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Full text of "January Meeting.-1861. Accurate Editions of the Bible; Letters of Dr. Belknap; Bennett's History of New England; Letter of John Winthrop; Settlement of New England; The Petition of Edward Winslow; A Relation concerning New England"

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104 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Mr. Warren presented, as a gift from J. Carson 
Brevoort, Esq., an engraved, and also a photographic 
copy of Pine's portrait of Washington, together with a 
facsimile of Washington's original letter authenticating 
Pine's picture, taken in 1785. 

Voted, That the President be requested to acknow- 
ledge this interesting donation, and to express to Mr. 
Brevoort the thanks of the Society. 

Mr. Mason presented several valuable pamphlets, 
accompanying the gift with historical and biographical 
remarks. 



JANUARY MEETING. — 1861. 

A stated monthly meeting was held this day, Thurs- 
day, the 10th of January, at noon ; the President, Hon. 
Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Recording 
Secretary announced donations from the Commissioner 
of Patents ; the State of Tennessee ; the Smithsonian 
Institution; Henry Barnard, Esq. ; J. B. Finlay, LL.D. ; 
William W. Forbes, Esq. ; Mrs. Eliza Gilpin ; Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel James D. Graham; Hon. Hugh B. 
Grigsby ; B. P. Johnson, Esq. ; James Lenox, Esq. ; 
Benjamin H. Rhoades, Esq. ; Eugene Sanger ; Sotheby 
and Wilkinson ; and from Messrs. Bartlet, Green, 
Holmes, Quint, Bobbins (C), Savage, Webb, and Win- 
throp, of the Society. 



1861.] ACCURATE EDITIONS OF THE BIBLE. 105 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated a letter 
of acceptance from Count Adolphe de Circourt, recently 
elected an Honorary Member of the Society. 

Mr. WiLLARD presented to the Society, and read to 
the meeting, the following letter, dated Boston, June 24, 
1790, signed by a Committee of the Convention of the 
Congregational ministers of Massachusetts : — 

Boston, June 24, 1790. 

Rev. Sir, — The Congregational ministers in the Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts, assembled in Boston on the 27th of May, 1790, — 

Voted, That the Rev. Dr. Willard, Dr. Howard, Mr. Morse, Mr. 
Payson, and Mr. Thacher, be a Committee, in the name and behalf 
of the Congregational ministers of this Commonwealth, in convention 
assembled, to prepare, sign, and transmit to the Congress of the 
United States, a petition, requesting the attention of that honorable 
body to the subject of the several impressions of the Bible now 
making ; representing the importance of accuracy in these impres- 
sions, and earnestly praying that they would take such measures as 
the Constitution may permit, that no edition of the Bible, or its trans- 
lation, be published in America, without its being carefully inspected, 
and certified to be free from error. 

Voted, That the same persons be a Committee to apply to the 
representative bodies of the other denominations of Christians in 
America, and to request their assistance and support in accomplish- 
ing so important and desirable an object. 

Agreeably to the first of the above votes, we have forwarded a 
petition to Congress, praying that they would take into their con- 
sideration the interesting matter of printing the Bible, and direct to 
such measures, as, in their wisdom, may be thought proper to secure 
the public from impositions by inaccurate and mutilated editions of 
it. We consider this as a subject which equally concerns all deno- 
minations of Christians, as we all appeal to the Holy Bible as the 
standard of truth. 

It is unquestionably of the highest importance, that this acknow- 
ledged fountain of truth be preserved pure and uncorrupted. This 
will not probably be the case if the matter is left wholly to the 
printers. 

14 



106 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCXETIT. [Jan. 

We therefore, as friends and brethren, united in promoting the 
same general cause, and as jointly concerned in preserving the purity 
of the Holy Scriptures, do, in behalf of the Convention, earnestly 
request the concurrence of the Episcopal clergy throughout the 
United States, or of their representative body, in petitioning Con- 
gress that they would so far interpose their authority as to prevent 
inaccurate and spurious editions of the Bible. 

It was the wish of the Convention to have written, in the first 
instance, to your reverend body, and the other representative bodies 
of Christians in the several States, requesting that committees 
might be appointed by each to confer and unite with us in one peti- 
tion, and thus to concentre the whole Christian interest in America. 
But to accomplish this desirable object would have taken a long 
time ; and it was thought the business was of immediate importance, 
as proposals for several editions of the Bible are now in circulation. 

We take this opportunity to express our sincere desire to cultivate 
a friendly and Christian intercourse with the ministers of your 
denomination ; as we are firmly persuaded that such an intercourse 
between Chi'istians of different denominations and sentiments would 
have a happy tendency to harmonize them, to remove unreasonable 
prejudices, to promote a spirit of love and candor, and thus essen- 
tially serve the interest of our holy religion. It might also have a 
beneficial influence on the civil affairs of our country. 

We wish you, sir, to communicate the foregoing to the largest 
representative body of the Episcopal Church in America, as soon as 
you have opportunity. 

Wishing prosperity to the peaceful kingdom of our common Lord 
and Saviour, 

We are. Rev. sir, your brethren in Christ, 

Joseph Willard, ' 
Phillips Payson, 
Simeon Howard, \ committee. 
Peter Thacher, 
Rev. Dr. Paeker, Boston. Jedh. Morse, 

Mr. Willard stated that he had examined the House 
Journal from the end of May, 1790, to Jan. 6, 1791, 
and found no record of a petition from the Congrega- 
tional clergy. He found, however, as follows ; viz. : — 



1861.] LETTERS OF DR. BELKNAP. 107 

" Jan. 5, 1791. — Several petitions of the Baptist associations of 
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont, were 
presented and read, praying that Congress will adopt measures to 
prevent the publication of any inaccurate editions of the Holy Bible. 
Ordered, That the several petitions do lie on the table." 

"Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1791. — A petition of the Baptist Stoning- 
ton Association was presented to the House, and read, praying that 
Congress will adopt measures to prevent the publication of any 
inaccurate editions of the Holy Bible. — Ordered, That the said 
petition do lie on the table." 



The President presented a bound manuscript copy 
of the " Catalogue of the Graduates of Harvard Col- 
lege," by James Winthrop, Esq., librarian from 1772 to 
1787. 

Mr. Ellis stated that he was happy to fulfil a com- 
mission intrusted to him several years ago, — to pro- 
cure for the Society the letters which were known to 
be in existence from Dr. Belknap to his friend Mr. 
Hazard. Through the liberality of Miss Elizabeth 
Belknap, he was now enabled to offer to the Society's 
acceptance the correspondence in question, covering a 
period of twenty years. 

The thanks of the Society were voted to Dr. Ellis 
for his successful intervention in procuring these valu- 
able papers. The letters were referred to the Standing 
Committee. 

Mr. RoBBiNS (C.) presented, as a gift from John A. 
Richardson, Esq., of Durham, N.H., the original manu- 
script of a charge by Judge Cushing to the Grand Jury 
in York County, June, 1780. 

Eev. Edward Everett Hale, and Robert Bennett Forbes, 
Esq., were elected Resident Members. 



108 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Mr. Sparks made a verbal report relating to two 
books in the German language,* which the President, 
through the kindness of Mr. A. W. Thayer, had obtained 
in Berlin, and had committed to him with a view to his 
examining the parts which relate to the American War. 
He had found that they contained an account of the 
raising of Hessian troops, critical remarks upon the 
military movements of our countrymen, and other in- 
teresting matter relating to the war of the Revolution. 

Mr. Sparks read several extracts from a manuscript 
history of New England, written by Mr. Bennett in 
1740, in which he also gives an account of his travels 
in this country, and of his impressions of Boston and 
its inhabitants. This book fell into the hands of Mr. 
William Vaughan of London, who gave it to Mr. Sparks 
about twenty years ago. 

[By permission of Mr. Sparlis, a more liberal selection from Mr. Bennett's manu- 
script than was communicated to the Society is here printed.] 

Boston in 1740. 

Boston, being the principal town of any in New England, should, 
in propriety, have been first described ; but intending to be some- 
thing more particular in the description of that than any of the 
others was the reason of my deferring it till the last. And accord- 
ing to the best account I can meet with, together with the little 
observation I am capable of making upon viewing the several parts 
of it, I here present you with as follows. 

Boston, the capital of New England, according to the account 
given me of it, is situated in forty-two degrees twenty-four minutes 
of north latitude, and seventy-one degrees western longitude. This 
town stands on a peninsula, or almost island, about four miles in 

* " Betrachtungen iiber die neuere Kriegslsunst, iiber ihre Fortschritte und Veran- 
derungen und iiber die wahrscheinlichen Folgen welche fiir die Zukuuft daraus 
entstehen werden. Vom General Baron yon Ochs. Cassel, 1817." — " Biographic des 
G^u^rals von Ochs. Cassel, 1827." 



1861.] BENNETT'S HISTORY OP NEW ENGLAND. 109 

circumference, at the bottom of a fine bay of the sea. At the 
entrance of the bay there are several rocks of great magnitude, 
the tops of which appeared considerably above the surface of the 
water at the time of our passing by them. There are also about a 
dozen little islands all in view as we approach the town, some of 
which are as fine farms as any in the whole country. 

This town has a good natural security, in my opinion ; for there 
is great plenty of rocks and shoals, which are not easy to be avoided 
by strangers to the coasts ; and there is but one safe channel to 
approach the harbor, and that so narrow that three ships can hardly 
sail through abreast : but, within the harbor, there is room enough 
for five hundred sail to lie at an anchor. 

The entrance to the harbor is defended by a strong castle, which 
they call Fort William, on which there are mounted a hundred guns, 
twenty of which lie on a platform level with the water, to prevent 
an enemy passing the castle ; which is a quarry surrounded by a 
covered way, joined with two lines of communication to the main 
battery. This battery is situated so near the channel, that all ships 
going up to town must sail within musket-shot of it. They have 
always one company of soldiers doing duty in the castle, even in 
time of peace ; but in time of war they are said to have five hun- 
dred : and so I was taught to believe they had now, till I saw the 
contrary. But there is such a number of men, who are excused all 
other military duty, on purpose to attend the service of the castle if 
need require it, whom they say they can call together in an hour's 
time. 

About two leagues distant from the castle, on a rock, stands an 
exceeding fine light-house, at which there is a guard constantly 
attending to prevent surprise ; from whence they make signals to the 
castle when any ships come in sight, whether friend or foe : for no 
ship is permitted to pass the castle without examination, for fear 
they should bring any sort of epidemical sickness into the town ; 
and the captain is obliged to certify for all on board his ship before 
he can pass, and is liable to such fine and imprisonment as they shall 
think proper if he conceals any disease that is on board the ship. 
And in this they are extremely exact, and will not suffer any sick 
persons to come on shore, nor even any of the goods, until they have 
performed quarantine. 

But when a signal is made from off the light-house to the castle 
of the approach of an enemy, if there be more than four or five 



110 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

ships, then the castle thereupon gives a signal to the town ; and 
those of the town alarm the country by firing of a beacon. And for 
that purpose they have a very famous one on the north-west side of 
the town, erected on a hill ; for bulk and eminence, much like unto 
that in Greenwich Park, on which Flamstead House stands. 

At the bottom of the bay there is a fine wharf, about half a mile 
in length, on the north side of which are built many warehouses for 
the storing of merchants' goods : this they call the Long Wharf, to 
distinguish it from others of lesser note. And, to this wharf, ships 
of the greatest burthen come up so close as to unload their cargo 
without the assistance of boats. 

From the end of the Long Wharf, which lies east from the town, 
the buildings rise gradually with an easy ascent westward about a 
mile. There are a great many good houses, and several fine streets, 
little inferior to some of our best in London, the principal of which 
is King's Street : it runs upon a line from the end of the Long 
Wharf, about a quarter of a mile ; and at the upper end of it stands 
the Town House, or Guild Hall, where the Governor meets the 
Council, and House of Representatives ; and the several Courts of 
Justice are held there also. And there are likewise walks for the 
merchants, where they meet every day at one o'clock, in imitation 
of the Exchange at London, which they call by the name of Royal 
Exchange too, round which there are several booksellers' shops ; 
and there are four or five printing-houses, which have full employ- 
ment in printing and reprinting books, of one sort or other, that are 
brought from England and other parts of Europe. 

This town was not built after any regular plan, but has been 
enlarged from time to time as the inhabitants increased ; and is 
now, from north to south, something more than two miles in length, 
and in the widest part about one mile and a half in breadth : and 
according to the best account I have been able to come at, which is 
from their muster-roll, there is near three thousand houses, and 
about thirty thousand souls. There are three Episcopal churches, 
one of which is called the King's Chapel, and has a handsome 
organ, and a magnificent seat for the Governor, who goes to this 
place when of the Church of England ; and there are nine Inde- 
pendent meeting-houses, one Anabaptist meeting, one Quakers' 
meeting, and one French Church. There are sixty streets, forty-one 
lanes, and eighteen alleys, besides squares, courts, &c. The streets 
are well paved, and lying upon a descent. The town is, for the 



1861.] Bennett's history op new England. Ill 

generality, as dry and clean as any I ever remember to have seen. 
When we were upon the sea, that part of the town which lies about 
the harbor appeared to us in the form of a crescent, or half-moon ; 
and the country, rising gradually from it, aiforded us a pleasant pro- 
spect of the neighboring fields and woods. 

Of the Trades, Manufactures, and Clothing of the People of New 
England. 

Boston is said to be not only the principal town of trade in New 
England, but also of any in all the British-American Colonies. 
They employ annually between three and four hundred ships, great 
and small ; and they also build abundance of shipping for the Eng- 
lish and other European nations. They have likewise a whale and 
several cod fisheries, which are very considerable ; which, with their 
ship-building, is the chief support of the country. They trade to 
the Carolinas, and also to Jamaica and Barbadoes, and all the 
other West-India islands and plantations in general ; with whom 
they exchange their beef, pork, fish, and other provisions, and 
also what they call lumber (such as deal-boards, pipe and hogs- 
head staves, shingles, and such like commodities), for rice, pitch, 
tar, rum and sugar, and spices and logwood. Great part of 
the last-mentioned commodities they send to England in return 
for almost all sorts of English goods, but more especially cloth- 
ing for men, women, and children. They have paper manufac- 
tured here, and some coarse woollen cloths ; but workmen's wages 
are so high in this part of the world, that they find it cheaper to 
import them from London : but there are some Irish people, which 
came over about seven or eight years ago, and are settled about 
sixty miles from Boston, who make pretty good linen cloth, and 
cheap, which serves some folks for ordinary uses. There are a good 
many hatters, too, in New England ; but they are chiefly employed in 
making up beaver-hats, which are sold cheaper here than in Eng- 
land : but the coarse hats they import from London, which comes 
much cheaper to the hatters than they can make them. There are 
several iron mines, too, in New England, and some very large iron- 
works, which furnish them with iron for most of their ordinary 
uses ; but the iron imported from England is counted the best, by 
far, to use about their shipping. There is a great deal of leather 
also that is manufactured here, and both tanners and curriers get 



112 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

money very fast ; but the leather is not pretended to be near so good 
as that which is sent from England. There are also some copper 
mines in the Massachusetts Colony ; but they lie so far from the 
water-carriage, and the ore but poor, that they don't think it will 
answer the cost of digging of it. There are several distillers of 
rum, and sugar-bakers, in Boston, that carry on good trades : but 
the New-England rum is not so valuable as West-India ; nor is the 
sugar that's refined there equal to the best we have in London. 
Those which I have already mentioned are the chief manufactories 
carried on in New England, exclusive of bakers, butchers, tailors, 
barbers, smiths, carpenters, and other common artificers, which are 
necessary to the preservation of their lives and healths, which no 
civilized country can subsist without. 

Of the Edibles, Potables, and Fold of New England ; together with 
their Fruits, Roots, several sorts of Grain, and Trees. 

Boston being the capital of New England, as London is of Old 
England, the country people find their account in bringing of tlieir 
choicest provisions to this town ; by means of which, this place is 
well served with all sorts of eatables the country affords, many of 
which, as to the kind of them, are much the same as those we have 
in London. Their beef, mutton, and lamb are as good as ever I 
desire to eat : and as to their veal, it is not so white and fine, in 
common, as at London ; yet I have often met with it exceeding 
white, and fine as any I would wish to eat. And as to their pork, 
they challenge all the world, and will by no means admit that any 
we have in England is equal to it : and, indeed, I do think it very 
good ; but to say it exceeds what I have eat in England is more 
than I know how to do. They make but little bacon ; and that, 
in my opinion, is not half so good as ours : but they pickle their 
pork so well, that it answers the same end as fine bacon. Their 
poultry too, of all sorts, are as fine as can be desired ; and they have 
plenty of fine fish of various kinds, — all of which are very cheap. 
Take the butchers'-meat, altogether, in the several seasons of the 
year, and I believe it is about twopence per pound sterling ; though 
they will not allow it to be near so much if they are asked about it, 
because the best beef and mutton, lamb and veal, are often sold for 
sixpence per pound, of New-England money, which is some small 
matter more than one penny sterling. But I take my calculation to 



1861.] Bennett's history of new England. 113 

be near the truth, from the observation I have made ; because, in 
depth of winter, the best butchers'-meat is sometimes a shilling a 
pound, and sometimes fourteen pence. 

Poultry, in their season, are exceeding cheap : as good a turkey 
may be bought for about two shillings sterling as we can buy at 
London for six or seven ; and as large and fine a goose for tenpence 
as would cost three shillings and sixpence or four shillings in Lon- 
don. Fowls, too, are cheap in proportion : the first young ones 
that come to market are sold for about threepence : and chickens, 
for about twopence. But the cheapest of all the several kinds of 
poultry are a sort of wild pigeon, which are in season the latter end 
of June, and so continue till September : they are larger and finer 
than those we have in London, and are sold here for eighteen pence 
a dozen (which is about threepence sterling), and sometimes for the 
half of that. 

Fish, too, is exceeding cheap. They sell a fine fresh cod that 
will weigh a dozen pound or more, just taken out of the sea, which 
are generally alive, for about twopence sterling. They have smelts, 
too, which they sell as cheap as sprats are in London. Salmon they 
have, too, in great plenty, which is as fine as any I ever eat of, any- 
where in my life ; and those they will sell for about a shilling a 
piece, which will weigh fourteen or fifteen pounds. They have 
flounders and plaice too, and eels, and likewise mackerel, in their 
season ; and several other sorts of fish not known in England, — 
all of which are good and cheap. And they have, likewise, plenty 
of oysters, which they say are finer than ours in London : but I 
must beg leave to differ with them in that ; for, in my opinion, they 
are not near so fine as some of ours. They are, for the most part, 
very salt ; and taste very copperish, as I think. Lobsters are plenty, 
and very good and cheap, here ; and many of them much larger than 
any I ever saw in England : but there are sizable ones too ; and I 
have bought larger for about three halfpence a piece (not by chance, 
but may have them so every day) than ever I saw sold in London, 
at the cheapest, for eighteen pence. They have venison very plenty 
also, which had almost slipped my memory : they will sell as fine a 
haunch for half a crown as would cost above thirty shillings in Eng- 
land ; and I think the venison is not, in the least, inferior to that we 
have in England. Bread is something cheaper here than in Lon- 
don, but is not near so good in common. Butter is very fine, and 
cheaper than ever I bought any at London ; the best is sold all the 

16 



114 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [JaS. 

summer long for about threepence per pound : but as for cheese, 'tis 
neither good nor cheap. Milk is sold here for much about the same 
price as at London ; only here they give full measure. 

As to drink, they have no good beer in this country : Madeira 
wines, rum -punch, are the liquors they drink in common. With 
their victuals, the generality of the people drink cider. But there 
are several brewers in the town that brew for the shipping, and 
serve some private families with table-beer, which is very cheap, — 
less than half the price we pay at London. But cider being cheap 
likewise, and the people used to it, they don't encourage malt 
liquors. They pay about three shillings sterling a barrel for cider. 

Their fuel is altogether wood, and is one of the most expensive 
articles of housekeeping in Boston ; but, up in the country, they have 
it for cutting. 

As to the several sorts of roots used for sauce to their meats, they 
have most of the kinds we have in England, which originally came 
from thence : besides which, they have several of the natural growth 
of the country. They have a variety of the fruits, too, of the 
natural growth of the country, which were all wild when the English 
went first to America ; such as grapes, strawberries, raspberries, 
huckleberries, cranberries, and also several sorts of wild cherries, 
with many other sorts of wild fruits eaten by the Indians. And 
now they have most of the kinds of fruits we have in England, — 
apples and pears in great abundance, and also Kentish and several 
other sorts of cherries, and plums of various sorts, but not alto- 
gether so fine as in England. They have fine melons, too, vastly 
cheap and plenty ; and all sorts of beans and pease and salad herbs. 
They have run mightily into orcharding in this part of the world. 
At the latter end of the summer, which way soever we travel, the 
fruits hang so thick by the wayside, that one may gather them 
from the trees with almost as little trouble as to take them from 
one's own pocket. There are great plenty of fine peaches, which 
grow all upon trees, and are the natural growth of America. Some 
of them are as fine as the best we have in England, which we buy 
here for about threepence a peck : the common sort are so little 
regarded, that they feed their hogs with them. . . . 



1861.] BENNETT'S HISTORY OF NEW ENGLAND. 115 



Of their Education, Manner of keeping the Sahhath, providing for 
their Ministers, and maintaining their Poor. 

Their observation of the sabbath (which they rather choose to 
call by the name of the Lord's Day, whensoever they have occasion 
to mention it) — it is the strictest kept that ever I yet saw anywhere. 
On that day, no man, woman, or child is permitted to go out of 
town on any pretence whatsoever ; nor can any that are out of town 
come in on the Lord's Day. The town being situated on a peninsula, 
there is but one way out of it by land ; which is over a narrow neck 
of land at the south end of the town, which is enclosed by a fortifi- 
cation, and the gates shut by way of prevention. There is a ferry, 
indeed, at the north end of the town ; but care is taken by way of 
prevention there also. But, if they could escape out of the town at 
either of these places, it wouldn't answer their end : for the same 
care is taken, all the country over, to prevent travelling on Sundays ; 
and they are as diligent in detecting of offenders of this sort, all 
over the New-England Government, as we in England are of stop- 
ping up of highways, — more ; and those that are of the Independent 
persuasion refrain any attempts of this kind, in point of conscience. 
And as they will by no means admit of trading on Sundays, so they 
are equally tenacious about preserving good order in the town on 
the Lord's Day : and they will not suffer any one to walk down to 
the water-side, though some of the houses are adjoining to the several 
wharfs ; nor, even in the hottest days of summer, will they admit 
of any one to take the air on the Common, which lies contiguous to 
the town, as Moorfields does to Finsbury. And if two or three people, 
who meet one another in the street by accident, stand talking to- 
gether, — if they do not disperse immediately upon the first notice, 
they are liable to fine and imprisonment ; and I believe, whoever it 
be that incurs the penalties on this account, are sure to feel the 
weight of them. But that which is the most extraordinary is, that 
they commence the sabbath from the setting of the sun on the 
Saturday evening ; and, in conformity to that, all trade and business 
ceases, and every shop in the town is shut up : even a barber is 
finable for shaving after that time. Nor are any of the taverns per- 
mitted to entertain company ; for, in that case, not only the house, 
but every person found therein, is finable. I don't mention this 
strict observation of the Lord's Day as intended rather to keep 



116 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

people -within the bounds of decency and good order than to be 
strictly complied with, or that the appointment of this duty was only 
by some primary law since grown obselete ; but that it is now in full 
force and vigor, and that the justices, attended with a posse of con- 
stables, go about every week to compel obedience to this law. 

As to their ministers, there is no compulsory tax upon the people 
for their support, but every one contributes according to their inclina- 
tion or ability ; and it is collected in the following manner : Every 
Sunday, in the afternoon, as soon as the sermon is ended, and before 
the singing of the last psalm, they have a vacant space of time, in 
which there are three or four men come about with long wooden 
boxes, which they present to every pew for the reception of what 
every one is pleased to put into them. The first time I saw this 
method of collecting for the parson, it put me in mind of the waiters 
at Saddler's "Wells, who used to collect their money just before the 
beginning of the last act. But notwithstanding they thus collect the 
money for the maintenance of the clergy in general, yet they are not 
left to depend entirely upon the uncertainty of what people shall 
happen to give, but have a certain sum paid them every Monday 
morning, whether so much happens to be collected or not ; and no 
one of them has less than a hundred pounds sterling per annum, 
which is a comfortable support in this part of the world. 

At a town which is about six miles from Boston they have a 
University, called Cambridge, where their clergy and other young 
gentlemen are sent to be educated. It consists of three colleges ; 
viz.. Harvard College, Stoughton Hall, and Massachusetts Hall. 
They have a library there too ; but they say they are in want of 
some modern books, and also of some endowments for the reading 
of public lectures in their colleges by professors of several sciences. 
Besides this University, there are several other seminaries of learn- 
ing for people of all ranks ; and, in general, they are as careful of 
the education of their children as in England. The young ladies 
are taught fine works, music, dancing ; and have every other qualifi- 
cation that may render them agreeable. 

They also provide very well for their poor, and are very tender 
of exposing those that have lived in a handsome manner ; and there- 
fore give them good relief in so private a manner, that it is seldom 
known to any of their neighbors. And for the meaner sort they have 
a place built on purpose, which is called the Town Alms-house, where 
they are kept in a decent manner, and are, as I think, taken care of 



1861.] BENNETT'S HISTOBT OF NEW ENGLAND. 117 

in every respect suitable to their circumstances in life ; and, for the 
generality, there are above a hundred poor persons in this house ; 
and there is no such thing to be seen in town nor country as a stroll- 
ing beggar. And it is a rare thing to meet with any drunken people, 
or to hear an oath sworn, in their streets. 



Of the Oovemment, Laws, Manner of levying of their Taxes ; and also 
of their Money, or rather the Currency of New England. 

The government of New England is that which is called a charter 
government, and consists of Governor, Council, and House of Repre- 
sentatives ; which together compose the Legislature, as the King 
and Commons do in England. But, as I have before observed, they 
are, by this last charter, barred of several privileges they enjoyed 
before, and which are common to the other charter governments ; 
such as the electing their Governor and Council, and also their ma- 
gistrates in general, which is now reserved to the Crown. But 
the people still elect their Representatives, as the freeholders do the 
members of Parliament in England. 

All the laws enacted here are to be sent over to England for the 
king's approbation ; and, if not repealed within three years, the Crown 
has not any power over them afterwards. But though their laws are 
thus sent over for approbation, yet they are in force from the time of 
their enacting, and, as often as need requires, are put in execution. 
The governor is captain-general-in-chief of all his majesty's forces, 
and, as such, has the power of the militia entirely in his hands ; and 
the judges, justices of the peace, and sheriffs, and all others to whom 
the execution of the laws are intrusted, are appointed by him, also 
with the advice of the Council, who are all of them his creatures ; 
for he has a negative upon every one of them when chosen, which is 
peremptory and unlimited, so that he is not obliged to give any reason 
for his objecting to them : so that he may be said to choose the 
Council too, notwithstanding the House of Representatives have 
the trouble, and are complimented with the name of doing it. 

The income of the office of Governor of New England is not so 
considerable as several of the other governments of America, not- 
withstanding it is a larger government than any one of them. A 
gentleman who is a principal person in their House of Representa- 
tives assured me that it was not worth above eight hundred pounds 



118 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Sterling communibus annis. They have, for some years past, had a 
contest with the crown of England about the settling of a salary of 
a thousand pounds per annum certain ; but they will by no means 
come into that, though they say they are willing to do all in their 
power for sc good governor. Yet, as they are not obliged, by their 
charter, to any certain sum or settlement, they will not easily be 
persuaded to saddle themselves in that manner : because, in the first 
place, they say they cannot tell how soon, after that is done, some 
hungry creature of the Crown, or also of the prime-minister, may be 
quartered upon them, and they obliged to pay him for plundering of 
them ; and, in the next place, what they should then give by compul- 
sion they would be sure to have no thanks for, though it should be 
more than he deserved or they could well spare. The present 
governor, Jonathan Belcher, Esq., is a native of New England; 
and, being in great esteem among them when in a private capacity, 
they sent him over to England as their agent, to oppose the then 
Governor Burnett, who was then making application for his salary 
to be ascertained and settled : and during this gentleman's stay in 
England, Governor Burnett happening to die, he, Mr. Belcher, 
instead of opposing the settling of the governor's salary, found 
means to get himself appointed their governor, which they say was 
by purchasing of it of Sir Robert Walpole ; and, having so done, 
they say their now governor was as tenacious for settling the salary 
as the gentleman he was sent over to oppose. This behavior seems to 
have laid a foundation for endless jealousies between the governor 
and people ; for although this gentleman was born, and bred up, 
amongst them, and a member of their darling Independent Church, 
and had every other qualification that might render him acceptable 
to these people, and whom, too, in all probability, they would have 
chosen for their governor sooner than any one gentleman in the 
country, if they had been at liberty to elect their own governor 
as formerly, yet coming to the government in this manner, and 
altogether unexpected to them, they never after like him, and ima- 
gine that the governor has sold them to Sir Robert, and, in conse- 
quence of that, distrust him in every thing he says or does in relation 
to government. And the House of Representatives are so backward 
to every thing he recommends, that they will not provide for the 
necessary support of their government, if he is more than commonly 
earnest in recommending of it to them ; which makes things of that 
kind go heavily on. 



1861.] BENNETT'S HISTORY OF NEW ENGLAND. 119 

As to the laws, if any one inquires after them, their lawyers say 
that the practice here is much the same as in England ; but, upon 
attending their courts, they seem very different to what I have seen 
in England. Their trials by jury are all at bar : they have no such 
thing as nisi prius ; nor do they make use of a book to swear either 
jury or witness on. Their manner of swearing their juries and wit- 
nesses is somewhat like our arraigning of prisoners. The officer that 
swears them first calls them by their names ; and then, bidding them 
hold up their hands, he repeats the form of the oath to them (which 
differs also from ours) : which being ended, the party lowers his 
hand to its proper place, and, without any other sign of assenting, is 
said to be sworn. Nor do the jury consider of their verdicts in 
every cause singly, as in England, but jumble six or seven of them 
together ; and they will very frequently rise in the middle of a cause, 
if they are hungry at noon, or sleepy at night, and let the jury wan- 
der where they please, without taking the verdicts in those causes 
which they have gone through. 

They have another method of practice that to me don't seem very 
agreeable : and that is, if any of their witnesses don't care for being 
present in court at the time of the trial of the cause, they take them 
before some justice of peace, where what they have to say is com- 
mitted to writing, and sworn ; and this is admitted as evidence, 
equal to the witnesses being present. This, in England, would be 
thought very strange practice, and big with great inconveniences, and 
more too, perhaps, than I am capable of apprehending ; but, if such 
a custom was to prevail in England, there are some attorneys that 
would seldom want evidence sutficient to answer any end they had in 
view, if they could establish it with so much ease and privacy, without 
being examined or properly interrogated. But, if there was no other 
inconveniency than that of losing the benefit of cross-examination in 
court, — by which means not only the force of the evidence is much 
abated very often, but witnesses are more cautious of what they swear 
in the face of the country than when they do it in secret ; nor would 
it be thought proper, in England, to acquaint a justice of peace with 
that which would be material evidence in a cause of any consequence, 
— these reasons already mentioned are therefore sufficient to show 
the danger and weakness of this sort of practice. 

For the better security of their conveying their lands, mortgaging 
or otherwise alienating their several kinds of estates, there is an 
office kept in every county for the entering and enrolling the deeds, 



120 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

after the grantor has acknowledged them before some justice of 
peace ; and this, they say, effectually prevents frauds in this respect. 
All kinds of their proceedings at law are, and ever were, in Eng- 
lish, here ; but, notwithstanding that, they make use of more technical 
words than the gentlemen in Westminster Hall. They litigate suits 
here very easy and cheap, compared with ours in England, for less 
than a tenth part of the cost at present ; but how long it will remain 
so is something doubtful with me : of which, more anon. 

They don't admit of any special pleadings nor demurrers ; but the 
general issue is pleaded to all, and the special matter allowed to be 
given in evidence : which saves both time and expense. Nor will 
they suffer a writ to be abated for a little defect in form, or a slight 
misnomer, or any other informality or little niceties in clerkship. 
And, for despatch, the declarations are made part of the writs in 
which the case is fully set out ; and, if it be a matter of account, the 
account is annexed to the writ, and copies of them delivered to the 
defendant : which being done within fourteen days of the sitting of 
the court, he is then obliged to plead, and take short notice of the 
trial. They have no tedious suits in equity (falsely so called) ; but 
justice and equity are here understood to mean one and the same 
thing. 

The judges are not bound down by any strict rules of law, but are 
at liberty to make such equitable constructions as they think pro- 
per, in cases that require them so to do. They have a superior 
court ; and also an inferior court, which is properly a court of com- 
mon pleas ; for, in this latter court, all suits in relation to right and 
property are commenced. But, from the judgment of this inferior 
court, they have a power of appealing to the court above ; which 
originally was intended in extraordinary cases only, but now has 
become common : and from hence it is that I apprehend they may in 
time be led into great inconveniences and delays which will be preju- 
dicial to them. 

And, indeed, I think it's a great inconveniency to honest suitors 
already. For the inferior court, at this day, is little better than a 
stumbling-block in the road to justice ; for, after a fruitless travelling 
through this court, which side soever the verdict goes against gene- 
rally appeals to the court above, for the sake of delay, as writs of 
error are generally brought in England. But that which greatly 
contributes to delay here is, they have commonly a second hearing of 
the cause in the inferior court, before they remove it to the superior : 



1861.] BENNETT'S HISTORY OF NEW ENGLAND. 121 

and this second trial they call " reviewing of the cause ; " but it is 
■what is called, in England, " trying of the cause." 

And when they come to the court above, after the cause has 
undergone a litigation there, then follows a second trial there also, 
which they also call " reviewing of the cause ; " and thus three or 
four causes arise out of every one. By which means, it is commonly 
two years, and often longer, before any one can take the benefit of 
his suit, supposing death, nor any other accident, to befall the par- 
ties in the intervening space of time, which is possible there may ; 
and, if it should so happen, the suitor is sure to be much longer de- 
layed, if not totally deprived of his property in the end. There is 
another privilege they have, which, without doubt, was intended for 
their good, though commonly now made use of to oppress one 
another : I mean, that of appealing over to England to the King in 
Council, as it is called. I have heard many of them argued at the 
cockpit, when attending on my Lord Chief-Justice. This right of 
appealing does not extend to any thing in controversy that is under 
the value of four hundred pounds sterling ; but they may, notwith- 
standing that, appeal over, by way of complaint, in lesser matters, 
where they suggest that justice has been denied them here. So that 
the above limitation is, in fact, no bar to any one appealing in the 
most trivial matters, if the expense is not too great ; for it is easy to 
suggest the want of justice, when they know that will answer the 
end. This gives the rich, litigious man an opportunity to oppress his 
poor neighbor. 

As to criminal matters, they are very tender in punishing of 
them ; and very rarely put any to death, unless it be for murder. By 
their law, robbing on the highway, or burglary, for the first oflTence, 
branding on the forehead only ; for the second offence, branding 
again and whipping ; and, for the third offence, death. Blasphemy 
is punished with death. A child, for striking or cursing a parent, to 
be punished with death, if upwards of sixteen years of age. Cruel 
punishments or correction of either children, servants, or slaves, pro- 
hibited. Nor may any court of justice condemn any offender to 
receive more than forty stripes. No orphan may be disposed of by 
their guardian, without the consent of one of the courts. The mino- 
rity of women, in respect of marriage, is determined to be under 
sixteen. They have many other laws relating to their religious and 
civil government ; but I take those already mentioned to be the most 
material. 

16 



122 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

To the inferior court they have four judges, and to the superior 
court they have five judges. The reason they give me for their 
having five judges in the superior court is, that it prevents causes 
being hung up, by the judges being equally divided in their opinions 
in points of law ; and, they insist upon it, that we in England are 
defective in not having an odd one upon the bench, to prevent the 
like inconveniences. I do remember, indeed, that in our court of 
common pleas, in the reign of Edward III., the history of those 
times mentions nine justices to have been in that court at one time ; 
in King John's time, six ; and in Edward I.'s time, five. All the 
difference in either of the courts here between chief justices and 
puisnes is, that the writs are tested in the names of the former ; 
their honor, power, and salaries being equal. 

The judges here have no robes, nor other marks of distinction, to 
denote their dignity, nor officer of State of any kind whatsoever. 
Their judges' pay is exceedingly poor : it is no more than five hun- 
dred pounds per annum, of their currency ; which is short of one 
hundred pounds sterling. There are no regular counsel at the bar ; 
but the attorney, by the general appellation of " lawyer," conducts the 
cause from first to last. But, were you to hear them shriek and 
scream out their oratory before the court and jury, you would think 
they as well deserved to be compared with our solicitor-general, or 
some other of the first-rate gentlemen at the bar, as a common ballad- 
singer does with the celebrated FaraneUo. 

They don't make up any record of the causes, as we do, at nisi 
prius ; but the attorney reads the complaint contained in the declara- 
tion, and, at the same time, acquaints the court with the nature of the 
proof, and so proceed to give evidence. But notwithstanding they 
differ very much from what I have seen in the courts in England, yet 
I think the judges seem to aim at doing impartial justice between 
the contending parties, and hear both sides with all the temper and 
indulgence that possibly can be, so long as they have any thing to 
offer ; and, if either the plaintiff or defendant think proper to say any 
thing in their own cause, the court never refuses to hear them, and 
all the judges sit in every cause. 

Their method of raising money for the use of the public is by 
these three ways, — by a land-tax ; a poll-tax upon the males only ; 
and also by a tax upon personal estates, which they call the " faculty," 
but we in England call it stock. This tax upon land is not like 
ours in England, that takes a fourth part of a man's estate, and, if 



1861.] BENNETT'S HISTORY OF NEW ENGLAND. 123 

in houses, sometimes, as it may happen, the better half. The tax upon 
land here don't amount to a penny an acre, sterling ; and the other 
taxes are equally easy in their nature. The manner of levying and 
collecting their taxes here is something like unto what I have often 
wished might take place in England, instead of the people being for 
ever harassed with tax-gatherers at their doors, of various kinds ; 
which are now become almost as numerous and odious in England 
as the publicans formerly were among the Romans. The government 
here comprises all their wants in one, — parochial and every other 
demand they have upon the people, — of which they make out a bill 
once a year, mentioning the several particulars that each house is 
chargeable for, with the sum total at the bottom, and time given for 
payment, — which is generally about two months after the delivery of 
the bills ; which being paid, they rest undisturbed till that time twelve- 
month comes about again. And, if there be any surplus, it is applied 
to the next year's accounts ; and the people are sure to have the bene- 
fit of it, for they have no placeman nor secret services to provide for 
as yet. Their representatives are paid for attending on the public 
business, at so much per diem, as the Parliament in England formerly 
were ; and, as those gentlemen are liable to pay equally with others, 
they are as watchful as possible to prevent all manner of unnecessary 
expenses. And, as the people know their representatives gain by 
every single penny they save the public, it prevents all jealousies of 
their doing them justice, and, at the same time, moves them to pay 
their taxes with great cheerfulness. 

Money, or Currency. 

As to money, they have no sort of coin among them, — nothing but 
paper bills, which are issued by the Governor and Council ; but, being 
made current, they answer the same end as money among themselves. 
And the people in common had much rather take those bills for any 
thing they sell than gold or silver, notwithstanding many of them are 
so miserably fractured, that, in passing from one to another, they 
often fall into three or four pieces ; and many of them are joined 
together in several places, and are so obliterated with tlieir being 
often handled, that they are difficult to be understood by those that 
are unused to them. But, upon application to the treasury, they 
change them without any expense. The discount between those bills 
and sterling is four hundred and fifty cents at present ; that is, five hun- 
dred and fifty pounds of this currency is equal to one hundred pound 



124 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Sterling. But they are variable ; being governed by the rise and fall 
of bills of exchange. Some of those bills are so low as threepence ; 
which is something more than a penny sterling. English half-pence 
are much used here for change, and are very valuable here. They 
pass current here at threepence apiece ; which is twopence in every 
shilling sterling above the common course of exchange. I have 
made inquiry among the merchants of the reason of their being 
without a coin ; and they say the balance of trade with England is so 
much against them, that they cannot keep any money amongst them : 
of which they have had the experience, having once had a coin of 
their own, but were soon stripped of it, so that they had not enough 
left for their necessary uses ; and that obliged them to have recourse 
to this method of making bills. There is still a great deal of both 
English and foreign gold and silver in the hands of the merchants ; 
but they use it only as merchandise, and buy and sell it only by 
weight, to send to England in return for goods. And the country 
folks are all of them so averse to any sort of coin, that one may as 
well offer them pebble-stones as gold and silver for any thing one 
wants to buy of them ; and they will much sooner credit any stranger 
that comes from England than take their money, unless it be half- 
pence. 

Of tlieir Cattle for the Coach, Saddle, and Ordinary Draught ; with 
their Manner of Travelling, Diversions, and Amusements. 

There are several families in Boston that keep a coach, and pair 
of horses, and some few drive with four horses ; but for chaises and 
saddle-horses, considering the bulk of the place, they outdo London. 
They have some nimble, lively horses for the coach, but not any of 
that beautiful large black breed so common in London. Their saddle- 
horses all pace naturally, and are generally counted sure-footed ; but 
they are not kept in that fine order ■ as in England. The common 
draught-horses used in carts about the town are very small and poor, 
and seldom have their fill of any thing but labor. The country carts 
and wagons are generally drawn by oxen, from two to six, according 
to the distance of place, or burden they are laden with. When the 
ladies ride out to take the air, it is generally in a chaise or chair, and 
then but a single horse ; and they have a negro servant to drive them. 
The gentlemen ride out here as in England, some in chairs, and others 
on horseback, with their negroes to attend them. They travel in 
much the same manner on business as for pleasure, and are attended 



1861.] Bennett's history of new England. 125 

in both by their black equipages. Their roads, though they have no 
turnpikes, are exceeding good in summer ; and it is safe travelling 
night or day, for they have no highway robbers to interrupt them. It 
is pleasant riding through the woods ; and the country is pleasantly 
interspersed with farm-houses, cottages, and some few gentlemen's 
seats, between the towns. But the best of their inns, and houses of 
entertainment, are very short of the beauty and conveniences of ours 
in England. They have generally a little rum to drink, and some of 
them have a sorry sort of Madeira wine. And to eat they have 
Indian corn roasted, and bread made of Indian meal, and sometimes 
a fowl or fish dressed after a fashion, but pretty good butter, and very 
sad sort of cheese ; but those that are used to those things think them 
tolerable. 

For their domestic amusements, every afternoon, after drinking tea, 
the gentlemen and ladies walk the Mall, and from thence adjourn to 
one another's houses to spend the evening, — those that are not dis- 
posed to attend the evening lecture ; which they may do, if they please, 
six nights in seven, the year round. 

What they call the Mall is a walk on a fine green Common 
adjoining to the south-west side of the town. It is near half a mile 
over, with two rows of young trees planted opposite to each other, with 
a fine footway between, in imitation of St. James's Park ; and part of 
the bay of the sea which encircles the town, taking its course along 
the north-west side of the Common, — by which it is bounded on the 
one side, and by the country on the other, — forms a beautiful canal, in 
view of the walk. 

Their rural diversions are chiefly shooting and fishing. For the 
former, the woods afford them plenty of game ; and the rivers and 
ponds with which this country abounds yield them great plenty, as 
well as variety, of fine fish. 

The government being in the hands of dissenters, they don't admit 
of plays or music-houses ; but, of late, they have set up an assembly, 
to which some of the ladies resort. But they are looked upon to be 
none of the nicest in regard to their reputation ; and it is thought it 
will soon be suppressed, for it is much taken notice of and exploded 
by the religious and sober part of the people. But, notwithstanding 
plays and such like diversions do not obtain here, they don't seem to 
be dispirited nor moped for want of them ; for both the ladies and 
gentlemen dress and appear as gay, in common, as courtiers in Eng- 
land on a coronation or birthday. And the ladies here visit, drink 



126 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

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. 

The President communicated tlie following letters, 
which had been caused to be copied, and kindly sent 
to him, while in England, by W. Noel Sainsbury, Esq., 
who is about to publish an elaborate Calendar of the 
Colonial State Papers preserved in the State-paper De- 
partment of her Majesty's Public-record Office. They 
are found on pages 63 and 67 of vol. vi. of " Colonial 
Correspondence ." 

John Winthrop to John White. 

July 4. 1632. 

Eeveeend & WoRTHYE SiB, I salute you in the Lorde, beinge 
much comforted to heare of your healthe & in the hope at lengthe 
to see & enjoye you heere that you may reape some fruite of all 
your labours care & coste bestowed upon this worke of the Lorde. 

I wrote to you by the last return, how I had undertaken to paye 
them of Dorchester for Jo. Gallop & Dutche theire wages which 
M' Ludlowe did aceompt to receive part heere & part in England 
so as I marvayle you should have any further trouble about it. I 
have also payd Jo : Elford the remainder of his wages being xiZ. 
& other accounts heere, so as I thinke there is now nothing to be 
demanded for suche reckonings. I have disbursed above 300Z. for the 
companyes engagements heere but I have some cattle & olde kettles 
&'. for it, & I hope more then enoughe to satisfie me. 

I have muche difficultye to keepe John Galloppe heere by reason 
his wife will not come, I marvayle at her womans weaknesse, that 
she will live myserably with her children there, when she might live 
comfortably with her husband heere. I praye perswade & further 
her coming by all meanes, if she will come let her have the re- 
mainder of his wages, if not let it be bestowed to bring over his 
children, for so he desires. It would be above 40L losse to him to 
come for her. 

The Surveyor of our Ordinance is now returned home,' we were 
lothe to part with him, but his longing after his native countrye will 



1861.] LETTER OP JOHN WINTHROP. 127 

not be stilled. He hathe received of me xii?. 16s. for a yeare & 
quarter service & 51. I procured him from the Court (thoughe I am 
forced to disburse it) his diet he hath had of me vi^ith his Lodging 
& washing all the tyme he hathe been heere, yet if his passage 
be payd he will not have above 81. lefte which will not suffice to 
apparrell him & carrye him into Germanye. I praye Sir, make 
use of your old facultye to helpe him with some small matter more 
for his better accommodation * 

John Gallop hath written to some of your neighbours for 12 
Dozen of Cod Lines. If he provide them & bring them to you I 
praye deliver him this bill inclosed, if not I desire you to furnish 
us so farre as this bill will goe & some Cod Hookes also. Thus 
earnestly desiring your prayers & longing for your presence I 
commend you to the Lord & rest 

Your assured in the Lords worke 

Jo : WiNTHROP. 

Massachusetts July 4'.'> 1632 

I would send salutations to my Brother & Sister Staiton (?) but 
fere they are dead for I have written divers Letters to them 
but never received anye. 

(Addressed) 
To his Reverend & verie loving Freinde Mr. John White, 
Minister of the Gospell these delyver 

[Bill inclosed in the above letter.] 

Bbotheh Downinge, I praye paye unto this bearer by the 
allowance of Mf John White of Dorchester twelve pounds It is 
for fishing lines to be sent me into Newe England So I rest 

Your loving brother Jo : Winthkop. 

Massachusetts in New England 
July 4. 1632. 



* The Records of the Colony, as recently published by the State, disclose the unfa- 
miliar name of " the Surveyor of our Ordinance,'* mentioned in the foregoing letter. 

At a Court of Assistants, l* March, 1630-1631, " Jost Weillustis chosen Survey' of 
the ordinance & cannouneere, for which hee is to haue allowed him 101. p' ann." — 
Vol. i. p. 83. 

At a Court, July 3, 1632, " It is ordered, that Joist Weillust shall haue allowed him 
vl. towards his transportacon into his owne country, whith', according to his desire, 
hee hath free leaue to goe." — lb., p. 97. 



128 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

John Winthrop & John Wilson to Doctor Stoughton. 

Oct? 1632. 
Reverend & Worthy Sir, We may be bould to let you knowe 
(upon certaine intelligence which hath come to us) that we have 
hearde with much joye to our hearts of the disposition of your 
thoughts towards us, or rather towards the Lords worke begunne 
lieere, for the spreadinge of the Gospell in these Westerne parts of 
the World. Withall we have taken notice of that good reporte you 
have amonge the Saints, & of those gifts the Lord hathe furnished 
you with for this service. Whereupon we thought good to let you 
understand & to give you what firm assurance we may of our 
stronge desires towards you. We meane not of our selves onely 
but of the Church of Boston whereof we are and althoughe we 
dare not press you with importunitye of Arguments (being conscious 
of our owne unworthynes of so great a blessing) to come into New 
England and helpe us, yet we assure you it would muche adde to the 
Comfort of our selves & our ineouragement in the hope of muche 
successe in this way the Lord hath Sett us in, if it may please him 
to send you unto us, by the return of this bearer with a minde so 
prepared, as upon your discerninge the state of our Congregation 
& the aifections of our people towards you, & our acquaintance 
with you, & knowledge of your abilityes, you might be joyned to 
us in the office of the Ministrye. Now good Sir, we beseeche you 
that this may suffice to perswade your hearte this motion proceeds 
from the truethe of our desires towards you and the apprehension 
of our owne want of suche helpe as the Lord hathe enabled you to 
affisrde us ; & for all other matters which you shall desire to be 
informed of, to receive satisfaction from this bearer Mf Peirce, our 
most faithful! freind & brother in Christ till whose returne (by 
the good providence of the Lorde) we shall sitt downe & expect 
your resolution, in the meane tyme we crave the helpe of your 
prayers & so comendinge you & all yours to the Lords most just 
& holy disposinge in this & in all your occasions, with most hearty 
salutations we take leave & rest 

Yours Lowly in the Lorde Jo : Winthrop 

John Wilson 
Boston in Massachusetts in New-England 
October 1632 

(addressed) 
To our Reverend & Right Worthy Freind Mr. Doctok Stoughton 

These del^ 



1861.] SETTLEMENT OP NEW ENGLAND. 129 

The President also communicated the following valu- 
able historical papers, which he had himself caused 
to be transcribed from the Colonial Series in the same 
office : — 

Narrative [addressed to Secretary Cohe ?^ concerning the settlement of 
New England. — 1630. 

Eight Hon'V" Concerning that part of America which wee call 
New England, the French claime it as being first discovered by 
them. For about 100 yeares since, one Jacques Cartyer a French AsBotems 
man discovered that country & called it Nova Francia but never ^°^^rtvtionoi 
attempted to plant the same untill the yeare of our Lord 1603 the New France. 
French king graunted a patent to Monsieur de Monts, one [of j his The French 
Gentlemen in Ordinarie of his Chamber, of soe much of that country beHre date 
as lyeth betwene the degrees of 40 & 46 which conteineth all the j^ol. *"' 
Country from Hudsons River, where the Dutch are, to the great river 
of Canada where the French are 

In March 1604 Mon'. de Mounts begann his voyadge with two 1604 
shipps & having landed his men at Port Royall, the same yeare 
coasted sowthward purposing to discover the Bay of the Massachu- 
setts (where the English are now planted) & coming nere to 
the Mouth of the Bay it seemed to him verie dangerous for rocks 
& shouUes so he went not in but sent his boate to the shoare 
with kettles for freshe water which an Indian stole away ; one of 
the French running after him to recover his kettles was killed 
by the natives, soe the shipp returned to Port Eoyall 

In Anno 1605 Mons' de Pont prosecuted the same discovery (pur- 1606 
posing to plant in the said Bay) were twice driven backe & the third 
time the shipp splitt uppon the rocks at the entry of the Port 

Mons' de Pontrincourt prosecuted the same discovery & coming 1606 
nere to the Bay theire rudder brake soe they could not enter the These 3 un- 

*' •' fortunate at 

Bay, yet made to shoare nere thereunto where they mended the rud- tempts are 

ii>i_-i 11 largely sett 

der & built an oven to bake some biskett, but the Indians came downe in a 

booke trans- 

suddenly on them & slew some of them & forced the rest to fly lated out ot- 
to theire shipp, & soe they returned calling the Bay by the name dedicated to 
of Molebarre which is the common name therof among the French nery by p. 

. .1 . . Erondelle 

to this day. 

About 16 yeares past an other french man being nere the Mas- 1616 
sachusetts upon a Fishing voyadge & to discover the Bay was cast 

17 



130 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETT. [Jan. 

away, one old man escaped to shoare whom the Indians preserved 
alive, & after a yeare or two he having obtained some knowledge 
in theire languadge, perceiving how they worshipped the Devill, he 
used all the meanes he could to perswade them from this Horrible 
Capt Smith Idolatrye to the Worship of the Trew God, wheruppon the Sagamore 
this in Ws called all his people to him to know if they would follow the advise 
'■The Path- of this good old man, but all answered with one consent that they 
SLna " But would uot change theire God & mocked & laughed at the French 
nios'tctrtaino ^^^ ^ ^'^ ^tod. Then Said he, I feare that God in his anger will 
thmof from destroy you. Then said the Sagamore, Your God hath not thus 
wiio Sint™ Hi^nie people, neither is he able to destroy us. Whereupon the 
'*ivf"rfti'""^ French man said, that he did verily feare his God would destroy 
alter this them & plant a better people in the land ; but they continued still 
The Indians mocking him & his God untill the plague came which was the 
was^eTer"^' yeare following & continued for 3 yeares untill it had swept almost 
n"a tifere" ' aH the people out of that country for about 60 miles together upon 
'^''""'- the Sea Coast. 

1623 The yeare after this great Plague which was about 1623 there 

went a Shipp hence with about 120 men women & children to plant 

A goodly Bay in De la ware Bay who being nere the Massachusetts mett with such 

& country ^ ^ ^ , 

notyetpiant- crosse wiudes that in a fortnights space the Shipp could make noe 

ed lying be- . , . - . , , 

teene vir- way forwards but everie day in danger to perish, soe they were lorced 
England. " to make to the next Shoare which is about 25 miles to the South of 
the Massachusetts, where they landed all safe, where they presently 
raised some small fortification with Trees Bushes & Earth to de- 
fend themselves against the natives, but after a while perceiving 
none to approach they sent some to discover the Country who returned 
saying they found manie dead bones & places where people had 
been, but saw noe man, at length 2 Indians came to them & told 
them how the people were dead, & if they would inhabit there they 
might, & desired leave to live by them. Shortly after some few 
other Indians came alsoe to them, whoe in like manner desired 
theire protection against theire enemies & to settle by them. This 
Plantation through manie difficulties & losses are now creeping for- 
wards & doe beginn to thrive, being encreased to about 500 people 
M'wfmhro '^^'^^ yeare there went hence 6 shippes with 1000 people in them 
& diveis tQ tjjg Massachusetts having sent two yeares before betweene 3 & 400 

other gent : . . 

ventin those gervauts to provide howses & Come against theire coming, to the 

6shipps ^ ° . 

This was the charge of (at least) 10,000L, these Servants through Idlenes & ill 
theire send- Government neglected both theire building & plantinge of Come, 

ing home for 
Come. 



1861.] THE PETITION OF EDWARD WINSLOW. 131 

soe that if those^ 6 Shippes had not arived the plantation had ben 
broke & dissolved. Now so soone as Ml Winthrop was landed, per- 
ceiving what misery was like to ensewe through theire Idlenes, he 
presently fell to worke with his owne hands, & thereby soe encou- 
radged the rest that there was not an Idle person then to be found in 
the whole Plantation & wheras the Indians said they would shortly 
retome as fast as they came, now they admired to see in what short 
time they had all housed themselves & planted Come sufficient for 
theire subsistance 

In three thinges the Providence of God is worthy of observation 

First — ■ The French attempts to plant this Land & theire discou- 
radgements through shipwracks & otherwise 

Second — How the English sithence this Plantation began have 
had all theire Shipps (imployed thither) well arrived & safe returned 
againe 

Third — The destruction of the Indians above 60 miles along the 
Coast & almost as much into the Land, whereby way was made 
for the peaceable planting of our people. 

(Endorsed by Sec^ Coke) 

New England Narrative 



The Petition of Edward Winslotv to [the Lords of the Council, while 
he was a prisoner in the Fleet, in London, 1634.] 

Your Petitioner humbly beeseecheth your Lordshipps further to 
consider, — 

First That whereas he confessed that he had both spoken by way 
of exhortation to the people & married, yet that it was in america and 
at such a time as necessity constrained them that were there not only 
to these but to many other thinges far diifering from a setled common 
weale. And if he had beene heere would not have married nor should 
have needed to preach, as your Lordshipps terme it, but having no Mini- 
ster in 7 or 8 yeares at least, some of us must doe both or else for want 
of the one, we might have lost the life & face of Christianity ; and if 
the other which is marriage had beene neglected all that time we 
might become more brutish then the heathen when as in doing it we 
did but follow the presedent of other reformed churches. 

Second — That however we disliked many things in practice heere 
in respect of church ceremony yet chose rather to leave the country 



132 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

then be accounted troublers of it, & therefore went into Holland. 
And that from thence We procured a motion to be made to his Ma'.'f of 
late & famous memory for liberty of Conscience in America, under 
his gracious protection which his Ma".* thinking very reasonable (as 
Sir Eob! Naunton principall Secretary to the State in that time can 
testifie) we cheerfully proceeded & afterwardes procured a commission 
for the ordering of our body politick. And have so demeaned our 
selves from that time to this & we can give a good account of our 
loyalty towardes his Ma'l' & have showed loving respect and reliefe to 
others his Subjects in their extremities 

Third — That we were so tender of his Ma''." honor as we would 
not enter into League with any the natives that would not together with 
ourselves acknowledge our Soveraigne for their king as appeareth by 
a writing to that end, whereunto their knowne markes are pre- 
fixed 

Fourth — That however the maine objection against us is that we 
are Brownists, Factious, Puritanes, Schismatickes &? If there be 
any position we hold contrary to the Word of God, contrary to the 
Royall honor of a king & due allegiance of a Subject, then let his 
Ma'if reject us & take all severe courses against us. But if we be 
found truly Loyall we humbly entreate to be embraced & encouraged 
as subjects, & that we may still enjoy the gracious liberty granted by 
his Royall Father & hetherto enjoyed under his Ma"." happy Govern- 
ment, who daily pray for his Majestie — his royall heires & Suc- 
cessors. 

Fifth — That however we follow the discipline rather of other the 
reformed churches then this yet the accusation is false, that we require 
of those who joine in Church Communion with us to censure the 
Church of England & her Bishops all we require being to render by 
reason of that faith & hope they have in Christ which together with 
a good testimony of an honest life wee admitt them, not medling fur- 
ther with the Church of England then as we are bound to pray for 
the good thereof 

Sixth — That the Countrey of New England is fruitful! where we 
live as well for English graine as Indian the aire temperate, agreeing 
with our Bodies, the Sea rich in Fish, the Havens commodious. 
The Northern parts thereof for which we must contend with the 
French, if this State enjoy them able to supply the navy of England 
with Masts if need require. The Sowthern for which we contest with 
the Dutch being like to prove as serviceable for Cordage by reason of 



1861.] THE PETITION OF EDWARD WINSLOW. 133 

the abundance of hemp & flax that groweth naturally ; All which by 
our Industry if his Ma'l' & the State be pleased to continue our 
liberty of conscience, to keep open the passage of such as will resort 
to us, & give us so free a commission for displanting french & Dutch 
as planting the places by us his Ma''f' loyall Subjects, your Honours 
shall soone see his Ma"?' Revenues of Customs by reason of this 
Plantation enlarged many thousands per annum & this Kingdome 
supplied with many necessaries it wanteth, when as England shall 
onely part with a part of her overcharged multitudes w* she can better 
misse then beare & for which God hath plentifully provided in the 
other. 

Seventh. Consider, I beseech your Lordshipps, what our adversa- 
ries that accuse us are, & you shall see them to be such as Morton 
who hath been twice sent hither as a Delinquent, first for that he fur- 
nished the Natives with peeces, powder & shot & taught them the use of 
them. 2"^'^ by my Lord Chief Justice Hides Warrant to answere to 
the murther of a person specified therein. Such like was Sir Chris- 
topher Gardner a Knight of the Sepulchre & a Jesuited gentleman as 
appeareth by a Diary of his owne under his hand which is extant in 
the countrey aforesaid. A third they offered the last yeare for testi- 
mony against us was one Dixie Bull who was out in Piracy at the 
same time & after went to the French &? These & such like who 
are enemies to all goodness are the men that trouble & grieve the 
State with false accusations & cause them to be prejudiced against us 
the well deserving subjects of his royall Ma''f 

Eighth. Whereas they have formerly accused us unjustly with 
correspondency with French & Dutch, Themselves may justly be sus- 
pected who cannot doe the French & Dutch better service then by 
going about to perswade the State here to deprive us of our Liberty 
of Conscience, graunted as aforesaid, as also of our freedome of Go- 
vernment, & set such a Governor over us as will impose the same 
things upon us we went thither to avoid. And if your Lordshipps for 
want of due information, I speake with all submissive reverence, 
should send such a governor as between whom & the countrey there 
is personall distaste & difference, he might be more prejudiciall to the 
Plantations then the swords of French and Dutch which your Peti- 
tioner humbly beseecheth your Lordshipps to consider 

Ninth That we give a reall testimony to our Loyalty by the 
present possession we maintaine by force at a great charge against 
the Dutch and the great losses we sustaine by the French. In which 



134 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

cases I came to seeke the pleasure of the State, being so tender of his 
Ma'f & your Lopps. displeasure, as we durst attempt no further 
designe without your hon*.'' approbation ; yet assure myself Eight 
Hon"' the enemy durst not have attempted what is past nor threaten 
as at present & wherof I can informe, if it bee desired, unlesse incou- 
raged by some English 

Lastly — Consider I beseech your Honours that the same persons 
to whom as I concieve your Lordshipps promised large Commission 
for plantinge the countrey & displantinge French & Dutch, & which 
intend God permittinge to use their best endeavour thereabout if your 
Lordshipps thinke meet to refer the ordering thereof to us that offer 
to beare the charge on those termes, doe all now suffer by me their 
agent who cannot by reason of mine imprisonment provide a fitt & 
seasonable supply for the Plantation or be assured any Commission or 
encouragement but the Contrary ; when as the adversaries in the 
meane time have too great advantage against us, who by credible 
report intend to assault the Plantations this ensuing spring 

All which your Petitioner humbly beseecheth your Lordshipps to 
take into your hon*")' consideration. That a Countrey so hopeful! be 
not ruinated, his Ma'l" abused & his faithfuU subjects vexed & de- 
stroyed, and not onely your Petitioner but many thousands his Ma'.'" 
loyall subjects will be further bound to pray for a recompence of your 
honodrable care 

Your Lordshipps humble servant dejected by your displeasure 

Edw : Wynslow 

[Endorsed by Sec*?' Coke] 

New England 

(Endorsed) " A relation concerning some occurences in New England " 
(^Capt. Israel Stoughton to Dr. Stoughton his brother) 

Grace & peace be with you & yo? in Christ 
A relation Deere BROTHER There coming this frend M^ Patricson (M' Cra- 
atN^wEag- docks agent here) so happilie in the spring, I thought I would not omit 
to write a word, & but a word bee : I hope to have many oportunies 
more this suiner : tho as yet we have not a ship come nor know not 
certaynly whither we shall, only we heare of many and hope the best. 
We are generally in good health : I and my familie have enjoyed our 
health I bless God with very little interuption from the beginning. 
Here are divers things where of I would write more fully to you 



land. 



1861.] "a EELATION concerning new ENGLAND." 135 

about, but I am willing to waite a while, & shall do it hereafter. It 
is like you will heare of many of them more or lesse there, but I hope 
God will give you & others that feare God there wisdome to judge of 
things wisely, and not beleeve all that is reported with all aggrava- 
tions and additions as are usuall in such cases, much you will heare 
I suppose about the crosse in the banners & many things true ; for tis 
true Capt. Indicot did defase it upon his owne private head, and is 
now left out of place of government : & his fact publiquly protested 
agaynst by the greater part of the country, & the ministers, and some 
of the magistrates too : It is allso true some of the magistrates with 
some ministers, and divers of the people do apprehend it an idoll 
unlawful to be continued in so honorable a pleace & time to be 
abolished ; & therefore do strongly incline that way ; but tis all so 
true the greatest part esteeme no such daunger in it : but do desire to 
informe themselves well in the point, & then to be zealous according 
to knowledge & all judgment ; not being willing to abuse their 
Christian liberty to licentiousness before God nor yet to a needless 
makeing of frends enimies, or to the prevoaking of those against us 
who are willing to lett us alone. 

So that now the truth is this hath bred some evill blood in our 
body, & I feare will be a greater crosse & more wildy to beare then 
the former : it hath already caused no little alienation of affection, 
strife, sensuring on their parts who are so zealous for the Crosse 
its rejection against, & almost contemning their brethren that have 
not beene so opiniated & affected as themselves, & the truth is if 
anything would have done it, that p^rty that so deeply condemns the 
simple use of the crosse in banners, had overborne & chrushtt 
the other party tho the bigger most by farr ; such was their zeale 
& potencie : but as yet it is not come to that point for the conclu- 
sion is, Councell shall be further taken of God, and the learned wise 
& godly there with you ; and in the mean time there shall be a 
pause ; and if there be any need of banners those that will may use 
their old as they are, without any alteration. And the party that 
did that fact must stand upon his owne bottom to answer for his 
attempt ; for the greater part of ministers & country have washt 
their hands of it. ffinally for to end this matter : had not M' Hooker 
& the rest of the ministers slept in, & with great strength appeared 
against the contrary part, it had not beene as it is, & yet I daresay 
the greater number ' of the magistrates are best pleasd that it is thus 
& no other wise as well as the people. I forbeare to mention per- 



136 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

sons & particular passages bee : I will give none offence nor occasion : 
but I suppose you may informe yoursselfe by M' Patricson & M' Cra- 
dock if you shall desire more full relations. 

2. Here hath been somew? to doo too about a negative voyce for 
the magistrates would that no law nor act of court should be currant 
& establisht (excepting choyce of magistrates) unlesse the greater 
number of magistrates present do allso approve & consent to it, tho 
all country & 3 of 7 of the magistrates do like & desire it, & they 
plead the pattent allows them this power & some allso have well likt 
it, others have not likt it, & now the greater number by farr I sup- 
pose 5 or 10 for one & of the ministers too are of an other mind : I 
know none that have read the pattent (excepting Magistrates) that 
esteeme it their due, but yet many more willing to have condescended 
to it at the first, whose minds are now changed. The conclusion of 
that businesse is ; it sleeps in silence, & is so like : for it is concluded 
by some that the magistrates hereafter will never aske it : nor the 
people never give it : but only thus : that whereas now our courts for 
makeing lawes consist of the body of the magistrates, & 3 eoiriitties 
chose by every towne to joyne with them : that there shall be power 
of suspencion on either party in cases where they agree not, untill 
the mind of the whole body of the country may conveniently be 
knowne : & then the issue to be on the major parts side according 
to the pattent : & so both tumultousnes, & many mischeifs may be 
prevented, this was at first proposed & approved by ministers & 
country : but not by Magistrates. 

3. Here hath not beene a little to do about my selfe, & tho I am 
unwilling to make any large relation of my owne things : yet because 
I know you will heare many things, I dare not omit to write some- 
thing, both in faithfuUnesse to you & my selfe, for I do not know 
how relations may be made w°.'' may much trouble you, unlesse 
you have some certaynty. Wf therefore I write recon it to be true 
impartially as you esteeme of me impartial or otherwise : Take the 
relation thus When I came into the country for one whole yeare 
after, the government was solely in the hands of the assistants, the 
people chose them magistrates, & then they made lawes, disposd 
lands, raisd monies, punnisht offenders &c, att their discretion : 
neither did the people know the pattent nor w! prerogative & liberty 
they had by the same : But there being some somes of money raysed : 
& a speech of more, it made some inquisitive into matters & par- 
ticularly after the pattent : about w'."* time M' Wenthrop go! having 



1861.] " A RELATION CONCERNING NEW ENGLAND." 187 

the pattent did give way to the country upon their motion to see ij;, 
& all the magistrates (as in charitie I must say) were willing to 
admitt the people to joyne with themselves in the governance of the 
State, by 3 deputies for each towne. So in may, last yeare there 
was a generall court, wherein things were so agitated : In w".'' court 
I was by our towne chose a coiiiitty : & by the coiiiitties chose the 
cheife speaker on the countrys behalfe (there being 3 speakers) . & 
indeed such was their good opinion of me (unworthy I confesse) that 
they would have chose me into an assistants place but that they said 
they needed me more there for the present. So that court passed 
& tho their was a little opposition in one particular case yet all 
ended in peace with manifestations of great love & the magistrates 
good approbation of us that had in some points opposed & crost them, 
at least some of Boston where M' Winthrop dwells. 

Then there was a 2"* court about August last not for choyee of 
Magistrates but for makeing lawes &c, where I was allso both a 
coiiiitty & speaker, (as before) In that court there were some more 
strait passages, & specially about the negative voyce, w".*" fell to be 
my portion much to oppose, tho not alone : In w".*" court time, M'. 
Wenthrop, & my selfe had accidently some privat discourse about 
the pattent & the power of assistants & Gov^ : so likewise had one 
M' Ludlow an assistant, & dwelling in Dorchester where I live : but 
the conclusion of the court was all peace & love, & no manifesta- 
tions of any thing to the contrary : Nay M' Wenthrop having some- 
what harshly & unadvisedly taken up a young man a Comittey, came 
after in privat to me, & excused himselfe, & professed to me : that 
for that young mans part & myne, tho we had much opposed him, 
yet the more he honored us both in his very hart : adding that he 
saw our aymes & ends were good. So that court finist. 

Then there was agayne a 3° court that yeare, in March last, 
cheifly caled about Captayne Indcott his fact about the crosse : 
where I was agayne a coiiiittey, & a speaker but not the cheife, 
bee : M^ Bellingum a great man & a lawier was then a coiiiitty, & 
he was cheif speaker. Now after I was chose, great probabilitie 
there was that the negative voyce would be questiond, where upon 
many lay hard upon me to give them my reasons in writing why I 
refused to yeeld it so as they had desired it : wc'' I utterly refused a 
good while, till at length 3 men of our Church came to me in the 
name of Ml Warhum (our pastor) to entreat it of me, saying that 
the ministers were to meet about it, & he much desired my reasons 

18 



138 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

b.efore they mett, & they prest my conscience that I sinned if I re- 
fused, hereupon having but now halfe a daies time to do it in, I not- 
withstanding condiscended, & gave (it being one sheet of paper) 12 
reasons of my refusall to give them such a negative as they challenged. 
Now no sooner had M^ Warum the thing, but he (without my pri- 
vitie) carries it to the ministers presents it at their meeting : w'^.'' for 
aught I ever heard was well approved by every man of them. Sure 
I am 4 of them did come to me & give me large thanks & applaws 
for the thing, & M.'. Gotten that had preacht at first for the Magis- 
trates having a negative (tho afterward yeelded to a stopping voyce 
only such as before I expressed) desired the paper, tooke it home, & 
finding some of the reasons to be grounded upon the pattent, he not 
well understanding the pattent did (as he profest to me) in the sim- 
plicitie of his hart send them to Mr. Wenthrop, to be resolvd in some 
points of the pattent who as it seemes by the sequile tooke such dis- 
tast at them & me for them that movd him to w! foUowes. 

The day of the court coming (for I knew not a tittle of ought 
untill the minut of time that I was accused) In the morning he 
posseseth the governor with my booke, & soo soone as ever we were 
mett, all the country being put out, save magistrates, coinitteys, & 
ministers. The governor & some of the magistrates, charge me for 
writing a book against the Magistrates, & for denying them to be 
Magistrates, & so fell into such bitter tearmes against me as was 
much, if it had beene prooved. For MT Wenthrop said of me, this is 
the man that had heene the trouhler of Israel, and that I was a worme 
{such an one as M^ Hooker had spoke of in his sermon) and an under- 
minder of the State : & yet saith he who but Jfr Stoughton in the eir 
of the country. And saith he I had from a speciall frend (I suppose 
it was D' Wright) a letter of good report of me, that I was a man 
worthy of his accquaintance, but I had never come at him (wherein 
I confesse I have beene something fayling through shamefastness & a 
naturall defect that way, yet I have beene with him divers times, & 
allwaies shew* him great respect, as allso and in truth he had done to 
me above my deserts. But now to the point. They chargd my booke 
for this & that. One thing was that I should say in it, that I by my 
fact had freed the State so & so ; Now this I utterly denyed, that had 
not so written & the booke was read, & so read as that it did ex- 
pressly so speake : at w".'' I was amazed & desired to see it my selfe, 
& I confesse there wanted a coiiia, but that being added they all con- 
fessed the sence was quite otherwise, & so were silenced in that 



1861.] " A RELATION CONCERNING NEW ENGLAND." 139 

point, & it was so playne without a comma that no man excepted at 
it till M^ Wenthrop, nor did any make such sence of it but he, & such 
as he had possesst. But then the mayne accusation w".'' they stuck 
too was that I deneyed the Assistants to be Magistrates, & made 
them but Ministers of Justice &c. w*? charge I denyed, and affirmed 
I never did deny them to be Magistrates, tho I allso did say they were 
Ministers of justice, & might without dishonor be caled Ministers 
as well as Magistrates both by the rule of the word Rom. 13. 2 
& the custome of London whose printed oath for all freemen stilles 
the Aldermen by that terme & title, thus, the Maior & all other 
Ministers of the Citty, and so comprehends the Aldermen 3°. & by 
the rule of the pattent, & with respect to the pattent, & to general 
Courts asembled : for I had written thus in it (the reasons against 
the negative) the pattent makes their power Ministeriall according 
to the greater voat of the generall courts, & not Magistfriall ac- 
cording to their owne discrescion. These were my very expressions, 
whereby I intended & ment that their power call it ministeriall, or 
magisteriall, or magistraticall (w* you will) was not so great that 
they could do ought, or hinder ought simply according to their owne 
wills, but they must eir & respect generall courts, w".'' by pattent con- 
sist of the whole company of freemen. And this is in very deed the 
magistrates owne judgment, & the judgment of every man in the land, 
that hath exprest himselfe, & yet for this my expression they would 
have me to affirme, they were no Magistrates : & these my words 
should be a proofe of it. Other words they took great offence at, but 
instances in no-other but these 2. I confesse there were some others 
that were very playne English such as to some is offencive : but I 
know little reason it should be to any : sure I am it was no other 
then such as I would allow & most desire from my meanest servant 
in any cause wherein he hath to deale with me. 

But much a doe their was, & because it was adjudged by some it 
would much please & pacifle them if I would desire that it might be 
burnt, at leangth for peace sake, & to show how little I esteeme ought 
of myne, I said let the booke be burnt if it please them, to give them 
content I regarded it not. So that business ended, yet so that they 
caused it to be recorded, that such a thing was burnt as weake & 
offencive. 

But still they were not pacified towards me, but would have it be 
that I denyed them to be magistrates, & for the further proofe of that 
point, M^ "Wenthrop & M' Ludlow of whome I spake before, did 



140 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

affirme to the court upon their credit (without oath) that I had in the 
time of the last court (before when I had some conference with them 
as I told you before about their power & autoritie) sayd to them, that 
the Assistants were not Magistrates, So that tho I had constantly 
denyed it, & had allso unknowne to me then, a wittness that can upon 
oath testifie that my words to M' Wenthrop did not so import,: nor 
were they any affirmation at all, but meerely thus. In answer to 
something he had said w"."" was, that Assistants had power simply by 
their places over our persons goods & lives, without any law of ours. 
I replyed, what is it so ? I had thought your power had beene so & 
not so. 

The same wittness allso being an eare wittness of my words to 
M.'. Ludlo, & a very wise & godly young man (the same that I spake 
of before that M' Wentrop snibd but after did somewhat recant) he 
being a brother of our church, suspecting that M' Ludlo had for- 
sworne himselfe (for he was not now a coinitty to heare) did goe in 
privat (before our 2 ministers, my selfe and an other) to this M' Ludlo 
& begin to deale with him for what he had done, untill that he purgd 
himselfe thus, by saying he did not give in his wittnesse upon oath. 

And so the conclusion of the matter was, that I by way of punish- 
ment of that whereof they charged me, must be dissolvd for bearing 
any otfice within this jurisdiction for 3 years w'? was by Magistrates 
& Comitteys, that is the Major part did then conclude that order, 
w* was the mayne businesse of that court in March last. Captayn 
Indicots busines being referd to the great generall court of May, but 
the truth is the greatest part of the comitteys did yeeld thereto meerly 
to give the Magistrates content, I purposing to reverse it agayne with 
the first opportunitie. M' Bellenham made that same apologie unto 
me in privat and many of the rest that did yeeld (for all did not) & 
that with teares, & one made puhlique accknowledgment in open court 
afterward that he had sinned & was sorry. I should he too teadious to 
you to relate the severall privat passages of M' Cottons, of M'. Hookers 
M' Wards & other ministers about this husinesse, who have beene marvel- 
ously affected to see their dealings, especially Mt Wenthrops, who the 
truth is had too much forgot & over shott himselfe, as I heare he hath 
confessed so much publiquly this last Court, before all the country in 
generall, & manifested the particulars to those that were then coinit- 
teyes privatly as I have beene told. 

Now followed the great generall Court in May w'^^ continued 2 
daies for the whole body, & is not yet ended (tho proroged) for Ma- 



1861.] "A RELATION CONCERNING NEW ENGLAND." 141 

gistrates & Coinitteyes. This generall Court one M' Haynes waa 
chosen governor a very godly man of M'. Hookers charge. Captayne 
Indicot is left out partly for his business in the crosse, & partly for 
other matters. So allso our M'. Ludlow is now no Magistrate : tho 
within 6 dayes before it was most probable & allmost past question 
that he would be chosen governor (for we desire to change yeare by 
yeare the governorship : but the assisstants more rarely, yet sometimes 
least it be esteemed hereditary. Now he is neither governor nor 
assistant, so did divine providence dispose it. And I question whither 
he will ever be Magistrate more, for many have taken great offence at 
him, the causes I forbeare to relate : but they are both wise & godly 
men that are offended : And not many much sorry. 

And to tell you the truth (for it is like you may heare of it from 
others) M'. Wenthrop had very many hands agaynst him for being 
either governor (w"? some attempted) or assistant. The cause, it is 
like they know best, that put in blanks I suppose they were not his 
enimies, nor none of the most simple. He hath lost much of that 
aplaws that he hath had (for indeed he was highly magnified) & I 
heard some say they putt in blanks, not simply because : they would 
not have him a magistrate, but because they would admonish him 
thereby to looke a little more circumspectly to himselfe. He is indeed 
a man of man : but he is but a man : & some say they have idolized 
him, & do now confesse their error. My opinion is that God will do 
him good by some : as allso he hath done good to some by him. And 
that he is a godly man, & a worthy magistrate notwithstanding some 
few passages, at w".'' some have stumbled. 

It may be it will be reported there (as some have not spared to 
speak it here) that those that opposed himi, did it because he was so 
zealous against the crosse, for he esteems it a gross idoll : but tho I be 
now no statsman, nor do I medle with those affayres, yet thus much 
I can upon my credit & by intimations I have received informe you, 
that that was not att all the cause, for others were not so dealt by that 
were as zealous as he : (Neither was his doings about me the only 
cause : tho possibly that might a little further it tho I cannot say so 
expressly :) but there was some other passages that have beene done 
by him, w''.'' being observed have made some willing to admonish him. 
in that manner whiles they do not well know how to do it, in a more 
convenient manner. But such is my opinion of the man, that some 
might more conveniently have delt with him in a more playne fashion, 
if they have any greevance. I say some might, I do not say all. 



142 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

This court Capt : Indicots busines was transacted by the whole 
country, & after some strong & hard labor brought to the issue fore- 
mentioned, wherein the ministers did their parts as good midwifes, or 
ells it would not have been altogether so as it is. 

This court allso it was intended my business should have beene 
transacted by the whole body, with a generall vote before the day, that 
they would doe about it great matters, I that they would, said Coiiiit- 
teyes, & most in generall : but Capt : Indicots business proved so 
tiresome & teadious, that their spirits & strength was spent & tho there 
was petition made by the towne (for for my part I sitt downe in 
cilence and desire with my whole soule that no more stir may be about 
it, I looke up to him that knoweth all things, to whome myselfe & all 
men must one day give account & receive wages according as our 
workes have beene) that I should have the interpretation of my owne 
words : w* was in part granted & I was caled : but because I did not 
give them so full satisfaction as some desired the thing rests yet as it 
did : only it is said by some it shall be agitated by the magistrates 
and comitteys at their next sitting, for the words where of they 
charged me I can make no interpretation of them : because I can-not 
say I ever uttered such words : but for my reaU opinion about the 
Assistants reall power I spake in publike court as much & more then 
ever I spake before, & it was all accepted & taken well without con- 
tradiction. 

But as I have beene infornaed since, something they would have 
from me before they blotted out that order (w'^.'' was the thing peti- 
tioned for by the towne to have it blotted out and not to stand to 
posteritie to defame me as if I had held some annabaptisticall opinion 
about Magistrates, when they all knew I was innocent, & had not 
merited such infamie) that so the honor of the court might be mayne- 
tayned. This was all that any of them stood upon that ever I 
heard off. 

This large relation when I was once entered I could not forbeare 
for reasons aforesaid, now I leave you to judge when you have heard 
all as you shall see cause. 

But now I beseech you these 2 things. 1. that these things may 
be privat : only where you shall see good caus.e : as to my Mother 
flFor her satisfaction to whom I cannot conveniently make a long rela- 
tion : allso to others of wise frends If you should heare I were by any 
traduced and abused, as some or at least one (For I have not heard of 
more) hath much endeavored to take my good name away here, in a 



1861.] " A RELATION CONCERNING NEW ENGLAND." 143 

kind of zeale to Mf Went : but the Lord forgive him and if Df "Wright 
should heare ought & first enquire of you, I know not wl information 
& Coiiiunion there is betweene him & Mf Wenthrop, but I do not 
passe, if need so be tho he see every tittle that I have writt, but not 
unless there be cause. 

2'? I beseech you let none of these things trouble your, nor any 
other godly mans spiritts, concerning this place, or the persons, & 
doings here, as I know persons upon reports are sometimes strangly 
troubled, & incensed this way & that, to judging, to withdrawing 
affection to change resolutions & purposes : to chang their minds & 
take upp new thoughts possibly never to come here &c : for it is true 
we have weaknesses & wants, & sinns coinitted by us, & difference 
arise : who questions this ? & how can it be otherwise. 

(Endorsed) 

A relation concerning some occurrences in New England. 

(Also endorsed, but scratched thro') 
A relation about Boston buysnesses in Lincolnshire 

[The spelling, punctuation, and Italics are precisely as copied from the original.] 

The last of these papers the President had procured, 
not merely because it related to an interesting period 
in our history, but also because it was referred to, in the 
Calendar of Colonial State Papers, as containing some 
strictures on the course of Governor Winthrop, which 
he was curious to examine. The Governor had alluded 
to the circumstances, in his History (vol. i. p. 155), in 
the following brief terms : — 

" At this Court, one of the deputies was questioned for 
denying the magistracy among us, affirming that the power 
of the Governor was but ministerial, &c. He had also 
much opposed the magistrates, and slighted them, and used 
many weak arguments against the negative voice, as himself 
acknowledged upon record. He was adjudged by all the 
Court to be disabled for three years from bearing any public 
oflSce." 



144 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Mr. Savage, in a note upon this passage, says as 
follows : — 

" An explanation worth transcribing is found in Col. Rec. 
i. 137 : ' Whereas Mr. Israel Stoughton hath written a certain 
book which hath occasioned much trouble and oiFence to 
the Court, the said Stoughton did desire of the Court that the 
said book might forthwith be burnt, as being weak and 
offensive.' Such almost unexampled modest}', in an author, 
did not, however, propitiate the severe justice of the Assem- 
bly ; for on the same page appears an order, ' that Mr. Israel 
Stoughton shall be disabled from bearing any public office in 
the Commonwealth, within this jurisdiction, for the space of 
three years, for affirming the assistants were not magistrates.' 
But his disability was removed or overlooked before the 
expiration of the sentence; for, in December of the year 1636, 
he was again a deputy, and,, being orthodox on the subject 
of the Antinomian controversy, was chosen an assistant in the 
following spring. He commanded the forces in the Pequod 
expedition in the same year. . . . He was father of, the 
celebrated William Stoughton, first Lieutenant - Governor 
named by the Crown under the charter of William and Mary, 
and Chief- Justice in the trial of the witches." 

Dr. Palfrey also refers to the case, in his admirable 
"History of New England," vol. i. pp. 427-8. 

Mr. Savage offered a letter from Nathaniel White, 
A.B. (H.C. 1646), addressed to the "Eev., and much 
hono'"'' in the Lord, Michael Wigglesworth, minister of 
the word, and sometimes pastor of a church of Christ at 
Maldon in New England," dated " Overplus in Somer 
Islands, the 12th of the 7th mo., 1664." The same 
gentleman also presented a bill of disbursement by 
John Faneuil for Mr. Henry Phillips of Boston, N.E.