Confederation, 231; incor 
porated b.r Charles, 270; consti- 





tution of, 271; peculiar system 
of legislation, 273, 317; dissen 
sions in, 309, 315, 317. See New 
port, Portsmouth, Providence, 
Shavvomet, Warwick. 

Rich, Sir Nathaniel, 24. 

Richardson, Captain, 276. 

Rigby, Alexander, 303. 

Rippowams, see Stamford. 

Robinson, John, 30, 45, 75. 

of Maine, 305. 
Rochet, a Frenchman, 247. 
Roe, Sir Thomas, 24. 
Rogers, a minister, 117. 
Royalists in Maine, 274. 
Rye, settlement at, 204. 

SACO, settlement at, 215, 303, 
323; incorporated with Massa 
chusetts, 307. 

Saconoco, a Narragansett Indian, 
239, 246. 

Saddler, Mrs., 115, note. 

Sagadahoc, attempted settlement 
at, 19; " Plough" settlers at, 219; 
the Kennebec River so called, 

"Salamander, New England s," 
267, note. 

Salem, settlement at, 84. 

Saltonstall, Sir Richard, 91, 156, 

Sasacus, a Pequod, 176; his death, 

Say and Sele, Lord, 141, 153, 157, 

Saybrook, 158; threatened by In 
dians, 168; sold to Connecticut, 

Scarborough, Maine, 323. 

Schauts Bay, settlement at, 225. 

Scituate, settlement at, 70, 222. 

Scott, Richard, a Quaker, 269, note. 

Mrs., 183. 

Scrooby, Independent church at, 
30; fly to Holland, 34. 

Seekonk, Roger Williams settles 
at, 180. 

Sequasson, an Indian, 241, 291. 

Shavvomet, settlement at, 239; at 
tacked by Massachusetts, 243. 
See Warw ick. 

Sheffield, Lord, 83. 

Sherman, Mrs., 255. 

Sherwill, Nicholas, 204. 

Shirley, James, 72. 

Shurd, 247. 

Skelton, Samuel, 92. 

Smith, Captain John, his pamphlets 

about New England, n. note, 22; 
names New England, 20; taken 
prisoner, 21. 

John, an Independent minister, 

Ralph, an Independent minister, 
93. ii7, 237- 

Southampton, Lord, 21 24. 

N. Y., settlement of, 225. 
Southern colonies, how far differ 
ent from Northern, 2. 

Southold, settlement of, 196. 

Sow, trial about one, 255. 

Speedwell, the ship, 47. 

Springfield, settlement of, 159; dis 
pute about, in 1646, 285. 

Spurwink, the settlement at mouth 
of, 218, 323. 

Squanto, an Indian, 53, 67. 

Stagg, Captain, 275. 

Stamford, settlement of, 196, 224. 

Standish, Miles, 50, 69, 75, 84, 

Staunton, 297. 

Stirling, Earl of, 225. 

Stone, Captain, killed by Indians, 
161, 166. 

Samuel, Captain Mason s chap 
lain, 173. 

Story, George, 255. 

Stratford, settlement of, 225, 300. 

Stratton, John, 324. 

Strawberry Bank, name given to 
Piscataqua, 213. See Piscata- 

Stuyvesant, Peter, Governor of 
New Netherlands, 292; visits 
Hartford, 296. 

Swedes, settlement of, on the Del 
aware, 226. 

Symonds, Samuel, a Commissioner 
in New Hampshire, 213. 

Synod at Newtown in 1637, 134. 

TALBOT, Moses, 221. 
Tarentines, an Indian tribe, 
i Go. 

Thompson, David, 81, 204, 322. 

Tisquantum, see Squanto. 

Tour, De la, 226; dispute with 
D Aulney, 247; dealings with 
Massachusetts, 247; his later his 
tory, 252. 

Travers, Walter, a Nonconformist 
divine, 13. 

Trelawny, Robert, 218, 324. 

Trumbull, his History of Connecti 
cut, 149, note. 

Tucker of Maine, 218, 323. 





UNCAS, 150, 223; his schemes, 
178, 231; provokes Miantono- 
mo, 241. 

Uncoa, settlement at, 224. 
Underhill, John, tried for heresy, 
138; his book, 149, note ; at Co- 
checo, 208; banished from New 
England, 209; in New Nether 
lands, 299; in Rhode Island, 316. 

VANE, Sir Henry, 126; elected 
Governor of Massachusetts, 
129; leaves America, 133; friend 
ship of the Indians for, 185; 
helps Rhode Island, 316. 

Van Twiller, Governor of New 
Netherlands, 152, 230. 

Vassall, William, 278; goes to 
England in 1647, 283. 

Verin of Rhode Island, 182. 

Vincent, Philip, his book, 149, 

Vines, Richard, 215, 303; grant to, 

323- . 

Virginia, Company of North, 18. 
dealings with the Pilgrims, 

37, 4- 

1T7AHGINNACUT, a Mohican, 

Wampum, 67. 

Ward, Nathaniel, 259. 

Warwick, Lord, head of the Board 
of Commissioners for Planta 
tions, 268. 

R. I., named, 271; joins the 
other townships of Rhode Island, 
285; threatened by Massachu 
setts, 310. See Shawomet. 

Watertovvn, settlement, 103; dis 
pute with government of Massa 
chusetts, 105. 

Way, George, 218, 324. 

Weathersfield, 159. 

Welborn of Massachusetts, 290. 

Welde, Thomas, 113, note. 

Wells, Maine, 307, 325. 

West, Francis, 76. 

Weston, Thomas, 57; his settle 
ment, 74, 75, 77. 

Weymouth, his voyage, 18. 

White, John, 85. 

Wiggin, Thomas, 207, 222. 

Williams, Roger, his writings, 113, 
note ; biographies of, ib.; char 
acter, 114; lands in Massachu 
setts, 115; his opinions, 121; 
dispute with Cotton, 122, 124; 
banished from Massachusetts, 
123; his mission to the Nana- 
garisetts, 167; views about the 
Indians, 178; settles at Seekonk, 
180; goes to England in 1643, 
268; returns with the charter, 
269- goes to England in 1651, 
315; his letter about civil order, 
317; Governor of Rhode Island 
in 1657, 319. 

Francis, 207. 

Wilson, John, 128, 222 

Wincob, John, 43. 

Windsor, settlement of, 159. 

Winslow, Edward, 67; his writ 
ings, 12, note, 220, note ; his 
mission to England in 1634, 120; 
imprisoned, 121; Governor of 
Plymouth., 250; mission to Eng 
land in 1646, 279, 284. 

Winthrop, John, of Massachusetts, 
his Life by Mr. Robert C. Win 
throp, 82, note ; appointed Gov 
ernor of Massachusetts, 98; his 
dispute with Dudley, 106; his 
further dispute, 128 ; his view 
of the Antinomian question, 
133, 140; his history, 82, note ; 
"Model of Christian Charity," 
TOO; pamphlet on the veto, 257; 
speech on government, 265; 
death, 294; character, 98, 294-6. 
of Connecticut, 157, 250. 

Winton, John, 218. 

Wiscongus, 323. 

Wituwamat. an Indian, 75. 

Wollaston, Captain, 78. 

" Wonder-working Providence," 
see Johnson. 

Wood, William, 82, note. 

WENNYCOCK, see Southold. 
JL York, see Agamenticus. 

Young, Mr., "Chronicles of Ply 
mouth," 12, note; "Chronicles 
of Massachusetts/ 82, note. 




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