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ACTS OF THE ROYAL COMMISSIONERS.
with such of their requisitions as they report, that the king issued an order thought proper; but, professing sincere that Bellingham, the governor, loyalty to his majesty, declined acknowl- and some others, should proedging their authority, and protested ceed to England to answer for their against the exercise of it within their defiance of his majesty's authority. limits.
In consequence of this asser- The summons created no little excitetion of their rights, an angry corres- ment, and it was earnestly debated pondence took place between them, at whether to obey or not. They who the close of which the commissioners advocated seeming obedience without informed the General Court, that they really giving up the points at issue, would lose no more of their labors upon prevailed; and, fortunately, just at this them, but would represent their con- juncture, by sending a timely supply duct to his majesty. From Boston, the of provisions for the fleet in the West commissioners proceeded to New Hamp- Indies, and also a present of masts for shire, where they exercised several acts the English navy, they were able to of government, and offered to release put off the immediate danger. The the inhabitants from the jurisdiction of king's designs upon the liberty of the Massachusetts. This offer was almost colonies were suspended, if not abanunanimously declined. In Maine, they doned; the great plague and the fire excited more disturbance. They en in London intervened, and for several couraged the people to declare them- years after this New England remained selves independent, and found many undisturbed in the enjoyment of her disposed to listen to their suggestions; ancient rights and privileges. but Massachusetts, by a prompt and At the end of fifty years from the vigorous exertion of power, constrained arrival of the emigrants at Plymouth, the disaffected to submission to her au- the New England colonies were supthority.
posed to contain one hundred and Connecticut appears to have been twenty towns, and probably some sixthe favorite of the commissioners. She ty or seventy thousand inhabitants. treated them with respect, and complied The acts of Parliament not being rigwith their requisitions. In return they idly enforced, their trade had become made such a representation of her mer- extensive and profitable. The habits its to the king, as to draw from him a of industry and economy, which had letter of thanks: “Although,” says he, been formed in less happy times, con
your carriage doth of itself most justly tinued to prevail, and gave a compedeserve our praise and approbation, yet tency to those who had nothing, and it seems to be set off with more lustre wealth to those who had a competency. by the contrary behavior of the colony The wilderness receded before advenof Massachusetts."
turous and hardy laborers, and its The commissioners were recalled in savage inhabitants found their game
Under the influence of morti- dispersed, and their favorite haunts infied feelings, they had made such a / vaded. This was the natural conse
quence of the sales of land which were houses nearest Mount Hope, his resiat all times readily made to the whites. dence. Soon after, he attacked SwanBut this consequence the Indians did zey, and killed a number of the inhabnot foresee; and when they felt it in itants. This was in the latter part of all its force, the strongest passions of June, 1675. the savage nature were aroused to seek The troops of the colony marched revenge. A leader only was wanting to immediately to Swanzey, and were soon concentrate and direct their exertions, joined by a detachment from Massachuand Philip, of Pokanoket, sachem of setts. The Indians fled, and marked the Wampanoags, a tribe living within the course of their flight by burning the boundaries of Plymouth and Rhode the buildings, and fixing on poles, by Island, assumed that honorable but dan- the way side, the hands, scalps, and gerous station. His father, Massasoit, heads of the whites whom they had was the friend, but he had ever been killed. The troops pursued, but unthe enemy, of the whites; and this en- able to overtake them, returned to mity, arising from causes of national Swanzey. The whole country was concern, had been embittered to vin- alarmed, and the number of troops dictive hatred by their conduct towards augmented. By this array of force, his elder brother. This brother, being Philip was induced to quit his residence suspected of plotting against them, was at Mount Hope, and take post near a seized by a detachment of soldiers and swamp at Pocasset. At that place the confined; and the indignity so wrought English attacked him, but were reupon his proud spirit as to produce a pulsed. Sixteen were killed, and the fever that put an end to his life. Philip Indians by this success were made inherited the authority and proud spirit bolder. of his brother. He exerted all the arts Panic prevailed throughout the colof intrigue and powers of persuasion ony. Dismal portents of still heavier of which he was master, to induce the calamities were fancied in the air and Indians, in all parts of New England, sky; shadowy troops of careering to unite their efforts for the destruction horses, Indian scalps, and bows imof the whites. He succeeded in form- printed upon the sun and moon, even ing a confederacy able to send into ac- the sigh of the wind through the forest, tion between three and four thousand and the dismal howling of wolves, terwarriors.
rified the excited imagination of the The bloody struggle commenced colonists. The out-settlers fled for sesooner than was intended by Philip. curity to the towns, where they spread
A hasty act of revenge placed abroad fearful accounts of the cruel
him in open defiance of the atrocities of the Indians. colonists, and he had no alternative Meanwhile, the war spread along the but to yield in absolute submission, or whole exposed frontier of Connectito persist and endeavor bravely to car- cut, Massachusetts, and even of New ry out his plans. Philip plundered the Hampshire. The villages were isola
DESTRUCTION OF THE INDIANS.
ted, large uncultivated tracts lying be- cavern in the neighborhood the murtween. The Indians lived intermixed derous approach of the savages, and with the whites, and as every brake hurried down to aid the affrighted coloand lurking place was well known to nists in this extremity. them, they were able to fall suddenly During the summer, the Indians, upon any village or settlement they having the advantage of concealment might mark for destruction. Many in the woods and forests, were able to were shot dead as they opened their carry on this very harassing and dedoors in the morning—for the Indians structive warfare; but when winter had both learned the use and acquired came, and the forests were more open, possession of firearms; many were killed the colonists, by a vigorous effort, sucin the same way while in the fields, or ceeded in raising a force of a thousand while travelling, or while going to the men, and determined to strike a deciplaces of the public worship of God. sive blow. Josiah Winslow, of PlyUnable also to cultivate the fields, the mouth, was appointed commander-insettlers were exposed to famine, while chief. On the 18th of December, the the convoys of provisions sent to their troops formed a junction in the terriassistance were waylaid and seized, and tory of the Narragansetts, who had their escort cut off in ambush. Such given shelter to the enemy, and after a was the fate of the brave Lathrop, at long march through the snow, and a the spot which still retains the name of night spent in the woods, they ap
Bloody Brook.” On one occasion, at proached the stronghold of the tribe. Hadley, while the people were engaged This was about one o'clock. The Inin divine service, the Indians burst in dians had entrenched themselves on a upon the village; panic and confusion rising ground, in the midst of a swamp were at their height, when suddenly surrounded by a palisade. The leaders there appeared a man of very venerable were all shot down as they advanced aspect, who rallied the terrified inhab- to the charge; but this only excited to itants, formed them into military order, the highest pitch the desperate deterled them to the attack, routed the In- mination of the colonists, who, after dians, saved the village, and then dis- having once forced an entrance, and appeared as marvellously as he had being again repulsed, after a fierce come upon the scene. The excited struggle protracted for two hours, and grateful inhabitants, unable to dis- burst infuriated into the Indian fort. cover any trace of their preserver, sup- Revenge for the blood of their murposed him to be an angel sent from dered brethren was alone thought of; God. It was no angel, but one of mercy was implored in vain; the fort Cromwell's generals, old Goffe the regi- was fired, and hundreds of Indian wives cide, who, compelled by the vigilant and children perished in the midst of the search made after him by order of the conflagration; while their provisions, English government, to fly from place gathered together for the long winter, to place, had espied from an elevated being consumed, and their wigwams
burned, those who escaped from fire and a thousand houses had been burned, and sword wandered miserably through the goods and cattle of great value had forests to perish with cold and hunger. been plundered or destroyed. The This was the most desperate battle re- colonies had also contracted a heavy corded in the early annals of the coun- debt, which, with characteristic pride try. But the victory was decisive. One of independence, they forbore to apply thousand Indian warriors were killed; to the mother country to lighten. three hundred more, and as many wo- In 1680, New Hampshire, at the somen and children, were made prisoners. licitation of John Mason, to whose anYet the price of victory was dear, in- cestor a part of the territory deed. Six captains and eighty men had been granted, was constiwere killed, and one hundred and fifty tuted a separate colony. Massachumen were wounded.
setts, apprehending the loss of Maine The Indians, rendered desperate, also, purchased of the heirs of Gorges vented their fury upon all who came their claim to the soil and jurisdiction,
within their reach. But their for about $6,000.
power was broken, and ere The colonists continuing to evade the long they began to fade away out acts of trade, on the ground that they of sight. The leaders alone, Philip, were violations of their rights, Edward and Canonchet, sachem of the Narra- Randolph was sent over in July, 1680, gansetts, refused to yield. The lat- as collector of the royal customs, and ter died rather than attempt to make inspector for enforcing the acts of trade. a peace with the whites. The un- The magistrates ignored his commission, happy Philip, the author of the war, and refused to allow him to act, so that wandered from tribe to tribe, assailed he was compelled to go back to Engby recriminations and reproaches for land. He speedily returned, the misery he had brought upon his however, in February, 1682, brethren, and with a heart full of the with a royal letter, peremptorily debitterest anguish. Compelled at length manding that agents be sent at once to return to his old haunts, where he fully empowered to act for the colonies. was yet sustained by Witamo, a female Resistance became useless, although chief and relative, he was presently at there was no flinching on the part of the tacked by the English, who carried off leaders. Every effort was made, even his wife and child as captives; shortly to bribery, to propitiate the king withafter, he was treacherously shot by one out yielding the point of their of his own adherents who deserted to rights; but to no purpose.
A the English. Thus perished Philip of scire facias was issued in England, and, Pokanoket, who, in many respects, was in 1684, the charter was declared to be worthy of a better fate. His child forfeited; thus the rights and liberties was sent to Bermuda, and sold into of Massachusetts, so long and so dearly slavery.
cherished, lay at the mercy of Charles Peace was welcome indeed, for nearly II., who was known to meditate the
ANDROS AND THE CONNECTICUT CHARTER.
most serious and fundamental innova- dition is, that Governor Treat strongly tions, but who died before any of them represented the great expense and hardcould be carried into effect.
ships of the colonists in planting the A temporary government was estab-country; the blood and treasure which lished by the appointment of Joseph they had expended in defending it, both Dudley, son of the former gov- against the savages and foreigners; to
Soon after, however, in what hardships and dangers he himself 1686, James II. placed Sir Edmund had been exposed for that purpose; Andros over the colonies. He came and that it was like giving up his life, out fully prepared to forward the ar- now to surrender the patent and privibitrary and tyrannical designs of the leges so dearly bought, and so long enlast of the Stuarts, and brought with joyed. The important affair was dehim, in the royal frigate in which he bated and kept in suspense until the came, two companies of troops to en- evening, when the charter was brought force his authority, if need be. He was and laid upon the table where the Asempowered to remove and appoint the sembly were sitting. By this time, members of the council at his pleasure, great numbers of people were assemand, with the consent of a body thus bled, and men sufficiently bold to enterunder his control, to levy taxes, make prise whatever might be necessary or laws, and call out the militia. His expedient. The lights were instantly subordinates were entirely devoted to extinguished, and Captain Wadsworth, him. Dudley was made chief justice, of Hartford, in the most silent and seand Randolph, that old antagonist of cret manner, carried off the charter, the theocracy, who had spent years of and secreted it in a large hollow tree, persevering hostility, and had done fronting the house of the Honorable every thing he could to humble the Samuel Wyllys, then one of the magispride of his enemies, was appointed as trates of the colony. The people apcolonial secretary. The press, previ- peared all peaceable and orderly. The ously placed under his control, had candles were officiously relighted, but already been thoroughly gagged; it the patent was gone, and no discovery was now entirely suppressed.
could be made of it, or of the person Connecticut and Rhode Island suf who had conveyed it away.
away."* Andros fered from the same spirit of arbitrary however, declared the charter forfeited, exercise of power. A writ of quo war- and at the end of the records inscribed ranto had been issued, and Andros re- the expressive word—FINIS. paired to Hartford and demanded the The arbitrary proceedings of Andros charter of the Assembly then in ses- were not permitted to continue for any sion. That body, says Trumbull, was great length of time. The infatuated “extremely reluctant and slow with re- James II. was rapidly bringing on that
spect to any resolve to surrender crisis in England which resulted in his
the charter, or with respect to any motion to bring it forth. The tra
* “ History of Connecticut,” pp. 371, 372.