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J. A. DOYLE, M.A. 






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Copyright, 1907, 


Published January, 1Q07 





Characteristics of the new epoch .... 
/-Hostility to France creates the need for colonial unity 
/Unity arising out of administrative conditions 

Material condition of the colonies 

Maine ..... 

New Hampshire 


Outward appearance of Boston 

Social life at Boston 

Amusements .... 

Economical development of New England 

Expenditure on public purposes 

Relations between town and country 

The town meeting . 

The smaller towns . 

Agriculture . ■. . 

Journey from Boston to Newport 

Rhode Island .... 

Connecticut .... 

Attempts at textile manufacture in New England 

Population of New England 

Long Island .... 

The middle colonies 

Nationalities in New York 

Aspect of New York city 

Commerce of New York 

Social and industrial life 

Village communities 

The Hudson .... 

New Jersey .... 

Philadelphia .... 

Population of the Middle colonies 

Character of the Southern colonies 








32 • 




Want of towns ..... 

Differences between Maryland and Virginia 
Slavery ....... 

Population ...... 

Colonel William Byrd .... 

North Carolina 

South Carolina 

Population of the whole body of colonies 
No sense of unity ..... 
Obstacles to union ..... 
Livingstone's scheme of three provinces 

Boundary disputes 

Dispute between Massachusetts and Connecticut 

James II. 's grants ..... 

Dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania 

Effect of James II.'s poiicy 

Commercial disputes between Virginia and the 

Differences of currency .... 

Military dangers of disunion 

Virginia and North Carolina . 

Virginia and South Carolina 

Difficulties about piracy .... 

Schemes for colonial union 

Improved communication 





General character of the subject 

Distribution of political forces 

Need of a colonial department 

The colonial agent . 

Subjects of dispute 

Fees and salaries 

Fees in Maryland 

In North Carolina . 

Dispute about Governor's salary 

Appointment of Burnet 

Dispute about a fixed salary 

Anticipation of the Stamp Act dispute 

Disputes about appointment of Attorney-General 

Death of Burnet ...... 

Appointment of Belcher 

Dispute continues 

in Massachusetts 




Action of town meeting 96 

Importance of dispute ..... 


Disputes over Governor's salary in New York 

• 97 

Dispute over paper money .... 

• 98 

Lack of specie ...... 

• 98 

Evils of paper money ..... 

• 99 

Paper money in New Hampshire 

. 100 

Paper money in Massachusetts 


Action of Shute ...... 

. 102 

Deplorable state of finances .... 


Action of Belcher 

. 104 

Scheme for a land bank ..... 


Paper money in New Jersey .... 

• 105 

Absence of paper money in New York and Virginia 


. 108 

Paper money in North Carolina 

. 108 

In Maryland 


In Pennsylvania 

. no 

In Rhode Island ...... 

. 112 

Action of Parliament ..... 


Restrictions on trade ..... 


The Navigation Acts ..... 


The Molasses Act 




Nicholson's report ...... 


Other evidence ...... 


Restrictions on productive industry 


Colonial Governors ..... 


Appointment of judges ..... 


Bradley's report 


Cosby in New York 


The Zenger trial 


Parties in New Jersey ..... 


Territorial disputes ..... 


Anarchy in New Jersey ..... 


Disaffection in Pennsylvania .... 


In North Carolina ...... 


Dispute about electoral districts .... 


Johnstone's difficulties 


Quarrel between the counties 


The dispute about electoral districts renewed . 


Memorandum presented by Stanhope 


Views of the Board of Trade in 1721 


Bladen's proposals ....... 


Keith's discourse ...... 


Clinton on a Stamp Act . . . 






General character of progress made 

Increase of population 

Economical condition of Massachusetts . 

The other New England colonies .... 

New York 

Economical and social condition of the Southern colonies 
Charlestown ........ 

Production of rice and indigo .... 

Roads in the south 

Extension westward ...... 

Irish Presbyterians in Virginia .... 

Westward extension in South Carolina 

The cowpens ........ 




Religion in New England during the seventeenth century 

In the Middle and Southern colonies 

Change from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century 

Change in the position of Massachusetts and Connecticut 

Foundation of Yale College 

Ecclesiastical changes in Connecticut 

Episcopalians in Connecticut . 

The Saybrook platform .... 

Secession from Independency to Episcopacy 

Concurrent endowment .... 

Narrow attitude of Episcopalians 

Episcopalians in Massachusetts 

The Harvard dispute .... 

Concession to Episcopalians in Massachusetts 

Jonathan Edwards ..... 

Whitefield in America .... 

Dispute with Garden .... 

Whitefield in the Middle colonies 

In Massachusetts 

In Connecticut ..... 

Gilbert Tennant 

James Davenport 

Repressive measures in Connecticut 



Attitude of the authorities at Yale College 

Davenport excluded from the churches in Massachusetts 

The "New Lights" and their opponents . 

Whitefield and his followers opposed to learning 

Episcopacy profits by the movement 

Religion in New York 

Talbot and Welton in New Jersey 

Episcopalianism in New Jersey 

The Church and the Welsh settlers 

Religious condition of Maryland and Virginia 

Difficulties about stipend in Maryland 

In Virginia ..... 

State of religion in North Carolina . 

The Church in South Carolina 

Influence of Whitefield in Virginia 

Progress of Nonconformity in Virginia 

Samuel Davies' letter to the Bishop of London 

Lack of anyVcentral system of Anglican Church government 

Episcopal jurisdiction in the colonies 

Opposition to an episcopate in the colonies 

Seeker's sermon ..... 

Opposition by the Whig Ministry 

Bishop Butler ...... 

Attitude of Sherlock .... 





Change from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century 
New England ....... 

The New York writers ..... 

Cadwallader Colden 

The Virginian writers, Beverley and Stith 

Thomas Godfrey 

Colonial journalism ..... 

The Boston newspapers ..... 
Battle between the government and the C our ant 
Benjamin Franklin and the Courant 
Journalism in other colonies 
The magazine in the colonies . 
The Almanac .... 
Natural science in the colonies 
Education in New England 



Harvard and Yale 

Influence of the New England colleges 
Ezra Stiles ...... 

Scheme for a college in Maryland 
Colleges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania 



Slavery in the colonies .... 

Legislation about the negro in New England 

The negro in New York . 

The negro terror of 1741 

The negro in Pennsylvania 

The negro in New Jersey 

The negro in the Southern States 

The negro in Virginia 

Increase of sense of race distinction 

The negro in North Carolina . 

The negro in South Carolina . 

Negro insurrection .... 

Sexual relations between white and black 

Moral aspect of slavery 

Neau's negro school 

Negro conversions in the South 

Bishop Gibson's letters 

Import duty on negroes in South Carolina 

Postlethwayte's pamphlet 

The settlers and the Indians 

Changes among the Indian tribes 

Relations of New England to the Indians 

The Iroquois and the English . 

New England and the French Indians 

Sebastian Rasle .... 

Conference at Georgetown 

Protestant mission .... 

French intrigues with Indians . 

Massachusetts and the Indians 

Dispute between the Governor and the Assembly 

Second conference at Georgetown 

Policy of Vaudreuil 

Expedition against Norridgewock 

Further dispute between Shute and the Assembly 



Reception of Iroquois chiefs at Boston 

Shute's departure 

Destruction of Norridgewock . 

Death of Rasle 

Embassy from Boston to Canada 

Further trouble with Indians 

Lovewell's fight 

The Middle colonies and the Indians 

Importance of New York on the Indian question 

English and French trade with the Indians 

Merchants' petition in 1722 

Report of the New York Council 

Colden's memorial ...... 

Burnet's Indian policy .... 

French retaliation 

Burnet's difficulties with the Assembly 
Reversal of Burnet's policy 
Pennsylvania and the Indians . 
Keith and the Indians .... 

Gordon and the Indians .... 

John Penn ...... 

Thomas and the Indians 

The conference of 1742 .... 

The conference of 1743 .... 

Spotswood's dealings with the Indians 
Dealings of Virginia with the Five Nations 
Sir Alexander Cuming .... 

General attitude of the colonists to the Indians 
Lack of missionary zeal .... 

The Moravian mission .... 







Influence of religious persecution 

Welsh emigration into Pennsylvania and Delaware 

Welsh in South Carolina 

Celtic Irish to the colonies 

Migration from Ulster 

Ulster settlers in New England 

In the Middle colonies 

Quakers in Ireland 

Quaker emigration from Ireland 





Migration of Ulster Presbyterians 

Economical causes for emigration from Ulster 

Movements from Pennsylvania to the south-west 

Scotch settlers 

Huguenots in the colonies 

Germans in the Southern colonies 

Swiss in South Carolina 

Germans in Pennsylvania 



The original conception of British colonization 

Contrast between the ideal and the real 

The settlement of Georgia 

James Oglethorpe 

His colonial policy 

Sir Robert Montgomery's project 

Inception of Oglethorpe's scheme 

Special interest of the history of Georgia 

Details of the scheme 

Selection of emigrants 

Arrival of the colonists 

Settlement at Savannah . 

Prosperous beginnings 

Dealings with the natives 

Oglethorpe visits Charlestown 

Provision for the defense of Georgia 

Introduction of the Salzburgers 

Oglethorpe returns to England 

The Highlanders in Georgia 

Extension of the colony . 

Organization of the colony 

Discontent among the settlers . 

The Wesleys in Georgia 

The Salzburgers discontented 

Danger of Spanish invasion 

Difficulties with the Indians 

Oglethorpe's measures of defense 

Threatening attitude of the Spaniards 

A Spanish embassy at Frederica 

Difficulties with the Carolina traders 

Measures for the defense of Georgia 



Changes in the regulations 

Demand for negroes 

John Wesley ..... 

Spanish intrigues .... 

Economical and administrative difficulties 

Dismissal of Causton 

The soldiers mutiny 

Dealings with the Indians 

Measures of defense against the Spaniards 

Negotiations with South Carolina 

Oglethorpe attacks the Spaniards 

Further negotiations with South Carolina 

Invasion of Florida 

Causes of Oglethorpe's failure 

Discontent at Savannah . 

Attacks on Oglethorpe 

Whitefield in Georgia 

The orphanage .... 

Whitefield advocates negro slavery . 

Difference between French and Spanish aggression 

The southern Indians and the Five Nations 

Oglethorpe and the Home Government 

Oglethorpe's military policy 

The Spanish invasion 

The Spanish defeat 

Oglethorpe's counter-attack 

Supineness of the British Government 

Oglethorpe's financial difficulties 

His work as a whole 

Introduction of slavery 

Thomas Bosomworth 

The new constitution 

John Reynolds and his successors 





How far it forms a part of colonial history 

Part taken by the colonists 

The Spanish war of 1740 

Action of Pennsylvania . 

Scheme for an attack on Louisburg 

Governor Shirley .... 




\ The Assembly consulted . 

Attack decided on 

Preparations for attack 

The command given to Pepperell 
*» Naval help from England 

The landing .... 

Capture of the Vigilant 

Feeble resistance by the garrison 

The surrender 
'"General effect of the conquest . 

Louisburg restored to France . 

Attack on Acadia thwarted 

Warlike policy of Clarke and Clinton 

Projected invasion of Canada 
% Dilatory policy of the British Government 
n Clinton thwarted by the people of New York 

French naval attack expected . 

Deaths of Danville and Destournel 

Impressment of seamen at Boston 

The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle 

Struggle for the Ohio valley 

William Johnson 

Change of attitude of the English colonies 


Maryland .... 

Virginia .... 

Governor Dinwiddie 

Washington's first mission 

The Ohio Company 

Supineness of Pennsylvania 

Washington reaches Fort le Boeuf 

Dinwiddie and the pistole fee . 

Dinwiddie's military policy 

Fight at Great Meadows . 

Camp at Great Meadows 

The camp attacked by the French 

Washington surrenders 

Effect on the Indians 

Prompt action by Dinwiddie 

The Albany conference 

Franklin's scheme for colonial union 

Scheme of the British Government 

Dinwiddie endeavors to secure joint action 

Action of Pennsylvania .... 

Governor Glen 




Shirley's letters 444 

General Braddock 


Council of war at Alexandria .... 

. 446 

British forces insufficient .... 


Braddock's advance 


The French and the Indians .... 


The battle 


Consequences of defeat ..... 


How far blame attached to Braddock 


Dinwiddie's energy 


Dunbar's retreat ...... 


Washington's conduct ..... 


Factious attitude of the Pennsylvanian Assembly 


Obstinacy of the Assembly .... 


Franklin's pamphlet 


Operations on the New York frontier 


Battle of Lake George 


Results of the battle 


Eviction of the Acadians .... 


Shirley's plans for 1756 


Militia law in Pennsylvania .... 


The Dagworthy dispute ..... 


War declared 


The campaign of 1756 ..... 


Relief of Oswego ...... 


Fall of Oswego ...... 


Precedence of regular over colonial officers 


Rogers and the American irregulars 


Dispute in Pennsylvania about a money grant . 


Pennsylvania and the embargo 


The billeting question ..... 


Fall of Fort William Henry .... 

. 470 

The massacre ...... 


Feeling between colonists and British 


Lord Howe ....... 


His death 


British defeat at Ticonderoga .... 

• 474 

Colonial successes ...... 

• 475 

Capture of Louisburg ..... 

• 475 

Forbes in the west 

• 477 

Dispute with Washington .... 


Forbes and the Indians 


Christian Post ...... 


Capture of Quebec 

. 480 



Appendix I. (p. 23). The population of the colonies . . 483 

Appendix II. (p. 138) 485 

Appendix III. (p. 183). Whitefield and Garden . . .485 
Appendix IV. (p. 299). Sir Alexander Cuming . -485 

Appendix V. (p. 385). Attitude of the Highlanders in Georgia 

towards slavery 486 

Appendix VI. (p. 406). Numbers of provincials and regulars 

respectively employed against Canada 486 

Index 489 

To illustrate the War with France . . .To face title page 




As was said at the end of the work which precedes this, the 
accession of George I. forms a convenient landmark in colonial 
Character- history. The more closely one studies history the 
ihe^new more fully is the conviction borne in on one that all 
-epoch. i divisions into epochs and the like have in their na- 
ture something arbitrary. Communities do not undergo sudden 
changes any more than individuals do. As soon as minute in- 
quiry begins, vestiges of the past, anticipations of the future, 
meet one at every turn. Yet with the community, as with the 
individual, the predominance of certain leading characteristics 
at successive stages of growth gives enough distinctness to serve 
as a basis for a convenient, though not a scientific, arrangement 
of facts. Speaking roughly, we may say that for the whole 
body of English-speaking colonies on the Atlantic the end of the 
seventeenth century was the point at which the era of forma- 
tion ended and the era of fruition and repose began. 

Those colonies, which had been invested with forms repre- 
senting the views and wishes of individual thinkers, 2 in the main 
had worked themselves free from the limitations of their origin, 
and had, in true English fashion, shaped for themselves con- 
ditions not without compromise, at times illogical and defiant 
of system, yet in practical conformity with the needs of the 

1 The material for this chapter is so scattered that it is impossible to give 
a comprehensive summary of it. As will be seen, I have relied largely on the 
various collections of printed records. On its own subject Mr. Weeden's 
Economical and Social History of New England is a most valuable guide. 

8 E.g. Maryland and Pennsylvania. 

. .. 1 


community. Each colony had been, half through conscious imi- 
tation, half through instinct, putting on the recognized political 
forms of the parent country, each had in the process been ac- 
quiring a vague and imperfect sense of sisterhood. 

There was another change which had its root in the Revolu- 
tion of 1688, but which only made its full force felt as the 
Hostility eighteenth century advanced. Hostility between 
creates the England and France had become a fixed and abiding 
colonial condition in the political situation. The danger no 
unity. longer lay in isolated bands of marauding savages, in 

the pay of some exceptionally enterprising French Governor. 
More and more, as the eighteenth century advanced, did it be- 
come clear that it was a case of internecine strife, that the inevi- 
table necessity for expansion made it impossible for England and 
France to coexist in North America as equal Powers. And thus,, 
avoid it as they would, the problem of combined resistance was 
forced upon the colonists. It is hardly too much to say that the 
need under which every colonial Governor lay, for calling forth 
and organizing the resources of his colony for common defense, 
gave to colonial administration its one thread of unity. 

The creation of these two conditions — similarity of political 
machinery, unity of political purpose — brings with it a marked 
Unity change in the character of colonial history. During- 

arising out ° . ... 

ofadminis- the seventeenth century the main interest lies in the 
conditions, internal history of each colony, the influences in all 
cases of industrial conditions, in most cases of religion — 
in one case, that of New York, of race — in developing 
special modes of life and types of character. Such men 
as Williams, Winthrop, and Penn not only interest us as 
offering problems in character, they concern us both as creating 
and embodying the tendencies of the communities to which they 
belonged. But in the eighteenth century the main interest is 
not internal but external. External pressure, exercised by the 
mother country, becomes the main factor in colonial history, 
and is met in some cases by persistent and unintelligent resist- 
ance, in other cases by co-operation, occasionally strenuous, more 
often carefully qualified and fenced in by conditions. 

The result is an entire and important change in our point of 
view. Henceforth we can regard the colonies as an organic 
whole forming part of one administrative system. It is true 


that this view needs much modification when we apply it in 
practice. The unity which the attitude of the mother country 
was forcing upon the colonies was but inchoate, and had but a 
potential existence. It was a unity imperfectly perceived and 
little desired by the colonies themselves. Pre-existent con- 
ditions of diversity are still perpetually asserting themselves. 
These diversities not only affect the internal life of each colony. 
They also affect the administrative relations of the mother 
country to her American dependencies. In some matters w,e 
can deal with the colonies collectively or at least in groups. But 
when we come to administrative disputes we still have to keep 
the separate threads of colonial history distinct, fhe political 
history of the colonies may be largely dealt with as made up of 
successive administrative episodes, most of them conflicts, with a 
common origin ol principle, between the representatives of local 
interests and the central authority. 

Those conflicts turned largely on material issues. It may be 
well, therefore, at the outset to have before one a clear view of 
Material the external framework in which the life of the colo- 
condition n - es was set> L et us p j cture t0 ourselves the suc- 
coionies. cessive scenes which would have come before a 
traveler who in or about 1720 was making his way from the 
northern extremity of Maine to the further boundary of South 

Along the coast of Maine he would be constantly confronted 
with the traces of Indian devastation in the remains of empty 
houses. At Pemaquid and Penobscot he would find 
garrisoned forts, but nothing in the nature of town or 
village. The chief visible signs of industry or of civil occupation 
were the sawmills along the various streams. At Scarboro', 
Biddeford, and Berwick the traveler would find something like 
real townships, each with a church. At Wells, York, and Kit- 
tery he would also find villages, but with only precarious and 
intermittent provision for worship. 1 

In crossing the border which separated Maine from New 
Hampshire there would be at once revealed a great change alike 
New in natural conditions and social life. From a wil- 

shire. derness of rock and pine-wood, the traveler would pass 

1 Sullivan's History of Maine. 


into a fertile, well-watered country, yielding corn and cattle be- 
yond the wants of its own sparse population. At Portsmouth 
he would for the first time see a real town, where prosperous 
merchants lived in spacious houses and gave "splendid treats" to 
their guests. 1 

The peculiar formation of the country had indeed a some- 
what cramping effect on its trade. New Hampshire has a 
wedge-shaped territory with its narrow end on the Atlantic, 
and thus the seaboard was small in proportion to the whole 
province. For most of the inland districts Boston was more 
accessible than Portsmouth, and thus the cattTr~and corn ex- 
ported were for the most part transported overland through 
Massachusetts. The timber trade, however, with a little ad- 
dition of fishing and cattle rearing, was enough to give full em- 
ployment to the merchant shipping of the colony. New Hamp- 
shire vessels plied a circular trade, carrying timber, fish, fish-oil, 
and cattle to the British West Indies, and then carrying a cargo 
of sugar, either to England or to the southern colonies, and in 
the latter case taking back corn, rice, and pork to be sold in 
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. 2 Ship-building, too, was a 
staple industry. Vessels built in New Hampshire dockyards 
were loaded with timber and sent to England, where ship and 
cargo both were sold. The anxiety of the settlers to sell their 
ship timber in foreign markets, especially in Spain, and the de- 
termination of British officials to secure it for the royal navy, 
was, as we shall hereafter see, a frequent source of dispute. 3 
Over this otherwise prosperous community there always hung 
one dark cloud. The inhabitants of every inland farmstead 
might at any moment find themselves suddenly awakened by the 
Indian war-whoop. 4 The diary of Timothy Walker, the min- 
ister of Concord, brings into full relief this tragic aspect of colo- 
nial life. 5 Three recurrent topics occupy nearly the whole of 

1 Weeden (p. 540) quotes this from a manuscript in the possession of the 
American Antiquarian Society. It is written by Robert Hale, of Massachusetts, 
and describes his visit to Portsmouth in 1731. 

2 Weeden, p. 766. 

3 Palfrey, vol. iv. p. 352. 

4 The journal of John Pike, published in the collection of the New Hampshire 
Historical Society, vol. iii., is almost wholly a record of Indian outrages and 

5 This diary is published in the ninth volume of the New Hampshire 


its pages. He records his every-day ministerial duties and his 
agricultural work, the felling and hauling of timber, the fencing 
of fields and the killing of cattle. There are interspersed such 
entries as "Richard Blanchard scalped"; "Benj. Blanchard of 
Canterbury was scalped by Indians"; "Bishop captured by the 
Indians. John Bradley and als were killed by the Indians and 
the like." 1 

The traveler could pass from New Hampshire into Massa- 
chusetts either by a ferry at the mouth of the Piscataqua or by 
Massa- one °f various bridle-roads crossing the river by fords 

chusetts. further inland. 2 In the externals of life, or the 
character of the houses and the tillage, no marked difference 
would strike the traveler in his passage from New Hampshire 
to Massachusetts. Yet evidence would soon be forthcoming 
to show that he had passed into a region where life was more 
progressive, more luxurious, and better organizeaT From bridle- 
tracks, just passable for a wagon and team of oxen, he could 
come to roads probably as good as those which he would have 
found in the more backward parts of England. Once across 
the Charles River, which as yet had to be crossed by a ford or a 
ferryboat, he might meet a rough wheel carriage, the property 
of a prosperous Boston merchant. 3 

At Boston itself he would be at once brought face to face with 
outward a life of great and increasing material prosperity, and 
of Boston, of vigorous though still somewhat narrow intel- 
lectual activity. 

In few towns has the hand of man wrought so complete a 
transformation in outward appearance. It is hardly too much 
to say that the two special features which would have impressed 
a visitor upon his first view of the town in 1700 are now gone. 
The town was then approached by a neck narrow enough to be 
closed by a horse-gate and a foot-gate. This peninsular charac- 
ter was gradually destroyed, first by the throwing out of wharves 
at right angles to the neck, then more completely by the filling 
in of the intermediate spaces. This was done by taking away 

1 I am at a loss to know what "als" stands for. 

2 Drake, in his History of Boston, says that there was no bridge over the 
Charles River before 1720. 

3 Sewell records in his diary for January 1699 that he took his family for 
an excursion in a coach. In 1728 a carriage was let out for hire. Weeden, 
p. 508. 


soil from the higher ground and thus greatly lessening the hilly 
character and the originally bold outline of the town itself. 
The ground occupied by the buildings was a promontory some 
two miles in length and about half a mile in width. In shape 
it conformed to the windings of the shore and the rise and fall 
of the ground. Lengthwise it was intersected by one main 
street, crossed at right angles by four shorter ones. Of the 
houses, a few of the best were of stone, some, about one in four, 
of brick, the majority of wood, with either stone or brick chim- 
neys. The one building which dominated the town and served 
as a visible center was the town-hall, a two-story brick building, 
open and arcaded below. 1 It replaced a building, similar in 
plan, which just a few of the original settlers had lived long 
enough to see and which was destroyed by fire in 171 1. 2 There 
was as yet no public market. That came into existence in 
I733- 3 The restrictions on trade which accompanied it show 
that it was designed not only as a conveniejirp for» buyers and 
sellers, but also as giving the community more effective control 
over the doings of individuals. All goods, save a few of the 
smaller necessaries of life, must be bought in the market, not 
in private houses. In the true spirit of mediaeval economy, no 
person might "engross" goods in the market with a view to re- 
tailing them. 

The proposal for a market was considered in a town meeting 
of over eight hundred, and only carried by twenty-five votes. 
We may reasonably suppose this opposition was due not to indif- 
ference to a scheme so evidently convenient in itself, but to dis- 
like of the restraint on private dealing. 

The market was to be held in three separate places. This was 
probably intended to suit the convenience of different parts of 
the town, and also necessitated by the difficulty of finding any 
site at once central and spacious enough. 

The peninsular position of the town had not as yet brought 
with it any inconvenient compression. In some parts, indeed, 
houses were crowded together, as they can scarcely fail to be in 

1 This was burnt in 1747 (Holmes's Annals, vol. ii. p. 176). Holmes 
describes it as a spacious and handsome edifice, but otherwise we have no 
account of it. 

2 For a description of this building see Dunton, p. 68. Sewell records the 
burning of it October 2, 171 1. 

8 For the market see the Town Records. 


a seaport town with a stirring business, where certain situations 
have obvious advantages. But the town was well furnished 
with lungs. The open common, where in the days of Winthrop 
and Dudley the town cattle had grazed, was now a lounge for a 
leisurely class with tastes and habits undreamt of a century 
earlier. 1 Gardens and orchards adjoining the town, and break- 
ing the line of its outer buildings, give an air of space and free- 
dom which Boston retained till late into the nineteenth cen- 
tury 2 through years of increasing prosperity. 

That men, not walls, make a city is specially true of the life 
of a young community, strenuous, fast-growing, and self-con- 
sociai life scious. Of the life of those who occupied the houses 
of Boston. f Boston it is not difficult to form a distinct and 
fairly complete picture. That life was limited enough to be 
capable of survey and description ; it was definite, and to the eye 
of an outside observer peculiar enough to be impressive. The 
interests of the colonists themselves were not so diffused, nor 
their progress so much a matter of custom and routine as to 
prevent them from observing, and recording with eagerness and 
often self-complacency, the rapid development of their social 
and industrial life. Thus travels, journals, letters, biographies, 
as well as formal records, furnish us with abundant material 
wherewith to reconstruct that New England life of the 
eighteenth century of which Boston was the commerical and 
intellectual center. 

That life differed widely from what it replaced. New Eng- 
land at the outset was a section of English life cut out from the 
main body, narrow and intense in itself, made yet narrower and 
more intense by separation and transplantation. The indwell- 
ing spirit which gave to it peculiar force became of necessity 
spent. It must never be forgotten that English Puritanism was 
in a measure the product of those very influences which it form- 
ally repudiated. The exuberant life of the English Renaissance 
made itself felt even in those who outwardly denounced it. 
Winthrop and Bradford and their fellows were in some sort 
the offspring and heirs of Shakespeare and Spenser and Bacon, 
though they might ignore the kinship and repudiate the debt. 

1 "The gallants a little before sunset walk with their marmalade Madams 
as we do in Moorfields." Dunton, p. 69; cf. Winsor's Boston, vol. i. p. 
452. 2 Dunton, p. 68. 


In the atmosphere of colonial life those guiding lights grew 
dim. In the more serious branches of thought New England 
had to rely on home-made culture. The creeds and the habits 
of thought bequeathed to her by her founders had not elasticity 
enough to keep up their contact with the changing life of the 
mother country. Nor was that life itself one from which they 
could draw much strengthening or spiritualizing influence* 
From the Revolution till the opening of the duel with Napo- 
leon, the greatness of England was unconscious and inarticulate* 
Her professed thinkers and moralists touched but the fringe of 
life. She was really sustained by the memory of a great past, 
and by lofty aims definitely embodying themselves in act. Her 
teachers were Pitt and Wolfe and Clive. Those influences 
could not make themselves felt beyond the Atlantic. British 
rulers made no effort to give the colonists an interest in a life 
of which they themselves seldom saw the real meaning and 

In another important point New England thought was 
affected by the change which had come over the mind, not only 
of England but of Europe. The early New Englander was in 
his own eyes one of a garrison holding a citadel, in which were 
treasured up those theological dogmas and those moral prin- 
ciples on which rested every hope for the regeneration of man- 
kind. By the beginning of the eighteenth century Calvinism 
and the moral code which Calvinism brought with it are no 
longer in the eyes of its enemies a seriously disruptive and de- 
stroying force, nor in the eyes of their supporters the one saving 
power. There was no longer any need to keep the armor ready 
and the loins girt; the battle was over: one might rather say 
that to the descendants and representatives of the combatants the 
very existence of the battle was a dim and unreal tradition. 

There were no doubt below the surface influences which kept 
alive a vigorous national spirit, and which owed much to those 
who had founded New England. But we cannot doubt that if 
one of those founders had returned to earth, gifted with no more 
than ordinary human powers of foresight, he would have seen in 
the Boston of 1720 a cemetery of dead ideals. 

Politics apart, the life of Boston in the eighteenth century was 
a decorous, intelligent, rather commonplace reproduction of the 
life of an English country town. It impressed observers, as its 


memory charms a later generation, chiefly through the con- 
trasts offered by a rather conventional life of wealth, comfort, 
and decorous luxury set with picturesque quaintness amid the 
surroundings of a newly discovered and imperfectly explored 
country. If the spiritual and mental life of Boston lacked depth 
and originality, there were at least abundant proofs of intel- 
lectual activity and of the diffusion of literary interests and 
scholarly tastes. Booksellers' shops were numerous. But their 
shelves were filled not with the patriotic chronicles and con- 
troversial pamphlets which made up the literature of New Eng- 
land in the days of Winthrop and Dudley, but much such a col- 
lection of literature as might have been supplied in an English 
country town by a bookseller catering for sober Nonconformist 
customers, with a slight dash of mundane interest and fashion- 
able tastes. Diffusion of knowledge and of literary interest had 
superseded productive originality and depth and extent of study. 1 

On every side the observer would see about him the marks of 
stirring commerce, the fruits of accumulated wealth, and the 
visible activity whereby that wealth was in process of creation. 
Hardly a week-day would pass without a merchant vessel clear- 
ing from the harbor of Boston, 2 hardly a week in which three 
new-built vessels were not launched from some port on the 
Massachusetts seaboard. 3 

That the seafaring trade of Massachusetts should increase 
continuously and rapidly was a natural result not only of eco- 
nomical, but also of social conditions. The business of money- 
making had few serious rivals. None of the learned professions 
offered great prizes. Literature and the study of theology no 
longer held out any strong temptations to the ambitious. There 
were few distractions, few vents for superfluous wealth. There 
was no scope for the patronage of art or letters. The com- 
munity had not, yet passed into that rather artificial state when 
field sports have changed from a needful toil into a pastime, in- 
volving elaborate preparation and costly accessories. We read 
indeed of deer parks and a close time for deer in Connecticut, 4 

1 The Inventory of Michael Perry, a leading bookseller in Boston in 1700, 
is published as an appendix to Dunton's letters. 

2 In 1714 the clearances from Boston were estimated at four hundred and 
fifteen. Board of Trade Report, N. Y. Documents, vol. v. p. 618. 

8 lb. p. 598. Both these authorities are quoted by Mr. Weeden. 
4 Conn. Rec. 1730, p. 268; 1744, p. 68. 


but it is probable that those who owned them thought chiefly of 
the value of the flesh as food and of the skins as merchandise. 

The costliness and scarcity of labor dammed up this and other 
methods of unproductive expenditure. Orchards were plenti- 
ful, 1 but the taste for horticulture and for ornamental forestry, 
so strong in Elizabethan England, disappears. We hear noth- 
ing of the flower garden as one of the embellishments of life. 

The town records of Boston reveal occasional attempts, almost 
always unsuccessful, to introduce some of the lighter diversions of 
life. In 1 7 12 a conjuror who had given an entertainment with- 
out leave was forbidden to repeat his performance. 2 Three years 
later the Selectmen instruct the Representatives to procure an 
Act prohibiting stage plays as likely to corrupt youth. They 
also report to the magistrates two persons who had kept a danc- 
ing school and a music school. 3 Twenty years later dancing 
was allowed to slide in by being coupled with such useful attain- 
ments as reading, writing, ciphering, and the use of the needle. 4 
Two years later another teacher was allowed to extend this cur- 
riculum by the somewhat frivolous addition of painting on glass. 5 
But an exhibition of rope-dancing was prohibited as "likely to 
promote idleness and great mispence of time." 8 The would-be 
performer repeated his petition, and rather oddly tried to better 
his case by including tumbling and posturing with swords. If 
lie hoped by the latter addition to appeal to any memories of 
Standish or Underhill, he failed. 7 The only trace we find of 
any tendency towards athletic sports is a prohibition by the town 
meeting, more than once repeated, of football in the streets of 
Boston. 8 This at least shows that there were some who wished 
to play football. Whether they gratified that wish in some 
more suitable place does not appear. A notice issued by the 
Selectmen in 1726, summoning a meeting of townsmen to put 
down gaming in the streets, suggests a certain relaxation of 
morals. 9 

1 "They run mightily into orchardry." MS. quoted in the Memorial History 
of Boston, vol. i. p. 465. 

'Proceedings of Selectmen, 1701-15, p. 172. * lb. pp. 236, 239. 

*Ib. 1716-31, p. 276. 

5 lb. 1736-42, p. 71. 

«/&. 1715-36, P- 259. »/&. p. 260. 

8 Town Records, 1677, p. 115; 1701, p. 12. 

* Records of Selectmen, 1726, p. 152. 


An "Assembly" was introduced somewhere about 1730. But 
we read that the ladies who attended it were looked on as "none 
of the nicest in respect of their reputation." Yet the paucity of 
diversions did not exempt the wives of Boston merchants from 
the attacks of provincial Steeles and Addisons. We read that 
they "visit, drink tea, and indulge every little piece of gentility 
to the height of the mode, and neglect the affairs of their families 
with as good a grace as the finest ladies in London." 1 

The Sabbatarianism of earlier days was still operative, since 
in 1727 we find an order of the town meeting for the purpose of 
Sabbata- checking the disturbance caused on Sunday by horses 
Boston. and carts crossing the creek. To this end the gates 
are to be shut on the evening preceding and following the Lord's 
Day, and only opened when necessary. 2 We may also take this 
as evidence of what is shown otherwise, the increase of com- 
munication between the capital of the colony and the outlying 
districts. This is confirmed by a resolution of the Selectmen in 
1738, which aimed at suppressing, or at least controlling, Sunday 
trade in corn, apples, and the like, between Boston and Rox- 
bury. The constables are to appoint a watch of eight to pre- 
vent unnecessary traveling and loitering. 3 

In a community where the enjoyments of life were thus cur- 
tailed and hemmed in, the wealthy Boston merchant soon ex- 
ca C i°devei- hausted his possibilities of extravagant or even lux- 
opment urious expenditure. He could build a fine house. 

of New- 

England. He could choose furniture made of costly foreign 
woods. He could cover his sideboard with valuable silver plate. 
He could import an English coach and horses. He and his 
family could dress expensively in imported stuffs. But the op- 
portunities of recurrent expenditure would be few, checked, as 
was said before, by the cost of labor and also by the spirit of 
Puritanism. But while enough of that survived to discourage 
ostentatious living, good cheer was not costly, thanks to the r e- 
sources of the country and to the facility for smuggling in 
French and Spanish wines. 

There was but little too of that automatic trade, as one may 
call it, which asks from the capitalist merely the conception of a 

1 Manuscript quoted in Winsor's Boston, vol. i. p. 452. 
a Town Records, Dec. 27, 1727, p. 213. 
•Minutes of Selectmen, Aug. 10, 1738, p. 128. 


general plan and intermittent supervision. In a country where 
intelligent labor is scarce, the man who would in England be a 
hard-working, fully trusted, and moderately paid subordinate, 
will be in business on his own account. Nor did the trade of 
New England admit of the application of large masses of capital 
to some one branch of production or distribution. There was 
no one staple export, ship timber excepted, of sufficient impor- 
tance to form by itself a large business. Thus the Boston mer- 
chant found himself catering for many wants, drawing his com- 
modities from many and different quarters, depending on a trade 
strangely complicated in proportion to its actual amount. A 
New England vessel would leave port with a cargo of corn,, 
pipe-staves, and tar. Some of these she would dispose of in New- 
foundland, taking in exchange salt fish. Then she would touch 
at several West India islands in succession, getting rid of her 
own goods, and taking on board molasses to be used for distilling 
rum. Possibly she would touch at Edenton and take on board 
a lading of North Carolina tar. 1 

Beside such voyages as this and the direct trade with the 
mother country, there was a trade, partly illicit, with France, 
Spain, and the Canaries. The extent to which the law was 
broken is a question which more fitly belongs to a later portion 
of our subject. 

Thus the qualities needed in the New England merchant were 
in some sort those of a retail dealer on a large scale. He had to 
understand the quality of many commodities, the needs of many 
customers, and the fluctuations of many markets. This co-oper- 
ated with the conditions of colonial life to beget and keep alive 
that versatility of power which has been so marked a characteris- 
tic of the American Englishman. 

There were other effects. Trade fortunes, such as they were, 
were built up slowly and visibly, not achieved at a stroke through 
the colossal and unseen efforts of great speculation. Accumu- 
lated capital was something which all men saw and could under- 
stand, not a mysterious and possibly maleficent power. 

Moreover, though the old religious fervor of Puritanism had 
well-nigh burnt itself out, that strong sense of civic unity, in 

1 Mr. Weeden (p. 584) gives an excellent account of such a voyage based 
on recorded legal proceedings. 


which New England, in all things else so un-Hellenic, had a 
touch of the old Greek spirit, had scarcely abated. Thus with 
Expendi- rnost of the paths of luxury blocked, with but little 
public temptation to that vanity which finds expression in 

purposes. fa foundation of a family, the New England mer- 
chant easily fell into a course which has been among the most 
precious and honorable traditions of his country. The build- 
ing in 1740 by Peter Faneuil, the chief merchant of Boston, of 
the public hall which bore his name, and which figured in so many 
stirring scenes of civic life, is only the most conspicuous of many 
recognitions of such public service as an undefined but manifest 
duty. 1 

Another like instance is the establishment in 1735 of a work- 
house, not by a rate but by public subscription. One hundred 
and twenty-two names appear in the list of contributors, in 
sums ranging from five pounds to a hundred. 2 

This workhouse was to supplement an earlier almshouse. In 
the records of the town meetings for 17 12 we find a committee 
reporting that the workhouse which was intended for the deserv- 
ing poor was long used for sturdy beggars, for whom a house of 
correction was better suited, and in the following year an order 
w T as made that the overseers of the poor should receive no one in 
the almshouse unless he was a legitimate object of charity. 3 

It is clear that during the first half of the eighteenth century 
there was a real danger lest the rapid material and intellectual 
Relations progress of Boston should create a gulf between the 
towTand urban life of the capital and the rural life of the rest 
country. f fa community. The records more than once dis- 
close a sense of jealousy and antagonism. In 1733 some of the 
adjacent towns ask to be set off as a separate county. 4 Their 
plea was based chiefly on considerations of convenience in legal 
procedure. It is "hindersome" to come to Boston, and the law 
business of the country districts is so special that the city courts 
are ill fitted to deal with it. A committee of the town meeting 
was appointed to consider the question, and reported strongly 
against separation, mainly on the ground that it involved un- 
necessary and costly increase of legal machinery. 

1 Winsor's Boston, vol. i. pp. 263, 463. 2 Boston Records, 1729-42, p. 180. 
3 lb. 1700, &c, pp. 101, 967. * Boston Town Records, 1739-42, p. 50. 


Two years later the question was again opened, this time not 
by the outlying districts, but by certain Boston merchants. 1 
Just as the countryman objected to his case being tried in a city 
court, so they objected to their cases being brought into a country 
court, ignorant of "charter partys and other affairs of trade." 
A committee was again appointed to deal with the question, and 
again it reported against change. 

To the arguments urged before, they added that "the As- 
semblies of the courts at Boston give men decent opportunities 
for friendly society, and unite us more in our affections." The 
argument as to the relative competence of different tribunals is 
disposed of by the plea that it is impossible to prevent litigants 
from choosing their own venue. 

Boston did not escape those inconveniences with which a 
wealthy capital is almost always threatened by the comparatively 
poor country districts. We find in the town records complaints 
of the incursion of poor people who contributed nothing to the 
prosperity of the town, and caused an increase in the expendi- 
ture on police and other public charges. 2 We are apt to think 
that old-established communities with their complex and arti- 
ficial life have a monopoly of the problems of pauperism and 
settlement. Massachusetts at the outset of the eighteenth cen- 
tury did not escape such difficulties. In this, too, we see a note- 
worthy instance of the manner in which the secular side of life 
was in New England overlying the religious. Admission to the 
community was still cautiously and jealously guarded. But as 
formerly the newcomer had to give guarantees for religious 
orthodoxy and moral correctness, so now he had to satisfy the 
town government that he would not, at some later time, become 
chargeable to the public. That this was no mere formality is 
shown by the repeated orders for exclusion. Thus we find 
orders of the Selectmen excluding a lame maid and a man with 
one hand, while a shipmaster who has brought four convicts 
from Bristol is ordered not to land them, but to transport them 
to Piscataqua. 3 

An entry in the Connecticut Records for 1729 curiously illus- 
trates the change from a religious to a secular qualification. A 

1 Boston Town Records, 1739-42, p. 116. * lb. 1729-42, p. 119. 

8 Proceedings of Selectmen, 1701-15, pp. 13, 61, 178; 1716-36, pp. 15, 86; 
I736-5S. P. 2\2. 


newcomer might be admitted to a township on any one of three- 
conditions. He must own either (i) a freehold of eighty 
pounds value, or (2) be rated at forty pounds on the common, 
list, or (3) be in full communion with the Church. 

The tendency which would naturally have existed for Boston 
to overwhelm the life of the country districts was kept in check 
by a provision which has had an important effect, both for good 
and evil, in American politics down to the present time. No 
man might sit in the Assembly as the representative of any town' 
other than that in which he lived. This system is denounced 
by a Governor of Massachusetts as "filling the Assembly with 
persons of small fortunes and mean education." 1 Yet we may 
well believe that this was more than counterbalanced in two* 
ways. The urban and commercial life of Boston was not suf- 
fered to enjoy an undue predominance. Even more important 
was it that the outlying rural districts should be kept in real 
and direct contact with the life of the capital. There was no- 
sharp and definite line of separation in tastes, thought, and habit 
between the townsman and the countryman. The sense of a 
common civic life and the familiarity with political organization 
which enables that sense to translate itself into action were the 
common possessions of the whole state, and the weapons to 
which, in the crisis of her fortunes, she mainly owed her victory. 

It is no paradox to say that the supremacy of Boston, which in 
one way endangered the corporate life of the community as a 
The town whole, in another way informed and developed it. 
meeting. Through a mere process of gradual and unconscious 
growth the town meeting of Boston acquired powers going far 
beyond the limits of municipal business as commonly recognized. 
Its strength was partly due to the fact that it suffered none of its 
powers to escape it by delegation. Either directly, or through 
the Selectmen acting as an executive committee, closely con- 
trolled and elected for short periods, the town meeting kept en- 
tirely in its own hands the control of such special questions as. 
poor laws and education. Thus it was never confronted with 
departments virtually and practically independent. Such a 
system may often have militated against efficiency, and even 
more against expedition in public business; it could only have 

1 Shute's Memorial, in which these views are expressed, is among the. 
Colonial Papers. 


been possible where civic spirit was deeply rooted and the sense 
of public responsibility strong. But it fashioned an instrument, 
as we shall see again and again, singularly versatile in its capaci- 
ties and wholly fearless in its assumption of new duties. Nor 
was it possible, in a community so homogeneous as Massachusetts 
yet was, that the use of these functions should be limited to the 
sphere to which they technically belonged. The town meeting 
of Boston became a power in the political life of the whole 

It is always difficult to say when a system which has grown up 
unconsciously and informally can be looked upon as having 
reached maturity. But we should probably not err in taking as 
a landmark the proceedings of 1728. In that year we find the 
town meeting of Boston presenting an address to the Represent- 
atives of the town in the Assembly, instructing them to oppose 
the vote of a permanent salary to the Governor. That proceed- 
ing was repeated in the following year, and is from that time on 
a definite feature in the political life of the colony. 

With the exception of Boston the visitor to Massachusetts 
would find no place bearing the visible imprint of active urban 
The life. Dunton described Dorchester and Roxbury as 

town of "beautiful with fair orchards and gardens, with 
chusetts. plenty of corn land and store of cattle." They were 
in fact collections of farmsteads, probably in outward appear- 
ance not unlike the large villages of southern Germany. A sys- 
tem of individual holdings was fast superseding that communal 
form of agriculture which had prevailed in the early days of New 
England. It is significant that when the township of Chester 
in New Hampshire was founded in 1720 it was organized on the 
system of communal land tenure, but that seventeen years later 
this was superseded, and a division made into individual hold- 
ings. 1 So, too, we find it enacted in Connecticut that five-sixths 
of the proprietors of a common field might carry out any im- 
provement that seemed good to them, subject to an appeal by the 
minority to the County Court. 2 Communal land tenure was 
well adapted for settlers applying themselves to the task of re- 
claiming the wilderness, and living in the midst of hardships 

1 N. Hampshire Historical Collections, vol. vii. p. 351. 

2 Connecticut Records, 1726-50, p. 239. 


and dangers only to be faced by mutual help ; it was sure to fail 
as soon as any possibility of skilled husbandry showed itself. 

To one imbued with the traditions of the Old World the 
farming of New England seemed deplorably slovenly and waste- 
Agri . ful. When the fertility of the soil was exhausted no 

culture. attempt was made to restore it by manuring, but 
fresh land was brought under tillage. Large roughly con- 
structed fences of dead wood at once wasted ground and timber. 
Critics who blamed these practices forgot the special conditions 
of a country where land was cheap and plentiful, labor dear and 
scarce. Trim fences of hedgerow timber and the high cultiva- 
tion which brings with it permanent improvement are out of 
place in a country where men are constantly emigrating, and 
farms are constantly changing their boundaries. 

Our traveler would make his southward journey under very 
different conditions from those which had obtained half a cen- 
joumey tury earlier. Among Lovelace's administrative im- 
BoSonto provements was the establishment of an official as 
the south, "post rider," traveling between Boston and New 
York. The messenger, however, only carried letters and did 
nothing to help passenger traffic. 1 But as early as 1721 another 
rider, seemingly as a private venture, went from Boston to New- 
port carrying goods, and escorting travelers, whom he also pro- 
vided with horses. 2 A bridge at Pawtuxet reached by a high- 
way from Boston connected Massachusetts with the continental 
portion of Rhode Island. We need not draw on imagination in 
order to reconstruct the journey of a traveler from Boston to 
New York. We have the fully recorded experiences of one 
Mrs. Knight, a quick-witted and observant Boston schoolmis- 
tress, affecting a fastidiousness which nevertheless did not prevent 
her from heartily enjoying the humorous side of her hardships 
and misadventures. 3 Lack of safe bridges and of decent inns are 
her chief complaints. At one place she can get nothing to drink 
but milk sweetened with molasses, at another no supper but pork 
and cabbage, the remnants of the day's dinner. The physical 
consequences of these meals are described in a detailed fashion 
which rather reminds one of Smollett. At a tavern in Rhode 
Island annoyance of a different kind awaits the traveler. She is 

1 The Middle Colonies, p. 136. 2 Weeden, p. 510. 

8 Mrs. Knight's journals, not published till 1825. 


kept awake half the night by the wranglings of certain rustic 
philologers, who on the other side of a thin partition are disput- 
ing as to the meaning and derivation of the name Narragansett. 

It is clear that we must discount Mrs. Knight's experiences, 
just as we must discount Captain Burt's account of the life of 
the Highlands. She was, like Burt, a Cockney, to whom every 
deviation from the ordinary routine of convention and comfort 
was a symptom of barbarism. A fastidious traveler used to 
London habits would probably have expostulated in much the 
same strain if he had found himself in some remote part of 
Cardiganshire in 1800. 

It is noteworthy, too, that Mrs. Knight throughout writes 
not as a New Englander but as a Bostonian. The outward 
material differences which severed Boston from the rural dis- 
tricts of New England were fully visible to her; that underly- 
ing unity, real though now obscure, which bound together the 
colonies of Puritan origin counted for little or nothing. 

Though in accepting Mrs. Knight's picture we must make 
some allowance for the rather crude coloring of a provincial 
Rhode satirist and for the fastidiousness of a provincial fine 

island. lady, yet it is clear from other evidence that the whole 

life of Rhode Island, alike visible and spiritual, was rougher, 
poorer, and less completely organized than that of Massachu- 
setts. The palmy days of Newport as a commercial seaport 
were at hand, but had hardly begun. Between 17 13 and 1741 
the number of vessels owned by residents in the town increased 
from twenty-nine to a hundred and twenty. 1 But in 1708 her 
business lay more in building ships than in manning and sailing 
them herself. 2 As the century advanced, the distilling of rum 
became an important business in Newport, 3 and the excellence 
of the pasture land of the colony enabled it to supply Boston 
with better cheese than could be made in Massachusetts. 4 

1 These are the figures given in the reports of Governor Cranston and 
Governor Ward, referred to by Mr. Arnold, vol. ii. p. 35. The reports are 
to be found in extenso in the Rhode Island Records, vol. iv. pp. 55-60, 
pp. 8, 14. 

2 See a report in the Rhode Island Records, vol. iv. pp. 53-60. This states, 
that of ninety-seven vessels built in eight years sixty-eight had been sold 
out of the colony. Probably many went to Boston. 

3 The opposition to the Molasses Act, to which I shall revert, came mainly 
from Newport. 

4 Weeden, p. 582. 


In Rhode Island, as in Massachusetts, an attempt was made to 
foster the production of linen. In 1722 one William Borden 
was promised by the legislature a bounty for every bolt of hemp 
that he should spin "equal to good Holland Duck." 1 Ap- 
parently the encouragement did not have the desired effect, and 
in 1728 an advance of five hundred pounds was made to Borden 
to be held for three years without interest to assist him in his 
business. 2 In 1728 this loan was increased to three thousand 
pounds to be held for ten years, on the specific condition of mak- 
ing a hundred and fifty bolts of duck every year. There is 
nothing to show that this attempt to create an industry by state 
patronage had any success. 3 

But neither in extent nor in diversity could the trade of Rhode 
Island be compared with that of Massachusetts. She had no 
merchants of the stamp of Amory or Faneuil. Her trade was 
tainted by evil suspicions, not only of smuggling, but of conniv- 
ance with pirates, a charge never brought against Boston even by 
enemies. Massachusetts might be seditious, but she was never 
anarchical. In Rhode Island, as in New Jersey, disaffection 
readily found expression in riot. 

A low standard of political morality is further indicated by an 
Act passed in 17 15, and re-enacted in 1738, against fraudulent 
voting. Anyone voting twice was subject to a fine of five 
pounds, and in case of non-payment might be imprisoned or 
flogged. 4 

In facility of internal communication Rhode Island lagged be- 
hind Massachusetts. The main road which pierced the colony 
from north to south, and which carried all the land traffic be- 
tween Boston and New York, crossed three bridges in Rhode 
Island, but it was not till 171 1 that their maintenance was 
made a public charge. 5 Three years later a second road con- 
necting Providence with some of the inland towns was recog- 
nized as a public highway. 6 The island of Aquednek was in the 
seventeenth century connected with the mainland only by two 
ferries. Tradition, unconfirmed by any specific record, makes 
the construction of a bridge date from 17 12. 7 

1 R. I. Records, vol. iv. p. 317. * lb. p. 363. 8 lb. p. 407. 

* lb. pp. 196, 268. 5 lb. p. 118. 

6 lb. p. 180. 7 Weeden, p. 510. 


In Connecticut the traveler would find himself among sur- 
roundings closely resembling those which he had left in Massa- 
connec- chusetts. She had no port indeed such as Boston, 
tIcut - and her whole shipping in 1730 did not exceed forty- 

two sail. But the deficiency in harbors was compensated for by 
the superiority of the soil to that of Massachusetts. Thus the 
Connecticut farmer was able to sell cattle to Boston, horses to 
the West Indies, and mules to Virginia. The colony also ex- 
ported timber to the West Indies, bringing back in return sugar, 
rum, molasses, and provisions. There was also a small exporta- 
tion of turpentine to Boston, Rhode Island, and New York, 
with a corresponding importation of European goods. Direct 
trade with the Old World she had seemingly none. 1 

One may infer from Mrs. Knight's rather scanty description 
of Connecticut that the material condition of the colony was 
much what that of Massachusetts had been some forty years 
earlier. There are no bridges, and the rivers have to be forded. 
The people are "grave and serious, very plain in their apparel." 
In Fairfield the traveler finds a considerable town filled, they 
say, with wealthy people, with good buildings, and a spacious 
meeting-house. But it is clear that a wide gap severed it from 
the opulence and dignity of Boston. 

Yet, perhaps because Connecticut had no capital which, 
measured by a colonial standard, might be called wealthy, lux- 
inteii 1 and ur i° us > an d intellectual, the life of the colony as a 
tuai life of whole had more extended and diffused vigor. Ques- 
ticut. tions of theology and of Church government were 

disputed with an energy and strenuousness which was almost 
extinct in the older Puritan colony. Yale College was in its 
endowments and the studies which it professed a worthy rival 
to Harvard. Such failure as it met with was due not to any 
lack of zeal or activity, but to conflicting demands which were 
in themselves evidence of a keen and widespread desire for 

In all its details the social and industrial life of Connecticut 
can have differed but little from that of Massachusetts. In 

1 See Governor Talcolt's report on the trade of Connecticut. Connecticut 
Records, 1728-35, p. 580. This is confirmed by another report drawn up by a 
committee of the Assembly, and sent to the Board of Trade in 1749. Conn. 
Records, 1744-50, p. 594. Cf. Fisher, Men and Manners. 


both the cost of labor and the cheapness of land, rather than the 
restrictive policy of the British Government, checked manu- 
industriai factures. All commodities that called for skilled and 
of cXnec- well-organized labor could be imported more cheaply 
ticut, tnan tne y C ould be made. All the four New 

England colonies produced iron, but, owing to defect either 
in the material or in the processes of extraction and working,, 
the wrought iron was of inferior quality. All that used in 
ship-building had to be imported from England, while at times; 
enough of the coarser kind was produced to allow of exporta- 
tion. 1 The working up of the iron, first by machinery into rods; 
and then by hand into nails, was one of the few forms of manu- 
facture which throve. The latter process needed no technical! 
skill or special appliances. The farmer could spend the long 
winter evenings in making the nails which he needed for his 
rough carpentry. No cutlery seems to have been made in New 
England, and even scythes were imported. 2 

Connecticut over and above iron produced copper, and in 
1707 a company was formed for working copper mines in that 
colony. 3 But before the middle of the century the business had 
been given up as unprofitable. 4 

Towards the end of the seventeenth century it might have 
seemed as if New England would develop into a country of tex- 
Attempts tile manufacture, making at least all the stuffs which 
nwmu- 116 were needed to clothe her own inhabitants. The 
fnNew farmers' hemp and flax were spun into linen by their 
England. wives and daughters, and their wool was made into 
clothes and bedding by professional weavers. 5 In 1708 an ac- 
curate and intelligent observer could report that three-quarters 
of the clothes worn by the settlers was home-made. 6 Forty 
years later things had changed, and two-thirds of the cloth 
worn by the settlers was imported from England. 7 There was 
no doubt a settled dread among those responsible for the colo- 

1 See the authorities given in Weeden, p. 497. 

2 See the Report of Committee to the Board of Trade, referred to on last 

'Weeden, p. 498. 
4 The Committee's Report. 

* Mr. Weeden (pp. 389-92) adduces a mass of evidence proving the existence 
of the professional weaver. 

•Caleb Heathcote's report in N. York Col. Documents, vol. i. p. 486. 
'Governor Belcher's report to the Board of Trade. 


nial policy of Great Britain lest the colonies should break in on 
her monopoly of woolen manufacture. That found utterance 
in an order of the King in Council in 1699 prohibiting all ex- 
portation of woolen goods from the colonies. 1 But the very 
fact that this order, in itself of doubtful constitutional validity, 
was allowed to pass without any recorded protest or challenge 
shows that it inflicted no particular hardship, and that the 
British Government might very safely have trusted to the natu- 
ral working of economic causes. The colonists were not with- 
held by any external restraint from producing up to the full 
limit of their own consumption. That they did not do so was 
due to a variety of causes. The improvement in roads enabled 
the inland districts to send corn into Boston to feed an increas- 
ing population or to be exported, and thus land which had been 
sheep pasture was coming under the plow. The increase of 
shipping and of foreign trade gave the settlers readier access to 
the English market, and the growth of comfort and of luxurious 
tastes made men dissatisfied with the coarse fabrics which were 
all that the colony could produce. Attempts were made in all 
the New England colonies to develop home manufacture. In 
17 19 a body of emigrants from Londonderry settled on the 
southern border of New Hampshire and introduced the Irish 
methods of spinning, but the industry does not seem to have ex- 
tended. 2 Somewhat later a spinning school was established in 
Boston, but in a few years it was given up. 3 Connecticut, like 
Rhode Island, made unsuccessful attempts by means of bounties 
and monopolies to encourage the production of linen and duck. 4 
An attempt was also made in Connecticut to encourage the 
growth of silk by a system of bounties. An Act for that purpose 
was passed in 1734, to be in force for ten years. As no attempt 
was made to renew it, and as we hear nothing of any successful 
results, we may assume that it was a failure. 5 

That completeness of organization which marked the New 

x The order is in the New York Documents, vol. v. p. 149. 
2 Belknap's History of New Hampshire (ed. 1813), vol. ii. pp. 30, 92. 
8 Boston Town Records, 1720, p. 141. Memorial History of Boston, vol. 
ii. p. 5"- 

4 Conn. Records, 1726-30, pp. 495, 502. 
*Ib. 1726-50, p. 495- 


England colonies from their outset makes their statistics of pop- 
ulation fairly trustworthy, and we shall probably not be far 
wrong if we estimate the whole number of English-speaking 
Population inhabitants from the Kennebec to the frontier of 
England. New York, in 1720, at about a hundred and ten 
thousand, with a slave population slightly over four thou- 
sand. Of this white population Massachusetts had rather 
more than half, and Connecticut about a fifth. From New 
Hampshire we have no definite return, but it is probable that 
the populations of that colony and Rhode Island were about 
equal. 1 

Our traveler might either pursue his course along the main- 
land, or turn aside and take the ferry which would land him on 
Long Long Island. In the latter case he would see noth- 

isiand. j n g t0 remind him that he was on what had once been 

alien territory. He would find himself among a group of town- 
ships with English names, inhabited by men of English name 
and descent, each like a New England town with a church, In- 
dependent in name, yet so far accepting a federal system, that an 
intelligent and ordinarily accurate observer would describe them 
as Presbyterian. The industry and the social life were those 
which the settlers had brought with them from their earlier 
homes in Connecticut. 

As was said above, there is an inevitable tendency in history 
to accentuate too sharply the lines of division whether they be 
The chronological or geographical, and to ignore those 

colonies. intermediate types which bridge over the apparent 
gulf between the most characteristic and conspicuous forms. 
We are apt to divide the American colonies sharply into North- 
ern and Southern, the one group with free labor, varied industry, 
and expansive commerce, with urban life, intense, vigorous, and 
fully organized, with a society which never wholly lost sight of 
the ideals of a somewhat ascetic culture ; the other relying for its 
productive labor on the slave-gang, monotonous therefore and 
unprogressive in its industry, pleasure-loving, with nothing in 
its social or political life to quicken or maintain the sense of 

1 For the details on which this estimate is based see Appendix I. 


civic unity. We are apt to forget that the tracts which were 
the homes of these two opposed systems were separated by what 
might be called an intermediate zone, with natural conditions 
and a social system in which we can find points of likeness to 
each of the types of life which flanked it on either side. In the 
valleys of the Hudson and the Delaware, and in the lands be- 
tween, our traveler would not wholly lose sight of the small 
rural township and the group of yeomen farmers, with which he 
had become familiar in New England. But he would also find, 
not indeed the elaborately organized slave-gang of the Southern 
colonies, but slave labor employed on a large scale by compara- 
tively wealthy landowners. 

The first noteworthy point, however, which would strike the 
traveler crossing from Long Island to Manhattan would be that 
Mixture he had suddenly passed into a society un-English in 
afitiestn' origin and largely un-English in character. In some 
New York. cases the original Dutch place-name had given way to 
an English one. This was sometimes a translation: Zandt 
Hoek, Vlacht Bos, and Helle Gat spontaneously change into 
Sandy Hook, Flat Bush, and Hell Gate. In the transforma- 
tion of Beeren's Island into Barren Island, Deutel Bay into 
Turtle Bay, and Conyers Island into Coney Island, we see the 
result of a merely accidental likeness. English was the official 
language, as French is to-day in Brittany. But we may safely 
assume that only a small portion of the citizens spoke English 
with full familiarity, or used it in their own domestic circle. 
It is clear too, from more than one passage in the Records and 
the political literature of the time, that Dutch and English 
were still looked on as opposed nationalities with conflicting in- 
terests. Thus in 1705 we find it made a matter of reproach to 
Bellomont that he favored the Dutch at the expense of his own 
countrymen. 1 By 17 50 English had become the dominant, lan- 
guage in the city of New York, but Dutch still held its own in 
the outlying districts. 2 

English, however, had to compete not only with the speech of 
the original Dutch founders of the colony. Successive strata of 
Swedish, German, Walloon, and Huguenot migration could be 

1 Cornbury to Hedges, N. Y. Docs. vol. iv. p. 1151. 

2 Tuckerman, p. 185, 


traced in the every-day talk of the streets. In the markets,, 
traders from the Levant might be heard doing their business in 
Jewish or Armenian. Dutch, English, and French Huguenots; 
had their own places of worship, while the German Lutherans, 
borrowed the Dutch church, and there held service in their owm 
tongue. Moreover, the well-to-do inhabitants of French and. 
Irish extraction were numerous enough for each to have their 
own club. 1 

In Massachusetts the alien immigrant was an object of sus- 
picion, and as far as might be of restraint. In New York the 
legislature did everything to encourage him by simplifying the- 
process of naturalization. 2 The witness who has just been 
quoted, himself of French blood, assures us that "the French, 
have all the privileges that can be — they are of the Council and 
of the Parliament, and are in all other employments." 3 

The city itself in 1710 numbered some six thousand inhab- 
itants. The town had not yet put on that aspect of precise and 
Aspect of geometrical symmetry which at a later day it bor- 
city. ' rowed from Philadelphia. Yet the Broad Way, the 
main thoroughfare of the country bisecting the town lengthwise, 
gave a certain definiteness and cohesion of form. There was 
also as at Boston the look of spaciousness given by an abundance 
of unoccupied ground, and houses surrounded by orchards and 
gardens. The construction of the houses, mainly of brick, gave 
a look of permanence and solidity, and protected the town 
against those fires which so often devastated the timber-built 
streets of Boston. In 1701 Bellomont could describe New York 
as the "growingest" town in America, and could substantiate 
the claim by the fact that since his arrival in 1698 there had been 
no less than a hundred "fair houses" built. 4 

The amount of trade may be best gauged by the fact that in 
1729 two hundred and twenty-two merchants' vessels sailed 
Commerce from New York harbor. 5 It is estimated that by 
York. 1737 fifty-three vessels, averaging sixty tons freight, 

1 Diary of Peter Fontaine, 1716, p. 297. This forms part of the Memoirs 
of a Huguenot Family, by Ann Maury, published in 1853 and re-edited in 

*It was enacted in 171 5 that all persons who take the necessary oaths shall 
at once become naturalized subjects. Acts of Assembly p. 124. 

"John Fontaine as above. 4 N. Y. Docs. vol. iv. p. 820. 

• Kalm, vol. i. p. 258. 


were owned by inhabitants of New York, and that twelve years 
later the tonnage was doubled and the number of vessels trebled. 
Corn, furs collected by trade with trappers and Indians in the 
Hudson valley, fish, and a little tobacco were the exports. 
Horses, too, were sent to the West Indies. 1 As in Boston the 
ships brought back European luxuries: wine, spirits, furniture, 
all the articles of clothing worn by the richer classes. 2 In time 
of war privateers came on freighted with the contents of French 
and Spanish prizes, and as in Rhode Island there was no rigid 
line of demarcation between privateer and pirate. 

The outward and visible symbols of wealth were more con- 
spicuous in New York than in Boston. The rich wore costlier 
Habits clothes and gave better dinners; there was more of 

of hfe. pomp shown in equipment and attendants. 3 On the 

other hand, an educated Bostonian would have assuredly com- 
plained of a lack of the more refined side of life. While Boston 
had in 1720 its five printing presses, New York had but one. 4 

In one important feature of material well-being New York 
was apparently no better off than the poorer colonies of Connec- 
ticut and Rhode Island. A traveler from Virginia at the be- 
ginning of the eighteenth century declares that the roads of New 
York were so bad that there were not two coaches in the whole 
colony. What is, perhaps, more surprising, he dwells on the 
goodness of the roads in his own colony. 5 

In one respect New York differed from all the other colo- 
nies. It was the only one in which the system of letting agri- 
cultural land was a normal feature. In 1724 it was thought 
necessary to pass an Act to prevent certain abuses arising from 
the relation of landlord and tenant. 6 The words of the Act 
show that the system was one of metayer tenancy. The lessor 
supplied stock and necessaries, which remained his property, and 
had to be restored to him at the expiration of the tenancy. 
Fraudulent tenants, however, sold the stock. In this they were 
assisted by a lawless population of backwoodsmen living in 

1 This is stated in the Memorial History, vol. v. p. 228. 

2 N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 551; vol. vi. p. 29. 

8 For the luxury of New York, see a report of travels in 1712, by Grafen- 
ried, published in the North Carolina Records, vol. i. p. 972. 
4 Thomas's History of Printing, vol. i. pp. 89-109, 294. 
5 John Fontaine's Journal, pp. 265, 297. 
6 Acts of Assembly, p. 295. 


Ulster and Orange Counties, and able at any time to take shelter 
in the woods or mountains. To prevent this, power was given 
to justices in those counties to apprehend anyone who could not 
give proof of his ability to maintain himself. Another malprac- 
tice mentioned in the Act was the sale of timber off their hold- 
ings to ships' captains, who connived at what was at once a fraud 
on the landlord and a breach of the Navigation Acts. 

An English observer would probably have found in the urban 
life of New York a somewhat monotonous round of coarse en- 

Rurai life joyments. On the other hand, if he had extended his 
inthe 1 11 • , ,, , 1 . 

colony. tour through the pine-woods and the undulating 

meadows which fringe the valley of the Hudson, he would have 
found a type of life un-English in origin, yet more in conso- 
nance with English tastes and traditions than he would have 
found in any other part of the colonies. A likeness to the life 
of rural England has often been attributed to the Southern slave 
plantations. In reality a far closer likeness might be found 
among the landed gentry of New York. Many of them had 
houses in New York town, and were thus in regular contact 
with a diversified and vigorous form of life. In England in the 
eighteenth century a wealthy landed family would have a house 
in the county town, where the winter was spent. So it was in 
New York. The head of an old Dutch family, a Schuyler or a 
Van Rensselaer, was at once a squire and a merchant. His 
winter was spent amid the gayeties of New York, his summer on 
his landed estate, where he was not only a farmer on a large 
scale, but often a fur trader and a timber merchant. Those 
who lived thus had become by repeated intermarriages a definite 
and exclusive caste. If we may believe Hunter, the colony suf- 
fered from the accumulation of land in a few hands. "Single 
men possess tracts of twenty or thirty miles square which they 
keep in their own hands, in the hope of planting them with 
tenants of their own, which is never to be expected in a country 
where the property may be had at easy rates." 1 

Slavery existed, and in the city the slave population was, as 
we have seen, regarded as a constant element of danger. 2 But 
in the country districts slavery seems to have been free from all 
specially harsh or repulsive features. There was no organized 

1 N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 180. * The Middle Colonies, p. 283. 


slave-gang under the control of an overseer. Rather, the slave 
had his place as a recognized member of a large patriarchal 
family, directly controlled by the head. 1 

We also hear from an acute if somewhat optimistic witness of 
the pleasant social intercourse and the plenteous but frugal hos- 
pitality which prevailed among the landowners at Albany; the 
easy and informal intercourse of the young men and women at 
picnics and fishing parties. 2 In none of the colonies did the 
Englishman, whose military or official duty had brought him 
there, find himself in so home-like an atmosphere. In New 
England he was alienated by the traditions of Puritanism. The 
Southern planter was sometimes an exceedingly strenuous and 
slightly contentious person, with a taste for legal and political 
speculation ; sometimes he was a Squire Western. But in New 
York an average middle-class Englishman found himself among 
companions whose tastes, habits, and ideas were pretty sure to be 
in conformity with his own. 

The city merchant and the large landholder might be the most 
conspicuous figures in the life of New York, but they did not 
Village make up between them the whole life of the colony. 

ties!™ 13 Over and above the half-Anglicized villages of Long 

Island there were, along the valley of the Hudson, small rural 
communities grouped together for purposes of defense and of 
common tillage. Such were Schenectady and Esopus, consist- 
ing, the former of some thirty houses, the latter of nearly double 
that number, each surrounded by a palisade and standing in the 
middle of a tract of rich corn land. 3 

It would be absurd to liken these little communities, with 
nothing more in the way of local self-government than a few 
simple by-laws and limited police powers, to the New England 
townships, with their ecclesiastical autonomy and their trained 
and disciplined town meetings. Yet we may believe that the 
New York villages did something to check centralization, and 
keep alive a sense of citizenship in the rural population. 

Thrust forward into the wilderness as an outpost, severed for 
nearly half a year from the community by impassable ice, 
guarded too at all times against peril from the north- 
west by an impenetrable wilderness, stood Albany, 

1 Mrs. Grant of Laggan. Memoir of an American Lady, ch. vii. vol. i. 
*lb. ch. x. "The Labadists, pp. 315, 324. 


grown in population, but retaining the compactness and dignity 
of Dutch days. Cut off during the winter from all external in- 
fluences, brought during the rest of the year into constant inter- 
course with savages and with hunters and woodmen, almost as 
wild and brutal as the savage, exposed to the demoralizing in- 
fluences of the Indian trade, it is no matter for wonder if the 
population of Albany were in the eyes of their fellow-colonists, 
and even more of their New England neighbors, a set of lawless 
barbarians. They were even charged with driving a thriving 
trade with the Indians in the spoils taken from New England 
farm-houses, and the English attributed to a convict origin what 
was far more probably due to the temptations and the demoral- 
ization of circumstance. 1 It was indeed unfortunate that such 
suspicions should have attached themselves to what was virtually 
a garrison intrusted with the main key of British interests in 
America. Modern changes have left but few visible traces of 
the Albany of the eighteenth century. But in the smaller towns 
along the Hudson a few houses survive from that time which 
help us in the task of imaginary reconstruction. A good speci- 
men of such is to be seen in the Manor House at Yonkers, the 
home of the Philipse family. It is a solid, square-shaped build- 
ing; a portion of it of one story in brick, the rest of two stories 
in stone. The picturesque irregularity produced by the differ- 
ence of elevation is increased by eaves, with one porch at the 
front and another at the side, while a projecting wooden string- 
course runs round the building. This last named feature is 
to be found in other New York houses of that date. Another 
such house, but strengthened by massive walls, with loopholes 
for musketry, is that once occupied by the Van Cortlandt family, 
and placed at the junction of the Croton with the Hudson, some 
forty miles above New York. 2 The ordinary New York farm- 
house was a much less pretentious structure, built, as a traveler 
of a somewhat later day tells us, of bricks dried in the sun, not 
in a kiln, and in some cases covered outside with boards.* 

There are scenes which seem to be fittingly marked out by 
nature as the battle-ground of great principles and interests. 

1 Kalm, vol. ii. pp. 262-6. 

*I have seen the Philipse house at Yonkers, but unfortunately not the Van 
•Cortlandt house. It is described in an interesting article in the American 
Magazine of History, vol. xv. 

•Kalm, vol. ii. p. 285. 


The voyager up the Hudson in the days which we are consider- 
ing, as his vessel passed by heights far statelier than those of 
impor- the Rhine or the Danube, and valleys where rock 

Hudson. and wood and water recall all that is loveliest in the 
Highlands of Scotland or Bavaria, might well have felt that he 
was looking on a scene fitted by nature, as it was destined by 
history, to influence the fate of great European Powers. The 
existence of the Hudson, carrying as it were a narrow isthmus of 
commerical civilization into the heart of the wilderness and link- 
ing the western waterways, with all their wealth of furs and 
timber, and their waste pasture and fertile corn land yet un- 
tilled, to the Atlantic seaboard, was the one supreme influence 
which bound up the fortunes of Northern America with those 
of the Old World. 

A ferryboat southward to Staten Island and another thence 
to Elizabethtown furnished the usual transit from New York to 
New the south. 1 In New Jersey and in Pennsylvania the 

jersey. visitor would find himself confronted with a type of 

life as cosmopolitan as that of New York. Yet it differed. In 
New York the main substance of the population was Dutch; 
the English element was only one, though the most important 
one, of later accretions. But in New Jersey and Pennsylvania 
the situation was more than reversed. The British were the 
dominant and, save for the slight and evanescent influence of the 
Swedes, the original population. One must say British, not 
English, for as we have seen both Scotland and Wales had at an 
early stage contributed their share to the population. The name 
of Perth Amboy was a living witness to the former influence, 
such places as Newtown, Radnor, and others before mentioned 
to the latter. 

The social and industrial development of New Jersey was. 
largely determined by the fact that the whole coast between 
Sandy Hook and Cape May did not possess a single harbor. 
Thus the spread of population was of necessity restricted on the 
north to Raritan Bay and the right bank of the Hudson, on the 
south to the left bank of the Delaware. A track through forest 
and wilderness connected Perth .Amboy with the settlements 
opposite to Philadelphia. 

1 A map dating from 1732, published in the Memorial History (vol. v. p. 
254), shows the two ferries. 

NE W J ERSE Y. 3 1 

It inevitably followed that the commercial development of 
New Jersey was stifled by the two great cities which flanked it 
on its borders, New York and Philadelphia. 

Thus New Jersey was of necessity nothing more than a self- 
supporting agricultural community. As far as outward appear- 
ance went, a traveler would probably have seen a 
general likeness to New England, not confined to 
those settlements which actually took their origin thence. The 
country, indeed, was better wooded and more fertile. But the 
farmsteads stood in the same fashion, grouped together for pur- 
poses of worship, and in those early days at least for self-defense. 
The houses were mainly of wood, surrounded by orchards. 
Holdings were small and slave labor virtually unknown. For 
in a temperate climate, with a soil suited to mixed husbandry, 
and with no facilities either for producing or exporting any one 
staple product, the slave can have no chance of competing with 
the free laborer. Yet while New Jersey had no town with any 
pretensions to rival Boston, New York, or Philadelphia, Bur- 
lington seems to have presented somewhat the same attractive 
appearance which marks it at the present day. A traveler, 
quoted before, writing in 17 12, describes it as a "very nice 
borough built in the Dutch fashion." 1 

The traveler crossing the Delaware into Pennsylvania would 
find no change in the outward aspect of rural life and industry. 
Phiiadei- But m Philadelphia he would find a city with less 
phia. indeed of dignity and less of historical character im- 

printed on its features, yet hardly inferior in the charm of its 
natural surroundings to Boston or New York, and endowed 
with a spaciousness, and even more with a regularity of aspect, 
to which they could lay no claim. The growth of trade 
and of luxury has left as few details of domestic architecture 
in Philadelphia as in New York. Yet fragments may still 
be found here and there, showing that something of external 
picturesqueness was obtained by carved barge boards and 

We shall probably be not far wrong if we estimate 
the population of New York in 17 15 at thirty thousand, 

1 Grafenried in N. Car. Records, vol. i. p. 965. I do not know what German 
word is translated by "nice." 


that of New Jersey at rather more than two-thirds of 
that number, while we may assign to Pennsylvania and 
Population Delaware two or three thousand more than to New 
colonies. Jersey. Of this whole number about eight per cent, 
were negroes. 

Once let the traveler cross the boundary separating Penn's 
colony and the Territories from Maryland, and he would find 
General himself confronted with a wholly new type of social 
of the and industrial life, differing as widely from all that 

colonies. he had seen before as though it had been separated 
in time or in distance by centuries and by thousands of miles. In 
one respect and in one only would Maryland remind him of what 
lie had left behind. There, as in New York, he would find what 
an early Massachusetts writer calls "polypiety" in full force — 
Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Quakers, represent- 
ing separate waves of immigration, all claiming and practically 
enjoying religious equality. 

In every other respect there is entire change. Agricultural 
villages have vanished. Towns exist, but urban life is a com- 
paratively unimportant element in the life of the community. 
Instead we have the mansion with its straggling appendages for 
the housing of a wastefully large establishment, and the wood 
-cabins of servile laborers dotted round, as in the mediaeval 
manor, though not, as these, destined under favoring conditions 
to grow into an urban community. We have no longer the yeo- 
man farmer, wringing out of the soil his subsistence, and under 
favorable conditions a margin for accumulation by continuous 
toil and frugal living. Instead of that we should see the labor 
-of the slave-gang working under an overseer, a labor so waste- 
iul in its methods as to be possible only where there is an abun- 
dance of fertile soil. If a fortune is made it is not by devising 
new productive processes, nor in any great measure by personal 
industry and frugality, but by skill and good judgment in land 
speculation and in the organization of labor. In some instances 
the planter not only grew tobacco but made it the subject of 
speculative purchases. When capital increased it was not ap- 
plied, as at New York or Boston, to the devising fresh modes of 
investment or the importation of fashionable luxuries from Eng- 
land, but either productively to the purchase of more land, or 
unproductively to the extension of a rough, bounteous hos- 



pitality, or to the improvement of the racing stud or the pack of 
hounds. 1 

It is customary to liken the plantation of the South to that of 
rural England. A visitor fresh from that life would probably 
Differences have been far more struck with the differences than 


-the life of with the likeness. The English village is a society, 

the South . . . . ,- . i tt- . • , 

and that the plantation in Maryland or Virginia was a factory. 
England. There might be a superficial resemblance of tastes 
and habits. But there is not much of the essence of English life 
left if we cut off the free laborer at one end, the peer and the 
county member at the other. There was in the Southern colonies 
an aristocracy in a certain sense of the word ; that is, there was a 
class in which land and the social dignity given by the possession 
of land were hereditary, a class with abundance of leisure, with 
a certain prescriptive claim to political influence, and with a 
standard of manners, education, and intelligence which was 
at least far above that of the rest of the community. But 
they were not, save quite remotely and indirectly, what the 
corresponding class in England are, a link between their 
own district and the wider political and social life of the outer 

The peculiarities which marked off Maryland and Virginia 
were largely, though not wholly, due to physical causes. The 
Want of formation of the coast, wholly unlike that of the 
towns. Northern colonies, had a large influence. Combined 

with the fertility of the soil and the unfitness of the climate for 
free labor, it produced a special type of life and industry. 
Wide tidal rivers indented the coast deeply, converting the in- 
habited seaboard into something like an archipelago. Every 
planter could have his own wharf and landing-stage. Without 
ready access to a tidal river, a tobacco plantation was valueless, 
and thus the inhabited land was almost confined to the river 
banks. The occupants of opposite sides of the same river were 
neighbors; the tracts between the streams were barriers of 
forest, only to be penetrated, nor that easily, by horse- 
men. The only definite administrative areas were the parish 

1 There were exceptions to this. Mead (Old Churches, &c, of Virginia) 
mentions as an instance of gross extravagance the importation of bricks from 
England for building (vol. i. p. 331). No doubt George Warrington was not 
the only young planter who imported books and fiddles. 


with its church and the county with its court-house, and 
such was the size of each that a settler might find himself living 
fifty miles from his center of religious or of civil life. Laws 
were passed from time to time, Cohabitation Acts as they were 
called, attempting to bring the settlers together in towns by 
special exemption from public dues, and even by immunity from 
liability for debt. But nothing came of this. Where, as we 
have just seen, every planter had his own private wharf, the 
need for seaports was not felt. The towns of the Northern 
coast, with their population of merchants, sea-faring folk, and 
craftsmen, had no place in the social and industrial economy of 
the South. Inland towns were even less needed, where every 
estate was a little self-supporting community, producing the 
necessaries of life, with a staff of workmen sufficient for the 
rough handicrafts which supplied the wants of life. For it is 
a sure economical law that where slave labor is the dominant 
system there cannot grow up alongside it any effective system of 
free labor. The atmosphere engendered by the one is both 
morally and economically fatal to the other. Not only does 
manual labor connote degradation, but the slaveholder inevi- 
tably becomes unfitted to be an employer of free workmen. 
Regularity, monotony, lack of technical skill become the recog- 
nized condition of labor. The production and distribution of 
the slave's food and clothing, the construction of his house, can 
be organized with a simplicity and directness, with a disregard 
to his individual wishes which are impossible with a free laborer. 
The lack of a medium of exchange is, one may almost say, 
the leading economic fact in the history of the Southern 
colonies. Tobacco sufficed for their simple and limited com- 
merce; it would never have so sufficed if a wage fund had been 

Such towns as there were — Annapolis in Maryland, Wil- 
liamsburg in Virginia — were in no sense centers of economical 
or intellectual activity. They owed their continued existence to 
the exigencies of official life, and served as centers to which the 
wealthy classes resorted for assize balls, race meetings, and as- 

Norfolk indeed was a seaport, with shipping and carrying 
trade. Yet this was really one of those seeming exceptions 
which prove the rule. For Norfolk depended for its exports 


not on the products of Virginia, but on those of North Carolina, 
a colony which possessed neither a good harbor nor tidal rivers. 1 
In no case did a town either in Maryland or Virginia contribute 
anything to the political or intellectual life. 

In both colonies we see that not uncommon phenomenon, a 
community forced by economical influences into a method of life 
which its members protest against and deplore. There is among 
the Colonial Papers for 1697 a remarkable report drawn up by 
three influential and well-informed Virginians, and addressed to 
William Popple, then Secretary to the Board of Trade. The 
authors were Blair, Commissary to the Bishop of London — by 
far the most energetic and able official of the Church of England 
who had taken any part in colonial affairs — Hartwell, and Chil- 
ton. The document is entitled "An Account of the Govern- 
ment and Present State of Virginia," and is divided into twelve 

"If," they say, "we ask for well-built houses, and convenient 
ports and markets, for plenty of ships and seamen, for improved 
trade and manufactures, for well-educated children, industrious 
and thriving people, and a happy government in Church and 
State, we find the poorest, miserablest, and worst country in 
America. The bringing of the people to the improvements of 
inhabitation must be wrought against their will by the Royal 
Prerogative, not by expecting the concurrence of the general 
Assembly, the major part of whose members have never seen a 
town nor a well-improved country in their lives, and cannot 
imagine the benefits of them." There is no market for any 
product except tobacco, and, owing to the want of a convenient 
medium of currency and the distance between plantations, 
tradesmen are few, dear, and insufficient. Even when attempts 
have been made by the Assembly to erect towns they have been 
frustrated. Everyone wants the town near his own house, and 
the majority of the Burgesses have never seen a town, and have 
no notion of any but a country life. 

Thirteen years later Spotswood confirmed this in a report 
which described the straggling method of life, planters living 
fifty miles away from the court-house of their own county. 2 

Again in 1705 we find an able and energetic Presbyterian 

1 Byrd, The Dividing Line, p. 28. * Letters, vol. i. p. 37. 


minister, Francis Mackemie, writing a pamphlet entitled "A 
Persuasive to Towns and Plantations," urging the inhabitants 
Mackemie's °* Maryland and Virginia to form towns, and point- 
pamphiet.i ' n g out w j t jj g reat f orce t jj e drawbacks of the system 

under which they lived. There is no productive industry 
worked by free labor ; the colony only exports raw material, for 
all manufactured commodities the settlers are wholly dependent 
on imports. There are no open markets : all business is done at 
taverns, where there is far more room for fraud. Drink, too, 
is given free at such places, a custom which "has propagated 
drunkenness as much as anything in the plantations." 

According to Mackemie there were at one time numerous 
small holdings in one portion of the colony, Prince George 
County. But they had been swallowed up under the action of 
that inexorable economic law whereby the small holder, unless 
protected by some exceptionally favorable conditions, has to give 
place to the large landowner. 

That economic and industrial solitude in which the planters 
of Maryland and Virginia lived did not bring with it social iso- 
lation. The planter, with few resources at home, 
vigorous, active, devoted to outdoor life and to the 
saddle, and to sports which involved social life as a necessary 
condition, journeyed through the forest with his saddle-bags to 
the distant mansion, where he was a welcome guest. His 
mental atmosphere might be somewhat gross: it was not stag- 
nant. And his mental activity almost always ran into one 
groove. The relations between the representative of the Crown 
and the settlers usually brought with them enough tension to 
keep alive political interest, and those interests had no rival. 
The mental energy which in the Northern colonies was dis- 
tributed between trade, literature, and religion, was in the South 
all concentrated in public life. Moreover, the young Southerner 
did not find himself at once launched in a party system, where he 
was provided with a set of opinions ready manufactured for him. 
Throughout the eighteenth century, during the colonial period, 
we shall find repeated proof that the Southern planter was often 
more than a mere "practical" politician ; that he was a political 
thinker, and that the way was being prepared for the generation 
under whom Virginia became "the Mother of Presidents." 

1 Virginia Magazine of History, vol. iv. 



Beneath the general pervading likeness which has just been 
sketched, a careful observer would have discovered underlying 
Differences points of real difference, social and economical, be- 
Maryiand tween Maryland and Virginia. In Virginia the 
Virginia. slave system was omnipresent and omnipotent; in 
Maryland it was checked and modified by various and counter- 
acting influences. To begin with, Maryland had a population 
far more mixed in creed and in social antecedents. Virginia was 
for a while faintly leavened by Puritan immigrants from New 
England, but some passed on to South Carolina, the rest be- 
came absorbed and constituted a definitely separate element in 
the population. But in Maryland it was otherwise. Sectaries 
naturally would expect to fare better under the often-challenged 
and feebly administered control of a Roman Catholic proprietor, 
than in a colony directly dependent on the Crown and therefore 
directly connected with the Church of England. As a conse- 
quence, Independents and Quakers surpassed, if not in numbers, 
at least in political activity and influence, those Roman Cath- 
olics for whom Cecilius Calvert had designed his colony as a 
refuge. 1 

The class of emigrants thus attracted were for the most part 
industrious men of moderate means. Moreover, the difference 
in latitude between Maryland and Virginia, though not great, 
was yet enough to give the Northern colony a distinct advantage 
as a home for the white laborer. Thus in Maryland we find 
landed estates as a rule smaller than in Virginia, and at the same 
time we find more varied production and more free labor. 

An enactment passed by the legislature of Maryland in 17 16 
is not without significance. It ordered that all persons holding 
innkeepers' licenses should provide a fixed number of bedrooms 
and a fixed amount of stabling. 2 Clearly the object was to 
check mere tippling houses, and we can hardly suppose such a 
provision needed unless there was a lower or middle class not too 
scattered to haunt such places. 

At the same time we find the legislature of Virginia repeat- 
edly passing Acts against gaming, supplemented by one against 

1 There is not, as far as I know, any means of ascertaining the number, actual 
or proportionate, of the various religious denominations. I infer that matters 
•were as I have described from the general course of affairs. 

2 Acts of Maryland. Collected in 1729. 


cock-fighting and racing. 1 All that we know of the social life 
of Virginia makes it certain that such enactments were little 
more than a dead letter. But none the less do they presuppose 
a good deal of social intercourse. 

Both colonies had begun with the same industrial system, with 
Slavery in white laborers bound for a period of servitude, and 
cofonT°s. in both the white servant was gradually superseded 
by the negro. 

It is easy to see how such a change was made inevitable by 
economic conditions. The negro more easily took his place as an 
instrument in a mechanical system of labor organized on a large 
scale. The mixed slave-gang must always have presented diffi- 
culties. The negro would look with jealousy on the man who 
had before him a prospect of freedom. On the other hand, the 
master had stronger motives for considering the physical well- 
being of the laborer in whom he had a permanent interest, and 
thus the indented servant would often have to put up with 
worse treatment than befell his black fellow-laborer. More- 
over, the white servant, unlike the negro, might at any time 
escape into another colony, and be merged in the population 
without hope of identification or recovery. 

Political as well as economical considerations helped on the 
change. The convict, often a Roman Catholic and a Jacobite, 
was a natural object of suspicion in a community where French 
invasion was becoming more and more a real danger. The 
substitution of the black for the white, and of negro slavery for 
the semi-servile labor of convicts and indented servants, went on 
alike in Maryland and in Virginia. But in the former colony 
the process was much slower. Even by the middle of the 
eighteenth century there was an annual import of convicts into 
Maryland, estimated at six hundred a year. 2 On the other 
hand, we find a Secretary for Virginia at the beginning of the 
century reporting that the duty on the importation of white 
servants was too insignificant a source of revenue to be worth 
reckoning. 3 

Economically there can be no doubt that the larger estates and 
the exclusive employment of black labor were in favor of Vir- 

1 Heming, vol. iv. p. 214; vol. v. p. 102; vol. vi. p. 148. 

2 Maryland Gazette, quoted by Mereness, p. 133. 

8 Jennings to Board of Trade, November 27, 1708. 


ginia. Not only was the negro a more efficient instrument for 
the monotonous and unskilled labor needed in the production 
Relative f a single commodity, but the system of large hold- 

merits . & J .' J & . . 

of the mgs lessened proportionately the cost or supervision 

condition and transport. Moreover, it was found wholly im- 
coioniesT° possible to maintain the quality of the tobacco in 
either colony without a complete system of government inspec- 
tion, and such a system was far more easily carried out when the 
production was in the hands of a few large proprietors, not of 
many small ones. By the beginning of the eighteenth century 
the superiority of Virginia to Maryland tobacco was fully recog- 
nized, and remained uncontested. 

Yet, as often is the case, the system which was economically 
worse brought compensating advantages in its train. The con- 
dition of industrial life in Maryland provided the colony with a 
class intermediate between the large landholder and the manual 
laborer, and the advantage of that was felt when the day came 
for extension into regions where the economic life of the com- 
munity could no longer be maintained by the labor of the slave- 
gang and the commerce of the tide-way. 

The population of Maryland at the time which we are con- 
sidering may be put down as about thirty-five thousand, of whom 
Popuia- about a third were negroes. Virginia could number 
tliTtwo some sixty thousand white, and forty thousand black 
colonies. inhabitants. 

To the ordinary Englishman, perhaps even more to the New 
Englander with his urban associations, his inheritance of rigid 
Colonel corporate discipline, his acute and well-trained if 

William r . . ti i i mi- 

Byrd.i somewhat narrow intellect, the rough, illiterate, out- 

door life of Virginia would have seemed to have in it a distinct 
element of barbarism. The wealthy Virginia planter when he 
crossed the border which separated his own colony from North 
Carolina felt that he had passed from civilization to savagery. 
Such a record we have in the diary of travel left by one of the 
most brilliant and highly cultivated Virginians of the eighteenth 
century, Colonel William Byrd, of Westover. The man and 
his writings are well worth our attention. He describes vigor- 

1 I have already spoken of Byrd, Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas, p. 
348. Since I wrote that, Byrd's writings have been collected and published, 
with an introductory memoir, by Mr. J. S. Bassett (New York, 1902). 


ously and picturesquely, though it may not always be quite 
fairly, the life of the neighboring colony. He illustrates the 
habits, tastes, and ideas of his own. Like many other young 
Virginians of the upper class, Byrd was sent to England for edu- 
cation. He entered as a student at the Middle Temple, and 
was called to the bar in 1696. At the age of twenty- two he re- 
turned to Virginia. Five years later he was appointed agent to 
the colony, with instructions to petition against the action of 
Nicholson, the Lieutenant-Governor, who was endeavoring to 
force the Assembly into contributing towards the defense of the 
New York frontier. That was an isolated incident in a pro- 
longed strife between the colonists on the one hand, the Crown 
and its representatives on the other. Byrd's agency met with no 
success. But his visit threw him into the best literary and scien- 
tific society in London, and obtained for him the friendship of 
Boyle and the membership of the Royal Society. 

In tastes and habits Byrd represented the life of the Virginia, 
planter at its best. The combination of practical activity with 
cultured leisure, of keen interest in public life and even anxiety 
for its prizes, with a philosophical indifference to its vicissitudes, 
stands first among those qualities by which an aristocracy can 
justify its existence. All those qualities we find in Byrd. He 
was a Councilor and was never indifferent to the attraction of a 
well-paid post in the public service. Yet he was always pre- 
pared to risk his fortunes by a patriotic, if not always a well- 
judged, opposition to anything like arbitrary action on the part 
of the Governor. On the other hand, he could detach himself 
from the prejudices of his class and of the atmosphere in which 
he lived sufficiently to see and prophesy the moral and economic 
evils of slavery, and to press on the British Government the 
expediency of checking the slave trade. 

He has also the instinctive extravagance and speculative 
optimism of the Virginia planter. Possessed of an ample 
fortune, he entangles himself, at least for a time, in difficulties 
by purchases of land which may enrich his family in some future 

There is yet another side to Byrd's character, without which 
he could have hardly been a type of his class. With all his high 
mental training and value for outward graces and refinement, 
there is in him a certain touch of boisterous indecency. In his. 


record of every-day incidents there is at times an ingenuousness 
of self-revelation which faintly reminds one of Pepys. Not in- 
deed that he ever startles us with confessions such as those of the 
Diarist. Byrd has at worst only to plead guilty to slight pec- 
cadilloes of thought or word. But we see something of the 
same temper, that of the kindly, self-complacent, sensuous ob- 

One of the most interesting and, autobiographically, one of 
the most attractive of Byrd's writings is his account of a visit to 
The visit to tne ^ ron m i ne s in the western part of the colony in 
the mines. 1732. He is keenly interested in all the details of 
the business, and reports them all faithfully. He hears how the 
unfortunate producer has his profits shorn away by the shipper, 
the middleman, and the British iron producer. The ships carry 
the iron as ballast, and yet make a charge for freight which comes 
to more than six per cent, on the selling price. The middle- 
man contrives to add on charges which make up, together with 
freight and custom, nearly twenty-five per cent. Finally the 
English competitor contrives, contrary to fact, to create an un- 
founded belief in the inferiority of colonial iron. On the last 
point it is not impossible that Byrd's colonial patriotism may 
have misled him; the other grievances are what we are ac- 
customed to hear from those who have not the energy or the in- 
telligence to emancipate themselves from a costly and cumbrous 
system of distribution. The most interesting part of the tour is 
the description of the visit to the iron-works which were long 
carried on by that sanguine, strenuous, versatile man, the ex- 
governor, Colonel Spotswood. Byrd had been among Spots- 
wood's most resolute public opponents, and the cheerful good- 
fellowship which evidently marked the visit does no small credit 
to both men. Byrd indeed lets us see once or twice that he 
regarded Spotswood as a man with a somewhat keen eye to his 
own interest. But his hospitality and the divers little incidents 
which make up the domestic life of the house — the tame deer 
who smashes a large pierglass, the lapdog who is sentenced first 
to death, and then to banishment for an indiscretion similar to 
that of Launce's Crab — all these things are told, with no elab- 
oration or cumbrous attempts at humor, but in the pleasant, un- 
affected style of the eighteenth-century essayist. Spotswood had 
been Governor of Jamaica, and his account of the relations be- 


tween Spain and England in the West Indies is of real historical 
value. The smelting processes, as they appear to a shrewd ob- 
server with an interest in natural science, are described intelli- 
gently and untechnically, as they might have been told by 

Three years before his visit to the mines Byrd had been ap- 
pointed as one of three Virginian Commissioners, to act with a 
Byrd's like number from North Carolina, in drawing the 

North nt ° f dividing line between the two colonies. At every 
Carolina. turn gy r( j [ s met by some instance of the sloth, the 
grossness, the discomfort which he saw about him. Some allow- 
ance no doubt we must make for a professed wit. But we must 
remember that Byrd was not, like Captain Burt or Mrs. Knight, 
a Cockney trained to regard the small luxuries of urban life as 
the essentials of civilization. He was a hardy, adventurous 
sportsman, with no dislike to roughing it. The inevitable 
privations of a journey through the backwoods he treats cheer- 
fully and humorously. Fifty years later he would have shared 
the hardships of Boone and his companions contentedly. The 
stupid and indolent neglect of natural resources, the absence of 
even the redeeming virtues of barbarism, these are the things 
which stir his contempt. Among savages the women do all the 
hard work, that the men may have time to hunt and to fight. 
Here the women drudge in the fields, while the men sit in profit- 
less idleness. The settlers do not take the trouble to rear cattle ; 
swine which need hardly any tending are the chief stock kept, 
and the symptoms of scurvy produced by an unvaried diet of 
pork are hideously visible everywhere. The neglected spiritual 
condition of the people is shown by the fact that the chaplain 
who accompanies the Commissioners is everywhere pressed into 
the service to celebrate baptisms. 

Byrd's testimony on this subject is confirmed by a letter ad- 
dressed by the Virginian Commissioners to their colleagues from 
Squalor the neighboring colony. * 'Because we understand 
heathen- there are many Gentiles on the frontier who have 
North never had opportunity of being baptized we shall 

Carolina. nave a chaplain with us to make them Christians ; for 
this purpose we intend to rest in our camp every Sunday, that 
there may be leisure for so good a work, and whoever in that 
neighborhood is desirous of novelty may come and hear a ser- 


mon. Of this you may please to give public notice, that the 
charitable intention of this government may meet with the hap- 
pier success." 1 

Even more emphatic is the testimony of a Church of Eng- 
land clergyman, John Urmston. He describes the people as 
living like beasts without any of the ordinances of religion. 
Their education had been in the "famous colleges of Bridewell 
or Newgate." Wives are sold and many live in open adultery. 
It is only just to say that Urmston appears to have been a some- 
what querulous egotist, given to violent denunciation of his sur- 
roundings. 2 

We have, however, further confirmatory evidence in the re- 
port sent to Lord Wilmington in 1737 by Gabriel Johnstone, 
•Governor of North Carolina. 3 He describes the people as "liv- 
ing in a beastly sort of plenty, and devoting all the rest of their 
time to calumny, lying, and the vilest treachery and cheating. 
Imagine," he says, "the lowest scum and rabble of Change Alley 
transplanted into a rich and fruitful country." 

A single witness may be prejudiced and there may be exagger- 
ation throughout. But after all such deductions there is a con- 
sensus of evidence pointing to a sordid and semi-barbarous form 
of life. In such a community no questions are asked about a 
man's antecedents, and as a consequence the colony became an 
Alsatia for debtors and runaway servants. 4 The prevalent con- 
tempt for restraints is shown by an incident told us by Byrd, 
when a magistrate who had sentenced a man to the stocks for 
drunkenness was himself placed there and narrowly escaped a 
whipping. 5 

The boundary question, Byrd tells us, excited great interest, 
since the frontier settlers much preferred to belong to North 

1 N. Car. Records, vol. ii. p. 735. We need not have much hesitation in 
attributing this letter to Byrd. 

2 These statements are made in a letter from Urmston to the Secretary 
•of the S.P.G., July 7, 171 1. It is published in the N. Car. Records, vol. i. 
P- 763- 

3 This letter is printed in the Eleventh Report of the Historical Manuscripts 

4 This is confirmed by Spotswood's letter to Dartmouth, July 23, 171 1, vol. 
i. p. 105. See also a very full and important document enttitled, "Copy of a 
•representation of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to the 
King upon the state of his Majesty's Colonies and Plantations on the coast- 
of North America," Sept. 8, 1721. It is printed in the N. Y. Docs. vol. v. 
3>. 591. 6 Dividing Line, p. 47. 


Carolina, where criminal law was a nullity, and where neither 
private debts nor public dues were enforced, rather than to be 
under the more regularly administered government of Virginia. 

That tendency was no doubt in part due to the Act passed in 
1677 almost at the outset of the colony. This provided that no 
colonist might, during the first few years of his residence, be 
sued for any debt incurred beyond the colony. 1 In 17 15 another 
Act was passed providing that if a man owed money both within 
and without the colony, his creditors within should have a prior 
claim. 2 It is hard to say whether such enactments were more 
likely to prejudice the morality or the commerce of the com- 

The capital of the colony, Edenton, as described by Byrd, was. 
of a piece with the rest. It was bounded by a swamp swarming 
want of with mosquitoes. It numbered some fifty small 
and of houses, and a brick chimney was reported a piece of 

trade. luxurious extravagance. The Court House "had 

much the air of a common tobacco house," and there was no* 
place of worship of any denomination. The insignificance of 
Wilmington is negatively proved by the absence of any refer- 
ence to it in the records till well on in the eighteenth century,, 
and that as late as 1750 it had no custom house. 3 Even as late 
as 1756 a Governor could report that he had no official resi- 
dence, and that there was not even a public office for the custody 
of documents. Each official kept his papers at his own private 
house, and after his death they were often lost. 4 

The production of marketable tobacco could hardly be looked 
on as a high form of skilled industry. Yet even this was be- 
yond the reach of the North Carolina planter. The system of 
government inspection, not always carried out completely or 
effectively in Virginia, was not so much as attempted in North 
Carolina. So bad was the tobacco that in 1726 the legislature 
of Virginia passed an Act prohibiting the importation of it into 
that colony, lest it should be mixed with Virginia tobacco for 
exportation, and so discredit the whole colonial staple. 5 

The jealous watchfulness with which English officials sought 

1 Chalmers, p. 525. 2 N. Car. Records, vol. iv. p. 844. 

3 lb. vol. v., Preface. 

* lb. p. 594. For the inconvenience caused by the absence of an official 
capital see Governor Johnstone's Report, Records, vol. iv. p. 385. 
5 Heming, vol. iv. p. 195. 


to guard against any possibility of colonial manufactures is illus- 
trated by the action of Fitzwilliam, the Surveyor of Customs 
for North Carolina. He protested against the action of the 
Virginia legislature, on the ground that the North Carolina 
planters, being cut off from growing tobacco, would take to man- 
ufacturing their own clothes. 1 

The one productive industry which was carried on with some 
success was the manufacture of pitch and tar. This might have 
been a valuable export if the colony had possessed more and 
better harbors, or if the colonists had done their best to develop 
and utilize those harbors which they did possess. As it was, a 
few small vessels from New England brought clothing and iron, 
and took away pork, even pitch and tar. Beyond that the col- 
ony had no external trade. 2 

In one important respect North Carolina differed from the 
other colonies south of Delaware Bay. The limitations of her 
economical life almost excluded slavery. While in Virginia and 
South Carolina the black population was a majority, in North 
Carolina the whites numbered in 1720 about eight thousand, the 
negroes only five hundred. 3 

One passage in the report of Byrd and his colleagues is inter- 
esting as showing that in one matter they forecast the future of 
North Carolina more correctly than the Representatives of that 
colony. When the party reached a point fifty miles west of any 
existing settlement the North Carolina Commissioners said that 
a further survey was needless. No settlement was likely to be 
made so far, at least for a very long time. The line could then 
be drawn as occasion arose. The real reason, Byrd says, was 
they had wasted their supplies and were running short of pro- 
visions. The Virginia Commissioners protested. Their in- 
structions were to go as far as the mountains. They added the 
prophetic words: "If we reflect on the richness of the soil in 
these parts and the convenience for stock, we may foretell with- 
out the power of divination that there will be many settlements 
higher than these gentlemen went in less than ten years, or per- 
haps half that time." 4 

1 N. Car. Records, vol. ii. p. 684. 

'Report of Boone and Barwell on the state of Carolina, N. Car. Records, 
vol. ii. p. 394. 8 lb. 

4 The report is in the second volume of the N. Car. Records. 


One deduction must probably be made from Byrd's account. 
There seems little doubt that the northern portion of the col- 
ony into which his business led him was more backward than the 
south. Towards the South Carolina frontier he would have 
found a more thrifty and less squalid population. 1 

Yet in truth the whole colony labored under conditions which 
forbade any high degree of natural prosperity. The climate was 
Physical unfit for white labor, the resources of the soil were 
of North ns not suc h as t0 allow of the slave-gang to be worked 
Carolina. profitably. One has but to look at the coast of 
North Carolina, with its alternations of morass and pine-barren, 
its stagnant rivers, divided from one another by tracts of 
swamp, nourishing only a profitless and moribund-looking vege- 
tation, with everything to oppress and stupefy the imagination 
as much as to impair the physical nature of man, and one at once 
comprehends the hopelessness of human life and human toil in 
such a home. Not till expansion westward had opened to her 
settlers wholesome and fertile tracts, and till new forms of loco- 
motion had given her a share in the general prosperity of the 
young republic, could North Carolina be free from the sordid 
bondage which nature had laid upon her. 

Passing into South Carolina the traveler would find himself 
at once confronted with forms of social life and industry dif- 
south ferent from anything that he had yet encountered. 

Carolina. j n Maryland and Virginia we meet with negro 
slavery. But it is slavery adapted to methods of life not wholly 
unlike those of rural England. In South Carolina that likeness 
entirely disappears. As in the other slave colonies, mixed hus- 
bandry is unknown; the place of tobacco as the one staple 
product is taken by rice and at a later date indigo, produced by 
the monotonous labor of the slave-gang. But in the organiza- 
tion of that labor there are two important points of difference. 
The climate wholly excluded the indented white servant. The 
same causes too, aided by other natural influences, made the 
planter an absentee, and vested the practical control of the estates 
in an overseer. Virginia and Maryland, with pleasant stretches 

1 In 1734 Governor Johnstone, while reporting, as we shall see, very un- 
favorably on the colony as a whole, says that the inhabitants of the 
southern part are "a very sober and industrious sort of people." Records,, 
vol. v. p. 5. 


of riverside meadows and penetrable woods, offered to the land- 
holder an attractive imitation of those English surroundings, 
among which his ancestors had lived. In South Carolina river 
was separated from river by belts of noisome swamp, covered 
with ungraceful trees, or by broad expanses of flat soil, fertile" in- 
deed, but without a single charm of vegetation and with no at- 
tractions for the sportsman. Such a country offered no tempta- 
tions to the resident landowner. Consequently, he left his 
estate under the control of an overseer, and sought refuge among, 
the sea breezes and the comparatively healthy and pleasant sur- 
roundings of Charlestown. 

In Virginia and Maryland, as we have seen, the abundance of 
navigable rivers prevented the establishment of any important 
seaport. In South Carolina, on the other hand, the impossibility 
of finding landing stages along the rivers forced the whole com- 
merce of the colony to concentrate itself at Charlestown. Thus, 
there came into existence a type of life different indeed in many 
of its features from that of the seaboard cities in New England 
or the Middle States, but as purely urban, as concentrated, and 
as exclusive. As in Boston we have an oligarchy of religion and 
in New York of wealth, so in Charlestown we have an oligarchy- 
of color. In the life of the Charlestown planter of the 
eighteenth century, surrounded by those luxuries which slave 
labor, a thriving trade, and a warm climate placed at his dis- 
posal, bound by no tie of sentiment or interest towards those 
on whose industry he subsisted, we see the foundations of 
that oligarchy, at once sensual and intellectual, indolent 
yet strenuous, steeped in self-indulgence yet capable of sublime 
sacrifice, in which at a later date Southern slavery found its 

The commercial prosperity of South Carolina is sufficiently 
shown by the fact that the number of ships sailing from Charles- 
town increased from a hundred and fourteen in 17 14 to two 
hundred and forty-eight in 1735. Yet there was but little in 
the outward aspect of Charlestown suggestive of wealth or 
luxury. The grandeur of the natural harbor and the semi- 
tropical vegetation which adorned its gardens and pleasure- 
grounds must always have given Charlestown something of 
splendor. But the houses were small and mainly built of wood, 
while the lack of grass plots and of pavements even now pro- 


duces to our English eyes a singular look of crudeness, and al- 
most squalor. 

It was a peculiarity of Charlestown that there was a large 
class of semi-residents as they might be called. Many of the 
chief houses were in the hands of English merchants who divided 
their lives between the colony and the mother country. The 
colony suffered, we are told, by a system which placed a large 
part of the commercial resources of the colony in the hands of 
those who had but little experience of its needs, no abiding in- 
terest in its well-being. 1 

The best estimate — and the best is but conjectural — puts the 
population of South Carolina in 1710 at about sixteen thousand, 
of whom nearly two-thirds were negroes or Indian slaves. In 
North Carolina the proportion was widely different. Of a pop- 
ulation of about ten thousand, five-sixths were white. One 
effect of the natural and industrial condition, both of North and 
South Carolina, was to isolate the inland portions of those colo- 
nies alike from one another, and from the settlements on the sea- 
board. Inland communication was almost impossible, and the 
inhabitants of the towns on the coast, whether of Wilmington 
or Charlestown, were more closely connected with the seaboard 
towns of other colonies than they were with the inland portions 
of their own. 

It has been already said that the estimates given of the popu- 
lation in the various colonies are but conjectural and imperfect. 
Population But we shall probably be safe in saying that in 17 10 
nies a S C a l0 tne tota l white population was between two hundred 
whole. an( j £f t y thousand and three hundred thousand, and 

was nearer to the higher than the lower figure, while the total 
number of slaves was about a quarter that of the white in- 
habitants. 2 

Such were the elements out of which the future republic had 
to be built. A mere summary such as that just given is at least 
Lack of enough to show the difficulties which stood in the way 

any sense ° . J 

of unity or unison. It is assuredly not too much to say that 
colonists. for the colonists, the sense of a common nationality 

1 Memorial from the agent for Carolina (apparently for both colonies), 
July 18, 1 71 5, in the North Carolina Records, vol. ii. p. 196. Report of 
Board of Trade, Sept. 8, 1721, in the same volume, p. 418. 

3 See Appendix I. 


was non-existent. In moments of sentiment or for some rhe- 
torical purpose the colonist might speak of himself as an English- 
man. He was prepared to be called, and in some measure dealt 
with as, a British subject. He was also a New Englander or a 
Virginian, as the case might be. He never felt the slightest 
necessity for coining some intermediate term applicable to the 
whole body of settlers. 

Moreover, though the colonist did after a fashion think of 
himself as a British subject, that was rather a vague sentiment 
than a practical working influence. It varied much in different 
•colonies. It was probably stronger in Virginia and in South 
Carolina than anywhere else. There, far more than in the other 
-colonies, the ruling class depended for the amenities, and even in 
•some measure for the necessaries, of life on intercourse with the 
mother country. As we have seen, there were at Charlestown a 
class of merchants who divided their residence between the two 
continents. The same was to some extent the case in New 

Again, whatever might be the political constitution of the 
Southern colonies, the system of the plantation and the slave- 
gang had imbued them, North Carolina alone excepted, with the 
temperament and convictions of aristocracies. That tempera- 
ment and those convictions also dominated the mother country, 
at least as looked at from without, and it is an almost unfailing 
political law that aristocracies are more closely bound together 
by common political connection than communities of any other 

The New Englander or the Pennsylvanian, so far as he was 
bound to the mother country at all, was only bound to it by 
unity of speech, rendered incomplete by the presence of many 
alien elements or by a vague and traditional sentiment. He 
might claim a share in that great intellectual and literary heri- 
tage which past generations of Englishmen had bequeathed to 
their successors. In the existing political life of England he had 
no share. When he came in contact with it, it usually irritated 
and repelled him. 

Yet that repulsion did little or nothing as yet to draw the 
colonies together, or to lead them to substitute any other concep- 
tion of nationality for that which was being slowly undermined 
by political and economic influences. 


The New England colonies had indeed enough identity in 
origin, opinions, and method of life to regard themselves as a 
single and united factor in the body politic. The old federation 
of the four colonies had achieved but little from an administra- 
tive point of view. But it had done something to bear witness 
to the need of union and to remind men of such a possibility. 
The colonies of Puritan origin formed in a certain sense an 
organic whole, with Rhode Island as a basely born Ishmael liv- 
ing outside the fold of the covenant. 

Community of origin and of early traditions did something,, 
too, to bind together those colonies which had once been Dutch- 
territory. But the conception of a union of all the English- 
speaking provinces along the Atlantic seaboard had no place as 
a matter of sentiment, hardly any as a question of policy. The 
New Englander or Virginian owned a double allegiance. He 
was a citizen of his own province and also of the British Em- 
pire. No intermediate conception of a corporate American 
nationality ever, so far as we can judge, presented itself to his 

There was, indeed, one class of men outside the colonists them- 
selves to whom the necessity for colonial union was constantly 
present. There is hardly a single British official of any intelli- 
gence or independence of view from the Revolution of 1688 till 
the conquest of Canada who does not see the necessity for some 
measure, not it may be of complete union, but of consolidation. 
Some such proposals have already come before us, others belong, 
to a later stage of our subject. 

Unhappily, in the one instance where a scheme of colonial 
union was put into practice, the manner in which it was tried 
and the associations with which it was connected were such as 
not merely to insure failure, but to prejudice all future attempts 
in the same direction. The crude attempt of James II. to unite 
all the Northern colonies into a single province under a Gov- 
ernor, well intentioned indeed, .but wholly unfitted alike by 
character and antecedents for such administrative responsibility, 
made the very thought of colonial ufUQJi-^tink in^he nostrils of 
patriotic New Englanders. It is grossly unrair to treat that, 
as it often has been treated, as a conspicuous act of tyranny 
either in the ruler who devised the scheme or the servant who 
executed it. Dongan, a man undoubtedly wise and liberal- 


minded in his colonial policy, had always been in favor of con- 
solidation. He had advocated the resumption of New Jersey 
and Delaware, and the annexation of Connecticut and Rhode 
Island. And as the policy of James in its underlying principle, 
if not in its details, was approved by the wisest of his colonial 
advisers, so was it also virtually condoned by those who suc- 
ceeded to his responsibilities. In the State Papers for April 
1689 are two entries showing this. One is an orderjirom the 
King in Council that Lord Shrewsbury consult those most inter- 
ested in New York, New England, and New Jersey, and then 
recommend a Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. The other 
is a general approval of this line of policy by the Lords of Trade. 
It is significant that they give as a reason for their- recommenda- 
tion that it will "enable the colonies not only to defend them- 
selves, but to take the offensive." The fore^n policy of 
William and the policy of uncompromising hostility to France 
were henceforth to be the keynote of the colonial as well as the 
European policy of Great Britain. 

As the eighteenth century advanced, that hostility became 
more and more firmly woven into the national policy. French 
encroachment in America, with its accompaniments of Indian 
raids and frontier massacres, became by degrees more systematic 
and threatening. The discovery and settlement of Louisiana 
gave a wholly new character to that encroachment. The Brit- 
ish settlements might find themselves hemmed in as it were 
by a solid wall, and debarred from all possibility of extension 

Under such circumstances it was but natural that the need for 
some effective organization, whereby all the resources of the col- 
onies could be turned to account for common defense, should 
have forced itself with increasing conviction on English officials. 
Various projects pointing in that direction have been described 
in an earlier volume. One of the most interesting documents 
bearing on this question is a pamphlet published in London in 
1720, but written by a colonist, and entitled "Some Considera- 
tions on the Consequence of settling Colonies on the Mississippi, 
from a gentleman of America to his friend in London." The 
writer sees that the great danger to be guarded against is the 
possession of the Mississippi by France. The fur trade must be 
retained and developed not only for its own sake, but as the 


best means of securing the Indian alliance. So, too, the Five 
Nations must be protected against French encroachment. 

The writer adds one remark which puts the question of sala- 
ries in a light somewhat different from that in which it is pre- 
sented by the colonists themselves. The absence of fixed salaries 
led, the writer contends, to official extortion. 

Projects for resistance to French encroachment no doubt 
carried with them as a necessary consequence a policy of union 
Obstacles between the colonies. But it was a far cry from a 
to union. general demand for defensive action to a scheme of 
union, and further still to such a scheme furnished with all the 
details needed for putting it practically in force. Nor, as far 
as existing records show, was there any British official with 
enough courage and originality to face a problem to which the 
conditions of colonial life presented so many ami-such weighty 
obstacles. The hindrances on the side of the colonists were both 
moral and material. The colonies in which civic feeling was 
strongest, and which could, therefore, contribute most to any 
collective scheme of defense, were just those very ones which 
were most fenced off from their neighbors by a spirit of vigorous 
local patriotism. The New Englander and the Virginian stood 
out as the best representatives of colonial intelligence and energy, 
while at the same time they, of all the colonists, would be slowest 
to merge their special position in a common nationality. 

Over and above that there were the difficulties begotten by 
widely differing modes of life and industry, and not overcome by 
want of any effective methods of communication. The difficul- 
cation. ties of transit have been already incidentally touched 

upon. Epistolary communication between the Northern and 
Southern extremities of the colonial dominion hardly existed. In 
1692 one Thomas Neal obtained from Government a patent for 
furnishing the colonies with a postal service. 1 Neal appointed 
Andrew Hamilton, Governor of New Jersey, as his Deputy. He 
adopted the sound policy of having departmental systems under 
the control of the different colonial administrators. A post 
office was thus established at Boston in 1693, communicating 
with Portsmouth to the North, Virginia to the South. The 

1 A full account of these postal arrangements with references to the original 
authorities is given by Mr. Palfrey, vol. iv. pp. 328, &c. 


post, however, between Boston and New York only plied once a 
week in the summer, and half as often in the winter. A letter 
would, at times, take six weeks more in making its way from 
New York to Virginia. Of any regular communication be- 
tween the Carolinas and their northern neighbors we hear noth- 
ing. It is hardly rash to say that the Virginia planter and the 
Charlestown merchant felt themselves in closer contact with 
Bristol and London than with Boston or New York. 

Among the many suggestions as to colonial union put forward 
by English officials, one, and only one, really grapples with the 
Living- main difficulty to be overcome, the wide dissimilarity 
scheme of of interests and conditions which kept the colonies 

three pro- T T . . . • i i i 

vinces. apart. In 1701 Livingstone, in a memorial already 

noticed, suggested that the colonies should be formed into three 
provinces. 1 Such an arrangement would have conformed not 
only to the physical conditions of the colonies, but also, in a great 
measure, to their origin and to their political and religious views. 
To bring the Puritan of New England, the Quaker of Pennsyl- 
vania, the planter of the South, all under one comprehensive 
government might indeed seem a hopeless task. But if an Eng- 
lish statesman had been found with enough insight and construc- 
tive power to take up Livingstone's scheme and persevere with 
it there might have come into existence three provinces, each 
homogeneous in itself. The scheme might even have served as a 
basis for a more complete union, for a system analogous to that 
of India with its three presidencies. And even if it had never 
reached that stage, it would have done much to lighten the prob- 
lems of administrative and military defense. 

One influence there was which forced the colonies into con- 
tact with one another, but which made far more for alienation 
Boundary tnan f° r union. There was hardly one colony which 
disputes. was not | n some measure entangled with its neighbors 
on questions of boundary. This was largely due to the reckless- 
ness with which the Crown had made its early grants of land and 
to errors arising from slovenly and ignorant surveying. The 
trouble was enhanced by the unsystematic fashion in which the 
colonies had come into existence. The mere fact that two col- 
onies were next-door neighbors did not carry with it any sort of 

1 N. Y. Docs. vol. iv. p. 870. 


guarantee for homogeneity of character or community of interest 
and sentiment. 

Moreover the trouble was enhanced by this, that the absence 
of exact boundaries made effective control impossible just in 
those very places where it was most needed. One is often 
tempted, in reading the colonial records, to wonder at the heat 
and pertinacity with which the various governments did battle 
for unremunerative strips of territory in the backwoods. The 
real fact is that the jurisdiction of such tracts often became a 
question on which the peace and safety of the community de- 
pended. The men who pushed their way out westward into 
those regions whose boundaries were uncertain were just the very 
men who, alike from their temper and their surroundings, needed 
the restraints of law. The danger was that they would play off 
one jurisdiction against another, using the doubts about their 
boundary as a pretext for disclaiming the authority of tax col- 
lectors, sheriffs' officers, and the like. 

There was yet another danger. The occupants of the frontier 
were often traders dealing with the Indians. If the relations 
between the colony as a whole and the natives on the frontier 
were to be peaceful and secure, it was absolutely necessary that 
the borderers should be amenable to legal control. Over and 
over again a single act of lawlessness going unpunished involved 
a whole colony in the dangers of devastation and massacre. 
Moreover, the spectacle of such disputes made it difficult to im- 
press on the Indians the belief that the various English settle- 
ments really belonged to one common nationality. 

In the case of the Northern colonies, with their common origin 
and modes of life, their settled habits and respect for law, and 
Dispute their disinclination to extend westward, such disputes 
Massa-° were comparatively unimportant. In 17 13 a diffi- 
anS s coi?- culty arose about the boundary between Connecticut 
necticut. an( j Massachusetts. A compromise was arrived at. 
Four townships within the recognized limits of Connecticut were 
to belong for administrative purposes to Massachusetts. In 
1747 the inhabitants of these townships became dissatisfied with 
the compromise and wished to be transferred to Connecticut. 
The legislature of Connecticut proposed to refer the matter to a 
joint commission. Massachusetts preferred to refer the matter 
to the Home Government, who decided in favor of Connecti- 


cut. 1 The reckless fashion in which the British Crown had 
from the early years of the seventeenth century parceled out its 
American territory was responsible for much confusion and 
many disputes. In 1720 a boundary dispute arose between Con- 
necticut and Rhode Island, and was referred to the Board of 
Trade. Their decision, or rather one should say their opinion, 
was embodied in a full and careful report. The claim of Rhode 
Island was valid under their charter, but was inconsistent with 
the charter of Connecticut, which was of earlier date. It was 
probable that Charles II. had intended the later document to 
override the earlier one. But there was no specific declaration 
to that effect, and in the absence of any such the charter of Con- 
necticut must hold good. However, as the question only con- 
cerned jurisdiction and not private property, there was an obvi- 
ous and easy way out of the difficulty. Let both colonies sur- 
render their charters and allow themselves to be annexed to New 
Hampshire. It would be difficult to find a stronger instance 
of that ineptitude in grasping and interpreting colonial opinion 
which far more than any spirit of deliberate harshness, of selfish- 
ness, or arbitrary temper was the fatal flaw in the British ad- 
ministration of the American colonies. 2 

We have already seen that the dispute between Virginia and 
North Carolina was settled by Byrd and his colleagues in a 
James 11. 's wholly amicable manner. Other disputes there were 
grants. between New York and New Jersey and between the 

two Carolinas. But none of them had any marked effect on the 
condition or history of either colony, and their details have ceased 
to have anything more than an antiquarian interest. One dis- 
pute, however, was at once so embittered and prolonged that it 
needs special notice. We have already seen how Baltimore dis- 
puted the claims of the Dutch colonists, and how he dealt with 
the unhappy Swedes at the Hoarkill. Whatever hostility he 
may have felt towards them was sure to be increased by the 
transfer of the Delaware territory to Penn. If he resented the 
presence of the few scattered settlements, the remnants of Swed- 
ish and Dutch occupation, much more would he resent the oc- 
cupation of the territory by an enterprising Proprietor with 

1 For these disputes see Connecticut Records, 1728-50, p. 339; Trumbull, 
vol. ii. p. 295. 

3 The report is in the R. I. Records, vol. iv. p. 307. 


wide-reaching projects of colonization, and with views at once 
so peculiar and so definite as to suggest a perpetual possibility 
of friction. 

Not much if at all earlier than June 1680 Penn petitioned 
for a grant of territory north of Maryland. So watchful were 
Baltimore's agents in England, and so well informed on all that 
concerned his territorial interest, that on June 23 we find them 
petitioning that Penn's grant should be carefully bounded so as 
not to encroach on Maryland, and that for the common good 
the sale of arms and ammunition to the Indians be forbidden to 
the grantee. 1 

The difficulties which arose between Penn and Baltimore were 
no doubt in a large measure due to that unfortunate vagueness 
Boundary which characterized the original grant of Maryland, 
dispute. 'phg northern boundary of the province granted to 
Cecilius Calvert was thus described. The territory was to ex- 
tend northward "into that part of the bay of Delaware on the 
north which lieth under the fortieth degree of north latitude 
from the aequinoctial where New England is terminated." Its 
northern boundary was to run from Delaware Bay in a right 
line. 2 

That might signify a line either parallel to the equator or 
parallel to the coast. That, however, is immaterial to the 
present issue. What was not immaterial was the unhappy in- 
sertion of the words "where New England is terminated." No 
grant could be so interpreted as to make the fortieth degree of 
latitude the southern boundary of New England. Yet there is 
no doubt that the existence of those words in the grant influ- 
enced Baltimore in advancing the untenable claim which he made 
against New Netherlands. And there can be equally little 
doubt that the very fact of his having thus abandoned sure 
ground prejudiced that portion of his case which was really good. 
For it is very certain that Penn's original grant did encroach, 
though but slightly, on the territory to which Baltimore had a 
legal claim. 

That was a theoretical rather than a practical grievance. The 
supplementary grant, which gave Penn a tract of land on the 
south-west side of Delaware Bay extending to Cape Henlopen, 

1 Col. State Papers, 1680, 1404. 

2 Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas, p. 280. 


was undoubtedly an encroachment on the boundary of Mary- 
land as defined by the original grant to the first Lord Baltimore.. 
That was not all. It blocked a considerable portion of Balti- 
more's province from direct access to the sea, and it gave him an 
eastern frontier in every way less advantageous: instead of an. 
open arm of the sea, a tract occupied by settlers, possibly un- 
friendly and nowise under his control. 

There seemed at the outset to be a prospect of an imme- 
diate and pacific settlement between Penn and Baltimore. In 
Perm's ne- August 1 68 1 Markham, who it will be remembered 
wiVh Bai5- was tnen actm g as Deputy-Governor, went by Penn's 
more. instructions to Maryland, furnished with two letters 

to Baltimore, one from the King, the other from Penn. Mark- 
ham, however, fell ill, and nothing resulted from his visit. A 
meeting was arranged for the spring of 1682. At that time, 
however, the plant-cutting riots were going forward in Vir^ 
ginia. 1 Baltimore feared that these might extend to his own 
colony, and therefore thought it best to remain on the banks of 
the Potomac. Markham, too, according to Baltimore's report,, 
evaded the meeting. Baltimore, however, sent commissioners 
who satisfied themselves that the latitude of Newcastle was; 
thirty-nine degrees forty odd minutes, and that it therefore fell 
within the original grant of Maryland. Markham seems tc* 
have been positively determined to avoid an interview, and 
when at last Baltimore pursued him and brought him to bay at 
Uplands, he seemed equally determined not to commit himself 
to any declaration or admission. 2 

At length, in December 1682, Penn visited Maryland and' 
conferred with Baltimore. Penn appears, even on his adver- 
sary's showing, to have been candid in his declaration of what he 
wanted. If Baltimore's interpretation of his grant held good, 
Penn's supplementary territory, as we may call it, would be 
left without a seaport, and his grant would be so far rendered 
valueless. As he himself expressed it in a private conversation,, 

1 Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas, p. 261. 

2 We have very full reports of the interviews between Penn and Baltimore, 
and of their negotiations generally, written by each of the principals. We 
have also a report of their first interview taken down in shorthand by the 
clerk to the Maryland Assembly. Penn, however, in his statement denies the 
correctness of this report. Baltimore also described the record of his two 
interviews with Penn in a letter to Blathwayt. All these are printed in full 
in the Colonial State Papers, 1681-5, 847, 849, 11 17, 1179. 


"The King had given him a considerable tract of land to the 
backward of Lord Baltimore; he knew that such land was 
worthless to him without an inlet, and he begged Lord Balti- 
more to be so good and kind as to give him a back door for the 
improvement thereof; adding that what would be but a hun- 
dredth of Lord Baltimore's interest would be many more hun- 
dredths of his own." 

There was a widely characteristic difference between the atti- 
tude of each disputant. Baltimore held doggedly to the strong 
point of his own case. His original grant made his northern 
boundary the fortieth degree of latitude, and that was final. 
Penn urged one plea after another, mixing up law, equity, and 
compromise. First he urged the authority. One cannot 
wonder if Baltimore resented a claim thus urged. The letter 
ignored Baltimore's patent, and authoritatively declared a new 
boundary. Baltimore might reasonably contend that the King's 
mere wish expressed in a letter could not annul a right conferred 
by a patent. 

Penn then took up a sounder position. He virtually ad- 
mitted that a correct scientific interpretation of the fortieth de- 
gree of latitude would bring Newcastle within the limits of 
Baltimore's grant. But that literal interpretation would also 
have the effect of excluding Watkin's Point, which had always 
been conventionally accepted as the southern extremity of Mary- 
land. It was clear, so Penn contended, that the original grant 
to the first Lord Baltimore was meant to give him a seaboard of 
two degrees — that is to say, of one hundred and twenty miles. 
He had been allowed to place his southern boundary beyond the 
correct latitude scientifically ascertained. He had no right to 
take advantage of that error, and by claiming a scientifically as- 
certained boundary on the north, to extend his grant by twenty 
miles. According to Penn, the advisers of the Crown were mis- 
led by an inaccurate map, which placed Cape Henlopen twenty 
miles further south than it really was. Their intention was 
that Penn's grant should reach as far as the point erroneously 
designated Cape Henlopen. Baltimore interpreted it as only 
extending to the real Cape Henlopen, and thereby curtailed it of 
twenty miles. 

Thus under the grant to Penn as it was originally designed 
by the King and his advisers, Newcastle would have been ten 


miles north of the southern boundary assigned to Penn. In re- 
ality it was ten miles south of it. 

This tallied with a statement made at a later day by Penn's 
agent, Logan. 1 

The attitude of the two claimants was characteristically dif- 
ferent. Baltimore held strongly to the letter of his grant. 
Penn was indifferent to the legal aspect of the question, if only 
he could secure the practical end at which he aimed. He was 
ready to buy the territory in question from Baltimore, and thus 
acknowledge his legal right. Baltimore was deaf to all sug- 
gestions of compromise. 

Finally Penn endeavored to persuade Baltimore that the in- 
tended encroachment was a blessing in disguise. "The ships 
that come yearly to Maryland for tobacco would have the bring- 
ing of both our people and merchandise, because they could 
afford it cheaper; whereby Maryland would for one age or two 
be the mart of trade." There is a touch of disingenuousness 
in this appeal. Penn's subsequent policy showed that he was 
determined as far as might be to keep the trade of Pennsylvania 
independent of other colonies. Yet we may fairly think that his 
inconsistency was no more than that of an inexact thinker, who 
could only see clearly that special aspect of a case with which he 
was at the time being concerned. 

The net was spread in vain. Baltimore expressed a civil hope 
that Penn would change his attitude, and they parted. In the 
Baltimore following year Baltimore took practical measures for 

attempts to . . te \ v 

exercise resisting the threatened encroachment. In May 
on the 1683 he issued a proclamation on the subject of the 

land. a e acquisition of land. The existing system, it declared, 
enabled certain persons to monopolize large tracts, and was in- 
jurious alike to the bulk of the inhabitants and to the Proprie- 
tor. Henceforth every person taking up land was to pay a hun- 
dred pounds of tobacco for the purchase and two shillings a year 
rent, unless it were on the seaboard side or near the Hoarkill, in 
which case the price and the quit-rent were to be lessened by 
half. 2 This was plainly an attempt to direct the stream of emi- 
gration into the debatable land. 

1 Pennsylvania Archives, vol. vii. p. 44. 

2 Col. State Papers, 1683, 1069, 1070. The proclamation does not specify 
in detail the nature of the existing system. 


Next year a small armed party under the leadership of that: 
disreputable firebrand George Talbot 1 attempted to terrify some 
of Penn's colonists into accepting Baltimore's supremacy and 
paying him rent. They do not, however, seem to have pro- 
ceeded to actual violence. 

In November 1685 the Board of Trade reported on the case. 
A new ground for deciding in Penn's favor was now introduced. 
Decision of "The land intended to be granted by Lord Balti- 
of Trade. more's patent was only land uncultivated and inhab- 
ited by savages, whereas the land in question was settled by 
Christians before Lord Baltimore's patent." Technically that 
statement was true. There was, as we have seen, a Dutch set- 
tlement at Swanendael in 1631. But after its destruction by 
the savages in 1632 no attempt was made to restore it. Balti- 
more's patent dated from June 1632, and then, as the news of 
the destruction of Swanendael reached Holland in the previous 
May, it is very certain that at the time of the grant to Baltimore 
the land was unoccupied. Nor was it absolutely correct to say 
that Baltimore's grant was limited to land "uncultivated and 
inhabited only by savages." Those words did occur in the pre- 
amble setting forth Baltimore's wishes and purpose. But they 
do not occur as an actual limitation to the grant. 

Moreover the attack on Baltimore's rights was a double-edged 
weapon. If Dutch occupation barred Baltimore's rights, it 
equally barred those rights which the Crown granted to the 
Duke of York. 

The practical solution arrived at was not a compromise but a 
simple reaffirmation of the grant to Penn. The King, acting; 
on the report of the Board of Trade, ordered "that to avoid 
further difference the tract of land between the river and bay 
of Delaware and the Eastern sea on one side and Chesapeake 
Bay on the other be divided into two equal parts by a line from 
the latitude of Cape Henlopen to the fortieth degree of Northern 
latitude, and that one half towards Delaware Bay and the 
Eastern sea be adjudged to belong to the King and the other to 
Lord Baltimore." 2 

Setting aside, however, both the equity of the settlement and 
the correctness of the geographical data on which it rested, it is. 

1 See Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas, p. 318. 

2 Col. State Papers, 1685-8, 456. 

CONFLICT IN 1707. 61 

•difficult to imagine a more unsatisfactory or incomplete solution. 
The territory in question was a long, narrow strip of land lying 
between two deeply indented seaboards. How could a line be 
drawn which should with any precision divide such a tract into 
two equal parts? 

For the remainder of the century Penn and Baltimore were 
too fully occupied with the protection of their own endangered 
conflict interests to have any leisure for fighting. The first 
in 1707. evidence of any renewal of the conflict was in 1707. 

In the August of that year the Sheriff of Cecil County, Mary- 
land, ejected certain Welsh settlers who claimed to be within 
the territory and jurisdiction of Pennsylvania. The Sheriff of 
Newcastle thereupon arrested the offending official, and his 
action was approved by the Governor and Council of Pennsyl- 
vania. At first the Governor of Maryland appears to have dis- 
avowed the action of his subordinate. But within a few days 
news reached Newcastle that he had mustered the militia of 
Cecil County to support the Sheriff. There our knowledge of 
the matter abruptly ends. In all likelihood the Governor and 
Assembly of Pennsylvania were too fully occupied with their 
own internal disputes to be able to make any effective resistance 
to the encroachments of their neighbors. 

For more than ten years we hear no more of the dispute. 
There is, however, evidence of commercial jealousy between the 
two colonies in an Act passed by the Assembly of Maryland in 
17 1 5 to prohibit the importation of tobacco, grain, and horses 
from Pennsylvania. 1 This must have excluded the Pennsylvania 
farmer from a profitable market, and deprived the Marylanders 
-of a valuable source of supply. The conditions of industry in 
Pennsylvania were far more suited for corn-growing than those 
of Maryland. It is clear, too, that horse-breeding was an im- 
portant industry in Pennsylvania, since an Act was passed in 
1723 appointing a public inspector to seize all horses "under- 
sized or out of comely proportion," running in the public pas- 
tures. 2 

In 1 7 18 some dispute seems to have arisen which rendered a 

1 Acts of Maryland, p. 343. 

'Laws of Pennsylvania (p. 301). So in the travels of the Quaker Cheese- 
unan, we read of a fompany of wild horses in Pennsylvania. 


conference between the authorities of the two colonies necessary. 1 
Keith with one Councilor from Pennsylvania met Hart, the 
Governor of Maryland, with three members of his CounciL 
That the dispute turned on a question of jurisdiction seems 
clear; it is also clear that the arrangement of 1685 had never 
been put in force by the actual drawing of a boundary line.. 
For it was agreed between the two Governors that till such 
boundary was drawn settlers on the debatable land should con- 
sider themselves within the jurisdiction of that colony to which 
they had previously belonged. Such an arrangement was a 
mere imperfect stop-gap. The most troublesome cases would be 
those of squatters, coming it might be no one knew whence, and 
determined as far as might be to evade all authority. 

In 1722 the dispute revived. Certain Marylanders, author- 
ized by Lord Baltimore, were surveying for copper mines on the 
Dispute Susquehannah. As they bore arms their proceedings 
in 1722. had alarmed the natives, and there was a possibility of 

trouble with them. At the same time a party from CeciL 
County, also armed, had arrested two Pennsylvanian magis- 
trates. Keith therefore wrote to Calvert, the Governor of 
Maryland, complaining of those "who justly bear the title of 
land pirates," and announcing that he "was resolved to put it 
out of their power to embroil us by their ridiculous projects." 
What intended action, if any, was described by those words does, 
not appear. 

In the November of that year Keith addressed the Pennsyl- 
vania Assembly on the subject. He recapitulated the dispute 
with Maryland, and he pointed out that the cheap rate at which 
Baltimore had been selling land in the debated district raised a 
presumption that he distrusted his own title. The question, he 
said, was one on which neither party to the dispute could have 
an impartial and independent opinion, and it ought to be referred 
to some independent arbitrator. Nothing could better illustrate 
the necessity for some central authority, a body such as the 
present Colonial Department w T ith executive powers of its own, 
which the Board of Trade and Plantations had not, and also 
better equipped with special information than that body was. 

Next year Keith received from Charles Calvert, the Governor 

1 My account of this and the following disputes is taken from the Penn- 
sylvania Records, vol. iii. 


of Maryland, a letter stating that Baltimore had instructed 
him to draw a boundary line, taking the fortieth degree of lati- 
tude. In reply Keith sent a letter received four years before 
from the Board of Trade, 1 with the accompanying comment, 
"There is nothing therein which will direct or countenance you 
to discover the boundaries of Maryland by astronomical rules 
and uncertain observations." The matter, Keith says, could 
best be settled by a conference. Calvert in reply declined the 
conference, and declared that he should hold to his instructions. 

In 1733 one Thomas' Cresop, claiming to be under the juris- 
diction of Maryland, settled on the debatable land. He was 
the father of that Michael Cresop whose lawless violence 
brought about one of the most hideous tragedies in colonial his- 
tory. The son apparently came by his character by legitimate 
inheritance. By various acts of violence Cresop embroiled him- 
self with the local officials appointed by the Pennsylvanian Gov- 
ernment. They seem in their turn to have exceeded their legal 
powers. A recriminatory correspondence followed between 
Lord Baltimore and Patrick Gordon, the Governor of Pennsyl- 
vania. The latter was conciliatory, the former certainly vio- 
lent in his tone, and, if we may believe Gordon, reckless in his 
statement of facts. In one case Baltimore complains of an act 
of civil war, while Gordon explains that the alleged outrage was. 
nothing more than an ordinary boxing match. 2 Two Com- 
missioners from Pennsylvania reported to the Assembly on the 
question, but this led to nothing. 3 A surveyor from Maryland, 
one Ramsay, was arrested for acts of violence done in the exe- 
cution of his business ; 4 the Sheriff of Lancaster County in Penn- 
sylvania in attempting to execute a writ was beaten, to the 
endangering of his life. 5 

In the following year a fresh element of confusion was intro- 
duced by the appearance in the disputed territory of a body of 
settlers having no integral connection or community of interest 
with either of the two colonies in question. A body of German 
emigrants settled in the debatable land. It is not easy to un- 
ravel, from the conflicting statements made, the real position of 
these settlers. Apparently, however, they originally settled 

1 This letter does not appear to be extant. 

2 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. pp. 467-95- 

*Ib. p. 547. 4 lb. p. 591. 8 lb. p. 612. 


under the belief that they were within the territory of Pennsyl- 
vania. Then as the result of pressure put upon them by Cresop 
they acknowledged the jurisdiction of Maryland. But after- 
wards, either because they believed that they had been misled by 
Cresop or, as Ogle suggests, in order to escape from taxes im- 
posed by the Government of Maryland, they disclaimed the ju- 
risdiction of that colony. Thereupon Ogle granted the land in 
•question to a party of his own settlers, undoubtedly with the pur- 
pose of evicting the Germans, while at the same time he offered 
:a reward for the arrest of two citizens of Pennsylvania. Even 
if the Maryland claim was well founded, it is impossible not to 
condemn a proceeding which would have turned the unhappy 
Germans out into the wilderness, homeless at the beginning of 
winter. 1 

The government of Pennsylvania at once met force with force, 
and arrested two of the principal Marylanders concerned. An 
incident followed which recalls some tale of violence and out- 
rage from the Scotch Border. A warrant for murder was issued 
against Cresop. He with six followers barricaded his house, 
and fired on the party who came with the warrant. The house 
was set on fire. In the confusion which followed one of the be- 
sieged party was shot by his own side. A second escaped by the 
chimney; a third, against whom there was a warrant out for 
rape, was captured. Finally Cresop himself surrendered. Ogle 
thereupon wrote to the government of Pennsylvania demanding 
Cresop's release, and complaining of "the horrid cruelty" of 
""those monsters of men" who had acted for Pennsylvania. 

Ogle's attitude could hardly fail to beget a continuance of 
hostilities, and in the following November a party of sixteen 
Marylanders broke into the house of the jailer in Lancaster 
County, seized his keys, and released certain prisoners. This 
'outrage did call forth a reproof from Ogle, but it was not ac- 
companied by any practical attempt either at punishment or 

Now at last the Home Government stepped in. Before the 
perpetration of the outrage just described the Board of Trade 
nad issued an order that both sides were to keep the peace, and 
that no more grants were to be made in the disputed territory. 

1 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iv. pp. ioo-i, 251, passim. 


In the following May this was followed up by an order from 
the King in Council, drawing a provisional line between the two 
colonies which was to be observed, pending a final settlement 
based on an exact survey. The danger of hostilities was averted, 
but the question of boundary remained unsettled until after the 
revolution. 1 

Incidents such as have been just described enable one to 
understand how great were the hindrances to effective colonial 
co-operation. The real subject for wonder is not that those 
difficulties should have operated so long as they did, but that at 
length a motive could be found strong enough to bring about 
union in defiance of such obstacles. 

Meanwhile an agreement had been made in February 1723 
between the representatives of Penn — that is to say his widow 
Agreement an ^ tne mortagees of his estate — on the one side, and 
1111723. Baltimore on the other, that till a settlement had 

been arranged the existing rights of private landholders should 
be respected, and no land taken up in the debatable territory. 

This, as we have just seen, only succeeded so far as to bring 
about a temporary suspension of hostilities. It did nothing 
towards effecting a definite settlement. 

The dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland was the 
most conspicuous instance of the evil done by James II. 's deal- 
Effect of ings with his territory. But we may doubt whether 

James II.'s . te J J , 

policy. it was really the worst result. By breaking up his 

territory into wholly separate provinces the Proprietor of New 
York sacrificed the best chance, or rather the one chance, of colo- 
nial union. The New England colonies were so strongly im- 
bued by their antecedents, by political and religious sentiment, 
with the spirit of civic unity among themselves and isolation 
from the external world, that nothing but some overwhelming 
necessity appealing to their self-concentrated patriotism could 
force them to accept any system of colonial union. As isolation 
was forced on the Northern colonies by their historical past, so, 
too, was it forced on the Southern by the physical obstacles to 
communication. Moreover, in the Northern and the Southern 
group of colonies alike, the line of continuity was broken by the 
presence of an element wholly different in character, and, as its 

1 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iv. pp. 254, 298. 


neighbors would have deemed, greatly inferior. The heretical 
origin and antecedents of Rhode Island, the wide religious toler- 
ation, the somewhat lax commercial morality, the absence of 
literary and intellectual life, were as distasteful to the orthodox, 
law-abiding, well-read Bostonian, as the squalid barbarism of 
North Carolina was to the Virginia planter or the Charlestown 
merchant. But if James II. 's territorial rights had been used 
with wisdom, and his schemes supported by the personal influ- 
ence which he enjoyed, there might have come into existence, 
between the southern boundary of Connecticut and the northern 
of Maryland, a province homogeneous in industry, and, there- 
fore, in its method of life, and a stronghold of British author- 
ity ; ultimately, it may be, capable of serving as the nucleus for a 
wider unity. 

Not merely had James failed to lay the foundation of union, 
he had introduced active elements of disunion. 

On the one hand homogeneity of economical conditions made 
unity possible, yet on the other hand when once the attempt to 
impose political unity failed, that homogeneity became in itself 
an influence making for discord. The sections of what might 
have been a united province were, by the very similarity of their 
commerce, driven into rivalry. The colonial documents in the 
State Paper Office and the records of New York, New Jersey, 
and Pennsylvania tell us of continuous attempts to construct 
commercial legislation which should either help or hinder the 
formation of a monopoly favorable to some individual colony. 
We have seen how in 1679 a dispute arose as to the Duke of 
York's right still to exercise certain fiscal control over the terri- 
tories which he had granted away. 1 Eight years later we find 
the Proprietors of New Jersey protesting to the King against the 
attempts of the Governor and Assembly of New York to con- 
trol the trade of their colony by imposing duties. 2 

It is not easy to understand the precise nature of this com- 
plaint, since at the time there was no Assembly of New York in 
existence. But the rest of the document is sufficient as an illus- 
tration of the point now before us. "AH colonies," the Proprie- 
tors say, "must be put on an equal footing, otherwise trade will 
leave one set of colonies and flow to another." 

"Col. State Papers, 1679, 1123. 2 lb. 1687. 


Perhaps the only instance of any administrative intelligence 
shown by Cornbury is when he wrote that traders were leaving 
New York for places where duties were lower, and that one uni- 
form system of revenue was needed for the whole body of 
colonies. 1 

Two documents in the State Papers for 1697 illustrate the 
evils resulting from the absence of any actual control over trade. 2 
Penn complains that when goods intended for Pennsylvania are 
exported in ships which touch at any of the Maryland ports,, 
they have to pay a ten per cent, duty to that colony. As is often 
the case with Penn, the details are not very clearly set forth. 
Whether the goods were landed in Maryland and then for- 
warded by land or in coasting vessels, or whether the ship car- 
ried a joint freight, and landed part of it in Maryland and part 
afterwards in Pennsylvania, does not appear. All that is clear 
is that when a ship carried tobacco from Maryland the imports 
to that colony did not suffice for a return freight, and that the 
difference was made up by goods for the Pennsylvania market. 
These goods were, Penn states, delivered in Pennsylvania un- 
opened. Nothing could be more unsatisfactory than a system 
which enabled one colony to levy duties on the trade of another. 

In the same year we find the Proprietors of East New Jersey 
complaining of the conduct of the revenue officers at New York, 
in endeavoring to make all vessels bound for New Jersey touch at 
New York and pay duty there. 

We have already seen how a legal adviser of the Crown had, 
in 1693, put forward the doctrine that the Crown might so far 
override the special provisions in colonial charters as to appoint 
Governors. 3 Trevor's opinion only professed to deal with Con- 
necticut and New Jersey. 

But to threaten those two colonies was to threaten Rhode 
Island, Maryland, and the Carolinas, and to take a view of 
proprietary rights which had never been even suggested before. 
Charters might be revoked for special cause; to hold that they 
were, as grants of political power, null and void was to intro- 
duce an entirely new principle into colonial administration. 

Logically there was nothing in Trevor's opinion to exasperate 

N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 55. 2 Col. Papers, 1696-7, 987, 1358. 

3 The Middle Colonies, p. 233. 


the men of New Jersey against New York. But in such mat- 
ters sentiment is at least as strong as logic. Resentment was 
sure to be as strong against the colony for whose benefit, as it 
would seem, New Jersey was being sacrificed, as against the 
power which arbitrarily exacted that sacrifice. Nor can we 
wonder if the colonists looked with distaste on schemes of union, 
and were backward in co-operation, when they were taught by 
English officials that union was synonymous with loss of liberty. 

Difficulties due to intercolonial trade jealousy were not con- 
fined to the middle colonies. In September 171 1 we find Spots- 
ci'ai 1 " 1 "" wooq1 complaining that traders from Virginia passing 
disputes through South Carolina are subject to duties imposed 
Virginia by the Assembly of the latter colony. 1 We have 
Caroiinas. seen Fitzwilliam, the Surveyor of Customs for North 
Carolina, complaining that the Assembly of Virginia had pro- 
hibited the importation of tobacco from North Carolina, 2 and by 
this prohibition were possibly driving the North Carolina settlers 
to manufacture. The action of Virginia was defended by the 
Governor, William Gooch, on the plea that the system for in- 
spection of tobacco was nullified if North Carolina was allowed 
to import. He meets Fitzwilliam's argument as to the danger 
of the colonists manufacturing by pointing out that North Caro- 
lina had other commodities to export, whereas if the Virginia 
tobacco trade failed the inhabitants of that colony would be left 
resourceless and have to manufacture. 8 In spite of Gooch's 
defense of the Act it was vetoed on the recommendation of the 
Lords of Trade. 

Another hindrance to intercolonial trade was found in the dif- 
ferences of currency which obtained. Theoretically indeed the 
Difference British currency was the medium of exchange every- 
currency. where. Practically it was superseded in the South by 
tobacco, in the North either by that curious system of barter 
under which commodities were made currency at a rate arbi- 
trarily determined, 4 or else as we shall see in paper, depreciated 
in different degrees in the various colonies. Intercolonial 
trade might exist in defiance of such conditions ; it could hardly 

1 Spotswood's Letters, vol. i. p. 112. 2 V.s. p. 66. 

8 N. Car. Records, vol. ri. p. 773. 4 The Puritan Colonies, vol. ii. p. 33. 


More serious still, especially in the eyes of English adminis- 
trators, was the military weakness which resulted from the lack 
Military of colonial unity. It may be urged that the failure 
dfsumon? of the expedition against Canada in 1689 was due not 
so much to the difficulties which necessarily beset a confederated 
force, as to the personal failings of Leisler. But the records of 
the colonies are full of lessons as to the weakness created by colo- 
nial disunion. Here again the policy of James introduced dis- 
union into that very quarter where union was of the greatest 
importance. The valley of the Hudson and the other lines of 
communication between the Ohio and the Atlantic were the 
points where the English colonies had most to dread from a civil- 
ized enemy. If such an attack were supported by a force acting 
from the sea, France might be established in a central position 
where she would be a source of danger to the whole group of 

Fletcher's one redeeming virtue as a colonial official was his 
energy and promptitude in military matters. In March 1694 
he reported to the Secretary of State, Lord Nottingham, that his 
demands for help were ignored by Connecticut, and that from 
Pennsylvania he could get nothing but good wishes. Phipps, 
the Governor of Massachusetts, is, Fletcher says, "a machine 
moved by every fanatical finger, the contempt of wise men and 
the sport of fools." 1 

Two years later Fletcher reports that the Assembly of Rhode 
Island have raised troops and voted a sum for the payment of 
them. But they are so long raising it that the troops get tired of 
waiting and disperse. 2 

In 1708 we find an entry in the Pennsylvania Records which 
illustrates the difficulties arising from a want of organized con- 
trol. Evans, the Governor of Pennsylvania, called the attention 
of the Assembly to the undefended condition of the coast. A 
discussion then arose as to the supreme naval authority on the 
adjoining waters. Evans held that it was vested in Seymour, 
the Governor of Maryland. The Assembly contended that it 
belonged to Cornbury. 8 

In 171 1 North Carolina was invaded by the Tuscarora In- 

*Col. State Papers, 1693, 178. * lb. 1696, 522. 

3 Pennsylvania Records, vol. ii. p. 144- 


dians. For two years the colony suffered all the horrors of an 
Indian warfare. Had the two neighboring colonies, Virginia 
Virginia and South Carolina, been under some central author- 
CaroHnaS ity there can be no doubt that joint action taken with 
vigor might at once have crushed the enemy. As it was, when 
Spotswood proposed that help should be given he met with no 
support from either the Council or the Assembly. They felt 
that the settlers of North Carolina had brought their misfor- 
tunes on themselves by their own misconduct and by encroach- 
ments on the Indian territory. The Governor of North Caro- 
lina could not give any guarantee that he would be able to find 
rations for the Virginian contingent. 

Spotswood did not think a whit better of the North Carolina 
settlers than the Assembly did. But he saw that the real ques- 
tion to be considered was not the deserts of North Carolina, but 
the security of the English colonies as a whole. After much 
difficulty he induced the Assembly to vote three hundred men 
and a thousand pounds, together with a supply of cloth, for the 
deported fugitives from North Carolina. He himself fully ad- 
mits that his policy of co-operation was hampered by the factious 
and short-sighted action of North Carolina. "That country," 
he writes, "is so miserably distracted that they are not like to 
do anything for their own defense, their later Assembly having 
in a manner resolved to sacrifice their country to the rage of the 
heathen, because they could not introduce into the government 
the persons most obnoxious for fomenting the late rebellion and 
civil war there.' , And even at the very time that he was urging 
the Assembly with such measure of success as we have seen to 
come to the help of their neighbors, he is in his dispatches com- 
plaining that the people of North Carolina "have drawn misery 
on themselves" by continued disorders and general licentious- 
ness, and by encroachments on Indian territory, and he is de- 
nouncing "the stupidity and dissensions" of their government. 

Colonial supineness and intercolonial discord were not the 
only difficulties with which Spotswood had to contend. Qua- 
kerism has played a conspicuous, and at times an honorable, part 
in the drama of American colonization. But there were many 

1 For all this see Spotswood's Letters, vol. i., and the North Carolina 
Records, vol. ii. 


times when those responsible for the safety of the colonies must 
have wished that no Quaker had ever set foot on American soil. 
If we may believe Spotswood, the Quakers in North Carolina 
* 'broached doctrines so monstrous as their brethren in England 
never avowed." They refused to work at the fortifications, and 
declared that if the French came as invaders they would be 
forced to supply them with food. They were, Spotswood 
thinks, hardened in their resistance by the action of their breth- 
ren in England, who kept a common fund to bear the legal ex- 
penses of any of the society who might be prosecuted for such 
conduct. Yet so lightly and inconsistently did these Carolina 
Quakers hold their doctrines, that they had only a few years be- 
fore borne part in an armed rebellion. 

The dissatisfaction of the Virginians with their neighbors was 
not allayed by the termination of the war. We find the Assem- 
bly making it matter of complaint that the Governor of North 
Carolina had concluded an independent peace with the Indians 
without inserting any stipulation for the security of Virginia. 

Conversely three years later the North Carolina settlers fell 
out with the Saraw Indians. The Secretary of that colony 
wrote to the Assembly of Virginia requesting them not to supply 
the Saraws with arms. The Virginian Assembly replied that 
their colony was in alliance with the Saraws, and that in their 
opinion the blame of the quarrel lay with North Carolina. 

South Carolina had also sent a contingent, not of her own 
-colonists, but composed of seven or eight hundred Indian allies, 
with apparently a small auxiliary force of white soldiers. 1 The 
uselessness of the savage as an ally for any sustained operation is 
a lesson written large on almost every page of colonial history. 
After an initial success, five hundred of the Indians dispersed, 
and thereupon the government of South Carolina made an in- 
dependent peace with the enemy, without making any stipulation 
for the security of Virginia. 

Two years later South Carolina was invaded by the Yamas- 
sees. North Carolina had but little to lose. Such a semi-bar- 
barous community could quickly reconstitute itself even after 
something like extirpation. It was very different with a wealthy 

1 The Records say 701 Indians, and make no mention of a white contingent. 
•Glen also in Records says 800 Indians and fifty whites. N. Car. Records, 
vol. i. pp. 839, 954. 


commercial colony, such as South Carolina. The destruction of 
such a province would, as Spotswood pointed out, do much to 
liberate the savage from that consciousness of inferiority which 
was our best safeguard. There was also the very real danger 
that while the colonists were defending their inland possessions, 
Charlestown and Port Royal might fall a prey to France or 
Spain. 1 

Everything tends to show that the general standard of intelli- 
gence and public spirit was far higher in North than in South 
Carolina. Yet to help South Carolina was almost as difficult as 
it had been to help her northern neighbor. At the first alarm 
Spotswood sent a hundred and sixty muskets with ammunition, 
followed soon after by a contingent of a hundred and eighteen 
men. The Virginians subsequently averred that this assistance 
had been granted on the following conditions: The men were 
to receive twenty-two and sixpence a month in Virginian cur- 
rency and their uniform. South Carolina was to send slaves to 
take the place of the men who were in service. Moreover, the 
Virginian troops were to be commanded by their own officers. 2 
If we are to believe one witness, these conditions were only 
asked for by the Virginian government, and not approved by that 
of South Carolina. 8 Be that as it may, it seems certain that the 
South Carolina government tried to compound for all its obliga- 
tions by a lump payment per man of four pounds in South Caro- 
lina paper-money, a sum only equal, as Spotswood tells us, to one 
pound in Virginian currency. The result was that no volunteers 
could be had for service in South Carolina. It was not merely 
on the occasion of some special emergency or in actual time of 
war that the evil effects of disunion were felt. They ran 
through all the relations and dealings of the colonists with the 
savages. The latter saw the contrast between the definite and 
uniform policy which guided the action of the French colonists 
and the wavering attitude and internal dissensions of the Eng- 

1 Spotswood to Secretary Stanhope, Letters, vol. ii. p. 121. 

2 The conditions are stated in a memorial drawn up by some Virginian 
traders, and printed in the N. Carolina Records, vol. ii. p. 201. The state- 
ment, with the exception of that about the officering of the Virginian troops,, 
is confirmed by Spotswood in a dispatch to the Lords of Trade, Letters, vol. 
ii. p. 238. 

8 This is stated in a document unsigned, but seemingly put forward by- 
some responsible person. N. Car. Records, vol. ii. p. 253. 


lish. Spotswood, more than any other English administrator, 
seems to have been alive to this danger. At the very outset of 
the Tuscarora war we find him complaining that the natives see 
each colony acting for itself, and cannot understand that all be- 
long to one nation. 

Again, in 17 17, he complains that the Senecas, in spite of 
being in formal alliance with New York, have been raiding on the 
Virginian frontier. They must be made to understand that 
their engagements with New York bind them to the whole body 
of English colonies. 1 

In 1720 he writes to the President of the Council of New 
York. His letter recapitulates the old grievances and sets forth 
new ones. In 17 19 the Mohawks attacked the Indian allies of 
Virginia and carried off fifteen prisoners. The party halted at 
Conestago in Pennsylvania. John Cartledge, a justice in Penn- 
sylvania, finding that the prisoners were "Virginians born," in- 
tercedes and sues for their release. The Mohawks refuse this 
contemptuously. They have, they say, "made a clear path to 
pass and repass to and from the southward. They have re- 
moved all obstacles out of the way, and they expect to have free 
recourse for their people among all the English plantations while 
they are making war." 

This is not the only instance of Mohawk arrogance. Spots- 
wood himself made overtures to one of the chiefs, which were 
"haughtily refused." 

The truth is, he points out, that New York, in its anxiety to 
stand well with the Five Nations, has been over-submissive. 
"The burden of your Indian song, that Albany must be the only 
place of their treating with the Indians and their allies, is a con- 
cession which lessens the English in the eyes of both the pagan 
and Christian world." 

Finally, Spotswood recalls that somber Virginia tradition, 
Bacon's rebellion, and all the calamities which then followed 
from a lack of firmness in dealing with the savages. 2 

The lack of any organized methods of action also did much 
to hinder the effectual suppression of those kindred evils, piracy 

1 Letters, vol. ii. p. 252. 

8 The letter is in the Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. p. 83 ; cf . Proud, vol. 
ii. p. 132. 


and smuggling. Here, again, we are dependent for detailed 
information on Spotswood. 1 Early in 17 19 the noted pirate 
In f er ~ Teach, or as Spotswood calls him Thatch, lost his 

difficulties ship and was left off the coast of South Carolina 
piracy. with four sloops. His crew mostly dispersed, some 

going to Pennsylvania, others joining a well-known pirate, once 
a reputable planter in South Carolina, Major Steed Bonnet. 
Teach was left with one sloop, with which he pretended to have 
taken up the calling of a peaceful trader. Spotswood manned 
two sloops with officers and crews borrowed from King's ships. 
They attacked the pirates and captured the sloop, killing Teach 
and seven of his men. 

The South Carolinians, not satisfied at being rid of a public 
pest, complained that they had not been allowed a share in the 
enterprise, and that the vessel was taken to Virginia to be con- 
demned and sold. Spotswood's attitude was conciliatory. He 
•explained that secrecy was necessary, and that the risk was less 
for Virginia than for South Carolina, since the latter colony was 
more exposed to reprisals from the pirates. The goods will sell 
better in Virginia than in South Carolina, and they shall not be 
disposed of till any claims that the inhabitants of South Carolina 
may make have been considered. 2 

The men of South Carolina had at least the decency to abstain 
from any display of sympathy with Teach, and only complained 
that they were not allowed a share in his destruction. But, if 
we may believe Spotswood, the pirate had an active friend in the 
Governor of North Carolina. In spite of Teach's well-known 
reputation, the Governor had allowed him to retain plundered 
goods on the plea that they were salvage from a wreck, and 
there were others in the colony who denounced Teach's captors 
as the murderers of an honest man. 3 

As we have already seen, during the latter years of the seven- 
teenth century colonial union was in modern language "in the 
?o C r h cSoniai a * n " ^ e need for it is urged by more than one 
union. colonial official, and definite suggestions are made for 

partial consolidation on the same lines as James II.'s creation of 
a province under Andros. But the first definite and comprehen- 
sive scheme of colonial union was put forward by Penn. In 

betters, vol. ii. pp. 273, 305. * lb. p. 274. » lb. p. 318. 

postal communication: 75 

February 1698 he submitted to the British Government the de- 
tails of his proposal. 1 The very first provision shows how 
widely Penn differed on one essential question from most of his 
co-religionists. It also shows a characteristic tendency to use 
terms which were incapable of precise definition. Two dele- 
gates from each colony, men "qualified for sense, sobriety, and 
substance," were to meet once a year or oftener in time of war, 
every two years in time of peace. A Commissioner appointed by 
the King was to preside, and was also to be Commander-in- 
Chief. New York was suggested as a convenient meeting place. 
The Congress w r as to settle all judicial questions in which two or 
more colonies are involved, and to deal with questions of inter- 
colonial commerce and common defense. 

The dissimilarity of interests and conditions w r as perhaps not 
the most serious obstacle to any scheme of union. Every such 
scheme carried with it as an almost inevitable condition some 
strengthening of the control exercised by the Home Govern- 
ment. Not till union presented itself in a form which made it 
the enemy, instead of the ally, of British supremacy would it be 
acceptable to the colonists. 

In the meantime something was being done to overcome the 
merely physical and mechanical hindrances to union. We have 
improved seen how, during his short and unhappy tenure of of- 

communi- ^ , 

cation be- fice, Lovelace had established postal communication be- 
coionies. tween New York and Boston. In 1692 this was ex- 
tended, and a patent granted for a general postal service between 
Philadelphia and Piscataqua. 2 In 17 10 Parliament passed an 
Act determining the rates of postage to be paid in the colonies. 

The service seems to have fallen into good hands and to have 
been efficiently administered, with the result that by 17 15 there 
was one service from Philadelphia to Portsmouth. The time 
occupied varied, as in such a country w r as but natural, in summer 
and in winter ; in the former a letter took a week to travel from 
New York to Boston, in winter double that time. We are not 
told how long was needed for the further journey at each end. 3 

1 Colonial State Papers, 1698, 694. 

2 Letter from Hamilton to the Postmaster-General, Col. Papers, Jan. 24, 

"Note to Herman Moll's Map, May 1715. Quoted by Mr. Palfrey, vol. 
iv. p. 330. 


In 1 7 12 a clumsy attempt was made to introduce a postal 
service into Maryland. The duty of transmitting letters was in- 
trusted to the various county sheriffs. 1 

In 1 718 the Postmaster-General for the colonies endeavored 
to extend the existing communication by post from Williamsburg 
to Philadelphia. The Assembly of Virginia, then in a disaf- 
fected mood and hungry for a fight with government, pro- 
tested on the ground that the post office brought in a surplus 
revenue over and above its expenses. 2 It is singular that it 
should have been left to Virginia to take up this line while the 
objection had escaped the ever watchful patriots of Massachu- 
setts. Probably the explanation is to be found in the fact that 
the postal service was a far greater boon to the Boston merchant 
than to the Virginian trader. 

The agitation, however, appears to have subsided, and at 
least as early as 1732 the colonies from Virginia to New Hamp- 
shire were linked together by a postal service. 3 

The difficulties of communication, perhaps even more the 
habits and temper of the settlers, prevented any extension of the 
system to or through North Carolina, and thus South Carolina 
stood detached, resembling in that, as in other respects, the West 
Indian Islands rather than the colonies on the mainland. 

The value of the postal service was not limited to the delivery 
of letters. It was easily combined with, even if it did not 
formally include, a system of providing horses and escorts for 
travelers. It also brought as a natural consequence the develop- 
ment of roads. 

We cannot say that these increased facilities for communi- 
cation did much to create a sense of colonial unity. The ut- 
most we can say is that, when the time came that a sentiment of 
nationality was aroused, the mechanical hindrances which 
might have neutralized it were in part at least swept away. 

1 Laws of Maryland. Mr. Mereness makes no mention of this. As a rule 
it is ill gleaning after that most diligent inquirer. 

2 Spotswood's Letters, vol. ii. p. 280. 

3 AT. York Gazette, July 8, 1732. Quoted in Mr. Whitehead's edition of 
the N. Jersey Archives, vol. xi. p. 289. 



The student of colonial history during the seventeenth cen- 
tury is mainly concerned with the construction and growth 
General of political machinery within the various colonial 
of th e cter areas. By the end of the century that process was 
subject. practically finished. In each colony the constitution 
of the legislative and of the executive bodies respectively might 
be considered as settled and complete. The interest of the 
history turns not on the composition of those bodies, but on the 
limitation or extension of their powers, on the adjustment 
whether by conflict or compromise of the relations between the 
various members of the body politic in each colony. This is 
further complicated by the addition of a new factor. With 
the accession of the House of Hanover, Parliament by an un- 
defined but real process acquired powers and functions to which 
it had before been a stranger. This brings with it a change, 
important though informal and indefinite, in the position 
of the colonial legislatures. Hitherto the Governor and the 
Council had been, save in the self-governed colonies of Con- 
necticut and Rhode Island and the Proprietary colonies, 
the representatives of the Crown, 1 and in no way connected 
with or dependent on any other external power. Parliament 
had no part in either the appointment or the control of 
the colonial Governor. The instructions which he had to 
carry out were given him by the Crown, acting with the ad- 
vice of the Privy Council and of a special body of Commis- 
sioners, the Board of Trade and Plantations. The only man- 
ner in which Parliamentary authority touched the colonies was 
through the very broad and general restriction imposed by the 
Acts of Navigation. But as the eighteenth century advances 
the relations between the colonies and Parliament become 

1 There was one exception to this. In Massachusetts the Council was 
originally nominated by the Crown, but afterwards elected by the Genera. 
Court. See The Puritan Colonies, vol. ii. p. 291. 


more intimate and more complex. This is due to two causes, 
Under the first and second Hanoverian Kings the nominal 
authority of the Crown becomes more and more the virtual 
authority of a cabinet dependent for its continued existence on 
the House of Commons, and continuously amenable to that 
body. The line which had hitherto separated, not in theory 
merely but in practice, the administrative action of the Crown 
from that of Parliament becomes vague and indefinite. In the 
instructions given by the Crown to Belcher in 1720 there is a 
most significant clause. He is to warn the colonists that in the 
case of misbehavior their conduct will be brought under the 
notice of Parliament. 1 

In 1 7 16 Northey, then Attorney-General, gave an important 
opinion on the relations of the colonies to Parliament. In a 
Crown colony a temporary Act might be vetoed by an instruc- 
tion to the Governor ; but in the case of proprietary colonies such 
veto must be made by Act of Parliament. This attributed to 
Parliament authority over the colonies which, alike in kind 
and extent, went wholly beyond anything that had been claimed 
for it in the seventeenth century. 2 

Again, concurrently with this change, a change took place 
in the relations of the colonies to the mother country. Their 
trade becomes so complex and is so important a factor in the 
general well-being of the empire that it imperatively demands- 
regulation and control. And as from a commercial, so too 
from a military, point of view the colonies are no longer dis- 
connected items. In 1660 the conception of America as the 
battle-field of the Old-World Powers, striving for empire, had 
not, so far as we can judge, crossed the mind of a single Eng- 
lishman. By 1720 it was a commonplace among politicians 
and pamphleteers. Thus the problems of colonial administra- 
tion were inevitably forced upon a Parliament which was un- 
happily furnished neither with the machinery, the knowledge, 
nor the principles needed for the task. 

One consequence of this is that for the student of American 
constitutional history the area of observation, if one may use 
the expression, changes. Massachusetts still maintains its im- 

1 The instructions are given in Winsor's Memorial History of Boston, vol. 
i. p. 58. 

* N. Car. Records, vol. ii. p. 136. 


portance by its continuous and organized resistance to the 
authority of the Crown. Connecticut and Rhode Island, so 
full of interest in the seventeenth century, fall into the back- 
ground. On the other hand the middle provinces, command- 
ing as they did the gateway to Canada, and offering beyond 
any other of the colonies a vulnerable point for the attacks of 
the French and their Indian allies, become of the first im- 
portance. The relations, mainly relations of hostility, between 
the colonies and the Home Government during the eighteenth 
century turn chiefly on two sets of issues, and may be divided 
into two groups. The one set arise out of detached questions 
of policy, mostly of military policy. For the most part they 
resemble one another, and turn on the unwillingness of the 
colonies to bear their share in any connected scheme of military 
action. But they can scarcely be regarded as continuous, £nd 
can be best dealt with incidentally as they come before us. 
The second group, and constitutionally by far the more im- 
portant of the two, turn on permanent questions of principle, 
on the persistent determination of both parties — the Home 
Government on the one side, the colonial Assembly on the 
other — to deal with certain regularly recurring questions either 
by interpreting enactments and precedents in their own favor, 
or, where no enactment or applicable precedent could be found, 
by creating such. 

The subjects of dispute fall under certain well-defined heads. 
But before dealing with them it will be well to do again 
Distnbu- shortly and comprehensively what has been already 
pomfcai done implicitly and in detail, to review the corn- 
forces, position and attitude of the conflicting forces. 

In each colony, setting aside the Proprietary colonies and 
also those abnormal cases which have just been mentioned, the 
interests of the Crown were secured by the right to nominate 
a Governor and a Council. The Council had three distinct 
sets of functions. It formed an upper chamber, and as such its 
consent was necessary to all legislation. It was the supreme 
judicial court, and it advised the Governor on executive ques- 
tions. Pennsylvania and Maryland differed in that there the 
Governor and Council were nominated by the Proprietor. 
Moreover in Pennsylvania the Council was merely an adminis- 
trative body with no legislative status. 


The absence of any permanent guiding principle in the ad- 
justment of power between the Governor and the Council was 
a fruitful source of dispute in more than one colony. 

Such a dispute was natural enough in Massachusetts where 
the members of the Council were, as we have seen, not the 
nominees of the Crown but the representatives of the people. 
It may seem singular that it should have extended to those colo- 
nies where the Council and the Governor were both appointed 
by the Crown. But the temper in which political power is 
exercised does not depend solely on the source from which it 
proceeds. In 1729 Governor Cosby, of New York, in spite of 
the decision of the law officers in the case of Massachusetts, 
claimed the right to sit and vote when the Council was acting 
as a legislative chamber. Cosby was arbitrary and unpopular. 
The Council, headed by Lewis Morris, resisted his claim and 
were supported by the Board of Trade. 1 Inasmuch as New 
York and New Jersey were then and often afterwards placed 
under one Governor, this victory of the Council in the one 
colony brought about a like result in the other. 

Similar disputes arose in North and South Carolina. In 
North Carolina the Council prevailed. In South Carolina a 
compromise was arrived at, and the Governor was allowed to 
be present at the meetings of the Council, but neither to join in 
discussion nor to vote. 2 

This series of disputes is a good illustration of the weakness 
of the colonial system in the eighteenth century. Its main 
defect was not that the control exercised by the Home Gov- 
ernment was lax, but that, such as it was, it had no definiteness 
and no uniformity. This was largely due to the manner in 
which the authority was scattered among bodies with no com- 
mon principle of action. The King and Council both vetoed 
the Acts of the colonial legislatures, and also issued instruc- 
tions to Governors, which in many cases were practically enact- 
ments binding on colonists. The every-day details of adminis- 
tration were controlled by the Board of Trade. The action of 
the King in Council and that of the Board of Trade were, on 
the whole, likely to be in harmony. But, as we have just seen 
in questions affecting the trade of the colonies, it was impossible 

1 N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 975. 

•Authorities quoted in Greene's The Provincial Governor, p. 42. 


to exclude the action of Parliament. At the same time there 
was no machinery through which Parliament could be kept 
informed of the special conditions of colonial life and the needs 
and sentiments of the colonies. It was an equally serious defect 
that there was nothing to insure any harmony of action or any 
uniformity of system among those various controlling powers. 
This defect meets us at every turn during the whole of the 
eighteenth century, and goes far to account for the tragedy with 
which the colonial history of that period ends. What was 
needed was a permanent colonial department, through which 
and in concert with which both Crown and Parliament should 
act in all colonial questions. Especially would such a depart- 
ment have been valuable in connection with the endless disputes 
between Governors and Assemblies on questions of fees, salaries, 
and tenure of subordinate offices. As it was, such questions 
were determined to some extent on general principles and 
according to precedent, but far more in conformity with the 
judgment of individuals and according to the pertinacity shown 
by the conflicting parties. 

One result of a permanent department would have been to 
call into existence a class of colonial officials with definite 
principles and traditions, and with abundant facilities for ex- 
changing ideas and experiences. As it was, a Governor more 
often than not went out as it were into an unexplored territory, 
profiting nothing by what his predecessors had done or failed to 
do, learning no useful lesson from past victories or defeats. 

It would have been not a less important function of a special 
colonial department to furnish both the advisers of the Crown 
Need of a and the Houses of Parliament with the special in- 
5ep a n rt* 1 formation which they needed on colonial questions, 
ment. That want was inadequately and unsatisfactorily 

supplied by the system of colonial agents, a system which 
•steadily developed during the eighteenth century. 

The earliest form of agency was usually of the nature of a 
commission appointed to approach the Home Government on 
The some special question. We have seen how important 

agent.* a part the agency of Massachusetts played in the 

1 The history of the colonial agency is well treated in an article in the 
Political Quarterly for March iqoi. There are also some pertinent remarks 
on the subject in Mr. Saunders's Introduction to the sixth volume of the 
.North Carolina Records. 


disputes over the charter towards the end of the seventeenth 
•century. Gradually, as legislative and administrative inter- 
ference became more frequent and more continuous, the impor- 
tance of the agency increased. The agent was not always an 
inhabitant of the colony for which he acted. In some instances 
he was an English merchant, a proxenos as one may call him. 
In such cases it is evident that he would have to rely not so 
much on his familiarity with the wants and conditions of the 
colony as on his knowledge of English politics and his capacity 
for influencing leading politicians. The lack of an agent 
or the incompetence of an agent appointed might seriously prej- 
udice a colony. Thus, when the subsidy was granted to the 
Southern colonies as remuneration for their sufferings and ex- 
penditure in the war against Canada, North Carolina was at a 
disadvantage because she had no agent. 1 This was due to the 
action of Governor Dobbs, who asserted his own right to ap- 
point the agent for the colony, and, when the Assembly refused 
to admit it, vetoed their nomination. This is not the only in- 
stance to be found in the colonial records of disputes arising 
out of the claim to appoint an agent. In 1748 we find Clinton,, 
the Governor of New York, protesting against the appointment 
of an agent in which the Governor and Council had not been 
consulted, and petitioning the Board of Trade that the man so 
appointed should not be allowed to present any memorial or 
petition without Clinton's approval. 2 

It would be hard to find a stronger instance of the unintel- 
ligent and unsystematic fashion in which colonial administrators, 
approached political problems. The Governor was in regular 
communication with the authorities in England. To supply^ 
him with an advocate who should speak with the authority of a. 
colonial representative was on the face of it an absurdity- 
There was far more reason in the claim often made by the colo- 
nial Assemblies to nominate the agent as their own special 
spokesman, for it is obvious that if the agent were appointed by- 
the Governor, the Assembly and their constituents had no chan- 
nel through which to communicate with the Home Govern- 
ment. Yet undoubtedly the most effective and satisfactory ar- 
rangement would have been one which vested the appoint- 

1 Records of North Carolina, vol. v. p. 477. 

2 N. Y. Documents, vol. vi. p. 420. 



ment jointly in all the parties interested, and which thus gave to 
his position something of a quasi-judicial character, and in some 
measure guaranteed impartiality. 

Apart from questions arising out of some special and indi- 
vidual circumstances, we may classify the subjects of dispute 
various between the colonies and the mother country during 
of dispute, the eighteenth century under three heads: 

1. Official fees and salaries. 

2. The right of the colonial Assemblies to issue paper 

3. The restrictions imposed by the British Government on 
the commerce and the productive industry of the colonies. 

If we accepted the traditional view of this subject we should 
probably regard this order as representing the exact reverse of 
the real importance of the respective issues. But a careful 
study of records will show that the restraints on production, 
even if unwise in themselves, only enforced and confirmed a 
system which had its rise in the economic conditions of colonial 
life. On the other points just named the attitude of the Home 
Government, and perhaps even more of the colonial officials, 
was felt to be a real grievance. The demands made from the 
colonists, the restrictions imposed on them, were often in 
perfect conformity with equity and reason. It can seldom be 
said that the method of enforcement was sympathetic, concili- 
atory, or even intelligent. 

These are faults whose appointed Nemesis cannot fail. The 
revolt of the colonies undoubtedly had for its immediate occa- 
sion a development of British fiscal policy, in theory a mere ex- 
tension of the existing system, but in fact so violent that it could 
not but be regarded as a revolution. But the temper of mind, 
the habits of thought and action which made successful resist- 
ance possible had their origin mainly in the other causes which 
have been specified. The disputes over salaries and over paper 
money had kept alive an abiding spirit of bitterness and vin- 
dictiveness between the colonists and those set in authority over 
them, and had furnished the former with continuous training 
in the arts of political conflict. 

It will probably be the best method of treating the adminis- 
trative history of the colonies during the eighteenth century to 
take the above-named causes of dispute in order, and to deal 


with them as we find them displaying themselves in the various 
fields of action. 


This subject admits to some extent of being subdivided into 
two heads. In several instances the colonial Governors put for- 
Two ward a claim to fix the fees which had to be paid in 

?nvoived! connection with certain official transactions, such as 
the formal transfer of land. The question of salaries was a 
much more serious one. Economical restrictions apart, almost 
the only fixed principle to which the British administration of 
the colonies held with real persistence was the determination 
that neither Governors nor judges in the colonies should be de- 
pendent for their payment on the good-will of colonial Assem- 
blies, but that a fixed salary should be voted once for all, and 
should not be revocable. 

These two subjects of dispute were so far alike that they both 
turned on the right of the colonial Assemblies to keep the power 
of the purse in their own hands, and on the right of the colonists 
to be taxed only by their own Representatives. But though 
the theoretical principle involved in both disputes might be the 
same, they differed widely in their practical importance. 
The determination to make the whole of the executive and the 
judiciary dependent for their support on the good-will of the 
Assembly went in practice far nearer to a claim of administra- 
tive independence than the attempt to transfer from the Gov- 
ernor to the Assembly the regulation of official fees. There is, 
moreover, this important difference. The dispute over the fees 
was fought out between the popular Representatives and the 
Governor without the intervention of the English authorities. 
The battle over the salaries of the Governor and judges in- 
volved the Assembly of Massachusetts in a bitter and prolonged 
conflict with the Crown and its advisers. 

The colony in which the question of fees first gave rise to 
dispute was Maryland. There in 1689 the House of Repre- 
Feesin sentatives had formally claimed the right to de- 
Maryiand. term i ne the amount of official fees. That claim was 
resisted by the Governor and Council. A compromise was ar- 
rived at ; fees were not to be altered without the consent of the 


House of Burgesses; they were to have a veto, but no inde- 
pendent control over the fees. 

In spite of this the Burgesses originated more than one 
motion for the reduction of fees, but in no case could they obtain 
the concurrence of the Upper House. 1 

Like every question of finance in Maryland and Virginia, 
that of fees was complicated by the want of a proper medium of 
exchange. The recognized currency, tobacco, was of varying 
quality, and its value varied with abundance or sparseness of 
crop. As a consequence a claim for a change in fees might 
always be fortified by an argument based on altered value. 

A somewhat similar process took place in North Carolina- 
The Assembly did not claim the right to fix fees. But they 
Fees in did claim the right to declare the value at which 
Carolina.^ silver should be accepted in payment of fees, and to 
permit payment to be made in paper depreciated to one-third of 
its nominal value. In forbidding this the Governor and Council 
were, so it was usually contended, claiming the right to fix 
fees. In the course of the dispute the Assembly used ominous 
words. "Whereas by the Royal Charter granted by King 
Charles the Second to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina it is 
granted that the inhabitants of the Province shall have, possess, 
and enjoy all Liberties, Franchises, and Privileges as. are held, 
possessed, and enjoyed in the kingdom of England." They go 
on to say it is the undoubted right and privilege of the people 
of England that they shall not be taxed or made liable to pay 
any sum or sums of money or fees other than such as are by law 
established. Apparently Burrington's resistance was so far 
effectual that the Assembly failed to carry any formal vote em- 
bodying their views. But an expression of opinion is not neces- 
sarily a brutum fulmen because it is not adopted. Declarations 
such as those made by the Assembly helped to hold up that con- 
stitutional claim to which the colonists clung in their contest 
with the mother country. 

The disputes in Maryland and North Carolina might be 
looked on as an isolated skirmish, illustrating the watchfulness 
of the Assembly over the financial rights of their constituents, 

1 Proceedings and Acts of Assembly. Journals of Upper House, referred 
to by Mr. Mereness. Stainer's Restoration of the Proprietors of Maryland, 
p. 298. 

2 N. Car. Records, vol. iii. pp. 262, 271, 297. 


and suggesting rather than actually asserting a claim to fiscal 
independence. Far wider reaching in the principles involved 
Dispute and in its methods was the struggle over official 
Governor's salaries in Massachusetts. The battle began with 
salary in t h e appointment of Colonel Shute as Governor in 
cnusetts.i 1 716. The conclusion of peace with France had left 
a large number of unemployed soldiers, with claims on the 
Crown, and a colonial governorship was an easy and obvious 
form of recognition. Such were Hunter in New York and 
Spotswood in Virginia. Shute may not have had the excep- 
tional tact and conciliatory temper of Hunter, nor the strenuous 
energy and public spirit of Spotswood. But he appears to have 
been a painstaking, conscientious, and clear-headed official. Un- 
fortunately his lot was cast among a community which could 
be understood and controlled only by a man of exceptional per- 
ception, experience, and strength of will. Throughout the 
eighteenth century the representative of royalty was to the 
politicians of New England a man to be suspected, thwarted, , 
and outwitted, and we shall find over and over again men who 
in other colonies would have had creditable careers failing 
when brought face to face with those persistent and often un- 
scrupulous masters of political strategy who guided the councils 
of Massachusetts. 

In one way the appointment of Shute might have been sup- 
posed to be especially acceptable to the people of Massachusetts. 
He was a Dissenter. His brother, afterwards Lord Barring- 
ton, was a member of Parliament and an influential man among 
the Nonconformists. Their mother was a daughter of Joseph 
Caryl, a leading minister among the Independents. 2 If this in 
any measure influenced the advisers of the Crown in making 
the appointment, they deserve credit for more sympathy with 
the special needs and wishes of the colonists than has often been 
attributed to them. 

There were other matters beside the question of salary which 
begot and kept alive a spirit of hostility between Shute and the 

1 In 1729, the Lower House of Assembly in Massachusetts instructed the 
members for Boston to prepare a full report of all the proceedings in connection 
with the Governor's salary. This was published as a pamphlet in the same 
year. A copy of it is in the British Museum. I have relied on this for my 
account of the dispute, with occasional help from Hutchinson and Chalmers. 

a Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 215. 


colonists. He was instructed to enforce certain unpopular, 
though perfectly reasonable and necessary, restraints on the 
wasteful cutting of ship timber on unoccupied lands by private 
individuals. 1 The Assembly on the other hand showed their 
resentment of Shute's policy by refusing to vote money, as was 
usual, for the public celebration of the King's birthday, acces- 
sion, or coronation, and, which was far more serious, by with- 
holding the small grant which was necessary to enable the Gov- 
ernor to keep the neighboring Indians in good humor. 2 

Another matter of dispute was the right of the Assembly to 
elect its own Speaker independent of the Governor. In 1720 
Elisha Cooke, a leading member of the popular party, was 
chosen Speaker. Cooke had been prominent among those who 
had encroached on waste ground and destroyed the timber 
claimed by the Crown. Possibly for this reason Shute vetoed 
the appointment. The Assembly protested. Shute, however, 
obtained an opinion from the Attorney-General confirming 
his action. The Assembly then chose another Speaker, and 
reported their proceeding to the Governor, who approved. He 
was then told by the Assembly that they had reported the ap- 
pointment to him not for approval, but only for information. 

Shute's right to veto the Assembly's choice of Councilors 
could not be contested. But it was rendered of very little 
effect, since whenever it was exercised the Councilor in ques- 
tion was chosen a member of the Assembly. Three "negative" 
Councilors, as Shute somewhat oddly calls them, sat for Boston, 
and it was a common maxim that a negative Councilor makes 
a good Representative. 3 The explanation which Shute himself 
gives of the temper and methods of his opponents does not give 
one a high idea of his power of clear thought. "Owing to the 
requirement the men must reside in the town for which they 
sit. Thus, the greatest part of them are of small fortunes and 
mean education, men of the best sense and circumstances gen- 
erally residing in or near Boston. . . . Were it not for this 
Act the Assembly would undoubtedly consist of men of much 
better sense, temper, and fortunes than they (sic) do at 

1 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 230. 2 lb. pp. 238-9. 

8 All this is set forth in a Memorial from Shute sent to the King soon after 
his arrival. It is published in Perry's Collections relating to the American 
Colonial Church. Massachusetts, p. 121; cf. Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 235. 


Yet Shute then goes on to say that "the inhabitants of Boston 
are too much disposed to a leveling spirit, too apt to be muti- 
neers and disorderly, and to support the House of Representa- 
tives in any steps they take towards encroaching on the pre- 
rogatives of the Crown." Boston is the center of disaffection,, 
and yet the Assembly is to be made less disaffected by a change 
which would strengthen the influence of Boston. 

Despairing of a peaceful settlement Shute obtained leave of 
absence, and, coming to England, laid his grievance about a 
salary before the Privy Council. The form of the proceedings 
which followed will illustrate the cumbrousness of the existing 
colonial system. The matter was referred to a committe of the 
Privy Council, and by them passed on to the Board of Trade 
and Plantations. They reported that the Assembly of Massa- 
chusetts should be advised to pay the salary, and the Secretary 
of State drafted an order to that effect. But the death of the 
King, bringing with it an entire change of State officials, wiped 
out all that had been done, and left the Assembly practically 
masters of the field. That well illustrates one main advantage 
which the popular Representative enjoyed in any contest with 
authority. Governors and their subordinate officials came and 
went, and nothing kept alive any permanence or continuity in 
their policy. Their local experience was short; their local in- 
terest evanescent. On the other hand, the Assembly was an 
undying body with a continuous policy, not distracted by cross- 
purposes or variations of personal character, ever on the scene 
of conflict, and following every incident of the strife with un- 
sleeping watchfulness. 

Shute, intelligent and well-intentioned though he was, and 
a Nonconformist to boot, was probably not a man of exactly 
mSSt ! of" the type to commen d himself to the citizens of Mas- 
Bumet. sachusetts. His successor, William Burnet, might be 
supposed to start with antecedents which would give him a 
strong claim on the good-will of New Englanders. His father 
was one of the most conspicuous of Whig and latitudinarian 
Churchmen. The son had theological interests which would 
recommend him to the New Englanders. He had written a 
book on the Interpretation of Prophecy, designed to show that 
Daniel foretold the political events of the sixteenth century. 
Burnet had also attested his loyalty to Protestantism by a con- 


troversial letter designed to reclaim one who, having in infancy 
been taken prisoner by the French Canadians, had been brought 
up in the tenets of Rome. Nor was Burnet without colonial 
experience, as he had held from 1720 to 1727 the governorships- 
of New York and New Jersey. His introduction to official life- 
was characteristic of the eighteenth century, and of the methods 
adopted in selecting men for posts of responsibility in the colo- 
nies. He was Controller of the Customs in London. Being 
a heavy loser by the South Sea Bubble and having a large family 
he wished for a more lucrative post. Accordingly he arranged, 
with Hunter, who was probably anxious to return to England,, 
for an exchange of offices, and the exchange was approved by the 
advisers of the Crown. After holding the governorship of 
New York for eight years, Burnet was transferred to Massachu- 
setts. We read that Burnet was received into his new province 
"with a splendor and magnificence never known in these parts 
of the world." 1 A train of carriages met him at Roxbury and 
escorted him to Boston. A member of the house of Mather 
welcomed him in couplets of astounding pomposity and inanity. 
It is startling to find this descendant of the great Puritan house 
disporting himself amid the polytheistic conventions of Augus- 
tan literature: 

" What the tall cedar shows to different woods 
Is Burnet's comely stature 'mongst the gods." 

The public is confidently assured that the Governor's greatness 
in this world is to be made complete by glory in the next: 

" Then may the widening soul, arrayed in light, 
Thro' flaming squadrons wing its spacious flight, 
Where, 'midst the immortal gods' superior states, 
Your crown all gilt with dazzling glory waits." 

It was soon made clear that the courtesy with which the 
citizens of Massachusetts received their new Governor was not 
The intended to carry with it any abatement of their 

rVfu e s Ts b tS claim to fiscal independence. Burnet at once told 
Iied ta tne Assembly that his instructions required him to 
salary. secure the grant of a fixed salary. The amount was 

specified ; it was to be a thousand pounds yearly. The omission 
to comply with this would be regarded as "a manifest mark of 

1 Taken from a contemporary authority by Drake, History of Boston, p. 581.- 


undutiful behavior," and would require the special consideration 
of Parliament. 1 

Burnet added a comment of his own. As the King had 
through the Civil List a fixed grant from Parliament, so ought 
his representative to have one from the Assembly. Otherwise 
the dignity of the Governor would suffer, and with it that of 
the other branches of the legislature. We may be sure that 
every member of the Assembly felt that this mysterious ad- 
vantage which the Assembly were to derive from the reflected 
dignity of the Governor would be a very poor equivalent for the 
substantial power given by the control of the purse. 

The Assembly, however, showed their personal good-will to 
Burnet by voting not an annual salary, but a grant of seven- 
Attempts teen hundred pounds. There can be very little 
Burnett? doubt that this was intended as an appeal to Burnet's 
opposition. persona l cupidity. If so, however, the move failed. 
Burnet in his reply pointed out that the system of temporary 
grants made the Governor dependent on the Assembly, and that 
it had been used in previous years to extract from his predeces- 
sors their consent to laws. 2 

Symptoms now showed themselves of a certain disunion 
among Burnet's opponents. The Council advocated the grant- 
ing of a fixed sum for a term to be named by the Assembly. 
The House of Representatives refused to make such conces- 
sion, and issued a manifesto to their constituents setting forth 
and justifying their attitude from the beginning of the dispute. 

Burnet replied by first hinting at and then openly threaten- 
ing a suspension of the colonial charter, and reminded the colo- 
nists that six years earlier, during the dispute with Shute, Car- 
teret had warned the agent for Massachusetts that this might 
befall his clients. It is an odd illustration of the mutability 
of political combinations to find the son of Gilbert Burnet ap- 
pealing to Carteret as his ally in an attack on popular liberty. 

Again the Assembly strove to buy over Burnet, and, Balak- 
like, increased their previous offer by a supplementary vote of 
sixteen hundred pounds. The Governor answered plainly that 
he had no intention of being bribed into transferring the King's 

1 Mr. Palfrey (vol. iv. p. 500) gives the text of the instruction and of 
Burners comment. 

2 Hutchinson, vol. ii. pp. 333-4. 


displeasure from the Assembly to himself. At the same time 
he met his opponents with a counter-appeal to self-interest. 
The Assembly had in the previous year voted the issue of sixty 
thousand pounds in paper money. That vote would be in- 
effective unless approved by the King. His approval would 
probably be given if the interest of the money so raised was ap- 
propriated to the Governor's salary. 

The only effect of the suggestion was to obtain an emphatic 
declaration from the Assembly that in no shape or manner 
The would they consent to vote a fixed salary. Simul- 

supported taneously we find what is perhaps the first recorded 
Boston application of a power already mentioned and des- 

Sng. tined to have great influence in the struggles of the 
future. On September 30, 1728, a Boston town meeting con- 
sidered all that had been said in the Assembly for and against 
the grant of a fixed salary, and then voted, nemine contra- 
dicente, that no such grant should be made either in perpetuity 
or even for a limited time. 1 

The Assembly thus supported stood firm. Burnet thereupon 
transferred the session of the Assembly from Boston to Salem, 
Burnet hoping, as he explained to the Board of Trade, to 

the withdraw the members from the influence of the 

to S !aierZ seditious town, and also to punish Boston by with- 
drawing from it the commercial advantages which necessarily 
followed the meeting of the Assembly. 

The Assembly so far accepted the situation as to meet at 
Salem. But they protested that there was no precedent which 
gave the Governor such a right of transfer. As a matter of 
fact the question belonged to that class of which many might be 
found where there had been an assertion of right on each side, 
and nothing in the nature of a conclusive decision. In 1721 
an outbreak of smallpox had made it desirable to transfer the 
session of the Assembly to Cambridge. The Governor inter- 
vened, declaring that the right to make such adjournment was 
vested in him. The change was a measure of which he ap- 
proved, but it must be carried through in proper form, and by a 
petition to him. The Assembly maintained that the place of 
meeting was determined by law, and could only be changed 
by joint action of the Governor and the two houses of 

1 Boston Records, 1700-1728, p. 226. 


Assembly. This was met by an emphatic declaration of the 
law officers of the Crown that the right of adjournment either 
in time or place was in the Governor alone. The situation was 
one which we shall often meet with again, where each party, 
the representatives of the colony and the Home Government, 
set up conflicting claims, while the matter was complicated by 
the fact that one of the litigants, as we may call them, also 
claimed a certain superior authority, and thereby a right of in- 

The next step of the Representatives was to draft a memorial 
to the King setting forth the objections to a fixed salary, and to. 
Appoint- retain the services of an agent in London to advocate 
agency. their case, with a stipend of a hundred a year. The 
Council who had hitherto taken no part in the contest now 
intervened, and refused to sanction the payment on the ground 
that they had not been made parties either to the drafting of 
the memorial to the King or the appointment of the agent, 
Francis Wells. This opposition was withdrawn when Andrew 
Belcher was associated with Wells in the agency. Belcher had 
been formerly a member of the Council, had stood high in the 
good graces of Shute, and had actually been displaced from the 
Council at the last election by the votes of the party opposed to 
the Governor. He was now, as events soon showed, fully 
reconciled to those who had been his opponents, but apparently 
the Council did not recognize the completeness of his conversion,, 
and accepted his appointment as a concession. 

The address to the King was referred to the Board of 
Trade, and the parties concerned were heard by counsel. The 
Proceed- Attorney- and Solicitor-General appeared for Burnet. 
England. The Board after hearing both sides decided in favor 
of the Governor's claim, and a report to that effect was trans- 
mitted to the Privy Council. That body after further con- 
sideration declared that the grant of a fixed salary was neces- 
sary if the colony was to be maintained in dependence on Great 
Britain, and above all if the Act of Navigation was to be en- 
forced. Finally they recommended that the whole matter 
should be laid before Parliament. 1 

Against this the counsel for the Assembly, Sayer and 
Fazakerly, argued that the charter of Massachusetts gave the 

1 Journal of Board of Trade, quoted by Mr. Palfrey, vol. iv. p. 519. 


colonists the exclusive right of raising money for the support of 
government. The action of the Privy Council was an affirma- 
Anticipa- tion of the principle that Parliament was entitled to 
stamp Act intervene in colonial affairs not only when such inter- 
djspute. vention was a necessary consequence of legislative 
action, but also for administrative purposes. On the other 
hand, all that was essential in the doctrines of Samuel Adams 
and his followers was inherent in the contention now set up on 
behalf of the Assembly. The parallel is complete if it be true, 
as is alleged, that the Duke of Newcastle, in whose department 
as Secretary of State the colonies lay, while maintaining the 
abstract right of the Crown, abandoned it in practice by in- 
structing Burnet to withdraw or modify his demands. 1 The 
Governor, on the other hand, sorely straitened for means by 
the action of the Assembly, was actually calling for military 
force. 2 Nor was there now any more than in the later dis- 
pute among the colonists themselves and their friends a una- 
nimity of purpose. Jeremiah Dummer, who had before acted as 
agent for the colony, and who had written a defense of the colo- 
nial charters when they were threatened with extinction, now 
warned the colonists that the matter would be taken up by 
Parliament, and in that case resistance would be useless. 5 

The Council might be regarded as representing the more 
moderate and specific section of the colonial party, and their 
character was largely determined by the Governor's veto on 
elections of Councilors. They, as we have seen, refused to com- 
mit themselves to supporting the action of the Representatives. 
They protested against the statement in the address to the Crown 
that the Council had concurred in refusing a salary to the Gov- 
ernor, nor would they approve of the vote of payment to the 
two agents. On this latter point the Representatives accepted 
their defeat, and the sum demanded, three hundred pounds, was 
raised by voluntary contribution, with a vague promise of re- 
payment by the House of Representatives. That body not 
improbably saw that such an expression of confidence and ap- 
proval from without would do more for the cause than could 
be gained by persistent opposition to the Council. 

1 Chalmers, vol. ii. p. 219, quoted by Palfrey. 
* Register of Privy Council, also quoted by Palfrey. 

"The letter is in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 
31r. Barry quotes it textually. History of Massachusetts, vol. ii. p. 127, n. 


In May 1729 a new Assembly was elected. Belcher having 
made his peace with the electorate was re-elected to the Council, 
Dispute but was excluded by the Governor's veto. The 
appoint 1 -* breach between the two branches of the legislature 
ment of was at once revealed and confirmed by a dispute 
General. as to the right of nominating the Attorney-General. 
This again was one of those open questions on which there were 
conflicting precedents, and no definite and overruling decision. 

In the early days of the charter the appointment had been 
made by the Governor. The Assembly had taken advantage of 
an interregnum during which authority was in the hands of the 
Lieutenant-Governor to effect an encroachment, and to secure 
and retain the appointment, a right which they exercised annu- 

During Shute's governorship the Council had made an inef- 
fectual attempt to reclaim the right for themselves in con- 
junction with the Governor. That claim was now again made 
on behalf of the executive by a clause in Burnet's instructions. 
The Representatives yielded the point. The Council, however, 
did not in practice press their victory, and Dudley who already 
held the office was re-elected. 1 

The Assembly made another attempt to shake Burnet's de- 
termination by a grant of six thousand pounds. It is not un- 
Death of likely that this was designed to propitiate those 
Burnet. whose opposition could not make them unmindful of 
the Governor's attractive qualities, while the more extreme 
men might be reconciled by the reflection that the vote involved 
no abandonment of principle, and was certain to be refused. 
Burnet, taking the same line as before, reproved the Assembly 
for their attempt to seduce one of the King's servants from his 

On the very same day Burnet's coach was upset at Boston 
ferry. He was thrown into the water, and the drenching 
brought on a fever which proved fatal in a week. 2 The Assem- 
bly was able to force upon him in his death the benefits which 
he had refused in his life, and he was interred at a public cost of 
over a thousand pounds. 3 Now, as later, a certain generous 

1 For this dispute see Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 358. 2 lb. p. 364. 

3 Hutchinson (vol. ii. p. 366) says the Assembly ordered a very honorable 
funeral. Palfrey (vol. iv. p. 527) states the precise sum (1,097/. "■*. 3^-) on. 
the authority of the Massachusetts Records. 


forbearance, occasionally though intermittently shown towards 
individuals, born perhaps of calculated self-restraint rather than 
impulse, was to be found mixed with that spirit of factious 
tenacity in which the patriots of Massachusetts fought their 

The British Government by their choice of Burnet's successor 
threw away every chance of success in the struggle on which 
Belcher they had entered. Hoc Ithacus velit. Had the 
Governor, opponents of Burnet been granted the right of 
electing the next Governor they could hardly have used it more 
judiciously than by choosing Belcher. To buy off an agitator 
by turning him into a placeman may at times be a successful 
stroke of policy. But it is seldom that the apostate can be 
effectively placed in the front of the battle. Men of forceful 
will and unflinching purpose have when so placed achieved but 
imperfect success. Belcher's character was not of the stuff 
from which Straffords and Cliffords are made His repute was 
already tainted by one act of apostasy, and a second could not 
but be fatal. Henceforth he must be content to stand not as a 
politician with convictions, but as a mere advocate, a political 
condottiere fighting for the cause for which he was retained. 

His instructions on the subject of a salary were explicit, and 
were communicated to the Assembly on his arrival. The As- 
Beicher's sembly were told that they were endeavoring by this 
tions. and other "unwarrantable practices to weaken, if 

not cast off, the obedience they owe to the Crown and the de- 
pendence which all colonies ought to have on their mother 
country." The sands were running out: if they did not avail 
themselves of this, the last opportunity of repentance offered 
them, their conduct would be brought before Parliament. 1 

Neither then nor at any later period during Belcher's term 
of office did the Representatives show the slightest sign of yield- 
Continu- ing. The battle was in the main a repetition of 
dispute. that fought between the Assembly and Burnet, save 
that Belcher, as might have been expected, showed less persist- 
ence and less dignity than his predecessor. The Council urged 
a compromise. Let a fixed salary be granted during Belcher's, 
tenure of office. The Representatives, however, stood firm. 2 

1 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 372. 2 lb. p. 373. 


As before, the town meeting of Boston stepped in to lend its 
weight and authority to the support of the Representatives. 
Action of The Representatives were exhorted not to pass any 
-meetfng? bill which would fix the revenue of the Governor, 
even for a limited time, or which would in any way impede 
future Assemblies in their freedom of action. 1 

Next year we find the town meeting repeating their protest 
and using these significant words: "We enjoin you to oppose 
•any bill . . . that may in the least bear upon our natural 
rights and charter privileges, which we apprehend the giving 
in to the King's instructions would certainly do." 2 Samuel 
Adams could hardly have gone beyond that claim of constitu- 
tional and natural rights. Gradually step by step the stub- 
bornness of the Representatives prevailed. The Council came 
over and joined the Lower House in petitioning the King in 
favor of a system of temporary grants. Then Belcher joined 
in the request. Might he accept the grant not as a final 
solution, but as a temporary compromise? That was practi- 
cally a surrender as far as he went, and the Home Government 
by admitting that surrender made their own position hopeless. 
For three years Belcher was allowed to receive a grant, while at 
the same time instructed to press for a permanent salary. Then 
the resolution of those who determined the policy of Britain 
broke against the obdurate and immovable resistance of the 
colonists, and the demand for a fixed salary was abandoned. 

There were probably few in England to whom this dispute 
seemed more than a mere incident of administrative policy. To 
impor- one who really knew what political forces were at 

dispute. " work beneath the surface it might well have seemed 
the little cloud like a man's hand, which held stored up within 
it the whole storm of revolution. The victory merely measured 
by the substantial value of the prize fought for was not unim- 
portant. It was no small matter to keep the chief representa- 
tive of the Crown dependent on the good-will of an elected 
Assembly. But even more important was the manner in which 
the victory was won, the lesson given in political tactics. 
There had been among the popular party neither haste nor vio- 
lence, neither hesitation nor compromise. By dogged and self- 

1 Boston Town Records, 1729-42, p. 33. 

2 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 47. 


restrained resistance they had completely baffled the wavering 
and distracted counsels of their opponents. A whole genera- 
tion of human life separated the fight over the salary from the 
fight over the Stamp Act. But in a community such as Massa- 
chusetts, unreceptive of external influences, free from distract- 
ing and exciting currents of thought or feeling, even when revo- 
lutionary intensely conservative in its reverence for continuity 
of principle and action, each incident of political importance 
leaves behind it a solid layer of tradition, and serves to build up 
an indestructible fabric of national life. Political forces are 
not wasted on conflicts which can win only ephemeral and re- 
versible triumphs. Each successive victory brings with it some 
definite and abiding possession unseen by those without, often 
not fully understood even by the successful actors. 

It was under the governorship of Hunter that the battle of 
the salaries in New York began. Soon after his entrance into 
over"th e office we find him telling the Assembly that the 
Governor's Queen had appointed fixed salaries for the colonial 
New York. Governors out of tenderness towards her subjects 
in the plantations, who suffered under an established custom 
of making considerable presents to their Governors by Acts of 
Assembly. 1 

The Assembly, however, stood firm. They also brought 
themselves into further conflict with the Governor by refusing 
to admit the right of the Council to make any amendments in 
money bills. 2 Hunter's usual attitude was, as we have already 
seen, one of suavity and conciliation. In 17 15 he succeeded in 
obtaining a Revenue Act from the Assembly by allowing them 
to include in it a provision for the payment of members. In 
1720 Hunter was succeeded by Burnet, and in that year the 
Act was renewed for five years. This compromise seems to 
have been accepted by both sides and to have remained in force 
till 1 742/ Then on the appointment of Clinton as Governor, 
the Assembly took up the policy of Massachusetts, and refused 
to make a grant for a longer period than one year. As in 

1 Smith, p. 167. 

1 Smith, p. 173; N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 348. 

• N. Y. Docs. vol. vi. p. 432. It is not quite easy to see how quinquennial 
votes beginning in 1720 could have ended in 1742. The year is named in a 
report on the subject drawn up by Shirley at the request of Governor Clinton. 
Probably the vote was regarded as personal, and lapsed if the governorship 
•was vacated within the specified time. 


Massachusetts, the pertinacity of the popular representatives 
carried the day. In 1755 the Board of Trade, in their in- 
structions to the Governor of New York, authorized him, if 
he thought it advisable, to forego the demand for a fixed salary. 


The battle over the Governor's salary did much to define and 
intensify the sense of independence in Massachusetts. But 
there its influence ended. So slight was the community of 
thought and feeling, so scanty the exchange of information be- 
tween the colonies, that we may be sure that only a small 
minority elsewhere would know or understand what was done 
at Boston. We can see, too, from contemporary references 
that the New Englander did not habitually so bear himself as 
to win much good-will in neighboring colonies. 2 He was re- 
puted pushing, grasping, and litigious. The defense of the 
charter privileges of Massachusetts was not likely to awaken 
sympathy outside that colony: the time had not yet come when 
an appeal to "natural rights" could be effective. But the deter- 
mination of the British Government to restrain the colonial 
Assemblies in their issue of paper money at once opened a ques- 
tion in which every colony was interested, which appealed in 
some measure to almost every class, on which men without any 
far-sighted or comprehensive political views could form a de- 
cided opinion. 

The causes which led the various colonial governments to a 
reckless issue of paper money are not far to seek. There was 
Lack of n0 hoarded supply of the precious metals, because 
specie. there was no class living on its accumulations, and 

because the wage-earners played an insignificant part in the 
social and industrial life of the colonies. Hence such make- 
shifts as the adoption of tobacco as the medium of currency in 
the Southern States, and payment in commodities taken at a 
fixed rate as practiced in New England. As soon as military 
operations had to be provided for these devices failed, and it 

1 H. Phillips's Historical Account of the Paper Currency of the American 
Colonies is a valuable authority on the subject. 

3 See, for example, Mrs. Grant's description of the New Englanders who 
emigrated into New York. Memoirs of an American Lady (ed. 1901), vol. ii. 
P- 137. 


became incumbent on the colonial legislatures to arrange means 
for the purchase of stores and the payment of soldiers. 

Moreover, young and expansive communities will always be 
reckless in mortgaging their future, nor is it an unreasonable 
view that a future generation should pay a full share towards 
those advantages which are being won for it by its predecessors. 

Nevertheless the matter was one in which the Home Govern- 
ment was bound to exercise a watchful discretion. It is need- 
Eviisof less to dwell on the obvious and normal evils which 
money. accrue from a reckless issue of paper money: tem- 
porary inflation of trade, followed by collapse and want of confi- 
dence, the destruction of credit by the reckless abuse of it. 
But, over and above these, there were special dangers involved, 
dangers not merely to the prosperity and safety of individual 
colonies, but to the whole colonial fabric of the empire. Reck- 
less issues of paper money would leave the colonies without any 
current medium for intercolonial trade, and so introduce hin- 
drance to imperial unity and complications in intercolonial rela- 
tions. Worse still, it would prejudice any common scheme of 
colonial defense in two ways. It would make all payments 
for military purposes fluctuating, and thereby kill that credit 
which is an essential necessity. It would also make any uni- 
form system of military finance for the whole body of colonies 

These considerations absolutely forbade the Home Govern- 
ment to leave the question to the uncontrolled discretion of the 
Three various colonial legislatures. There were three ob- 

methods of ... 7 . . . . 

restraint vious forms which interference might take. 

Home 5 I. The Crown might at its discretion veto bills 

Govern- t .\ c 

ment. ior the issue or paper money. 

2. It might embody its wishes in the instructions issued to 
each Governor on his entry into office. 

3. It might issue a comprehensive order of restraint applying 
to the whole body of colonies. 

In other words, it might deal with individual cases, with 
individual colonies, or with the whole body of colonies. All 
these courses were adopted successively, the last when the other 
two seemed fruitless. 

The best method of dealing with the question will be to take 
the cases of the different colonies successively, dealing in order 


with the colonies where the executive was under the direct con- 
trol of the Crown, the Proprietary colonies, and the two colonies, 
Connecticut and Rhode Island, whose charters placed them in 
a position of quasi independence. 

In New Hampshire the matter played an unimportant part, 
and so far as it went took an abnormal course. Elsewhere, as 
Paper we shall see, the demand for paper money was a 

New popular cry, urged by the elected delegates and 

shtreli" checked or controlled by the representatives of the 

Crown. But in New Hampshire in 17 17, after the Assembly 
as a whole had agreed to issue bills to the amount of ten thou- 
sand pounds, the Council proposed to enlarge the issue to fif- 
teen thousand. This was resisted by the Representatives. 
Shute, who combined the government of New Hampshire with 
that of Massachusetts, supported the Council, but without suc- 
cess. He therefore dissolved the Assembly and the newly 
elected House of Representatives complied with the Council. 
This dissension w r as not improbably due to the fact that in New 
Hampshire the Lower House of the Assembly represented and 
mainly belonged to the class of small farmers for whom the 
extension of commercial credit had no special attraction, while 
on the other hand the Council represented the mercantile in- 

The next House of Representatives was more compliant and 
consented to an issue of ten thousand pounds. But it is clear 
that paper money never lay on New Hampshire as the incubus 
that it proved elsewhere. 

In Massachusetts it was otherwise. There the trading class 
had sufficient numbers, influence, and organization largely to de- 
bnis e of f termine the policy of the colony as a whole. The 
credit in issue of paper money, not indeed by the State, but 
chusetts. with its approval, began in 1686. In that year 
Joseph Dudley, then President of the short-lived government 
which followed the overthrow of the charter, acting in conjunc- 
tion with his Council, gave authority to John Blackwall, of Bos- 
ton, and others to issue bills on security of real and personal 
estate as imperishable merchandise. 2 This was followed in 1690 
by an issue of bills of credit by the government of Massachusetts 

1 Belknap, vol. ii. pp. 19, 20. 

2 Records quoted in Felt's Currency of Massachusetts, p. 46. 


to the amount of seven thousand pounds. 1 The main plea put 
forward for this was the necessity for meeting the expenses of 
the unsuccessful expedition against Canada. 

The newly issued paper currency at once showed a tendency 
to fall, which was only checked in part by the public-spirited 
conduct of Phipps, who by redeeming a large number of bills 
became himself the chief State creditor, partly by the action of 
the Assembly in granting favorable terms to those who employed 
the bills for public payment, thus making them for all practical 
purposes convertible. 2 This check, however, was practically 
abandoned in 1703. In that year the demand for payment of 
taxes was postponed till 1706, and this method of evading re- 
demption was continued and extended, till by 171 1 the period 
of postponement had reached six years. 3 It might have been 
thought that such a frank declaration of insolvency would have 
opened men's eyes to the evils of the system. 

The embarrassment in which the treasury was thus involved 
was far from completing the calamitous state of affairs. In 
Difficulties 1 7 12 the government, frankly abandoning all at- 
resuited. tempt at redemption, enacted that their bills of 
credit should be legal tender in all cases where there was no 
special stipulation in writing to the contrary. 4 As might have 
been foreseen Gresham's law acted : specie fled before the steady 
influx of paper money. Trade seemed well-nigh paralyzed by 
the lack of specie and by the impossibility of making contracts, 
when the medium of payment was being continuously and 
rapidly depreciated. Government had to lighten the distress 
which its own action had created by allowing public dues to be 
paid in commodities, and thus taking on itself the risks and in- 
conveniences of a fluctuating trade. 5 It seemed as though soci- 
ety was returning to the primitive conditions of barter. 

It was certain that a community such as Massachusetts, con- 
scious of increasing productive resources of the essential elements 
Further for prosperity, would clutch at every device, however 
pa S per° f essentially worthless or even dangerous, for sur- 
money. mounting what she must have regarded, not alto- 
gether unjustly, as a mere mechanical hindrance to progress. 

1 Felt, p. 49. 2 Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 402. * Felt, p. 63. 

4 lb. p. 64. 

8 lb. p. 53. He gives an instance of the practice and of the inconvenience 
-which ensued. 

"I02 * 'administrative development. 

The delusive belief in the value of a paper currency has enslaved 
minds of wider experience and more exact economical training 
than were to be found in the New England of that day. So far 
the government of the colony had only attempted to meet its 
own financial needs by the issue of bills of credit. In 17 14 it 
took a further step and issued notes to the amount of fifty thou- 
sand pounds, to carry five per cent, interest, payable by the gov- 
ernment to the recipient, and to be redeemed and extinguished 
at the rate of one-fifth in each year. 1 There is nothing to show 
precisely what equivalent the treasury was prepared to take for 
its notes, but we cannot doubt from the general conditions that 
prevailed that the greater part of these notes were issued on loan, 
largely we may suppose on personal security. 

An intelligent observer suddenly brought face to face with 
this state of things, not familiarized with it by watching its suc- 
Action of cessive stages of growth, could not but be horror- 
shute. struck at such a spectacle of universal insolvency. 

The case might well seem one of those where a Governor, free 
from any bondage to colonial interests and backed by the author- 
ity of the Home Government, might profitably intervene. In 
17 16, almost immediately after Shute's arrival, the Assembly 
proposed a fresh issue of a hundred thousand pounds of paper 
money, the redemption to be spread over ten years. Shute was 
not unnaturally aghast at the proposal to flood the market with 
more paper money in the face of the existing depreciation, and 
he besought the Assembly to take measures to reduce "the in- 
tolerable discount" on their bills. The fact that the Governor's 
own salary was, as he complained, paid in a currency depreciated 
to fifty per cent, of its nominal value doubtless brought home to 
him the evils of the existing system. 2 Yet it would seem as if 
Shute vetoed the bill for the issue of more paper money not so 
much on its own demerits as from a resolve to use that veto as 
a weapon in other administrative conflicts. The Assembly had 
neglected to provide for the proper inspection of the naval stores 
which the colonists exported, or to take proper steps for checking 
the waste of ship timber, and they had set at naught most 
cherished principles of British administration by proposing to lay 
a duty of one per cent, on goods imported from the mother 

1 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 208. 2 lb. vol. ii. pp. 217-8. 


country. 1 Unless, Shute told them, they complied on all these 
points with the wishes of the Home Government he could not 
consent to the proposed loan. 

By 1720 the want of an effective currency had reached such 
a point that it was necessary to make an official list of commodi- 
Depiorabie ties which might be taken in payment of public dues. 
pu a bfic° fthe Meat, fish, butter, cheese, grain, leather, and wax 
finances. were all in the list. 2 The confusion was in all like- 
lihood made worse by an order issued by the Town Council of 
Boston that their treasurer should accept bills of credit of Con- 
necticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire "provided they 
were fit to pass from man to man." 3 Nevertheless, the legis- 
lators of Massachusetts were firmly convinced that the trouble 
was due not to the inherent worthlessness of the paper issued, 
but to the insufficient quantity of it. As for depreciation, that 
might be checked by an Act prohibiting anyone to exchange 
paper for bullion except at a fixed rate. 4 Accordingly in 1721 
fifty thousand pounds more was issued. 5 The total disappear- 
ance of specie was the inevitable result. The situation cannot 
be better described than in the words of Thomas Hutchinson, 
one of the few among the public men of Massachusetts who 
throughout perceived and withstood the reckless financial policy 
of his fellow colonists. "As soon as the silver and gold were 
gone, and the bills were the sole instrument of commerce, 
pounds, shillings, and pence were altogether ideal, for no possi- 
ble reason could be assigned why a bill of twenty shillings should 
bear a certain proportion to any one quantity of silver more than 
another ; sums in bills were drawing into the treasury from time 
to time by the taxes, or payment of the loans, but then other 
sums were continually issuing out, and all the bills were paid 
and received without any distinction either in public or private 
payments, so that, for near forty years together, the currency 
was in much the same state as if a hundred pounds sterling had 
been stamped in pieces of leather or paper of various denomina- 
tions, and declared to be the money of the government, without 
any other sanction than this, that, when there should be taxes 
to pay, the treasury would receive this sort of money, and that 

1 Hutchinson, vol. ii. pp. '226-31; cf. Palfrey, vol. iv. p. 405. 
a Records of Boston Selectmen, 1721, p. 92; cf. Felt, p. 76. 
8 Boston Town Records, 1719, p. I43» 
* Felt, p. 77. 8 lb. 


every creditor should be obliged to receive it from his debtor- 
Can it be supposed that such a medium could retain its value? 
In 1702, six shillings and eightpence was equal to an ounce of 
silver. In 1749, fifty shillings was judged equal to an ounce of 
silver. I saw a five-shilling bill which had been issued in 1690 
and was remaining in 1749, and was then equal to eightpence 
only in lawful money, and so retained but about one-eighth of 
its original value. Such was the delusion, that not only the bills, 
of the Massachusetts government passed as money, but they re- 
ceived the bills of the governments of Connecticut, New Hamp- 
shire, and Rhode Island also as a currency. The Massachusetts 
bills passed also in those governments." 1 Shute was unable 
wholly to resist the popular demand, and in 1721 he consented 
to a further issue of fifty thousand pounds. 

The issue of paper money continued to be a subject of dispute 
during the governorships of Burnet and Belcher, and both were 
Action of supported by the Council in their opposition to the 
Belcher. Lower House. Yet it is to be noticed that their op- 
position was not based on an abstract objection to paper money.. 
The concurrence of the Governor and Council was refused be- 
cause the Representatives would not agree to the conditions pro- 
posed as to the control of the money when raised. 

It is clear, however, that Belcher was fully alive to the com- 
mercial evils of the existing state of affairs. He called the 
attention of the Home Government to the deplorable deprecia- 
tion of the public currency, sixteen shillings in their paper beings 
not worth five in specie. The matter was made worse by the 
issue of bills by private persons or companies. These were ex- 
pected to help the deficiency of currency. Instead they ac- 
celerated the general depreciation. 2 

He is thankful that the Assembly are kept from ruining all 
the estates in the province by issuing out floods of these per- 
nicious bills. 3 

Belcher's views might be sound ; when, however, it came to 
action, he made no attempt to give effect to them. On the con- 
trary, we find him in his dispatches to Lord Wilmington making 
a complete surrender, and supporting the application of the 
Council or Assembly to be allowed to make a further issue of 

* Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 402, n. 2 Colonial State Papers, November 1735- 

3 Hist. MSS. Commission Report xi. App. part iv. p. 2875. 


sixty thousand pounds of paper money. 1 The belief of the colo- 
nists in the timidity and flexibility of English officials did not a 
little to strengthen them in the coming struggle, and few did 
more to teach and confirm that belief than Belcher. 

Belcher's warnings when thus contradicted by his action were 
not likely to carry much weight. So far were the citizens of 
Scheme for Massachusetts from accepting them, that in 1740 a 
bank. a scheme was floated for erecting a land bank. Share- 

holders were to give security in land or otherwise, or were to pay 
interest, three per cent, annually, in manufactured goods. As 
raw produce was excluded, it is not unlikely that the encourage- 
ment of colonial manufactures was among the motives operating 
on those who advocated the scheme. The shareholders were to 
receive notes, which would be accepted by the company itself as 
legal tender, and which were to be redeemed not in specie, but 
in currency at the expiration of twenty years. The scheme was 
simply one of those recurrent quack projects for embodying 
credit as floating capital, without the security of immediate re- 
demption, if required, in some medium of fixed value. 

Belcher's instructions had showed that the Home Govern- 
ment was by this time alive to the dangers in which the colony 
had entangled itself. The date of redemption for the out- 
standing bills was 1 74 1. The instructions provided that if 
there was any further issue of paper money it should be made 
redeemable also by that date. The Assembly made more than 
one attempt to legislate in defiance of that limitation, but were 
at once confronted with Belcher's veto. 

By this time, however, the issue of paper money in the various 
colonies had reached a pitch at which the evil could not be 
effectively met by isolated instructions to individual Governors. 
But, before considering the more comprehensive measures 
adopted, it will be well to trace the progress of the trouble in 
other colonies. 

In New Jersey the first issue of paper money appears to have 
been made in 1709, to the amount of three thousand pounds, to 
Paper meet the expenses of the expedition against Canada.* 

hfNew That the colony suffered from lack of specie is shown 
jersey. ty t ^ e f act tri at in 1720 jewelry was accepted in 

1 Hist. MSS. Commission Report, p. 281. 

2 Hutchinson gives a full and clear account of this, vol. ii. pp. 393 - 6. 
8 New Jersey Archives, vol. ii. p. 372. 


payment of public dues. 1 In 1724 Burnet, then Governor of 
New York and New Jersey, reports to the Board of Trade that 
the latter colony was entering on dangerous financial courses 
by a public loan of forty thousand pounds. He contrasts this 
with the cautious policy of the Government of New York, who 
though they had issued paper money were making full provision 
for its redemption. Their notes were issued to individuals on 
the security of land or plate, and such loans were to be paid off 
in installments. 2 Burnet's warning was so far effective that in 
1727 the Board of Trade issued an instruction to his successor, 
Montgomerie, to the effect that no Act for issuing paper money 
should take effect till it is approved by the Crown. 3 

This restriction, however, was apparently disregarded or 
evaded, since by 1740 no less than sixty thousand pounds' worth 
of paper money was in circulation. 4 

Lewis Morris, who was Governor in 1740, was, as was said 
before, a man of definite mind and strong will, and, supported 
by his Council, he made strenuous attempts to restrain the 
further issue of paper money. In 1742 he reports to the Board 
of Trade that he has been offered five hundred pounds if he will 
assent to a bill for raising forty thousand pounds. 5 At a later 
day, after Morris's death, the Assembly averred that the refusal 
was made because the bill did not take the form of a permanent 
increase of salary. 6 In 1730 the Assembly had made a futile 
attempt to escape the inevitable consequences of their own action 
by enacting that no one should make any charge for exchanging 
New Jersey paper money for that of any other colony. 7 It 
seems hardly credible that any legislative body should not have 
seen that this could at once be evaded by a slight alteration in 
the rate of exchange. The incident illustrates both the diffi- 
culties which the issue of paper money necessarily introduced 
into the trade between the various colonies, and the hopeless con- 
fusion of thought of the colonial legislatures on the subject. 

A bitter dispute followed in which the question of paper 
money was mixed up with other administrative questions, which 
will more fitly come before us later. The Council concurred in 
the Governor's veto and gave reasons for their action. Paper 

Phillips, p. 62. 2 New Jersey Archives, vol. v. p. 86. 

I It 7 0l I "V p ' 173> * Philips, P- 69; cf. N. J. Archives, vol. vi. p. 52. 

N. J. Archives, vol. xi. p. 305. « lb. vol. xvi. p. 100. 

7 lb. vol. iii. p. 265; L. Morris's Papers, p. 154. 


money was necessarily subject to fluctuation ; the demand for it 
when once started was sure to increase; it formed a tax which 
did not fall on the rich. It is not easy to see the force of this 
last argument, but the use of it rather suggests that the As- 
sembly was acting in the interests of the wealthy classes. 1 The 
Assembly had also pleaded that the money to be raised was 
needed to build public offices and a house for the Governor. 
The Council met this by pointing out that there was no clause 
in the bill to secure such an appropriation. 

Morris supplemented this by a speech addressed to the As- 
sembly, in which he laid down doctrines which might well alarm 
the colonists. It might be, he admitted, that the right to issue 
paper money was given to the Assembly in the charter, directly 
or by implication. But such a grant was revocable. If any 
such right had been granted in the most express terms a British 
Parliament can abolish any constitution in the Plantations that 
they deem inconvenient or disadvantageous to the trade of the 
nation, or otherwise, without being said to encroach, all en- 
croachments being in their own nature said to be illegal, which 
cannot be said of an Act of a British Parliament without in- 
decency. 2 It may safely be said that up to that time the annals 
of British colonial administration can show no claim on behalf 
of Parliament approaching that in the unqualified directness of 
its assertion or in its far-reaching consequences. 

It was not to be expected that the Assembly should sit down 
quietly under such a claim. Their reply in every respect an- 
ticipates the language and sentiments heard a quarter of a cen- 
tury later. There are vague professions of loyalty, but along 
with them are the ominous words, "we are a nation famed for 
its liberty." . . . "The acting by our own judgment is such 
a. valuable part of our liberty contained in our constitution 
. . . that we hope it will always be promoted and protected 
by you." 

They plainly tell Morris that their conception of the public 
good differs from his, and they are willing to leave it to public 
©pinion to say which is right. In short, things have reached a 
-deadlock, of which the constitution as it stands offers no solu- 
tion. 8 

1 N. Jersey Archives, vol. xv. p. 387. J lb. p. 397. 

8 lb. pp. 410, &c. 


New York seems to have escaped the evils of paper money by 
traditional adherence to a sound system of finance. 1 So also 
Absence did Virginia by its peculiar conditions. A modern 
mJJfey" writer who has made a careful study of the financial. 
Yorkand history of that colony has put forward the view that 
Virginia. the absence of paper money in Virginia shows that 
the colony was well supplied with specie. 2 It was more proba- 
bly due to the fact that in tobacco the colony possessed a medium 
of currency capable of easy expansion. The use of tobacco as 
currency, inconvenient as it was in many ways, at least averted 
the evil of paper money. The tobacco plantation in a sort 
played the part of a gold or silver mine. The Virginian 
planter had only to diminish his staple export and he was sup- 
plied with additional material for barter. We should probably 
find, if it were possible to have exact statistics, that as prices of 
commodities in Virginia rose or fell, so her export of tobacco 
contracted or expanded. Fluctuations of price no doubt there 
were, but they were less sudden and less violent than those 
caused by a large issue of paper. 

It is true that promissory notes on the security of tobacco in 
the public warehouses were issued by individuals, 3 but this was 
merely anticipating the sale of an available commodity with a 
definite marketable value, and differed entirely from the whole- 
sale issue of government paper. It is claimed for Virginia that 
there was no public issue of paper money till special pressure 
was put upon the resources of the colony by the war for the con- 
quest of Canada. 4 

In the dispatch above mentioned we find Burnet singling 
out Maryland and North Carolina as special offenders. There 
Paper can be little doubt that this was specially directed 

North 7 " against North Carolina. The law passed by the 
Carolina. legislature of that colony dealing with debts con- 
tracted outside their own bounds had tended to fill the province 
with the thriftless and dishonest, and to engender an atmosphere 
of laxity and improvidence. 5 In 1716, before the colony had 
passed under the authority of the Crown, paper money to the 

1 For this subject see Smith, p. 279. 

2 Ripley, Financial History of Virginia, p. 147. 

3 lb. p. 147. 

♦Phillips, p. 193. 8 V.s. p. 44. 


amount of twenty-four thousand pounds was issued, and an Act 
passed making commodities for certain purposes legal tender. 

This was met with remonstrances both from the Governor 
and the Proprietors. The former complained that it was impos- 
sible to fix official fees. The latter protested against having to 
receive their quit-rents in depreciated paper. The Assembly 
with audacity, to which perhaps a harsher name might be given, 
replied that anyone who refused to accept the colonial paper at 
par was lessening the credit of the bills, and "committing a great 
breach of the Act for their currency." 1 

Moreover, the question of paper money was inextricably 
mixed up with the other administrative question, that of fees 
and salaries. We have already seen how this acted in New 
Jersey. So, too, it was in North Carolina. There, in 1731, a 
dispute arose between the Governor and the Assembly which 
was complicated and intensified by the absence of a fixed cur- 
rency, and the consequent responsibility of deciding on a scale 
which should not give rise to dispute and evasion. 2 

In South Carolina, on the other hand, we meet with no trace 
of financial difficulties. There, as in Virginia, we have a simple 
form of life, with one uniform and on the whole increasingly 
productive industry. When each plantation is practically a 
self-supporting community, and when the external trade is a 
simple one, flowing in certain fixed channels and dealing with a 
limited and specified number of staple commodities, the lack of 
a medium of currency does not make itself acutely felt. 

In Maryland and Pennsylvania the matter was complicated 
by the introduction of a special factor, the authority of the Pro- 
in Mary- prietor, with important financial rights and some- 
land, what vaguely defined legislative and administrative 
powers. In Maryland, as in Virginia, the economic condition 
of the country soon led to the acceptance of tobacco as a medium 
of currency. There was, however, as we have seen, a difference 
between the industrial condition of Virginia and that of Mary- 
land. In the former colony tobacco was the one staple product. 
In the latter there was a growing tendency to divert industry 
into other channels. We may be certain that socially this was 
a gain. But the lack of a circulating medium was beyond doubt 

1 N. Car. Records, vol. ii. pp. 235, 243; vol. iii. p. 177. 

2 lb. vol. iii. p. 266. 


a hindrance to the prosperity of the colony. In 1729 we find 
a Governor complaining that "where the staple of a country 
. . . yields no return of money to circulate in such a country, 
the want of such circulation must leave it almost inanimate ; it is 
like a dead palsie on the public." 1 

Nevertheless, it is not unlikely that the colony might have 
scrambled on, grumbling at the fluctuations of tobacco yet mak- 
ing no attempts to seek a remedy, if it had not been for the finan- 
cial pressure caused by the necessity for paying the Proprietors' 
dues in some fairly stable medium. 

In 1732 the legislature resorted to an issue of paper money to 
the amount of ninety thousand pounds. Adequate provision, 
however, was made for the redemption by a sinking fund, to be 
raised by a duty on tobacco, and the bills at one time fell to half 
of their nominal value. 2 But the introduction in 1747 of an 
effective system of inspection so bettered the tobacco trade as to 
render the work of redemption easy, and to save the colony from 
the curse of a depreciated paper currency. 3 

In none of the colonies was the question a more acute one or 
attended with more disturbance than in Pennsylvania. The use 
in Penn- of paper money appears to have begun in 1723 with an 
syivama. j ssue f seven thousand five hundred pounds. The re- 
port in which this fact is communicated to the Home Government 
is a remarkable document. It is signed by the Governor, Keith. 
It states that Pennsylvania had special claims to indulgence, since 
of all the colonies it was the only one which had observed Queen 
Anne's proclamation, confirmed by Act of Parliament, deter- 
mining the value of foreign coins in the plantations. Owing to 
the disobedience of the other colonies, Spanish coins are useless 
for intercolonial trade. One certainly would have thought that 
Pennsylvania paper would be equally so. The framers of the 
report also admit that the issue of paper, and the consequent de- 
preciation in the value of money, will be a hardship to individ- 
uals. This, however, they say, is outweighed by the public and 
general gain. As early as that the Board of Trade were alive 
to the dangers of such a system of finance. In acknowledging 
the receipt of the Act they warn the Assembly that the issue of 
paper money has been attended with evil effects in other colonies, 

1 Colonial Papers, quoted by Mereness, p. 126. 
'Mereness, p. 126. 3 lb. p. 127. 


especially in North Carolina. Out of tenderness for the- 
holders of bills they will not disallow the measure. But there 
must be no further issue and there must be speedy redemption. 1 
The warning had but little effect. Three years later a bill was. 
introduced for the issue of fifty thousand pounds, such bills to 
bear interest at four per cent. The Governor, Gordon — a man 
lacking in force of character and power to resist popular de- 
mands — offered some feeble opposition, and so far succeeded that 
the sum was reduced to thirty thousand pounds, and the credit 
of the bills somewhat strengthened by the interest being raised to 
five per cent. He also endeavored to get the period of redemp- 
tion reduced from sixteen years to twelve, but without success. 8 
There are references to popular disturbances and disaffection, 
and it seems likely, though not certain, that these were due to the- 
action of the Governor and Council in endeavoring to withstand 
the financial policy of the Representatives. 3 

Two years later a bill was introduced for continuing in circu- 
lation notes which had been ordered to be redeemed and de- 
stroyed. Here the Governor again protested and again yielded.* 

Gordon's successor, Thomas, was a capable and a clear-headed 
man, who did his best to hold the scales even in all disputes be- 
tween the Proprietor and the colonists. But prevention is easier 
than cure, and the action of Gordon had given such an impetus 
to an unsound system of finance as to render effective resistance 

Thomas was not wholly opposed to the issue of paper money.. 
But he pointed out that it should be made legal tender only in 
the case of internal trade, that debts to English subjects else- 
where and the Proprietors' quit-rents should be paid in, or at 
least at the rate of, sterling coin. 5 

The latter limitation would have deprived the issue of paper 
money of that which was to the colonists one of its main attrac- 
tions. The Assembly replied to the Governor with something 
like a frank avowal of insolvency. The Proprietors, they said, 
must choose whether to receive their dues in depreciated paper 
or to forego them altogether. They will be moreover indirectly 
compensated since the restoration of the currency will enable 

1 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. p. 261. 2 lb. pp. 352-4* 

3 lb. p. 360. * lb. p. 393- 

5 For this dispute see Pennsylvania Records, vol. iv. pp. 320-5. 


them to sell vacant tracts of land which would otherwise be left 
on their hands. Moreover, to impose limits on the circulation 
of the paper will tend to discredit it. The Governor, in reply, 
asked the members of the Assembly whether any of them indi- 
vidually would care to take sixteen-pennyworth of colonial paper 
for an English shilling? The attempt to force all creditors to 
accept such payment would at once call out united resistance 
from English merchants. 

By his resistance Thomas would seem in some measure to have 
stemmed the tide and stayed the further issue of paper. But, as 
we shall see, the evil broke out with renewed violence when de- 
mands for a universal system of colonial defense began to press 
on the colonists. And if something had been done to avert or 
delay insolvency, a heavy price had to be paid. Self-interest of 
a purely personal kind no doubt prompted the action of many 
members of the Assembly. But we may be sure that many of 
the colonists were honestly convinced that the prosperity of the 
province was being sacrificed to the Proprietors and to the Eng- 
lish merchants. The citizen of Pennsylvania was taught to re- 
gard both with aversion, and to include in that feeling those 
who stood for their interests, the Governor and the authorities at 

Rhode Island, enterprising in trade, somewhat Alsatian in 
morals, and but remotely amenable to any external authority, 
in Rhode outstripped all the other colonies in its reckless em- 
isiand. ployment of a paper curency. There, as elsewhere, 

paper money was first used to meet the special needs of the war 
with Canada in 1690. The colony, however, was far from 
unanimous in its wish to make the system permanent. Specie 
versus paper became a test question in elections. In 17 14 the 
"hard money" party were in the ascendant, and an order was 
issued for the redemption of bills to the amount of two thousand 
pounds. Neglect to comply with this order led to the dismissal 
of one treasurer and the appointment of a successor. Ultimately 
only eleven hundred and odd pounds' worth of paper was re- 
deemed. 1 

The attempt to keep the colony within the path of sound 
finance was short-lived and ineffectual. In 17 15 thirty thou- 
sand pounds' worth of paper money was issued. 2 Six years later 

1 Arnold, Hist, of R. I., vol. ii. pp. 52-4. 2 R. I. Records, vol. iv. p. 191. 


this was followed by a further issue of forty thousand pounds. 
So rapidly did the process go on that by 1731 the public debt 
amounted to one hundred and twenty thousand pounds, 1 and the 
colonial paper was depreciated to the extent of sixty per cent. 
The "hard money" party already mentioned was neither defunct 
nor prepared to accept defeat. When in 1731 the Assembly 
proposed a further issue, a number of merchants remonstrated 
and the Governor, Jenckes, had the courage to face unpopularity 
and apply his veto. 2 

It is clear that the issue was that which usually underlies such 
disputes, the issue between the capitalist and the debtor who 
seeks to escape his liability by depreciating the currency. The 
Assembly denied the Governor's right to veto a measure, and the 
question was referred to the Attorney- and Solicitor-General, 
Yorke and Talbot. Their decision was based on a strict consti- 
tutional interpretation of the law, and had no reference to the 
administrative necessities of the case. They decided against the 
Governor's veto. He was, they held, a necessary constituent 
part of the Assembly, but when once the Assembly was in exist- 
ence he had no separate power. 3 

A few years later Rhode Island had a Governor whose views 
on this subject were wholly in conformity with those of the com- 
munity. We find Governor Ward sending home a report in 
which the praises of paper money are sung as enthusiastically as 
they ever were by any fanatic of the school of Attwood. "If 
this colony be in any respect happy and flourishing it is paper 
money that has made it so." The shower of manna had by this 
time mounted up to three hundred and forty thousand pounds, 
which Ward with perfect frankness admits was worth eighty- 
eight thousand and one pounds sterling. 4 

The authorities in England might be short-sighted and narrow- 
minded and negligent in many features of their colonial policy. 
Difficulties But the one matter which they did watch with care- 
Home ful, if not always judicious, vigilance was the trade of 
ment. " the colonies. And it needed no technical knowledge 
or special insight into commercial problems to see what sectional 
feeling and self-interest, in a great measure, concealed from the 
colonists, the injury done to colonial commerce by the inextrica- 

1 R. I. Records, vol. iv. p. 295. 2 lb. p. 457. 

• lb. p. 461. * lb. vol. v. pp. 8, &c. 


ble confusion of currencies. The intermittent exercise of the 
royal veto hardly made matters better. For it was obviously 
inconvenient that a financial issue such as was involved should 
be held over pending the exchange of possibly long and almost 
certainly complicated communications between the colony and 
the authorities at home. The battle, too, was fought with un- 
equal weapons. The Home Government could resist success- 
fully only if their representatives in the colonies stood by them 
without flinching. It needed no little resolution on the part of 
a colonial Governor to bear up persistently against the continued 
and unanimous demands of those among whom he lived, on 
whose good-will he was dependent, in some instances for the 
actual means of living and in all for everything which was- 
needed to make life pleasant, or even endurable. 

That Parliament should be led into intervention was almost 
inevitable. Even if it did not interfere by any direct adminis- 
Actionof trative process, it could hardly avoid touching the 

Parlia- . . ' , J ...... 

ment. question in the process or commercial legislation.. 

The first enactment which in any way bore on the subject had,, 
in all likelihood, an origin wholly unconnected with colonial 
finance. In 17 19 a statute was passed which prohibited the 
formation of any commercial company publicly issuing stock to 
shareholders unless chartered by the Crown or authorized by 
Act of Parliament. 1 The statute, or at least this clause in it, 
was probably designed as a check on that reckless outburst of 
speculation which culminated in the South Sea Bubble. It 
would have been a stringent, probably an unreasonable, interpre- 
tation of the Act to apply this to loans raised by the colonial 
governments, but it might not unreasonably be applied to any 
bank, whether in the hands of a colonial government or of 
private individuals, which issued notes or bills to individuals on 

In 1 741 Parliament went further and passed an enactment 
specifically prohibiting any society, partnership, or company in 
America from issuing promissory bills or notes. 2 At or about 
the same time Parliament petitioned the Crown not to allow any 
colonial Assembly to issue paper money without the approval 
of the King and his advisers. They likewise called attention to 
the non-observance of a statute passed in the reign of Queen 

1 6 George I. c. 18. a 14 George II. c. 37. 


Anne fixing the rate at which foreign coin should pass current in 
the colonies. 1 

In the bill prohibiting paper money was a clause which sub- 
jected the colonies and plantations to such orders and instruc- 
tions as should from time to time be transmitted to them by the 
Crown. It would be difficult to find a stronger instance of the 
lack of method and definite principle which pervaded the colo- 
nial administration during the eighteenth century. A crucial 
question, the apportionment of authority between the Crown 
and Parliament, is settled as it were by an obiter dictum, occa- 
sioned by a special emergency. 

Moreover, to encumber the bill with a general declaration of 
constitutional doctrine could not fail to prejudice its success. It 
was opposed, we are told, not only by many of the colonists, but 
by merchants interested in colonial trade. No doubt that oppo- 
sition was largely due to a belief in paper money as an instru- 
ment of commerce. But it was in all likelihood confirmed and 
intensified by a dread of the general claims advanced. 

At the same time the whole situation showed that the theory 
which placed the colonies outside the jurisdiction of Parliament 
was in practice impossible. An answer was furnished in ad- 
vance to theorists such as Camden, who talked as though cer- 
tain administrative questions could be singled out, and exempted, 
as it were, by a fence drawn round them, from Parliamentary 


Popular opinion has reckoned the interference of the Home 
Government with colonial trade, by restrictions imposed in the 
interfer- interests of the mother country, as the chief among 
colonial 11 * 1 tne causes which alienated the colonies from the 
trade. mother country. The view has also been put for- 

ward that these restrictions were not felt, only because they 
were systematically and almost universally evaded. 

Before going into these questions it may be well to set forth 
shortly the various Acts of Parliament which bore upon colonial 
trade, and which formed, in the patchwork fashion characteristic 

Pennsylvania Records, vol. iv. p. 471. 


of British legislation, a system of commercial administration for 
the whole empire. 

The original Navigation Act, that of 1660, restricted all colo- 
nial trade to British and colonial vessels. It practically ex- 
The eluded all foreign vessels from a share in our carry- 

Act V s. gatl ° n ing trade. Both in the restriction thus imposed on 
the merchant and in the protection granted to the ship-owner 
the Act put Britain and her colonies on precisely the same foot- 
ing. The clauses which bore hardest on the colonies were 
those which prohibited the exportation of masts, pitch, hemp, 
grain, and tobacco to any country other than England. 

An Act of 1663 introduced that practice on which the whole 
execution of the existing law depended. Either security must 
be given that the cargo would be landed in an English or Scotch 
port, or if it was destined for a port in any British colony duty 
must be paid at the time of loading. 

The colonists endeavored to interpret this as giving permis- 
sion to land goods in a foreign port by the payment of a duty on 
loading. In 1696 this was met by an amending Act requiring 
that such payment should not supersede the necessity for giving 
security that the cargo would be landed in an English, Scotch, 
or colonial port. 

During the course of the eighteenth century the Navigation 
Act was made more stringent by the addition of various com- 
modities to the list of those already specified. Rice, molasses, 
beaver and other furs, and copper ore were successively included ; 
while in 1742 the provisions for securing that all vessels 
trading with the colonies should be British were made more 

Undoubtedly the Act which if rigidly executed would have 
borne most hardly on the colonists was that passed in 1733, pro- 
The ^ hibiting the importation of molasses from the French 

Acts. islands into the English colonies. That cannot with 

fairness be cited as showing any wish on the part of the legisla- 
ture to sacrifice the prosperity of the colonies to that of the 
mother country. It was an honest, though no doubt mistaken, 
attempt to benefit one particular group of English colonies by 
forcing the American rum distiller to obtain the molasses which 
he needed from the British West Indies. For years the rum 
distillery had been for New England a business of supreme im- 



portance. Rhode Island, backward in other forms of industry, 
took the lead in this. 1 

Moreover, the French colonies dealt largely with New Eng- 
land for commodities not enumerated in the Navigation Acts, 
and thus anything which crippled their purchasing power was a 
distinct loss to the English colonists. To the French West 
Indies it was of the greatest importance to retain this trade. 
For the distilling of rum was prohibited to them as likely to in- 
terfere with the sale of French brandy, and thus if they were 
deprived of the New England market their molasses was a drug; 
on their hands. 

If the legislature of the eighteenth century added to the 
stringency of these regulations in some directions it relaxed them 
in others, and it also made amends for them by compensatory 
advantages. Drawbacks were granted on goods warehoused in 
England and then exported to the colonies, so that the colonial 
buyer actually got better terms than the British. This benefit 
was increased in 1704 by an extension of the time during 
which the goods might remain in warehouse. Two other Acts 
were passed in the reign of Queen Anne of special benefit to 
the colonies. One gave bounties on naval stores imported into 
England, and the other allowed Irish linen to be imported into 
America duty-free. There was also an important reservation in 
the original Act. Salt needed for fish-curing might be imported 
into New England from any European port, and in 1727 this 
privilege was extended to Pennsylvania. Specially harsh in its 
operation was the Act of 1705, whereby rice, of which a large 
quantity was imported from South Carolina to Portugal, was 
made an enumerated commodity. The result was that the trade 
passed to the Italian rice-grower. In 1720 the Lords of Trade 
reported in favor of relaxing this so far as to allow rice to be car- 
ried to any port south of Cape Finisterre, 2 and in 1731 their 
recommendation became law. 

There does not, however, seem to have been any intention to 
remedy a grievance under which North Carolina suffered. One 
of the few industries possible in that thriftless and resourceless 
colony was the exportation of pickled beef. For this Portu- 
guese salt would have been far more serviceable than English. 

1 There is a consensus of opinion on this point, but I cannot find any exact 

2 Report of Lords of Trade in N. Car. Records, vol. ii. p. 499. 


Yet the boon which, as we have just seen, was granted to New 
England and Pennsylvania was withheld from North Carolina. 1 

To what extent these restrictions in trade were evaded and 
how far they were felt as a real grievance are questions to which 
Smuggling it is hard to give a definite answer. Of the Act re- 
America, straining the importation of molasses one may at once 
say that it was by the connivance of British officials and, as it would 
seem, with the tacit consent of the government rendered a dead 
letter. The general question of smuggling is more difficult to 
deal with. Beyond a doubt the reports of colonial officials teem 
with complaints on the subject. But it must be remembered 
that each colony had its own revenue laws and its own duties, 
imposed by the representatives of the colonists and administered 
by a separate set of officials. It is not easy to say how far the 
evasions complained of were evasions of local or of imperial 
regulations. Nor is it often that the complaints pass from gen- 
eralities to definite facts. Certain specific statements, however, 
do stand out, and may, taken in conjunction, give us some clew 
to the real nature of the colonial contraband trade. 

As early as 1663 we find the Council for Plantations report- 
ing that, contrary to the Act of Navigation, tobacco was ex- 
ported from New England, Long Island, Virginia, and Mary- 
land to the Dutch colonies, whereby the revenue lost ten thou- 
sand pounds yearly. Letters of caution on the subject were to 
be sent to the Governors of the various colonies concerned. 2 

In 1697 Nicholson, then Governor of Maryland, sent home a 
very full, though not altogether lucid, account of the contraband 
Nicholson's trade in that colony. It is clear that the kind of 
report. 3 smuggling which he viewed with apprehension was 
the illicit exportation of tobacco. This was mainly carried on 
by two methods, by the use of forged certificates and by the con- 
nivance of the customs officials both in the colonies and the 
mother country. 

The main check on which Nicholson relies is a more complete 
system of communication between the authorities in the colonies 
and those in England. The invoice of goods was transmitted 

1 Governor Dobbs's report in N. Car. Records, vol. v. p. 314. 

2 Calendar of Col. Papers, 1663, 597. It is evident that the loss of revenue 
is merely a conjectural estimate. There could be no certainty that if the 
Dutch colonial market had been closed the tobacco would have been exported 
at all. 

3 Cal. Colonial Papers, March 27, 1697 


by the same vessel which carried them. Nicholson proposes 
that after the invoice has been sworn to, it should be kept in 
triplicate, one copy to be retained by the Governor, one sent to 
the custom house in London, the third to the port where the 
vessel would unload. 

The evil, Nicholson says, is partly due to the fact that the cus- 
tom-house officials in the colonies are allowed to trade on their 
own account, and do so largely, buying contraband goods and 
thus having an interest in allowing the law to be broken. They 
ought to be restricted to such purchases as were actually need- 
ful for the support of their families. 

Nicholson also proposes that these two sets of officials in the 
colonies, the naval or, as we should now call them, the pre- 
ventive officers and the Commissioners of Customs, should be 
kept wholly distinct. At present both functions are often dis- 
charged by one man, who is thus practically irresponsible. 

He also proposes that the officers of King's ships should insist 
on enforcing the revenue laws — an anticipation of the disastrous 
policy adopted by George Grenville. 

In 1702 Penn, in his dispute with Quarry already mentioned, 1 
took exception to the latter as judge of Admiralty cases and 
Commissioner of Customs, on the ground that he was the great- 
est merchant or trader in the colony. Quarry answered that he 
could not be a great trader if he would, as he could not compete 
with smugglers from the West Indies and Scotland. 2 

Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia, states in a letter to the 
Commissioner of Trade that it was customary to export tobacco 
to the French West Indies entered as beef and pork, or with the 
amount falsified in weighing. 8 We learn elsewhere that the 
cargo for which security had been given was often supplemented 
by boat-loads brought on board after the vessel had cleared out 
of port. This was a form of fraud to which the natural con- 
dition of Virginia with its paucity of seaports and abundance of 
landing-stages specially lent itself. 

There is also a report from an English official, a description 
of a disturbance in Rhode Island in 17 19 when Kay, the col- 
lector of customs, seized several hogsheads of smuggled claret. 
The mob rescued the wine, staved it, drank some, and threw 

1 The Middle Colonies, p. 424. 2 Cal. State Papers, Pennsylvania, 559. 

8 Letters, vol. i. p. 9- 


away the rest. No violence was done to Kay, but he was im- 
mediately subjected to what seems to have been a vexatious 
prosecution. 1 

In 1 72 1 we find the Governor of Massachusetts complaining 
to the Assembly of the illegal importation of French silks, and 
instructing them to make it a subject of inquiry. 2 

We also read in a pamphlet written not earlier than 1733 of 
a regular trade with ports in the South of France and Holland. 
Pitch, tar, ship timber, furs, and skins are brought to Europe, and 
the ships return freighted with French wines and silks. Ships 
are specially built for and appropriated to the trade. American 
factors live in the European ports, European ones in America. 3 

In 1742 Bollan, the agent for Massachusetts, reported that 
there was an extensive illicit trade both in exports and imports 
with France, Holland, and Spain. "The men concerned in this 
commerce are many," Bollan says, "some of them men of the 
greatest fortunes." He adds, "If effectual measures be not 
taken to stop this growing mischief, the British commerce to 
these plantations and their dependence will be in a great measure 
ere long lost, and the illicit traders, by their wealth and wiles, 
have got such power in those parts that laws and orders may 
have come too late to have a real effect." 4 

Perhaps the most definite statement on the subject made by- 
any British official is a report by Hardy, the Governor of New 
York, in 1757. 5 He says that tea, canvas, gunpowder, and 
arms for the Indians were imported as contraband. They 
"render to his Majesty no duty in Europe, and almost totally 
discourage the importation of these commodities from Britain. 
In some cases duty is paid on a portion of the cargo. Vessels 
from Holland are the chief offenders." Hardy has checked the 
practice in New York, but the result has been to drive the 
smugglers to Connecticut and Philadelphia. These statements 
are confirmed by another New York official, De Lancey. 6 

1 R. I. Records, vol. iv. p. 258. 'Boston Town Records, 1721, p« 156. 

8 This is stated in a broadsheet of which there is a copy in the British 
Museum. It is entitled A Short Viezv of the Smuggling Trade carried on by 
the British Northern Colonies. It is undated, but there is a reference to an 
Act of 1733. Tobacco is not mentioned among the contraband exports. This, 
and the expression Northern Colonies, suggests that the writer is dealing with 
New England and the Middle Colonies only. 

4 Quoted by Chalmers, vol. ii. p. 141. 5 N. Y. Docs. vol. vii. p. 271. 

6 lb. p. 273. 


Owing to the system of drawbacks the amount to be gained 
by the direct importation of European goods would hardly, by it- 
self, have been worth the risk involved. But to enlarge the 
tobacco market and break through the monopoly of the English 
buyer was undoubtedly a lucrative undertaking. And, under 
the conditions of colonial navigation, clandestine exportation al- 
most of necessity brought clandestine importation as a needful 
consequence. If a vessel, British or American, ran a cargo of 
tobacco into Toulon, her best chance of escaping detection would 
be to make for an American port with a contraband cargo of 
French goods. Her appearance in an English port unloaded or 
with a French cargo would inevitably excite suspicion. To re- 
turn to America empty would be out of the question. Thus it 
is at least probable that the illicit exportation of tobacco was 
really the pivot on which the contraband trade turned, though 
the other subsidiary features of it were those which came more 
conspicuously under the notice of English officials. 

There was also no doubt a marked difference in this respect 
between the different groups of colonies. Neither the habits 
nor the resources of the Southern planter created much de- 
mand for luxuries from Europe, while every opportunity which 
offered of extending his sale of tobacco would be eagerly ac- 
cepted. On the other hand the wealthy merchant at Boston, 
New York, or Philadelphia was a willing buyer of French silks. 
and foreign wines, while rum distilleries, which played such an 
important part in the industry of New England, created a con- 
tinuous demand for molasses from the French islands. 

Such expressions of colonial opinion as come before us would 
not lead us to think that these restrictions, perfunctorily en- 
forced and easily evaded, had any marked influence in the feeling 
of the colonists to the mother country. Yet some harm no doubt 
was done. British officials felt that they were being outwitted 
and defied; ill-temper and alienation followed. It is an un- 
wholesome state of things when the law prescribes one course 
and the conventional and accepted morality of the community 
persists in another. The laxity of tone thus begotten showed 
itself, at times, in forms more serious than the smuggling of 
wines and tobacco. Connivance with piracy was undoubtedly 
a blot on the morals of Rhode Island and New York. In time- 
of war the French settlers in Canada could rely on the English 


colonies for those supplies which were so inadequately furnished 
by their own resources. In 1751 a letter appeared in a London 
newspaper, signed "Publicus," setting forth very vigorously the 
erroneous policy of Great Britain in seeking to encourage the 
West India Islands at the expense of the American colonies. 
"There is no comparison in the quantity of the English manufac- 
tures that are annually consumed in the Northern colonies and 
the Sugar Islands. Besides the West Indian trade is a perpetual 
destruction of seamen, whereas the Northern colony trade and the 
Fishing especially is a continual nursery for their increase, and it 
is, therefore, my humble opinion that an exclusive fishery alone 
would be of more benefit to the nation than all the Sugar Islands 
put together; for whatever nation has the greatest naval force 
will always command the trade." The writer points out that 
this view is borne out by the case of Spain, where the mere 
growth of a colonial empire has brought no corresponding in- 
crease of commerce. 1 Three years later we find Governor 
Dobbs, of North Carolina, endeavoring to impress on the Board 
of Trade the harm done to his own colony by the restrictions on 
commerce. 2 They might, if allowed, do a good trade with 
Madeira and the Azores, exchanging their own products for 
wines. So, too, they might trade with Ireland, importing rice 
and indigo and bringing back linen. They are prejudiced by 
not being allowed to bring salt from continental ports. This 
practically makes them dependent on British salt, which is un- 
suited to pickling, and thus what might be a valuable trade in 
pickled beef is made impossible. It is certainly not easy to see 
why a restriction which had been waived in the case of New 
England and Pennsylvania should have been retained in the 
other colonies. 

The advocates of the colonies in their struggle with the 
mother country occasionally made capital out of the restrictions 
Restric- imposed on their productive industry, and they have 
productive not Deen without later imitators. The worst that 
industry. can ^ e §a ' ( j f suc y i j- es trictions is that they were a pos- 
sible cause of irritation, and, except perhaps in two cases, a 

1 Mr. Whitehead publishes this letter in his collection of New Jersey Docu- 
ments, vol. xix. p. 139. The letter was originally published in a London paper, 
Sept. 1, 1 75 1, and afterwards republished in the Pennsylvania Gazette, March 
17. i75 2 - The name of the paper in which it originally appeared is not given. 

2 N. Car. Records, vol. v. p. 314. 


wholly superfluous cause. There was little chance that a com- 
munity where the abundance of fertile land and the paucity of 
population kept wages up to a high level could possibly compete 
in productive industry with the overpeopled countries of the 
Old World. We have seen how the attempts of the legislature 
in Massachusetts to foster textile manufactures failed. The 
attempts of Spotswood to establish iron-works in Virginia fared 
little better. 

Yet there can be no doubt that the restrictive policy of the 
British Government did leave on the minds of the colonists a 
vague feeling that the mother country was willing to sacrifice 
the commercial prosperity of her children to her own. And, as 
was said above in two instances, this went beyond intent and did, 
to some extent, hinder or divert the forms which colonial in- 
dustry was taking. The colonial hat-maker buying his beaver 
fur, without the cost of a voyage to England, and selling his 
manufactured goods without the cost of a voyage to America, 
was a dangerous rival to the English producer. Not only did 
the American hat-maker supply his fellow-colonists, but he 
ousted his English rival from the markets of Europe and the 
West Indies. We find the Hat-makers' Company in 1730 
petitioning to be protected against this competition. 1 Two 
years later we find that energetic though not very wide-minded 
philanthropist, Thomas Coram, addressing a memorial on this 
subject to the Board of Trade. 2 The colonists are beginning 
to manufacture hats, shoes, and woolen goods. This may be 
checked now without exciting much opposition; let the system 
once establish itself and any restriction on it will be felt as a 
grievance. Coram points out that by the system of drawbacks 
on goods imported into England and re-imported to the colonies 
the colonial purchaser is unduly favored as against the British 
purchaser, and the British manufacturer is deprived of an ad- 
vantage which he would otherwise enjoy. He further states 
that the drawback on foreign cordage had been withdrawn ex- 
pressly in compliance with a petition from the Rope-makers' 
Company. It evidently does not occur to Coram that this 
system of drawbacks was regarded by the colonists as no more 
than a legitimate equivalent for the restrictions laid on their 
productive industry and their export trade. 

1 New Jersey Archives, vol. iii. p. 301. 2 lb. p. 308. 


The American hatter had probably not much difficulty in- 
turning his manual skill into some equally lucrative channel. In 
another department of industry there can be little doubt that 
the colonists had a real grievance. The great extent to which 
wood was used in building created a large and constant demand 
for iron nails. The process of converting rods into nails em- 
ployed the New England farmer in the long winter evenings. 
In 1750 an Act was passed which put an end to this by prohibit- 
ing the erection and maintenance in the colonies of "slitting 
mills" for converting bars of iron into thin rods. 1 The object 
of this was to insure that the raw material should be imported 
into England. The price of the New England farmer's nails 
was increased by a double voyage across the Atlantic, by the cost 
of manufacture, and the profits of two middlemen. 

We also find the Board of Trade giving instructions to 
Hunter to take some steps to check the manufacture of woolen 
Growth of an d linen stuffs in New York. They have been in- 
wooien formed by Cornbury and Heathcote that it had in- 

factures creased to such an extent that two-thirds of those 
York! w articles used in the colony were manufactured there. 2 
Cornbury and Heathcote were not the men to give trustworthy 
evidence on a question which required careful and exact inquiry. 
We do not find any trace either of repressive measures by 
Hunter or of further complaints. 

Again we find the Council and Assembly of New Jersey 
petitioning the Governor to obtain a relaxation of the Act or 
iron in Acts which prohibited the importation of iron into 

New jersey. England. That the colonists imagined this to be a 
grievance does not prove that under different conditions any iron 
would have been imported. 

A country where the material resources were far in advance 
of the demands made upon them, and where industry has that 
elasticity which is begotten of education and energy, is not likely 
to suffer greatly even if ill-advised politicians should attempt 
either through selfishness or paternal benevolence to prescribe the 
direction which it should take. The worst that can be said of 
the industrial legislation of Parliament was that it presented 
the mother country as selfish in its purposes and not specially in- 
telligent in its execution of them, and that it might at any 

1 23 George II. c. 29. 2 N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 413. 


moment furnish a colonial agitator with a plausible theme for 
complaint and denunciation. One grievance of the colonists 
arose out of the perfectly reasonable claim of the British Gov- 
ernment to secure for the royal navy all ship-timber growing on 
unappropriated ground. Unfortunately, the claim was one 
which had to be enforced in sparsely populated and, therefore, 
somewhat lawless districts, such as New Hampshire, 1 and the 
annals of that colony show more than one disturbance arising 
out of the action of British officials in this matter. 

On the other hand we find the Assembly of New Jersey in 
1693 passing an Act forbidding the exportation of timber unless 
the master gave security to the amount of a hundred pounds that 
he could export it to Great Britain or the West Indies. 2 Yet 
this very compliance had in it an element of danger. For the 
claim of the local legislature to give additional force to an Act 
of Parliament by its approval seemed to carry with it a right to 

It would not be fair to overlook the fact that the Home Gov- 
ernment did at least in one instance endeavor unsolicited to be 
of assistance to colonial productive industry. In 1734 the Board 
of Trade inquired of the Proprietors of Pennsylvania what 
encouragement the trade of the colony specially needed in the 
production of naval stores and of other commodities which 
would not interfere with the trade and produce of Great 
Britain. The matter was laid before the Assembly, who rec- 
ommended the encouragement of hematite and of pig and bar 
iron. 3 

So, too, we find Spotswood, in a dispatch to the Board of 
Trade, regretting the over-production of tobacco, and suggesting 
that the colonists should be encouraged in the manufacture of 
pitch, tar, and hemp, for the use of the navy. 4 

Keith, too, both in the report already referred to 5 and in two 
letters written about the same time, deprecates any fear of the 
colonies becoming rivals to the mother country in manufac- 
tures. 6 

A good deal of rhetoric has been at various times expended 

1 N. Hants. Prov. Papers, vol. iv. pp. 874-5; vol. v. pp. 12, 20, cf. p. 122. 

2 Col. Papers, July 2, 1693. 

3 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. p. 576. 4 Letters, vol. i. p. T2. 
6 V.s. p. no. 6 N. Jersey Archives, vol. iii. p. 203. 


on the selection of colonial governors during the eighteenth cen- 
tury. It is often said that a colonial governorship was a refuge 
colonial f° r a broken-down courtier. Thus we find Lewis 
Governors. Morris, at the time when he was attacking Cosby, 
complaining of "colonial Governors who do not come here 
to take the air, but generally to repair a shattered fortune or 
acquire an estate." 1 That one department would have been 
strangely unlike everything else in eighteenth-century politics if 
there had not been venal appointments and discreditable jobs. 
But we may also confidently say that the administrative capacity 
in which the English race has never shown itself lacking did not 
wholly fail in this special province. The names of Craven, 
Hunter, Spotswood, Dinwiddie, Burnet, Shirley, and Dobbs are 
an abundant answer to any charge of general incompetence or 

What evil there was lay more in the system than in either the 
men who carried it out or those who selected them. The work 
Position of a colonial Governor was done wholly under super- 
Governor, vision and in some measure under the control of the 
Board of Trade. Yet that Board had no voice in his selec- 
tion and no power to enforce their wishes by dismissal. Here, 
as everywhere, our colonial policy was ruined by the lack of a 
central department, with continuous traditions and a definite 

Again the Governor, let his administrative ability and his in- 
tegrity and public spirit be what they might, was constantly 
Appoint- hampered by the vagueness and indefiniteness of the 
judges. system with which he was dealing. 

A typical instance of a question on which no definite and 
general usage obtained was the appointment of the judiciary. 
In some cases the appointment was for life, in others the judge 
was removable by the Governor. The arguments for the latter 
course were that there was a paucity of capable men, and that 
by this system when one such could be found a vacancy could be 
made for him at once. Moreover, the fear of removal might 
check a tendency on the part of the judiciary to become the serv- 
ants of the Assembly on whom they depended for their salary. 
Yet it is clear that these possible advantages brought the corre- 
sponding dangers of robbery and intimidation on the part of the 

1 N. Y. Docs, vol. v. p. 882. 


Governor. A bitter and somewhat discreditable dispute, and 
one injurious to the credit of the British Government, arose in 
New York in 1733. Cosby endeavored to bring a case in which 
he was personally interested before the Court of Chancery, in 
which he as Chancellor of the colony presided. Chief Justice 
Morris denied the Governor right of jurisdiction in the case, and 
for this was dismissed, as Cosby expressed it, to discourage Bos- 
ton principles. 1 So, too, we find Cosby complaining in a dis- 
patch to the Duke of Newcastle that "the example and spirit of 
the Boston people begins to spread abroad among these colonists 
in a most marvelous manner." 2 The expressions are interesting 
as showing that then, as later, Boston was looked on as a focus 
of disaffection extending beyond its own borders. 

Before we quit the relations of the colonists to those in 
authority over them, it may be well to single out a few specially 
Bradley's illustrative incidents which have not come before us 
report. j n fa direct course of the story. We have already 

seen how definitely the party system had established itself in 
New York. During the reign of George II. the colony was 
seething with faction, and no Governor after Burnet was able 
to avoid becoming entangled in it. In 1729 we find Bradley, 
the Attorney-General to the colony, sending home to the 
Board of Trade a violent and alarmist dispatch on the condition 
of the colony. 3 According to him, the Assembly use their 
financial powers to reward friends and punish enemies. His 
warnings of disaffection do not apply merely to New York. 
"Other neighboring provinces seem to show the same kind of 
spirit and a strong inclination to take the earliest opportunity 
of setting up for themselves." 

Bradley reminds the Board of all the danger and cost incurred 
through the supineness which allowed Bacon's rebellion to come 
to a head unheeded. The increase of population has made such 
a danger more serious than before. This is followed by words 
of warning which now sound strangely prophetic, and on which 
English statesmen would have done well to ponder. "It may be 
thought impracticable at present for any of these provinces or 
places alone to attempt anything of that kind, yet if several of 
them should even at this time join in such a conspiracy (and 

1 N. Y. Docs. vol. v. pp. 942-55. It is but fair to say that Cosby also 
charges Morris with drunkenness and malversation of justice. 

2 N. J. Archives, vol. v. p. 320. 3 N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 901. 


«could these Assemblies openly do more tho' they had actually so 
engaged?), it would be extremely difficult and expensive, if not 
impracticable, at the distance, and in such a thicket of wood and 
trees as these countries are, to reduce them to their duty and 
obedience, in regard of their populousness at present, the skillful- 
ness, strength, and activity of the people who are inured to hard- 
ships, can defend themselves in woods and behind trees, can live 
on roots and what the woods afford without bread, beer, or 
spirits, or forage for horses, &c, and can travel in the woods 
without guides or the help of roads, few of which are yet made, 
which forces that have not been so used cannot possibly do. 
Besides the impracticableness of drawing the necessary carriages 
for an army in such woods as these, the difficulties of passing 
great lakes and rivers, the severities of summer's heat and 
winter's cold, the great perplexity from flies and vermin in the 
former and deep snows in the latter. 

"While Assemblies dare act thus and seem to have it in their 
power to obtain what laws they please, how can his Majesty's 
interests be secure in so remote a country where people multiply 
so fast, a country of so vast extent, so considerable for its navi- 
gation and which takes off yearly so great a quantity of the 
-woolen, iron, and other manufactures of Great Britain, besides 
the dependency which that valuable branch of the revenue aris- 
ing from the Virginia tobacco seems to have on the security of 
the obedience of the people of these provinces and countys to his 
Majesty. Upon the whole would it not be advisable that no 
Assembly for the future should transact any affair in the house 
without the presence of a Commissioner on behalf of the Crown, 
as 'tis said is used in the General Assembly of Scotland, which 
•Commissioners should therefore be rendered independent of the 
Assembly and entirely dependent on the Crown, and also that 
some effectual speedy course be taken to render all the officers of 
the Crown entirely independent on (sic) Assemblies?" 

We seem to be reading a warning sent home by some official 
•of the school of Hutchinson or Oliver. The parallel between 
the present and the future dispute is strengthened by a document 
of two years later. There Rip Van Dam, who is acting as 
President of the Council during an interregnum in the gov- 
ernorship, complains to the Board of Trade that the interests of 
New York are sacrificed to those of the British sugar islands by 


the prohibition of molasses from the French colonies, financial 
ruin will follow, and the only effective barrier against French 
invasion will be swept away. 1 

Colonel Cosby, who succeeded Montgomerie in 1732, had no 
colonial experience, and was wholly unfitted by character to 
deal with a state of things such as now existed in New York. 
Before he had been in office two years we find Van Dam formu- 
lating a long string of charges against him. 2 

He had in various ways ignored the Council and deprived 
them of their constitutional rights. He had not communicated 
his instructions to them. He had appointed and displaced 
judges, justices, and sheriffs without consulting the Council. 
He had assumed the right, not given him by the constitution, of 
acting as President of the Council. He had packed Councils by 
summoning only those members whose views agreed with his 
own. He had on his own responsibility established a Court of 
Equity, and thereby encroached on the rights of the Assembly. 
He had also been guilty of various isolated acts of maladminis- 
tration, such as conniving at French contraband traders and 
falsifying his returns of soldiers. 

According to Cosby, Van Dam was the mere tool of Morris 
and his ally, Alexander. 3 Yet a little while before we find Van 
Dam accusing Morris of bringing scandalous charges against 
him and one of his colleagues. Morris replies that the only 
charge he brought was ignorance of English, and that is well 
founded. "All the world knows that they were never masters 
of the English tongue nor never will be, and if they understood 
the common discourse it is as much as they do." 4 

In one instance, if we may believe Cosby, he had embroiled 
himself with the settlers by protecting the Indians against a 
gross attempt at fraud. The corporation of Albany had, he 
says, frightened the Mohawks into a belief that Montgomerie, 
when Governor, would take away their land. To save it they 
had best grant it in trust to the corporation. This was done, 
and the corporation then treated the trust deed as an absolute 
conveyance. Cosby obtained the deed and restored it to the 
Mohawks, who tore it to pieces. 5 

1 N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 926. 2 lb. p. 975. 

3 lb. vol. vi. p. 9. * lb. vol. v. p. 886. 

6 Cosby to Board of Trade, Dec. 15, 1737- N. Y. Docs. vol. v. p. 960. 


The most conspicuous incident in the conflict between Cosby 
and the popular party was the Zenger trial. John Peter Zenger 
The had been brought to New York as a child by his 

friar!" mother, one of the refugees from the Palatinate. 
About 1726 he set himself up as a printer, and seven years later 
he started a newspaper, Zenger s Journal. The paper was 
adopted as the organ of the party opposed to Cosby and his sup- 
porters, whom it attacked with ability and with considerable 
license of language. In 1734 Zenger's paper was brought under 
the notice of the Governor and Council. To those who have 
grown up in an atmosphere of free speech and almost unre- 
strained political criticism it will seem well-nigh incredible that 
any government should have been so ill-advised as to make 
Zenger's utterances the subject of formal notice and official pro- 
ceedings. The passage selected as matter for procedure was a 
conversation, probably imaginary, between a citizen of New Jer- 
sey and certain inhabitants of New York, one of whom was 
about to migrate to Pennsylvania. The New Jersey man, ob- 
serving his New York friends to be full of complaints, tried to 
persuade them to migrate to his own colony. The answer was 
that they would be leaping out of the frying pan into the fire 
since both colonies had the same Governor, and the Assembly of 
New Jersey had shown what was to be expected from them. 
Thereupon the intending emigrant to Pennsylvania condoled 
with his fellow-citizens on the evils resulting from the action 
of men who were the tools of government, and expressed a hope 
that the Assembly would not be influenced by the private in- 
terests of individual members or by the smiles and powers of the 
Governor. The supposed accuser then enumerates Cosby's mis- 
deeds. Judges have been arbitrarily displaced, trial by jury in 
some cases denied, and qualified voters disfranchised without 

The first stage in the conflict was that the Council ordered 
the offending papers to be burnt, and moreover commanded the 
Mayor and magistrates as the Court of Quarter sessions to be 
present at the burning. One member of that body protested 
on the ground that there was no precedent for such an order. 

1 The best authority for the Zenger trial, though of necessity to some extent 
an ex parte one, is the report drawn up by Zenger himself and republished in 
London in 1750. Cosby in his dispatches is significantly reserved about it. 


The feeling of the Court in the matter was sufficiently shown 
by their action. They refused to make any record of the pro- 
ceedings in their minutes, nor would they allow one of their 
minor officials to carry out the sentence, and when the burning 
was performed by the sheriff they stayed away. These may 
only have been the proceedings of a majority, but if there was an 
adverse minority there is no sign of its taking any action. 

Eleven days later the Council ordered that Zenger should be 
committed to prison, to be tried for publishing seditious libels 
tending to raise faction and tumults, to bring government into 
contempt, and to disturb the peace of the colony. 

Thereupon Zenger was taken into custody and, if we may 
believe his own statement, refused the use of writing materials, 
and not allowed to communicate with anyone. His friends, 
however, obtained a writ of habeas corpus, and he was brought 
before the Chief Justice and committed for trial. Thereupon 
Zenger applied for bail, at the same time making affidavit that, 
excepting his printing apparatus and wearing apparel, he was 
not worth forty pounds. The Court, however, demanded per- 
sonal security for four hundred pounds. It is difficult to sup- 
pose that, when popular feeling ran as high as it did, Zenger 
could not have got help for the required amount. Probably, 
however, he thought that it would serve his turn better to in- 
fluence popular opinion by returning to prison, which he did. 

The trial came on in the following April. Zenger's counsel, 
Alexander and Smith, at once raised an important constitutional 
point. They denied the competence of the Chief Justice De 
Lancey, and of Philipse who sat with him, on the ground that 
the commissions were made out to last not during good be- 
havior, but during the King's good pleasure. This plea if ad- 
mitted would practically have nullified all legal proceedings in 
the colony. De Lancey, however, did not content himself with 
overruling the objection, but treated the action of Zenger's 
counsel as contempt of Court, and excluded them both by an- 
other order from further practice. 

The result was the postponement of the trial till the follow- 
ing August. The cause of authority gained nothing by the 
silencing of Zenger's counsel. Their place was filled by Alex- 
ander Hamilton, of Philadelphia. He clearly saw that he was 
dealing, not with an ordinary criminal trial, but with a question 


which involved constitutional issues, and also gave scope for an 
appeal to popular passion. 

Bradley, the Attorney-General, who prosecuted, took his 
stand upon Zenger's criticism of the government already 
quoted. That he could adduce nothing stronger was the most 
complete proof that could be found of the folly and futility of 
the course adopted by Cosby and De Lancey. 

The speech of Bradley as prosecutor was virtually a denial 
of all right of political criticism. He did not endeavor to prove 
that Zenger's charges against Cosby were untrue or even exag- 
gerated. Nor did he take the ground that Zenger's utterances 
were dangerous as likely to lead to any breach of the peace. 
Zenger was in Bradley's words a man who notoriously scandal- 
ized the Governor and principal magistrates and officers of the 
government by charging them with depriving the people of their 
rights and liberties. Cosby was no more a Strafford than 
Zenger was a Hampden. But the logical conclusion to be 
drawn from Bradley's plea was — let a Governor be never so 
arbitrary, protest and comment were alike illegal. 

It was no hard matter for Hamilton to meet such a plea. 
The whole essence of his argument came to this — that free 
criticism, free expression of public opinion on the conduct of 
those in authority was a necessary condition for the maintenance 
of liberty. He also pointed out with considerable dexterity that 
to criticise the unconstitutional proceedings of a colonial Gov- 
ernor is not merely consistent with loyalty to the Crown, but 
absolutely essential to the fulfillment of such loyalty, since only 
so can the delegated authority of the Crow r n be saved from abuse. 

Hamilton's speech was decorated with appeals to the memory 
of the earlier and the later Brutus. Without such an eighteenth- 
century appeal on behalf of liberty it would have been incom- 
plete. But there was no attempt to make rhetoric do the work 
of argument. And there was assuredly ample ground for 
Hamilton's claim that the question was "not of small or private 
concern, not the cause of a poor printer, nor of New York 
alone," but that it might "affect every Freeman that lives under 
a British government on the main of America." 

De Lancey 's summing up must have seemed to many who 
heard it the fullest admission and confirmation of those words. 
He quoted with approval a dictum of Chief Justice Holt: "to 


say that corrupt officers are appointed to administer affairs is cer- 
tainly a reflection on the government. If people should not be 
called to account for possessing the people with an ill opinion 
of the government, no government can subsist. For it is neces- 
sary for all government that the people should have a good 
opinion of it." 

The jury disregarding De Lancey's charge acquitted Zenger, 
and six weeks later the Town Council of New York presented 
Hamilton with the freedom of the city in a gold box. 

The Zenger trial has more than a local or personal interest. 
It strikingly illustrates the change of political thought which 
was making itself felt both in the mother country and the British 
dependencies. It marked the era of transition when the right of 
free speech, which to an earlier generation had seemed a daring 
paradox, was understood and claimed, yet far from universally 

New Jersey was not so steeped in faction as New York. Yet 
in both colonies we see a marked difference from the political life 
of New England. There the conflict with government was 
fought in a spirit which invests it, despite much that is factious 
and ungenerous, with a certain moral dignity. In New York 
and New Jersey the central conflict is at every step obscured and 
entangled amid petty sordid intrigues and personal squabbles. 

In 1732 we find Morris informing the Duke of Newcastle, 
then Secretary of State, that "the rendering governors and all 
other officers directly dependent on the people is the general 
inclination and endeavor of all the plantations in America, and 
nowhere pursued with more steadiness and less decency than in 
New Jersey ; and were they indulged with a separate Governor 
before they had made proper provision for his support and that 
of the officers of the government he must be a man of very un- 
common abilities who is capable of working them up to their 
duty." 1 

A private letter from the same writer, at a somewhat later 
date, shows what was meant by "less decency." Morris there 
describes the Assembly "scolding, giving the lye, threatening to 
spit in the face." 2 

In a somewhat later letter to the Board of Trade, Morris 

1 N. J. Archives, vol. iii. p. 315. 2 lb. vol. vi. p. 60. 


charges Cosby with accepting a thousand pounds from the As- 
sembly to use his private influence against the Molasses Act. 1 

One expression used by Morris, "were they indulged with a 
separate Governor," reminds us that the people of New Jersey 
had a real grievance. The system of uniting them with New 
York under one Governor could not fail to bear hardly on the 
smaller and poorer colony. 

The social attractions of New York made it almost certain 
that the Governor would usually reside there. Consequently 
he has none of that local knowledge of New Jersey which is 
needed for good administration, especially for making appoint- 
ments. The Council also have to go frequently to New York; 
there is a delay in obtaining writs, and the salaries paid to 
officials in New Jersey are mainly spent in New York. 2 

Upon Cosby's death in 1736 the grievance was remedied. 
The province was then separated from New York, Lewis Mor- 
ris was appointed Governor, and remained in office for the rest 
of his life. He died in 1746, and an interregnum of nearly a 
year followed. 

Under the government of his successor the colony was thrown 
into a condition which, if w T e can believe some contemporary 
Territorial witnesses, bordered closely on anarchy. We have 
dispute. 3 already seen what a tangle of confusion had been 
created by the successive sub-infeudations, as one may call them, 
which the soil of New Jersey had undergone. About 1745 a 
crop of territorial disputes sprung up, having their root in titles 
said to have been granted immediately after the conquest of New 
Netherlands. In 1664 Nicolls, acting on behalf of the Duke of 
York, had sold certain lands to John Bailey, Daniel Denton, 
and others, and under this grant the settlement of Elizabethtown 
had come into existence. 4 One condition of the grant was that 
the recipients should "do and perform such acts and things as 
shall be appointed by his Royal Highness the Duke of York and 
his deputies." Obviously it might be a nice legal point how far 

1 N. J. Archives, vol. iii. p. 349. 

2 In 1730 the Assembly of New Jersey petition for a separate Governor, 
and in 1731 a similar petition is made by the Council. The evils of the exist- 
ing system are set forth in the petition of the Council, and also in a memorial 
drawn up by Partridge, the agent for New Jersey. N. J. Records, vol. iii. pp. 
270, 296, 451. 

8 In my account of this I have relied on the New Jersey Archives. 
4 Brodhead, vol. ii. p. 64; cf. The Middle Colonies, p. 290. 


the proprietary rights thus reserved by Nicolls had been trans- 
mitted to the various successive purchasers. No conflict or dis- 
pute, however, seems to have arisen till nearly a hundred years 
from the date of the original grant. It would seem, too, that 
the greater number of the freeholders at Elizabethtown had 
acknowledged the territorial rights of the Proprietors by ob- 
taining grants from them. The existing documents bearing on 
the matter, though copious, do not tell us the precise form which 
the dispute took at the outset. In all likelihood the Proprietors 
proposed either to re-grant lands included, or said to be in- 
cluded, in Nicolls's grant, or else to exact dues from the present 
occupants. At all events in the summer of 1744 the freeholders 
of Elizabethtown thought it necessary to lay before the Privy 
Council a memorial claiming to be independent of the Proprie- 
tors of New Jersey under a grant made by Nicolls. 1 They also 
either now or at a later stage of the dispute put in evidence a 
document, dated 1666, by which Philip Carteret gave the gran* 
tees of Elizabethtown leave to purchase from the Indians "what 
quantity of land they shall think convenient." 2 This was at 
best a vague foundation on which to build a claim adverse to 
that of the Proprietors. The matter was referred to the Board 
of Trade, and both the applicants and the Proprietors expressed 
themselves willing to abide by their decision. 

The next incident we hear of is an encroachment in the 
autumn of 1745 by one Baldwin, who proceeded to cut trees on 
the lands of the Proprietors. For this he is imprisoned at 
Newark, and speedily liberated by a mob. Three of his sup- 
porters are committed for trial. One is at once rescued; the 
other two are put into prison, but again the jail is broken and 
they escape. The disaffection spreads, and for the next five 
years the colony is almost in a state of anarchy and of what 
would be called in modern times agrarian war. Not only is the 
authority of the Proprietors defied, but those who hold lands 
under grants from them are evicted by force, and are in some 
cases subjected to brutal violence. Feeling became so acute that 
the rioters are even suspected of introducing a troop of Indians 
to assist them. 

Gradually the rioters become definitely organized. They 
raise money for purposes of resistance, in some cases extorting it 

1 N. J. Records, vol. vi. p. 205. 2 lb. vol. vii. 32. 


by force, and individuals not merely occupy the lands in dispute 
but grant leases of it. 

A race element was in some measure present in the conflict, 
suggestive of later incidents in American history. A burlesque 
letter ascribed to one of the rioters, and written in that form of 
German-English with which modern humorists have made us 
familiar, is of little value as direct evidence, but shows that many 
of the rioters were German and talked German. There were 
also, we read, many Irish of the poorer sort among them. 

The conflict, however, was mainly one between rich and poor. 
On the one side were the Council as the representatives of the 
Proprietors, and also as practically representing the wealthy 
merchants and larger landowners. They were led by two men 
of abundant energy and pugnacity, James Alexander and Robert 
Morris, the son of Lewis Morris. On the other side were the 
elected Representatives. 

The Governor unhappily was not one qualified either to com- 
pose strife or to assert authority. The appointment vacated by 
Morris's death was granted to Belcher. He brought with him 
from his previous governorship of Massachusetts the reputation 
of a trimmer and a time-server, at once unscrupulous and un- 
skillful. It is clear that he had no intention of defying popular 
opinion on behalf of the Proprietors, or even on behalf of the 
authority of the Crown and of law. The situation is of a kind 
not unfamiliar to us in modern times. Belcher and the Assem- 
bly minimize the resistance to law, and would fain represent it 
as no more than a dispute between the Proprietors and private 
landholders, and arising out of territorial claims. On the other 
hand Morris and Alexander write home describing it as a war of 
class against class. The Proprietors are "wigmen and gentle- 
men," the Assembly are "capmen and mobmen." 

In 1747 the Governor and the Assembly made what was from 
the point of view of the Council an absolute surrender to the 
rioters. A fine of ten pounds was imposed on all who had 
broken jails and rescued prisoners. With that exception a com- 
plete indemnity is granted to the rioters, provided they make 
good all damage done and undertake to keep the peace for three 
years. Thereupon twenty-three of the rioters submitted. The 
rest continued their course of disturbance. More jails are 
broken open and timber is cut upon the lands in dispute. From 


mere rioting the disaffected pass to something like organized re- 
bellion. They enter into engagements for mutual support and 
levy money for defense, in some instances by force. 

The mutual relations of the Council and the Assembly now 
became more definitely hostile. The former urged the need of 
strong measures, and proposed that the Governor be furnished 
with money wherewith to raise troops. But when a prelim- 
inary resolution was proposed in the Assembly setting forth the 
need of effectual measures for quelling the riots, it was rejected 
by fifteen votes against three. Not content with that, the As- 
sembly passed a resolution declaring that the demand of the 
Council reflected injuriously on them. This was met by the 
Council with a recriminating resolution. 

At length the Council in despair memorialized the British 
Government. "The Government," so their words run, "is 
weak, the rioters are powerful and strong, and property is held 
at the mercy and pleasure of a rebellious mob." Arms and a 
man-of-war should be sent from England. Assistance should be 
obtained from New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. One 
is lost in wonder at the ineptitude of a proposal which would 
have thus extended the area of strife. 

The action of the Home Government was not such as to en- 
courage their supporters. The Board of Trade drew up a 
lengthy and minute report, admirable as a summary of the past 
struggle, but practically valueless as far as any administrative 
instruction or suggestion went. 1 All that it did in that way 
was to invest Belcher with certain coercive powers, which his 
previous conduct made it very certain he would shrink from 
using effectually. We hear nothing of any penal measures, and 
it would seem as if the rioters were left, if not in undisturbed 
possession of what they had seized, at least unpunished. It 
should not be forgotten that only sixteen years separated the 
New Jersey rebellion from the passing of the Stamp Act. 

In no colony did discontent take so acute a form as it did in 
New Jersey, but both in Pennsylvania and North Carolina there 
Dis- were abundant symptoms of disaffection and aliena- 

?ifp C enn° tion. In 1729 we find the Assembly of Pennsylvania 
syivania. protesting against the Governor and Council sitting 

1 Printed in the New Jersey Archives, vol. vii. pp. 466, &c. My account is. 
mainly based on this. 


.as a Court of Chancery, on the ground that such a court nom- 
inated by arbitrary authority might become an instrument of 
tyranny. 1 It is clear that this contention if accepted would in- 
troduce a new and serious limitation on the authority of the 

In 1740 the Assembly, pursuing the same policy, denied the 
•Governor's right to a final veto on bills. He might criticise and 
point out objections, and no more. 2 In other words, like their 
successors in the Revolution, they made a claim which implied 
absolute sovereignty, though in all likelihood it did not present 
itself in that light to those who urged it. Over and above this, 
every call for defensive measures in Pennsylvania, whether 
against Indians or French, was certain to be the signal for a pro- 
test and a dispute. But those matters belong to other branches 
<of our subject. 

In considering the disputes between authority and the popular 
party in Pennsylvania, one point must not be forgotten. The 
.authority attacked was at least in name not that of the Crown, 
but of the Proprietors. The difference, however, is more ap- 
parent than real. The proprietary colonies were more and 
more becoming parts of a body administered on a comprehensive 
system under the Board of Trade. It was not easy for the 
colonial Assembly to defy the authority of the Proprietors with- 
out coming into conflict with that of the Crown. Moreover, 
the disputes which occupied colonial officials and colonial assem- 
blies were important, not so much from the specific points at 
issue, as from their effect in calling into existence a spirit of 
watchful jealousy towards every exercise of authority which had 
its seat outside the limits of America. Every colonial official, 
however appointed, might in a certain sense be looked on as be- 
longing to a hierarchy, acting under the authority of the Crown, 
an authority to a share in which Parliament was now making 
.somewhat undefined claims. 

The composition and antecedents of North Carolina made it 
almost certain that if disaffection and anarchy existed anywhere 
Dis- they would be found there. The province, too, seems 

?n North to have been singularly unfortunate in its Governors. 
-Carolina. gj r Rf c h arc i Everard, appointed Governor by the 

1 See Appendix II. 

2 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iv. p. 214. 


Proprietors before their surrender, seems to have been a turbu- 
lent Jacobite. He is accused by the Council of violent language, 
of imposing arbitrary fees, and of wishing to make the death of 
George I. an occasion of public rejoicing. 1 A presumably im- 
partial witness speaks of Everard's "weakness and indiscretion," 
whereby the colony was "run into the utmost confusion and dis- 
order" and "the administration rendered contemptible and odi- 
ous." 2 Everard's own denial of these charges is so vague and 
general as to carry little conviction. 3 

The Crown was hardly more happy than the Proprietors in its 
choice of a representative. The first royal Governor was 
George Burrington. 4 He had already held the office as Eve- 
rard's predecessor, and was charged with describing the latter 
as "a noodle and an ape — no more fit to be Governor than a hog 
in the woods." Later on we shall meet with specimens of Bur- 
rington's invective which show that this charge was in no way 

Burrington w r as soon at loggerheads with the Assembly. The 
impression left by the charges brought against him, and also by 
his own copious and outspoken correspondence, is that he was 
not lacking in public spirit. As an administrator he was cer- 
tainly energetic and, as it would seem, not without capacity. It 
is noteworthy, too, that no charge of personal corruption or im- 
morality is brought against him. The nearest approach to such 
is a statement that he used a criminal charge as a means of exact- 
ing his full due from a private debtor. His main fault was his 
utter want of restraint in his public utterances. Men of the 
eighteenth century were used to strong language, nor was North 
Carolina a home of refinement. But even there some of Bur- 
rington's utterances must have been startling. Men were not 
used to hear a legislative Assembly told in a formal address that 
"Bodies of men cannot blush, and that's your advantage. If 
Assemblies in this province proceed in the manner you have 
-done with heat and partiality they will themselves give the 

1 Address of the Council of North Carolina to the King, Records, vol. viii. 
p. 2. 

2 Lowick, the Public Surveyor to the Colony, in a letter to the Board of 
Trade, Records, vol. viii. p. i. 

3 lb. p. 5 . 

* My account of Burrington's official career and of the disputes in which 
he was engaged are taken from the third volume of the North Carolina 


greatest grievance and oppression to this country. Burgessing 
has been for some years a source of lies and cause of disturbances 
which has deterred good men from being candidates or entering 
the list of noise and of faction which every common observer 
knows." He concludes with a more formal and definite com- 
plaint: "Neither doth the King's instructions, that only free- 
holders should vote, find any weight in your elections." 1 

We have seen how Burrington had spoken of his predecessor. 
In a speech to the Assembly we find him describing an official 
whom he disliked as "a stupid, inconsiderate blockhead, a per- 
fidious creature, a promise-breaker, a horrible bear, a most un- 
grateful wretch that has not one good quality in him." 2 And 
in a dispatch to the Board of Trade Burrington describes the 
same man and two other leading settlers as "guilty of wicked- 
ness, villainies, follies, and madness," and refers to their detest- 
able mode of lying and inventing calumnies. 3 It is also alleged 
that when Burrington saw persons walking with officials whom 
he disliked he would shout across the street warning them that 
they were in bad company. 4 It is clear that Burrington was one 
of those who believed that every opponent must be actuated by 
thoroughly corrupt motives, and who resented every constitu- 
tional restraint which in any way hindered what he personally 
believed to be for the public good. 

Apart from mere bickerings arising out of hot temper and 
tactlessness, there were two definite administrative questions on 
which Burrington and the Assembly differed. One was the 
quarrel over fees already described. In a dispatch sent home 
soon after that dispute Burrington states his opponents' case with 
a definiteness of which he is perhaps hardly conscious. "It has 
been a policy of this subtle people of North Carolina never to 
raise any money but what is appropriated, and to pretend and in- 
sist that no public money can or ought to be paid but by a claim 
given to and allowed by the House of Burgesses." 5 

Another financial dispute arose out of Burrington's claim as 
representative of the Crown to appoint the Treasurer of the 
colony. He defended it by the plea that in England Parliament 
raised money, the Crown administered it. 6 It might have been 

1 Burrington's address to the Assembly; Records, vol. iii. p. 610. 

2 lb. p. 615. 

• Records, vol. iii. p. 623. * N. Car. Records, vol. iii. p. 356. 

!*>- P- 33i. 6 Zb. p. 484. 


fairly answered that in practice Parliament had transferred to 
itself a share of those powers which in theory belonged to the 
Crown, and that the Ministers who controlled the public 
finances, though nominally the servants of the Crown, were in 
real truth the nominees of Parliament. The incident showed 
how dangerous it was to draw analogies from such a system as 
that of the British constitution, bristling with anomalies and in 
no way conforming to any precise theory. 

In one instance Burrington seems to have been held back from 
a policy of conciliation by the somewhat pedantic attitude of 
those to whom he was responsible. He wished to settle his dis- 
putes with the Assembly by a personal conference with a com- 
mittee of that body. The Board of Trade pointed out through 
their Secretary, Popple, that this would be unconstitutional. 
The Governor had his prescribed form of action through his 
veto, and having that he could not exercise any further control 
over the Assembly. 1 

Another dispute arose turning on the right to create new 
electoral districts. Was that right vested in the Governor or in 
Dispute the Assembly? The Assembly charged Burrington 
Sectoral Wlt ^ creating constituencies so as to further his own 
districts. views — in the political slang of a later day, with 
"gerrymandering." 2 The necessity for new constituencies 
equitably formed is supported by the general proposition of 
which we hear so much twenty years later. "It will, we believe, 
be acknowledged the birthright of British subjects to be gov- 
erned by no laws but those of their own making — that is, such 
as they have assented to." Throughout these disputes we are re- 
minded how the conditions of a new country, where established 
political arrangements had to be perpetually shifted and modi- 
fied to adapt them to altered circumstances, begat a peculiar type 
of political ability, a lawyer-like ingenuity of interpretation and 
a subtle dexterity in taking advantage of technical points. 

Burrington was no doubt acrimonious and hot-headed. But 
he had grounds for bitterness if we may believe his own state- 
ment, set forth in a petition to the Board of Trade, that some of 
his enemies in the colony had attempted to murder him, and had, 
when molested, fled to Virginia. 3 We find him, too, after his 

X N. Car. Records, vol. Hi. p. 351- J *&• PP- 383, 449- 

3 lb. vol. iv. p. 165. 


retirement from the post of Governor, making rational and use- 
ful suggestions as to the commercial prosperity of the colony. 1 
There was no attempt made, he points out, to utilize the natural 
harbors of the colony. Cattle are sent to Virginia overland, 
and negroes who might be imported direct are brought from 
South Carolina. Instead of aiming, as they ought, at develop- 
ing a regular trade with the West Indies, the Assembly cripple 
it by their system of import duties. 

It is worth noting that Burrington's successor Johnstone ac- 
cuses him of supporting the popular agitation against the pay- 
Disputes ment of quit-rents. It is of course possible -that 
the Burrington was willing to sacrifice the rights of the 

and e Gover- Crown in order to better his own position with the 
st°o r ni°2 hn " Assembly; but there was so little of the time-server 
or the diplomatist in his character that one is disposed to put a 
better interpretation on his conduct. 

Two subjects of dispute disturbed the colony under the gov- 
ernorship of Johnstone. One was that of quit-rents, to which 
we have just referred. Like almost every financial dispute in 
the colonies the question was inextricably mixed up with that of 
currency, or one should perhaps rather say complicated by the 
lack of currency. The demand made by the landholders and 
supported by the Assembly was that quit-rents might be paid in 
commodities valued at arbitrary rates, much in advance of their 
real price in open market. They also asked that payment might 
be made at various stations in the colony instead of at one central 
office. The difficulties of communication made this demand not 
unreasonable, but it could hardly be considered fair that the 
extra cost involved in collecting should all fall upon the Crown. 

Though Johnstone's career was marked by more than one 
official dispute, yet he seems to have been personally conciliatory 
and popular, and always to have leant to a policy of compromise. 
He now assented to an Act which allowed the quit-rents to be 
paid at local stations, and in paper money taken not at its 
nominal value, but at a rate to be fixed by a committee, one half 
to be made up of the Governor, the Council, the Attorney- 
General, and the Receiver-General, the other half from the 
Assembly. 3 

1 N. Car. Records, vol. iv. p. 169. 

a For these, see N. Car. Records, vol. iv. 8 lb. p. 415. 


This Act of compromise was, however, vetoed by the Crown,, 
mainly on the ground that the provision for fixing the value of 
the paper money to be received in payment gave no sufficient 
protection to the recipient. 1 At the same time we find McCul- 
loch, the Agent for the colony, opposing the Act on widely dif- 
ferent grounds. The Act provided that the additional cost of 
collection should not fall on the Crown, but be defrayed by a 
poll-tax. McCulloch points out that this will bear heavily on 
the poor man with a large family. 2 

The difficulty about collecting stations is a good illustration of 
the way in which the colony suffered from lack of means of 
communication. So, too, we find Johnstone complaining in his 
address to the Assembly of the inconvenience caused by the want 
of a fixed place for public business: "It is impossible to finish 
any matter as it ought to be while we go on in this itinerant 
way. We have tried every town in the colony, and it is high 
time to settle somewhere." 3 

Not only was business hindered, but it was scarcely possible to 
secure the effective representation of the whole colony. In 1746 
J. he we find Johnstone frankly admitting, in a dispatch 

between to the Board of Trade, that in order to carry the 
counties.* quit-rent bill he had held the Assembly at Wilming- 
ton, "on purpose to keep at home the Northern members who 
are most numerous, and from whom the greatest opposition was 
expected." 5 

Johnstone's maneuver had far-reaching results of a kind 
probably widely different from anything which he had antici- 
pated. The colony consisted of two counties, Albemarle and 
Bath, each divided into electoral districts called precincts. In 
the former county each precinct returned five members, in the 
latter only two. As Johnstone had expected, at the Assembly 
of 1746 the members of the Northern county, Albemarle, were 
for the most part absent. The majority most audaciously took 
advantage of this to carry an Act reducing the representation of 
the Northern precincts to two members apiece. At the next 
election the voters in Albemarle County ignored this. They 
appear, though this is a little obscure, to have pleaded that such 

1 N. Car. Records, vol. iv. p. 425. 3 lb. * lb. p. 735. 

4 lb. pp. 1201, &c. Mr. Saunders gives a good account of this dispute in his. 
introduction to the fourth volume of the Records. 
5 N. Car. Records, vol. iv. p. 504. 


a change could only be made constitutionally by an actual ma- 
jority of the whole Assembly, and that this condition had not 
been fulfilled. They then proceeded to elect, as before, five 
members to each precinct. Thereupon the legislature as a 
whole declared the election null and void. The inhabitants of 
Albemarle County accepted the situation, and retaliated by re- 
fusing to pay taxes. The result was that one-half of the colony 
was thrown into a state of anarchy. The inhabitants of Albe- 
marle refused not only to pay taxes but to acknowledge the 
validity of any law passed by the Assembly. Robbery, we are 
told, and even murder, became common; jails were broken up, 
and it was impossible to impanel juries. 1 

The inhabitants of Bath County soon became dissatisfied at 
having the whole maintenance of the colony thrown on their 
shoulders, and likewise refused to pay taxes. 2 

For eight years this state of anarchy seems to have continued. 
Then the Board of Trade took up the question and decided, 
after consulting the law officers of the Crown, that the precincts 
in Albemarle were entitled to five members each. The original 
Act reducing the number was, as those opposed to it held, un- 
constitutional and should have been vetoed by the Governor. 
At the same time, while upholding the view of those who de- 
clared that an absolute majority was needed for such a change, 
they condemned the condition as inconvenient, and recommended 
that it should be modified. 3 The report of the Board of Trade 
was adopted by the Crown, and embodied in instructions to 
Johnstone's successor, Arthur Dobbs, and the Albemarle pre- 
cincts were once more allowed their five members. 

The conflict between the two sections of the colony was closely 
mixed up with considerations of financial policy. The Northern 
section of the colony was largely dependent for its trade on 
Virginia. They had therefore a special interest in maintaining 
the value of the currency, and checking the profuse issue of paper 
money. 4 The Board of Trade in their report dealt with two 
other controversial points. They recommended that the Crown 

1 This is stated in a report from the Moravian bishop, Spandenberg. N. C. 
Records, vol. iv. p. 1211. I have already referred to this report. 

2 N. C. Records, vol. iv. Preface. 

3 The Report of the Board of Trade is in the Records, vol. v. p. 81. 

4 This is stated in a memorial drawn up by the inhabitants of Albemarle, 
N. C. Records, vol. iv. p. 1204. 


-should refuse to accept the depreciated colonial paper in pay- 
ment of quit-rents except at its real as distinguished from its 
nominal value. Any hardship, however, which might result 
from this was modified by an opinion given some years before by 
the law officers of the Crown, ruling that the quit-rents might 
be paid in commodities to be taken at their market value. 1 

Another question dealt with in the report was that which had 
formed a subject of dispute in Burrington's time, the right of the 
Dispute Assembly to create fresh constituencies. This they 
electoral na d lately done by twelve separate Acts, each creating 
districts. an e l ec toral district. The Board of Trade reported 
that this ought to be done only by the Crown and not by the 
Assembly. The Crown therefore instructed Dobbs to veto the 
above-mentioned Acts. The colonists met this w T ith a memorial 
pointing out that incorporation of constituencies by a charter 
from the Crown was undesirable, as making redistribution diffi- 
cult, and depriving the electoral system of the needful elasticity. 
Dobbs accepted this view and a compromise was arrived at. 
The Assembly was to select constituencies and the Governor was 
then to incorporate them by charter. 2 

The action of those in authority, whether in England or in the 
colony itself, throughout these disputes may not have been free 
from errors. But it at least showed a real wish to understand 
and meet the wants of the colonists, and a patience in unraveling 
administrative difficulties which disposes of a good deal of vague 
talk about the selfishness and indifference of the English Gov- 
ernment and its servants in their dealings with the colonies. 

Before leaving the question of colonial administration it may 
not be amiss to consider four documents in which the views of 
Schemes of responsible officials acquainted with the wants and 
adminfs- views of the colonists are set forth in detail, and evi- 
tration. dently with a full sense of responsibility. 

In 1 7 15 Secretary Stanhope presented to the Board of Trade 
a memorandum on the subject of colonial administration. There 
Memoran- is nothing to show who was the author. Whoever 
nlitteliFby he may have been, his views are at once typical of the 
to a Board" better and the weaker side of British colonial admin- 
of Trade.' istration. As far as administrative details go he is a 

*N. C. Records, vol. iv. p. 239. 2 lb. vol. v. Preface, and p. 301. 

8 This is in the New Jersey Archives, vol. iv. pp. 345, &c. 


reformer. He complains of the insufficient care exercised in the 
choice of Governor. 

"Governments," the writer says, "have been sometimes given 
as a reward for services done to the Crown, and with design that 
such persons shall thereby make their fortunes. But they are 
generally obtained by the favor of great men to some of their 
dependents or relatives, and they have sometimes been given to 
persons who were obliged to divide the profits of them with 
those by whose means they were procured, the qualification of 
such persons for government being seldom considered." Under 
such conditions corruption was almost inevitable. Governors 
sell offices. They induce the Assemblies to raise money for 
public purposes, and then some portion of it sticks to their 

The judicial system is that part of our colonial administration 
which the writer condemns most strongly. The courts are in- 
competent. This discourages trade, while at the same time it 
encourages factious and frivolous litigation, since even with a 
weak case a man feels that he has a chance of success. The 
nominal right of appeal to the Crown is really a nullity — at least 
it can be made so if the Governor chooses. He can make a false 
declaration that the property at issue is not worth five hundred 
pounds, in which case it cannot be the subject of an appeal. He 
can hinder appellants from obtaining the necessary documents. 
Moreover, apart from the possible interference of the Governor, 
appellants have no power to force witnesses to attend in Eng- 
land and depose. 

Again, the duties laid on a colonial Governor are too multi- 
form to be effectively discharged by one man. He has to be at 
once Captain, General, Admiral, Chancellor, and Chief Justice. 
Who is sufficient for these things ? 

The writer clearly sees that the true solution of the colonial 
problem lies in the creation of a colonial department. The 
Board of Trade ought to be strengthened by the presence of 
legal experts, commercial experts, and retired Governors, who 
had given proof of administrative capacity. In the duties of 
such a board there is plenty to satisfy ambition. "As no part of 
the British dominions has been hitherto so little understood and 
so much neglected, so there is more room there than in any other 
part of the King's dominion for the gaining much honor to the 


administration of his government and much good to his sub- 

Yet with all these enlightened and even generous views on 
colonial administration, the writer does not in the matter of 
colonial commerce in the least rise above the ordinary doctrines 
then current. He assumes without hesitation that the trade of 
the colonies is to be subordinated to the material welfare of the 
mother country, and he looks with suspicion on the increasing 
commerce of America as likely to injure that of the West India 

In 1 72 1 the Board of Trade presented to the Crown a report 
dealing at great length with the whole question of colonial ad- 
views of ministration. 1 After a general statement of the re- 
of T?a°de rd sources of the colonies they go on to set forth "con- 
in 1721. siderations for securing, improving, and enlarging 
your Majesty's dominions in America." 

They are fully alive to the dangers of French aggression and 
to the necessity of retaining the friendship of the Indians. 
They clearly see that the weak point of our colonial system is 
its lack of centralization, and the absence of any one department 
in England on which responsibility can be clearly fixed. There 
should be a Governor-General for the whole body of colonies. 
"The present method of despatching business relating to the 
plantations is liable to much delay and confusion, inasmuch as 
there is at present no less than three ways of proceeding therein : 
that is to say, by immediate application to your Majesty by one 
of your Secretaries of State — by petition to your Majesty in 
Council — and by representation to your Majesty from the Board, 
from whence it happens that no one office is thoroughly informed 
of all matters relating to the plantations, and sometimes orders 
are received by surprise disadvantageous to your Majesty's serv- 
ice, whereas if the business of the plantations were entirely con- 
fined to one office these inconveniences would be thereby 

Nor can it be fairly said that the commercial policy fore- 
shadowed in this document was a narrow or selfish one. There 
is no desire to sacrifice the colonies to the mother country. 
Their productive industry is to be directed into such channels as 
shall be profitable to the whole empire. 

1 New York Documents, vol. vi. p. 591. 


The production of iron, flax, hemp, and ship-timber is to be- 
specially encouraged, and the industry of the colonies is to be 
kept in such channels as not to compete with the mother country. 
But there is no trace of any morbid or exaggerated dread of such 

The commercial bond is to be one of mutual interest. The 
colonies consume more than one-sixth of the woolen manufac- 
tures exported from Great Britain, which is one chief staple 
and the main support of the landed interest. They buy linen, 
calico, silks, and furniture. Some of these Great Britain pro- 
duces, for all of them she is the carrier. The mother country 
draws a revenue from colonial tobacco; the mercantile trade 
with the colonies is a nursery for seamen. The colonies supply 
timber and naval stores. Thus there is ample room for a 
flourishing colonial trade, which shall not encroach on the pro- 
ductive industry of the mother country. 

These documents, undesignedly and by significant silence, 
throw considerable light on a question which has been already 
discussed. The writers just quoted show thorough familiarity 
with the details of colonial administration, a keen interest in 
colonial industry, and a steady determination to make that in- 
dustry subservient to the commercial prosperity of the mother 
country. Yet neither they nor other writers who are about to 
be quoted, and who deal with the same class of subjects, make 
the slightest reference to colonial smuggling. Can we believe 
that this would have been so if the contraband trade had been, 
as some would have us believe, continuous, extensive, and system- 
atic? It must be remembered that colonial smuggling involved 
much more than the loss of revenue. It struck at the root of the 
principle on which British colonial policy was based, the com- 
mercial supremacy of the mother country, and it assisted the 
trade of continental rivals. 

The memorial of the Board of Trade was signed by four 
officials, none of them men of any special note. Five years later 
Bladen's we find one of these four, Bladen, presenting to Lord 
proposals. Townshend on his own responsibility a long paper on 
the same subject. 1 This does not seem to have been intended by 
the writer exactly as a formal and official communication. In 
these days it would probably have appeared as a special com- 

1 It is printed in the North Carolina Records, vol. ii. pp. 626 et seq. 


munication in a newspaper, or as a magazine article. The views 
are more definite and detailed, and far more open to the charge 
of readiness to sacrifice the colonies to the mother country than 
those w T hich we have just examined. Bladen starts with what 
we may regard as a locus classicus, in which his leading principle 
is set forth without any modification or reserve. "Every Act 
of a dependent Provincial Government ought to terminate in the 
advantage of the mother State unto whom it owes its being and 
by whom it is protected in all its valuable privileges. Hence 
it follows that all advantageous projects or commercial gains in 
any colony which are truly prejudicial to and inconsistent with 
the interest of the mother State must be understood to be illegal 
and the practice of it unwarrantable, because they contradict the- 
end for which the colony had a being, and are incompatible with 
the terms on which the people claim both protection and 

After this exordium Bladen sets forth in detail all the ad- 
vantages which the mother country derives from the trade of 
the colonies. His arguments are little more than a repetition of 
those urged in the Board of Trade memorial, of which he was 
one of the signatories. Over and above the advantages there 
enumerated, he points out that if it were not for the colonial 
supply of timber and naval stores, Great Britain would be de- 
pendent on importation from the Baltic. Moreover the West 
Indian sugar islands have to depend for their subsistence on 
corn imported from the North American colonies. Not a word 
is said of any corresponding benefit to the colonial producer. 

From these principles and premises Bladen deduces certain 
administrative rules. 

i. All goods for which there is a special demand in England 
must be transported to Britain before they go elsewhere. 

2. Every commodity in the production of which the colonies 
have a monopoly and which is of value in Europe is to be sim- 
ilarly treated, in order to assist Great Britain in the balance of 
trade with other countries. In other words, the export trade of 
the colonies is to be so arranged that the whole benefit of it shall 
accrue to the British consumer and the British merchant. 

So, too, the mother country is to enjoy an entire monopoly of 
the colonial import trade. All necessaries, such as woolen goods 
and linen, are to be purchased by the colonists from Great 


Britain or Ireland; all European goods are to come by way of 
British ports, and the colonial legislatures are to have no power 
of laying on import duties. "Supposing these things done 
it will evidently follow that, the more extensive the trade of 
the colonies is, the greater will be the advantage to Great 

Bladen does not in the least shrink from the logical and 
thoroughgoing application of his own principles. He would leave 
the colonists without a shred of any legislative or administrative 
power which could hinder the policy which he has set forth. 
When one records the summary manner in which he deals with 
the supposed constitutional rights of the colonies, one is tempted 
to think that one has come upon a reductio ad absurdum of the 
British colonial system written by some precursor of Franklin. 
Bladen after a fashion follows his colleagues in desiring central- 
ization. But it is to be a centralization imposed from without, 
in which the colonies themselves are to have no part. There 
is to be a comprehensive judicial system applicable to all the 
colonies, with a judiciary directly dependent on the Crown. A 
colonial militia is to be avoided as fraught with possible danger 
to the supremacy of the mother country. "It may be questioned 
how far it would consist with good feeling to accustom all the 
able men in the colonies to be well exercised in arms." Each 
colony therefore is to have a small garrison of regular troops. 
These could be at once concentrated, and used as a single force 
in case of invasion or rebellion. 

The general policy is to be divide et impera. It is morally 
impossible that any dangerous union can be formed among them. 
"The emulation that continually subsists between them in all 
matters of intercourse and traffic is ever productive of various 
jealousies and cares how to gain upon each other's conduct in 
government and trade, everyone thereby endeavoring to magnify 
their pretension to the favor of the Crown by becoming more 
useful than their neighbor to the interests of Great Britain." 
One hardly knows whether to call the writer a hardened cynic 
or a deluded optimist. Few better instances could be found of 
the administrative incapacity of the so-called "practical man," 
for whom everything outside the most obvious and purely 
material aspects of human life has no place. 

Bladen repeats the recommendation made by his colleagues 


five years earlier, of a central department to which all colonial 
officials should be responsible. 

The document ends with a singular and ominous recommen- 
dation. "All that has been said with respect to the improve- 
ment of the Plantations will it is supposed signify very little 
unless a sufficient revenue can be raised to support the needful 
expense, in order to which it is humbly submitted whether the 
duties of stamps upon parchments and paper in England may 
not with good reason be extended by Act of Parliament to all 
the American Plantations." 

It is a curious coincidence, though probably no more than a 
coincidence, that these recommendations should have been made 
to the father of that very politician whose crude and reckless 
adoption of a like policy did so much to bring about the revolt 
of the colonies. It is perhaps out of place to apply the term 
policy to the conduct of an irresponsible rhetorician such as 
Charles Townshend. But one may certainly say that the policy 
of Bladen was the same as that of Grenville, clearly stated and 
pressed to its logical conclusion. 

Sir William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania, was a man of 
no special ability or elevation of character, nor was there any 
sugges- exceptional value in his colonial experience. But 
Keith. 1 for that very reason, because he fairly represents the 

average colonial official of his day, it is worth our while to con- 
sider a document in which he set forth for the instruction of his 
inferiors his conceptions of colonial policy. He, like Bladen, 
starts with the axiom that every act of a colonial government 
ought to aim at the advantage of the mother State. And 
from this he deduces the practical conclusion that no commercial 
enterprise can be permitted, however gainful to the colony, if it 
in any way conflicts with the interests of the mother country. 

This view is then intelligently worked out in detail. As 
consumers the colonists are to be dependent upon England for 
such necessaries as they need to import, "for all those articles 
which an ordinary taste for luxury and ability to pay for it 
demands." Especially they are to take our woolen goods and 
thereby to enhance the value of land in England. As producers 

1 " A short discourse on the present state of the Colonies." New Jersey 
Archives, vol. iii. p. 215. 


the function of the colonies is to supply England with naval 
stores and her West India islands with grain. 

To keep colonial industry and commerce within these chan- 
nels is to be the work of legislation. That this may be so, the- 
colonial legislatures must be treated merely as corporations, 
with a right to make by-laws, in no way interfering with the- 
royal prerogative or with the legislative power of the mother 

Keith did not, any more than the statesmen of the next 
generation, perceive how much danger was involved in a con- 
current exercise of authority by the Crown and by Parliament- 
Commercial jealousy will, in Keith's opinion, keep the 
colonies asunder, and prevent any such united action as can be 
injurious to British supremacy. 

On two points Keith is at one with Bladen. He advocates 
what is practically a colonial department — as he expresses it, 
the appointment "of particular officers in England only for the 
despatch of business belonging to the plantations." As it is, 
there is no special department to which persons coming from 
the colonies on public business can apply. All colonial officials 
should be directly appointed by the Board of Trade and should 
be responsible to that body. We may fairly assume, though 
Keith does not make this clear, that his proposed body of 
colonial officials in England are also to be directly connected 
with the Board of Trade. 

We have seen how the policy of a Stamp Act, a policy which 
we usually associate with all that was unwise and disastrous 
Clinton in colonial administration, commended itself to a 
stamp Act. man whose counsels were otherwise not lacking in 
sagacity. George Clinton, who became Governor of New 
York in 1742, was neither a successful administrator nor da 
his dispatches show any sign of popular sympathies. Yet in 
this matter he showed insight which was denied to abler men. 
He tells the Board of Trade "the people in North America are 
quite strangers to any duty but such as they raise themselves, 
and was such a scheim (sic) to take place without their knowl- 
edge it might form a dangerous consequence to his Majesty's 
interest." 1 Not many are the political prophecies which have 
found a fulfillment so exact, so speedy, and so tragic. 

1 N. Y. Docs. vol. vi. p. 26. 



The economical history of the colonies, like their administrative 
history, enters in some measure on a new phase with the 
General eighteenth century. In both we pass from the epoch 

character f J » r , • • TIT 

of the or construction to the epoch or fruition. We are 

made. not concerned with the opening of fresh forms of 

industry or commerce, but with the development and extension 
of those already in existence. The problems are no longer the 
problems of a new country with its social and industrial life 
all to make. The only exceptions to this are in Maryland, 
South Carolina, and in a less measure Virginia. There, as we 
shall see, by the middle of the century a new industrial element 
had been introduced. The western portion of those provinces, 
wholly unlike in natural conditions to those portions on the 
Atlantic sea-board, became occupied. In each case, too, they 
were occupied by a population differing somewhat in origin 
and habits of life from the earlier immigrants in those two 

In a newly settled country where every able-bodied person 
can find a place in the scheme of productive industry, where 
increase of but little of either the labor or the accumulated 
population. ca pital of the community goes to provide luxuries, 
there the increase of population and the increase of exports may 
be regarded as effective tests of the material well-being of the 

In 1 7 io the population was, as we have seen, estimated at 
about three hundred and fifty thousand. By 1752 it was 
calculated to have reached one million, 1 and as far as we can 
judge that increase was distributed with tolerable equality over 
the whole body of states. There was, however, this important 
difference between the Northern and the Southern colonies. In 

1 N. J. Records, vol. vi. p. 992. 


the former the increase was almost wholly in the free white 
population, in the South mainly in the number of slaves. 

In dealing with the economical condition of Massachu- 
setts, we are at once brought face to face with a difficulty. 
Econom- On the one hand we have abundant proofs of the 
dition of prosperity of the trading classes, showing itself in 
chusetts. the increased importation of articles of luxury, 
household furniture, carriages, harness, and the like from 
England. 1 We find in the town records for 1741 a reference 
to the wife of a coachman of Peter Faneuil, which at least 
suggests that a wealthy Boston merchant might have more than 
one. 2 

At the same time it would seem as if the internal trade of 
Boston- had become more fluctuating, and the town more liable 
to periods of depression. As early as 1735 the town meeting 
of Boston sends an address to the Assembly, drawing a dismal 
picture of the commercial condition of the place. The 
Molasses Act has cut off a lucrative branch of trade. The 
French cure fish more skillfully than the New Englanders, 
and thus their competition has destroyed the fisheries. Public 
burdens have increased, especially the maintenance of the poor. 3 

One grievance is so expressed as to be hardly intelligible. 
"Very great quantities of extravagant unnecessary European 
goods are imported, yet they contribute nothing towards the 
support of the public charges, but for the most part thereof, are 
owned by merchants in London, and consigned to their own 
factors there, and no advantage reaped by them but by the ship- 
holders and a few tradesmen, whereas we apprehend this town 
is taxed as if the said goods were owned by their immediate 
possessors, but in truth all we get by them is the commission." 
This would seem to mean that the goods were bought on credit, 
in which case no doubt the merchant had to pay taxes in pro- 
portion to his supposed capital and also interest on his capital. 
But this was the grievance of an individual, not of the com- 
munity as a whole. Nor is it easy to reconcile the complaint 
of widespread distress with the extensive importation of foreign 

1 For examples of this see Weeden, pp. 535, &c, 632, 636. 

2 Minutes of Selectmen, 1741, p. 291. 
8 Town Records, 1735, p. 119. 


So, too, in 1750 we find the town meeting protesting against 
certain duties which the Assembly proposed to impose on tea 
and coffee, and dwelling on the poverty of the town as com- 
pared with the adjacent districts. Yet in the very same docu- 
ment they plead that a duty on carriages will fall with special 
severity on Boston. 1 

Between 1733 and 1742 we find no fewer than three sets of 
instructions issued by the town meeting to the Representatives 
of Boston in the Assembly, asking them to lay their grievances 
before that body. 2 In the last-named year a committee was 
appointed to consider the question. They report a falling off 
in trade in every direction. The West India Islands have 
taken to making rum on their own account instead of selling 
their molasses to New England distillers. Salem and Marble- 
head have become successful rivals in fishing, and probably as a 
consequence of these changes the ship-building trade has become 
almost extinct. 

This diminution in resources was accompanied by an increase 
in public burdens. In spite of all precaution for excluding 
persons likely to be chargeable, the poor rate had risen from 
just on two thousand pounds a year to close upon five thousand 
pounds. At the same time the number of ratable inhabitants 
had in five years diminished by over four hundred. 3 

The highly organized civil life of New England always 
carried on itself certain socialistic tendencies, nor had the New 
Englander ever learnt by the practical teaching of distress and 
failure the difficulty, usually the futility, of attempts to over- 
ride the working of economical causes. Nothing had occurred 
to shake his faith in the conception of the State as a beneficent 
autocrat. One of the complaints contained in the report was 
that the citizens of Boston now obtained their meat direct from 
the outlying country districts instead of through the Boston 
butchers, that the latter were being ruined, and that other 
trades such as tanning and shoe-making had suffered. 

To remedy this the butchers of the town were to be formed 
into a guild, bound to supply meat at a price named by the 
Selectmen. At an acknowledged time of distress a monopoly 

1 Minutes of Selectmen, 1750, pp. 240-1. 

2 Boston Town Records, 1736, p. 145; 1738, p. 197; 1742, p. 313. 
*Ib. 1742, p. 12. 


was to be created which would enhance the cost of one of the 
chief necessaries of life. 1 

Other suggestions are made for economy, harmless indeed,, 
but too insignificant to be likely to bear any fruit. The number 
of bells publicly rung was to be lessened. Bulls were no longer 
to be kept at public cost, but to be paid for by those who needed 
them. This may be taken incidentally as evidence for the 
change from communal to individual land-holding. 

Free education was one of the burdens heavily felt. A sug- 
gestion was made that those who could afford to do so should 
voluntarily assess themselves for an educational rate. But no 
definite test of such ability was suggested, nor any method of 
distributing the burden. 2 

It is probable that Boston had a real and a remediable griev- 
ance. Everything seems to show that the prosperity, and there- 
fore ratable value, of the smaller towns had increased while 
that of Boston had stood still. This clearly could have been 
met by a general readjustment of rates. It is not unlikely that 
this was hindered by the system which made it necessary that 
every member of the Assembly should be an inhabitant of the 
town for which he sat. This robbed Boston of that advantage 
in the way of indirect representation which the capital of the 
colony would otherwise have enjoyed. Another grievance, and 
probably a real one, was the inequitable operation of the press- 
gang system. The officers in charge of press-gangs usually pro- 
cured their men from Boston. Thus the Boston merchants see 
their cargoes rotting for want of sailors to man their ships, and 
the town suffers from lack of the necessaries of life, while Con- 
necticut, Rhode Island, and New York are able to send out 
ships for the lucrative business of privateering. 3 

Yet it is not unlikely that the decadence in the prosperity of 
Boston was relative rather than positive. In 1748 five hundred 
and forty ships sailed from Boston, a state of things hardly 
consistent with the lamentations just quoted. But at the same 
time over a hundred and thirty sailed from Salem." Probably, 
as is the wont of human nature, the trading classes were alarmed 
at seeing themselves overtaken in the race by hitherto unsuccess- 
ful rivals. 

1 Town Records, 1745-6, pp. 84, 140. 2 lb. 1745-6, p. 197. 

8 lb. p. 84. * Douglass, vol. i. p. 538. 

NEW YORK. 157 

In Connecticut we find no trace of these economical troubles. 
On the other hand we find far less of luxury, more of the frugal 
The other simplicity of early Puritan days. Life in Rhode 
England Island, too, was frugal, if we may apply that term 
•colonies. t0 a g^ig f lf v { n g which results from lack of culture 
rather than from self-restraint. Commercially the colony was 
prosperous, and by 1740 no fewer than a hundred and twenty 
ships were owned by residents in Rhode Island. 1 

Probably the only two towns in which an observer whose 
memory could carry him from 17 15 to 1745 would have ob- 
served any pronounced signs of increased opulence 
would have been New York and Charlestown. It is 
probable that in both cases the change would have been seen not so 
much in any increase either in the number or splendor of the 
buildings, as in a freer and more varied fashion of life. It is 
noteworthy that at the outset of the revolutionary war we find 
the delegates from Massachusetts when visiting New York 
greatly impressed with the luxury which they saw about them. 2 
One would not infer from such scanty contemporary evidence as 
is accessible that at the beginning of the century a visitor from 
Boston would have noticed any such marked difference between 
the conditions of life which he saw and those with which he 
was familiar at home. Smith, the historian of New York, writ- 
ing in the middle of the century, could describe the capital of 
the colony as "one of the most social places on the continent," 
with its weekly clubs for men and concerts and assemblies for 
both sexes. 3 

Such evidence as is available shows no marked increase in 
the shipping trade of New York during the first half of the 
eighteenth century. Furs and deerskins brought down the 
Hudson from the western forests were among the chief exports. 
Besides, ships plied to the West Indies freighted with corn, 
flour, meat, butter, and timber; some of these went direct to 
the West Indies, others touched at some New England port 
where the cargo was sold, and the proceeds invested in rum for 
the West India Islands. 4 

1 Gov. Ward's Report, R. I. Records, vol. v. p. 12. 

2 John Adams's Journal in his Life and Works (ed. 1850), vol. ii. pp. 349. 

3 Smith, p. 271. * lb. p. 274. 


Save that the Delaware was not so effective a waterway for 
the Indian fur trade as the Hudson, the commerce of Phila- 
delphia went on the same lines as that of New York. It, how- 
ever, showed a greater and more uniform increase. In the ten 
years following 1735 the number of vessels sailing from Phila- 
delphia had increased from two hundred and twelve to over 
three hundred, while the number of those visiting the port, 
which in 1735 was under two hundred, had reached two hun- 
dred and seventy-three. During the same period the value of 
goods imported had risen from under five thousand pounds to 
over seven, an increase entirely due to the growth of trade 
with the mother country. 1 

The economical condition of the Southern colonies had been, 
as we shall see, modified, but its essential structure remained 
Economic unchanged. Slave labor employed upon large estates, 
condition an d applied t0 tne production of a single staple com- 
ioJrthern modity, still dominated every other form of industry, 
colonies. Something indeed of urban life had found its way 
into Maryland, and in a less degree into Virginia. Annapolis, 
as we learn from a casual reference in Whitefield's diary, had 
its fashionable society and its worldly diversions. 2 Baltimore, 
too, was incorporated as a township, but unlike Annapolis had 
no representation. 3 

In Virginia Hampton was the chief seaport, and is described 
as having a hundred poor houses. 4 Williamsburg was the 
Governor's place of residence. The meeting of the Assembly, 
filling the same place socially as Assizes did in England, brought 
balls and entertainments in its train, and some of the wealthier 
planters had town houses as places of occasional resort. In 
spite of that a traveler, writing in 1745, describes it as a poor 
and ill-built town. Yorktown, if we are to believe him, had 
better houses, such as would not have disgraced the fashionable 
parts of London. 6 

In 1752 we find no fewer than seven townships incorporated 
by the legislators. 6 The proviso that in all such towns the 

1 Kalm, vol. i. pp. 52-3. 

2 Whitefield's Letters (ed. 1772), vol. i. p. 135. 
8 Mereness, p. 418. 

4 John Fontaine's Journal in the Memoirs of a Huguenot Family, p. 272. 
6 Itinerant observations in America, from the London Magazine of 1745, re- 
published in the Georgia Hist. Soc. Coll. vol. iv. 
6 Hening, vol. vi. p. 356. 


chimneys should be of brick, not wood, suggests that these were 
at least intended to be actual towns in the modern sense, not 
merely rural townships incorporated for purposes of govern- 
ment. But if such was the intent, the action of the legislature 
had little more effect than had the laws for "cohabitation" in 
the early days of Virginia. 

The difficulty of communication in Virginia is illustrated by 
the various excuses given by sheriffs' officers for failing to serve 
writs. "No road," "excess of weather," "because the defend- 
ant's horse was faster than mine," "because the defendant got 
into deep water out of my reach" are among the difficulties 
alleged. Such entries as by "reason of an axe" or "of a gun" 
throw light on another side of Virginian life. 1 

The descriptions which we have of North Carolina show 
that by the middle of the century it had made but little progress 
Towns in from the condition described by Byrd. We read 
Carolina. that two hundred and fifty ships sailed from Eden- 
ton every year, fifty of them belonging to inhabitants of the 
colony. Wilmington had seventy houses and Brunswick twenty, 
and each had a brick church. Yet although vessels could reach 
Wilmington the trade there was not enough to require the es- 
tablishment of a custom-house. 2 

As to the general condition of the colony we have the testi- 
mony of Burrington, of his successor Johnstone, and of the 
Moravian bishop Spandenburg, and a consensus of evidence 
proves that by the middle of the eighteenth century the moral 
and industrial state of the colony showed little advance on the 
state of things thirty years later. 

Burrington complains that the settlers take no advantage of 
their natural harbors. Cattle are imported into Virginia over- 
land when they might more easily and economically be carried 
by sea. 3 

Johnstone dwells more on the lack of schools and of religious 
ordinances than on the material shortcomings of the colony. 
He dwells on the illiteracy of the Assembly, and also on the 
brutality of settlers as shown by the fact that during two years 
four people have been killed in boxing matches. 4 

1 American Magazine of History, vol. xii. p. 548. 

2 N. Car. Records, vol. v. p. 158. 8 lb. vol. iv. pp. 226, 1318. 

4 lb. p. 1211. 


But by far the most condemnatory evidence is that of the 
Moravian bishop, Spandenberg. Owing to the dispute between 
the two sections of the colony, the older counties are in a state 
of absolute anarchy. No one will act as a juror, murder and 
robbery are common, jails are broken up, and the country is 
patrolled by bands of horse thieves. A class of indolent and 
thriftless settlers have been attracted by the story that in North 
Carolina cattle could run out all through the winter without 
any special feeding. The majority of farmers acted on this 
opinion, and the result was stunted and valueless stock, and the 
total want of milk during the winter. Another result of this 
was that farmers were perpetually moving in search of fresh 
and better pasture. Men's habits of life became unsettled, and 
newcomers, ignorant of the country, usually occupied the soil 
which their predecessors had neglected and abandoned. 

In Charlestown, on the other hand, urban life had steadily 
•developed, on lines not wholly unlike those which we have just 
■Charles- been observing in New York. In the Southern 
-town. capital, however, trade was less varied and politics 

less absorbing, and there was more of that leisure which the 
•climate tended so to foster. The trade of Charlestown was 
important enough to induce English merchants to set up branch 
houses there, 1 and thus an influence was at work counteracting 
that isolation which was elsewhere the characteristic of Southern 
life. Charlestown, like New York, could offer much the same 
social attractions as a prosperous provincial town in England. 
There were balls, assemblies, and concerts. As early as 1735, or 
possibly earlier, Charlestown had a theater, fourteen years be- 
fore one was established elsewhere in the American colonies. 2 
The turf developed much as it did in England during the same 
period. From an unsystematic amusement where a race-horse 
was trained by his owner's groom, and ridden by the owner him- 
self or a private servant, it became a regular business in which 
colonial Pantons and Vernons found their place. 3 

It was said above that the commercial development of the 
colonies during the first half of the eighteenth century was 

1 V.s. p. 48. 

2 Mr. McCrady gives a full account of the development of the stage in 
South Carolina, based on contemporary newspapers, p. 526. 

3 Here again I rely on Mr. McCrady. He refers to a History of the Turf in 
South Carolina. I have not been able to meet with this book. 


"brought about not so much by the discovery of new products 
and resources as by the extension of those already existing. To 
Rice and tms > one exception must be made in the case of South 
indigo. Carolina. Before 1740 the commercial prosperity 

of the colony had almost wholly depended on the production and 
export of rice. That was as much the staple of South Carolina 
as tobacco was of Virginia. It is not unlikely that if the nature 
of the article had admitted it would have been used for currency. 
As it was, in 1723 a tax was levied which might be paid in rice. 
Taxpayers were allowed, subject to the approval of specially 
appointed commissioners, to draw orders for the delivery of a 
certain quantity of rice, and these orders were made legal tender 
in private transactions. 1 It is not expressly stated that the issue 
of these orders was limited to the amount of taxation imposed, 
nor is it easy to see how the commissioners could effectively 
impose such a restriction. This legalized form of barter does 
not seem to have been enduring, or to have had any extensive or 
lasting influence on the commerce of the colony. 

That commerce was increased about 1740 by the introduction 
of a new commodity. The indigo plant had been for some time 
cultivated in the West Indies, where it was indigenous. 2 In 
1 74 1 or 1742 seeds were brought from Antigua and planted in 
South Carolina. The new crop throve, and in 1748 the South 
Carolina merchants succeeded in inducing Parliament to grant 
a bounty of sixpence a pound on indigo grown in the American 
colonies and imported direct to Britain. 3 The commodity was 
not enumerated, and consequently the Carolina indigo-grower 
had the full benefit of the continental as well as the British 
market. Indigo became a far more profitable crop than rice, 
and it is said that in the early days of its production many 
planters doubled their capital every three or four years. 4 

As in New York, the commerce of the colony did not depend 
merely on its own products, but was supplemented by an ex- 
tensive trade with the Indians in beaver and deer skins. 

We may form a fair notion of the trade and industry of South 
Carolina from a report sent home by Governor Glen at the end 

1 Statutes of S. Carolina, quoted by Mr. McCrady, vol. ii. p. 13. 

2 Bryan Edwards's Hist, of the W. Indies (ed. 1793), vol. ii. p. 280. 

3 21 George II. c. 30. 

4 McCrady, vol. vii. p. 269. 


of 1748. The total value of a twelvemonth's exports was 
something over a million sterling. Of these rice formed more 
than a half, skins and furs a quarter, and indigo one tenth. 1 

In one respect South Carolina was in advance of its neigh- 
bors to the North. We are told that the colony was well sup- 
Roads plied with causeways and bridges. 2 This is not 
Carolina. difficult to understand. In Maryland and Virginia 
inland communication without anything more than rough tracks 
might be difficult and inconvenient, but it was possible. Among; 
the swamps of South Carolina causeways were an absolute 
necessity. The skilled labor which it was thus necessary to 
bring into the colony would naturally be employed in bridge- 
making. Yet we may be sure that it was only the creeks and 
tributaries, not the main streams, that were bridged over. In 
all the Southern colonies the chief lines of inward communica- 
tion were parallel to the main rivers and at right angles to the 
coast. The writer to whom we have just referred tells us 
of the hospitality shown by the planters of South Carolina to 
travelers. Usually a negro was posted at the gate of a planta- 
tion to look out for passing travelers, and to conduct them to 
the planter's house, where board and even lodging was always 
forthcoming, while at the visitor's departure a guide was pro- 

Over and above the increase of wealth and consequent 
development of comfort and luxury another principle of social 
Extension anc * industrial growth was at work in the South, 
westward, T^e legislature of Maryland had never been blind 
to the evils of allowing the colony to depend upon a single 
product, or upon exclusively servile labor. In the seventeenth 
century Acts had been passed requiring every landholder to grow 
a small quantity of corn, and also encouraging the production of 
cereals by fixing a rate at which they might be taken in payment 
of public dues. 3 In the following century attempts were made 
by a system of bounties to encourage the growth of hemp. 4 In 
1726 an Act was passed whereby immigrants from Wales were 
exempted from taxes for ten years on condition that they grew- 

1 Glen's Report is in Weston's Collection, pp. 65-99. 

2 De Brahm's Report in Weston's Documents connected with the History of 
South Carolina. 

8 Mereness, p. 121. *Ib. 


no tobacco. 1 Efforts in the same direction were made in Vir- 
ginia. 2 These, however, did but little to modify the social and 
industrial life of the colony. Natural conditions proved too 
strong, and the tideway portions of Virginia and Maryland re- 
mained almost wholly tobacco-growing regions, cultivated by 
slave labor. But further inland new forces were at work. 
Maryland had more than its share in that wave of emigration 
from the Palatinate which had so large an influence on the social 
and industrial life of the colonies. Before the middle of the 
eighteenth century Maryland had in Frederic county, more than 
a hundred miles from the mouth of the Potomac and about forty- 
miles from the head of Chesapeake Bay, a district peopled by 
yeomen farmers, living by the work of their hands. In 1745; 
a leading Marylander could write, "You would be surprised to> 
see how much the country is improved beyond the mountains, 
especially by the Germans." As wagon roads took the place 
of mere bridle-paths through the forest the exportation of hemp- 
seed from these districts to the seaport towns became an im- 
portant business. Ironworks, too, throve, and by 1749 there 
were no fewer than seventeen furnaces. It was no doubt due 
to this that in 1749 Maryland was able to export sixteen thou- 
sand pounds' worth of goods other than tobacco. 3 

A like process, though hardly on the same scale nor attended 
with the same economical results, went on in the western 
regions of Virginia. There was, however, one important dif- 
ference between the process of westward expansion in Maryland 
and in Virginia. In Maryland it was wholly a continuous 
movement, a rolling westward of the existing population which 
had at first found its home entirely along the coast. 

In Virginia it was this to some extent. But it was also in a 
great measure caused by the influx of an element altogether 
The Irish new to the colony. About 1720 and in the years that 
JeVJIns in followed there was a great wave of migration from 
Virginia. Ireland into Pennsylvania. Of the emigrants some 
were oppressed and discontented Papists. Others were of that 
stubborn stock which carried into the north of Ireland many of 
the most marked attributes of the Lowland Scot, whether for 

1 Acts of Maryland, 1 726. 

3 Hening, vol. iv. p. 225; vol. v. p. 357; vol. vi. pp. 137, 144. 

* All these facts are taken from Mereness, pp. 123-5. 


good or evil, and in their new homes developed them in an 
intensified form. The success of the French arms at the outset 
of the great struggle for supremacy in the New World, and the 
persistent refusal of the prosperous settlers in the secure por- 
tions of Pennsylvania to take any effective measures of defense, 
made the situation of the Irish settlers intolerable. Some dis- 
persed, withdrawing within the settled portions of the colony. 
Others, representing, we may be certain, what was most stub- 
born, persistent, and enterprising among them, moved south- 
ward and sought for new homes in the western uplands of 
Virginia and the Carolinas. 

The legislature of Virginia was alive to the importance of 
securing a foothold in the west. In 1752 an Act was passed 
exempting all settlers in the valley of the Mississippi from taxes 
for ten years, and this was in the following year extended to 
fifteen years. 1 The absence of any precise territorial definition 
is a good instance of the indifference to intercolonial boundaries 
which habitually marked the proceedings of the provincial 

South Carolina also had its share in the westward movement. 
Westward There the middle of the century saw a great influx 
TrTsouth 11 °f population into the high-lying and healthy lands 
Carolina. a l ng the upper waters of the Santee, and into the 
triangle between that river and its tributary the Congaree. 2 

These extensions had their effect in modifying the social and 
industrial life of the colony, in making it something more than a 
Hunters in community consisting wholly of slave-owning capital- 
the west. j sts anc | ne g ro bondsmen. They were not, however, 
numerous or wide-spread enough to have any great influence in 
that way. Their chief value was to serve as stepping-stones 
westward, links between the older life of the sea-coast and a 
wholly new society soon to come into existence in the west. 
The graduated and successive changes of the Old World found 
a counterpart here. First came the hunter, then the cattle- 
feeding nomad, lastly the settled cultivator. The hunter pur- 
suing his game by the banks of the Saluda, the Congaree, and 
the Catawba, amid the hills where at a later day Green and 
Cornwallis maneuvered and fought, served as a pioneer. He 

1 Hening, vol. vi. pp. 258, 356. 

2 This movement is described by Mr. McCrady, vol. ii. c. xvi. 


familiarized the savage with the sight of the white man, and 
he brought back reports of a land of woods and hills and clear 
streams, a land which must have seemed a very paradise when 
compared with the gloomy swamps and stagnant rivers of the 
sea-board. He had an ally in the fur-trader, who, if he at times 
embroiled the colony with the natives or with the authorities 
in a neighboring colony, yet did much to discover and improve 
the tracks through the forests, and make the wilderness at a 
later day penetrable for bands of immigrants. 

But before that immigration came, before regular settlements 
were formed in the newly occupied country, there was an inter- 
The mediate stage of half-occupation. Men dwelling in 

cowpens. ^ e i owe r part of the country took advantage of the 
rich pasturage of the western valleys. Cowpens, ranches as w r e 
should call them, were formed. Within or near the inclosure 
would be a small group of huts occupied by the herdsmen, with 
a patch of land for the growth of corn. 

From the very nature of its composition the existing popula- 
tion of South Carolina could not step into this new inheritance 
or take possession of the land thus thrown open. The slave 
plantations of the coast furnished no material out of which to 
form a community of farmers, prepared not only to brave the 
dangers of the wilderness, but to endure its hardships, and to 
overcome them by patient and unresting toil. The force needed 
was found elsewhere. 

The whole question of the settlement of the west by Scotch- 
Irish immigrants will have to be dealt with more fully later. 
For the present it is enough to say that during the eighteenth 
century a wave of Scotch-Irish immigration found its way from 
the western regions of Pennsylvania southward. A portion of 
the emigrants abode in Virginia. Another section — and it is 
usually safe to assume that those who went furthest were the 
most adventurous and tenacious — passed into South Carolina and 
formed settlements in what is now Lancaster County. The 
migration was fraught with fateful results, since among the 
citizens whom South Carolina thus received were the fore- 
fathers of John Calhoun and Andrew Jackson. 



One of the most notable and interesting features which dis- 
tinguishes the colonial life of the eighteenth century from that 
Religion f the seventeenth, is the wholly different part played 
England by religious and eccelesiastical questions. During 
se^ven? the seventeenth century in one section of the colonies 

cen'tu'ry. these preponderate to the exclusion of all others, or it 
might be truer to say they invade and dominate every province 
of life. The New England township was essentially a congre- 
gation, and it is therefore no exaggeration to say that the history 

1 The material for the Ecclesiastical History of the Colonies during the 
first half of the eighteenth century is abundant and trustworthy. There is a 
remarkable change in its character. In dealing with the seventeenth century 
nearly all our information comes from New England and has to do with Non- 
conformity. In the eighteenth century we hear but little about the doings of 
Nonconformists in the colonies, a great deal about the action of the Episco- 
palian Church. Nonconformists no longer felt the same satisfaction in praising 
the fathers that begat them. On the other hand the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, which came into existence in 1701, has pre- 
served for posterity a mass of records illustrating the work done by the 
Anglican clergy in the colonies. The most important of these records are 
embodied in Bishop Perry's Collections of Documents, in five volumes, dealing 
respectively with Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Dela- 
ware. Bishop Perry also published a History of the American Episcopal Church 
in two volumes. 

Other authorities of value are Hawks and Perry's Documentary History of 
the Protestant Church in the United States, and Hawks contributes to the 
Ecclesiastical History of the United States. 

The following works are also of value as embodying, and in some cases 
textually reproducing, important original papers: — Bishop Meade's Old Churches, 
Ministers, and Families of Virginia. Foote's Sketches of North Carolina and 
Sketches of Virginia. These are exceedingly valuable as throwing light on that 
most interesting subject, the extension of Presbyterianism westward. Crosse's 
The Anglican Episcopate and the American Colonies is a most carefully con- 
structed monograph, excellent in its use of authorities, which are always indicated- 
and often reproduced. Anderson's History of the Colonial Church, based largely 
on the Records of the S.P.G., is also valuable. 

Among the colonial historians of the eighteenth century, Trumbull stands 
almost alone in the fullness with which he treats ecclesiastical questions. For 
Whitefield's doings in America, his own letters and journals are the best 


of New England is primarily the history of Churches, of the 
processes by which they were formed, extended, and limited. 
Nor was the New England Church of the seventeenth century 
a body whose religious character was largely a matter of tradi- 
tion or convention. The differences which marked off the 
Independent Churches of New England from other religious 
communities were matters of conviction, felt with intense 
strength, and extending their influence into every phase of life, 
alike individual and corporate. 

In the colonies founded by Quaker influence, differences of 
creed and form made themselves felt, yet with nothing like the 
in the definiteness and intensity which they assumed in New 

colonies. England. For, as we have seen, Quakerism was to 
a great extent negative. Its essence largely consisted in denials 
and protests. The spiritual element, so strong in the founders 
of the sect, lacked that definiteness which can only be obtained 
by some embodiment of dogma and form; it became fluid, 
vague, and for many of its professed adherents unreal. 

It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that in the Southern 
colonies religion as a social and political force was during the 
in the seventeenth century non-existent, a state of things in 

.South. no w j se inconsistent with individual piety, with a 

reputable standard of morality for the whole community, and a 
decent attention to the formalities of worship by a large portion 
of it. 

In all these respects the eighteenth century brought with it a 
marked change. In New England ecclesiastical considerations 
from the were m two ways thrust into the background. In the 
seven- first place material interests more and more made 

to the their influence felt. Furthermore the influence of the 

-century? clergy was year by year waning and vanishing. 
That was no doubt largely due to the harshness and narrowness 
-with which that influence had been exercised, and to a reaction 
against claims which outraged men's consciences and feelings, 
and which could only be upheld under peculiar and transitory 
conditions. It was due also to a relative change in the intel- 
lectual position of clergy and laity. The latter had advanced, 
the former had gone back. The New England minister of the 
seventeenth century was a learned man in a community trained 
to reverence learning, yet personally cut off from any large 


share of it by the exacting demands of a toilsome and restricted 
life. He was not unfrequently a graduate of one of the English 
universities, he had at all events associated with men trained in 
an atmosphere full of the direct influence of Milton and Robin- 
son, of the indirect influence of Spenser and Hooker. His 
successor in the following century had been probably trained at 
Harvard; he found his exemplar of learning and of thought in 
the cumbrous erudition and in the shallow and commonplace 
teaching of such a pedant as Cotton Mather. Around him 
were men over whom questions of theology or ecclesiastical 
history wrought no such spell as they did over an earlier 
generation. Moreover, if the conditions of colonial life had 
lowered the standard of thought and learning among the clergy, 
they had raised that of the laity. A growing foreign com- 
merce brought the New England trader into contact with wider 
and more varied aspects of life. The class of Englishman with 
which he was connected, and from which his ranks were not 
unfrequently recruited, was putting on, in a somewhat super- 
ficial fashion, the literary and aesthetic culture from which 
his ancestors had mostly stood aloof. On the one hand 
the intensity of feeling on theological and ecclesiastical mat- 
ters was relaxed, while at the same time the barriers that 
marked off the clergy from the rest of the community were 

Meanwhile in the Middle and Southern colonies ecclesiastical 
questions were forcing their way to the front. That very real 
revival of Church life which made itself felt in the reign of 
Queen Anne had its influence in the colonies. It acted not so 
much as an internal influence as in determining the attitude of 
Englishmen towards the dependencies. Gradually the feeling 
forced itself upon Churchmen that the existence of communities, 
nominally Anglican, yet inadequately supplied with clergy, 
wholly without effective control over those who did exist, and 
with no kind of systematic provision for ministration and teach- 
ing, was a scandal. Thus while in the Northern colonies 
religious and ecclesiastical questions, for an earlier generation 
so overwhelming in their importance, fall into the background, 
in the South, which had hitherto existed untouched by such in- 
fluences, and even more in the Middle colonies, they assume 
something of deflniteness and prominence. 


At the same time, within New England itself the center of 
religious thought and ecclesiastical influence had shifted. Dur- 
changein f n g the seventeenth century Massachusetts over- 
positions shadowed its neighbors in ecclesiastical and spiritual, 
cnusett!?" as much as in civil matters. In the eighteenth, 
nectfcu"" Connecticut becomes the center of religious activity 
and movement. This was no doubt in part due to the change 
effected by the Massachusetts Charter of 1692, which removed 
all ecclesiastical restrictions on the franchise, and thereby de- 
stroyed the bond which had kept within the fold of the Church 
many on whom Puritanism as a religious force had no hold. It 
was also due to an essential difference in the moral and intel- 
lectual structure of the two colonies. The clergy of Connecti- 
cut had not, like the spiritual teachers of Massachusetts and 
their civil allies, alienated support by their stubborn and un- 
relenting adhesion to outworn forms of thought, and even more 
to conceptions of policy which outraged all decent and moderate- 
minded men. Judged by a Puritan standard Connecticut was 
tolerant even to laxity, and she found her reward in the whole- 
some and continuous growth of her spiritual life. 

Yet at the same time there was an undercurrent at work 
running in a direction opposite to that which has been just noted. 
As Connecticut did not share in the spirit of bigotry which in- 
spired the counsels of Massachusetts during the seventeenth 
century, so she remained untouched by the reaction of the next 
generation against that bigotry. Brattle's protest against the 
witchcraft delusion, Sewall's public acknowledgment of repent- 
ance for his share in that wretched tragedy, were the evidences 
of a spirit not limited, we may be sure, to individuals. By the 
middle of the eighteenth century Boston had learned to look 
back with some abasement on such an incident as the execution 
of the Quakers. 1 Connecticut had no such errors calling for 
repentance. Moreover in Massachusetts the abrogation of the 
colonial charter had broken the main link which bound State 
and Church together. The presence of British officials and the 

1 Hutchinson, who may be taken as a fair exponent of intelligent opinion 
in Massachusetts, writes, " In the year 1656 began what has generally and not 
improperly been called the persecution of the Quakers." " May the time never 
come again when the government shall think that, by killing men for their 
religion, it is doing God good service." History of Massachusetts, vol. i. pp. 



increase of foreign commerce had brought influences to bear 
upon the parent colony which were unfelt by the daughter. In 
religious matters Connecticut was liberal in comparison with the 
Massachusetts of 1650, rigid in comparison with that of 1720. 
Of this change we shall meet with two marked instances, one 
connected with the teaching of Whitefield, the other with the 
►educational history of the two colonies. 

The circumstances attending the foundation of Yale College 
illustrate in a singular fashion the working of the two tendencies 
Founda- which have been mentioned, the tolerance of Con- 
Yaie. necticut and the reaction against that tolerance. In 

1700 ten of the principal clergy of the colony took steps to- 
wards the foundation of a college in Connecticut. The first 
step taken was a contribution of books, amounting to forty folio 
volumes, by the ten co-founders. A petition for incorporation 
was then laid before the legislature, and it is worthy of notice 
that the purpose of the college as therein set forth was "the 
upholding of the Protestant religion without any narrowing or 
sectarian qualification." In 1701 the college was incorporated 
and endowed with an annual grant from the legislature, termi- 
nable at pleasure, of a hundred and twenty pounds in colonial 
currency, a sum equal to about sixty pounds in actual money. 
It was some years before the college found a settled home or 
arrived at a fixed constitution. The history of it, however, as 
an educational institution belongs rather to another portion of 
■our subject. The feature with which we are at present specially 
concerned is that the eponymous benefactor to whom Yale Col- 
lege was indebted for a large share of its prosperity was a mem- 
ber of the Church of England. Thomas Yale was a Denbigh- 
shire squire who for conscience' sake made one of the first set- 
tlers in Newhaven. His son Elihu was sent to England for 
■education, and became a conforming Churchman. He held 
•office in India under the Company, and returned to England a 
wealthy man. His change of religious opinion had not alien- 
ated him from the place of his birth, and a share of the fruits 
of the pagoda tree, amounting to about four hundred pounds, 
found their way to the college as benefactions, while a further 
legacy of five hundred pounds only miscarried through some 
'error or neglect on the part of his executors. The rulers of the 
college, with a liberal-minded indifference to what must have 



seemed to New Englanders Yale's apostasy, gave his name to 
the foundation which he had so largely aided. 1 

Yet though Yale College was in some measure a monument of 
the liberal and moderate temper of Connecticut, its early his- 
tory served also to illustrate that process of reaction by which 
Massachusetts was becoming the home of theological freedom, 
Connecticut that of dogmatic orthodoxy. In spite of the 
Anglican association connected with Yale College it is clear 
that many of the strictly orthodox Calvinists of Massachusetts 
sympathized with and supported the foundation of a society 
likely to be an effective rival to Harvard. Personal feeling, 
we may be sure, contributed to this. The exclusion of Increase 
Mather from the headship of Harvard not only called into the 
field the persistent and clamorous hostility of his son, but had no 
doubt alarmed many in whose eyes the ejected President 
represented the best traditions of New England orthodoxy and 
learning. Yet over and above this it is clear that the supposed 
laxity of the religious teaching at Harvard was an important 
element in the new movement. 

Early in the eighteenth century the rulers of Connecticut 
modified the ecclesiastical constitution of the colony in a man- 
asScai 1 " ner wm ' c h> though not directly designed to further 
changes freedom of thought or worship, yet indirectly had 
necticut. that effect. Alike in Massachusetts and in Con- 
necticut the strict theory of Independent congregations had 
broken down under the pressure of two external influences. In 
the first place that theory is incompatible with the recognition 
and control of religion by the civil government, and to abandon 
those would have involved conceptions of national life utterly 
repellent to the Puritan. So, too, the intensely strong sense of 
■civic unity which pervaded New England life carried with it, 
as an almost inevitable consequence, the joint action of the 
various Churches meeting in synod. Such synodal meetings 
were only held, however, on special occasions, when there ap- 
peared to be need for ecclesiastical legislation or when some 
.special administrative difficulty arose. But in Connecticut the 
synodal action of the whole body of Churches was supplemented 
by what one might call a subordinate form of federal union. 
Annual meetings of the clergy were held, not claiming any 

1 Trumbull, vol. ii. p. 28. 


legislative authority, but exchanging opinions and passing 
resolutions upon questions of ecclesiastical practice. Over and 
above these annual meetings, associations were formed at 
different centers throughout the colony, some of which by 
voluntary agreement on the part of their members acquired 
quasi-legislative authority. 1 

The formation of such bodies almost of necessity carried with 
it the need for some effective central control. Diversities in 
ecclesiastical practice or in the interpretation of formulae which 
might exist without creating disturbances under the system of 
purely Congregational churches could not fail to have more 
serious consequences when the conflicting societies were changed 
from small isolated communities into bodies covering a wider 
area, and possessing a more representative character. 

There were other influences at work which brought home to the 
Congregationalists of Connecticut the necessity for closing their 
Episco- ranks. In 1704 the Society for the Propagation of 
fn con- tne Gospel in Foreign Parts sent a clergyman of the 
necticut. Church of England to Rye, in the colony of New 
York. Two years later he extended his operations into Con- 
necticut, preaching at Stratford, and in spite of opposition from 
the Independent ministry, baptizing twenty-five persons, mostly 
adults. A second missionary journey was undertaken in the 
following year, including Fairfield as well as Stratford. 

One cannot doubt that the success of this invasion brought 
home to the clergy of Connecticut the need for more complete 
The union and more definite organization. In 1708 a 

Saybrook , . . . , , to ' . 

platform. synod, in which each county was represented by 
clerical and lay delegates, met at Saybrook, and drew up an 
ecclesiastical constitution in fifteen articles. The essential 
features of the new scheme were the division of the colony into 
districts, circuits as they were called. The whole body of 
elders in each church were to have jurisdiction in ecclesiastical 
cases within that circuit, and their decisions were to be enforced 
by excommunication. Furthermore there were to be annual 
meetings of the representatives of the whole body of churches, 
and any district association might refer a case to such a meeting. 
That right of appeal was not, however, extended to individual 
churches or members of churches. 

1 Trumbull, vol. i. ch. xix. He is also my authority for what follows. 


Two features of this at once strike one. The meeting de- 
clared in general terms its acceptance of the confession of faith 
drawn up by the Boston synod in 1680; but beyond that there 
is no reference to dogma, nor is there any attempt to invoke the 
help of the civil power. 

It soon became clear that Anglicanism was establishing itself 
as a real factor in the life of the colony. In 1722 a regular 
Secession Episcopalian congregation was established at Strat- 
pendency ford, numbering some hundred and fifty, of whom 
scopacy. twenty were communicants. Simultaneously with 
this an event took place which must have stirred colonial feeling, 
as the Romeward movement of the nineteenth century stirred 
Oxford and the Church of England. Timothy Cutler, the 
minister of Stratford, had been in 17 19 appointed head of Yale 
College. Three years later, without, as it would seem, any 
premonitory symptoms visible to ordinary observers, he and one 
of the college tutors named Brown declared their adhesion to 
the Church of England, and their intention of obtaining Episco- 
pal orders, and were followed by two of the clergy, Johnson 
and Wetmore. By 1733 the Episcopalian church in Stratford 
included two hundred families, and we find an Anglican 
Churchman reporting to his co-religionists at home that there 
was scarcely a town in the colony where there were not a con- 
siderable number of professed members of his Church. 1 

The action of the people of Connecticut showed an honorable 
adhesion to those traditions of toleration which had marked the 
colony from the outset. The discussion which took place among 
the trustees of Yale is recorded. 2 Alarmed and disconcerted as 
they well might be, yet their action showed no extravagance or 
panic. Throughout the debate the question of Episcopacy 
against Presbyterianism is regarded as arguable. There is not 
a trace of that grotesque and bigoted horror of Anglicanism 
which revealed itself Li the public utterances of leading men in 
Massachusetts a generation earlier. The dismissal of Cutler 
and Brown, the passing of a resolution disqualifying anyone of 
prelatical or Arminian opinions from holding office in the col- 
lege, was necessary if the college was in any way to express the 

1 Perry's History of American Episcopal Church, p. 298. 

2 Trumbull, vol. ii. p. 34. 


views or to retain the confidence of the whole body of in- 

In 1727 the legislature granted to the Episcopalians what 
might be called concurrent endowment. An Act was passed 
Concur- which provided that any person living within reach 
dowment °f an Episcopalian church might allocate the payment 
adopted. levied from all citizens for the maintenance of the 
clergy to that particular church. 1 

It speaks but ill for the judgment and fairness of some of 
the Episcopalian party, that after this concession we find them 
still complaining of the hardship imposed on them in having to 
pay Church dues in districts where there was no Episcopalian 
church. 2 It does not seem to have struck them that the alleged 
hardship was identical with that inflicted in the mother country 
by the payment of Church rates on all those who stood outside 
the Establishment. 

Nor was it difficult to foresee a result which, as a Churchman 
actually admits, took place. If in places where there was no 
Narrow Episcopalian church Churchmen were granted entire 
Eplsco* ° f exemption from contribution to the support of public 
paiians. worship, it was certain that all those who were 
wholly indifferent to religion would avail themselves of the 
plea. Throughout we feel that there is a depressing narrow- 
ness in the views expressed by even the better sort of colonial 
Episcopalians, and an inability to do justice to the good side 
of the national life around them. Johnson was undoubtedly a 
thoughtful and high-minded man, usually temperate in his ut- 
terances. His habitual toleration is illustrated by a letter to 
the Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, in 
which he excuses himself for attending the preaching of White- 
field and another Revivalist preacher, and in which he complains* 
that he had been "much faulted by some over-zealous people 
whose venomous spirit towards the Dissenters has very much 
hurt the Church." It was, he says, imputed to him as a crime 
that he had sent his son to a Dissenting college, rather than 
leave him without education, and that he therefore allowed him 
occasionally and of necessity to attend a Nonconformist place 
of worship. 3 We can best judge of the temper of these Episco- 

1 Connect. Records, 1727, p. 202. 2 Perry's History, p. 298. 

8 Johnson's letter to the Sec. S.P.G., January 10, 1744. Hawks, p. 203. 


palians who distrusted Johnson when we read a letter written by 
Johnson himself to the Bishop of London, in which he says that 
it would be "much happier for the Church, especially unless we: 
had a bishop, if the charters were taken away, and most people 
begin to think once they have got into such a wretched mobbish 
way of management that it would be best for the people them- 
selves." 1 We find him writing in a like strain, but more fully, 
to the Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gos- 
pel. 2 He dwells in very general terms on the evil which the 
democratic government of Connecticut inflicted on the colony, 
and suggests that it would be a gain alike for the colony and the 
Church if the charter was revoked and a new one granted, giv- 
ing the Crown a full right of veto on all legislation. Yet he 
can bring no specific charge against the Assembly except their 
reckless issue of paper money. Cutler, writing in a like strain, 
says, "If the King punishes our obstinacy by vacating our char- 
ter I shall think it an eminent blessing of his illustrious reign." 3 
The men of Connecticut might fairly ask what Church of 
England clergymen had to do with the civil constitution of the 
colony, and whether they reckoned themselves better judges of 
its interests than the citizens themselves. They might feel, too, 
that Johnson's action was a poor return for a measure of tolera- 
tion far in advance of any granted in the mother country either 
to Roman Catholics or to Protestant Dissenters. 

This feeling could not but be intensified by the attitude of 
the Episcopalian clergy towards the Congregationalism which 
surrounded them. What that feeling was we can judge from 
their letters to their co-religionists in England. One complains 
that the leading men in New England "try to possess the people 
with the absurd notion of their worship and discipline being an 
establishment here." 4 

We feel throughout that the Episcopalians of New England 
and their allies in the mother country were quite unable to 
understand that they were face to face with something which 
differed wholly from English Nonconformity, with a truly 
National Church, which with all its faults (and from those 
faults the Church of Connecticut had largely disengaged itself) 

Johnson's letter to the Sec. S.P.G., p. 126. * lb. p. 271. 

'Perry, Massachusetts, p. 672. *Ib. p. 138. 


had identified itself with all that was strongest and most definite, 
and with much that was best, in the history and character of 
the community. 

In Massachusetts there seem to have been by 17 13, in addi- 
Episco- tion to the Episcopalian church at Boston, one at 
fn^ssa- Newbury and another at Marblehead. 1 Ten years 
chusetts. later a second Episcopalian church was built at 
Boston. 2 

About this time two incidents served to create in the colony 
a feeling of bitterness, neither unnatural nor unjustifiable, 
against the Episcopal Church and its clergy. In 1725 the Con- 
gregational ministers of Massachusetts, acting it is said under 
the lead of Cotton Mather, proposed to hold a synod, and ap- 
plied for permission to the Assembly. The fact of the applica- 
tion is a full illustration of the intimate connection of Church 
and State in the colony, and of the full acceptance by the clergy 
of a certain measure of control by the civil power. In the 
absence of Shute the authority of the Governor was vested in 
the Lieutenant-Governor, Jeremiah Dummer, a man fully in 
sympathy with the dominant Church in Massachusetts, and it is 
not unlikely that this circumstance determined the time chosen 
for the movement. The Assembly did not give their decisive 
approval, but left the matter open till a future occasion. 3 Be- 
fore the question came on again, Gibson, the Bishop of London, 
instigated we can hardly doubt by the Episcopal clergy in the 
colony, intervened and reported the matter to the law officers 
of the Crown. They ruled that the synod could not be held 
without the approval of the Crown, and that an application to 
the Assembly was a contempt of the Sovereign and should have 
been condemned by Dummer. He was now instructed by the 
Lords Justices to prohibit any further action in the matter, and 
to warn the clergy that persistence would be treated as a mis- 
demeanor. 4 

Dummer was at this time in England doing all he could to 
avert an open breach between the colony and the Home Govern- 
ment. He succeeded in explaining away his own share in the 
offense on the plea that the matter when it came before the 

1 Perry, Massachusetts, p. 147. 

2 Winsor's Memorial History of Boston, vol. i. p. 225. 

•Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 322-3. * lb. The King was in Hanover. 


Assembly was only in an inchoate state, and not ripe for inter- 
ference. He wrote home to those responsible for the proposal, 
urging them to abandon it, and using language which showed 
that he understood the actual as well as the avowed reasons for 
disapproval. The proceeding might form a dangerous prece- 
dent. "It has also," he wrote, "been insinuated that the clergy 
would have come to some resolution to the prejudice of 
the Church of England if they had been permitted to con- 
vene." 1 

Dummer's advice was taken and the synod was abandoned, 
hut we cannot doubt that the action of the British Government 
left behind it a sense of soreness, nor can we see in it anything 
but a wanton and irritating interference with a right alike pre- 
sumptive and natural. To suppose that Congregational Mas- 
sachusetts could furnish Episcopal England with a precedent 
showed a total inability to comprehend the difference between 
the relations of Church and State in the two communities 
respectively. And even if the suspicions of a wish to deal 
harshly with the Episcopal Church were justified by facts, yet 
the authority of the Crown was amply sufficient to avert any 
attack when the need arose. 

Soon after this the. Episcopalians in Massachusetts advanced 
another claim which the dominant sect might not unfairly regard 
"The as an encroachment. The constitution of Harvard 

.dispute.* College made the President and fellows a corpora- 
tion. A subsequent Act of the legislature vested certain 
authority in a Board of Overseers. These overseers were to 
be the Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor, the magistrates of 
the colony, and the "teaching elders" of the existing Churches. 
In 1720 one Harris, an Episcopalian clergyman, assistant to 
the rector of King's Chapel, Boston, was summoned to attend 
this board apparently in the capacity of a teaching elder, and did 
attend from time to time. It was also alleged that the rector 
himself, Myles, was so summoned, but on that point there seems 
some doubt. It is evident that the term "teaching elder" could 
only be applied to a Church of England clergyman by a very 

1 Dummer's letter is given by Hutchinson in a note. 

2 Quincy's History of Harvard College. He quotes in full (vol. ii. pp. 560-74) 
the memorials presented by Cutler and Myles, the reply of the overseers, and 
the rejoinder of the petitioners. 


liberal interpretation. In all likelihood the official whose duty 
it was* to convene the overseers had in a somewhat lax fashion 
interpreted the term "teaching elder" to apply to any minister 
of religion, and the fact that the Governor and Lieutenant- 
Governor were both Episcopalians may have helped to bring 
about the error. 

In the case of Harris the claim may well have seemed too- 
unimportant to be worth resisting. But the matter soon as- 
sumed a different aspect. We have seen how Timothy Cutler 
forfeited the presidency of Yale College by his conversion to 
Anglicanism. After his dismissal he went to England, received 
a doctor's degree both at Oxford and Cambridge, and then 
returning to America was established at Boston as the minister 
of an Episcopalian congregation. He and Myles, the incumbent 
of King's Chapel, now claimed to be admitted to the Board of 
Overseers as "teaching elders," and endeavored to support their 
case by pleading the precedent of Harris's admission. We can 
judge of the feelings of the Governors of Harvard if we suppose 
an Anglican educational body, on which an obscure Romanist 
priest had through some lax interpretation of their constitution' 
obtained a seat, suddenly confronted with a claim for admission- 
made by Cardinal Manning. When the Vestry of King's 
Chapel authorized their churchwardens to support the memoriaL 
of Cutler and Myles pleading for admission, and if necessary to 
expend the funds of the church in furthering that demand, the 
adherents of Congregationalism might well suppose that they 
had to deal with the deliberate attempt of a hostile sect to cap- 
ture the educational stronghold of the colony. The memorial 
urged that, as ministers to a recognized congregation, Cutler 
and Myles were "teaching elders." In a subsequent document 
they went further, and contended that the framers of the Act 
of 1642 actually had such an interpretation present to their 

The overseers had little difficulty in meeting the chief plea 
urged against them. The term "teaching elder" was a technical 
one, with a definite and specific meaning which excluded a 
clergyman of the Church of England. They could further 
plead that the interests which Episcopalians might have in 
Harvard did not need to be specially safeguarded, since students 
of every domiriation were admitted without any kind of test 


or qualification. It might have been answered that this was 
quite compatible with an unfair spirit of sectarianism in the 
choice of teachers and the arrangement of studies. A better 
defense might have been found in the fact that the Governor, 
Lientenant-Governor, and the magistrates formed a large ma- 
jority of the Court of Overseers. That insured at least that 
the religious and theological temper of the college would be in 
conformity with that of the colony as a whole. In the Governor 
the Episcopalians would in all likelihood have an influential 
ally, and it was certain that if they at any time became an im- 
portant minority they would have among the magistrates a fair 
share of their own body to represent their views. 

Cutler and Myles accepted their defeat. It was soon after 
this that the former wrote, in the hostile and vindictive strain 
already noticed, suggesting a repeal of the charter. 

An alien clergy representing a minority are inevitably ex- 
posed to one of two charges. Either they are supine and there- 
fore superfluous, or they are energetic and therefore guilty of 
proselytism. It is to the credit of the Episcopalian clergy in 
New England that they preferred the latter alternative. There 
is extant an interesting and characteristic document, dating 
from 1734, in which a number of Nonconformists in New 
England memorialize the Bishop of London. 1 They are, they 
say, orthodox Christians and do not need missionaries. The 
Anglican clergy show an unchristian spirit in denying the 
validity of Independent orders, and therefore of Independent 
ministrations. They teach "that our churches are no churches 
of Christ, and that our people are to be looked upon as strangers 
to the commonwealth of Israel." Here we may suspect that 
the views of the Episcopalians have been translated into the 
language of their opponents. Moreover, the memorialists com- 
plain that their rivals are making Church discipline impossible 
by receiving excommunicated persons. They end up with a 
perilous admission. If the Church of England can offer a better 
salary than the Congregational churches can, it will draw away 
promising young men from the ministry. Nothing could show 
more strongly how the intensity of conviction which marked the 
early days of New England had given place to lower and more 
commonplace motives. 

1 Perry, Massachusetts, p. 299. 


In 1743 Shirley used his influence with the Assembly of 
Massachusetts to obtain for Episcopalians a concession similar 
concession to that which had already been granted in Connecti- 
paiianism cut. They were exempted from all payment for 
chusetts. the stipends of Nonconformist ministers or the re- 
pairs of Nonconformist chapels. 

Episcopacy in the American colonies, and especially in New 
England, was destined to profit indirectly by the labors of men 
Jonathan wno had assuredly no wish to help such a cause. 
Edwards. That spirit of earnest and convinced Calvinism which 
had imbued the early theology of New England with so much 
that was vigorous and so much that was repulsive had spent its 
force; it had lost its hold on men's minds partly through its 
own shortcomings, partly under the pressure of a life more 
varied in its interests and less strenuous in its purposes than that 
of the founders. These seemingly extinct methods of thought 
revived under the influence of one fully as uncompromising in 
his views as any of the early teachers of New England, but far 
better equipped with the learning and the ability needed for 
the task of controversy and exhortation. The Calvinism of 
Jonathan Edwards is an intellectual and literary phenomenon 
standing by itself, not only from the indisputable vigor t)f his 
intellect and his exceptional power of exposition, but also from 
the peculiar fashion in which his principles were acquired. The 
earlier New England thinkers and teachers were born in an 
atmosphere of Calvinism; familiarity blinded them to the more 
repulsive features of the doctrine ; its formulas were conventions 
rather than living realities. In Edwards there was nothing of 
this. His birth and bringing up were of the kind best fitted to 
quicken mental activity. He had full access to books, yet he 
lived among surroundings which saved him from the stifling and 
distracting influences of luxury or of worldly pursuits. Pre- 
cocious as a child, he grew up a true scholar, valuing the 
treasures of the intellect for their own sake, not as stepping- 
stones to wealth or instruments of ambition. The ordinary 
scholarship of the New England teacher and divine tended 
rather to extensive learning than to precision and originality of 
thought. But for one in whom those qualities are inborn, an 
atmosphere of definite and somewhat pedantic study is a restrain- 
ing but not paralyzing influence. Inheritance and tradition 


may have done something to predispose Edwards to Calvinism, 
but every line of his writings shows that he had reached his con- 
clusions by a process of independent thought. The conditions 
which surrounded him favored the reception of his teaching. It 
sounds like a paradox to say that it was acceptable to New Eng- 
land alike from its familiarity and its novelty. On the one hand 
we can hardly suppose that men, unless they had been bound by 
a sort of formal loyalty to the damnatory teaching of the early 
Puritan divines, could have accepted without horror such pic- 
tures as Edwards delights to draw of the Father and Creator 
of mankind, regarding His infirm and imperfectly constructed 
children with loathing and contempt, and consigning them to 
endless misery with unmoved complacency. On the other hand 
it was because Edwards's pictures of what was in store for the 
sinner had all the force and definiteness of independent convic- 
tion that they appealed to hearers who would have turned away 
with weary indifference from a mere commonplace reproduction 
of the teaching which had awed their fathers. 

The work done by Edwards was taken up and completed by 
one immeasurably his inferior in everything except the mechan- 
whitefieid i ca l artifices of the pulpit. It is easy to expatiate 
in America. upon Whitefield's intellectual shortcomings, as re- 
vealed by his own letters. He seems wholly without insight 
into character. Save for references to external conditions his 
letters might be shuffled in a bag and allotted, each to any of his 
correspondents, without any loss of congruity. Of insight into 
the real difficulties and complexities of life he shows no trace. 
His belief in the efficacy of preaching is like the belief of the 
pious Thibetan in the efficacy of his praying machine. He 
records the number of sermons preached by him — sometimes 
seven in a day — as a sort of feat in apostolic athleticism, with- 
out any self-questioning as to the resources of the mine from 
which he was working. The mere mechanical and external 
evidences of so-called conversions are hailed with satisfaction 
without the slightest attempt to look under the surface, or to 
estimate the real depth of conviction and its probable durability. 
Can we wonder that the clergy of New England, men trained 
in a severe and self-restraining school of moral and intellectual 
discipline, felt no sympathy with one who could thus describe 
the effect of his own preaching, "the people seem to be slain by 


scores; they are carried off and come into the house, like 
soldiers wounded on and carried off a field of battle — the Lord 
is much with me" ? l 

One is tempted to explain the apparent paradox of such 
qualities winning such success by generalities as to the potency 
of rhetoric over uneducated minds and morbidly weak natures. 
Unfortunately for this view, we are met by the fact that the 
people of New England were neither uneducated, unthinking, 
nor emotional. In considering such a community the hypothesis 
of widespread and contagious folly is not to be adopted till we 
have at least exhausted all other possibilities of solution. In 
the first place, in estimating Whitefield's influence it must be 
remembered that, if Whitefield was conspicuously wanting in 
the qualities of the systematic thinker and the practical philan- 
thropist, he was also conspicuously free from their defects. 
Though he undoubtedly lacked insight into individual character, 
he had no lack whatever of individual sympathy. Men were 
never to him items in a system. The expressions of affection in 
his letters are characteristically crude and commonplace; the 
reader is wearied, almost nauseated, with the recurrence of "dear 
Mr." This and the indiscriminate bespattering of "sweet." 
But one sees that the feeling, though conventionally and even 
vulgarly expressed, is absolutely real. 

Moreover the condition of Whitefield's work in America 
effectually saved him from certain attacks which in England 
might be made with some show of plausibility. Satirists of the 
baser sort delighted to picture Whitefield as a Tartuffe, a fluent 
mountebank deliberately putting on a mask of piety as an in- 
strument for the gratification of evil appetities. Setting aside 
these grotesque libels, there was yet undoubtedly a feeling that 
the charm of aristocratic patronage had done something to 
turn Whitefield's head, and that the idolatry of a certain section 
of the fashionable world was welcomed and even sought by 
him. No such suspicions could hang around his American 
career. There men saw him, in an almost Franciscan spirit of 
self-denying devotion to duty, facing hardship and sickness that 
he might bear the message of salvation to perishing souls. 

The difference, however, between Whitefield's position and 
work in England and in America lay not so much in his own 

1 Letters, vol. i. p. 405. Edinburgh was the scene of this triumph. 


position as in the temper and antecedents of his audience. In 
England his followers were mainly of two kinds. On the one 
side were superficial people in search of a new sensation, to 
whom the melodious voice and appropriate gestures were a 
pleasant change from the acting of Garrick or the singing of 
Monticelli. On the other side were men brutalized in sin to 
whom the elementary truths of salvation, set forth with fluent 
rhetoric, appealed with all the force of novelty. In America 
Whitefield was working a soil more truly fitted than either 
for the reception of spiritual truth, and therefore more likely 
to bear abiding fruit. In the first place we must remember that 
the life of New England, rich in a certain sense in intellectual 
activity, was starved on the aesthetic side. Poetry, fiction, the 
drama, art, hardly had a place in the life of the New Englander. 
Whitefield's preaching in a measure supplied the place of all 
these: it appealed to the emotions, which were denied any other 
nutriment. His sermons were to the people of Boston what 
such a picture as Orcagna's "Judgment" was to the non-read- 
ing Italian. Besides, the Calvinism of Whitefield appealed to a 
deep-seated hereditary creed, overlaid, but not eradicated. 

With Edwards the practical application of predestination was 
wholly subordinate to its logical truth; with Whitefield the 
appalling doctrines of Calvinism were simply the stock-in-trade 
of the Revivalist preacher. Whitefield's career as an itinerant 
preacher in America began with his first visit to Georgia in 
1740. It included seven separate visits, covering in all a period 
of more than nine years, and it ended with his death in Mas- 
sachusetts in 1770. In Georgia he was not content with the 
duties of a preacher and a philanthropist, but strove to pose as 
a social and political reformer. The results of that attempt 
belong to a later phase of our subject. In the Southern States 
Whitefield appears on the whole to have had but little effect. 
In South Carolina he entangled himself in a squabble with 
Alexander Garden, a man of piety and high character, who 
acted as commissary for the Bishop of London in that colony. 
Garden at first found favor with Whitefield, who describes 
"the most Christian manner" in which he was "received by the 
Bishop of London's commissary, the Rev. Mr. Garden, a good 
soldier of Jesus Christ." 1 These friendly relations were but 

1 For Whitefield's proceedings in South Carolina, see Appendix III. 


short-lived. Garden was justly incensed at the audacity with 
which Whitefleld, himself nominally a clergyman in the Church 
of England, defied his authority, and claimed the right tc* 
officiate when and where he pleased. Whitefield, too, excited 
indignation in South Carolina, as elsewhere, by his onslaughts 
on the memory of Archbishop Tillotson. According to White- 
field, Tillotson's writings might civilize, but not convert; his 
theology was built on so false a foundation that it proved that 
he was no Christian at heart, and had not so much as a head- 
knowledge of the true Gospel of Christ. He never once named 
regeneration. His faith was a bare historical one, and he 
"knew no more of Christianity than Mahomet." Finally 
Whitefleld emphasized his condemnation of Tillotson by 
formally burning "The Whole Duty of Man." 

Garden replied that the word regeneration only occurs twice 
in the Bible, and he quoted from Tillotson a passage which as- 
suredly disposed of the allegation as to a bare historical faith. 

A generation which has freed itself from personal and tem- 
porary prejudices can no doubt see in these utterances of White- 
field a certain element of truth, crudely and brutally expressed, 
a protest against the insufficient spirituality of the teaching of 
Tillotson and his school, a defect in no wise incompatible with 
that personal conviction of which Whitefield seemed to deny 
the existence. We cannot wonder at Garden or blame him if he 
only saw the outrage on the memory of one whom English 
Churchmen loved and revered, and the peril of adding disunion 
to the difficulties which already beset the colonial Church. 
Garden cited Whitefield before a court consisting of the com- 
missary himself and four other clergymen. Whitefield was 
charged with using prayers other than those of the Church of 
England. Whitefield at once protested against the authority 
of the court, pleading (i) that it was doubtful whether the 
Bishop of London had jurisdiction in the colonies, (2) that in 
any case such jurisdiction needed to be defined by acts of the 
local assembly, (3) that as he himself had no fixed duty in 
South Carolina, but belonged to the colony of Georgia, he was 
not amenable to Garden's jurisdiction. He further added 
that in London he had preached in unconsecrated places without 
any reproof from the bishop. 

It is not easy to see, if Whitefield's contention were accepted,, 


what stood between the colonial Church and sheer anarchy. It 
was, however, thoroughly characteristic of Whitefield and his 
school not to look beyond the immediate practical results of 
each isolated case, to ignore the operation of precedent and the 
necessity of system. 

After Whitefield had announced his intention to appeal and 
found security for doing so, the case proceeded. Whitefield was 
found guilty of having disregarded the forms of the Church of 
England and was suspended. The appeal came to nothing. 
The varied and distracting nature of Whitefield's vocations may 
have hindered him from following it up, or he may have felt 
that he had reached a point where the friendship or ill-will of 
English Churchmen and his own right to officiate as a clergy- 
man of the Church of England mattered but little. 

Over and above his own indiscretions in South Carolina 
Whitefield had to answer for the violence of a reckless partisan, 
one Hugh Bryan, who published a letter in a newspaper stating 
that "the clergy of South Carolina broke their canons daily." 
Whitefield made himself Bryan's accomplice by correcting his 
letter for the press, and for this both of them, as well as the 
publisher of the newspaper, were threatened with criminal pro- 
ceedings. These, however, seem to have been abandoned. 1 

There was room in North Carolina for genuine missionary 
work. How much might be done among that untaught and 
loose-living people by persistent and laborious ministrations was 
shown at a later date by the success of one of the most energetic 
and devoted of the colonial clergy, Clement Hall. But quiet 
underground work among squalid log-huts, far from the ex- 
citements and rewards of popular enthusiasm, would have had 
no charm for Whitefield. In Virginia he received kindly and 
sympathetic treatment from the Bishop of London's com- 
missary, James Blair. There, as we shall see later on, White- 
field's missionary work was not without real value. 

Nowhere, however, in the Southern colonies did Whitefield 
greatly excite general interest, or awake as elsewhere popular 
enthusiasm and contemptuous dislike. The truth was that the 
conditions of Southern life hardly lent themselves to such results 
as were sought for by Whitefield. In North Carolina he was 

1 Mr. McCrady (p. 239) states that he has been unable to find any trace of 


face to face with dull unreceptive barbarism; elsewhere with a 
somewhat fastidious oligarchy, with a certain leaven of real 
culture and a stronger leaven of worldiness and the lusts of the 
flesh. In Whitefield's own language he found Maryland "in 
a dead sleep." He "spoke home to some ladies concerning the 
vanity of their false politeness, but, alas! they are wedded to 
their quadrille and ombre." 1 Moreover, it is impossible that 
the ruling classes in a community based on slavery should look 
without apprehension on teaching which has for its foundation 
the spiritual equality of all men in the sight of God, and which 
broke down the prescriptive barriers set up by reverence for 

It is also noteworthy that Whitefield's chief opponents in 
Maryland were not the members of the Episcopal Church, but 
the Presbyterian clergy, the seed of the serpent, as Whitefield, 
in resentful impatience of temporary hindrance and forgetful- 
ness of the need for definite permanent alliances, called them. 

In the colonies of Quaker foundation Whitefield fared better. 
In 1739, the year of Whitefield's first visit to America, the 
Mdd? Boston papers told their readers how he had preached 

Colonies. at Philadelphia before a congregation of six thou- 
sand people "in awful silence," 2 and how both at Bruns- 
wick and Burlington crowds of unparalleled size, many in car- 
riages and numbering at each place at least three thousand, had 
flocked to hear him preach. 3 The normal consequences of con- 
version, we are told, followed in due course. "Our wild en- 
thusiasts are incessantly gadding through the country and teach- 
ing the people to run mad, and when they do not fall down and 
beat their breasts and bellow, they tell them they are in a 
damned state and sentence them immediately to hell." 4 

Here, too, as in South Carolina, Whitefield excited disgust 
by his attacks on Tillotson. If we may trust the reports sent 
home by the Episcopalian clergy to the Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel, he denounced the Anglican clergy as sor- 
cerers and Simon Maguses, and "made a great rent in all the 

1 Letters, vol. i. p. 135. 

2 Boston Evening Post, Nov. 26, 1739. Quoted in N. J. Archives, vol. xi. 
P- 534- 

8 Boston Gazette, Nov. 29, 1739; also Archives, vol. xi. p. 585. The mention 
of carriages throws an interesting light on the social condition of the two towns. 
4 Backhouse to Sec. S.P.G., in Perry's Hist. Coll. Pennsylvania, p. 217. 


congregations belonging to the Church of England." 1 At the 
same time we are told that the Presbyterian congregations were 
equally annihilated by this new force, while even Whitefield's 
party was not united, since many of them had seceded under a 
rival enthusiast, a German count. 2 

In truth Whitefield's influence was upon the most favorable 
view nothing but a moral force, acting on individuals ; there is 
m Massa- not a trace °* anv settled organic policy. The dis- 
<?hu«etts. turbing power of an explosion is determined by the 
amount of resistance with which it meets. When Whitefield 
found himself face to face with New England, definite in its the- 
ology and rigid in its ecclesiastical system, results followed which 
had no parallel in his earlier colonial experiences. Moreover, 
if the elements which opposed Whitefield were stronger in 
New England than elsewhere, so also were those which made 
for his cause. Elsewhere religious opinion was largely a matter 
of convention, there was no deep-seated conviction for such a 
teacher as Whitefield to build upon or to combat. But in New 
England, as we have seen, that Calvinism which was fast be- 
coming a mere tradition had been reawakened into life by the 
teaching of Jonathan Edwards. The movement followed the 
normal law of development. First comes the thinker, influenc- 
ing men's minds and teaching the teacher. Then follows the 
rhetorician, popularizing the doctrines of his predecessor, in- 
vesting them with sentiment and enlisting passion in their 

Whitefield's account of his experiences in Massachusetts is 
of no little interest as throwing light on the life and temper of 
the colony, on the combination of a restrained and tempered 
w^orldliness with a real, yet somewhat undemonstrative and un- 
enthusiastic, spirit of religion. In Boston he is shocked at the 
outward symptoms of luxury, women commonly wearing jewels 
and patches, even the common people dressed up in the pride of 
life, and children brought to the font clothed as if, instead of 
renouncing the vanities of the world, they were about to be 
initiated into them. Yet there was no scoffing, and the tem- 
poral rulers united with the clergy in a respect for the externals 
of religion. 3 

1 Perry, Pennsylvania, p. 209. 2 Ib. p. 235. 3 Whitefield's Journal. 


In the earlier days of New England the intrusion of an un- 
authorized preacher of the Gospel, even if his views were in 
harmony with those of the majority, would have at once called 
forth resistance. But the time was past when the Puritan 
clergy could assume the privileges of an exclusive oligarchy. 
There can be little doubt from the evidence extant that White- 
field's reception in Massachusetts was at first almost wholly 
favorable, and that it was not till he had been discredited by 
the indiscretions and extravagances of his allies and followers, 
and especially by the results of his ministrations in Connecticut, 
that the minority hostile to him were able to assert themselves 
with any effect. In Edwards, Whitefield found not only a pre- 
cursor but a willing and loyal ally. 

It was, however, not in Massachusetts but in Connecticut 
that Whitefield found his most fruitful field of labor. This 
in Con- was no doubt in part due to the fact, already noticed, 
necticut. t jj at tnose influences which in Massachusetts had 
alienated ordinary men from the Calvinistic creed, were absent 
in Connecticut, and that the Church had built up no such 
barriers between popular sympathy and the creed now preached 
by Whitefield. There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of 
the statements made by a sympathetic historian, himself a hearer 
of Whitefield, that "Connecticut was more remarkably the seat 
of the work than any part of New England or of the American 
colonies," and that "in most of the towns and societies it was 
very general and powerful." 1 

Yet the same writer tells us the movement "was most vio- 
lently opposed by ministers, by magistrates, by cruel and per- 
secuting laws, by reprovals and misrepresentation, and all the 
ways and means which its adversary could invent." 

In the very same passage he furnishes what must well be re- 
garded as an ample explanation of such hostility. "The glo- 
rious work of God which had effected such a wonderful ref- 
ormation of manners throughout the country was marred and 
greatly injured by many imprudences and irregularities. Many 
lay exhorters sprang up among the people — and among some 
there appeared an inclination to follow impulses and a pretense 

1 Trumbull, vol. ii. pp. 156, 160. Trumbull states that he himself, when a 
student at Yale, heard Whitefield preach. I have taken the greater part of what 
follows from him. 


to know the state of men's souls, who were converted and who 
were not." 

Two of Whitefield's adherents seem to have been more 
especially responsible for the discredit thus brought on his cause. 
Gilbert O ne was Gilbert Tennant, a minister from New 

Tennant. Jersey, who followed up Whitefield's work in Mas- 
sachusetts. His methods may be inferred from his suggestive 
nickname of Hellfire Tennant. 1 Yet, it seems clear from con- 
temporary accounts, and even more from his own writing, that 
he was not a mere windy ranter, but a man of real force and 
definiteness of mind. In a letter to a friend, one of his own 
party, written in 1741, in the very crisis of the excitement 
created by Whitefield, we find Tennant protesting against many 
of the worst features of the movement. To judge of men's 
internal condition, and to set up separate meetings because the 
clergy were supposed to be unregenerate, is "enthusiastical, 
proud and schismatical." Singing in the streets is "enthusi- 
astical foolery." The "pretense to immediate inspiration" and 
the "following of immediate impulses" are an "enthusiastical 
perilous ignis fatuus." It is somewhat startling to find the term 
"enthusiasm" thus used as one of condemnation by a member of 
that very party against whom it was so often brought as a 
charge. 2 

Tennant may have been in a sense a fanatic ; he may have been, 
and probably was, a man of one idea, and that idea the applica- 
james ti° n of Calvinistic doctrine to the moral regeneration 

Davenport.s f m ankind. jj u t: if he was a fanatic, he was clearly 
not a noisy nor an unthinking one. More discredit was brought 
on the cause by James Davenport, the minister of Southold, one 
of the settlements of English Independents on Long Island. 
He was the Fra Salvestro of his party, the chief instigator of 
those very practices which Tennant had the courage and the 
good sense to denounce. On one occasion he is said to have 
preached for nearly twenty-four hours at a stretch, and then to 
have fallen into a brain fever. He was a miracle-monger, 
promising to recover a sick woman by his prayers, and when she 

1 Perry, Pennsylvania, p. 209. 2 N. J. Archives, vol. xii. p. 137. 

■Trumbull, whose attitude towards Whitefield and his followers is on the 
whole friendly, makes no attempt to conceal or extenuate Davenport's follies. 
Some of the specific charges may be false or exaggerated. There can be no 
«doubt as to the general tenor of his teaching and practice. 


died, excusing his failure by the plea that death was the true 
recovery. He harried ministers with questions as to their 
spiritual condition, and approved of or condemned their minis- 
trations according to the answer received. 

Starting from Long Island, Davenport chose Connecticut 
for his scene of action. There he and his associates at once 
Repressive met with a summary check. He began his labors in 
iTcoSn". July 1 74 1, and in the following May the Assembly 
ticut. passed a law for the general purpose of protecting the 

established clergy against the intrusion of unauthorized preachers. 
Any minister invading another parish, unless by the request of 
the minister of that parish and the majority of his church, was to 
be punished by the deprivation of his stipend. The same punish- 
ment was to be inflicted on every individual member of any 
association of ministers who approved such a proceeding. Fur- 
thermore, every person committing such an offense was to be 
bound over in the sum of a hundred pounds not to repeat it, 
his bail to be forfeited by such repetition. 1 

In the following year further legislation was enacted to make 
these provisions more effective. 2 The result was, that the es- 
tablished ministry of Connecticut and their lay supporters be- 
came as odious to a large section of the community as the 
Church of England and its rulers in the previous century had 
been to the founders of New England. Men withheld their 
church dues and had their goods seized; those who refused to 
give security for compliance with the recent Act were sent to 

It was certain that the success or failure of the new move- 
ofthe de ment m Connecticut would largely depend on its. 
atySe* 168 power °* capturing the intellectual stronghold of 
Colleger the colony. The authorities there were not long in 
declaring themselves. 

In 1744 the church at Canterbury was vacant. The ap- 
pointment was according to the Congregational system of the 
colony vested in a convocation or union of churches. They ap- 
pointed one James Cogswell. He was unacceptable to the 
Whitefieldian section of his church, as we may call them. They 
being, it is said, a majority, seceded and held religious meetings 

1 Connect. Records, 1742. * lb. 1743, pp. 521, 570. 

•For this dispute see Trumbull, vol. ii. pp. 179, &c. 


in a private house where one Solomon Paine, a layman and a 
foll6wer of Whitefield, prayed and exhorted. They further- 
more refused to pay rates for the maintenance of Cogswell, and 
for this suffered distraint and in some instances imprisonment. 

Among Paine's hearers were a family named Cleaveland, 
two of whom were students at Yale. They in the vacation ac- 
companied their parents to Paine's meeting-house. The statutes 
of Yale provided that no scholar should attend any religious 
meeting not established, or allowed by public authority or ap- 
proved by the President, under penalty of a fine, confession, 
public admonition, or expulsion. In conformity with this pro- 
vision the two offenders were admonished, and warned that if 
they continued to justify themselves and refuse to make an ac- 
knowledgment they should be expelled. The elder of the 
Cleavelands thereupon stated that he did not know that he was 
transgressing the laws of God or the colony or the college, and 
therefore begged that "his ignorance might be suffered to apolo- 
gize for him." 

The President and the three tutors in whom the government 
of the students was vested did not think this sufficient. Declar- 
ing that "to educate persons whose principles are directly sub- 
versive of the visible Church of Christ would be contrary to the 
original design of creating this society," they inflicted the su- 
preme penalty of expulsion. 

In Massachusetts as in Connecticut the action of Davenport 
called out a protest from those who had acquiesced, though it 
Davenport may be with ill-will and a bad grace, in the pro- 
fron^the ceedings of Whitefield. The action, however, of the 
of Mass" Massachusetts authorities was hesitating and half- 
cnusetts.i hearted compared with that taken in Connecticut. 
The two colonies indeed seemed to have changed parts. Con- 
necticut, once by comparison liberal and tolerant, was provoked 
into something not unlike persecution. Massachusetts met the 
invaders in a spirit which would have seemed to Dudley and 
Endicott one of sinful latitudinarianism. 

Davenport began his campaign in Massachusetts by refusing 
to attend services at Charlestown on the ground that the minis- 

1 Mr. Palfrey, in his History of New England, 1728-65, gives a detailed 
account of the proceedings against Davenport in Massachusetts. He quotes the 
Records verbatim, but giving no reference for them. 


ter was unconverted. Thereupon the ministers of the churches 
in Boston, who were just about to hold their monthly meeting, 
invited Davenport to attend and to confer with them. This he 
did, and the ministers then set forth their opinion of him and 
his proceedings in a singularly hesitating and compromising 
manifesto. They held him to be truly pious and an instrument 
for the saving of souls. At the same time they took exception 
to certain of his proceedings as breaches of established eccle- 
siastical order. The practical result was to encourage Daven- 
port in his general line of action, but to necessitate certain 
changes in detail. The chapels of Boston were closed against 
him, and he was constrained to adopt the probably more effective 
method of open-air preaching. Resentment for what was with- 
held was stronger than gratitude for such concessions as he had 
obtained. He told his hearers that their ministers were un- 
converted, and were leading their flocks blindfold to hell. It 
was wholly in conformity with New England tradition to in- 
voke the civil authority in such a crisis. For this very general 
expression of an unflattering opinion Davenport was put on his 
trial for libel. He received a humiliating acquittal on the 
ground that he could not be held accountable for his words. 

The personal influence of Whitefield seems in some measure 
to have abated when the first impulse of novelty was spent. 
The "New But it called into existence and for a while kept alive 
andVheir a definite school of religion. "New Lights" was a 
■opponents. name as we \\ defined and as commonly recognized 
as "Evangelicals" or "Puseyites." Men have sometimes written 
as though the condemnation of "enthusiasm" was a special 
symptom of the torpor, often exaggerated, but no doubt in a 
measure real, which beset the Church of England in the 
eighteenth century. There were orthodox divines in the In- 
dependent Churches of New England who fell not a whit behind 
any Erastian bishop or canon in their denunciations. Such a 
one was Charles Chauncey, minister of the first church at Bos- 
ton, a preacher and writer as contemptuously unsympathetic in 
liis attitude towards the enthusiasts as Warburton or Lavington 
in the mother country, though, it is but just to add, a good deal 
more concise and argumentative. 1 

1 Mr. Palfrey in the book just mentioned, and Mr. Tyler in his History of 
American Literature, give numerous extracts from Chauncey, inveighing against 
the New Lights. 


Over and above the sense of disturbance created by the ir- 
regularities of Whitefield and his followers, they had wounded 
whitefieid the better class of New England opinion in a sensitive 
followers place. Even in the days when for the New Eng- 
learning. lander religion dominated every other thought, when 
the theology of New England had been most rigid and her eccle- 
siastical system most exacting, there had never been any tendency 
to slight secular learning. Rather, one might say, the New 
Englander had clearly recognized the underlying falsity of the 
term secular learning, the unwholesomeness of any attempt to 
divorce the affairs of the mind from the affairs of the spirit. 
The clergy of New England might fairly claim according to 
their opportunities to be a learned clergy. The school to which 
Whitefield belonged, of which one may in some measure look 
upon him as the founder, is a school which has always inclined 
to rely upon impulse rather than upon reason, and to regard 
form and precedent with a contempt which has of necessity 
carried with it an indifference to history. It is not surprising 
to find a New England divine lamenting that one effect of the 
new movement had been materially to diminish the attendance 
at Harvard. 1 

It was but natural that men alarmed at the spectacle of a 
church thus rent and distracted, ill able as it seemed to check 
Episco- the inflowing tide of fanaticism, should seek refuge 
jts C by P the" m a community untouched by these new influences, 
movement. an( j y et showing symptoms of real vitality and spirit- 
ual force. In 1742 we find Carr, an Episcopalian clergyman 
in Massachusetts, reporting to the Secretary of the Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel that "enthusiasm has been the 
means of reconciling many sober, considerate people to the com- 
munion of our Church," and again stating "that where the late 
spirit of enthusiasm has most abounded the Church has received 
the largest accession. Many of those deluded people, wearied 
in pursuit as their passion subsided, sought for rest in the bosom 
and communion of the Church." 2 

So, too, we find an Episcopalian clergyman in Massachusetts 
writing that, since Whitefield came into the colony, many "who 
have before complained of the Church as Popery, wish for some 

1 Boston Evening Post, July 1749, quoted in N. J. Archives, vol. xii. p. 550. 

2 Documentary History, pp. 180, 201. 


of our good old bishops out of England." Another writes that 
"many have come into the Church on account of the feuds and 
discontents he has propagated among the Dissenters." In like 
manner the churchwardens and vestrymen of Salem report to 
the Gospel Society that "other friends to the Church wrote that 
the disturbances caused by Whitefield have 'opened the eyes of 
some so as to see the beauty of our Church' and to 'wish for 
some of our good old bishops out of England.' m 

Again, a clergyman in Pennsylvania reports with satisfaction 
that Whitefleld's teaching has almost broken Presbyterianism to 
pieces, while the Episcopalian churches have lost but two or 
three. 2 

These are clerical witnesses, possibly prejudiced. But we 
find a layman, Sir Henry Frankland, also stating that the effect 
of Whitefleld's teaching has been to dispose "the soberer sort of 
Dissenters" to join the Church. 3 

Such exultations might have been checked by the reflection 
that a Church cannot live on negations, and that fear and reac- 
tion make but a poor foundation on which to build a faith. In 
the Episcopalian Church of New England there was no lack of 
piety or, measured by the colonial standard of that day, of 
learning. But the Church was an exotic, with no real organic 
connection with the national life, rather taking an attitude 
which forced it into antagonism with that life. 

We have already seen how by a process of administrative 
jugglery those interested in the government of New York had 
Religion in transformed a system intended to secure equality 
New York. amon g a n Protestant sects into one which gave 
supremacy to the Episcopal Church. By the middle of the 
eighteenth century an intelligent and well-informed writer could 
state that in his opinion the Episcopalians were not more than 
one-fifteenth of the whole population. 4 It is clear enough that 
there was an undercurrent of dissatisfaction at the claim to 
supremacy made on behalf of the Episcopal clergy. At the 
same time the whole situation was different from that in New 
England. There Episcopacy was alike checked and stimulated 
by the presence of a solid body of opposition. Massachusetts 

1 Perry, Massachusetts, pp. 369, 388. 2 lb. Pennsylvania, p. 235. 

• lb. Massachusetts, p. 424. * Smith, p. 281. 


and Connecticut had each a national Church as truly as any 
community ever had. In New York the consciousness of unity 
and of an organic life was as much absent in spiritual as it was 
in secular affairs. The cosmopolitanism of New York, its 
diversity of origin and speech, was fully reflected in the religious 
condition of the community. By the middle of the century 
there were in the city of New York two Episcopalian churches, 
two churches of Dutch and one of English Presbyterians, 
two of German Lutherans, one of French Huguenots, one of 
Baptists, one of Moravians, a Quaker meeting-house and a Jew- 
ish synagogue. 1 It is noteworthy that over and above the 
Church of England two of these bodies were in some measure 
dependent on societies in Europe. The Dutch Presbyterians 
acknowledged a certain supremacy in the mother Church of 
Amsterdam. 2 In 1730 the English Presbyterians, after various 
unsuccessful attempts to obtain a charter of incorporation, 
sought to secure their position by vesting the fee-simple of their 
church and its grounds in certain officials of the Established 
Presbyterian Church of Scotland. 3 The Dutch Lutheran 
churches were allies rather than opponents of English Episco- 
palianism. There are but few signs of any spiritual vital- 
ity in the Episcopal Church of New York. But it had the 
advantage, and in such a community it was from the tempo- 
ral point of view a very real advantage, of the continuous sup- 
port of government and of the sympathy of most of the official 

We have seen how the labors of Keith and Talbot had done 
something towards giving the Church of England a footing 
Talbot among the Presbyterians and Quakers of New 

jersey. Jersey. We have also seen how Hunter looked with 

but little favor on their efforts, and how Talbot's influence 
was impaired by his alleged sympathy with the Jacobite cause. 
The prejudice thus created was intensified by Talbot's later 
conduct. He saw more clearly, perhaps, than any of his con- 
temporaries, and certainly expressed more forcibly, the necessity 
for colonial bishops and the helpless condition of the Anglican 
Church in America uncontrolled by any central authority. 
Unhappily his strong conviction of the necessity of colo- 

1 Smith, pp. 251, &c. 2 Ib. * lb 


nial bishops, coupled with his Jacobite sympathies, led him 
to accept consecration as a bishop at the hands of the Non- 
jurors. 1 

The same step was taken by a man of far inferior stamp to 
Talbot. The career of Welton as a clergyman in England is 
only memorable for one incident. He expressed his opinion 
of the Whig Kennett, Dean and afterwards Bishop of Peter- 
borough, by choosing him for the model of Judas in a fresco 
painted by Welton's instructions for his church at Whitechapel. 2 
If we may believe a somewhat malevolent witness, Welton re- 
garded this fresco with so much pride that he took a copy of it 
with him to America, together with an armament of guns and 
fishing tackle, valued at three hundred pounds. 8 Accompanied 
by this exceedingly unwise and discreditable ally, Talbot re- 
turned to New Jersey, and there at once justified Hunter's 
charges by refusing to take the oaths of allegiance or to pray 
for the reigning monarch. No course was open to the Society 
but at once to dismiss Talbot from their service. Welton, over 
whom they had no authority, was removed from the colony by 
a writ of the Privy Seal summoning him to England. 4 

Both in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania the Church of 
England had a serviceable ally in the Lutheran Church estab- 
The lished by the Swedish immigrants. Through the 

Lutheran greater part of the eighteenth century the vitality of 
church. t j ie Church was maintained by systematic com- 
munication with the mother Church in Sweden, and by a 
regular and continuous supply of ministers ordained. Their 
relations with the English Episcopalian Church were always 
those of inter-ecclesiastical comity. We read how about 1722 
the vacant churches in Pennsylvania were served by two zealous 
Swedish clergymen who preached in English. 5 The Swedish 
buildings were put at the disposal of the English clergy, nor can 
we doubt that, as the Swedish language was gradually super- 

1 For the consecration of Talbot and Welton, Mr. Perceval (Apology for 
Apostolic Succession, 2d ed. p. 247) quotes what seem to be authoritative 

2 There is a very full account of this outrage in the Life of Kennett in the 
Dictionary of National Biography. Authorities are given. 

3 Letter from Urmston, Perry's Collections, Pennsylvania, p. 143. 

4 Hawks's Protestant Episcopal Church in Maryland, pp. 183-4. 

6 Memorial, undated, but seemingly about 1722, from the clergy of Pennsyl- 
vania to the Secretary of the S.P.G. Perry's Collections, Pennsylvania, p. 122. 


seded, the members of the Lutheran churches were absorbed by 
English Episcopalianism. 1 

The records of the Episcopalian Church in New Jersey, 
Philadelphia, and Delaware are almost wholly derived from 
state of the reports of individual clergymen. So widely do 
copSmn" those reports vary according to the temper of the 
in h £ew man > an< ^ even according to conditions which changed 
Je !fo y from time to time, that it is no easy matter to arrive 

and Penn- ' m J t f _^ 

syivania. a t any connected and consistent conclusion. Thus, 
in the very same year, we find two clergymen in Pennsylvania 
reporting, one that religion was never in a more flourishing 
condition, the other that he had found many of his flock 
ignorant of the very fundamentals of Christianity. 2 Six years 
later the more favorable of these two witnesses, Howie, admits 
that there are in the colony "such a prodigious number of 
sectaries that the Church of England is like a small twig grow- 
ing under the spreading boughs of a mighty tree." 3 There is a 
like discrepancy in the reports sent home by Ross, an Episco- 
palian clergyman in Delaware. In 1729 he reports that 
"religion never appeared in the place in so shining and lively a 
state." "We are blessed with peace and mutual love, and 
communicants are both numerous and devout." 4 Yet three 
years later he writes in a spirit of deep despondency: "Our 
subscriptions are nullities," and a magistrate speaking from the 
bench has denounced as idiots all who pay any regard to priests 
or churches. 6 

Clergy who have been accustomed to regard supremacy and 
State support as conditions inherent in the very nature of their 
Church are but ill-fitted to adapt themselves to an entirely 
different state of things, or to accept cheerfully and con- 
tentedly the position of a tolerated sect. Assuredly the con- 
stitution of Pennsylvania did not give the slighest countenance 
to the belief that the Church of England held any kind of 
supremacy. Yet we find an Episcopalian treating it as a 
grievance that Gordon, the Governor of the colony, granted 
licenses to celebrate marriages indifferently to Presbyterian and 
Anglican clergy. 6 That the Episcopalian Church did some- 

1 Memorial. Perry, Pennsylvania. a lb. pp. 188-9. 

8 lb. p. 207. * Perry's Collections, Delaware, p. 55. 

6 lb. p. 66. *Ib. p. 49. 


thing for the cause of morality and spiritual enlightenment in 
the Middle colonies we cannot doubt. With equal certainty 
may we say that it never became an essential element in the 
national life. 

In one quarter the Episcopalian Church in Pennsylvania 
threw away opportunities, precisely as the Church of England 
The has done at home on a larger scale. An energetic 

and the minister named Hughes, presumably a Welshman, 
settlers. labored among the settlers of that nation. He 
found hearers abundant and willing. But hiswork was crippled 
by lack of suitable buildings for worship and of devotional 
books in the Welsh language. 1 

In the four Southern colonies the Church of England enjoyed 
a definite and specified supremacy, granted to it in Virginia by 
Religious the original constitution, in the other colonies by legal 

condition te '. \ & 

of Mary- enactment. In any estimate or the religious hie of 
Virginia. the colonies North Carolina may be at once set on 
one side. We have already seen how the settlers there took 
advantage of the chance presence of a Church of England 
clergyman to secure those religious ministrations for which 
the daily life of the colony made no provision. Something was 
done indeed by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 
But it is clear that the presence of a few ill-paid missionaries, 
supporting themselves in that dismal and unwholesome country 
by the labor of their own hands, counted for little or nothing 
in the life of the community. In the other three colonies the 
Episcopalian Church might undoubtedly claim to be the 
dominant creed, more closely identified than any other with 
the spiritual life of the community. In Maryland there were 
Quakers, Presbyterians, and Independents. Yet the predomi- 
nance of Episcopacy is amply proved by the ease with which the 
law — or indeed we might say successive laws — endowing that 
form of religion was carried through the Assembly. That was 
no doubt in some measure due to the necessity which all Prot- 
estants felt for closing their ranks against a common enemy. 
As the danger of French invasion increased, as the British set- 
tlements extended westward, and drew nearer and nearer to 
those Indian tribes who were under the influence of French 

1 Letters from Hughes to the Secretary S.P.G. in 1734. Perry's Collections, 
Pennsylvania, pp. 138, 191. 


missionaries, so did the dread of Romanism become more and 
more a dominant motive with the English colonists. That 
motive was specially felt in Maryland, where the Church of 
Rome might reckon if not on the actual help of a Roman 
Catholic Proprietor, at least on the influence established by 
three generations of the Calvert family. Thus in 1725 we 
find in Maryland clergymen complaining to the Bishop of Lon- 
don of the "vast number of Jesuits who by their sophistry and 
cunning make proselytes daily throughout the whole govern- 
ment," and who were "advanced to such heights of assurance 
as to send public challenges, and to disperse their Popish books 
through all quarters of the country." 1 Dread of the Scarlet 
Woman is apt to interfere with sobriety of judgment, and there 
was in all likelihood some exaggeration in that estimate. But 
fear is not less operative for being ill-founded, and we cannot 
doubt that the proximity of aggressive Romanism did much to 
reconcile the Protestant Dissenters of Maryland to the ascend- 
ency of the Episcopalian Church. Their good will and 
confidence may have been weakened by the vagaries of one or 
two clergy with Jacobite and Non-juring leanings, but it was 
not materially impaired. 

In Virginia the Episcopalian Church had no dangers to fear 
but those which resulted from her own shortcomings, and from 
the moral and spiritual inertness of the community. The ad- 
ministrative traditions of Maryland were far more favorable to 
the existence of Dissent than those of Virginia. Puritans and 
Quakers had met with a toleration from Roman Catholic Pro- 
prietors which had been denied to them by Anglican Governors, 
appointed by and dependent on the Crown. Moreover the social 
and industrial conditions of the country made in the same 
direction. In Maryland, as we have seen, the yeoman and the 
free artisan existed alongside of the planter. In Virginia lati- 
fundia based on servile labor was universal. There was no 
place in such a system for the compact, self-governing societies 
which were the life-blood of Protestant Dissent. The method 
of appointment for the clergy varied in the two colonies, and 
by a singular and unhappy chance each had that system which 
would have been best fitted to the conditions of its neighbor. 
In Maryland the nomination of the clergy was by a law of the 

1 Perry's Collections, Maryland, p. 251. 


colony passed in 1702 vested in the Governor. 1 When, how- 
ever, Charles, the fifth Lord Baltimore, conformed to the 
Church of England, he claimed the right of appointment. 2 The 
hanger-on of Frederick, Prince of Wales, was not very likely to 
exercise that power with much regard to the welfare of the 
Church, and it was more grossly abused by his notoriously 
profligate son, the sixth lord. 3 In Virginia, on the other 
hand, the choice of a minister had been practically though not 
formally transferred from the Governor to the vestry of the 
parish. It is easy to see how in a new country, where there 
was no central fund available for fresh endowments, and where 
the erection of a new ecclesiastical parish and the maintenance 
of a church was necessarily a matter of local effort, an arrange- 
ment whereby those who provided the funds should choose 
the minister would seem obviously equitable. Yet such a system 
was ill fitted to a community with parishes of enormous size, 
where communication was difficult, and with little training in 
the principles or machinery of local self-government. On the 
other hand, there was, as we have seen, enough of labor and 
industrial life in Maryland for such a system to have worked 
with some chance of success. 

Despite these differences the condition of the Church in each 
colony was sufficiently alike to be dealt with comprehensively in 
a single view. In both colonies the Church suffered from the 
absence of any central authority, bringing with it spiritual 
guidance and disciplinary control. Both were fortunate in that 
such limited and delegated authority as did exist was vested in 
men exceptionally fitted to wield it. Bray and Blair, the two 
commissaries to whom, in the closing years of the seventeenth 
century and the opening years of the eighteenth, the authority of 
the Bishop of London was delegated in Maryland and Virginia 
respectively, were men of high character, overflowing energy, 
and with a very adequate sense of the standard of learning, 
ability, and conduct needed in the clergy. Unluckily when Bray 
and Blair were removed from the scene, there was no one 
to fill their place, and neither in Maryland nor Virginia wa& 
there that mechanism of Church government, nor that general 
feeling of loyalty and devotion to the Church, which enabled 

1 Acts of Maryland; cf. Mereness, p. 439. 

2 Mereness, p. 450. 3 lb. 


it to dispense with exceptional energy and devotion in indi- 

It is not difficult from the materials at our disposal to con- 
struct a fairly exact picture of the state of the Church and the 
clergy in Maryland and Virginia. Hostile critics and observers 
reporting from within are in one tale. Here and there were to 
be found men of industry and piety. But for the most part the 
clergy shared the somewhat gross tastes of their flocks, without 
sharing in those redeeming influences which made the Southern 
planter such a real power in the political life of the community. 
The planter might be a gambler, a cock-fighter, and something 
of a sot. But he was the organizing and administering head of 
a little industrial community. The society in which he lived 
had the virtues of an oligarchy: self-respect, self-reliance, 
cohesion. The clergyman too often resembled him in his lower 
tastes, without being subjected to the redeeming influence of his 
worthier pursuits. We find one of Bray's successors reporting 
that it was necessary to prohibit marriages in private houses as 
a check on the drunkenness of the clergy. 1 We hear, too, of a 
Maryland clergyman whose relations with his flock were such 
that he had to go into the pulpit armed with a pistol. 2 

In Virginia we find a clergyman of the name of Lang who 
enjoyed the special favor of Blair, and who may therefore in 
all likelihood be regarded as a trustworthy witness, writing this 
of his brethren: "The great cause of irreligion and ignorance 
is in the clergy, the sober part being slothful and negligent, and 
others so debauched that they are the foremost and most bent 
on all manner of vices. Drunkenness is the common vice." 3 

And even when the clergymen were not actually vicious, they 
were for the most part wholly absorbed in secular business. In 
1738 one of them complains to the Bishop of London that it 
gives him "a great deal of uneasiness to see the greatest part 
of our brethren taken up in farming and in buying slaves, which 
in my humble opinion is unlawful for any Christian, and 
particularly for clergymen." 4 

It is but fair, perhaps, to present that better side of the picture 
of which we have also evidence. The wife of a clergyman in 
Stafford County named Moncure has left a picture of the frugal, 

1 Perry, Maryland, pp. 106-9. 2 Mereness, p. 457. 

8 Meade's Old Churches of Virginia, vol. i. p. 385. * lb. p. 456. 


yet refined, life of herself and her husband, compact of plain 
living and high thinking, which might in its substance have 
•come from the pen of Steele or Goldsmith. She tells how they 
had often to live by the produce of her husband's shooting or 
fishing, and how she used to accompany him in his woodland 
rambles. Yet he was no Parson Trulliber. His well-born 
neighbors would come over to spend the day at the parsonage, 
bringing their own victuals, and the one luxury of the house 
was a well-chosen library. A consensus of evidence, however, 
forbids us accepting this as in any way typical. 1 

It was, too, with the religious as with the civil life of Virginia. 
Progress was made well-nigh impossible by the lack of towns 
and the vast area over which the population was scattered. The 
parishes, Spotswood complains, were of such size that many of 
the inhabitants were wholly cut off from the ordinances of 
religion. 2 

In truth when we look at the conditions of the Church and 
clergy in the southern colonies, how could we expect anything 
but failure? The inner vitality of a Church is maintained by 
the sense of a mission. Even if her ministers have no special 
work to do as evangelists, as the teachers of theological doctrine 
or the awakeners of spiritual life, yet the sense of a historical 
past and the inheritance of great traditions may keep alive 
responsibility. The springs within may flow sluggishly and 
grow stagnant, yet an environment of intellectual and moral 
activity may supply the needful stimulant. There have been 
periods in the history of the Church of England when the pulse 
of spiritual life has beaten faintly. That she has lived through 
such times has been mainly due to the latent and unacknowl- 
edged influence of a great past, and also to the fact that she has 
ever been in close, even if not always friendly, contact with the 
intellectual growth of a vigorous, progressive, and sane people. 

Mere machinery cannot keep a system in life and healthy 
activity. But it may preserve the external and protective shell, 
within which the organism lives dormant, yet with a possibility 
of revival. The discipline and the prizes of an established 
Church will at one time be fetters to her activity, at another they 
will tide her over a time of lethargy and depression. 

Of all these conditions of successful activity not a single one 

1 Meade, vol. ii. p. 198. 2 Letters, vol. i. pp. 37-9. 


was fulfilled in the Episcopal Church of the Southern colonies. 
To make head, as an Episcopalian clergyman in New England 
was called on to do, against deeply rooted Calvinistic dogma, 
the continuous inheritance of nearly two centuries, was a stimu- 
lating task. His audiences might be hard to move, but once let 
him win their ear and they were sure to be alike receptive and 
retentive. In the Middle colonies the same conditions existed 
in some measure, and, as we have seen, Swedish Lutheranism 
did something to link Episcopalianism with the past by a real 
chain of sentiment. But in the South the Church had neither 
opposition nor sympathy to stimulate her. There was nothing 
in the life and duties of the clergy which appealed to ambition 
w T hether of the nobler or more worldly kind. The rector of a 
parish in Maryland or Virginia was burying himself in a sphere 
of scanty and monotonous duty, and excluding himself from all 
brilliant possibilities in the future. 

Moreover the economic condition of both colonies tended to 
make the position of the clergy difficult and to bring them into 
Difficulties conflict with their flocks. In the Northern colonies 
pend^n* 1 " tne absence of any stable medium of currency would 
Maryland.^ k ave mac j e Iftitzle difference to the relations between 
the Congregational clergy and their flocks. The maintenance 
of the Church was an obligation which the New Englander had 
no wish to evade or minimize. In the Southern colonies the 
obligation was felt to be that of debtor and creditor ; any special 
condition which seemed to increase that obligation was regarded 
as an injustice; any legal device whereby formal compliance 
might be combined with practical evasion was looked on as 
justifiable, and welcomed. 

In Maryland the clergy were maintained by a poll-tax of 
forty pounds of tobacco per head. It is clear that the soundness 
of such a system rested on the assumption that the value of 
tobacco in relation to other commodities, and especially to the 
necessities of life, remained fairly stable. As a matter of fact 
in Maryland that assumption was the very reverse of the truth. 
Much worthless tobacco was grown, and not unnaturally the 
worst of all was often appropriated to the payment of the 
clergy. In 1728 the legislature took measures for improving 
the quality of tobacco by restricting the number of plants. It 

1 For this dispute see Mereness, pp. 453-5. 


seemed no more than a fair concession to the tax-payer that when 
his output was artificially limited, he should be indemnified by 
a compensating increase in its value. With this object the 
legislature reduced the poll-tax for the maintenance of the clergy 
to thirty pounds of tobacco. That measure, however, was 
vetoed by the Proprietor. A compromise was then arrived at. 
A law was passed limiting the number of tobacco plants which 
might be grown, but as a compensation to the tax-payer it was 
provided that one-fourth of the whole amount due to the clergy 
might be paid in grain, at a fixed rate. 

This law, however, was only temporary in its provisions. 
At the end of two years it expired, with the result that the 
culture of tobacco relapsed into its former depressed condition. 
All restriction on the quality grown was removed, the market 
was glutted with an inferior article, and there was real danger 
that Maryland would be wholly ousted from the tobacco market 
by Virginia. On no class did this press more heavily than on 
the clergy. At the same time the fact that a large portion of 
the profit resulting from an increase in value would go into their 
pockets was a hindrance to any measure for improvement. 

Thus the interests of the payer and the recipient alike pointed 
towards restriction as the best course. A law was passed re- 
imposing a limit on the number of plants which might be grown, 
and at the same time reducing the poll-tax for the maintenance 
of the clergy from forty pounds of tobacco to thirty pounds. A 
further provision was inserted permitting any person who did 
not grow tobacco to pay at the rate of three shillings and nine- 
pence per head. 

It is an interesting illustration of the industrial progress of 
the country and of the difference between Maryland and Vir- 
ginia that in the former colony those who did not grow tobacco 
should have been numerous and important enough to be made 
the subject of special provisions. One slightly unsatisfactory 
result of this system was that it gave the clergy an interest in 
encouraging the growth of tobacco to the exclusion of other 
products, and this set them in opposition to the best industrial 
and economic interests of the colony. Thus we read of a clergy- 
man actually making it a matter of reproach to his parishioners 
that out of sloth they grew other commodities instead of tobacco. 
On the whole, however, the compromise seems to have been ac- 


cepted as satisfactory, and no further difficulty followed till, at 
a later day, the dispute between clergy and laity reappeared as 
an incident in the struggle between the colonists and the mother 

In Virginia as in Maryland the dues of the clergy were paid 
in tobacco. There the system brought about a fierce and fruit- 
In ful dispute. That, however, has its place in a later 

Virginia. chapter of American history. It is worth noticing 
that Spotswood foresaw and wished to guard against the troubles 
that might arise from the clergy being paid their dues in a 
commodity of fluctuating value. He suggested that every 
tithable person should pay forty pounds of tobacco. This 
should be sold by a public official. From the proceeds, eighty 
pounds in money should be allotted to each clergyman as his 
stipend. The rest of the proceeds should be applied to general 
Church purposes. 1 

This payment did not constitute the whole endowment of the 
clergy, since an Act passed in 1748 assigned to each a glebe of 
two hundred acres. 2 

We have seen from Byrd's evidence what was the spiritual 
condition of North Carolina. His account is confirmed by 
state of Spotswood, who in 171 1 reported that there was but 
in h Nor?h one clergyman in the whole colony. 3 As the century 
Carolina. we nt on there were faint traces of improvement. 
Not, indeed, that there was anything like a settled clergy equal 
to the needs of the colony. In 17 15 the colony was mapped out 
into nine parishes, 4 and one of the instructions to the first royal 
Governor, Burrington, was to see that every church had a 
minister, with a competent endowment and a glebe. 5 Those 
enactments, however, were virtually a dead letter. Such spir- 
itual life as there was in the colony seems to have been due to 
two influences. Much good work was evidently done by the 
missionaries sent out by the Gospel Society. The fact that they 
were, as Burrington reports, so little approved by the colonists 
generally that they desired no more can hardly be taken as 
necessarily a condemnation. At least there is a consensus of 
opinion as to the good work done by Clement Hall, a native of 
the colony, who, having obtained ordination in England, re- 

1 Letters, vol. i. p. 128. 2 Hening, vol. vi. p. 89. s lb. p. 135. 

* N. Car. Records, vol. ii. p. 207. 6 lb. vol. iii. p. 106. 


turned in 1743, and thereafter labored for twelve years with 
conspicuous success as a traveling gospeler, held for four more 
the incumbency of a parish, and then died, worn out with toil. 1 

Moreover the immigration of Quakers and Presbyterians 
brought in a type of life higher in religion, as in other matters, 
than that of the older settlements along the sea-board. In 17 16 
we find a foolish and uncharitable clergyman in North Carolina 
writing to the Gospel Society that unless able and sober mis- 
sionaries are sent out, the colony 2 will be overrun with Quaker- 
ism and infidelity. Burrington saw the matter very differently. 
We may set it off against some of his indiscretions that, writing 
in 1732, he described the Quakers in the colony as "considerable 
for their number and substance; the regularity of their lives, 
hospitality to strangers, and kind offices to new settlers inducing 
many to be of their persuasion." 3 

But though these influences no doubt did something to drag 
the colony out of the slough of heathendom described by earlier 
writers, yet it is clear that the Church as an institution had but 
little hold on the colony. As late as 1757 we find Governor 
Dobbs complaining to the Assembly that in certain parishes the 
Act endowing the clergy is made a dead letter. A vestry is 
elected which either refuses to nominate an incumbent at all, 
or else bargains till it gets one at a low stipend. To prevent 
this he proposes that the Church rate shall be levied, not parish 
by parish, but on the province as a whole, and that out of this 
fund the clergy shall be paid and churches built where necessary. 
There is, however, no trace of the adoption of such a scheme. 4 

In the annals of the Episcopal Church in America, South 
Carolina stands out as the one comparatively bright spot. 
The Severed from the other colonies by an impenetrable 

in h South wilderness, the colony had, as we have seen, developed 
Carolina. a soc i a l anc j industrial life of her own. South Caro- 
lina had really more in common with the West Indies than with 
the English settlements on the American mainland. In 1701 
the colony only possessed two Episcopalian churches, one at 
Charlestown, the other at Goosecreek, some seventeen miles in- 

1 Anderson, vol. iii. pp. 633-6. 

2 Weeks's Southern Quakers and Slavery, p. 124. 
8 N. Car. Records, vol. iii. p. 429. 

* lb. vol. v. p. 870. 


land. 1 In 1706 the number of parishes was increased to ten, 2 
and to twice as many by 1757. 3 The system of appointment 
was, as in Virginia, by popular vote. But the conditions of life 
in South Carolina divested such a system of many of its dangers. 
The population was far more concentrated, and therefore more 
amenable to public opinion. Charlestown furnished what was. 
wholly lacking in Virginia, a real center of educated thought. 
Moreover in South Carolina the election of the clergy was 
modified by the existence of commissioners appointed by the' 
legislature of the colony with power of dismissal. Not only 
could they deprive in case of immorality, but even "if there 
should arise such incurable prejudices, dissensions, animosities 
and implacable offenses between the incumbent and his people, 
that reverence for and benefit by his ministry is to be utterly 
despaired of, though he is not guilty of more gross and scandal- 
ous crime." 4 

In 1 7 12 Governor Craven could write of the clergy of the 
colony, "We may boast as learned a clergy as any in America, 
men unblemished in their lives and principles, who live up to the 
religion they profess — always indefatigable in their functions, 
visiting the sick, fearless of distempers and never neglecting; 
their duty." 5 

A touch of optimism may be suspected; yet among colonial 
administrators there were few more upright and independent 
than Craven, and the records of South Carolina are conspicu- 
ously free from clerical scandals and disputes. 

This was not due to the absence of Nonconformists. Before 
1690 a congregation was in existence composed of Independents 
and Scotch Presbyterians, with a leaven of French Huguenots,, 
all worshiping together. The task of advancing the cause of 
Dissent fell into the hands of one who had been brought to the 
colony by a strange chance. In 1696 a ship touched at Charles- 
town bearing home the remnants of the Darien settlement. 
Among them was a Presbyterian clergyman, Alexander Stobo. 

1 McCrady, vol. i. pp. 183, 411. 2 lb. p. 416. 

* lb. vol. ii. p. 437. 

* lb. vol. i. p. 417. In all these cases Mr. McCrady quotes or refers to the 

B Quoted by Mr. McCrady from the S. Car. Records. Hist, of S. Car. vol. i. 
p. 419. Mr. McCrady's history is published in a series of separate works, 
each with its own title. But as they are continuous I have ventured for 
simplicity's sake to refer to them as vols. i. and ii. 


He landed for the purpose of preaching in the Congregational 
church. During his stay on shore a storm got up and the ves- 
sel was dashed to pieces on the harbor bar. Stobo remained in 
the colony, became the minister of the Congregational church, 
and labored with such energy that by 1710 five more churches 
had come into existence. This was accompanied or followed 
by the establishment of a presbytery. 1 This gained strength and 
expanded till the time came when it could effectively join hands 
with the Ulster Presbyterians, who about the middle of the 
century began to pour into the Western Highlands of South 

Stobo was accompanied ashore by his young daughter, who 
thus escaped shipwreck. That incident had an important in- 
fluence on the history of the American republic, since from her 
is descended Theodore Roosevelt. 2 

There were also at Charlestown two congregations of French 
Huguenots. They appear to have become assimilated to their 
Anglican neighbors, while some of their members left their 
original fold and joined the nonconforming Protestants. 3 

There seems to be evidence for the existence of Presbyterian 
congregations both in Virginia and Maryland before the ex- 
influence piration of the eighteenth century. But it was not 
filknn lte " till we U m tne eighteenth century that Presbyterian- 
Virginia. 4 j sm na( j m uch influence on the life of either colony. 
Of all the Southern colonies Virginia was the only one where 
the preaching of Whitefield had taken any effective hold. Its 
influence there seems to have been more gradual and more 
wholesome than in the Northern colonies. It does not seem 
to have created any ecstatic outburst of devotional enthusiasm, 
but rather to have left behind it an influence which in time did 
something to quicken and strengthen the spiritual life of the 
community. The influx of Presbyterians from Scotland and 
Ulster into the Southern States is a matter which will come 
before us again. For the present it is enough to say that there 
was such a movement. The number of Congregational churches 

1 Hist, of S. Car. vol. i. p. 311; vol. ii. pp. 441-3. There does not seem to 
be any evidence as to the precise date of this. 

2 This descent is set forth in a paper in the Scottish Historical Review, vol. 
i. p. 416. 

3 Commissary Bull's Report. 

* For my account of Nonconformity in Virginia I have depended on Foote. 
His account is based on original documents, many of which he quotes. 


in the colony has been estimated by a careful investigator as 
having reached thirty by the year 1735. Nearly all of these 
were in the western district, and had therefore no connection 
Avith the tide-water plantations in which the political and 
economic life of the community was centered. They seem, too, 
to have been isolated societies, with no kind of collective life or 
synodal organization. Among these congregations, one Samuel 
Morris, a disciple of Whitefield, began missionary work of a 
simple kind. He does not seem to have had anything in com- 
mon with firebrands, such as Davenport, and his work was 
limited to the reading of devotional books, amongst them White- 
iield's sermons. The spirit extended and various associations 
sprung up at which such readings took place, not however ac- 
companied, as far as can be learnt from their recorded proceed- 
ings, by any exposition or devotional exercise. But before long 
an impulse from without gave to the movement a scope beyond 
that originally aimed at. In 1743 a Presbyterian minister from 
Delaware, William Robinson, acting with the approval of his 
•own church, visited Virginia and organized the meetings into 
regular Presbyterian churches, with a ministry and Confession 
>of Faith. 

One effect of this was at once to bring the Nonconformist 
congregations of Virginia into direct connection with an au- 
-progress thority outside the colony. In 1745 the Presby- 
•formity u!~ terian synod at Newcastle, assuming a certain right 
Virginia. f control over the scattered congregations of 
Western Virginia, sent one John Roan among them as a mis- 
sionary. He, it is clear, had absorbed all that was most violent 
in the teaching of Whitefield. The Anglican clergy of Vir- 
ginia probably fell far short of any high standard of moral or 
spiritual life. But a Christian preacher was not likely to com- 
mend himself to reasonable and moderate men by stating that 
the church was the house of the devil, to whom the clergy 
prayed, and that they and all their followers were on the road 
to hell. We cannot regard it as proof of a persecuting or even 
an illiberal temper that some of Roan's disciples were presented 
by a grand jury and fined. It is clear, too, that there was no 
wash on the part of the Governor, William Gooch, to stifle or 
silence Dissent. He had already granted a preacher's license 
to a Nonconformist minister of a very different stamp from 


Roan, Samuel Davies. His character and career, as revealed to 
us alike by his own writings and the testimony of others, show 
that a strenuous zeal for righteousness and a temper resolute 
almost to the point of pugnacity for the just rights of his own 
denomination were in nowise incompatible with a fair and 
judicial estimate of those who differed from him widely in 
speculative opinions. 

Gooch might reasonably hold that Dissent among the obscure 
congregations of the West, without organization or internal 
alliances, was a very different thing from Presbyterianism in 
alliance with an impassioned crusade against Episcopacy, and 
carrying that crusade into those portions of the colony where 
hitherto Episcopacy had a secure foothold. There was another 
feature of the case which went far to justify the attitude of 
Gooch. The Presbyterian synod at Philadelphia, placing itself 
in opposition to that at Newcastle, assured Gooch that the Vir- 
ginian Congregationalists were Separatists from their having 
been "excluded for derisive and uncharitable doctrines and 
practices." Some of them were fined, and a license to preach 
was refused to one of Davies's supporters, John Rodgers. 

There was evidently no wish to silence Davies himself. He, 
however, had no intention of buying security for himself at the 
expense of his followers, and he put forward the contention that 
any minister had under the Toleration Act a legal right to such 
a license. The Council at first opposed this, claiming that the 
Governor and they themselves had discretion in this matter. 
Davies, however, stood firm. Gooch, though not a specially 
strong Governor, was a moderate and tolerant one, and his 
moderation was shared by Dawson, who as commissary for the 
Bishop of London exercised the supreme ecclesiastical authority 
in the colony. They were opposed by Peyton Randolph, the 
Attorney-General for Virginia. His opinion, however, was 
overruled by Dudley Ryder, who held the same office in the 
mother country, and the right of Nonconformists to preach 
within the colony was established. Davies lived to repay 
government by the courageous and inspiring counsel which 
he gave to the people of Virginia in an hour of sorrow and 

That the dispute over the rights of Nonconformists was 
marked by a conspicuous and unusual absence of bitterness was. 


largely due to the singularly tolerant and magnanimous temper 
of Davies. A letter which he wrote in 1752 to the Bishop 
Davies's of London strikes a note unhappily almost unique in 
B?shop°of tne relations between Nonconformists and Episco- 
London. palians in America. It is throughout the work of a 
man consumed with zeal for righteousness, yet striving to the 
full to do justice to those who differed from him on questions 
of the method and form of government. His attitude through- 
out is, "I do not say that Congregationalism is in the abstract 
better than Episcopalianism. I do say that in the present state 
of Virginia it is a more effective instrument of conversion." 

He had been denounced for preaching on week-days and 
thereby distracting people from labor. His reply is obvious but 
effective, and throws light on the social condition of Virginia: 
"I wonder there is not an equal clamor raised about the modish 
ways of murdering time which are more likely to be remotely 
felt by the government and, which is worse, to ruin multitudes 
for ever. The religion of labor is held sacred among us, as the 
temporal circumstances of my people demonstrate ; which are as 
flourishing as before their adherence to me, except that some of 
them have been somewhat injured by the fines and concomitant 
expenses imposed on them for worshipping God inoffensively in 
separate assemblies. But this hardship I will not aggravate, as 
I believe it was not the effect of an oppressive spirit in the court, 
but of misinformation and the malignant officiousness of some 
private person." 

What follows is even more striking as showing how wholly 
Davies had divested himself of the spirit of partisan prejudice. 
He wishes to see Nonconformity strengthened, but he has not 
the least wish to see Episcopalianism weakened ; they are in his 
eyes not rivals, but allies. "I am satisfied," he writes, "that 
were there a pious bishop resident in America, it would have a 
happy tendency to reform the Church of England here and 
maintain her purity, and therefore upon a report spread in 
Virginia some time ago that one was appointed, I expressed my 
satisfaction in it, and my poor prayers shall concur to pro- 
mote it." 

The sincerity of Davies is beyond question. But one may 
be permitted to doubt whether he was not going too far in im- 
puting his own charitable and moderate temper to his co- 


religionists when he goes on to say, "I know this is the senti- 
ment of all my brethren in the synod of New York with whom 
I have conversed," and it is very certain that he was out of touch 
with the opinion of the Northern colonies, when he went on to 
write, "I am therefore extremely surprised at the information 
your lordship has received concerning the reception of this pro- 
posal in New England, and that they used all their influence to 
obstruct it. I never had the least intimation of this before, 
though some of the principal ministers there maintain very un- 
reserved correspondence with me, and I have also the other 
usual methods of receiving intelligence from a country so near. 
If it be true I think with your lordship that it is hardly con- 
sistent with a spirit of toleration. But it is so unreasonable and 
so opposite to the sentiments of all the Dissenters whom I am ac- 
quainted with (and they are many both of the clergy and laity), 
that the informers must be persons of undoubted veracity before 
I could credit it." 

This letter was intrusted to Avory, a leading English Non- 
conformist, described by Davies in his journal as "an amiable 
gentleman, very affable, of a soft ready address." To him also 
Davies wrote a private letter, urging the importance of an 
American episcopate. Avory, however, told Davies that the 
proposal was intensely unpopular in New England, and took 
upon himself the responsibility of withholding Davies's letter to 
the Bishop. It is probably not uncharitable to suppose that 
the hostility to the episcopate represented opinion manufactured 
and organized by an official class, and that Davies was right in 
his belief that there was no strong element of popular feeling at 
the back. At all events, when the project for an episcopate is 
treated as an outrage on the feelings of American Noncon- 
formists, it should not be forgotten that it commanded the full 
approval and sympathy of one of the best, wisest, and most 
courageous men to be found among their ranks. 1 

The supineness of the British Government in their efforts to 
establish any effective system of control over the Episcopal 
Lack of churches in the American colonies has often been im- 

any central 

system of puted for blame. Yet here as elsewhere failure was 
church largely due to the lack of specific knowledge, to the 
Sent™" absence of any machinery whereby the colonies might 

1 Davies's letter to the Bishop of London is given in full by Foote. 


make their own wants known, and whereby the Home Govern- 
ment might be kept in touch with the divergent and often con- 
flicting currents of colonial opinion. 

There is no clear and definite documentary evidence as to the 
origin of that arrangement whereby the colonies were tech- 
Episcopai nically regarded as under the control of the Bishop 
t?on 8 fn C the °f London. The case cannot be stated better than 
colonies. j n fa wor( j s f a writer who has made the whole 
history of the American episcopate in colonial times the subject 
of a careful monograph. 1 He cites various documents, official 
and private, which assume rather than assert that the Bishop 
of London was in some fashion specially responsible for the 
state of the churches in the colonies, albeit none of them show 
either the origin of his authority or its precise limits. He then 
sums up the case thus: "At the time of the Restoration the 
opinion was more or less prevalent that the charge of colonial 
ecclesiastical affairs belonged to the Bishop of London; and, 
according to the scattered instances related above, he seems even 
thus early to have taken some share in the administration of 
such matters. There was, however, no effort to place the 
jurisdiction on a legal footing and exercise it in anything like a 
systematic and efficacious manner until the accession of Bishop 

He, it is clear, started with the assumption that the episco- 
pate of London invested him with some sort of spiritual jurisdic- 
tion over the colonies. In March 1676, when writing to a cor- 
respondent in the colonies, he used these words: "The care of 
your churches with the rest of the plantations lies upon me as 
your diocesan." 2 Not long after that we find the King in 
Council inserting a clause in the orders issued to Culpepper, 
Governor of Virginia, that no minister should be admitted to a 
benefice in any colony without a certificate from the Bishop of 
London. 8 

A little earlier the Board of Trade, probably at Compton's 
request, instituted an inquiry into the history and nature of the 
colonial jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. 4 As far as the 
existing evidence goes, this inquiry did not disclose any definite 
and formal proof of the alleged authority. Nevertheless the 

1 The Anglican Episcopate and the American Colonies, by A. L. Crosse. 

2 Crosse, p. 23. 3 lb. p. 26. * lb. p. 15, n. 3. 


tradition served as a basis for a claim, and that claim was con- 
firmed and extended by successive instructions, which might be 
interpreted either as creating such jurisdiction or as confirming 
a jurisdiction which in some form already existed. 

Practically the result arrived at was that by the beginning of 
the seventeenth century the Episcopal Church in the American 
colonies was governed on a patchwork system, made up of the 
following elements: 

i. The right of the Governor in certain colonies to induct 

We have already seen how this right was acquired in New 
York. In Maryland it was conferred by an Act of the As- 
sembly passed in 1700, and approved by the Crown. 

2. The right of congregations to choose their own minister, 
as in Virginia and South Carolina. 

3. The right of disciplinary control conferred on Governors 
from time to time by their instructions. 

4. The rights above mentioned of the Bishop of London. 
Alongside these various authorities was that of the Society 

for the Propagation of the Gospel, appointing and paying 
clergymen for work in the colonies. How far that Society was 
able to act in concert with the authorities in whom co-ordinate 
power was vested was mainly a question of individual character. 
One thing, however, at least is clear: there was perpetual dan- 
ger of friction between all these co-ordinated forces. There 
was the further danger of a waste of energy and resources, and 
the probably more serious danger that any display of energy in 
one quarter might bring in its train some relaxation of effort in 
other quarters. 

There was no wish on the part of Compton nor of his suc- 
cessors during the first half of the eighteenth century to ignore 
The com- the claims of the colonial Church. The only method 
system. by which an episcopal control could be exercised' 
was by delegation to a commissary. That there was no lack of 
care in selection for that office is shown by the careers of such 
men as Blair, Bray, and Garden. Yet it is clear that such a 
system was in many ways but a poor substitute for the authority 
of a resident bishop. It was admitted on all hands that the 
chief dangers to which the Episcopal Church in the colonies was 
exposed were lack of internal discipline and encroachment by 


the civil power. Both those evils were far more likely to be 
combated effectively by a single head able to claim co-ordinate 
authority with those whom the Church recognized as its 
fathers and rulers, than by a number of delegates only armed 
with that which was universally felt to be power of a lower 

Moreover, there were two functions essential to the spiritual 
life of the Church — ordination and confirmation — which under 
Need of an tne Anglican constitution could only be exercised 
episcopate, direct by a bishop. It is difficult to overrate the 
paralyzing influence which the absence of any ordaining power 
resident in America inflicted on the colonial Church. It meant 
that no man could officiate in America as a minister of the 
Church of England unless he could, afford time and money for a 
journey to England. It stood in the way of any systematic at- 
tempt at furnishing the clergy with a liberal education within 
the limits of the colonies. It converted the clergy into an alien 
caste, standing outside the organic life of the community. 

The project of a colonial episcopate seems to have first taken 
definite shape at the beginning of the eighteenth century. In 
Attempts 17 02 a letter was addressed by Talbot to the Gospel 
establish- Society, stating that there were "earnest addresses" 
colonial* f rom tne colonies asking for a suffragan bishop. A 
episcopate, similar statement was made to the Society by an 
earnest clergyman, Thoroughgood Moor, 1 and this was sup- 
ported by a collective memorial from the clergy of New Jersey. 

Satisfied with these opinions, the Society presented a memorial 
to the Queen, pointing out the need for a colonial episcopate. 

In 171 1, Sharp, Archbishop of York, Atterbury, then Prolo- 
cutor of the Lower House of Convocation, and other leading 
ecclesiastics discussed the question of establishing an episcopate 
in the colonies. The Bishop of London, however, either 
through accident or indifference took no part in the proceedings, 
and his colleagues not wishing to encroach on his diocesan func- 
tions let the scheme drop. 2 

In 17 13 the Gospel Society returned to the charge and 
memorialized the Queen on the subject. Her answer was such 

1 Moor's name suggests a Puritan origin. This may explain the fact that he 
was specially obnoxious to Cornbury. 

2 Newcome's Life of Sharp, vol i. p. 352. 


as to raise their hopes. 1 They also had the sympathy and in 
some measure the practical help of the ablest man then adminis- 
tering the affairs of a British colony, Hunter. There seems no 
reason to think, as some have, that Swift's references to his own 
chances of a colonial bishopric were mere irony. His political 
connection with Atterbury and his personal friendship with 
Hunter may well have suggested the scheme to him. The 
sense of failure and desertion which was never far from him 
may well have led him to fall back on such a hope in default of 
higher ambition. The post, too, which would remove him from 
the sphere of English politics was just that which a personal 
friend and political opponent, such as Hunter, might wish to see 
him fill. It is at least certain that early in 1709, when there 
seemed a chance of Hunter being Governor of Virginia, 2 Swift 
wrote twice to him referring to the prospect of his holding a 
bishopric in that colony, and that when Hunter was established 
at New York, he told Swift in a letter that he had bought a 
residence for a bishop and hoped to see him there some day. 3 

The ambitions of Swift and the hopes of the Society were 
overturned by the accession of the House of Hanover. The 
Society indeed at once memorialized the King on the subject, 
and even went so far as to present a cut-and-dried scheme for 
four colonial bishoprics. 4 It is possible that a more tentative 
and less confident application might have fared better. But in 
no case were George and his chief counselors likely to look 
with favor on a scheme which had originally been brought for- 
ward by one of their chief political opponents, and likely to 
strengthen a Church from which they were receiving nothing; 
more than sullen and half-hearted obedience. 

The rulers of the English Church during the eighteenth cen- 
tury may not have fully understood the needs of the colonies, 
Opposition biir. we cannot condemn them as wholly indifferent 

to an epis- t # J 

copate to the creation of a colonial episcopate. The real 

colonies. obstacles to the scheme were to be looked for in 

1 Crosse, p. 101. 

2 He was captured on his way by a French vessel, and was a prisoner in 
Paris when Swift wrote. 

8 Swift's letters of Jan. 12 and March 22, 1709, and Hunter's letter of 
March 1, 17 13, Scott's edition of Swift's works, vol. xv. pp. 326, 337; vol. xvL 
p. 21. 

4 Anderson, vol. iii. p. 164. 


America itself rather than in England. In the Southern 
colonies there was indifference rather than active opposition. 
There was little desire for anything which could make eccle- 
siastical discipline prompter or more effective. In the North 
the opposition was of a wholly different kind. We can hardly 
wonder if the New Englanders, members of a community in- 
tensely alive to its own historical past, could not rid themselves 
of the idea that the re-introduction of episcopacy must bring 
with it some abridgment not only of their spiritual but of their 
temporal liberties. It is perfectly certain that no responsible 
British statesman, lay or clerical, ever dreamt of using an 
American episcopate as a weapon against the Congregational 
churches of Massachusetts. But it cannot be denied that the 
colonial advocates of such a scheme used language which justly 
laid them open to such suspicions. We have seen the kind of 
language which Johnson used about the civil rights of the 
colonists and the measures which he suggested for curtailing 
them. Johnson was a man of a more moderate and tolerant 
temper than the generality of his brethren, and we can hardly 
blame the people of New England if they saw underlying the 
scheme for an episcopate an insidious attack on their religious 
liberties. Moreover the action of the British Government and 
its servants in preventing the New England Churches from 
holding a synod could hardly fail to excite alarm and ill-will, 
and to awaken memories of past injustice. 

That alarm might well be confirmed by a sermon preached 
by Seeker as Bishop of Oxford in 1741, and published in 1766. 
Seeker's He describes the condition of the colonies in the fol- 
sermon.i lowing language: "No teacher was known; no 
religious assembly held; the sacrament of baptism not admin- 
istered for twenty years together among many thousand people 
— such was the state of things in more of our colonies than one, 
and where it was a little better it was lamentably bad." Seeker 
seemingly imagined that the whole body of colonies were in a 
state closely resembling that of North Carolina, and must be 
redeemed from heathendom by the efforts of the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel. That Congregationalism in New 
England was a living force, pervading the national life ; that the 

1 It is in a collection of Seeker's sermons. 


standard of morality and decency in Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey was to the full as high as that of the mother country; 
that the profligate luxury to be found at one extremity of Lon- 
don life, the squalid heathendom at the other, had no parallel in 
the colonies — these were unquestionable facts utterly ignored by 
Seeker. That a fair-minded and conscientious man could put 
forward such a grotesque travesty of fact, that he could have 
done so without reflecting that he was inflicting a gross outrage 
on the feelings of a large number of British citizens, illustrates 
forcibly that appalling ignorance-of colonial life and indifference 
to colonial feeling for which Great Britain was fated to pay so 

Another argument used by the advocates of colonial episco- 
pacy shows how far they were from understanding the real 
state of feeling in America. There were discontent and disaf- 
fection in New Jersey. There were also Jacobites in New 
Jersey. Therefore it was argued colonial discontent and 
Jacobitism are allies, and the existence of a sound Protestant 
episcopate is the remedy for the evil. 1 It is not a little strange 
that while the scheme for an American episcopate was thus 
exciting suspicion as dangerous to the liberties of the colo- 
nies, yet at the very same time the advocates of that scheme 
thought it necessary in approaching those in authority in Eng- 
land to clear themselves from any suspicion of aiming at inde- 

It was only in that small party to which Johnson belonged, 
the Episcopalians of New England, that there was any strong 
collective wish for an episcopate. That wish w T as indeed shared 
by a few of the more zealous of the clergy in the Middle and 
Southern States, chiefly by those who had been sent out and were 
maintained by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 
But the Anglicans of the Middle colonies were neither numerous 
nor influential, and in the South clergy and laity alike for the 
most part had not the least desire for a system which would give 
greater strength to moral and ecclesiastical discipline. 

1 This is stated to be the policy of the English bishops in a letter written in 
1749 by Paris, a leading man in New Jersey. N. J. Archives, vol. v. p. 238. 
At the same time the existence of a Jacobite party in New Jersey was no 
fiction. In 1722 Burnet had found it necessary to keep them in order by 
getting a special Act for administering oaths to suspected persons. lb. vol. iii. 
P- S3- 


It is well known how Berkeley's scheme for a Church of 
England college in the Bermudas, which should serve as a 
Opposition missionary center for the whole of the western 
whig* dependencies of Great Britain, was frustrated by the 

Ministry. 1 lukewarmness, if not by the active opposition, of 
Walpole. Put on one side the increased activity and better 
discipline of the clergy, on the other the danger of irritating 
colonial opinion, and there cannot be much doubt which would 
be the choice of the great Whig Minister. When in 1749 
Sherlock, then Bishop of London, attempted to force the ques- 
tion of a colonial episcopate upon the Ministry, the Duke of 
Newcastle told him that the appointment of colonial bishops 
"had long been under the consideration of great and wise men 
and was by them laid aside." 

We also find Horatio Walpole at the same time meeting 
Sherlock's plea in a very diffuse letter, the whole substance of 
which might be boiled down into the maxim quieta non movere. 
The colonists were sure to see in any such scheme the possibility 
of encroachment on their liberties and also on their pockets. 
Moreover the mere broaching of the project would call out in 
England itself a conflict of ecclesiastical parties. 

We can hardly doubt that the views set forth by the two 
chief survivors of the Walpolian party were the views which 
they had inherited from their leader. The policy introduced in 
those views was not a courageous or an inspiring one. Yet 
the events of the coming quarter of a century do much to justify 
it, and to show that existing conditions made any better policy 
impossible. Two obstacles there were inherent in the physical 
conditions of the case : the difficulties of communication between 
America and Britain, and the wide differences of industrial and 
social life which severed colony from colony. The worst charge 
which can be brought against English politicians in respect of 
their colonial policy is not that at any particular juncture they 
were confronted with these difficulties and baffled by them, but 
that they made no effort to introduce such a system of adminis- 
tration as should overcome or lessen them. It is clear that Gibson 
while Bishop of London looked favorably on the scheme of a 
colonial episcopate, though he made no strenuous efforts to force 

1 The two letters referred to below are quoted textually by Mr. Crosse in an 
Appendix, pp. 320-30. 


it on a reluctant Ministry. It is clear, too, that he did his best 
to make his authority as exercised through commissaries a reality. 
Nevertheless we can hardly doubt that the vague prospect of the 
commissarial system being superseded rather hindered its effect- 
ive development. 

In 1750 Bishop Butler applied himself to answering the 
objections which had been used against the creation of an 
Bishop American episcopate. He pointed out that it was 

Butler. not intended to vest any sort of temporal power in 

the bishops; that the colonists were not to be put to any charge 
in the matter, and that there was no intention of establishing 
bishoprics where as in New England forms of worship other 
than Episcopalian were adopted by the majority and recognized 
by the civil power. 1 

That, too, was the line taken by Sherlock in a report which 
he drafted in 1759 on the state of the Church in the colonies. 
He there strongly urged the need for colonial bishops, but ex- 
pressly said that he should exempt New England and Penn- 
sylvania from any such scheme. 2 

Meanwhile the only practical result of these schemes was to 
deprive the Episcopal Church of even that modified and im- 
Attitude of perfect discipline which it already possessed. Sher- 
sheriock. \ oc ^ as we have just seen, was a strong upholder of 
the view that the control of the Episcopal churches should be 
wholly withdrawn from the Bishop of London, and vested not 
in commissaries, but in a resident bishop or bishops. He pos- 
sibly could not, far more probably would not, see that to 
carry out the first half of that change before it was certain that 
the second half would follow was to hand the colonial churches- 
over to anarchy. Under his nominal rule that authority which 
had been exercised, imperfectly it is true, yet in some measure 
effectively and always beneficially, by Bray and Blair and 
Garden, became a nullity. Such vitality as the Episcopal 
Church in the colonies retained was infused into her by the 
labors of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and by 
the efforts of individual clergymen reared in the stimulating 
atmosphere of the Northern colonies. The school of clergy 

1 The Declaration is printed in Perry's History of the American Episcopal 
Church, p. 408. 

2 N. Y. Docs. vol. vii. pp. 360-9. 


•of whom Johnson, already described, may fairly be regarded as 
the founder, never abated their zeal for the advancement of 
their own Church and their demands for an episcopacy. At a 
later day those demands, not always urged discreetly or with a 
due regard to surrounding circumstances, did much to embitter 
the relations between the mother country and the colonies. 



As with the political, so with the intellectual and literary, his- 
tory of the American colonies, there is a certain sense of de- 
Change cadence and impoverishment when we pass from the 

from the f . i V™ 

seven- seventeenth to the eighteenth century. The impulses 

to the which swayed the colonies in the early days, which 

century" filled them with life and movement, were spent: the 
new impulses which were, at a later day, to supply the want 
as yet existed but in embryo : they had not put on definite shape 
nor formed for themselves articulate speech. 

It is true that in dealing with the seventeenth century we are 
hardly justified in speaking of colonial literature. One group 
New of colonies, and one only, had anything which could 

England. ^ e ca u ec | literature. We may even go further 
and say that only in New England w T as to be found that self- 
consciousness, those impulses with imperative demand for articu- 
late expression which form the springs that feed national 
literature. By the eighteenth century those springs were run- 
ning thin and shallow. The New England chronicler, the New 
England theologian, was no longer stimulated by the conviction 
that he was one of a chosen and peculiar people. Thus we have 
no historians such as Winthrop and Bradford, no school of 
spiritual teachers such as that headed by Cotton and Hooker, no 
controversial champion of unpopular doctrines with the bright 
vigor and freshness of Roger Williams. We have indeed, as 
was said before, one theologian of a high order. 1 But Jonathan 
Edwards is not typical and representative as the New England 
divines of the seventeenth century were. He is primus but not 
primus inter pares. There is no continuous hierarchy of 
thinkers to link him with popular feeling and opinion. New 
England literature was losing all originality, conforming more 

1 See p. 180. 


closely to contemporary English models, suffering under the 
chilly spell of borrowed and conventional "Augustanism." 

It was indeed an unhappy chance for colonial literature that 
the connection with the mother country was drawing closer just 
at the very time when that influence was least likely to be 
exercised with wholesome effect. The literature of a new 
country must be prepared to live upon the crude conceptions 
and peremptory emotions of an imperfectly developed life. It 
must have no strong craving for correctness, no uneasy dread of 
exaggeration and grandiosity. In other w T ords it must be just 
what the canons of criticism accepted by England in the first 
half of the eighteenth century forbade it to be. Colonial 
writers, instinct with the passions and hopes of a new world, 
might have found congenial allies and sympathetic critics among 
the Elizabethans and their immediate successors. They would 
assuredly find none among the followers of Pope and the dis- 
ciples of Addison. If a Walt Whitman had sprung up among 
the emancipated thinkers of Boston, or a Lindsay Gordon among 
the hard-riding squires of Virginia, the thought of the wits at 
Button's would have left him probably speechless, certainly 
without admirers. 

Thus in the poetry of New England, in the writings of 
Mather Byles, and the coterie of verse writers who glorified him, 
we see a formal and spiritless reproduction of Pope; 1 her es- 

1 Mather Byles was a Boston minister, in the pulpit an effective rhetorician. 
Mr. Tyler deals with him from that point of view, and is mercifully silent 
about his poetry. A specimen of the latter, his threnody over George I., is 
given by Mr. Hart in his American History told by Contemporaries, vol. iii. 
Extracts hardly do justice to it; the following passages, though notable, do 
not rise far above the average level. 

" Shall unrelenting rocks forbear to bleed 
While I proclaim the great Augustus dead? " 

The physical results of the poet's sorrow are told with elaborate detail. 
" Swift towards my heart unusual horror swims, 
And strange convulsions seize my shivering limbs. 

The lingering remnant of my life's •opprest, 

And death-like damps bedew my lab'ring breast." 

The poet, however, finds consolation. 

" Then wondrous Wales the sinking sceptre saves, 
Then with her sparkling issue comes his queen, 
Like night's fair empress with her starry train, 
With cypress crowned, they gild the imperial seat, 
And prop though weak with woe the tottering state.' 

In 1744 there appeared a little volume composed by divers persons in glori- 


.sayists were little would-be Addisions, who drew their inspira- 
tion from the fashions and follies of Boston. Her historians, 
Hubbard, Niles, and Prince, are methodical, and more or less 
exact chroniclers. Hutchinson is something more. He is full 
of patriotism, at once convinced and rational; he is admirably 
lucid and a master of arrangement. But we never feel as we 
do in reading the works of Bradford and Winthrop, or the 
Wonder-working Providence, that the live coal from the altar 
has now and again touched the writer's lips. 

It cannot be said that in the Middle colonies or the South 
there was anything like vigorous literary development on 
The definite lines. Yet there was a distinct advance on 

writers. the work of the previous century. New York did 
produce at least two writers whose works deserve to live. 
William Smith's "History of New York" is something more 
than a mere chronicle. It belongs to the same class of work as 
Hutchinson's history, though of distinctly inferior caliber. In 
the training and in the careers of the two men there were points 
of likeness. Each was a lawyer and attained high distinction in 
his profession; each was entangled in factious conflicts and 
emerged somewhat embittered ; each, when the crisis came, clave 
to the cause of the mother country, and died in exile. Yet there 
were wide differences between the two men. Hutchinson was 
a patriot as far as a man lacking in sympathy and imagination 
could be one. He firmly believed that he was carrying on the 
traditions of those who founded New England. Only it was 
not given to him to see that if the ideals and principles of the 
founders were to live, they must find expression in new forms. 
His bitterness towards opponents is no doubt accentuated by 
personal resentment, but it is mainly the outcome of public 
spirit, real, though it may be narrow and distorted. There is no 
touch of imaginative patriotism in Smith's work. He is a 
plain-spoken partisan, honest as far as honesty is consistent with 
the attitude of an advocate. To say this is little more than to 
say, in another form, that Hutchinson was a Bostonian, Smith a 

fication of Byles. He is likened in successive poems to Pope and Milton. The 
teulogy reaches its climax in a statement that the Muse 

" triumphs to pronounce 
The name of Byles, Pope, Homer all at once." 

I am indebted to Mr. Tyler's book for my knowledge of this volume. 


New Yorker. Each lived and moved in an atmosphere of fac- 
tion. But in the faction of Massachusetts at its worst there 
were redeeming elements — patriotism, self-restraint, loyalty to 
an ideal, to great principles and inspiring traditions. The 
faction of New York was mainly due to her cosmopolitanism, 
to the poverty of her past, to her want of inspiring and restrain- 
ing traditions, a want which left her political life a prey to 
personal intrigue and sordid materialism. 

New York produced another writer who may be regarded as, 
in some measure, a pioneer of one movement in American litera- 
Cadwai- ture. Penn's sympathetic mind had seen or im- 
coiden. agined an element of romance in the contemporary 
life of the Red Indian, as it was presented to him. Cadwallader 
Colden, in his "History of the Five Nations," brought to bear 
something the same attitude of mind on the past history of the 
savage. His work is a picturesque, animated chronicle of the 
life of the Five Nations after their first introduction to 
Europeans, and especially of their dealings, mainly hostile, with 
the French. There is a touch of the saga spirit in Colden's 
work. He does not trouble himself with ethnological specula- 
tions as to the Indian's origin, or with moral and political specu- 
lations as to his destiny. He tells of the Indian's doings, bring- 
ing out with a good deal of dramatic skill those incidents which 
illustrate the Indian character as he wishes to present it. His 
picture may be a somewhat idealized one, but he at least gets a 
good deal nearer the truth than Penn does. Penn's imaginary 
savage is a peaceful, mirthful, companionable creature. Colden, 
while he is undoubtedly tender in his treatment of the Indian's 
failings, yet selects for praise those sterner virtues which really 
pertained at least to the Iroquois, whom he makes his special 
subject — concentration of purpose, stoicism in the endurance of 
pain, and contempt for death. The picturesque savage of 
American romance without doubt owed his origin, in a large 
measure, to Rousseau. But Colden had a share in his pro- 

In Virginia we have two writers who distinctly reflect the 
free, vigorous temper of the planter at his best — public-spirited, 
The strenuous in prosecuting his own interests and those 

writers. of the community, yet never losing a certain joyous 
irresponsibility. Byrd has already come before us. Robert 


Beverley, the author of a history of Virginia published in 1705, 
is a companion figure to Byrd. Throughout we feel that he 
writes as the educated man of affairs, not the student. He 
admits that what first led him to write was a wish to correct 
certain errors of Oldmixon and to clear away certain miscon- 
ceptions prejudicial to Virginia. There were people in England, 
he tells us, who believed that in Virginia carts and plows were 
drawn by human beings, and that the effect of the climate was 
to turn white people black. The book is as much a description 
of the aspect and resources of the country as a history of its 
past. In its substance it reminds one of those glowing pictures 
of the resources and prospects of America put forth in the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries by advocates of colonization; 
but by its style it belongs wholly to its own age. Beverley 
expresses himself with easy and fluent alertness. He is oc- 
casionally epigrammatic, but the epigrams have their corners 
rounded as befits a contemporary of Addison. 

A very different type of Virginian historian was the Rev. 
William Stith. His work has no colonial flavor about it. It 
might have been produced by a learned, leisurely, and some- 
what pompous English clergyman. The work is a torso con- 
ceived on so vast a scale that the writer never succeeded in 
carrying it as far as the twentieth year of the colony's existence. 
The writer is uncritical in his estimate of evidence, accepting, 
for example, without hesitation the romance which bore the 
name of John Smith. 1 Yet Stith's book is, unlike Beverley's, 
in modern language a work of research. He strives to get the 
best evidence, had access to the records of the Virginian Com- 
pany, and thus during the many years when those records were 
lost to the world his book had a unique value. The style is 
rhetorical: at its best dignified and forcible; sometimes ponder- 
ous and over-elaborate, but always endowed with real definite- 
ness and purpose, never sinking into mere windiness. 

It was not to be expected that literature should find any place 
in the half-barbarized life of North Carolina. That South 
Carolina produced no writers may have been in some measure 
due to the fact that Charlestown, in which all the culture and 
leisure of the colony was centered, was in far closer contact than 

1 I say " bore the name," since John Smith's personal responsibility in the 
matter is open to question. See Virginia, Maryland, and the Car o Unas, Appendix E. 


Virginia with the mother country. The colonist was not 
forced upon his own resources for culture. The life about him 
had not the same stimulating individuality and was not so in- 
spiring a theme. 

Considering how large an output of what may be called 
realistic romance the mother country was responsible for during 
Thomas tne eighteenth century, it is perhaps somewhat 
Godfrey. strange that the colonies should, in that department 
of letters, have been almost wholly unproductive. But colonial 
literature meant mainly the literature of Boston, and if there 
was little left of the underlying spirit of the founders, yet her 
conventional restraints of Puritanism were still strong. If 
established prejudice excluded the novel, even more did it ex- 
clude the drama. Yet the colonies could claim one author who 
deserves to be remembered and to be assigned a place among 
post-Elizabethan playwrights. 1 Thomas Godfrey, a citizen of 
Pennsylvania, was born in 1736, and died in 1763. His father 
was a thrifty tradesman at Philadelphia, an acquaintance of 
Franklin, a man of some note as a student of natural science. 
Young Godfrey's taste for humane letters earned no sympathy 
from his family. At his death he left behind in manuscript a 
number of somewhat commonplace poems and a tragedy, of 
which the scene is laid at the Court of Parthia. Godfrey's play 
shows a sympathetic knowledge of the Elizabethan dramatists. 
There is an unmistakeable echo of Glendower in the lines: 

"E'en such a night dreadful as this they say 
My teeming mother gave me to the world} 
Whence by those sages, who in knowledge rich, 
Can pry into futurity and tell 
What distant ages will produce of wonder, 
My days were deemed to be a hurricane." 

It was no small achievement for an imperfectly educated 
young colonist not only to have drawn from the Elizabethan 
spring, but to have absorbed what is best in it. Godfrey has 
some of the defects of Massinger: stiffness of diction, and a 
lack of spontaneity and impulse. But he also has Massinger's 

1 1 am sorry to say that I can only speak of Godfrey at second-hand. I have 
been wholly unable despite much search and inquiry to find Godfrey's play. 
But Mr. Tyler (vol. ii. pp. 246-51) gives copious extracts from it, and these 
I think fully justify all that I have said. His poems I have seen. 


merits: his texture is woven close, and his hand is guided by 
scholarly self-restraint. 

In the way of books the harvest from the American colonies 
during the period which w T e are surveying is but a scanty one. 
Colonial We should however greatly err if we supposed that 
ism. the colonial intellect was stagnant and unprogressive. 

The diffusion rather than the creation of knowledge has been 
the characteristic of the American colonies ever since they put 
on the form of a republic, and that process had been at work 
for at least two generations before the era of republicanism. 
The eighteenth century saw journalism in the American colonies 
spring into existence, and become with astonishing rapidity a 
potent factor in national life. Yet more astonishing, if we look 
at the obstacles to be overcome, the difficulties of transit, the 
exacting claims of material needs and ambitions, was the rapid 
and almost universal extension of educational machinery. 

It might have been foretold almost with certainty that 
American journalism would have its beginnings at Boston. In 
The Bos- 1704 John Campbell, a bookseller in that town, who 
papers. 1 also held the office of post-master, issued a weekly 
news-letter. The contents of the first number may be taken 
as fairly typical. It contained a few items of local news, 
shipping intelligence from Philadelphia and New York, the 
Queen's Speech to Parliament, and an extract from a London 
paper with information about the Old Pretender and his 

The publication of the news-letter was followed in 17 19 by 
the appearance of a second Boston paper, the Gazette, printed 
Battle by Benjamin Franklin's brother James. The Ga- 

the^gov- zette soon passed out of his hands, and he became the 
ancrthe 1 printer of a third paper which appeared in 1721, 
"Courant." The New England Courant. The birth of the 
Courant marks an epoch in American journalism. It was not 
like its two predecessors primarily a journal of news and ad- 
vertisement. It held a position more like that of a weekly paper 
in the present day, existing to give effect to certain political 
convictions and to ventilate current topics. The career of the 
Courant, extending over only six years, was a striking illustra- 

1 For the following account of journalism in the colonies I have depended 
mainly on Isaiah Thomas's History of Printing in America. 


tion of the new spirit which was beginning to show itself in the 
politics of Massachusetts. Hitherto, whatever might be the 
attitude of the colony towards the Home Government, the un- 
derlying spirit which animated it was intensely conservative. 
Tradition and authority had laid a firm grasp on the colony. 
The representatives of the Crown might be opposed and their 
authority questioned, but there was always profound regard for 
the supremacy of those who were fighting a popular battle. 
Even the authority of the priesthood, an authority which had 
been abused to its own ultimate destruction, was being stealthily 
and half-consciously sapped, rather than openly threatened. 
The writers in the Courant shocked Boston respectability and 
reverence by the outspoken audacity of their youthful iconoclasm. 
Solemn opponents described them as "the Freethinkers"; for 
others they were "the Hell-fire Club," a levity of speech which 
would have shocked the generation of Winthrop almost as 
much as the utterances of the Courant itself. Increase Mather, 
writing in the Gazette, recalled the happy day "when the civil 
government would have taken an effectual course to suppress 
such a cursed libel." Unless this is done he fears "that some 
awful judgment will come upon this land, and that the wrath of 
God will arise, and there will be no remedy." It was a sound 
instinct which made Increase Mather discern in the growing 
influence of the press a force which would supersede and under- 
mine the power of the pulpit. By a strange chance on one im- 
portant issue Mather, in his controversy with the Courant, was 
on the side of progress. He, with a courage for which he 
deserves honor, was defying the prejudices of his clerical 
brethren, and advocating the newly introduced practice of in- 
oculation. The Courant, we cannot doubt, out of personal 
hostility to Mather and in a mere spirit of faction, took the 
opposite line. If Mather could have emphasized that fact, and 
concentrated his attack on it, he would have done much to win 
the sympathy and respect of that very class to whom the Courant 
was appealing; the more enlightened and independent would 
have been with him. But, despite a single excursion towards 
enlightenment, the spell of New England conservatism and 
sacerdotalism was strong in Mather, and he had not learned 
that a factious indifference to public interest was a worse crime 
than irreverence of speech and contempt for authority. 


The civil government did not altogether deserve Mather's 
reproach of supineness, since they did put James Franklin in 
prison for four weeks. 

A further proposal to gag the Courant, by requiring that its 
contents should be inspected before publication, was made by the 
Council, but rejected by the House of Representatives. Em- 
boldened by this immunity, Franklin waxed more audacious in 
his attacks on authority, and in 1722, when the Council re- 
newed their proposal in its general substance, leaving the details 
to a committee, it received the support of the Lower House. 
The committee, one of whom was that blameless representative 
of old-fashioned New England orthodoxy, Samuel Sewall, rec- 
ommended that the secretary of the colony be pro hac vice 
constituted censor of the press, and that Franklin be not al- 
lowed to publish anything which had not been supervised by 
him. Franklin was also to give security for good behavior. 
There could hardly be a stronger instance of the manner in 
which men, in their haste to punish or restrain some temporarily 
obnoxious opponent, will establish a precedent fatal to all the 
principles which they profess. It is not unlikely that the better 
judgment of those in power brought them round to this view. 
Franklin nominally transferred the control of the paper to his 
brother Benjamin. This somewhat transparent evasion was 
allowed to go unchallenged. The methods of the Courant lost 
the charm of novelty, the spirit which inspired them spent its 
force, and after six years of a stirring existence which we may be 
sure had a lasting effect on thought and sentiment, it dis- 

There is no evidence of the exact part which Benjamin 
Franklin played in the production of the Courant. But the 
Benjamin temper and the methods of it were so in accordance 
Tnd n the n with his that we can hardly doubt that he had a large 
"Courant." s h are> an( j t h at f ts pa g es we re the training ground in 
which he first tested and strengthened his powers as a political 
controversialist. We can hardly err in identifying him with 
one phase of the battle. Two years before the Courant had 
come into existence a somewhat unmethodical and intermittently 
published broadsheet, ambitiously entitled The American 
Weekly Mercury, appeared at Philadelphia. This paper 
vehemently took up the cause of James Franklin and the 


Courant. The Assembly of Massachusetts were "oppressors 
and bigots who make religion only the engine of destruction to 
the people." The article ended with a postscript. "By private 
letters from Boston we are informed that the bakers there are 
under great apprehensions of being forbid baking any more bread 
unless they will submit it to the Secretary as Supervisor-General 
and Weigher of the Dough before it is baked into bread and 
offered for sale." Surely there we can trace the hand of one 
who, at a later day, was unsurpassed among political contro- 
versialists in his use of homely parable. 

Two obvious results followed from the establishment of the 
newspaper press in New England. The influence of the pulpit 
influ- in determining and fashioning public opinion was 

Journalism already on the wane, and the existence of a rival 
?n New ght P ower confirmed and accelerated the process. More- 
England, over, though the outward form of the colonial 
government might approach to democracy, yet the life of Massa- 
chusetts was full of elements which made for oligarchy. The 
influence of the press did much to break this down. The 
Franklins were an advanced guard of skirmishers, clearing the 
ground for the onslaught of Samuel Adams and his well- 
organized democracy. 

Massachusetts did not long enjoy a monopoly of colonial 
journalism. In 1725 the New York Gazette appeared. It 
was a weekly broadsheet of apparently the same character as the 
first Boston newspaper. There, however, as in Massachusetts, 
journalism soon developed into an instrument of political war- 
fare. That from the outset was the avowed purpose of the 
second New York paper, the Weekly Journal, published first 
in 1733. The story of Zenger's battle with constituted author- 
ity has been already told. The earlier paper, encouraged it may 
be by Zenger's success, took up the same line. In 1742 the 
management of the Gazette was changed; it appeared under the 
alternative titles of the New York Gazette and the Weekly 
Post Boy. Its somewhat reckless controversial temper twice 
involved the editor in trouble. In 1748 he published two 
forged letters reflecting on certain Philadelphian Quakers, and 
was forced to apologize. In 1756 an article appeared which in- 
curred the displeasure of the Assembly. The two editors were 
arrested, and only released on begging pardon of the house and 


giving up the name of the writer. He and a missionary named 
Watkins, sent out by the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel, were taken into custody, brought before the Assembly* 
and reprimanded. 

In 1732 James Franklin transferred his printing press to> 
journalism Newport, and there started a weekly paper. But 
other 2 tne s °il was an unhopeful one in which to sow any 

colonies. literary seed, and the Rhode Island Gazette only 
lived through seven months of precarious existence. 

Franklin's more famous brother fared better in his first ven- 
ture outside Massachusetts. A paper, the American Weekly 
Mercury, was started in Philadelphia in 1721. It was an 
ordinary news-letter published somewhat irregularly. When 
in 1723 Benjamin Franklin betook him to Philadelphia, he at 
once devised a scheme for starting a rival newspaper to the 
Mercury. Accidentally the scheme became known to a printer 
named Keimer. He at once anticipated Franklin and brought 
out a paper with the astounding title of The Universal In- 
structor in all Arts and Sciences, or the Pennsylvania Gazette. 
The prospectus corresponded to the title. The happy subscribers 
were to "possess the richest mine of knowledge (of the kind) 
ever before discovered, except in Europe." Franklin, with 
characteristically acute strategy, determined to use the Mercury 
to drive Keimer out of the field, and then to take up his enter- 
prise in an improved form. He became himself a contributor 
to the Mercury, and in its columns cast ridicule on Keimer's 
venture. Keimer became bankrupt. Franklin bought his 
paper and dropped the more ambitious part of the title. As. 
the Pennsylvania Gazette it throve under Franklin's editor- 
ship. In 1748 his various public vocations compelled him 
to resign the editorship and to become merely an occasional 
contributor. The paper, however, continued to prosper, and 
played a conspicuous part in the struggle with the mother 

The conditions of the Southern colonies, with their lack of 
communication and of corporate life, were ill-suited to the suc- 
cess of journalism. Nevertheless all the Southern colonies* 
North Carolina excepted, witnessed some attempt at journalism 
during the first half of the eighteenth century. The first Mary- 
land paper, published about 1728, has left indeed only vague 


traces, 1 and it was not till 1745 that the colony had a regularly 
published journal. In South Carolina the first attempt failed, 
and the South Carolina Gazette, started in 1732, only lived for 
seven months. It was, however, revived two years later, and 
lived out the century. Four years later Virginia followed in 
the same course, and by 1736 seven out of the original twelve 
colonies had their own newspapers. 

We have already seen how the journal passed at an early 
stage from a mere news-letter into an instrument of political 
The maga- controversy. That, however, was far from being 
colonies. the limit of development. The New England 
Journal, which first appeared in 1727, was, as an organ of news, 
meager even for that day, and devoted itself mainly to literary 
and social topics. It took a part in the conflict which raged 
round the preaching of Whitefield, and Burnet is said to have 
been among its contributors. 

In 1743 a monthly magazine, with fifty pages to a number, 
was published in Boston. Its character was adequately described 
by its title, The American Magazine and American Chronicle. 
Its form and its general scheme were closely modeled on those 
of the London Magazine and the Gentleman s Magazine. Like 
them it was designed to be thoroughly catholic in its choice of 
subjects. It was to be a chronicle of leading events, an organ 
at once of political and literary criticism, and of moral instruc- 
tion. The literary resources of Boston were, however, unequal 
to the demands of such a production, and it only lasted a little 
more than three years. 

There could hardly be a stronger illustration of the difference 
between the Boston of the seventeenth and that of the eighteenth 
century than the appearance, also in 1743, of a publication which 
bore the title of a Christian History, but which would in modern 
times be called an ecclesiastical or religious magazine. It was 
to publish letters from divers quarters, written by ministers and 
others, with details of such incidents connected with religion 
as had come under their notice. One cannot imagine the New 
England divines of the school of Cotton or Hooker giving to- 
the world their experiences and reflections in such a slight and 

1 Thomas (vol. ii. p. 155) says that he has seen in the records of the vestry 
at Annapolis in 1728 an order that an advertisement should be inserted in the 
Maryland Gazette. He has also seen extracts from the paper dated August 


'•ephemeral form. The life of the Christian History was even 
shorter than that of the American Magazine, only extending 
•over two years. 

In 1 74 1 Benjamin Franklin started a new venture in the 
form of a monthly publication entitled the General Magazine 
Attempted an ^ Historical Chronicle for all the British Planta- 
magazines. t' l0ns [ n America; its life, however, only lasted six 
months. A rival publication attempted simultaneously fared 
■even worse and did not get beyond two numbers. A like ven- 
ture started seventeen years later in New Jersey had no better 
success. 1 

The failure of the magazine to establish itself in any of the 
colonies was perhaps due to the fact that the ground was already 
The occupied by the Almanac, a form of publication 

Almanac. w hich, if not peculiar to America, at least obtained 
a popularity and importance unknown elsewhere. It was in 
the eighteenth century the Spectator or Rambler of the colonial 
farmhouse. The Almanac, in its original and limited character 
a record and prophet of the weather, had come into existence in 
New England in 1639, an d before the end of the century in 
Philadelphia and New York as well. But it was reserved for 
Nathaniel Ames, of Dedham in Massachusetts, the father of the 
revolutionary statesman Fisher Ames, to make the Almanac a 
real element in the literature of the country. 2 Ames was, like 
Franklin, a man of somewhat varied experiences and attain- 
ments, being at once a physician and a tavern-keeper. In 1725 
he published an Almanac on the ordinary lines of record and 
weather prophecy, but superadding facetiae of various merit in 
the ordinary affairs of life, prudential maxims and rules of 
health. As time went on and Ames's Almanac acquired a firmly 
established popularity, he grafted on to the original stock 
political information. His style has the same merits as Frank- 
lin's: it is direct and emphatic; never wasting its force on non- 
essentials. In 1728 James Franklin followed Ames's example 
and published a Rhode Island Almanac on similar lines, and 
five years later Benjamin Franklin appeared as the maxim- 
monger and practical counselor, Poor Richard. That the rep- 

1 These unsuccessful attempts are all described by Thomas, vol. ii. pp. 129, 

2 Mr. Tyler (vol. ii. pp. 122-30) gives a very full account of Ames's Almanac. 


utation of his Almanac should have survived and superseded 
that of his predecessor's is perhaps mainly due to the distinction 
which the writer gained in other fields. 

These Almanac writers are a factor to be reckoned with in 
estimating the intellectual life of the American colonies. They 
are at once popular in tone and in a sense philosophical in spirit. 
Their style is as simple and direct as Cobbett's, while, unlike 
Cobbett, they have a sense of self-restraint and proportion, and 
do not swerve off into irrelevance at the bidding of some per- 
sonal impulse. They are philosophical in that they indicate, 
and also no doubt helped to create and foster, the tendency to 
apply critical thought and observation to every-day affairs. 
They are the literature of a people ever ready to frame for 
themselves new canons whether of social or industrial life, never 
inclined to look to tradition for its methods or its ideals of 

The conflict between humane letters and natural science, the 
study of man and the study of matter, was one which the 
Natural seventeenth and eighteenth centuries never composed 
Tn'the 6 quite satisfactorily. Belated writers there might be 

colonies. i{k e Evelyn and Sir Thomas Browne who had a foot 
in each camp. But the dictum that the proper study of man- 
kind is man, a dictum so copiously and pompously elaborated by 
Akenside, is really the dominant sentiment of those who in that 
age would have claimed to be the representatives of literature. 
Addison and, at a later day, Cowper could see little difference 
between the scientific student and the virtuoso. Yet despite 
such tendencies to treat natural science as the Cinderella of the 
literary family, one can hardly take up any diary or any record 
which illustrates the academical and literary life of the 
eighteenth century and not see at work a vigorous spirit of 
curiosity as to external phenomena. In that spirit the colonies, 
as might be expected, had their share. The conditions of life 
in a new country, bringing men into close contact with the 
phenomena of nature, were sure to cultivate that habit of ob- 
servation which is not identical with scientific knowledge, but 
which is the foundation on which all scientific study must 
be based. John Bartram, a Philadelphian, was poor and self- 
taught. But he founded a botanical garden, corresponded with 
the chief European authorities in his own department, was 


elected a member of various scientific societies in the Old World, 
and won from Linnaeus the praise of being the greatest natural 
botanist in the world. John Clayton and John Mitchell, also 
both of Virginia, were likewise eminent botanists, the former a 
correspondent of Linnaeus and a contributor to the "Philo- 
sophical Transactions," the latter a Fellow of the Royal Society. 

Capacities such as Franklin's are not to be explained by any 
theory as to the conditions which created and developed them. 
But though their existence may be largely independent of ex- 
ternal influences, yet such influences have a large share in de- 
termining the direction in which they are to be used. The 
colonies were eagerly bent on the subjugation of material nature 
and on the adjustment of political forces. It was altogether in 
harmony with the principles of their existence that he who was 
at once the greatest of their natural philosophers and of their 
political thinkers should have given his best powers to solving 
the practical problem of electricity, and to the detailed work of 
the political controversialist, the administrator, and the diplo- 

As was said before, the eighteenth century was in the history 
of the American colonies a period not of individual creation, but 
Education of diffusion. New England already possessed an 
England. equipment both for higher and for primary education 
so complete in proportion to the needs and resources of the 
country that it hardly admitted of extension. Changed in 
many other features, in this matter New England kept the 
character imposed upon it by its founders. Harvard and Yale 
steadily held their ground as protecting influences against the 
tyranny of material life, nor do we find any tendency in the 
literature of New England to protest against the ascendency of 
useless learning. The determination with which the colony had 
in its young and struggling days made an effective school sys- 
tem a first charge on its resources had its reward. Classes were 
bound together, and the community democratized by a common 
training. It was one of the most unhappy features in the atti- 
tude of the mother country to the colonies that this aspect of 
New England life was to the majority of Englishmen a sealed 
book. To educated Englishmen, men like the Adamses were 
incomprehensible, and Franklin was one of those exceptional 
portents, a self-made and self-taught man, who had raised him- 


self wholly above his surroundings. It was not understood that 
the average Boston trader grew up in a mental atmosphere every 
whit as stimulating to the mind as that which surrounded the 
boyhood of an average member of Parliament, while at the same 
time no wide educational gulf severed the tradesmen from the 

This was due at least as much to the general respect and 
desire for learning as to the machinery for teaching provided 
Harvard by the community. Entries in the town records 
and Yale. 1 show that in Boston at least there was no abatement 
in the public care for elementary teaching. But well-equipped 
elementary schools will not of themselves make a learned com- 
munity, nor even of necessity one which loves and reverences 
learning. What they may do, and did in New England, is to 
democratize education, to make it not a luxury for a class but a 
common necessity for all. That may mean the degradation of 
education into an instrument for the mere satisfaction of obvious 
and material wants. That danger, however, is not one from 
which a so-called aristocracy is necessarily exempt. If education 
in England to-day has escaped those dangers and remained 
"liberal," it is not so much from any reverent comprehension 
of high ideals in the class who benefit by it ; rather because they 
inertly and unintelligently accept what has come down to them 
by a fortunate survival of tradition. New England also had 
widely diffused among its citizens a tradition of learning. We 
cannot indeed say that the education provided at Harvard and 
Yale rose to a high standard or can have satisfied far-reaching 
intellectual aspirations. Before the Revolution there w T ere at 
Harvard but three professors: two, those of Divinity and of 
Mathematics, were founded by a munificent friend to the col- 
lege, Thomas Hollis, in 1721 and in 1727 respectively. Neither 
Greek, Latin, Moral Philosophy, Metaphysics, nor any branch 
of History had a chair. 

An exact and detailed account of the degree course in 1726 
is extant. No classical authors are specified as objects of study 

1 For all that I have said about Harvard I have relied on Quincy's history 
of the college. He makes abundant use of original documents, many of which 
he publishes. We have two good authorities for the early history of Yale — 
Trumbull, himself a graduate there, and President Clap. Clap was head of 
Yale from 1740 till his death in 1765. The History of Yale was published in 


except Cicero and Virgil. Rhetoric, Ethics, Geometry, Logic 
and Metaphysics, most of them studied in somewhat obsolete 
text-books, came into the range. Hebrew was taught, and the 
prescribed range of study therein was fuller and more exact than 
that of any other language. This was no doubt due to the fact 
that preparation for the ministry was one of the chief ends 
aimed at in the college. 

Even more was this the case with Yale. In 1755 a chair of 
Divinity was established, and when Clap wrote in 1765 it was 
still the only one. 1 

In 1 74 1 the number of students at Harvard was about a 
hundred, 2 at Yale about twenty less. 3 This, however, had risen 
by 1746, under the effective rule of President Clap, to a hundred 
and twenty. 4 The hold which Harvard had on the affections 
of Massachusetts citizens is shown by the fact that between 
1700 and 1750 private benefactions reached upwards of five 
thousand five hundred pounds, contributed by thirty-five donors, 
while during the same time it received grants from the Assembly 
to the amount of four thousand eight hundred pounds, to be 
applied in building a house for the President, followed in 1763 
by a further sum to build a hostel for students. 5 

Private bounty such as that bestowed on Harvard was not 
to be expected in the poorer colony of Connecticut. The As- 
sembly, however, dealt liberally with the college. At the outset 
they voted it a hundred a year, a sum which was doubled in 
1735 and further increased later. 6 Conspicuous among the 
private benefactors of the college was Bishop Berkeley. He in 
his lifetime presented it with a farm of a hundred acres in 
Rhode Island for the maintenance of scholarships, and with a 
library of a thousand volumes valued at four hundred pounds. 7 

What Harvard and Yale really did for New England was 
to enable the citizens to become educated men without ceasing 
influence to be New Englanders. Elsewhere the colonist who 
E f ngili?d ew wanted a liberal education had to seek it in England, 
colleges. fj e became tinged with a certain sense of being 

1 Clap, pp. 67, 80. 2 Whitefield's Journal. 

3 Trumbull, vol. ii. p. 305. 4 lb. p. 312; Clap, p. 54. 

'These benefactions are all enumerated by Quincy in an Appendix, vol. ii. 
p. 526. 

•Connecticut Records. 7 Trumbull, vol. ii. pp. 301-2. 


superior to colonial thoughts and ideals. The New Englander 
ran no such risk. Whatever pride of learning he might feel 
strengthened his sense of patriotism. The education which the- 
New England colleges gave did nothing to separate the learned 
man from the ordinary citizen, since it was but the completion 
and continuation of that which all men, be their rank what it 
might, understood and desired. 

There could hardly be a better illustration of the progress 
which liberality of thought had made in New England than is; 
Ezra t0 he found in the diary of Ezra Stiles. 1 He gradu- 

stiies. ate( j at Yale in 1746 and became President of the 

college in 1778. That appointment is a sufficient guarantee 
for Stiles's orthodoxy. Yet he approaches all the questions 
touched on in his diary — and since he was a man of wide and 
varied interests they are many — in the free, confident spirit of 
a man of the world. One never feels as one does in reading, 
the earlier New England divines that one is moving in a 
restricted sphere, breathing an artificial atmosphere. More 
than once he mentions without explanation or comment that he 
has been reading Voltaire. 2 He defends Lucian against the 
charge of having dealt unfairly with Christianity 3 and he treats, 
educational questions in the temper of a man who was a scholar 
first and a minister of religion afterwards. He deals in that 
spirit with a grotesque proposal for teaching Greek through a 
modern translation of the Psalms into that tongue. "The 
design of the publication is to furnish a Greek classic which 
may instill Christianity at the same time as they are learning the 
Greek language." Stiles sensibly points out that this attempt 
to combine two things will injure both. You would study 
divinity better in English. You would study Greek better by 
reading the classics. If a foreigner wished to learn English 
he would not use an English book written by a German or an 
Italian, but by Pope or Addison. 4 

The view may be obvious, but the directness with which it is 
expressed, the manifest sense that no qualification or apology is 
needed, belongs to an age very different from that of the 

1 Edited by Mr. F. B. Dexter and published in 1901. 

2 Diary, vol. i. pp. 106, 179. *Ib. p. 136. * lb. p. 99. 


Outside New England education suffered to some extent 
from apathy and indifference, but more from lack of trained 
Education teachers. The colonial legislatures were not back- 
New de ward in impressing the necessity for education on 

England. their citizens, nor in furnishing the needful funds. 
What they could not do was to invest the calling of a teacher 
with sufficient importance to attract able men, in a society where 
industry and capacity opened many roads to wealth. Moreover 
in the Middle colonies, and even more in the South, the dif- 
ficulty of communication in the rural districts must have made 
the proper organization of schools almost impossible. In the 
South, too, there was no class to profit by them. The college 
of Williamsburg never took any hold on popular sympathy; 
the young Virginian was sometimes sent to England for educa- 
tion, occasionally to Yale. 1 More often he had a tutor, in many 
cases a Jacobite who had been sent out as an indented servant. 
What respect could the young planter have for a man who but 
for a little book-learning would have been working with the 
negroes in the tobacco fields? 

Projects there were, indeed, for a college in Maryland, one 
so grotesquely ambitious that it deserves notice. According to 
Schemes the prospectus of the would-be founders the pupils 
college in were to be instructed "not only in the learning of the 
Maryland. b est L at j n anc i Greek schools such as Eton and West- 
minster, but likewise the principal branches of the philosophy 
which a post-graduate" (presumably a bachelor of arts) "learns 
at the University." Also they were to be taught accounts, sur- 
veying, and navigation. All this was to be achieved with a staff 
of five teachers. At first they must be obtained from without; 
in a short time the college would be able to train up its own 

The teachers when old and infirm were to be pensioned off, 
on a system thoroughly consonant with the ecclesiastical ideas 
of the eighteenth century. The pension was to take the form 
of a benefice, the duties of which were to be discharged by a 

The scheme was brought before the Council, and by them, 

1 Madison waVsent to Yale because his parents distrusted the orthodoxy of 
the college at Williamsburg. 


strange to say, transmitted to the House of Representatives with 
approval. After that we hear no more of it. 1 

In education as in other matters Charlestown rose to a higher 
-standard. A modern historian of that colony has made a col- 
lection of over four hundred advertisements, which appeared in 
the South Carolina Gazette between 1733 and 1734, dealing 
with education. 2 

About the middle of the eighteenth century a certain wave of 
educational enthusiasm seems to have passed over the Middle 
colleges in colonies. This apparently originated in a desire for 
anTp J enn- y a higher standard of education among the Presby- 
syivania. terian clergy. There was in existence a place of 
education, whose character may be in a measure judged by its 
title, the log-hut school. Certain presbyteries took the view 
that the log-hut standard of education was a sufficient qualifica- 
tion for the ministry. The central presbytery at Philadelphia 
refused to adopt this standard, with the result that the local 
presbyteries seceded. Probably as a consequence of this in 1746 
a college was founded in New Jersey for the training of minis- 
ters of religion. The requirements for matriculation were 
Latin composition and an ability to translate Virgil, Cicero, 
and the Gospels. 3 

Four years later an academy was established at Philadelphia. 
Franklin was among those who interested themselves in the 
project, and the first Principal was one who might under more 
favorable circumstances have played a prominent part in the 
intellectual history of America. William Smith was one of 
those capable and well-trained Scotchmen who went to push 
their fortunes in the Middle colonies. His educational views 
were put forth in a work entitled "A General Idea of the 
College of Mirania," wherein the writer described his general 
conceptions of the aims and purposes of an educational founda- 
tion. For some a mere training of the business faculties must 
suffice. But the college must also minister to the wants of those 
whose future work needs a higher training. History must be 
studied as the practical comment on ethical theories. The 
perception and love of art must be developed. Latin is to be 

1 Steiner, History of Education in Maryland, p. 26. 

2 McCrady, vol. ii. p. 490. 

3 Maclean, History of College of New Jersey. 


taught, but it must not be so used as to hinder the free develop- 
ment of English speech. 

It speaks well for those responsible for the college that they 
were willing to give the headship to one who must have seemed 
to many a vague idealist. 

In 1754 New York was in some measure brought into line 
with Pennsylvania and New Jersey by the establishment of 
King's College. But the fact that it was exclusively a Church 
of England institution limited its benefits to a minority. It was 
not till the Revolution, when it changed alike its methods and 
its title, and became Columbia College, that it could be looked 
on as a national institution. 1 

1 Smith, vol. ii. pp. 15 1-2. 



There is no feature of colonial history with which moral and 
sentimental considerations have so closely combined themselves 
Slavery as the question of slavery. Yet there is hardly any 
colonies. which has been so largely determined by physical 
causes acting from without, so little by the deliberate volition of 
men. No reasonable man would underrate the force or reality 
of that moral sentiment which at last awakened the mind of 
the American people to the horrors and evils of negro slavery. 
But the causes which in the early days of the colonies promoted 
or restrained slavery had hardly anything in common with those 
which retarded or expedited abolition. The latter were moral, 
economical, and political. The former were almost wholly 
physical. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the con- 
test between free and slave labor was almost wholly decided by 
conditions of soil and climate. 

As we have already seen, there were, apart from minor dif- 
ferences, three zones each with its own physical conditions, and 
therefore with its own forms of industry. In each of the three, 
in New England,in the middle colonies, and in the South, slavery 
existed. But in each the status of the negro as a portion of the 
social and industrial fabric had a distinct character of its own. 
In New England the negro differed from the w T hite laborer or 
the white domestic servant only in social status, and in the 
sentiment with which he was regarded, and usually no doubt in 
the inferiority of his services. He had no special or separate 
place in the hierarchy of labor. The same may be said of 
Pennsylvania and the Jerseys. In New York, on the other 
hand, both in the country districts and the city, the negro was 
so largely employed as to form a distinct class presenting special 
dangers and needing special legislation. In the Southern 
colonies free labor did indeed exist. There were, as we have 
seen, yeomen farmers in Maryland, in Virginia, and in the 


western portions of South Carolina. White indented servants, 
too, were to be found, albeit in decreasing numbers. But negro 
labor so completely preponderated, that in considering the 
general structure of industry in the South all other forms may 
be disregarded. 

The one exception to this was North Carolina. By the 
middle of the eighteenth century the proportion of negroes to 
the whole population was in Maryland about thirty per cent., 
in Virginia about forty, in South Carolina more than sixty. In 
North Carolina, on the other hand, whites outnumbered negroes 
as five to one. This assuredly brings home to one the truth that 
the presence or absence of slavery was a question of soil and 
climate, and that moral considerations, so far as they entered 
into the question, were effect and not cause. No section of the 
population could have been more ready to embrace the advan- 
tages of slavery such as they were than the shiftless and indolent 
population of North Carolina. Slave labor can, however, from 
its mechanical and unintelligent character, only be profitable 
when it is applied to the production of some one staple on a 
large scale. The slave gang must be large enough to make the 
work of supervision remunerative. Neither of these conditions 
could be fulfilled in North Carolina. Slaves could only be 
prevented from escaping where there is a well-organized system 
of gang labor, and the swamps and forests of North Carolina, 
with their scanty white population and absence of roads, made 
the position of the fugitive comparatively secure. 

The extent and importance of negro slavery in the different 
colonies may be gauged by the frequency and stringency of the 
Legislation legislation on the subject. It is to be noticed that 

about the . J 

negro in this dealt fully as much with race as with status. 
England. The free negro was as much as the slave, or even 
more, the subject of special apprehensive restraint. References 
to slavery in the laws of the New England colonies are rare and 
unimportant. But in 1723 we find the Selectmen of Boston, 
acting under instructions from the town meeting, drawing up an 
elaborate code of regulations for the conduct of negroes, mulat- 
toes, and Indians, whether bond or free. 1 The freeman of color 2 

1 Boston Town Records, 1723, pp. 177, &c. 

2 I use this expression to avoid the cumbrous repetition of Indian, negro, or 


might not harbor a colored slave under penalty of a fine or a 
severe whipping, and for the prevention of such an offense any 
two householders might search the premises of a suspected 
person. He might not have arms or ammunition. He might 
not sell liquor or provisions out of doors on training days. He 
might not receive any goods from a colored slave or servant, 
and if any stolen goods were found in his possession it was 
assumed that he was guilty of theft. Such offenders were to be 
flogged and banished, and if they returned after such banish- 
ment, they were to be kept to hard labor for life. The negro 
might not work as a porter unless he could find security for 
fifty pounds. The dread of incendiarism as the negro's in- 
strument of revenge, a dread which, well- or ill-founded, bore 
terrible results at a later day in New York, is shown by the 
provision that during the fire no negro might be out of doors 
unless his master's property was actually in danger. The viola- 
tion of this rule was to be punished by whipping and imprison- 
ment. All the above regulations applied to Indians, negroes, 
and mulattoes, whether bond or free. They were supplemented 
by further special regulations applicable only to colored slaves 
and servants. They might not be out of doors an hour after 
sunset in the summer, or half an hour in winter. They might 
not carry any weapon, nor even a stick, save in case of decrepi- 
tude. They might not "lurk or idle" in or near the town in 
groups of more than two. They might not be present even with 
the permission of their master in the fields on public training 
days. All these restraints were to be enforced by the penalty of 
whipping, which in some cases was to be "severe." Once we 
read of death by burning in the case of a negro woman at Cam- 
bridge, convicted in 1749 of murdering her master. 1 

Even when he ceased to be the property of a master, a negro 
retained something of the servile status. In 1759 an order was 
made by the Selectmen on the subject of negroes working. The 
language of the order is so obscure that it is impossible to un- 
derstand precisely w T hat is enforced; but it is clear that some 
kind of compulsory work was contemplated. 2 In the same year 

1 Virginia Magazine of History, vol. iii. p. 308. 

2 Minutes of Selectmen. The order runs thus: — "Whereas there is consid- 
erable work to be done this year on Boston Neck, and the free negroes of the 
town have been for many years exempted from any duty, therefore it was 
some time voted that they be ordered to attend the Selectmen, and on this day 


an order was made by the town meeting that no negro or mu- 
latto might buy drink without an order from his master. 1 

The absence of specific legislation about negroes in Rhode 
Island and Connecticut shows that the employment of them in 
those colonies was exceptional. In Rhode Island, indeed, we 
find an Act passed in 17 15, providing that no slave be ferried 
over to the mainland without a certificate from his master, lest 
he should run away. 2 But as we find almost at the same time 
a statement that Indian slaves have been giving trouble, and 
that no more be imported, 3 it is not unlikely that they were the 
class named. The native once on the mainland would find it 
an easy matter to escape to the wilderness. In the Middle 
colonies, on the other hand, the presence of a negro population 
and the apprehensions caused by it meet us at every turn. An 
acute but not very trustworthy witness, before referred to, Mrs. 
Grant, draws an Arcadian picture of the relations between 
master and slave in one of the great New York families. 4 Each 
of the younger members of such a family had a negro boy 
assigned him to act as a body-servant, and we can easily believe 
that such an arrangement gave rise to strong and lasting affec- 
tion. 5 We cannot, however, accept Mrs. Grant as a wholly 
trustworthy witness when we find her stating that the negro 
slave was exclusively employed in domestic work and not in 
husbandry, and then a few pages later mentioning reaping as 
one form of industry in which one particular negro outstripped 
his fellows. 

She also describes how once a year a ship sailed to the West 
Indies with a cargo of refractory slaves, and how the dreaded 
threat of deportation was usually a sufficient security for good 
hebavior. 6 

Mrs. Grant's picture of the happy patriarchial relations which 
subsisted in a well-ordered New York household was probably 

the following negroes attended: Bristol Jeffries, who will do what work he is 
ordered to do; Pompey Blackman, who agrees to pay half a dollar per day for 
so many days as he shall be ordered; Leicester Black, do.; Dick Tynge to pay 
half a dollar as above." To pay must mean to be paid. 

1 Town Records, 1759, p. 20. 2 R. I. Records, vol. iv. p. 179. 

3 lb. p. 193. * Memoirs of an American Lady, vol. i. pp. 51, &c. 

5 One is reminded of Gumbo in The Virginians. 

6 One is reminded of the threat which terrified Irus, how he was to be 

Eis "E^eTOV ficurikyja, jSporwj' S^A^/mova irdvTiov. 


true. Like pictures have been drawn of slave life in the South, 
even by those who were strongly opposed to slavery as a system. 
But the condition of a Leicestershire hunting stable does not 
prove that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
is superfluous, and the records of New York and the adjacent 
colonies plainly show that there was a reverse side to the picture 
presented by Mrs. Grant. We have seen with what jealous 
suspicion the townspeople of Boston looked on the comparatively 
scanty colored population. In New York the negroes were 
proportionately more numerous and the cosmopolitan character 
of the colony, the lack of mutual reliance, of rigid discipline 
and civic spirit, made restraint less easy. In a city largely con- 
structed of wood, fire presents terrors which can hardly be un- 
derstood by those to whom a town means a collection of stone 
houses, and a single incendiary could inflict wholesale ruin on 
the vast warehouses and shipping of New York. 

The best proof that there was a side to the picture very dif- 
ferent from that presented by Mrs. Grant is to be found in 
the various enactments of the legislature of New York about 
negroes. In 1702 it was enacted that no person might trade 
w'ith a slave, that not above three slaves might come together 
except on their master's business. A master might chastise his 
slave so long as there was no injury to life or limb, and any 
township might appoint a public negro-whipper. 1 A runaway 
negro would naturally make for the Canadian frontier, and to 
guard against this it was made a capital offense for a slave to be 
forty miles north of Albany. 2 

In 1 7 12 a slave Act was passed prohibiting any free negro 
from entertaining slaves. At the same time it was enacted that 
a negro charged with felony should be tried by a jury of five, 
and have no right to challenge any of them. His master, how- 
ever, might claim for him a jury of twelve provided he paid the 
jurymen. 3 

That was the precursor of an alarm nearly thirty years later 
far more extensive and also more terrifying through the element 
The negro of vague mystery which entered into it. All that 
1741. 4 appears certain is that fire followed upon fire with 

*Acts of Assembly. 2 lb. p. 60. *Ib. p. 81. 

*The chief authority for this is Clarke's Despatch to the Duke of Newcastle, 
June 20, 1741, N. Y. Docs. vol. vi. p. 195. 


such rapidity as to create a panic. There is no doubt that 
negroes were concerned in these, and there was strong reason to 
suspect that certain disreputable whites had instigated the crime 
for purposes of plunder. The very fact that the fires were 
successive and not simultaneous makes strongly against the 
theory of an organized plot for the destruction of the city. 
Public opinion, however, was carried away by a panic which 
may have been irrational, but which was certainly not unnatural 
or surprising. Fear was stimulated by a rumor that the fires 
at New York were the result of a scheme on the part of the 
Spaniards to destroy all the British towns on the American 
coast, and an unfortunate priest named Ury, against whom there 
seems to have been no proof of guilt, was hanged. Three other 
whites met with the same fate, among them Huson, the man 
originally accused of setting the incendiaries to work, and his 
wife. Twenty-nine negroes in all were put to death, several by 

That same spirit of humanity which marked the conduct of 
the Quaker settlers towards the natives saved Pennsylvania 
The negro from the possibility of any such horrors as befell New 
syivania. York. Yet the colony could not dispense with pro- 
tective restrictions. In 1693 an Act had been passed forbidding 
negroes to "gad abroad" on Sunday without their masters* 
consent. 1 

In 1705 magistrates were empowered in certain cases, with 
the concurrence of a jury, to pass sentence of death on negroes, 
and any negro carrying arms was to be flogged. 2 Free negroes 
were regarded as a dangerous class, and as setting an example of 
idleness to their brethren who were still in bondage. Their 
houses might not be used as meeting-places for slaves. No one 
might emancipate a negro without finding security that he should 
not become chargeable on the public, and any free negro who 
idled or wandered about might be arrested and bound to 
service. 3 

At the same time the Swedish traveler Kalm bears witness 
to the habitual humanity of slave masters in Pennsylvania, and 
contrasts it with the brutality of the West Indian planters. 
He admits, too, that the negro needed strict discipline, and could 

1 Pennsylvania Records, vol. i. p. 380. 2 Laws of Pennsylvania. 8 lb. 


seldom use the gift of freedom for his own happiness. He also 
mentions the frequency of Obeah poisoning, used, he says, more 
often against some slave whose good conduct had earned for 
him confidence and a superior position than against the master. 1 

So, too, we read that in Delaware the haughty behavior of 
those negroes who have been admitted into the fellowship of 
Christ's religion, combined with a want of zeal in masters, has 
hindered conversion. 2 

Kalm's account seems intended to apply equally to New 
Jersey and Pennsylvania. Yet the records of the former colony 
The negro seem to show that, so far as the status of the negro 
jersey. and the feeling of the white towards him were con- 

cerned, New Jersey lay in a mean between the two colonies 
which bounded it. In the instructions issued to Governor 
Morris in 1738, the advisers of the Crown thought it necessary 
to insist on the principle that the arbitrary killing of a negro 
was murder. 3 In 1729 we read of a negro being burnt alive 
at Perth Amboy for murdering an Englishman. 4 Four years . 
later a plot, real or supposed, was detected among the negroes 
in Somerset County, East New Jersey, for the murder of their 
master. This was punished with singular lenity. One offender 
was put to death, the rest were flogged and their ears cropped. 5 
In 1755 a white man is arrested on the charge of killing his, 
negro slave by undue castigation. 6 

Economical causes served to keep down the negro population 
in the Middle colonies. The negro laborer was a more valuable 
commodity in the Southern colonies. The planter in Virginia 
or South Carolina could afford to outbid the merchant or land- 
holder in New Jersey and Pennsylvania ; and thus the stream of 
importation naturally flowed to the South. 7 

Passing southward into Maryland we are at once in the zone 
where organized negro slavery is the predominant form of in- 
dustry. The rival system of white servitude, a system to 
which the climate of Maryland lent itself better than that of 
the colonies further south, did indeed still exist. Just before 

1 Kalm, vol. i. pp. 390-400. 

2 Letter from Ross, the incumbent of Newcastle, March 1, 1727, in Perry/ 
Collection, Delaware, p. 43. t 

" N. Jersey Papers, vol. vi. p. 15. *Ib. vol. xi. p. 201. 

5 lb. vol. x. p. 333. «/&. vol. xix. p. 451. 

7 Cornbury notices this in a report. N. Y. Docs. yqJ* y. p. 55. 


the outbreak of the Revolution the importation of indented 
servants during a period of thirty years was estimated at six 
hundred a year. Yet if we take the average term of servitude 
as seven years, and allowing for deaths and escapes that is a 
liberal estimate, the number only reaches a trifle over four 
thousand, about one-tenth of the negro population. 1 

It may be safely said that on the whole the tone of legislation 
and administration in the Southern States showed less dread 
of the negro and more consideration in the treatment of him 
than that of New York. That is quite intelligible. Where 
slavery is the one pervading and almost universal form of in- 
dustry, it carries with it almost of necessity an organized system 
of supervision and restraint which largely supersedes the neces- 
sity for public administrative control. The whole body of 
masters and overseers become an unofficial police, and thus escape 
is rendered almost hopeless in Maryland. In the middle of the 
eighteenth century a law was passed specially directed against 
riotous assemblies of negroes met together to burn tobacco ware- 
houses. Arson and the murder of a master were punished not 
only by death, but by the added ignominy of quartering. It 
was further provided that runaw T ay slaves should have their ears 
cropped. As "boys and new-comers" were specially exempted 
from this, it is not unlikely that the Act included white indented 
servants. 2 

There is no trace in Virginian history of any organized out- 
break on the part of the negroes. In 17 10 we find Spotswood 
reporting to the Council of Trade rumors of a servile insurrec- 
tion. 3 During the crisis of the French war Dinwiddie writes 
that the slaves are taking up a threatening attitude. "The vil- 
lainy of the negroes on any emergency of government is what I 
always feared." 4 In 1723 a law was passed plainly designed 
to prevent criminal combinations among the negroes. 5 Not 
more than five of them might meet together unless they all be- 
longed to the same plantation, and even then the meeting might 
not be at night nor on Sunday. A runaway slave or vagrant 
might be punished at the discretion of the County Court with 
dismemberment, and if he died under the punishment, the per- 

1 Mereness, pp. 132-3. His authority is the Maryland Gazette. 

2 Acts of Maryland, 1724. 3 Spotswood's Letters, vol. i. p. 42. 
4 Dinwiddie's Letters, vol. ii. p. 100. 6 Hening, vol. iv. p. 118. 


son inflicting it incurred no penalty. This last provision was re- 
enacted in 1748; at the same time it was provided that no white 
person might attend a meeting of negroes or harbor any negroes 
without his master's consent. No negro might be away from the 
plantation to which he belonged without written permission. 
Any planter or overseer who allowed a strange negro to be on 
his premises for more than four hours was to be fined four hun- 
dred pounds of tobacco. 1 In 1738 a special form of police was 
established, patrollers, as they were called, who were to visit 
negro quarters on any suspicion of an unlawful assembly with 
power to arrest offenders and send them to the nearest justice, 
who might order a flogging. 2 

The dread of Obeah is shown by a special enactment against 
negro prisoners. In 1753 an enactment was passed prophetic 
of future disputes, to the effect that "a slave being in England 
shall not be undischarged from slavery unless there is proof of 
manumission." 3 

Throughout the whole of this legislation in Virginia we see 
an increasing tendency to make the distinction not simply one of 
increase of status, but also of race. In 1733 it was enacted that 
racTdu- f ree negroes and mulattoes might not serve in the 
tmction. militia. We may be sure that this exemption was 
dictated not by consideration but by alarm. The Act of 1748 
went further, and provided that no free negro or mulatto might 
have a gun. The same Act provided that no colored man even 
if free could give evidence, except against a slave, and that any 
negro who assaulted a Christian could be fined merely on the 
oath of the person assaulted, unless that person were a negro, 
mulatto, or Indian. In other words the colored man was 
placed under special disabilities whether he was to be regarded 
as violating the law or as protected by the law. 

Yet it could not be said that in Virginia the negro was a mere 
chattel unprotected by law. One item in Spotswood's instruc- 
tions from the Crown was to make the willful killing of negroes 
and Indians a capital crime. Such a case arose. A negro, the 
property of a woman, died under what the apologists for the 
mistress called "very moderate correction." Spotswood perti- 

1 Hening, vol. vi. pp. 104, &c. 

2 American Magazine of History, vol. xii. p. 542. Cf. Inglis, Local Institu- 
tions of Virginia, p. 88. 

8 Hening, vol. vi. p. 356. 


nently answered that such language showed barbarous uncon- 
cern, and that it could hardly be called moderate correction 
under which a hail (sic) negro gave up the ghost. The owner's 
consciousness of guilt was shown by the fact that the corpse 
was suddenly and secretly buried. The coroner's jury, acting 
probably under the Governor's instructions, had the body ex- 
humed, and found a verdict of willful murder, whereupon 
Spotswood ordered the owner to be prosecuted. 

When Spotswood's conduct in this matter was made subject 
of complaint, he laid down the doctrine that "at the same time 
the slave is the master's property he is likewise the King's sub- 
ject," and that "no master has such a sovereign power over 
his slave as not to be called to an account whenever he kills 
him." 1 

A patriotic Virginian writer has taken the view that the 
restrictions on emancipation passed from time to time by the 
Restric- legislature of this colony were the result of a humane 
emancu desire to protect the old and worn-out slaves from 
pation. being turned adrift by inhuman masters. 2 It is more 

likely that they were devised to check the increase of free 
negroes, a class always regarded with suspicion and dread. 

We have already seen what a small proportion of the inhabi- 
tants of North Carolina were black slaves, and statistics on 
The negro the subject are confirmed by the paucity of references 
Carolina. to negroes in the records of the colony. Yet even 
there we find the Assembly deciding that a bill must be brought 
in to prevent a negro insurrection. 3 

We find, too, a clause in the instructions issued to Governor 
Burrington, in 1729, bidding him to get a law passed for the 
protection of negroes, making the killing of them a capital 
crime and imposing a penalty for mutilation. 4 Like instruc- 
tions were issued to Governor Dobbs in 1758. 5 But we should 
be crediting the advisers of the Crown with more detailed 
knowledge of colonial affairs than they often possessed if we 
assumed that this was necessitated by anything in the special 
conditions of North Carolina. 

1 Spotswood's Letters, vol. ii. The incident reminds one of the death of Hark 
in Mrs. Stowe's novel, Dred. 

2 Mr. Moncure Conway, in the American Magazine of History, vol. xvii. p. 449- 
8 N. Car. Records, vol. iv. p. 364. 

* lb. vol iii. p. 106. 6 Ib. vol. v. p. 1105. 


The one colony whose industry and social economy were 
wholly dominated by the presence of the negro was South 
The negro Carolina. During the first half of the eighteenth 
Carolina. century everything tended to the increase of the black 
population out of all proportion to their masters. As far as 
the wealthy classes were concerned, South Carolina was Charles- 
town, and Charlestown was, as we have seen, largely peopled by 
merchants and men of business whose permanent homes and 
interests were in England. The movement already mentioned, 1 
which led to the gradual introduction of a yeoman population in 
the inland part of the colony, did little or nothing to alter this. 
Till the downfall of slavery, South Carolina was dominated 
by the planter and merchant, though the ruling class was often 
replenished and invigorated by recruits drawn from the western 
uplands. The extended production of rice and indigo created 
a demand for negroes practically unlimited, and the prolificness 
of the black race would by itself have insured an abundant and 
increasing supply, even if it had not been supplemented by 
importation strenuously encouraged by the British Government 
in the interest of the English slave-trader. A contributory in- 
fluence was to be found in the fact that the original settlers in 
South Carolina, or at least the most important body of them, 
came from Barbadoes, and brought with them the traditions of 
a society based on negro slavery. They also brought with 
them a code, one may almost say ready made, for the regulation 
of the system. 

That code was one which clearly differentiated between the 
status of the white man and the slave, placing the latter under 
special disabilities, and withholding from him that protection 
which the law granted to the dominant race. No slave might 
be absent from his master's premises except when accompanying 
his master or bearing a special permit, to be renewed for each 
occasion ; no slave might possess arms, and on suspicion of such 
possession his house might be summarily searched. The assault 
of a white man by a slave was punished by branding, mutila- 
tion, and, in the case of repeated offenses, by death. Charges 
en which a white man would have been tried by jury were 
decided in the case of a negro by a special court consisting of two 
justices and three other free-holders. 

*p. i6 4 . 


No adequate protection was offered against an arbitrary and 
violent master. The master who out of mere passion or 
caprice killed his slave was liable to three months' imprisonment. 
If the mishap was caused by the infliction of punishment for 
some definite offense, the master went free. 1 

In 1720 the Lords of Trade reported that the increase of 
slaves in South Carolina was becoming a serious source of 
danger. It had nearly "brought about a revolution which 
would probably have been attended by the utter extirpation of 
all the King's subjects in the colony." 2 It was probably the 
alarm thus caused which induced the Assembly to pass an Act 
in 1726 designed to check the numerical supremacy of the negro. 
Every plantation must have at least one white servant. If the 
number of slaves exceeded ten, then for every ten there must be 
one white servant. The overseer, however, or, if resident, the 
master might count towards this number. 3 

What intensified the "black peril" was that South Carolina 
had on its flank a watchful and unscrupulous enemy, who were 
doing their utmost to foster and utilize the discontent of the 
negro population. The Spanish Governor of Florida not 
merely received fugitive slaves, but organized them into a regi- 
ment under officers chosen from among themselves, differing 
neither in uniform nor pay from the Spanish soldiery. 4 This 
was well known to the negroes in South Carolina. 

In 1739 the threatened storm broke on the colony. Early 
in September a party of negroes assembled, massacred whites 
The negro and burnt houses, and possessed themselves of arms 

insurrec- . . . n . r 1 • 1 

tion.s and ammunition, bince no support or any kind was 

received from the Spaniards in Florida, the affair would seem 
to have been an unpremeditated outbreak of fury, not an 
organized plot. It is scarcely possible that in the latter case 
the insurgents should not have in advance secured the help of 
their neighbors. It is even less likely that if the Spaniards had 

1 For the code see Statutes of South Carolina, vol. vii. pp. 343, &c. It may- 
be compared with the Laws of Barbadoes, 1694. Mr. McCrady gives (vol. L 
p. 360) a good epitome of the code. 

2 The report is in the North Carolina Records, vol. ii. p. 418. 

3 Trott's Laws of South Carolina, p. 471. 

4 McCrady, vol. ii. p. 185. 

6 The chief authority for the negro insurrection is Governor Bull's report to 
the Duke of Newcastle, October 5, 1739. There is an epitome of it in the 
South Carolina Collections, vol. ii. p. 290. 


known what was intended they should not have seized the chance 
of dealing a blow at the English. 

The rioters, too, had chosen their time ill. They began 
operations on Sunday. It was a custom — whether enforced by 
law or not seems doubtful — that the settlers should go to church 
armed. The result was that while individual plantations were 
unprotected, the male population of the colony was at once 
available for defense, and the negroes found themselves con- 
fronted by an armed force. The stores of rum found in the 
houses which were sacked were fatal to discipline, and the 
rioters fell easy victims. The short-lived nature of the out- 
burst is shown by the fact that only twenty-one whites were 
killed. That only forty-four negroes lost their lives in the 
irregular fighting, and in the judicial proceedings which fol- 
lowed, shows that the settlers were not carried away by panic 
or vindictiveness. 

It is noteworthy that the colonial records of the eighteenth 
century do not reveal much of that type of crime which in later 
days has been specially responsible for the terror and loathing 
with which the negro has been regarded. There are isolated 
instances of attacks upon the chastity of white women, and rape 
im among the offenses contemplated in some of the criminal 
enactments dealing specially with the negro. In the early 
records of Western Virginia we find a case where such a crime 
is punished by mutilation of a kind to make a repetition of the 
act impossible. 1 It is not unlikely that the substitution of this 
penalty for death was due to the fact that in the sparsely popu- 
lated and inaccessible regions of the west, a negro was a rare 
and valuable commodity. On the tideway, where negroes were 
abundant, the crime would in all likelihood have been capital. 

That such crime, however, was unfrequent may be inferred 
not only from the silence of the records, but even more, perhaps, 
from the absence of any special complaints on the subject in the 
writings of travelers, and in the correspondence of officials and 
of private persons. 

Another repulsive feature of later times, intercourse between 
the races, taking the form of systematic concubinage by the 
large slaveholders, seems to have been unknown. That there 
was sexual intercourse between the races — mixed marriages, 

1 Peyton's History of Augusta County, p. 76. 


and in all likelihood illicit connections — is shown by the legisla- 
tion on the subject, and even more certainly by the frequent 
references to mulattoes. It is equally clear that such marriages 
were looked upon with disapproval, and as an evil grave enough 
to demand the intervention of the law. In Pennsylvania the 
Act of 1725, already referred to, made the marriage of a white 
with a negro punishable by a fine of thirty pounds. The negro, 
if free, relapsed into servitude. In Virginia any white inter- 
marrying with a negro was imprisoned for six months and 
fined ten pounds, and the minister celebrating such a marriage 
was fined. 1 

The non-existence, or at least the unfrequency, of negro con- 
cubinage may be inferred from the absence of any specific enact- 
ments to prevent it, and perhaps even more from the silence 
of colonial officials and travelers. It is also significant that 
the critics and opponents of slavery, while dwelling on its moral 
and economical evils, do not cite this. If we may believe Mrs. 
Grant, such relations were unknown among the colonists them- 
selves, and no mulattoes were to be seen. But she says, in 
somewhat magniloquent fashion, "during the French war the 
progress of the British Army might be traced by a spurious and 
ambiguous race of this kind." 2 

One writer, however, dating from Virginia about 1757, does 
state that "many base wretches among us take up with negro 
women." One would infer from the expression that the practice 
was disapproved by the social code of the better sort of planters. 3 

But, though the system of slavery might be as yet free from 
this special form of evil, its demoralizing influences w T ere 
already perceived by those who had no interest in the mainte- 
nance of the institution. In 1745 we find an English traveler 
setting forth the demoralizing effect on the children of the 
dominant race. 4 They are brought up in the sight of cruel pun- 
ishments, and in the society of those who in their sexual rela- 
tions resemble the brute beasts. Woolman, one of the most 
rational and moderate of the opponents of slavery, dwells on 

1 Hening, vol. vi. 

2 Memoirs of an American Lady, i. 86. 
8 Fontaine's Letters, p. 349. 

* " Itinerant Observations in America." Originally published in the London 
Magazine for 1745. Republished in the Georgia Historical Society Collections, 
iv. 38. 


the evil effects of slavery on the master. 1 Even then it was seen 
that the system could only protect itself by the infliction of 
punishments which must inevitably brutalize those who inflicted 
them. Slaves, old and infirm it might be, often came into the 
possession of young masters wholly unfit for arbitrary power. 
Woolman, too, evidently sees, though he does not state it form- 
ally or definitely, one of the strongest arguments used against 
slavery in later days, that where toil was the badge of an infe- 
rior race there could be no wholesome reverence for industry. 

It is assuredly no reproach to the American colonists that 
on the subject of slavery their moral standard was virtually 
that of the rest of the world. Stringent as was the moral sense 
of the New Englander in many respects, there was nothing to 
predispose him to look with any special aversion on slavery. By 
religious faith and by religious training he belonged to an oli- 
garchy, and the training of an oligarchy leaves little room for 
tenderness towards those outside its pale. As we have already 
seen, physical conditions kept slavery in New England within 
very narrow limits. The New England virtues, self-respect 
and sense of justice, would have sufficed, even if slavery had 
been more widely extended, to avert its worst evils. They did 
not suffice to create any strong opposition to slavery when it 
only affected other communities. For the New Englander, 
the evils of the plantation system were remote and unseen. 
Close familiarity with them might have hindered union, as at 
a later day it threatened to destroy it. In the South slavery 
was too closely interwoven with economic and industrial life 
to suffer men to question its fitness. Nor could the Established 
Church with any show of consistency condemn a system which 
the British Government had definitely taken under its pro- 
tection. In almost every colony there were righteous and 
humane men of divers sects and classes found to protest against 
the abuses incident to slavery and its possibilities of arbitrary 
cruelty. Only among the Quakers in the Middle colonies, and 
there not till the middle of the eighteenth century, do we find 
a strenuous and comprehensive protest not against the abuses 
of slavery, but against the very system itself. Woolman in 

1 Woolman's pamphlet entitled Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes 
was originally published in 1754. It was subsequently added as an appendix 
to his life, published at Dublin in 1794. 


his autobiography tells us how, when a young man, he was exer- 
cised in mind because his employer told him to write a bill of 
sale for a negro slave. It was the common situation of a sensi- 
tive conscience suddenly brought face to face with a wide gap 
between the conventional standard of morality and his own 
unformulated and half-acknowledged convictions. 

It was not long before vague distaste hardened into definite 
and convinced opposition. In 1759 Woolman and his fellow- 
religionist Churchman were conducting a house-to-house visi- 
tation designed to bring slaveholders to a sense of the sinfulness 
of the practice. Then, as in later days, the cause of abolition 
was somewhat hindered by the overstrained scruples of its 
advocates. Some of those who were convinced of the guilt of 
holding slaves nevertheless did not emancipate their negroes 
at once. They would in that case have been bound to provide 
for them if destitute. To meet this they retained their slaves 
in bondage till they were thirty, considering that by that time 
their earnings would cover the risk which they were incur- 
ring. This Woolman condemned as an immoral concession. 
Yet it is characteristic of his temper, always more severe in 
judgment of himself than others, that his blame is directed not 
against his neighbors, but against his own conduct when, acting 
as an executor, he was a party to this arrangement. 

In the matter of slavery the Church of England can make 
no claim to have outrun the standard of morality usually recog- 
Neau's nized. What it may claim is that, while accepting 

school. slavery as an established and necessary institution, it 

did its utmost to secure for the slave humane treatment, and 
to deal with him, and to make others deal with him, as a being 
with a soul to be saved. The Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel had a diligent servant in Elias Neau, a French 
Huguenot, who in 1704 established a missionary school for 
negroes at New York. In four years the number of catechu- 
mens in Neau's school had mounted up to two hundred. 

The missionary labors of Elliot and Gookin in New Eng- 
land were frustrated by the outburst of indiscriminate fury 
against all Indians which followed upon Philip's war. So was 
it with Neau. When New York was put in danger by servile 
incendiaries, those restraints on negroes, which were dictated by 
necessity, or at least by common prudence, such as the prohibi- 


tion to be in the streets at night without light, were some 
hindrance. 1 An even more serious hindrance to Neau's work 
was the indignation with which he was looked on as the friend 
of the negro. There was but the slightest personal connection 
between his school and the incendiaries. Only one scholar, an 
unbaptized one, was implicated. Yet so violent was the feeling 
against Neau that he had for safety to avoid the public streets. 
Happily for him the Governor was one who understood the 
art of disregarding public folly without offending public feeling. 
Hunter, a Whig and a Scotchman, cannot have had any strong 
prepossessions in favor of Neau's work. It is the best proof 
of its value and of Neau's personal merit that Hunter stood by 
him in his trouble with unflinching loyalty. He paid the school 
a formal visit ; he requested the clergy to advocate publicly from 
the pulpit Neau's claims, and he secured for him the support 
of the chief officials. The Council of New York, the Mayor, 
the Recorder, and the two Chief Justices joined Hunter in a 
declaration that Neau "had demeaned himself in all things as a 
good Christian subject," and that his labors had served for 
the advancement of religion and the benefit of the negro slaves. 
Thus supported, Neau seems to have lived down his unpopu- 
larity. He carried on the school till his death in 1724, and 
bequeathed it to successors, under whom it prospered so long as 
New York remained a British dependency. 2 

The conditions of life in Maryland and Virginia, and the 
character and temper of the clergy in those colonies, made effect- 
Negro con- ive religious teaching among the negroes well-nigh 
Soith° nsin impossible. Ministers who had neither time nor 
Carolina. energy adequately to fulfill their duties towards 
their existing white congregations, were not likely to undertake 
missionary work which could only be carried out by continuous 
journeyings from plantation to plantation. In North Carolina 
if the slaves were heathens it was only a condition which they 
shared with the generality of their masters. 

1 Anderson treats this as a grievance, urging that the negroes could not afford 
lanterns or candles. One would suppose that if there had been any real zeal 
among the settlers for the work that would not have been insuperable. The 
Society could have provided what was needed with no great drain on its 

2 For this affair see Humphreys' History of the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, published in 1730. Humphreys was secretary 
to the Society. Cf. Anderson, vol. iii. p. 453. 


In South Carolina the case was different. Early in the eight- 
eenth century one minister reports that he has taught twenty- 
three negroes to read. Another clergyman, writing in 1713, 
announces the baptism of fourteen slaves; and a third, writing 
twenty years later, reports that out of his thirty-one communi- 
cating parishioners, nineteen were negroes. 1 

In 1727 Henry Gibson, then Bishop of London, and as such 
the diocesan of the colonies, issued a letter to slaveholders urg- 
ing the necessity of extending Christianity among the negroes. 
He takes successively various objections that have been urged 
against the work and meets each of them. 

Bishop 1. It is said that the negroes being adults are 

letters.* unconvertible. This doctrine if accepted would 
make all missionary work impossible. 

2. They cannot be taught since they know no English. At 
least they know enough for the practical purposes of life. The 
best can be chosen as interpreters and subaltern missionaries. 
In any case this difficulty need not hinder missionary work 
among the children. 

3. Religious teaching will encroach on the time needed for 
work. To accept this view is to make Mammon everything 
and God nothing. 

Finally the Bishop meets an objection which had always 
tended to hinder missionary work among the slaves — the belief 
that conversion to Christianity might be thought to carry with 
it a claim to freedom. Thus we find a clergyman in North 
Carolina, Taylor, reporting to the Gospel Society that he was 
doing good missionary work among the slaves in a certain plan- 
tation. The planter, however, was told that baptism would 
carry with it a right to emancipation, and he therefore stopped 
Taylor's ministration. Taylor suggested that this fear might 
be met by a declaratory Act. 3 That course had been adopted 
seven years before in South Carolina. There the legislature 
passed an Act setting forth that slaveholders might be deterred 
from having their slaves baptized by the belief that manumission 
of necessity followed; that this view was unfounded, and that 

1 McCrady, vol. ii. pp. 40-50. He quotes several original authorities. 

2 These are given by Dalcho, History of the Church in South Carolina, p. 104. 
8 N. Car. Records, vol. ii. p. 331. 


the baptized slave still remained a slave. 1 A similar declaratory- 
Act was passed in New York in 1709. 2 

Gibson enforces this view; St. Paul, as he points out, con- 
templated the possibility of slaves becoming converted to Chris- 
tianity and still remaining slaves. 

The Bishop also meets the objection of those who openly said 
that Christianity unfitted the slave for his work. That was 
probably thought by others who had not the courage to say it 
openly. Gibson's answer is that to say that Christianity and 
effective work as a slave are incompatible is to condemn Chris- 
tianity. There was an alternative answer, but it was one which 
could hardly be looked for from an English public man in the 
first half of the eighteenth century. 

This was accompanied by a short pastoral addressed to the 
ministry, exhorting them not to neglect the work of conversion 
among the slaves. 

It has been made a matter of reproach to the British Govern- 
ment that by refusing to second the efforts of colonial legisla- 
tures for the restriction of slavery it rendered itself responsible 
for the continuance and extent of the evil. That is no doubt 
in a measure true. Before the middle of the eighteenth century 
various colonial legislatures had taken measures for checking the 
importation of negro slaves by the imposition of a duty. In 
1738 such a measure was carried through the Lower House of 
the New Jersey Assembly. It was vetoed, not by the British 
Government but by the Council. 3 They probably were acting 
in the interests of the large merchants and landholders, while 
the Lower House represented the yeomanry tilling their own 

In South Carolina an Act was passed in 1740 laying a duty 
of sixty pounds on every negro imported. Furthermore a tax 
was imposed on all purchasers of negroes within six months of 
their importation. The duty was somewhat oddly graduated in 
proportion to the height of the negro purchased. This Act 
was to be in force for ten years, and was then renewed for ten 
import vears more. 4 In 1756 Lyttelton, who came out as 

duty on * .... 

slaves in Governor, received instructions not to assent to any 
Carolina. Act for taxing imported negroes. The existing 

1 Statutes of S. Carolina, vol. vii. p. 352, quoted by Mr. McCrady. 

2 Acts of Assembly, p. 65. 3 New Jersey Papers, vol. vi. p. 219. 
4 Statutes of South Carolina, vol. iii. p. 566, quoted by Mr. McCrady. 


Acts, however, remained in force. Lyttelton's instructions were 
repeated to his successor Boone, and probably in consequence the 
Act was not renewed. 

The instructions given to Lyttelton expressly set forth that 
the imposition of duties on the importation of negroes operated 
to "the great discouragement of negroes trading to the coast 
of Africa." 1 The same policy is indicated in the instructions 
issued to Burrington as Governor of North Carolina, in 1728. 
Merchants trading to the colony were to be encouraged, "in 
particular the Royal African Company, and other our subjects 
trading to Africa. And as we are willing to recommend unto 
the said Company and other our subjects that the said Province 
may have a constant and sufficient supply of merchantable 
negroes at moderate rates in money and commodities, so that 
you are to take special care that payment be duly made." 2 

The condition of public opinion in the mother country on 
this subject may be learned from a pamphlet written in 1709, 
Postie- t but thought worthy of republication in 1745. 3 The 
pamphlet, title of the pamphlet somewhat fallaciously sug- 
gests care for the interests of the colonies. As a matter of fact 
the writer looks at the question solely as it bears on the com- 
mercial advantage of the mother country. "Negro labor will 
keep the colonies in a due subservience to the interests of the 
mother country, for while our plantations depend only on plant- 
ing by negroes and that of such produce as interferes only with 
the interests of our rivals not of their mother country, our 
colonies can never prove injurious to British manufactures nor 
become independent of these kingdoms, but remain a perpetual 
support to our European interest by preserving to us a supe- 
riority of trade and naval power. 

"Were it possible, however, for white men to answer the end 
of negroes in planting, must we not drain our country of hus- 
bandmen, mechanics, and manufacturers too? Might not the 
latter be the cause of our colonies interfering with the manu- 
factures of these kingdoms as the Palatines attempted in Penn- 

1 Quoted by Mr. McCrady, South Carolina under Royal Government, p. 378. 

3 N. Car. Records, vol. iii. p. 106. 

•The pamphlet is entitled The African Slave Trade the great Pillar and 
Support of the British Plantations in America. It is attributed to one Postle- 
thwayte, and was only one of a host of pamphlets and broadsheets called forth 
by the proposal to limit the trade in slaves to an incorporated company. 


sylvania?" It is noteworthy that not only in Postlethwayte's 
pamphlet, but in all the controversial literature on the subject, 
we find no consideration of what would probably in modern 
times be regarded as the most important factor in the case — the 
moral and social aspect of the case as it affects the colonists and 
the slaves. The negro is just a commodity like any other 

No doubt the policy of the British Government in this, as 
in all other matters, was to look primarily to the commercial 
Nature of interests of the mother country. But it would be 
skionTo" assuredly a gross and unjust exaggeration to rep- 
siavery. resent the colonies as struggling against a moral and 
social evil which the mother country was resolved to force upon 
them. Here and there were those who had scruples about toler- 
ating slavery in any form. Such were to be found in England 
also, though no doubt they were more frequent in the colonies, 
where the moral and social evils of slavery were forced upon 
men's notice. But, taking the colonists as a whole, what they 
dreaded and resented was the presence among them of a bar- 
barous population, outnumbering, or rapidly tending to out- 
number, the white inhabitants. The negro imported fresh 
from Africa was far more an object of terror than the negro 
born on a plantation and reared under the eye of a white master. 
If the imposition of an import duty unduly lessened the supply 
of labor, that could be counterbalanced by an increased produc- 
tion of negroes in the colonies. Thus the taxation of imported 
negroes was an obvious and tempting method of raising revenue ; 
it would leave the system of servile labor unimpaired, while it 
freed that system from some of its worst evils and greatest dan- 
gers. For if the thing was looked at purely from a humani- 
tarian point of view the sufferings caused by the African trade 
were perhaps the worst features of slavery. Many who would 
have shrunk from such a far-reaching industrial revolution as 
would have been involved in the extirpation of slavery would 
have welcomed the abolition of that trade as a valuable install- 
ment of justice. 

During the seventeenth century the "proximity of the Indian 
was for the colonists an influence making for cohesion. Dread 
of the Indian, a dread intensely impressed on the settlers by the 
Pequod war, was the chief cause which brought about the one 


practical attempt at colonial union, the confederacy of the four 
New England colonies. That dread, kept alive by Philip's- 
The war and by the perpetual menace of a joint French 

anxUhe an d Indian invasion, helped to counteract that 
Indians. intense spirit of local patriotism which threatened 
to subordinate the state to the township. In the Southern 
colonies the proximity of the savage did something to check 
extension westward, and to force the settlers to develop to the 
full the resources of the sea-coast rather than seek new homes 
further inland. 

One cannot say that this influence disappeared in the following 
century, but assuredly it lost its original force. In New Eng- 
land, indeed, it operated with more strength than elsewhere. 
Yet even there it had changed its form. What the New Eng- 
lander in the eighteenth century had to dread was not the 
savage in English territory or on the border, who might at 
some unlooked-for moment fill the colony with the prospect 
of massacre, but the distant Indian — a weapon wielded by 
the unscrupulous and merciless diplomacy of Canadian Gov- 
ernors, added enormously to the terrors of war, but not an 
independent source of danger. So far as it did operate, it was 
an evil which presented itself far more vividly to the inhab- 
itants of scattered and thinly peopled villages on the verge of 
the northwestern frontier than to citizens of Boston fenced off 
from danger by a belt of civilized country. A more far-sighted 
policy on the part of Great Britain might have turned to 
account the indifference of the government of Massachusetts to 
the danger of her more remote members. A well-organized 
military policy on the western frontier might have taught the 
settlers there that in union with the mother country lay hopes 
of safety w T hich their own local government was powerless to 
give. In the South, too, the Indian peril had changed its char- 
acter. The white invaders and the original inhabitants were 
no longer intermixed on the soil which the latter could claim 
as their inheritance. They stood confronting one another as 
two detached communities. The presence of the Indian so 
placed made for dissension rather than cohesion. It had been 
an important influence in forcing upon the Southern colonies, 
separately and individually, such union as they attained. It did 
nothing to further that wider union of colonies which was the 


crying need of the eighteenth century. Rather it hindered such 
union, and was a source of jealousy and mutual distrust. The 
troubles with the Indians in the Middle and Southern colonies 
were largely due to the lawless and brutal conduct of isolated 
settlers living on the western frontier, beyond the limits of civil- 
ization and authority. These were in many cases occupants of 
those debatable lands claimed by more than one colony, and 
they took advantage of the fact to ignore the authority of 
whatever government strove to control them. Thus the 
intercolonial bitterness which was engendered by territorial 
disputes was accentuated by the fact that such disputes were 
often attended by trouble with the savages as their direct conse- 

The eighteenth century brought with it another change, 
specially felt in the Northern colonies. The English w r ere no 
changes longer menaced in the same way by united communi- 
iodian the ti es large enough to be dangerous. The Pequods, the 
tnbes. Narragansetts, the tribe or tribes that had formed 

the kingdom of Powhatan, had all vanished before the white 
invader. The hegemony of the Iroquois over all the tribes 
along the western frontier had become more complete. New 
actors indeed had appeared on the scene. No feature of Indian 
life is more noteworthy, and hardly any to the historian more 
bewildering, than the rapid changes in the relative importance of 
the various tribes. In the eighteenth century three tribes pre- 
viously unknown or obscure in colonial annals come to the 
front and assert themselves, with relations to the colonists 
never cordial and at times hostile. These were the Shawnees, 
the Delawares, or, as they proudly called themselves, the Lenni 
Lenape, the Original Men, and the Miamies, sometimes called 
the Twightwies. These three tribes occupied a tract along the 
west bank of the Ohio, extending from the Monongahela to the 
Wabash, with the Delawares at the northern, the Miamies at 
the southern extremity. All of them had suffered in the seven- 
teenth century at the hands of the Iroquois. The Miamies had 
been seriously reduced in numbers; the Shawnees had been for 
a while driven from their homes in the Ohio valley and become 
wanderers. The Delawares had been reduced to a state of 
degrading servitude. Yet in the eighteenth century each tribe 
had retained sufficient independence to have in some measure a. 


policy of its own, and sufficient military strength to be a source 
of danger to the settlers. 

In dealing with the relations between the English and the 
Indians, we cannot do better than follow that division which has 
Relations of served us in other matters, and treat the colonies as 
iand\o n th~e falling into three groups, each occupying its own zone. 
Indians. T\\z attitude of New England to the natives was now, 
as always, definite and free from complications. This was due 
alike to the composition and the constitution of the New Eng- 
land settlements. The sea-board towns, where the bulk of the 
population and wealth of the colony was to be found, were well 
outside the striking distance of any Indian raid. Danger could 
only come to them from a French invasion, in which the Indians 
might be auxiliaries. And even the inland, and therefore more 
exposed, portions of the colony were to a great extent exempt 
from all those influences which specially tended to embroil the 
colonists and the savages. The political system of New Eng- 
land, rigid as it was, could not wholly exclude the squatter, 
who wandered on his own account beyond the recognized fron- 
tier, debauching the natives with rum, and swindling them out 
of their furs and their land. But we may at least say that he 
was less frequent, and more easily and effectively controlled, 
than in the Middle and Southern colonies. The frontier was 
covered by a belt of forest, not indeed permanently occupied by, 
Iroquois settlements, but in which the Canadian Indian invad- 
ing from the north might at any time fall in with a Mohawk 
war-party. The loyalty of the Iroquois to the English alliance 
might be at times doubtful. His persistent hatred of the Huron 
might be reckoned on with unfailing confidence. 

There was, however, no such certainty about his relations to 
the French. Iroquois chiefs more than once told the English 
The iro- in formal conference that they could not answer for 
the English, the fidelity of their tribe, that the younger warrior 
might be won over. The Five Nations were in constant dan- 
ger of being alienated by the sloth and bewildered by the dis- 
union of their white allies. The Mohawk was not a mere wild 
beast, loving indiscriminate carnage for its own sake. If he 
was to do the devil's work he expected the devil's wages, and 
there were times when he seemed far more likely to receive 
those wages from the French than the English. Was he, he 


more than once asked, to do all the fighting while his white ally 
sat quietly at home and enjoyed all the fruits of conquest? He 
was wholly bewildered, too, by the spectacle of communities, 
speaking the same speech, nominally belonging to the same 
nation, yet showing no unity of purpose or sense of common 
action. Could all the English, he asked, be really subjects of 
one King? 

Thus the security of New England depended more on her 
own geographical position and social conditions than on the 
New somewhat precarious alliance with the Mohawks. 

and the Although, after the overthrow of Philip, New Eng- 
indians. land never knew the full horrors of an Indian inva- 
sion, yet she did not wholly escape. But when the New Eng- 
lander of the eighteenth century came into conflict with the 
Indian, it was not with the Indian as an independent enemy, 
acting for his own benefit and on his own responsibility, but 
with the Indian as the instrument of French aggression. Queen 
Anne's war, to give it the name which it bore among the col- 
onists, brought as one of its consequences a conflict with the 
Indians. For ten years the frontiers of New England had to 
endure a continuous series of raids. 1 The burden fell upon the 
western frontier of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and on the 
scattered and sparsely peopled villages on the coast of Maine. 
The real heart of New England, the sea-board with its ports, 
its prosperous towns and its villages and farmsteads, near 
enough for mutual support and sheltered by the capital, were 
safe. There could be no stronger proof how weak and ill- 
considered was the policy of the French rulers of Canada and 
their priestly advisers than their attitude to New England. A 
war of raids, which merely harried the extremities and left the 
vital center untouched, could only exasperate, without inflicting 
any permanent injury. In the Ohio valley such a policy might 
be unscrupulous, but it was at least effective. There France 
had to face an encroaching wave of population, and the Indian 
was no doubt the most effective weapon for repelling it. But 
no such danger menaced her from New England. There was 
not the slightest danger of Canada finding herself confronted 

1 I have mentioned these and especially the destruction of Schenectady else- 
where: The Puritan Colonies, vol. ii. The chief authorities are Niles and Pen- 


with a belt of English population in the dreary forests and 
barren uplands which surround the sources of the Connecti- 
cut, the Androscoggin, and the Kennebec. There nature had 
given New France an effective frontier; it was sheer folly to 
convert it from a neutral zone into an area of strife. Specially 
was it folly for the weaker side, which needed all its resources 
for the protection of its really vulnerable parts. Only an aston- 
ishing ignorance of the conditions of New England and of the 
temper of its citizens could have led to such an error. The 
New Englander was peaceful, not assuredly from cowardice, 
but from inertness, from a lack of the training and instincts 
which enabled him readily to take his place as part of a mili- 
tary organism. To him it was a matter of indifference whether 
the settlers of Pennsylvania and Virginia could find new homes 
on the banks of the Ohio, or whether France as one of the 
great Powers of Europe was crippled. Not for these objects 
was the New England yeoman going to leave his farm untilled, 
or the New England politician to deny himself the luxury of 
thwarting and insulting a royal Governor. But once bring him 
face to face with those two objects of hereditary and traditional 
hatred, the Indian warrior and the French priest, and a spring 
was touched which transformed the New Englander from a 
peace-loving trader and a disaffected politician into a tenacious 
and vindictive fighter. 

It is but just to the secular rulers of Canada to say that the 
error which brought the fortunes of the colony to shipwreck 
was due far more to religious bigotry than to political miscalcu- 
lation. It was a cruder and more brutal manifestation of that 
spirit which led to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. That 
by alienating the very men who of all the population of France 
were best fitted for the task of colonization did much to bring 
about, or at least to accelerate, the fall of French Canada. The 
same spirit embroiled the colony in a wholly unnecessary and 
profitless struggle with New England. No one can withhold 
from the French missionaries the full meed of praise due to 
courage and self-devotion. Equally can no one deny that in 
nine cases out of ten the motives to which they appealed and 
the standard of life which they inculcated on their converts 
would have met with the most unsparing condemnation from 
the Founder of Christianity and the early teachers of the Chris- 


tian religion. The Indian convert to Romanism was a recruit, 
bought at a price, and that price was unlimited opportunity 
for killing and torturing heretics. 

No more typical instance of the militant French missionary 
could be found than Sebastian Rasle. In the last decade of 
Sebastian tne seventeenth century, he, then a man of about 
Rasie. 1 forty, was placed in charge of a missionary station 

at Norridgewock, on the Kennebec, hard by the frontier of 
Maine. In 1705, during Rasle's absence, a raiding party from 
New Hampshire fell upon the village and destroyed it, burn- 
ing the church. The settlement, however, was not abandoned. 
The church was rebuilt, strange to say, by the hands of work- 
men hired from New England, 2 and by 17 10 the village con- 
tained twenty-six houses within a wooden palisade. 3 

The conclusion of Queen Anne's war was the signal for a 
movement of English settlers into the valley of the Kennebec. 
There need be no doubt that, as in this case almost always, the 
influx of white settlers was more or less attended with forcible 
or fraudulent eviction of the natives from the lands which they 
claimed the right to wander over. It was not difficult for Rasle 
to represent the English advance as a deliberate scheme for the 
extirpation of the native. 

In August 17 16, Shute being anxious about the safety of the 
outlying settlements, summoned the Indian chiefs to a conference 
The at Georgetown, a fort situated on an island near the 

at olorg" mouth of the Kennebec. Shute's somewhat over- 
town, bearing manner, his ignorance of the Indians' habits 
of thought and his indifference to their severe regard for cere- 
monial form, nearly brought the conference to an untimely end. 
Matters were not improved when the Indians produced a letter 
addressed by Rasle to Shute, in which he said that the English 
could have no claim to lands east of the Kennebec, since no 
cession of such lands had been made by the King of France. 
This was practically a new and extended territorial claim. The 
Indians, however, were plainly anxious for peace. For all 
Rasle's ability and influence we may well believe that the French 

1 The best account of Rasle is to be found in Parkman's Half Century of 
Conflict, vol. i. p. 207. I have adopted Rasle's own spelling of his name. 

2 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 313. 

3 Half Century, vol. i. p. 210. Mr. Parkman quotes an inscription on a map 
dating from 17 16. 


authority, represented and enforced by a solitary priest, was 
outweighed by the spectacle of the English Governor in uni- 
form, coming in a frigate with a military retinue. The Indians, 
alarmed by Shute's threat of withdrawing from the conference, 
humbly granted all that he asked. An agreement was signed 
by twenty Indians, chiefs or elders, by which they accepted the 
sovereignty of the English Crown, and granted to the English 
settlers full rights of territorial extension. Shute on his side 
promised to set up trading houses, where the Indians might 
obtain goods on fair terms. They were also to have the serv- 
ices of an English smith to mend their guns. These provisions 
of the treaty are a good instance of the advantages which the 
English enjoyed for securing the friendship of the natives, if 
only the political condition of the colonies had allowed their 
rulers to play their cards to the best effect. 1 

The Massachusetts Assembly did not confine themselves to 
warlike measures, but endeavored to meet Rasle on his own 
a Prot- ground and to countermine him by establishing a 

mission. Protestant mission. A New England minister, 
Joseph Baxter, was sent out into the wilderness to preach Prot- 
estant doctrine to the savages. Rasle would have been probably 
well advised to trust to the Indians' indifference to a religion 
which offered them Calvinistic doctrine instead of Roman ritual, 
and which refused to bribe them by appeals to their worst 
passions. But his diplomatic powers were, as it would seem r 
marred by a hot and overbearing temper, and he entangled him- 
self in a controversial correspondence with Baxter, carried on 
in Latin, in which each belabored the other's scholarship after 
the fashion of two humanists of the Renaissance. 2 

Rasle fared better in his attempts to keep alive anti-English 
feeling among his flock. In 1721 we find him writing compla- 
French cently to the Governor of Canada that the teaching 
w?th B the given at his mission had led the savages to threaten 
Indians. tne English settlements and to destroy many of the 
cattle there. In reply, the Governor of Canada promised Rasle 
that the Jesuit mission should be strengthened and extended, and 
that hostility to the English should be inculcated. The Intend- 

1 For these negotiations see Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 219; Penhallow (ed. 1859), 
p. 84; N. Hants. Historical Collections, vol. ii. p. 242. 

J Half Century of Conflict, vol. i. p. 221. Mr. Parkman refers to unpublished 


ant 1 at the same time wrote that if the King would permit it,, 
active help would be given to Rasle's followers. In any case 
they should be supplied with ammunition. 

The Government of Canada, starved by the folly of the 
rulers in France, and honeycombed with internal corruption, 
Hostility could give little more than vague promises and verbal 
mS"° encouragement. Rasle's cause was better served by 
and S the S tne m i SQ, eeds an ^ follies of his opponents. Disrepu- 
indians. table squatters on the border, acting after the wont 
of such folk, trafficked on the necessities of the Indians and their 
lust for firewater. 2 The Assembly of Massachusetts withheld 
from Shute the supplies necessary for carrying out his promises 
to supply the Indians with goods and with the presents which 
he had promised. Not only that, but by encroaching on the 
prerogative of the Governor, and claiming a right of independ- 
ent action on a question of peace and war, they made a con- 
tinuous and consistent policy impossible. 3 The settlers of 
Massachusetts were in the habit of using certain lands near 
Canso, in Nova Scotia, as summer pasturage for their cattle, 
during which time the owners or their herdsmen occupied 
chalets in that district. These were attacked by the Indians. 
Some of the occupants were killed ; the houses were stripped* 
and the plunder carried off by small French fishing vessels from 
Cape Breton. Fortunately, an English sloop appeared on the 
scene and came to the rescue, capturing six or seven vessels with 
the plunder aboard. 4 

This was followed by minor outrages in the valley of the 
Kennebec: cattle were driven off and haystacks burnt. 5 

The Governor was still for peaceful measures, and his policy 
was approved by the Council. He sent instructions to the mil- 
Dispute itary officer in command of the district threatened to 
between summon the Indians to a conference, and they prom- 
azine * ised to attend. On November 2, however, after the 
Assembly.* Governor's message had been sent, but before the 
day fixed for the conference, the Assembly voted that a hundred 
and fifty men be sent up to Norridgewock to make reprisals on 

1 The official responsible for finance. 

2 Belknap, vol. iii. p. 40; cf. Half Century of Conflict, vol. i. p. 223. 

3 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 238. * lb. p. 240. 

5 Half Century, as above. "Hutchinson, vol. ii. pp. 240-1. 


the Indians and to capture Rasle. Whatever effect considera- 
tions of economy might have had was destroyed by that strange 
and unhappy delusion which haunted the New Englander, who 
thought that wealth could be called into existence by a mere 
stroke of the pen, and that an issue of paper money would 
enable the community to meet any charge without feeling the 
burden. Indeed, we may say that a desire, in some cases an 
interested desire, for the issue of paper money in itself fur- 
nished a motive for that warlike policy which made such an 
issue necessary. The Assembly also voted that a reward of 
five hundred pounds sterling should be offered for Rasle's head. 
This, however, was vetoed by the Governor and Council. That 
Rasle was well informed of the course of events at Boston may 
be inferred from his knowledge of this fact. At the same time 
he, in all likelihood deliberately, misrepresented the abortive 
proposal as an actual offer, and doubled the sum usually 
suggested. 1 

Whether Shute's policy or the policy of the Assembly was 
the better, it is at least certain that the interlacing of the two, 
Second the alternations of a policy of severity and a policy of 

at Georje- propitiation, could only spell failure. For the time, 
town. however, Shute and the Council, exercising their 

constitutional right to veto the resolution of the Assembly, 

The Norridgewock Indians promised to pay two hundred 
beaver skins as compensation for the damages done, and to 
abstain from future hostilities. As a guarantee for the fulfill- 
ment of these promises they gave four hostages. A meeting was 
then arranged at Georgetown, the scene of the previous treaty, 
at which the beaver skins should be delivered. 

Rasle and his supporters in Canada were resolved that the 
issue should not be left in the hands of the now peacefully 
inclined Norridgewock Indians. As we have seen, Rasle was 
more or less acquainted with the course of affairs at Boston, 
and we cannot doubt that he succeeded in impressing upon his 
disciples that, whatever promises Shute individually might make, 
the policy of the English as a whole was one of uncompromising 

1 Half Century, vol. vi. p. 229. Hutchinson says (vol. ii. p. 265), "his scalp 
would have been worth a hundred scalps of the Indians." 


On the day appointed there appeared at Georgetown two 
French officers, followed by a band of two hundred and fifty 
Roman converts, among them a sprinkling of Iroquois who had 
deserted the English alliance. 1 Accordingly there was little hope 
that a meeting thus composed and thus influenced would bring 
peace as a consequence. The anti-English party soon found a 
pretext for breaking off negotiations. The Indians demanded 
that on the payment of the beaver skins the hostages should be 
returned. To this it was replied that hostages were a guaran- 
tee not only for payment, but for future good behavior, and 
must therefore be still detained. When their surrender was 
refused the Indian chiefs produced a manifesto, signed by them- 
selves, but drawn up for them in readiness by the Jesuit superior 
for Canada. By this the English were ordered to leave the 
Indian country at once under pain of attack. 2 

France was now in the position, not unknown to the great 
Powers of the civilized world, of being openly at peace with a 
Policy of neighbor while intriguing with the barbarian occu- 
Vaudreuii. p an t s of a neutral zone. Vaudreuil, the Governor 
of Canada, would no doubt have adopted a more active policy of 
aggression if he had not been restrained by the express desire of 
his own Government to avoid an open breach with Great 
Britain. In his letters to Rasle, and also to his own Govern- 
ment, he made no secret of his wish that the Abenakis should be 
supported in their attacks on the English by gifts of arms and 
ammunition, while at the same time he thought to escape 
responsibility by the somewhat transparent device of calling the 
Indians not subjects, but allies of France. 8 

In September, a month after the conference, an Indian raiding 
party harassed the settlers on the Kennebec, and compelled them 
Expedition to take refuge in the fort at Georgetown. 4 Shute's 
tfo'ridge- nan cl was now forced, and a policy of peace rendered 
wock - impossible. Three hundred men were sent against 

Norridgewock. 5 Their instructions were in the first instance 
not to attack the Indians, but to demand the surrender of Rasle 

1 Penhallow, p. 86. He was himself at the conference. The presence of the 
Iroquois is shown by the fact that their totems are appended to the letter men- 
tioned below. 

1 The letter is in the Mass. Hist. Collection, 26. series, vol. viii. p. 259. 

8 Letter quoted by Parkman from the French Archives. Half Century, vol. 
ii. p. 227. 

* Penhallow, p. 93. 6 lb. 


and any other Jesuits that might be among the savages. If they 
were not given up quietly, they were to be seized by force, with 
as many of the Indian chiefs as the commander of the party 
should think fit. Before the English troops could reach Nor- 
ridgewock, Rasle fled, leaving behind him his private papers. 
Among them were letters from Vaudreuil, giving definite proof 
of those intrigues with the Indians which has so far been merely 
matters of suspicion. 1 

War had now definitely broken out between the settlers and 
the Indians. The constitution of the colony vested the control 
Further of the war in Shute. He was not without military 
between experience, having commanded a regiment with 
aruTthe credit in Marlborough's campaign. However obnox- 
Assembiy. f ous his previous desire for peace might have been to 
the Assembly, it was clear that interference and divided counsels 
must be fatal to success. But it is seldom that a small republic, 
where self-government is a reality, a possession endeared by 
tradition and usage, can so far divest itself of its accustomed 
habits as to give a ruler a wholly free hand, even in military 
matters. Whatever the constitution of Massachusetts might 
be in name, more than half a century of charter government 
had imbued her citizens with all the instincts of a republic. It 
is but just, too, to say that one action of the Assembly which 
excited Shute's anger was prompted by a suspicion which, if 
not well founded, was at least natural. They demanded that 
inspectors appointed by themselves should have access to the 
various garrisons to ensure that the returns of numbers were 
correct, and that the exchequer of the colony was not being 
burdened with payments for non-existing soldiers. 2 The exist- 
ence of such malpractices in the British army was a matter of 
notoriety, and Shute and the Council would have done well to 
welcome, instead of resenting as they did, such precautions. 

It was a very different matter to insist, as the Assembly did, 
on regulating the disposition and movements of the forces 
actually in the field, and to require that an officer, Captain 
Walton, who had obeyed Shute's orders in preference to theirs, 
should leave his command and come to Boston to give an account 
of his conduct. 3 

1 Belknap, vol. iii. p. 43. 2 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 79; cf. Penhallow. 

8 lb. p. 281. 


The Assembly also showed a singular inability to perceive 
what were the essential conditions for success in diplomatic 
Reception dealings with the savages. There were, as we have 
Iroquois.* seen, symptoms of disaffection among the Iroquois. 
It was thought prudent to invite a deputation of their chiefs to 
Boston. Shute wished that the speech which he was to address 
to the chiefs should be composed by himself and merely shown 
in advance to the Assembly. The Assembly demanded that it 
should be composed by them, that it should profess to come from 
the General Court, and they should be officially present when it 
was read. In New York and in Pennsylvania all diplomatic 
negotiations with the Indians were intrusted to the Governor 
as the representative of royalty, and there can be little doubt 
that Shute was right in believing that such a form of procedure 
was the best. It was all-important to impress on the savages 
the truth, so often obscured by the action of the colonists, that 
the English were not inhabitants of separate communities, but 
one nation under one ruler. 

Shute, however, had neither the tact to outwit nor the firm- 
ness to defy the Assembly, and their wishes prevailed. Shute 
agreed to receive the Iroquois deputation as they proposed. 
Walton obeyed the summons of the Assembly and came to Bos- 
ton. This, however, was only the signal for a fresh dispute 
as to the form of procedure to be adopted in dealing with him. 
Shute insisted that the inquiry should be held by the whole 
court; the Representatives claimed exclusive jurisdiction in the 

A New England historian, himself in his day the victim of 
mob violence, tells us that Shute had reason to fear assassination, 
Shute's a bullet having come into the room where he was 

departure, sitting. 2 One is disinclined to believe in a crime so 
wholly at variance with the temper of New England. It is 
possible, however, that such a fear, albeit ill-founded, may have 
accelerated Shute's departure. At the same time, such action 
needs no special explanation in the case of a man of easy-going 
temper, with neither the inclination nor the aptitude for strife, 
forced at every turn into trivial disputes with men in whom 
the taste and capacity for such disputes were almost morbidly 

1 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 280. 2 Ib. p. 287. 


During the interregnum caused by Shute's retirement his 
authority devolved on the Lieutenant-Governor, William Dum- 
The men He was a Bostonian born and bred. But he 


claim had spent a considerable portion of his life in Eng- 

authority.i land, and in the eyes of Massachusetts patriots his 
good name was tainted by the fact that he was the son-in-law 
of the apostate Dudley. It was unlikely that there would be 
any change in the attitude of the Assembly. Hardly had Shute 
sailed before the Representatives proposed to follow the evil 
example of the Dutch Republic and to intrust the conduct of 
the war to a Committee. Dummer, however, stood firm in 
the assertion of his military authority. The Council supported 
him, and the proposal for appointing a Committee fell to the 
ground. But the Assembly so far prevailed that they obtained 
the dismissal of Walton and of another officer who was obnox- 
ious to them. 

On one point the Assembly were guided by a sound instinct. 
They understood how largely the policy of the Indians owed 
definiteness and cohesion to the influence of Rasle, and they 
made his capture or death their prime object. No doubt that 
purpose was largely due to the Puritan spirit, which, though 
modified, was far from extinct among the descendants of Dud- 
ley and Endicott. 

During 1723 nothing took place beyond indecisive skirmishes 
and attacks on frontier stations. But the following summer 
Destruc- saw a decisive attack on Rasle's mission station. In 
ridgewock. August an English force of two hundred and eight 
men advanced in two equal divisions, the one to make a direct 
attack on Norridgewock, the other to intercept the enemy's 
retreat. With a strange lack of precaution the village had been 
left unfortified, nor had the inhabitants even troubled them- 
selves to make a clearing round it. Thus the assailants were 
able to reach the village unperceived, and to open fire at close 
quarters. The Indians fled to the woods. Rasle stood firm, 
firing on the English, and, refusing to surrender, was shot 
through the head. 2 

In the following summer an embassy was sent from Boston 
to Canada to obtain the surrender of prisoners whom the 

1 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 293. 

8 Hutchinson (vol. ii. 309-14) gives a detailed account of this. 


Indians had handed over to the French, and also to obtain from 
Vaudreuil some effective assurance of neutrality. The first 
Embassy object was in part obtained. The French gave no 
Boston hdp towards reclaiming prisoners still in the hands 
to Canada. » f fa Indians. Some prisoners however had, so the 
French said, already been ransomed by them. These they would 
restore on the repayment of the ransom. The sum named was 
in the opinion of the English excessive ; nevertheless it w T as paid, 
and the liberated prisoners brought back to New England. 

But the attempt to neutralize the French and Indian alliance 
only resulted in total failure. All that the embassy could get 
from Vaudreuil was smooth words and disclaimers of any 
influence over the Indians. Yet at the very same time, in his 
dispatches to France, he was taking credit to himself for keeping; 
the savages firm in their hostility to the English. 

The lack of any central authority among the Indian tribes 
was in one way a gain to the English, in another an added 
Further difficulty. It saved them from having to deal with 
w?th b the a concentrated attack. Yet, on the other hand, the 
Indians. smoldering fire of hostility, trodden out in one place, 
might always break out in another. The death of Rasle and the 
destruction of Norridgewock no doubt did much to sap the 
strength of the Indians, and to strike general terror, but it did 
not end the war. 

In 1725 four Abenaki chiefs, each acting on behalf of his 
own clan, came to Boston and signed a treaty accepting the 
Loveweii's sovereignty of the English King, and pledging them- 
fight.a selves to abstain from hostilities. 3 

Meanwhile, at the very same time in the northern portion of 
Massachusetts, a warlike drama was being enacted which found 
an abiding place among the traditions of New England. On 
the banks of the Saco, south of the White Mountains of New 
Hampshire, there lived a small, isolated Indian tribe, the 
Pequackets. In the autumn of 1724 they fell upon the adjacent 
English settlements of Dunstable, and carried off two prisoners. 
Ten of the settlers gave chase, but were entrapped into an 
ambush, whence only one escaped. Thereupon three of the 

1 Half Century, vol. i. p. 243. The account there given is based on documents 
in the Massachusetts Archives. 

3 Belknap gives a very full account of Loveweii's fight. 
'Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 316. 


Dunstable settlers offered to raise a company who should devote 
a whole year to clearing the neighborhood of Indians. The 
Assembly accepted the offer, and promised payment of half a 
crown a day in Massachusetts currency — that is, about a shilling 
— together with rewards for Indian scalps. A troop of thirty 
men was raised. They chose as their captain John Lovewell. 
He had been one of the original three who started the scheme, 
and was the son of a man who had played a distinguished part 
in Philip's war. A small initial success gave encouragement. 
The troop was increased to eighty-seven, taken from five vil- 
lages. In February 1725 they made their way in shoes to the 
foot of the White Mountains, and cut off a raiding party of the 
Canadian Indians. The New Englander now, as always, was 
loath to leave his farmstead at a time when work was pressing, 
and when Lovewell mustered his force again in April, he could 
only raise forty-six followers. On May 8 Lovewell fell in with 
an Indian war party, of whose numbers estimates were formed 
varying from eighty to forty. The English force had been 
reduced to thirty-four by the necessity for leaving a sick man 
behind, with a small guard for his protection. A stubborn fight 
followed, lasting from ten in the morning to sunset. Fourteen 
of the English were killed and eleven seriously wounded. So 
severe, however, was the injury inflicted on the Indians, that 
they retired without waiting to scalp the dead, an omission 
which hardly has a parallel in Indian warfare. The small band 
of survivors found their way back unmolested, and the Pequack- 
ets, cowed by their defeat, made no further attacks on the Eng- 
lish settlements. The other Indian tribes on the frontier, weary 
of profitless warfare, and getting no effective help from Canada, 
sought peace. By the end of 1727 they had all come to terms 
with Massachusetts. The policy of having Government trad- 
ing-houses, which Shute had fruitlessly advocated, was now 
adopted, and till the outbreak of the great French war New 
England enjoyed peace. 

It is clear that the concluding episode of the war — Lovewell's 
fight — made no little impression on the imagination of New 
England. It was commemorated in a contemporary ballad, and 
has furnished matter for later literary efforts. 1 That this 
should be so marks a change. An Indian raid hardly suggests 

1 Half, Century, p. 261 n. 


poetical thoughts to those who are in personal danger of being 
shot and scalped, of seeing their houses burnt, their cattle driven 
away, their wives and children tomahawked. When a com- 
munity finds literary inspiration in these things, it has entered 
on a somewhat artificial and self-conscious phase of existence. 
The life of the worker and the life of the thinker have become 
separated. That absolute unity of life and purpose which in 
earlier days bound together New England into one organic 
whole was impaired. Town and country, merchant and hus- 
bandman, the man of literary training and instinct and the 
border fighter, were becoming detached as two distinct types. 

The practical consequences of the Indian war may seem 
hardly important enough to justify the fullness with which .it 
has been here treated. The real importance of it lies in the 
manner in which it illustrates the various forces which were at 
work on a larger scale through the whole colonial period. The 
colonial Assembly, patriotic yet intensely factious, ready on 
the one hand to spend life and money, yet willing to incur cer- 
tain failure rather than abate one jot of their supposed political 
rights; the colonial Governor, honest and sensible, with mili- 
tary views, but wanting in tact and patience, and wholly unable 
to sympathize with or even understand the aspirations of the 
colonists; the French missionary, half religious enthusiast, half 
unscrupulous diplomatist; the Canadian Governor with a far- 
reaching policy of aggression, checked and thwarted at every 
turn by a short-sighted and parsimonious Government : these are 
the characters and the inspiring forces of the great American 
drama of the eighteenth century, and all these we see repro- 
duced as in a microcosm in the eight years' war between the 
Abenakis and New England. 

In New England the struggle between the savage and the 
white man was all-important to the settlers on the border. One 
The Middle can hardly say that it was, except in its indirect con- 
Md°the s sequences, vital to the life of the colony. New Eng- 
indians. j an( j was shielded against Canada by a belt of well- 
nigh impenetrable wilderness. The Middle colonies, on the 
other hand, were exposed to the full force of a joint French 
and Indian attack. Raids on the New England frontier were 
to the French rulers of Canada but a means of blooding their 
hounds. The real quarry against which they were to be used 


were those vulnerable parts of the British empire which could 
be reached by way of the Hudson or from the valley of the 
Ohio. Thus in the case of the Middle colonies the Iroquois 
alliance was a factor of supreme importance. 

The influence of that confederacy extended beyond the terri- 
torial limits formally assigned to it. We meet with repeated 
instances of an undefined supremacy exercised by the Iroquois 
over the smaller tribes in their neighborhood. It is clear that 
they had no desire either to exterminate their small neighbors 
or to stand aloof from them. They aimed at an hegemony. 
Once at least they extended the bounds of the confederacy by 
admitting the Tuscaroras, and by thus changing the traditional 
title of the Five to that of the Six Nations. 1 It is clear, too, that 
they exercised an undefined but very effective control over the 
neighboring tribes. The Delawares and the Shawnees were not 
allowed to carry on any independent negotiations with the Eng- 
lish, but were treated by the Iroquois as responsible to them. 2 

It was no doubt a gain to the English to have to deal with 
one solid body having a connected and continuous policy. Yet 
there were counterbalancing drawbacks. The situation was one 
which entangled the English in the complexities of Indian diplo- 
macy and in issues with which they were imperfectly acquainted. 
The Iroquois alliance had to be purchased at the cost of aliena- 
tion from the various tribes who resented the supremacy of the 
confederacy, possibly even at the cost of active hostility. The 
Catawbas, whose good will was essential to the peace of the 
Southern settlements, were strong enough to defy the authority 
of the Five Nations. 

Nor was that all. There were undercurrents of jealousy 
within the confederacy itself. There was reason to think that 
the Mohawks, Onondagas, and Senecas formed in some measure 
a distinct party as against the three remaining tribes, and the 
jealousy of these rival factions was an embarrassment to the 
English in their diplomacy. 8 

1 Adair {Book of the Indians, vol. v. p. 2) says that the Tuscaroras joined 
the Five Nations about 17 12, but were not formally admitted to the confederacy 
till about ten years afterwards. This is confirmed by an entry in the Pennsyl- 
vania Records, vol. iii. p. 201. It is there stated that two chiefs from each of 
the Five Nations attended a conference at Philadelphia, together with two from 
the Tuscaroras. This suggests alliance but not complete incorporation. 

2 Colden, pp. 71, 78. 
8 lb. p. 167. 


Faced by an unscrupulous enemy, linked with a wavering 
ally, each strong enough for their friendship or enmity to 
determine the fate of the whole English frontier from the Hud- 
son to the Mississippi, it was impossible for any of the colo- 
nies to stand alone. The difficulties of intercolonial action 
increased the danger. Yet, on the other hand, it was some- 
thing to be reminded of the need for union, and to be forced 
into at least an approach to a solid national policy. 

The key of the position was New York, for in the first place 
the most obvious and direct form of attack to which the Eng- 
impor- lish colonies were accessible was by way of the Hud- 

NewVork son * There the French might, helped by the Indian 
Indian alliance, drive in a solid wedge and separate the 

question. Northern from the Southern colonies. Secondly, 
the Indian trade was mainly in the hands of New York. It 
was by way of the Hudson that the Indian allies of the English 
received their supplies of clothes, firearms, ammunition, and 
rum. The responsibility was laid on those who were ill-fitted 
for the discharge of it. As in Massachusetts the authority of 
the Governor was thwarted at every turn by political opposition, 
and all system or unity of policy was rendered impossible. But, 
factious though the leaders of the popular party in Massa- 
chusetts were, they never destroyed, they never sought to 
destroy, patriotism and self-reliance. Faction in New Eng- 
land, then and afterwards, was a means to something higher 
than personal advantage. It impaired authority, but it brought 
in its train a temper which did something to supply the absence 
of authority. That cannot be said of New York. Political 
faction there was the outcome of personal ambition and cupidity, 
the embodiment of personal intrigue. The New Englander 
might imperil the colony for the sake of thwarting a royal Gov- 
ernor. He would never have done so to advantage his own 

Moreover, New York was, as we have seen, a cosmopolitan 
state, composed in a fashion almost of necessity fatal to any 
strong sense of corporate life. The trade of Massachusetts 
was mainly in the hands of her own citizens. The Boston 
merchant was in all likelihood a politician, and after his lights 
a patriot. The trade of New York, like that of Charlestown, 
was largely in the hands of merchants living in London, and. 


their opinion and interests were a factor which the rulers of 
New York could not ignore. 

One natural advantage which the English enjoyed in their 
dealings with the Indians was the great superiority in their 
English and opportunities for trading. Two commodities, which 
trade C with na d become essential to the comfort of the Indian, 
the Indians. S pi ri ts and clothing, could be supplied far more 
cheaply and abundantly from England than from France. The 
Indian, it is true, somewhat preferred French brandy to rum 
if it could be had on the same terms. But he cared more to 
get drunk cheaply, and therefore frequently, than to gratify his 
palate, and the English had a monopoly of the West Indian 
rum market. Moreover, France did not produce the coarse 
woolen fabrics which suited the Indians for winter wear. The 
French trade was also seriously hampered by the fact that goods 
could only be brought up to Quebec and Montreal during that 
limited period while the river was free from ice. The French 
sought to neutralize these natural advantages by buying the 
required goods from the English. 

To check this the Assembly of New York passed an Act 
in 1720 prohibiting under heavy penalties any trade between 
the colony and the French. 1 The Act was neither formally 
approved nor disallowed by the Government at home, and it, 
therefore, remained in force for three years and then expired. 
It was, however, believed that there was a likelihood of the 
Assembly re-enacting such a prohibitory law. For it is clear 
that Burnet, then Governor, had a settled policy of securing the 
Five Nations and making them dependent for their supplies on 
the English. To that end a conference was held with the 
Indians at Albany in 1722. There Burnet utilized the influence 
of the Iroquois over their neighbors by persuading the former 
to threaten the eastern Indians with war if they did not desist 
from their raids on New England. He also established a 
trading-house at Oswego, and helped by the restrictions on 
French merchants succeeded in making Albany more and more 
a center for Indian trade. 2 

There seemed every likelihood that the Council and Assembly 

1 All the documents bearing on this dispute are printed in Colden's History 
of the Five Nations. 

2 Smith, p. 205 ; Colden. 


would support Burnet's policy. Thereupon twenty merchants 
Themer- trading between London and New York presented 
petition. a petition to the Crown, asking that the royal assent 
should be withheld from any Act which interfered with the 
French trade. 

The only approach to an argument adduced was the audacious 
statement that the Iroquois were cut off from the English 
settlements by a belt of country occupied by Indians in the 
French interest, and that if the French and their allies were 
offended, they would make it impossible for the Iroquois to 
have any communication with the English settlements. 

The petition was referred to the Commission of Trade and 
Plantations. One at least of that body, Bladen, had, as we 
have seen, given no little attention to colonial questions. The 
action of the Board shows what we see elsewhere, that, limited 
as its powers were, it did something for the security and well- 
being of the colonies, and might, if more carefully developed, 
have been of the greatest service in colonial administration. 

The Commissioners summoned the petitioning merchants 
to appear before them and give evidence in support of their 
case. Their spokesman, with an extraordinary and audacious 
assumption of ignorance on the part of his hearers, declared that 
the Iroquois were settled in the valley of the St. Lawrence some 
three hundred leagues from Albany, and could only reach the 
English settlements by going down that river, where they 
might be cut off by the French! 

The Commissioners thereupon reported, as they well might 
with perfect confidence, that the statements of the petitioners 
were open to doubt, and recommended that Burnet be instructed 
to give his views on the question. 

Burnet passed the matter on to the Council. Their report 
was full and instructive. They had no difficulty in shattering 
Report the main foundations on which the merchants rested 

NewVork their case. Nor did they mince matters in dealing 
Council. w j t j 1 t h e statements which had been made as to the 
position and distribution of the Indian tribes. There were no 
Indians under French influence between the Iroquois and the 
English settlements. To say that the road from the Iroquois 
country to Albany lay along the St. Lawrence was like saying 
that you must pass Edinburgh on the way from London to 


Bristol. "These things the merchants have thought it safe 
for them and consistent with their duty to his sacred Majesty 
to say in his Majesty's presence, and to repeat afterwards before 
the Boards of Trade." 

They also pointed out that there was no such wish as the 
petitioners assumed wholly to deprive New York of the benefit 
of the Canadian trade. The restriction was only to apply to 
goods suited for the Indian market. 

The Council, however, did not confine themselves to mere 
criticism on the views of the petitioners. They set forth very 
clearly the positive benefits which had resulted from Burnet's 
policy. One effect, they said, was to call into existence in 
increasing numbers a class of enterprising young men, who 
went into the Indian country to buy furs and thereby acquired 
a knowledge of the language, views, and policy of the Indians; 
a class, in short, answering to the Canadian coureur de bois. 
Besides, since the passing of the Act under consideration, over 
and above the effect on the Iroquois themselves, a number of 
the smaller Indian tribes had separately come in and voluntarily 
asked for the friendship of the English. 

One of the principal members of the Council was Cadwal- 
lader Colden. He was at this time a man of about thirty-six. 
Coiden's A Scotchman of good education, he had started in 
memorial, practice as a doctor at Philadelphia. No Scotchman 
is ever backward in bestowing patronage on his fellow-country- 
men. In 17 18 Hunter invited Colden to New York and 
appointed him Surveyor to the Colony. He was a man of 
angular temper, somewhat prone to make enemies, not exempt 
from suspicions of self-interest, though probably not more 
amenable to them than most public men of his day. He was 
not wanting in public spirit, a shrewd observer and an untiring 
writer. He now, on his own responsibility, submitted to Burnet 
a memorial on the Indian trade. He begins by pointing out the 
design of the French to completely encircle the English colo- 
nies and make expansion westward impossible. As an illus- 
tration of this he refers to a French map, in which portions of 
New York and South Carolina are actually claimed as French 
territory. He points out that the two great instruments of 
French aggression are the fur trader and the missionary. The 
danger to be apprehended from the latter may be judged from 


the fact that a certain number of the Mohawks have already 
become converts of the Jesuits and taken up their abode in 
Canada, while many of the Shawnees who come to Albany wear 
•crucifixes given them by the French priests. 

Nevertheless, since England can and France cannot produce 
goods suited to the Indian market, and since the Hudson as a 
waterway for traffic is immeasurably superior to the St. Law- 
rence, the English ought to be able to defy rivalry. Colden 
points out, too, how heavily the French fur trader was weighed 
down by the duties imposed by his Government. As a conse- 
quence, the price given for beaver skins at New York is exactly 
double the maximum fixed by the Company in which the Cana- 
dian fur trade is vested, with the further result that many 
French traders who bought direct from the Indians actually 
brought their furs to Albany. Yet by the help of goods bought 
from English merchants the English were being ousted from 
their own markets, when, as Colden expresses it, "in everything 
beside Diligence, Industry, and enduring Fatigues" they "have 
much the advantage of the French." The rulers of Europe dur- 
ing the seventeenth and eighteenth century have often been 
justly accused of forcing trade out of its natural channels for 
the sake of imaginary political advantages. If the question had 
been merely one of commerce, it might have been best that the 
English manufacturers, the English shipper, and the French fur 
trader should co-operate, each taking that part of the work for 
which his character and surroundings best fitted him. But no 
thinking man could consider the position of the two nations in 
America, the expanding energy and resources of the British 
colonies, the strenuous and unscrupulous resistance of the 
French to all such expansion, without feeling that the Indian 
trade was not an end in itself, but for England a necessary 
weapon in a defensive war. 

The views of Burnet, backed as he was by his advisers, pre- 
vailed. Not only was the traffic with Canada in Indian goods 
Burners prohibited, but a factory for the fur trade was estab- 
poiicy. lished at Oswego, protected by a fort, built in part 

at Burnet's own expense. 1 Steps were taken at the same time 
to secure the Five Nations. Their chiefs met Burnet at Albany 
in 1722, and confirmed the formal surrender of their land to 

1 Smith, pp. 205-21. 


the King of England made in 1701. We may doubt whether 
the Indians themselves had clear ideas at either time of the 
nature and extent of the obligations thus incurred. But the 
surrender might at least be taken as a definite pledge of friend- 
ship for the English and hostility to the French. 

There could be no better evidence of the soundness of Bur- 
net's policy than the manner in which it was met by the gov- 
French ernment of Canada. Forts were established, serv- 
retaiiation. j n g a i so fa p ur p se of factories, at Niagara, at 
Toronto, and at Crown Point. The building of the last named 
was a specially aggressive and audacious measure, little less than 
a declaration of war, since the fort stood on soil claimed by 
England. The French fort at Crown Point was in fact an 
epiteichisma, an advanced outpost thrust forward into the 
enemy's territory. 1 

As with Shute in Massachusetts, Burnet's policy was ham- 
pered by his disputes with the Assembly, and especially by the 
Burnefs jealousy and narrowness of that body in dealing with 
with'the" 8 questions of finance. The defense of the frontier 
Assembly. was a ll owe d to languish for lack of funds, and even 
the work at Oswego had to be completed by Burnet at his own 
private expense, in the hope of repayment, a hope only in part 
fulfilled. 2 

In other ways Burnet more justly incurred popular dis- 
pleasure. He somewhat indiscreetly acted as a partisan in a 
dispute between two sections of the French Protestant Church. 3 
Among those whose displeasure Burnet thus incurred was James 
de Lancey, a leading politician, wealthy, able, and not over- 
scrupulous. Burnet, with a tactlessness which was perhaps 
hereditary, challenged, in a somewhat offensive manner De 
Lancey 's right to a seat in the Assembly on the ground that he 
was not a properly naturalized citizen. 

This not only offended De Lancey and his adherents, but was 
also looked on as an intrusion upon the privileges of the Assem- 
bly, who claimed the right to determine for themselves the 
qualification of members. Moreover, Burnet had made himself 
unpopular by his conduct as Chancellor, being, as even one of 
his supporters admits, ignorant of law and somewhat precipitate 
in his decisions. 

1 Smith, pp. 224-6. 2 lb. pp. 221-3. z lb. p. 228. 


The accumulated result of all these causes of unpopularity- 
was the election in 1727 of an Assembly strongly hostile to the 
Governor. One of their first acts was to declare that the estab- 
lishment of a Court of Chancery without the consent of the 
Assembly was illegal and a grievance. It was at the same time 
resolved that an Act should be passed declaring all the proceed- 
ings of the Court null and void. 1 

Two courses, and two only, were open to the British Gov- 
ernment: either to support Burnet even at the cost of a battle 
Burnet with the Assembly, or else to remove him. They 
seded, and chose the latter, and with Burnet's departure came 
reversed 5 ^ the collapse of all that defensive policy which he 
had organized. His successor, Colonel Montgomerie, a respect- 
able placeman, did indeed take measures for securing the friend- 
ship of the Iroquois by a conference held at Albany in 1728. 
But in the following year, through the pressure of those inter- 
ested in the maintenance of the French trade, the policy of 
the Home Government was reversed, all restrictions were with- 
drawn, and the Canadians were again enabled to buy the alli- 
ance of the Indians with goods procured in British markets. 

The relations of New York to the Indians were so inter- 
woven with those of Pennsylvania, and also, though in a minor 
Pennsyi- degree, with those of Maryland and Virginia, that it 
andThe is impossible to deal with any of them as an isolated 
Indians. subject. New Jersey, practically a peninsula, and 
screened on the landward side by Pennsylvania, was exempt 
from any possibility of Indian invasion, and stood outside any 
scheme for alliance or defense. The optimistic and peace-loving 
attitude of Penn towards the savages had left for his colony a 
mingled legacy of good and evil. It secured the colony in its 
young and struggling days against the hostility of the Indians. 
At a later time it gave a false gloss of religion to a policy which 
was largely the outcome of sloth, self-interest, and an indiffer- 
ence to all but material considerations, and it did much to pre- 
vent Pennsylvania from coming into line with the other colo- 
nies in any connected scheme of defense. Penn's policy of rely- 
ing solely on forbearance and kindness in dealing with the 
savage was in truth only applicable to the commonwealth of 
Plato, and wholly out of place among the dregs of Romulus. 

1 Smith, p. 229. 2 lb. pp. 233-5. 


An administrative ideal forced on men to whom its very phrase- 
ology is meaningless is doomed to failure. The practical result 
of Penn's humanitarianism was to furnish the prosperous citi- 
zens of Philadelphia with a pretext for leaving the frontiers of 
the colony to their fate, and as a necessary consequence to give 
the half-savage settlers of the frontier an excuse for shaping 
their policy according to their own standard. 

One difficulty which confronted the government of Pennsyl- 
vania in its dealings with the Indians lay in the fact that they 
had to deal with a number of tribes, vaguely and uncertainly 
aggressive, responsible to no central power, influenced in some 
measure by the Five Nations, yet not under their effective con- 
trol. And though the Five Nations might be friendly to the 
English, yet they had not the slightest intention of shaping 
their dealings with other tribes by regard to the safety or con- 
venience of their white allies. The outlying districts of Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland, and Virginia were of necessity incapable of 
any scheme of organized defense, and it was, therefore, all- 
important to their safety that they should stand well with the 
Catawbas and Cherokees, the two tribes whose position and 
power made them dangerous. It needed all the influence which 
the government of Pennsylvania could bring to bear to prevent 
the allies or dependents of the Five Nations from attacking 
these tribes and thereby involving the English in war. 

In 1 7 19 we find one French, a leading Pennsylvanian, sent 
as an ambassador to the Conestago Indians, warning them not 
to be led into war by the Five Nations, and also in the true 
spirit of the founder of his colony adjuring them not to tor- 
ture prisoners. 1 Such conduct is, he told them, "a violent 
affront to our government and contrary to the law of the great 
King, who will not suffer it." He adds a comment which must 
Tiave seemed strangely at variance with Indian habits of thought : 
"men of true courage are always full of mercy." 

A conference which Logan held in the following year illus- 
trates the same difficulty. Two years before, the Governors of 
Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania had just succeeded in 
restraining the Five Nations from attacking some of the Eng- 
lish allies. 2 Now the trouble had recurred, with the added 

1 For French s mission see Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. p. 78. 

2 Spotswood's Letters, vol. ii. 


danger that the Shawnees were taking part with the Iroquois. 1 
The account of the conference incidentally brings to light two 
factors which added to the complication: the lack of effective 
authority within the Indian tribes, and the evil effect produced 
by the spectacle of English disunion. The Indians plead that 
their older and more responsible chiefs would fain keep the 
peace but cannot control their young warriors. Logan finds 
it necessary to explain to the Indians that the English colonies 
are all one, "as the Five Nations are." The speaker, in liken- 
ing the body of British colonies to a confederation, was formu- 
lating a political theory of which he was probably far from 
grasping the full significance. 

Meanwhile hardly a year passed without the Indians receiv- 
ing an object-lesson in English disunion, by the sight of those 
dissensions and contests which have been described in an earlier 

Almost at the same date as the conference, the Susquehannah 
Indians were writing to the government of Pennsylvania to 
explain the difficulties of their situation. They would fain 
keep the peace with their southern neighbors, but the Five 
Nations will not suffer them to be neutral. 2 

If we may believe a letter written by Keith, the Governor 
of Pennsylvania, to the President of the Council of New York, 
Keith these complications had for their ultimate cause 

Indians. French diplomacy. 3 The government of Canada had 
succeeded in so far influencing the Five Nations as to establish 
peace between them and the Hurons. The warlike spirit of 
the Iroquois excluded from its proper channel was directed 
against the Indians in the South. It was a specially ominous 
sign that of the two confederate tribes, the Cayugas were pro- 
testing against alleged encroachments by Pennsylvanian settlers 
on the Susquehannah, and that they or their allies had actually 
been killing the cattle of the English. 

In 1 72 1 Keith held a conference with the Five Nations. 4 
His language showed a singular inability to understand the 
feelings of those whom he addressed, or to grasp the real diffi- 

1 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. p. 92. 

2 lb. vol. iii. p. 103. 

8 Keith's letter is in the Records, vol. iii. p. 99. 
*Ib. vol. iii. p. 125. 


culties of the situation. His vague platitudes as to the evils of 
war must to Iroquois ears have sounded like the vaporings- 
of imbecility or dishonesty. He acknowledged the difficulties; 
which necessarily arose between the Indian and the unauthorized 
trader upon the frontier. But he could suggest no better solu- 
tion than the obvious and wholly inapplicable statement that 
the trader and the Indian must each look after his own interest 
and make the best bargain he can. 

The Indian diplomatist played a more creditable part than 
the English Governor. He pointed out the advantage which 
the French enjoyed from their intimate intercourse with the 
Indians and their mastery of the Indian language. He also 
showed that he understood the weakness as well as the strength 
of the French policy. If they had won the alliance of one 
party, they had made themselves hated and distrusted by the 
other. When asked whether his people had. sold any lands to 
the French, he replied that they knew the French too well to 
treat with them. 

At the same time negotiations were going on between Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia, which strikingly illustrate the injury 
Keith and inflicted on British interests by lack of intercolonial 
spotswood. un j on an( j co-operation. Spotswood, the Governor of 
Virginia, proposed to Keith a system of passports for Indians. 
The Indians occupying the vacant lands which belonged to any 
colony were to be regarded as specially attached to that colony, 
and were not to pass into any other without a passport from 
the Governor of their own colony. The letter in which this 
suggestion is made also reveals a special danger to which the 
Southern colonies were exposed by the proximity of the Indians. 
The Shawnees have been helping negro slaves to escape; Spots- 
wood trusts that Keith will co-operate in preventing this. This 
brings home to us one of the dangers of slavery, and also the 
need of some one central power to determine and control Brit- 
ish policy. The sequel of the matter illustrates the latter truth 
even more forcibly. A proposal similar to Spotswood's had 
been made by Keith to his Council and approved. Yet 
now, when the scheme was suggested by the Governor of 
another colony, the same Council refuse to accept it. We can- 
not wonder that Spotswood should have written back indig- 
nantly, complaining that Pennsylvania was isolating itself 


from the other colonies and making his Indian policy of no 
effect. 1 

In 1727 we find Gordon, the Governor of Pennsylvania, 
holding a conference with the Indians, at which he propounds 
Gordon views which would have made the founder of Penn- 
indians. sylvania turn in his grave. The Indians complained 
of being cheated by English traders. Gordon's answer even 
went beyond Keith's in its cynical avowal of the doctrine caveat 
emptor: "As to trade they" (the Indians) "know 'tis the method 
of all that follow it to buy as cheap and sell as dear as they can r 
and every man must make the best bargain they can ; the Indians, 
cheat the Indians and the English cheat the English, and every 
man must be on his guard." 2 

Two years later John, the eldest son of William Penn, and 
one of three joint Proprietors, came out in person. The Indian 
John nas a memory which makes tradition a potent influ- 

Penn. ence, and we cannot doubt that the son of an old 

friend and benefactor was a grata persona. He met representa- 
tives from three of the six confederated nations, w T ho made friend- 
ly professions. They also warned Penn that if friendship was to 
be maintained between the English and the Shawnees, and the 
latter not to come under French influence, unauthorized traders 
must be excluded from the valley of the Ohio. 3 Soon after, 
Penn met representatives of the whole Iroquois confederacy. 
He expected them to use their influence to keep the Shawnees 
in the Delaware valley, and also not to harbor runaway negroes. 
In conclusion a treaty of friendship was proposed and accepted.' 

Under Gordon's successor, Governor Thomas, the relations 
of Pennsylvania with the Indians enter for a term at least upon 
Governor a new and far more satisfactory phase. In 1739 
lnd?h* treaties were made both with the Shawnee and the 
Indians. Susquehannah Indians. Not only did the colony 
work cordially with its neighbors in endeavoring to retain the 
alliance of the Five Nations, but Thomas seems to have in 

1 For this correspondence see Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. p. 203. 

1 lb. p. 27. 

3 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. p. 433. 

*Ib. p. 447. It is noteworthy that in the record of these proceedings the 
Mohawks are called Canynngoes, the Senecas Tsanandowans. The name each 
took seems to have had numerous variants. See Parkman, Conspiracy of 
Pontiac, vol. i. p. 6. 

6 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iv. p. 333. 


some measure informally stepped into the position of the repre- 
sentative and spokesman of all the colonies concerned. In 
1742 he held a conference with the chiefs of the Five Nations at 
Philadelphia. The colony was represented by the Governor and 
his Council; the Indian spokesman was Conestago, the chief of 
the Onondagas. 

The proceedings are recorded in the archives of the colony 
with a fullness and picturesqueness of detail somewhat unusual 
The in official documents. 1 The metaphorical rhetoric of 

of 1742. the Indians: the "clearing of the path" between them 

and the white men by making due expiation for blood, the 
"brightening of the chain" and "keeping alive the fire of friend- 
ship by fresh fuel," the "sharpening of the hatchet" by the 
Governor of Canada, are all recorded with verbal exactitude. 
So, too, are the apologies for the dirty condition in which they 
had left the houses in which they had been quartered, "by their 
different way of living from the white people," and their appli- 
cations on behalf of Conrad Weiser, the interpreter, who has 
so "dirtied his clothes by living among them that he has become 
as nasty as an Indian." 

The proceedings were on the whole friendly; yet there are 
under-currents suggesting the possibility of dispute. The 
Indians apologize for their scanty offering of skins. The Eng- 
lishmen's horses and cows have eaten the grass which used to 
feed the deer. 

Three incidents especially illustrate the complications which 
inevitably resulted when there was on the one side a number of 
separate communities having to some extent common interests 
and acknowledging common sovereignty, but having no machin- 
ery with which to guard the former or enforce the latter; on 
the other side a confederacy exercising a vague and uncertain 
supremacy over a number of shifting tribes. 

The Indians complained that certain persons had, without 
any right acquired by purchase, settled at Juniata, on the Sus- 
quehannah river. Thomas replied that officials had been sent 
to eject these intruders. The Indians then stated that these 
officials had actually committed the offense which they were sent 
to check, surveying the Indian lands with a view to occupation. 

1 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iv. pp. 449-578. I cannot help suspecting the 
hand of Colden. The reports and the subsequent conferences are printed by 
him as an appendix to his History. 

CONFERENCE OF 1742. 293 

They also complained of certain encroachments on the Sus- 
quehannah made by settlers from Maryland. The Council 
thereupon decided that Thomas should at once write to the 
Governor of Maryland, telling of the wrongs of the Indians and 
of the danger of reprisals, which might be fatal to friendly 
relations between the two races. 

On two other points the Indians had to apologize for the 
misconduct of their own people or allies. Certain young mem- 
bers of the confederacy had on their own responsibility sold 
land to squatters, thus violating the principle that all negotia- 
tions for land must be carried on with the government of the 
colony, not with individuals. 

Conestago also reported that when a party of Twightwy 
warriors were sojourning in a Shawnee village, their hosts had 
searched their bags, and there found two white scalps. This 
they had reported to the Iroquois, who in turn communicated 
it to the English. The Council thereupon sent a message to 
the Shawnees telling them that they ought to have thoroughly 
investigated the matter, ascertained who the natives were, and 
then reported to the government to which they belonged. 
Authority exercised in this exceedingly complex and vicarious 
fashion could not be effective. 

In another instance the English had to take advantage of that 
indefinite sovereignty which the Iroquois exercised over tribes 
outside their own confederacy. Certain settlers of Pennsyl- 
vania were entangled in a territorial dispute with the Delawares. 
They had endeavored to practice on that nation a most unscru- 
pulous and unblushing fraud. The Indians had in the previous 
century made over to the settlers a tract of land. The transfer 
was called, from its peculiar conditions, the "Walking Pur- 
chase." The western boundary was to be a day and a half's 
march from a fixed point. This was no doubt understood by 
the settlers to mean an ordinary day and half's march through 
the forest. The purchasers secured "a well-girt man," as 
Herodotus would have called him, who having been specially 
trained, helped by a level track laid out for him, and accom- 
panied by horses carrying provisions, accomplished a forced 
march of eighty-six miles within the time named. 1 

1 For the story of the " Walking Purchase " see Hazard's Register of Penn- 
sylvania, 1830, pp. 209-213. 


The protest of the Delawares was at once silenced by the 
aid of Conestago. When the Council of Pennsylvania com- 
plained to him, he replied that "the Delawares were an unruly 
people, but that we have concluded to remove them, oblige them 
to go over the river Delaware, and quit all claim to any lands 
on this side for the future." He then turned to the Delawares, 
and in a tone of violent and contemptuous denunciation told 
them that in their statement made to the Iroquois they had 
fraudulently concealed the sale of these lands. Even the orig- 
inal sale was an act of disobedience to their superiors and the 
Iroquois who had conquered them, and in Indian language 
brought them to the state of women. What right have women 
to traffic in land ? They must leave their habitations which they 
had usurped, and go either to Wyoming or Shamokin. "You 
may go to either of these places, and then we shall have you 
more under our eye, and shall see how you behave. Don't 
deliberate, but move away." It might be well that the unruly 
Delawares should be kept in order. It was hardly consistent 
with the dignity or safety of the English that they should dele- 
gate the task of control and correction to their Indian allies. 

In 1743 territorial disputes arose between the Five Nations 
and the governments of Maryland and Virginia. In the case 
Conference °f tne latter colony a skirmish resulted in which 
of 1743. l{ ves were lost on both sides. The government of 

each colony wisely resolved to make use of the friendly rela- 
tions already subsisting between Pennsylvania and the Five 
Nations as a foundation on which to build. A conference was 
to be held in the following year at Lancaster, in Pennsylvania. 
Thomas was to preside, but Commissioners from Virginia and 
Maryland were to be present, and each set of Commissioners 
was to negotiate with the Indians separately, though not alto- 
gether independently. The Commissioners met, and before 
the conference actually began, Thomas addressed to them some 
weighty and well-timed words of monition. He pointed out 
how all-important was the friendship of the Five Nations as a 
barrier against French aggression, and how suicidal a policy it 
was to attack and weaken them. "Every advantage you gain 
over them in war will be a weakening of the barrier of their 
colonies, and consequently be in effect victory over yourselves 
and your fellow-subjects. Some allowance for their prejudices 


and passions, and a present now and then for the relief of their 
necessities, which have in some measure been brought upon them 
by their intercourse with us, and by our yearly extending our 
settlements, will probably tie them closer to the British inter- 
est. This has been the method of New York and Pennsylvania, 
and will not put you to so much expense in twenty years as the 
carrying on a war against them will do in one. The French 
very well know the importance of these nations to us, and will 
not fail by presents and their other usual acts to take advantage 
of any misunderstanding we may have with them." 

The Commissioners for Maryland opened the case with a 
curious mixture of bluster and concession. The Five Nations, 
they said, had complained to "Onas" of their treatment at the 
hands of Maryland, and had declared that if they did not get 
restitution they would exact it. Such a declaration was rash and 
inconsiderate. The colonists were well able to defend them- 
selves. Nevertheless, the "old and wise people" of Maryland 
had determined to hear the plea of the Five Nations, and if a 
good case were made out to compensate them. 

As to the lands in dispute, they had been bought ninety years 
tefore from the Susquehannah Indians. The Commissioners 
.also pleaded that singular concession by which the Five Nations 
had thirty years before submitted themselves and their lands 
to the King of England. It is difficult to think that the Com- 
missioners while arguing that plea can have really believed in 
its validity. Whatever the action of the Five Nations may have 
meant, assuredly it did not mean a complete territorial 

The reply of the Indian chiefs was at once vigorous and 
dignified. They had not indulged in empty threats. They had 
made a just demand, and when it was refused they "were 
resolved to use such expressions as would make the greatest 
impression on the government of Maryland." The wisdom 
of their policy was proved, they said, by the fact that the Mary- 
land Commissioners were now meeting them in conference, and 
had professed themselves ready to make compensation for any 
wrong done. 

Conestago, who again acted as spokesman, admitted the 
purchase from the Susquehannahs. But it did not include, 
50 he said, the lands now in question. Those had been con- 


quered by the Five Nations from the Susquehannahs at a later 

The Onondaga chief went further and took the opportunity 
to deliver himself as to the general attitude of the Indians 
towards the settlers. The Indians were sometimes told that 
they would have perished but for the arms, ammunition, and 
clothes that they received from the English. That was not 
so. Before the English came land was plentiful and game 
was plentiful ; in those days stone weapons and bows and 
arrows sufficed for all the needs of the Indians. There was, 
the Indian chief said, pointing to the Secretary's table, too much 
pen-and-ink work for the well-being of the savage. He then 
illustrated his view by an account of a fraud which we shall 
probably not be wrong in attributing to Fletcher. The chiefs 
of the Five Nations were anxious to sell certain lands to Penn. 
The Governor of New York persuaded them not to do so, but 
to make him trustee for the lands. When at a later day they 
decided to sell the lands to Penn they found that the Governor 
of New York had already sold them to him. Penn, neverthe- 
less, paid the Indians, and either abode by the loss or recovered 
the money from the fraudulent purchaser. 1 

On the following day the Commissioners for Virginia stated 
their case. They mentioned that in 1736 the chiefs of the Five 
Nations had, through Logan, then President of the Council in 
Pennsylvania, forwarded a demand for compensation for certain 
lands. But they did not make any references to the dispute of 
the previous year. What, they asked, was the title of the Five 
Nations to any land occupied now by Virginians? Nothing 
had been said about any encroachments at the conference of 
1742. And in 1743 the representatives of the Five Nations 
had made a statement to the Governor of New York implying 
that they had no claim against Virginia. It does not seem 
to have occurred to the Commissioners that territorial claims, 

1 I can find no other record of this transaction, but it is far more likely to 
have been perpetrated by Fletcher than invented by the Indians. Cornbury 
was morally capable of it, but he, unlike Fletcher, never seems to have taken 
any interest in Indian affairs. We know, too, that Fletcher was hostile to- 
Penn. By the time that Cornbury was in office Penn was hardly in a financial 
position to buy land, and if the purchase had been an official one, made by the 
Governor of the colony, it is hardly probable that Penn would have borne the 
whole loss. 


whether among civilized nations or savages, may be urged or 
withheld according to circumstances. 

Conestago replied that the Five Nations had the best of all 
rights, that of conquest. That was met by the plea that the 
lands were now unoccupied and desert. Each side was probably 
right in its premises. The dispute illustrates the difficulty of 
establishing any sound test of territorial possession in the case 
of savages. 

More discussion followed, of which the details are not impor- 
tant. Practically the victory lay with the Indians, who received 
from Maryland one hundred pounds in gold, from Virginia two 
hundred pounds in goods and two or three hundred in gold, 1 
in satisfaction of all claims. 

After the dispute had been settled the Virginia Commission- 
ers suggested to the Indians that they should send a few of their 
children to be educated at the college at Williamsburg. They 
would not only learn English, but also teach some of the younger 
settlers their own language, and thus further communication 
between the two races. Weiser, the interpreter, was growing 
old, and a successor to him might soon be needed. 

The suggestion met with a polite refusal. It was to be hoped 
that Weiser's life would be prolonged. The Indians loved 
their children too well to part with them, and they were ill- 
fitted for civilized life. 

This proposal of the Commissioners was but the renewal 
of a scheme which had been tried thirty years before, not with- 
Spots- out success. Robert Bovle, the founder of the Roval 

wood s « 

dealings Society, gave a substantial sum for the education of 
Indians. Indian children in the college of William and Mary. 2 
The governors of the college, finding it impossible to attract 
the neighboring Indians, complied with the terms of the bequest 
in a somewhat perfunctory and unsatisfactory fashion, buying 
a few children taken in war from distant tribes. Spotswood 
saw that such a system did little or nothing to improve the rela- 
tions between the races. He was hindered by the indiscriminat- 
ing hatred of the settlers for all Indians. But by bringing per- 
sonal pressure to bear on the Indian chiefs, by inducing the 

1 There is little ambiguity in the statement of the amount. 

2 Beverley, p. 232. He says, "Large sums of money," without specifying the 


Assembly to forego certain dues of skins previously paid by the 
natives, and by spending money out of his own pocket, he secured 
a. number of Tuscarora children, who served as hostages for 
the good behavior of that tribe. 

Spotswood's official letters furnish not a few striking illus- 
trations of the difficulties which confronted English adminis- 
trators in their dealings with the Indians. Speaking generally, 
we may say that those difficulties were threefold. 

i. There was not a single colony, either Crown or proprie- 
tary, in which the local legislature, except at rare intervals and 
under the special pressure of some immediate danger, co- 
operated loyally with the Governor, or in which he could reckon 
with confidence on support of the citizens. 

2. There were perpetual hindrances due to intercolonial fric- 
tion and disputes. 

3. Though Indian alliances were necessary, yet it was impos- 
sible to control and regulate the policy of the Indian allies, 
or to avoid being entangled in the complications and disputes 
which arose from their own tribal jealousies. 

We have already seen how Spotswood's policy of united action 
against the Indians was frustrated by the attitude first of North 
D f e *! in ? s . and then of South Carolina. Hardly was the 
with the Yamassee war over when the Virginians found them- 
nations. selves entangled in a dispute with the Five Nations. 
They had been molesting the Catawbas, a tribe friendly to the 
English. Also they refused to hold any conference with the 
English except at Albany. This the Council of Virginia con- 
sidered to be an insult to the English Government. They for- 
got that in the eyes of the Indians the phrase, English Govern- 
ment, was meaningless. To them the colonies were separate 
'communities, speaking the same language, and sprung from a 
common stock, but having no political connection with one 
■another. Spotswood's recent exploration of the Alleghanies 
•suggested to him the idea of utilizing the mountains as a fron- 
tier. The expediency of keeping the Indians beyond that 
"boundary was to be explained to the British Government. A 
fort was to be erected. An annual conference, with a delivery 
of presents to the Indians, was to be held in alternate years at 
the fort and at Albany. It was to be impressed on the Indians 
that their presents were meant to secure the friendship of the 


Indians to all the British colonies, not only to that where they 
were delivered. 

Nothing seems to have come of the project for confining the 
Indians within the bounds of the Alleghanies. But in 1720 the 
Assembly of Virginia adopted the same policy in a somewhat 
modified form. No one belonging to any of the tribes subject to 
Virginia was to go north of the Potomac under penalty of death 
or transportation. Likewise, no Indian of the Five Nations 
was to come south of that river. 1 It is difficult to see how such 
a restriction could be enforced. Who could track, arrest, or if 
arrested could confidently identify, every hunting party making 
its way through the forest? Moreover, the scheme implied an 
amount of co-operation on the part of other colonies which expe- 
rience had clearly proved to be impossible. 

The incident which finally secured for the English the friend- 
ship of the strongest and most warlike of the Southern tribes, 
sir Aiexan- the Cherokees, is among the most strangely romantic 

derCum- ...,'. Jt. . . fe J 

ing.2 in American history. 1 he savage is in many respects 

like the child, and in none more than this, that in managing him 
personality is everything, method by comparison nothing. 
Whenever the Indian was brought into relations of cordial and 
enduring friendship with either his French or English neighbor, 
it was through the influence of such an one as Rasle, Schuyler, 
Livingstone, at a later day Oglethorpe and Johnson. South Car- 
olina found such an one in Sir Alexander Cuming. Had his 
sphere of operations been in the Northern or Middle colonies, 
Cuming would no doubt have appeared as a conspicuous figure 
in colonial history. But the contemporary chronicles of the 
Southern colonies are few and meager, and the result is that 
we know less than we gladly would of one whose career tran- 
scends in its strangeness and variety the most daring conception 
of romance. What should we say of a novelist presenting to his 
readers a hero who inherited a Scotch baronetcy, became first 
an advocate, and then an officer in the Russian service, was 
elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, visited the Western moun- 
tains of America in obedience to a dream of his wife's, then be- 
came the adopted chief of one of the largest and most warlike 

1 Hening, vol. iv. p. 104. 

* For authorities on Cuming see Appendix IV. There seems some doubt 
•about the spelling of his name. I have adopted that used by himself. 


among the native tribes, bound it by firm ties of friendship to 
the English ; returned to his mother country with shattered 
fortunes, strove to redeem them by alchemy, found himself, for 
once by an obvious and natural consequence, in the Fleet Prison, 
and died as a Poor Brother of the Charterhouse? Yet such, 
with perhaps some deductions for the embellishment of details, 
was Sir Alexander Cuming's career. In March 1730 it be- 
came known that the Cherokees were being stirred up against 
the English by French or Spanish emissaries, and also by a sec- 
tion of the neighboring tribe, the Creeks. Cuming was then 
in America, having, as he himself avowed, gone thither because 
his wife dreamed that he did so. The cases of Gordon and 
Lady Hester Stanhope teach us that the temperament of the 
fanatic may carry with it an exceptional capacity for dealing 
with barbarians, and so it seems to have been with Cuming. 
The British Government, with a promptitude and a felicity in 
its choice of an agent which did not often mark their colonial 
policy, authorized Cuming to visit the country of the Cherokees 
and, if possible, to secure their friendship. In the spring of 
1730 he departed from Charlestown. If his own story be true, 
he, accompanied by an interpreter and a few traders, entered 
a Cherokee town where a council of three hundred Indians was 
assembled. Without confiding his project to any of his com- 
panions, he walked straight into the council house, carrying 
arms but concealing them, and required the assembled chiefs to 
accept the authority of the King of England. They not only 
submitted, but agreed to summon a conference of the whole tribe 
to meet Cuming. Cuming visited some other Indian settlements 
and then returned to meet the conference. Apparently to make 
negotiations easier and more certain, the chiefs elected one 
Moytoy as head chief or, as Cuming expresses it, Emperor. The 
Indians did homage on their knees to the King of England, and 
offered eagles' feathers, scalps, and other like articles as a sort 
of symbolical tribute. A report of the conference was drawn 
up to serve as a permanent record of this acceptance of British 
sovereignty. It was signed by Cuming and his companions ; the 
Indian chiefs appended their totems. 

Cuming then, following the example of Schuyler, brought 
seven of the chiefs to England. Moytoy would have been of the 
party but for the sickness of his wife. The Indians were pre- 


sented at court and clothed from the royal wardrobe. A pic- 
ture of them in their civilized habit is extant, or was so late in 
the nineteenth century. Attached to it is an account of the visit 
in which the Indians are described as "remarkably strict in their 
probity and morality." Before returning to their own country 
they accepted a treaty of alliance and commerce, drawn up and 
submitted to them by the Board of Trade. 

Cuming may possibly have embellished the details of his 
proceeding in America. But the substantial truth of his story 
is proved by the presence of the Indian chiefs in England, as 
also by the steadfastness with which the Cherokees held fast 
to the English alliance. But for this the settlement of Georgia 
five years later would have been impossible. 

The Yamassee war of 17 15 was the last occasion when Indian 
hostility, taken by itself and not regarded as an instrument in 
General French hands, was a source of serious danger to any 
otfihe 00 °f tne colonies. The presence of the Indian tribes on 
touTe 8 * 8 tne f ront i er > allies of a Power every whit as cruel as 
Indians. the savage, and far more politic and unscrupulous, no 
doubt did something to hinder extension westward. That it 
should have been so was in all likelihood a gain to the English. 
It was well that the tide of westward emigration should not 
flow lax and unrestrained, that the pioneers of the movement 
should be forced to regard themselves as a picked vanguard, 
who could never with impunity cut the bond which united them 
to the older settlements. As concerned intercolonial relations 
the presence of the Indians and their intermittent hostility were 
influences at once for good and for evil. They forced upon the 
colonists the need for co-operation and union. At the same 
time, the habitual failure, at best the partial and incomplete suc- 
cess, which attended all attempts at co-operation must have 
disheartened those who looked forward to a time when the colo- 
nies should be bound together as one organic whole. The latter 
influences which severed were probably stronger than those 
which united. The need for union must have been obscured, 
and its advocates disheartened, by the dissensions which attended 
every practical attempt at union. 

Despite brilliant instances of individual zeal and self-sacri- 
fice, despite much patient and well-organized labor among 
heathen races who have come under British sway, no one would 


claim that missionary zeal has been among the special endow- 
ments of the English Church or the English nation. Nowhere 
Lack of was that weakness more fully disclosed than in 
zeal. America. The brilliant dreams of extending Chris- 

tendom which animated the efforts of the Elizabethan col- 
onizers live on only in faint and conventional references among 
the instructions of royal Governors to the need of mission work. 
Moreover, if the English colonies as a whole started with a cer- 
tain natural and inherited lack of aptitude for missionary work, 
assuredly that deficiency was in the case of each separate colony,, 
or group of colonies, intensified by special causes. The religion 
of New England was in its essence unbending, exclusive,, 
repellent to all save those whom inherited tradition and early 
associations had reconciled to its harsher aspects. The Southern 
colonies had not enough of spiritual enthusiasm or ecclesiastical 
organization to serve their own needs, far less to undertake 
work beyond their own borders. South Carolina was eccle- 
siastically the best equipped of the Southern colonies, and there- 
communication with the inland districts was rendered impossi- 
ble by physical difficulties, by a belt of impassable swamp and 
impenetrable forest. 

If we turn to the Middle colonies, New York was beyond 
any of her sisters devoured by the cares of the world and the 
deceitfulness of riches. In Pennsylvania, indeed, a certain 
sympathetic tenderness for the savage was an abiding legacy 
from the days of the founder. Yet even there the zeal and 
energy of the English settlers would have been wholly unequal, 
to the task, if it had not been supplemented, as we shall see,, 
from a foreign source. 

Moreover it is a truism that those elements of civilized life 
with which the savage must constantly come in contact were 
just those least fitted to impress him with any respect for 
the white man. He saw little of the respectable Boston and 
New York merchant, of the planter in Virginia or Maryland. 
His dealings were with the poor trader, who cheated him over the 
sale of firearms and powder and debauched him with rum, or 
with the squatter who had often betaken him to the frontier, be- 
cause the jurisdiction of a colony over its westward territory was 
frequently doubtful in theory and always inapplicable in practice. 1 

1 For an illustration of this see North Carolina Records, vol. ii. p. 94. 


The repeated enactments in various colonies against the sale of 
rum to the Indians prove at once the honest desire of the bet- 
ter class of the colonists to check the traffic, and the futility of 
their efforts. There is indeed something pathetic in the entrea- 
ties of the more intelligent and self-respecting of the natives that 
they and their countrymen should be protected against this pro- 
lific source of mischief. In 1733 an Act was passed in Con- 
necticut against the sale of drink to the natives, at the special 
request of an Indian chief, Ben Uncas. 1 So too, Conrad Weiser, 
the Indian interpreter for Pennsylvania, reports that in the 
eyes of the better sort of natives the importation of rum is an 
abomination before God and man. 2 

Mrs. Grant points out too, how, even when these causes of 
demoralization were absent, the mere contact with the life of 
the white man impaired that of the savage. He became depend- 
ent on the trader for clothes and for the firearms and ammuni- 
tion which use had made necessary to him. He lost the primi- 
tive virtues of the savage without acquiring the civilization of 
the white man. 

Here and there it may be he put on some semblance of civil- 
ization. As early as 17 17 the legislature of Connecticut, at the 
same time that they prohibited all private persons from either 
buying land from the Indians or selling spirits to them, arranged 
that the remaining natives in the colony should be formed into 
agricultural communities, each with a tract of land which might 
not be alienated. 3 What was the result of this experiment 
history does not tell us. A like attempt was made in Mas- 
sachusetts with some success. There, in 1749, a township of 
Indians was established at Stockbridge, which appears to have 
lived on for more than a century with a fair share of prosperity. 4 

No doubt in these instances and elsewhere, as the Indian 
became more or less absorbed into the life of a civilized com- 
munity, his conversion followed as a consequence. Thus we 
find the Mohegan Indians making a rather pathetic request for 
the services of a Christian minister. They cannot do much for 
him, but they will give him a few oysters and some fish, and 

1 Connecticut Records, 17 33, P- 472. 
8 Pennsylvania Records, vol. v. p. 166. 
•Connecticut Records, 171 7, pp. 17, 31-2. 
4 Holmes, vol. ii. p. 144. 


a piece of venison if they have luck in hunting. 1 Occasionally, 
too, we find among the instructions to a Governor a somewhat 
slight and conventional response to the duty of furthering the 
conversion of the natives. 2 But for any attempt on a large scale 
to Christianize, and at the same time to civilize, the Indian we 
must look to a community of non-British origin. 

Of the many and varied religious communities which had 
their homes among the English colonies, the most effective in 
The their missionary labors were the Moravians. They, 

Moravian . i i • i i • i t • 

Mission. 3 in 1749, established a society on the western frontiers 
of Pennsylvania, with about five hundred Indian converts. To 
this they gave the name of Gnadenhutten, the Abode of Grace. 
The non-resistant type of Christianity inculcated by the Mora- 
vians left their converts wholly stripped of those qualities which 
were needful for them as a defense, whether against their savage 
brethren or their civilized neighbors, if indeed the frontiersmen 
have any claim to that title. The tragedy which made an end 
of Gnadenhutten belongs to a later stage of our story. Whether 
the creation of the settlement was for gain or loss is a question 
to be settled rather by the moralist or the theologian than by 
the historian. 

1 Hawks and Perry, p. 299. The petition is undated, but apparently is be- 
tween 1750 and 1760. 

2 E.g. the instructions to Morris. New Jersey Archives, vol. vi. p. 15. 

3 The best authority for this is Heckewelder's History of the Moravians. 



It has been said that the history of the colonization of the 
United States is a history of the persecutions of the Old World. 
influence Those who accept the views set forth by the present 
perlecu 1 - " 8 writer will not admit that this is true, save in a very 
tion. modified form, of the English element in the colo- 

nies. If we are to reconcile the statement with fact, we must 
use the term persecution with no little latitude, and apply it 
to the condition of any religious body which needed freer sur- 
roundings than it could find in the Old World. But we may 
certainly say that, wherever the English element has been 
supplemented from continental Europe on any extensive scale 
or with any abiding result, religious persecution has been the 
first moving cause. As it is expressed in a manifesto written 
on behalf of the new colony of Georgia, in all likelihood by its 
founder, "Subjects acquired by the unpolitic persecutions or 
the superstitious barbarities of the neighboring princes, are a 
noble addition to the capital stock of the British Empire." 1 

It will, however, probably be best, before touching on that 
side of the question, to consider how far English emigration 
in h pe^n elsh was su PPl ementea1 by the other nations of the Brit- 
syivania ish islands. We have already seen that Wales made 
Delaware, a considerable contribution to the peopling of Penn- 
sylvania and Delaware. That movement was made under the 
sudden impulse of strong religious feeling. Save under such 
•conditions, there was little likelihood that the Principality would 
swell the tide of emigration. Fitted though the Welshman is by 
energy and versatility for colonial life, yet his deep-seated love 
for the land of his birth and for the associations that surround 
his home, and his reluctance to be merged in an alien population, 

1 New and accurate Account of Georgia, supposed to be by Oglethorpe. Pub- 
lished in the Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i. 


would always make banishment distasteful. It could only be 
endurable when, as in Pennsylvania and Delaware, the colonist 
carried Wales with him, and remained one of a community 
speaking Welsh, and inhabiting a home with a Welsh name. It 
was only under exceptional conditions that such a state of things 
was possible. Moreover, there was nothing in the material con- 
dition of Wales to prompt men to emigrate. Population was. 
scanty, and in proportion to population the resources of the 
country were abundant. The country, too, was almost purely 
pastoral, and gave its inhabitants but little training in the arts 
of tillage. Such emigration as there was from Wales would 
inevitably tend to attach itself to the existing nucleus, and the 
presence of Welsh communities in Pennsylvania and Delaware 
would be an effective bar to their appearance elsewhere. Neither 
in New England nor in the Southern colonies does the evidence 
of names suggest the presence of any Welsh element. 

To this, however, there is one exception. In 1736 a body of 
emigrants from Pennsylvania, mostly but not wholly Welsh, 
The Welsh settled in South Carolina. The tract originally 
caroiina.i granted to them was near the northern boundary of 
the colony, in the fork formed by the greater and lesser Pedee 
rivers. Their first home was near the confluence of the two 
streams. That, however, was soon forsaken for a higher and 
more wholesome position. The name of the Welsh Neck, com- 
monly applied to the tract which they occupied, showed what 
was the dominant nationality. The presence, however, of sev- 
eral undoubtedly non-Welsh names, two at least of them 
French, shows that if the nucleus of the settlement was Welsh,, 
it had, not improbably in the very act of migration to Carolina, 
taken up and assimilated foreign elements. That did not 
weaken, but, on the other hand, intensified the effect of the 
migration in the life of South Carolina. It contributed to that 
cosmopolitanism which distinguished South Carolina from every 
other of the Southern colonies, and which saved it from becom- 
ing a community made up of English planters and merchants 
on one side of the line and negro slaves on the other. There 
was, too, as we have seen, a scheme started in Maryland for 
introducing Welsh settlers. 

If the Welsh Celt contributed but little to the population of 

1 McCrady, vol. ii. pp. 136-7. 


the colonies, the Irish Celt contributed even less. American 
Celtic politicians in the eighteenth century knew nothing 

["the °f tne troubles of that Irish vote which has weighed 

colonies. so heavily on their successors. This is easy to under- 
stand. The Celtic Irishman was unfitted for colonial life, and 
unacceptable to those already in occupation. The Irish gentle- 
man, smarting under intolerable indignity and injustice, betook 
himself not to dependencies where the hand of his oppressor 
might still lie heavy on him, but to some country where the 
career of a soldier offered him prospects of revenge. The peas- 
ant, ignorant, slothful, and unenterprising, had neither the tem- 
perament which makes colonial life attractive nor the resources 
which make it possible. From New England the Irish Papist 
would have found himself rigidly excluded. Elsewhere there 
was enough Protestant feeling to make him unacceptable to a 
large section of the population, and even more, as official docu- 
ments show, an object of suspicion to those in authority. If the 
gradual progress of toleration during the eighteenth century 
may have in some ways tended to modify this feeling, that was 
more than counteracted by the ever-growing fear of French 
encroachment. There is one form indeed in which we meet 
the Irish emigrant in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
as an indented servant on the Southern plantations. Trans- 
portation was regarded as the appropriate punishment for politi- 
cal crimes, and a considerable number of the Irish rebels in 
William III.'s reign were sent to the plantations, though it is 
impossible to say what proportion went to the West Indies and 
what to America. Moreover, to the purveyor of indented serv- 
ants, sometimes a legitimate trader, often a kidnapper, the fit- 
ness for colonial life of the person transported and the probable 
effect of his presence in the colony, were wholly unimportant 
considerations, and the Irish Papist was not unfrequent among 
the white servants of Virginia and Maryland. But though 
there may thus have been colonists of the Irish Celtic stock, 
nowhere in the colonies did men of that race preserve any sort 
of corporate connection or separate life. 

With the non-Celtic Irishman, if Irishman one may call him, 
Migration the northerner of Scotch stock, the case was widely 
Ulster. different. Migration from Ulster, spread as it was 

over the whole body of colonies, had an effect on their life 


out of proportion to its numerical extent, and hardly to be over- 
rated ; it has left deep and abiding marks on the history of the 
United States. 

In considering that influence we must never forget that the 
Ulster Irishman owed nothing in thought or temperament to 
the land of his residence, everything to the land of his origin. 
His sojourn in Ireland had only intensified the mental and 
moral equipment which he took thither. The qualities thus 
developed served at once to fit him for his American environ- 
ment, and enabled him to influence and modify it. Whether he 
turned north or south he found points of affinity with what he 
met. His Calvinism was as unhesitating as the Calvinism of 
Massachusetts in its days of unimpaired orthodoxy. The pride 
of race which he had learnt while he was holding his isolated 
province against the semi-barbarous Irishry was as intense as 
that which separated the South Carolina planter from the negro 
who tilled the land. And added to this was a stubborn persist- 
ency inherent in the race, but trained and strengthened by con- 
stant conflict, which insured victory over material obstacles and 
predominance over human competitors. 

The first influx of Ulster settlers into New England, and the 
most important, took place in 17 19. In that year five ships 
Ulster carrying a hundred families came from the north of 

fn^Iw Ireland to Boston, while a small supplementary party 
England. 1 f twent y families landed at Casco in Maine. Like 
the Puritan settlers of an earlier day the Ulster emigrants came 
not as isolated individuals, but as three congregations, each 
accompanied by its minister. 

Those rigid lines of religious and social demarcation which 
fenced off the New Englander from the outer world were giving 
way before the influence of liberal thought and widening com- 
merce. His conviction that he was one of a peculiar and chosen 
people was no longer what it had been. But though the exclu- 
siveness of New England was weakened, it still existed. More- 
over, though the Independency of New England had from 
necessity put on many of the forms of Presbyterianism, it had 
done so unconsciously and without any sense of affinity. To 

1 The whole story of the Irish migration into New England is dealt with in 
an excellent monograph by Mr. William Willes, Maine Historical Collections, 
vol. vi. 


the New England divine of the eighteenth century, Presby- 
terianism was as much an alien system as it had been to Milton 
and Cromwell. Enough details have been preserved to show 
us that the reception of the immigrants from Ulster was far 
from cordial, and their relations to the society they found about 
them nowise friendly. The New Englanders fell into a com- 
mon error, and failed to comprehend the depth and width of the 
gulf which separated Saxon and Protestant Ulster from Celtic 
and Roman Catholic Ireland. In the year which followed their 
arrival we find James Macgregor, one of the ministers who 
accompanied the party, writing to the Governor of Massachu- 
setts, and complaining of the injustice thus done to his flock. 
"We are surprised," he says, "to hear ourselves termed Irish 
people, when we so frequently ventured our all for the British 
Crown and liberties against the Irish Papists." 

The jealousy with which the Irish were regarded in New 
England is illustrated by an order made in the Boston Town 
Council for 1723, that whereas there were many Irish immi- 
grants of whom nothing was known, there should be a special 
record kept of all Irish immigrants. 1 

The same temper was shown by the members of the Episco- 
palian Church in Connecticut. We read that in 1744, when 
one Lyons, an Irishman, was appointed incumbent of the church 
at Derby, he was objected to as being "a foreigner." 2 

Seven years after the arrival of Macgregor we find him "ex- 
communicated" by the Massachusetts churches for the offense of 
ordaining a Presbyterian minister. The document in which 
this is stated is a memorial signed by three hundred of the emi- 
grants from Ireland. It sets forth that in New England "the 
antipathy is very great against all Presbyterians and Church 
people," and that unless the King takes the colony "under his 
more immediate government" it will never thrive. 

It is not unlikely that the hostility of the New Englanders 
to the Ulster immigrants was intensified by certain special privi- 
leges which the latter enjoyed. Some of them who had shared in 
the sufferings and the heroism of the siege of Derry had received 
from the Crown as a reward an exemption from taxation in all 
parts of the British dominions. Such an exemption could not 

1 Town Records, 1723, p. 177. 

2 Hawks and Perry, Doc. History of Protestant Episcopal Church, p. 208. 


but be distasteful to a people always ready to resent anything 
which seemed to suggest financial control or interference by any 
external authority. 

It was not long before the Ulster colonists dispersed in search 
of new homes. Some remained at Boston, others went "to Worces- 
ter, and a third party to Falmouth. The persecution which 
has just been described fell most heavily on the Worcester set- 
tlers. Some joined their fellow-countrymen in other places; 
one party crossed the Hudson and established themselves in 
New York on the upper waters of the Susquehannah. Another 
section, probably the majority, moved on to New Hampshire, 
and there with the approval of the Governor established them- 
selves as a township, to which they gave the honored name of 
Londonderry. The community throve, attracting to itself 
further emigrants from Ulster, and also extending a welcome to 
men of English race. 

In 1727 one Robert Temple, an officer in the English army, 
acquired a tract of land on the Kennebec. This he proceeded 
to deal with in the manner of a Dutch patroon, peopling it with 
settlers of his own selection. For this purpose he brought out a 
number of Irish Protestants. It was, however, an unfortunate 
time for such an enterprise. Lovewell's war, as it was called, 
had filled the frontier colonists with the dread of Indian inva- 
sion. Temple's settlers dispersed; some joined their fellow- 
countrymen in New Hampshire, others fled to Pennsylvania. 

An attempt similar to Temple's was made shortly after under 
circumstances which strikingly illustrate the weaker side of 
colonial administration in the eighteenth century. The well- 
known philanthropist Thomas Coram had lived for some time 
at Taunton in Massachusetts, and he suggested to the British 
Government a scheme for settling the territory between Nova 
Scotia and the Kennebec. 1 For a time nothing came of 
Coram's scheme. But in 1729 it was revived by Colonel David 
Dunbar, who held the Crown appointment of Surveyor of Forests 
in New England, and also acting Governor of New Hampshire. 
His intention seems to have been to establish a settlement mainly 
devoted to the production of naval stores, ship-timber, pitch, tar, 
and the like. Dunbar was himself an Ulsterman. He brought 

1 Hutchinson, vol. ii. p. 224; Palfrey, vol. iv. p. 567. 



settlers from that country to occupy the territory. At the same 
time he took possession of Pemaquid and rebuilt the fort there. 

The respective rights of the Crown and of the colonists over 
the timber growing on waste lands was a perpetual source of 
dispute, and it would have been scarcely possible for Dunbar 
to avoid coming into collision with the settlers. It is clear that 
he was not the man to do anything towards smoothing over 
administrative difficulties. His letters are acrimonious, and at 
the same time querulous and feeble. 1 Wearied out by continu- 
ous struggles, and perpetually worsted by his astute opponents at 
Boston, he left New Hampshire. The settlers whom he had 
brought out from Ireland appear to have stayed on after Dun- 
tar's failure. In 1735 Samuel Waldron, the son of that Major 
Waldron whose treachery to the Indians had been so heavily 
punished, 2 obtained a large grant of land between the Penobscot 
and St. George rivers. This he peopled at first with Ulster 
Protestants, some brought direct from Ireland, others collected 
from those scattered groups already existing in New England. 
At a later day he seems to have increased the cosmopolitan char- 
acter of his population by introducing settlers from Scotland and 

Even if the reception of the Ulster immigrants had been 
more cordial and their assimilation with the existing community 
more complete, it is unlikely that they would have had any 
far-reaching effect on the colony. The very likeness which the 
Ulsterman bore to the New Englander made his presence in 
New England a feature of less importance than it was else- 
where. He did not, as elsewhere, bring in new elements needed 
for the completion of the national character. The chief influ- 
ence he could have had would have been to strengthen and 
accentuate what already existed. 

Two material results ensued from the Ulster emigration into 
New England. They introduced into Massachusetts that short- 
lived attempt at linen manufacture which has been already 
described. They also introduced the culture of the potato into 
New Hampshire. That is a significant fact as showing how 
little social and industrial communication there was between 
the Northern and Southern colonies. 

1 Several of them are in the Historical MSS. Commission Report, vol. xi. App. 
part iv. • 2 The Puritan Colonies, vol. ii. p. 181. 


If the influence of Ulster on New England was slight and 
unimportant, in the Middle colonies the case was widely differ- 
uister ent. We read in Mrs. Grant's sketch of New York 

th^Mkidie now a wealthy capitalist developed all the industrial 
colonies. resources of his estate by the aid of workmen from 
Ulster. 1 The main influx, however, of Irish immigrants was 
into Pennsylvania. That colony may, without any exaggera- 
tion, be described as the gateway through which the great body 
of Irish immigration found its way into America. As we said 
above, the most valuable element in that emigration was fur- 
nished by the Presbyterians of Ulster. But though they formed 
the most conspicuous factor in the movement, they were not 
the first in the field. The pioneer work was done by a body 
recruited from Ulster, but which was also largely composed of 
other non-Celtic elements. To us, at the present day, Ulster is 
apt to present itself as a detached outwork, occupied by a popu- 
lation wholly different in race and faith from the rest of the 
island. We are apt to forget that, in the latter half of the 
seventeenth century, the true antithesis lay not between Celtic 
Ireland and Teutonic Ulster, but between Connaught and an 
Ireland for the time being almost wholly Teutonized. In 
Leinster and Munster national and slowly working causes have 
largely annihilated the influence of the Cromwellian settlement. 
Only in Ulster, where it was able to join hands with a popula- 
tion of like faith and temperament with itself, has it lived on 
with any abiding vigor. But that was not so in the seven- 
teenth century. The Cromwellian settlement then was just 
as much an England beyond seas as the earlier Ulster settle- 
ment was a Scotland beyond seas. It was from the former, not 
the latter, that the first definite impulse towards American colo- 
nization came. 

The creed of Penn and Fox had, almost in its first inception, 
found disciples in Ireland. The movement, however, appears to 
The have been confined to the Protestant and English- 

ireiandV speaking population, and to have had virtually no 
effect on the Irishry. As must have been expected, the work 
of conversion was most extensive and successful in Munster and 

1 Vol. ii. p. 1 1 6. 

2 The migration of Irish Quakers to America is the subject of an excellent 
monograph entitled, The Immigration of Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, by 
Albert Cook Myers, 1902. 


Leinster. There its only rival was a weak and imperfectly organ- 
ized Anglicanism, imposed on a population the majority of 
whom had been reared in traditions hostile to the Church. In 
Ulster it had to battle with vigorous organization and intense 
conviction, with a creed and discipline which for more than 
a century had commanded continuous and unquestioning alle- 
giance: an allegiance, too, rendered all the more tenacious by 

It was inevitable that Irish Quakerism should bear a part 
in the great movement of emigration which had been begun by 
Quaker the founders of their creed. The pioneers seem 

from ratl ° n t0 have been a body of Dublin Friends, who founded 
Ireland. a me eting-house at Newton, in New Jersey, in 1682. 
There was also emigration to Virginia and South Carolina. 
This, however, had but little immediate effect, though at a 
later day the communities so formed may have joined hands 
with the tide of Quaker emigration which started from the 
Middle colonies and flowed southward. 

In one important feature the Quaker emigration resembled 
the earlier Puritan and the later Presbyterian movement. Each 
owed its strength largely to the fact that it was a movement 
not of individuals, but of communities. The Quaker emigrant 
either went out as one of a congregation or found a place in 
such a congregation awaiting him ready made. Moreover, in 
one respect the Quaker had the advantage over the New Eng- 
land Puritan. He belonged to a society more flexible in its 
organization. A man passed more easily and readily from one 
community to another. There was not that intense and exag- 
gerated spirit of cohesion, of which we see the more heroic side 
in the emigration from Brainford, the narrower and weaker 
aspect in the opposition to the settlement of Connecticut. From 
1682 the tide of Quaker migration from Ireland to America 
flowed steadily. It has been already said that Quakerism took 
a far stronger hold in Leinster and Munster than it did in 
Ulster. Yet it is a noteworthy fact that the number of Quaker 
emigrants from Ulster was nearly equal to that from Leinster, 
and more than four times as great as that from Munster. This 
may have been in some measure due to a personal cause. James 
Logan was an Ulsterman, and it is not unlikely that the posi- 
tion which he held and the influence which he exercised may 


have helped to draw emigrants from his own province to Penn- 
sylvania. But over and above that, the men of Ulster, living 
in an isolated atmosphere of Protestantism, were already marked 
off by cohesion and tenacity of purpose from the Protestant 
invader in those districts where even the heavy hand of Crom- 
well had not wholly crushed out the creed of Rome or the tem- 
perament of the Celt. 

This migration from Ulster had most important and far- 
reaching consequences. The Quaker set an example which was 
Migration speedily followed by the Presbyterian. That the 
Preiby- 1 " population of Ulster would, under the pressure of 
terians. material causes, have thrown off swarms, that those 
swarms would in any case have sought the New World, is prob- 
able. But it is hardly probable that but for Quaker influence 
their choice of a home would have been Pennsylvania. As it 
was, before 1721 Presbyterians from Ulster had established 
themselves in that colony. The uniting power of race was 
stronger than the separating power of religious differences. 
We may ignore the latter, and during the period with which 
we are concerned, that between 1720 and 1760, look upon the 
emigrants from Ulster as a homogeneous body with a common 

Economical causes were at work confirming the results which 
religion had brought about. In 1699 tne English Parliament, 
Econom- m a selfish spirit of monopoly, had destroyed the 
influences Irish woolen trade. On none did this blow fall more 
migration, heavily than on the hard-working Protestant handi- 
craftsman. Further distress was created by failure of crops. 
Among such that of 1729 stood out in tragic prominence. 
Moreover the economical disease of the Irish Celt, land hunger, 
was beginning to make its influence felt. As the crushing force 
of the Cromwellian conquest passed away, as the policy of James 
and his servants tended not indeed to redress, but to avenge 
the wrongs of the Papist population, so the Celtic Roman Catho- 
lic, creeping back to the soil from which he had been evicted, 
tended to raise rents and to break up by competition the profita- 
ble land monopoly of the invader. 

The original Quaker migration contained two elements, one 
urban, one rural. It consisted in part of tradesmen and artisans 
from Dublin, in part of farmers and husbandmen from the 


north. The former for the most part settled in Philadelphia 
and were absorbed in the city population. It was through the 
latter that Irish emigration played so important a part in the 
history of the colonies. 

In none of the colonies was the process of expansion west- 
ward so easy and so spontaneous as in Pennsylvania. The deep 
indentation of Delaware Bay enabled Philadelphia to combine 
the advantages of a sea-board and an inland situation. In Penn- 
sylvania, too, the Blue Mountains dip to a somewhat lower level 
than elsewhere, and thus the capital was at once an Atlantic 
seaport and an easy and natural starting-point for the back- 

Moreover that migratory impulse, which is almost certain to 
make itself felt among the more energetic and enterprising mem- 
bers of a young population, could find a vent only in one direc- 
tion. The northeast frontier of Pennsylvania, faced as it was 
by the Catskill Mountains, and by a country which even now 
retains much of its primitive wildness, repelled migration just 
as much as the south-western section of the colony invited it. 

It is not to be assumed that this movement, which did so 
much to people the western portions of the Southern colonies, 
The move- and to leaven those colonies with a new element of 
whoiiy 0t incalculable value, was exclusively Irish, or that it 
p°nn- nac ^ lts one anc * on ly Dase m Pennsylvania. There is 

syivania. every likelihood that the Ulster pioneers as they 
moved on attracted to themselves recruits of kindred opinion 
and temper. There is direct evidence that congregations both 
of Irish Quakers and Irish Presbyterians existed in Virginia 
and in the Carolinas who had made their way direct from the 
mother country. Thus in 1732 a body of Irish Presbyterians 
came out, obtaining from the Council of South Carolina a free 
passage and a tract of land twenty miles square, in what one 
may call the border land between the swamps of the sea-coast 
and the western hills. There after many hardships they grew 
into a prosperous community. The name of the settlement was 
Williamsburg, so named in honor of the hero of the Boyne. 1 
But, though these influences may have helped and strengthened 
the movement, they were not essential to it. As was said 

1 McCrady, vol. ii. p. 132. 


before, Pennsylvania was the gateway through which the Ulster 
migration made its advance. 

The importance and value of that migration can hardly be 
overrated. It leavened the South with a social and industrial 
impor- element of incalculable value, a witness that the 

movement, slave plantation was not the only normal and possible 
form, perhaps not even the best form, of labor. It garrisoned 
the western frontier with a population very different from the 
hunters and traders who might otherwise have monopolized it: 
a population of disciplined and organized communities, trained 
in an austere creed and in the habits needful for self-govern- 
ment; a population far more akin to the Congregationalists of 
New England than to the slaveholders of the Southern sea- 
board. Even into the lawless barbarism of North Carolina the 
Quaker and Presbyterian immigrants imported some element 
of cohesion and definite purpose. One can hardly overrate the 
importance of a movement which tended to break down the 
barriers between the slaveholder of the South and the yeoman 
of the North, and to infuse into the members of the future repub- 
lic something of that unity of principle and sentiment so much 
needed and so largely absent. 

In another way, too, the Irish emigrant did much to unify 
the colonies by being the first to overcome the more material 
and mechanical difficulties of communication between the colo- 
nies. We can never understand the social and industrial, any 
more than the military, history of the colonists unless we clearly 
grasp the fact that before the colonist could move in a line 
parallel to the Atlantic he must move inland. There could be 
no easy or expeditious transport along a coast deeply indented 
with bays and navigable rivers, and lined with dismal pine- 
barrens and pestilential swamps. Westward these obstacles dis- 
appeared ; others took their place: pathless forests, wild beasts, 
Indian ambushes. These the Ulster emigrants overcame, and 
in the process became a trained and disciplined force, an ad- 
vanced guard in the conquest of the west. 

There was no collective and corporate migration from 
Scotland similar to that from Ireland. Scotch settlers did 
Scotch indeed, as we have already seen, find their way 

settlers. ; nt0 t jj e Middle colonies. But the Scotch wave 
of migration to New Jersey soon came to an end, and there 


was no renewal of any similar attempt elsewhere. Scotch 
•colonists no doubt there were, but such migration was iso- 
lated and as one may say accidental, neither continuous nor 
organic. There were causes enough in the condition of Scot- 
land to explain this: military service in the continental armies 
of Europe had traditional attractions for the Scot, as it had 
for the Irish Celt, and furnished a vent to relieve that pressure 
which was at times caused not by over-population, but by lack of 
resources. The experiment of Darien, too, had made the very 
name of colonization under the English Crown odious in Scot- 
land, and that rapid increase of commercial prosperity which 
followed the Union found full employment for all the capital 
and all the labor which the country could provide. The High- 
landers in Georgia were a garrison rather than a settlement. 
After the 'Forty-five a body of Jacobite refugees, Flora Mac- 
donald and her family among them, took refuge in South Caro- 
lina, and there proved as loyal to the House of Brunswick as 
they had been to that of Stuart. But as far as the general tem- 
per and character of the community went their influence was 

As was just said, the Middle colonies were in some measure 
an exception. The names of Hunter, Burnet, Montgomerie, 
Colden, and William Smith remind us how large a part men of 
Scotch blood played in the official life of New York and New 
Jersey. There was also a scheme on foot in 1739 for a High- 
land colony which if carried out might have had far-reaching 
effects. Clarke, who was then Lieutenant-Governor of New 
York, proposed to establish a settlement of Highlanders at 
Wood Creek, a point a little east of Lake George, and com- 
manding one of the chief passages from Canada to New York. 
Unfortunately there was a delay, and before the project could be 
put in force the Commissioners for Indian Affairs reported that 
the French had occupied the spot. 1 

Two explanations of the delay have been given. Colden, 
then Surveyor to the Colony, stated at a later date that the 
Assembly were lukewarm in their support of the scheme and 
dilatory in finding the needful funds. 2 But if we may believe 

1 New York Documents, vol. vi. pp. 144-6. 

2 Colden's letters on the subject are printed in the second volume of the New 
York Historical Society's Collections. 


a leading public man who took part in the dispute, the refusal 
was made through a suspicion that Clarke and Colden favored 
the scheme for the sake of the official fees which it would bring; 
with it. 1 Be that as it may, it is clear that here, as so often 
in New York and in other colonies, the inability of the citizens 
and the officials to work together was fatal to a measure which 
might have done much to strengthen the frontier and curb 
French aggression. 

Of the various non-British 2 elements which entered into the 
composition of the colonial population, that contributed by 
The French Protestantism was, though perhaps not the 

in U the enot most numerous, by far the most important. The in- 
colonies. fluences under which the Huguenot had been trained 
were not unlike those which had molded the character of the 
Ulster Presbyterian. Each held the same creed. Fatalism, 
whether it be the fatalism of Calvin or the fatalism of Moham- 
med, is the creed which of all others breeds and sustains fighters. 
The austerity, the persistence, and the self-reliance which are 
begotten of Calvinism were in both the Ulsterman and the 
Huguenot confirmed and intensified by the discipline of life* 
Both had fought and suffered for their creed. The persecution 
of the Huguenot had, it is true, been far more severe and more 
persistent. But he had never, any more than the Ulsterman,. 
sunk into a state of passive martyrdom. Like the Ulster Presby- 
terian, he had been a strenuous combatant, holding to his faith 
as to a fort hard pressed by a hostile majority, actively as well 
as passively daring, as ready to inflict pain as to bear it. Yet, 
along with these points of likeness, there were points of differ- 
ence hardly less strong or less essential. In the Scotch Presby- 
terian, Calvinism had been grafted on to a stock already pre- 
disposed to all that was most characteristic in the creed. In 
the Huguenot the joyous and versatile temper of the French- 
man was overlaid but not destroyed by Calvinistic teaching, 
and might revive in brighter and happier surroundings. Nor 
had the French Protestant ever become to the same extent as 
the Ulster Presbyterian separated from the surrounding world. 

1 Smith, vol. ii. p. 50. 

% It is almost needless to say that British is here used in its later political, 
not in its earlier ethnological, sense. 


He had not formed one of an isolated community amid an alien, 
a hostile, and as he deemed an inferior, race. 

Moreover the Huguenot was for the most part a townsman, 
as the Ulster Presbyterian was a tiller of the soil. Thus the 
Frenchman had neither the training nor habits which could have 
enabled him to do the work which was done by the Irishman, 
to lead the way in a migration steadily moving forward in 
organized communities. The task for which the Huguenot in 
America was fitted, and which he fulfilled, was to leaven the 
industrial and commercial life of the sea-board with his own 
qualities — versatility, enterprise, and manual skill. 

Moreover, while the Ulsterman seldom brought more than 
his one form of labor and the small capital needed by the colo- 
nial farmer, the Huguenot was not unfrequently a well-to-do 
man of business. Huguenot merchants play a leading part in 
the commercial life of New England and New York. Two of the 
most conspicuous figures in Boston commerce during the eight- 
eenth century were Peter Faneuil and Amory. To the grati- 
tude of the former towards his adopted country Boston owes 
the building of Faneuil Hall, associated with so many stirring 
scenes and with political battles whose issues were felt far 
beyond the precincts of Massachusetts. His business records 
do more than those of any among his contemporaries to throw 
light on the nature and extent of New England trade in pre- 
Reyolution days. The history of the Faneuil family also well 
illustrates the ubiquity and the versatility of the French Hugue- 
not, and the fashion in which he served to link together the 
various colonies of British origin. Two Faneuil brothers emi- 
grated from France, the one to New York, the other to Boston. 
The former again moved his abode to Rhode Island, while his 
son, the well-known Peter Faneuil, joined his uncle at the 
capital of Massachusetts. Well may an American writer call 
the family history an epitome of cosmopolitanism. 1 

Beside the Faneuils the names of Bowdoin and Sigourney 
remind us of the part played by descendants of the Huguenots 
in the political and intellectual activity of New England. So 
too, in New York, the De Lanceys were foremost among those 
great capitalist families 'whose action so largely influenced the 
history of the colony not always for good. 

1 Weedon, p. 608. 


Over and above these various migrations of religious bodies 
there was much isolated and, as one may call it, secular migra- 
Germans tion, in some cases due to the attempts of English 
southern administrators to introduce a new industrial element, 
colonies. Qf t h e Palatines brought in by Hunter I have 
already spoken. In 17 14 Spotswood established a settlement of 
German miners in the Tuscarora county. 1 In 1735 two hun- 
dred Palatines were imported to South Carolina — as they were 
technically called, Redemptioners. 2 They were in the same 
position as the indented servants of Maryland and Virginia. 
The importer was paid so much a head by the purchaser, and 
the persons imported then earned their freedom by a period of 

The district which they occupied was formed into a county, 
entitled Orangeburg. Irish emigration, as we have seen, gave 
birth to a Williamsburg, and thus the hero of British and 
continental Protestantism was doubly celebrated in South 

A far less successful attempt at settlement was made by cer- 
tain Swiss, under the leadership of a sanguine or dishonest pro- 
The Swiss jector, Jean Pierre Purry. So resolved were the col- 

in South J . ' J . . ., . , .11. 11 

Carolina. onists to identity themselves with their new abode 
that they were accompanied by two ministers of their own 
nationality, probably Lutherans, who obtained episcopal ordina- 
tion in England. 

Swiss mountaineers might, if transported to the uplands of 
Vermont or the banks of the Hudson, have formed a valuable 
addition to the population of the British colonies. But, as 
might have been foreseen, the climate and the industries of South 
Carolina were wholly unsuited to them. A proposal was made 
to transfer them to North Carolina, but nothing seems to have 
come of it. 3 So disastrous was the result of the settlement, 
called after its founder, Purrysburg, that the cantonal govern- 
ments of Zurich and Berne forbade further emigration. 4 The 
original settlers died or dispersed. 

In Pennsylvania the migration of Germans was so extensive 
and at the same time so wanting in system and control as to be a 

1 Letters, vol. ii. p. 70. 

2 The South Carolina Gazette, quoted by McCrady, vol. ii. p. 129. 
8 Memorial from Rodolph in N. Car. Records, vol. iv. p. 139. 

* This is stated in Rodolph's memorial. 


•serious embarrassment to the government. Apparently Keith 
allowed them to settle on Indian territory without any attempt 
Germans at purchase or compensation, and thereby endangered 
syivania. the relations of the colony with the natives. In 1727 
Gordon complains that four hundred Palatines are making 
their way into the colony without leave from the Crown or 
the Proprietors, and probably as the result of his complaint in 
1 728 he reported to the Assembly that he had orders from Great 
Britain "to provide against those crowds of foreigners who are 
yearly poured in upon us." 1 

That the evil continued or recurred is shown by an enact- 
ment passed in 1749. This set forth that Germans were un- 
wholesomely crowded together and w T ere thus a cause of sick- 
ness, and it compelled shipmasters bringing such emigrants to 
provide proper food, and to limit their number of passengers in 
proportion to their stowage room. 2 

The German migration, unlike the French, did little to intro- 
duce any one specific and distinct element into the colonies. 
The religious communities stood aloof, they were in the colonies 
but not of them. The isolated German immigrant was more 
easily absorbed into the society in which he dwelt than the 
Huguenot or even than the Ulsterman. What the German 
did was to contribute a common element to the population of 
various colonies. Everything that made for cosmopolitanism 
ultimately made for unity. Just as in New York a motley pop- 
ulation hindered the development of any strong sense of corpo- 
rate life, so in every colony the introduction of varied elements 
broke down that exclusiveness which was among the chief bars 
to fusion. 

1 Pennsylvania Records, vol. iii. pp. 282, 324, 342. 
'Laws of Pennsylvania, 1749. 


At the outset the English nation was urged on to the task of 
American colonization by three motives working together. 
The That must seem no more than a truism to all who 

conception nave studied the subject even in its bare and ele- 
°oioSz!- h mentary aspect. Such men as Raleigh and Gilbert 
tion - and Peckham conceived the vision of a great colo- 

nial empire fulfilling a threefold function. It was to be an 
outlet for English pauperism, a safety-valve for that poverty 

1 The material for the early history of Georgia is abundant, but very diffuse. 
There is nothing in the nature of a good contemporary or nearly contemporary 
historian of the type of Hutchinson, Trumbull, or Proud. The nearest approach 
to such is William Stephens, who was secretary of the colony from 1737 to 
1 741, then President of the county of Savannah till 1743, and afterwards of 
the whole colony. His journal in three volumes was published in his lifetime. 
The first and second volumes are in the British Museum, the third I have failed 
to find anywhere. 

The literature of Georgia during the period of settlement is rather like that 
of Virginia under like conditions. In each case the desire to advance the cause 
of the colony and the disputes and difficulties which attended the task of coloni- 
zation gave birth to an abundant crop of writings, interesting and animated, but 
too much tainted with advocacy to be always trustworthy. 

The following are the most important: — Reasons for establishing the Colony 
of Georgia, by Benjamin Martyn, London, 1733; Essa y on Plantations, and A 
New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia, 
both ascribed to Oglethorpe, and published in London in 1732; A Brief Account 
of the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia under General James Oglethorpe,. 
1732; The State of the Province of Georgia, 1742; An Account showing the 
Progress of the Colony of Georgia, published by order of the Trustees, 1741. 
The three last named are all reprinted in Ford's Tracts, vol. i. An Impartial 
Inquiry into the State and Utility of the Colony of Georgia, 1741; Brief Account 
of Causes which have retarded the Progress of Georgia, 1743. The case of 
Oglethorpe's opponents is stated with some cleverness, but much acrimony, 
shallow sarcasm and obvious misrepresentation in a pamphlet entitled A True 
and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia, 1741. Two authorities of 
considerable value are: A Voyage to Georgia, by Francis Moore, 1744. Moore 
was for some time store-keeper to the colony. History of Georgia, published in 
Dr. Harris's Collection of Travels, vol. ii. pp. 323-47. London, 1764. The 
journals of John and Charles Wesley are valuable authorities for those events 
in which they took part. Wright's Life of Oglethorpe, 1867, and Jones's History 
of Georgia, 2 vols., 1883, are careful and laborious works, based on very full 
research. Mr. Wright's admiration for Oglethorpe makes him at times somewhat 


and misery which seems the inseparable accompaniment of 
rapid material prosperity, a refuge for the so-called "breakages 
of society." Furthermore the battles of the Old World were 
to be fought in the New. Our colonies were to balance and 
control the Transatlantic empire of Spain. We see into what 
strange and unlikely channels that stream of thought had run 
when we find a little band of persecuted Brownists pleading 
to be allowed to settle in Canada, that they may there "annoy 
the bloody and persecuting Spaniard." 1 Lastly, the colonist was 
to be a missionary. That Gospel light which had succeeded to 
centuries of Romish darkness was to be spread among the yet 
heathen natives of an unexplored continent. Such were the 
aspirations which have come down to us in countless sermons 
and pamphlets. 

The actual course of English colonization dealt with lower 
motives and contented itself with more commonplace successes, 
between* ^ ts a ^ ms > lts methods, and its results had nothing in 
th V d h eal common with those imagined by Gilbert and his fel- 
actuai. lows. Spain ceased to be a source of danger; the 

meager resources of the English colonies gave them no scope 
for a policy of extension or aggression southward. The crusad- 
ing dreams of the Elizabethan age were exchanged for the 
dreary realities of the Pequod war, of the struggle with Philip, 
of inroads, sieges, and skirmishes on the Canadian frontier, 
often fruitless, never adequate in their results. 

Nor was the material gain less widely at variance with what 
was expected. Every feature of colonization presented to the 
Elizabethan age had in its foreground visions of El Dorado. 
The experience of thirty years of actual colonization served 
wholly to dispel them. The men who sailed with Winthrop had 
learnt to look on such hopes as no better than the dreams of 
the alchemist. Nor was that all. With those visionary hopes 
had been joined others, seemingly more sober, yet in real truth 
almost equally doomed to disappointment. The early experience 
of Virginia showed that the New World with all its resources 
and advantages could never become on any large scale a refuge 
for the thriftless and unprosperous. All colonial history was 
the confirmation of Bacon's warning against planting with 
"the scum of people and wicked condemned men." It was soon 

1 The Puritan Colonies, vol. i. p. 28. 


seen that those who really made the strength and backbone of 
our colonies were men who at home would in all likelihood have 
won for themselves by patience and enterprise a fair share of 
the world's good things. Our plantations had done but slight 
and indirect service in relieving those grosser forms of poverty 
which are bound up with ignorance and suffering, and are the 
parents of crime. 

No one with the history of New England before him can 
dispute that the colonists had done a definite religious work 
of reality and importance. But assuredly it was not the work 
contemplated by those who first designed and directed our colo- 
nial system. The Churches of New England had been con- 
spicuous as the homes of individual piety, and, though with lim- 
itations and drawbacks, as centers of corporate spiritual life. 
But they had done nothing to enable Protestant Catholicism to 
face Roman Catholicism as a compact and organized whole. 
On the other hand they had done much to develop the opposite 
tendency, to break up the Church of the Reformers into opposed 
and discordant sects. Those missionary hopes which had filled 
the minds of such men as Crashaw and Copland had been hope- 
lessly scattered to the winds. The attitude of the settlers to the 
savages had ranged from merciless hostility to half-contemptuous 
kindness. Here and there we had given them some small 
share of the material gains of civilization, more than balanced 
by the degradation which accompanies its baser side. The pious 
labors of isolated men such as Gookin and Eliot, the spirit of 
justice and humanity with which Penn imbued his followers, 
had done something to redeem the credit of their countrymen, 
to brighten the dealings with the savages, and to lighten the 
inevitable misery of the conflict between barbarism and civiliza- 
tion. But the heathenism of a continent remained unbroken, 
almost untouched. 

For more than a century the colonies had gone on in the 
varied paths which their material conditions seemed to mark out 
The settle- for them, with destinies determined by outward con- 
Georgia, ditions of coast line, climate, and soil, by the habits 
and beliefs which the settlers brought out with them, and by 
the wishes and theories of statesmen at home. The projects and 
hopes which in the sixteenth century filled the minds of all 
those who thought about America at all seemed dead and buried. 


Suddenly a historical cycle seems to reopen. In the coloniza- 
tion of Georgia the old schemes seem to revive in a narrower 
field and in less ambitious forms. To curb the Spaniard in 
Florida, to carry a knowledge of Christian truth to the savage, 
to find prosperous homes for those whom vice, thriftless folly, 
and the harshness of the world, working together, had made 
wretched and homeless — these were the tasks which the founder 
of Georgia set before him, and in which he won some share of 
success, greater assuredly than had followed the more venturous 
schemes of earlier days, as much, one may fairly say, as the 
inherent difficulties of the various problems permitted. 

The period which lies between the Revolution and the acces- 
sion of George III. is peculiarly an age of biography. Pope's 
James doctrine that the proper study of mankind is man 

thorpe. had been accepted, and applied not to man as a philo- 
sophical abstraction, but to individual men and women. The 
crude, transparent advocacy of Burnet, the better veiled though 
more partial advocacy of Swift, have furnished us with pictures 
of their contemporaries often, it may be, misleading, but never 
lacking in life. What they did for their own generation, Her- 
vey and Walpole have done more artistically for the next. Even 
writings which would usually fall into more abstract forms 
have not escaped the general tendency. The social and moral 
speculations of Sterne and Addison, the satire of Pope, even 
the spiritual teaching of Law, have left us vivid pictures of actual 
men and women. Thus in studying the drama of eighteenth 
century history we move among the actors as among familiar 
friends. It is seldom, however, that colonial history comes in 
any way into contact with this full-flowing stream of biography. 
But if he had never crossed the Atlantic, if Georgia had 
never come into being, Oglethorpe would still live for us in 
the pages of Boswell and Walpole, and other less known social 

By birth James Oglethorpe belonged to what one may call 
the constitutional and moderate wing of the Jacobite party. 
His father, Colonel Theophilus Oglethorpe, the head of an 
old Yorkshire house, did good service at Bothwell Bridge and 
against Monmouth. He played a part against the Prince of 
Orange active and conspicuous enough to lead to the loss of 
his commission. But he appears to have kept free from the 


political intrigues of his party, and he twice sat in Parliament 
during the reign of William. Two at least of his children 
drifted further into Jacobitism than their father. Theophilus, 
the eldest son, lived as an exile and figured in the Jacobite 
peerage of St. Germains. His sister Anne earned like rank by a 
connection which she did something to redeem by loyalty and 
• good sense, too rare among the advisers of the Old Pretender. 
The support given by James Oglethorpe to the fallen cause was 
of a soberer type, and after the Hanoverian accession he enlisted 
himself among the followers of Windham. The outward con- 
duct and policy of Oglethorpe reflected the more rational and 
reputable side of Jacobitism. His temper and character, and 
they are not hard to decipher, remind one of all that is best 
in that creed, as disclosed to us by the writer who above all 
others understood its strength and weakness. The genial cour- 
tesy, the ready wit, the fearless simplicity of Oglethorpe, tem- 
pered by a vein of wayward eccentricity, would have furnished 
Scott with a companion figure to the Baron of Bradwardine. 
It is well for such men when party obligations do not sit too 
heavily on them. The men who can render effective service 
under a system of party politics are either those whose principles 
are held so loosely that they can be pared down or extended 
as needful, or those who hold a few great principles with such 
overwhelming and tenacious conviction that the sacrifice of 
all that is not essential seems as nothing. Oglethorpe assuredly 
rose above the one type. He hardly attained to the other. 
The condition of his party suffered him to play the part for 
which he was best fitted, that of a free lance. 

Of the three features of special interest which attach to the 
colonization of Georgia, two do not come before us till the 
His colony is fairly launched on its career. The utility 

policy. of the settlement as an outpost against the Spaniard 

in Florida, the part which it played as a center for the mission- 
ary operations of the Wesleys, these were minor and incidental 
objects quite secondary to the main purpose for which the colony 
existed. The supreme interest of Georgia in its early days lies 
in the fact that it was the first attempt to devote a colony sys- 
tematically and exclusively to the relief of pauperism. One may 
go further and say that it was the first attempt by any one 
definite organized scheme of industry to cope with the problems 


of poverty. Here lies the real interest of the story, an interest ' 
by which in colonial history it stands alone. 

A figure like that of Oglethorpe seems to stand out among 
the corrupt and place-hunting officials of the Hanoverian age, 
like Max Piccolomini among the intriguers of Wallenstein's 
camp. Yet Oglethorpe did not so much rise above his age, as 
reflect a side of it which is often overlaid by its more striking 
or more obvious characteristics. In many respects the eighteenth 
century deserves the stigma laid upon it: in a certain sense it 
may be fa»rly called prosaic and unimaginative. Its literature 
was confined and one-sided ; its art, looked at as a whole, lacked 
grace, fancy, and imagination; its religion was cautious, super- 
ficial, and unspiritual. We, living in an age which has freed 
itself from these failings, which, when it errs, errs in ways 
widely different, see only these things, and are blind to the 
better aspects of that century. It has suffered from its very 
admirers and advocates. They have dwelt on the outward 
features of the time, features which they would describe as 
"quaint," and have been unjust to that vein of real heroism 
which runs through the public life of the time. If the eight- 
eenth century was the age of Addison and Horace Walpole, it 
was in a far more abiding sense the age of Chatham and Wolfe 
and Clive. Oglethorpe's career was on a small scale the fore- 
taste of that adventurous and public-spirited heroism to which 
we owe our Canadian and our Indian empires. 

In one respect, however, Oglethorpe undoubtedly did rise 
above his age. It is hardly an exaggeration to call him the 
founder of modern philanthropy. Hitherto public men had 
acquiesced in the existence of vice, ignorance, and squalor com- 
bined, not as isolated plague spots, but forming what one may 
call a solid phalanx in the midst of our social life. They were 
prepared so far to accept Mandeville's doctrine of the utility 
of private vice, as to believe that much social evil was an inevi- 
table accompaniment, probably a needful condition, of material 
prosperity. Men accepted as inevitable a condition of things 
such as we see in Hogarth's Gin Alley, in the perversion of jus- 
tice and the administrative tyranny at the expense of the poor 
painted for us by Fielding. 

Oglethorpe first, and for a while alone among public men, 
saw and acknowledged that the community was largely responsi- 


ble for the suffering of its poorer members, that to remedy 
and prevent such suffering was a task which needed, if not the 
interference of government, at least some systematic and organ- 
ized effort. 

It is worth noting that Oglethorpe's labors in this matter 
moved on lines somewhat different from those who in later 
days have followed in his footsteps. It was not the condition 
of the wage-earning classes that chiefly excited his pity. Both 
for the peasant and the artisan, the first half of the eighteenth 
century was a time of rapidly increasing prosperity. The evil 
which specially stirred up Oglethorpe to his work of reform 
was the suffering of the imprisoned debtors. That mania of 
speculation which soon after the accession of George I. ran 
through all trading classes, great and small, of which the South 
Sea Bubble was but the most noteworthy and widespread in- 
stance, must have filled the debtors' prisons with victims, often 
deserving of no moral blame, yet exposed to the wrath of cred- 
itors themselves half ruined and therefore necessitous and 

Oglethorpe's first appearance as a public man was in obtain- 
ing a Parliamentary inquiry into the condition of the debtors' 
prisons. The results of that inquiry forced upon him the con- 
viction that for the victims there could be no hope save a fresh 
start in a new world. 

The relief of the distressed was not, however, the only motive 
which urged Oglethorpe to take up colonization. The presence 
sir Robert of Spanish neighbors to the south had long been a 
gomery's source of danger to South Carolina. It was a danger, 
project. t00j wn j cn tne colony was ill-fitted to face. The 
population was sparse, the Indians on the western marches were 
warlike and unfriendly, the slaves were constantly escaping to 
the Spaniard, and serving to replenish a negro regiment which 
might at any moment be used against the colony. More than 
one project had been set on foot for a military colony, designed 
to cover the frontier of South Carolina. One of these was at 
least ambitious enough to deserve special notice. Among the 
followers of Lord Cardross in his ill-starred attempt to colonize 
in South Carolina was a Nova Scotia baronet, Sir Robert Mont- 
gomery. His son and successor, also Sir Robert, undeterred by 
his father's misfortunes and by the tragic results of the Darien 


settlement, revived Lord Cardross's project in a vague form. 
He obtained from the Proprietors of South Carolina so much 
of the province as lay beyond the Savannah. To this province 
or, as he not unfittingly called it, Margravate, he gave the name 
of Azilia. Colonial history can show us not a few wild schemes 
of fortunes to be made without risk or effort out of the bound- 
less resources of the New World. But of all such schemes, 
those of Sir Robert Montgomery are probably the wildest and 
most extravagant. They are set forth by him in what may 
be called in modern language a prospectus, inviting subscrip- 
tions. In this the soil of the Margravate is offered in lots of 
five acres or more, at forty shillings an acre. The purchasers, 
however, are not to be in the position of colonists or landowners, 
so much as shareholders. As far as one can understand Sir 
Robert's proposals, he was to administer the agriculture and 
trade of the colony for the joint benefits of the whole body of 
subscribers. Only half the capital subscribed was to be called 
up. In addition to a dividend on their capital every subscriber 
of five hundred pounds was at a future day to receive as a bonus, 
six hundred and forty acres of land with a house. The province 
was to be parceled out into symmetrical departments, each 
securely fortified against Spanish invasion. The colony w T as to 
make the English consumer independent of foreign markets. 
Coffee, tea, figs, raisins, currants, almonds, olives, silk, wine, 
cochineal, "and a great variety of still more rich commodities," 
"all these," the Proprietor announced, "we shall certainly propa- 
pate." At the same time he modestly admits that these are dis- 
tant views. For the present the profits of the shareholders were 
to come from potash and rice. The labor of a single man is to 
cost the shareholders thirty-three pounds a year, and will in 
either of the industries produce fifty pounds. The ordinary cost 
of boiling potash was to be greatly reduced by some process not 
explained, whereby all metal would be dispensed with. 1 

Nothing in this wonderful document is more amazing than 
the unquestioning confidence with which the projector appeals 
to the public. One is reminded of Subtle's promises to Sir 
Epicure. There are no doubts, no hints at the possible need of 

1 Montgomery's Prospectus, entitled " A Discourse concerning the designed 
establishment of a New Colony to the South of Carolina, the most delightful 
country in the Universe," was published in 1 717. It is reprinted in Force's 
Tracts, i. 


modifying his schemes in the future. Sir Robert describes his 
province of a hundred and sixteen squares each a mile on every 
side, the four great parks filled with all kinds of cattle, and 
the city with "a large void space affording a fine view of the 
city in drawing near it," and with "the Margrave's house con- 
taining all sorts of public edifices for dispatch of business." 

Montgomery anticipates, only to dismiss with magnificent 
scorn, the suggestion that it might be well to have trustees, or as 
we should rather call them directors, to look after the interests 
of the shareholders. And it must be admitted in justice that 
Montgomery argues with some shrewdness against the evils of 
divided counsels, and illustrates his point effectively from the 
early history of colonization. Intending shareholders might 
probably have felt that, though the government of a directorate 
might be bad, that of one who was either a wild enthusiast or 
an unscrupulous projector would be worse. No attempt was 
made, as far as history shows, to put Montgomery's schemes into 
practice. The design itself is an episode of some little interest 
as illustrating the wild projects of speculation which were float- 
ing in the air. As far as colonial history goes, it has but a 
negative importance. If Montgomery's schemes had been a 
little more sane or more sanely expressed, if they had had in 
them just enough show of reason and sobriety to enlist any fol- 
lowers, they might have discredited Oglethorpe's projects and 
laid practical difficulties in his way. 

The scheme of a colony south of Carolina, a mark as one 
may call it, appealed to Oglethorpe's two ruling passions, 
inception philanthropy and soldiership. He saw that the proj- 
thorpe's ects °f a pauper colony and a military outpost might 
scheme. be combined, and he doubtless felt that each scheme 
would strengthen the other by enlisting different supporters 
and appealing to different sets of motives. His first step was 
to get partners and capital. On June 9, 1732, a body of trus- 
tees, twenty-one in number, was incorporated by charter. 1 Two 
only of the names besides that of Oglethorpe meet one in the 
general history of the time. One was George Heathcote, a 
member, though not a prominent one, of the constitutional 
Jacobite party who followed Windham; the other Lord Pefci- 
val, afterwards Lord Egmont, an independent and somewhat 

1 The charter is printed in the True and Historical Narrative. 


wayward politician. It would seem as if the colonial scheme 
had the good fortune not to be identified with any party, politi- 
cal or ecclesiastical. 

The charter described the partners as trustees, and their func- 
tions were strictly limited in accordance with that description. 
They were expressly debarred from enjoying any direct pecun- 
iary interest in the colony either as landholders or as paid offi- 
cials. A careful system of audit was enforced, whereby the 
accounts of the trust had to be annually submitted to the Lord 
Chancellor, the two Chief Justices, the Chief Baron, and the 
Master of the Rolls. Private contributions came in to the 
amount of rather more than three thousand seven hundred 
pounds. 1 

Although the military side of Oglethorpe's scheme counted 
for something in his own mind and that of his supporters, yet 
special the establishment of the colony as a means for the 

interest ' , 

of the relief of distress came first. Elsewhere in the gal- 

Georgfa° lantry of Oglethorpe and his Highland soldiers, in 
the mingled self-devotion and self-will of the Wesleys, we have 
incidents full of dramatic and biographical interest. To those 
who study colonial history in a serious and scientific spirit, the 
special importance of Georgia in its early days lies in the battle 

! between industry, organized and guided by benevolent intelli- 
gence, and pauperism. Regarded thus the history of Georgia 
in its first years has a unique value. For the most part the con- 
ditions of colonial life were so simple and so favorable, and its 
economical problems therefore so easy of solution, that from 
that point of view colonial history does not carry with it much 
; profitable instruction. The efforts of the legislature in the 
r early days of New England to control wages and prices show 
the hopeless and unpractical nature of such attempts. Later 
colonial history reminds one of the economic evils of a reckless 
issue of inconvertible paper money. But in neither of these 
instances can we say that colonial history does more than illus- 
trate what all sane men recognize as true. No one believes, no 
one but a party politician pretends to believe, that the ordinary 
laws of demand and supply can be suspended for his own special 

& "benefit. But the problem which the founders of Georgia set 
themselves to solve lies in that debatable land between politics 

1 Account showing the Progress, &c, p. 13. 


and economics, where every ray of light which can be gained 
from practical experience is valuable. It is one of those ques- 
tions where the teaching of abstract economy fails, because many 
of the premises lie wholly outside its sphere. Political economy 
will tell us what will be the ultimate result of certain conditions 
if things are left to themselves. But it may be that the matter 
which concerns the legislator and the man of affairs is not the 
ultimate result, but some intermediate stage. That does not 
make it otherwise than folly to ignore the plain teaching of 
economy. But it should remind us that political economy only 
teaches, while public morality or public expediency commands. 

To gather together those who form the waste and wreckage 
of society, to form them into an industrial community isolated 
more or less from the world in which they have lived and failed, 
to give them a fresh start, free from the evil influences which 
have surrounded them, is a project which has commended itself 
in one form or another to successive generations of social reform- 
ers. The dangers and drawbacks are too obvious to need stat- 
ing. It is no exaggeration to say that they are enough in the 
eyes of any thinking man to make complete success unattainable. 
But the problem is one where something very far short of com- 
plete success may be worth aiming at. The questions which 
a practical man will ask himself in considering any such scheme 
are: whether the industrial machine thus constructed will work 
at all, and whether the relief given will in the long run find 
those relieved happier and more prosperous than they would 
have been otherwise; lastly, and perhaps most important, what 
will be the effect on those outside the scheme, how far the need 
for thrift and shrewdness in business must be enforced by the 
visible consequences of their absence. How far did Oglethorpe 
and his allies understand these difficulties, face them, and over- 
come them? Therein lies the main interest of the early life of 
Georgia. The last question, the measure of success reached by 
the colony as a social and economical experiment, is practically 
answered in the events which lie before us. The views of Ogle- 
thorpe and his fellow-trustees are clearly shown in the provisions 
of the charter and in the pamphlets issued by Oglethorpe 

It is to be noticed at the outset that the scheme was at least 
free from certain dangers to which projects of the kind are 


liable. It did not profess to be very wide-reaching in its aims. 
The colony was to start with but a little over a hundred set- 
tlers. Even if it failed, failure could not be very disastrous in 
its consequences when the experiment was made on so modest 
a scale. There was ample room for careful selection of emi- 
grants. No one could fear that the terrors of the debtors' 
prison would be sensibly lessened by such slight alleviation. 
More plausibly might it be urged that the relief thus given cov- 
ered so small a field as to be well-nigh worthless. 

This, too, was an advantage in another way. Benevolent 
schemes of the kind always reach the stage of danger when they 
outgrow individual supervision, and become dependent on offi- 
cial machinery. But here the colony was of a size which would 
allow of the control of a single man of strong will and active 
intelligence, and such an one was forthcoming in Oglethorpe. 

The original instructions to emigrants fenced in the colony 
with precautions, and show that the founders were alive to some 
Details of the special dangers ahead. The object aimed at 
scheme.* was the creation of a number of small independent 
freeholders. It is always a manifest objection to such a scheme 
that the distribution of land will be determined not by legis- 
lative enactment but by economical causes. Where the small 
landholder is the natural product of such causes he will hold 
his ground; where he is the artificial creature of legislation he 
will sell or mortgage his holding and vanish. To guard against 
this every precaution was taken to check such alienation. Not 
merely was it forbidden save under special permission, but the 
estate granted was not one in fee-simple, but in tail male. Fail- 
ing male issue the holding was to revert to the trustees, who in 
re-granting were to have special regards to the sons-in-law or 
maternal descendants of original tenants. The reasons given 
for these restrictions are instructive. Free sales of land would 
be fatal to the general design of the colony. Lots would get 
consolidated, men would own more land than they could clear, 
and their uncleared ground would be a nuisance to their neigh- 
bors. The thriftlessness which had brought the colonists into 
their present case showed that they were unfit to be trusted with 
discretionary control over their own estates. Moreover it was 

1 For what follows see Account showing the Progress, and the History in 
Harris's voyages. 


needful that the trustees should continue to enjoy the right 
of admission and exclusion to the colony, a right plainly incon- 
sistent with the free sale of land. The main objects of the 
colony would be frustrated if Spanish or French Papists found 
their way in. 

Partly on these grounds the importation of negroes was abso- 
lutely forbidden. It was apprehended that if slaves could be 
bought there would be a temptation to landholders to mortgage 
their estates. In all likelihood the military danger from the 
presence of a slave population and the general interference with 
the special industries of the colony were equally strong motives. 
The trustees had before their eyes the examples of Carolina and 
Virginia, and they saw from those that slave labor almost inevi- 
tably begot a system of large estates, the existence of which, 
would undo the very objects for which the colony was formed. 
The poorer settlers would prefer the post of an overseer to the 
life of a small yeoman working on his own holding. Large 
plantations might encourage the existence of absentee land- 
holders. Again the peculiar industries which suited slave labor, 
such as the rice plantations of South Carolina, would interfere 
with silk-growing and the other resources on which the trustees 
relied. The founders of the colony also clearly saw that slavery 
if it is to exist must stand alone, and that the slave and the 
free laborer cannot stand side by side. 1 Moreover the yeoman 
farmer tilling his own land would never work with his own 
hands among a gang of negroes as he would with his free 

The restrictions of the holdings to tail male illustrates another 
side of the intended life of the colony. The system was feudal- 
ism on a small scale, tenure of land by military service. The 
main purpose of the colony might be thwarted and disarranged 
if one of the holdings passed into the hands of a woman. 
Throughout, as was said above, the trustees did much to insure 
success by the sober modesty of their aims. They did not hold 
out to those who contributed money the faintest hope even of 
ultimate profit. The colony was to support itself by its own 
industry; that was enough. The foundations were to be laid 
tentatively with a party of emigrants small enough to be under 
the direct control of Oglethorpe. They might in some sort 

1 This is clearly expressed in The Impartial Inquiry. 


be looked on as pioneers. The trustees, too, abstained from 
committing themselves in advance to any elaborate projects of 
industry or trade. So, too, the character and dimensions of the 
colony released the founders from the need of making any 
present arrangements as to its constitution. For the present 
Oglethorpe was to be Governor, with the powers of a magis- 
trate. All judicial machinery might be created by the trustees as. 
the growing wants of the colony should make it needful. For 
military purposes the Governor was in the event of joint opera- 
tions to be subordinate to the Governor or Commander-in-Chief 
of South Carolina. 

The authority, or rather the official existence, of the trustees, 
was strictly limited in time. After twenty-one years Georgia 
was to become a Crown colony. Thenceforth the nomination 
to all offices, the formation of all judicial and legislative machin- 
ery, and the division of powers between officials and departments, 
were left to the discretion of the Sovereign. 

The task of selecting emigrants was left to two committees, 
of the trustees. One was to visit the debtors' prisons and choose 
Selection of sucn persons as seemed specially suitable. The other 
emigrants. was t0 receive and investigate applications. 1 This 
mode of proceeding allowed the choice of settlers specially suited 
for the various needs of the community. The trustees could in 
fact construct a carefully organized labor gang. By October 
1732, a hundred and fourteen emigrants were selected, formed, 
from thirty-five families. 2 Unfortunately no record is ex- 
tant to show what number over and above the heads of these- 
families were able laborers. But we can at least see that the 
colony was designed to be a complete, organic, self-sufficing 

Oglethorpe's writings show that he was not likely to err in 
overrating the competence of his settlers. He did not delude 
himself into the idea that there was any magic in colonization 
which would transform thriftless paupers into prosperous and 
industrious citizens. Opponents of the colony had argued that 
if men had a mind to work they could work in England. Ogle- 
thorpe scoffs at the idea that those who have never learnt manual 
work by practice can suddenly turn to and compete with regular 

1 This is stated by Mr. Wright, p. 53. I have failed to trace his authority. 

2 Account showing the Progress. 


laborers. Let those who argue thus try their own powers. One 
of them will soon find that he is less than the fourth part of a 
laborer. 1 If there is anything over-sanguine in Oglethorpe's 
calculation, it is in his estimate of the resources of the colony. 
Ten acres of land will maintain a settler when he gets it rent 
free. Oglethorpe appears to have forgotten that the family had 
to be maintained too, and that the constitution and objects of 
the colony made every settler liable at any moment for military 

Considering the latitude of the colony it was probably wise 
that the settlers should time their arrival at the beginning of 
Arrival the year. Save for the death of two children, the 
colonists. vessel bearing the emigrants reached America with- 
out mishap. On January 13, 1733, Oglethorpe landed in 
Charlestown. There he obtained from the Governor what 
was needful in the way of guidance and convoy. With a pilot 
from Charlestown, the emigrants sailed to Port Royal, an inlet 
some eighty miles to the south. 

When Port Royal was reached Oglethorpe himself landed, 
and having arranged that huts should be made ready for the 
Settle- settlers, he set out to choose a site for his town. 

Savannah. » Twenty miles above the mouth of the river rose a 
bluff. Standing a good deal higher than the stream it was free 
from the danger of malarious fogs ; opposite was a rich meadow 
suited for cattle pasture. From the summit of the bluff the 
whole course of the river could be traced as far as the sea. 
Thus the approach of a hostile fleet could be at once signaled. 
To the west and south, too, the country could be seen for six 
miles, and thus there was little fear of a surprise either by 
natives or by Spaniards. Moreover, the swampy character of 
the land to the south, making the march of troops difficult and 
the transport of stores and artillery well-nigh impossible, was 
in itself a protection. 

Oglethorpe did not in his choice of a name show any wish 
to commemorate either place or person in the Old World, and 
the future city kept the Indian name of the adjoining river, 

1 New and Accurate Account. 

2 For this see Oglethorpe's two letters quoted in Account showing the Prog- 


Before allowing his settlers to occupy their new home Ogle- 
thorpe took measures to secure the friendship of his savage neigh- 
bors. For once the frontier trader, associating with the Indians 
and adopting their habits, was a help instead of a hindrance. An 
Englishman named Musgrove had settled among the tribes south 
of the Savannah and had married an Indian squaw. She now 
acted as an interpreter and envoy from Oglethorpe to her own 
people. The principal tribe in the country was that of the 
Creeks. They appear to have been divided into two confedera- 
tions of about a thousand men each, known to their English 
neighbors as the upper and lower Creeks. There was also a 
smaller tribe, the Uchees, some two hundred strong. The vil- 
lage nearest to the site chosen by Oglethorpe was that of the 
Yamacraws. They appear to have been one of the subdivisions 
of the Creek nation. Their chief, Tomochichi, had we are told 
been banished from his own people, probably the Creeks, and it 
is not unlikely that the insecurity of his position made him wel- 
come the alliance of the strangers. Through the agency of 
Musgrove and his wife friendly relations were established be- 
tween Tomochichi and Oglethorpe, and the native chief made 
over to the English whatever rights he himself may have had in 
the land required for the new settlement. 

After a week's sojourn at Port Royal, while Oglethorpe was 
exploring the country, the emigrants landed at their new abode 
Prosperous on January 30. Oglethorpe's first report to the 
nings. trustees was sent on February 20, followed by a 

better one three weeks later. His statements are supplemented 
and confirmed by the evidence of a party from Charlestown 
who visited Savannah, and published an account of what they 
saw there. 1 It is noteworthy that their account of the progress 
and prosperity of the little community is decidedly more favora- 
ble than Oglethorpe's own. He reports in a somewhat apolo- 
getic tone that though the public magazine and the needful 
preparations for defense were complete, there were as yet but 
five wooden houses built and that the people were living in 
tents. This, he says, is all that could be done from the small 
number of the settlers, of whom many, too, were unused to labor. 
The Carolina visitors, on the other hand, marvel that so much 
has been done in so short a time and with such scanty resources. 

1 In the South Carolina Gazette. Reprinted in Harris, p. 327. 


The town is palisaded, some wheat has been sown and already 
shows above ground, and two or three gardens have been stocked 
with herbs. Unused as the settlers are to manual labor they 
work cheerfully; all, even the children, bear their part, and 
there are no idlers. Oglethorpe is described as a kind of pater- 
nal despot, nursing his settlers if sick, settling all disputes by his 
arbitrary judgment, and exercising such control that not an 
oath was to be heard nor a drunken man to be seen. 

That things should have gone well at first is no matter for 
surprise. We may suppose that the emigrants had been chosen 
with a special view to their deserts and good character. They 
were just set free from what had seemed a year ago a life of 
hopeless misery. For the time mere promise of material pros- 
perity was enough, and the presence of a ruler such as Ogle- 
thorpe, hopeful, genial, masterful, and practical, would keep 
in check any symptoms of discontent. The real difficulty would 
come when the first pinch of material distress had been over- 
come, when the increasing size of the colony made it no longer 
possible for the Governor to exercise direct personal influence 
over each settler, and when with the increase of material pros- 
perity different degrees of wealth began to show themselves. 
Not utter misery but a condition of slowly increasing prosperity 
is the seed-bed of discontent. 

As we have already seen from the outset Oglethorpe, warned 
one may well believe by the recent experiences of South Caro- 
Deaiings lina, saw the need for standing well with his savage 
natives. neighbors. Tomochichi showed that he valued the 
English alliance. He wished to be taught the religion of his 
neighbors, and the members of his tribe asked that they might 
bring their children to be trained at the English schools. The 
southern Indians seem for the most part to have still retained the 
system of female succession. The next heir, the chief's nephew, 
held a recognized position like the Tanist of an Irish chief. 
From the importance which evidently attached to Tomochichi's 
nephew, Toonahowi, it is probable that he held this post. He 
seems to have been as zealous as his uncle in his desire for the 
teaching and faith of the white men. 

Oglethorpe used the ground thus gained to extend his influ- 
ence over the native tribes further inland, and with the help 
of Tomochichi he summoned the heads of the various Creek vil- 


lages to a meeting. 1 On May 21 the Creek chiefs to the number 
of fifty met Oglethorpe at Savannah. They were near enough 
to South Carolina to have heard something of the power and 
resources of the English, and of the disasters which their enmity 
had brought on the Yamassees. Moreover, there was as yet 
ample room for the Englishman and the savage. A belt of 
some fifty miles in width along the coast seems to have been 
unoccupied. The Creeks opened the interview, according to 
their interpreter, by a formal acknowledgment of the supe- 
rior strength and wisdom of the white man and by a present 
of skins. Tomochichi then appealing, as was the wont of the 
Indians, to visible symbols, laid before the meeting a buffalo 
hide, tricked out with eagle's feathers. The English, he said, 
had crossed the great water with the speed of the eagle, and 
they possessed the irresistible might of the buffalo. They had, 
moreover, Tomochichi said, shown themselves kind to the 
Indian. Instead of using their strength to drive him from his 
lands, they had given him and his followers food from their own 
stores. Finally a treaty was drawn up. The Indians were pre- 
sented with clothes, guns, and ammunition. They ceded all 
their right in the soil bounded by the sea and by the tidal waters 
of the Savannah and the Alatamaha. The natives reserved a 
few islands for hunting and fishing, and a tract as camping 
ground whenever they visited the neighborhood of Savannah. 
Regulations, too, were framed controlling the intercourse and 
trade between the two nations. 

Just before the Indian conference, Oglethorpe had visited 
Charlestown. In a speech to the Assembly he reminded them 
Oglethorpe of what their colony had but lately suffered from 
Charles- Indian violence and from threats of Spanish invasion, 
town. Already, he told them, had the good effect of a strong 

colony on the southern frontier made itself felt. Large tracts 
had been occupied and the value of land had doubled itself. 2 

In June Oglethorpe, accompanied by an officer and troop of 
soldiers from South Carolina, set forth to explore the south- 
Provision western portion of his province and to take such steps 
defense of as were needful for defense. A site was chosen about 
Georgia. fifteen miles south of the capital, commanding the 

1 This interview is described in the Brief Account, pp. 10-13. 

2 The speech is given in the Brief Account, p. 13. 


valley of the Ogechee, a river parallel to the Savannah. There 
Oglethorpe designed a fort and left a garrison to build and man 
it, while a small party of civilians was sent up from Savannah to 
help at the work and to raise supplies. In the following Janu- 
ary, Oglethorpe renewed and extended his explorations as far 
as the mouth of the Alatamaha. The success of his defensive 
schemes at a later day showed with what strategic wisdom he 
had studied the character of the coast. On his return he found 
his fortification on the Ogechee, Fort Argyle as he named it, 
defensible and mounted with cannon. There does not seem 
as yet to have been any road through the forest, and the out- 
post was connected with Savannah only by water. 

Oglethorpe and his associates must now have seen, if they 
had not indeed seen before, that the relief of pauperism could 
introduc- only be one incident in their colonial scheme. If the 
sfiz-° f the colony was to have any military value, even if it was 
burgers. i t0 ^ e materially and economically prosperous, other 
elements must be introduced. It had long been a principle with 
the English Government, imperfectly carried out, but plainly 
in keeping with the foreign policy of England, to make our 
colonies a refuge for the persecuted Protestants of Europe. As 
we have seen, the dealings of Louis XIV. with the Huguenots 
and the devastation of the Palatinate had helped to swell that 
tide of miscellaneous emigration which had peopled the valley 
of the Hudson. Between 1729 and 1733 a number of the 
inhabitants of the Salzkammergut were made homeless by the 
persecuting policy of their Romanist bishop. In 1733 the trus- 
tees of Georgia opened negotiations for receiving a number of 
these into their colony. The introduction of a small alien com- 
munity, with its own usages and pursuits, was rendered more 
easy by the absence of any rigid constitutional provisions. At 
the same time the very ease with which such incorporation could 
be made was in itself a hindrance to the ultimate unity of the 
colony and to its corporate life. The trustees were enabled to 
carry out this part of their scheme without diverting any of 
those funds which had been contributed for the special relief of 
distress. In 1726 the missionary zeal of Berkeley had so far 

1 The best authority for the migration of the Salzburgers is the diary of 
Commissary Van Reck who conducted them. It was published in London in 
1734 and republished in Force's Tracts. 


won upon a reluctant Ministry and an indifferent Parliament 
that ninety thousand pounds had been voted as an endowment 
for a college in the Bermudas. Sordid indifference to the 
interests of the colonies, an indifference which was among the 
worst faults in the public policy of the Hanoverian age, and 
which forty years later bore its own retribution, brought Berke- 
ley's scheme to naught. Payment was delayed ; wearied out with 
hope deferred, Berkeley returned to his career in the English 
Church and to his studies as a philosopher. Of the ninety 
thousand pounds, eighty thousand was appropriated to the 
dowry of the Princess of Orange ; the rest was with Berkeley's 
assent voted to help Oglethorpe and his associates in their benev- 
olent objects. 1 The Act of Parliament by which this money 
was granted contained a clause which allowed it to be appro- 
priated to the help of foreign Protestants. The trustees entered 
into negotiations with the pastor of one of the exiled churches, 
that of Berchtesgaden, and in March 1734 seventy-eight emi- 
grants sailed firstly from Rotterdam and then from Dover. 
Early in April they reached Savannah, and after a short halt 
moved up the river some thirty miles, to the site of their 
new home. We are told that the river was as wide as the 
Rhine, and the woods full of the sounds of spring filled them 
with joy. To us of the present day, trained to take an almost 
exaggerated delight in natural beauty, and to seek in its wilder 
and sterner forms a relief from monotony and over-civilization, 
it would seem a poor exchange to leave the shores of the Konig- 
see, and the stern glories of the Untersberg and the Dachstein, 
for the pine-clad sands and the sluggish, swamp-girt streams 
of Georgia. But the native of mountains loves them with a 
love begotten of instinct and habit rather than deliberate pref- 
erence, and we may well believe that the new home, with its 
promise of security and material prosperity, seemed more than 
a compensation for what they had left behind them. 

Oglethorpe had no sooner seen the Austrian emigrants set- 
tled than he sailed for England to report to the trustees, and 
Oglethorpe to take up in Parliament certain questions connected 
England. with the colony. With him he took Tomochichi and 

1 6 George II. c. 25. Mr. Wright (p. 51 n.) states that Oglethorpe obtained 
Berkeley's consent. I have not found any proof of it, but the friendship be- 
tween the two men and their respective characters make it probable. 


some eight other Creek Indians. Their arrival created some of 
the same interest which at an earlier day had been awakened by 
Pocahontas and by the Mohawk chiefs who accompanied Schuy- 
ler. Tomochichi and his companions were taken in their war- 
paint and feathers to Kensington Palace, to Lambeth, and to 
Eton, where, after the approved fashion of foreign potentates, 
they asked for a whole holiday, and doubtless furnished a pre- 
text for much hearty shouting from admirers to whom the names 
of Georgia and Savannah conveyed very vague ideas. 1 

Underlying the reception of Tomochichi and his followers 
by the fashionable world there was something more than the 
mere idle curiosity of sightseers. The Evangelical movement 
was then in its dawn, and missionary zeal, eager, if not at all 
times well-judging or practical, has always been a mark of that 
school. The modern spirit of humanitarianism too was awaken- 
ing. Thus the savage was something more than a mere curios- 
ity. The presence of the Creek chiefs suggested serious, if 
somewhat vague, reflections on our responsibilities towards the 
savages on our borders. Not only did Tomochichi furnish the 
subject for an ode, 2 but Wilson, the Bishop of Sodor and Man, 
whose scholarly Churchmanship linked him to the age of Laud 
and Andrewes, as his earnest piety anticipated the coming 
revival, applied himself to the task of preparing a simple manual 
of devotion suited to the use of the savages, and capable of 
being rendered into their language. 3 

Meanwhile the trustees had been using the legislative powers 
conferred on them by the charter to give the force of law to 
certain provisions already adopted by Oglethorpe under their 
instructions. They had prohibited the importation of any spir- 
its. This provision had been violated by the Carolina traders. 
An Act was now passed imposing the same restraint. But it 
should be noticed that not only was beer freely imported from 
England and wine from Madeira, but also molasses from the 
West Indies from which the settlers could if they pleased distill 
rum. The other Act confirmed the prohibition of negro slavery. 

1 Tomochichi's visit to Court is told in the Gentleman's Magazine. Mr. 
Wright describes the visit to Eton. I have not found his authority for it. 

2 The Ode, a pompous production, is printed in full by Jones, vol. i. pp. 17S-8. 

3 Published under the title The Knowledge and Practice of Christianity made 
easy to the meanest capacity, or an Essay towards the Instruction of the Indians. 


The preamble, describing it as "An Act for rendering the prov- 
ince of Georgia more defensible," gave one of the reasons. The 
bill went on to declare that the prohibition was necessary for 
the development of thrift and industry among the settlers. 1 

Furthermore, the influence of Oglethorpe obtained from 
Parliament an additional vote of twenty-six thousand pounds 
towards the colony. 2 When the misdeeds of the English Gov- 
ernment towards the colonies are reckoned up against it, some- 
thing ought to be allowed for the liberal help granted to 
Georgia, help by which South Carolina was relieved of the 
burden of self-defense. 

In the same year Oglethorpe and his fellow-trustees took a 
step which on a small scale anticipated one of the most impor- 
TheHigh- tant measures in the English policy at a later day. 
Georgia. Hitherto the courage and warlike resources of the 
Scotch Highlanders had been nothing but a source of fear and 
weakness to successive English governments. To hunt them 
down in occasional raids, to weaken them by spreading dissen- 
sion among their clans, to buy them off with subsidies acknowl- 
edged or surreptitious, or by the sufferance of plunder, to throw 
on the landholders and yeomen of the Lowlands the burden of 
restraining and resisting them — these expedients had exhausted 
the policy of English statesmen in dealing with the mass of 
hungry barbarism beyond the Tay. To turn it into a source 
of strength was left for Pitt. It is not too much to say that 
England owes to him all that she has gained from the valor of 
her Highland regiments. Oglethorpe on a small scale antici- 
pated this policy. Advertisements setting forth the attractions 
•of Georgia were inserted in the Scotch newspapers. 3 A hundred 
and thirty Highlanders were enlisted specially to form a mili- 
tary colony as an outpost on the southern frontier. There is 
no direct proof to show from what clan or clans they came. 
But it is to be noticed that the minister who accompanied them 
belonged to one of the few loyal houses, the Macleods, who, 
eleven years later, were found under the Hanoverian banner 
against the Young Pretender. We are also told that many men 

1 Mr. Wright represents these as Acts of Parliament. They are not in the 
Statute Book, and it is clear that they were ordinances imposed by the trustees 
on the colonists. 

2 Account, see Force, p. 18. 

8 Mackay in the Trustees' Letter-book. 


of the best Scotch families were among the emigrants. 1 They 
were accompanied by fifty women and children. 

Oglethorpe was still in England when in January 1736 the 
Highlanders reached Savannah. But we may be sure that the 
position of their settlement, forming as it did a link in a con- 
nected chain of military defense, had been arranged by him in 
advance. They were posted on the southern bank of the Alata- 
maha, some sixteen miles from the mouth. As yet there was 
no land communication between them and the older settlements 
on the Savannah. They would have to bear the full brunt of 
an attack from Florida, supported only by sea. Some settlers 
from Carolina pointed out to them the peculiar danger of their 
position, but they heard the warning unmoved. If the Spaniards 
attacked them, they would beat them out of this part and have 
their houses ready built to dwell in. 2 

It might have been thought that the tragedy of Darien would 
have made Scotchmen look with distrust on any colonial enter- 
prise, above all on one in which the English Government was 
interested, or that at least all memory of that ill-starred venture 
would have been thrust into the background. So far, however, 
from that, the settlers gave to the territory assigned them the 
name of Darien, as though to declare that they did not accept 
defeat, and that the scheme which had come to ruin thirty 
years earlier was yet to revive and prosper. 

In some respects the growth and life of Georgia had more 
in common with that of the New England colonies than of the 
Extension Southern plantations. The absence of slave labor 
colony. and the special conditions of land tenure prevented 

the growth of large estates. Thus there did not spring up, as 
in Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina, isolated plantations, 
each a self-supporting and in many respects an independent 
community. Nor were the settlers suffered to straggle over 
the country as in North Carolina. On the other hand the 
colony extended itself as in New England by regular steps, each 
forming part of a methodical and organic scheme of expansion. 
And the various settlements were to some extent as in New 
England little coherent bodies, starting with a life of their own, 

1 Dunbar in the same. 

2 Oglethorpe to the trustees. Georgia Historical Society Collections, vol. iii. 
P. 13. 


not chance accumulations of settlers. But whereas in New Eng- 
land each onward movement was taken by the free choice of 
those who made it and each little society had in it the capacities, 
of self-government, the expansion of Georgia was a mechanical: 
scheme imposed from without. 

It is a truism to say that a community whose life is -thus 
ordered for it must lack much of the energy and self-reliance of 
one which chooses and shapes its own destiny. The exigencies 
of her lot, the very purposes for which Georgia existed, cut 
her off from such hopes. As we shall see, the colony fulfilled 
honorably and effectually the military purposes for which she 
was created. When we contrast the promptitude and success of 
Oglethorpe's operations against the Spaniards with the years 
of weary harassing warfare on the Canadian frontier, hindered 
by jealousies, bickerings, selfish and narrow disregard to 
imperial interests, we cannot but feel that the colony had 
put on that form of life which best fitted it for its appointed 

And even if the military necessities of the colony had not 
hindered its free growth, one may almost say that its composi- 
tion rendered such growth impossible. Bankrupts and paupers 
are not the material out of which to make a self-governing 
state. Georgia fulfilled the two functions for which she was 
created : she served as a bulwark against the Spanish invader, as. 
a safety-valve for the pauperism and misery of England. Dis- 
content there was, as we shall see; there may have been even 
suffering: and so far those who planned the colony missed their 
aim. But the real praise which attaches to Oglethorpe and his 
colleagues lies in this: that their colony, while serving as an 
asylum for distress, was also able to take unto itself the elements 
of healthy national life, that a better class of settlers were not 
repelled by such association, and that thus alongside the com- 
munity of paupers and bankrupts, of the thriftless and discon- 
tented, at Savannah there grew up other types of colonial life, 
able in due time to contribute elements of value to the life of 
the republic. 

In 1736 the colony received a fresh accession of two hundred 
and two settlers. Among them was a fresh installment of Ger- 
man Protestants and a congregation of twenty-five Moravians 
under their own bishop. It was a hopeful sign that an English. 


gentleman of good position, Sir Francis Bathurst, had been will- 
ing to make the colony a home for himself and his family. 1 

This inflowing tide of immigration enabled Oglethorpe to 
take another step forward in his defensive policy. The mouth 
of the Alatamaha is commanded by an island about twelve miles 
long, pear-shaped and narrowing towards the south. Here 
Oglethorpe planted a fortified town, the southernmost point 
as yet of his colony. The settlement, to be called Frederica, 
stood on the western shore of the island, in a meadow about a 
mile long by half a mile wide, flanked and backed by almost 
impenetrable woods. 2 

With the influx of fresh settlers the tide of emigration flowed 
up the valley of the Savannah. The township of Abercorn and 
organiza- the smaller villages of Hampstead and Highgate 
colony. were established between Savannah and Ebenezer. 
Settlements sprung up along the broken chain of islands which 
face the coast between the Savannah and the Alatamaha. 3 This 
process of growth brought out a defect almost inevitable in the 
composition of the colony — the want of any constitutional 
machinery to bind together its scattered members. It is not 
easy to make out clearly under what system of law and adminis- 
tration the colony lived. Oglethorpe appears to have exercised 
a certain general and not precisely defined authority over the 
whole colony. A soldier and a disciplinarian such as Ogle- 
thorpe, kindly but peremptory, unsparing of himself and expect- 
ing the like energy and self-denial of others, could not fail 
to incur the charge of harshness in his exercise of arbitrary 

The Highlanders and the Salzburgers in all likelihood found, 
the one in the patriarchal usages which they had brought with 
them, the other in their ecclesiastical organization, an adequate 
substitute for any civil magistracy. The English settlements 
along the Savannah presumably lived under the common law 
of England. We hear nothing of any magistrates in the coun- 
try districts. If any civil or criminal business arose it was 
probably dealt with either by Oglethorpe or by those whom he 

1 Bathurst announced his arrival in a letter to the trustees, Feb. 17, 1734- 

2 It must be remembered that in Georgia, as in South Carolina, a wood is 
usually a great tract of swamp. 

8 For these, see The State of the Province of Georgia and the Account. 


had left in authority at Savannah. There in his absence he 
had vested power in three magistrates or bailiffs. Here at once 
the difficulties inherent in the scheme made themselves felt. 
With the three bailiffs was associated in office a public store- 
keeper. The holder of this post, Thomas Causton, appears to 
have been both corrupt and unjust. He is charged with making 
a profit out of the public stores, with interfering with the course 
of justice, and with using the authority which his position gave 
him to intimidate juries. Neither the trustees nor Oglethorpe 
showed any wish to screen Causton. The charges against him 
were, as we shall see, fairly investigated. 1 

But one can plainly see that the difficulties were not caused, 
but only increased and brought to the surface, by the personal 
Discontent failings of Causton. In their first moments of exile 
settlers. and relief, the emancipated debtors and paupers 
might throw themselves with temporary zeal into their new 
life of industry. But the failings which had brought them to 
ruin in the Old World were sure to make themselves felt. The 
allotments were, as might have been surely foreseen, a source 
of jealousy and discontent. The resources of the trustees did 
not allow them to carry out public works, lighthouses, fortifi- 
cations, the laying out of streets and clearing of woods by hired 
labor. All this had to be done by the settlers in return for 
supplies advanced. Can we wonder or blame them if, with no 
hope of direct personal reward, they shrunk from toils under 
the burning sun of Georgia? Their intercourse with South 
Carolina was a constant spur to jealousy and discontent. There 
they saw planters living in sloth and luxury by the toil of their 
negroes, and able to carry on trade with the English merchant 
by mortgages of their estate and stock. In Georgia slavery 
was strictly forbidden. Repeated petitions and remonstrances 
were met by the answer, in all likelihood a reasonable one, that 
the military exigencies of the colony made slavery dangerous. 
It is plain, too, that Oglethorpe was a man of somewhat despotic 
temper, one who would make his neighbors happy, but in his own 
way, with whom a position once taken up had to be defended 
as a matter of principle and conscience. With him and his co- 
trustees in England the exclusion of negro slaves became at 

1 Beside the official reports there are several references to Causton in private 
letters, among the Georgia Papers, in the Record Office, all unfavorable. 


once a dogma not to be questioned, and resistance to slavery a. 
matter of personal dignity. To the settlers on the other hand, 
at least to a section of them, Oglethorpe's stubborn resistance 
to this and to the importation of spirits seemed a wanton and 
purposeless exhibition of self-will. His politic kindness to the 
Indians was another grievance. Money was wasted on the sup- 
port of "useless vagrants" when "many poor Christians were 
starving for want of bread." Oglethorpe in short thought of 
the future security and stability of the colony, the Savannah 
settlers of their present ease. He would make it a bulwark 
against the Spaniard, they a paradise for thriftless idlers. 

Religious dissensions came in to complicate and intensify these 
disputes. Among those whom Oglethorpe took out with him 
The on his return to Georgia in the autumn of 1735 were 

in Georgia. John Wesley and Charles Wesley. The latter was to 
act as the Governor's private secretary. It is somewhat notewor- 
thy that the Wesleys do not seem to have rushed into the venture 
in any sanguine spirit of missionary zeal. The trustees wanted 
two clergymen to serve the parish of Savannah, and the town 
to be built on St. Simon's Island. Oglethorpe was slightly 
acquainted with the Wesleys: another trustee who knew them 
more intimately made overtures to them. John Wesley, not 
without hesitation, accepted their offer. His example was fol- 
lowed by Charles, and by two young laymen of the same way 
of thinking. 1 

There is nothing to show whether Oglethorpe was attached 
to any ecclesiastical party, or what were his theological con- 
victions. He was politically an ally of Atterbury. He may 
have been a Nonjuror, if not avowedly at least in his sympa- 
thies, or a free-thinking Jacobite of the school of Bolingbroke. 
But be his religious opinions what they might, it is very certain 
that the personal tempers and characters of John Wesley and 
Oglethorpe would have made harmonious action impossible. 
Both were impulsive, masterful, and benevolent, eager to hurry 
men to their own good, by short cuts, rather than let them 
find their own way to it slowly by the discipline of failure. 
Each in a measure would be working by like methods and in a 
like frame of mind to different ends. It was Oglethorpe's task 
to drill, encourage, and coerce the citizens of Georgia till they 

1 South ey's Life of Wesley, vol. L p. 75. 


become prosperous farmers and an efficient militia. It was 
Wesley's task to bring them by similar means to the salvation of 
their own souls. The obligations were sure to conflict, and 
with two such men the conflict must inevitably mean personal 
quarrel. Moreover the Wesley with whom Oglethorpe had to 
deal was not the Wesley of mature years, the founder and ruler 
of a sect, disciplined in tact, in forbearance, in knowledge of 
human nature, but a passionate, self-confident young enthusiast 
of twenty-six. Such a man could hardly fail to wound Ogle- 
thorpe's personal dignity. He would be absolutely certain to 
outrage his sense of military discipline. Yet Oglethorpe was 
not a man to be blind to real moral worth, and the stamp of such 
worth on Wesley's character was too plain to be mistaken. 
There were sure to be conflicts, the conflicts were sure to be 
tempered and modified by an undercurrent of mutual respect 
and mutual love. 

The Wesleys were allotted as pastors to the two chief settle- 
ments, John to Savannah, Charles to the new town on St. 
Simon's Island, Frederica. 1 Danger by this time threatened 
from Spain, and Oglethorpe's presence was needed in the south- 
ern part of the province. Accordingly during the summer of 
1736 he made Frederica his headquarters. Each of the newly 
arrived ministers took upon him the part of a social reformer 
and a moral dictator, and the result was to bring Charles Wes- 
ley into conflict with the Governor. Wesley soon made enemies. 
In one case at least the hostility was deserved ; while living on 
avowedly good terms with Oglethorpe, he gave credit and appa- 
rently publicity to rumors which accused the general of an 
intrigue with a married woman. This incidentally betrayed a 
certain want of faith on Charles Wesley's part in his brother's 
judgment, since the lady in question was described by John 
Wesley as "a hopeful convert." Her husband was the doctor 
to the settlement. An order had been issued by Oglethorpe 
against any shooting on Sundays. Once during the course of 
Wesley's sermon a shot was heard ; the doctor was found to be 
the culprit and was by order of the preacher arrested, to the 

1 For what follows I have used Charles Wesley's journal. But it must be 
remembered, as I have tried to point out, that this is only evidence for what 
Wesley, no doubt honestly, believed to have happened, not for what actually 
did happen. 


injury of an unlucky woman who was in need of his services. 
This incident seems to have raised the first open breach between 
Oglethorpe and Wesley. If, as is likely, the general heard of 
the injurious suspicions attaching to his name one cannot won- 
der that his feelings were bitter. 

For what followed we have only the evidence of Charles 
Wesley. The details as given by him are so strangely improba- 
ble that one feels sure that one has not the whole story. There 
may well have been matters unknown to Wesley himself which 
entered into it. 

If he is to be believed Oglethorpe was guilty of the pettiest 
tyranny, depriving Wesley of the ordinary necessities of life, 
hindering the washing of his linen, taking away his bedstead, 
and giving express orders that the public carpenter should not 
replace it. In all likelihood Oglethorpe had used harsh and 
passionate language; Wesley's enemies, and we cannot doubt 
that he had made plenty, would take advantage of the situation 
and would wreak their spite by interpreting Oglethorpe's orders 
in the severest fashion. The time was a critical one in the life 
of the colony. The danger of a Spanish invasion hung over it ; 
Oglethorpe was busy palisading the town, providing a public 
bakery, laying in by the help of the Indians supplies of food, 
testing the vigilance of his garrison by false alarms, taking 
every precaution in almost daily expectation of a siege. Such 
cares left him no time to think about one whom he can only 
have regarded, and with a good deal of justice, as an ungrateful 
and self-willed young enthusiast. Wesley's own mode of 
describing the matter shows that he was not without a morbid 
craving for martyrdom. In all likelihood he was priding him- 
self on the endurance of suffering, which would have been 
removed if a word of remonstrance had reached the ears of the 
supposed oppressor. 

The relations of Wesley to the Governor were not the only 
matter which was going wrong. The Austrians at Ebenezer 
The saiz- were dissatisfied with the site of their settlement. 
dis?on- s Their cattle and their garden gave outward evidence 
tented. f prosperity, but they found fault with the soil as ill- 

suited to corn-growing. The real motive of their discontent, 
so Oglethorpe suspected, was a desire to get possession of land 
specially reserved for the Indians. Without granting that r 


Oglethorpe so far humored the settlers as to allow them to 
shift to another spot. 1 

To all these administrative difficulties was added the fear 
of foreign invasion. The difficulties which beset the colony- 
Danger of were the same which had embarrassed the New Eng- 
invasion. landers in the days when the Dutch held the valley 
of the Hudson, and which were perpetually arising on the 
Canadian border. In an uninhabited and imperfectly explored 
country, a frontier line can always be made a bone of contention 
if either party is in quest of one. An even more certain ground 
of dispute is the presence of savage allies on each side. Pos- 
session of territory by savages hardly admits of strict definition 
and thus charges of encroachment are hard to disprove. A civil- 
ized power if it wants a pretext for war can always incite its 
savage allies to acts of violence, and then on their behalf resent 
the infliction of punishment. The dangers of the situation were 
increased by the peculiar code of international morality which 
during the eighteenth century had been gaining ground among 
the great Powers of Europe. Two nations might be ostensibly 
at peace, yet each might have alliances which would involve it in 
active hostility with the other. Thus in 1718, when Byng was 
shattering the Spanish fleet at Passaro, there was in theory 
friendship between the Courts of St. James and Madrid. Thus 
Oglethorpe might at any moment find his colony threatened 
with invasion, and yet be unable to depend with certainty on 
the help of the mother country. 

The occupation of Georgia made it needful for the English 
Government to confer with the Spaniards in Florida as to some 
Difficulties more precise line of demarcation than had yet existed. 
indi h an he To this end a commissioner, Charles Dempsey, was 
allies 3 sent out f rom England with Oglethorpe in 1735. 

Early in the following year Dempsey went, escorted by an offi- 
cer of militia, Richards from South Carolina, to St. Augustine. 
The length of their absence made Oglethorpe uneasy. Accom- 
panied by Tomochichi and other of his Indian friends, he 
coasted as far as the frontier. 

The conduct of Oglethorpe's allies must have enlightened 

1 Christie, a leading settler, writing to the trustees in 1735 admits that the 
land on which the Salzburgers were settled was very sandy. 

* The authorities for what follows are Oglethorpe's own dispatches and journal, 
and Moore. Mr. Wright follows his authorities closely. 


Oglethorpe as to some of the difficulties and dangers before him. 
The Indians had learnt enough to know that the English and 
Spaniards were unfriendly. In all likelihood they looked on 
the whole expedition as simply an ingenious scheme for getting 
within striking distance and then making a destructive raid 
into Spanish territory. As soon as the frontier was reached 
Tomochichi pointed out to Oglethorpe the Spanish guard-house. 
The Spaniards, he said, had long since crossed the frontier and 
done wrong to the Indians. Now was the time to retaliate. 
Oglethorpe saw the need for divesting himself of these danger- 
ous followers. He persuaded, as he thought, the Indians to 
turn back, and lest they should evade him he sent one of his 
boats to attend them. Tomochichi soon escaped the escort. 
The next night he rejoined Oglethorpe, declaring that he had 
seen a party of Spaniards advancing and clamoring to attack 
them. Oglethorpe could only so far prevail as to persuade the 
savages that the attack should be deferred till morning. Tomo- 
chichi pointed out w T hat he regarded as the insane folly of allow- 
ing an enemy the advantage of daylight, but he did not care to 
attack unsupported. When the day came the party proved to 
be an escort bringing back Dempsey and Richards. The latter 
returned with Oglethorpe, the former remained as an official 
English representative in Florida. 

The dispatches which they brought from the Governor of 
Florida were avowedly friendly. But he complained of the 
conduct of the Creeks and begged Oglethorpe to restrain his 
allies, in a tone which implied that the English might be held 
responsible. The English envoys, too, had learnt privately that 
the Spanish Governor was making hostile preparations. He 
expected reinforcements from Havannah, and he looked for 
increasing his supply of arms to the unpatriotic greed of traders 
at Charlestown. He was also organizing a force among the 
Yamassees, already the enemies of the Creeks, and owing the 
English a debt of revenge for their defeat by South Carolina. 

A twofold task was now laid on Oglethorpe. He had to 
press on with the defense of his own colony, and at the same 
Ogle- time to do everything to restrain his Indian allies 

measures an d gi ye the Spaniards no pretext for an attack. As 
of defense. yet t ^ e co l orw was receiving no military help from 
the Crown. It was defended only by the Highlanders and by 


a force of mercenaries paid by the trustees, and commanded by 
a German soldier of fortune named Hermsdorf. The whole 
of the force was devoted to garrisoning outposts towards the 
south. Everything was done by earthworks and palisading to 
make Frederica secure. The actual task of defense was left to 
the Highland inhabitants. To the south of St. Simon's was 
an island some twelve miles long, to which the Spaniards had 
given the name of St. Peter's. Tomochichi when he went south- 
ward with Oglethorpe renamed it Cumberland, as a special 
mark of the gratitude to the Duke for his courtesy and 
kindness to the savages on their English visit. Forts called 
respectively Fort St. Andrew and Fort William were placed 
at the northern and southern extremities of this island. Further 
south, at the mouth of the river St. John, 1 were found the 
remains of a fort ascribed by an improbable tradition to Drake. 
This was repaired, and the task of guarding it intrusted to 
Hermsdorf. At the same time the valley of the Savannah was 
protected from a Yamassee invasion by a fort called Fort 
Augusta, some two hundred and seventy miles up the river, 
which also served as a station for Indian trade and a means of 
communication with the inland districts of South Carolina. 
Boats were stationed to guard the various inlets south of St. 

In the meantime Tomochichi was instructed to explain mat- 
ters to the Creeks, and to promise that if they would hold their 
hands, Oglethorpe would do his utmost to obtain justice for 
them from the Spaniards. To prevent any further breach a 
guard-boat was posted on the river St. John with orders to 
suffer no Creek to cross into Spanish territory. 

In April the General sent Richards with one of the chief 
settlers, Horton, bearing letters to the Governor of St. Augus- 
Threaten- tine. Scarcely had they gone when a dispatch arrived 
tSteof the written by Dempsey, but at the order of the Spanish 
Spaniards. Governor. The Indians, he said, had attacked a 
Spanish outpost. It was impossible that they could have done 
this without the approval of the English. In taking this ground 
the Spanish Governor virtually declared that Oglethorpe would 
be held responsible for the action of any of the tribes north 

1 The river appears to have been called somewhat indiscriminately the St. John 
or the St. Matthew. 


of the St. John. With that doctrine accepted the Spanish 
authorities could never want a pretext for an attack. 

Events soon showed that they hardly had the decency to wait 
for any pretext, and that the English settlers might at any 
moment have to face an invading force. News reached Ogle- 
thorpe that a fleet of seven Spanish vessels was threatening 
the Sound to the south of St. Simon's Island. He seems to 
have contrived that the extent of the danger should not be 
known to his settlers. On April 24 he sailed south to watch over 
the safety of the menaced settlement. Before his departure he 
was reconciled to Charles Wesley. He, it is plain, was deeply 
touched. Oglethorpe, so Wesley records in his diary, listened 
patiently to his solemn disavowal of the charges which had 
been brought against him. When he had heard it "he seemed 
entirely changed ; full of his old love and confidence." He did 
not think it prudent to tell Wesley at the time the full ground 
of his apprehensions. He seems rather to have left the impres- 
sion of a man who could not define his danger, but had a vague 
foreboding of evil. Afterwards on his return he explained how 
matters really stood. He added, so Wesley tells us, that he was 
depressed by vague omens of evil. His servants twice brought 
him out a mourning sword instead of that which he called for. 
At last they brought him the one meant; it had been his. 
father's. A characteristic touch of the knight-errant broke out: 
"With this sword I never was unsuccessful." 

The whole scene as described by Wesley is not inconsistent 
with Oglethorpe's kindly, impetuous, demonstrative nature. 
Yet one also feels that the story may have been unconsciously 
colored by the young enthusiast, worked into a half-hysterical 
state by suffering and self-reproach, and the prospect of a last 
parting from one whose kindness he had repaid somewhat 

The winds and waves fought for the threatened colony, and 
the Spanish fleet after a stay of three weeks withdrew. The 
garrison at Frederica was cheered by the arrival of a party of 
volunteers from Savannah and of a man-of-war. Oglethorpe 
himself returned in five days, having inspected and strengthened 
the defenses of the southern forts. 

Rumors of danger soon called him southward again. It was 
reported that Richards and Horton had been seized by the Span- 


iards and were being kept as prisoners. Oglethorpe heard, too, 
that the garrison under Hermsdorf had mutinied, and forced 
their commander to evacuate the fort. Both rumors proved 
exaggerated. A day's sail brought Oglethorpe to the southern 
point of Cumberland Island. There he met the fugitives. 
Their action did not seem to be so much a mutiny as a panic, 
the work of a single alarmist. The offender was punished and 
the garrison returned to their fort. 

Meanwhile a Spanish force had actually crossed the frontier, 
passing Oglethorpe and leaving Fort George in its rear. A 
vessel, having on board four cannon, thirty foot soldiers, and 
some Yamassee Indians, had sailed against St. Simon's, while 
a force of fifty horsemen and a hundred and sixty infantry sup- 
ported them from the land. They had no expectation of finding: 
the English position so strongly defended. After reconnoitering 
St. Simon's Island they decided to abandon the attempt on 
Frederica, and to content themselves with destroying Fort 

Oglethorpe knew neither their numbers nor their exact posi- 
tion. But fires lighted along the coast showed that the enemy 
was about. Accordingly on the night of May 3 he sent his 
artillery up into the w r oods, and discharged it in such a fashion 
as to create the belief among the enemy that a ship at sea 
was saluting and being answered by a battery on the mainland. 
Throughout this expedition Oglethorpe's attitude was strictly 
one of defense. It was all the easier for him to preserve this, 
since while the Spanish Governor was actually threatening the 
English settlements, he was at the same time keeping open the 
door of negotiation. Dempsey, Richards, and Horton were 
still at St. Augustine's, really it may be as hostages, but ostensi- 
bly at least as official representatives. Dempsey as the spokes- 
man for the British Government seems to have been throughout 
treated with respect. Horton and Richards were arrested on a 
charge, unfounded as they themselves said, of taking plans of 
the Spanish fortifications, and Horton was actually threatened 
that he would be sent as a prisoner to the mines if he refused to 
answer questions as to the position and resources of the Eng- 
lish. On May 3 Oglethorpe, having landed on the Spanish 
side of the river, met a messenger bringing letters from Richards 
and Horton to the commander of Fort George. 


Two days later Oglethorpe again started to cross the St. 
John, hoping to receive a letter from the Governor of Florida. 
Before he could reach the southern bank he saw a Spanish ves- 
sel. He had on board twenty-four men; the Spaniard appeared 
to outnumber him by nearly three to one. Nevertheless she 
showed no wish to come to close quarters, and after unsuccess- 
fully trying to conceal herself in the bends of the river she made 
for the open sea and turned southward. 

Oglethorpe then, seeing the passage of the river clear, crossed 
and stood on to the Spanish bank. Two horsemen drew out of 
the woods to meet him. They warned him not to land on Span- 
ish soil. Otherwise the interview was friendly, and Oglethorpe 
sent on a letter to St. Augustine to say that if Horton and 
Richards were sent down, a boat should be ready to meet them. 
Oglethorpe then recrossed, strengthened the defenses of Fort 
George and his batteries along the river, and took his way back 
to Frederica. 

A fortnight later the Spanish Governor sent his secretary to 
Oglethorpe, accompanied by the chief military officer at St. 
a Spanish Augustine. With them were Dempsey and Rich- 
embassy ar( j^ Horton had been already released and had 
Frederica. returned to the colony. Oglethorpe, not wishing 
that the enemy should have the opportunity of examining and 
reporting upon Frederica, resolved to receive the embassy on 
shipboard. At the same time tents were pitched for their recep- 
tion on Jekyll Island, thus keeping them wholly aloof from St. 
Simon's. Everything was done to impress the visitors with an 
exaggerated idea of the resources of the colony. The tallest 
and most warlike of the Highland emigrants were brought on 
board, and were drawn up on deck with unsheathed claymores, 
and successive salutes were fired from all the forts. The Span- 
iards, we are told, marveled at the completeness of the English 
defenses. They now understood, they said, the rapid retreat of 
their invading force. 

The conference gave Oglethorpe the opportunity of propitiat- 
ing his Indian allies by figuring as their benefactor and pro- 
tector. Some of the Creek chiefs came on board and demanded 
satisfaction. Their men, they said, had been slain in time of 
peace, not by the Spaniards themselves, but by their native 
allies. The Spaniards explained that this had been done with- 


out their consent or knowledge. The offending chief should if 
possible be arrested and put to death. In no case should arms 
or ammunition be supplied to his followers. 
' The real discussion between Oglethorpe and the Spaniards 
turned on the question of boundary. Oglethorpe's fortifica- 
tions to the south were, so the Spaniards said, an encroachment. 
Oglethorpe denied that the Spaniards had any title to territory 
north of the river St. John. All he had done was to secure 
what had hitherto been an asylum for pirates and marauders. 

The matter was plainly one which could only be settled by the 
two Home Governments. Pending such settlement, Oglethorpe 
pledged himself to abstain from hostilities. Dempsey was to 
be sent back to St. Augustine, to obtain a like undertaking from 
the Spanish Governor. 

The result of the interview and of the preceding campaign, 
as one may call it, may have relieved Oglethorpe from present 
fear. The military policy of the Spanish colony was, it would 
seem, controlled by the cavalry commander, Don Pedro Lam- 
berto, and he seems to have been genuinely desirous of peace. Yet 
Oglethorpe must have seen plainly enough that his position 
was a precarious one. His anxiety that the Spaniards should 
not spy out the real condition of Frederica shows that he con- 
sidered the defenses inadequate. Moreover, the policy of for- 
bearance was merely dependent on the good-will of an indi- 
vidual. There was but little likelihood that it would be recog- 
nized and approved by the Spanish Government. 

To say that Oglethorpe had only secured a respite for his 
colony is in no way to belittle his work. For a community like 
Georgia, growing every years in resources, in cohesion and self- 
reliance, a respite was everything. Moreover Oglethorpe's cam- 
paign of 1736, if we may call it by that name, cannot have failed 
to give him a hold on the confidence of the settlers. There they 
saw clearly illustrated his mixture of audacity and practical 
resource, his power of inspiring his subordinates with his own 
enthusiasm, of at once utilizing and controlling his savage allies. 
This it is which gives importance to the incidents related. They 
make us feel, too, how much allowance must be made for Ogle- 
thorpe as a civil Governor if one so beset with responsibilities 
was at times guilty of haste and infirmity of temper. 

Soon after this Charles Wesley resigned the secretaryship and 


returned to England. His parting with Oglethorpe was not 
unfriendly, but the latter, it seems clear, did not regret nor try 
to hinder his secretary's departure. 

Oglethorpe soon found himself confronted with one of those 
intercolonial difficulties arising out of trade which play so large 
Difficulty a part in American history, and illustrate so strongly 
Carolina tne nee d ^ or un i° n an ^ central administration. Not 
traders. on }y ^ a( j ^ e trustees placed a veto on the importation 
of spirits for the protection of the Indians and the security of 
their own frontier, they allowed no one to trade with the natives 
unless he held a license. Before the settlement of Georgia 
traders from South Carolina had been wont to deal with the 
natives along the southern bank of the Savannah, importing 
amongst other things rum. They had no mind to give up this 
gainful trade at the bidding of Oglethorpe, or to exercise it 
only with his consent. Accordingly unlicensed vessels con- 
tinued to ply between the mouth of the river and Fort Augusta. 
The magistrates at Savannah stopped the vessels, staved the 
casks of rum, and in some instances put the traders in prison. 1 

The aggrieved traders brought the matter before the Assem- 
bly of South Carolina, and a committee of that body was ap- 
pointed to obtain redress. They so far succeeded that the 
officials of Savannah made restitution for the goods destroyed. 
Oglethorpe, however, would not abandon his right to control 
trade within the borders of Georgia, nor would the Carolina 
settlers accept any such restraint on their dealings with the 
natives. Such a question could only be settled by a reference 
to some superior and independent authority. 

The prospects of a peaceful settlement with Spain were soon 
overcast. In October 1736 a treaty was signed with the Gov- 
Further ernor of St. Augustine confirming all those conces- 
with b the sions which had been informally made by Lamberto. 
Spaniards. g ut ; n i ess t ^ an a mont - n it was made clear that the 
Spanish Government had no intention of being bound by the 
acts of the Governor. A commissioner from the West Indies 
visited St. Augustine, and thence coming to Savannah, served 
an order of eviction on the English settlers. They were to 
evacuate everything south of Port Royal. No plea of occupa- 

1 See documents in third volume of the Georgia Historical Society's Collec- 


tion or of any previous treaty would be listened to, and the 
tone adopted clearly showed that if the English settlers held 
their ground it would be deemed a legitimate casus belli. 

It must have been plain that if war broke out between Spain 
and Great Britain, Georgia would have to bear the first brunt 
of the attack. It must have been plain, too, to anyone who 
knew the course of English politics and English public opinion, 
that peace with Spain hung by a thread. Spanish officials 
harshly enforcing the right of search, English traders defying 
and evading the provisions of the treaty of Madrid, kept alive 
a smoldering spirit of discontent which might at any moment 
burst out into a blaze. It was an accepted article of the Tory 
creed that the treaty of 1730 was a shameful concession of 
national rights, and that Walpole was "the mastiff of England 
and lapdog of Spain." The prolonged ascendency of the Prime 
Minister rested on the solid support of the trading classes; to 
raise the cry of the wrongs of English merchants might shake 
the chief stronghold of his influence, and a card of such value 
in the party game was sure to be played. Hot-headed patriots 
and unscrupulous place-hunters would be united in a common 

For Georgia the whole question was a vital one. Whether 
the British policy was one of peace or of war, her interests were 
deeply involved. In any negotiations the curtailment of her 
territory and her defenses was certain to be among the demands 
of Spain. On the other hand a declaration of war would at 
once leave her in the very forefront of the battle. Apart, too, 
from the interests of Georgia, Oglethorpe's local knowledge 
would be of special service both to his party and his country. 
Clearly a crisis was at hand which called for his presence in 

Simultaneously Oglethorpe received a summons from the 
trustees urging him to be in his place when Parliament met in 
Oglethorpe January. They did not lay any stress on the Spanish 
England. question. They could not, they said, carry on the 
colony without financial help from Parliament, and the presence 
and advocacy of Oglethorpe would be the best means of obtain- 
ing such help. Oglethorpe at once obeyed the summons, and 
early in January he was in England. 

There is nothing to show that Oglethorpe took any part in 


the debates which through the session of Parliament raged over 
our dealings with Spain. Indeed the question of Georgia 
entered but slightly into the discussions on the subject. That 
this should have been so is nowise creditable to the Opposition, 
for there beyond doubt was the strongest point in our case 
against Spain. To admit the claims of Spain was to abandon all 
the principles on which our colonial policy had been grounded. 
She could show nothing in the nature of regular and continuous 
occupation : even a claim based on discovery was uncertain. She 
had suffered the trustees of Georgia to sink capital in the soil 
without protest. The very means adopted to harass and hinder 
the colony, raids without any declaration of war, were them- 
selves an outrage. Yet the patriots who denounced the right 
of search, and raved over Jenkins's ear, do not seem to have 
troubled themselves about claims fully as insulting and far 
more threatening to the future of the British Empire. One 
could hardly find a stronger illustration of the small space 
which colonial questions occupied in the consideration of English 

Supine though Parliament was in its regard for the interests 
of Georgia, the English Government must have seen that the 
colony was to be the battlefield of the coming struggle. In 
1737 a memorial was presented from the Spanish ambassador 
demanding that Georgia should be evacuated, and that Ogle- 
thorpe should not be suffered to return. News too came that 
all English residents had been ordered to leave St. Augustine, 
and that the barracks there were being enlarged. 

Measures were taken to meet these dangers. Men were 
sent from Gibraltar to Savannah, and a regiment of six hun- 
Measures dred men and a company of grenadiers was raised 
defense of an d placed under the command of Oglethorpe for the 
Georgia. defense of the colony. In addition Oglethorpe took 
out at his own charge a small body of volunteers and super- 
numerary officers. 

The trustees decided to bind the soldiers to the colony by a 
permanent tie of interest and connection. To each of them 
was assigned an allotment of five acres of land. Each too, if 
at the end of seven years he received his lawful discharge from 
the service, was to receive twenty acres more. 

The presence of Oglethorpe in England made itself felt in 


the action of Parliament toward the colony. In 1736 there 
was no Parliamentary vote of money to the colony. But in 
1737 ten thousand pounds was voted, and in the following year 
this was doubled. A portion of this was applied by the trustees 
to a further emigration of German Protestants. What with 
these emigrants, with the Highlanders at Darien and Frederica, 
and the better class of independent planters who had been join- 
ing the colony, the original scheme of a pauper settlement was 
more and more falling into the background. 

Later in the year the trustees took a step which still further 
modified — one might almost say which abandoned — the original 
Changes in conception of the colony. They found that many 
tionsfor of the paupers whom they had exported would not 
Georgia. work for their livelihood. Nor was that all; the 
original composition of the colony at Savannah made it neces- 
sary to grant supplies to everyone out of the public store. This 
drew idlers and adventurers from other colonies, many who 
had gone out without any definite intention of applying them- 
selves to settled industry. Thus, within four years of the foun- 
dation of the colony, the trustees found themselves confronted 
with the danger which is in the very nature of things inherent 
in any such experiment. To meet this they issued an order that 
the benefit of the public store should be withheld from all who 
had without due reason neglected the cultivation of their land. 
This we are told cleared off many of the incomers from other 
colonies, and also not a few of those who had never really under- 
stood what would be the hardships and privations of colonial 

At the same time a modification was introduced into the 
original conditions. It was now clear that the defense of the 
colony would no longer depend on its own population organized 
as a militia. Accordingly the restriction by which all lands 
were to go in tail male was removed. Succession was at first 
thrown open to females, then all legal limitations to alienation 
were removed. 

On another point, however, the trustees held fast to the 
Demand principles which they had laid down. A number of 
po r rtat e i<!™" settlers at Savannah were clamoring for permission 
of negroes. to { m port negro slaves. In December a petition to 
this effect reached the trustees, signed by upward of a hundred 


and twenty of the settlers. Without negro labor they pointed 
out they could not raise the corn needful for their subsistence, 
nor compete in trade with their northern neighbors. The coun- 
try was full of timber ; this might be made a source of profit, if 
only the felling and shipping of it could be done by slave labor. 

Economically, no doubt, the petitioners had a good deal of 
reason on their side. But the very objects for which the colony 
had been created debarred the trustees from considering exclu- 
sively the economical aspect of the matter. Such an application 
was singularly inopportune at the very time when danger 
threatened from Florida. The southern settlers who would 
be exposed to the first brunt of the attack saw this, and sent 
in a counter-petition against the change. The Germans, too, 
at Ebenezer petitioned against it. Their opposition was mainly 
economical. They could grow, they said, more than enough 
produce for their own subsistence. They could not have 
purchased negroes, and they probably saw that a small com- 
munity of peasant proprietors could not subsist alongside a 
system of slavery. 

If the trustees had any thought of relaxing their original 
policy, the turn which events took in South Carolina must have 
decided them to stand firm. The Spanish Government had 
offered protection to all runaway slaves. Tidings reached the 
government of South Carolina that the whole body of slaves in 
the colony, forty thousand in number against some seven thou- 
sand English, had resolved to accept this offer. Several had 
already escaped to St. Augustine. Three representatives were 
sent to remonstrate with the Spanish Governor and to demand 
restitution of the fugitives. That was refused; the Governor 
pleaded the orders of his superiors, and declared his intention 
of receiving all such runaways. 

In May 1738 the questions at issue between Georgia and 
South Carolina came before the Board of Trade. The inde- 
pendent action of the South Carolina traders had been approved 
and supported by the legislature of the colony. It passed a bill 
raising a sum of money to indemnify any traders who should 
suffer by the action of Georgia, and in conjunction with the 
Council of the colony it lodged a petition against the action 
of the Georgia trustees. The interests of each colony were 
represented by counsel. Murray appeared for Georgia. A 


-characteristic touch illustrates Oglethorpe's temper. Disgusted 
for some reason with Murray's advocacy, in the middle of the 
hearing he sprung up and rushed out of court. 1 The question 
was referred on by the Board of Trade to the Privy Council. 
This decision was an evasion of the difficulty rather than an 
authoritative settlement. It started with accepting the general 
principle that the navigation of the river should be open to both 
colonies. At the same time it approved the policy of the trus- 
tees in excluding spirits. The task of drawing up enactments 
w r hich would secure both objects was left to the trustees of 
•Georgia and to the Assembly of South Carolina. The death 
of the Governor of the latter colony, Samuel Horsey, through 
whom the instructions of the Privy Council were sent, enabled 
the Assembly to shelve the question. 

It is a characteristic illustration of Oglethorpe's versatile and 
unresting energy that at the very time w r hen all these cares lay 
heavy upon him, he could find leisure to advocate the claims 
of the unknown writer who had just produced the poem of 
"London." In that well-judged patronage were laid the foun- 
dations of a friendship by which, apart from Oglethorpe's pub- 
lic services, his name would live. 

Over and above the danger of foreign invasion, matters with- 
in the colony were causing anxiety to Oglethorpe and the trus- 
john tees - J°hn Wesley's strenuous activity, his personal 

Wesley. courage and his indifference to the comforts of life, 
had raised among the trustees who selected him great hopes of 
his services as a missionary among the Indians. On that side 
his career in America came to nothing. Like Goldsmith's hero 
when he went to teach English in Holland, neither the trustees 
nor Wesley seem to have reflected that a certain knowledge 
of the language spoken by his disciples was essential in a mission- 
ary. Nor indeed did Wesley's temper, especially in his young 
days, nor his conception of religion fit him for dealing with 
savages. The successful missionary must be yielding and com- 
promising in non-essentials. Wesley's inclination was to make 
everything an essential. The missionary must be patient in his 
hopes, valuing and cherishing every tendency towards amend- 
ment, every stage in moral growth. The chief failing of such 
teaching as Wesley's is to overlook the gradual nature of moral 

1 Charles Wesley's Journal, quoted by Wright, p. 172. 


growth, and to treat everything which falls short of moral per- 
fection as worthless. 

Wesley, too, at once found himself hampered by the evil 
influence of the South Carolina traders, as yet the only speci- 
mens of English Christianity whom the natives had met. The 
French missionary, content to accept mere outward conformity 
when he could not secure moral conversion, seldom troubling 
himself to hold up to his disciples any high standard of conduct, 
did not feel this difficulty. Wesley must have constantly felt 
that the nominal Christianity of which the savages had before 
them examples was no better than heathenism. He must have 
fully felt the weight of the w T ell-known protest of an Indian: 
"Christian drunk. Christian beat men. Christian tell lies. 
Devil Christian. Me no Christian." 

Nevertheless the Wesleys seem to have entertained the idea of 
conducting a mission among the Indians of the Mississippi val- 
ley. The Moravians, by whom the Wesleys were guided, 
thought that the neighborhood of the French would make such 
an attempt both useless and dangerous, and that there was 
plenty of spiritual work for ministers to do among the settlers 
at Savannah, and these views were supported by Oglethorpe. 1 

The tranquillity of Savannah would have gained something, 
and Oglethorpe would have been spared no small share of 
anxiety and vexation, if John Wesley had neglected this advice 
and chosen another sphere of activity. 

In John Wesley's conduct at Savannah we see many of the 
same failings which had marred his brother's colonial career, 
intensified as might be expected by a more strenuous, self- 
confident, and uncompromising temper. An honest desire to 
bring about moral and spiritual reform was thwarted and made 
almost useless by a despotic, egotistical, and somewhat suspicious 
temper, and by a want of perfect directness and simplicity in 
action. To use Southey's words, "he drenched his parishioners 
with the physic of an intolerant discipline." 2 He insisted on 
baptism by immersion. When a would-be communicant was 
not a member of an Episcopal church, Wesley insisted on his 
re-baptism as a needful condition. He refused to read the burial 
service over a Nonconformist. Yet in other respects he claimed 
and exercised a discretionary power by dividing the services of 

1 Southey, vol. i. p. 94. 2 i\jid. p. 96. 


the Church in a manner certainly unusual and of doubtful 
legality. The result was naturally bewildering to those whose 
knowledge of creeds and ordinances ran in a few simple and 
familiar channels. One witness — a party pamphleteer indeed — 
tells us that "all persons of any consideration" believed Wesley 
to be a Roman Catholic. One remonstrance addressed to him 
is reported by Wesley. "The people say they are Protestants, 
but as for you they cannot tell what religion you are of; they 
never heard of such a religion before, and they do not know 
what to make of it." 1 That we may well believe was the ordi- 
nary, obvious view of plain men. 

It is clear too that Wesley, like his brother, aimed at that 
direct personal influence and control over individuals which 
is almost inevitably fatal to family peace and social quiet. If 
such a policy can ever be innocuous it can only be so where the 
person who aims at such power possesses exceptional insight into 
character, and an absolute freedom from egotism and from the 
love of power for its own sake. Wesley's most enthusiastic 
admirer could not justly claim for him the first-named virtue. 
The others, so far as they came at all, came with the discipline 
of maturer years. 

The discontent and unpopularity which surrounded John 
Wesley were brought to a head by one special act of indiscre- 
tion. Causton, the storekeeper, had a pretty and accomplished 
niece, Sophia Hopkins. Her charms one may well believe were 
emphasized by the squalor and roughness of life at Savannah. 
To a cultivated young man, fresh from University life and 
from the decorum and peace of an English parsonage, they 
would easily be irresistible. 

The girl presented herself to Wesley as one in need of spir- 
itual guidance and consolation. She nursed him through a 
fever. Wesley, as one can see from constant references in his 
diary, was one of those who delight in regulating their neigh- 
bors' life in small outward matters. At his bidding she gave 
up wearing colors and accepted his dictation as to her meal 

A vague story, possibly true in its outlines, most improbable 
in its details, connects Oglethorpe with the affair. He, it is 

1 Southey. Cf. The True and Historical Narrative, p. 30. 


said, had made up his mind that marriage would be the proper 
cure for Wesley's moral and mental infirmities. Accordingly 
he incited Sophia Hopkins and another young lady to lay siege 
to the young clergyman. Whether the reserve wing of Ogle- 
thorpe's force was ever brought into action does not appear. 
But we are told that soon after she married, and then becom- 
ing smitten in conscience she presented herself to Wesley and 
confessed the plot against him, adding that she and Sophia Hop- 
kins had instructions from Oglethorpe to win him by any con- 
cessions, even she said at the expense of virtue. 1 

This strange confession is told on the authority of information 
privately communicated to the biographer of Wesley. The 
confession may have been recorded ; it may even have been made. 
Neither morbid and exaggerated confessions, nor the exagger- 
ated interpretation of confessions, are uncommon phenomena 
where emotional religion comes into action. The one thing 
we may be sure of is that Oglethorpe never laid such a plot in 
the form in which it was thus imputed to him. One may safely 
go further and say that Wesley can never have deliberately 
believed such a charge, or wished others to believe it. He was 
not the man to remain on terms of courtesy, still less of affec- 
tion, with one who could have imagined such a scheme. 

On the other hand there is nothing unlikely in the belief 
that Oglethorpe was ill-judging enough to attempt the part of 
a matchmaker. His was just the reckless benevolence which 
delights in shaping other people's destinies for them, and his 
sanguine energy would blind him to the very serious dangers of 
adopting such a course with a man of Wesley's temper and 
character. If it were so, his indiscretion was fully punished 
by the annoyance which he brought on himself and the dis- 
turbance inflicted on the colony. 

So far Wesley had dealt with Sophia Hopkins as a spiritual 
adviser and director. 2 He now combined with that the charac- 
ter of a wayward and exacting lover. Not indeed that he was 
carried away with passion. He gravely weighs her fitness to 
become his wife and solemnly records the result in his diary, 

1 Southey (vol. i. p. in n.) refers to this strange story, but very reasonably 
refuses to accept it. 

3 For this part of the story and for the rest of Wesley's sojourn in the colony 
see his journal. 


without so far as one can judge the faintest perception of absurd- 
ity. The docility with which she abandoned the pernicious, 
habit of late suppers turned the scale in her favor. Wesley was 
not, however, carried away by any enthusiastic conviction of the 
lady's merits. He consulted his friend and companion, Dela- 
motte. He was of opinion that Sophia Hopkins was thinking 
of her prospects of a husband rather than aiming at spiritual 
perfection. Wesley then laid the matter before the Moravians., 
They appear to have been influenced by Delamotte's judgment. 
Wesley placed himself unreservedly in their hands, and their 
decision was against the marriage. Thereupon he gave up all 
further thoughts of it. In less than a year the lady married 
one of the chief settlers, Williamson. 

One cannot doubt that Wesley is recording his own feelings 
with perfect sincerity when in his diary he describes his act 
as one of genuine self-sacrifice in the cause of duty. But other 
passages in Wesley's life show that his feelings to womankind 
were neither deep nor abiding. He soon satisfied himself with 
obvious and commonplace sources of consolation. "God," he- 
records, "has shown me yet more of the greatness of my deliver- 
ance by opening to me a new and unexpected scene of Miss 
Sophy's dissimulation." But though he withdrew from the 
position of a lover, he still felt it incumbent on him to fill that 
of a spiritual adviser. Mrs. Williamson's conduct in certain 
matters struck him as blameworthy and he reproved her, and 
she not unnaturally showed resentment. Wesley then punished 
her contumacy by the extreme step of excluding her from com- 
munion. It would be a gross injustice to the kindliness of 
Wesley's temper to suppose that the act was not painful; it 
would be equally unjust to his intelligence to suppose that he 
did not foresee the consequences. But in the morbid and self- 
torturing frame of mind which Wesley's diary at that period 
discloses to us, the pain and the danger of the measure would 
be overwhelming arguments in its favor. 

In spite of all that had come and gone, Causton and his wife 
seem to have retained a friendly feeling to Wesley. They 
now sought to persuade him to adopt more moderate measures. 
He, however, remained obdurate, and thereupon the lady's 
friends took up an attitude of open hostility. Williamson 
brought a civil action against Wesley for defaming his wife's.. 


character. At the same time he was prosecuted for various 
alleged irregularities in the conduct of divine service, and on 
the exceedingly vague charge of speaking and writing to Mrs. 
Williamson without her husband's consent. Causton also pub- 
lished extracts from Wesley's letters to his niece, and affidavits 
made by the latter of what Wesley had said to her; while 
Wesley retaliated by recording a statement of his case in church 
to his congregation. 

It would seem as if the legal proceedings were rather designed 
to annoy and humiliate Wesley, and so to drive him from the 
colony, than to lead to any formal sentence. The prosecutors 
themselves interposed delays, in spite of Wesley's repeated de- 
mands to have the matter brought to trial. 

If the object was to make Wesley's position in the colony 
untenable, his enemies (and he had many) could plausibly rep- 
resent him as an unscrupulous hypocrite, who had first made love 
to a pretty woman, then jilted her, and finally sought to bully 
her. His friends must have felt that his own lack of discretion 
had put him in a position where it was hard to refute such 
charges. And, worst of all, we may be sure that Wesley him- 
self must have known that, though he might find a controversial 
defense for his conduct at each successive stage, yet really the 
matter as a whole was to his discredit. Denounced, suspected, 
and self-reproachful, he could no longer play a useful part in 
the colony. 

Wesley's enemies were not content with destroying his influ- 
ence and driving him from Georgia. They were determined 
that no drop in the cup of humiliation should be spared him. 
When he announced his intention of leaving the colony he was 
told that he must stay till the charges against him had been 
settled. He protested that he had been repeatedly ready to 
answer the charges, and that as often proceedings had been 
delayed. Nevertheless the magistrates insisted that he must 
give bail for his appearance. He refused, and thereupon an 
order was issued to all officers and sentries bidding them pre- 
vent his escape, and prohibiting all other persons from assisting 
at it. Yet it seems clear that there was no real intention to 
detain him. Only he was to be humiliated by the appearance 
of a clandestine flight from justice. On December 2 he left the 
colony on foot with three companions, men according to his 


enemies of no very good character. 1 After endurng hardships 
and losing their way in the woods they reached Port Royal. 
Thence they went by boat to Charlestown, where Wesley took 
ship for England. 

In July 1738, Oglethorpe with his regiment set sail from 
Plymouth. Before they had left England they were reminded 
Spanish °f what they might expect from an unscrupulous 
intrigues. enemy like Spain. The two nations were at peace. 
Yet Oglethorpe found that more than one Spanish spy had 
enlisted. Among them was an Irish Roman Catholic, who had 
served under Berwick. His unsuccessful efforts to seduce 
his comrades led to the discovery of the plot. He was allowed 
to sail with the regiment in the hopes that more discoveries 
might be made. On September 18 the fleet reached Frederica. 
A court martial was formed ; those who were found guilty were 
with singular, and one cannot but think unwise, lenity sentenced 
to expulsion and flogging. 2 

Oglethorpe's first care was for the military security of the 
colony. The newly arrived troops were dispersed for garrison 
duty at the various fortified outposts. This arrangement made 
it necessary to secure effective communication between Frederica 
and the southern portion of St. Simon's Island. To this end a 
road was cut through the woods and along the west coast of 
the island, flanked on one side by water and swamps, on the 
other by an impenetrable forest. The whole male population 
of the island was employed in the work, and the result was 
complete in three days. 

Over and above his military cares Oglethorpe found himself 
beset with difficulties arising out of the social and economical 
Economi- condition of the colony. The fear of invasion from 
adminis- the south had hindered cultivation. The native 
difficulties, allies in the western part of the colony had been 
attacked. The Spanish authorities in Florida laid the blame 
of such attacks on their own Indians whom they were unable 
to control. For once Oglethorpe's sanguine courage showed 
some signs of failing him. In September he reported to the 

1 Stephens writes, " If the parson had taken a few more with him of such 
as he then made his companions, provided their creditors did not suffer, the 
colony would be the better without them." Journal, vol. i. p. 46. 

2 Oglethorpe to the trustees; written on shipboard, July 3, 1738, quoted by 


trustees that the northern part of the colony had lost two- 
thirds of its population. Some have fled because of their debts, 
others for fear of Spanish invasion. "If," the General wrote, 
"there is not a supply from Parliament this year, those brave 
fellows who stood the worst, and also till the arrival of the 
regiment were forced to be almost a whole year under arms, 
must starve with their families, since they could not do their 
duty and work at the same time." 1 

Later on in the same year we find Oglethorpe writing to a 
friend in England: "I am here in one of the most delightful 
situations as any man could wish to be. A great number of 
debts, empty magazines, no money to supply them, numbers of 
mouths to be fed, mutinous soldiers to command, a Spanish 
claim and a large body of their troops not far from us." He 
ends up by pointing out that the trustees have been at great 
cost for national objects. These ought to be paid by Parlia- 
ment. 2 

The military operations against the Spaniards had not only 
hindered the industry of the colony, but had also compelled 
Oglethorpe to disregard the principles which had guided him 
in his choice of settlers. In 1741 he sent one of his officers 
to Virginia to get recruits, with the result that he brought back, 
as we are told by a not unfriendly witness, "all the scum of 
Virginia." 3 

Nevertheless the better prospect of safety which Oglethorpe's 
return brought with it improved matters, and the settlers could 
till their fields in safety. The real difficulty was at Savannah. 
There it is plain the settlers had allowed themselves to become 
dependent on the eleemosynary aid given by the trustees. The 
hopes that they would struggle upward to the condition of a 
self-supporting community had not been fulfilled. And now 
this act of ill-timed parsimony on the part of Parliament cut 
short the help on which the settlers had been taught to rely. 
In consideration of the grant of a regiment, the money vote 
for the colony had been cut down from twenty thousand 
pounds to eight thousand. 4 With these tidings Oglethorpe had 

1 Letter to the trustees. Georgia Hist. Soc. vol. iii. p. 49. 2 Ibid. p. 62. 

3 Itinerant Observations, p. 62. The writer says that he sailed in the same 
ship as these recruits. 

4 This was stated by Oglethorpe in a speech which he made to the settlers at 
Savannah. Wright, p. 208. 


to face the already discontented settlers at Savannah. He had 
to explain to them that the town, or at least that portion which 
was supported from the public store, must be treated somewhat 
like a city on siege allowance. Everything approaching a 
superfluity must be retrenched, and the public resources econo- 
mized for those who were absolutely dependent on them. At 
the same time Oglethorpe explained to the settlers that no blame 
would attach to any who might leave the colony in the hopes of 
faring better elsewhere. This permission does not seem to have 
been taken advantage of by many. It must be remembered, 
however, that the colony had already been weeded by secessions. 1 
It is also probable that the repeal of the strict system of 
inheritance in tail male originally enforced had done some- 
Dismissal thing to pacify the discontented party among the 

of Causton. sett l ers> 2 

Something Oglethorpe was able to do in supplementing the 
resources of the trustees out of his own private purse. He also 
set on foot a much-needed investigation into the conduct of 
those officials who controlled the public funds and stores. 
Causton, it was plain, had been guilty of maladministration, if 
not of actual dishonesty. He endeavored to evade the charges 
against him by pleading that he had only carried out Ogle- 
thorpe's instructions; that the trustees were now dissatisfied 
with the conduct of the General, and that he, Causton, was 
being made a scapegoat. Neither the independent testimony 
of Stephens, who was now the secretary to the colony, nor even 
the partisan statements of Oglethorpe's enemies, in any way 
bear out this view. 

Causton was dismissed, but his dismissal does not seem to 
have pacified the malcontents at Savannah. According to them 
Jones, his successor in the administration of the store, instead 
of selling them goods at cost price, made the utmost profit that 
he could on behalf of the trustees. In fact, if we may believe 
their complaints, the only change was that Causton put the 
profits into his own pocket, while now they went into the 
public exchequer. The difficulty was simply that which must 
inevitably arise when a government undertakes the work of 
distribution instead of leaving it to the free action of individ- 
uals in open market. 

x V.s. p. 361. 2 Letter-book of Trustees. 


Other troubles even more threatening as matters stood beset 
Oglethorpe. In addition to the regiment which he took out, a 
The small force had been sent in advance, drawn from 

mutiny. the garrison of Gibraltar. They seem to have been 
unfortunate in their officers. Some of the men, too, had during 
their stay at Gibraltar learnt Spanish. As we have seen, the 
enemy was alive to every possible chance of stirring up sedition 
among our troops, and there was reason to think that intrigues 
were on foot. Moreover the Government in its contract with 
these troops had agreed that they were to receive rations only 
for six months; after that they were to supply themselves out 
of their pay. This created discontent, and when in November 
Oglethorpe visited the fort at St. Andrew's he found the gar- 
rison ready for mutiny. An application to him for redress inso- 
lently made was followed by an altercation. If an attack had 
not been arranged, it is at least clear that the mutineers only 
wanted a signal to act together. The officer in command of 
the company, Captain Mackay, enraged by the insolence of 
the soldier who now acted as spokesman, drew his sword. The 
mutineers wrested it from him and broke it, and then rushing 
to barracks raised the cry of "One and all!" This as it 
would seem was taken as the watchword for rising. Two men 
aimed at Oglethorpe; one gun missed fire, the bullet of the 
other grazed the General's head; a third drew his sword. 
Oglethorpe parried the blow and an officer ran the mutineer 
through. The others were arrested, tried, and sentenced to 
death, but Oglethorpe, always lenient, and as some thought in 
this case unwisely so, spared all but the ringleader. 1 

Before long further disputes arising out of the rations ques- 
tion broke out. Oglethorpe's own regiment was required to 
find its own supplies out of pay. His lieutenant-colonel, Coch- 
rane, was charged with making a profit of this, "following 
merchandise to the neglect of his duty." His accuser was 
Captain Mackay. Accusations were exchanged between him 
and Mackay, and it was necessary to send both to England to 
stand their trial. 2 

1 Wright, pp. 203-4. He quotes a letter from Oglethorpe to the trustees, and 
refers to Stephens's Journal and the Gentleman's Magazine. 

2 Oglethorpe to Newcastle, quoted by Wright, p. 211. 


Meanwhile it became painfully clear that the whole safety of 
the colony hung on the stability of the alliance with the Creeks. 
Dealings The Spaniards were doing all that could be done by 
Indians.* bribes and intrigues to kindle disaffection, and their 
efforts were seconded by the misconduct of the traders from 
South Carolina. There was, too, yet another source of danger. 
As early as 1735 the French occupants had made it abundantly 
clear that they were prepared to resist any attempt of the Eng- 
lish to ally themselves with the Indians in the Mississippi val- 
ley. A letter is extant, written from Mobile by Bienville in 
fairly good English, and addressed to the Governor of Georgia, 
in which he complains that a certain Englishman "who has the 
inspection of the traders has been setting the Indians against 
the English; telling them that he is to be termed the man of 
valor, and that the French ought to demolish their forts." 2 

As early as the summer of 1736 the Chickasaws had sent a 
deputation to Savannah to inform Oglethorpe of French plots 
and to ask for protection. This address contains a curious speci- 
men of Indian rhetoric, and Oglethorpe's answer shows how he 
could adapt himself to the requirements of Indian diplomacy. 
The Indian orator told Oglethorpe, probably as a compliment, 
that they regarded him as "the son of a red woman." He 
replied that he was at least an Indian in heart. 3 

About the same time we read in the archives of Georgia of 
two unsuccessful attacks by the French and their Indian allies 
on the Choctaws' and Chickasaws' villages. 4 

Two years later, however, the colonists were made anxious 
by the news that the Chickasaws were being driven out of their 
country by the French, and were taking refuge in South 
Carolina. 5 

Impetuous enthusiasts of the type of Oglethorpe are none 
too often judicious in their choice of subordinates. We have 
seen this in the case of the Wesleys. It probably was so in 
the case of Mackay whom Oglethorpe had intrusted with the 
management of Indian affairs in the Chickasaws' country. A 
man was not likely to make a successful Indian diplomatist who 

1 Oglethorpe's letters to the trustees, and to Newcastle, in the Colonial Papers. 

2 In the Colonial Records. 

8 Report of conference in Colonial Papers, July 13, 1736. 
4 Letters from Samuel Eveleigh in the Trustees' Letter-book. 
■ Stephens's Journal, vol. i. p. 187. 


set out with the conviction that an Indian "has no idea of 
gratitude ; in a word I cannot observe that they are governed by 
any virtuous principle." 1 

He was, moreover, a thoroughgoing advocate of a "forward" 
policy and would fain have seen the French cleared out of the 
Mississippi valley and the Spanish out of Florida: counsels of 
perfection, it may be, but perilous as practical doctrine to be 
acted on by the authorities in Georgia. 

He also was undoubtedly responsible for stimulating, if not 
creating, hostile feeling between Georgia and South Carolina, 
by the summary fashion in which he sought to eject the licensed 
traders from the latter colony. They pertinently remarked 
that when the government of South Carolina gave Georgia 
seven or eight thousand pounds wherewith to build a fort and 
to protect Indian trade they did not look to see their own 
citizens debarred from that trade. 2 

In one way Mackay showed a power of intelligent observa- 
tion. He at once recognized the superiority of the western high- 
lands over the sea-board as a habitation for Europeans. 

The French were gathering a force at Montreal which was 
to march through the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi, 
accumulating native allies by the way, and whose aim was 
either to crush the Creeks or at least to detach them from the 
English alliance. Fortunately the Creeks were an extensive, 
homogeneous, and well-organized power, with whom it was 
possible to negotiate. Moreover, the two neighboring tribes, 
the Chickasaws and Choctaws, though independent of the 
Creeks, seem to have been united to them, if not by formal 
alliance, at least by recognized and habitual friendship. Thus 
the three tribes were to our Southern colonies much what 
the Five Nations were for New York. Early in the summer 
Oglethorpe arranged to meet the native chiefs in their own 
country. The spot chosen was Coweta, a stronghold of the 
Creeks, three hundred miles inland near the head waters of the 
Alatamaha, on what is now the northern frontier of Alabama. 
It had to be reached by paths through the forest, three hundred 
miles from the German settlement at Ebenezer. 

1 Mackay to the trustees, March 23, 1735. 

a Letter from Broughton, Deputy-Governor of South Carolina, to Mackay, 

July 1735. 


The account of Oglethorpe's conduct at the conference re- 
minds one, save that it was followed by no unworthy conces- 
sions to savage usage, of those rulers of French Canada who 
won the hearts of the Indians by a partial adoption of their 
customs. He smoked the calumet with them and drank their 
black drink, a brewage of mysterious virtues, reserved for 
chiefs and medicine men. The Indians pledged themselves to 
keep friendship with the English, and to respect their wishes 
by abstaining from any attack on the French. 

Within a few weeks of his return from the conference, Ogle- 
thorpe lost his chief Indian ally, Tomochichi. He was said 
to be over a hundred years old, 1 and the colony had passed 
the stage when the friendly influence of a single savage was 
of vital importance. But the military honors paid to his 
corpse, when it was borne by his English allies from the landing- 
place at Savannah and buried in the chief square of the town, 
were not undeserved. Missionary accounts of savage virtue 
are apt to be misleading. But one may really believe that 
Tomochichi possessed those better qualities, that steadiness of 
purpose and constancy in friendship, that superiority to merely 
personal and sordid aims, in which the best specimens of his 
race could at times rise above the common level of the barbarian. 

To Oglethorpe and to the settlers in Georgia the declaration 
of war with Spain in 1739 must have come as a relief from 
intolerable suspense. Hitherto their hands had been tied by 
restraints to which their enemies were unscrupulously indiffer- 
ent. While Oglethorpe was restraining his savage allies, the 
Governor of Florida was intriguing to undermine their loyalty 
and that of the English garrison, and to stir up a servile insur- 
rection among the negroes in South Carolina. 

The circumstances which attended the outbreak of the war 
illustrated forcibly how the English colonies were hampered by 
the lack of some common administrative system. Before Ogle- 
thorpe knew that war had actually been declared, he heard 
that the Governor of Rhode Island was fitting out privateers. 

At the same time the alliance of the Indians had been a 
danger. The presence of certain unlicensed traders from South 
Carolina among them had been followed by an outbreak of 

1 Stephens, vol. ii. p. 153. For obvious reasons statements of age among 
savages are never much to be trusted. 


sickness, in reality smallpox, but thought by the natives to be 
the result of poisoned rum. Oglethorpe succeeded in allaying 
their suspicions, and promised more efficient control over the 
traders for the future. 1 

The war began with a petty raid by the Spanish troops on 
the southern frontier, having for its result the killing of two 
Measures unarmed Highlanders. Oglethorpe saw that a scat- 
agafnst the tered population living by agriculture would do best 
Spaniards.* t0 act on t h e offensive. An effective invasion might 
destroy or cripple St. Augustine's. Otherwise all the outlying 
planters would be compelled to keep within the defenses of 
Frederica, and the colony would be starved. 

Oglethorpe's first measure was to make a reconnoitering 
expedition in boats, rowed by the soldiers themselves and by 
some of the Highland settlers. He landed on the southern side 
of the St. John's river, and marched within some ten miles of 
St. Augustine. At the same time he did his best to prevent the 
Spaniards crossing the St. John's by destroying every boat on 
which he could lay hands. The southern forts had, in obedience 
to the orders given by Newcastle in expectation of continued 
peace, been suffered to fall into ruins. Oglethorpe now pro- 
posed, as soon as Frederica was put in a defensible condition, to 
go on with the refortification of St. Andrew's and Amelia. 

There were special reasons for pressing on with hostilities. 
Havannah was now blockaded by an English fleet, and thus 
the Spaniards in Florida were cut off from their chief source 
of supplies and troops. To seize this opportunity of striking an 
effective blow it was needful to have the help of South Carolina. 
There does not seem to have been any wish on the part of 
that colony to shirk her fair share of duty. But, as was usual 
in such questions, the difficulties of communication and the want 
of ready and cordial co-operation between the different mem- 
bers of the legislature caused delays. South Carolina, too, 
was suffering from the cost of suppressing the negro rebellion, 

1 This statement and that in the previous paragraph are taken from Mr. 
Wright's book, pp. 218-19. I have verified both, but I regret to say that I 
omitted to make a note of the precise reference 

2 The operations previous to the joint invasion of Florida are described in 
letters from Oglethorpe to the trustees and to the Duke of Newcastle, quoted or 
epitomized by Mr. Wright, pp. 227-32. When Mr. Wright does not give the 
text I have verified it. 


and from the destruction of property and hindrance to industry 
which had accompanied it. 

In the winter of 1739 Oglethorpe sent to Bull, the acting; 
Governor of South Carolina, a series of letters explaining his- 
Negotia- own intentions of attacking the Spaniards and ask- 
south With in S for help. The Assembly referred the matter to 
Carolina. a committee. While this committee was sitting a 
further communication came from Oglethorpe. He had, he 
said, enlisted the services of the Indian allies, and was expecting 
at least a thousand Cherokee and Creek warriors to be ready 
in March. This went far to force the hand of the South 
Carolina government, for an Indian force once raised had to< 
be used without delay. If long held in leash they were sure to 
be troublesome, and might even join the enemy rather than 
remain inactive. 1 

Meanwhile, without waiting for the decision of the sister 
colony, Oglethorpe had taken independent action against the 
Oglethorpe enemy. The treaty of Utrecht bound the Spaniards 

attacks the . . t . , . 1 r 

Spaniards, to abstain from any occupation 01 territory north or 
the river St. Matthew. Nevertheless they had before the decla- 
ration of war built a fort, St. Francis, on the north bank of 
the river exactly facing another Spanish fort called Piccolata. 
By this means they commanded a passage across the river into 
the Creek country. The place might be a dangerous refuge 
for fugitive slaves who made their way across land from South 
Carolina. Furthermore, the Spaniards could thus establish 
land communication with Mexico, and bring troops thence 
either to reenforce St. Augustine or to invade Georgia from 
the west. Early in January Oglethorpe embarked a detachment 
of his own force and some of the Highlanders, and ascended 
the river. The attack was supported by a strong body of 

1 In my account of the invasion I have relied on Oglethorpe's own dispatches 
and on Mr. McCrady. His description is based on the report of a committee 
appointed by the Assembly of South Carolina to inquire into the conduct of the 
war. The report is published in the South Carolina Historical Society's Collec- 
tions, but unfortunately the volume that contains it is not in the British 

Mr. Wright's account shows a strong bias in favor of Oglethorpe. He 
dwells on the fact that the South Carolina commander. Van der Dussen, was a 
man of bad private character. That may be so. Mr. McCrady admits that 
he was by tradition a severe slave-master. But " the trade of war needs no 
saints," and Oglethorpe's moral superiority to his colleague does not prove that: 
the former was a good soldier or the latter a bad one. 


Indians, who made their way through the woods along the 
southern bank. Without help from their civilized allies the 
Indians fell upon Piccolata and burnt it. On the same day 
Oglethorpe invested and attacked St. Francis with his whole 
force. At the second cannonade the place surrendered. Ogle- 
thorpe now might safely invade, without any fear of leaving his 
colony open to a flank attack from the land. 

In February Oglethorpe communicated these successes to 
Bull, and on March 23 he appeared in person at Charlestown, 
Further to press on the Assembly the need for instant and 


tionswith united action. Oglethorpe urged strongly on his 
Carolina. hearers the weakness of St. Augustine, a weakness 
which, as later events showed, he greatly underrated. There 
was also present at the conference Commodore Pearce, who 
was in command of a squadron of six ships and expected to be 
joined by three more. He promised co-operation and shared 
Oglethorpe's sanguine view. Whatever reluctance there may 
have been was overborne by these assurances, and the Assembly 
agreed to raise a force of four hundred rangers, and to contrib- 
ute twenty-five thousand pounds. There was among the Caro- 
lina troops one at least who had special experience fitting him 
for the task now at hand. Captain William Palmer can have 
hardly yet reached middle life. Nevertheless he had twice played 
a brilliant part in the frontier warfare of his colony. In the 
Yamassee war of 17 15 he had led a scaling party which cap- 
tured an Indian fort. In 1720 he had been sent out against 
his ancient enemies at the head of three hundred men. But 
interpreting his commission liberally he had harried and de- 
stroyed all the outlying Spanish settlements, laying the country 
waste up to the very gates of St. Augustine. He now accom- 
panied the expedition as a volunteer, and was appointed by 
Oglethorpe his aid-de-camp. 

It was much, no doubt, that South Carolina was willing to 
co-operate. Yet one may doubt whether the conditions under 
which that co-operation was agreed to promised well for suc- 
cess. The Carolinians may well have felt that they were being 
hurried into action by the dominant will of Oglethorpe. The 
older colony was being forced, in reality if not in name, into a 
position of subordination to a younger community, which in 
the eyes of South Carolina planters and merchants with their 


aristocratic traditions was little better than a penal settlement. 
Seldom, too, could a colonial force officered by provincials work 
smoothly and effectively under a commander whose military 
experiences were wholly European. 

On May 10 Oglethorpe began his advance with two hundred 
men of his own regiment, a hundred South Carolinians and a 
The allied hundred and three Indians. The expedition began 
fniade 68 Wlt ^ a small initial success. A wealthy mulatto, 
Florida. j_) on Df e g Spinola, had a ranch with a fortified 
dwelling-house half-way between the St. John's river and Fort 
Augustine. The place was valuable as supplying St. Augustine 
with cattle. On the appearance of Oglethorpe's force it sur- 
rendered. But any good gained by the success was sacrificed 
by the credulity, the failing no doubt of a magnanimous temper, 
with which Oglethorpe afterwards allowed himself to be influ- 
enced by the advice of his prisoner, Spinola. 

Three weeks appear to have been now spent by Oglethorpe in 
somewhat erratic and uncertain movements, in feints and recon- 
naissances. There may have been justification for this, but 
one may confidently say that on the face of it Oglethorpe's best 
policy would have been to keep his ill-compacted force together 
by a policy of prompt attack. The delay gave the underlying 
elements of disunion time to develop. The South Carolinians 
thought they were unnecessarily marched and countermarched. 
They demurred to having to pay Spinola for his cattle, and 
there were disputes as to the terms on which runaway negroes, 
the property of Carolina slaveholders, and recaptured from 
the Spaniards, were to be restored. Nor was this the only evil 
which resulted from delay. A small Spanish fleet succeeded in 
evading the English vessels which were co-operating with Ogle- 
thorpe, and reenforced St. Augustine's with two thousand men. 

On the last day of May Oglethorpe resumed his. advance, 
and on June 2 the invading force were within two miles of 
St. Augustine. Palmer and another volunteer officer from 
South Carolina eagerly urged Oglethorpe to make an imme- 
diate assault on the town. Oglethorpe, however, was deter- 
mined not to attack till the fleet could co-operate. That no 
doubt was sound policy, granted that such co-operation was 

Unfortunately, Oglethorpe appears to have been ill-informed 


as to possibilities of approach from the sea. On that side the 
place was practically impregnable. The bar across the harbor 
mouth forbade the access of large vessels, and the Spanish bat- 
teries were so placed that no small boats could run in under 
their fire. The land force met with no opposition. Such 
external defenses as existed were abandoned by the Spaniards, 
and on June 4 Oglethorpe found himself under the walls of 
the town. But his signal of attack to the fleet was unanswered. 

Though he did not till later know the cause of inaction Ogle- 
thorpe saw that the fleet either could not or would not attack. 
With such resources as Oglethorpe had, to assault the town by 
land without support from the fleet was clearly a hopeless 
policy. The Indian allies were practically useless for such 
warfare. There were no sappers or siege apparatus, only at 
the outside a thousand infantry. The garrison was double that 
number, the fortifications were strong and in good repair, 
mounted with fifty cannon. The only hope was to starve out 
the place, blockading it by sea and land. This, however, in- 
volved cordial and prompt co-operation between the land force 
and the fleet. Commodore Pearce had already plainly warned 
Oglethorpe that the fleet could not stay beyond July 5. At 
that date the hurricanes were expected. It was even possible 
that easterly winds might compel the fleet to quit the coast 

That declaration might well have been the signal for the 
withdrawal of Oglethorpe's force, and it is impossible to acquit 
him of blame for obstinately clinging to his original plan when 
the one vital condition of success was changed. It was probably 
unfortunate that he was encouraged by obtaining one small 

He succeeded in capturing a Spanish battery which as he 
believed would command St. Augustine. On the strength of 
this he summoned the Spanish Commander to surrender. He 
only received for answer a taunting message: "The Spanish 
Governor would be delighted to see the English General inside 
St. Augustine." The utter futility of Oglethorpe's attempts 
to bombard the town from the position which he had seized 
fully justified his enemy's confidence. Meanwhile the English 
experienced a reverse in another quarter: a reverse, too, for 
which it is impossible wholly to absolve Oglethorpe from blame. 


The English had in their advance occupied without resistance an 
advanced post of the enemy called Fort Moosa, some two miles 
from St. Augustine. Oglethorpe had made the place indefensi- 
ble by breaching the walls in three places, fearing, as he him- 
self expressed it, that it might at a later day become "a mouse- 
trap" for his own troops. Nevertheless he sent back a detach- 
ment under Palmer to occupy it, or rather to use it as head- 
quarters. They were to harry the enemy in that direction, and 
to lie out in the woods. It is exceedingly difficult to see what 
effect Oglethorpe expected this operation to have on the siege. 
Palmer plainly had no liking for his task. He told Oglethorpe 
that the force allotted to him, about one hundred white men 
and thirty-five Indians, was wholly insufficient and ought to 
be doubled. High words passed, and Palmer left with the feel- 
ing of a man who is bound by obligations of soldiership to 
accept a task which he himself believes to be hopeless. 

There was apparently no clear understanding as to the extent 
of Palmer's authority and responsibilities. He was nominally 
in command. But when he insisted that the troop should take 
full advantage of the cover of the woods and should on no 
account shut themselves up in the fort, his orders were wholly 
disregarded. The result was that the party was attacked and 
shut in. Palmer himself was shot down. Nearly all the regular 
troops shared his fate; the Carolinian militia were for the 
most part taken prisoners. This mishap was in no way calcu- 
lated to bring about any friendly feeling between the constit- 
uent parts of the force. An incident arising out of this illus- 
trated the dangers and drawbacks of the savage alliance. An 
Indian prisoner was given over to the Spanish allies to be tor- 
tured and burnt. The Cherokees had a Spanish prisoner. Their 
chief by Oglethorpe's instruction sent a message to the Spanish 
Governor that as the Yamassees dealt with their prisoner, so 
would the Cherokees with theirs. As a result of this an agree- 
ment was made that all Indian captives should be treated as 
prisoners of war. It is said that Oglethorpe's attempts to 
enforce this cost him the alliance of the Chickasaws. 

Towards the end of June Oglethorpe made a last attempt at 
a combined attack, but the fleet again was unwilling or unable 
to co-operate. The invasion was abandoned and the land force 
withdrew across the frontier, the Carolina troops it is said in 


disorder, while Oglethorpe with a portion of his own regiment 
brought up the rear and, in spite of more than one sally by the 
enemy, secured the retreat. 

The materials at our disposal hardly justify us in apportion- 
ing with confidence the blame of this failure. According to 
causes Oglethorpe and his friends, the commodore of the 

thorpe's A eet was at Dest su pi ne > the Carolina soldiers 111— 
failure. disciplined. One may doubt whether it was wise of 

Oglethorpe as things were to persist in the policy of invasion. 
He urged in his own defense that if the Carolina Assembly had 
sent troops at once the blow could have been struck in January, 
before supplies could arrive from Havannah, and while St. 
Augustine therefore was defenseless. That may be an effective 
condemnation of the government of South Carolina for its 
tardiness, but it does not prove that Oglethorpe, who must 
have known or at least suspected how matters stood, was then 
right to keep to his original policy. If a commander disregards 
the conditions under which he has to work, it is no excuse to 
say that someone else is to blame for the existence of those con- 
ditions. The truth would seem to be that Oglethorpe, while a 
brave and not unskillful soldier, was but an indifferent organ- 
izer, and ill-fitted to concert and control operations which 
depended on the harmonious working of incongruous and con- 
flicting elements. To his buoyant, hopeful temper the difficul- 
ties of concerted action seemed small till they were actually 
present, and then the very sanguineness which had gone before 
brought on a confusing and paralyzing reaction. It is impossi- 
ble to acquit Oglethorpe of failure in foreseeing and providing 
for difficulties, of a lack of forethought and judgment in allocat- 
ing duties to subordinates, and as a consequence of inability to 
inspire them with confidence. It has been urged that he was 
harassed and unstrung by the perpetual activity required in con-, 
trolling operations scattered over a wide field. But that was 
so, largely because he chose to be ubiquitous, and showed no 
ability for delegating work. 

The best defense that can be urged for Oglethorpe is that 
he played for heavy gains and did not risk much. Let St. 
Augustine be captured, and all danger either to Georgia or 
South Carolina from that quarter would be at end. The 
defense of those colonies would no longer be a drain on the 


pockets and industry of the inhabitants, nor on the naval re- 
sources of England. And Oglethorpe might at least plead that 
his conduct of the expedition had involved no irreparable loss 
and had not thrown the colony open to attack. 

While the cloud of invasion was hanging over the colony, and 
while Oglethorpe was fully employed in strengthening the 
Discontent defenses of Frederica and of the adjacent islands, 
Savannah, the malcontents at Savannah were doing all in their 
power to hamper and embarrass him. There was no doubt 
much distress among the poorer settlers at Savannah, and proba- 
bly a good deal of discontent. But the attacks on Oglethorpe 
and the clamor for change did not come from them. There is 
nothing to show that the ordinary run of settlers there had any 
wish for the importation of negroes. That demand came from 
those independent settlers with enough land to make slave labor 
useful, or enough capital to make the slave trade profitable. 
Some were landholders, who however did not live on their plan- 
tations, but settled in the town either as traders or idlers. 
Their temper and position are illustrated by the fact that they 
formed a club intended at once to give voice to popular dis- 
content and to promote sport. The streets were converted into 
a race-course. 1 In short, their aim was to create a poor and 
squalid imitation of the idle and pleasure-seeking life of the 
Charlestown planters. 

Their grievances found utterance in a long and cumbrous 
pamphlet. 2 There w T as no doubt in the condition of the colony 
ample material for a picture of misery and failure. Composed 
as it was, threatened from without, its energies and resources 
drawn off to resist foreign invasion, how could it be otherwise? 
The permission of slavery too was a point which might fairly 
be argued. But whatever strength there was in their case Ogle- 
thorpe's opponents wholly threw away by their statement of it. 
For one thing they sought to prove far too much. According 
to them the resources of the soil did not admit of free industry 
at all. The free laborer could not subsist, they said, by growing 
rice and corn; the idea of supplementing their industry by 
the production of silk and wine was a delusion. The experience 
of the Salzburgers and of the Highlanders pointed all the other 
way; and clearly showed that the small freeholder might sub- 

1 Letter-book of Trustees, p. 38. 2 See Introductory note. 


.sist by the labor of his own hands. That could only be met 
by alleging that the reports of such prosperity were given by 
interested witnesses, suborned by Oglethorpe. But if it were 
so, the case needed remedies far more radical than those pro- 
posed. If the colony could only prosper by slave labor, then 
the main object for which the trustees existed and had labored 
was futile, and had better be at once abandoned. For it was very 
certain that whoever might profit by slave labor, bankrupt 
traders brought out at the public cost could not. And this cuts 
the ground from under the feet of the malcontents. Their con- 
dition very possibly was a poor one. They might have been bet- 
ter off in South Carolina or Virginia. But they had deliberately 
chosen to attach themselves to the colony knowing the pur- 
poses for which it was created. There was nothing but impu- 
dence in the demand that all those purposes should be aban- 
doned and the whole policy of the founders reversed for their 

But that which was far more certain to discredit the attack 
than anything in the substance of it, or even than its ponderous 
Attacks irony and dreary iteration, was the malevolence of 
thorpe. its tone to Oglethorpe. Oglethorpe no doubt had 
faults of temper and character. But it was as plain as day- 
light that he was a man of vigorous mind and of a singularly 
generous, kindly, and unselfish nature. His assailants painted 
him as a dull blunderer, wicked with the peculiar wickedness of 
a Domitian or a Sujah Dowlah. All the world could see that 
he had impaired his private fortune, given up the ambition of 
a hopeful career, and turned his back on a fashionable and lit- 
erary society of singular charm and brightness, only for the 
benefit of his country and for the relief of the poor and neg- 
lected. It was a hard task to persuade anyone that he had in 
reality done all this merely to inflict suffering on his fellow- 
men, and to play the part of an incompetent despot. 

There is nothing to show that these malcontents spoke for any 
but themselves, or that they had any hold over the inhabitants 
of Savannah. The demand for negroes and for the importation 
of rum was no doubt largely supported. But it was quite pos- 
sible to make those demands without calumniating or assailing 
Oglethorpe. His chief assailants saw so little chance of playing 
the part of successful demagogues that, in the autumn of 1740, 


they broke up the club, withdrew from the colony to Charles- 
town, and thence issued their manifesto. 

A good deal of light is thrown on the question of introducing 
negro slavery by a letter in the Georgia archives addressed to 
Oglethorpe. 1 The writer is Samuel Eveleigh, a Charlestown 
merchant who took a keen interest in the affairs of the new 
colony. He may have looked to benefiting somewhat himself 
by the prosperity of Georgia. But the general tone of his let- 
ters justifies one in thinking that his interest in Georgia was 
prompted by a desire for the economical welfare of the whole 
body of colonies. He points out that from a merely material 
point of view slavery would be a gain. But he frankly admits 
that there may be other superior considerations. 

The struggle was that ever-recurrent one between the sec- 
tional aspect of the community as an industrial machine, and 
the wider view of it as a complex organization with aims and 
demands transcending mere material needs. The conflict was 
all the more difficult to settle because of the special purposes 
for which Georgia had been created. 

There is yet another point to be noticed. It was said before 
that the limitations of slavery were determined more by material 
considerations than by moral convictions. Georgia was no 
exception. Those who advocated slavery dwelt in the northern 
half of the colony, flanked by a community in which slavery 
was a carefully organized institution, and where therefore 
escape was difficult and unfrequent. To those on the southern 
frontier slavery presented itself as a real danger, since in Florida 
the escaped negro could always find a refuge, and would become 
an almost certain source of danger. 

An element of discord soon arose from another quarter to 
vex Oglethorpe. In 1738, after Wesley's retirement the trus- 
Whitefieid tees appointed as the parish clergyman of Savannah 
in Georgia. one N m Sj a respectable and apparently somewhat 
commonplace person, whose conceptions of religion did not 
probably rise above the ordinary level of the day. With him 
w r as associated as assistant George Whitefield, then a young 
deacon. The weaker points in his character, his contentiousness, 
his intolerant denunciations of all religious methods but his 

1 Eveleigh to Martin, September io, 1735. For a remarkable declaration by 
the Highlanders on the subject of slavery see Appendix V. 


own, did not yet show themselves. During his first year at 
Savannah he was only known as specially strenuous in carrying 
out the services of the church and in impressing on the settlers 
the need of private devotion. Wesley's indiscretions must have 
inclined the inhabitants of Savannah to look with distrust on 
anything like exceptional zeal. Whitefleld seems to have 
excited no suspicion or hostility. That this was so, that he 
should have labored as he did and remained on good terms with 
his flock, shows that at this time at least there was no want of 
discretion and self-restraint in his conduct. 

Whitefleld was struck with the need for an orphanage house 
in the colony, where children without parents might be brought 
up under the control of some responsible person. To gain the 
support of the trustees for his scheme and to receive priest's 
orders he returned to England on September 6, 1738. It was 
during this stay in England that the world discovered — one may 
probably say that Whitefleld discovered in himself — those pecu- 
liar powers by which his name has lived. In little more than a 
year he had shown by his work among the most brutal and 
profligate the power of awakening religious enthusiasm in vast 
masses, never equaled by any man speaking the English tongue. 
He had aroused the jealousy and hatred of those who felt that 
a great spiritual awakening within the Church would imperil 
the easy and indolent security in which they dwelt. He had 
awakened the more just suspicions of many who doubted 
whether sudden and violent emotion was a needful or healthy 
condition of spiritual life, whether indifference to the methods 
prescribed by the Church would not inevitably pass into 

It is clear that there must have been among the trustees of 
Georgia a strong spirit of sympathy with the Evangelical 
revival. In spite of Wesley's failure, and undeterred by the 
symptoms of coming strife between Whitefleld and the rulers 
of the Church, they appointed him to replace Norris as the 
parish clergyman at Savannah. 

In certain ways Whitefleld was undoubtedly a fitter man 
for the post than Wesley. His fiber was coarser, his nature less 
sensitive. He was perhaps better able to enter into the feelings 
of commonplace men than Wesley, certainly at that time better 
able to appeal to their emotions and control their wills. Yet 


recent events had shown elements in his character unfitting him 
for the post to which he was called. A man who had just 
played such a part on such a stage would not be content with 
the simple pastoral duties of a small community like Savannah. 
He w T ould be sure to use his position in Georgia as a stepping- 
stone to far-reaching schemes of spiritual revival. Nor would 
it be in keeping with his character and views to remember and 
accept the various purposes for which Georgia had been 
founded. Religion was not with him an element in life, con- 
current with others : it must absorb in itself the whole of human 
life; its rights as against other human emotions and obligations 
were not civic but despotic. 

One may doubt, too, whether Whitefield's teaching, even the 
better side of it, was just that which such a society as Savannah 
needed. It was his mission to remind men that they might be 
conforming in a very respectable w T ay to the standard of mo- 
rality recognized by the world wherein they lived and yet be 
lacking in all the real elements of spiritual life. Assuredly 
England in the reign of George II. gave ample scope for such 
teaching. There in almost every walk of life a man might be a 
fairly respectable and law-abiding citizen and yet a very bad 
Christian. One may doubt whether that was so in Georgia or 
whether the settlers there stood in much need of Whitefield's 
warnings. There was no need there to expect men to turn 
their backs on the world. Ordinary civil and industrial life 
was itself a school of self-denial and self-sacrifice. The best 
teacher would be the one who could show most clearly how 
everyday life might be made a means of spiritual discipline, 
and how the duties of the citizen and of the Christian were 
consistent and largely identical. 

The altered temper in which Whitefield returned to the col- 
ony was shown at once. During his first stay he seems to have 
worked harmoniously with Norris. Now Norn's was not even 
to be allowed to withdraw from the colony peaceably. His 
evil influence was such that it must be counteracted by public 
denunciations. Norris was musical and occasionally played 
cards. He had been doing the work of the devil. He preached 
falsehood. To this Norris replied that he had at his ordination 
fully satisfied Gibson, the Bishop of London, of his orthodoxy. 
Norris knew very little of his man if he thought that any such 


formal test of religious truth would satisfy Whitefield. Gib- 
son, Whitefield replied, was a disciple of the arch-deceiver Til- 
lotson. The works of the master and the pupil alike had sent 
thousands of souls to hell. One can trace the gross and crudely 
expressed exaggeration of a truth. But it was not a truth 
needed by the settlers at Savannah. There was no doubt many 
a comfortable canon and rector in England, many a squire or 
trader who went to church or chapel on Sunday and thought 
no more of religion for six days in the week, who needed to be 
reminded that decorous morality was one thing and spiritual 
life another. But the dangers of morality were not the dangers 
to which the Savannah settlers were exposed. There a man 
who followed the teaching of Tillotson was in all likelihood 
taking a step upward. Mere morality might need to be supple- 
mented, it certainly did not need to be quelled. 

Whitefield's proceedings in South Carolina have already 
come before us. They cannot have been without their effect 
in the relations between that colony and Georgia. Georgia 
was chiefly known to the settlers at Charlestown by the report 
of those who had left Savannah discontented or unsuccessful. 
The present incident must rather have confirmed the feeling of 
those who looked on the new colony as a hotbed of anarchy 
and wrangling. 

Whitefield, too, was not merely a spiritual enthusiast; he 
was a philanthropist, and like most strenuous and one-sided 
The men he was in his philanthropy unscrupulous and 

orphanage.^ a l m ost merciless. Having obtained from the trus- 
tees a grant of five hundred acres he founded his projected 
orphanage, and his management of it soon brought him into 
direct conflict with Oglethorpe. Whitefield would assuredly 
have been indignant at anyone who found points of likeness 
between his system and that of the Church of Rome. Yet he 
had much in common with the founders and upholders of 
monasticism. The world was evil and corrupt: if men could 
be entirely withdrawn from its influences so much the better 

1 Stephens tells very fairly and temperately, as far as one can judge, these 
proceedings of Whitefield. It argues in favor of his justice that he admits 
that Parker, the aggrieved employer, spoke with too much warmth. Mr. 
Wright's view seems to me exaggerated. He describes the orphanage as a sort 
of joyless penitentiary. I expect he was misled by Whitefield's ill-chosen 
language. Habersham, who may, I think, be regarded as a fair witness, gives 
a much more favorable account. 


for them. Accordingly in administering his orphanage it 
was Whitefield's policy to sweep into his net all whom he 

According to Oglethorpe's view the trustees had established 
and endowed the orphanage in order to relieve themselves of 
the responsibility of maintaining those who were left destitute. 
According to Whitefield's view he was empowered to seize upon 
all orphans and force them in as inmates. He applied this doc- 
trine to the case of a boy of fifteen who had been brought up 
by a settler named Parker. Parker not unnaturally contended 
that, having had the expense of rearing the boy, he was entitled 
to his services. Whitefield replied that the very fact of the boy 
being fit for service made him all the more useful as an inmate 
of the orphanage, and his superior obstinacy and power of asser- 
tion carried the day. 

Soon after Whitefield broke up a home of orphan children, 
who were living together, and subsisting by the labors of the 
two eldest. The younger ones were carried off to the orphan- 
age. Thereupon the eldest brother, acting by Oglethorpe's 
advice, demanded that the others should be allowed to come 
home. Whitefield replied that they were in their own home. 
"I know no other home they have to go to." The message 
was to be sent on to Oglethorpe. The latter had already de- 
clared that Whitefield's claims to a general right of wardship 
over all orphans in the colony on whom he could lay his hands 
were unfounded. He now ordered that the children should be 
removed. An open scandal was avoided by the execution of the 
order in Whitefield's absence. 

Be the merits of Evangelicalism what they may, the education 
of the young has never been its strong point. Whitefield tells 
with complacency how the whole time of the children was taken 
up with steady, useful work or meals, and that as a consequence 
of the total absence of play, the seventy inmates made no more 
noise than an ordinary private household. Such merits as the 
establishment had did not commend it to the colonists, and we 
hear of conflicts between the managers and the magistrates. 
Whitefield, and those who acted for him in his absence, wished 
to keep promising scholars, while the magistrates, acting in the 
interests of employers, thought more of supplying the labor 
market of the colony. 


While Whitefield's general attitude must have put him out 
of harmony with the majority of the settlers, on one important 
whitefieid matter he was at issue with the trustees. He strongly 
negro ates supported the case of those who were for importing 
slavery. negro slaves. Among the permanent triumphs of 
the Evangelical party, none has been more conspicuous and 
unquestioned than its opposition to slavery. It is singular that 
in one of the earliest battles over the system a great Evangelical 
leader should have been among its defenders. 

The arguments used by Whitefieid were the ordinary ones, 
based on the inadequacy of free labor to satisfy the wants of 
the colony. Though abolition was not yet an accepted article 
with his party, there was certainly nothing in Whitefield's expe- 
rience of slavery to prepossess him in its favor. So far hjs 
evidence may be taken as that of an intelligent and disinter- 
ested witness against the views of the trustees. 

With all these elements of internal strife distracting the 
colony, there ever hung over it the almost immediate prospect 
Difference f invasion. The danger which threatened our 

between r» i • o • e 1 • rr 1 • 1 

Spanish Southern colonies from Spain was of a different kind 
aggression, from that which threatened New York and New 
England at the hands of French Canada. In the North we 
had to fear systematic and gradual aggression, preparing the 
way for ultimate conquest. Spain had no real wish for any 
permanent extension of territory north of Florida. Her opera- 
tions therefore would be strictly military; they would aim 
solely at harassing and distracting England, by striking a 
blow at her settlements. The Spaniards might seek to occupy 
points on the coast of Georgia, but if they did so they would 
hold them merely as advanced outposts for military purposes, 
not as part of a continuous territory. 

Thus in a certain sense Spain was a far less dangerous rival 
in America than France. The whole future of the English- 
speaking race on the American continent was not involved in 
the same fashion. But if the ultimate danger to the whole 
body of colonies was less, the immediate danger to the colonies 
specially threatened was for that very reason greater. The 
danger from Canada was such as to unite all the colonies from 
the Kennebec to the Chesapeake for purposes of resistance. 
Their joint action might be blundering, hesitating, imperfect; 


still the necessity for such action was recognized. And as the 
danger extended, as the basis of the Ohio and the Mississippi 
became the scene of French aggression, so did the spirit of resist- 
ance extend too. Every public man who thought about the col- 
onies at all had in his mind some scheme of federal action, 
which should take in the whole body of colonies. Such schemes 
found as much favor in Virginia as they did in the colonies 
which had actually suffered at the hands of the French and 
their savage allies. And remiss as English statesmen were in 
their dealings with colonial questions, yet there is no doubt 
that the danger of a rival power which should hold the line 
of the lakes and the St. Lawrence, and the valleys of the Ohio 
and Mississippi, was becoming more and more present and 

The danger to Georgia involved no such extensive or abiding 
issues. It concerned only Carolina and Georgia. The other 
colonies might not unreasonably feel that the question was a 
purely military one which might fairly be left to the home 
authorities. War on the Savannah or Alatamaha was little 
more to the citizens of Boston and New York than war on the 
Senegal or on the coast of Bombay. 

Nor was there any hearty spirit of co-operation between the 
two colonies threatened. The failure of their joint attack on 
St. Augustine had sown the seeds of mutual distrust. The 
government of Georgia had for military purposes the inestimable 
advantage of being practically a despotism. All political 
authority, military, financial, diplomatic, was centered in the 
hands of Oglethorpe. Thus placed he could hardly make 
allowance for the delays inevitably imposed by a constitutional 
government. In June 1742 we find him writing to Bull, in a 
peremptory fashion, demanding that succor should be sent with- 
out delay to Frederica, and reminding him that if there was any 
"trifling," and ill came of it, he (Bull) would be held answera- 
ble. 1 He apparently forgot that the unlucky Bull could not 
feed a single soldier or hire a single transport vessel without 
the approval of his Assembly. 

Military action against Spain was not the only matter in 
which co-operation was needed. The help which the Spaniards 

1 Letter quoted by Wright, p. 297. 


received from the Indians of Florida could only be counter- 
balanced by the active alliance of those tribes whom Oglethorpe 
The had brought together and pacified at Coweta. But 

Fndfan? 11 tnev m turn m ig nt at anv moment find their hands 
Fi5e he * u ^ m defending themselves against the Five Nations. 
Nations. Thus it became an object of great importance with 
the English to reconcile these hitherto hostile confederacies. 
The Cherokees and the Creeks plainly told Oglethorpe that if 
the English would insure them against an attack from the Five 
Nations they would each send contingents to help Georgia. 
Clarke, the acting Governor of New York, clearly saw the 
need for carrying out such a policy. 1 

Oglethorpe's biographers have not altogether unjustly heaped 
anger and contempt upon the English Government for its slow- 
Og d et h horpc ness an ^ su P meness m backing him up. They tell 
Home us how his application for help was handed about 

ment. " from department to department, from the Secretary of 
State to the Lords Justices, acting in the King's absence as a 
Council of Regency, from them to the Master of the Ordnance 
and the Lords of the Admiralty; how, while coil upon coil of 
red tape was thus strangling his cry for help, Oglethorpe with 
a bankrupt exchequer, a half-armed garrison, and empty ammu- 
nition boxes, was every day looking for the sails which should 
bring the invaders upon his colony. 2 

In this, however, Oglethorpe was but suffering from a spirit 
which in that day pervaded the whole policy of England. Some- 
thing no doubt was due to the individual statesman who was 
then responsible for our colonial policy. It is no small set-off 
to the general merits of Walpole's rule that so large a share 
in determining the destinies of our colonial empire should have 
drifted into the hands of an ignorant jobber such as Newcastle. 

But the evil had a deeper root than the shortcomings of any 
individual. The apathy which imperiled Georgia was but an 
instance of that torpor which had come over the whole of our 
public service, and from which the nation was only to be roused 
by the quickening spell of Pitt's genius. 

Nor must we forget that the peculiar circumstances under 
which Georgia had come into existence did to a certain extent 
absolve English statesmen from responsibility for the fate of 

1 Oglethorpe to the trustees, quoted by Wright, p. 289. 2 Ibid. p. 280. 


the colony. The trustees had for good purposes of their own, 
purposes in which no doubt the public interest was involved, 
created the colony. It would be a perilous doctrine to admit 
that a private corporation might on its own responsibility create 
a dependency, and then make unlimited demands on the impe- 
rial government for its defense. To leave Georgia to its own 
resources would have been at once cruel and short-sighted. But 
the apportionment of the cost of defense between the trustees, 
the colonists, and the English exchequer was a matter for care- 
ful consideration, not one to be settled offhand at the dictation 
of an interested party. 

From the outset Oglethorpe evidently took the view that 
the best mode of defense was by an aggressive policy, that he must 
Ogle- ( not simply sit still and strengthen his defenses, but 

military harry and embarrass the Spaniard. For one thing 
policy.* foe could by such a policy best utilize the Indian 
alliance. Moreover an invasion from Florida even if success- 
fully repelled would do irreparable material injury. The whole 
population would have to be gathered within the defenses of 
Frederica, and their plantations left to the mercy of the enemy. 
The forts, too, towards the south were really designed for 
attack rather than defense. To hold them continuously would 
detach a large body of men, and it would be no easy matter to 
keep up communications with Frederica. But they might do 
good service used as advanced points designed to support and 
protect parties of invaders. 

It was however an essential condition of Oglethorpe's aggres- 
sive policy that the English fleet should co-operate, and should 
make it impossible for St. Augustine's to receive re-enforcements 
and supplies by sea. This was not fulfilled. In June 1742 
Oglethorpe learnt that the failure of the English operations 
against Havannah had set free a large force. The garrison of 
St. Augustine's was strengthened to a point which made attack 
hopeless. Nor was that all; in the presence of such a Spanish 
fleet it would have been fatal folly of Oglethorpe to detach any 
portion of his scanty force from the defense of the colony. His 

1 The chief authorities for the Spanish invasion are Oglethorpe's own dis- 
patches. There is a report by Lieutenant Sutherland. I expect from its tone 
and its agreement with Oglethorpe's own report that it was substantially written 
by the Governor, and that Sutherland was little if anything more than an 


policy of defending himself beyond his own frontiers had to be 
given up perforce. Instead he adopted a policy of concentration. 

On June 22, a Spanish fleet of fourteen vessels threatened 
Fort William, the English fort at the south point of Cumber- 
land Island. The guns of the fort supported by an English 
schooner beat them off. They then turned northward, and 
sailed up the strait between the mainland and the island. 1 

The island was guarded by Fort St. Andrew at the northern 
and Fort William at the southern end. Oglethorpe now de- 
cided to abandon the former, and to concentrate all his defend- 
ing forces within the latter. It is not quite easy to see why 
the preference was given to the place farthest from Frederica, 
nor why the execution of the scheme should have been post- 
poned till it had to be done under the guns of a Spanish fleet. 

To carry out his policy Oglethorpe embarked a detachment 
of troops in three vessels, and maneuvered his way through the 
Spanish fleet. The officer in command of one boat lost heart, 
took refuge in a creek, and then sailed to St. Simon's with the 
tidings that Oglethorpe had been surrounded and killed. His 
account was confirmed by those who had watched the fight from 
the defenses of Frederica. In real truth Oglethorpe had not 
only made his way through safely, but had inflicted such dam- 
age on the Spanish fleet that it put back to St. Augustine's for 
repairs, while it is said that four of the vessels actually foun- 
dered on their homeward voyage. Oglethorpe took advantage 
of this to carry out his policy of evacuating St. Andrew's and 
strengthening Fort William. Then he returned to Frederica, 
and took possession of some of the merchant vessels in the har- 
bor. From these he arranged a fleet of three vessels, one with 
twenty, the others with fourteen guns. The little fleet moved 
to St. Simon's, and was there drawn up for the defense of the 
harbor, while eight gunboats moored close to the shore were to 
act as floating batteries. One is reminded of the versatile 
heroes of the Elizabethan age, as one reads of Oglethorpe thus 
playing the part of soldier and seaman. Nor was that all: 
the absence of his two engineers compelled Oglethorpe to place 
his regiment under the command of a deputy, while he himself 
took command of the ordnance. 

1 This and the following operations air described in Oglethorpe's dispatch of 
July 30, 1742. 


On July 5 thirty-six Spanish sail appeared before St. Simon's. 
They did not, however, make any serious or sustained attempt 
The to reduce the place. Baffled in their attempts to 

invasion. board the English vessels, they left the defenses of 
St. Simon's in the rear and advanced on Frederica. 

The little fleet and the fortifications had served their purpose 
in harassing the Spanish vessels and in weakening and delaying 
their attack. Oglethorpe now judged it best to abandon St. 
Simon's and concentrate all his available forces for the defense 
of Frederica. Acting on this policy the batteries at St. Simon's 
were dismantled, and all that could not be carried away was 

The fleet consisted of forty-four sail. Among them was an 
English prize taken off St. Augustine, and it was from one 
of her crew, kept a prisoner on the fleet, that our knowledge of 
the expedition from the Spanish side comes. 1 The pilot of the 
fleet was a traitor from South Carolina, one whose wife was 
yet living at her husband's home in Port Royal. 2 By the admis- 
sion of the Spaniards themselves the intricacies of the coast, with 
its succession of islands and narrow creeks, would have baffled 
them but for the aid of this renegade. Nor was this the only 
form in which treachery threatened the English. When Ogle- 
thorpe invaded Florida a Spaniard in command of one of the 
forts devised, and in part carried out, a stratagem not unlike 
that of Zopyrus. He surrendered as a prisoner of war. The 
Spaniard soon pretended that personal good-will to his captor 
was stronger than patriotism. He professed to reveal the secrets 
of the Spanish designs against Georgia. He was offered his 
liberty by way of exchange. He had been indiscreet, he said, his 
indiscretion would become known to his countrymen, and he 
would be in danger of being treated as a traitor. Instead of 
being exchanged, might he be allowed to take refuge somewhere 
in the English colonies to the North? Oglethorpe's frank and 
impulsive temper made him fall into the snare. A canoe was 
provided for the Spaniard in which he might make his way 
to Darien, the settlement of the Highlanders on the Alatamaha, 

1 His name was Arthur Torton. His dispatch, dated October 22, 1742, is 
among the Colonial Papers. 

2 This is stated in a deposition by one Samuel Cloake. It is among the 
Georgia Papers in the Record Office. 


as a first stage, and then proceed by land. He soon returned. 
He had been unable, he said, to make his way through the 
wilderness without risk of discovery and capture. But an Eng- 
lishman who had been a prisoner on the Spanish fleet, and had 
escaped soon after, brought news to Georgia showing how the 
traitor had been using the opportunities given him by Ogle- 
thorpe's forbearance. While he was supposed to be making 
his way through the woods, he was in real truth on board the 
vessel of the Spanish commander. He was to rejoin Oglethorpe 
and then at a signal to set fire to the arsenal at Frederica. 
While the place was thus in confusion the Spanish fleet was to 
strike its blow. If the story were true, the safety of the colony 
and the lives of all within it hung on such a mere thread as a 
conversation accidentally overheard. The whole force of sol- 
diers on board numbered six thousand. Among them was a 
regiment of fugitive slaves from Carolina under the command 
of negro officers. The Spaniards repeatedly assured their cap- 
tives that they had orders to give no quarter and that not an 
Englishman would be spared, and they enforced their lesson by 
holding their knives to the throats of their prisoners. 1 

No mere courage could have saved the English colony from 
the peril which hung over it. Well might Whitefield say that 
"the deliverance of Georgia is such as cannot be paralleled but 
by some instances out of the Old Testament." Humanly speak- 
ing we may say that the colonists owed their safety to the skill 
with which Oglethorpe had chosen the site of Frederica and 
laid out its approaches, to the strategy with which he turned 
to account the peculiar powers of his Indian allies, and to the 
well-contrived and fortunate devices which enabled him to 
deceive his enemies as to his own resources and prospects. 

From St. Simon's to Frederica the only approach was along 
the narrow path which Oglethorpe had laid out, belted by 
The swamp and jungle. Small parties of Indians and 

defeat. light infantry posted in the woods harassed the 

advanced columns of the Spanish force, and for a while made 
their advance impossible. After a day of such harassing skir- 
mishes Oglethorpe saw that the time had come to strike a direct 
blow at the head of the advancing force. 

1 Stated by Sutherland. Cf. a deposition quoted by Mr. Wright from the 
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xii. p. 60 1. 


The strategy adopted was not unlike that which was used 
thirteen years later with such terrible effect against Braddock. 
The advancing enemy was thrown into confusion by flanking 
parties firing from ambush, 1 and then an attack was delivered 
in front. Oglethorpe's charge was effective, and the advanced 
guard of the enemy was routed and fled in confusion for a mile. 
But the English force was far too small to push an attack or 
to attempt a general engagement. He himself returned to 
Frederica to bring up re-enforcements. His troops were placed 
as before in the woods where their fire would command the 

An accident precipitated the engagement. One of the Span- 
ish horses took fright; the noise which he made convinced the 
Spaniards that the enemy was on them and they rushed to their 
arms. Immediately the English opened fire. Through the 
thick summer foliage the invaders could not see a foe; nearly 
every shot that they fired wasted its force on trunks and boughs. 
Instead of attempting a deliberate and orderly retreat along 
the narrow path, the Spanish force broke and fled through the 
forest, where many fell victims to their Indian pursuers. Ogle- 
thorpe himself hurried from Frederica at the first fire. A small 
party of fugitives whom he met told him that the English were 
routed. He rallied them and pressed on, only to find on his 
arrival at the scene of action that the victory was complete. 
The Spaniards did not halt till they reached the ruined works 
of St. Simon's. There they encamped under the guns of their 
vessels. Oglethorpe wisely made no attempt at an assault, but 
returned to his policy of harassing the enemy by skirmishing 

There was little likelihood that the Spaniards would renew 
their land attack. They had lost six officers and six hundred 
men without gaining a single position or advancing a step 
nearer their main object. The attempt which had thus failed 
by land was now renewed by water, and the Spanish fleet made 
its way up the creek which separated the island from the main- 
land. In this attempt the Spanish commander no doubt relied 
on his treacherous ally within the walls. The defenses of 
Frederica were now strong enough for her guns to keep the 

1 In Braddock's case the frontal attack was delivered first and supported from 
the flanks. 


enemy's fleet at bay. Attempts to land troops at points beyond 
the fire of the fort were thwarted by the Indians who were 
ambushed along the shore. 

One more resource remained to the Spaniards. Both forms 
of assault had failed. But they might blockade Frederica by sea 
and land. The ill-victualed state of the fort made this a serious 
danger. Oglethorpe had laid in what he reckoned to be a 
year's supplies. But he was short of storage room at Frederica. 
A portion of the supplies was still on shipboard, and some in a 
house beyond the town. When the Spaniards advanced, Ogle- 
thorpe deemed it better to destroy all this portion of the stores, 
rather than risk it falling into the hands of the enemy. 

On the other hand the condition of the Spaniards themselves 
was hardly such that they were likely to carry through a pro- 
longed blockade effectively. They lacked water and had no 
accommodation for their wounded. Above all they were crushed 
down by the demoralizing effect of their defeats. Nothing is 
more depressing to a civilized force than to be unable to bring 
any of its resources into action, to be perpetually harassed by 
attacks of a wholly unfamiliar kind. There was also dissension 
in the camp, and the commander of the re-enforcements from 
Florida refused to co-operate with troops from St. Augustine's,, 
and even occupied different camping ground. 

Oglethorpe now decided to strike a more decisive blow than 
he had yet attempted. Mustering his whole force he marched 
Ogle- on the enemy. The attempt was frustrated by 

counter* treachery. 1 A Frenchman had been unwisely suf- 
attack. fered to attach himself to the expedition as a volun- 

teer. He gave the alarm by firing his gun and then fled to the 
enemy. Oglethorpe's attack had been designed for a surprise. 
To attack with greatly inferior numbers when the enemy was 
fully warned would have been madness. Versatility and re- 
source were the most marked characteristics of Oglethorpe as a 
soldier, and he now devised a scheme for turning the treachery 
of the Frenchman to good account. After what had happened 
there was little fear of a decisive attack either by sea or land. 
But a blockade might still be effective and, straitened as the 
English were for provisions, any prolongation of operations was 
to be dreaded. To get the Spanish force off the island was the 

1 This is told by Sutherland. 


supreme object with Oglethorpe. With this view a Spanish 
prisoner was hired to convey a letter to the Frenchman. The 
letter exhorted him to encourage the Spanish commander to 
make an attack. He was to represent to him that the English 
were weak, and he was to pilot the Spanish fleet into a position 
where gunboats placed in ambush were ready to receive it. 

If he could not do that, at least let him keep them at St. 
Simon's. If he could only delay them for three days Ogle- 
thorpe would have a re-enforcement of two thousand men 
from Carolina and a squadron of six or seven ships, and would 
be ready to attack the Spaniards. Moreover, the English fleet 
under Vernon was about to attack St. Augustine. To the 
success of his attack it was vital that the Spanish force should 
be withheld from retreating. 

As Oglethorpe anticipated, the messenger was seized and the 
letter discovered. One need not suppose that the Spaniards 
were ingenuous enough to have no suspicions of such an obvious 
trap. But they could not be sure that the correspondence was 
a mere pretense. To advance under such circumstances would 
be rash. Fortunately, too, for the English some strange sails 
were seen out to sea. The Spaniards saw in this the confirma- 
tion of Vernon's intended attack, and it was judged prudent to 
act as though the Frenchman was actually in English pay, and 
as though Oglethorpe really wished to lure the invader on to 

The retreating Spanish force endeavored to strike a blow 
at the garrison of Fort William. But the determination of the 
Commander, Stuart, and the judgment with which Oglethorpe 
had chosen the position of the fort and constructed its defenses, 
made their efforts fruitless. For three hours the Spaniards 
assaulted it both by sea and land, then learning that Ogle- 
thorpe was marching up with re-enforcements they continued 
their retreat. 

The spirit of faction which had engaged us in the war was 
hardly more discreditable to English public men than the pur- 
supineness poseless and ineffectual fashion in which it was con- 
British ducted. In vain Oglethorpe urged the Ministry to 
men""' concentrate its efforts on crushing the Spanish power 
in Florida. In vain he pointed out that the conquest of Georgia 
would bring with it the ruin of our whole colonial empire in. 


America. 1 Not only was the garrison of St. Augustine's 
strongly re-enforced, but the Yamassees were molesting the Eng- 
lish settlements on the upper waters of the Alatamaha, and 
there were rumors of a French attack from the north-west. To 
strike a defensive blow at Florida was the one effective means 
of meeting the danger. 

Besides the supineness of the English Cabinet Oglethorpe 
had to contend with the jealousy and short-sightedness of his 
neighbors in South Carolina. In the autumn of 1742 a detach- 
ment was sent from Jamaica to co-operate with the colonies 
against the Spaniards. The commander had orders to consult 
either Oglethorpe or the acting Governor of South Carolina as 
to his operations. Unfortunately the first point he touched at 
was Charlestown, and he was there told that all danger was at 
an end. No doubt as far as South Carolina itself was concerned 
that was in a measure true. In all likelihood the Spaniards 
would be satisfied with the destruction of Georgia. In any 
case that colony would have to bear the brunt of the blow. Her 
fate would at least give Carolina time to prepare for defense. 
The policy of the trustees, a policy which economical considera- 
tions may have made needful, had checked the growth of any 
cordial good-will or mutual self-reliance between Georgia and 
South Carolina. Such joint military operations as there had 
been had only left feelings of jealousy and dislike. 

We have already seen how the skill of a Charlestown pilot 
was near being exerted to the destruction of Georgia. It was 
currently reported in Georgia that the traitor was to be seen 
walking abroad in the streets of Charlestown. Spanish prison- 
ers, too, were suffered to study the navigation of Charlestown 
harbor and then returned by way of exchange. It was even 
added, though only on the authority of Indians, that merchant 
vessels from Charlestown were delivering stores of food and 
even of ammunition in St. Augustine. 

Unsupported as he was, Oglethorpe could only keep to his 
policy of harassing the Spaniards by inroads, and thus making 
the best use of his Indian allies. If there was vagueness in the 
English policy and want of spirit in the execution of it, assuredly 
the same might be said of Spain. A force was sent from St. 

1 As I have said before (p. 390 ) I do not think that this view can be accepted. 
But it was quite natural that Oglethorpe should take it. 


Augustine to re-enforce San Mattheo. But it was not strong 
enough to face the detachment, mainly of Indians, which Ogle- 
thorpe sent against it, and it speedily retreated to St. Augustine, 
and not without loss. 

Daring as Oglethorpe's operations often were, he showed 
plainly that he was no mere knight-errant, fighting in light- 
hearted gallantry, but a shrewd strategist, who could adopt a 
Fabian policy when needful. His Indian allies were allowed 
to believe that the inaction of the Spaniards was due to coward- 
ice. Oglethorpe's own operations were based on the assump- 
tion that the Spaniards were only seeking to draw him into an 

Oglethorpe had hardly secured his colony against invasion 
when he found himself confronted with trouble of a different 
ogie- kind. In July 1741, Sir Robert Walpole had, as 

financial Chancellor of the Exchequer, notified Oglethorpe 
difficulties, tj^ h e mus t; draw no more bills on the exchequer till 
further orders. If he should draw any bills between the issue 
of this order and the reception of it, the matter was to be 
referred to the Lords Justices, then acting as a Council of 
Regency. Verelst, Oglethorpe's representative in London, 
acted on this instruction. The Justices not only agreed to 
meet the liabilities which Oglethorpe had incurred, but also 
sanctioned a further outlay of eight thousand a year. When 
however Oglethorpe's bills were presented at the Treasury they 
were dishonored, on the ground that Walpole had issued an 
order forbidding further expenditure. Verelst had no difficulty 
in showing that this order was overridden by that issued by the 
Justices. The Treasury then took new ground: they had no 
available funds, and Oglethorpe's bills were not drawn direct 
on the Treasury, but on English merchants. The discussion 
was protracted into the summer of 1743. 

By this time the colony was in a sufficient state of security 
to allow Oglethorpe to return to England and fight his own 
battle. The financial question was not the only one which 
demanded his presence. His conduct of operations against 
Florida and his civil administration were both challenged, and 
the clearing of his character seemed to demand a public inquiry. 

Oglethorpe never returned to Georgia. Those responsible 
for the colony may have felt, he may himself have accepted the 


view, that he was better fitted for the task of calling into exist- 
ence a young community under peculiar conditions, than for 
Ogle- the humdrum work of administering it when once 

work as a established. The danger of invasion, a danger best 
whole. met by the rule of a dictator, was at an end. Spain 

and England were at peace, and the rulers of Florida had 
been taught a lesson which made any isolated attempt on their 
part most unlikely. 

There is so little of subtlety or intricacy in Oglethorpe's 
character and policy, so little below the surface that calls for 
analysis, that his work may well be left to speak for itself. 
Impetuous and self-confident, beyond doubt he made errors, 
alike administrative and military. At times, as with the Wes- 
leys, he gave his confidence with indiscreet haste, and withdrew 
it with a precipitance which led him into injustice. As a com- 
mander he seems to have been somewhat lacking in deflniteness 
of purpose or continuity of policy. Like many energetic cap- 
tains he was prone to expect too much from his men in the way 
of endurance. He marched and countermarched his troops 
in a fashion which might have been tolerable in Europe, but 
which was little short of merciless under a torrid sun, and 
amid the swamps of Georgia or Florida. 

To say this is only to say that Oglethorpe had the defects of 
his qualities. The same temperament which made him unable 
to delegate authority effectively, whether in military or civil 
matters, also made him the strenuous, ubiquitous organizer that 
he was. Nothing is more striking than the way in which, when 
overwhelmed with administrative cares, he yet found leisure for 
minute examination of details. He disapproves of the coats sup- 
plied to settlers, "they shrink intolerably." He inspects and 
condemns the pork, and suggests the substitution of other 
articles of food. 1 

Whatever may have been Oglethorpe's defects and failures, 
whether as an administrator or as a commander, looked at 
broadly, his work in both characters was a success. Had any- 
one foretold that within ten years of its foundation the little 
settlement, built out of the worthless debris of over-civilization, 
would repel a foreign enemy, and serve as an efficient bulwark 

1 See his letters in the third volume of the Georgia Historical Society's Collec- 



against the tide of invasion which menaced the English colo- 
nies, he would have seemed a sanguine man. More sanguine 
still would it have been to prophesy that such a community- 
would without any violent convulsion put on some measure of 
self-government, and should in less than half a century be fit 
to take its place as one of the constituent members of an inde- 
pendent republic. We may see in it a strong illustration of 
that underlying fitness for citizenship which through genera- 
tions of training has become inherent in the English character. 
But a large share of the praise due for that success must be 
put down to the chivalrous courage, the single-minded devotion, 
the genial and contagious energy of Oglethorpe. 

With the departure of Oglethorpe and the cessation of the 
Spanish terror, the chief elements of dramatic interest disap- 
introduc- pear from the history of Georgia. 1 For seven years 
slavery. the colony went on under the simple form of execu- 
tive government which has been already described. The trus- 
tees in England exercised occasional control, but without any 
representative of their authority resident in the colony in the 
place of Oglethorpe. The first important change came in 
1749, w T hen the exclusion of slavery had to be abandoned as 
hopeless. Such a restriction made social and commercial con- 
nection with the other colonies difficult, and when in defiance 
of such difficulties intercourse began, the situation became at 
once complicated and unmanageable. The very difficulties 
which a hundred years later threatened to rend the United 
States asunder arose. Settlers from the other colonies migrated 
into Georgia and took their negroes with them. Did the owner 
retain his rights, or were those rights overruled by the restric- 
tions imposed by the trustees? These regulations were evaded 
by contracts whereby negroes from other colonies were nom- 
inally hired, but practically bought. The attempt to keep 
Georgia as an isolated stronghold for free labor, difficult under 
a dictator such as Oglethorpe, was impossible when his strong 
hand was removed, and in 1750 the trustees gave up the attempt 
and repealed the anti-slavery ordinance. 

Meanwhile, those friendly relations with the natives which 

1 For what follows I have relied on the Georgia Papers in the Record Office. 
Many of the most important are printed in the Collection of the Georgia Histor- 
ical Society. 


had been so invaluable to the colony in its early and struggling 
Thomas days were being endangered in a somewhat strange 
worth!" fashion. It will be remembered that Oglethorpe had 
at the very outset profited by the good offices of a trader, Mus- 
grove, and his wife. She appears to have made some claim to 
the position of a native princess, though if we may believe one 
competent witness she was only herself a half-bred Indian. 1 
After Musgrove's death she became the wife of one Matthews, 
and then becoming a second time a widow she married one 
Thomas Bosomworth, a missionary. He, it would seem, wished 
to exchange the lot of an English clergyman for that of an 
Indian chief. We read of him riding round the Indian villages, 
stirring up their occupants to support him in freeing his wife's 
territory from the English invaders. Nothing came of Bosom- 
worth's strange enterprise, but there was danger in anything 
which suggested to the Indians the notion that their invaders 
were not a people at unity among themselves. 

In 1753 the colony acquired a somewhat important accession. 
In 1696, when Presbyterianism was beginning to gain a foot- 
Presby- hold in South Carolina, that colony received as im- 
migrants, migrants a congregation from Dorchester in New 
England. True to their accustomed usage they had given to 
their new home the name of the settlement they had left. In 
1753 they or a majority of them again moved, crossing the 
border into Georgia. As was said elsewhere, one of the most 
important though not the most conspicuous processes of change 
which were at work in the colonies during the eighteenth cen- 
tury was the leavening of the South by the civic and religious 
influences of Presbyterianism. It brought qualities of which 
plantation life stood in need: cohesion, austerity, self-restraint; 
and in no colony were such more needed than in Georgia. 

In 1752 the trustees resigned their charter. The Lords of 
Trade drafted a constitution for the colony which was approved 
The new by the Crown. There was to be a Governor, with 
tion. the usual staff of officials and a council of, at first, 

eleven members. There was to be a representative Assembly. 
Members must be qualified by the possession of five hundred 

1 Stephens's Journals. Several of Mrs. Musgrove's letters referring to her 
own claims and her past services are among the Colonial Papers. They are 
moderate and reasonable in tone. 


acres; electors by fifty. Apparently the formation of electoral 
districts was left to the Governor. He could convene and dis- 
solve the House of Representatives, and veto any of their bills. 
The first Governor under the Crown was John Reynolds, 
of whose antecedents nothing can be learnt save that he was a 
johnRey- captain in the army. He was appointed in August 

nolds as tt- i 1 ?., 

Governor. 1754* "is letters at the outset were businesslike, 
and show real anxiety for the well-being of the colony. But 
he soon entangled himself in a dispute with the Assembly. He 
nominated three Representatives as Councilors, and then 
issued writs for election of three new members. The fact that 
one of his three nominees refused the appointment raises a pre- 
sumption that Reynolds's object was not to promote the three 
Assemblymen, but to create three vacancies. The vacant seats 
were filled, but the Assembly refused those elected, and carried 
on business with a house of only twelve, described by Reynolds 
as containing "a majority of very troublesome people." He 
goes on to say that he gave them time enough by short adjourn- 
ments to recollect that they were wrong, and in a message 
explained to them that they were so, but nothing would do, for 
"they expect to have the same privileges as the House of Com- 
mons in Great Britain." 

If we may believe Reynolds's opponents, one of his objects 
in dissolving the Assembly w T as to burke an inquiry into the 
conduct of the Secretary for the Colony, a personal favorite of 
the Governor. He is even said for this purpose to have falsified 
the journals of the Assembly. It is tolerably safe to assume 
that there was good ground for the charges brought against him 
from the fact that he resigned instead of defending himself, and 
also from the total absence of any testimony in his favor. 

The unfavorable opinion of Reynolds was held not only by 
the settlers, but also by his successor, Henry Ellis. He was, 
like Spotswood in Virginia, a strenuous explorer of the unoc- 
cupied territory in the west. Like Spotswood, too, he earns 
gratitude from the student of colonial history by the fullness 
and vivacity of his dispatches. His term of office ended in 
1760, and he escaped the troubles which overtook his successor 
James Wright, perhaps the ablest, and certainly the stanchest 
and most resolute, of all the public servants in the colonies who 
clung to the mother country in the great struggle. 



The conquest of Canada w